Mark your calendars for this Saturday, which is designated as Underwater Parks Day.
Now in its 5th year, Underwater Parks Day is a coordinated event by aquaria and marine science centers throughout Southern California to celebrate Marine Protected Areas (MPAs) and educate the public about the statewide network of MPAs and the need for these special “Underwater Parks.”
The date was chosen because one of the best times to experience California’s ocean at its finest is during the first month of the year. In addition, California’s new network of over 100 underwater parks was completed just last December, and they have planned activities and celebrations throughout the California coast at state beaches, aquaria, and nature centers. It’s perfect for kids and adults to enjoy a day surrounded by sea life and learn more about the benefits of protecting California’s prime ocean habitats.
Some events you may spot include grey whales traveling south along the coast to lagoons in Baja, California where they will give birth to calves. Some preemies and their mothers are already showing up off the coast of Los Angeles and San Diego, a total plus for whale watchers.
Further north, male elephant seals are engaging in their spectacular, violent mating rituals, while females are giving birth to a new generation of pups. Exciting stuff!
So, come learn about MPAs and why they are important to help sustain, conserve, and protect marine life populations, habitats, and ecosystems. Speakers, presentations, kid-friendly activities, short films, and arts and craft projects will be available at most locations. Visitors will learn more about the Marine Life Protection Act and the process that aims to conserve and improve California coastal marine resources.
To find an event near you in Southern (San Diego to Santa Barbara), Central (Morro Bay to Santa Cruz) and Northern California (San Francisco to Arcata), go to www.caloceans.org. Continue reading →
2013 is well underway and personally, we like to start the year big and bold. Luckily, we’ve got quite a few items that are so bright and vivid, it would be hard pressed to be ignored with these on hand. And that’s what we like, attention in the most positive way!
Check out some bright items to help make your 2013 statement:
Not only is the men’s Billabong Conspiracy jacket sweetly constructed (zipper front closure, a lightweight, dual front pockets, zippered side pockets, and hidden roll out hood), we can’t overlook that bright baby blue color. $75.00
With a reputation as truly the best rubber sandals in the world due to a top secret rubber recipe, you’ll want to make sure you own a pair so you’ll feel like walking on marshmallows… or in this case, hot pink marshmallows. $18.00
Ladies, you can’t go wrong with a hoodie that offers both great style and comfort. You’ll love Element’s Gillian Sweatshirt for a cozy fleecy soft material, but you’ll really love it in neon lime. $36.99
Keep the sun out of your eyes and focus on the bright road ahead this year! You’ll be aptly equipped with Oakley’s Frogskins Sunglasses. The future’s so bright, you gotta wear shades! $120.00
The first of the King Tide events for 2013 begin today, January 9th and run until this Friday, January 11th. So, grab your camera, head to the shoreline, and take some pictures!
The California King Tides initiative, sponsored by government and nonprofit groups, began 3 years ago and encourages camera-toting volunteers to photograph and document the highest seasonal tides (or king tides) as an illustration of what low-lying coastal areas could look like if predictions about the Earth’s climate come to pass.
The photographs submitted to the group will be used to help visualize the impact of rising waters on the California coast by creating a map that will catalog coastal areas that are currently affected by extreme water levels. A report containing a selection of the submissions will be available after the event.
Since our shores are constantly being altered by human and natural processes, the images can offer a living record of the changes to our coasts and shorelines and a glimpse of what our daily tides may look like in the future as a result of sea level rise.
“It’s definitely very high tides this year, and we just encourage people to use this opportunity to go out, take pictures and reflect what this means for our shoreline and the fact that’s its constantly changing even today, and how that might affect how we think about sea level rise in the future,” says coordinator Heidi Nuttles.
Photos taken during king tide events document impacts to private property, public infrastructure, and wildlife habitat across the state.
So, have fun and be safe! Take extra precautions when you walk on slippery areas or near big waves, and always be aware of your surroundings and the weather conditions. If you can’t shoot photos for this run, the next one will be February 7th-9th
The official 2013 teaser for the Mavericks Invitational just dropped and here it is. It showcases some nice, big waves in this edit.
The holding period, which began last November 9, 2012, with the traditional Opening Ceremony and Paddle Out, runs now until March 31, 2013. The actual contest day happens when wave height and weather conditions are perfect, and organizers make “the call” to hold the contest with 24-hour notice, excluding the following blackout dates:
22 Jan-1 Feb 2013
10-13 Feb 2013
27-28 Feb 2013
16-18 Mar 2013
27-29 Mar 2013
“These blackout dates are nothing new, but they do add another level of complexity to making the call for the right day to hold the contest,” notes a Mavericks Invitational press release.
Held at the legendary Mavericks surf break located just offshore Pillar Point Harbor, just north of Half Moon Bay, and 20 minutes south of San Francisco, The Mavericks Invitational is a one-day, invitation-only surfing competition and the world’s premier, big wave surfing event. It is now part of the Big Wave World Tour.
After a strong winter storm in the northern Pacific Ocean, waves can routinely crest at over 25 feet and there’s even a claim that November 21, 2001 was a “100-foot Wednesday.” The Mavericks big-wave break, called a “voodoo wave” by Surfer magazine in 1992 is caused by an unusually-shaped underwater rock formation. Very few riders become big wave surfers; and of those, only a select few are willing to risk the hazardous conditions at Maverick’s.
