The Wedge Got Huge This Weekend - Surfing

This past week Southern California had a large swell which caused the famous spot in Newport Beach, CA called “The Wedge” to get pretty big. The media circus showed up on May 19th which hyped up the swell even more.

Why Not Just Use Your Foot?! - Land Paddling

Land Paddling is relatively new but seems to be catching on pretty fast. The basic idea behind it is using a long stick with a rubber knob on the end to push you along while riding a longboard skateboard.

The Weather Outside Sucks Today - Running

Since the weather outside is not ideal for surfing today I decided to go for a run instead. Running has got to be my least favorite activity. I have had two knee surgeries in the past which can make running a bit painful so I absolutely despise it.

I Stood Up! - Surfing

Yesterday I went surfing right after work again. When we first got there the wave conditions were not that great… But I am a beginner so I really didn’t care. The waves were about 2 to 3 foot and it was blown out.

You Don't Have To Be Lance Armstrong - Road Biking

My first day back from my long trip back East and I was highly unmotivated but determined to get outside and try something… anything. So, I grabbed my road bike and headed down to my favorite riding spot.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Surfing The Silver Dragon - Surfing

The Qiantang River that flows through Hangzhou City in China has a famous tidal bore that generates some impressive ways from time to time.  This past year it has been really going off.  Here is an awesome video catching a rare glimpse of a few surfers getting to ride the waves.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

What Is Crossfit? - Crossfit

For a while now I have been searching for different activities that allowed me to get a good workout while enjoying the ride.  My efforts were centered on the concept of “If I enjoy the activity enough I won’t notice I am working out”.  I have gone back and forth with what I call “scheduled movement time” like running or weight lifting and some sort of sport like surfing or mountain biking.  So far I have been able to mix it up pretty well and have had great results.  Lately, I have been hearing more and more about this relatively new workout called Crossfit and have wanted to give it a shot to see what the buzz is about.

Below is a short video demonstrating the various exercises involved in a crossfit workout

So, what is crossfit?

Crossfit is a blend of various workouts that focus on strength and conditioning.  The workouts include weight lifting, powerlifting, kettle bell training, medicine ball training, rowing, lots of sprinting with various weighted objects, and some gymnastics.   There have been plenty of crossfit gyms popping up all over the nation lately so you should easily be able to find one near you by typing “crossfit” then your zip code in a Google search.  You can either train at a gym with certified crossfit trainers in what they call a “box” or even in your own garage if you have enough equipment at your disposal.
If you are looking to create your own crossfit gym there are plenty of websites that will give you an equipment list.  Here is one example:

Also, you will need to know HOW to perform a crossfit workout.  You can either create one yourself by researching online for various crossfit workouts or attending a gym with a certified crossfit trainer.  The first option is obviously cheaper in the long run but can be dangerous if you are not experienced enough to create a workout routine for yourself that will not create injuries.  I would recommend starting out at a gym with an experienced trainer first and over time, if the overhead monthly fee is an issue for you, start building up your home gym and gathering enough knowledge to create your own workouts.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Wavegarden - Surfing

Check out this awesome wavegarden they are trying to perfect.  I believe it is located in Spain.  They invited some surfers from O'neil to check it out.

Friday, July 29, 2011

I Will Find My Board! - Surfing

The more I try to surf the more I am seeing how important board selection is to the whole process.  I have been bouncing around from board to board over the last month trying to narrow down the best board for me.  I already purchased a 6’6’’ fish and an 8’0’’ funboard.  These two purchases were definitely a learning experience because of their impulse nature.  I did not do my due diligence in researching a wide variety of boards and ended up making bad choices.

After the previous board choice debacles I decided to dive into the process of selecting a surfboard deep and try to not make a miss-informed choice.  I scoured the internet searching for articles on longboards.  I borrowed a few boards from different friends to try out in the water to get a good feel for how they paddle.  I even took out a demo board from a local surf shop.  After all this I have narrowed it down to a board that is about 9’2’’ with a thruster fin configuration and is wide in the middle and the nose.  I am leaning towards a Takayama board.  Now it’s just a matter of saving up enough money to purchase the board!  Hopefully I should have my new board in about a week. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Making Good Use Of My Time - Running

Over the past week I have been making it a point to run during my lunch.  The reason for this is because after sitting back and analyzing my entire day I came to the conclusion that at least 8 hours a day five days a week are completely wasted when it comes to getting anything done that is not work related.  There is only so much time during the day and only so many days a week.  I have been struggling trying to put together a solid routine that I can stick to and still maintain enough free time to have a social life or to just simply relax.  So the conclusion… get my cardio done during my lunch.

At first when I started this project I wanted to use alternative exercises like surfing, swimming, or skateboarding to keep me in shape.  The small problem I am running into is my lack of patients and how long it is taking me to GET into shape and slim down.  I have not been able to spend enough time each week doing these activities to completely rely on them for my daily exercising needs.  So, this is where lunch time cardio comes in.  I spent some time figuring out what items I will need in order to be able to run during my lunch for a half an hour and then return back to work without being all nasty and sweaty.  This is the list I put together:

Running Shoes
Extra Socks

Luckily, I have a shower located next to the bathroom in my office building so I am able to take a shower right after I run.  I also have an awesome little trail behind my building that I can get a good 2 mile run out of if I make a few laps around it.  So I started bringing these items to work and leaving them there so they will be available and so I will not have any excuses to not get a good run in 5 days a week.  Also, because I am getting this done during my lunch I do not have to add an additional 30 minutes on to the beginning or end of my work day, which frees up time for a simple weight lifting session at the gym and then… the rest of my day is free to take on any alternative exercises I want!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

The Board Search Continues - Surfing

It looks like my search for a good board still continues.  I have been going back and forth between a 9’0’’ Costco longboard my buddy at work bought and an 8’0’’ funboard I bought from a local surf shop a few years ago.  I am really starting to learn that the conditions vary from day to day and it’s good to have as many options in your “quiver” as possible.  As of late, I have really wanted to get a longer board, one that accelerates very quickly and is wide enough that it floats me and has a stable feel to it when standing.  I went out surfing yesterday at what is considered a beginner spot and found that my board is just a tad too short for the conditions there, for the most part.  Of course, when I say that you have to take into account my skill level… Which is very low at the moment.

