South Coast Surf Team

South Coast Surf Shops’ team rider John Norris is at it again. Here’s his account of a short trip to Portugal, the place he has come to know as the land of Hospitality, and epic sandbar wedges.

 John Noris Catching Air Surfing in Protugal

Surfing in Portugal


When I think of Portugal, one word comes to mind– hospitality. I’ve never in my life experienced such welcoming and friendly people. My trip to Portugal was a short one, but I think its almost better that way, only giving me a little taste of a country I now need to go back to and explore its entirety.

Only a couple days before I had arrived, I had no plans. I’d heard rumors of long points and dredging beachbreaks, wedgy coves and shallow slabs. This place seemed like the holy grail. Unfortunately there was no swell on the horizon but I didn’t care, I live for getting lost in unfamiliar countries. I was going.

A friend originally from Portugal who now lives in La Jolla found out I was going to Lisbon, messaged a friend and told him I was coming and wanted to surf. This is where the hospitality began. Without ever meeting the guy in my life, Tomas Valente messaged me and told me he could meet up the afternoon I arrived for a surf, and had a board that I could borrow for the time I was there. I rented a car and started the drive over to his house about a half hour away– if you know the roads that is. Not speaking the language and furthermore not understanding the street signs, I was lost. What should’ve been a thirty minute drive turned into an hour and a half, but eventually I made it. With a quick handshake to Tomas and his friend Diogo, these guys treated me like family.

We made our way to a beach named Guincho, a wedgy beachbreak nestled inside of a wind-sheltered cove. We see a couple of wedges and Tomas decides this is probably our best bet for the day. Keep in mind that there’s no swell in the water, but somehow with the way Portugal sticks out into the ocean, there are chest high wedges coming in. We surfed for about an hour, the tide got too high and it was time to move on to another wave. A five minute drive and we got to another playful beachbreak named Cresmina. Surfed again for about an hour and a half and we were beat. We head back to Tomas’ house and call it a day. He immediately asks if I wanted to surf again tomorrow and I gladly said yes.

The next day, there was a little bit of a south swell in the water so we decided to go a bit further to a wave called Praia Grande. There was a running left sandbar that would peel for a little over 50 yards with nobody out and we were on it. A couple hours later and a handful of great rides later, we were beat. It was time to say our goodbyes and start my journey home already. I told you it was short– but so well worth it. Everyone needs to give Portugal a try.

-John Noris

 Photos: John Noris Portugal Surfing

Joe Diamond

South Coast Surf Shop rider Ryland Rubens just had his people send us this photo evidence of his barrel last Saturday. We thought you should check out the photo sequence. Looks like fun Ryland keep it up!

We just got word from our team rider Cory Edging. You remember him being featured in Surfer Magazine (May 2010 issue, page 20 of the Hot 100 section) well since then he has recovered from some injuries and is now back in action. He wrote us with a few words about his recovery and also provided us with a video edit he threw together on his personal computer. Looks to us like injury hasn’t set this guy back one bit! Check out his commentary below along with the video. Best wishes on your continued recovery and staying healthy so you can continue doing what you love.

Hey every at SC!! Just checkin in. Finally started surfing again a few weeks ago (shoulder popped out in November AFTER surgery). Feels great to get back in the water. Shoulder is def not 100% but I don’t know if it ever will be. I bought this brace that football players wear to keep their arms from popping out. It has this vest harness then another strap that goes around your arm so it kinda put your arm on a leash and prevents the motion that causes it to pop out. So far so good.

Surf has been super fun up here. Had like a 3 week period of offshores and waves the whole time. Went up to Santa Cruz last weekend and scored some super fun surf at Moss Landing considering the weather. We were just on it at the right times.

Anyways, here is a little video I made today. I just found out that my computer came with a video editing program. I only had a total of 7 clips so its nothing special and it’s my first edit ever, but I am satisfied. This was the first session back after surgery. Out of the water for 17 weeks. I really prob shouldnt have got in the water then, but my buddy Max (that shot the Surfer Mag photo) just got a new housing for his 7d camera, so….haha. It shoots 60 frames per second so you can go super slow mo. I was boggin left and right, but it never felt so good to get wet again.

Thanks Cody for sending us this video! Now here it is for the masses. We are huge fans of Cody Sherman here at South Coast. Keep up the good work nice little edit!

by Chad Wilson

As one of the more outspoken surfers in Ocean Beach, Trevor Nielsen brings a bit of color to the South Coast surf team. Born and raised in Point Loma, Trevor was destined to become the great surfer he is today. Excelling in both longboarding and shortboarding, not much can hold this kid back. After surfing with Trevor, I realized he has no fear of falling on any wave. Whether it is pumping six to eight foot Imperial Beach, or dredging sandspit barrels, he will go.

Contest wise, if Trevor can keep his cool, he could be a true contender on the Professional Longboard Association Tour.

