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

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

WTF is a Mystery Blogger Award?

Ok, so I was nominated for the “Mystery Blogger Award” by the Inked Shrink. I really enjoy the blog On the Couch, because he talks plainly about many issues we all deal with throughout life, and the blog really promotes good discussions and insights. It’s definitely worth checking out.

As for me- honestly, I’m really not a mystery. I’m just a average Florida surfer chick with a silly blog. Boom.

Here’s the breakdown that I copied and pasted:

What is a Mystery Blogger Award?

The creator of this award, Okoto Enigma, says “It’s an award for amazing bloggers with ingenious posts. Their blog not only captivates; it inspires and motivates. They are one of the best out there, and they deserve every recognition they get. This award is also for bloggers who find fun and inspiration in blogging, and they do it with so much love and passion.

The Rules.

  • Put the award logo/image on your blog.
  • List the rules.
  • Thank whoever nominated you and provide a link to their blog, as well as to the specific post in which you were nominated. That way, the blogger who nominated you will receive a Pingback and know that you posted your answers and will be able to read them!
  • Mention the creator of the award.
  • Tell your readers 3 things about yourself.
  • Nominate 5 people.
  • Notify your nominees by commenting on their blog.
  • Ask your nominees any 5 questions of your choice, with one weird or funny question (specify)
  • Share your link to your best post(s).

“Okoto Enigma”? Yeah, I don’t get it either. Anywho….

***

Three things about myself:

1. I’m a surfer chick, not a surfer dude. When I first started blogging years ago, I’d put up a new post each Friday on our local Surf Forum. When people started realizing who I was in real life, they said “WELL THAT EXPLAINS WHY ALL YOUR CRAFTS ARE GIRLY!” They automatically had assumed I was a guy because I raced paddleboards and surfed. I think they were picturing Richard Simmons on a surfboard.

2. The deepest SCUBA dive I’ve ever done was to 110′ on a shipwreck off the Florida Keys. And it was pretty awesome. I saw a Goliath Grouper up close, and I felt like I was the one on the platter.

3. The longest paddleboard challenge I’ve ever done is a 22 miler between island causeways. I paddled a 14′ prone board, and it took me a little under 7 hours of continuous paddling (with a two minute Clif Bar and water break). I was seeing stars around Mile 16, but I finished the race, which is all I cared about. Hey, YOLO, man. Not doing that shit twice, though.

My questions from Inked Shrink:

1. What inspires you?

I’m always looking for ways to reuse things, or make things I might otherwise buy and pay a lot of money for. I see a lot of waste left at the beach, and it’s a reminder to be more resourceful.

2. If you could have dinner and talk with any one person (dead or alive) who would it be? Why?

Colonel Sanders, because then I might get a decent two piece and biscuit.

3. What’s one thing on your bucket list?

I’m all good, bro.

4. Who was the person that had the most influence on your life?

Ooooh…trick question. Me??

5. What’s a project or accomplishment you hope to complete in 2018?

No surfing injuries this year!

The Nominees:

My Questions:

  1. Coke or Pepsi?
  2. Miami or Orlando? (I guess this is the “weird” question??)
  3. Apple or Samsung? (Let’s make this the “funny” question)
  4. Chips or Chocolate?
  5. Sand or Snow?

And yes, there ARE wrong answers. N-Joy.

I’m supposed to put a link to a good post of mine here, but I’d rather share some wisdom.

Swells of Interest II Surf Movie

Tonight, the locals in Cocoa Beach came out for a chance to see themselves surf on the big screen in Swells of Interest II, by Dr. Diana Wehrell-Grabowski, or “Dr. Diana” as we all call her around here.

Dr. Diana is a Teacher Educator (she teaches STEM) as a primary career, but in her free time she is a talented photographer, videographer, and surfer in Cocoa Beach. Her first installment of Swells of Interest drew so much….interest that she decided to do a follow up, Swells of Interest II. Again, she follows local Brevard County surfers as significant swells approach the East Coast from 2014-2017.

This Saturday evening, Cocoa Beach Surfrider sponsored two showings at the Cocoa Beach Playhouse, one at 4 PM (the one I attended), and a sold-out 9 PM showing. Mike Watson- one of Surfline‘s lead forecasters- was introduced right before the movie. He is one of the movie’s narrators, talking about the specific dynamics of each Atlantic swell featured, which added a nice dimension to the videos of local surfers enjoying the waves. Many locals also added their own insights during the film, and there was a nice mix of men and women surfers of all ages. The soundtrack got a little out of sequence with the clips sometimes, but when most people in the audience are there to find themselves surfing on the big screen, they’ve got their own theme music running in their head anyway.

I was pleased to see some great clips of my friends make it into the movie, because they definitely need to be recognized for their talent.

But, you know what the best part of this movie was?

I wasn’t in it.

