Surfing Sports : Stoked for Life
Click to open call me page
SUP blogSUP storeSUP reviewsStandup paddle boardSUP Sports InstagramSUP Sports FacebookSUP Sports FacebookSUP Sports blog

Follow SUPsports on FacebookFollow SUPsports on TwitterFollow SUPsports on PinterestFollow SUPsports on InstagramFollow SUPsports on You TubeFollow SUPsports on Google+Follow SUPsports on YelpRSS feed :subscribe to SUPSports on SurfingSports blog
RSS feed :subscribe to SUPSports on SurfingSports blogFollow SUPsports on FacebookFollow SUPsports on Twitter

SurfingSports Standup Paddle Surf & Standup Paddling BLOG

The latest BUZZ in new standup paddle surfing sports gear.

We showcase the best standup paddle boards, standup paddles, standup paddle accessories with news and views.

StandUp Paddle Sports has the largest, and best, selection of SUP's in the UNIVERSE at our store in Santa Barbara, CA.

Over 150 standup paddle boards currently in stock. New SUP's arriving monthly.

(Best selection...Best value...Best service...Mahalo)

Saturday, November 28, 2009

 

Holiday SUP Demo & Party

We will be hosting another one of our extremely popular "try before you buy" SUP demos next weekend...Sunday December 6...from 9AM - 1PM...call or email the shop to RSVP...

We will also be hosting an after demo party at our shop for our great instructional and sales staff...and, you are invited!

We will have lots of great in-store holiday sales items...and, an even more amazing variety of SUP's from our store that already has more boards in more sizes, colors, and constructions than any store in the galaxy...

New arrivals this week include the new Terje Haakonsen (TAC) Edition SUP's from Starboard...some are already sold...but, we should have a few left to fondle and drool over...;-)

If you can't make it to this event to see touch and feel these new SUP's, we'll have better pics than what you see posted below, for you to peruse here on da blog coming up shortly...stay tuned...



The new "Limited Edition" Lime/Wood Ultimate Blend and Big Easy...



Scott is one STOKED unit!



The Starboard 12'6" Pin in Wood, Tufskin, & Classic...



We will also be receiving another big shipment of 2009 Starboard SUP's to restock our current inventory...

Also arriving this week are three new custom models that we have developed with Art Colyer at North Pacific Surfboards...there will be a new 8'6" x 32" wing swallow...9'10" x 31" wing swallow...and, a killer new 10'6" stinger pintail California gun...all quad plus 1...and, all made in the USA...





These boards are the lightest and strongest hand shaped epoxy SUP's on the market...you cannot finger dent them...they have a natural surfboard feel...here are a few others that Art recently shaped for us...8'6"...9'...9'6"...







Another custom shaper that we've worked with for well over 10 years on our custom quadfin surfboard shapes...and, the last several years on quad and trifin SUP shapes is Joe Blair...

We will be receiving three new production molded epoxy models from Blair...
8'11"...9'7"...and 10'1"...color choices will be aqua or white...







As if that's not enough new variety and shizzle...we will also be receiving 10 new boards from Imagine Surfboards...the creator of the 2-piece, take-a-part ECO SUP...

These boards will be all new lightweight models...

>>>> Cutback 8'5"
>>>> Cutback 9'
>>>> Cutback 9'6" split board
>>>> Wave rider 10'
>>>> Wave rocket 10'
>>>> Wave rocket 10'6"
>>>> Wave Rocket 11'
>>>> Enigma 9'
>>>> Enigma 9'6"
>>>> Chopper 9'4" split board

Labels: , , ,


Thursday, November 26, 2009

 

Happy Thanksgiving

In this painting by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris of the "first Thanksgiving", the pilgrims depicted are having a nice little feast of fowl, venison, fish, lobster, clams, berries, fruit, pumpkin, and squash...shared with the Native Americans...



Imagine for a brief second what this country, and of course the world that it influences...our neighbors (if you will)...could have been, if we had only lived a little more in harmony with our natural surroundings, as the Indians were doing at this time in history...

We hope that you and your ohana have many things to be thankful for on this day of Thanksgiving reflection...what a gorgeous day for a paddle!

It's pretty easy around here to be thankful...what, with great weather...a clean environment...lots of freedom, health, and prosperity...and, we're all truly thankful for your support in making our business a success...even in a challenging economy...we're appreciative...hopefully, you feel the love we send your way with every ounce of your patronage...mahalo...

Channel Island view...everybody chillin' Santa Barbara style today...



Reverse view...



Miles of smiles on glassy water today...







Santa Barbara paradise...



GALLERY here...

We saw a few industrious folks out catching their Thanksgiving meal...some folks will be enjoying fresh caught halibut and lobster today...reminds me of a surf camping trip down to the Baja...one of the best tasting Thanksgiving dinners of our lives...pretty simple...lobster and abalone sauteed in garlic, butter, & beer...



Fall colors...





Here's our Thanksgiving Day prayer (holding your digital hands)...