Out of the water, Trevor spends most of his days either relaxing at South Coast Longboards, or out having a good time with his friends. So, next time you are in OB, stop into South Coast Longboards and meet the one we call T-Rex.

[click to continue…]

Team Manager: Donn Clark

by Robb on June 13, 2008

South Coast Team Manager Profile: Donn Clark
By Robb Bailey

Quick Facts
Grew up in: South Mission Beach
High School:
Mission Bay High
College: SDSU
Competitive Surfing Experience: Western Surfing Association (70’s), The Coalition of Surfing Clubs (current)
South Coast Team Manager: 3 years

The South Coast team riders are a group of local up and coming surfers who are sponsored by South Coast surf shops. Ranging in ages from eight to 25 years, the young wave sliders are being groomed not only to become great surfers, but a positive part of the surfing community as well. Their team manager, Don Clark, affectionately nicknamed “DC”, is a local soul rider who grew up surfing and living in South Mission Beach.

DC is a generally cheerful guy, with a soul patch and silver-streaked blonde hair. Although a self-admitted “old man”, his presence indicates that his attitude and outlook on life remains youthful. Now in his fifties, DC smiles a lot and seems to enjoy his work. Surprisingly, his competitive surfing experience from the seventies to present day has little to do with the way he manages the South Coast team.

“South Coast believes its surf team should be a little more home grown.”And home grown it is.DC’s team guidelines are centered more around life coaching than surf coaching, and he demands respect from all of the team riders in a unique way. He rips like he’s still in his twenties, remains a very humble person, and sets a great example. “I was never good enough to go to the pros,” DC is quick to explain as he summarizes his surfing career. But he also admits that his leadership role is validated by his surfing ability when the kids
see him in the water. “Once the kids saw me surfing, there was a sort of mutual respect.”

Team manager responsibilities such as acting as the liaison between the sponsors and riders, as well as coaching the riders through heats are all part of the job. DC’s other duties as manager include keeping the team in check, making sure their school grades are in line, and helping them keep an overall great attitude.
” [Sponsorship] companies want good kids to represent them. Some kids think surfing ability alone will
give them anything they want. I tell them, ‘Don’t get cocky. Be modest.’ You gotta work for it and be a good person to sponsors, and thank them every once in awhile.”

In an industry where kids who rip are becoming a dime a dozen, DC seems to have the right approach. He also encourages his riders to remember that they surf to have fun. South Coast team riders are not required to compete, and the team is more a family of kids than individuals surfing with free gear.

As the South Coast family grows and changes, it’s good to know that there will be a new group of young bucks out there continuing to surf and live life positively in our community. As DC continues his work, we get a more positive vibe, which the surfing world could use a little more of in this author’s opinion.

Rebecca Straka

by Robb on June 13, 2008

Name: Rebecca Straka

Birthday: February 17, 1983
Born and raised in San Diego

Favorite day: The day my son, Riley was born – July 17, 2007 (see the photo!)

Favorite local spots: La Jolla, Cardiff, where ever it’s good. I’m tide savvy. -Travel destinations: Hawaii, Mexico, Australia (Noosa), up and down California.

Competions: “Guy Takayama Pro Noseriding Event 2006″ – 3rd place. “Malibu Surfing Association (MSA) Club Contest 2006″ – 5th place.

Favorite boards: Anything single fin, over 9 feet.

Sponsors: South Coast Surf Shop and anyone else who’s interested.

Favorite quote: “In Hawaii we greet friends, loved ones or strangers, with Aloha, which means with love. Aloha is the key word to the universal spirit of real hospitality, which makes Hawaii renowned as the world’s center of understanding and fellowship. Try meeting or leaving people with Aloha. You’ll be surprised by their reaction. I believe it and it is my creed. Aloha to you.” – Duke Paoa Kahanamoku

photos taken by

Chris Koerner

by Robb on June 13, 2008

Chris Koerner

Age: 26
Hometown: Long Island, NY
Home break: Gilgo Beach
Lives in: NY
Years Surfing: 10
Years Surfing in San Diego: 3
Surf Stance: Goofy Foot
Favorite Wave: Rincon
Local break: Crystal Pier, La Jolla Shores
Favorite Mexican Food: Taco Surf, they hook it up!
Favorite at Taco Surf: Gotta go with the California Burrito?
Job: Manager at South Coast Windansea, Accessories Buyer
Marital Status: Single (laughs)
Shout Outs: To Mike Detemple in Florida for influencing me, to Bird for showing me the ropes at the shop and in the water when I got to San Diego. Also to my friends at Gilgo Beach: James Hilbert, who taught me how to do the helicopter.

