Derek Dodds

Author Archives: Derek Dodds

Save A Surf Tool


Ventana Surfboards & Supplies recently launched in Santa Cruz. They’re an eco-conscious, craftsman-focused surf company doing pop-up shops in Santa Cruz and the San Francisco Bay Area. They also have some amazing, reclaimed wood surfboards, handplanes and surf supplies featured on their website: http:/

One of their coolest products is the unique, Save-A-Surf tool. It has four integrated fin screws (FCS and Futures), an Allen wrench secured with tiny magnets, a leash cord, a wax comb and a scraper. This all-in-one tool is perfect for saving your session. It’s a usable piece of art designed and produced in Santa Cruz by master craftsman Martijn Stiphout. They are laser cut to exact specifications, hand oiled and assembled by Ventana.

Their latest run is made with sustainably grown, Honduras Mahogany. The wood is offcut from the production of guitar necks by the Santa Cruz Guitar Company. The back of each tool is laser etched with name of the wood and their logo. The Santa Cruz Guitar Company has created custom guitars for some of the top names in the music industry: Eric Clapton, Elvis Costello, Dick Dale, Jimmy Buffet, Johnny Cash and hundreds of others. The leash cords are made from left over paracord from the creation of Ventana Khordz mugs, and they’re super strong.

6 Tips To Going Paperless On Your Next Surf Adventure

6 Tips to Going Paperless On Your Next Surf AdventureHave you wanted to go paperless, but were unsure where to begin?

If you have been hesitant to start your eco hero’s journey into the world of digital documents, don’t worry, you’re not alone.

In fact, there’s often a strange sense of comfort that comes from having information printed on a piece of pristine paper. How many times have you sent your travel itinerary to your phone but also printed it on paper for a backup?

The advantages of having everything stored in a digital format are hard to ignore when getting ready to fly across the planet to submerge yourself in saltwater bliss.

•    save effort with less paper to store and carry around (more room for surfboards and beer)
•    save stress by avoiding losing important documents (always available online)
•    save paper and carbon emissions associated with mailing paper documents
•    save time by having access to your documents anywhere (except that boat in the Mentawais)

Digitizing your paper system is especially useful for traveling surfers.

Getting your documents in order may be the underlying resistance to leaving the country for that epic surf vacation you have been dreaming about.

Good News: substituting your messy paper system for an eco-friendly, sharable, portable, organized system is as easy as paddling out at Mondos in Ventura, California.

6 Tips To Going Paperless On Your Next Surf Adventure (Really 3 tips and 3 action items)

To jumpstart your soon-to-be paperless path to increased efficiency, I’d like to share a simple, three step guide to going paperless.

1. Reduce Your Paper Input For Easy Travel Organization

You may be ready to start scanning up a storm, but before you do that, what if you could drastically reduce the amount of paper you receive in the first place? While you are basking on the beaches of Bali you’ll want to be able to manage and pay your bills online.

Top paper kooks that can easily be switched to electronic documents are:

•    credit cards
•    monthly bills (cell phone, utilities, rent/mortgage)
•    bank statements
•    tax documents

Sometimes you can get discounts or rewards for switching to the paperless option.

Action Step: Take an hour to automate as many bills as possible, receive digital bank and tax statements and stop unsolicited mail form cramming your mailbox.

2. Choose Your Document Management System.

You’ll want something that uses cloud storage to store your important documents. That way, if something should happen to your computer or hard drive, you still have all of your documents safely backed up.

Opting for cloud based storage also makes the information accessible from virtually anywhere in the world via wireless internet connection.

The two best cloud storage options are Google Drive and Dropbox.

Action Step: Open a Google Drive account and learn the basics of using this free cloud resource.

3. Scan Your Most Important Documents Pre-Trip

Our list of most important documents includes:

•    passport
•    health records (including pre-trip shots)
•    malaria medication instructions
•    birth certificate
•    social security card (or ID)
•    drivers license
•    travel insurance policies
•    airline ticket
•    car reservations
•    credit card replacement numbers
•    marriage license (in case you decide to marry that girl you met in the water at Ulu)
•    military service records
•    investment records (need to make a trade to extend your trip)
•    will (hopefully you won’t need this one)

There are a number of document scanning applications that will turn your smartphone into a high quality scanning machine. I like TinyScan and recommend downloading it from the app store.

Got More Paperless Tips?

Got any more tips going paperless before your next surf adventure, send them to or add to the comments below if you are reading this online.