No more sad songs...a silent whisper...

Maybe, if we all just whispered this simple mantra...positive synaptic energy would be, at the least, directed to the people in our sphere of influence...and would be felt and acknowledged...

"No more sad songs"...ONLY positive vibration...

pssssttt...the chorus is..."NO MORE WARS"...fa la la la la, la la la...
Fa la la, la la la, la la la...

Hey...here's a crazy dream...

A tipping point could ACTUALLY take place amongst, the over 6 billion inhabitants on this planet...

One can only wish...they say "be careful what you wish for"...the REALITY of this happening could make us weak in the knees...like, how the heck did that happen?!?!...;-)

You might say...yeah right...that would be like wishing to see snow fall on a California beach...

Wayullll...here ya go...surfin' in a Winter wonderland...snow on the beach in Cali...





How the heck did that happen?!?!




Wow...the holidaze are already upon us...how the heck did that happen?!?!...;-)
The next few weeks are definitely gonna be a daze...remember to smile on the water...miles of smiles...

PEACE OUT...



Happy Thanksgiving...

Labels: , ,


Wednesday, November 25, 2009

 

Fun Late Morning Surf on the Cali Gold Coast

Fun surf lately in the 8 0 5 ...tweener swells are not as hyped...so the crowds are way down...






Sometimes the early bird gets the worm...but, has to share it with the other early birds...
Surfing the late shift can be rewarding as it's oftentimes crowd free as the hammer slammers...pool cleaners...teachers...and, surf shop owners scramble into the salt mine with salt water still running from their nose...;-)

Here's a few that I captured of Rob doing the 2nd shift as I headed into the shop...
Big Rob is one of our sales staff and instructors...longtime surfer...lifeguard...he has several years of paddle surfing under his belt and has started paddle racing...



Stylish cross step...



hmmmmmm...right or left?



Leaning into it and setting the rail...



220 lbs on the nose...



More snapshots in GALLERY 1 & GALLERY 2...

Labels: , ,


Tuesday, November 24, 2009

 

Puerto Rico SUP Run - 11/15/2009 By EJ Johnson

EJ was kind enough to send us this great account of his recent visit to Puerto Rico (with wifey Andie) to compete in Puerto Rico's 1st Pro SUP event (7.5 mile San Juan SUP Run)...

Images courtesy of EJ...





The San Juan, PR SUP Run - 11/15/2009 By EJ Johnson


I am so stoked to have been able to participate in the First Annual Velauno- Pro SUP Run in the beautiful and exotic Puerto Rico , from the flat protected waters of Condado Lagoon to the challenging Atlantic.

31 Elite paddlers from the Virgin Islands, Florida, California, and Puerto Rico, were put to the test during this 7.5 mi. part lagoon and part open ocean challenge.
The start was 9:30 am sharp, and for once the start was clean, because the racers were warned if you jump the line you will be penalized 5 minutes.



We headed east for 100 meters and made a 90 degree right turn under the low highway bridge, and were greeted by some solid overhead surf.



I made it through no problem, but you had to be very careful not to cut inside of the reefs.
I was lucky to have had a great start with Puerto Rico's premier waterman Adrian Garcia.

I let Adrian get in front of me a bit, so I could use his local knowledge to keep the right line.



It was so beautiful, seeing old historical sites and reefs, that are so alive and clean, it was tough to concentrate on paddling hard.



I was going good for about 2.5 mi., when the heat (90 F.) along with high humidity set in.

My lungs felt like I was inhaling concrete , it was so hard to get air. I am very lucky to have the best sunscreen known to mankind!
( Watermans Applied Science) Thanks Pete and Macon for the P.R hats, everybody was stoked on those.

I started to get a little dizzy and vertigo'd out, so I had to bring down the pace to 60% (around 40 strokes per minute)

One big mistake I made, was no hydration, typically I don't use any for races under 10mi. Although this race should have been he exception given the temp.

The Island was blocking the South wind ,which is normally out of the East and would have made for the ideal downwind condition that my (New) Starboard 23.5 just kicks into overdrive, reaching up into the 8.5 mph range.

I finally reached the San Juan bay entrance, and was greeted by calmer waters and a cooling south wind.



At this point Adrian is about 75 meters ahead of me, and to his advantage on his Bark 14' in the flat harbor water.

I was able to kick up my pace, but in a paddle board race, there is no such thing as "I'll catch um later"

Once you let your competition get ahead of you, it's almost impossible to catch them, unless they fall, or hit the wall.

We now were passing the docked cruise ships and million dollar private sport fishing boats.

I was still feeling the heat, so I quickly downed my last Hammer gel/with caffeine, and grinded out the last 3 miles.
It was definitely a long 7.5 mi. for me. I could see and hear Adrian hit the beach for the short spectator run, he was greeted with much Aloha and support from friends and family.

When I came in, I was Stoked that people I didn't even know, were cheering me on, and telling me to run faster(which I couldn't, but I played it off).
I high-fived everybody, and headed straight for the turquoise water to lower my body temp.

