We recently discovered the work of Chris Robb, who happens to be a surfer but also an amazingly good surf artist. Internationally respected, Chris, who surfs, lives and works in New Smyrna Beach, Florida, has worked in many mediums, including painting, printmaking, illustration and graphic art. His work hangs in collections in California, New York, Florida, and France.

Chris’s art has been featured in many publications, including Longboard, ESM, LineUp, One Magazine, and Nordic Surfing Magazine, Sweden’s premiere surfing publication. Chris was recently featured on the “thinking” surf site, The Inertia.

According to Chris’s artist statement, “Painting is the promise of the unknown. A constant dance. Satisfaction and defeat. Liquid realms seeking a higher order. Poetry defined by motion and emotion. Meditation leading to an enlightened space. A way out of the world but also a way in. A way to make things clear that were once fuzzy.

This is an ongoing practice. No beginning, no end. The picture constantly changes.

No wonder his artwork is so freshly unique. Check out his moving artwork, influenced by his love of surfing, its people and places, the natural rhythm of the coast and his ongoing concern for the over-development of the natural environment.

For information, go to http://cargocollective.com/crsa and his site, http://chrisrobb.com/.

Artwork pictured above: Ace (left) and Offshore Wind (right) Continue reading

Thank goodness there wasn’t a single shark attack fatality in the US last year, but they’re still out there, resulting in 12 deaths worldwide. The statistic is the most since 1993, according to the University of Florida’s 2011 Worldwide Shark Attack Summary, which was released last week.

2011 saw a total of 75 unprovoked attacks, which was 7% lower than the 81 unprovoked attacks recorded in 2010. However, the number of worldwide unprovoked shark attacks has grown at a steady pace since 1900 with each decade having more attacks than the previous. Not surprisingly, surfers and others participating in board sports (60% of cases) were most often involved in these incidents in 2011.

North American waters had the most (35%: 26 attacks) unprovoked bites in 2011, and a total of 29 attacks in the United States (including 3 in Hawaii). Florida had the majority of the unprovoked attacks (11). The other states were Alabama (2), North Carolina (4), California (3), Texas (2), South Carolina (2), Hawaii (3), and Oregon (2).

Outside the US, attacks occurred in Australia (11), South Africa (5), Reunion (4), Indonesia (3), Mexico (3), Russia (3), the Seychelles (2), Brazil (2), and open sea (2), with single incidents reported from Antigua, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Kenya, New Caledonia, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea, Puerto Rico, Tahiti, and the Turks & Caicos.

In case you’re interested in monitoring all the shark attacks worldwide, we discovered this blog: http://sharkattackmonitor.wordpress.com/. It’s a rundown of all the reported shark attacks, with the most recent incident last month in Taiwan. But forewarned, the images can be a little NSFL.

Be safe out in the waters!

Image Source: Disney’s Finding Nemo via devinholmes.tumblr.com Continue reading

If you want to check out where groms are groomed, look no further. Long known for its record of turning out future surfing stars, the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) has recently announced its 2012 National Championships Series dates. The NSSA is the highest profile amateur competitive surfing association in the United States and their annual championship brings the top elementary, middle school, high-school and college-aged athletes together to compete against each other in both an individual and team setting, and has long been considered a major stepping stone to professional success. Past champions include Kolohe Andino, Nat Young, and Courtney Conlogue.


The schedule includes seven championships – featuring competition in Team, Novice, Airshow, Explorer and Open categories, plus the crowning of Regional and National champions

For the West Coast, Huntington Beach, CA will host four of the championship events, including the 35th national championships and the 3rd annual Mayor’s Cup. East Coasters will compete in New Smyrna Beach. The 2012 Hawaii Regional championships will be held in the reef peaks of Kewalos located on Oahu’s south shore. The 2012 National Interscholastic Championships will be at Salt Creek Beach, in Dana Point, CA.

For more info, check out their site at: http://www.nssa.org/

The 2012 NSSA Championships Schedule:

Interscholastic State Championships
2012 NSSA College, High School and Middle School State Championships
March 9-11 Huntington Beach Pier

Hawaii Championships
2012 NSSA Open, Explorer and Airshow Championships
March 13-18 Kewalos, Oahu, Hawaii

East Coast Championships
2012 NSSA East Coast Open, Explorer, Collegiate, High School and Airshow Championships
April 12-15 New Smyrna Beach, Florida

Jr. Novice Championships
April 21 Huntington Beach Pier

West Coast Championships
2012 NSSA West Coast Open, Explorer and Airshow Championships
May 17-20 Huntington Beach Pier

National Interscholastic Championships
2012 NSSA National Interscholastic College High School and Middle School Championships
June 14-17 Salt Creek, Dana Point

National Championships
2012 NSSA National Explorer Championships – June 26-28, Huntington Beach Pier
2012 NSSA National Airshow Championships – June 26-July 3, Huntington Beach Pier
2012 NSSA National Open Championships/Mayor’s Cup – June 28-July 3 Huntington Beach

Image Source: Kadin Penesi via surfingmagazine.com Continue reading

Partly due to the amazing success of the US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, CA over the last few years, there is now a similar event in Australia, and it is currently going on at Sydney’s iconic Manly Beach, starting this past weekend, February 11th and going on until the 19th.

