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The Dumpster Rubble Conundrum

Sat, 31 May 2014 07:26:24 +00002014-05-31T07:26:24Z

"When asked precisely how many surfboards his company sells, he demurred. 'The more boards you sell, the less cool you are. The more success you attain, the more people don't like you. It's just surfers, man!'" That quote concludes a great article in Bloomberg Businessweek and speaks volumes about our day to day existence. Do tennis players ruminate on the purity of their sport under the leaning slab of capitalism? Doubt it. And I know that baseball fans have all but accepted the marketing of every minutia of their beloved "past time." Not a sport but a past time. That's what it was. Not an industry but a lawless past time, a lifestyle, a culture. Baseball was once a group of young maniacs stoked on the exhilaration of competition and the purity of commradery. Sound familiar? If not, read about the young surfers who explored the North Shore back in the 50's and 60's. We've come a long way in quantity, but we haven't gained much in quality. Have we sullied our lifestyle for convenience? Sure, but now we have heats on demand and surf camps and wave cams. I ain't gonna lie. It's nice. I get more sleep and ride more waves than ever, but it all feels dirty.

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Surf into Summer

Thu, 08 May 2014 16:00:17 +00002014-05-08T16:00:17Z

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Spending all summer surfing the Internet (even watching surf videos of Dane Reynolds) will give nothing but flabby arms and big ole love handles, but surfing waves offers so much more. Surfing is so fun that many people overlook its great health benefits, but you'd be hard pressed to find a better (and more enjoyable) cross-training exercise for athletes of all ability levels. Surfing is essentially a blend of swimming, balance training, and jumping rope (with a splash of riding a roller coaster). Surfing offers many health benefits whether you are an old goat or a beginner. I think you'll be surprised.

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Get More Paddle Power

Mon, 28 Apr 2014 20:10:54 +00002014-04-28T20:10:54Z

Fall is about to break and with its arrival come Nor'easters and pre-winter lows rife with wind and current and swirling rips. Sounds crappy, but if you love surfing, you know that shifty chop and heavy breaking closeout meatballs can sometimes be a blast. Here is the issue: paddling through wind and current can wreak all havoc and heck on the shoulders, arms, and back; especially if you haven't been out in a while.

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Surf into Summer

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 08:15:55 +00002014-04-18T08:15:55Z

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As we leave winter in the dust, we need to get serious about surfing. It's time to re-group, dig out from the snow, return that wetsuit to the garage, and get connected with the essence of freedom and fun. Winter is great to test your endurance and commitment to the sport, but you've answered the questions as to how far you will go to get a few waves. Are you a lifer? Are you willing to hurt and suffer for the possibility of some good waves? Heck yeah! And now we can relax and get into a groove and slide into a pair of baggies, enjoy the sun, and enjoy the ride. So let's figure some things out and get some things straight as spring progresses into summer and we reassert surfing as Priority Number 1. Here are some ideas to make you're upcoming season the ultimate surf-centered marathon:

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Does Surfing "Take" Too Much?

Fri, 18 Apr 2014 07:49:37 +00002014-04-18T07:49:37Z

The world of surfing is one based on taking. We take a ride to the beach where we greedily take as many waves as we can. Sometimes we take a flight on which we take our boards and ipods and computers to another country and take waves from the locals and take pictures and videos of each other so we can take them back home and brag about how we "owned it."

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New Look. New Blood. Same Sport

Sun, 06 Apr 2014 09:33:25 +00002014-04-06T09:33:25Z

Western Australia is delivering. The swell has been meaty and challenging and offering high performance opportunities for both powerful carving and aerial wizardry. For a wave that traditionally favors the no nonsense rail carving of guys like Tom Carroll, Margaret River has morphed under shifting swell and migrating wind directions, but has also played both the spoiler and supporter of incredible performances from the likes of John Florence, Kelly Slater, Gabriel Medina, C.J. Hobgood, and (Holy Moly!) Yadin Nicol. Nicol's 10 foot high full rotation aerial was what we all imagined surfing could be while Hobgood's speed lines in the pocket kept it all a classic affair.

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Long Live Surf History

Sat, 22 Mar 2014 15:13:43 +00002014-03-22T15:13:43Z

The surf world forever marvels at the future of our sport. Board materials and fin configurations are quickly cataloged as "old" the minute something new is unveiled. Surfers who inhabited the excitement of eminent greatness are shuffled back to haunt their home breaks as soon as the media decides they aren't worth the video time, soundtrack, or magazine space. Sure, all sports have this problem, but surfing does very little to honor its forefathers (and mothers) save for precious few memorial contests here and there while small contingents of youngsters jump around in beaver tails (see Beck's...

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The Quiksilver Pro

Fri, 14 Mar 2014 22:07:34 +00002014-03-14T22:07:34Z

The 2014 Quiksilver Pro held at Snapper Rocks in Coolangata, Australia showed all the familiar elements we've come to expect from the first stop on the ASP Tour: long rippable point waves, Taj Burrow losing in the semis, and Parko in the final. It was all to plan...except one small thing. One small, goofy foot thing named Gabriel Medina. His approach to the winding walls at Snapper tell a tale of a surfer who has matured, his normally quick slash aerial display toned down to fit the vertical point peaks. But it wasn't just the more controlled and precise attack by the goofy foot Brazilian but rather something else that struck me as I watched the Quiksilver. For all the progress made by progressive surfing, Snapper's conditions showed that some waves still mandate old school rail to rail carving. And Joel Parkinson was the epitome of that surfing at his home break, exhibiting huge gaffs and floaters after air drops into the tube off the take-off. It wasn't epic Snapper, but it was shreddable for sure. And now the stage is set as we head to Pipeline in December. Will Medina keep it up and win the title? Will Burrow finally get it together? Will Slater go for his final title? Or will a dark horse grab the reins in next event. In women's surfing, it looks like the status quo has been extended with Steph Gilmore reasserting her historic dominance. So get all your surf stuff together and get ready for another great year of pro surfing.

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Surf into Spring

Thu, 27 Feb 2014 10:45:25 +00002014-02-27T10:45:25Z

Winter will end...eventually and spring will bring good winds and good waves. So remember that spending this winter "surfing" the Internet will give nothing but flabby arms and big old love handles. So before Old Man Winter lets up his grip on you, start now getting those frozen bones back in motion. Hit the gym and start stretching.

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Surfing's Newest Incarnation

Sun, 16 Feb 2014 08:02:44 +00002014-02-16T08:02:44Z

Tim Baker's piece over at the Inertia comes a few weeks after a conversation I had with photographer Pete Hodgson. The gist: surfing is no longer an activity of rebellion but rather an act of compliance. Kids are being groomed by little league parents to become surfers as if it's some viable career choice. Even more ironic, they surf to please their parents. 30 years ago, most moms would squirm at the thought of her little boy or girl hanging out all day at the beach and foregoing academic lessons for surf sessions. An average dad would gladly break that board in two pieces to keep his kid from wasting his life, but somehow today, average parents are "pushers" (as Baker puts it). They run interference to make sure little Jimmy gets the wave and bark strategy to their sweet Suzy in the lineup even during free surfs. They video and promote, give out hugs for big maneuvers, and glare at rail digs or missed aerial opportunity.

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