Thursday, December 19, 2013
In order to grow surfing as a sport it is important to expose the youth to surfing. Aside from free surfing there are now competitive circuits for the youth to compete in such as the NSSA. The National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to encourage and assist its members in their interest to learn and develop the fundamentals and skills of surfing competition while competing in structured and quality events. In the NSSA kids aging from middle school to the college level can compete from around the country in events. A unique thing about the NSSA is that it requires it's athletes to maintain good grades in order to be eligible to participate in events. I believe that this is a great event for kids of all ages to partake in. The NSSA has also found a great balance between athletics and school with their grade requirements to participate. Locally the NSSA has contests throughout the season in Ocean City, Belmar, and other beaches. One of the most notable NSSA contestants in the area is Mike Ciaramella. Mike is from Avalon New Jersey and currently attends University of California at San Diego. He is an amazing surfer who has numerous sponsors including Rusty Surfboards. Mike's story is an example of the NSSA balance between student and athlete.
Tuesday, December 17, 2013
Although Kelly Slater is arguably the most influential person in the sport of surfing there is a person that can be very influential at everyone's local break. This person is Joe. Joe is a surfer much like you and me. Joe isn't bad at surfing, but Joe will never see the professional level of surfing, he's an average Joe. Joe likes the same things that all surfers do; new boards, nice clothes, and the warm the sun out. Joe has a decent job and a decent car that always seems to have a surfboard and wetsuit in the back. He watches the forecast often, he surfs when there is waves, and he is sad when there is not. . Joe has ultimately made his life revolve around what he loves, surfing.
Who is Joe? Joe is just that, an average Joe. He is me, he is you, and he is every surfer that you see at your break. We are all Joe whether we realize it or not. Everything that we do, both in the water and out influences the sport and culture surrounding it. If someone buys a new board and you see it in the water chances are you'll either want it or think about buying one similar. If you see that one person that stands out at your break surfing their best on a great day it will push you to surf better yourself. Part of why surfing is such a great sport is because of the progression that comes from its athletes. Besides watching professionals like Kelly Slater surf their best at Pipeline, we watch locals that most likely will never be globally known like Kelly but still surf great. By watching people like Joe and learning from them we can truly progress in the sport that we all love, surfing.
Monday, December 16, 2013
In surfing there are many influential people who help make the sport as progressive as it is. Arguably the most influential person is Kelly Slater. Slater grew up in Cocoa Beach Florida and is currently on the ASP world tour. Slater has won 11 World titles and 53 events including the Billabong Pipe Masters yesterday, (for the 7 time). This makes Slater the all-time most winningest surfer on tour. Aside from winning so many events Slater has shown how to surf a WCT event. Slater has also been in numerous surf films, done voice cameo for the movie Surf's Up, and was even in the TV show Baywatch showing a general audience what surfing is all about. No example is greater to show why Slater is so good than his showing at Pipeline yesterday. Although he did not clinch the world title, he had an amazing showing and won the event. This kind of athleticism shows just why he is not only a world class surfer but a influential ambassador to the sport.
Thursday, December 5, 2013
Since coming out GoPro cameras have been highly acclimated for their amazing picture quality and ability to be used almost anywhere from the barrel at Pipeline to a remote walking path in Bali. With this versatility comes a demand for the product and the hype that follows. But is GoPro overrated? The costs for a GoPro can be immense. The camera itself cost $200 for the base model, with models in the $400 range, then the mounts and accessories can range from $20- $50. However, with that price comes the ability to capture stunning HD videos of you, or your friends doing whatever activity it is you want to film. These cameras are so popular that companies like Surfline are offering prizes for the best GoPro clips submitted, along with tips and techniques to take better video. But is the price tag worth it? Are you willing to shell out potentially hundreds of dollars to video tape yourself? Personally I am not a fan of all the hype surrounding them, but I do think they are a nice product. After all, the company has made millions selling these cameras to athletes and adventure seekers alike. But there is something to be said for a company that has found a niche market and has profited well off of it, but for me I think they are overrated with all the hype they get like from the slogan "Be a Hero". But I am sure that much like any subject everyone has their own opinion so let me know what you think. Are GoPro's overrated, or are they a great new way to capture your sport through the athlete’s eyes?
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
There has recently been a movement to develop man made waves like Wadi in Al Ain Dubai that was the location of Dion Agius's new short Electric Blue Heaven, and Disney's Typhoon Lagoon which has surf scenes in Kai Neville's Lost Atlas. These wave pools are capable of producing a ride able waves that can be set to different heights and can come as quickly as every 30 seconds. But along with this new found technology is everyone's 2 cents. Some people are now claiming that these wave pools are not actually surfing. I mean sure it's no Pipeline where you can be seriously injured, but you are still surfing a wall of water that can be bigger than your home break if you live in the Northeast. Although surfing in a swimming pool may not be as rugged as paddling out in an ocean it still requires skill to surf a wave. Also, with a new way to surf whenever you want provided that you have this pool, which can cost millions, you can practice your technique and prefect your surfing. This opens up new doors for people on both the professional level and recreational to practice the sport they love when they want. But is surfing in a wave pool actually surfing? If your landing airs in a pool like Dion I would say that it is. But what's your opinion, Is it surfing? Let me know what you think.