Category Archives: Surfing

The soundtrack of the brooding ocean and the jazz of surf

The Mattson2

 

 

From the Mattson2′s website:

If you could soundtrack the brooding ocean and the jazz of the surf, the Mattson 2 would most certainly be the composers. The foot stomps of a shoe-gazed salty air meets the tight groove and polished shake of the night with each of the duo’s multi-layered tracks.

Tighten that tie, turn up the volume, dig your toes in the sand and soak in the shimmery whitewash of the Mattson 2.

 

A sampler with five more songs.

 

They have two albums out, Introducing the Mattson2 (2009) and Feeling Hands (2011).

 

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Homemade organic sunscreen with only 4 ingredients

A few weeks ago, I wrote about the best beach and sport sunscreens for your skin, products free of the wrong chemicals and containing the right ones. A solid way to avoid those nasty sunburns.

In the spirit of Zero Waste, and avoiding those plastic bottles, here is an even better product – homemade sunscreen.

 

 

DIY Organic Sunblock

In this episode (of Surf Sufficient) we teach you how to make your own high spf, water proof sunblock from organic and natural ingredients for pennies on the dollar compared to buying it off the shelf.  Ingredients include- zinc oxide (sunblocking agent), coconut oil (soothes and conditions skin), bee’s wax (waterproofing agent), and tea tree oil (soothes and repairs skin and smells good too).

Surf band: The Red Fox Tails

The Red Fox Tails: Surf Soul Jazz

 

From the band’s website:

Combining elements of Jazz, Surf, Rock and Roll, Latin and Second Line rhythms, The Red Fox Tails have come up with a sound they might call “Surf Jazz”…shaped by world music flavors such as, Peruvian Chicha, 60′s/70′s Ethiopian pop music, as well as early New Orleans Funk and R&B with a heaping dose of Jim Jarmusch/David Lynch-like motion picture music.

The Red Fox Tails: Felipe Benavides’ savory guitar tones, Jay Reilly’s angular thumping acoustic bass, and drummer Ron Bocian’s rhythmic dexterity.

 

They have two albums out,  Drop In (2011) and Aloha (2012).

 

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The best comic book movies of all time – according to the critics

Ranked according to Rotten Tomatoes ratings (see bottom for a full explanation)

 

35. The Adventures of Tintin – 2011 – 74%

34. V for Vendetta – 2006 – 73%

33. The Mask – 1994 – 75%

32. Ghost in the Shell – 1995 – 94%

31. Superman Returns – 2006 – 76%

 

30 – Thor – 2011 – 77%

29 – Batman Returns – 1992 – 78%

28 – Sin City – 2005 – 78%

27 - Captain America: The First Avenger – 2011 – 79%

26 – Hellboy – 2004 – 80%

25 – Flash Gordon – 1980 – 81%

24 – Oldboy – 2005 – 80%

23 – Iron Man 2 – 2010 – 74%

22 – Scott Pilgrim vs. The World – 2010 – 81%

21 – Batman: The Movie – 1966 – 82%

 

20 – X-Men - 2000 - 81%

19 – Kick-Ass – 2010 – 76%

18 – Road to Perdition – 2002 – 82%

17 – The Crow – 1994 – 83%

16 – Batman Begins – 2005 – 85%

15 – A History of Violence – 2005 – 85%

14 – X-Men: First Class – 2011 – 87%

13 – Akira - 1988 - 88%

12 – Superman 2 - 1980 - 88%

11 – Hellboy 2: The Golden Army - 2008 - 87%

 

10 – X2: X-men United - 2003 - 88%

9 – Spider-Man - 2002 - 89%

8 – Men in Black - 1997 - 91%

7 – Ghost World - 2001 - 92%

6 – Spider-Man 2 - 2004 - 93%

5 – American Splendor - 2003 - 94%

4 – Superman: The Movie - 1978 - 94%

3 – The Dark Knight - 2008 - 93%

2 – Iron Man - 2008 - 94%

1 – Persepolis - 2007 - 97%

 

To celebrate the 2010 Comic-Con, we present to you Comics & Graphic Novels vs. the Critics, an exhaustive countdown that includes movies based on everything from superheroes to graphic novels, from manga to strips from the funny pages, in order of critical approval.

