A lil’ meme for the Hawai’i tourist, who doesn’t always comprehend the intense environment here. Who thinks when the hurricane or tropical storm warning has ended or been cancelled, you’re in the clear. Who doesn’t pay attention to high surf or those pretty signs that line the beach warning you not to go in. Who think they can handle the waves here, because they’ve surfed before. Who go to the shoreline to get that perfect selfie, only to get washed away. Who think (or don’t think) it’s okay to be oblivious because you’re on vacation! Problem is, tourists die here every year, because they’re not paying attention. If you’re “that guy” (or girl) this one’s for you!
Archive for the ‘Tip of the Day’ Category
Posted in Big Island, Hawaii, Hurricane, kauai, oahu, Tip of the Day, tagged Hawaii, Hawaii Tourism, Hawaii Tourist Death, Hurricane Lester, Hurricane Madeline, kauai, Maui, oahu on September 3, 2016| Leave a Comment »
While waterproof, floatable items are always optimal in the face of tsunami or hurricane, we’re not quite certain how a “Frankenstorm” inspires an Evacuation Sale on Surfing Gear? (Google rankings anyone?)
Don’t get us wrong, we can’t really knock any sale on surfboards, ever (and the Lost “Driver” model looks kinda sick) but, unlike Bodhi, we might opt to sit this swell out.
For more disaster deals – and a list of open restaurants in NY – check here. Be safe (and surf be damned, avoid the contaminated waves for a while!).
Posted in Surfer Girls, Surfing, Tip of the Day, tagged best surf gear, surf gear for girls, surf suits, surfer girl, surfing swim suits, water gear for girls, women surf suits on June 17, 2010| 22 Comments »
There are always issues when fashion eludes function, and visa versa, and this is certainly the case with water gear for surfer girls. Personally, I feel companies who have sold themselves as girl / women surf companies, though they have some lovely clothes, have let the average Jo surfer girl down in terms of truly awesome surf suits. In Hawai’i, we surf with some of the hottest pro surfer girls in the world, all hard-bodied and perfection. Hello world, we are not all built that way! Some women’s boobs actually jiggle and laugh in the face of a stretchy sliding spaghetti strap! In this post (which we’ll likely add to) we look at some surfer girl swimsuit don’ts….
The halter: It may make the boobage look all pushed together, snuggly, and a little mo’ big, but the halter is the worst kind of bathing suit top for a surfer girl. Fashion statements are one thing. I have a nice, yellow, bust-enhancing halter from Victoria Secrets, which does magical things, but it’s for wearing on the beach (for short spurts) not on my board. Why? Surfer girls have enough problems with neck strain; why put additional pull on the neck while we surf. You may not feel it while it’s happening, but your neck and shoulder muscles are compensating. Beware; especially larger breasted women. Unless you are spider-bite sized, you should avoid the halter. The crisscrossed back and sports bra styles seem to offer the best boob and postural
support and consistent coverage for bigger surf. Now if only form and function could evolve beyond the compressed boob-flattening that the sporty suits create. There are a few brands out there…but there needs to be more!
The Tankini: These often offer nice comfy support and are lovely for women who don’t want to show the belly. Unfortunately for the surfer girl they have a habit of riding up, or down, while surfing. And body surfing – ferget it! – the boob always pops out the top. Unless you can find one that’s secure fitting, you’re best to get a nice rash guard to cover up.
Board Shorts with Elastic Waist Bands: These are often offered at a Costco and seem like a good deal, until they’re around your ankles after a wipe-out. Though even Hurley and Billabong make them now, and they’re making their way into the surf stores, I recommend only wearing this style out and about or for jogs on the beach. The exception is for the full-figured surfin’ wahine who can stretch out the elastic all the way or their bootay is bootayfull enough to keep ’em up and… they ain’t goin’ nowhere. Simply an observation: guys who wear elastic board shorts are 99% of the time not surfers.
