Deep Thoughts on a Paddleboard

So obviously, a lot has happened since my last post. I’ve gotten a divorce, started a new job, and I’m getting ready to move into a new house in a few weeks. Hey, I’m used to having my head slammed, so it’s all good. Last I checked, they’re still selling Diet Coke and Cheez-It’s, and most importantly, the ocean’s still there.

So then, I guess Club Earth’s staying open a little later and serving 2 for 1’s. It’s NOT the end of the world, after all.

I’ve gone surfing a few times this winter, but mostly I’ve been going on paddles on my SUP in the lagoon here in Brevard County. Paddleboarding, to me, is the best way to zone out, or really think deeply about things. I loved prone paddleboard races that were 5, 10, even 12 miles since it gave me maximum alone time PLUS possibly a goody bag and a medal if I was focused enough, or I was the only chick in the race. Bonus.

Me on a fun winter wave early 2019. Photo: @cbsurfkaren (Instagram)

These days, I mostly paddle on my SUP, still getting myself way out too far and lost in the beauty of wherever I am. Much more scenic than a long shower to hash out my thoughts, ya know?

Me after a paddle on the Banana River (Lagoon)

Here are some of my deep thoughts that have popped up over the last few months:

Surf trips by yourself can be hella fun.

Right after my separation, I threw my funshape and water wings in my car and drove up to Folly Beach, South Carolina, and surfed at the Folly Beach Pier. Met lots of cool people, saw lots of neato things, and I chose the phresh music for the drive. Nothing better.

Surfing is a lovely sport since there is no perfection.

I’ve been told to stop surfing because, well, if you’re not “good,” then what’s the point? I’ve watched so many videos with so many unique styles, could anyone agree on exactly what ‘s the best and when you should hang it up? I mean, in 30 years, who knows what wacky ass things will be considered cool in surfing? Old surfer chicks? Maybe…..

It’s OK to want to be a surfer/paddleboarder/waterwoman.

Yes, this might sound bizarre to some, but the surfer image (perceived or real) doesn’t always sit well with non-surfers, and it can be hard to deal with. I’ve finally quit apologizing. I even bought a pair of Vans so I could get more aligned with my inner Spicoli. Namaste, brah.

Hi. I’m Crafty Surf. I like surfing, paddleboarding, and crafts. And that’s all good.

Repeat after me: You are AWESOME today

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!