Kelly Slater on 4’11″ Bar of Soap by Tyler Warren

4’11 Bar of Soap shaped by Tyler Warren, borrowed by Kelly Slater from Tanner Gudauskas.
Enjoy…this is sick!

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How To Remove a stripped fin screw from your surfboard

I had this happen to me once on a surf trip to Costa Rica…dint realize I had an issue until I was on the boat out to Witch’s rock…thankfully I had 2 boards!

This will work with any key/screw system.
Note: screw and fin key will not be usable after this process.

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Refuel the Stoke…..

Refuel the Stoke…..

As surfers I think many of us come across certain times in our life when we need that extra “umph” to get off the couch and in the water, to actually get out of bed for the dawn patrol session, or do the 1 hour drive to the special spot that you know could be going off.

I know personally in my own life I had to address injury, major life changes, and scheduling conflicts that all affected my eagerness to get in the water. I have found some key ingredients to get me out of those funks and back in the water “refueled with stoke” and the paddling energy of a grom.

Dealing with injury is a tough hurdle. I had ignored knee pain for months and before I realized it was not only effecting my surfing but even the way I walked. The pain I had in my knees was decreasing my eagerness to surf as the pain and soreness was always on my mind. In addition it caused my surfing skills to diminish which was also taking a toll on my surf self esteem. It was the first time in my life when my surfing progression had turned to “regression”. I went from surfing 5 days a week to 1 or 2 thus further diminishing my surf skills and causing an uncomfortable “lack of surf” depression. I knew I was on a losing path so I got my butt to a doctor and the next week I was in physical therapy. I had to trade some surf sessions for some lame exercises straight out of a Jane Fonda workout but 3 months later it was worth it. I was back in the water, armed with some stronger legs, and knowledge to keep them healthy. With the pain removed I was back on the path to surfing progression and my daily stoke.

Personal Change and scheduling is a huge battle and I think the graveyard for most surfers in our era. I hit this obstacle head on as well in multiple facets. First off the lifestyle change from student to corporate lackey. Going to school at UCSD in La Jolla and doing graduate studies at SDSU allowed me to entertain the holy grail of surf schedules. As an undergrad I was walking distance from one of Southern California’s best beach breaks, Blacks, and a short drive from a variety of reef breaks like Wind an Sea and Horseshoes. Lets not mention only an hour drive to Baja….

Graduate School offered a flexible schedule and night classes which provided me the luxury of lengthy morning sessions every day.

The Surf Party ended when I got my Masters Degree; I had hit the wall with my studies in Economics, the voice in my ear (mostly from Dad) “get a job” was getting louder, and I had run out of diversions. I had to face the inevitable…the world of casual Fridays, leather shoes, corporate haircuts, 401 K plans, Health benefits, the list goes on. So off with the golden surf locks and on with the Kenneth Cole’s I was ready to rock and roll. I figured I could get my surfs in via morning sessions and I had embraced the potential weekend warrior status.

Who knew a work schedule would be so demanding. Being in sales it is very much a sink or swim atmosphere. A good work ethic usually keeps you afloat and some smarts and strategy will get you paid. Armed with both I was in a position to conquer but I quickly realized that it did not leave much time to surf. Its hard to get a morning session in when you need to be in the office for by 7:30 am and ready to present. I had also forgotten how bad the weekend crowds at Blacks were! My surfing went from Mach 1 to cruise control over night and I was bummed. I had to deal with responsibility but I managed to sneak some morning sessions in and some extended lunches but overall I was in a losing battle and losing my stoke on surfing. I wanted to overcome the challenge and get back in the water. Based on my schedule I learned my only way to get wet and get waves was to get in early… I became Dr. Dawn Patrol. I charged it pre sun up. I had gotten 12 waves before the first guy showed up. It was awesome…my favorite break with a few other die hards…many in my same situation. The Die Hard Dawn Patrol Crew is an awesome group. These guys value the surf so much they get up at the crack of dawn (running on a full tank of stoke and caffeine) to score some surf before they hit the office. These guys emit everything it means to be a surfer and you cant help but to absorb it through osmosis. These are the guys who hoot you into waves, are stoked when you get a good one, and give you a set wave because they just got the last one. Dawn Patrollers are a worldwide federation that all value the necessity of a good surf and do what is necessary to get in the water. Dawn patrollers exist at every beach break and are probably the most welcoming locals you will come across.