Board Shorts with Fake Ties and Fake Pockets: While we’re on the subject… why put a friggin’ tie in the front of a board short if it has no functional purpose? And by that I mean, why not make it functional!? Why put a pocket on girl’s board shorts if you don’t bother making it so the wax could stay in it? And by that I mean, would it really cost that much more to have the velcro go that extra inch across the whole pocket, g-d forbid you did such skimping on same brand’s men’s boardshorts – just sayin’. These are a few of the little things I’ve wondered about… for the past 20 years. No big deal, surely they’ll give me a good answer some day. Or maybe this needs to go in the NASA pile: things the geniuses at NASA will have to invent once the space program is null and void and they can invent high-IQ solutions and inventions that couldn’t be accomplished by the common man.
Suits with Embellishments: Unfortunately, some cute suits (like the deals you find at Ross) have weird embellishments in odd places. Like O-rings on the front of the hip or between the bust – ouch. Dangling beads also suck when you jump back on the board and have no time to reposition because you need to paddle back out before the next big set. I remember when Xcel had the plastic adjuster for the elastic cinch on their womens (not mens!) wet suit tops in the front, making it awfully painful when lying on the board. They should have made a public apology and refunded everyone (hey, I still have a few). After many complaints they did realize women would actually be surfing in it and repositioned it like the men’s version.
Bikini Bottoms with Tie Strap Sides: These are fine in small waves, but the thing about the surf, it has a way of undressing you. When it happens you will be happy if the side that unties is not the side with the leash, if ya know what I mean. Many a surfer girl has paddled in nekkid; don’t let this happen to you.
If you have the perfect surf swimsuit, send a pict or link! If you are a big surf company and want to see all the dream wahine water gear I’ve been designing in my mind for ten years, give me a buzz. If you’ve had a horrible surf swimsuit experience, send it in for another post!
Posted in Big Island, Elections '08, Hawaii, Obama, Tip of the Day, tagged barack obama, Bayfront, Big Island, democratic, Hawaii, Hilo, Maya Soetoro-Ng, Mooheau, rally on September 17, 2008| 1 Comment »
Big Island getting some Obama Love. Okay, it’s actually the Democratic “Grand Rally” where Barack Obama’s sister Maya Soetoro-Ng will be making an appearance on behalf of her bro. That’ll be this Friday, September 19, 2008 from 4-7pm.
Where’s it at? In Hilo at Mooheau Park, 231 Kamehameha Avenue. Supposedly there is only space for 300 (at the park?) – so, click here to RSVP ASAP! More info: Hilo Bay Oceanfront Contact Al Beeman (808.895.1813). Did someone say free hot dogs and chili?
Straight outta Hilo, Hawai’i, with movements blossoming across the U.S., REVO is up as a big contender in the My Space Impact Awards (“honoring MySpace members for the positive impact they’ve had on our culture” – this month’s category, International Development). You can help them bring more attention to the cause (and bring them a lump sum of mula to keep them running) by simply casting your vote. What is REVO? It’s about one’s ability to start a REVOlution…
REVO thrives on the idea that one person can trigger positive change in the world. REVO provides a framework for anyone to take creative steps toward bringing relief, restoration, and lasting hope in a needful world. So many people want to make a difference but don’t know where to begin– our goal is to inspire MySpace users to use their vocation, passion or talent to START A REVO.
One person can trigger positive change in the world – and you can start with one vote. Simply click here, log into your MySpace account, and vote once a day (’til voting ends June 20th). Mahalo!
UPDATE: Congratulations to my sista Nina and crew at REVO – winners of the My Space Impact Awards for International Development!!! (and thanks to everyone who took the time to cast their vote!
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The spirit of marijuana is female. She is alluring, very seductive. In her presence time passes almost without one noticing. Her sweet fragrance intoxicates the senses and uplifts the mind. She is delighted by heroic men and sensual women. When a couple shares marijuana, they are allowing her participation in their relationship. Accepting their invitation, the spirit of marijuana adds spontaneity and humor, and also acts as a potent initiator. By bringing the couple into her dimension, the spirit of marijuana exalts and magnifies both love and sensitivity. – “The Pleasure of Pot and Sex“, High Times Magazine
An insightful friend once mentioned to me why marijuana was so alluring to men. “It’s female,” he said, “the spirit of the plant is a woman. That’s why so many male pot smokers can’t maintain an intimate relationship with another women – because they already have a woman in their life who they are devoted to.”