There was a group of surfers, most of them women that were on very long boards and were just gliding across the water while paddling.  These surfers were able to get into position on the peak of the waves much quicker than I was so I was left with very few waves to try and catch.  They were at a much higher level than me so I found it a bit intimidating to try and challenge any of them for a wave because I was not sure if I would be able to follow through and ride the wave out after I caught it.  Also, because their boards were longer they were able to sit out farther and catch the wave sooner than me which they did, often.  I surf three locations, each of these locations are bit different from each other.  The spot by my house is primarily a longboard spot while the 2 spots at my work can be surfed with a longboard or a shortboard depending on the conditions.

That being said, I decided not to sell my 6’6’’ fish just yet and I drove up to work to leave it there just so I had it available to use if I wanted to when the conditions were right.  I am now left needing to get myself a 9’ + longboard for home.  My buddy has an awesome 9’3’’ Takayama nose riding board that just glides across the water and accelerates very quickly.  I rode it last week for a short time and was very impressed with how easy it is to catch a wave on it.  I actually gave up on paddling for a wave once and STILL caught the wave.  The search for my go to board still continues.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Busy Day At The Park - Skateboarding

I took out my new Tan Tien flex 2 with gold Paris 180 trucks out to a VERY busy park yesterday.  I went with skateboarding instead of surfing yesterday because the water was absolutely crowded and I didn’t feel like fighting for a wave.  I had a great time skateboarding though and got a great workout in the process.  I am still new to skateboarding so going to a busy park with people everywhere and kamikaze children running in front of you was not the ideal place for a beginner to skate but I wanted to see how I would do.

I was happy with how I did though, I recently learned how to foot break so that saved me on countless occasions yesterday.  I am getting much better on the board and starting to feel much more comfortable pushing with my foot.  I enjoy pushing with my foot much more than using the Kahuna Big Stick.  When I got back to my car I was covered in sweat, I didn’t even notice until I stopped skating.  All in all it was a good day and I got some exercise without even noticing, so much for scheduled movement time at the gym.  Below is a pic I just took of my Tan Tien.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Getting Back At It - Surfing

I have been lagging the past week and have not been able to get out to surf.  We are heading into the summer months here in SoCal and I am noticing the amount of people in the water is growing fast.  I have been looking forward to the summer, not only for the warm weather but also because the waves are supposed to get smaller which is good for me.  I went out a few days ago and got thrown around by 4-5 ft waves.  I left the surf that day feeling discouraged and beaten.  I didn't catch anything and pearled once when attempting to catch some white water.  I guess surfing is like golf, if you don't do it often you can get worse!

I know this is not the case but it sure felt that way.  I spoke to a guy I work with that has been surfing for years and he said that he has days like that and to not let it discourage me.  I thought yesterday was my day to get back at it but after I got to my surf spot I saw an endless line of surfers in the water.  There had to be at least 150 surfers sitting out in the lineup over the span of about half a mile.  After seeing that, my buddy and I decided to skip it for the day.  Of course I felt like a quitter and like I had not accomplished anything for the day after dipping on surfing so I started today with a new mindset.  I need to keep at it!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Channeling My Inner Michael Phelps - Swimming

One exercise I have been overlooking for a while is swimming. I have not been in a pool to swim laps in many years. This is mostly because I did not have access to a pool for a few years and now that I do, the pool is a bit over crowded. I decided a few days ago to stop using that as an excuse and jump back in the pool to swim some laps. The main reason I am getting back into swimming is because I have been reading a lot of articles online that have been talking about thermodynamics in relation to weight loss.

Supposedly, and from what I am reading the science backs up the claims, if you spend time in a colder environment your body's natural desire to maintain your appropriate body temperature increases the number of calories you burn during your activity. I am completely serious, Google it! There are actually people that are talking ice baths now and going for "shiver walks". While I am not ready or willing to jump into a bath full of ice water for 15 minutes, I am willing to hop in a pool that is about 70 to 80 degrees and swim some laps.

A little while ago Michael Phelps came out with a claim that he eats some insane amount of calories a day while training for his swim competitions, I believe the number was around 12,000. Well, some people starting scratching their heads stating that the math isn't adding up. Some people calculated that if he spent 4 hours a day in a pool training that would only equate to the number of calories burnt while running a marathon, somewhere around 2,600 calories. 12,000 - 2,600 - your average daily expenditure does not add up! So how was he eating that much and still burning enough calories to stay thing?! Well, the simple answer that is being proposed is that while swimming in a pool for 4 hours a day he is forcing his body to work much harder to maintain that 98.6 body temperature.

This proposal seems to make perfect sense, so I figured why not?  I need to lose some pounds and I actually like to swim AND it would help me with my surfing.  So all that being said, I decided to give swimming another shot and bought me some swim goggles and ear plugs today.

I used to swim quite a bit about 6 years ago when I was a lifeguard.  I hope it doesn't take long for me to get the hang of it again.  No more excuses!  Time to go for a swim.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Dolphins, Sunsets, and Awesome Waves - Surfing

Yesterday had to easily be the best day I have had surfing since I began a few months ago. My roommate and I originally decided to try and stand up paddle board based off of the report for our surf spot that was claiming 1-2 ft conditions. Also, the day before it was 1-2 ft and very mild with very few people at the spot on a Sunday. So, based off of these two indicators I thought it would be even slower on a Monday with the same conditions… I was wrong. After we loaded the massive stand up paddle board on to my car we drove down and were completely surprised to see the parking lot packed. After we finally found a spot we walked down to the beach and were even more surprised when we saw 2-4 ft waves that were completely glassy with a nice long wave to ride and plenty to go around. In addition to that, there had to be at least 30 surfers in the lineup as well.

