Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Skim Your Library?

Vic team rider Scooter Hayes loves to have fun and apparently so does his local library. The New Hanover County Public Library served as the grounds for Scooter and his friend Tyler Simmons to "skim" the literature, videos, and information in search of what they desired most - knowledge and fun. Check out the video by clicking here.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Show me the money.

Today I attended a Surf Industry Manufacturers Association  symposium on the subject of managing team riders.  Apparently the world of surf team management is changing very rapidly due to the explosive growth of sports agents who represent athletes in negotiations with their sponsors.  Contracts, clauses, questionable products like alcohol and tobacco, personal behavior restrictions, age minimums for contacted riders,  endemic (surf industry)vs. non endemic sponsors  (like Redbull and Target) and are they good for the industry were just a few of the many subjects tackled this morning.  

Bottom lines:  A sports agent will help you. (See Jerry Mcquire movie again)  Money isn’t everything, some sponsors like alcohol and tobacco companies, will not be good for your future.  Energy drink sponsors are questionable.  Sponsored riders should really like their sponsors products or it won’t work out over time.  You should like and pre-approve of their advertisements that feature you. In the case of Bob Bernquist, getting on the cover of High Times was not good for his contract with Verizon.  

In short, we have a long, long way to go.  Even the industry of surfing is still way, way behind the likes of motocross,  or skateboarding, or snowboarding.  Again, money isn’t everything, but is certainly is driving a lot of the decisions in sports these days.  

20 billion dollar companies are now competing with the 20 million dollar core surf industry companies.    It’s a whole new world. 


Victoria Skimboards WCS 2011

The dates for the Victoria Skimboards World Championship of Skimboarding 2011 have been set.  Mark your calendar, get your flight, and practice as next year will be here before you know it.

Victoria Skimboards WCS 2011
July 16 - 17, 2011

We will see you there!

Who in the world?

Any idea who this strapping young lad is?

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Be prepared, always carry a sand wedge.

Today’s lesson is all about club selection.  First question is where are you going to play?   Makenna Beach, Maui, Hawaii, or Aliso Beach with a trough and small waves, or maybe you are hitting the pier at Virginia Beach and the waves are just big enough to carry you?
Different places require different boards,  or if you play golf, different clubs.   

Case #1  Makena, Maui is characterized by a 24” tall, vertical wall, as the wave always hits a trough and creates a horrendous transition from sand to water.  Adaptive evolution is at work here,  the locally made Maui Skimmers are perfect for this wave.  They have huge rocker and pointy noses for minimal drag going over the big curb at Big Beach. 

Case #2  You are engaged in mortal combat at Aliso,  money is at stake, the waves are small, the transitions are brutally short and you are prepared because you brought your sand wedge.  What you have is an Ivan Ashauer special,  something two sizes smaller than you normally ride. The judges will love you, albeit with some understanding of your wisdom,  as you rip, tear and lacerate the little buggers with total abandon.   Good club choice,  perfect distance, your caddy reminds you, as you mount the victory stand.  

Case #3  The Virginia Beach Pier is your venue today,  great running skills are a must,  deep water takeoffs required, super smooth transitions onto the board,  and off the wave are critical.  Here’s where you pull out the Big Bertha, Bubble Burner, Al Haig Warhead for some serious plane time.  Extra low loft, that means rocker, is a must for distance driving,  along with having an oversized board.  This would also apply to an older skimmer going at it anywhere, or a session at 10th St. with it’s dicey sidewash that is barely big enough to support Rob Machado, let alone a 200 lb. wannabe wedge rider.  Wider tails are great for this, whatever shape you choose.

Moral of the story: Fit your stick to the situation.  If you can afford more than one club,  back up your game with a small wave basher,  or a distance driving big board.  Pro rider tip: Ride your big board as practice for a contest,  then switch to the regular size board for your heat.  You will turn effortlessly.  Learned that from Kai Bond, former pro longboarder.    Tex

Friday, August 13, 2010

Don't cheat, move your feet.

Tex at the plane research facilities, 1964.