Besides the initial youthful foray, I never desired smoking much. I wouldn’t buy it, and if I was given some it would either dry up sitting in my jewelry box, or would become a sort of emergency stash for friends. Commonplace for the Hawaii surfer, sometimes you join in when the waves are small, and a little creative inspiration to boost ones imagination helps alter reality enough to make the session more fun (or challenging). Really though, unless in a relationship with a smoker, rarely do I partake. Though it obviously heightens certain attributes, overall pakalolo doesn’t work well with my constitution and doesn’t make me perform at my best. Instead it seems to lower my metabolism and make me socially dysfunctional, hungry, and sleepy; while realistically I’d prefer to be awake, aware and able to hold elaborate conversations without losing the thread (somewhat of an anomaly in many surfing circles).
I’m certainly not trying to disregard the benefits (though many of those are found in more infrequent use – or in cases of serious illness). It is the ultimate first step mind opener… it’s just once the mind is opened, users habitually go back to the step of putting the key in the door, instead of actively utilizing what it’s already showing you. It’s obviously a better option than other more available hardcore drugs, as observed in Hawai’i, where we have the largest number of “ice” users per capita (which has evolved hand-in-hand with big dolla’ federally subsidized marijuana enforcement). Unlike meth, pot doesn’t seem to make one want to beat their kids, or spouses, or spend the rent money to get high, or rob their neighbor (despite what conservatives of the refer madness generation may want you to believe). And personally, I’ve had positive experience with the benefits of utilizing marijuana medically. In my case, to ween myself off stronger drugs; prescribed pain killers that were, post-debilitating-trauma, necessary for daily function – but certainly ate more brain-cells and created a more psychotic mentality than pakalolo ever did. That said….
As rasta as some want to be, as much as one convinces themselves there are no side-effects to smoking, it’s ignorant to believe. Sure it varies with each individual, with the amount and consistency of use, including when and why you use it. Most obviously, unfortunately, you can become less inspired. It’s similar to when one has too much sex, or masturbates too often – as if they can’t figure out how to capitalize on their energy, so they release it, so they can be in a relaxed state. There are deeper connections with sexuality and pot, which helps explain why more men regularly use, and rely upon it, then women.
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I smoke my weed, I love my weed, I eat my weed, it’s Sickening
I smoke my weed, I love my weed, I sleep with my weed, it’s Sickening
— “It’s Sickening” by Classified
We have all heard the studies, opinions, diatribes from both sides of the legalization debate, discussing whether or not pot is addictive (marijuana being illegal simply indicative of a government’s arrogant, controlling nature). Whatever. Doesn’t really matter. Call it what you will, users may deny addiction but certainly feel the need to partake in their daily dose. I’ve never heard the (above quoted) song, but even if there are some women who relate to pot this way – odds are, 99% of the time, this is the mentality of a man and his relationship with weed, not a woman talking about hers. Of course there are better writings than a chorus to express the depth of the desire, like these excerpts from “Ganja” from Deep Spirit & Great Heart: Living in Marijuana Consciousness:
June 9, 1993
My wings take me a place where the sky is green and the earth is blue. Naked women appear before me, holding thorn apples in their left hands, marijuana buds in their right hands, speaking words of truth and passion whether I be on earth or in heaven, and radiating bliss from their musk scented thighs.
June 14, 1993
You do not know me, but I am your lover. Take this message to yourself. You, being space, are female, and I, being time, am male, and you and I are everywhere. No matter where I walk, the path leads to you, where the Light of Light resides in the shrine of your heart, emitting illumination to all of creation, and showering me with the bliss to be found in joy and happiness.
December 2, 1993
Closing my eyes, I see myself sitting beside a pond with water lilies and blue green algae floating on its surface. I ask for help to make it through life’s journey, and she takes my hand. I weep, and she comes to my side. I listen for singing, and she fills my ears with the lilting sounds of her voice. I pine for love, and she takes me within her. I wish to return to the body in which I was born, and she leads me beyond time into eternity.
Though the symbolism is up to interpretation, and from what I understand these are from a dying man who was dosing medicinally, still, in these marijuana meanderings the connecting with the female is quite prominent. This plant, which ironically reproduces sexually, seems immersed with a sexual mood and a history in sexual culture.