This was not a good day to try and stand up paddle board in the surf with a packed lineup for the first time so we made a decision to book it back to our place and swap out the stand up paddle board for our surfboards. After we got back to our surf spot we paddled out into the most spectacular surf conditions I have seen since I have started. The only down side is that it was packed with surfers of all skill levels so it was a bit of a zoo out there. Right after we paddled out past the break an awesome set came in and because I still had fresh shoulders I was able to turn my board, hit the turbo button, and catch a wave within minutes of paddling out! I have never been able to do that before so that showed me I am making progress and was a good motivator to turn back out and try again.

I caught about 3 waves that I was able to stand up on yesterday. One wave I stood up on and rode down the face of the wave because I was able to pop up quickly. At one point my roommate pointed out in front of me because he spotted a small pack of dolphins that were playing in the waves a few yards out. This in addition to a crystal clear sunset pretty much solidified one of the more epic days this noob has ever seen and will keep me coming back for more in the hopes of experiencing more days like that.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Tim Boydell Indy Surf Film - Surfing

I came across this teaser trailer by Tim Boydell for what looks to be an independent film about surfing around the world and wanted to share. I love the visuals and the music they chose.  The surfing clips were very motivational and now, after watching it, I find myself staring at the clock wishing it was 5 so I can go surf.

TR7 Productions 2010/2011 from Tim Boydell on Vimeo.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Cruising On The Tan Tien - Skateboarding

Just as I had started to get going with an awesome routine and was making great progress with surfing I got sick a few days ago.  It was some sort of head cold that pretty much knocked me out of commission for the past three days.  I was still feeling it a little yesterday but I felt well enough to get out so I decided to go for a ride on my Tan Tien.  I stayed away from surfing because the water temp here in San Diego is right about 64 degrees so I figured it wasn't a good idea to sit in cold water when you are just getting over a cold.

My roommate and I grabbed our boards and headed down to the bay to skateboard around.  I usually use the Kahuna Big Stick when I longboard skateboard because of my knee issues but I decided not to use it this time and try to focus on learning how to pump with my foot.  One of the things that I noticed is that when I am using the big stick to land paddle around I feel like my feet are locked into place and anytime I need to shift my feet on the deck of the board I feel unstable.  After pumping with my foot for about an hour I got way more comfortable with the board.  This was great and I kind of wish I had of payed my dues and started pushing with my foot first because it gives you a good foundation and better stability on the board.

After about an hour of pumping with my foot my knee was definitely yelling at me.  I need to be careful and not push it too hard too fast because if I really injure my knee I will be out of all of these sport for a while until I can get my knee fixed.  I learned a lot yesterday and got a great workout too.  I passed by a bunch of people doing their scheduled movement time.  There was one group of women that were jumping up and down, I am assuming doing some kind of jumping squats, all together.  It looked so incredibly boring and I bet all they could think about was how long until they were done.  For me, I was getting just as good of a workout and I didn't even notice until I stopped and my muscles for tired.  Skateboarding is so much fun and a great workout too.

Monday, June 13, 2011

One Week Down - Weight Training

As of today I have completed one week of weight training.  It doesn't sound like much but to me it's great because it makes it significantly easier to get myself to the gym knowing I have some foundation to build from when the next week comes along.  Also, I am now one week closer to making a habit out getting to the gym.  The hardest part for me is just GETTING to the gym.  I always seem to find some sort of excuse to opt out for the day.  Excuses like I have to go to the bank, I didn't bring my gym clothes, and traffic will be bad when I get out.

These excuses may sound dumb to a hardened gym rat but someone like that has got years of solid gym time.  When you are just starting out it is hard to get motivated and also difficult to create a routine you can stick to.  I am pretty happy with the routine I have right now.  I am coming into work early enough so that I can hit the gym right after work and then head out to whatever "alternative exercise" I have planned for that day.  Another benefit of getting the first week out of the way is that I now have a better idea of what weight I should be using for each muscle group.  It is kind of a crap shoot at first and you could potentially go too heavy or too light when starting out.

My legs are still pretty sore from last week so I know I hit them hard enough.  The rest of my body is a different story though.  I need to add weight to pretty much all the exercises I did with the exception of legs.  I didn't want to attempt too much weight starting out because last time I did that I couldn't work out the following week because I was still to sore.  All in all I am pretty happy with my performance at the gym and glad to get that first week out of the way.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Pop Up Technique - Surfing

Myself and two buddies went out surfing yesterday at the surf spot out by my job.  The conditions were awesome!  We had sets with 4 - 6 ft waves with plenty to go around.  I have to admit that as a beginner, 4 - 6 ft waves still scare me but I just decided to give it a shot and I am glad I did.  At first we didn't realize how big the sets would get when we got in the water.  We made the long paddle out to the break with little trouble.  There was some chop but not too bad.  After we got out there a bigger set came in so my buddy yelled "outside!".  After I heard that I looked out and saw a nice wave heading straight for me so I got in my paddle position on the board and hit the turbo button so I can get out past the breaking point of this set.

Luckily, I managed to make it past the first big wave from the set but my buddies weren't so lucky.  I looked back after the wave crashed and they were carried in towards the shore and ended up having to fight through this big set to get back out to where I was.  I still wasn't completely past the break and had to turtle roll 3 more waves that were almost crashing right on me.  This was a good learning experience though because I had to pretty much wrestle the wave to remain in control of my board when the wave was passing over me.  After the waves passed I rolled back onto my board and took some time to rest because that really took it out of me.

I have not had too much success with popping up quickly so far.  I spoke to another guy I work with that surfs and stand up paddle boards up in Oregon where 15 foot waves are fairly common.  I explained that I was not able to stand up quickly and that the board seems very unstable as I am trying to push myself up with my hands.  He asked me where I was positioning my hands when I was trying to pop up and I told him that I grab the rails to try and push myself up.  He had to think about it for a minute to determine how he popped up because it is all muscle memory for him now but he figured out that he is placing his hands flat on the deck of the board to push up.  This made perfect sense so I gave it a shot yesterday and man what a difference something as simple as that made.