"Weather" tis "write" to ride big and flat or small and chippy, that is the question.  If you are from around here, the weather has been terrible for quite a spell.  It’s easy to say how great a board turns with tail rocker.  But does this board plane far,  AND turn.   For those of us that only ride one board,  the answer is going to be a happy medium.  My medium said I was going to be happy,  and I am.  A board that has tail rocker,  is going to be easier to turn.  The price is a noticeable loss in speed.  Sure you can turn the board sideways to make up for the tail rocker,  but a lot of your riding is with the nose forward, not sideways.   My theory is to maximize the potential of the board by making the tail flat,  and training the rider to move his foot further back to control the board in turns.  Likewise, a small board turns on a dime,  but it won't carry you far.  The bigger a board you can handle, the more waves you are going to get.  To cheat is to retreat.  Back in the day when we were  intensely focused on rocker,  a board with as little as 1/16th inch tail rocker felt like it was pulling a trailer compared to a completely flat tail.  Your boards rocker should be committed to a written record somewhere and you should recheck your rocker twice a year, and record the changes.  Rocker is the key to happiness young grasshopper.  Next we will explore ze connections between golf and skimming.   Stay tuned.  Tex

Thursday, August 12, 2010

First foam skimboards shaped here.

1981  The little red shed on the left was the Vic shaping room, and push lawn mower storage bay.  This house was Lynn’s and my first house together next door to Victoria’s first official shop at 2535 Laguna Cyn. Road.  It was part of the Timothy Leery property, who was Mr. LSD in the 60's.    A pigsty, drug den, 8’ tall ivy sproutting out of the roof shingles, parrot guano 6” high in the living room front window, syringes here and there, broken glass, shattered toilet, etc.  We persuaded the owner to let us manage three other units and got cheap rent in exchange for our efforts to clean it up.  Learned a ton about property management in the process.  The previous tenant (speed freak) had a run in with me one day at the shop,  which led to a skuffle, and later that day my first date with Lynn.  Bingo!  My adrenalin was gone and I was abnormally relaxed for once, and had a great evening together.  Later he got evicted and we moved in.  Strange how fate works.  
This is our American Gothic photo after the transformation.  Got married while living there.  Good times.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Victoria Skimboards Retail Wall - Acapulco Mexico

Victoria Skimboards is pleased to have taken part in designing the wall for a new shop opened by our Mexican Distributor X3M in Acapulco, Mexico.  This 15' x 10' wall showcases all of the disciplines that Victoria Skimboards covers (Flatland, Ocean, Wake) and pays special homage to some of the local Victoria Skimboards riders (Chopa, Tule, and Tripas).  Of course it would not be complete without the likes of Bill Bryan, Matthieu Thibaud, Morgan Just, and Brandon Rothe.

If you are in Acapulco, drop into the Break Point Skimshop and have a look.  Thanks X3M for doing such a great job!

If you would like to see the wall design in smaller format, Click Here

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Morgan Just, Down But Not Out

Team rider Morgan Just enjoys riding the "Bruticus Maximus" at the Wave House in San Diego.  He rides it so much in fact that he gets asked to demos and compete in contests.  A few days ago while practicing some of his freshest new moves (we are not going to spoil their release by mentioning them here) Morgan landed awkwardly on his feet and sprained an ankle.  The injury was thought to be a break but after a visit to the doctor Morgan is in the clear with a really bad sprain.

Everyone at Victoria Skimboards wishes Morgan a quick recovery and we hope to see you in the water soon.

Koty Lopez gets a new banana

Team rider Koty Lopez cruised into the offices today to pick up his new skimboard.  A look of pure joy lit up the room, can you tell?

Off the lip at Aliso.

Photo: Matthieu Thibaud, by Jason Gould
8-10-10   Nice weekend finally!  Anybody notice the zone at Aliso is steadily shrinking?   Now, it extends from the end of the parking lot to the rocks at the South end.   Everybody has probably noticed that the skimmers are chased out of the swimming zone,  a whole lot faster than the reverse situation.   Point being?  Eternal vigilance is the price for preserving our skim areas.  Increasing population growth, meaning more and more bathers will only make the situation worse for the most exposed to lawsuits,  namely the lifeguard service,  the city, or the county,  or whoever holds jurisdiction over the beach.   To get a zone expanded,  in Laguna Beach (not the county beaches) you must petition the Dept. of Recreation for a hearing on the matter.  
Protect your rights.  Let’s start with our own city, and petition for more skim areas,  and more understanding from the guards.

By understanding,  I mean that the City Lifeguards will not allow any,  and I mean any,  judgement calls on the part of the lifeguard at the beach.  In other words,  the beach could be empty of all swimmers,  and the lifeguard could chase you off just because he has been given strict instructions,  on penalty of being fired,  if he allows any violation of the lifeguard blackball rules.   That isn’t right.  