Here’s the breakdown:

  • Every movie here originates from a comic book source of some kind, not another medium (we know about the Alien vs. Predator graphic novels, but the movies aren’t based on the comics).
  • Only movies with 20 or more reviews are included (sorry, Fritz the Cat)
  • Weighted formula that takes release year and number of reviews into account
  • Omitted all TV or straight-to-DVD flicks.

via Rotten Tomatoes – 120 best comic movies

 

*Note: I added in 5 new critically acclaimed comic movies that came out after 2010*

The Secret To Success? You Have To Learn How To Fail

Craig Stecyk, Tony Hawk, Stacy Peralta

Hear the name Stacy Peralta and you instantly think either: A) I love Stacy Peralta! or B) Who the heck is she?

He is the highest-ranked skateboarder of his time, turned multi-million dollar businessman, turned filmmaker. He is also the creator of, and father-figure to, the Bones Brigade, a skate team that featured the era’s top competitors, including Tony Hawk.

While heading up the Bones Brigade, Stacy went on to produce almost a dozen videos, which became some of the most influential skateboarding flicks of their time and set him on a path to film-making. His film Riding Giants, which traces the origins of surfing, specifically focusing on the art of big wave riding, became the first documentary film to open the Sundance Film Festival in 2004 and established him as a powerful filmmaker and storyteller.

His latest documentary, Bones Brigade: An Autobiography is not only a look-back at his life, but more importantly, an insider’s view on the evolution of skateboarding and how its pioneers and legends (like Tony Hawk, Rodney Mullen, Steve Caballero, Lance Mountain, Tommy Guerrero, and Mike McGill) were driven by sheer passion to create an art form. They were true innovators.

This was hands-down my favorite film from Sundance 2012 and in this intimate interview at the Sundance Cinema Cafe, Stacy shares his secret to success:

The secret is I had to learn how to fail. That’s the secret to success…is that you’ve got to learn how to fail. Because you fail more than you succeed.  You’ve got to get up off the ground and that’s the thing about success. You have to learn how to take those punches. When we skateboarded, we banged ourselves up all the time. But if you didn’t learn how to fall, if you didn’t learn how to bang yourself up, you couldn’t continue.

The film, expected to get a distribution deal for a theatrical release, is not a movie about skateboarding, but an emotional journey about passion, self-expression and the drive to create something meaningful and beyond the realm of possible.

Surfer breaks world record, rides 90-foot wave: HOLY WOW

Just to preface this video for anyone who has never surfed: the ocean, and specifically surfing, has a way of teaching humility and respect for Mother Nature in a way few things can. It’s tough to comprehend the true size and power of a wave is until you’re staring it down, in the water, just you and your board. You realize this incredible act of energy and inertia can swallow you whole, like some Melvillian Moby Dick scene.

In the case of surfing, if you’re not actually in the water, objects are always way f’ing bigger than they appear. You are the bomb, Garrett McNamara.

On Being A Role Model: The Truth About My Forbes Interview with Leslie Bradshaw

When my friend Leslie Bradshaw, a woman who absolutely inspires me with her energy, ambition and insanely sharp business intellect, asked to interview me for her Forbes blog series “More Seats,” I said yes, with the understanding and intention of bringing more awareness to the lack of women contributors and editors in Wikipedia. Originally, Leslie was going to name the series “More Role Models” but changed it to reflect her purpose of addressing three major problems women face: not having enough women “at the table,” not enough women holding positions of power, and not enough women prevailing as role models.

When I began responding to Leslie’s questions, which ran the gamut of topics from the glass ceiling to work-life balance, I found myself having more and more reservations in answering. I didn’t tell Leslie this, but a part of me didn’t want to do the interview because I doubted my own worthiness as a role model.

It was in conflict with a lot of things I was taught growing up. I questioned why I was deserving of being interviewed. In my house, boasting in any way is “unbecoming.” And talking publicly about something so intimate and unsavory as being sexually harassed at work is disdainful. Then there’s the fact that I discussed my pursuit and passion, screenwriting, that has yet to produce any external reward.