Wave Tribe Ambassador Jeremy Shutts

Jeremy Shutts

I’m 15, and I live in Laguna Beach, Ca. I have been surfing for 5 years. I ride for Hotline wetsuits, Wave Tribe,  and Punt traction. I’m a freshman at Laguna Beach high school. I compete in Primes, WSA, NSSA, and SSS.

I surf, skate, spearfish, and mountain bike.

[quote]Ecology is extremely important to me because everything that I love to do involves the outdoors, and I don’t know what I would do with out it.[/quote]

I ride a 5’9, 5’7 and I have a 6’3 for bigger waves.

Instagram: @jeremyshutts

Facebook: Jeremy Shutts

Contest schedule for the rest of season for WSA:

  • February 14 HB pier
  • March 14 Oceanside harbor,
  • April 25 Salt Creek
  • May 30 church beach.
  • Prime: February 7 upper trestles,
  • TBD Oceanside harbor
  • NSSA February 7 HB
  • NSSA May 2 Oceanside


What Is The Best Boardbag

What Is The Best Boardbag for You?

Best Boardbags RatedSurfboards—how we love them.

And we know you do too. Besides our loved ones, and beer, surfboards are the most important things in our lives.

The first surfboard sighting dates back to 1778 when European explorer Captain James Cook sailed to Hawaii. The Hawaiians had been surfing for hundreds of years. The original Hawaiian surfboard could measure up to 16 feet and weighed one hundred pounds.

Today’s surfboards are much more fragile then those original Hawaiian logs and they do get damaged without the proper protection.

It’s a dangerous world out there for surfboards and the following are some common ways that surfboards get damaged outside of the water:

  • Dings from knocking your board around the house;
  • Nicks from when you find that the dog was playing tug-of-war with your leash (board attached);
  • Broken boards from angry ex-girlfriends (or boyfriends: Wave Tribe is for you too ladies);
  • Delam from the sun as you left it baking like a chocolate chip cookie in the backyard;
  • Color fading from too much sun exposure;
  • Tail cracks from it dropping out of your car while you take off your wetsuit.
  • Scratches from the cat that decided your board was a humping post.

Lucky for you there is a quick and easy solution—protect your surfboard with a well padded surfboard bag.

A good boardbag will protect your surfboard from the elements (mainly the sun and heat) and also insulate it against those occasional dings or other life scenarios mentioned above. To ensure the safety of your surfboard always be extra nice to your gal and never tell her where your favorite surfboard is located (just in case).

First of all, it’s just plain logical to buy a boardbag.

Why do you need a board bag you might ask?

You just spent $500-$1000 bones on a new stick and you need to protect that board while shlepping it to the beach and back.

You don’t leave the house naked and your board shouldn’t either—being naked it cool, but you don’t want your board bumping into any strage objects.

A good boardbag will also protect your surfboard from the sun while chilling in the back of your ride, not to mention keep sand and wax off your car’s interior.

The sun’s ultraviolet ray’s, both UVA and UVB, can cause your board to ‘delam’. UV radiation is part of the electromagnetic (light) spectrum that reaches the earth from the sun. These are the same rays that cause damage to your skin.

Dude, delamination is a bubbly, blistering bumpiness on your beloved board that could lead to your beauties demise.

The most common cause of delamination is leaving your board in a car in the hot sun and not putting a cover on it to cool it down and keep the sun’s rays off your deck and rails. A boardbag acts as a cacoon that insulates your board and creates a small micro-climate that helps reduce the temperature inside the bag. This keeps your board cooler and also protects it from the damaging UV rays.

Boardbag Buyers Guide To Best BoardbagBoardbag Buying Basics

There are four primary types of surfboard bags—if you consider a sock a boardbag—which it is, kinda. But a sock is the most inferior type of board bag because it has little to no padding.

The sock is also made of a thinner material so it doesn’t help create the micro-climate described above.

Ok, more on that later—let’s review the various boardbag types, uses and pain points. The following is a quick and dirty comparison guide for boardbag types:

1. Boardsock Basics

  • cool designs
  • easy to store
  • light weight
  • large variety

Boardsocks Things To Consider

  • limited protection
  • wax issues
  • thin material

2. Day Boardbag Basics

  • mm padded protection
  • fits one board
  • must get right shape

Boardbag Things To Consider

  • YKK zippers
  • shoulder strap
  • interior pocket
  • exterior pocket
  • not enough for airplane travel
  • zippers fall apart if cheap

3. Travel Surfboard Boardbag Basics

  • fits up to 2 boards
  • lots of protection
  • can use store boards

Travel Surfboard Boardbag Things To Consider

  • more expensive
  • bulky and heavy
  • airline will charge for use

4. Wheeled Travel Boardbag Basics

  • use one top of rental
  • carry 3-4 boards
  • offers the best travel convenience
  • easy to cart around in airport

Wheeled Travel Boardbag Things To Consider

  • most expensive option
  • heavy and bulky
  • how to store it off season

Each kind of boardbag has its own benefits and use and in many cases must fit the surfboards (or variety of boards) that you want to carry and protect.

