On Wishing


I wish I could see the boys in the water for the fog.

Men, I think, surveying a pile of clothes, warming but the topmost layer of cold sand.

Of all days, I wish, and only wish.  The steady hiss of surf.

For a moment the clouds part, but they are gone, laughing at ill-timed take-offs or a flock of silent pelicans pulling out of the next wave.

I wish I could see you.

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.

“Get in the Back…Our Fins Ride Shotty”

contest-full.pngIt’s on.  The boys are headed down to Oceanside for the World Bodysurfing Championships, 2016.

Now, I’m not much on organized contests—I’d rather have a good session with my buddies any day—but, the WBC has a great pedigree with a number of excellent bodysurfers coming in from distant locations.

D-Sauce is going up against his buddy J-Nug and I seem to have drawn Nick Menas in my heat.

Nick Menas

This shot of Menas getting after it at Rockpile is ridiculous.  There’s big surf and then there is, well, that sick slab of water.

2016_08_16_08.31.37.png 2016_08_16_08.31.54.png

Anywho…at an expected 3’-5’ on an incoming tide, the ‘playing field’ is pretty much level.  As I said, it’s on.  Party Saturday night and, hopefully, more womping on Sunday.  Full report to follow.

Update: Got this lovely little anecdote from Teddy on the North Shore that captures bodysurfing stoke better than I could in this post.  Enjoy and check out those trophies!

“Good luck to all my bodysurfing Brothers Saturday down at the O’side Pier. My father (who would have turned 86 tomorrow) drove me down from HB to O’side back in the summers of 1979 and 1980 to compete in a bodysurfing contest, which was unreal. He turned me on to bodysurfing and the Ocean pulse. Pulled off back to back 3rd place finishes (12-14 age group, check out mugs photo, still have ’em!), and my bodysurfing stoke never left me. Wasn’t ’til I moved out to Oahu and found like minded watermen who put on contests (thank you HSBA and Da Hui!)To all the bodysurfing community, you are truly one of a kind! Good luck Team Hawaii! Good luck, my good friend Bob Thurmond, competing with his son Daniel this weekend! Just like my Pops and I did in 1979! Enjoy, and Stay Stoked!!!”


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.

Have ‘The Talk’ With Your Sons and Daughters


I could see it on his face.  He was guilty.  I knew it; he knew it.  What’s worse is that he didn’t even try to hide it—he wasn’t embarrassed and the smirk on his lips told me, “I don’t know what you’re talking about” and “I’d do it again in a minute.”  There was no shame; no contrition.  I knew it was time to have The Talk.

It’s hard for for a dad to have the talk with his son.  Where does one begin?  My first time—well, I was like six—wasn’t so bad and I never got caught until after the third or fourth time.  But D is almost 13 and he should know better.

“Son,” I began, “if you come home with a mark like that on your forehead (*sigh*), well, you see, you didn’t use protection.”  He rubbed the abrasion on his head and he knew that I was settling in for a very long lecture.  “A mark like that means you didn’t put your hands out in front of you at some point when you were bodysurfing and you made contact with the ground.  An injury like that is the calling card for a neck-and-back injury, or, worse, paralysis.”  I lowered my eyes and said, “I really thought that I raised you to be a better waterman.”  I could see in his thoughtful eyes that he knew I was serious and that he knew I would be watching his every move—every spinner, every underwater take-off, layback, and every (gulp) no-hander until I was sure he got the message: keep your hands out in front of you, always.

I decided to keep it mercifully short, so I reached into my back pocket and gave him a copy of Project Wipeout’s newest brochure on preventing cervical spine injuries.  “Keep it and use it in good health; maybe pass it along to some of your friends who are in the same situation.  Oh, and it’s also online so that we don’t have to have another talk like this one.”

Pro Shooter Moments

Things we can’t see, but experience; things we want to experience through the eyes of an artist.

Ben Carlson memorial statue unveiled through the eye of Bib Okvist, Sr.  Thank you and much respect. #lifeguardsforlife