What is a Surfer?

August is just a couple of days and we can’t wait, Summer of Surf is enjoying some great weather and really fun summer waves. Sunscreen has been the word of the day! ‘Re-Apply’ is what we are all living by, Zinc Is Our Friend! 

I had a discussion the other day about surfing being just a phase…when you grow-up and get on with real life it (Surfing) will just fade from your memory leaving a warm spot in your heart. I almost swallowed my tongue in response to my friend’s view of Surfing, I didn’t even know what to say, but it did spark my curiosity, is Surfing just a passing thing, will I someday move on, will it just be a fond memory…ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!?!?!?!

 I have been in and around the ocean for over 5-decades, I cannot even imagine a life without ‘my’ ocean, yes I have traveled and lived in other areas that don’t even have an ocean, but, I ALWAYS came home to the ocean.

I understand that life can take you on a variety of paths and journeys that you may not always be able to surf, but do those changes make you a Surfer no longer? I don’t think so; I am going to prescribe to the theory ‘once a surfer, always a surfer.’ You may not surf as often, you may have had to re-locate due to life’s demands, but you are still a Surfer. Once the ocean gets into your soul…you are hooked I believe. 

As Jacques Cousteau said…”The Sea, once it casts it’s spell, holds one in its net of wonder.’

 Our ocean is a vast world of its own, with so many unanswered questions and challenges, that is what makes it so fantastic, the ocean is still a mostly unexplored region, even in this day and age of so much technology, the ocean remains a mystery to be discovered. How exciting is that? A mostly undiscovered adventure awaits us right here on Planet Earth! 

So, if you stopped surfing, or re-located, or just don’t get ‘out there’ as often, that does NOT mean you are no longer a Surfer. Once a Surfer, always a Surfer, it is a relationship with the ocean that stays with you forever and once you have it, there is no turning your back on the experience, Surfing has become part of you, a relationship that will always remain a source of fond memories and the desire to paddle out even ‘just once more.’ There is an old-school phrase that will forever fit…’Only a Surfer knows the feeling.’


‘They say the sea is cold, but the sea contains the hottest blood of all,

and the wildest, the most urgent.”

Whales Weep Not!

D.H. Lawrence, 1885-1930


Stretching before heading out...

Stretching before heading out...

Summer Events!

This is such an exciting time for Summer of Surf, progress is moving at light speed, surf has been fun, with the exception of a few blown out days, kids are surfing and having a blast and we are only half way through summer! Great summer movies are coming out at the theatre and some not so great, but that’s life and amidst all this, there is some huge breaking news in the surfing world…  

Our friends at Patagonia announced the release of the PSI Vest (Personal Surf Inflation), I’ve been following the development and R&D of this vest for about 5-years now and it is out! Whooya!

The PSI gives you an extra margin of ‘safety’, if there is such a thing in Big Wave Surfing, but the PSI is another tool in you skill-set that will help you survive the Unridden Realm. Check out the Patagonia website at www.patagonia.com for more information and some great video.

The other point of interest is the BWAG, their website is www.bwag.org Big Wave Assessment Group educates and trains Surfers in risk management, safety protocols, equipment, technology and skills training with the bottom line of elevating safety in the lineup and for individuals.

There is a Global Safety Summit coming up on the North Shore, Oahu, Hawaii in the first week of December 2017. 

We also have some big news, one of our own, Minga, and her art is being featured at Lady Makers Art Show & Market, the event is being hosted by Ventura’s own Mae West Brewing Co. the show is Celebrating Women who make Awesome Things! If you not already there, go, it is very cool! 

This is truly a Summer of Surf!    


First Surf Lesson

Today while working, I was a sharing with a parent of one of our young surfers what my first surf lesson was like. I remember mine like it was yesterday, but I thought it would make a good read..so here goes..

One of my favorite days of camp is Monday's, the Instructors go over all the 'must know' safety and procedures, they delve into the behaviors of our ocean and how to respect all aspects of her nuances and beauty, but hands down, my favorite part is when all our surfers get 'The Talk' about board surfing. They learn about paddling, position on the board, how to turn, how the board will behave in the water, and they get the first real glimpse of what it is going to be like out 'there' on the water. What is so fabulous about that first day is that I always remember my first day surfing, I was lucky enough to have a legendary Waterman do much the same for me.

