Kiteboarding or Surfing?

Obviously, only one can be more extreme.


Looking ofr adventure? Try your hand (any the rest of your body) at kiteboarding - it is like what surfing and parasailing would have if they made a baby togather - and totally awesome! Check out the video.

Speaking of extreme, check otu this article on the NY Daily News "Polish kite surfer Jan Lisewski battles sharks in Red Sea — and survives", its a pretty killer look at the extreme side of surf and boarding.

How to Learn to Surf on a Shortboard

Most surfers identify surfing on a shortboard as a more difficult endeavor than the longboard. If you’re new to surfing, though, don’t worry. With practice, you can grasp this fun way of surfing that will empower you to try things in a different way as a surfer. Experience sharper turns, aerials, and some nifty tricks unique to the shortboard. Remember that, if you don’t have previous experience with surfing, you need to first start out with a longboard, or you’re in for a much more challenging experience. It will a needless amount of extra effort that you don’t have to extend.
First of all, you want to speak with an expert to determine the right size shortboard for you, and he or she will do this based on where you intend to surf and your own body type. Both small and large surfer shops should have employees who can help you pick just the right one. 
Plan on practicing a lot. It takes pro surfers years of practice to do what they do, and they still are challenged. Be patient with yourself as you learn and realize it’s going to take some time. Enjoy the journey.
At first paddle around on the board and even just sit on the board in calm waters. Getting used to your board is key before you try to surf on it. Lie flat on the board, then switch to sitting on it. Practice this over and over again. Get your balance; make adjustments in your movement and stance as needed. 
Now delve into the big time. Try approaching a breaking way. Duck dive as it comes toward you, then plunge the tip of the board into water as you grip harder on the rails. Push the board’s tail end with your foot. This will take practice, but it will eventually shoot you under and out the back of the wave. 
This will just get you started. There is a lot more to surfing on a shortboard. It would take a book to tell you everything. It’s definitely worth it to learn to surf on a shortboard. Just remember to keep safety first and always consult a surfing professional for extensive tips and warnings before heading out to the waves.

The Best Songs About Surfing

So you love surfing. That’s a given, right? Who wouldn’t want to feel the rush of the wave, the wind through their hair, and the challenge of surfing in all kinds of situations and locations? Surfing is more than a hobby to many, and it’s something to be celebrated. With the west coast attracting surfers and musicians alike, it’s no wonder that many songs have been written about this spectacular sport. Here are some of the best surfing songs to put on your playlist next time you’re driving to the shore.
“Surfin’ U.S.A.” by the Beach Boys is pretty enduring and fun. It’s hard to resist singing along to the tune so you may only want to play it around people you’re comfortable with hearing your loudest singing voice. Other Beach Boy songs that have to make the cut include “Surfin’ Safari,” “Surfer Girl,” “Lonely Sea,” “Catch A Wave,” “Noble Surfer," and “Surf Jam.”
“Wipe Out,” which is most famously performed by the Surfaris, has been inspiring surfers since its release in 1963. The ditty has been featured in dozens of movies and television shows since then, and “The Book of Rock Record Lists” has reported that ‘Wipe Out” is the number one surf rock song in the world.
“Surfer Dan” by the Turtles in another oldie that is just about right. “Surfin’ ‘Round The World” by Bruce Johnston is an anthem for many traveling surfers. Other songs that deserve a place on any playlist that celebrates surfing include “Surf City” by Jan & Dean, “Misirlou” by Dick Dale & the Del-Tones, and “Save Your Sundays for Surfin’” by the Fantastic Baggys.