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Folk medicines in 19th century Serbia relied on cannabis preparations, which they called nasha. Female virgins were given mixtures of lamb’s fat and cannabis on their wedding nights, to decrease the pain of their first intercourse. Such use echoes modern practices in India, where newlyweds drink bhang beverages and eat bhang candy. Indian prostitutes are reported to eat lots of bhang sherbet, which helps them feel sexually aroused even when their customers are fat, ugly and stupid. -Cannabis Culture
Guys are oft eager to share their pot with girls, because it offers an “in”, so to speak. A girl slightly high might find herself a little less able to control her faculties, and there is a chance she might be more “amenable”. Certainly, some women want that experience, because they feel more able to let go when they are a little drunk or stoned. And sensitivities are heightened to the point greater pleasure and intimacy seems to be achieved — but there are the down sides.
In an article regarding sex and drugs on the informational web site About.com, it gives some Western facts and figures on the subject:
* In a study, 75 percent of men said that marijuana increased sexual pleasure and satisfaction, 68 percent reported that it enhanced their orgasm, and 39 percent found that it increased the duration of intercourse.
* Women are even more likely than men to report enhanced sexual desire with marijuana use. In one study, 90 percent of women reported that marijuana increased feelings of sexual pleasure and satisfaction to varying degrees, and 40 percent of women reported that marijuana increased the quality of their orgasm.
The Bottom Line: While we don’t know why marijuana has positive effects on sexual satisfaction in men and women, research and anecdotal evidence consistently show that in small doses, there are perceived positive effects.
Then we see, with increased intake, over a greater period of time, results from the studies change dramatically.
Using marijuana more regularly or habitually is related in men to increased risk of erectile dysfunction, and in men and women it may be linked to overall reduced interest in sex. Marijuana, in higher doses, has detrimental effects on fertility and even in smaller doses can have negative impacts during pregnancy for the fetus. Also, because sex is more than just a physiological process, drugs may impact your psychological and social experience of sex in unpredictable ways.
Sexually, marijuana interferes with sex hormones, cuts testosterone levels, and depletes the ability to produce healthy sperm. And while it may make one feel hornier at the onset, unfortunately this is actually a sign one’s sexual essence is being exhausted (though less so for those who practice tantric sex). Those who habitually use become drained, as they are tapping into -and releasing- their life force (and combined with sex, ultimately draining it even more). At the same time, the act of sex becomes, in part, an effort to tap into the source of their partner’s life force.
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The “it’s all good” mentality of a smoker might keep them from ever pondering possible consequences. Smoking da herb – it’s all good. Even the obvious negative effects of the smoke itself is often defended. For the surfer, especially when paddling out on a good-sized day, we require all the lung-power we can muster. In those scenarios -cardio interspersed with a need to hold one’s breath underwater- the rolled joint verses the vaporizer is no longer a question: the vaporizer, which produces less smoke, is a much better choice! Still, no matter how you inhale, there are risks.
Scientists have identified more than 150 chemicals in marijuana smoke and tar. Marijuana smoke contains cancer-causing chemicals such as benzopyrene, which occur 70 percent more in marijuana smoke than in tobacco smoke. Examinations of human lung tissue exposed to continuous marijuana smoke in laboratory testing show precancerous cellular change. In laboratory tests, the tars from marijuana smoke produce tumors when applied to animal skin. These studies suggest that prolonged marijuana use causes cancer. Through studies like these, scientists have learned that exposure to marijuana smoke interferes with the work of white blood cells. White blood cells in lung tissue remove debris from the lungs. When exposed to marijuana smoke, these cells cannot remove bacteria and other debris. Smoking marijuana significantly reduces lung functions. -Narcanon
But that’s a Narcanon perspective – seems you can always find “studies”, or at least theories, to prove the opposite. So I asked my acupuncturist his opinions about pot… though he has a personal preference that differs from the traditional Chinese applications, he explains:
Pot is an oil-based toxin. The liver deals with any oil-based toxins. It seems to raise blood pressure on a lot of people – I think due to the vascular constriction caused by almost any smoke. Most people in Chinese medicine are down on smoking pot. I have my permit for my back pain, and I enjoy it, and it doesn’t seem to cause me any problems that I notice. We use the hemp seeds in Chinese medicine mainly for constipation.
