Thursday, January 29, 2009

More test shots

Got a dive in with Det ALFA yesterday. They were shaking down their gear from all the maintenance they've been doing and in preparation for some upcoming training.

Perfect opportunity to test the GoPro underwater (supposedly waterproof to 100'). The fisheye adapter on the waterhousing is pure genius! As you can see, the camera worked great!

I also found out that you should under no circumstances press any of the buttons underwater (tiny leaks everytime I pressed a button to change the camera functions or activate the shutter). The camera did not suffer any damage, but the potential is there (especially if you go deeper - I only got to 34').

I'll try to test it surfing (maybe tomorrow on the SUP) shortly...

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

GoPro Test Pictures and Noe

Some test shots - interesting wide angle perspective, should make for some really cool shots on board!

I plan on testing it tomorrow (MK-21 dives in preparation for some system modifications - the Team is getting the Oxygen Regulator Console Assembly - ORCA). The camera is supposed to be waterproof to 100' - I'll be lucky if I get to 30'

Oh - and Noe and I showing off our Skull Caps!!!


GoPro Hero Mounted

A few pictures to contemplate...

The first is a picture of the GoPro camera mounted on my Kialoa paddle. I finally got to read the instructions - pretty simple to operate and download pictures. I am looking forward to hitting some waves with this rig!!!

The next picture is the back of my Pathfinder. You can tell a lot about a person from what they have in the back of their vehicle - you all already know I am a surfer, but this should erase any residual doubt. 3/2 O'Neil wetsuit with hood, old booties, 3 one gallon orange juice jugs filled with freshwater (portable shower and board rinser - this place ain't like the aina where there was a freshwater shower plumbed at almost all the breaks), 2 SUP paddles, longboard leash, shortboard leash, surfwax, wetsuit bags (to keep the inside of the truck from stinking like SOCAL saltwater), a folding beach chair, beach tent and last but not least - a bag of fishing tackle.

Kanaloa approves of the my equipment and equipment hauler.


Sunday, January 25, 2009

Fish 2, Big M and Me 0

The family loaded up and hit Point Mugu's family beach this morning. La broke in her new running shoes (from the Santa Barbara trip - the shop guys looked at her stride and determined she has a neutral posture, and subsequently recommended some great shoes), and the kids and I hung out at the family beach.

We tried fishing again but only caught two big pieces of kelp. Dang it!!!

We'll keep trying!!! Marlon is getting good at reeling in the rig. Casting will take some time still, but he said "I never thought fishing could be so much fun!!!"

Wait until he starts surfing -


Looky Looky!!!

We drove up Santa Barbara yesterday to checkout the shops we haven't been to in a while. I got to drop into the Blueline and Stand Up Paddle Sports shops, as well as Channel Islands and Santa Barbara Surf Shop. We spent the most time at Stand Up Paddle Sports talking to Gy (he's as big a Naish Kiting nut as I am) and La got me a GoPro 5 Megapixel waterproof digital camera and tube mount for our upcoming anniversary!!!

I attached the paddle (tube) mount already, and I am looking to combine the RAM mounting system I have for my motorcycle with the GoPro camera mounts to work options for attaching the camera to my surfboards.

I am looking forward to experimenting with this camera....

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Christmas in January!!!!

The next best thing to getting a new piece of equipment is seeing your good friends get new pieces of equipment. For those females reading this, grown men do not have toys, only equipment. Paddleboards and surfboards especially fall into this category. Now back to the topic at hand...

My good friend Jimmy Martindale just picked up his brand spanking new, Sandwich Islands Composites F-16 open ocean standup paddleboard. Made of the finest expanded polystyrene foam, shaped by hand and gel coated well enough to make million dollar yachts green with envy, this board is a thoroughbred born for only one thing - linking wind or ground swells together on a downwind run - conjuring up feelings of glide, stroke and stoke!

I must say that I am a big fan of yellow boards (high visibililty in the aquatic realm) and they go well with my fall skin color.

Congratulations Jimmy!!! If I were you I'd definitely be sleeping in the garage for the next couple of nights (this board will not fit in your bed)!!!!

In an upcoming installment: Nick's new SUP!!!


Monday, January 19, 2009

Natural History Museum at Los Angeles

I took the kids to the Natural History Museum near the USC campus today (La was at LAX picking up some friends).

We got to see some really cool specimens - the second Megamouth Shark known to science, some furry ants (that are really wasps), tons of cockroaches, walking sticks, coelocanths, and a Tyrannosaurus being excavated from the plaster wrappings.
The kids also got to dig out some pretend dinosaur bones.

Marlon got a paleontologist kit at Borders bookstore yesterday - kinda neat that we saw two versions at the museum and then he gets to do it at home too!

We took PCH home instead of the freeways - lots of people out surfing so naturally I get the bug... I blitzed out once we got home and got another session in at Oxnard Beach. More West in the swell today, slightly bigger, but also slightly more prone to slabbing out in closers. 2' overhead on the sets. No wind at all. A small pod of dolphins started jumping ahead of me (only 10' away) while I was waiting for my last couple of waves - not that often have I gotten that close to dolphins - way cool!

Did I mention I love my new board....

Life is good!

Great waves!

The swell hit and although not as big as the forecasters called for, was still a blast!

