Surfrider Foundation CA/Hawaii Conference 2014

September 22nd, 2014

Surfers Crack The Code in Ventura

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

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The phrase on everyone’s lips at the Surfrider Foundation’s California & Hawaii Chapter Conference in Ventura, CA, this past weekend was “I will.”

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Pulling in to the Crowne Plaza…

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in cars loaded with surfboards, wetsuits, and beach gear, Surfrider members were ready to catch some waves at Surfer’s Point…

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share the stoke in get-togethers, meetings and workshops…

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and listen to keynote speaker Shaun Tomson.

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Champion surfer and environmentalist Tomson, who wrote the book, The Surfer’s Code – 12 Simple Lessons for Riding through Life*, was eager to share the life lessons he’s learned from surfing.

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Underlying each lesson is the importance of commitment– saying “I will” when it comes to accomplishing a goal or overcoming a challenge.

Tomson, who has ridden some of the world’s biggest waves, told a story about surfing on Mauritius, an island off the coast of South Africa, early one morning with one of his “mates.” They were “riding in the tube when the sun was red and the water looked like it was boiling.”

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It was one of those epic surfing days of pure joy with the two of them “exchanging wave after wave…and there was absolute silence inside the tube.”

Sharing the stoke, Tomson asked, “What is this place?” “It’s One Eye Wave Break,” his friend replied. “That’s because it looks like a human eye.”

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Later, walking up the beach, a fisherman stopped Tomson and said, with alarm, “You weren’t surfing that, were you? Do you know what it’s called?” Then the fisherman told his version of how One Eye Wave Break got its name: “There’s a Zambesi shark out there. And, when he’s ready to strike, you only see one eye.”

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The life lesson here, said Tomson, is: Everything is a matter of perspective. How we see things makes a difference in the commitments we make. Are we guided by joy or fear? Do we say “I will” or I won’t?”

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel could feel the energy in the hotel’s Top of the Harbor room as everyone talked about making an even stronger commitment to achieving the Surfrider Foundation’s mission of protecting the world’s oceans, waves, and beaches

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Started 30 years ago with just a handful of surfers in Malibu, the Surfrider Foundation is now a worldwide organization with over 250,000 supporters, volunteers, and activists.

Glenn Hening, one of Surfrider’s three founders, was on hand to share stories about the early days and how they made a commitment to save the beach. Little did anyone know the impact that commitment would have in the years to come.

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To mark the occasion, Aipa Surf created a custom “30-year anniversary” surfboard that was presented at the conference.

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The focus of the California/Hawaii Conference was on ways to build membership and strengthen advocacy programs.

Pete Stauffer, Ocean Program Manager, emphasized the need to “protect special places” from offshore drilling and other threats. “What’s your special place?” he asked, sharing his own – a secluded beach in Oregon.

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Kawela Bay, on Oahu’s North Shore, is a special place that was saved, said Surfrider’s Hawaii Regional Manager and conference co-coordinator Stuart Coleman. With the bay threatened by local development, Surfrider “worked on both political and economic fronts” to ensure that land was set aside and could never be developed.

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To achieve Surfrider’s goals, Stephanie Sekich, California Policy Manager, said “long-term planning is the key,” noting that Surfer’s Point, just outside the conference hotel, is an example of how you can preserve and protect a coastline.

Lauren Campbell, Ximena Waissbluth, and Tony Soriano told everyone that the recently-formed Chapter Advisory Council will help to further strengthen Surfrider’s organization. Creating a vital link between chapter activists and management, it facilitates interaction and feedback.

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Ed Mazzarella, Director of Chapters, agreed that it’s necessary to all work together – “activists, staff and board – to have a shared clarity and vision.”

New Members Director Nancy Eiring said new database technology will enable the organization to better “retain new members and keep them involved.” Having supporters who are passionate about the environment is critical.

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Chad Nelson, Environmental Manager, advised, “We need to be both reactive and proactive.” This includes everything from doing beach cleanups to educating the public and lobbying for state and federal legislation.

People need to know that 80% of California’s coastline is eroding. Since 1901 there’s been a 7-inch increase in the sea level.

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During lunch and the afternoon breakout sessions everyone was discussing strategy.

Angela Howe, Legal Director, summarized the legislative accomplishments that have been made, including efforts to ban polystyrene and Manhattan Beach’s Smoke Free in Public Places law.

