SF Surfriders’s Earth Day Party

Yes, I know I haven’t posted anything in a week, but I needed a little vacation. Sunday of last week [not yesterday] I dropped in at the SF Surfrider’s Earth Day celebration out at Ocean Beach at the foot of Taraval. I actually did it twice because like always I don’t tend to make a fashionably late entrance. While there weren’t too many people there in the beginning, when I went back i really got to learn a lot about the group and what they were doing.

Now I’ll admit that at first I thought the SF Surfrider’s hit me kind of like the SF Bike Coalition, but since most people don’t drive on the waves the whole hooligan attitude is missing from them. The whole Earth Day part started at 10am at Ocean Beach with a bunch of people from the group and supporters gathering to clean up the beach. This is always a good thing as there are lots of nasty bits you can find on the beach. I actually saw a picture this morning of someone’s dog who had manage to find a rather large, umm, well, sexual device let’s just say and was bringing it back to his owner like he had a bone in his mouth. While that was one of the rather least offensive things found the beach there have been syringes that people dump into drains or flush down their toilets that don’t properly get processed or someone digs a hole and toss some briquets in to have a beach barbecue and then some one like a cousin of mine sits on the beach and ends up with 3rd degree burns on her feet because old hot coals look like sand.

I have to applaud them for this because they love to surf and why would anyone want to surf in a garbage dump? They are also concerned with the erosion that’s occurring on the south end  of Ocean Beach and I have to say that my wife and i used to like to run out on the weekend and get coffee and danish and then drive out the parking lot by the zoo to have our breakfast. There’s not too much left out there now and the SF Surfrider’s are trying to find a way to fix the problem.

I got to talk to a couple of people from the group and told them that I’d be mentioning them and I really have to say that the party they organized [after I went back for the second run] was a lot of fun. SF Surfrider’s is a very eco-friendly group and they were even using blocks of eco-friendly surfboard wax to hold down their materials and giving out roll up eco-friendly grocery bags made from recycled water bottles. They also were having a raffle for a surfboard, but I decided that I’m a bit out of shape to start up my old surfing days again. Give me a few years and maybe I’ll get back in shape for it though.

While they were the focal point there were also a couple of food trucks, Seoul on Wheels and Cheese Gone Wild as well as well as a beer garden that got bigger as the day went on sponsored by Trumer Pils. I did happen to notice for the celebrity gossip column angle that the ever sexy Nikki Blakk of 107.7 The Bone was there early on, but I couldn’t find her on my second trip down there. She might have been in the RipTide that was packed to the gills while having the Mermen entertain everyone. I was a bit bummed because I was hoping to slide a copy of my CD into Nikki’s hand so that, you know, I might get a mention or something like that on her show. Oh well, things don’t always go my way, but the party at the beach was pretty fun and I salute the SF Surfrider’s for give us a chance to see what they’re all about.

Surfrider Foundation Celebrates Earth Day!

I’m about to head down to the foot of Taraval street to attend the Surfrider Party sponsored by the RipTide. It sounds like a good time to be had and I’m glad my friends over at Ocean Beach Bulletin for letting me know about it. I’ll be taking lots of pictures and will have a story up about what was going on tomorrow. The Taraval party is from noon – 6pm. The block party will have food trucks Cheese Gone Wild, Seoul on Wheels and Doughnut Dolly, beer from Trumer Pils, and children’s activities, with music by local legends The Mermen. A raffle will offer a surfboard, a bicycle and other prizes. Proceeds will benefit the Surfrider Foundation.

If you go look for me. I’ll have my Baghdad by the Bay ID prominently in place and will be handing out cards and talking to people and being a general nuisance.

Surfing San Francisco

Now that my Mother is gone I can come out publicly. I was a teenage surf bum. My Mother would always tell me the horror stories of how surfer’s would get pulled into the undertow and sucked out to the Farallone islands. I always thought that was a bit of overkill, but she just never wanted me to surf.

Unfortunately when you push too hard against your child not doing something it only makes them want to do it more. Good work Mom. I had a friend that lived a block from the beach and we found a couple of boards at a garage sale out there one day and picked them up for around $50 each [this was back in the 70’s when things were cheaper]. I had no idea how to surf other than watching people surf on TV. We did make skimboards that you’d throw on the surf as it washed in and then you run and jump on it so we at least knew how to wax the boards.

Ocean Beach is actually not the best place to surf. Unless there’s some really bad weather the waves aren’t that great and yes there is that nasty undertow, but I was a very experienced swimmer so that wasn’t too much of a problem. Ocean Beach was surfing as I knew it [our spot was Kelly’s Cover] until one day when my friend bought a car and suggested we try out the waves at Santa Cruz [I would never try Mavericks]. We packed up the station wagon and go on the road one weekend. I had never really been to a surfer town before and our jaws dropped when got there and saw girls in bikini’s everywhere. I was in heaven.

I also didn’t see anyone in wetsuits like you had to wear in San Francisco. It was all surfer shorts. We grabbed the boards and hit the water. Much warmer than San Francisco and very smooth waves. It was a lot less work than the waves in San Francisco and I think because of that there were more surfers. While we were taking a break a couple of the locals came up and started the conversation with, ‘Frisco right? [Grrrrrr]. Yeah, let me guess, the wetsuits gave it away? Yeah. OK so there was an apparently rivalry between SF And Santa Cruz and I wasn’t even aware of it.

I ended up giving up surfing when I turned 21. I don’t exactly know why, but I just lost the desire to go out into that freezing cold water. When my wife and I got married we did take a trip to Hawaii and I was tempted again, but I didn’t go for it. I suppose I didn’t like all the little fish swimming around in the water bitting at the hair on my legs. That and the fact that the fish were probably bigger as you went out farther. I’ll just keep it in the back of my mind for now and maybe one day I give it a go again.