The Latest Surfing Trends and Fads: Spring Edition

Once again, I’ve got a fresh batch of surfy gimmicks and gadgets from the surfing world. Am I EVER given any of these things for free? No freakin’ way- I’m the last average surfer chick they’d want reppin’ their brand, and that’s all good with me. Some of these I think are great ideas, but some paddle straight into a huge closeout.

As always, N-Joy….

Shower Toga

 

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So this is another Kickstarter funded product that allows you to take a full shower in the open. This may be necessary after surfing in a remote location, or if you need to return to work with minimal stink. To me, this is an easy DIY project with an old shower curtain (instructions here, kids), but I guess there are enough people who don’t have time nor interest to go the DIY route. The price is pretty high in my opinion, but I guess if you’re part of the need-it-now crew, thirty bucks (plus tax and shipping) isn’t bad. They also sell a rinse kit that is very similar to another DIY project I’ve done. Just sayin’.

Cost: $29.95
Pros:
  • If you don’t wanna do DIY and have 30 bucks to spend on a fancy shower curtain, this looks like a good one
  • If you’re against the wonders of indoor plumbing and live with a bear named Ben, this was made for you
Cons:
  • It’s a $30 shower curtain

 

Shark Eyes

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So this has become THE hot item as of late, and I’ve seen it on quite a few boards around here. Developed by Australian surfers, they are large eye stickers placed on the bottom of your board to supposedly deter sharks from below, minimizing the chance of being attacked. Hey, it’s the psychology of it all, ya know? Come to think of it, I had my DIY anti-shark device on my board when I was NOT attacked by a shark, but just popped in the head by an errant stingray. Thesis defended, drop da mic.

Oh, wait- I forgot. I don’t have the Australian cred. D’OH!

Cost: $20 per sticker
Pros:
  • Great gift from a nervous Surf Mom to her Groms
  • Fun decor for any type of board
  • Cheaper than SharkBanz
  • Could end up in an interesting staring contest with a shark
Cons:
  • Shouldn’t be construed as any type of guarantee- local awareness always matters
  • It’s a big sticker of an eye….that’s a little freaky
  • As of today’s post, their website is down, so….that’s never a good sign

 

Hang Air

This product is a wetsuit hanger that contains a waterproof air fan to dry your wetsuit faster than just slinging it over your shower rail. I honestly didn’t think much of it when it first came out, but now I’m a total believer. It’s pricey, but I’ve had mine for a few seasons now, and I’d never surf in winter without it. I can hang my suit up wet after an afternoon sesh, turn it on, and the next morning it’s totally dry. This is also good for those multi-day SCUBA trips, because a dry wetsuit is a good thing at 8:00 A.M. on a cattle boat out to a reef. Keeps the suit usable for a longer time too, in my opinion. Also nice is that it’s made in the USA from recycled materials too.

Cost: $69.90 
Pros:
  • Keeps the stank out
  • Prolongs the life of the suit by preventing mold and bacteria growth
  • The hanger holds up to 100 lbs- that’s a lot of soakin’ wet gear it can handle
Cons:
  • Pricey up front, about the cost of an average wetsuit
  • The large size of the hanger may make it difficult for smaller wetsuits to fit over it properly (I have some difficulty with mine)

 

MyGo Mouth Mount for GoPro

Ok, so it constantly amazes me the number of different GoPro camera mounts available on the market. I have noticed a trend within the last year of these “mouth mounts” on many surfers using GoPros in the lineup. Yes, these mounts- used by Kelly Slater himself- can produce some outstanding footage of the inside of Pipeline from your simple GoPro, making for some epic surf vids.

Problem is, how often are YOU surfing at Pipeline? Yeah, me neither.

The mouth mount honestly looks a bit dangerous to use in a heavy swell. While the footage can be worth it on big barreling waves, most surfers won’t be dazzled by their own video- I’ve seen a handful of decent looking mouth-mounted shots, and they’re all from Slater, of course. So it’s a meh accessory for someone like me.

Cost: $29.99 (marked down from $34.99)
Pros:
  • Comes with bite supports that claim to give more stable footage
  • About average price of most GoPro anything
  • Compact and easy to use for a skilled surfer
Cons:
  • Can be dangerous for even an intermediate surfer to use in rough surf
  • No flotation (but a lanyard is included)
  • This type of angle is typically not desired for average waves and/or surfers- it won’t really impress your buds unless it’s a gnar barrel

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Hope you enjoyed checking out some phunky phresh surfy gadgets and trends out there in the fun Surfing World. Above all else though, we all just wanna catch as many waves as humanly possible, right? The rest is….well, just even MORE gravy.

