thinking about surfing

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Once back from my Canada trip, I spent the following week out of the ocean catching up on all the work I’d missed. Thankfully I had a birthday trip planned to Calistoga for a relaxing weekend soaking in mineral water and mud.

This was a pretty luxurious trip. Bike rides, amazing food, water, mud, sun, and wine. Wow. What a wonderful birthday weekend. 😀


With the surf being flat and the weather being warm up north, we set out for a swim on the Russian River. I’ve never been up there, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. With the holiday, the first river beach parking lot was full. We found a little turn out along the road and a little path down. There was a great spot to sit on the bank and watch people float by. We had a nice little picnic, hit up Lagunitas Brewing, and zipped back home in time to ride bikes to watch fireworks on the bay. Lovely day!






Surf: 5.6 ft at 8.3 s from the NW at 306°

Last minute weekend getaway on the coast!

Meghan had some extra space on her tent-cabin camping trip so I tagged along. It’s a great spot, plenty of hiking including a nice hike out to the dunes and cliffs Franklin Point. What a view! As the sun started to go down, there were hundreds of searbirds diving just offshore. Pelicans, gulls, cormorants, all kinds of birds. Total amazing mayhem.

The next day we walked to other direction to check out some tidepools.

Ant the way back we met up with some friends in Pacifica to cool off (so hot this weekend!) The rips were very strong and the shorebreak really stomping so bodysurfing was kept to a minimum. Still nice to get wet (carefully.)


Neoprene Jacket and Shorts:
I wanted to do a review of my Seea neorpene after the Hawaii trip last fall, but unfortunately didn’t have any photos of me sporting the goods. Super glad I packed my jacket and shorts for this trip, the water was in the 70’s in southern California and the neoprene was perfect for morning and sunset surfs.

First up on these: the fit.

I’m a large and the jacket fit perfectly. The sleeves fell right at the wrists, even with my long arms. The shorts are high waisted, which was very comfortable (no sunburned lower back, no water flushing down my shorts.) I did wear bikini bottoms under them. My legs might be a little bigger than the intended fit and the cuffs rolled up a bit my first paddle out. It wasn’t immodest or anything, but I thought I’d feel a bit more comfortable with bottoms under, just in case. I do this with the surf-suits, too. It’s just more comfortable for me. Doing so also makes it so I could take the shorts off for the hike back up the cliff once the sun had warmed things up.

People in the water usually ask about the zipper. It’s padded enough by the cut of the neoprene that I don’t feel it paddling. I can unzip it to about the middle of my upper chest before the zipper clacks on the board. I tried it unzipped all the way and it was fine but caught a little extra water. The zipper feels pretty sturdy and is easy to zip even with cold or sunblock covered hands.

So far it’s held up to hikes down cliffs (in CA and HI,) it’s held up to drying over the side mirror on the van, it’s even lasted through a really long (sad) six months put away between trips.

Love it! It’s pretty classic, not too girly, and not too dude-ish. I’ll admit, my roommate burst out laughing seeing the shorts out of context, but thought it looked super cute all together.

It’s also easy to mix and match the shorts and jacket with other stuff. I wore the jacket with my palm-tree leggings and the shorts with my rashguards no problem. It was especially helpful in Hawaii where the water was so warm I mostly ended up wearing the shorts and a rashie in the morning.

Surf Leggings:
In other gear news: I finally got to try out my surf leggings! Yay!

I got these for Mexico trips and hadn’t gotten a chance to try them out until now. These are GREAT. No sunburn, no board rash, no hiking up or slipping down. I got the Pacifica ones which are very lightweight. It should be perfect for Mexico so I can keep covered without getting overheated.

They came to about mid-calf on me which is either because I’m tall or is the older style of cut. The ones on the site now look like they are closer to ankle.

They got the same treatment as the neoprene, but with the added challenge of having to charge through brush coming up and down the cliff. No snags!

Definitely getting a pair of the Calaifa leggings when they’re in stock again.



Surf: 5.9 ft at 19.0 s from the W at 281°. Low Tide.

After Friday’s wet but successful hike, we came back on Sunday for round two with other coworkers and kids. Weather was sunny and warm, a rarity that I’m not sure was appreciated by the little ones. Everyone pulled through. The parking situation was definitely a little wild west, but doable.

Afterwards we hit the beach. I was able to get in a little bit of surf. Not every wave was a closeout, but it was crowded. After working a few lumpy, congested waves, I opted for fins and caught a few more.Saw a sea lion bodysurfing another wave nearby. Even managed an on-wave high five, ha.

Some sand castle building, some sunburn getting (whoops), and a little bit of swimming.


Surf: 3.3 ft at 7.1 s from the W at 277°

The surf looked pretty blown out and meh this morning so we skipped surf and headed to the new Devil’s Slide trail that just opened up off highway 1.

What a great little trail. It’s the old highway 1 router from before the tunnel, so it’s paved rather than a “trail,” but wow, it’s something special. Before the trail it was a bit of a white-knuckled drive, rather hard to really get to check out the view or watch the birds. There’s so much neat stuff to look at! We even saw some sea lions swimming around.

About halfway through the walk it started raining. Pretty amazing to watch the stormclouds come in over the water.

Great spot. I’d recommend checking it out on a weekday as the parking lots are small. There is a shuttle from Pacifica that leaves once an hour on the weekends: Looks like the best place to pick it up is at Pacifica Beach, but it also picks up a variety of places around town.


Buoys: 6.2 ft at 21.1 s from the WNW at 291°

Checked the buoys in the am and they looked like nothing I wanted a piece of, but I did want to go look so I headed down to the beach. Sticker and Carl were already out. We watched them for quite a while. While I love watching folks get big stuff, I got breakfast instead.

Our friends at Quality People’s have shot a few videos of spots I love to surf in MX.

Here’s one with the Seea crew at a boat spot I surfed on my last trip:

Diosa De La Costa from Quality Peoples on Vimeo.

And another at my favorite spot, the first day of this last trip:

Getting Lost In The Beauty Of It All from Quality Peoples on Vimeo.

In addition to their wonderful videos, they have wonderful clothes!
They’ve just launched their online store:

I’ve already picked up a shirt. <3 IMG_7709


Did a little ding repair today.

My Vaquero survived the trip to Mexico. It survived a cobblestone point break. It survived boats and cars and falling coconuts. It unfortunately wasn’t able to stand up to me whacking it against the wall at the house like an idiot. Maaaaaan.

If I hadn’t just picked up a board from an Alex, I would have had him to the repair.

I also needed to do several repairs on my other longboard, so I figured I’d give it a go. I practiced first on the longboard, sanding, patching, sanding, patching.

When it came time to do the Vaquero, I took plenty of time. I cut off the lose chips of fiberglass with a razor. I sanded and sanded with tape to keep from going overboard. I filled, I cured, I sanded, I filled again, I sanded. It was hours of work, but I’m pretty happy with the result.

Just knowing I can do a repair that doesn’t look like a glop bomb is a big step forward. It’s not perfect, but I’m still proud.

Now to watch it like a hawk to make sure it doesn’t leak. :S

YAAAAY My board is ready YAAAAY.



I’ve spent the last few weeks e-stalking my board through the process (and trying not to bug James with OMG ISIT DONE YET!!!)

Here’s a little of the process with photos from Sunset Shaper’s instagram feed.

Step 1- Give your block of foam over to your glasser. Watch foam get put in a pile, loaded in a truck, and moved to the glassing shop.



Step 2- When the glasser posts a workshop picture, assume every board that’s even remotely the color you asked for is yours. Freak out when you see even a hint of it in the background.



Step 3- Shamelessly talk about step 2 on twitter as a passive aggressive hint that you’d really like to see photos. Freak out when you get one. OMG OMG OMG OMG.


Step 4- Wait for glasser to post finished pics. Adjust expectations along with instagram filters. Freak out that it’s done and not be able to sleep wanting to go pick it up.


Step 5- Go get it!!! But maybe make sure they don’t close early that day cause you’ll show up to a locked door after racing across town after work and completely freak out (in the bad way, not the good way you’ve been freaking out all along.) Thankfully someone’s waiting for you to pick it up so it all works out. YAY.


Step 6- Take several thousand pictures and post them to the internet. Eventually stop before you drive everyone crazy, but have fun. (This step is optional and is based on how much freaking out you’ve done. OMG YAY)



Step 7- Surf! 😀

Thanks everyone at Sunset Shapers. This has been an absolutely blast.

If anyone is looking to learn more about shaping, or just wants a new board and can’t make up their mind, I highly recommended their shaping class. You get a sweet new board and you’ll have a lot of fun making it.

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