Lets take a look at which boardbag is right for you and let’s look at what you need to look out for when you buy a boardbag for your surfboard.

Surfboard BoardsockBoardsock – The Surfboard Sock

The surfboard sock is the most light weight of the board protection options and also the wimpiest.

The sock mainly serves to protect your board from scratches, sun damage, and minor dings.

If your stick never rides on top of the car and doesn’t get much sun exposure then this is a good option—easy on, easy off (most of the time).

Try and find a boardsock with a padded nose, usually the nose is the most vulnerable part of the board during travel—as you maneuver through the house or garage on your way to the beach the sock offers a little cushion for your surfboard.

A boardsock also does a good job at keeping wax, sand, and water away from your goodies after your surf and can help keep your car clear, which keeps the ladies stoked.

There are some awesome boardsocks out there these days, some that look like art or are being make by-hand in a surf dudes garage.

The Wave Tribe Boardsock comes in unique rad designs and has a thick padded nose made from hemp.

Another great company in California that is making baordsocks by hand is Green Fuz down in San Clemente. Each one of their surfboard socks is unique and looks like an art piece.

Pick the right nose and size options, both width and length matter along with the board style. Most socks will stretch a few inches in all directions. If you buy a 6 foot boardsock, you’ll be able to stuff up to a 6’4 in that baby. Some socks stretch more than others. The canvas style socks seem to be making a comeback and these socks tend to be more baggy and not stretch.

Don’t forget to check the nose style. You can’t put a 7’6 round nose into a straight nose boardsock. Well, you can, but it won’t be the kind of fit that you desire.

Retro surfboards usually require a retro boardsock. The retro boardsocks uhave a special nose and are a bit wider throughout that fit the special shape of your board. At Wave Tribe we have a few boardsocks for the Mini Simmons and Fish surfboard designs.

The one issue I have experienced with boardsocks is when they get too hot and the wax melts and then creates a bond between the sock and the board. This sucks and can be a real pain.

If your going to leave your board in the sun, not recommend in any situation, it’s better to use a boardbag. Try and store your board in a dry and shady place that doesn’t get too hot.

Day Board Bag

The day board bag provides all of the benefits of the sock but offers much more protection. It is a little heavier and more bulky.

Most day board bags have 5mm of padding, a shoulder strap, pocket for wax and a loop on the end so that you can hang it in the garage.

If you need to hike to your surf break then the shoulder strap is essential, carry your board over your shoulder for those long walks to Trestles or other far off locations.

Ever surf Trestles?

If you haven’t you should, and if you do then you know that making that walk with a shitty board bag sucks.

There is a more basic boardbag that doesn’t have a shoulder strap. These are usually the baordbags at the bottom of the price range and are just the bare bones bags. Wave Tribe has one called the Zen Boardbag , these board bags have the smallest footprint and are super lightweight. They are made with breathable hemp fabric that allows your board to stay cool.

If you want a more versatile board bag, look for a day boardbag with a pocket to hide goodies like fins, wax or your cheewawa inside. These pockets really come in handy for stashing an extra leash and wax, which are items that surfers always need to have ready for the unexpected.

Wave Tribe Hemp Day BoardbagGrab a Day Boardbag That Fits Your Board

Also, a solid handle is very important. You’ll see two types of handles, one is just a nylon strap and the other is a proper rubber handle that allows for better portability and grabbing. It’s always good to have something to grab (‘that’s what she said’).

Most day bags don’t have enough padding to travel with. If you are going to fly somewhere please get a surfboard travel boardbag (more on that below).

Day surfboard bags also do a good job of keeping your board from overheating while in your ride making out with your girl or lying on the beach soaking in the sun.

Most day boardbag are covered with reflective material and have insulation that keeps the board cool when the sun is shining through your window or if your board rides on top of your car.

Believe it or not heat can damage a board, so you want to be careful where you leave it. The reflective material ensures you won’t find a mess of wax inside when you open it up or cook your board while grabbing a beer with your bros after your session.