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Somewhere in between always works, brah

Atlantic Stingray Says Hi

Today, I had an unusual encounter with what I believe was an Atlantic Stingray. There were many fish jumping as I was paddling out to surf, which can be an indicator of some hunting activity. This doesn’t necessarily mean a shark, dolphins like to hunt for fish too, of course.

This stingray leapt out of the water, hit the back of my head, then leapt once more onto my back and surfboard before I was able to push it away. What stunned me was the force of this critter! After this close encounter, I just had to do some research about Mr. Atlantic Stingray, and I’m going to share it with ya.

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I guess I needed a smack

Atlantic Stingray Fun Facts!

  • They can sense their prey in the sand85BFC459-6E3B-4886-B5D3-1B643A538076 through their Ampullae of Lorenzini, which serve as electrical field sensors. But my backhand today apparently didn’t register with this specimen- I don’t get it.
  • An Atlantic Stingray can sting you, and it’ll hurt like a bitch, but they are typically not fatal. But when it can punch like it did today, who needs to sting?
  • Mating season is from October to April, but they don’t really get their freak on until the warmer months of March and April.
  • Although their Conversation Status is “Least Concern”, the Atlantic Stingray’s biggest threat is becoming bycatch in commercial fishing. I think Red Lobster’s having all-you-can-eat “scallops.” Just sayin’.
  • Tiger sharks and Bull sharks are their natural predators. I really hope it wasn’t jumping away from an shark onto my head, but I can understand his predicament.

References and More Info:

Georgia Aquarium

Smithsonian Institution

Florida Fish and Wildlife

Florida Museum

I always have to remember, when I surf, I’m visiting another’s domain. I won’t be scared of the critters of the ocean, but I’d sure be scared if there were none.

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Don’t mess with that smile

The Latest Surfing Trends and Fads: Fall Edition

So I’ve dug up some more surfing trends and accessories you may or may not have heard about. Some are inventive, some are…..not ready for primetime. 

Did I get any of this stuff for free or at a discount? HELL nah. I wish. My opinions are definitely my own, and I tell it like it is, brah.

Gnarly wipeout, brah


*****
Grater Grip for Surfboard Wax

I bought one of these at their booth at a local surfboard factory sale. They were thirteen bucks back then- now they’re $9.99- which is still a little pricey. It’s essentially a flat plastic cheese grater to help put on your surfboard wax, and remove it. This could be a good idea if you like that type of traction on your board. I tried it, and hated the feel AND look of it, personally. Oh well.

Pros: Great for using up the tiniest bits of wax left in your surfmobile

Cons: Random people may walk up to you with plates of freshly cooked pasta




Stained Glass Fins by Rainbow Fin Company

I had to snag this fin!!!

 
I have bought two of these fins so far as gifts, and I have been pleased with them, as well as the recipients. I like giving something that’s beautiful AND useful. Since they are one-of-a-kind handmade surfboard fins, they can run 100 bucks and up, so it’s more of a collectible for the “more seasoned” (aka older) surfer crowd. 

Pros: Makes simple, functional artwork on your surfboard or on the wall.

Cons: At the price, it’s definitely an investment.




Wax Knuckles

This pic is from their website

I don’t own this, but it seems like an awfully good idea. It’s a wax scraper and wax comb that is ergonomically designed. If you like to change out your wax a lot, or resell a lot of surfboards, this scraper is kinda neato. It costs twice as much as a regular wax comb (these are $5.99), but if you do a lot of scraping, it might be worth it.

Pros: May save on some carpal tunnel surgery down the road

Cons: The HUGE handspan required to make the scraper comfortable to use may exclude other smaller surfer chicks like me. I’ll wait for the smaller Oompa Loompa Model to be launched 



Ventura Vientola Finger Surfboard

I thought this fad had passed, but it’s back for Boomers

When I first started surfing, I bought I tiny toy 3” plastic “….Lost” surfboard I sat on my nightstand for my own encouragement. I guess this is the upgraded model at seventy bucks, but it is handcrafted in California out of mahogany, comes with a tiny leash, carrying pouch, and a miniature bar of surf wax. This would look good next to your wine rack and humidor. Did I guess right???

Pros: That’s art to any surfer, and looks better on the wall than the Family Cat in a frame. Also good if you live in a tiny house and drive a Mini

Cons: You may start buying these to look at when your knees start hurting too much to use an actual surfboard




Hope I showed ya something new today!

