Surfing 101

Joe Diamond

Beginners Listen Up

Do you find yourself daydreaming about grabbing your board and charging it into those perfect barrels? I’m sure everyone does but if its your fist time surfing, we have 10 helpful hints that will get you shredding in no time! [click to continue…]

6 airline surf baggage tips for traveling surfers

Quick Tips for Traveling Surfers

Sunscreen? Check! Wax? Check! Surfboard? Check! Packing for your epic surf trip is only half the battle! The other half? Dealing with the airlines and luggage! I asked our expert travelers for helpful hints on traveling with your boards! [click to continue…]

Picking out the right wetsuit vest, jacket or rashguard can be a bit of a hassle. Similar to picking out the right kind of wetsuit it really depends on what you’re surfing and where you’re surfing. So before you jump in the water, consider a couple factors that might improve your ocean experience and surf performance.

Water temp

Hyperfreak Crew JacketAlthough this summer’s weather seems promising, the earlier months (mainly June gloom) can put a damper on your beach day plans.  I know wearing things with sleeves in the summer can be frustrating but being comfortable in the water can enhance your performance that much more.  So instead of a vest or a rashguard try something a little more practical like the O’Neil Thinskin Hyperfreak Crew Jacket.  It’s made with UltraFlex DS neoprene, has a super –seal collar and a key pocket.  It’s similar to what the actual fullsuit might be like just with no legs and no over-heating in the summer.  xcel xceleratorAnd though the Hyperfreak is big on function the Xcel suits boast both style and functionality. The Xcel XCELerator is a Nylon-lined 2mm jacket with 1mm sleeves for ultra flexibility.  And since summer is all about the color don’t be afraid to rock a green, grey, or red in the line-up.  The Xcelerator jacket even comes with a waist loop that ties to your boardies to batten down the hatches.  But if you’re looking for some serious core protection, you might just want to take a peek at Rip Curl’s Core Rubber Soul Jacket.  A little more on the soul surfing side, this trendy suit is bringing backRip Curl Wetsuit Jacket the old school look with the old school Rip Curl logo on the front, this jacket is a great way to keep warm.  Use it for dawn patrol, or even just on a windy day.  It’s made with Ultralite and E3 Elastomax neoprene so you can surf and still flex those guns.  The thick neoprene on the core keeps your warm while the flex is all in the sides and underarms so you can keep carving and make those soul turns.

Suns out guns out

Quiksilver Heat Vest

It keeps your core warm and your arms free.  At least this is the case with Quicksilver’s PS+Heat Vest System.  The first of its kind and probable the warmest, this battery operated heating system is built into the suit to keep you warm for hours on end.  By using FAR infrared heating technology the vest ensures warmth of your core and maintains the temperature when placed under a wetsuit.  Looking for something simpler? Look no further than O’Neil’s Hammer Vest.  For under $50 you can keep your midsection warm and your “guns” a blazing in the summer sun. This vest is made with 100% O’Neil’s own premium neoprene, Fluidflex for maximum freedom and minimal restriction.O'Neill Hammer Vest

Guard your goods

Arm freedom of the vest and the protection of the jacket, the rashgaurd is the perfect protection against sunburn, and some gnarly rashes this summer. Both durable and comfortable the Xcel UPF50+ is a Lycra rashguard that does double duty in protecting you.  Despite being thinner than a neoprene vest this long sleeve rashguard comes equipped with UPF 50+ or ultraviolet protection factor with an SPF 50 to block out those harmful rays. xcel rashguardAnd if you’re really feeling like getting your bronze on, it comes in a short sleeve version.  The Xcel UPF50+ short sleeve comes in a blue and white, black and grey, green and white, and a tri-colored black grey and white version.

K2.1 Side FinThe K2.1s are a high performance fin for skilled progressive surfers.  The K2.1 design is nothing new to the surfing world. F.C.S. has had these fins around for quite some time with minor changes in template and limited options for materials over the years. Slater has renovated his K2.1 and he ended up his ninth world title with them, that’s a successful improvement at its finest. We’ve stocked up South Coast with these things for that very reason.

The new K2.1s are made out of the F.C.S. performance core fiberglass construction. The performance core fins are stiffer than their natural composite brethren, you know, those plastic feeling ones that look like they could glow in the dark. Now they are composed of a foam core, a fiberglass foil and a satin cloth for aesthetic amusement. This translates to a less forgiving fin but one that is more sensitive and able to handle more powerful waves without sliding out or over flexing while racing down the line for a beach break barrel. They are also much lighter due to the foam inside the fiberglass foil as to not weight down the tail of your board when you’re trying your best Slater impression to get above and beyond the lip on your turns.