This year, GoPro has signed on as the presenting sponsor. GoPro, maker of one of the world’s most versatile cameras which has produced some of today’s most engaging content, has made a two-year commitment to the contest.
The association with BWWT allows those surfers who are part of the tour to use their performance at Mavericks as part of their overall scoring for the season.
Forecasters are anticipating a relatively active North Pacific this winter, which is great news for big-wave contests everywhere in the Western Hemisphere, including The Mavericks Invitational… as long as it doesn’t land on a blacked out date.
Below is the list of invitees. For additional details and to register for contest alerts, visit MavericksInvitational.com.
1. Matt Ambrose (Pacifica, CA)
2. Ryan Augenstein (Santa Cruz, CA)
3. Grant “Twiggy” Baker (South Africa)
4. Chris Bertish (South Africa)
5. Carlos Burle (Brazil)
6. Ken “Skindog” Collins (Santa Cruz, CA)
7. Shane Desmond (Santa Cruz, CA)
8. Shawn Dollar (Santa Cruz, CA)
9. Shane Dorian (Hawaii)
10. Nathan Fletcher (San Clemente, CA)
11. Mark Healey (Hawaii)
12. Rusty Long (San Clemente, CA)
13. Greg Long (San Clemente, CA)
14. Alex Martins (Brazil)
15. Peter Mel (Santa Cruz, CA)
16. Ryan Seelbach (San Francisco, CA)
17. Kelly Slater (Florida)
18. Tyler Smith (Santa Cruz, CA)
19. Jamie Sterling (Hawaii)
20. Anthony Tashnick (Santa Cruz, CA)
21. Grant Washburn (San Francisco, CA)
22. Dave Wassel (Hawaii)
23. Ben Wilkinson (Australia)
24. Zach Wormhoudt (Santa Cruz, CA)
1. Tyler Fox (Santa Cruz)
2. Josh Loya (Santa Cruz)
3. Colin Dwyer (Pacifica)
4. Nic Lamb (Santa Cruz)
5. Danilo Couto (Brazil)
6. Derek Dunfee (San Diego)
7. Ben Andrews (San Francisco)
8. Andrew Marr (South Africa)
9. Travis Payne (Pacifica)
10. Ion Banner (Half Moon Bay)
11. Kohl Christensen (Hawaii)
12. Shawn Rhodes (Pacifica)
13. Mike Gerhardt (Santa Cruz)
14. Garret McNamara (Hawaii)
15. Russel Smith (Santa Cruz)
16. Jamie Mitchel (Australia)
17. Frank Solomon (South Africa)
Happy New Year! If you’re one of the many who have decided that 2013 will be the year you will finally learn how to surf, we’re here for you! You will love it – surfing is great exercise, and it’s fun and relaxing. Plus, you’ll meet a lot of cool peeps, get a good tan, and it’s perfect for stress relief.
So, if you’re a newbie and this is one of the first times you’ll be trying to catch some waves, here are a few tips for you:
Get in shape
Start working on those arms, and get your balance intact. It will be a lot easier the first time you’re out on the water if you’re physically fit. So, work on your core strengthening (so pivotal for balancing on the board), and get ready for the continuous pushups you’ll have to do whenever you try and catch a wave. Oh yeah, being a good swimmer helps, too.
Equipment is very important
A beginner surfer needs a long board. The bigger the board; the better. Larger boards will give you greater stability (less side to side rocking) when attempting to stand. No matter how athletic you are, a smaller board is a complete waste of time for a beginner. We especially like our Becker JJ Wessels model if you want to sport a unique stylish old school single fin long board. The boards range from 9’0 to 9’6 so it’s great for beginners.
Wear a wet suit or rash guard long t-shirt
You’ll want to wear a wet suit to keep you warm since most surfing waters are chilly. Wet suits also act as a rash guard for your skin since you will rub up against your surfboard. Similarly, a rash guard acts as a barrier for the upper half of your body to keep your arms and torso from rubbing against the board. Check out our Billabong Foil Chest Zip 3/2, which is affordably priced at $169.50.
Get the surf “stance” down
Before you even get in the water, practice pushing up from your board and getting into your surf stance. Bend your knees and keep your arms out, focus on an unmoving object in front of you and keep your feet firmly planted. Once you’ve got it on dry ground, see how easy it is to try that in moving water!
Surf the white water
A fact: women generally learn to surf faster than men. Why? Women will pick the larger boards and are cool surfing the white water of small waves, while men will select small boards and go for the big waves but catch nothing. Surfing the white water of small waves is a good place to start as you practice the mechanics of standing up and balancing.
Keep trying and don’t give up
Your arms may be sore, and you may be tired of falling off your board, but keep trying and keep getting up. You’ll be stoked once you finally catch that wave!
Be safe and watch your board
Be careful of your board, as it is generally the greatest danger to your safety and others around you. When you fall, the board with its knife like fins is going to go flying into the air with a 20 foot trajectory from the leash. So, protect your head and face, and watch out every time you hit the water.
Don’t overdo it your first time out
Surfing will work out your back, neck, and shoulders, and paddling will exercise new muscles, too. So, when your muscles and back feel tired, give it a rest. Notice any signs of pain and discomfort in your back, and if you feel any tingling, it’s time to call it a day.
Take a Lesson
If all else fails, find a surfing school or an experienced surfer/teacher. They’ll get you to know the basics and fine tune your surfing skills.
Most importantly, have fun! Good luck and don’t forget to stop by Becker Surf for all your surfing equipment and apparel needs! Continue reading →