Do ya EVER graduate in surfing?????






10 Tips on Selling Used Surfboards

In my last post, I talked about 10 tips for buying used surfboards. Since I’ve been on both sides of a board sale WAY too many times, I’ve got some more tips that will hopefully help you out if you want to sell your used boards too.

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Tips for Selling Used Surfboards

1. CLEAN the board.

     When I mean clean, I mean ALL wax and wax residue, all stickers and sticker residue, and any other random skid marks, ya ripper. This will improve the look of the board tremendously, save the buyer the hassle of cleaning it, and you can honestly say you weren’t hiding any condition issues with the board when you sell it, which makes for a much smoother deal.

Get that wax OFF!



2. RESEARCH similar boards on the market before listing.

    You need to know what you have before you sell it. Luckily, I’ve had honest shop owners stop me from a bad decision (thanks Core Surf!), but that’s not always the case. Use Craigslist, internet surf forums, and visit surf shops to compare pricing. The longer the board is, the higher the cost- in general (a 9’ longboard should be priced higher than a shortboard, if in the same condition.)

3. BE REALISTIC when setting a price.

     If you read my last post, I estimate that even brand new boards lose 20% of their value walking out the shop door. This is because a surfboard is a specialty item, with a narrow audience. Deduct even more from the price if you the board has custom graphics or wild colors, since this narrows the potential buyers even more. This is also a good lesson to remember when you go to buy or trade that next surfboard. Again, the exception to this rule would be in the vintage or collectible surfboard market, where a certain “look” might be sought after.

This Dewey Weber is a “collectible” type of longboard.


4. CONSIDER surfboard consignment.

    Many surf shops offer used surfboard consignment. Some even have “trade-in” programs, which are a great value if you like trying out new shapes every year, like me. Consignment fee types can vary from a percentage of the sale of the surfboard, to a flat fee. I like shops that charge a flat fee to sell your board (e.g. $50 for a shortboard, $100 for a longboard, etc.) I consider it a fee for displaying it in a store where people will be looking specifically for a surfboard. Plus, the shop owner has to work on making the sale for you. You’ll take a hit on your profits, but I guarantee you’ll get your money a lot faster, if that’s an issue.

5. TELL your surfer friends about your surfboard.

     I’m not saying sell to your surfer friends, but if you’re planning on selling a board, sometimes there are fellow surfers who may find it a bit rude if you don’t give them first dibs. Even if your immediate circle isn’t interested in your used board, I’m sure they’ve got other surf squads they hang out with too to help spread the word on your board for sale. A bonus: doing a transaction with people you know and possibly trust and vice versa. Makes everyone more accountable.

6. INSIST on cash.

    Unless you’re selling a surfboard to Grandma, don’t take checks, gift cards, credit cards (charges can be reversed easily), or promises to “be right back with some cash.” Take cash only, and don’t get burned because of your eagerness to sell.

7. NEGOTIATE WITH MORE than just the price.

     A while back, I sold a used paint-penned 7’ funshape to a dad looking for a fun first surfboard for his daughter. I was fortunate that the daughter LOVED my paint job and the board, but the dad was still hesitant to buy it. When I offered to throw in a 7’ OAM leash I had that I no longer needed, it sealed the deal for the indecisive dad too. By offering an accessory like a leash or a board bag that fits the surfboard you’re selling (you may not be using the accessory again anyway once you sell the board), it might encourage a buyer who is on the fence.

This is the board I sold that I had painted. Glad the buyers liked it.

 



8. DON’T suffer the lowballers and scammers.

     There are ALWAYS twits out there looking to scam you or waste your time. I hate when people will just send out “whatever you’re asking- with a 90% discount” as an offer on my used surfboard listing. It’s just a fishing expedition. Don’t be offended by those lowball offers, but DO keep track of all the offers you receive, since that info will help you now and for any future boards you might sell. 

9. MAKE a Selling Timetable.

     If you sell your surfboard on consignment, they usually do this part for you. But, if you’re selling on your own, don’t let your board linger out there forever for sale. If you haven’t heard ANY offers within 3 days on a site like Craigslist, you may be pricing a board too high, and need to come down. Just like a store, the longer the stuff sits around, the more discounted it becomes. If you can’t sell the board in a week, maybe consider dropping the price by 10% each week until it sells. Make sure you have an absolute bottom selling price, and a plan if it doesn’t sell at all. Yikes-a-rama.