Almost all high performance fins now are made with some type of foam core but that’s not what makes these blue and white beauties stand out. The real deal behind them is how their templates work with the flex patterns of the P.C. construction. Most thruster sets have the 3 fins shaped all with the same template and length but not this set, hence the name K2.1. The side fins have more surface area compared to a shorter trailer fin, so responds like a small twin fin plus a trailer fin to balance out the pivoting.

The side fins have a wide base to produce forward drive through turns and allow you to slam your rail into a gouging cutback with confidence that the extra surface area will hold your line. They have almost no rake making them stand straight up like the dorsal fin on a shark. The lack of rake lets your board change direction quickly like snapping a more vertical bottom turn up a wave when you need to do work fast or risk being pitched via a heavy lip into a reef head. If you’re thinking right now that’s too risky, these fins aren’t for you. If you‘re drooling on your computer at the thought of such an opportunity, then you‘re on the right track to qualifying for a set.

The trailer fin is about the size and template of an M3 fin; there is a bit more rake, but less area so when you submerge your tail the board will go into a controlled slide or quickly cutback without sacrificing all your speed in the process.  The concept behind having a smaller trailer fin is to make it easier to break free from a carve and perform a more radical direction change, welcome to fins free surfing. Combine that with the responsiveness of performance core material and you’ve got a recipe for some heavy hitting Young Guns style wave riding.

These fins are not going to let you make a mistake without paying a price. They’re used by a nine-time world surfing champion, they were meant for those with the skill and the sheer guts to assault the most angry of waves at their most critical points. If you don’t set yourself up for a deep bottom turn you can expect these fins to make your snaps feel terribly forced and lacking of all style. They have a very pivotal turning nature so you must surf them more vertically and use more torque from your legs if you want be able to connect maneuvers.

Surf them in hollow beach breaks or in more heavy reefs in the area to understand how they work. Don’t worry about getting stuck behind a section, the side fins have the ability to drive you right around it with some double pumping or if you‘re daring enough right over it with a floater. Now you’re probably thinking these fins are too technical to be practical but it’s a double edged sword that will sharpen any surfers skills to their own benefit. Yes they’re not forgiving, but after you have them dialed in you’ll learn to execute proper bottom turns that produce incredible drive up the face while that smaller trailer fin lets you crank through a turn with style and enough speed to fire off your next blow tail snap.

Shop our selection of FCS Surfboard Fins Online

Summer is quickly approaching and you still haven’t picked up that surfboard that will set you apart from every “Joe Six Pack”, and visiting tourist from Iowa. You’ve checked out our shaper series over the past few weeks and have loved all the great big board designs, but are still left with that desire to break free from the monotony of traditional summer shapes. Maybe you even have a classic fish and have ridden that thing to death. Time to take a look at a design so new shaper Larry Ricci just generated a name to go along with it. A board born by “accident”, the Arrowhead Fish is upon us.

Sometimes shapers tinker with current designs and end up with a shape that they think will rip. Often, in most cases such as this one, a board is created when a shaper is reproducing a standard and gets a little too crazy with the foam. Larry Ricci had this happen to him recently while shaping a classic fish model and decided to run with it. After a few of the South Coast shop riders took it out, they fell in love with this beautiful “mess-up”. As you can see it has a pulled in nose for increased performance and a wider double wing cut. Both of these features as Larry mentions will turn a classic into a speed machine. Perfect for many wave conditions and just a fun board to substitute for the egg or noserider you might be currently ripping on.

All South Coast boards are proudly shaped and glassed in the United States. With quality built into all of our boards, you know that they will last longer and hold up better than new “pop-out” boards, or surfboards that are shaped in China. Support our economy as well as the local surf shop and pick up one at any of our five South Coast locations. This board is available for demo, so try one on before making that big investment. Stop in at South Coast.com to take a look at our large selection of South Coast surfboards or any of your surf accessory and clothing needs. Check back in the future for more from our shapers and boards they believe you will love.