Actually, I got a more classic rendition via this comment from a practitioner, found on a TCM forum online, regarding the harmful effects of any smoke entering the lungs:
When hot smoke is inhaled it instantly starts to affect the lung qi and yin. At the same time the liver becomes stagnant over time because of the overload of toxins. These are the first organs to become affected by smoking herb. As time goes on, that damage to the lung qi begins to reach the spleen qi, weakening the body’s defenses and digestive capabilities, and the heat from the smoke doesn’t only damage the lung yin, but also begins to affect the kidney yin. This is evident in some chronic (no pun intended) smokers who suddenly wake up with night sweats.
I’ve tried to explain to male users -especially those who are already on their way to considering the Kelly Slater buzz cut- that adding fire into their the body might not be the best idea. The excess heat rises -as heat is apt to do- exiting through the top of the head, frying not just the brain cells but singing the hair follicles (adding more heat via smoke is also a concern for “hot-heads”, alcoholics, fire-signs, those prone to shingles or eczema, and anyone who challenges their liver daily). While DNA plays the overwhelming role in baldness, there are certainly ways and means to speed up the process.
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Every drug has its own nature. It has a unique set of properties that can be described by a very specific curve of benefits and drawbacks. Marijuana’s benefit curve, whether you take it by prescription or otherwise, will at first seem to give you more than it takes. Over time, though, this curve reverses, and it will begin to take more than it gives you. If you’re addicted to marijuana during its taking phase, your high will get weirder and emptier every time you take it. It will also take you longer and longer to recover from it. That’s part of the process of developing tolerance for marijuana. It’s also when long-term damage begins. Your Kidney System is responsible for your long-term health. By the time marijuana affects the level of your Kidney System, it is altering the course of your life in a serious way. – “The Physical Effects of Marijuana, from the Perspective of TCM”
Sure, a little toke now and again, could inspire a new vision or perspective. Unfortunately, the one thing that seems consistent with habitual drug users, is the ability to live in some sense of denial. Whether it be denial that they are overdoing it (that they “don’t smoke that much”…at least compared to their friends), that there are any ill-effects (to themselves or those around them), or that their drug of choice is often used as a means to smooth over the rough edges and assist in avoiding the things in life that they don’t want to deal with. They may lose quality attributes, like unconsciously covering up behaviors and actions with an innate proficiency in rewriting reality to suit their needs. If you are the sober one, speaking to the marijuana smoker (male or female) about serious concerns, it becomes difficult to relate. What once seemed a heightened awareness, superhuman powers of creative insight, and a deeper connection to the spiritual and unknown, often slowly manifests into a dulled impotence, and a loss of connection and motivation to excel to one’s potential. As with anything, there are exceptions, like the strong constitution / spiritually advanced / high IQ types who are actively pursuing knowledge. Still, constant efforts must be made to keep the body/mind in balance. Typically the end-game result is a weakening of the kidneys, mental acuity is diminished, communication becoming garbled. The user may find their a little too burnt out to deal with their loved ones fully and completely.
When marijuana’s beginning to claim your Kidney System you’ll experience a loss of memory. This often takes the form of impaired or reduced short-term memory, and impaired or reduced comprehension of what’s happening in your world. You’ll also lose your ability to listen effectively. Marijuana can so damage your learning and attention skills over time that you may wind up with no ability to get back from the place it’s taken you to.
When marijuana first begins to burn up your Kidney Yin it will make things seem hysterically funny to you. As your Kidney Yin gets more depleted, the funniness will end and paranoia will begin. Depending on your constitution, your burning Kidney Yin may leave you feeling speedy or sleepy.
When marijuana is affecting your Kidney System on a more profound level things seem like they’re happening in slow motion. Time seems to go on forever. What’s really happening is your perceptions are moving very fast. This is when marijuana is burning up your Jing Sexual Essence. When marijuana’s Toxic Heat spends your energy and deep Yin Fluids at this level it creates very substantial damage to your long-term health and wellbeing.