I downed three waters and relaxed into a state of total chill.
I cheered on all the other guys and gals, while talking and letting folks try my board out.

All in all , I had a great race , winning the 12' 6" class , and 2nd overall in the Elite division.

My wife Andie, also enjoyed in a 1st place win herself, in the Weekend Warrior division on a borrowed board, but she remembered to bring her favorite Starboard carbon Wave model paddle.





The kids race was full of smiling faces, and also of young warrior game face.

We were settled in watching the kids go at it, when a giant wall of blackness envoloped the whole Island.

First, there was light rain, then heavy, now a full on tropical down pour with thunder and lightning.

In California, this would have immediately canceled the whole event, but Puerto Rican people just kept with the flow, hoping that it would subside.

Mother Nature had her own idea, and that was to keep raining.
The race director and Velauno shop owner Jaime Torres, told me by the time they finally packed up, there was two feet of water surrounding the tents.



It rained the rest of the day and all of the next day too, but I guess that is why P.R is so green and lush.



We had an awesome time there, and were shown much Aloha, by the locals, and especially Jaime Torres and the Velauno staff.

Definitely put this event on your calendar for next year It will be Bigger and Better.

Many Thanks to Svein, Margareta and the entire Starboard family.

Thanks to my other sponsors :QuickBladePaddles/KreedEyeWear/Honolua/WatermansAppliedScience/OnItPro/Trunq/CurtisFins/ Wardog and Deb
at SUPSports. And of coarse Brian Szymanski of North County Paddleboards for the fastest boards on the planet!

Respectfully

EJ Johnson.




Vaya con Dios...





Bien hecho EJ & Andie!!!

Labels: , ,


Monday, November 23, 2009

 

Holiday Colors



One of the bestest things about the holidaze are the colors...bright, light, & cheerful...a time for good thoughts and well wishes of peace and prosperity...quality time to spend with friends and family...and, also a chance to get out on the water and enjoy nature's offerings...



You saw a colorful pink Bill Foote SUP and QuickBlade standup paddle in the previous post...

Here's a couple more images of holiday SUP eye candy for those of you with visions of sugar plums dancing in your head...;-)



Kewl in Green...




Mellow in Yellow...



Rhapsody in Blue...



Sweet Potato Pie...



Candy Apple Red...



Pretty in Pink (redux)...



Decisions...decisions...decisions...;-)

Labels: , ,


Saturday, November 21, 2009

 

Pretty In Pink

Well it didn't take long after I posted a piccie of a new colorful QuickBlade Kanaha carbon standup paddle, with pink graphics and edging, sitting on a pink Bill Foote SUP before the bees came to the honey...or, should I say a worker bee coming to take some honey back for the queen bee...;-)





Vik from Calgary stopped by the shop on his way to La Ventana, Baja Mexico for a couple of months, to pick up a bunch of SUP stuff and scored a pink Bill Foote that we had in the showroom for his sweetie who has just started standup paddling...

We're sponsoring a SUP race there in January...click on the La Ventana link above for details...



Labels: , ,


Wednesday, November 18, 2009

 

SAILBOARD BLOWOUT SALE :: SAVE HUNDREDS!!!

We've just updated our BARGAIN BIN page with hundreds of 2009 (and earlier) sailboards from STARBOARD...EXOCET...& NAISH...

If you've learned to windsurf on your standup paddleboard and are ready to graduate to higher wind sailing...or, already possess higher wind, windsurfing skill sets...then this is an incredible opportunity to add a sailboard to your quiver of toys...

These are brand new and in the wrapper...in most cases they are onesy/twosy quantities, so don't procrastinate because they won't last long...







You can also easily throw a sail rig on your SUP and cruise, if it has an attachment...our Starboard and Naish SUP's have sail attachment points...we've had lots of interest in longboard windsurfing...our clients are prepared to take advantage of whatever recreational opportunities crop up...be it using a paddle or sail rig on their SUP's...

No wind...no waves...no worries...

Longboard wavesailing...





If you want to tackle the winds and waves head-on, you can rig up some higher wind windsurfing gear and ride some waves...or, go bust some big airs and loops...it's all good...we've been surfing and windsurfing for several decades...with SUP, you're totally covered no matter what the wind and waves are up to...

Wardog on an epic Cali day...



Wardog hunting down some bigguns at Jalama...



Maui lip launch...



Jalama liftoff...













One hand tail grab...it's all good...

Labels: , , , ,


Sunday, November 15, 2009

 

QuickBlade Spectrum of Colors

*** Congratulations to team rider EJ, for winning the men's SUP stock division in Puerto Rico's 1st Pro SUP event (7.5 mile) today...and, 2nd place overall racing against the 14' class on his 12'6" stocker...***

Just got another batch of the colorful QuickBlade standup paddles...
These are the popular 8.3" fiberglass blades...MSRP $275...





Also available with carbon blade...ABS edging matches QB graphics...MSRP $339...



