Category Archives: Surfing

Beach Volleyball at the Manhattan Beach Open

This weekend, Aug 26-28, kicks off the Manhattan Beach Open. The largest and most famous of all the beach volleyball tournaments which features 64 pro teams per gender, including top Olympic teams.

Often called the Masters or Wimbledon of beach volleyball. The players call it the holy grail due to its top prize money, massive media presence, and, most importantly, each winner gets enshrined in the “Volleyball Walk of Fame.”

This memorial features bronze statues that span the length of the Manhattan Beach Pier. It is definitely the “one tournament that all players want to play in”.

Schedule

  • Friday, Aug. 26, 8am – 7pm (16 courts)
  • Saturday, Aug. 27, 8:30am – 7:15pm (16 courts)
  • Sunday, Aug. 28, 9:15am – 5:30pm (4 courts)
    • Women’s final at 2:15pm
    • Men’s final (televised live on Versus) at 4pm

The total prize money is $200,000 and the event has a rich history dating all the way back to 1960. “The Manhattan Open was the precursor to everything that has developed in beach volleyball including the Olympics.”

This year, the 51st one, features a three-day, double-elimination tournament. Admission is free and the location is the south side of the Manhattan Beach Pier.

Just to get you excited, check out this trailer for the classic beach volleyball movie featuring C. Thomas Howell -

Side Out

More Details

Facebook Event

IMG Announcing the Open

Registration Information

NBA-er Kevin Love to participate

USA Volleyball Announcement

Jose Cuervo Poster (sponsor)

Free surf films from Billabong, Vans, Nike, and SuperBrand

Every summer a million surf movies come out and a few of them are free. For the summer of 2011 this included some high quality flicks from Billabong, Vans, Nike, and SuperBrand.

Each one is amazing, short (~30 mins), packed with sick music, and full of stoke. Things like skateboard cameos, anecdotes, worldwide adventures, and, of course, massive barrels.

The awesome part for this year is the girls flick from Nike. Everyone loves a surfer girl and these are incredible.

Without further ado, here they are, with massive props to the suits for bringing them to us..

Billabong – Blow Up

Vans – Get n Classic

Nike – Leave a Message

Superbrand – Sorry We’re Open

**Blow Up has an incredible soundtrack, here is a link to the full set list**

Green surfboards

The best surfboards in the world are the most toxic. Take any professional surfer and she/he will be riding a high tech stick packed with the latest innovations. It will also be the worst possible board for the environment not only in its materials, but in the creation, disposal, and in effects on workers creating the boards.

The good news is that many small business are developing alternatives. UK-based company, Ocean Green, is bringing back the all wood board by hollowing out a Balsa-wood plank and using bio-degradable fiberglass cloth.

Country Feeling, a Hawaii based shaping group co-founded by Jack Johnson, is developing a soy and sugar-based foam and a solar cured resin.

There is also a movement to recycle everything from the foam dust to the actual boards themselves. Green Foam collects the excess dust tossed out in shaping shacks to make new foam for boards.

The movement is starting to catch on among the pro’s (Kolohe Andino rides a recycled foam board) and the crowds. There is even a new surf film digging into this, Manufacturing Stoke:

No other sport is so intrinsically linked to nature. Some call it a spiritual experience, most call it indescribable. And yet, in becoming the multi-billion dollar industry it is today, a great paradox has risen. Surfers are indeed directly connected to the earth’s pulse and yet a majority of the materials used are environmentally toxic.

Still, this whole story largely unknown. Only a few of the large companies are taking it seriously which means even fewer surfers are interested. Surf wax and wetsuits also have their own toxic problems and are in need of an overhaul.

Which means its all about grass roots growth. Tell your friends, experiment in your garage, and spend your dollars on what you care about.

How did it get this way?

We’ve all seen the classic image of a shaper wearing the breathing mask. Heard the tale of the young protégé shaper sweeping up foam dust. But, have you ever thought about why the mask is needed, can you think of any other profession where people need them?

There’s not many of them left in the country because these compounds are toxic. Most are banned in several states or highly controlled due to their volatile nature. We are talking about cancer, deformations, groundwater contamination, ocean pollution…here are some of their names:

Toluene Diisocynate, Polystrene, Polyurethane, Chromium, Dicarboxylic Acids, and Dihydroxy Alcohols.

An explanation of how we got here starts back in the 60′s with the massive 10-foot long wood planks. They were heavy, so heavy that you had to balance it on your head and cart it around in “woody” wagons. These boards defined the early era of surfing and the longboard riding style (slow, long curves at special breaks).

Then modern technology stepped in: foam, fiberglass, and resin. The wood was whittled down to a thin strip in the center for strength (stringer) and the rest was taken up by foam, then shined up with fiberglass in resin. The result was a lighter, faster, and more agile board.