Easy 10-Minute Workouts for Surfers

Stretching, Spinting, Speed Walking and more!
If you live for the big waves and natural high that is surfing, chances are it’s your favorite type of workout. However, it’s not always possible to escape to the sea for a few hours and indulge in the bliss of surfing. You still need to stay in shape for when you are out there working with all your might to perform those impressive moves on your board. Here are some quick workouts that are ideal for surfers on the go without a lot of time on their hands, as they only take about 10 minutes each.
Even when doing a short workout, it's important to stretch. If you skip stretching, you may later cramp up. The blood supply to the muscle is increased during stretching, and it's the best way to avoid injury during a workout. (That’s also something you should get in the habit of doing before and after you go surfing.)
Since your ten-minute workout will likely be focused and specific to one area of the body, that should be the part that you stretch. As important as it is to stretch under most circumstances before beginning any workout, you shouldn't stretch if you've recently had a muscle strain or any sprains. If you've had a fracture that isn't completely healed, avoid stretching. You should also skip stretching (and exercise) if you feel pain in your joints or muscles.
If you've only got ten minutes, you need to go for a workout that offers maximum effectiveness and will help with your surfing goals. Running is probably your best bet. You can simply run instead of sprint, but you should go for a faster pace than on a longer run. The less time you have to do an activity, the harder you have to work at it if you want to burn a sufficient enough number of calories. Workouts that are done harder can be done in a shorter amount of time.
Speed Walking
Not everybody is up to running. Not everyone wants to be. Fast-paced walking is often a better choice. It's good for the heart and cardiovascular system in the same way that running is, but it's less taxing. It requires less effort and it burns fewer calories than running. However, it's often the preferred method of working out. Walking, even at a faster pace, can make you feel at peace and as though you are letting go of stress. For extra motivation, try to plan your longer walks in a pretty setting. When you've only got ten minutes, however, speed walking around a mall once in ten minutes can really get your heart rate up and set those calories to burning.
Ten-Minute Workouts In the Office
Yes, some people do not even have the luxury of leaving their offices for exercise breaks. If you're stuck indoors for whatever reason, you can still get a great work out in.
Consider speed walking in place. There are even workout videos and DVDs released that feature the lead instructor simply walking several miles in place. This can be done with an instructional video or by yourself. Turn on music for extra inspiration and motivation.
Do jumping jacks repeatedly. Doing these for ten minutes can be truly tiring, but it's a great cardiovascular workout that can be done in ten minutes. It's also a good calorie burner.

The Boneless Ones: Skate Punk Gets All Metal and Junk

When someone tosses out the phrase ‘skate-punk,’ it’s usually followed by a discussion of East Bay punk bands from the eighties or maybe NOFX. But for the most part, the more metallic side of things is left out. The Boneless Ones, who were around the Bay back then, were not really metal, but capable of incorporating some hard rock leanings of that other genre while writing songs about shredding and that old red dude with horns.

Suicidal Tendencies might be pretty funny to listen to at this late date. The Boneless Ones don’t go and get that ridiculous, but there are few moments on Skate for the Devil that listeners will find worth going back to over and over again. If this soundtracked your teenage years, though, you get a pass.

What’s most amusing about all of this is the fact that the Boneless Ones only have two ways of opening a song. One option, as on “Rock and Roll Slob,” is to begin with a bassline rumbling around, just busy enough to fool a few folks into thinking this was a technically proficient band. Maybe the following guitar solo was proof. Or maybe it isn’t. Depends on one’s opinion of wanking in the middle of an almost punk track.

The other way these guys went about starting songs was to include some low key, purposeful cerebral guitar chording. “We Believe in You” is all Chuck Berry practice before the Boneless Ones take it into boring rock territory. Whatever the case, though, the band’s gonna appeal to some hamfisted, dull eyed thirty five year olds who remember the glory days.



Chief: From Switzerland with Love

Arriving alongside Chief’s Drone Beats & Electric Waves are his past productions with any number of well known, if not still underground American emcees. The fact that a Swiss guy possesses not just the talent, but wherewithal to engage with performers on the other side of the world’s pretty amazing. With or without those underground connections, though, Chief’s new disc, an all instrumental affair, ranks up there among beat tapes and at times even seems to be edging towards an Odd Nosdam sort of experimentalism.

Nothing on Drone Beats & Electric Waves really gets anywhere near Level Live Wires, but the disc’s opener, “Anyway,” sports some electro flourishes, bleeps and gurgles that aren’t likely to be found outside of Oakland or Los Angeles. This isn’t Flying Lotus, but the music still sports a sort of dance floor friendliness sometimes lacking in tough-guy beats.

Deeper into the disc, “Hey Yo!” winds up sounding a bit like the production accompanying Kid Cudi’s “Cleveland is the Reason.” Obviously, there aren’t any verses accompanying this beat, but the tossed of femme vocal moan doesn’t hurt matters. And seeing as the track eventually floats off into the following, jazzy effort, there’s not much to complain about.

What’s interesting about Drone Beats & Electric Waves isn’t that it’s a good disc – it is – or even that producers can hold up in their homes, make records and issue ‘em. It’s that Chief’s a ridiculously talented guy at this. But there’re hundreds, if not thousands as talented. And I want a chance to hear discs from those fellas as well.