The zipper is the most important element of your bag (more on that below too). If you buy a cheap bag you’ll get a shitty zipper and it might fall apart in a few months while you are walking to the beach with your chick.

Dude, don’t let the chicks see your bag fall apart—so embarrassing!

There are lots of cheap boardbags on the market with shitty zippers, you won’t be happy when your zipper breaks.

A bag with a broken zipper is worthless, look for YKK zippers (made in Japan) and nickle platted zipper pulls (those are the things you, well, pull).

Custom Boardbag

Another option on a day boardbag is a custom custom made boardbag. A custom bag is made to your specifications and let’s you customize it with your own style.

Our favorite custom bags are made by Air Wave in San Francisco. These guys have been making bags since 1984 and they offer a wide range of colors.

There are a few companies making board bags from reclaimed billboard. We tried it for a while at Wave Tribe, but we couldn’t make them competitively in the market. We also noticed that the surfboard got extra hot in the board bags because the billboard didn’t allow for air flow like the hemp or other fabric.

I think it’s fun to design your own boardbag and if you are into the billboard this is an awesome option. Here is the Easy category for board bags, the perfect place to start looking for one.

The Surfboard Travel Board Bag – Wheels Or No Wheels?

Boardbag Wheeled Surfboard Travel CaseThinking about going on a surf trip? Needs some ideas or inspirations, check out some of our surf trip travle articles to places like Easter Island, Cabo and Peru.

If you get on a plane without a surfboard travel bag it would be like flying without your underwear, actually it’d be more like flying naked.

Travel surfboard cases can also double as a second suitcase while traveling and save you on baggage fees.

Speaking of board fees, have you read our Airline Surfboard Fee Guide? It is a must read for anything planning a surf trip.

Most surfboard travel bags have many of the same features as the day board bag but they are made with thicker padding and more resilient straps and handles. Unusually when you travel you take more than one board (different conditions bro) so you’ll want one that fits two or more boards and also has a padded divider.

You don’t want those boards sitting directly on top of each other, too much pressure can smash the rockers together and snap you board—I’ve done it and it sucks.

Most travel boardbags contain about 10mm of padding to protect your board from damage during transport. We felt that 10mm wasn’t enough, so Wave Tribe Travel Bags are made with 13-15mm of padding.

But wait, that still wasn’t enough for us. We noticed that on our R&D surf trips that sometimes the nose and tail sections of our boards where getting damaged from when the airline employees would jam the boardbag onto the planes.

We saw this as a huge problem and thus we redesigned the surfboard travel bag and added an additional 13 mm in the nose and tail where the board bags are most vulnerable. These inserts are made of closed cell foam which is like a protection helmet for your tail and nose, this is the same foam in football helmets.

That’s 26 mm of padding where you need it, and trust me, after 30 years of international surf travel I know you will need it. We’ve never had a board damaged with this new innovative bag design.

Even though we have all this extra padding we still recommend that you wrap the rails. See the video of step-by-step instructions on how to pack your board bag so it doesn’t get damaged at bottom of page in teh section titled #7) How do I pack a boardbag?

You might want to consider traveling with a board that has removable fins, but a good travel bag should allow you to transport glass-ons fins.

These days retro boards like the Mini Simmons have really taken off and so the old traditional travel board bag might not allow you to travel with an alternative quiver. If you want to travel with a retro style surfboard you’ll need a boardbag constructed with wider mid sections and tail.

Also, remember that if you are traveling with a regular board and a retro surfboard you’ll have to make sure that the rockers of each board fit well together in the boardbag.

One of the hardest things to do is lug your board bag through the airport and customs. If you are not going far or have a butler to carry your board then a non wheeled travel board bag might be right for you but if you have multiple flights or expect to have to carry your board bag long distances.

I always recommend a board bag with wheels, sometimes called a tomb or coffin surfboard travel bag.

Why are they called tombs?

Check it out, that what they look like and in fact you could likely be buried in one when you die (which I hope is no time soon).

If you are planning a surf trip by car, train, boat or plane, a travel bag is a good investment. The tombs are the creme-de-la-creme of boardbags and have most of the elements of the double travel bags but with wheels.

You want to look for good quality wheels, excellent YKK zippers, interior pockets and padded board dividers.

Some guys tell me they are sick of paying boardbag fees so they decide that they will rent a board once they get to their surf destination.

I am too attached to my own particular board for this, riding someone else’s surfboard is like wearing your bros underwear.

You can’t always find the board you want either and in some locations you won’t find any board to rent at all. There is nothing like standing on the beach as the waves are going off and you find that the surf shop (the only one in 200 miles) just burned down because they started selling SUPs to the locals.