…The Chinese medical classics state that Jing Sexual Essence, Qi and Blood are the physical foundations of your mind and Spirit. Traditional Chinese Medicine views the body as if it’s an amazingly intricate alchemical cauldron. This cauldron distills the substances you eat and breathe into concentrated subtle essences. Your body continually refines these essences into higher qualities of matter and energy. Your physiology then uses them to support its different functions. Jing is the highest level of physical refinement in this system….a storehouse for your life potential…your reserves. It determines the quality of your life experience and possibly even the length of your life as well. You may be trading a portion of your life potential for your relationship with marijuana. – “The Physical Effects of Marijuana, from the Perspective of TCM”
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So back to the initial concept, of the man and his love marijuana. All I’m saying girls, is that you may want to think twice when deciding to be with a guy who makes smoking a regular part of his life. At least keep in mind the reoccurring themes that may continually come into play, including that he is: already immersed in another serious “relationship”, exhausting his energy (you may get the leftovers), often exposing to the world a mellow personality but may find himself prone to “snapping”, unable to deal emotionally, unable to recall conversations, and otherwise may only be partially available for another person. If you decide to make an intimate connection with this guy, you might as well do it fully aware of the situation, that Ms. Sativa is a controlling woman, and will only let you into the manage a tois on her terms. Ultimately it seems, in order for the relationship to work, if your man is a dedicated smoker, you must also make a commitment to her. Otherwise you may find you’re having an affair with a man who is already committed to another woman.
Perhaps it’s better summed up in the article “Marijuana and Sex: A Classic Combination“ on the web site Cannabis.com, where an anthropologist notes the philosophy of cannabis religions on the metaphysical potential of the female cannabis plant:
Cultures with sacred cannabis use tend to be cultures which recognize the ‘goddess’. That could mean mother earth, yin, or female beauty and virtues. People who bring marijuana inside themselves are engaging in a type of sexual union with the plant. It is a very sexual act to have a molecule of THC implant itself into your brain.
Since cannabis is associated with female deities like Kali, we could say that when you use marijuana sexually, you are bringing a very special ‘woman’ into your bed. Make sure you’re ready for that relationship!
Posted in Environment, Health & Alternative Medicine, Shark Attacks, Sunscreen, Surfing, Tip of the Day, tagged bethany hamilton, BPSA, cancer, coverage, health insurance, medical bills, shark attack, skin cancer, surf insurance, travel insurance on May 23, 2008| 11 Comments »
Thought this an interesting way to advertise health insurance to those who surf; direct-marketed to me on MySpace. So I curiously clicked, and found the Platinum Kaiser Plan is just $195.00 a month (!), for an average Hawaii surfer, who might like swimming with sharks (I’m assuming the sharks in the ocean, not the sharks in the medical insurance industry).
Actually, it is the same story for many shark attack victims – if they’re lucky they deal with a deductible, but a large number who have no coverage are ill-prepared to experience the second stage of the feeding frenzy: bill collectors coming after them for hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical expenses. The helicopter ride alone can cost nearly $10,000 (depending on location/remoteness and many plans do not cover medical evacuations). And typical policies don’t often cover needed prosthetics either (a cause Bethany Hamilton has championed – and a bill mandating coverage is nearing passage). It doesn’t have to be a shark attack obviously, surfers get themselves in many other predicaments: from reef to the head to close encounters with a donkey on a longboard. And we need efficient, specific surfer coverage, because it’s not like a car accident – there is no personal info exchanged at the scene, no 1-800 numbers to call. When you’re injured surfing and you’re out for a week, a month, a year -your fault or no-fault- even if you have regular medical insurance it won’t pay the rest of your bills!
So, for the living in the moment surfer, is it worth it to be cautious and protected?
At the very least you want some form of emergency or “catastrophic coverage“ – which doesn’t include regular doctor visits -or has a huge deductible- but does include major hospital and medical expenses. And if you’re on a surf-safari, especially to a foreign country (for that trip you’re taking this hurricane season to Indo or the Mentawais), it’s worth the peace of mind to get yourself some traveler’s insurance (yes, even on top of your medical – as many insurance companies won’t cover you abroad, and don’t include all the things that can go wrong when traveling). Even many pro-surfers neglect the obvious – and they’re regularly touring around the world, continuously introducing themselves to lovely new forms of bacteria their bodies are not used to. For example, sweet-styley goofy-foot pro Ryan Carlson had to learn the hard way via some staph courtesy of a Puerto Rican sea urchin… and the sh*t-load of bills that came with it.
