Eidon presents the 20th Sisters of the Sea Surf Classic

Each year, I like to go to an all women’s surf contest in Jacksonville, Florida. The Sisters of the Sea Surf Classic is an amateur surf contest to raise money for Breast Cancer Research, which is the philanthropic cause of the Sisters of the Sea of Jacksonville.

Trophy tent at Sisters of the Sea Classic

Surfboards being raffled off

And, they have NICE raffles. I freakin’ love raffles. It’s a horrible pleasure, but silly fun for a recovering statistics nut.

One of my best friends Karen (follow her on IG: @cbsurfkaren) went with me since she’s a GREAT photog, and this is always a big surf event, usually with over 150 women competitors, but lots of spectators, photographers, and gawkers.

Not so stoked about that, but I’ve got to “suck it up, Buttercup.” Outta that comfort zone, brah.

In surfing competitions, surfers will paddle out in groups of 4 or 5 at a time (called a heat), and attempt to catch as many (up to 10) quality waves within those 15 minutes. We had waves this Saturday, but they were on the smaller side and a bit closed out for me. I managed to catch my two wave minimum, but the far more talented ladies in my heat were catching wave after wave! I tried for a couple of more, but got caught in the rinse cycle. Oh well, I was gettin’ the exercise in, ya know….

Me tryna surf

I really love my new FunJun!

No more freakin pics….

So, I didn’t win a medal, but dead last in my heat. Boo. BUT, it was a fun beach day- encouraging women to take up surfing, and supporting the Women’s Center in Jacksonville. I think I’ll live knowing I didn’t “slay.” I’ll slay another day. Or whatever.

We had to leave early to head back home, but a friend of mine called Saturday evening to let me know I won something in the raffle. Booyeah.

Hey- need not be present to win, AND my dear friend brought it back for me.

Winner, winner, chicken dinner.

9’1” super light longboard. Schweet. I LOVE raffles.

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.

Turtle Tracks Macrame Bracelet

Loggerhead Turtle

Here in Central Florida, it’s early sea turtle nesting season, so turtle tracks going up the beach can be seen in the mornings around the full moon. Turtles will lay their eggs in the sand towards the dune and cover them in sand. Then, they slip back into the ocean during the night, using the moonlight as a guide.

We are lucky to still have a few turtles left around here because our local conservation agencies do a fantastic job marking nests, so people won’t trample on them hopefully. Loggerhead turtles seem to be the most common off the coast of Brevard county, but I have seen a nice-sized rarer Kemp’s Ridley when I was out paddleboarding a few summers ago.

Check out the Sea Turtle Conservancy for info about sea turtles, and things you can do to help them to keep nesting for a little while longer.

Chaos happens when you leave lights on beachside

Like you could turn off your freakin’ condo lights if you live on the beach so it won’t confuse hatchlings navigating back into the ocean. The Condo Boogeyman’s not coming to take your pills, Grandpa- turn the damn balcony light off.

Anywho, since hatchlings should make tracks that go straight into the ocean, I made a fun Macrame bracelet using some basic knotting techniques that reminds me of a turtle egg and nice straight tracks. Check out the picture tutorial below, and use this knotting guide I made as a reference:

Macrame Knots Guide by Crafty Surf

Linhasita (or C-Lon cord) a flat cut cowrie shell, and some olivewood beads

Make a lark’s head knot though one side of the shell using about 2 yards of each color, folded in half

Use a T-Pin on foam or cork to keep your holding cord straight

Do 3 double half hitches across the green cord, doing 1 double half hitch on each color

Put a T-pin in and rotate the cord to the other direction and do the same knotting pattern, going back and forth

By using T-pins, I could keep the rows tight and straight across

Braiding the remainder, adding an olivewood bead, and making a secure knot. Now do the same on the other side of the shell!

Bringing both ends together to make a sliding adjustable knot

Making the adjustable knot by making a few square knots over both bracelet ends

Clip and melt the ends. Done!

This is always the “bracelet selfie” angle Pura Vida does

Please remember that sea turtles are not pets, Disney characters, and are not there for your fun-filled family entertainment. Please respect what tiny bit of space they have remaining.