Pretty in pink...
L(©¿©)Ks sweet matched up with a pink Bill Foote...



Labels: ,


Saturday, November 14, 2009

 

Standing Up

Standup paddling has been a blessing for everyone who has experienced it...
Just the word(s) StandUp denotes action...and/or a call to action...
Who hasn't moved or been moved by Bob Marley's anthem "Get Up Stand Up"?

Without getting too preachy preachy here are a few things to think about...

As of November 14, 2009, the world's population is estimated by the US Census Bureau to be ~6.8 billion...

The world's population is projected to be over 9 billion by the year 2050...40 years from now...that 2.5 billion people differential is equal to the number of people that existed on this planet in 1950...

Obviously, this is gonna continue to put tremendous stress on the entire ecosystem...

Let's put the global warming debate aside for the moment...and, just L(©¿©)K at an issue that seems a little more straightforward...and one that perhaps we can act immediately to do something about...the epidemic of animal extinctions and the decimation of animal life on earth...

Animal species are dying out at a rate not seen since dinosaur extinction...

Check out this article...



An epidemic of extinctions: Decimation of life on earth

"The world's species are declining at a rate "unprecedented since the extinction of the dinosaurs", a census of the animal kingdom has revealed. The Living Planet Index out today shows the devastating impact of humanity as biodiversity has plummeted by almost a third in the 35 years to 2005."

"Ben Collen, extinctions researcher at ZSL, said: "Between 1960 and 2000, the human population of the world has doubled. Yet during the same period, the animal populations have declined by 30 per cent. It's beyond doubt that this decline has been caused by humans."

Alrighty then...it prolly doesn't take a rocket scientist...or any scientist...to figure out that we humans are to blame...more precisely, it's human ignorance...

Here are a few examples...

For the life of me, I cannot conceive how anyone could murder 7 of the last 700 remaining mountain gorillas on the planet...this photograph of Senkwekwe a 530-pound silverback, from Virunga Park, stirred worldwide outrage...click on pic below to read article...



Who murdered the Virunga Gorillas?

Photographer Brent Stirton and writer Mark Jenkins STAND UP to unravel the mystery of the Virunga gorilla murders in this movie...




We just can't seem to play nicely in the sand box with other animals...

Closer to home...last month a 400 lb black bear that was frightened and climbed up a tree in nearby Ojai...was killed by Fish and Game...there was a public outcry and a new group was formed to assist in future large animal encounters.

Why the bear couldn't have just been taken up to the nearby Sespe Wilderness area and released is baffling...maybe things haven't changed much since 1922, when the last California grizzly bear was shot. It survives today only on our state flag.

Polar bears , the world's largest carnivores are under tremendous stress...diminishing habitat due to climate change...and, the past unrestricted hunting...

A couple of weeks ago, this picture and story of a wolf hunted down just outside the border of Yellowstone Park appeared in the L.A. Times...

Montana wolf hunt is stalked by controversy

By Kim Murphy
October 25, 2009

Alpha female Wolf 527 killed on Buffalo Plateau on Oct. 3.



Credit: Dan Stahler / National Parks Service

Wolf 527 and her pack, the Druids, are the most celebrated wolf pack in North America...she appeared in the PBS documentary In the Valley of the Wolves in 1995...

Here is a petition to Secretary Salazar to stop this senseless killing of wildlife...

The blue whale is the largest animal that has ever lived on Earth. They are one of the rarest of the whales, and most biologists consider them to be among the most endangered of the great whales. It is estimated that there are only about 8000-14000 blue whales world-wide, (some say less than 5000) which makes them an endangered species. We humans need to do anything we can to help them survive.

It is not that common that the blue whale shows it's tail flukes before diving...
on a recent trip to the Channel Islands, I captured this sequence...



The ~ 2000 blue whales that feed along the California coast make up the largest concentration of blue whales in the world. During the Fall of 2007, four blue whale mortalities were confirmed to be caused by ship strikes in the Santa Barbara Channel off Southern California.

Blue whale factoids:
* Blue whales grow to be about 80' - 88' long on average, weighing up to 150 tons...

* The heart of a blue whale is about the size of a VW beetle and weighs 1,000 pounds or more.

* Blue whales can dive for up to an hour, going to a depth of 350 feet.

* Blue whales are very fast swimmers; they normally swim 3-20 mph, but can go up to 24-30 mph bursts when in danger.


Hopefully enough caring humans will continue to STAND UP for these marvelous animals on the planet that are rapidly disappearing...

Labels: , ,


Friday, November 13, 2009

 

WHAT ABOUT NOW?



SEACOLOGY is an international environmental nonprofit organization that focuses on saving endangered species, habitats and cultures of islands throughout the world.

SURFAID INTERNATIONAL is a non-profit humanitarian organization, who's mission is to improve the health, wellbeing and self-reliance of people living in isolated regions connected to us through surfing.

