Friday, October 26, 2012

The D. Hynd NY Sessions

As promised, I put together a little iPhone flick of the Derek Hynd talk with Jamie Brisick at Pilgrim Surf + Supply. Dane Reynolds and Marine Layer watch out! this is way jankier than your productions. Ha. And a bit longer. I know 14 minutes is an ask for an online short, but there's just way too many good nuggets in Derek's talk to have cut it shorter. Here he addresses his own career, Occy's rise, the founding of the Search and Tom Curren's role, and gives a hilarious anecdote about Damien Hardman. With a guest appearance by Nick Carroll on airs. Enjoy! -D

Monday, October 22, 2012

Epic Week and Plans for a Surf Camp in CR

Saturday was perfect. 
Things are finally settling back down, but only slightly, just enough to speed up again. The whirlwind week of surfing with Derek Hynd ended with a trip back out to Long Island, another to New Jersey and the last was for a lesson in the Rockaways. The highly successful surf meetup happened in the in-between. And this reminds me that I still owe you all that write up on the importance of surf buddies. I can only promise it will come as soon as I've nailed about 60 other pages of writing. I mentioned at the meet up that I will be running a camp in Costa Rica in January. I am now working on the details of cost, accommodations, capacity, and dates. I can assure you it will be after January 4th. It's a plan I've hatched up with my brother who has also been teaching lessons using my method for the past six years. As some of you know, he and I own a nice piece of land in Uvita, Costa Rica called Rancho DiAndrew. We have cabins on the land and a main house. There is tons of wildlife and waterfalls in walking distance to the property. He cooks up some amazing grub, some of the produce for which is grown directly on the property. We're working on rounding up a bevvy of boards right now. This camp is not going to be one of those identical softtop and rashguard affairs. We are going to have a variety of boards so that people can figure out what suits them best. We might even be selling some back to students if they just happen to click with one (this is a plan I am also hatching here in New York—I want to start getting different lesson boards and selling to students). We will also continue developing ocean knowledge and lineup awareness. So yeah Conatus Surf Academy at Rancho DiAndrew is in the works! Warm water and an authentic surf trip vibe. Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Whirlwind Week and Meet Up Tomorrow

Juan and Derek post surf. 
Hey world. A little brain dead over here after surfing for four days in a row. The first two days I arguably could have done without surf-wise, but a strange turn of events had Derek Hynd on board for a few surf missions. The first two days, Monday and Tuesday, were not that great. The muck before the real swell arrived, but he was supposed to head to Chile on Monday night, so at that point it was then or never for a surf in NY. I knew the waves were going to be terrible everywhere with a howling SE wind, gusting to about 30 knots, and this filled me with a bit of that "damn this a bummer" sense, but then I picked myself up and thought, "well dammit you get to surf with one of your surf style heroes and that doesn't happen every day so just figure out the best place to go." I picked Juan up at 8th Ave and 14th St and we discussed the surf on the way up to 27th to scoop Derek and a fellow named  Murray. Juan is a very keen observer of wind and swell conditions and made the call for a spot out in the Hamptons. If we bee-lined it would could get there in 1.5 hours and it was just 6am. So we scooped Murray—who turns out is both a surfer and a photographer that runs a site called The Sprout Daily— and Derek on gritty Fashion Ave. and headed straight out there. We ran into a bit of road flooding trouble with the high tide on the sound—but thankfully my car is amphibious and we survived. We arrived at the destination and it looked like absolute hell, but a walk up the beach revealed a decent enough right hander. For this trip you can visit Murray's site where he posted a few pics. There's one of me on a bomb (probably the best wave I caught that day) exhibiting a somewhat suspect safety style. My back knee is not dropped nearly enough, but it's a nice wave, so I'll take it. At any rate, even (and especially) surf instructors need to check themselves. I promise to lean back and tuck that knee in next time. So I'm not going to tell the next two days worth of stories, because that would take up far too much time that I've already lost on my coursework. Let's just say the next day wasn't that great either, but yesterday was superlative.