Together these created a month-long delay in my responses. Until something happened that reminded me what it means to be a role model and why Leslie’s column is so important.

I was surfing, like I typically do, on a Wednesday evening in southern California. I’m still a beginner surfer. I have yet to graduate from my learner board. I’m at the point where I can stand and ride a wave but I fall a lot, especially when I take waves bigger than a few feet, which is affectionately called “eating sh$t” in surfer world. I eat sh$t a lot, but I have fun and improve each time I go out and that’s all that matters to me.

More times than not, I’m the sole female surfer in the water.  This evening was no exception. There were plenty of guys surfing but I was the only “Betty.”

So there I was doing my thing, when I notice a girl, maybe 10 or 12 years old, in the water nearby, staring at me. She must’ve watched me for a good 5 or 10 minutes, which made me feel completely self-conscious and I’m wondering why this little girl has an optical lock-in on me. Then she disappears. Goes back in shore. And I resume my uninhibited surfing fun.

Ten minutes later, she’s back in the water, but this time she has her dad with her and he has a surfboard and she’s asking him to teach her how to surf.  And half the time the two of them are watching me and mimicking what I’m doing in the water. That’s when I realized the power of role models and how important they are for anyone in a minority position.

Gloria Steinem recently said at the Fortune Most Powerful Women Summit, “We do what we see, not what we’re told.”

We become role models by doing. We learn and follow by seeing. I might have been the worst surfer out in the water that evening (which I don’t think I was), but because that little girl identified with me more than anyone else, I was her role model.

It made me appreciate the beauty of Leslie’s series all the more by reminding me of the power in seeing and hearing other women’s stories and that to be a role model, we just need to do, even if it means falling along the way. Who knows who might be watching.

You can check out my interview with Leslie in Forbes is here.

How I spent my summer by Amy Senger


“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us…”

~ A Tale of Two Cities (1859)

Talk about timelessness of good writing. Somehow, with pitch-perfect lucidity, Charles Dickens over a century ago eloquently described my summer.

Starting with leaving DC. In the weeks leading up to our departure, Steve and I had some of the most tempestuous showdowns I’ve ever endured, including a 5-hour fight (five f***ing hours) that ended with me trying to hit him with a tin bucket of dirt and him catching it and dumping it on my head. I can’t even write those lines without laughing, but at the time, it was intense and devoid of any humor whatsoever.

I wanted to leave and I didn’t. DC was home for me. But if you’ve ever tried to fill up on tofu or non-meat substitute when all you’re craving is a hamburger, no matter how much “toburger” you consume, it just doesn’t cut it.

I needed a solid break from everything I was trying to fill up on that wasn’t fulfilling me. So I moved 3,000 miles across the country to Southern California to pursue screenwriting and a different way of life. And I found a happiness that I haven’t felt in a long time.

I took up surfing and after at least 50 (maybe it was 100 times) falling down, I finally rode a wave. Anyone who has ever surfed knows that first wave you ride makes all the times falling down worth it.

I needed surfing. It’s been my salvation. After struggling to get off Adderall for the past two years I finally cut the cord. I needed something to replace the mental and physical “stamina” and “focus” Adderall gave me and I found that in surfing. When I’m in the water, I find that edge I’m looking for, and afterwards, I have a sense of peace and clarity of mind Adderall never gave me.

And I’ve been writing, a lot. I completed the first draft of a second screenplay and finished a 10-week Advanced Screenwriting class at UCLA, rewriting my first screenplay and learning the things you won’t find in any screenwriting book. Which has been the best part of my summer and the worst.

No matter how much I love writing, no matter how much I write, no matter how many people read what I’ve written and say they love it, I still have my moments of doubt when I ask myself, What the hell are you doing?  Which is really code for, How far are you willing to go to make this happen, to make this a career and not just an interest and indulgence?

The answer is always the same. Pretty far. This summer I came to the conclusion that this is what I want to do, this is the life I want, which is a pretty big pivot.

So if you ask me to describe my summer, instead of quoting Dickens, I’ll sum it up with one word: gnarly.