Labels: , , ,


Thursday, November 12, 2009

 

Windsurfing :: The Early Years

You guys (and gals) will always remember the first time that you did it...
Standup paddling, that is...what did you think I was referring to?...;-)

In many cases it is love and passion at first sight...you just have to do it...

Surfing was like that for me...and here I am over three decades later still doin' it...

For other people it might take the original planting of the seed and then a period of gestation...windsurfing was like that for me...

I got to try windsurfing for the first time in the early 80's while in college in the Pacific NW...one of my Oceanography professors was an early adopter and had an original Windsurfer...windsurfing ads and pictures were starting to appear in the surfing magazines at the time...but, as a hardcore, big wave surfer, it didn't immediately grab me...the sailing I did was in flatwater, and the board and sail rig was big & clunky...

The next Summer on a surfing trip to Baja, the light went on as we watched some competent wavesailors from Maui tear the smithereens out of the windswept point waves...riding the waves in at mach speed and then turning around and jumping over them on the way back out to do the same routine all over again...this, while we huddled in our tent waiting for a potential afternoon glass off that never happened...

It didn't take us long to figure out...

IF YOU CAN'T BEAT THEM...JOIN THEM!!!





By 1984, when Santa Barbara hosted the Olympic exhibition windsurfing event...it seemed that everyone in Santa Barbara was doing it...there were a number of shops...including windsurf accessory manufacturer Windsurfing Hawaii...windsurfing was touted as being the fastest growing watersport in the world...just like SUP is now...matter of fact...there are a lot of parallels that can be drawn between the two sports...and, others like snowboarding for example...

Early days of windsurfing in Santa Barbara...













Deb didn't get into windsurfing right away because she was still running and doing triathlons...it wasn't until she had an injury that she gave it an honest go in the Summer of 1985...

Trying to windsurf in light wind was hard because the rigs back in the day, were heavy and unbalanced...holding up the laundry at Santa Barbara Harbor...



Lake Lopez had better Summer winds so we started going there...I had learned to waterstart at Leadbetter Beach...and, was learning to duck jibe...feeling the need for speed...as Deb was just getting going with her tacks...

My custom George Greenough speed board and custom sail from my brother in law in Alaska...



Our love affair with Chocolate Labs was well under way...camping and sailing at Lake Lopez whenever there was fog on the coast...



We knew about this place in Oregon that had nukin' winds called "The Gorge"...
So we loaded up the freshly painted VW Westphalia...we were running out of space with the dogs and all...so we built a box on the boat trailer and filled it with windsurfing gear, and joined the Summer migration of wind gypsies to the mecca of windsurfing in North America...seemed that most everyone was living in their cars/vans up there chasing wind...we ended up getting our Sprinter van from up there...the land of the fun hogs...











I taught Deb how to waterstart in the Gorge...not an easy feat...

NOTE: Don't teach the person you sleep (or intend to) sleep with...
Almost cost us our marriage...;-)

By the end of the 80's we had become involved in the windsurfing industry...we were deeply involved in product development working with the top sail, board, and fin designers...and, attending the windsurfing trade shows...we're still at it 20 years later just as deeply involved in the standup paddle board industry...this ain't our first rodeo...;-)



By the end of the 80's Deb had mastered rigging her own sails...and mine...;-)

Simmer down...Central Cali circa 1999...



We continued to do annual windsurfing treks up the Cali Coast to the Gorge and Oregon Coast up to the end of the century...then the gear went through a rapid evolution...sail aspect ratios changed...draft was stabilized...new materials made boards lighter and faster...the line of custom epoxy trifin waveboards that we developed with Mark Bassett, made it a lot funner to enjoy the great conditions we have locally, and within a short driving distance...



Deb in the 21st century on one of our many windsurfing trips to Maui and the Baja...





Check back as I continue to fill in the blanks on this blog post...

...to be continued...

Labels: , , ,


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

 

Veterans :: We Salute You

Mahalo for making our country the "land of the free"...



I remember seeing this video clip of Laird Hamilton paddlesurfing with an American flag at Malibu on September 11, 2002...and, being affected on several levels...
Here it is again if you didn't see it when it was shot by James Queen over 7 years ago...



Speaking of the land of the free...this next story totally embodies that concept...

If you are ever driving up or down Highway 101 past Rincon Pt. near Carpinteria, Ca. stop by disabled Vietnam veteran, Bill Connell's "Surf Dog" hot dog stand and have a bite to eat...



Story by Steve Chawkins

October 22, 2009 Los Angeles Times

Carpinteria hot dog vendor relishes his sales-tax victory



"As light on his feet as the prizefighter he once was, Bill Connell moves quickly around his Carpinteria hot dog stand, jabbing hot sausages, whipping Monster Dogs into buns, and boasting about the recent knockout he scored against state tax officials.

"They told me the law didn't mean what it said in plain language, and I told them: 'Are you kidding me? I was educated in Catholic schools! I know what the law says!' "

For 16 years, Connell sparred with the state Board of Equalization over the interpretation of an 1872 statute exempting street peddlers who are disabled veterans from paying various taxes. This morning, he'll celebrate his victory by giving away hot dogs and carving up sheet cakes decorated with the Stars and Stripes. Politicians who supported Connell's cause will speechify on a platform set up at his Surf Dog stand, a cart commanding an ocean view that would be the envy of any five-star hotel.

"This was a real David-and-Goliath struggle, and Bill never gave up," said state Sen. Jeff Denham (R-Atwater), chairman of the Senate Veteran Affairs Committee. "It's an emotional issue for him and it's an emotional issue for all veterans."

Denham sponsored a bill, inspired by Connell, allowing veterans with service-related disabilities not to pay sales taxes when peddling things such as T-shirts, tacos and incense on the street. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed it into law earlier this month.

At the heart of the new law is the notion of the state giving a boost to self-employed veterans. Connell, a former toxic-waste disposal specialist who knows his way around a law book, contended that's exactly what the state wanted to do when it passed laws to that effect in the 1800s. State attorneys disagreed, pointing out that state sales-tax laws weren't imposed until 1933, didn't mention veterans and superseded rules from the previous century.

"It really galled me terribly," said Connell, a 55-year-old Vietnam-era veteran who partially lost his hearing when he was boxing for the Army in Germany. He said a vet in San Francisco who peddled decorated seashells and a fellow hot dog vendor in Northern California were unfairly put out of business. "I was just the last one standing," he said.

Mid-life crisis drove Connell from his native New Jersey and, at the age of 38, into the hot dog business. Since then, he has testified before the Board of Equalization, a state tax agency, 18 times. By his estimate, he has spent 1,000 hours in the law library at Santa Barbara's courthouse, poring over case law and thumbing through dust-laden statute books. Along the way, the state briefly shut down his business for nonpayment of taxes.

An animated man who talks death, taxes and local politics with his regulars, Connell fumes over some of the lawyerly tactics used against him.

"A comma!" he sputtered. "For years, they tried to tell me I was wrong because there was a misplaced comma in the law."

The 1872 legislation says veterans may peddle "without payment of any license, tax, or fee whatsoever." Connell said his opponents claimed the comma after 'license' was a mistake.

Bill Leonard, a Board of Equalization member since 2002, agreed with Connell.

"I argued on his behalf and lost," he said. "I tried to get our regulations changed and lost. But he made such a good argument that we should honor our veterans -- and that itinerant-peddler-veterans didn't represent a huge drain if they were exempted -- that the board agreed to meet him halfway and support legislation to clarify this conflict in the law."

The state figures the new law will cost it about $25,000 a year in foregone sales taxes. Only disabled veterans who have no employees but themselves are eligible.

"It's a very limited business opportunity in the 21st century economy," Leonard said.

That may be, but it suits Connell just fine.

One afternoon this week, a customer dropped by with a framed line drawing of the Surf Dog stand and the inscription, "Thanks for helping our veterans!" A couple of drywall installers ordered end-of-shift hot dogs. Regulars such as contractor Jon Jorgensen asked Connell about plans for the celebration.

"He's an individual," Jorgensen said. "In Sacramento, they hate people like him."

For Connell, all is well. He claims the state owes him $30,000 in sales taxes he paid over the years, but his pending lawsuit is a fight for another day.

"I love California," he said. "The people are great. The attitude is great. I love it -- except for the tax lawyers."

Labels: ,


Monday, November 09, 2009

 

Waves...waves...waves

Sure is nice that there's been some surf already this Fall...waves on the brain...saltwater lobotomy...

I've seen, surfed, and photographed heaps of swells since the 70's...here are a few select waves...

All rights and lefts reserved © 2000-2009 SurfingSports.com, Inc.























These shots might put the size in perspective...but, maybe not the power...
H20 is 8lbs/gal...lots of gallons on these waves...I've experienced two wave hold downs with my 9'2" rhino chaser tomb stoning...having to climb the leash only to get a big gulp of foamball...yummy!...;-)









Snap...crackle...pop...







Labels: , ,


Friday, November 06, 2009

 

Steekers

New Standup Paddle Sports stickers will be representing all over the planet...





From the crane in my new man barn...to who knows where?









Our high quality vinyl die cut stickers have been spotted at all corners of the earth...









Click image below to view more amazing Standup Paddle Sports shwag...

Labels: , , ,


Wednesday, November 04, 2009

 

Behind the Redwood Curtain

I can't believe the response that I've received from around the world after my last blog post..."Small World :: Big Trees"...seems that ya'll didn't mind the low rez images...heck, I was lucky to have any photographs remaining after they spent years in "mold butt" (Humboldt) country with little protection from it's perpetual high humidity...some of my slides seemed to have fared better...

The bigger issue was getting pics at all...student budgets back in the day had little room for film and processing fees...a far cry from today's digital revolution...today's college kids have better cameras on their cellphones...low lighting was also a plague...most of the better waves came with the fog...or, rain and low pressure systems...and, you had to get somebody to sacrifice the time behind the lens...

While I wouldn't mind going back to the halcyon surfing days of yesteryear, you have to admit that we are living in pretty good times with the digital technology advancements...hard to believe that my new Canon EOS 7D shoots 18 megapixel images AND HD video...

Due to the response of the last blog post, I cranked up the scanner so that we can revisit life behind the Redwood Curtain back in the 70's and 80's, again...



Ubiquitous banana slugs...



As mentioned previously, Craig Spjut was synonymous with Humboldt surfing during this time period...he was one of the few locals that accepted the new student surf refugees fleeing the crowds and small waves of Southern Cali...as long as they could surf well...there were only around a dozen regular surfers in Humboldt during the mid-70's...most were lacking style because of the hard core nature of the surf...and the crude homegrown surfboards...

I think Spjut was always a frustrated musician...he'd always ask me (or anyone with an ear...;-) "wanna hear my new song?"...I have one of his demo tapes around here somewhere...along with the legendary Humboldt reggae band, Airhead...



Spjut...pre-flight check...



hmmmm...interesting...



hmmmm...very interesting...



Base camp...two weeks of supplies...



Camp scout...Tosha packed in her own provisions...

Humboldt surf dog...




















Surfing in Humboldt back in the day was all about exploration...before the internet and surf forecasting services, we relied on our own savvy and luck...and the trusty little "weather or not" box...;-)

Around the next bend could lie a cold water nirvana...a perfect uncrowded wave going off just waiting to be named...





















Arcata and Humboldt State University...



Many of the pics here and throughout the website were taken by my wifey, Deb...
She liked to mat surf at the more sharky spots, for whatever reason...;-)



Deb with Mole (MO lay)...the start of our obsession with Chocolate Labs...
Speaking of which, today is Molly Claire's 2nd B-day...



Deb with Molly...SUP'ing in Humboldt...



Annie Mae and Molly Claire getting a little Humboldt water time behind the Redwood Curtain...



What a long strange trip it's been...

We're still together...and, I'm still catching waves in Humboldt over 3 decades later...the VW van has turned into a Sprinter van...still about the same mileage...but, with a little more horsepower...;-)





to be continued...

Labels: ,


Monday, November 02, 2009

 

Small World :: Big Trees

Serendipity...

So we take a break from working on my new "man barn" on Saturday to drop some supplies off down at the shop...and, to give Rob a hand since boards and paddles were flying out the door...

The "man barn" was built to house a few of my hall of fame surfboards, sailboards, and SUP's from the ages...and, to absorb a few odds and ends left over from the garage remodel this Summer...a project that was long overdue...



The shop is packed with people...but, this couple shopping for SUP's L(©¿©)K vaguely familiar...Deb is talking with them as I was closing another deal...when I hear them "ask do you know Craig Spjut?"...OF COURSE, we know Spjut...legendary Humboldt hellman...the first to tow Nelscott Reef...we used to scout out waves in his airplane...and, we lived next door to his state of the art shaping room in college...spent lots of time surfing with him and hangin' at his cabin at Big Lagoon overlooking Patrick's Pt....yada...yada...yada...

Craig Spjut (hat) surveying "Killers" on a huge day at Patrick's Pt.









Then he goes..."oh yeah...I remember you now...you're that Wardog dood who used to ride really small boards in really big waves"...if you're gonna be remembered for something, I guess that's no so bad...it could have been worse...what went on behind the "Redwood Curtain"...stays behind the "Redwood curtain"...;-)

Ironically, now that I'm involved up to the tips of my ears in the SUP industry...
I could be remembered in Santa Barbara as being the dood that got people into riding really big boards on the really small waves that exist around here...I'll have to pass on the "King of Leadbetter" title...that's been claimed by someone else...;-)



Anyways...it was heaps o' fun chatting it up as we started connecting the dots with Don and his wifey about all things behind the "Redwood Curtain"...a real blast from the past...Don owned the Whole Earth health food store on the Arcata Plaza (click for Arcata Plaza cam)...his presence even brought back the patchouli scents and other herbal fragrances wafting around at the time...;-)

So, the chat becomes a whos who...where and what...catalog of people, places, and things during the halcyon years of the initial Humboldt big wave surf scene over 30 years ago...memories and names come flooding back like it was yesterday......lots of very unique characters...prolly blew Rob away as he listened in...;-)

It's gonna be fun spending time and chatting it up with our new "old friends" as Don is building a house in Montecito...and, starting to paddlesurf...

It was too kewl as Don remembered the work that the late Tom Pratte, (my classmate from the Humboldt State Univ. Oceanography Dept.) and I, did to start the nucleus of what was to become the Surfrider Foundation...

"Tom Pratte was a co-founder of the Surfrider Foundation and surfing's first full-time environmental advocate," said Kira Stillwell, Chapter activist and Chair of the Program Committee of the Board of Directors. "He dedicated his life to the study and preservation of waves and beaches. It is a reflection of the growth and health of our Foundation, and our unwavering commitment to supporting our membership, that we are now expanding our level of assistance to those who are following in the path that Tom has blazed."