Surf Travel is an awesome way to refuel the stoke tank. Not all of us are privileged to live near a world class break or have a schedule that permits travel to remote surf spots. Personally, living in Los Angeles, I have found that the consistent yet mediocre surf can get mundane. At times, it makes it hard for me to respond to my 5:30 am alarm. That’s why for me surf trips both long and short are critical! It is amazing what one 3 second tube ride in trunks or surfing a remote spot with two of your best friends can do for your stoke level . Surf trips are what you and your crew always remember. They always offer adventure and prove for great filler while waiting in between sets at your local mediocre break.

Some of my stories go something like…

“Remember when Edawg bailed on that head high in an out tube and broke his new board?”

“Sobel’s Back side tube at Baja was sick!”

“Remember when the school of Sharks were swarming at Ollie’s point”

Two other key elements for keeping your stoke at maximum fill is to get yourself a steady flow of Surf Magazines and Surf Videos/DVDs . Mags and Videos are great avenues to help get your butt off the couch and in the water. Videos are great for amping you up for a surf and also showing footage of your favorite surfers in epic conditions. They do a great job making your surfing better and it can also show you how to do very technical moves, airs, turns, etc.

The other key for keeping your surfing drive high is treating yourself to new boards. A surfer can always use a new board. Equipping yourself with a solid quiver will not only improve your surfing but make it far more enjoyable. Plus we all know that your yellowed waterlogged stick is probably not doing your surfing any favors. When I started surfing I just had a 6′2″ shortboard. 20 years later I have more boards than I know what to do with including retro twin fins, a variety of single fins, classic longboards, quad fins, and more…

In my opinion the more boards the better. I have boards for all types of conditions and I am always prepared for what the surf throws at me. I recall multiple sessions at Black’s Beach in La Jolla when it was Double Over Head on the sets and my buddies that had their 6′2″s just could not paddle in. The few of us that had larger boards 6′8″ to 7′0″ were scoring the waves of the season. On the same note I found small surf to be extremely boring and I lacked the skill and drive to surf well in surf that was mushy and waist high. I started surfing on retro twin fins and a variety of single fins that turned those mediocre days into 2 hour super sessions. I was catching waves from the peak to the sand, connecting turns, pulling floaters, going mach-1; all in surf under chest high…To this day I always have a fish with me just in case the conditions call for a small wave slayer.

Surfing is very healthy lifestyle and it is what keeps most us sane. Life often throws you curveballs but it is your job to keep your life healthy, your mind sane, and to be full of stoke. Surfing may not be the solution for everything but a good surf session and a sweet tube definitely helps!

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Surfer’s Sinusitis “The NETI POT” By Dr.Jude and

Surfer’s Sinusitis “The NETI POT” By Dr.Jude and
Sunday, April 27th, 2008

Surfer’s Sinusitis “The NETI POT”

This article is borrowed from our good friends at The bottom line best surf report for the Southbay. Enjoy!

Although the practice of nasal irrigation originated in India, today there are numerous people in Europe and the United States who use this simple technique as part of their daily routine.

I receive quite a few email about treating surfers sinusitis with the Neti Pot and how exactly to sinus flush. Hopefully the Net pot in action picture is not viewed during dinner. I can see the scenario now, the Midwestern starlet comes to Hollywood hoping to make it big and her first break is nasal irrigation. Dream big! Here are a couple emails and my response that hopefully will better describe the sinus flush and the Neti Pot:Hello Dr. Jude,

I’m an acupuncturist/Surfer in Long Island, New York. Wild, we do actually have waves and a great surf scene. I’ve noticed among my patients and also among my fellow surf family that the Neti Pot is awesome to use after surfing and pretty much before bed time if you are experiencing chronic sinusitis. I’m not sure if you’re familiar with the Neti-pot. Its a ceramic little tea pot looking thing and you place bottled water in it with a bit of sea salt and you gentle place it in one nostril and coordinate your head and lean back so that the saline solution can fill the sinus and drain from the other nostril over your sink.I do this every time I surf and when the weather dries me out in winter… so far so good all is well.Warmly, Pie(Not to shabby, Swellmagnet has a New York contingency. Hey Pie, Surf where you live Kook! Just kidding, welcome to the South Bay waves, check out El Porto next time you land at LAX)