Of course we think that the Wave Tribe Travel Bag is a great choice but whichever boardbag you buy please remember the main principles of this article. I would recommend always spending a little more to get the board bag with the better quality zippers and handles.

If you do decide on the Wave Tribe board bag, know that you can carry two boards and travel in style with our unique hemp construction and be confident that we have used the best stitching, zippers and construction available.

Other boardbags I would recommend are Prolite and the custom bags at Air Wave. I prefer to support the smaller companies that have deeply rooted ethos, but they are harder to find these days.

7 Tips To Buying A Surfboard Boardbag

#1) Does your surfboard fit into the boardbag?

Make sure the boardbag fits your board. Length should be obvious, and size does matter by the way.

The boardbag will be marked (length) but remember to check the width also. Most bags have an additional 2 inches beyond their marking.

It’s cool to get a board bag a few inches bigger than your board, but not too much bigger, you don’t want it moving around too much inside the bag. 6-12 inches bigger is ok, that way you can use it if you ever get a slightly bigger board or if you want to stuff it with wetsuit, fins and other travel goodies inside.

The best time to buy a bag is when you buy your board.

Try and fit your board into the bag and pick the one that feels right. If you can’t ‘be there’ then get the measurements and match them to the bag.

If you buy a Fish, Mini Simmons, or Retro Surfboard you should look for a board bag with the same qualities and dimensions.

Finally, check the nose shape of the board bag.

Surfboard bags come in three main nose shapes:

  • Pointed, mainly for short board bags
  • semi-round or hybrid
  • full round, for Malibu and long board bags.

#2) Do your fins fit into the boardbag?

You will want to make sure your bag works with your fins in and out.

Quads have wide fin setups and will require more room in the back and sides.

Glass-on fins are making a comeback and if you are going to be traveling with your fins glassed-in make sure those fins are well protected (see the video below for some tips on protecting your fins).

Some bags come with a fin slot, make sure you check this feature if you like to keep your fins in place, that way your board can fit in the bag with the fins in.

#3) Does the boardbag zipper suck?

Make sure your bag has a good zipper that will last.

The zipper should be waterproof and rugged.

Metal zippers will rust—so stay away from metal: the salt water will eat them for lunch.

Most board bags that are trashed are because of a dead zipper.

Your bag is of no use if it won’t open or close.

The zipper is SUPER important and you should look for the trademark YKK.

Your boardbag zipper should be a #8 or #10 (#10s are the best and YKK are the Mercedes of zippers).

Before you buy a bag check the zipper function and give it a few back-and-forths.

Boardbag Padding#4) Is the boardbag padded like a push-up bra?

A cheap bag will skimp on padding and you are better off wrapping the board in a towel and a dipper.

Check out what we’ve done to our global bags here with 13mm + 13mm in the nose and tail to give you 26mm of protection.

Dude, that’s more padding than a Amsterdam hooker.

Don’t be a cheap bastard, when that zipper breaks and your board gets dinged from the thin padding you’ll be cursing at yourself and wish you would have listened to uncle D.

There is nothing like opening your boardbag in Costa Rica when it’s firing outside and you got three dings to fix before you can paddle out.

Check out your new board bag and give it a good squeeze—like grabbing your partners arse—before you buy any board bag—If you can feel your fingertips through the bag don’t buy it.

#5) Can your new boardbag pull a wheelie?

If you’re traveling with 3+ boards you’ll want to get a coffin with wheels.

Wheels are rad, especially when you are lugging those boards through customs and they tell you to go get in that 5 mile line to X-ray your bag.

Boardbag coffins are the luxury boardbag invented by the pros to carry their quivers with them to the contests. I was watching the Quicksilver Pro in France this year and they said Kelly travels with like 20 boards to each contest.

Dude, I wonder how many bags he travels with. Oh yea, here is a link to the finals with Kelly and Dan, the waves are sick and the barrels unbelievable.

Coffin boardbags are a great option if you want to travel with your mini quiver.

However, before you get on that plane shake that bag loose before you leave for your trip and make sure you didn’t drop any, ahem, roaches in there! <<< that’s the most important advice of this entire article.

#6) Can you hide your condoms inside the boardbag?

Most bags come with a number of cool features like pockets, board padding, extra stitching, and other bag goodness.

It is great to have a few pockets built into the interior of the board bag to keep an extra set of fins, some wax and a tube of ding repair.

Check out the inside of a few board bags and make sure you’re getting one that works for your needs.

