The surfing pop up

I’m back at the beach. A barefoot drop-in to the doughnut shop for a ‘buttermilk chocolate’. Standing on a fence to spot the best break. Squeezing into a wetsuit like a cannonball through a garden hose. Finally, down to the water..

There’s only one problem, I don’t know how to stand-up.

Everyone thinks I’m a surfer and I sure tell them I am. But, it’s one thing to love the beach and own a surfboard. A whole different type of fish to stand up and ride a wave diagonal instead of straight towards the shore.

I practice when I’m in the water but my inner dork tugs at me. I must hit the internet and learn the mechanics of surfing. Is it a full body gesticulation or a precise pressure point? Are my legs and abdomen juicing the push or is it just my hands?

With the help of Google, I’ve narrowed it down to these precise movements:

  • Place palms on top of the board, do not grip the side.
  • Push your shoulders off the board but keep your thighs on the board, creating an arch in your back (in Yoga it’s upward dog)
  • Swing your knees to your chest.

That’s it.

Now, for some deeper tips.

  • When you stand on land you push your chest back to stand. This shifts your weight backwards and on water will cause you to tip over.  Instead keep your weight steady by pulling your feet underneath you.
  • Never use your knees. All the sites say this is the first and worst habit that every new surfer learns.
  • It is tempting to position your toes for better kung fu grip but resist. The motion needs to be a push up to a pendulum feet swing underneath.
  • You can let your back foot drag into place because the key is to get your front foot underneath you.

Cool, now I have my mechanics down and it’s time to make it happen.

Oh, and the term for this is called the “pop up”.

Sources: how to surf, surfing handbook, I just surf

Save the Sea Otters!

I know you have a favorite animal. Mine is the Sea Otter!

These furry little creatures are smart and devilish. They have pouches like kangaroos where they store their toolset. After diving to the bottom for some tasty crustaceans they head back to the surface and lay on their backs to crack open their delights (using the tools!). They’re super smart which means they have loads of free time for high jinks.

baby sea otter

To see them you have to visit west coast since they only inhabit the northern Pacific Ocean. There discovery by the early explorers brought about an international market in Otter pelts. The story since then has been the same old one of decline. It does end with some good news including an internatioanl ban in hunting and a population recovery.

That makes me proud but also serves as a constant reminder. I live zero waste, reduce my water use, walk more, and eat at farmers markets because of these little guys. I love them so much they make me cry and the thought of them in pain makes me angry!

Did You Know:

– Sea otters have the world’s densest fur—up to a million hairs per square inch! (You have 100,000 hairs or less on your whole head.)

– Sea otters live in loose-knit groups called rafts. Otters in rafts often sleep side-by-side, wrapped in strands of kelp so that they don’t drift far from each other.

Check Out These Links:

Baby Otters at the Monterey AquariumAnother Baby Otter!Saving Sea Otters

Holding Hands!