Monday, March 31, 2014

How to do a Bottom Turn

While we're in Mexico, I am hoping to do a lot of bottom turns. Here are some tips I thought I'd share on "the most important turn in surfing". 

Step 1: Drop straight down the face. For me, I usually have to tweak my feet a bit because I don't typically stand up in just the right spot. Instead of having my feet parallel to each other, I usually like to place my front foot kind of diagonally over the stringer, while my back foot is right on my tailpad kicker, perpendicular to my stringer (see the first image in this sequence for a visual). 
Step 2: Eye the section you want to hit. To execute a vertical off-the-lip you will want to time your bottom turn just as the lip is about the throw (like in these pictures below. Although, honestly, I think I'm a bit late). If you want to throw an on the face slash or some variety of a spray topturn, you don't have to wait for the lip to appear before you make your way up the face. 
Step 3: If you are going frontside (like I am in these pictures) lean over your toes to get your board on its inside rail (going backside, you want to lean on your heals). Sometimes I even put my back hand down in the water. This can help you keep your balance and direct your turn, but mostly I like doing it because it assures me that I am getting low enough. Keeping a low center of gravity is key. 
Step 4: Make your way up the face by eyeing the spot you want to hit and turing your body so your front arm is towards the lip and your back arm is behind your back, winding up for the hit at the top. Putting pressure on your front-foot will give you the drive you need to make it up the face. Putting pressure on your back foot, over your tail, will help you pivot.

The next step after the bottom turn is the top turn

Just about every surfer that knows what they're taking about will tell you the bottom turn is the most important turn in surfing. "It sets you up for the whole wave", they will say. Writing this post has made me realize how much I really need to work on mine more. 

Here are some other thoughts on the subject from friends in the know (mostly :)...

"[picture it like a clock] i try to go 6 o'clock, right toward the beach, then try to head for 12 o'clock. sometimes frontside I proceed this with a little speed pump or 1/2 way up the wave top turn helps, but you really gotta try to flow the speed pump str8 into the bottom turn. for some reason backhand i like to just go str8 for 6 o'clock and head for the beach right on the drop and whip right in to the bottom turn. lots of times when i look over my shoulder and it appears that the lip is 2 steep and that im way to late for the top turn, but most the time i surprise myself and get an exciting b/s hit with a little freefall. hope some of dat makes sense!" ~Dave Dorosko

"I always found that bent knees help a ton. When I was sitting in the water filming in the days leading up to the Hurley Pro, even though everyone had different types of maneuvers off the top, every one of them was really compressed off the a coiled spring." ~Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Magazine 

"Step 1: sit on your bottom Step 2: turn!!" ~my friend Stephanie Kraft (do not do this :)

"stick your butt out really far for style" ~Darrell Gray (I couldn't tell if he was kidding or not, but this is actually kind of true).

Here's a picture of Kelly Slater doing one of the best bottoms turns I've ever seen (and sticking his butt out), plus a few more thoughts on the subject from the pros. If you have any of your own tips, please feel free to add them in the comment section! 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Thankful Things

This week I'm thankful for ...
everything being exactly the way it is right now;
for all the things that make my life mine.

"The earth, that is sufficient, I do not want the constellations any nearer, I know they are very well where they are, I know they suffice for those who belong to them" ~Walt Witman

I'm also thankful for the fact that we're headed off to Mexico. I'm thankful for that because I'm looking forward to spending time with friends and being influenced and inspired by new surroundings. Traveling usually has the tendency to remind me not to take life so seriously. 

My dad told me there was some study done that found that people get the most enjoyment out of a vacation while planning it. This has never been true for me because I somehow channel the anxious energy that arrives in the face of leaving my comfort zone in to unproductive tasks like printing things off the internet and pasting them in to my journal. I also usually repack my suitcase three times (Scott's note: "at least").

What are you thankful for this week?

I hope you have a good weekend and thank you for all the support (and especially for sharing your thoughts on this post). Adios for now! 