Jeff Hakman, a famous Big Wave Surfrider and winner of more contests than I can name, was visiting from Hawaii and my Mom just went up to him and asked if he could help her young gremmie of a son (who wouldn't quit bugging her after I realized who was on the beach with us), unbelievably he said 'sure'. I was speechless and in total awe, I was being taught how to surf by Jeff Hakman! We went over all the stuff we teach and he shared stories, tips, thoughts about surfing and then it was time for us to 'hit the surf!'

I dragged my 12'6" 120lbs Dewey Webber surfboard to the waters edge, my head was filled with anticipation, excitement, fear, wonder and pure panic, but all I could think of was 'no worries' I had just spent over an hour on the beach with the great Jeff Hackman and I now knew everything I could possibly know about surfing and I was going to have the most perfect rides today and tomorrow I was off to Hawaii to win the next Pipeline Masters contest just like Jeff did.

Well, it didn't go exactly as planned...I don't really remember what happened, I think I drank a good portion of the Pacific Ocean, I had television-worthy epic wipe-outs, my arms were killing me from paddling, my eyes were stinging from all the salt water and I think I once paddled myself right off my surfboard while trying to catch a wave.

What I did remember, without a doubt, I had just had the best time of my life, I had 'surfed', if you could call it that, with one of my real-life heroes, my Mom was without question the coolest Mom on the planet, I had really no idea how to surf, my cheeks hurt from smiling and laughing and Jeff Hakman was the coolest surfer in the universe. I never did win the Pipeline Masters, but for the past 51-years I have surfed all over the world, ridden anything that will float, and a few things that didn't, my cheeks still hurt almost daily from smiling and laughing and I am lucky enough to help other young surfers discover the joys of our ocean.

Surfing is a long, wonderful, exciting and amazing journey and experience and I love it!


Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July from Summer of Surf!

Just for fun, here is some interesting history about today’s holiday as well as a few other big events today! Have a wonderful 4th and be safe out there on the road!

The Declaration of Independence

American Independence Day is celebrated on the 4th of July every year. Everyone thinks of July 4, 1776, as a day that represents the Declaration of Independence and the birth of the United States of America as an independent nation.


July 4, 1776 wasn't the day that the Continental Congress decided to declare independence (they did that on July 2, 1776).

It also wasn’t the day we started the American Revolution either (that had happened back in April 1775).

It also wasn't the day Thomas Jefferson wrote the first draft of the Declaration of Independence (that was in June 1776). Or the date on which the Declaration was delivered to Great Britain (that didn't happen until November 1776). Or the date it was signed (that was August 2, 1776).

So what did happen on July 4, 1776?

The Continental Congress approved the final wording of the Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776 and finally agreed on all of the edits and changes.

July 4, 1776, became the date that was included on the Declaration of Independence, and the fancy handwritten copy that was signed in August (the copy now displayed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C.) It’s also the date that was printed on the Dunlap Broadsides, the original printed copies of the Declaration that were circulated throughout the new nation. So when people thought of the Declaration of Independence, July 4, 1776 was the date they remembered.

We celebrate Constitution Day on September 17th of each year, the anniversary of the date the Constitution was signed, not the anniversary of the date it was approved.

How did the Fourth of July become a national holiday?

For the first 15 or 20 years after the Declaration was written, people didn’t celebrate it much on any date. It was too new and too much else was happening in the young nation. By 1817, John Adams complained in a letter that America seemed uninterested in its past. After the War of 1812, the Federalist Party began to come apart and the new parties of the 1820s and 1830s all considered themselves inheritors of Jefferson and the Democratic-Republicans. Printed copies of the Declaration began to circulate again, all with the date July 4, 1776, listed at the top. The deaths of Thomas Jefferson and John Adams on July 4, 1826, and James Monroe died July 4, 1831, may even have helped to promote the idea of July 4 as an important date to be celebrated.

Celebrations of the Fourth of July became more common as the years went on and in 1870, almost a hundred years after the Declaration was written, Congress first declared July 4 to be a national holiday as part of a bill to officially recognize several holidays, including Christmas. Further legislation about national holidays, including July 4, was passed in 1939 and 1941.

