Monday, August 31, 2009

5 Questions Will Be Back Next Week...And Now...The Winner!

Recently I asked everyone to enter my contest for an airline gift card. All you had to do was talk about why you would have a fantasy football draft party in Las Vegas.

It was a tough decision, indeed. Sarah had a great idea and reminded us that if you got stuck on a pick you could probably ask anyone walking by if you were sitting in the right spot. Vince detailed what he and his 17 friends would do. Lindsay said that it would be a great improvement over where she is and how it would be a great consolation now that she had to put up with Brett Favre on her team. Art couldn't tell us what he would do in Las Vegas, well, since what you do is supposed to stay there.

Since they were all good I left it up to a random number generator and the lucky winner is:


Congratulations and thank you to everyone that entered! Have a great fantasy football season, wherever you may be!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Tales From A Very Full Inbox

Yeah, as I mentioned I have been slacking off pretty badly so let me try to catch up on all of the email:

Homeless World Cup
: The power of football to unite and change lives sees Inter Milan and AC Milan on the same side for the Milan 2009 Homeless World Cup from 6-13 September 2009. The two teams, eternal rivals on the pitch, but on this occasion allies, announced their support a few weeks before the tournament begins in Italy.

Both Football Clubs will contribute financial support, signed shirts, and raise awareness of the tournament with their fan base. You can read the whole story here.

Fresh Air Fund:
The 2009 Fresh Air Fund-Racers completed the NYC half marathon and raised a whopping $80,000 this summer! The team is really thrilled and just wanted to thank everyone who supported them. You can see the photos on their Facebook page here and become of fan of theirs as well. In addition, you can follow the group on Twitter @FreshAirFund.

Since 1877, The Fresh Air Fund, a not-for-profit agency, has provided free summer experiences in the country to more than 1.7 million New York City children from disadvantaged communities. Each year, thousands of children visit volunteer host families in 13 states and Canada through the Friendly Town Program or attend one of five Fresh Air Fund camps.

Not Really A Sport...But...
Drinking beer isn't technically a sport but I know many sports fanatics like to indulge a bit so...

Coors Banquet just launched a Facebook contest giving away 150 prizes to fans including a grand prize, one-year supply of Coors Banquet and VIP trip for two to the historic Coors Banquet brewery. This contest celebrates the Colorado gold rush and 150th anniversary of Golden (the birthplace of Coors Banquet). Check out the contest here

Speaking of Headaches: Women’s luge world champion, Erin Hamlin, recently signed on as a spokesperson for the National Headache Foundation to promote the NHF and assist in educational activities to help other women and girls who may be sufferers, like herself. Though she is ranked number one in the U.S. and sixth in the world in women’s luge, Erin has suffered a long history of migraine and knows first hand what an impact they can have on a woman’s life. Can you believe that the day before she became the first U.S. woman to win the gold medal at the 2009 Luge World Championships, she suffered from an unbearable migraine and actually almost had to withdraw from the competition?! Can you imagine? Find out more information here

Don't forget MY CONTEST!! Today is the last day to enter to win a $250 airline gift card. Go to this post and leave your comment before midnight tonight (PST). The winner will be announced on Monday.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Sorry For The Delay...And Bad Content...

I do apologize for the lack of gripping content lately. I've been a bit under the weather and overwhelmed with a major project or two. There's nothing life-threatening though and I should be good as new in no time.

Meanwhile - you only have until tomorrow to enter my contest. A $250 airline gift card is pretty awesome if you ask me!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Wild World of Wednesday - August 26, 2009

I find it wild that there are only three entries to the contest that ends on Friday! Don't be shy, tell me story. Tell me something funny, go on about whatever you want, or simply enter. Go ahead. Click on this link, leave a comment, and be entered to win a $250 airline gift card. Use it to fly to Las Vegas for a fantasy football draft. Heck, use it to fly there some other time. Just enter - it's $250! There is no real catch - you just can't be anonymous (how would you claim your prize if you were) and you can't leave a bunch of gobbledy goop links and crud.