10. DON’T put “Price is FIRM” on your used surfboard.

     This is the ultimate buyer turnoff. I’ve passed up even looking at a surfboard I probably would have otherwise snatched up right away. Why? Because if they’re not willing to negotiate, they’re not really ready to sell usually. Some of those listings come from husbands whose wives forced them to list their surfboards SOMEWHERE on Craigslist. By putting “$800- price is firm” on their dinged-up 7’2” Big Wave Body Glove Gnar Gun from 1985 prevents a sale from ever being considered. Hey- it’s happened.

Hope you enjoyed these posts about buying and selling used surfboards, and take away a bit of wisdom from my foolishness.

    

WTF is a Liebster Award?

Thanks ohyestheydid.ca!

 
First off, thank you ohyestheydid.ca for nominating my silly blog for a Liebster Award. I really enjoy reading the Oh Yes They Did! Blog. They are a mother/daughter blogging duo who try out LOTS of cool new things, from cooking to crafts. Like me, they’re into learning as much as possible, which is a frickin’ blast.

Now, I just need to educate myself on what a Liebster is exactly. I’ve been blogging since 2011, but I used Blogger before (it blows, btw). Nobody ever nominated me for an award before, but I just moved to WordPress last year. A Liebster Award recognizes new bloggers, which technically I am with this new community that has been so encouraging and fun. Thanks, y’all!

So the rules say I must answer some questions posed by the Nominating Bloggers. Here they are:

Oh Yes They Did’s Questions:

If you could be any animal, what would you be and why?

Easy- a seadragon. They don’t have to move quickly, but they always look good doing it.

If you could use only one word to describe your blogging experiences to this point, what would it be? Why?

Random. Because ADD’s a bitch.

What is your go to comfort food?

Right now, Ben and Jerry’s Non Dairy Cherry Garcia. Best ice cream ever made.

What is your favourite kitchen gadget?

My husband. I hate cooking.

If I/we gave you a 20 dollar bill and told you to go make a difference in someone’s life with it, what would you do?

I’d pay the entrance fees for anyone who has never been to the Canaveral National Seashore (Playalinda).

If you could go on your dream vacation tomorrow where would you go?

I’m where I want to be right now.

City or country life?

Neither- beach life or thug life. 4 Eva.

If you could jump on a space ship and travel to any planet, which one would you want to go to?

Uranus. Heh heh.

Which celebrity would you love to meet and what would you say to them?

Judge Marilyn Milian from The People’s Court. I would say to her, “How do you tolerate all of those idiots?”

When going out for dinner, what is your go to meal to order? Or do you like to mix it up and try new things?

I’m a picky vegetarian. Next.

If you could offer one piece of advice to new bloggers, what would that be?

Everyone likes pictures.
******

Now, I’m supposed to give 11 facts about me/this blog.

  1. I started this blog to inspire others to DIY their own surfing crap.
  2. I was 23 when I first learned to surf.
  3. I had a bad Kitesurfing accident several years ago, and and to “re-learn” how to surf.
  4. At last count, I have 7 surfboards, 4 SUP’s, 3 prone racing paddleboards, 2 bodyboards, a handplane, and no freakin’ room in my garage.
  5. I’ve had skin cancer. WEAR SUNSCREEN.
  6. I love taking pictures.
  7. My favorite surfer is Keala Kennelly (sorry, Kelly!)
  8. I hate surfing in crowds, and crowdsurfing is unhygienic.
  9. I really enjoy Scrappy Yoga’s blog.
  10. Most of my blog traffic comes from Google Searches on how to make something.
  11. I’ve only gotten 1 tiny barrel during my time surfing, and it closed out hard on me. But I had a witness. Score.

For the next part of this award, I’m supposed to nominate eleven other blogs. It feels a little like a chain letter, and I don’t feel qualified at this point to nominate anyone. The blogs I follow seem to be doing alright, so I don’t think anyone will cry.

I’m also supposed to come up with 11 questions to pose to others. I’m just too lazy, so here’s one. Feel free to answer it in the comments below.

Would You Rather?

Ride a perfect, consistent, peeling longboard wave over and over again for one day,

OR

Drop into a 25 foot wave once at Sunset in Hawaii, knowing you would live through it?

Discuss amongst yourselves

My Recent Surf Lesson

So usually, I try to stick with surf-crafty things on here, but hey, it’s my blog, so I do what I want.

Damn right

 
So, lately, I’ve decided to take up surf lessons again. I feel I’ve hit a plateau (going on about 5 years now, sheesh), and I wanted to try and improve.