#7) How do I pack a boardbag?

So you got your plane ticket and just bought a killer Wave Tribe Global Surfboard Travel Bag but you need some advice on packing your boards because you really want to arrive at your surf spot without any new dings.

You might want to spend an extra $30 and get a few items to help protect your surfboard.

We recommend that you grab the following before your trip:

  • buddle wrap
  • packing tape
  • fin block

Once you get those watch the video below for a step-by-step packing instructions.

Boardbag Conclusion

Surfboard bags help protect your boards from dings, nicks, scratches, sun damage, and your Mother-in-Law (it hides it from her when she comes over to feed the cat).

Starting at $25 socks are a good investment to protect your surfboard for light duty travel.

Clumsier surfers like me should definitely grab a day bag, and if you are getting on a plane, please invest in a boardbag that will get your surfboards from point A to point B in style with the needed protection and comfort available. Grab the wheeled boardbag for the best experience.

If you are looking for a good solid surf bag we highly recommend that you check out Wave Tribe’s selection of high quality surf gear but whatever you do buy a well constructed boardbag for your stick.

Now, go travel . . . live your passion!

Sea Turtles Guardians Of The Sea

Green Sea turtle The roots of surfing are planted firm and deep in Hawaiian culture. As a result, much of the culture and symbolism synonymous with Hawaii resonates with surfers all over the world, a kind of homage to the Polynesian ancestry of our sport. The image of the green turtle (Chelonia mydas), or honu, can be found everywhere in surf style and communities.

The green sea turtle is the only indigenous reptile to the Hawaiian Islands and is a revered symbol of the ocean interwoven with much of the islands’ folklore. These so-called ancients are considered guardians of children and mariners on beaches and in the coastal waters. It is no wonder that surfers connect with sea turtles and when you see one in the water you should feel blessed.

Here in coastal California, we are well aware of the presence of sharks beneath the deep blue waves on which we ride. Occasionally a seal or sea lion may appear and swim curiously about, again reminding us that we are visitors in this sea that is their home. A sunset pod of dolphins can almost always bring a smile to the faces in a line up. Visits from these species are relatively commonplace, but the rarity of encounters with sea turtles conjures up images and memories of surf trips or vacations to Hawaii. Yet what most Californians don’t know, is that there just might be sea turtles swimming in their own surf breaks, coves, and bays.

Sea Turtles Guardians Of The Sea in San Diego

In San Diego waters, turtles have been present for at least 100 years. This small resident population of east Pacific green turtles quietly lives and forages in San Diego Bay. Their presence can be traced back through fishing and shipping records to at least the mid-to-late 1800s, and the monitoring of this population has been going on since the early 1970s. Outside of San Diego Bay, sea turtles are seen (though not as frequently) along the beach breaks from La Jolla Shores to North County San Diego.

Moving farther to the north and into the ‘OC,’ green sea turtles are regularly observed in the mouth of the San Gabriel River in Long Beach—a popular local surfing spot. There is an interesting tie that binds these two SoCal populations of green turtles: power plants.

Both San Diego Bay and the San Gabriel River have power plants that use (or used) the nearby waters for cooling purposes. As a result of this process, warm water is released back into the environment creating a sort of jacuzzi effect for the coastal inhabitants. Green turtles in San Diego and Long Beach are routinely observed in the outfall areas of these plants—where the warmed water is released—and researchers from the National Marine Fisheries Service monitor their movement. The turtles presumably use the warm water to maintain body temperature and reduce metabolic costs, especially in the winter months when the water temperatures drop.

While the plant in Long Beach remains operational, the South Bay Power Plant in San Diego ceased operation on December 31, 2010 leaving us to wonder—what will the turtles do? Local movement of the turtles is tracked by a team of collaborators from the National Marine Fisheries Service, San Sea TurtleDiego State University, the United States Navy, and the Port of San Diego. The hope is to understand how the movement of the turtles in San Diego Bay relates to the water temperature and whether their behavior changes because of the power plant closure.

Observations from other power plants across the United States show that manatees, rays, fish, alligators, freshwater turtles, and other sea turtle populations demonstrate similar behavior at these sites. As our technology advances, many of these power plants will face decommissioning in the not too distant future. For some species, the warm water has allowed expansion into areas outside of their historical geographic ranges.

The loss of the warm water, now that they are accustomed to it, could prove distressing to those populations. Understanding how the green turtles in San Diego Bay are affected by the closure of the power plant could aid in the research and management of other populations and species.