Dear Dr. Jude,
I am a long-term surfer, living and working here in LA for the past 10 years. I have been surfing religiously since 1989, but over the past 8 years I’ve found myself increasingly sensitive to changes in the water, especially around here (venice/SoBay).At first it was reactions to obvious/thick red tide with multi-day screaching headaches; total sinus blockage without drainage and sneezing. Now, any sign of redtide in neighboring water (playa del rey for example) sets me off. when the water’s opacity changes (and signals the presence of some bacteria or algea?) the symptoms return. There have been many days where the water appeared normal, just a little murky perhaps, and i got sick. i confess i’ve had trouble keeping myself out of the water, unless it was clearly red or the waves were truly awful.It always seems to take about 10-15 hours for the symptoms to fully manifest, meaning, i get no sleep, since it always strikes at night. my sensitivity has intensified and the congestion/headache is pretty much chronic. my ears have been crackling for months and months.I have no preexisting allergies of any kind, that i know of.

Medication-wise, I’ve taken benadryl and claritin and various inhalers at times, over the years. But pseudoephedrine makes me feel like i am going crazy with amplified nervousness and the inhalers are short-term.
I am pushing 40 now and after almost 10 years of returning/chronic sinus irritation and infection, I’m beginning to get paranoid that a more serious condition/damage could be in the works.

Any thoughts/recommendations would be truly appreciated! Thank you for your time.

Here is my reply to the last email

Thanks for the email.

Your symptoms, nicely described, definitely put your diagnosis as chronic sinusitis.Your treatment plan is currently reactive. You plan to only treat the symptoms when they pop up. To optimize this plan, I would add 600mg of Motrin three times a day when the symptoms return. This will help with the raging headache and frontal sinus pressure. Also, Sudafed has various over the counter derivatives that you might find helpful; this drug and the related drugs really help dry up your sinuses after your sessions.

So here is my advice, if you want to keep surfing beyond 40 years you need to be PROACTIVE about your health. The one simplest solution for your chronic sinusitis is the Speedo competition nose clip. The Speedo clip has a tighter grip than the others on the market which helps with duck diving and wipeouts. Amazon sells these clips; purchase a few because the shipping cost usually equals the $3.00 cost for the clip and they do tend to disappear. I absolutely guarantee that if you wear a nose clip every time you surf you will never have another surfer related episode of sinusitis. You probably already read my article but just in case you have not, check it out:

The only other proactive solution to your sinusitis is nasal irrigation with the Neti pot after every session. Nasal irrigation works great: turn you head so it’s parallel to the ground dump the water from the Neti pot into one nostril and let it drain through the other nostril. Youtube demonstrates nasal irrigation but start with wikipedia here:

So most important: purchase the Speedo nose clips right away and your sinus problems will resolve. Give the Neti pot a try, the nasal irrigation will clear your sinuses but the flush takes a little getting used to.
Email me back with an update or any questions.Surf Safe!

Dr Jude

More info on the “Neti Pot”About 50% of the emails I receive are from surfers with sinusitis so hopefully we can put this topic to rest.To learn how to use the Neti pot, with an added laugh bonus, take a look at this youtube clip (its hilarious):

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Scott Valor Surf Journal BARBADOS

Scott Valor Surf Journal BARBADOS
Thursday, November 27th, 2008

Hey guys! Scott Valor is traveling/surfing in Barbados again and although we don’t have any pictures or videos we figure your mind can paint the picture.


UPDATE! Scott has posted a series of photos on his Facebook Page:

