ExtraHyperActive: Surfing
Showing posts with label Surfing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Surfing. Show all posts

What Is Bungee Surfing ?

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I was absolutely stoked to find out about river surfing a couple years ago. Whitewater stand up paddleboarding is getting more and more popular. Riverboarding and river bugging is huge in New Zealand.

But not many people heard about bungee surfing yet. And till recently, I had no idea it originated in ...Idaho !

Though thousand miles away from the nearest ocean, Idaho has an abundance of rivers with Snake and Salmon Rivers are among the most famous and popular among whitewater community.

But unlike whitewater rafting or kayaking, bungee surfing takes place on a different kind of water - “Fast Glass”, water that is moving fast, but has a smooth surface.

Comparing to river surfing ( where you "drop into" a standing wave ), I like the concept behind bungee surfing a bit more. It's not easy to explain, so to better understand what bungee surfing is al about, check out the video below:

I learned about bungee surfing from the Man behind this sport, Robert Geier, inventor and CEO of EVEN Surf Company

After watching the video, and reading a few posts on the companies' blog, I got a general idea how bungee surfing works.

But a few things still remain a mystery to me.

While you can find a bungee cord online or at your local skateboard shop, I still have hard time figuring out how the patented release system works.

Also, if you've ever been in fast moving water, you know that it has its dangers :
strainers, sieves, rocks, derbies, bridge pillars, unacceptable river banks, dams...
Not wearing PFD ( life vest ) will increase your chances of drowning. Not wearing a helmet ( and sometimes pads ) might result in sever injuries.

And finally, according to the information provided, bungee surfing is more difficult than ocean surfing.

How hard could it be ? It it just for "young and restless", or for all ages ? Is it going to be a new popular mainstream water sport, or just for a few chosen ones and most dedicated ?

Personally, I can't wait to try it, and may be later, to introduce bungee surfing in Washington...

HyperActiveX - Surfing Is My Therapy

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For me, surfing is like no other outdoor activity. Surfing, or as I like to call it - "soul surfing", is my therapy. For me, surfing is an outlet for anxiety and stress, an inlet for nature and satisfaction, a connection between me and the ocean. Surfing is my religion, and the ocean is my temple. It helps me battle my inner demons.

The physiological effects of surfing are widely known.

Studies have already demonstrated that physical activities such as running can chase negative feelings. And although there's plenty of anecdotal evidence suggesting positive results from using surfing as therapy for a range of physical and mental ailments, only recently has science begun to establish a link between surfing and mood.

In October 2010, Britain's National Health Service (NHS) concluded the first phase of a pioneering program to assess whether surfing can be used as an effective therapy for treating depression and other mental health disorders.

Under instruction from coaches, 22 participants between the ages of 12 and 23 with mental health issues from depression to schizophrenia and psychosis learned to ride waves for six weeks on the rugged Cornwall coast, in southwest England. The essence of the program: get participants stoked on surfing and build on those good feelings.

As a result, Ryan Pittsinger, a surfer and doctoral student at the University of Iowa, presented a paper at the annual convention of the American Psychological Association showing that riding waves for 30 minutes increased positive feelings and diminished negative ones.

Pittsinger and colleagues polled more than 100 surfers in Manhattan Beach, Calif., on their mood both before and after surfing. The result: subjects described being in a better mood and experiencing increased feelings of calmness after catching a couple waves.

Also, surfing offers a wide range of sensory stimuli:

Visual – reflection and refraction of light on the ocean surface associated with the constant motion of the waves.

Gustatory / olfactory – The intense saltiness of the sea, and the smell of the sea and algae.

Tactile / Proprioceptive – Buoyancy, sliding over the surface of the sea, and the simple passage of the hands through the water distal movements as they drop into the wave, or tactile stimulation of the foot on the sand.

Auditory – The sound of the waves and movement of the sea.

Vestibular: Constant imbalance and rebalance inherent to the activity.

In short, surfing can and should be seen as an added value in the prevention and treatment of many pathological conditions, contributing to social inclusion, avoidance of a sedentary lifestyle and stress, improvement of self-esteem and encourage teamwork as well as to stimulate protection of the environment and quality of life.

There's no question that for many -- whether with a disability, disorder or not -- surfing is fun and feels good. The healing waters of the oceans work in mysterious ways...

 Stress dissolves when exposed to water

Stoked Daily: Never Too Old

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A recent study at the University of California, Los Angeles found that men over the age of 55 who were in the top 25th percentile of muscle mass proportion were 19 percent less likely to die for any reason than guys with the least amount of muscle.

Use the stories of these "7 Old Guys Who Can Kick Your Ass" to see why it's never too late to reach your lifelong fitness goals—and beat out everyone else your age...

Surfing Freighter Waves In Seattle

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I love surfing. But sometimes, 2.5- 3 hour drive from Seattle to the coast makes it hard ( if not impossible ) to catch a wave.  Even if you make it to the coast, there is no guarantee you'll have a stoked surf session. Like any surf, the Olympic Peninsula  can be flat, blown out or too big which is a bummer after a long drive. When ocean waves are a distant dream, some surfers will go to great lengths to improvise worthy rides.

I've already posted about tanker surfing in Texas.

Here in Washington, a small but dedicated group of die-hard surfers/paddlers started surfing freighter and tug waves on stand up paddleboards ( SUP ) on the Salish Sea in the Shilshole Bay.

The Salish Sea is an overlay which includes and unites the established and familiar names of the various water and land bodies (the Strait of Georgia, Strait of Juan de Fuca, Puget Sound, Gulf Islands, San Juan Islands, etc.). The Salish Sea is connected to the Pacific Ocean primarily via the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

The shorelines along both the Canadian and US side of the Strait have been popular surfing spots for years. But not many surfers know that you can catch  decent size waves right here in  Seattle !

Unlike regular surfing or SUP surfing, freighter wave surfing requires a lot of planning, and extensive knowledge of local beaches, wind, tides, and marine charts to determine where the main flow of shipping is.

Waves can be created by everything from small power craft, yachts, the occasional tugboat and even container ships.  But it's the tugboats and freighters that put out primo waves. They ride deep in the water, and have massive twin engines that each put out 2,500 horsepower. All of that combines to make nice, big waves of about 4 or 6 feet.

With the right combination of a proper tide, weather conditions, and certain fast moving boats freighter/tug surfing on Puget Sound makes it all worthwhile. The waves are just as clean and well formed as the best coastal surfing spots, and freighters can, at low tides, offer up to 6' faces and very long rides !

Catching freighter/tug boat waves is a pretty good alternative to a long trek to the ocean.  If you're tired of those long day trips to Westport or Neah Bay, give paddle-surfing a try !

If you are interested in trying out freighter/tug surfing, subscribe to our email or join our Facebook page for upcoming classes !

The Salt Trail : The visual story about breaking away from the mould and following your dreams.

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In my previous post I wrote about my personal experience with surfing in my life, and how it affects my body and my soul. As soon as I finished writing, I came across an AMAZING video that beautifully shows what surfing is all about :

"This is a visual story about splashing some color into your lives, by opening your eyes, breaking away from the mould and following your dreams. As wave sliders, we are inspired by waves to travel the globe in search of perfect waves but the deeper you look and the further you go, you realize that its not about finding that perfect slide...its about the people you meet and what you find along the way and how these experiences change you deep within."

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How Do You Celebrate Your Birthday ?

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There are only two major holidays on my calender : my birthday and New Year. For me, both of these dates represent a new beginning, a fresh start, a clean slate. It's time to look back and reflect on my goals and achievements, and time to make new exciting plans for the upcoming year !

It saddens me to know that many people don't really celebrate their birthdays. In my opinion, if you don't celebrate your birthday, you don't celebrate (your) life.

As somebody said : "If we are to appreciate the fruits of life, we must first appreciate the tree that bears the fruit: birth itself."

I've never considered myself to be religious, but I think a birthday is the Greatest Gift of Life, the Miracle, the Once-In-A-Life Time-Occasion that you have a chance to celebrate every year. The same energy that God/Universe/Nature invested in you at birth is present once again. It is our duty to be receptive to that force.

A birthday is a time to celebrate birth itself, the joy of life. It is also an occasion to rethink your life: How great is the disparity between what I have accomplished and what I can accomplish? Am I spending my time properly or am I involved in things that distract me from my higher calling? How can I strengthen the thread that connects my outer life and my inner life?

Celebrating my birthday by going surfing is my way to get in touch with my soul.

You don't have to be a hard core "surfer dude" to enjoy this, I'd say, most spiritual "sport/outdoor activity". And I put it in quotes, cause I can't even call surfing a sport. Yes, surfing has its competitive side, but for most folks, surfing is the way to engage nature in such an intimate way that very few people have access to. I call it Soul Surfing.

In soul surfing, we challenge the ocean, we challenge ourselves, and  not other people. Soul surfing is not about scoring points and winning titles, it's about having fun, it's as much about physical challenge as a spiritual experience. Especially at times of good surf in beautiful surroundings.

Soul surfing is one of the best ways to find your Zen, your inner peace, your "True Self".
The Ocean will clear your mind, get rid of stress, anxiety, and negativity, it will recharge your tired mind, and will strengthen your spirit.

As J.F.K. once said : " "We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch - we are going back from whence we came." 

So your next birthday, I advice you to give soul surfing a try. It doesn't matter if you don't catch a wave, or you won't be able even to get up on a board. It's about the experience, the feeling, the memories you will create for the next year ( OR MAY BE THE REST OF YOUR LIFE ).
                                                         It's all about STOKE !


"Each birthday is a new beginning, full of promise and opportunity and the chance to make dreams come true."

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Meet Tillman : Skimboarding, Skateboarding, Snowboarding HyperActiveX Dog

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Who said animals don't love action sports ? Meet Tillman. He surfs, skates, skimboards, and snowboards ! He's the coolest dog in the world ! In 2010 the 60-pound pug set the world record for the Fastest Skateboarding Dog.

As somebody who loves to play, always happy, and doesn't talk much, he would be a perfect buddy for me to hit the beach in the summer and the slopes in winter ! Just hope he loves hot dogs and beer :)

Hurricane Sandy: One Man's Misery Is Another Man's Opportunity

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Don't get me wrong, what's going on on the East Coast, and especially in New York right now, is horrible...

But when Mother Nature sends her wrath our way, we're at her mercy, and so all we can do is stay prayerful and do the best that we can to stay safe.

But while for most people Hurricane Sandy has become an emergency situation, for others it presented a different opportunity...

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Riding The Waves Of Hurricane Sandy

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Florida is an interesting place to be a surfer. According to locals, the surf here usually sucks. The west coast is flat about ninety percent of the year, and the east coast is fickle even with a category 3 hurricane hovering off the coast.

...but not this year...

The Megastorm, the Frankenstorm, or the Snowicane, or just plain old Sandy is coming to the East Coast. The rare mix is the result of Hurricane Sandy, a Category 2 storm now hitting the Caribbean, an unusually early winter storm coming from the West and a fierce Arctic air coming from the North. Those air masses are now predicted to combine with each other — right over the country’s most populated and developed stretch of real estate, including New York City.

If certain conditions come together to create the perfect storm, Hurricane Sandy could be a historic storm...

But  Sandy's greatest impact to the Tampa Bay are winds up to 50 mph, and ....shoulder high waves !

And as many die hard surfers say : " "On days when the surf is good, nothing else matters " ...

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Surfing, Alaskan Style

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I wrote before about incredible surfing and stand up paddleboarding opportunities in Alaska. Recently, I came across a great photo site by Scott Dickerson.

Scott, raised in Alaska, has been pioneering the waterman lifestyle in the last frontier for 15 years. As a photographer, sup distributor/dealer and surf charter boat captain, he enjoys sharing the breathtaking scenery of Alaska with the world, especially from a standup perspective.

Please, check out his site, even if you're not a surfer, you'll find his pictures amazing and breathtaking !

Visiting Alaska is already on my Bucket List, and along with things like sea kayaking among icebergs, climbing Denali, heli-skiing, I'm going to add "Surfing/SUPing".

You might also like :

Surfing and SUPing In Alaska

Extreme Glacier Surfing In Alaska Video

How To Tanker Surf

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The post is dedicated to my friend, fellow surfer, and Rilion Gracie team member Rafael F. Coelho

I first learned about tanker surfing from a Columbia commercial a few years ago:

"Texas isn't surf country, but it doesn't stop them from fulfilling their passion..."

I figured it was just a commercial, until I learned more about Tankersurfcharters.com

Though, unlike "regular surfing", tanker surfing requires a boat and local knowledge of spots and tanker schedules, the basics are the same:

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Minnesota Surfing : Lake Superior In A Blizzard !

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You read it right - surfing... in Minnesota... in a blizzard...

Many people think one's got to be crazy to surf in the Pacific Ocean when water temperature is barely 50 degrees. But can you imagine surfing in the middle of winter, during blizzard ?

Lake Superior is the largest of the five Great Lakes of North America, and is one of the world’s most unlikely surfing scenes. Unlike the ocean, there are no noticeable tides or substantial currents in Lake Superior. Its waves are hard to predict.

“You have to be ready to leave at a moment’s notice", said Bob Tema, 44, a graphic designer from Minneapolis and founder of the Superior Surf Club (www.superiorsurfclub.com), which has a forum, photo galleries and a section on how to surf on Lake Superior.

This is definitely the place for the most dedicated :

Also, check out "Unsalted", a great film about the surfers who have made surfing these stormy waters a way of life for over 40 years.

Love adventure travel, fitness, and the great outdoors ?
Have your own Bucket List ?

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Surfing Neah Bay : Part II

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Skiing and surfing on the same day can be a rare experience. While there are some locations across the world where you could ski and surf on the same day like Chile and New Zealand, I wanted to put our state on the map of " World's Best Adventure Travel Destinations" by exploring the Olympic Peninsula.

The Olympic Peninsula is a place where surfing and skiing can be just a few hours from one another. You can start out early morning on the snow-capped mountains of the Hurricane Ridge, and finish the day off taking on waves along the coast.

For my surfing part of the trip I went to Neah Bay, a small town on the Makah Indian Reservation located in the north-westernmost point of the continental United States. It was my first time visiting this corner of our state, and the experience was amazing !

Driving along State Route 122 ( named the Strait of Juan de Fuca Highway ) was like driving along Big Sur ( in California )- beautiful views, amazing pieces of history and unique places to visit !

While in town, I couldn't resist the temptation to have my picture taken at the north-westernmost point of the contiguous United States ( with Tatoosh Island in the background ). A land of dramatic headlands, sea stacks, and deep narrow coves, Cape Flattery exhibits sheer rugged beauty.

After a short hike and a few pictures, I headed down to Hobuck Beach, an exposed beach break that has small, but quite consistent surf and can work ( mostly ) at any time of the year. The access to the beach ( that I found ) was through "gated" Hobuck Beach Resort. Though a day pass is $15, I was happily waived the fee ( you still have to pay $10 for your recreation pass to park anywhere on the reservation ). There are a few cabins and a dozen or so tent and RV spaces ( $20 a night ).

Just like La Push, Hobuck Beach is an average beachbreak that has some good days and a lot of bad days. It's a beautiful spot, however, and the drive here is well worth it, even if the surf sucks.

That day I was blessed with beautiful spring weather, light breeze, and lots of sunshine. But the slopes of Hurricane Ridge were waiting for me, and I still had 2 hour drive ahead of me.

Ski and Surf the Olympic Peninsula: Part I

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How many places in the WORLD do you know where you can surf and ski in the same day ?

Skiing magazine knows 6. I can add 2 more : Iceland and ....Washington !

I've always thought of our state as one of the world's premier adventure travel destinations, and if you've been following my blog, you know we have it all : from world class mountaineering to the best cold water scuba diving, easily accessible hiking trails to one of the finest mountain biking playgrounds in the world. 

So when Ski Magazine failed to mention Washington state as one of the world's best places to ski and surf in the same day, I decided to go on an adventure of my own. 

The Spectacular Olympic Peninsula is known as one of the most photographed, and one of the most desired places to visit in our state. People from all across the globe come to experience the thrill of this Natures' Paradise.

This wasn't my first time visiting this corner of our state, but this time I had more time to actually do something fun !

I've already surfed at one of the popular spots on the Olympic Peninsula - La Push.

This time, I decided to explore another popular surf location and surf at  Hobuck Beach at the Makah Indian Reservation.

After spending half of the day surfing, I headed back towards Port Angeles to ski at the Hurricane Ridge.

What was suppose to be a day trip of surfing and skiing, turned into a weekend of unforgettable fun !

....to be continued...

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Ski and Surf Iceland

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Ski and surf Iceland ?! Why not ?!

I already wrote about great heli-skiing opportunities that Troll’s Peninsula in Iceland offers.

But not many people know Iceland as a great surfing destination.

With its serrated coast and miles of cobblestone-lined beaches,you’d be hard-pressed to find a more uniquely hard-core surfing destination, one that receives swell from all angles most of the year, and one that offers waves for surfers of all abilities.

Iceland - Stand Up Paddle from Blueline - Santa Barbara on Vimeo.

Check out Go There: Reykjanes Peninsula, Iceland for more information on surfing in Iceland.

Epic SUPing: Paddling Iceland

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Iceland...The Land of Fire and Ice, geo-thermal pools, glaciers, active volcanoes, northern lights in winter and 24 hours of daylight in summer,...and now a popular surfing and SUPing destination...

The crew from Blueline Paddle Surf and talented filmmaker Peter Trow show you epic SUPing deep in the Arctic Circle, surfing’s last frontiers :

Iceland - Stand Up Paddle from Blueline - Santa Barbara on Vimeo.
If you find yourself in Iceland some day ( I know I will ), check out Arctic Surfers, the country’s first surf-tour operator. Their "Surf & Snow" trip is the board riders dream; surf, ride and explore new turf with great guides in spectacular surroundings !

Surfing and Ocean SUPing Cocoa Beach, FL

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Just because it's Florida, you can't automatically assume that one of the most popular outdoor activities here is surfing. Florida's west coast/Gulf of Mexico is never going to be a world class surf-producing machine. The continental shelf saps power and the limited fetch reduces the swell period.

However Florida's Atlantic coastline is home to some quality surf spots, but unfortunately the swells it gets are pretty small and inconsistent.

One of the most epic surf spots here is Cocoa Beach, home to six-time World Champion Kelley Slater and Ron Jons. The latter is the founder of the world famous Ron Jons Surf Shop with their Cocoa Beach location being the largest surfing shop in the world !

That's where I was planning to rent a longboard. But since I've never had a chance to surf a SUP, I went with a 11'6 South Point Dave Kalama Model SUP.

And I didn't regret....

The waves at Cocoa Beach are pretty...mellow...which makes it a good choice for longboarders.... and even better for paddleboaders !

If you've never surfed in your life, make your first time surfing on a SUP instead of a longboard. Highly recommended !

Comparing to a longboard, popping up and keeping your balance on a SUP while riding a wave is extremely easy.

On the downside, paddling while trying to catch a wave was...very frustrating....

It took me a while to realize that you can't surf a wave facing forward. You need to change to a sideways surfing stance. Also, unlike surfers who can catch waves late on their short boards, you need to catch the wave before it breaks.

Catching waves on a SUP will take a few sessions and a lot of wipeouts to get the hang of, and a lifetime to truly master, but wave-riding is one of the best experiences you can have on your SUP.

It is hard to explain why catching a wave on a 10-11' board is such a buzz and the only way to find out is to do it! Though, the swell here is no better than at our local Westport, still, there is something about surfing/paddling in Florida - they don't call it the Sunshine State for nothing!