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

Baggies, Jams, Boardies….Just DIY ‘Em

The “history” of surfing shorts varies depending on the surfer you ask. Some may say the original surf short began with Duke Kahanamoku and his scratchy wool swim shorts. The original big wave Hawaiian surfers of the 50’s and 60’s may tell you that Mr. Nii’s in Makaha was THE place to get a pair custom made- even personalized with your name.

I remember the “Jams” of the 1980’s…the tacky,

Clearance Bin Find!

comfy, long and super baggy shorts that EVERYONE had to have, from the Hawaiian beaches to the innermost cornfields of Iowa. That’s the version I’m down with. So, appropriately, I chose a SUPER easy pajama pant pattern I picked up from the clearance bin for 39 cents that I cut to a knee length short. Score.

The fun flamingo cotton print I got from fabric.com, with some contrast print I got from my cotton fabric scrap bin. I won’t go through the entire process in detail, but I did add custom pockets I designed myself to the front of the shorts, as well as a simple square patch pocket on the right rear. I also added the contrast fabric as a hem facing to the bottom of the shorts, as well as the lining of the pockets. It doesn’t readily show, but I know it’s there, so…..cool. Here’s a breakdown of some of the process in pics….

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My custom made pocket pattern- checking for placement

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Making the front patch pockets with lining

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Top stitching the pocket onto the front part of the shorts

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Making the back square patch pocket and lining

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Positioning the back patch pocket

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Attaching the hem facing

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The hidden elastic waistband!

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Threading the waist tie through the front buttonholes

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Finished hem detail

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Finished front pocket detail

Done! This was a very easy level sewing project, and a great first sewing project for anyone if you forego the pockets.

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Front of the shorts

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Back of the shorts

Here’s the modeling shots by a non-model. It makes things a lot easier when you don’t have to Photoshop my face out of the pics. Yikes-a-Rama. Try to find Max Chill….

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Where’s Waldo???

So flamingo, so tacky, so FLORIDA. I don’t know if I’ll surf in these cotton boardshorts, but I’ve said it before- Jams like these are Florida’s version of sweatpants.

But the Kentucky Derby IS coming up fast, so I will need to bring out the big guns pretty soon….

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This would be acceptable any time of the year in Key West….

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.”