In closing, I am hosting a meet and greet for surf students tomorrow at Spain Bar and Restaurant on 13th St. between 6th and 7th Aves (closer to 6th). Would love to see you there!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Jamie Brisick on Derek Hynd

Well I trolled the net for not too long to find you some surf footage of Jamie Brisick, but I couldn't find anything because he stopped doing that whole thing (pro surfing) well before the age of youtube. But there's a lot of great writing out there. Here's a piece from his blog that he did on D. Hynd to give a bit of back story:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Derek Hynd All Flow

This is a little warm up for the talk to be held at Pilgrim Surf + Supply on Saturday, October 13th, at 8pm between this stylish man, Derek Hynd and legendary surf journo Jamie Brisick. Watch this and see why you'd like to ask him a few questions about how he comports himself in and around the ocean.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

More on the Future of Professional Surfing

Anyone interested in the future of professional surfing should read Surfer Mag's write up on the ZoSea takeover:

Monday, October 8, 2012

J. Hall Surf Board Design Wisdom

Here is my very amateur attempt at film making. The talk was over an hour long. I just pieced together a few of the highlights. There's a lot of wisdom in these thirteen minutes, so you might want to take note. Remember that Josh is a shaper from a certain lineage (his mentor is Skip Frye) and that he has his own view of how waves ought to be ridden and what kind of equipment is optimal. He says that your first board should be egg-shaped and three feet over your head and that you should always have something super big in your quiver. I would tend to concur. I think I am going to find an 8'0 egg to add to the lesson quiver to see how the lighter folks go on that. Even so, I still tend towards the thinking that it is better to err on the side of bigger on account of the fact that I've seen plenty of people just struggle to paddle and sit on top of the 9'5"s that I use. Anyhow, building a quiver and experimenting with boards and fins is both a luxury and a necessity if one is to progress at surfing. Enjoy the film.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Board Design Talk Tonight At Pilgrim Surf + Supply

 Josh Hall of Josh Hall Surfboards is giving a board design talk tonight at Pilgrim Surf + Supply from 7pm-9pm. This is a great opportunity to learn about our wave gliding prosthetics (aesthetic extensions of our being) and to meet fellow surf nerds. Free beer. Free knowledge. What could be better? See you there!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Wetsuits Part I

Wetsuits generally: Wetsuits are made out of neoprene, which is traditionally a petroleum product. Most brands are trying to figure out more environmental ways to manufacture them. Most suits are designed either in the US or Japan and made in Thailand or China at factories. I may do some research on each brand or you can yourself, but for now let's keep it at that. Wetsuits are spoken of in terms of millimeters of thickness, usually ranging from 1.5-6mm. The thicker the mm the more cold the suit is supposed to withstand. Many feature a combination of thicknesses, so that you have more warmth in areas you do not move, and more flexibility in areas that you do (gussets, etc.). Wetsuits should always be tight fitting. Brand is a very personal thing and I will let you do your own research. Here is a list of brands (without links) in order of mainstream to retro: Oneill, Billabong, Ripcurl, Quiksilver, West, Hurley, Xcel, Isurus, Beull, Hotline,  Matuse, Patagonia, Axxe, Amsterdam, Nineplus. I am surely missing a few here, but this is just a start for where to start looking.

What I wear: Instead of tell you what to get I am going to just talk about what I wear year round. I grew up in 50 degree water and have been wearing suits for the past 26 years. I like a bit of neoprene no matter how warm the water is. I am used it and I feel it gives me a little added protection from rib bruising, the sun, and whatever may lurk beneath me. Also, I have ear problems, so as soon as the water is cold enough to give an occasional ice cream headache, around 55 degrees, I'm wearing a hood of some sort.

September: In the beginning of September I'm in a 2mm spring suit, long john, or short armed spring. It can still be hot and the water is up in the high 60s, low 70s. On the colder mornings with offshore wind I'll don my 3/2 fullsuit for the first time.