Sunday dawn patrol - I brought the longboard (9'4" from Japan) and my newly finished shortboard (the tan one I have posted on here in the blog).

I checked Port Hueneme Beach first thinking the swell was supposed to be huge. It was flat. So I bypassed the strand (knowing it was going to be crowded), and parked at Oxnard Beach Park. I took the longboard out (thinking it was going to be smaller) and caught several head to 2' overhead waves. The waves wouldn't stay open for too long, but fun nevertheless!

I took a break to swap out boards. It actually been a while since the waves have been this good, so I haven't yet broken in the new 6'5". Well - this board performed exactly as I hoped it would! Paddles extremely well, catches waves easily and is loose while turning on the faces!

I attribute the "awesomeness" primarily to the extra volume in the board (subtle, but obviously significant in performance) and the quad setup. Using Futures knowing there is no capability to adjust the fins once the boxes are in is a huge gamble. Measure 3x and cut once - I got lucky this time!!! This Scimitar fin setup feels like a twinzer. Larger fronts with tiny trailers - me likey!!!

Anyways - no photographic evidence - my photographer isn't a morning person ;)

Saturday, January 17, 2009

New Swell Inbound

Nick and Jimmy were talking about this swell earlier this week. It's finally starting to show here.

This morning I took the Infinity 12'6" out for a 5+ mile paddle from the south jetty at Silver Strand Beach (here in Port Hueneme, not Coronado) up to the tower at the Mandalay Hotel. The break at the North Jetty was firing almost head high and super crowded. There were random peaks working at Hollywood by the Sea and up past Oxnard Shores.

I'll head out tomorrow morning for a short session (Big M's 6th Birthday!) and then we're heading down to check out a museum to checkout some dinosaur bones.

Stay tuned!!!

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Last Sunday -

I know - I have haven't posted in over a week and when I do I'm using pictures from 3 days ago - give me a break!!!

Anyways - here's pictures from last Sunday. I took the alaia out for the first time. I caught a few prone, and tried to standup on a few (fell - in a manner that fully humiliated me, maybe humbled is a better word - but hey, that's why I like alternative surf devices... the humble feeling of learning to surf, again, in a different manner, is what makes surfing as fun as it was the first time).

And as usual these days - playing with the Walden Standup. I took out the 2+1 setup (Futures SB3s for the side biters and an 8" Norm Flex from True Ames), and tried the board with a set of Rainbow Fin Co Bamboo quads. Fun setup for a pitifully small day of surf. Even though the surf was small, it was another beautiful day for playing at the beach (and isn't that what life is about anyways...)

Thanks for reading my vents (offgassing for you non-divers, or catharsis for all you ancient Greek dudes out there in cyberland)!

Monday, January 5, 2009


Not me - my mated pair of Solomon Islands Gold-Striped Maroon Clownfish (Premnas biaculatus) also known as the Spine-Cheeked Clownfish.

In the middle of the picture is their 7th clutch of eggs. Every two weeks these two have gotten it on and the result is about 150-200 offspring. They hatch out about 1.5 weeks later (only to become fish food - aaaahhhh the food chain is such an unmerciful force).

The other picture is my prized Giant Clam (Tridacna deresa). The one in the foreground has grown double it's size from when I first brought it home from a shop in Torrance (south LA). The one in the background has almost tripled it's size (it's a green-lipped variant with gray eyespots, while the former is a purple lipped/striped one). Everything but two hard corals have been doing extremely well this past month.

Just wanted to share the "love"


Saturday, January 3, 2009

Pointer Fins

These fins are for a kiteboard I have yet to make - a racing kiteboard. I posted an entry a while back on two current market offerings - North's LTD and NJS's versions of courseboards. I'll have these as the trailing fins on a quad setup. The leaders will be much smaller to turbulate the flow of water before these see the flow - makes the ride gentler (these are not small fins, and if they hit untouched flow first, the board will be ultra-sensitive to steering input and not easy to control).

These are also at an 18 degree cant (from vertical) so when heeling the board to windward on a close reach/haul, the fin is working more to keeping the board on it's higher (to the wind) line. These were CNC milled and are made of G10 epoxy (nice). Nils from NJS sold them to me (thanks!). I am happy!

The other kiteboards I have are all directionals with fins at a very light cant (about 4 degrees only) - great for surfing, but supposedly limited at going upwind (so I've heard - I believe there are other variables in this - rail usage, kite design,wind strength, rider skill). After this board is done, we'll see. Besides the fins, I plan on having a much harder/sharper/thinner rail over most of the board (1/2 to 2/3 of the board as opposed to 1/8 to 1/4 on a surfing kiteboard) with the thickness kept underfoot for float during lighter winds.

Should be an interesting project...

Friday, January 2, 2009

Starting off right

There was some swell in the Eastern Pacific this New Year's Day -

Not wanting to pay the $2/hour fee at Port Hueneme Beach, the family and I drove to the south jetty at Silver Strand Beach. Nice head high shore pounders, with tons of people on it. I brought the Walden Standup and I didn't want to deal with the crowd, so we ended up driving to Port Hueneme Beach anyways.

We were greeted by waist to chest high peelers and NOBODY out - I had the place to myself (it was worth the $2).

There was also a sea lion pup that took a break near the kids. You don't get to see that everyday. The kids were fascinated and it was another step in teaching them that we are all tied together...