South Coast Windansea’s Best Kept Secret: Chris Koerner

by Robb Bailey

Chris Koerner looks like the average California kid. His walk is more of a stride than a mission to get somewhere. He has a laid-back stroll that most surfers walk with when the waves aren’t going off. He rides his 70’s retro skateboard to work from his nearby house in PB. His hands are tan, his hair is in place but uncombed, and he smiles often.

Then he talks.

Save this one very important detail, and any San Diego local would swear Chris grew up down the street from him. Long Island must have the most recognizable dialect on the planet, and Chris has not shaken this part of his hometown at all.

Not that he has to?the amateur longboarder has more than proven himself in the water. With wins at the 2006 T-Street event of the Christian Surf Series and at the 2006 Bunger Annual Surf Classic in Gilgo Beach, New York, Chris’ results speak for themselves.

“Back home I shortboarded for a couple of years, but then my friend Mike Detemple let me try his longboard one day while we were surfing. He got me into it. I kind of did it backwards (when I learned), shortboarded at first, then got into longboarding.”

And he’s been longboarding ever since. In 2006 Chris ranked 9th of 72 in the ASP Pro-Longboard Series. Currently he’s ranked 7th in the NSSA tour and plans on revisiting the ASP again this year.

Despite his impressive results in competitive surfing, Chris shows an extremely mature attitude towards the sport. His style clearly mirrors his respect for surfing history and lifestyle. When he talks about the lineup, he talks about respecting shortboarders. “I hate it when longboarders just sit outside and pick off all the good waves. It gives us a bad name. Everybody should be respectful in the water.”

Why does he prefer longboarding over shortboarding? It’s because of the noseriding. “With longboarding, you can do just as much stuff?but add noseriding. You can performance ride like on a shortboard or go classic. You have more versatility.”

Versatility is what won Chris the Tony Mezzadri Tricks on a Log contest in 2006. With a bag of tricks that includes a fin-first take-off and “the helicopter”, Chris takes advantage of the variety his longboard offers. Right now he’s riding South Coast’s CR-3 model (9″x 2.7″x 22″) with a thruster type 2 + 1 fin set-up. He uses an FCS 5-1/2″ center fin to compliment its rounded pintail for maximum performance. Soon he’ll be adding a South Coast retro 9’6″ to his quiver with a 10″ glass-on fin for a more classic ride. He’s asking for an extra-heavy glass job and expects the log to weigh around 40 pounds.

Home proved to be good for learning to surf, but Chris admits the west coast is definitely more his speed. “I love California, it’s so much more consistent here. And here there’s more surf culture, you can click with people better.”

Shop owner Eric “Bird” Huffman took Chris under his wing when he started at the shop two years ago. “Bird showed me the ropes–taught me what spots are good when there’s waves. He also helped me with board selection, he showed me some styles I didn’t know about; and that’s helped me deal with customers’ (needs) better.”

Chris is now a manager at the Windansea location and has no plans to leave soon, save a few yearly trips home. He heads east twice a year for some good home cooking and an August hurricane swell or two.

Although he hasn’t forgotten his roots, Chris seems to be in his element here in San Diego. He has become a local hero to several of South Coast’s shop employees. “Surfers should give longboarding a chance, it’s a lot more fun than it looks! It’s also not as easy to longboard on big waves. If you see someone throw around a nine foot board in overhead surf, people (in the lineup) should respect that. But I think shortboarders should longboard sometimes, they can keep progressing and fine-tune (their surfing).”

When asked if there’s anything else Chris wanted everyone to know about his surfing, what came was a smile and a laugh followed by a thoughtful pause. Then Chris summed up what he’s all about with a final comment in regards to longboarding:

“Remember your roots, that’s where surfing came from!”

Chris Koerner

Zack Clark

by Robb on June 13, 2008


Born: 9/11/96
Height: 5’11”
Weight: 155
Stance: Reg
Favorite Wave: Malibu, Scorp and a sick point down south
Favorite board: Anything shaped by Larry Ricci
Best Surf Trip: Bali
Hobbies: Fishing, Piano, Running
Goals: Take a little time off from competitive surfing and free surf with my friends. More trips to mi casa in San Jose del Cabo.


2011 La Jolla Shores Menehune
4th 13-15 Boys Long Board
2010-2011 Scholastic Surf Series
1st in all 5 events, San Diego County Boys Long Board Season Champion
2010-2011 Scholastic Surf Series Event #4
1st Boys Short Board
2010 Malibu Classic
1st 15-18 Junior Men Long Board (age 13)
2010 SCSA Gromfest
2nd 13 & under Boys Short Board
2009-2010 NSSA
Season end was 15th out of 64 competitors’, Made Nationals
2009-2010 NSSA #9
2009-2010 NSSA #8
2009-2010 NSSA #7
2009-2010 NSSA #6
2009-2010 NSSA #5
2009-2010 NSSA #4
2009-2010 NSSA #3
2009-2010 NSSA #2
2009-2010 NSSA #1