When you picture a shaper, what do you imagine they look like? Often a shaper is the “man behind the curtain” in the surf industry. Most people have heard of Rusty, Al Merrick, and Erick Arakawa when it comes to the big names in shaping. Amazingly enough, these giants in the industry only make up a percentage of all boards ridden in the U.S. The odds of you getting one of these gentleman to personally shape a board for you is pretty limited unless you’ve got an immense bankroll. Well Jason, where can we go then for an affordable and quality made surfboard? Wait for it……

As we’ve talked about over the past few blogs, you know that South Coast employs talented in-house shapers that will meet with you to shape a board by your specifications. Our “shaper series” videos have let you get an insider view of some super fun South Coast boards we have to offer. As I learn more about our shapers, I really start to appreciate their craft and passion for the sport. You’ll know that your getting a quality board and that it’s being put in very competent hands when your speak with them. Not everyone knows what shape or size is perfect for them, but Robin Prodanovich and Larry Ricci have been surfing and shaping for decades. This insider knowledge helps them to put everyone on a board they end up loving. That’s something you can’t always expect when you grab a board from the rack.

We’ve already met and heard from Robin Prodanovich about a few of the boards he’s most excited about. Now take a trip with me to meet another of our great shapers, Larry Ricci. I’ve personally had the pleasure to know Larry for the past four years as an employee at South Coast. Throughout the years I’ve learned many amazing things about his life and philosophy on shaping. Larry has been all over the world and has surfed in almost every possible wave condition you can imagine. Worldly experience has helped him to incorporate this knowledge into his board designs. Robin and Larry both transferred their love for the ocean and surfing into a successful shaping career. Larry started shaping back in the late 70′s and found that his friends loved his designs and wanted him to shape their boards. He was able to take boards from the big names in the business and take what ideas he enjoyed about their boards and mold them into his own shaping. Eventually, Larry was able to springboard his personal shaping success into a career working for some of the best board companies in the world. At South Coast we have been able to lock him down for the past several years. He has shaped more boards then one can count and has come up with some amazing designs you might have ridden already. Anyone who knows Larry, realizes that if you get him started on a conversation about surfboard shapes, your in for at least an hour discussion. Normally that would put anyone to sleep. His passion comes out though in these meetings with him. Someone who loves their job and craft so much has to make a quality board. Larry accomplishes both respect and admiration for those lucky enough to get to share a few moments with him. If you have a chance stop by South Coast and learn more than you would ever expect in a short time with Larry. Don’t let the long hair scare you away! He is one of the most approachable people I have ever had the pleasure to know, and he is happy to shape about any board you might have dreamt about.

In this video Larry will talk about one of his favorite models, the Wing-Quad Fish. The Quad Fish paddles like an old school fish but takes maneuverability to the next level. Single to double concave, cutwing, and quad fin set-up provide increased turning performance in a wide variety of wave conditions. Watch the video and really get a better understanding of what this board can do for you. If you want to learn more about Larry Ricci make sure to click on the link above for some other great articles and interviews with Larry the “Legend”. For all your surfing needs, make sure to stop in at one of South Coast’s five locations or visit us online at southcoast.com.

South Coast Competition Longboard

South Coast Competition Longboard

The great thing about surfing is you will rarely ever get bored with all the sport has to offer. Just when you think you’ve perfected your bottom turn, the guy next to you is throwing monster floaters in your face. You’ve finally conquered your local surf break and some buddies think going to Baja sounds fun….oops, maybe you still have more to take from surfing! As long as the sport keeps evolving, there will always be a way to up the ante in what you can accomplish. Point being, don’t let your surf get rigid because you get comfortable. Over the past few blogs we have had an opportunity to check out the most critical way to change your surfing. In our “shaper series” we’re taking a tour of all the great surfboards that South Coast has to offer. Having in-house shapers allows for the surfing fan to check out different shapes and styles of boards, with the experts helping to direct you onto that perfect board.

South Coast Competition LongboardWe’ve already checked out the Prod-Quad and the Swegg with Robin. Both boards offering some different performance aspects for varying conditions. We hang with Robin for one last time as his talks about the South Coast CK Competition Longboard. One of the great things about South Coast is we have some amazing team riders that help the shapers develop boards with their ideas from surfing. This insider knowledge will provide with killer boards that all levels of surfer will enjoy. This board was shaped with NSSA competitive surfer Chris Koerner in mind. Take one last “safari” with Robin in the series as he walks you through this blog’s featured south coast competition longboard.

Remember kids, all boards and surfing accessories can be picked up at one of our five South Coast locations, or online at southcoat.com. Make sure to check out our sale store, South Coast Closeouts in OB for huge deals on all surfboards.

South Coast Competition Longboard

We continue with our “shaper series”, about some of the hottest surfboard models South Coast Surf Shops has to offer. Last time we checked out the Prod Quad, and got an insider view of all that board could offer. This week we will take a magic carpet ride on the South Coast Swegg, so hold on tight. Come on a tour with Robin Prodanovich as he points out some of the great features that the Swegg will provide you.