Right now it’s been epic here. They had a great October and there’s more now and coming. Here’s why: Normally Barbados gets “all” swells from the basic straight east trade wind swell always, to the southeast tropical wave stuff in the summer, to the NE swell from the north atlantic now. What’s rare is North WEST swell that generates itself off the coast of Florida and comes straight down on the island. The result is that rather than having NE swell wrap around to the west side (just do the geography), the swells hit the north and west dead on and normally flat (and I mean dead flat scuba diving) areas on the west light up. Now, for most Bajans, just like us here, they go to the regular spots–kinda like the parking lot in front of porto, 26th, mb pier. But when you have NW so many out of the way spots break that take just a little bit more work to get to, but are insane. I surfed Duppies yesterday. Not a secret spot, but requires the right swell direction. From where I am near Soup Bowl, it takes about 30 minutes to get to–main roads (such as they are on an island) and some tracks (what they call paths or dirt roads). Anyway, minor effort (less than for us to drive to Malibu) and I pull up to what is mash up of Laniakea and Big Drakes (Hollister Ranch). Offshore, faces 5-7 foot, and only me and my friend Kenny Ward there. We paddle out to point break-like rights that are about 200 yards long. Two hours until the sun sets. Rural area with jungle right down to the water. You walk a steep path down like 1/2 the Black’s walk to a tiny beach cove for an easy paddle out. In my 28 years of surfing, it’s a top 10, maybe 5. Shitting myself with the quality and just me and Kenny. Plenny other spots like it, but this is an unknown place unless you know locals. I do. I’m lucky. No photos because Kenny drives an open Land Rover (like a Jeep), so I didn’t want to leave it in the car. But more NW coming, so I’ll bring the camera next time.

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Barbados Surf Dispatch #4 by Scott Valor

Barbados Surf Dispatch #4 by Scott Valor

The story is that surfing came toBarbados in the mid-60s or so, from visiting Americans. During the Vietnam War, the US still had the draft. Those who didn’t want to be drafted into the military faced arrest and imprisonment, so the draft dodgers usually only had one choice: leave the country. Many went to Canada. The smart ones headed to Barbados.

Their influence on a select few Bajans who lived near the coast is obvious. The Bajan term for boardshorts is still “baggies,” though we haven’t used that term in the
US for over 30 years. People still remember the first generation Bajan surfers. Most are dead, but some like Snake in Bathsheba and a handful of guys who live in the south part of the island, can still be seen paddling out when it’s good. Everybody knows their names and they are shown respect.

Meanwhile the young Bajans don’t realize how good they have it—the Internet’s daily reports, more traveling surfers than ever, more surf-related products available, like boardshorts, new surfboards, leashes, and wax. The poorer Bajans still have to get by on the kindness of visitors, but many you see with the newest equipment and clothes.

Soup Bowl is empty today, except for one Bajan kid who seems to prefer surfing solo. Yeah, there are waves. It’s bigger than yesterday, overhead on sets, but it’s a little windy and the tide is high. If this was my first day here, I’d be frothing and out there immediately. But, after a week of constant surf, I’m just falling into the Bajan trance—take your time, wait for a better tide and for the wind to calm down. It’s gonna get better, mon…

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Barbados Surf Dispatch 3 “Nicknames” by Scott Valor

Barbados Surf Dispatch 3 “Nicknames” by Scott Valor

First, the brief surf report: “wind swell” again today, which means head-high + sets at Soup Bowl. Paddled out late (11 a.m.) because too much rum the night before means too much sleeping in the morning. It gets light here by 5 a.m., so you can be out surfing at the same time your friends are pouring out of the bars headed home in
Hermosa Beach (it’s currently three hours ahead here).

I was late this morning, then, but no matter. Three guys out, light wind, and bowling waves. Even with the windswell, it gets hollow here and clean. Unlike home, where onshore/sideshore winds make it unsurfable, here once the wave hits the reef it’s a super smooth ride. You can go out any time of the day. Sometimes more wind, sometimes less. Don’ matter.

As in
Mexico, pretty much all the local surfers here have nicknames. If you’re lucky like Kevin Nicholls, you’ll get a cool one like “Buju” (as in Buju Banton). If you’re unlucky like Adrian Smalls, you may be stuck with “Grommet.” Nevermind that Adrian is a top surfer, one of the older, second/third-generation guys (in his mid-30s), has sponsors and rips, when he was a young up-and-comer the first generation guys named him and it stuck. Everyone calls them by their nicknames, even non-surfers. You might too if you get to know them better, but until then, it’s Kevin, Adrian, Omar, whatever.

Supposed to have the same swell and conditions tomorrow. Should be fun all day. Lather, rinse, repeat…

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Barbados Surf Dispatch 2 “Smells Delicious” by Scott Valor

They call them “bonnies.” They are better known as Scotch Bonnet peppers and they are hot. What is hot? One of the hottest Mexican peppers is the habanero, which is a ridiculously spicy little cube-shaped pain chamber. According to some spice-rating system, the bonnies are ten times hotter than the habanero. This can make Bajan food interesting.