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

$100 Giftcard Giveaway to Kahili Creations + Thoughts on Jewelry

I realized the other day how much I love jewelry. It's not that I thought I didn't before, but I've never really lingered in the windows of Tiffany's or longed to be decorated in diamonds. Usually I have on what Scott calls my "permanent jewelry". An anklet that I got almost ten years ago on a family trip, my wedding ring and the two rings I got on our honeymoon that I consider my wedding bands. Usually a watch too. I love wearing this jewelry along with a necklace or bracelet that makes me think of things I love (people, places, nature...). I think jewelry is probably one of my favorite things to shop for or receive. 

I've had a few jewelry shops sponsor the site so far and I've had them here because I really love their jewelry and what it represents; the person and the story they'd like to tell. 

Today Kahili Creations is offering a $100 shopping spree to one winner! Their jewelry is handcrafted on the Big Island of Hawai'i by Marcia, a ukulele player that loves 80s music and has a lot of good stories to tell herself. Check out her shop and enter below to win store credit (U.S. Residents only). Learn more about Kahili Creations here

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, March 24, 2014

New Mission Beach Memories

The day before we went on this mid-week getaway to Mission Beach, courtesy of Luv Surf Rentals, I had a disagreement with a family member. 

I hardly slept before we left for the funky little beach community where Scott and I met nine years ago, which was good because I was awake at five a.m. ready to pack the car and beat the sun to the Crystal Pier. We only had an hour to surf since Scott had to be at work at 8:30. 

It was so quiet out in the ocean. My ears, familiar with the sound of crashing waves, listened instead to the sound of the pigeons' wings as they flapped between the support beams underneath the pier. 

Right when I paddled out, a set wave came to me. It's nice when this happens because if you go, everyone in the lineup immediately knows you're not messing around. If you don't go, it won't be forgotten for the rest of the session. Surfers base a lot of things on first impressions. I went, but I did not pull in to the barrel and haven't really let myself forget it since.

Scott left for work at 8:20, happy his commute was an eighth as long as normal, and I gave a dollar to a homeless man that came by. His skin looked like he had been outside forever, so I assumed he must have been homeless for a while. The only tooth it looked like he had was one on the bottom and when he smiled I almost started crying; not really because I felt bad for him, but because something about the whole experience made me feel that way I sometimes feel when I know God or the spirit of a deceased relative is near. 

The house wouldn't be ready until 3 p.m. So, to keep myself busy, I went to the Ocean Beach Skatepark. I'm trying really hard not to break my arm before we go to Mexico, but I can't stay away. I watched videos on Instagram for hours the night before to help me get to sleep and prepare myself for the park. 

When I got there, there was a guy and a girl sitting in the dirt near the bowl in the back. I tried dropping in on a little bump in the middle of the park that seemed close to the ground, but fell first try. The girl with funny white-rimmed glasses, who had been sitting in the shade, led me to a steeper, but less abrupt transition to try instead. I didn't recognize her at all, but once she introduced herself, I was sure she was a friend of Dave's. I invited her over to the house that night because we were having a small pizza party to celebrate Scott's birthday. She told me she would write the address on her hand as soon as she found a pen and promised she'd try to drop by as long as she finished cleaning the roadkill that was in her car. Everyone Dave has introduced us to is a character, so I wasn't the least bit surprised by her plans for the day. Although, I was curious what in the world she was going to do with the cleaned roadkill. I concluded she might sew it all together to make a blanket, but everyone else thought this suggestion was outrageous and instead decided she must use it for food. We can never be sure since she didn't come by the house that night. Maybe she never found a pen.

Dropping in on my skateboard was every bit as terrifying and thrilling as I thought it would be. Even though I knew I looked like a kook doing it, nothing could wipe the happiness off my face. I do, however, wish I could wipe the softball sized purple bruise off my left thigh. I basically made myself promise not to cry while skateboarding, but this pledge is much harder to uphold than I expected. 

Once the house was ready, we were welcomed in. There was beer in the fridge, wine bottles in the cupboard and three floors to stretch out in. Scott and I have never lived in a house with stairs, so having three flights of them was pretty exciting. 

I was positive I was going to need a nap after the night before, but I couldn't possibly leave this dream for some other ones. The house was everything we could have wanted for a getaway. 