Available from 6’8″ to 8’6″ the Swegg is our most popular mid-sized board. Part egg, part modern fish, this multi-fin design paddles great and works in small to overhead surf with ease. Really a fun hybrid board that many levels of surfer will appreciate. If this looks like a board that you can’t wait to get your hands on, stop by any of our five South Coast Surf Shop Locations or online at Southcoast.com. This board is available to demo if you want to see how this baby rides before making the investment.

 

Not every beach community is as hard core as it is with the Bra Boys, but the most common concern for most beginning surfers is the fear that they will run into some meathead who will beat them up for taking their wave.  Although that is a rare occurance out in the water, you still will have your fair share of “run-ins”  with some local who thinks they own the ocean.  This clip has an interesting perspective on localism. So should you just stay away and leave the beauty of the ocean and the spirit of surfing behind?  That answer is simple, no of course not.  Any time you go into the water you should follow a few guidelines that will make your surf experience and those around you safe and fun. 

In the few years that I have been surfing, I have managed to learn a couple of simple surf etiquettes that insure your surfing can stay magical and rewarding.  You just picked up your brand new South Coast surf board and are ready to charge your local surf spot or so you thought.  After about twenty minutes of thrashing around and getting nasty looks you finally see the perfect wave and start paddling.  “Kook, get out of the way” or something to that effect is all you hear as some guy buzzes by you.  You first reaction is of course to give that guy a piece of your mind, he doesn’t own the ocean and that wave is just as much yours as it is his.  To some extent you would be right, but there are a few things you should keep in mind when starting out.

First off,  there is a unspoken hierarchy for dropping into that perfect wave.  That guy might have been waiting an hour or longer for the same wave and has been surfing at that spot for years.  The most important thing when starting out is to be patient.  There are plenty of waves for everyone and you’ll get all you can handle.  Take your turn with everone else and you will be much more respected.  Next, make sure to be polite out in the water.  I don’t mean saying please and thank you, or saying excuse me after burping.  Just don’t freak out or lose you cool if someone steals your wave or you can’t manage to catch anything while everone else is looking like Kelly Slater.  Fights occasionally happen and it is important to be the one enjoying the next set while others fuss about.  Also important is learning about who has wave priority.  All other problems with veteran surfers stem from this one area.  The person who is closest to the peak of the wave or where it is breaking, (the foamy white part) has priority of the wave.  If you see someone paddling into a wave and they have this position then let it go.  Often you will be out of position and someone will let you have the wave so listen for them to say go ahead.  When in doubt, just always wait.  As you advance in your surfing you will learn how annoying it is to have someone “steal” your wave.  Along with this, is making sure that you dont drop-in on another person’s wave.  This means cutting off another person who is on the wave already.  Lastly, make sure to control your board after you fall or if a monster wave is coming for you and your not going to make it.  Safety should always be a major concern when you go out and many new surfers think it’s ok to let their board fly around.  That thing can be a weapon if not handled correctly.  If you see a big wave coming when paddling out or your going over the falls, make sure to hold onto your board so someone doesn’t get wacked. 

It is likely that you may accidently “break” one of these rules, so be polite and say sorry if you do something wrong.  Other minor things to consider are not being loud or obnoxious. It’s just annoying and takes away from the peaceful nature of surfing.  Also, don’t be a wave hog.  Most likely you’ll start out with a bigger board that catches waves easier, so share the wealth.  I can’t guarantee that you’ll go out and have no problems, but if you go out with a positive attitude all the rest will fall into place.  No one will be able to call you a dummy again.  For all your surfing needs, check out our five South Coast locations or shop online at southcoast.com.

Packing your surfboard travel bag is an art. I’m not really sure how airlines manage to ding boards the way they do, but I’m pretty sure the ground crew gets pay raises for jamming blunt objects into surfer’s boardbags. Getting on the plane with the unknown of whether or not you’ll open your travel bag to freshly dinged boards is an unavoidable thought process for every traveling surfer.

Add in the ridiculous baggage fees airlines are imposing these days, along with the tanking American dollar that declines in value as it’s sitting in your wallet, and you’re arriving to your favorite surf destination with a sour taste in your mouth… And you’re not even out of the airport yet!

Not a good way to start a surf trip. The last thing you wanna do is spend time fixing dings in your board when you know you could have packed your boardbag better.

Reference the opening scene of Ace Ventura: Pet Detective for a visual of the way your boards will probably get treated once you check them in. (general idea)

Have no fear, South Coast has your back. Now view how we can all pack our surfboards for maximum protection against Ace and his co-workers: