Monday, February 25, 2013

Breath holding in the snow...while listening to Josh Garrels

While we got our first snow a couple of weeks ago here in Wilmington, I was busy holding my breath...not for snow, but for my Waterman Survival Certification with FII and In-Sea! With my instructors Ryan McInnis and Alex Llinas (Who also just trained Garrett McNamara for his 100' ride), I ramped up my in water safety and comfort skills ten-fold. It was such a great class that I plan on heading down to Florida in April to finish the Extended version of the class...I heard something about being tied to a brick and dropped to the bottom blind folded. Should be awesome!!
Head of the class...sort of...
Awesome instructors + photo bombing
Getting towed in...
Just keep swimming...and Don't Panic!

Unfortunately while I was under water Wilmington got the only snow we've seen in two years. Since I missed it, I decided to head for the mountains. I got to do a snowboarding with some good friends for my birthday...It's been a few years, but I managed to find some powder in the woods, and hit some boxes in the park. It was amazing how simlar it was to riding an alaia! Same rails, same outline, same feeling and body movement...only freezing cold. Thanks to Smith Optics and Helmets my face and head stayed protected. Unfortunately my ankle wasn't...ugghhh. Last run, last jump...sprained. A little rest and I should be good by next week. We also convinced my friend Josh to go down in his trunks...He got cold...wait til you see it in 120fps!!
Like riding an the snow
It's like laying at the bottom of the ocean...but frozen... 

And all this was iced off by an awesome performance in Raleigh by my friend Josh Garrels and Mason Jar Music crew. Maybe one of the best nights of music ever!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

The Bulls & El Bulls

A month is a long time to be away from home, but revisiting your original home, and then travelling to a place that feels like home makes it easy. My most recent adventure began in Chicago of all places. I headed up a 3 week long surf camp with WB Surf Camp by teaching for 3 days in Wheaton, Illinois with my codirector and trusty travel companion Steve Schroeder. We stayed with one of the coolest families I've ever had the pleasure of knowing, the Blocks. Bryan and Jennifer treated us as two of their own (they already have 4) and spoiled us the entire time. Their kids are also top notch. Super fun, always polite, and just full of positive electric energy.

Apart from the normal surfing and surf education that we generally give on the beach we had the opportunity to teach true marine biology, oceanography, and surf science to this lucky group of high schoolers from the midwest. While at Wheaton Academy we dissected squid, made a wave tank, tested water properties and we even got to jump in a pool with them one day and have them drag us around under water.  It was fun to say the least and we even got to go to a Bulls first NBA experience! We won!!!

Costa was filled with bulls...but also sea turtles, and plenty of good waves. We seemed to have spent more time with our friends down there this time though. Relaxing, surfing together, and sharing meals are 3 highly underrated activities that should happen more often and in succession. From the surf to the coffee to the gallo pinto, we shared all of our favorite things with others who traveled down from the States to learn to surf and relax. A huge thanks to Cairo & Courtney and Rafa & Monica who made our time there that much more smooth and awesome!

Here's just a few good memories from an amazing trip...from tall building to tall trees!