Other Big Events Today…

Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is 100-Years Old Today!!!

Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs. The world’s top competitive eaters. Ten minutes to glory. It all goes down today, 4th of July at the corner of Surf and Stillwell!

Live from Coney Island!

1310 Surf Ave.

Brooklyn, New York 11224


45th 4th of July ‘Sun N Surf’ Surf Contest

One of the world’s oldest surfing contest is taking place today at the St. Augustine Pier! Put on by the ESA, Eastern Surfing Association, St. Augustine, Florida, the contest has a long and distinguished history of a fun and popular event!


113th Annual Huntington Beach 4th of July Parade and Celebration

Surf City USA continues its tradition with a fabulous parade, great fireworks show, wonderful food all located on one of the famous beaches and surfing spots the world over! The largest Independence Day Parade west of the Mississippi River features floats, bands, local dignitaries, equestrian groups, film and television celebrities and community groups.

Wherever you end up today, enjoy, have fun, be safe and drive home safe tonight!


It's Summer Time!

These past few weeks have been a blast; great surf, big adventures, sunshine, our Surfers have been riding everything and having fun! Beach games and lunch-break stories are hilarious and music has even been created by Instructors John and Garrett…the ‘Re-Apply’ song is gaining notoriety and it works! Our Surfers are definitely not forgetting to re-apply their sunscreen…not like we would let them forget!

Now…on to our Surfers Hall of Fame for the past couple of weeks…

These past few weeks we have had so many stand-out moments from all our Surfers it is hard to pick just a few, so, I’m just going to give highlights, here goes…the ‘Shout Outs’…

Talula, great job as Beach Captain’, Garrett promoted her at lunch, Isabella and Sebastian (Jacques-Yves Cousteau), you two have been doing great, great rides and I love the goggles, Colin ‘The Highlander’ (Scotsman), not only do you have the coolest sun hat, your rides have been epic, Olivia and Rose ‘Sister Team’ you two have been great, you have surfed everything, Leo and Miio ‘Team Finland’ the hard-charging surf duo and they also have the coolest lunch-boxes I’ve ever seen, Mohun has rocked since day one, great job, Jett, Eden, Sam and Henry, you are amazing, I’ve seen you surf and play on almost any wave, I’m in awe, Jack ‘The Magnificent’ you have been having a blast since week one and you have the best ‘How to lay in the surf break and look cool’ moves, thank you, you are an inspiration to all, Kiran, Natalie and Justin, you guys Rock! You know how to have fun at the beach! Adam and Enzo, you guys can SURF! Anisa and Rahil great moves on those waves, Delta Rae we were all so jazzed when we saw you standing up and surfing by us, great job, Big Man Ben and Hana, you two are amazing, since week one you two have been body surfing, body boarding and surfing and just doing a great job out there! Garret, Luca, Teo, Justin, Gavin and Austin, you guys have been a blast to see surfing, having fun, getting epic rides, playing and I don’t remember who had seaweed on their head, but THAT was funny! I’m just getting started, look for my next post and more Surfers Hall of Fame

Finally, our Instructors and Staff Hall of Fame

Garrett thanks for being a Great Beach Captain; that is when Talula isn’t challenging you for your job! John, Nick, Cole, Brett and Chrissy, thanks for teaching us so much and…John you get an additional shout out for Ukulele Playing and Songwriting…the ‘Re-Apply’ song will ALWAYS remind us to ‘Re-Apply’ our sunscreen, and we can’t forget the ‘Run into The Surf’ races…that was great! Jamie, Minga and Michelle you guys Rock! Thanks for getting us to the water, into the water and home again safely, our parents like that part! We also want give a big Whooya to our newest staff, Melissa, Adam and TJ, thank you BIG Time for jumping right in (literally) and helping make our beach days wonderful, this is definitely going to be a Summer of Surf!!!!

Surfer's 'Diet'

Surfing is essential for us here at Summer of Surf and nutrition is essential if we want to have energy to surf…so…good food = surfing and good surfing comes from…you guessed it…good food!

What does all this mumbo-jumbo mean? Diet? A solid nutrition plan? A balanced diet? GMO’s? Organic? USDA ‘Certified’ Organic? UGH!!!!!! I just want a sandwich, is that so hard? Good solid nutrition also helps prevent injuries and helps restore the energy you burn while surfing. Well, here at Summer of Surf we believe in a pretty simple ‘system’, oops, ‘system’ now I’m doing it, we just want you be able to have a sandwich too, so here’s something we think is pretty cool.

Surfing is a demanding sport and it takes energy, and good food gives you energy. Our solution is the 80/20 Rule and it looks like this:

The 80% of your food is from healthy foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains/high fiber starches, healthy fats, and lean proteins. So in the real world…WHAT DOES THAT MEAN I CAN EAT?

Lean Protein: Organic chicken and turkey, wild caught fish, free-range eggs, beans and lentils.

High-Fiber Starches: Brown rice, quinoa, sweet potatoes, whole grains (sprouted), oatmeal and winter squashes.

Healthy Fats: Olive oil, coconut oil, avocado, raw/sprouted nuts and seeds, chia seeds and hemp seeds.

Fruits: Acai, blueberries, cherries, blackberries, strawberries, dragon fruit (cool name for a fruit), goji berries, pineapple, papaya and mango.

Vegetables: Spinach, kale, romaine, collard greens, cruciferous vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts), carrots, cucumber, celery, tomatoes, garlic and onions.

The 20%: of your ‘food’ is from the ‘less than healthy’ foods category (but oh so yummy sometimes), refined white cane sugar, that is really not good for you at all, high-fructose corn syrup, really, really not good for you and any food with more than 20g per serving of added sugars.

Unhealthy Fats: Refined vegetable oils; canola, safflower, sunflower, etc., trans fats (Hydrogenated Fats or Oils = All BAD)

Refined White Starches: White bread…really? Breads, pastries, sugary breakfast cereals, doughnuts, desserts and candy.

High-Fat and/or Processed Meats: Red meat, pepperoni, sausage, hot dogs and deli meats.

Bottom line, this is nothing new, it can be a bit more difficult to follow, but there are so many benefits. Following this method of eating helps reduce the inflammation created by the exercise of surfing. You will achieve peak health and energy and your body will perform better! You most likely won’t get sick as often, and you are just going to feel better. If you can more this to a 90/10 Rule you will feel even better.

Finally, there are huge benefits when you choose Organic Foods, they can be a bit pricier but they are excellent choices. Look for ‘Free Range’, USDA Certified Organic and Grass Fed which help indicate a higher quality and more nutritious food. Bottom line, like the old Mr. Natural cartoon said…

                       ‘You are what you eat!’ 



First Week of Camp

If you are ever by our office you will see in the center of our conference table all sorts of surf and office papers, pens, pencils, all that sort of ‘office stuff’, it changes daily, sometimes hourly, but two things are ALWAYS there…Sticky Bumps surf wax and Trader Joe’s Dark Chocolate Bars, but only one is for eating!

We used Sticky Bumps for years, their wax keeps us stuck to our boards, even when we are doing some moves that we didn’t even know we could do! They also make some cool T-shirts, stickers and hats, but it is the wax we love, what the Boss likes about it most, it doesn’t take a lot to work great! Pita also likes it but for other reasons than we do, I must admit though, it is tough to get out of Office/Surf Dog’s (Pita) teeth, I think her favorite ‘Cold 60F/15C & Below’, it has a fantastic blueberry scent! www.stickybumps.com Check there site out, it is fun!

Last week was the first week of surf camp and we had a blast, we surfed, boogie-boarded, body-surfed, learned about currents, wave position, why it is important to not set your sandwich down on the sand at lunch! It was great! The sun hide from us most of the week but its all good, we even had our new rash guards delivered to on the beach from Patti at Coolie Surf, how’s that for service and…they look really cool! Check her out at: www.cooliesurf.com

I decided to honor the Pioneer Surfriders in each post by featuring two of the Surfers that helped change and shape our lives in the water…so…here goes…

Duke Kahanamoku a true gentlemen, Hawai’ian Duke embodied the ‘Aloha Spirit’, he was a real ‘Waterman’, he loved surfing, canoe’s and bodysurfing. After returning from the 1912 Olympics in Stockholm, Sweden, Duke introduced surfriding to America and later Australia. His skills lead him to riding bigger waves off Waikiki, Oahu with longer boards. Duke road the fabled ‘Kings Surf’, a huge wave off Diamond Head, all the way to the beach at the Royal Hawai’ian Hotel. Duke Kahanamoku is truly The Father of Surfing.