Hawaiian Surfer Heroes

3 surfers went to the rescue during high waves

According to the Honolulu Star Advertiser there are 3 surfers who are currently heroes after rescuing a man from 15 - 18 foot waves in Waimea Bay. The rescue took place in the dark, early in the morning, by three surfers - Igor Lumertz, Robin Bond, and Joshua Echemendia.

While the person rescued was not injured, the waves could have done some serious harm to him - and easily could have taken his life.

Hakarl: The Dish Gordon Ramsay Couldn't Keep Down

Earlier today I was researching information about the Greenland shark for a post about a rash of strange seal deaths.  Everything about that story is strange, including the Greenland shark itself.

For one thing, the Greenland shark is poisonous.  But if you let it rot, the poison breaks down, and you can eat it.  If you are really, really brave.  This traditional dish is called "hakarl," and is not for the faint of heart.

When we think of sharks, most of us think of Discovery Channel Shark Week footage.  Clang!  Slash!  Snap snap!  Thrash!  Rawr!

The Greenland shark is the opposite of that.

Politely described as an "ambush predator," the Greenland shark is a rubbery, sluggish dweller of the coldwater deep.  It is also blind.  Not from birth, no.  This species of shark plays host to a parasitic copepod which eats the shark's eyes.  

The copepod is bioluminescent, which attracts prey.  The Greenland shark basically hangs there in the water until a fish comes near, lured by the shark's eye worms, at which point the Greenland shark snaps at it.

To quote Wikipedia, "The flesh of a Greenland shark is poisonous."  It contains the toxin trimethylamine oxide, which breaks down into trimethylamine.  In addition to being poisonous, this chemical is "responsible for the odor often associated with fouling fish, some infections, and bad breath."  Yum!  

Greenland sharks also contain a high proportion of uric acid (the active ingredient in urine), which gives the flesh a distinctive powerful smell and taste of ammonia.  Are you getting hungry yet?

In order to make the Greenland shark's meat safe to eat (if not palatable), it is fermented using a traditional beachfront burial.  The flesh is buried in a shallow hole on a gravel sand beach, and weighted down with several heavy rocks.  These rocks not only discourage predators, they also press out the "fluids" while the meat is fermenting.

The shark meat is left for between two and three months.  I had a friend who spent several years in a small town in Iceland.  She once mentioned that you always want to stay away from the hakarl beaches.  Every coastal area has its own designated hakarl beaches, where everyone goes to bury their shark meat.  The smell of all that rotting shark meat is… unpleasant.

After it's finished rotting, the meat is dug up and then hung to cure and dry for several months.  Then the crust is cut off, and the gelatinous meat is sliced into cubes, and served with a jaunty toothpick. 

According to one food blogger, "Everyone involved in this process should be on trial in The Hague."

No less an authority than Anthony Bourdain called hakarl "the single worst, most disgusting and terrible tasting thing."   After being challenged to eat it, Gordon Ramsay vomited.  Hakarl also appears at or near the top of any "worst food ever" list worth its snuff.  

Notwithstanding this, hakarl is sold in grocery stores in Iceland, and - one presumes - eaten by people on purpose.

Photo credit: Flickr/moohaha

Surfers and Sharks

Sharks are often maligned for attacking people even though it is a very rare occurrence. Of all the groups at the beach it seems surfers most often attract the attention of these underwater predators. Surfers have been the victims of shark attacks on several occasions over the years. For the most part sharks prefer not to eat people and usually if they do attack a human it is a case of mistaken identity.

In the few cases where surfers are attacked it often proves fatal and those lucky enough to survive are left with terrible scars. Back in 2007 there was an amazing case when surfer Todd Endris was grabbed in the jaws of a shark. He was sitting on his board oblivious when the shark hit him and it managed to get both the board and his torso into its huge jaws. The skin was ripped from his back and his leg was cut through to the bone. He kicked the shark in the nose until it let go and much to his amazement a pod of dolphins happened along and circled him, protecting him as he rode his board into the beach and safety. Apparently there have been other cases of dolphins protecting victims of shark attack but you wouldn’t want to rely on it.

Just to show sharks aren’t always a threat to surfers here’s a video of a guy catching a lift from a shark. I wouldn’t recommend you try this.