The Surfrider Foundation Thomas Pratte Memorial Scholarship program, established in 1994, previously awarded scholarship grants of $2,000 to selected applicants at California's Humboldt State University, Pratte's alma mater. Pratte graduated from Humboldt State in 1982 with a degree in Natural Resource Planning & Interpretation. Along with surfer/activist Glenn Henning, he founded the Surfrider Foundation in 1984 to confront dredging and discharge practices that were destroying Malibu's famous point break wave. From 1985-1989, he served as the Foundation's first Executive Director and paid employee and received a Coastal and Ocean Management Award for his landmark work in organizing the surfing community as an effective public interest group. His environmental victories were many, including his pivotal role in a legal precedent setting settlement with Chevron Oil Company in El Segundo, California that represents the first time a government agency, department or office at any government level, has recognized the significance of a breaking wave as a natural resource deserving of protection. Pratte died on April 7, 1994 after a short battle with cancer."

I used to take Tom down to surf the "Lost Coast" in the King Range Wilderness in the Karmann Ghia that I bought from the guy (Jim, now deceased) that bought Don's health food store...



I cracked open a photo album that hadn't been opened in years and selected a few gems...sorry for the resolution...a good chunk of my better pics were "borrowed" by a renowned surf book author and never returned...might still have some negatives of a few keepers...

I did like to ride short boards in bigger surf back in the day, despite the thick wetsuits...wetsuit technology has definitely advanced so that now surfing in places like Alaska and Iceland is quite doable...

Here I am talking with a local Hupa Indian kid who was fishing with his dad...after a session at the Jetty...sporting a state of the art, O'Neill 5/3 hood and a 6'2" Channel Islands single fin "Tri Plane Hull"...shaped by Al Merrick...who didn't use machines or ghost shapers at the time...







Here is the first thruster in Humboldt...a custom kevlar, channel bottom, 6' "Progressive" thruster from another Santa Barbara shaper, Dave Johnson...
I'm showing it off to legendary tube rider "Duster"...now a captain with American Airlines...lots of naysayers on the 3 fin design at that time...didn't take almost all of them long to be convinced, however...





Humboldt quiver...the sidebiter on the Progressive was busted off and re-glassed after I hit a submerged log floating in the take off zone at the Jetty...



I still have the Dick Brewer single fin gun...it made many trips to the Mexican Pipeline in Puerto Escondido, Mexico with me...

I liked to surf the hollow, uncrowded beach breaks on the "lost coast"...reminded me of surfing Pt. Mugu and some of the Oxnard beach breaks that I grew up surfing on in the Summer, when the Santa Barbara points were asleep...they were a little too sharky for most guys considering the number of great white attacks on surfers in the Humboldt Nation...







Wardog slowing down time in a deep, long, rivermouth barrel...







Then there was the pioneering days of Humboldt and Oregon Coast windsurfing...
Most of the guys that I was surfing with at the time were waterman types...after being introduced to windsurfing in Humboldt by one of my Oceanography profs, and seeing pics of Robby Naish and other early Maui wavesailing pioneers in the surfing magazines at the time, it was no wonder that most of us got into it...the area bounded on the North by Cape Blanco and on the South by Cape Mendocino, is relentlessly pounded by surf and wind...they are the two furthest most Westerly points on the continental US...





I have heaps of stories and pics from the early pioneering days of windsurfing...
We'll save that for another day...let me segue back to standup, and the present, by congratulating one of people behind the Naish SUP brand, "Mr. Windsurfing"...the legendary, Robby Naish, on being a grandfather...man, how time flies...

Labels: ,


Archives

December 2005   January 2006   March 2006   June 2006   July 2006   August 2006   September 2006   December 2006   January 2007   February 2007   March 2007   May 2007   June 2007   July 2007   August 2007   November 2007   December 2007   January 2008   February 2008   March 2008   April 2008   May 2008   June 2008   July 2008   August 2008   September 2008   October 2008   November 2008   December 2008   January 2009   February 2009   March 2009   April 2009   May 2009   June 2009   July 2009   August 2009   September 2009   October 2009   November 2009   December 2009   January 2010   February 2010   March 2010   April 2010  

Subscribe Click to open call me page
copyright2000-2014 surfingsports.com,Inc.
Toll Free (888) 805-9978




HOME PAGE

CLICK BELOW FOR STORE DIRECTIONS

121 SANTA BARBARA ST.
SANTA BARBARA, CA 93101





Follow SUPsports on FacebookFollow SUPsports on TwitterFollow SUPsports on PinterestFollow SUPsports on InstagramFollow SUPsports on YelpFollow SUPsports on Google+RSS feed :subscribe to SUPSports on SurfingSports blog

Monthly Newsletter Signup Form:
Email:
First Name:
Last Name:
City:
State:


This page is powered by Blogger.