The difference this time is, it’s just for me. No particular goals. No contests, no sponsorships, no accumulating gnar gnar photos of me ripping. After all, I’ve reached middle age, and my need for others’ approval has greatly declined.

If there is a goal, I’d just like more of that momentary feeling of glide on a wave, more often, with a better understanding of how to get there again and again. One day, I won’t be able to surf anymore, so I want to have as many memories built up in my head to replay over and over, good and bad.

My new coach is an interesting guy to say the least . He’s well known in the surfing community, and he has earned his “cred” on massive Hawaiian waves I’d never dare to surf- and lived. If you’ve got the time, read his stories. They’ve definitely given me a new perspective.

In my first lesson this week, the waves were near flat, so he talked to me about mindfulness. This applies to anything you wish to learn, not just surfing. I tend to joke around and laugh a lot, because things are just NEVER as critical as people create them to be. However, I should resolve myself to focus more on learning than being silly and goofy when trying to improve my surfing skills.

Ok, I’ll still do a little of this

 

With the improvement in surfing, the fun naturally follows. He told me an example of a concert pianist at Carnegie Hall performing solemnly, intently, to his audience, yet to him, he is experiencing he height of enjoyment. He becomes fully immersed in his passion.

No, I’m not aiming for Carnegie Hall level mastery of surfing. Perhaps more of a regular late night soul jam session in the garage on the weekends, but I’m not quitting my day job.

In the second half of my lesson, he actually pushed me into waves so I could learn how to angle into a wave better- no paddling- just a focus on ONE cross step. It was a humbling experience to be pushed in, but did it ever work. When I popped up, I was able to crosstep easier than I had in my many attempts over the years. Wave after wave. Focused on the task. I’m beginning to see what he’s talking about. I’m already stoked for my next lesson.

Walking up the beach, some random guy on the beach walked up to me and said, “You surfed really good.”

Oh. Sorry, I didn’t even realize there was anyone there….

Keepin’ it real

My Surfboards: Funjun Funshape

Recently, I had a board shaped at Core Surf as kind of an experiment. A really fun type of experiment.

I wanted a shortboard (truly, it is called a funshape or mini-mal by definition) that could surf the tiny- sometimes choppy- waves of our Florida East Coast summers. Bonus if it could surf the decent stuff too. I also wanted something shorter than 7’2″, since that’s my cutoff for a shortboard if I ever want to do fun charity competitions. Most local competitions- IF they have the rule- require the board to be no taller than 2 feet than the rider to qualify as a shortboard to compete. Makes sense.
Since I’m not getting any younger, I opted for a 7’0″ “Funjun”. This shape has a wide backend to get into waves early, and looks a lot like a

Quad setup or single fin setup

 

miniature longboard with the thick rails and the wide nose. The other models of “Funjuns” typically have a 5 fin setup, but I wanted a single fin box instead on this one, with FCS boxes on the side to be able to switch to a quad setup if I wanted.

This shape finally seems to be the Holy Grail Board for me, at least

On my initial surf sessions in 2-3 foot okay surf conditions, I used a 7 inch fin from Captain Fin Co. It worked pretty well, but I’m a still a little timid to try crosstepping on it yet. It did slide out a little when bottom turning on a bigger wave, but I think that’s more my problem than the fin’s problem….

This is the 7″ single fin I use in it

Next, I picked up a larger quad setup by Captain Fin Co. as well. I removed the single fin and just used these for some decent 1-2 foot waves. These were definitely longboard waves, but this board allowed me to catch the same type of waves, but I could get “skatey” on them. That’s good, since I refuse to skateboard on the asphalt anymore. I don’t have much of my right meniscus left. Yikes.

Funjun Update:
This board has been incredibly fun the last few sessions. I’ve gotten some of the best waves I’ve had in a long while.

This is the “large” set of quads- I figured I needed a little more fin for the longer board

After surfing on and off for over a decade, I’ve tried a lot of surfboards out, and have been so disappointed in a lot of boards I’ve had. I’ve wondered how many people get to find their “Magic” board? The board that fits like the Glass Slipper.
It feels really nice to think I may have found MY perfectly matched board. Sounds weird, but now I think I understand what I’ve overheard older surfers talk about from time to time. They tell stories where a surfer may- a one point in his (or her) life- find their perfect surfboard. That perfect surfboard for that perfect time, for that perfect place. I hope this combination sticks around for a while for me.

Wow, is it already 4:20?!?

Deep.