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Paul Herzog, Ocean Friendly Gardens Director, reminded everyone that “urban runoff is the number one source of ocean pollution.”

Related to this, Senior Staff Scientist Rick Wilson described what Surfrider’s Blue Water Task Force is doing to monitor water quality and keep the public informed about pollution issues.

Throughout the conference, co-coordinators Stuart Coleman, Nancy Hastings and Sarah Damron kept the proceedings going and everyone on track.

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And Shaun Tomson had one more story and life lesson to share…about his personal special place near Santa Barbara – Hammonds Reef – located near the mythical Rainbow Bridge of Chumash Indian lore.

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Said to have been created 13,000 years ago by the Earth Mother Hutash, the bridge was made from a rainbow to enable the people on the islands to move to the mainland. But, some of the people looked down when they were crossing it and fell into the sea. To keep them from drowning, Hutash turned them into dolphins.

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One day Tomson took his nine-year-old son Matthew to the reef to feel the sacredness of the spot. They ended up talking all afternoon. Matthew drew a circle in the sand to mark the sacred spot and they passed a stick back and forth as they each told stories.

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They left the stick planted in the sand, but Matthew took a stone with him that he said contained the spirits of all who had been there and the stories. Now that stone is in the front entry of Tomson’s home.

The life lesson here is: The importance of connectedness. We all need to connect – with each other, the earth and the past – and share the stories that define us and embody what we hope to achieve.

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This is something that Surfrider Foundation supporters do, working together to shape its environmental message and communicate it to others. In essence, sharing stories.

SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti agreed that Ventura, which means “good fortune,” was the perfect spot for the 2014 conference.

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With its beautiful beaches and friendly people, it was a special place for everyone to connect and recommit ourselves to Surfrider’s mission, saying, “I will.”

*Shaun Tomson’s Surfer’s Code

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- I will never turn back on the ocean
– I will always paddle back out
– I will take the drop with commitment
– I will know that there will always be another wave
– I will realize that all surfers are joined by one ocean
– I will paddle around the impact zone
– I will never fight a rip tide
– I will watch out for other surfers after a big set
– I will pass on my stoke to a non-surfer
– I will ride, and not paddle in to shore
– I will catch a wave every day, even in my mind
– I will honor the sport of kings

Thanks to Gina Maslach, Norma and Alex Sellers, and Tony and Alex Soriano for their photo contributions.

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Look for a future SurfWriter Girls story about Ventura and the fun things you can do on a day-trip or weekend getaway.

SurfWriter Girls

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Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to this copyrighted material. Publications wishing to reprint it may contact them at surfwriter.girls@gmail.com Individuals and non-profit groups are welcome to post it on social media sites as long as credit is given.

Surfrider Foundation Turns 30!!

August 22nd, 2014

Surf Activists Protect the Environment

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

The Power of One. Books and films have long celebrated the power of one person to make a difference – from the lone stranger riding into a lawless frontier town on a horse to the dedicated teacher standing alone in a troubled classroom.

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The Surfrider Foundation, with its activist, volunteer network of independent-minded surfers, epitomizes the power that one person – joined by others – can have to make a difference.

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Dedicated to protecting the world’s oceans, waves and beaches, the non-profit Surfrider Foundation, started in 1984 with a handful of surfers in Malibu…

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is now a worldwide organization that’s over 60,000 strong.

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Demonstrating that surfers care about more than catching waves and rays, Surfrider’s members spend countless hours cleaning beaches, monitoring water pollution, and educating the public about conservation and sustainability.

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Who are the faces of Surfrider? Why do they volunteer? SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel found that Surfrider’s members are as varied as grains of sand on a dazzling beach.

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Surfers, environmentalists, artists, board shapers, entrepreneurs, families, neighbors and friends…anyone who cares about keeping our beaches clean and protecting the ocean wildlife…these are the faces of Surfrider.

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If you want to find Surfrider’s Huntington/Seal Beach Chapter Chairperson Tony Soriano, just look where the waves are breaking. Tony has been surfing since he was 16 and loves the challenge and the thrill of it.

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Just about the only thing Tony doesn’t like about surfing is the trash he sees in the water and on the beach. “When I first started surfing the water was blue and clear. There used to be mussels we could eat right off the rocks. We used to pull crabs off the rocks and cook clams on the beach. Now the ocean is green and the mussels are gone. I want to get the ocean back to that clean look from when I grew up.”