Charles ‘Snow’ McAlister was 10-years old when he saw Duke Kahanamoku surf Manly Beach in Australia. By 1926 he was making a run for the Australian National Titles, he took three, the last one riding a wave to the beach with a headstand! Recognized as The Father of Australian Surfing, ‘Snow’ was born in 1904 and in 1985 was inducted into The Australian Surfing Hall of Fame, after 78-years of surfing!        







Jack O’Neill

Jack O’Neill died yesterday, we are sad, in the early 1950’s Jack invented the first neoprene wetsuit and he changed our world. Places that no one could surf due to their frigid waters became destinations, warmer water spots became all-day surfing breaks, and surfing rapidly spread around the world. Then SCUBA divers discovered his neoprene and recreational diving changed as well. If all Jack did was keep us all warm in the ocean we love his contribution to water-men and water-women worldwide would be considered remarkable, but Jack was just getting started, he gave us so much more.

Jack was 94 when he peacefully passed to warmer waters and endless perfect breaks; he was surrounded by family and loved ones in his oceanfront home that afforded him breathtaking views of his beloved ocean. Jack and his wife moved to San Francisco’s Ocean Beach neighborhood in the 1950’s, that’s when he began experimenting with various materials so he could surf longer in his cold water break. That is where he invented the first neoprene wetsuit; he said he was inspired in using neoprene after seeing the material in the carpeting of an airliner. He also introduced the nylon jersey lining that made wearing neoprene next to the skin more comfortable.

His friends didn’t believe his ‘wetsuit’ was going to have much impact at all, they used to tell him “Jack, you’re going to sell to five of your friends on the beach and then you’ll be out of business.”   Hmmmm…not quite, by the 1980s, O'Neill had become the world's largest recreation wetsuit designer and manufacturer and the O'Neill surf brand had reached Australia, Europe, Africa, Japan and most far-off corners of the globe.

Not content to relax on his laurels, in 1952 Jack opened ‘Surf Shop’ in Ocean Beach. He called it simply ‘Surf Shop’, it is reported that he even trademarked the name but never requested royalties on the name, today we have tens of thousands ‘Surf Shop’s’, thanks Jack for that as well!

In 1959 Jack moved his growing family 75-miles south to Santa Cruz and he opened his second ‘Surf Shop’ and continued to change the world of surfing. Santa Cruz is now the home of incredible surfers, breaks like Steamers Lane and world-famous big-wave surfers.       

Friday, Jack O'Neill died of natural causes at his Santa Cruz, California, home, his family said in a statement, with the ocean lapping at the decking of his waterfront residence. His house where seals would come up to the back door, the house is filled with history, pictures, books, a spotting scope to check the surf and most importantly the aura of his presence.

Jack, the one-eyed, eye-patch wearing waterman was an icon of industry, his marketing techniques were unique and trendsetting, his companies trademarked slogan “It’s always summer on the inside” is a classic. After losing his eye in a surfing accident he incorporated the look into his advertising, at trade shows he would dunk his laughing kids dressed in his wetsuits in tubs of water filled with ice to demonstrate their effectiveness, Jack was pure genius in his marketing.

While creating a warmer way for us all to surf far-of frigid breaks, he also became an accomplished sailor and aviator who flew hot-air balloons the world over. For more fun he invented the Sandsailer, a ‘sailboat’ on wheels that skims across the sand at high speeds accompanied by big laughs of course! 

But the thing that Jack was most proud of was O’Neill Sea Odyssey, an avid environmentalist; he launched the marine and environmental education program for children in 1996. The program has taken nearly 100,000 school-aged children in the 65’ Team O'Neill Catamaran to the Monterey Bay National Marine Sanctuary to learn about the ocean.

 "The ocean is alive and we've got to take care of it.”

 "There is no doubt in my mind that the O'Neil Sea Odyssey is the best thing I've ever done."

                                                                      -Jack O’Neill