This may not be the best way, but it definitely worked great for me.  I would of never thought about it but it makes perfect sense.  My hands are closer in towards the center of the board so I am able to keep the board stable with less effort which in turn allows me to focus more on everything else that is going on, like where I am placing my feet.  The best part of the whole day was that I caught a wave that was reforming on the inner break and managed to stand up for the longest I have ever stood up before!  With this new technique I was able to pop up much quicker so I rode the wave in the standing position for at least 4 seconds.  For the first time in my life I felt what it was like to stand up on a surfboard with a wave behind me.  I am now hooked.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Alternative Exercises To Squats - Weight Lifting

I have absolutely terrible knees and I am always looking for alternative exercises to squats because they cause a great deal of knee pain for me.  I recently have decided to get back to the gym and the main reason for that is so that I can strengthen my legs to make me more stable during my other exercises like surfing and skateboarding.  So that being said I have started researching alternatives to squats and this is what I have found.

Leg Presses

One exercise that I am able to do with relatively less knee pain is the leg press.  The leg press machine allows me to be in a seated position so I can isolate the legs muscles with a very controlled and stable pressing motion.  After I complete a set on the leg press machine I can feel the burn in my quads and hamstrings.  Everyone says that squats are the "king of all exercises" but if you can't do them then I think leg presses might be the next best thing.

Leg Press Machine

Wall Sits

Wall sits will not be as beneficial as squats but my main focus is here is what you can do if you have knee issues.  Wall sits are very simple but can really punish you if you do them right and don't cheat.  Basically, you stand in front of a wall and then squat down into a seated position with your back pressed against the wall.  You simply hold that position as long as you can and feel the burn in your quads and hamstrings.  I am unable to do these for very long at this point but I am getting better!

Wall Sit

Dead lifts

Dead lifts are a great exercise for your legs and lower back.  Because of the motion it is extremely important that you perform this exercise with proper form to avoid injury.  I am just starting to do these exercises again so I am by no means an expert on proper form for this exercise.  After a youtube search I came across the video below which explains proper dead lift form.

I plan on doing these exercises religiously for the next few months in order to strengthen my legs so that I can have a very solid foundation.  I am finding that leg strength is very important for the activities I am attempting to get good at and with my knee history I need all the help I can get.

Funboard FTW? - Surfing

I have actually managed to go surfing 3 days in a row as of yesterday.  I am still trying to determine which shape and size board I want to really focus on so the last three days I used 3 different size boards.  On Saturday I used my roommate’s 9’0’’ longboard that I repaired, on Sunday I used my own 6’6’’ fish, and yesterday I took out my 7’6’’ board.  Each one is completely different for sure.  I need to make a decision because I think I am not progressing as fast as I should due to the fact that I keep jumping between 3 different board styles.  The short fish shaped board is definitely too short for me at this time so I think I am taking that one out of the rotation for sure.  Now I am torn between a longboard or what is called a funboard.

Funboard Surfboard

A funboard is a mid range board that is anywhere from 7’ 0’’ to as long as 8’ 0’’.  They usually have a rounded off nose like a longboard.  I do have a 7’ 6’’ board which I guess can be classified as a funboard but the nose comes to a point so I lose a little bit of stability.  That is the board I took out yesterday and actually had a good time on it.  The surf conditions were blown out and about 2 – 4 ft.  I paddled out past the break and sat there for a minute and then decided I want to paddle back in to the shore break to play around in the white water so I can try to stand up on the board.

I spent a little over an hour catching white water and managed to stand for about… half a second a few times.  I think this board size will be the one I stick with and spend most time on, for a while at least.  I really want to try an egg shaped funboard though and may end up picking up an old one this weekend.  So far I am definitely leaning to the longer sized boards for sure.  They have a lot more size to them and are harder to manage getting around outside of the water and in but they make it quite a bit easier to stand on which makes you want to keep going back to try again because the learning curve is not as steep as a shortboard.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Weight Training Begins Today - Weight Training

So today is my official day for getting back to the gym for a set workout routine for lifting weights.  I have been putting this off for as long as I can but it is becoming more and more evident that I need to do some strength training in order to speed up my progress in my other exercises.  I have had a few times where a wave has taken the board out of my hands when I am trying to turtle roll so I really want to strengthen my arms for that.  Also, I am a bit sluggish when it comes to popping up after I catch a wave so my goal is to strengthen my chest with some dumbbell chest press and flys.

I am not new to lifting weights.  I used to be really into it about 5 to 6 years ago when I was much more active.  I do know the basics for a solid workout routine and have used that knowledge to put together a weight training workout.  My goal is not to bulk up but instead to build strength and tone up so I will be focusing on lighter weight and more reps.  I also do not like to do 2 pulling or pushing exercises on consecutive days.  An example of this would be to do a chest workout on Monday and then a triceps workout on Tuesday.  Since your triceps are supplemental muscles for your chest workout I like to give them at least 24 hours to recover after a chest workout.  The same concept also works for back and biceps.

So that being said this will be my routine for the next 6 weeks at least:

Monday: Chest
Tuesday: Back
Wednesday: Shoulders
Thursday: Legs
Friday:  Triceps and Biceps

I think I will completely mix everything up after 6 weeks to try and get some muscle confusion going to avoid a plateau.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

Shane Dorian Flotation Wetsuit - Surfing

After a scary wipeout at Mavericks surf spot in California pro surfer Shane Dorian came up with an idea to add an air bladder to a wetsuit that would inflate to bring a surfer to the surface in the event of a hold-down scenario.  This concept is amazing and I cannot believe no one has thought of this yet.  Below is a video explaining the development process Shane and Billabong went through to produce an early prototype.

Right now it appears that this type of wetsuit is only available for the upper elite pro surfers but hopefully this idea will catch on and become available to the rest of us.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Getting Started In Kite Boarding - Kiteboarding

Kiteboarding is a sport that I have been trying to get into for many years now.  One of my main setbacks in regards to getting involved with this sport is that it requires a lot of equipment.  Another reason I have not been able to get heavily involved yet is because of the cost associated with learning this sport.  It is highly recommended you take lessons with a certified kiteboarding instructor instead of trying to learn on your own, because of the unforgiving nature of a kiteboarding mishap.  So, on top of having to purchase all of the gear, you will have to add kiteboarding lessons into you budget as well.  I have checked online and lessons can run you anywhere from $150 to $600 depending on what instruction and gear are offered during the course.  I would recommend Googling “Kite board lessons” plus your area to see if anyone is offering quality lessons close to where you live.