Scott and I sat on the deck drinking and talking, while our friends slowly began to trickle in to join us. We passed the camera around and let everyone take turns capturing their perspective on the party. Pizza was ordered, I wore the shirt and necklace the Luv Surf Shop gave me (they are the retail company associated with the beach house rental company and their stuff is really cute, comfy and well made!) and we all sang happy birthday as Scott blew out the candles on his pizza pie (yep, wax got on some of the pieces). 

Watching the shadows change places in the grass in our backyard now, I am, of course, happy to be home. But a part of me will always miss that little house that held some of my dreams. And with a little bit of perspective and time away, solving the disagreement with my sister was much easier.

Information about traveling to Mission Beach, California
+The rental company we stayed with is called: Luv Surf (retail shop: Luv Surf retail). They were amazing and made us feel right at home. I want to use the word magical when I talk about our stay. Everything was already provided for us (beer, wine, water, towels for the beach, beach cruiser bikes for the boardwalk, olive oil and spices in the kitchen, plates, utensils etc.). The house was clean, comfortable, beachy and honestly, pretty perfect (and I try not to overuse that word). It was extremely hard to leave.  If you're planning to visit San Diego, definitely check out their rentals.
+Mission Beach is such a fun place to come vacation in California. There's an amusement park, wave pool, miles and miles of sandy beaches (some with waves, some without), sailing, great night life, ice cream stands everywhere and a four mile long boardwalk for bike riding, skateboarding and excellent people watching. I highly recommend it (especially if you a.) like to party or b.) need a good family trip)!
+most photos by: Scott DeMint Photography (the rest by me and our guests :)

Friday, March 21, 2014

March Sponsors

JettyGirl ~ get up close and personal with today's female surfers.
Kahili Creations ~ jewelry made in Hawai'i. 
Dot and Army ~ one of a kind handmade cloth napkins made from vintage and eco-friendly fabrics.
Daphne's ~ feeding mind, body and soul. 
San Briego ~ a fitness, food and fashion blog written in America's finest city.
::sayulita life: isla marietas and hidden beach::
Pom Pom ~ The first surf, skate and snow company for girls. All natural wax for your surf or snowboard. 
::new bags and accessories::
Sam en Croute ~a blog by a culinary student, Sam.
Roxy ~ bringing inspiration to girls to dream big and have fun in and out of the water. 
Matsumoto Studio ~ design + paper goods by sisters Jen and Jes. 
This, Too ~ an adventure log by Kari, an optimist on a quest for inspiration, adventure and vintage-y goodness. 
:: present meets past (beautiful reflection) ::

If you are interested in sponsorship for your blog or business, please contact me!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Weird Freckle (and other ramblings about death)

I had a suspicious freckle on my stomach. They removed it last week. I said I would go to the appointment by myself. This is about the tenth suspicious freckle I've had removed, after all. But we got new insurance. And I hadn't seen this doctor before. So Scott pretended he wanted to go and came with me. Now all that's left of the freckle is a little cut covered by a blue bandaid. Soon it will be a scar like all the rest.

Suspicious freckles have a tendency to disturb me because some small, hypochondriac side of me has always wondered if this would be the way I was going to die. I don't mean that to sound morbid. I think this is because my paternal grandmother I never met died from a weird freckle. Do other people wonder how they're going to die?

In one of my favorite movies Big Fish, the dad, the tall-tale telling kind, talks often about a witch whose glass eye could see the future. As the story goes, you could see how you were going to die if you looked straight in her eye. Would you look? Would you want to know how you were going to die? I don't think I would, but I can't say that with real certainty since I've never been presented with the opportunity. 

I saw Betty White on Conan the other week. She's awfully old, in case you weren't aware; 92 to be exact. Maybe she'll live to 192. Who's to say? But the topic of dying came up seeing as some people might think she could be relatively closer than other folks (although, again, who's to say?). Anyways, she said she wasn't scared of dying at all. A lot of people say that, but I believed her. She said her family used to say that the one thing no one in the whole world can know is what it's like after you die. "It's the biggest secret", they told young Betty White. After a member of her family would die, they would say "Now they know the secret!" Betty White said she's looking forward to finding out what it is, whenever that may be. I can't say I'm looking forward to finding out the secret yet, but I know it must be a good one. I think I've always known that. 