The event is presented by Billabong and Hurley, who have joined forces with Events NSW on behalf of the New South Wales Government, and is sanctioned by the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP).

The Australian Open of Surfing hopes to be one of the biggest events on the Australian surfing calendar, featuring the best surfers in the world with 13 of the top 34 set to surf in the event alongside a multitude of current and future surfing stars. There will be an ASP 6-Star Men’s World Tour event, an ASP 6-Star Women’s World Tour event and Men’s and Women’s ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series events. It is a global, multifaceted youth and sporting event that will showcase the best in surfing, skate, music, fashion and art with an expected spectator audience of 125,000.

The event will surely re-affirm Manly’s position on the surfing map, since Manly was the location of the very first World Surfing Championships in 1964 and the first Australian beach to legalize day-time swimming in 1904. The city has hosted an array of world-class surfing competitions, but it has been a few years since an international event has been held at Manly.

Joel Parkinson (AUS), who finished runner-up in the 2011 ASP World Title race is looking forward to starting his 2012 competitive season at the Australian Open Of Surfing at Manly Beach. According to a recent press release, “I’m really looking forward to this event,” Parkinson said. “I haven’t actually competed in a proper ASP World Tour event in Sydney. The last time I competed at Manly I was still in the juniors there was nothing of this size and scale. It will be an interesting week with so much going on and I’m excited to check it out, I can’t wait for it.”

We can’t wait either – we know this event will surely be epic, and the start of more cool years to come.

The Australian Open of Surfing at Manly Beach will also feature skating competitions and demos, music concerts, athlete signing sessions and much more. The event is free for the public to view in person and live on the internet via australianopenofsurfing.com. Continue reading

At a loss of what to do this weekend? Once a “lost” sport of California that enjoyed its heyday from the 1930s to the ’60s, paddleboarding is now hot again, as it is the perfect killer aerobic exercise and gives a fantastic arm, leg and core workout. For us water lovers, Stand-Up Paddling (SUP) is a great low-impact way to stay in shape IN THE WATER and it suits and benefits people of all ages, abilities and fitness levels.

Of course, you can use a stand up paddleboard on most beaches, but it is also perfectly done on estuaries, lakes and beaches that are flat and don’t have any surf.

Here’s a short list of our favorite places to paddleboard:

Newport Harbor, California
The temperatures have started dropping almost everywhere else, but Southern Californians can still enjoy temps in the mid-70s. Take advantage of the Pacific and the Balboa Peninsula, plus 880 acres of pristine nature, including a bird sanctuary, marine mammals, sea birds, fish and a variety of other marine life, while getting your workout on!

Pensacola Beach, Florida
Pensacola Beach is one of the busiest and most popular beaches in the Florida panhandle, which comprises several other popular beach spots, too. With surfing hotspots that include The Bay, Picken’s Point, Picken’s Point Dunes, The Slabs, Pensacola Pier Parking Lot, and 12th-17th Street, the eight mile stretch offers some great paddle board surfing spots, complimented by clear water and white sandy beaches.

Waikiki Beach, Hawaii
Waikiki Beach on Oahu with its calm, safe waters is a great place for beginning paddleboarders. This spot combines the Waikiki vibe with great views of Waikiki and Honolulu, and there are lots of places to rent boards and get instruction. The North Shore is less congested and offers calm areas as well. Best of all, there are lots of sheltered bays and often, you’ll get to spot sea turtles!

Puerto Vallarta, Mexico
With 86-degree water temps and the wind-sheltered Banderas Bay, Puerto Vallarta is ideal for stand up paddleboarding! Take a covered boat six miles offshore to Las Islas Marietas, a protected wildlife sanctuary, and spend an afternoon paddling above coral reefs, floating by the arid coastline, and scoping endangered sea birds perched on rock pinnacles.

Rose Bay, Sydney, Australia
Want to get a workout in and also enjoy the best vantage points Sydney has to offer? Check out the Rose Bay Stand Up Paddle Centre near the Woollahra Sailing Club. Take a paddle to Shark Island (named because of its shape; not its wildlife) and enjoy the spectacular views of Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Opera House.

Porth Beach, Newquay, United Kingdom
Aptly referred to as a “Surfer’s Paradise,” the only problem Newquay provides is choosing which of its eleven beaches to go to. In addition to surfing and a range of water sports, Porth is ideal for families since you’ll find lots of children’s attractions, plus it’s very wide with lots of room to build the biggest and best sandcastles and you can also explore the many rock pools. Moreover, if you’re sick of the water (but how can that be?), it’s only 2 and a half hours away from London by train in case you want to head into the city. Continue reading