Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day 2009. Ten Things You Can Do for Mother Earth.

Happy Earth Day 2009 from the Surf Stronger crew! As surfers, a clean and healthy environment is paramount -- without clean water, and clean waves, we have nothing. To that end, here are ten things you might consider doing to help stay green all year long.

1. Drive less. "Burn calories, not fossil fuels" is what we like to say. Consider biking, walking or car pooling.
2. Watch what you put down the drain and the gutters. It all flows to the Sea at some point.
3. Go organic. Organic products are way less harmful to the environment, consider buying organic when you can.
4. Grow your own. Try growing your own produce. It doesn't take much space for things like herbs and cherry tomatoes. You can grow tasty produce and by doing so, you are cutting down on transportation (from the farm to your local grocery store) and associated pollution and you know exactly where it was grown and what was used to grow it!
5. Support Surfrider Foundation. Support groups like Surfrider Foundation and Save The Waves. They do good work and are constantly looking out for our best interest.
6. Vote. Get educated on issues that effect the environment and get out the vote.
7. Go 1% For the Planet. Buy products (like Surf Stronger DVDs) that have the 1% For the Planet emblem and know 1% of your purchase goes towards efforts to keep our world clean.
8. Buy quality and take care of your stuff! Make sure you buy quality surf boards, quality wetsuits, quality board shorts and bikinis that last! Get the good stuff, then rinse it, wash it, and take care of it so it stays in good condition and out of the landfill.
9. Reduce, reuse, recycle. Enough said.
10. Vote with your wallet. When making purchase decisions, why not support those that have green initiatives: The Surfer's Path magazine, Patagonia, Sambazon Acai, Sector 9 Skateboards are a few that come to mind.

Stay healthy and we'll see you in the water,
The Surf Stronger Crew

(Bells Beach, Australia. Surfing preserve.)

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Why We Love Bells Beach Rip Curl Pro and Why It is the Model Surf Comp

With the 37th Annual Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach surf competition coming up (April 7-18), we thought we'd reflect on why we love Bells and why it is the model surf comp.

Location, Location, Location
Bells has a unique aura about it. Similar to the North Shore, being at Bells you feel you're in a special place. And, Bells is the location of the longest continuously running surfing competition in the world.

Bells and neighboring Winkipop surf breaks are both set in an Australian Surfing Recreation Reserve -- the first of its kind in the world. Accoriding to the Surf Coast Shire web site, "The Surf Coast community acknowledges the importance of Bells Beach and seeks to protect and enhance the reserve’s natural assets and those of the surrounding hinterland." The people who love Bells and this location are dedicated to keeping this place pristine and natural.

Plus, Bells is pretty much the beginning of the Great Ocean Road, which is similar to Highway One in California. You can explore for days and days along the Great Ocean Road and we hear there are some great waves to be found out that way too!

The Green Energy
The contest itself has a serious green commitment. Contest organizers have pledged to off-set all carbon emissions of all the pros and staff at the event. For instance, consider a pro who travels from say the Gold Coast. Their plane ride, car rental and even rides on the jet ski are all measured. An environmental cost is associated with those activities and the contest pledges to donate dollars that go towards off-setting the carbon emissions. Moreover, proceeds from parking and the event itself go to environmental groups. Recycling is made so easy it is nearly impossible for competition goers to not recycle.

The World's Best
The prospect of winning at Bells -- and ringing the Bell -- is so powerful, all the best show up. In 2008, Kelly Slater was going to pass on the event until he got the forecast for great surf and decided he couldn't miss it (He went on to win the event and ring the bell.) And like most 'CT events, the fans get to get up close. Bells has a sweet amphitheater like setting to watch the world's best. For remote fans frothing to watch the competition, the web casting at is top notch!

(A triumphant Steph Gilmore after winning Bells in 2008)

(Perennial Bells favorite, Joel Parkinson, 2008)

The Festival
A frightengly good AC/DC cover band (ACCA/DACCA), Jim Beam girls, festive surf fans in the hot sun, and heaps of good food. The festival aspect of Bells rocks!

The Town, Torquay
Imagine Santa Cruz or maybe even La Jolla in San Diego, only the population runs at about 10,000. Torquay is the birthplace of surf industry giants, Rip Curl and Quiksilver -- but the town retains a small town surf-y vibe. What's more, great food can be found everywhere -- Soul Fuel, Rhino and Donkey are two killer choices in town. They feature super fresh and healthy meals at reasonable prices.

If you ever get the chance, make a plan to come to Bells some year. You won't regret it! For more on this year's Rip Curl Pro and for the web cast, visit the Rip Curl site.

(All photos: Walsh)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Surf Stronger Tip of the Week

Surf Stronger staffers were down in Big Sur, California the last two days shooting photos for a Monterey Weekly article. At any rate, we surfed some super fun waves in super cold water. Lamely, I did not wear my hood. Note to self, and to anyone reading this blog: Always wear a hood when surfing Big Sur or anywhere where the water is 49 degrees! Even though it looked calm enough, duck diving proved brutal sans hoodie!

Keep it covered,
The Surf Stronger Crew

(This worried lad was smart. Hood!)

(Big Sur rock dance.)

(Wildflower season in Big Sur.)