What are you waiting for!?

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Mixed Bag O' Things Post

Yeah, I have a lot of ideas today so I figured I could jam them all together in one post. Why not?

First, Plaxico Burress - I have a question for him. Why does someone actually NEED to carry a loaded weapon into a club? He was headed to the VIP section. Is it particularly rough where he frequents? Is it like the movies where there is a mafia don, drug dealer, and high-rolling businessman in there and one can bust out spraying bullets at any moment? I was listening to him explain how the gun went off in an interview this morning. Was I the only one wondering why he needed it in the first place? Am I the only person that found it odd he was describing how it fell out of his waistband? The other burning question - why on Earth would the nightclub let him in with it?

Have you been watching the Little League World Series?
It's a blast for sure and is on until this Sunday. All of the updates you need can be found here and you can watch a lot of the coverage on ESPN360. The Canadian team has a young lady playing first base that has one heck of an arm! Katie Reyes has shown up to play and is quite impressive. One of the international teams also has a young lady on their roster (will find link about her - let me know if you have one).

Don't forget to enter my contest by Friday. Who couldn't use an airline gift card for $250?

Monday, August 24, 2009

5 Questions Hijacked

After a weekend of surfing, bad karaoke, and a leisurely day of lounging around I figured I would hijack the regularly scheduled Monday post and tell you what is in store around here.

As you've probably gathered, weekend posting will now be optional. I've decided to take a few days totally OFF here and there. If I've got something burning then I will throw it up.

Monday will continue to be "5 Questions" posts and Wednesday's theme will continue to be "Wild World of Wednesday". Every so often, you'll get the "Blogspotting" and "Tales From The Inbox/Twitterscape" in their usual, intermittent fashion. Sports history will continue to be a part of the blog as well.

Product and book reviews will continue as will sporadic coverage of local Southern California sporting events.

I'm always looking for guest posts, people to interview, and products to review. Please contact me if you are interested in any of the above.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Gone Surfing

I'm taking the day off to go surfing - have a great weekend!

Don't forget to enter my contest. The prize is a $250 airline gift card - that is pretty darn cool in my opinion.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Las Vegas Fantasy Football Draft Party Contest

Yes, it is that time of year again - time for fantasy football! I've already received invitations for two draft parties in the coming weeks. What about you? How about holding your draft party in the mother of all draft party locations?

Here's the deal, you can win a $250 gift card for Southwest Airlines. Use it to fly in and have your fantasy football draft party in Las Vegas! What better place is there to hold one?

Las Vegas is an awesome spot for sports fans and an exceptionally great spot to have a fantasy draft party. Heck, why not make a whole weekend out of it? This is your chance to put $250 toward that!

Here's what you have to do: leave a comment as to why Las Vegas is the perfect spot to have your fantasy football draft party. Please keep it clean (you know, leave that stuff IN Las Vegas) and be as creative as possible. Leave your comment by Friday, August 28 at midnight PST. A winner will be chosen and announced on the post appearing Monday, August 31.

Pretty simple, isn't it? Just plan your party, leave a witty comment, and win your transportation there in the form of a $250 Southwest Airlines gift card. Make sure that you have a valid email address and please do not leave links or spam in the comments. Any spam or embedded links will be taken out of consideration. You should also be of legal age to enjoy Las Vegas to enter.

Good luck and let's hear those comments.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Wild World of Wednesday - August 19, 2009

Really? Brett Favre. Oh, Brett Favre. When I saw the first tweets yesterday about his signing with the Vikings I thought it was a joke. It wasn't. I'm really not sure what else to say about this. I know that many are over the whole circus sideshow that this has become.

Elsewhere in the NFL, Derrick Brooks is still looking for a team. I just don't understand how the Bucs would release an effective veteran like him. In addition, the fans LOVE him. I'm not so convinced that the new coach knows what's up. It should be an interesting season for them.

I Knew This Would Happen:
Out of the 17 games the Dodgers have played this month they have won 7. It is getting closer to October, they wouldn't want to be playing during their scheduled time off or anything.

Today In Sports History

1962 - Homero Blancas plays finest round in golf, shooting a 55

* I actually had the honor of meeting Mr. Blancas in January at the PGA Merchandise Show. I grabbed a plate of hors d'overs and a drink, sat at the table where he was, and listened intently. He happily told stories of growing up with his groundskeeper father, shooting the historic round, and his secrets to the game. Yeah, pretty awesome.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Ahh...The NFL Season Is Upon Us...

Okay, is it just me or is the NFL getting more absurd every year? As long as I can remember I've followed the league and some of my happiest childhood memories are of Sundays watching games with the family. Lately, the league seems to change every year and get more bizarre with each passing season. Yes, this is another post that whines about the state of the sport.

I mean seriously - rookie holdouts, convicted felons - what is this? Imagine this scenario:

You're a superstar in your field in college. You have a few organizations looking at you for employment. One company says they would like to hire you. You visit them and take pictures with the industry leader/spokesperson holding up a shirt emblazoned with the company logo. Everyone now believes that you will work there. The day you are supposed to show up to start working, you decide that you're going to hold out until they give you more money. You've never proven yourself in the professional world and insist that you need the highest salary in the company in order to perform.

Okay, conversely, some rookie athletes are very good at what they do. They've dedicated their entire lives to perfect their skills. However, there are many more that get picked in in the early round that fade into the realm of the unusable or fighting for backup positions. It must be nice to get so much money on what I call "shoulda, coulda, woulda".

I still can't get over the whole convicted felon thing. Go commit a felony, serve time, and then try to get a job back in your industry that you previously worked in. Better yet, try to make more than minimum wage. Go try to make a million or so. How often does that happen to mere mortals? Sure, the person I am talking about "served his time" but I've seen stories of executives getting a much smaller offense and their lives and careers are ruined. What makes this guy so special? He wasn't THAT good to start with. I'm all for fairness but I just don't see this as fair.

It isn't just the NFL. "Celebrity" buys a lot for a person. Whether it is a quarterback, singer, or well-covered CEO; the rest of us live by a different set of rules. We can only get a glimpse from what mainstream media shares with us and wonder what it would be like to be so privileged.

Monday, August 17, 2009

5 Questions Remider For The Homeless World Cup

Since we are coming very close to the date (September 6-13) I thought it would be a great idea to bring attention back to the Homeless World Cup again. Yes, the post on Friday already featured the event but another mention for this doesn't hurt.

It takes an amazing amount of time and energy to make a team happen. Last year, I had a couple of street soccer coaches here in the US as guests for 5 questions. They gave me a great deal of success stories which showed us how effective the program is.

The HWC website also has a section where you can read about the players and teams.

Get involved today.

Click here to find out all the ways to become involved with the HWC such as volunteering, donating, or becoming a fan. It not only takes a lot of time and energy, but donations in order to send teams to the event. You can also follow the organization through their facebook page or on Twitter.

Don't forget to pass the ball for the HWC and raise awareness.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Lack Of Motivation

As you can gather by the late posting today, I've been nabbed by a big case of diminished motivation. Ugh. I've been weighed down by the peaks and valleys of the last month. They have been very high peaks and very deep valleys. I try to look at these things like speed bumps, character builders, strengthening exercises, and whatnot but they can be quite daunting.

When I get run down, discouraged, or disenchanted I simply turn to success stories. As corny as it sounds, I had John Elway's stats inside of my lab notebook in grad school. We all know that he topped off his career by two Super Bowl wins. He also had an exceptionally high number of interceptions and fumbles.

Michael Jordan is also credited with saying "I've failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed."