It revolutionized the sport. Made it the worldwide industry it is today. Then it all came crashing down in 2005.

A series of factors contributed to this change, the largest of which was the shutting down of Clark Foam. This giant supplier of foam for boards worldwide came under the cross hairs of government (all of them). The city, county, state, and federal authorities wanted a cleaner factory and Gordon Clark couldn’t take it.

The story is still unclear, whether Gordon refused to clean-up or the city simply wanted him gone. It is probably somewhere in the middle but the lawsuits, criminal charges, and cancer-riddled workers speak to some truths.

Namely, the growth of the surfboard industry is creating a lot of waste and pollution. As the government stepped in it found that nearly every element of the modern surfboard involved toxic chemicals or volatile organic compound.

The regulators clamped down and the surfboards manufacturers went abroad or went mechanical. Hoping to outsource the pollution or remove the worker from the shaping. Clearly the industry didn’t want to face it’s own problems.

Which now puts the industry on the verge of a new breakthrough. A revolution in materials to bring about a cleaner, safer way to enjoy the sport we love.

***

father/son photo by Mike Baird

Paddle 2 Live – Wednesday Workouts – 4 mile paddle

Have you ever left the shore? Gone beyond the surf into the open ocean? On a 10-foot foam board?

To many it’s a Wednesday ritual where they paddle 4 miles out to the RS4 Bell Buoy.

Seals love the buoy.

For others (like me) it’s a panic attack waiting to happen with images of sharks, storms, barracudas, and 100 foot waves. Not to mention the stamina needed to paddle 4 miles in the open ocean. Is that like running 4 miles?

I’m still gonna do it though. What is life without adventure, you know.

Here are the details.

Paddle 2 Live – Wednesday Workouts

Wednesdays · 6:30am – 8:30am

Newport Beach Pier (Blackies next to the dory launch)
2122 West Oceanfront
Newport Beach, CA 92663

Every Wednesday morning, rain or shine, choppy or glassy we will be paddling. Join us at the North side of the Newport Beach Pier (Blackies) and paddle with us to the RS4 Bell Buoy and back which is about 4-miles roundtrip. 6:30am sharp arrival, 6:45am start, sunscreen will be provided. All paddlers welcome! All ages, all levels. Prone, SUP, Rescue boards, whatever you got…

Paddle Surf Warehouse Meetup.com Group

Vimeo event page

The best snorkeling in Orange County

My neck is all busted up. Too much surf paddling. I’m shore bound.

But, you can’t keep a good watermen down. I’m gonna head out and do some leisurely floating and watching with some kicking, i.e. snorkeling.

My research shows that Shaw’s Cove is the best in Orange County:

“One of the most popular dive sites in Orange County. It is well-protected from large swells, making it highly suitable for the beginning beach divers.”

“Have dove here twice and so far it is my favorite shore dive in Laguna. Vis was excellent two weeks ago at about 35-40 which is great for this area. I saw a lot of fish live. I spotted two octopi, sea hares galore with one that was huge. It has a nice wall to dive near. There are a lot of divers on Saturday mornings because the conditions are usually good for the dive classes. The hike to the shore can be tiring depending on where you get a parking spot. It is a residential area so parking on the streets fills quickly and early on the weekends. There are about 40 stairs that you get to hike up as well. Great cardio workout.”

Of course, there are 7 other notable places to check out. Here is a full list from shorediving.com.

I will have to investigate to see which one I think is best, but I’m definitely starting with Shaw’s thanks to this personal video:

This is the first video I’ve ever shot in my life. I’ve been wanting to make some videos to share with my non-diving friends & family why each moment beneath the water is so special to me. I purchased a FlipHD and Ikelite housing for it, with their lighting system. The color is uncorrected and video is unenhanced. Conditions were a bit rough for the locale, but I’m overall happy with the quality of the output. Shot a few hours of video in the morning then edited down to 5 minutes. Enjoy!

Debbie Beacham a pioneer in womens surfing

Last week I attended the induction ceremony for the Surfing Walk of Fame where Debbie Beacham was honored. She seemed shy as she walked onto the stage making the comment that PT forced her to write a speech. What came out was fascinating.

I grabbed two minutes of it on my iPhone. The sound is great but the shot is too distant to get a good shot of Debbie.

Debbie is a true unsung hero of womens sports and womens surfing. After retiring from competition she plunged into the hard backroom world to make it a viable profession.

For several decades she repp’ed womens surfing by putting on events, organizing tours, getting sponsor money, producing movies for girls, and more. Now she is the Vice-President of the International Surfing Association (ISA), the official governing body of surfing.

I am a big fan of womens surfing and it’s great to see heroines like her in person.

Debbie in 1983 when she was world champion.

If you’re a fan of womens surfing check out this great online magazine – Jetty Girl.