Another thing to think about is how often you will be able to kiteboard where you live.  Kiteboarding is obviously dependant on favorable wind conditions.  You will find yourself checking wind advisory websites very often if you get involved in the sport.  One site that I check regularly is  This site gives you wind conditions that are separated out by regions.  The only catch is that you have to pay a fee for some of the better wind spots.  I usually just check another wind station that is free and close by to try and get a good idea of the conditions at my favorite spot.  If I do end up getting into this sport more I will probably break down and buy a membership for the site, just another thing to think about.

Make sure you do some research to determine the average wind speeds for your region.  This is important because you will need to know this when purchasing your kite.  If you are on a budget and can only afford one kite when you start out, then you should get a kite that you will be able to use more often.  Larger kites (16 to 20 sq meters) are good for lighter winds (10-15 mph), medium kites (12 to 15 sq meters) are ideal for medium winds (15-20 mph), and small kites (6 to 10 sq meters) are best in higher winds (20-25 mph).

A good way to learn how to fly a kite without going out and buying a full size kite is to get what’s called a trainer kite.  I bought a trainer kite called a Rush 3 Pro from a local kite boarding shop called Calikites and I love it.  It is a 3 meter kite with a safety line running down the middle just in case you need to deflate the kite quickly to remove all of its power.  Below is a video of a guy demonstrating the Rush 3 Pro.

Here are some pics of my Rush 3 Pro.  Again, I bought it from Calikites so they put their logo on it but it is a Rush 3 Pro.

Here are a couple of photos of me flying the Rush 3 Pro.

If you put in some time with a trainer kite and are able to fly it without having to think about it then you are in good shape for when you decide to move onto a bigger kite.  I am still in the early stages of learning this sport.  I can't wait until I am able to get all the gear required and go out on the water.  I am just being patient with the sport because San Diego is not the ideal location for Kite Boarding because of the moderate winds we get.  Here are some pics I took a few days ago at Tourmaline when the surf was blown out from an onshore wind.  Those conditions are not good for surfing but perfect for Kite Surfers.  Enjoy.

I also took a video that day.  I figured I would add these images and the video below for some extra motivation.  Wanting these guys glide across the water is awesome and I can't wait until I am proficient enough to be able to get out in the surf, that is my ultimate goal.

I hope this information is useful.  Once I get more involved I will be post a lot more about this sport.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Longboard Or Shortboard - Surfing

Until now I have not had a longboard surfboard that I can use while I am at home.  I always use my co-workers longboard at work and my 7’6’’ board when I am home.  Thanks to my roommate and his beater longboard that needed repairs those days are over.  He told me that if I fix the numerous dings and holes on his old longboard I can use it as often as I like, so I did.  I spent all weekend and about $20 worth of Solarez fixing the board and I think it turned out great.

My other roommate and I decided to go surfing today at Tourmaline.  So I threw the Frankenstein longboard on top of my Jeep and went down there.  Unfortunately, it was choppy again with a strong on shore wind that was closing out all the waves.  On top of that the inner break with the white water, what I call the noob section, where I wanted to try the new board out had a very high wave frequency.  A high wave frequency means that the waves are crashing one after the other with very little time to rest between.  The good thing about a high wave frequency is that you get an awesome workout if you are trying to paddle out in those conditions.

I was not looking for a good workout session today.  I was more looking for some nice calm waves with a low frequency so I can get used to the new board.  Oh well, I still had fun.  Handling that board was like trying to steer an ocean liner man.  I kept trying to make sure that the board was never parallel to the shore and if it was parallel to the shore, that I did not let the board get between me and the wave.  This was a struggle in itself but all in all it was a good learning experience.

After wrestling around with the 9’0’’ tank board I borrowed my roommates 6’10’’ and took it out for a spin in the white water to get a feel for the difference between a longboard and a shortboard.  I really like the smaller boards maneuverability compared to the longer board.  I also loved the fact that I was able to duck dive with the shorter board.  I really didn’t manage to catch anything with the shorter board but it definitely got me thinking again about spending more time on a short board.  I will continue to try both of them out and let you know what I discover.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Repaired My Surfboard - Surfing

I found a hole in the bottom of my mid sized board a few days ago and was really bummed because I do not have enough money to spend on surfboard repair.  Well I looked online and found this stuff called Solarez.  This stuff works great and only takes about 10 minutes to use.

Epoxy Surfboard Hole

Above is a picture of the hole I found in the tail of my epoxy board.  Unfortunately, the guy at the surfboard shop did not ask me whether I had an epoxy board or a fiberglass board so he gave me the polyester Solarez resin that is meant for fiberglass boards.  I found this out after I made the repair haha but oh well it still worked great to make the board water tight.  I read online that the polyester version of the Solarez resin can eat the foam used inside epoxy boards.  Luckily I did not have to use much so I don't think it did much damage.

Solarez Resin

Again, the stuff I used is for a fiberglass board NOT an epoxy board so this is another case of learning from my mistakes.  After I added the resin in the shade I put it in the sun for about 5 minutes to let it cure.  This resin cures very fast in the sun.  It doesn't matter if it is a cloudy day either, it will still cure from the UV rays that make it through the clouds.

Sanding down the rough edges

After the resin cured I sanded off the rough edges and I was done!  There are lots of techniques you can use to avoid having to sand as much as I did, which I found out after the fact, but even if you don't use those techniques a little extra sanding should give you the shape you want.

Water Tight Board!

I really don't care how this boards looks just as long as it is water tight so I am happy with my first attempt at repairing a hole.  I will definitely get the Epoxy version next time.  Not bad for the $3.25 I spent though.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Always Be Prepared - Surfing

My surf buddy and I just took a quick drive out to our surf spot to arbitrarily check out the conditions during lunch.  Unfortunately, my buddy did not bring his board with him today so it really didn’t matter if the conditions were good or not but it was an awesome day so it was still worth it to go.  I am happy we went and checked it out because this is what we saw.