This ain’t Disney, and you ain’t Snow White

The Problem with Single Use Plastic

Unfortunately, I end up snagging some form of plastic trash from the water or off of the beach just about every time I go for a surf. In fact, last week, I pulled an empty bottle of bleach completely labeled in Spanish that was covered in barnacles. I wonder how far that may have travelled. If there was a note inside, the bleach ate it up.

My good friend Scrappy Yoga works with

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This is just a trashy issue, no matter what party you’re in

environmental groups and surfers trying to eliminate single use plastics from the chain. They just had a Press Conference in Santa Cruz, California, and it is one of those issues we can all get behind:

SURFERS AND ENVIRONMENTAL GROUPS URGE CALIFORNIA LEADERS TO REDUCE SINGLE-USE PLASTIC POLLUTION

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I get this filled for only a buck

Being a Southern Girl, I am a rabid Diet Coke drinker, but I use a large reusable Big Gulp container with a reusable straw. Not only is it MUCH cheaper to get a refill at a convenience store, I never have to worry about throwing away straws or cups EVER. Most fast food places let me use this too, I just pay for the large drink, and fill ‘er up. There’s really no excuse, kids. And now I’ve got a place for all my Gnar stickers that no longer fit on the surf mobile. More surf cred??? Schweet.

On an old blog post, I made some surfboard art out of bits of plastic I found all over the beach,

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Shades of eternity

mostly around Cape Canaveral, even up into the Canaveral National Seashore unfortunately. Just that little project alone reminded me that just because I put that little plastic straw or fork in the wastebasket, doesn’t mean it evaporates into thin air…

 

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Or a cockroach 

Shell Jewelry Tips

At one time or another, every surfer (or aspiring surfer) worth their cred tries to make their own beachy shell jewelry. It IS part of our primal urge. In fact, some of the earliest known forms of adornment were pierced shells and teeth on handmade string.

But after an hour after the Upper Paleolithic Revolution has worn off within the surfer, then he or she usually gives up and buys it somewhere.

But if you have a flat day of surf, and you’re

I love Pauly Shore

feelin’ a bit like Encino Man, here’s three tips I’ve found helpful over time when making shell jewelry…

 

 

 

1. Go to a thrift store for shell beads and pendants first.

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A nice shell necklace I found, but it’s too chunky and sharp to wear comfortably as a necklace

I love shell jewelry, but the current shell industry has now over harvested and overbred many species for the trade. I’ll pass on that choice first.

I’ve found MUCH higher quality shell beads among thrift store and vintage finds over purchasing recently grown and cut varieties. I’d rather buy my shells at the better vintage quality whenever possible, rather than contributing even more to the over harvesting problem. It’s kind of how I feel about pearls. Bonus that you can still get a deal at a few thrift stores these days. For now. The beach is always the great option, of course, but you will be drilling these yourself and removing natural items from the beach.

2. Use nylon or wire to string shell beads.

When shells are drilled for sale as beads, rarely is the inside diameter perfectly smooth, unless you pay a premium.

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The drill holes are clean, but at odd angles

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Various types of stringing material I use with shells 

Common shell beads will cut most cotton, hemp, or poly thread like a Ginsu knife. So, get some decent stuff that won’t cut nor fray easily, or your ocean cred probably won’t last da Summer.

Or….I guess you could

Bizarro Hasselhoff

say you sliced that freshie shell anklet you made on a shark’s tooth while saving the Mayor’s kid from the deadly riptide, you Gnar Lifeguard????

You’re welcome.

3. Check your shells for sharp burrs, and file them down before stringing.

I was warned by a lapidary long ago to ALWAYS WEAR A MASK when filing, sanding, or drilling shells. Excellent advice. The calcium carbonate particles are easily inhaled- along with whatever fun stuff that shell has absorbed. Use a bit of water to minimize dust, and go outdoors for the task preferably.

Sharp edges and burrs can often be removed using a decent nail file from the drugstore, a bead reamer from the craft store, or a rotary drill. It’s best to do this BEFORE staring a piece most times. After the piece is finished, it’s difficult to sand some areas typically.

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Keep a supply of water nearby to keep the shell wet while sanding or drilling 

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Various pieces polished and drilled

Enjoy trying out all the types of natural shell, seed, and nut beads available. If you really hate doing it yourself, though, this is a good time to plug my Etsy store where I post my random surfy jewelry (including shells), as well as projects and art I like to do. Surprise. I have an Etsy store. I think it’s mandatory for crafters.