The other night I had a talk with my mom about my fear of death. Specifically her's and my dad's. How I feel this overwhelming worry that I will never be able to express my love for them enough in their lifetime. How I worry about saying the wrong thing or getting in a fight with them, and then losing them soon after. How if I say I'd rather take a nap than go shopping in the design district with them, I feel an irrepressible guilt, even though I do want to take a nap and sometimes do my own thing. My mom said she and my dad always know how much I love them. They can tell in everything I do. She said not to worry about not wanting to do everything they do. It's normal to want to go your own way sometimes.
My mom said you can never hurt a person's feelings as long as you are acting out of love. I hope that's true. 

Anything that’s human is mentionable, and anything that is mentionable can be more manageable. When we can talk about our feelings, they become less overwhelming, less upsetting, and less scary."~ Mr. Rogers

Monday, March 17, 2014

Sunland Session (a surf movie from this weekend)

I hadn't made a surf movie since my film from last year got rejected from the film festival. Maybe I was still bummed. Maybe I hadn't been inspired. I'm thinking it was both. A few weeks ago I got the urge to make a movie again. To find a good song and stare my computer screen editing clips of my family and friends surfing in average waves was almost as fun as surfing. If only I didn't allow myself to get stressed out about getting the perfect waves when I'm being filmed. But I think I'm getting closer to caring more about the experience and less about perfection. Anyways, I hope you enjoy this little clip of my friends, family and I surfing some unusually warm not-perfect waves in March in California.

Friday, March 14, 2014

An Exercise for Rotator Cuff Injuries that I'm Actually, Finally Doing

The swells have been consistent lately, the paddles long. My shoulders are not as happy about it as I am. 

My last semester of college, I manipulated my schedule so I only had class on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On the other days, I surfed all day. There was nothing I didn't like about it. My shoulders have never forgiven me, though. I've seen a few physical therapists about my rotator cuff inflammation issues. I am always enthusiastic as I sit in their offices learning about all the exercises I can do to help myself recover. But when I get home, I nearly never do them. Or at least, I do them until I feel better and then I am happy to cut them out of my routine. But that wasn't working for me. I don't want to feel old. I don't want to watch. I don't want to feel like I've already given the ocean my stronger years. I don't want the money I spent on the physical therapy to be wasted. And so, I do the exercises. They are not nearly as fun as surfing, or most other things, but they help me sleep at night. I thought I would share one with you in case you might need it.

Strengthening your trapezius: Sets: 3 \\ Repetition: 5-12 \\ Hold: 3 seconds

Your trapezius is located in the upper and middle back (I had to google it. None of those Tuesday/Thursday classes from senior year were in anatomy). This is the muscle you work when your shoulders are in use. It's important to strengthen this muscle so you can put it to work while paddling instead of straining the ball and socket joint.

1. Lie on your stomach, face down with your arms overhead, elbows bent and your thumbs pointing up.

2. Lift your elbows and hands off the floor while pulling your shoulder blades together.

3. Let your elbows down and repeat.

Place a towel roll under your forehead to keep your face off the floor. 

Have you ever had rotator cuff injuries or pain? I hear swimmers and tennis and baseball players often suffer too. Have you ever had to do physical therapy for an injury?... Did you actually do it?

-clothing c/o Roxy. Check out the new spring items in Roxy's Outdoor Fitness line. They have some really cute (and colorful) stuff.

I hope you have a good weekend! Welcome new readers from ohdeardrea

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Looking at the Sun

Nature is watching us all the time.
The more I can look back, the more I know.

Sometimes I think the reason the sun returns every day is because it knows we love it so much. Sometimes I think it's just science (but that is barely ever). 

I think the sun watches us as we play in its light.

I am happy it takes turns with the moon.
I long for them both to have an impact on me.

 I sit in the sea as the sun begins to do the same, a part of the food chain. I can't help myself. This is where I belong. With the silvery swimming sharks looking at what they want to see; with the whales and dolphins that know the earth has no edges. 

I love how the sun comes and goes, making no sound at all. 

It watches me as I end my day with pleasure and peace.

photos by Scott DeMint {new website!}
also pictured: Christine Brailsford
Dane Peterson
Margo Arraman Tucoo