These are just a few examples and there are many more. I just try to keep my "eyes on the prize" and try not to let myself get lost in the valleys. It is quite true that we have to have setbacks and failures in order to succeed, in sports and in life.

How do you deal with failures?

Friday, August 14, 2009

Pass The Ball: Homeless World Cup

This year's Homeless World Cup is almost here. Now is the time to make that push really raise awareness for this event which takes place in Milan, Italy from September 6-13. Watch the video embedded in today's post and pass it on!

To get you up to speed - here are links to a few of myprevious posts about the HWC: Here is the first interview with Kat Byles, director of the HWC, and the second. You can get more information about the upcoming event here or at the HWC website.

On another completely unrelated note: read this awesome interview with the author of The Ring. This is a young adult novel focused on boxing.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Breaking News - Golf & Rugby Closer To Becoming Olympic Sports

As I sit here trying to figure out what to write and watch Caddyshack on the Golf Channel I was interrupted by this bit of breaking news.

For the 2016 Olympic Games - golf and rugby will be recommended as sports to include. The AP has this fresh press release about the two sports. In October, we will learn whether these will actually make it in.

Will we actually see golf and rugby become Olympic sports? Stay tuned!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Wild World of Wednesday - August 12, 2009

Wow, mid-August...where is this year going? How many posts have I started with a line like that?

Gamers As Athletes:
Well, not really but they can pretend. GameStop is hosting a tournament with the new Madden 2010. The Battle of the Gridiron starts on August 22:

GameStop announced that it will host Madden NFL 10 video game tournaments at more than 2,900 of its U.S. locations on Saturday, Aug. 22, 2009. Madden fans will battle through three rounds of tough competition in the in-store, tiered tournament. Many of the participating GameStop locations will begin round one of their tournaments at 2 p.m. local time; however, customers are encouraged to contact their local store to confirm the exact start time. The top four players from each participating first round location will advance to the second round on Aug. 29; where the top two players of each of these competitions will advance to the Regional Finals, which will take place on Sept. 12. The top 16 Regional finalists will advance to the championship event, to be held on Nov. 1 at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Phoenix, AZ. Finalists will receive round-trip airfare to Phoenix, hotel accommodations, $200 in spending money, and tickets to the Arizona Cardinals vs. Carolina Panthers game that afternoon. Finalists will take their stance on the Great Lawn for four, three-minute quarters against the competition on Madden NFL 10 until one player is left standing. The Grand Prize winner will receive $5,000. For additional tournament details and to obtain a list of official rules, visit a local GameStop retail location or the website.

World Cup Implications: The US soccer team faces the team from Mexico today in a game with World Cup implications. Oddly, it is a must-win for the Mexican squad. If the US loses, it can still get in. This is important enough to be televised.

Today in Sports History

1994 - First NFL game on Fox Network is televised, a preseason match with SF vs Denver.

1994 - Members of the Major League Baseball Players Association strike (again)

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

The Young Woman And The Sea

"You need not care one whit about swimming, women breaking sports barriers, or events of the 1920s to be gripped by sportswriter Glenn Stout's fast-paced account The descriptions of the interaction between Trudy and her crew, Mr. Burgess' plotting of the Z-shape route, the almost hourly press dispatches sent, the hazards Trudy overcame as the storms came, the swells grew and the tide changed earlier than expected are breathtaking."

-The Washington Times

"For anyone who loves the water or has a big dream, this is the book to read!"

-Lynne Cox, author of Swimming to Antarctica

Gertrude "Trudy" Ederle was a teen in the 1920s. She learned to swim as a child and went on to win Olympic gold medals. Gold medals were not her greatest feat, however. She swam the English Channel at the age of 19 and beat the existing record while doing it. Not only the first woman to accomplish the feat, but two hours faster than the man that had the previous record.

The Young Woman and the Sea is the story of Trudy and her goal that no one thought would materialize. Although she accomplished this feat, her health suffered as a result but she lived on until 2003 at the age of 98.