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So, on any given Saturday, Tony is likely to be at the shoreline leading volunteers in a beach cleanup or talking to kids about the environment.

Norma Sellers, Huntington//Seal Beach Butts Out Co-Chairperson (with husband Alex), can be found at beach cleanups, too. She became a Surfrider volunteer because “I love protecting our beaches, especially for sea animals and children and for everyone to enjoy.”

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Toward this end, Norma was excited to send 40 lbs. of cigarette butts – collected over two-months this summer – to the recycler.

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On cold beach mornings volunteers are always glad to see Gilbert Castillon, another face of Surfrider, setting up his coffee pot at Surfrider’s tent and serving strong cups of Java Jaws Surfers Blend coffee. A surfer and coffee entrepreneur, Gilbert is usually manning the scales and weighing and keeping track of the amount of trash collected.

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Don MacLean was used to being right in the middle of SoCal beach cleanups. Then last year he started “livin’ the dream” in Thailand. Now he’s Surfrider’s Man in Phuket, getting the locals on board in cleaning up the beaches there.

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Having moved to paradise, Don wants to keep it a paradise. Summing up why he’s a surfrider volunteer, he shared this Dr. Seuss quote with Surfrider Girls: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.”

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Craig Cadwallader, Surfrider’s South Bay Chapter Chairperson, is definitely someone who “cares a whole awful lot.” In recognition of his tireless work to protect the marine environment, California’s State Assembly and the City of Manhattan Beach both named him an Environmental Hero.

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A familiar face at beach cleanups and chapter meetings up and down the California Coast is Surfrider’s Southern California Regional Manager Nancy Hastings. “Who am I?” she asks. “I’m a surfer, musician, artist, and activist. I am simply nuts about the ocean.”

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Nancy can’t remember a time that she wasn’t connected to the coast and ocean in some way and says, “Surfrider members have a fiery and unstoppable passion for protecting their stretch of coastline that never ceases to amaze me.”

Hawaii Coordinator Stuart Coleman, author of Eddie Would Go, the story of Hawaiian big wave surfing pioneer and lifeguard Eddie Aikau, has this same connection to the ocean.

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Stuart, who is committed to Surfrider’s mission, says, “I enjoy writing articles about the coastal environment and those eco-activists who are fighting to protect it.”

Kyle Lishok, Surfrider’s Marketing Manager, feels just as strongly about the environment. He spent many of his childhood years camping and says, “Preserving beautiful and meaningful places for people to recreate is something I hold close to my heart.”

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So does Laura Lee, a Texas girl who eventually became Surfrider’s Director of Marketing and Communications. “Thanks to my mom’s huge love of our oceans and my dad’s passion for fishing, I grew up with a deep appreciation for our coasts and all bodies of water.”

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Surfrider is about more than beach cleanups. It’s about keeping pollutants from reaching our beaches and waterways in the first place – a job that Ocean Friendly Gardens expert Greg Goran takes personally.

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Greg, who has overseen garden installations in homes and commercial locations, says,” choosing plants that don’t demand a lot of water and paying attention to drainage, fertilizers and pesticides makes a big difference in protecting the environment.”

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In the 30 years since it was started, The Surfrider Foundation has learned an important lesson: Education is the key.

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In order to achieve its goals of “Conservation, Activism, Research and Education” (CARE) and promote its environmental programs – Rise Above Plastics, Ocean Friendly Gardens, Butts Out, Know Your H²O, Blue Water Task Force, and more – Surfrider’s volunteers have become educators.

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“The way to protect the environment is to educate people about pollution problems and get them involved in fixing them,” says Tony Soriano. “From water run-off to plastics and trash, the public has to be made aware of the impact these have on our oceans and beaches.”

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So, Tony organizes beach cleanups and works with the community, reaching out to new Surfrider members. And, at the end of the day, he makes time to catch some waves, fish off the pier with his son Alex…and enjoy the sunset over the water.

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The faces of Surfrider are many and varied. And for 30 years the Surfrider Foundation has been protecting the environment so that generations to come can experience the wonders of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches.

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If you love the coasts, this is the place for you.

If you love the coasts, do one thing before you do anything else: Join Us.

Jim Moriarty, Surfrider Foundation CEO

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SurfWriter Girls

Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to this copyrighted material. Publications wishing to reprint it may contact them at surfwriter.girls@gmail.com Individuals and non-profit groups are welcome to post it on social media sites as long as credit is given.

Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants Champion Kids!

July 18th, 2014

surfrider-ofr-kids

Champion Kids Ocean Friendly Restaurant Meeting

Want to learn more about Surfrider’s Ocean Friendly Restaurants program? How do

restaurant practices affect the environment? What can restaurants do to help protect

the ocean and the animals that live there? And how can we as Surfrider volunteers

help them? This is a meeting for all ages and will answer all of these questions! This is

a great way to get involved and bring the kids!

Tuesday, July 22nd @ 6:30pm

Zimzala at the Shorebreak Hotel, Downtown Huntington Beach

RAP/OFR Chair
Jessica 949.370.9459

Surfing Museum’s Century of Stoke

July 17th, 2014

 Exhibit Showcases Huntington Beach Milestones

 A Surfrider Foundation Sponsor Story

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Less than an hour before the opening of the International Surfing Museum’s new exhibit Century of Stoke, Exhibit Director Dave Reynolds was on his hands and knees carefully laying cut-out footprints on the floor.

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The footprints, arranged in chronological order around the main exhibit area, “each represent a milestone in the history of Huntington Beach and the people who went before,” Reynolds told SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel.

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And what a history it’s been – taking the tiny community, once known as Shell Beach before oil and rail car mogul Henry E. Huntington put his name on it, and turning it into the surfing capital of the world.

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The 100-year procession of visionaries, entrepreneurs, surfers, board shapers, artists, musicians, community leaders, and more who forged HB into the Surf City USA of today is on display in Century of Stoke, curated by Reynolds and surfing’s first professional world champion Peter (PT) Townend.

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From the original 1914 cornerstone of the Huntington Beach Pier…

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To colorful surfboards used by surfing legends…

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A statue of Duke Kahanamoku…

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Awards and vintage photos…

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Paintings and artworks…

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Beach music record album covers…

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Movie posters…

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Even a replica of Gordie Duane’s famous surfboard shop…

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The milestones are here.

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And the memories…especially the memory of Natalie Kotsch, the transplanted Canadian and non-surfer, whose desire to preserve Huntington Beach’s surfing history led to the creation of the International Surfing Museum in 1987.

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The spirit of museum founder and muse Natalie, who passed away last February, is intensely present in the exuberance of the exhibit itself and within the hearts of those who are carrying on her legacy.

A highlight of the exhibit’s opening was the unveiling of the drawings for the museum’s planned expansion that will increase its square footage from 2,000 to 7,000 square feet and enable it to showcase even more surfing memorabilia and artwork.

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Museum Director-at-Large Cindy Cross said to SurfWriter Girls, “We’re incredibly proud of all the changes these past few years. And the expansion, it’s so good that Natalie knew about it.”

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Cross, who worked closely with Natalie to reach this point in the museum’s evolution, added that there is more work to do to turn the museum into what Natalie envisioned. “We still need to raise more money. About $2.5 million. That would give the museum the space and security to pursue the truly world-class facility this city deserves.”

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To help the museum reach its goal, proceeds from Huntington Beach’s 100 Years of Surfing events scheduled this year have been designated to benefit the International Surfing Museum.

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This includes the Greens Room Golf Tournament, Monday, July 28, at Seacliff Country Club. Named after the surf term, the green room, which describes the perfect spot inside the barrel of a wave, the tournament features professional surfers and surf industry leaders among the players and is open to the public.

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Tony Soriano, Chairperson of the Surfrider Foundation’s Huntington/Seal Beach Chapter, told SurfWriter Girls, “Surfrider is helping to promote the museum’s fund-raising efforts. It shares many of the same educational goals that we have and deserves as much support as the community can give it. The International Surfing Museum is preserving our surf culture and is recognizing the achievements that improve our sport and the beach community.”

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Looking around at everyone enjoying the Century of Stoke exhibit, SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti were definitely “picking up good vibrations.”

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Now that Huntington Beach is celebrating its centennial summer we’re excited to see where the next footprints lead!

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Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to this copyrighted material. Publications wishing to reprint it may contact them at surfwriter.girls@gmail.com Individuals and non-profit groups are welcome to post it on social media sites as long as credit is given.

www.surfwritergirls.blogspot.com

International Surfing Day 2014

June 25th, 2014

Ode to Joy of Surfing

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Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

When Beethoven composed his uplifting Ode to Joy for his 9th Symphony in 1824 he could have been writing about the joy of surfing

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Jan and Dean definitely were when they recorded their megahit song Surf City.

