A much needed swell produced some nice looking waves, but a few more injuries than I wanted to contend with–you know who you are…  I thought it prudent to take a few minutes and enjoy some shore-pound alignment courtesy of Coronado St.

“It Just Doesn’t Get Any Better…”

What a weekend!  DST and I both entered the 2017 ISF Bodysurfing Championships, in Manhattan Beach, and crushed it.  The prior week saw a nice swell, which gave us some good water-time and plenty of ‘contest practice’ (read: doing a bunch of goofy tricks).

Daniel’s sudden-death heat of nine boys went off in 2-3′ (occasional 4′) surf, making for a great show that lined the pier and beach.  Dolphun played the heat perfectly–jockeying for position and selecting waves that allowed him to pull off controlled double-spinners and fun take-offs that had the beach whistling and hooting.  (It’s an indescribable feeling listening to a bunch of really good bodysurfers let out a “Yeeeewwwww!” whenever Daniel slotted into a green barrel with a smile on his face.)  The result was almost self-evident: Daniel shouldn’t do worse than 2nd, but, heck, this is contesting–local clubs and favorites have a way of making their way to the top.

The announcer held out for a few beats before reading off the name of 2nd place, teasing the crowd and giving this dad a heart attack.  I didn’t even hear him say, “1st place goes to Daniel Thurmond” as I was already jumping around knowing that he had won.  Simply awesome.

If DST’s performance was the stuff of winning in style, my own day was a scrappy dog-fight with 18 other “senior” men that still could really bring it in the water.  Some were swimmers, others just brilliant bodysurfers.  My first heat resulted in a 2nd place, propelled more by the shear number of waves I caught than by any stand-out tricks, but it was good enough to push me into the finals.  In the finals, I kept to my plan: get all 10 waves that can be scored (they take the top four) and pull out a storage locker of the goofiest tricks I would never do on a big day.  I came out of the water thinking “maybe a 3rd,” as I’d seen several guys pick off some long rides and bigger waves.  But the judges thought differently.  By a slight margin, I pulled it off: 1st place and two Thurmonds on top of the box at the end of the day.  I couldn’t wear a wider smile.  We won a bunch water gear and wine, but, more importantly, we had fun, made a few new friends, and created a memory that I’ll never forget.

Make Cancer Your B%^$c

Hooked up with a group of friends and paddlers for 24 hours on the water. Serious cause, great watermen, and a great time all around. Videos and more pics to come…

Firing and Fired

Well the World Championships of Bodysurfing has been visited by a solid 4-6′ swell and excellent conditions.

Unfortunately, I got knocked out in the first round amid much protesting (I was literally the only person that sucked up more than two waves). Oh well, such is life.

The boys go tomorrow. Much luck to them…maybe get a little payback for Dad.

When to Not Give a S*#t

It’s good to be on the ‘right’ side of a fight or cause, or project.  It doesn’t happen all that often.  Too many times, we find ourselves in a moment when we should have stood up and objected, raised our hand or voice, and said “no” or “yes”… or anything but be silent.  However, personal interest (economic or emotional) confuses the moment and then it is gone.  But, as I said, sometimes you find yourself on the right side of the equation and it is good–it is inspiring, it is informative, and it is most certainly a place where fear has no quarter.
Fancy Dancer
Last week I began development on an educational video that was shot in Mesa, Arizona, on a Native American reservation.  Without getting into too much detail, the video is about math as seen through Native American hoop dancing.  AZ was 107 degrees, I had no budget to speak of, and the entire proof-of-concept was called in on favors from tribal educators that shared a common vision for a new kind of digital content.
Yes, the reservation I visited is beset by challenges of getting education to its sons and daughters–gangs, poverty, drugs…etc.; but working on the side of the problem with teachers was nothing short of brilliance.  Here is a teaser from the few days I most clearly was on the right side of the equation.