The same year we won approval for a skim zone at Crescent,  they took it away at Victoria Beach.  Forget having your grom skim where you can keep an eye on him unless you go clear down to Two Rocks in the middle of the cove.  These rules run from the time the guard gets to the beach until he leaves.  Never mind the actual number of people in the water.  Too strict enforcement is too much fear and not enough fun.    Let the zones fluxuate in size with the actual crowds.  Or better yet, as Shakespear wrote, ‘First we kill all the lawyers.’  It's a comedy!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Zero Trash at Vic this Saturday 10 - 12

Zero Trash is a grassroots, Laguna born, group that picks up trash on their adopted streets and beach on the first Saturday of each month.  It is a kick.  By adopting a whole street you get to regularly meet the neighbors on your street, and the beach below it,  that care enough to help keep it clean.  Victoria has adopted Laguna Canyon Road,  cleaning up about a tenth of a mile in either direction.   If you are interested in a little trash picking,  join us at Vic, or any of the other stations in town, or adopt your own street.  zerotrashlaguna.org  is the web site.   We have some trash picker tools to loan out,  and we will supply the bags. We will have a table out front of Vic between  10 am and noon.   It is the best program I have ever run across because it has a regular, repeating date and it encompasses a whole street thereby bringing together like minded neighbors and creating a self sustaining, regular program.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

2 Beef Tacos please.

8-5-10  Regular as can be,  10am rolls around, a klaxon horn blows, and we know Albertos Catering truck is still running.  Hat’s off to the mechanics who keep it going,  we would probably starve,  or at least lose 10 lbs,  if it ever stopped coming.  Here’s a “salud” to Perla the cook and Rubin the driver/boss, they make some very savory tacos, burritos, and plate lunch meals. Thanks for all the grub, over the last 20 years.  The previous driver, Felix is now semi retired due to health reasons,  and we hope he is doing well.  Ola Felix!  
Gotta go, truck just pulled in,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

My Old Man's a Garbage Man

My Old Man is a Garbage Man.  My dad and his doctor buddy would sing this with mocking enthusiasm,  shamelessly embarassing us kids a bit,  as they went about picking up trash at San Onofre as part of our day at the beach.   Needless to say,  I have also inherited that gene.   I actually like picking up trash,  as long as I have my trusty Can Grabber from  www.pikespeakii.com.   About $20,  it has a metal foot that just doesn't wear out like the suction cup pinchers.   I have finally learned to store the Can Grabber next to the leashes and bags so that when I walk the dogs,  I have a bag or two for trash,  and a couple for the dogs of course,  and the picker makes it so easy to grab the soggy papers and cups that litter my favorite surf lookouts.   Get one,  store it where you will use it,  like in your car,  and you will be amazed at the good karma you feel when you tidy up some small corner of the world.   Actually he was a general surgeon, family doctor not a garbage man,  but somehow it made him feel better about his own carbon footprint.  Works for me, Dad.

Coffin Bags for $35.00

Get your Victoria Skimboards Coffin Bag while supplies last. With the new price of $35.00 these bags will not last long. Call the Retail Store (949) 494-0059 or go to the Online Store to get yours today.

Also check out the three Coffin Bag advertisements:
Coffin Bag Matthieu
Coffin Bag Street
Coffin Bag Product

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Morgan Just Pro Model 2011

Morgan Just dropped by the canyon offices yesterday to talk about his 2011 pro model skimboard and discuss some art options.  Of course we are not going to spoil any of his secrets before they are put into production but trust us, you will like what you see!

Evolution is daily.

8-3-10  Summer has finally arrived here in California.  At last we are getting some clear skies in the mornings.  It has been a particularly hard year for our business beyond whatever trama has come from the economic depression.  The East Coast was snowed in,  literally, for a large part of the early season out there.   The West Coast hasn’t seen a summer with this little real sunshine since Lynn Haines’s recollection of a summer back in her youth that had only two weeks of heat  in the last part of August.  And BP has caused the largest environmental disaster ever for the United States,  and shut down the entire Gulf Coast to tourism.  We are waiting for a plague or the big earthquake here in California as the next hurdle. Yes, I am knocking on wood as I type.   Difficult times calls for lots of change.  An aquaintance once referred to his difficult divorce as too much evolution at once.  “Humans,” he said “can only handle so much evolution at a time.”  Amen brother.