Terra Mar Surf Spot

I took this pic today!  The waves are definitely not huge today but they are nice and glassy with a long wave that was breaking very clean.  We watched a lady catch a wave on the outside break and ride it all the way in to the shore, and it wasn’t on white water!  It was awesome to watch and very inspiring.  But, because my buddy didn’t bring his gear and I am dependant on him for transporting my board… I will not be able to go out today after work.  I guess the lesson for today is to always be prepared because you never know what the conditions might be.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Surfs Up! - Surfing

Man it feels like it’s been ages since the last time I surfed… I guess it’s only been about a week but that just seems like way too long.  The conditions in SoCal have not been great for beginners the past week and it has really had me bummed.  There was an awesome swell last week which is great, if you’re good and know what to do with the large waves but not great if you are still trying to stand up in the white wash like a noob.  Today I forgot about the last week in a second because the waves were awesome!

I paddled out to the point break again and sat there for a bit before I decided to get out of there because I did not want to get in anybody’s way once the larger sets started to roll in.  After I left the prime real estate I headed for the inner break with the white wash.  I actually had a blast in the inner break and managed to catch some white water, it’s the little things I guess.  I am in this for the long haul so I try not to get discouraged if I am not progressing very fast.  As long as I keep getting out there that's all I care about right now.

Something interesting I wanted to mention about the spot I surf at work is that during high tide the waves crash close to the cliffs and then bounce back toward the ocean.  This is usually kind of dangerous if you are not careful.  While I was riding my last wave in toward the beach to end my session today, another wave crashed on the wall and rebounded straight back at me.  I hit the waves heading out and it launched me into the air haha.  It must of looked hilarious because I heard a woman on the beach scream “YEAH!! You caught air!!!”.  That was definitely a good way to end the session.

My Sandy Wetsuit

Monday, May 23, 2011

Getting Back To The Gym - Weight Training

After a long internal debate I have decided to get back to a regular gym schedule to do some moderate weight training.  One of the main driving forces for my blog is to take part in a variety of activities to make the experience of working out not feel forced, boring, and scheduled.  I really want to re-wire my brain so I become an active person that does not rely on countless hours on an elliptical machine, treadmill, or stationary bike.  I want to get the bulk of my exercising from activities such as kayaking, surfing, road biking, skateboarding, basketball, or whatever else I can think of.  That still leaves one main piece to leading a healthy life style, weight training.

Part of me feels like going to the gym to lift heavy things is in the same class as scheduled movement time on an elliptical and part of me feels that weight training is fundamental to maintain a strong frame that can stand up to the different activities I am taking on.  One main reason I need to get back to the gym is for leg training.  I have had two knee surgeries in the past and I really need to strengthen my legs.  I am sure these activities I am doing will eventually give my legs the strength they need, but I also need to prepare them with some weight training to help avoid injury.

I won’t be spending hours upon hours in the gym doing weight training.  Instead I will be focusing weight training as a supplemental exercise so that I can keep doing these sports I love.  I am looking to spend no more than 30 to 45 minutes 4 to 5 days a week in the gym lifting weights.  My main goal with weight training will be to build a strong frame that will make me stronger and more agile.  I decided to include some info on the weight training that I will be doing but I have to clarify that I am NOT a personal trainer and I must direct you to your doctor for any advice you need pertaining to weight training.  I am only including this info so you can see the whole picture regarding my journey back to a fit person.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Turning Nothing Into Something - Skateboarding, Basketball, Land Paddling

I was really unmotivated to do anything today but my roommate Zak convinced me to get out and do something, I am glad he did.  I had a lot of options to choose from for an activity today and we couldn’t decided so we loaded Zak’s Bronco up with everything lol.  I am not even kidding either, we stuffed two surfboards, two skateboards, a Kahuna Big Stick, basketball shoes, a basketball, two wetsuits, skate shoes, and some towels in his truck and just went out looking for whatever might look good today.

We drove down to our surf break in San Diego only to discover it was completely blown out and too small and mushy for the short boards we threw in the Bronco.  After seeing the surf conditions and deciding not to even attempt to throw on our wetsuits, we went down to Mission Bay to play some basketball and skateboard around.

We started with Skateboarding.  Zak just went old school and pushed his Tan Tien with his foot and I went with the Kahuna Big Stick and my Sector 9 Carbonite.  I prefer to use the big stick because it makes me feel more stable when I am riding, I am still a beginner.  I am glad I went with the big stick; I forgot how much of a workout it is to push yourself along on that thing.  After about 2 miles I was covered in sweat.  I haven’t had the skateboard out in at least a month.  It felt great to ride around again.

After skateboarding we did some sunset basketball.  Man it was a great day to ride and play some ball.

This is a pic I took of our basketball spot today

Below is a short video of our sweet basketball spot

Here is a short video I took today of the Loaded – Tan Tien that Zak rides… I wish I got that board instead

All in all it was a pretty good day of exercising and not one minute of it felt like I was exercising, so mission accomplished!

The Wedge Got Huge This Weekend - Surfing

This past week Southern California had a large swell which caused the famous spot in Newport Beach, CA called “The Wedge” to get pretty big.  The media circus showed up on May 19th which hyped up the swell even more.  Here is a video of some pretty crazy wipeouts on May 19th, 2011.

The Wedge is a world famous surfing and bodysurfing spot located in Newport Beach, California.  The massive beach break waves are a result of improvements made to the rock jetty, in the 1930s, on the west side of the harbor entrance.

This creates some massive waves that get as high as 30 feet!  I would never have the stones or talent to venture up to Newport Beach and paddle out at this spot, but there are definitely plenty of brave or stupid surfers and bodyboarders that take a shot at it when the conditions get huge.

