The Adventures of Crafty Surf

Ok, the past several weeks have majorly sucked in Crafty Surf Land, so I’d thought I’d write about happy things to cheer me up. It’s all good, ya know?

I first started working as a co-op student down here in Florida back in 1999. One Saturday that first semester, I decided to go to a ROXY Girls’ Surf Camp day down in Indialantic Beach. It turned out I was the old lady among the campers at the ripe old age of 23, with the next oldest being 16. Yikes. I felt like Kramer in the Karate Class episode.

Let’s go for ice cream!

It turned out to be a fun day, and it was the first time I ever got to try surfing. Lots of the little girls kept saying I should ask out one of the hot surf instructors there (that was a bonus- they looked like a Baywatch lineup). Since none of kids volunteered to be my Wingman, I let my chance pass by. I did end up smoking all those little girls in the Surfboard Paddling Relays, though. Booyeah, kids.

At the end of the day, they gave us all goodie bags of ROXY stuff in a backpack. I still have the backpack, almost 20 years later. Over the years, if a fun place I visited had a patch, I’d add it to my bag as my little souvenir. The latest patch I’ve added is from a surf shop in Folly Beach, South Carolina. I visited SC a couple of weeks ago on a spur-of-the-moment, much needed road trip. My first patch from outside of Florida.

Felt like a real surfer girl with my bag when I got it

I wish more places still had patches like this for little souvenirs

Remember that movie “Up”, when Ellie had her Adventure Book? Guess this has ended up being mine. It’s totally got another 20 years. Well, I certainly hope….for us both.

What’s next?

Eco Surf Hippie Beanbag Pillow

I’m the first to admit I’m a material hoarder. Lots of people don’t realize that clothing makes up a large fraction of landfill trash, and these days, much of it is synthetic and breaks down slowly.

I like to save old Lycra from random rashguards and surf gear, so I decided to cut pieces up into small quilt squares to make a simple two sided squishy pillow filled with scrap neoprene. Woah…that’s being supa Bro–active about our environment, yo.

Pile o’ Lycra

Cutting pieces into smaller squares from various pieces

Laying out a fun pattern

I serged into rows first

Layout of the other side of the pillow

Both sides of the pillow

Pinning the pillow to stitch it up before stuffing

Neoprene beans from wetsuits

I stuffed the pillow casing I made with quite a bit of the cut up neoprene “beans” I had cut up previously (see this project).

Clipped the opening closed and I whip stitched it closed

Done!

That’ll fit my rear, watch out, Max….

So I figure this pillow with be perfect for the beach, since I can rinse it off, toss it in the wash with no worries, and it’s small enough to sling over my bag.

Hey, if this helps the environment, great. I mean, it’s your world, brah.

Try me……but have a nice day

The Justin Quintal Loggerhead Classic

So this past Sunday, I watched the Inaugural Loggerhead Classic hosted by Justin Quintal and Vans in Jacksonville Beach, Florida.

The event consisted of invited pro competitors, hand selected by Justin Quintal and his brahs. 32 men and 16 women from up and down the East Coast were notified on rather short notice (~2 weeks?) to participate. Rumor is, the recent Vans Duct Tape Invitational in California went so well, the push to have an East Coast complement was inevitable.

The Sponsors’ Tents

Of course, the selected names (or missing names) could always be argued by astute East Coast surfing enthusiasts. However, the contest was very entertaining with small 1-2 foot semi-glassy conditions in the morning, becoming more wobbly in the afternoon. This allowed for some wild acrobatic moves on longboards, like hang fives, tens, hang heels, switch stance, etc.

First place honors for the Men’s Pro went to Pat Nichols, and Jazmine Dean for the Women’s Pro. They were well deserved wins in my opinion given the conditions, both completing many impressive maneuvers in their heats.

Friends of mine scoping out the action

Impressive

Really good surfers!

This event was promoted as a good natured effort to bring together “loggers” in a fun contest format, especially here on the East Coast. East Coasters, I believe, have the reputation of being less serious, less focused than Cali surfers sometimes. Perhaps this was an impetus to show some focus to the Surfin’ Neighbors. Perhaps it was to establish the Chosen Logger Clique, which creating a pecking order is never above groups of surfers. The $5000 prize purse sure didn’t hurt to lure out the big guns last minute.

But I’m sure they only came just for the East Coast Group Hug.

NO hugs, ONLY Yeets

Tesla Made a Surfbort?!

I just read a story that claims that Tesla made a branded surfboard run of 200 boards that sold out within days, of course. Even at $1500, I’m not surprised. I AM shocked they didn’t charge $5000. It would’ve STILL sold out. I mean, people spend a quarter million on RV’s and those totally suck. Go figure.

Tesla’s latest zero-emission ride is a $1,500 surfboard

Take this out of your Surf Van

I don’t SEE an engine, though

If it doesn’t catch on fire, I don’t want it

If you want to read up on the gnar-gnar specs, check out Tesla’s shop listing HERE while it’s still up.

While I can certainly appreciate precision engineering in any technology, I would love to hear any actual surfing feedback from the 200 purchasers. These boards were designed by Matt Biolos of …Lost Surfboards fame, so they come with certified, stamped surf cred.

But, I’d bet all I would get from the owners is that it makes their office wall look “supa cool and phresh.”

Yikes.

Only da Best, Brah

The New Surfboard Bug

These days, I’m so happy with the boards I have, and I feel good about my collection currently. I could even trim it to this one only:

Starr 7’0” FunJun Quad + Single Fin

It’s my favorite all around board, but a while back, I had put a deep gash in it from ditching it under my friend’s board to avoid a worse collision on a wave. SO freakin glad neither of us were hurt, only the board. Big whoop.

This repair has been awesome

The repair’s been great, and I dig my paint job over the repair, but once I saw my local surf shop post a pic of this longboard with an acid splashed deck, I knew I wanted this look for the funshape I have now- much like a new dress, only slightly more resinous.

I love this acid splashed deck- I’m getting this with blue rails and bottom on my funshape

I will trade in the funshape I use now once my custom order is complete (hopefully soon!), so that will offset some of the cost, especially since this “look” requires extra paint on the rails and bottom (mine will be blue), gloss and polish on the resin. Honestly, this is not a need. However, hurricane season’s coming, and well, sometimes slipping into a new pair of shoes is nice to get you stoked.

Shoes are part of the Whole Game, Player.

Easter Surf Fest…Over it.

Around here every year in Cocoa Beach, there’s Easter Surf Fest. It’s a weekend long surf festival and contest event that even I used to participate in… at least when we used to host the Florida State Paddleboard Championship, a mostly prone paddleboard 7 mile race. Good times. It used to be a really fun Waterman’s event.

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One of our posters for the Paddleboard Race back then- Jamie Mitchell signed my poster!

This year, they actually have a Dog Surfing Contest along with the Human surfing contests. May sound fun to some, but walking through the covered-up “Easter eggs” hidden in the sand to get to the water can invite Captain Hookworm right on in. Eww. I’m going to skip it this year, in addition to the huge crowds of people on the beach. Eww eww ewwwww.

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Be aware of your junk flying around on da beach

But for those who venture out to the beach for the Easter weekend, please be respectful of the area and of others. Take your trash with you, don’t leave behind cigarette butts in the sand, and avoid taking pets on the beach that may defecate and also scare/injure native wildlife.

Surfers understand when I say…..

One would never leave their place of worship with a scattering of cigarettes, fried chicken buckets, and dirty diapers behind them.

Why do you at the beach?

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Tell it like it is, Sister!

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

***

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