What other sport has inspired so many to rhapsodize about it? Musicians, artists and writers – all have tried to convey its wonders. So, it’s fitting that surfing has its own special day, June 20, for rejoicing – International Surfing Day (ISD).

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Started in 2005 by Surfing magazine and the Surfrider Foundation, ISD has become an annual event to celebrate this great sport and to give something back to the world’s oceans and beaches. Over the weekend there were 150-plus events in more than 30 countries.

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On Saturday morning surfers and sun worshipers alike were out in full force at the Huntington Beach Pier to enjoy the day and pay homage to the summer solstice.

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Surfrider’s Huntington/Seal Beach Chapter and Newport Beach Chapter had booths set up on the sand and hosted a jam-packed day of environmental education and entertainment activities, paddle-outs, beach cleanups, yoga, and more.

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SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel couldn’t believe how much was going on.

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KABC Eyewitness News and KTLA both came out to cover the story.

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So did Sustainability News and Entertainment online reporter Diana Dehm.

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HB’s Mayor Pro Tem Joe Shaw…

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and Surfrider Global’s Kyle Lishok, Laura Lee and Alexa Ward were there, too.

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Gina Maslach, who coordinated this year’s ISD event, told Surfwriter Girls there were “over 40 sponsors – an assortment of surf, stand-up paddle, canoe club, and yoga on the beach groups. Plus local businesses and surf industry leaders.”

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Maslach emphasized, “I tried to get as many green, eco-friendly businesses and organizations on board as I could,” noting that the pants she was wearing came from event sponsor teeki and were “made from recycled plastic bottles.”

Surfrider members/sponsors Seth Matsonand Manuel Florence were at the booths of their businesses, Orange County Clothing Company

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and Brewbakers – with Seth showing his latest cool T-shirts and hats and Manuel giving out root beer.

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Pedego’s electric bikes were on display.

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M&M and Banzai surfing schools signed people up for lessons.

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Aipa, Carrozza and 17th Street surfboards demoed their new boards.

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Red Bull’s promotion crew was all over the beach giving out energy drinks…

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and had a lounge tent set up that people could duck into to beat the heat.

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The Hula Girls Hawaiian shave ice booth had long lines waiting for their colorful iced concoctions.

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Noosa gave out samples of its Australian-style yoghurt…

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and Tongo Coconut Water its“healthy alternative,” electrolyte-packed drink.

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Rubio’s, Avocado Café, and Cabo Chips had samples and prizes, too.

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Denise Islas of the Lokahi Outrigger Canoe Club told SurfWriter Girls that “we paddle six days a week,” joking that “on the other day I get to see my husband.”

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It was great to see guitarist Tommy Clay back again, keeping the good vibrations going.

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Surfrider H/SB Chairperson Tony Soriano was everywhere, setting up booths, greeting people, and making sure that Surfrider’s environmental message got out.

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It was a big day for Tony – on Saturday night he was honored for his Surfrider volunteer work at the Angel Light Academy’s Coastal Above & Beyond Awards ceremony.

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International Surfing Day was even more special this year because it coincided with HB’s 100 Years of Surfing festivities commemorating the day George Freeth became the first person to surf the HB Pier on June 21, 1914.

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Tony Jones, who recently started The George Freeth Foundation to help inner city kids, set up a cardboard replica of Freeth near the pier and everyone had fun posing for photos.

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SurfWriter Girls stopped by the pier to watch the When Men Were Men and Boards Were Wood surfing competition and listen to champion surfer Peter (PT) Townend announce the action.

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This was a busy week for PT because he also curated (with Dave Reynolds) the International Surfing Museum’s Century of Stoke exhibit that just opened.

By the end of the day some 4,000 people came out to celebrate ISD-2014 and beach clean-up volunteers removed 188 lbs. of trash.

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All in all, you couldn’t have asked for a better day to crank up your favorite Jan and Dean songs and Ride the Wild Surf.

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To be continued – Stay tuned for more SurfWriter Girls HB Summer updates!

Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to this copyrighted material. Publications wishing to reprint it may contact them at surfwriter.girls@gmail.com Individuals and non-profit groups are welcome to post it on social media sites as long as credit is given.

www.surfwritergirls.blogspot.com