Loaded Tan Tien - Gear, Skateboarding

The Loaded Tan Tien is a longboard skateboard that has become very popular among longboarders all around the world in the past year.  The Tan Tien dimensions are 39'' long, a 27'' wheelbase, and 8.75'' wide.  There are three different decks you can choose from that have three different weight thresholds.
  1. Flex 1 – Up to 279lbs
  2. Flex 2 – 130lbs to 210lbs
  3. Flex 3 – 80lbs to 170lbs

The most popular deck of these three options is the Flex 2, which is quite flexible yet still very strong. One of the reasons for this strength is that fact that the deck itself is made of bamboo making it very strong and giving it lots of spring.  The trucks are mounted with a drop-thru design which gives it a lower profile.

Loaded Tan Tien Top View

I ride a Sector 9 Carbonite that is 41’’ long.  I went out and bought my board without doing much research and really wish I hadn’t.  I am happy with my board when it comes to just cruising around with the Big Stick and for straight line runs down by the beach but it isn’t as stable and maneuverable as the Tan Tien.  My roommate did some research online and found the Tan Tien.  He bought it to use with the Kahuna Big stick as well as some simple downhill riding.  The board just turns sharper because of the shorter wheelbase but is still stable enough to retain the longboard feel.  I think it is a great board and I will probably end up picking one up eventually.

Loaded Tan Tien Top And Bottom View

Here is a video from the Loaded YouTube channel.  It’s a video for the launch of this board last year and has Adam Colton, Kyle Chin, P-Below Castro and the Bandyman riding around the streets of SoCal.

I seem to watch this video at least once a week.  I know I will never be able to power slide like this but it is always nice to dream.

Friday, May 20, 2011

YouTube Channel - General

Our YouTube channel is finally up!  This will be the location for any videos that I create that are related to this blog.  Keep checking back because I plan to upload videos often.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Design Tweaking - General

Hey all,

Just a heads up that I am tweaking the design again today so you might hit refresh and see some strange colors or formatting.

Blown Out Again - Surfing

We have had some really unusual weather here in San Diego the last few weeks.  My buddy and I decided to switch our surfing hours to the morning so we will have more consistent surf.  It is sometimes blown out in the afternoon by an on-shore wind and it sucks to get off work and head to the beach only to find a bunch of white water mush... Well it sucks even more when you wake up at 5:00 am, get everything you need ready for work, make the drive to work, and see that everything is still blown out in the morning.
I hoped to have an awesome morning surfing post for you today but it doesn’t look like that will happen just yet.  I am debating whether or not I am a “dawn patrol” kinda person or if I should just continue to try and surf after work.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

The Weather In SoCal Continues To Disappoint - Running

I really wanted to log some time on my surfboard yesterday but when my friend and I got to our surf spot we discovered the waves were small and completely blown out by an on-shore wind.  The surf break that I surf right after work is right next to my job and about 25 miles north of my house.  Plan A is always to surf and Plan B is whatever other activity I can pull from my list that best compliments the weather outside and my current mood.  That is one of the main driving points of this blog btw, options.  So, based off the conditions we decided to skip surfing and I made the long drive home and decided to go for a run on the beach by my house.

Although I am not a fan of running AT ALL, I seem to keep defaulting to that on days the weather is not ideal.  I have not had much motivation to jump on the road bike, the kayak is more of a weekend thing, and the stand up paddle board just hasn’t been calling my name recently, and I have not yet been able to afford a mountain bike.  With all of these other options sounding like to much prep work for today, I went for a run on the beach with my roommate.  We ran exactly two miles with about a quarter mile cool off.  I was able to track everything with a new app I got on my Android phone called RunKeeper.

Here is a screen shot of the app

This app is very useful, it allows you to track the route you ran and even tells you your average miles per minute.  I ran a very slow 12:42 mile and completed two miles in 25:28.  It also told me my calories burned but I am not sure how accurate this can be without it knowing my weight/height.  I would definitely recommend this app to anyone wanting to get a benchmark and to set a goal for their running.  At the moment my goal is to be able to run 2 miles in 16 minutes, I am sure this goal will shift around a bit but it is something to shoot for.

Running on the beach is absolutely amazing and I highly recommend it if you live close to the ocean.  If you don’t live close to the ocean then I would look for any kind of environment that would help get you out of the house.  I ran a few times around my block and found that to be completely mindless and boring.  It made the run feel like work or some sort of scheduled movement time.  The scenery will add a great deal to the experience.

Here is a photo of the beach I ran yesterday.  I took this photo with my phone right after I finished.

Wouldn't you be thinking about this later and want to return as soon as possible?

Sunday, May 15, 2011

New Phone - General

I just got a new android phone!  I downloaded the blogger app so i can blog on the go.  So far i am impressed.  I am able to post a blog without having to log into a web browser so i should be able to post content no matter where i am.  i love it so far.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

A Modest 2 Miles - Running

I went for a run on the beach today. I figured if I live this close to the beach I might as well take advantage of it. It did the trick too; the running went by much faster because the environment was so beautiful and relaxing. My journey to becoming a runner again is going to be a long painful one. I have had two knee surgeries in the past, one on each knee and it’s been hard to get motivated to run.

I found out about these cool new running shoes called Vibram – Five Finger Shoes. They basically try to simulate the act of barefoot running. There is a movement on the web, with supporters on both sides, regarding barefoot running. I plan on writing an article about this subject once I have some more experience on it so I am not going to go into too much detail about it yet. I just wanted to share a couple of photos I took of these funny looking shoes when I was down at the beach today running.

Vibram Five Finger Shoes

Vibram Five Fingers On The Sand

This is only my second time running for what I consider a long distance. I ran… well jogged for about 2 miles on the beach today. I definitely wasn’t breaking any land speed records today but it was good to get out and add another running session to my list. It served another purpose as well; while I was down at the beach running I saw a bunch of beginner surfers catching some white foamy waves. This got me even more motivated to get down to this beach break more often. All in all, it was a good run. I can’t wait to do it again, believe it or not.