October: I'm usually wearing the 3/2 all month.

November: The 3/2 still gets a bit of action and I may add a polypro hooded shirt. Towards the end of the month, depending on the year my hooded 4/3 comes into action. I am usually reluctant to wear gloves and booties. I won't wear them unless the water is under 50 degrees and the air is under 45.

December: The hooded 4/3 comes into action, as do the 3mm booties and 1.5 mm gloves. By mid-month or towards the end of the month I might already be in the 7mm booties and 5mm gloves.

January-March: Hooded 4/3, 7mm booties, 5mm gloves. [Caveat: a lot of people wear 5/4/3s or 6/4/3s but I haven't found them necessary in the three winters I have surfed in NY. I prefer the flexibility of the hooded 4/3 over the stiffness of the thicker suits. The key is to really protect your extremities. Also the thicker the suit the harder it is to get in and out. When it's cold you usually want to expose your skin for a minimal amount of time.]

April-May: The hooded 4/3 is still in effect, but I can start pairing down on the booties and gloves. As soon as the water hits 50 degrees my feet and hands come free. I'll also start wearing the 3/2 full suit with the hooded poly pro shirt.

June: 3/2 fullsuit and if we're lucky the 2mm springsuit and long johns or wetsuit jackets can come into play.

August-July: Bye bye fullsuit. Spring suit, trunks with a vest, jackets and surf shirts.

So in the end my ideal wetsuit quiver for NY is:
- 1 wetsuit vest or neoprene jacket/surf shirt ($25-$100)
- 2mm spring suit, long john, or short arm full ($99-$200)
- Poly pro hooded shirt ($75-$100)
- 3/2mm full suit ($100-$250)
- 4/3 hooded full suit ($200-$550)
- [sometimes a 5/4/3 or 6/4/3 hooded full suit for trips up north ($200-$600)]
- 1 pair of 3mm booties ($50)
- 1 pair of 1.5 mm gloves ($50)
- 1 pair of 7mm booties (rounded toe) ($50)
- 1 pair of 5 or 7mm lobster claw gloves (you need these to surf in the winter at all) ($50)

In the end it depends on your dedication to surfing year round and living in NY. In my mind, it is a worthwhile investment. Most suits last 2-4 years and many companies have repair services, so you won't have to spend this amount every year. There are also a variety of glues that you can use to repair your own suit with.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Updated the Links and the Quikky Pro France

Good morning peoples. Just writing to say that I've updated the links with some of my favorite surf websites and other useful sites for buying gear and getting forecasts. Also, if you follow pro surfing at all, the Quiksilver Pro France is running this week. It's into Rnd 3 (the best round to watch in my opinion). The time difference with France can be rough if they run in the morning (6 hours ahead, so 8am in France is 2am in NY). Contest director Miky Picon has been running at high tide which is currently early in the morning and in the mid afternoon. Right now the comp is on hold until 2:45pm France time (8:45am NY time). To watch heat recaps or to check back for the live feed go to Yesterday the French afternoon/NY morning saw some ├╝ber heaving barreling shore pound. The guys were in full gladiator mode, which is usually the best kind of comp surfing to watch—these were not ideal conditions and probably terrible for the average surfer—the kind of conditions you just wish a pro would paddle into to see if indeed some of those waves are makeable. A few 10 point rides and plenty of cringe-worthy wipeouts. Voyeuristic sadism at its finest. My pick for the win is Julian Wilson or Mick Fanning, but Slater and Parko are deadly right now. We shall see! Last note: teaching a few lessons this weekend. If I've failed to get back to you please email me. Been a little crazy with lesson inquiries, Greek/Latin translation, book review writing, paper grading, and philosophy reading. That said, back to it. Enjoy the week!

Kelly Slater on the Future of Surfing

Ripped this from PhiloSURFical's site. Pretty darn insightful.