Anywho….shell jewelry is cool since it’s nice to have a reminder that there’s a great big ocean out there and we get to be a part of it, if only for a vacation. I mean, that’s one of the beautiful things about surfing, right? Right???

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I guess you could make a surfer necklace from your sacred gym key

Surfboard Fin Fun: Hack Attack

Here’s a little hack attack to save some cash on what I consider to be a VERY handy item for single fins and longboards.

A typical single fin screw requires a flathead screwdriver or Phillips head to get out. What a pain in the ass.

Some time ago, a fin company carried a special “longboard fin screw” that was a thumbscrew, so you didn’t need the screwdriver. Also, you could move the fin in the box on the fly. Nice.

Problem was, they wanted $12 PER SCREW and NUT set. REALLY???? Screw you.

I’ve got a simple cure for that- buy it directly from a hardware store. I order what’s called a 316 Stainless Steel Thumbscrew. Stainless Steel is important for it to hold up in saltwater, yo:

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Get the good stuff for saltwater

Here is a new one in 316 Stainless, next to another one that’s been surfed for about 8 months on the regular:

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Not significant amount of rusting for so much use

I’ve found that the 8/32 thread size fits most single fin box  nuts that usually come with the fin, or also the surfboard itself. I only get the 3/4″ length to fit the depth of most single fin boxes.

 

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Shareable Size

Here’s a link to the place where I got mine:

McMaster-Carr (I don’t get anything for this, it’s just a link to the page)

Remember how I said I wanted to move my fin to the back of the fin box? I used the nut I already had that was in the box, but I can just switch to this type of screw:

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Moving the fin to the back of the box

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No screwdrivers!

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Ready to go and secure

That’s it, Bro-licious. And they’re FIVE screws (no nuts included) for $6.50, plus shipping. Mark ’em up and sell them to your friends, or give them away and score some surf cred. They’re super mega handy, believe me.

And if you’re going to bitch about the thumbscrew affecting the flow of water over the foil of the fin, thus creating vortices of instability, well, “bless your heart.”

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All. Da. Time.

Surfer Gifts: Charitable Donations

Nothing says, “Bro, let’s just go surf already!” more than a donation to some surfing related charity. So, if you’re that kind of dude, here’s a few good Surfy Charities to help you make that random choice, brah. It’s ALL good.

Surfrider Foundation

Starting with the obvious one. This surfer-founded group has become a significant player in the world of environmental non-profits. I was involved with it here locally about 10 years ago, but I felt too much focus Nationally (or Internationally) was on getting surfers adequate access to beaches, and the coastal pollution was ignored. However, it seems lately they’ve started to realize there are much bigger issues to focus on, as many beaches have become too toxic to surf anyway. It’s worth a second look, and a charity ranking site recently gave it a high score. Bonus: They’ve pretty much got an online mall so you can send along some schwag with the donation. I may have to sign up again, just for this Frisbee.

501(c)(3), Tax Deductible? Yes

Surfers Helping Kids

This is a charity founded by two surfers here in Cocoa Beach, Florida. Lots of surfers love to travel to Central and South America to surf the hot breaks there, but few take the time to give back to the local communities. I like this charity since there’s not much overhead- just donations, and a “grass roots” effort to give back to the local communities where the surfers visit. They’ve already helped children in El Salvador on recent trips, with plans to do more soon. Agape in Action is their tagline. Yes, you can get a t-shirt here too, brah. Bonus: If you wear the t-shirt on your next surf trip to El Salvador, the local kids won’t wax up your car windows. Just kidding. Wink wink.

501(c)(3), Tax Deductible? Yes

SURFAID

This non-profit helps local communities near prominent surf spots throughout Indonesia. It boasts surfing celebrity supporters like Kelly Slater and Bethany Hamilton in addition to many other professional surfers. Indo is a super popular spot for surfers worldwide, and SURFAID largely came about from concerns some surfers had about the locals’ conditions. While the surf breaks were beautiful, local life was not, so they came together to give back. Bonus: If you give a crazy amount of cash, you can get your bro’s name on their Tribe List. Or you can just get a t-shirt. This one’s pretty cool.

501(c)(3), Tax Deductible? Yes

So, give a charity a chance- just try to make it a legit one….