Surfers connect with sea turtles, that is a fact. It might be our similar historical and cultural ties to Hawaii or it could be our mutually amphibious lifestyles. We are fortunate to share the water with these guardians of the sea. Because of this kinship, it behooves us to be ambassadors for the turtles whose home we share and enjoy.

Sheila V. Madrak is a surfer and PhD candidate in the Joint Doctoral Program in Ecology through San Diego State University and the University of California, Davis. Her dissertation research centers on the local movement of east Pacific green sea turtles as related to water temperature in San Diego Bay, San Diego, CA. Derek Dodds is owner of Wave Tribe and an ecological freedom fighter. Write to for more info on turtles or inquire about joining the eco movement.

Snapping Away the Soul

camera-on-tripod[quote]“Not till we are lost, in other words not till we have lost the world, do we begin to find ourselves, and realize where we are and the infinite extent of our relations.” -Henry David Thoreau[/quote]

“What kind of camera do you use?”


“What kind of camera do you use to show people what you’ve done?”

“ I don’t,” I replied as I stepped onto the beach, board in hand ready to paddle out.

The woman who stopped me to ask about where my camera was and what kind I used was a  bit confused, possibly upset in the end because I don’t have one.

As a kid I watched movies read books about cultures that didn’t want to be photographed for fear it would steal the soul.  I wondered , how could a little box that let’s in light steal a soul?  Nobody’s stealing souls we just wanted a picture, a memory, something to show others of what we have accomplished, found or learned.  Looking through magazines that’s what I saw.  Now, I see things a little more like the tribes fearing lost soul.

Whether I am surfing, hiking climbing I see the overuse of documentation. People are “documenting” to the point of scripting and choreographing the shots.  Where’s the soul in fabricated perfection? Are we simply snapping away the soul?

I love photography and fils,  I pour through magazines even catalogs looking at photos.  Some photos I see for what they are some for  promotion of product and lifestyle in order to sell.  Other are true documentation and an art, an exhibition of amazing talent on both sides of the lens.   I feel many people involved the art of being outside are forgetting just to be outside.  Take some photos but don’t forget about just having the experience

When I paddle out, gear up for climbing or camping the rest of my life melts away.  I go out for myself, for my health and mental well being, no stress.   I don’t come back with regrets of missed shots or missed opportunities.  My outdoor pursuits are not my job,(although I am a wilderness guide) I leave that behind when I am in the water or the mountains.  My mind, my mental lens, is clear and can taken in everything and translate what I see right then, in the moment, into happiness that I carry with me forever.

Yes, it’s true,  I have taken pictures to show people after a trip to boast of accomplishments and show the difficulties in my pursuits.  In the end I found that the experience never transfers.  It’s probably because I am not a great photographer but it also has to do with explaining.  If you have never felt the wind under your feet, a few hundred  feet up, on a climb, sat in the lightning in the backcountry or wondered if you could hold your breath, upside down underwater, any longer for a wave to pass, over pictures alone won’t get you there.

Just this morning I opened up a magazine to see a picture of someone in the most beautiful almond shaped barrel.  The color of the water was sky blue……then my eyes catch something in the picture, something strange almost ridiculous about the face of the surfer, there’s a box in his mouth.  It’s like I am looking at an Escher painting, documentation of someone documenting, documenting, documenting!  In an instant the photo lost much of its beauty.

Again this is not just happening in surfing, it’s everywhere.  Whitewater kayaks now come with camera mounts on them and the logo of camera companies already decaled on the boat.  Our tools for trade are turning into billboards, I don’t want logos on my boards, boats or boots unless its a company I truly support their mission or they are supporting me….selfish of me? Maybe?

Let’s return to being wild from time to time.  Let’s engage in nature in the most wild ways we can.  Let’s have conversations about what we haven’t seen so we can listen to the words from a friend about their experience with their emotions helping us draw the most beautiful images in our mind.

I guess in the end it’s my love of going out, getting lost in experiences, using my mental and emotional memory to document, refresh and renew myself. I have great memories of mistakes that turned trips into adventures. I can’t delete those from my memory or edit them its what keeps me going out for more. I don’t want to drag more gear, plastics and potential trash into the environment.  As my friend Mike says, “keep the scene clean”.

Document away; but just don’t forget to lose yourself in the experience, be wild and leave some soul.

Guest Post by Stephen Mullaney

Doctor and Surfer Lived an Endless Summer

PASKOWITZ-obit-superJumboDorian Paskowitz, a Stanford-educated doctor who gave up a lucrative medical practice to embark, with his family, on a peripatetic and celebrated surfing life, died on Monday in Newport Beach, Calif. He was 93.