I was in another one of Dr. Diana’s movies, and I sounded like Reba McIntyre drunk. My surfing clip was meh (of course), so I made sure to duck Dr. Diana’s cameras anytime I spotted her filming from then on. Once she’s in the water surfing with us, I love talking to her…with a camera, not so much.

Small victories. Back to being a Stealthy Surf Ninja until the next film comes out. Until then….

I’ve included some pics from tonight’s event. Some creative art made with beach trash was part of a raffle, as well as a Journeyman Allen White Surfboard. The crowd in the lobby was after the 4 PM showing.

I didn’t get to see the sold out 9 PM crowd, but since the Playhouse holds a few hundred, I think it could be called a success. Plus, the fact that it benefits the local Surfrider is always a bonus.

Maybe if Dr. Diana does a movie in the future like “Jackass” but with surfers, well, I guess she can give me a call. I do believe I am the only person in Cocoa Beach who can do the Carlton whilst surfing. Yeah, people would pay to see THAT, right?

Deep Thoughts on Surfing

Last week at the Pier, it was a fun, warm, glassy day of longboard waves, which, of course, brought out the spirit of Road Rage in everyone. Happy Freakin’ Holidays. Of course everyone’s stressed out. Maybe these dudes are finally getting some time off from work, so that justifies getting aggro, making everyone else’s day worse by jockeying for ALL the waves.

You win, Seabiscuit.

“More waves for me, more joy. Screw the other guy today, I’m stressed out- if I can get the Wave, I’m entitled!”

This mentality permeates the surfing culture. For a sport that is supposed to be so Zen-like, it sure does have its’ unwritten rules, protocols, and hierarchies and a rough enforcement of those policies at times. I’ve slowly learned that surfers do this as an initiation, while strangely claiming to be inclusive the entire time. Helps to keep the surfing lineup freshly culled as well as a bonus.

You’ll often hear words like “Aloha Spirit” or “laid-back” in association with surfers. The only Hawaiian spirit I notice a lot of surfers embrace these days is the Da’Hui. Yikes. I don’t remember that Fun Gang in Back to the Beach.

No wonder this sport is so intimidating and confusing for most to even attempt.

Towards the end of my surf sesh that day, I saw a college-aged guy getting a surf lesson from an instructor on the outside of the main pack of surfers (where I usually like to park it too). He was learning to sit upright on his board in the lineup. To me, that skill can be one of the hardest to master when learning. Most people don’t use those muscles until they try to surf, so it’s a surprise to even the most athletic people I know whom I’ve seen surf for the first time.

The newbie surfer noticed several of us “drifting surfers” moving away from the crowded lineup and towards him, and quickly became self-conscious and embarrassed. While still trying to get his balance, he said apologetically,

“Really, I can snowboard REALLY well, I’m just not USED to this, really…..I AM a great snowboarder back home….”

Being SOOOOO over all the aggro vibe that morning, I thought to myself,

“Dude, what’s with all the puffing? There are plenty of jealous people sitting up on that beach that wish they had the ability and courage to be a Kook- even for just one day.”

Blue Crush…the Movie

I will admit, every Summer I’ll watch the surfer chick movie Blue Crush, starring Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez, and Sanoe Lake. It’s great to watch especially after a fun surf in the morning. The Summer thunderstorms move into this area in the late afternoon/evening, so it’s nice to just kick back and watch a movie then.

In this movie, the best actress award goes to Keala Kennelly, who plays herself. She’s an incredibly talented big wave surfer, and an inspiration for so many- including myself. I’ll never ride the terrifying waves that she does, but she proves what is possible. She’s had to endure her share of the Good Ole Boys’ club growing up (I can relate), but her unwavering commitment to the sport in the face of all these obstacles keeps her a REAL hero in women’s surfing, no Hollywood required.

Hollywood has yet to come up with a more thrilling scene as this one of Keala in Tahiti:
Keala at Teahupo’o
In my favorite scene from Blue Crush, she warns the main character- played by Kate Bosworth- not to hold back nor hesitate when going for a wave, or she will “eat shit.”


Well, that’s an interesting life philosophy. And I 

didn’t have to read any Deepak Chopra or The Secret to get there. Schweet. If you go into something halfway committed, you’ll end up far worse off in the end. However, if you don’t try, there will never be any success. Applies to many things, not just catching the next wave. Deep.
All I know is Blue Crush made women’s surfing more than “Gidget Enters a Surfing Competition.” Blue Crush showed that women were also committed and dedicated to the sport of surfing just as much as the men were. I think the real Gidget (Kathy Kohner-Zuckerman) would be okay with this changing acceptance of women as more than a novelty within surfing.
After all, the real Gidget probably wants to be known as one of the Most Influential People in Surfing (#7, according to Surfer)- not for supposedly chasing after the local Malibu surfer boys.
The real Gidget….

The marketable Gidget (played by Sally Field)….