Bajan pepper sauce is everywhere. It’s the Tabasco, the Tapatillo, the Sriracha of Barbados. It’s a mustard-based sauce with a strong, but pleasant scent, grounded in bonnie seeds. At first taste, it is somewhat sweet. After a brief moment your mouth is on fire, all bets are off, and you’re reaching for the ice cubes, a beer, a polar ice cap—whatever you can get your lips and tongue on to relieve the pain. But it’s good—oh so good.

Respect the bonnie seeds, man, because that’s the heart and soul of the umph in the Bajan pepper sauce.

The good news: Bajans aren’t immune to it. They think it’s as hot as you do, but they know how to cook with it and use the correct amounts in a meal–just enough to bring out the flavor, not too much to blister your palate for a week. It’s all about seed control. While bonnie skins are somewhat sweet, bonnie seeds can ruin your day. It’s a Bajan yin and yang and somewhere in there is a balance that makes a meal excellent. And interesting.

What’s the point of all this? After two separate three hour sessions at Soup Bowl, in the fun head-high range all day, water about 80, turtles popping up everywhere, Snake brings over some fresh caught local fish, vegetables, and, yes, some fresh-picked bonnies and immediately goes to work. I supply the rum and the locally-brewed Guiness Stout (7.5%). He plays chef with a dexterity that matches his flow in the Soup Bowl pocket.

Third World, David Kirton on the radio. The sun is setting. I’m surfed out and soon to be full of good food. Another day ends in Barbados. Yes-I.

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Barbados Surf Dispatch 1 by Scott Valor

I sit out at the top of the break alone. It’s early, on a nearly windless morning. Eventually one guy paddles out, then a few others.

“Hey, you’re here! When ’d youget in?” one asks. “Good to see you,” says another. “You brought the swell, thanks mate!” says yet another, half joking I thought, until I heard the same line from five more people throughout the day.

I’m the only visitor at this break. The rest are locals, but they have a knack for remembering you if you’ve surfed with them before. I’m on an island with a population of 250,000. Only 300 of them are surfers. The break is called Soup Bowl and it’s surfable about 350 days a year.

Welcome to Barbados.

Barbados wave Barbados Wave 1

Barbados has its share of visiting surfers. A lot of east coast surfers have it figured it out, but most surfers assume the Caribbean is flat, except for big hurricane swell. Not so here.

Sitting toward the bottom of the Caribbean island chain, Barbados sits the farthest out into the Atlantic Ocean of any the islands, exposing it to any manner of swell—South east tropical waves, north east storms, and the constant, oh so constant, trade wind swells. When there aren’t waves, it’s usually dead calm and tranquil in its own way. But, that’s ok because sometimes you need a break to snorkel and fish under the spot you’ve surfed practically every day.

Barbados, like so many
Caribbean islands, relies on tourism to drive a large part of its economy. But surf tourism isn’t really the mainstay. Wealthy Europeans (many from the UK, as this was once a British colony) make their way here to the expensive resorts on one side of the island. Surfing is more of an afterthought, if anything, and that’s ok with the locals.

Kelly Slater comes here, this is one of Timmy Curran’s favorite places in the world, and Reef has held professional contests here, but it still stays off the radar screen. That’s good news for me. And could be for you.

Check out two of Scott’s Videos from Past Surf Trips to Barbados featuring Bathsheba and Soup Bowl

PS: that’s Snake (aka Edison Hedley, one of Barbados’ first ever surfers) grilling fresh shark with Bajan spices for dinner. The peppers are “bonnies”–scotch bonnet peppers–that make habaneros seem like milk duds. Or M&Ms.

Phase One Surf Editor’s Note:

Scott Valor is a very knowledgeable and experienced surf traveler. We are stoked to share his stories of surf travel and adventure. We will be posting Scott’s adventures to this BLOG as he travels the Globe from his home base in Manhattan Beach to wherever the surf is calling…

Scott is also the author of the best surf guide available for Mainland Mexico The Surfers Guide to Mainland Mexico: Colima & Michoacan

The Surfers Guide to Mainland Mexico: Colima & Michoacan

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