The cause was complications of a fractured femur, his son Joshua said.

The founder of a well-known surfing school, Doc Paskowitz, as everybody knew him, had been a familiar figure in the surfing world when he, his wife and their nine children were introduced to a broader public in “Surfwise,” a 2007 film by Doug Pray that captured their barefoot lifestyle.

Manohla Dargis, reviewing the film in The New York Times, called it a “wonderfully engaging look at love and family and the relentless pursuit of happiness, personal meaning and perfect waves.”

The film focused in part on the Paskowitz Surf Camp at San Onofre State Beach in Southern California, which Dr. Paskowitz ran in the summer. Thousands of people have attended the camp, including the Vanity Fair editor Graydon Carter, who helped produce “Surfwise”; the actors Shia LaBeouf and Peter Krause; and the designer Tommy Hilfiger, who was a partner with the Paskowitz family on a clothing line.

“Their camp was a pretty big deal,” said Matt Warshaw, author of “The Encyclopedia of Surfing,” adding that scores of surfing instruction operations today follow the Paskowitz model.

Dr. Paskowitz did not believe in conventional schooling for his children; their education came from books and travels across the United States, Mexico and Central America. He earned enough money in temporary medical jobs to reach the next stop.

“I don’t care about being a great doctor or a rich person or a celebrity or anything else,” he said in “Surfwise.” “I just wanted to be a good husband and a good father, and thus a good man.”

Dorian Paskowitz was born on March 3, 1921, in Galveston, Tex. As a boy he was fascinated with medicine and the ocean, but was hampered by childhood asthma. When he was 10, a lifeguard taught him to surf. Soon he saw a newspaper photograph of surfers in San Diego.

“He said to his mother, ‘If you take me there, I’ll get better,’ ” his son Moses said. “So they moved to Mission Beach.” His health improved. He later became a lifeguard and played football for San Diego State University.

In 1939 he left California for Hawaii, where he befriended many of the renowned Waikiki Beach Boy surfers of that era, like Alfred Kekai, known as Rabbit; Richard Keaulana, known as Buffalo; and Duke Kahanamoku.

“Dad was this friendly, herculean guy who loved surfing,” Moses Paskowitz said. “So he fit right in. Hawaii changed his life. He said, ‘First I’m a surfer, then a Jew, then a doctor.’ ”

After the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, he joined the Navy. He later graduated cum laude from Stanford Medical School and set up a medical practice in Honolulu.

It thrived, but he became weary of the doctor’s life, feeling uncomfortable around his affluent colleagues. He began having panic attacks. By 1957, with his second marriage falling apart, he gave up nearly all his possessions and traveled to Israel to live on a kibbutz in Tel Aviv.

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“He took his surfboard to the beach and taught a lifeguard and two guys to surf,” Moses Paskowitz said. “He brought surfing to Israel.”

A year later, back in Southern California, Dr. Paskowitz met Juliette Paéz, a former opera singer, on Catalina Island. They married and traveled to Mexico to surf. In 1959 they had a son, David, who also survives him. Then came a long sojourn in Hawaii, where Dr. Paskowitz resumed practicing medicine and helped found a medical outreach organization, Doctors On Call.

Nearly a decade later, Dr. Paskowitz uprooted the family — by then there were seven children — and returned to California, taking up residence in a 24-foot camper and embracing the lifestyle portrayed in “Surfwise.”

He was married three times and had children by all three wives. Besides his sons Moses, Joshua and David, his survivors include his wife; six other sons, Jonathan, Abraham, Israel, Adam, Joshua and Salvador Daniel; four daughters, Deborah and Sarah Mogelberg and Navah (a daughter of his third wife) and Claudia Paskowitz (from one of his previous marriages); his brother, Adrian; and his sister, Sonia.

Late in life, Dr. Paskowitz wrote “Surfing and Health,” an influential book among surfers that laid out his five pillars of health: diet, exercise, rest, recreation and attitudes of mind.

He also became convinced that surfing could help close the rift between Israelis and Palestinians. With the surf champion Kelly Slater he helped found the organization Surfing for Peace. In 2007 he learned that Palestinian surfers along the Gaza Strip were forced to share battered boards because of the Israeli embargo.

“So he rushed the border crossing with a load of surfboards,” his son Joshua said.

Slater recalled that Dr. Paskowitz “was like a father to me; he was always trying to show or teach me something — whether it was how well a relationship could work out or how to get in shape, or create peace.”