You’d think pros could afford top-notch health insurance (or perhaps some surfing association would cover them), but unless you’re in the tippy-top rung, often you’re only scoring free gear and some spattering of contest money. Luckily -at least for those well-known in the sport- they seem to be able to rely on the compassion of other surfers, who help out with benefits, surf contests, and other fund-raising efforts. But us regular Joes, usually there’s no big benefit concert waiting for us when we get home from the hospital.
And though many surfers are actually functional citizens, there are a few, ehem, beach bums out there. Those who would opt to spend their last buck on a bar of surf wax before buying a box of band-aids. Many surfers, and athletes in general, rely on the fact that they are decently healthy and fit – yet that doesn’t necessarily protect you from unforeseen. Aussie surfer Richie Lovett had insurance – but with limits (read that fine print), which left him with over $200,000 in bills. Many surfers, like four-time cancer survivor and pro Dean Randazzo, have discovered this the hard way. He started the Dean Randazzo Cancer Foundation to help surfers with or without medical insurance who have to deal with cancer and its side effects – it’s hard to focus on your fight for survival while the bills are mounting up.
It’s not just skin cancers, suffered by pro Rowen Barrett and pro-mom Jeannie Chesser– we see many with rare bone cancers as well. The skin cancers seem obvious and common side-effects; surfers feel impervious. It’s almost as if they have to – it’s not like they can stay out of the sun while enjoying the sport (and for some reason many wrongly believe their sunscreen lasts more than an hour without reapplying!). For those who get cancer that causes pain in the hip, leg or, like Jason Bogle, their back, often they don’t get it checked out right away, as our mind opts to associate it with some past surf injury, over-exertion, or the joys of trying to bust the moves while getting a lil’ bit older. And since early detection is essential – that’s not a good thing.
Though the medical insurance list of “injuries people are at risk for” includes drowning and shark attacks, it doesn’t include what may be much more of a hazard for surfers, and that is polluted water. Sure, us surfers like to think of our sport as cleansing -and spiritually it always is- but in reality, physically, it really depends on the spot we surf. Often surf breaks occur in run-off zones laden with fertilizers, pesticides, sewage, and all the bacteria the environmental imbalances create, which obviously puts more than 1 in 64,453 -or a yearly total of 64- surfers at risk. If a company were to offer an efficient insurance plan that was specifically designed for surfers, it would have to be a complete package which would include the wide-range of factors surfers contend with every day we go out in the water, wherever we decide to safari. Though there are some companies in Australia and Britain that seem to better understand the coverage needs of the sports enthusiast, for now America is laggin’ behind.
If the life experiences of the surfers who came before us can be a lesson, don’t leave it up to fate. If you surf enough, if you take chances (if the people surfing around you take chances), you’re eventually going to get injured. Surfers consider it part of ‘paying your dues’. Hopefully you’re not faced with a major accident or illness, but if so, the bedridden dreams of getting back into the waves may inspire you to recover in record time, better than you were before. Odds are you won’t need insurance if “the big one bites” but chances are you may find yourself in a situation where you’ll be absolutely stoked you’re covered.
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Since plans vary depending depending upon individual needs, age, location…you need to search out what is best for you. Here are a few added links to possibly help – plus some that include alternative therapies. If you are a student there are additional options you should research.:
• If you are a regular surfer in the UK you should consider membership in the BPSA, full membership at 20 pounds a year includes Personal Accident Insurance +£5,000,000 Public Liability Insurance.
• American Specialty Medical Networks My Life Plan Alternative Care Discounts for those with Blue Shield of California
• International Health Insurance (out of U.S.)
• Alternative Insurance (Health Care broker for Cali and Il.) – includes discount card for alternative medicine tratment and services from participating practitioners..
• Check out Benefits Check-up to see if you qualify for benefits in your state.
[Note: if you have a favorite alternative care practitioner, ask what insurance they accept, and then look into those.