Why Not Just Use Your Foot?! - Land Paddling

Land Paddling is relatively new but seems to be catching on pretty fast.  The basic idea behind it is using a long stick with a rubber knob on the end to push you along while riding a longboard skateboard.  I know… Land paddling sounds completely ridiculous, but give it a chance.  I can’t put into words how much fun it is.  My roommate and I got into this activity about a year ago after seeing an ad on Facebook for the Kahuna Big Stick by Kahuna Creations.  Kahuna Creations is a company that manufactures the stick you can purchase online from their website.  I bought one myself and love it.  They have a few different variations including a bamboo, adjustable, and “classic” version.  I went with the cheaper “classic” stick and have not had any issues with it so far.

Buttons Kaluhiokalani rockin the Big Stick

The board I use is a Sector 9.  My roommate did a little more research and picked up a Loaded Tan Tien.  To be honest you can probably use any old longboard skateboard you might have laying around your house to start out.  Land paddling is really simple to do as well.  You just hop up on the board place one hand on top of the stick and the other hand a little lower on the shaft and push.  Heh… he said shaft.  The motion almost feels like you are sweeping your kitchen, which coincidently is what surfers call stand up paddle boarders on the water, sweepers. 

I get a lot of strange looks when I am doing this around town.  I also get a lot of questions because it looks strange.  Most people are just curious about it and want to know more.  Sometimes, not very often, you might catch some grief from a little skateboard punk but I just remind them it’s not wise to make fun of a man with a large stick and the comments stop haha.  Either way, it is just something to expect when you are out doing something that is fresh and new so just go with it.

One of the main reasons I was drawn to this is because of my bad knees.  This is primarily an upper body workout and does not put much of a strain on my knees.  When I do about 5 miles around the local lake I am drenched in sweat and completely exhausted.  I would also recommend a pair of gloves if you are prone to getting blisters on your hands from repetitive rubbing.  I just use my smaller light weight motorcycle gloves and those work great.

Here is a video of Kahuna Creations sponsored land paddler and epic surfer Buttons Kaluhiokalani talking about the big stick.

If you are at all interested in SUP (Stand Up Paddling) on the water, this is a great complementary exercise for days the waves may not be suitable for SUP or for colder days outside where you don’t feel like putting on a wetsuit.  The paddle style is slightly different than when you are on a SUP board but it pretty much works the same muscles.  When you are paddling around on a SUP board you face forward towards the nose of the board with your feet about shoulder width apart and paddle on either side pushing from front to back.  When land paddling, you stand sideways on the board in a traditional skateboarding stance and push from front to back.

Like I said before I love doing this exercise!  It is a great way to have fun while getting a good workout.  I hope you found this information useful and thanks for reading!

Friday, May 13, 2011

Blog Version 2.0 - General

I made A LOT of changes to the layout of the site today!  I am very happy with the way it turned out.  I finally figured out a way that I can categories my posts!  This is something I have been trying to figure out since I started this whole project and I just happened to stumble upon it when I found out how to attach labels to your posts.  It took me a little time to retroactively add all of the proper labels to my previous posts but it was worth it because I have a solid categories section on my page.

I also added a featured post slide show on the main page.  I love this feature because it allows me to showcase what I consider some interesting posts.  In addition to the slide show, I added a link to a featured site page on my blog so you can quickly scroll through them without having to mess with the slide show.  I hope you like the changes so far.  What do you think?

Collapsible Carbon Fiber Surfboard - Surfing

I came across this article and could not resist sharing.  This is a collapsible carbon fiber surfboard designed by Nicholas Notara.  The frame is made of carbon fiber making it incredibly light I am assuming.  The carbon fiber design, to me, is not even the best part.  The kicker, is that you can break it down by engaging a quick release lever and then flipping two pins on top.  This will break the board down in half after you remove what looks like a center strut pole from the middle.  The bar appears to insert into both halves providing a solid backbone for the board.

The board also has 5 fin slots, allowing for a wide variety of fin configurations to fit your riding style.  I do not have the dimensions of this board and would love to see a version of this for a longboard.  This to me would be a great idea to help with transporting a 9'0'' board.

I would not want to be on the receiving end of a direct nose hit from this board judging from the image below. 

Based off of this image it looks as though some assembly may be required...

I would love to know how much a board like this would cost.  The price is a moot point at this time anyway, this board is just a concept design at the moment.  I can't wait until someone is able to mass produce this design.

Blogger Hates Me - General

Blogger went down yesterday and took a lot of the formatting I did with it.  I will be working hard all weekend to get everything I have done back so if you saw something that looked cool before, don't worry it will be back!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Changing Blog Design - General

Hey everyone!  I am messing around with the design of this blog today so you may see some strange things.  Keep checking back though, I hope to have it sorted out by the end of the day today.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Choppy Day - Surfing

So the conditions were far less than ideal today for my surf session.  The waves were about 2-3 feet, completely blown out, and choppy.  My friend and I took one look at the conditions and said “Oh well, let’s do it”.  It took a while to paddle out today because of the chop.  You really couldn’t judge the wave frequency or direction because they seemed to be coming at you from every direction with no consistency.

I caught a wave at the point break instead of the inner break where the white water is, which was great because I have not done that before.  The wave came out of nowhere so I got a late start at it.  This didn’t matter because I was on the longboard so after hitting the turbo button I was being pushed along with no effort.  This wave felt different than the white water I usually catch in the inner break.  It was moving much faster to start.  Also, after catching I finally felt the sensation of sliding down the wave face.  Unfortunately, I did not stand up on this wave.  I am still working that part out but it felt amazing to catch a wave like that today.

I am still using my friend’s 9’0’’ board.  At first I did not want to use a longboard AT ALL.  I even went out and bought a 6’6’’ fish board touting that I will be one of the few that starts on a shortboard, that lasted exactly one session.  I spent the entire time fighting the board and it took me what seems like an eternity to paddle out.  After that session on the shortboard I lost my desire to try and be a badass and fell in line with all the other beginners.

I like the longer board for a few reasons.  The first being how stable it is when I am paddling around on it.  The short board would sway back and forth with every little movement I made and I could not seem to find a spot on it that would make it feel stable while paddling.  The second was how easy it was to catch a wave on it.  The third was how easy it was to sit on when you are waiting for a set to come in.  There are a few other reasons but I will leave it at that for now in the spirit of keeping this blog short.  Thanks for reading!


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