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Posts Tagged ‘surfboards’

Sometimes DIY and low-budget surf collide to create something that wouldn’t pan out on Pinterest but does bring a bit of mirth in a way-too-serious surf scene. Cummon, who wouldn’t like kickstart a new brand of metal chain locking surf straps? Who wouldn’t like chains wrapped around their surfboard and banging on the roof of the car as they drive? While surfboard theft isn’t as common on Kauai compared to the other islands, have a feeling this won’t catch on Maui, Big Island or Oahu either (well, correction, we can kinda imagine this being a hit in Puna lol).

* metal chains surf rack

As seen in Hanalei, Kauai, Hawai’i

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My local community has an amazing monthly board swap but if you aren’t so lucky and Craigslist isn’t cutting it, SurfingList may be for you. Here we have a quick chat with surfer and SurfingList creator Brett Hollman….

How did SurfingList get started?

I started SurfingList about six years ago with the idea that there were better communities than Craigslist for surfers that could provide more relevant local sites with items such as wetsuits, surfboards, surf reports, forums for surfers, beach condos for rent in the local surf community, and so on.

What are the advantages of using it over Craigslist?

SurfingList incorporates items for sale with other local items such as the surf forecast, surf report, forums, surf travel information, and places to upload photos rather than the much larger and diverse community Craigslist has created. SurfingList is a niche community where Craigslist is a community for all.

How many states / countries does Surfing List support? What are the goals?

SurfingList has 27 local sites right now and will continue to expand as we add more US and international destinations.

Do you find because airline fees are now so high (or there are so many restrictions) that more people are looking for sites that help them find boards once they arrive at their destination?

Hollman gettin’ some luv at Playa Grande, Costa Rica

Actually, that is a very good point and I would recommend people use the site for that reason as well. I have bought and sold a used board when traveling and SurfingList is the perfect location for a surfer to do just that.

What are some of your favorite surfing locales?

Well, I live in the San Diego area and love many North County areas such as Cardiff Reef, Swamis, and various breaks in Leucadia. As far as travel, I am a huge fan of Maui where I once lived and just got back from El Salvador which was an amazing surf trip with perfect right hand points.

Have you gotten any cool surfer celeb feedback?

Unfortunately not, but I do live down the street from Rob Machado, so you never know.

Check out SurfingList at SurfingList.com

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British Airways SurfboardsFor the lot of us who rarely make it to Europe it may not seem a big deal, but for the thousands of international surfers -especially professional surfers- British Airways’ 2007  ban on surfboards was a nightmare. They weren’t just charging exhorbinant fees or having embargo periods, they were banning boards on all their flights. If they got away with it, would it influence other airlines to follow suit? After two years, BA has now reconsidered their policy and beginning October 9, 2009 they will once again accept surfboards — with some limitations.

BA became the focus of much angst, petitions and surely some hate mail when overnight they went from “the surfer’s favorite airline” to “the surfer’s most hated airline.” To add insult to injury, at the same time they banned surfboards because of their size and bulk, they made it increasingly easy for golfers to bring their clubs, bike riders to bring their bikes, skiers to bring their skis, divers to bring their diving gear — all free of charge.

Luckily there are some pluses to a bad economy. Businesses who may have not aptly appreciated their customers are becoming financially influenced to satisfy their needs. Mark Wesson, an executive committee member of the British Surfing Association, says “Despite the immense global opposition at the time of the ban, BA remained staunch in its commitment to the move. However now it seems that their current financial situation – seeing a loss of £401 million this year – is helping to open their eyes and they are beginning to realize the business that surfers can bring back into the company.”

Problem is, while the partial lift of their ban may be a step in the right directions, it’s just not enough. You have to be a shortboarder in order to bring your boards as there is a 6’3″ size limit (so that’s likely a 6’1″ in a 6’3″ board bag). And even most shortboarders (professional and otherwise) will fly with larger sticks in their travel-quiver.

There is so much $$$ behind the surf industry, and so many surfers and surf company folk who travel, that collectively there should be enough power to earn us a little respect. Airlines who offer to take surfboards (of any size, including multiple boards in a bag) for a reasonable fee, should be the first choice for traveling wave riders. Companies like Virgin, for example, who stepped up to the plate after BA’s announcement, not only accepts surfboards but does so for free (and they made a huge profit last year doing it!).

Surfers should continue to make collective efforts: call and email customer service departments and sign petitions to get attention. Let your buying power speak for itself.  Think about the bigger picture before booking your next surf safari and make a statement by choosing a surf-friendly airline — even when you’re just traveling home to see mom and pop.

*   *   *

There are online lists that include info on airline policies concerning excess baggage acceptance and fees; though it should be noted that these can change and some airlines issue embargos during prime surf seasons to certain areas. Check out these links for more info: Surfers Against Airline Fees, Flying Fees and Surfline’s Breakdown of Board Bag Charges (call each airline before booking for the most current fees).


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british airways ban surfboardsI always thought the luggage handlers who so carelessly tossed your surfboard onto the plane, or piled heavy baggage atop it, were jealous because you were going on a surf trip while they had to work. But when a whole airlines sez “screw you!” to surfers – you have to wonder why?

Certainly many of us don’t instantly think of merry ol’ England as a surfing mecca (see Britain’s Surf Nation to change your mind), but that island also has their fare share of spots and hot surfers; 500,000 being a most recent figure. And Heathrow is certainly a hub for those on their way to other global surf destinations – icy cold or not.

So it was certainly a shocker when, late last year, British Airways announced “no can” to the whole surf and water enthusiast community.

Please note British Airways will no longer accept a number of larger sporting items as baggage: Hang gliders, Windsurfing boards and sails, Surfboards, Kayaks or canoes, Pole vaults, Javelins

Adding insult to injury, at the same time British Airways announced the surfboard ban, they got busy advertising their great pleasure in carrying your skis, heavy golf clubs and bicycles free of charge. Ouch! (more…)

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element cycleI’d been enjoying some extra bed time while getting over a bug, when I had this annoying nightmare. In it my MacBook was catching viruses off the internet. Could have been guilty download conscious, but I balance out such thievery with the reality that I wouldn’t buy any music even if I didn’t get it free. Suppose I was too spoiled receiving a never-ending supply of LPs and CDs for review during my music critic days. But as for movies, I have no excuse but boredom. Though I like animation, it’s highly unlikely I would have paid to see Happy Feet in the theater – unless I had some friend’s kids to take. And the lowly street or swap meet vendor is not losing out on my money either, ’cause doubtful I would ever purchase the Seinfeld-style “filmed in the audience” version from them. But there it was, the only full-length feature flick that didn’t stop half way whining “need more sources”; a low res Happy Feet inserting its avi self into the “shared” folder on my laptop. Shot by someone less artistic than Kramer, who didn’t even bother sitting front and center, or worry if his jacket might be covering the lens for a few minutes, and hand-held the thing – shaky-cam late ’90s style – for the full 98 minutes.broken surfboard

I know my dilemma – this fear of infliction – has less to do with guilt than it has to do with solidity. Living away from family, without a real permanent home, flowing through life, “riding the waves” so to speak, you have a tendency to utilize whatever is around you, to create structure; a sense of grounding. And I know it sounds silly perhaps, but my Mac has somehow become a symbol of such. Sure it’s not without its foibles, like any close friend, boyfriend, (in)animate object, but point is that I need to feel as though I can count on it; that it’s dependable, reliable. Yes, even though I know it can go at any time…it’s like one’s life, solid yet still vulnerable. Maybe that’s why when anything happens to my computer I get emotionally stirred. I count on it too much, to hold my thoughts, my dreams, facilitate my ability to work and create; a conceptually steady entity in an all-too fluctuating world.

Part of this sentiment is that when it’s healthy and working at its best, I work at mine. The flipside, the one I dread, like when the body breaks down and you end up lazy with sniffle-itis, is a fear of my Mac crashing, bringing up unhappy memories of lost files, documents, recalling the hours and weeks of work -poof- disappearing….

solid molecular structureEmphasizing these moments, of a pondered stability, I’ve had equally traumatizing dreams of grabbing my surfboard and at first it seems solid, and then it kinda flops and folds and doesn’t keep its shape. My last nightmare of that sort was disturbing, as I tried hopelessly to mold the board, as if it was Play-doh, into something ridable so I could paddle back out. Those who surf (more than they work 😉 ) understand the trauma of anything bad happening to their board, particularly if they can’t afford to just go out a buy a new one. Yes, almost like an addict not able to get their fix, or someone living in the outskirts having their car break down, or an earth sign unknowingly being dosed with acid – you lose the thing you depend upon so much. Things that offer continuity, solid ground; the anchor that keep one from blowing in the wind, or getting lost out at sea.

Surfers can be such a scattered breed, as we indulge to no end in the water element, it’s important to keep such cogent things about us. In the water, our foundation comes in collective and varying forms: our health and fitness; the strength we feel as we killed that last wave; of the fact that there is land that we can see; G-d we can feel; spiritual renewal that we experience; that we have our families, loved ones, pets waiting for us; a nice home…to go home to. Even a job or an appointment or somewhere to be after our session offers up some structure to our daily lives. But otherwise, it is the surfer’s gear that is the actual physical components that enable ourwater element adrenaline-based liquid reality: surf shorts, bikini, wet suit, surf wax, sunscreen, leash…and most importantly our surfboard. And that board, it really needs to be solid. It’s gotta float! So, to end up with a board that’s acting more like water…doesn’t work! Water won’t float on water…it disperses into itself.

The whole fear of the mutability of the surfboard, and I believe initial cause for such nightmares, first began while trying to support a local, East-side, Big Island shaper we’ll just call “escobar”. I purchased a couple of his boards. He seemed to be getting them out on time (a big deal in Hawai’i!) and I liked the shapes. Unfortunately what I didn’t pay enough attention to was the reason why all the kids who had his boards had them duck-taped around the edges and why they were flooding the used surf board racks in town; guess he hadn’t mastered a little thing called the glass job (for those unknowing souls that’s the coating -fiberglass cloth plus resin- that seals in and protects the foam and gives the board its “glassy” finish). Problem is, what’s the use of a good shape and getting the board in the specified time frame when the glass job sucks!

It had barely been a month since I’d had the board and the rails were already crumbling like old feta and on top of that there were tiny pookas covering the bottom from not saturating the cloth enough. But the one moment that still shakes my core to this very day was when I was putting my board into the back of my car and as I was sliding it over the seat, pushing it in, my thumb actually went into it! It was as if the molecular structure altered. My reliance on the congruity of the object shocked my system. Buuuut… if my surfboard is not a solid, what is? Ah, okay, I’m being dramatic you think, but honestly, for a broke-ass surfer, the incident was a true rug-pulled-out-from-under-you moment. When all is not what it seems and you have no control. Besides being physically injured and unable to surf, it’s those times when there are waves but you don’t have a board when a surfer comprehends his or her true dependence and vulnerability.patched mac

There I was, sent adrift, having spent my surfboard fund on something that was carelessly created and disintegrating before my eyes. My season of winter surfing – my exercise, my challenge, my release, my daily opportunity to clear the mind, focus, renew – potentially ended just as it was beginning. Aren’t there any guarantees in life? At least those things for which I pay my hard-earned bucks should supply to me the illusions of solidity that they are intended on providing; from surfboards to Apple computers.

Macs never really had viruses. Well, Apple may have had the first official wild viruses on their floppy bootable antique Lisa machines, and that one the Mac publisher released as a prank on its own readership to prove viruses could happen, but most of the Mac viruses were really just weirdnesses. Like the altered date setting that was actually some Apple programmer embedded issue, which surely made sense to them somehow but I still don’t understand why I needed to be bothered with wasting time struggling to find the most current version of a document because they were all mixed up with 1904 dates; fooooey! The Finder might get corrupt, or the system would need to be reinstalled, or SuperClock would go koo-koo. I recall many font conflicts, renumbering fonts, and having one Helvetica that would print and another that wouldn’t. But they weren’t really viruses, more like corruptions. Besides minor inconveniences, usually at the output place, it’d be fine.Mac vs. PC guy

Today most of these Mac “viruses” are mainly vulnerability issues (often for Microsoft software – and for which we get regular automatic updates). Still, from alarmist articles (written by PC users) to conversations (with PC users) they always like to inform you, “Well, they’re coming.” The viruses for the Mac are coming. Ergo, why use a Mac because you only think they are safe. Ergo, I will stay sick and infected and fighting off viruses with my Windows machine ’cause at least I know what I’m dealing with (it’s kinda like an unhealthy person using the “Well, we’re all gonna die anyway” as an excuse for bad lifestyle choices). Yet, they have been saying the same thing for years. It’s not that I don’t understand the potentiality of infliction some day, that I should use protection, especially as Mac market size increases and as Apple keeps egging hackers on with their superior “we’re impenetrable” verbiage, but do I really need to live with that problem now? Do I need to add any instability to my day-to-day life? As the headline of one article stated: “Windows vs. Linux vs. Mac OSX – Ignorance is Bliss” … it is bliss. It’s also nice that I never have to reinstall my system, wonder why I can no longer print or connect to the internet, or have to bring my machine in for regular antibiotic treatments like most of my PC-using friends.

On Apple’s web site they boldly state:

By the end of 2005, there were 114,000 known viruses for PCs. In March 2006 alone, 850 new threats were detected against Windows. Zero for Mac. While no computer connected to the Internet will ever be 100% immune from attack, Mac OS X has helped the Mac keep its clean bill of health with a superior UNIX foundation and security features that go above and beyond the norm for PCs. When you get a Mac, only your enthusiasm is contagious.

Drew Barrymore Mac Guy Justin LongMacObserver explained away much of the “Big Mac Attack” articles and these so-called Mac viruses in a piece, dated in computer world terms, but still holding true: Mac Viruses By the Numbers – Word Macro: 553, Classic Mac: 26, OS X: Zero. And of course, there are the commercials that explain Mac vs. PC in a more simplistic symbolism: of the kinda geeky but casually hip creative guy (played by actor Justin Long – Drew Barrymore’s new boyfriend) vs. the repressed conservative nerd business man. (What, you didn’t really think Drew was going to date the loser using a cheap clunky bug-ridden Dell?!?). Sure, in this “PC” world, I also am more apt to naively trust in the Mac guy….xo one laptop per child computer

Hey, it’s not that I don’t have my problems with Mac (see article “Apple Computers: My Long-term Love/Hate Relationship” – and I’ve had a few more since then, that keep me on the edge of nervous [still confident a few pow-wows with Steven J. we could clear this all up! Honestly, I don’t know why he still won’t take my calls!]). And I can only imagine most surfers – with their sun, sand, wet lifestyle – would only feel completely secure the day they invent the 100% waterproof, sand-resistant, ding-proof version of their laptop (maybe a fully loaded “sports” model? Perhaps once they start some healthy competition with XO in the “One Laptop Per Child” campaign they’ll put more cash back into “rugged, durable, child-friendly” adventurer model).Intel Tablet Surfboard

I want my MacBook to thrive amongst a little sand and sea, as it does while rummaging through Limewire. Ultimately, I feel more safe on a Mac – not having to worry that my new ridiculous version of Happy Feet is the idiocy that might render my computer and I terminally ill. And though I’m all about supporting the local shaper, I need to find the ones that also support me. My surfboard must keep me afloat and enable many many awesome surf sessions, as well as handle simple events such as being slid into the back of my car. And just as I don’t want to deal with virus protection software that requires me to approve every move I make on the internet, I don’t want to have to ride a too thick ‘n’ floaty epoxy in order to avoid dings. I want that feeling of security while not being confined by it… or compensating performance. Enjoy the water without overindulging and becominghappy feet waterlogged. Appreciate the comfort in structure as much as I relish absolute freedom. I know I have vulnerability issues – we all do – but I don’t want to let my need for feeling safe and secure keep me from expanding into the unknown or leave me fearful of jumping into the abyss.


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