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

Beater Bodyboard Paipo Sock

All week it’s been gnarlicious around here due to some storms out in the Atlantic plus quite a bit of local winds. When the waves begin to get crazy, I’ll bust out my 54″ Twin Fin Beater board, that I can use as a giant bodyboard. Because it’s a soft board, I don’t need my helmet and crayons like I normally would. Bonus.

Nice wax job

Since I wanted to throw it in the car to surf yesterday evening, I wanted to make a sock for it with a quickness. I’ve done this project for my funshape, but this time, the board is small enough to put on my cutting table directly, so I can wing it even faster.

Ugly fabric? Check.

I used some remnant Lycra spandex fabric I got a long time ago that was sitting around. It’s ugly, but Lycra spandex that’s cheap is always useful for something when you’re in the water a lot.

I folded the fabric right sides together, with one side being the fold, so I won’t need to sew/serge this edge.

Putting my board on the fabric for layout

I even used my French curve to trim the nose!

After cutting

I used my rotary cutter to cut this Lycra- much faster. I also used a serger for this project.

Serging the sides

Fit check

Trimming off excess for the casing

I used the extra at the bottom opening, folded it over, and reattached a casing for an old shoelace. Made a perfect closure.

Reinforcing the pull through site

Reattaching the casing to the bag

I used an old shoelace

Cool beans

Done!

It’s great in da surfmobile, and now I can just keep my little 5′ leash on the board without worrying about it dragging everywhere. The sock stretches over the board super easy.

In da car

Pink and paisley

So I got to play around in the gnar for a bit yesterday afternoon, since the surf sock only took an hour. Here’s a pic I took from last night:

Just do it

Once again, my tradition of procrastination lives on….

I would have been too lazy to do this in high school

Chunky Little Manatee

Many people don’t know that manatees are closely related to elephants. In fact, if you look closely at a manatee’s flipper, you’ll see the remnants of nails and toes that resemble an elephant’s foot. Under an x-ray, they even look like human hands. Pretty cool.

myfwc.comManatee flipper under x-ray

Here in Brevard County, we are fortunate enough to see Florida manatees fairly often in the Indian River Lagoon (brackish water), and in nearshore coastal waters by way of going in and out of local man-made ship inlets.

They are also known as “sea cows” because they move slowly, but they are VERY powerful. I’ve gotten knocked off my paddleboard more than a few times by a manatee. Hey, they didn’t want ME on their lawn….I don’t blame ’em.

I still love manatees, and they’re a good indicator of the health of the Lagoon system, which is obviously very sick and toxic currently, heading into a state of eutrophication sadly.

So I wanted to share some of of this fun info with you, plus a pattern I made up to make your own little chunky manatee Amigurumi toy! It helps to know basic single crochet in the round for this pattern. Add a loop of heavy thread on top to turn it into an ornament for the holidays. Manatee Tree. Freakin’ cool.

Chunky Little Manatee Pattern (PDF file)

Stuffing the body of the manatee

Sewing the tail closed

Making the flippers

Fluke view

Front view

Manatees are cute, so they might get people’s attention.

I’d love to see this