You can read other editorials and order your copy of the book here. This is precisely my type of reading and I can't wait to finish this one.

Monday, August 10, 2009

5 Questions With The One-Eyed Golfer

Today's guest is an interesting guy to follow on Twitter or his blog. I used to be on his list of favorites, but I guess I fell out of favor. Maybe I'll get back on now? When I asked Vince, the One-Eyed Golfer, to describe himself had this to say: "I am a 60 year-old Balti-moron golf nut. I love every aspect of the game: the traditions and history of the game, rules, trivia on any tour 12 months per year." He was then kind enough to patiently answer five questions:

1. How long have you been a golfer? What other sports (if any) do you follow, play, or otherwise get involved in?

I started playing seriously (more than 2 times per year) about 30 years ago. The local golf club had a fabulous deal for families and we joined. My wife doesn’t play and the kids were not born, but she used the pool and the kids gradually appeared. I have been a sports nut since the first grade and played them all. The only one I was pretty decent at was basketball, which I played for my high school team. Baltimore’s been lucky to have/had the Orioles, Colts, and Ravens.

2. When did you start your blog? What was your motivation and what keeps you sharing your musings with the world?

I started the blog about six months ago. I had heard ABOUT blogs, but had no clue. I looked up golf blogs and read a few and found Waggle Room and he was from Baltimore. I noticed his blog roll and noticed a pretty solid circle of very, very good bloggers - maybe 8-12 - with a few others. At first I thought there was money to be made, but quickly discovered otherwise. I decided to do it as a labor of love and I do love it (mostly other blogs, not necessarily mine). I also discovered a little niche I might like to fill on the golf blogosphere.

Tony Kornheiser was not the best announcer on Monday Night Football and you may or may not like his work on Pardon The Interruption on ESPN. However, he was an incredibly popular nationally known syndicated sports columnist for the Washington Post for decades. He is/was irreverent, curmudgeonly, tongue in cheek and he could turn a story about the Super Bowl into a conversation about his dog and back again. And, he loves oldies and played them on his also nationally syndicated radio program – long before the popularity of ESPN Sports Radio. I wanted to be the TK of golf bloggers.

3. Who do you particularly admire in the world of golf? Who do you find particularly annoying?

As in life, the world’s greatest golfers are the ones that work the hardest, give the majority of credit to others and are truly grateful for the gifts God has given them. Particularly annoying people are opposite. Hogan, Nicklaus and Woods are in the former category and Greg Norman, Tom Weiskopf, and Rory Sabbatini should be placed in the latter. I am an non-apologetic Tiger fan as I was a Jack fan in the 60’s when all of my friends rooted for Arnie.

4. How often do you get on the course? What's your handicap?

I have had a few COPD issues this year, but in the most recent 5-6 previous years, I played 5-6 times per week. Same crowd, mostly retired young or small business owners like myself and the like. I started as a 36 plus handicapper in 1979 and have been as low as 5.6 USGA Index. I am currently an 8.2. I have never had a hole-in-one, have had nine eagles on my home course and shot a 69, -1 in a tournament at my club. Probably pay out more in side bets than I collect.

5. I must know - what happened to the other eye?

Natty Boh is a legend in Baltimore in the 1950’s. His ‘bohemian bartender’ logo is imprinted on beer cans, thousands of which I imbibed from 1965 to my later vodka days. I do have one tee-shirt for sale for $7,995.00, which includes shipping and handling. If you notice, sometimes his missing eye is the right one and other times the left.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Sunday Sports Wrap - August 9, 2009

Late Again! Yeah, I'm late again this week. I hope you'll understand. I was out surfing earlier today and found out I have another surf pal. As I was walking to my spot someone called my name and it was a colleague that I had no idea even hit the water! I'm one of those that believes the more friends that you have in the water, the merrier! When I got in the water my old injury started acting up and then I hit the nose of my board on the rocks and cracked it. Awesome. Still, I had a great time as I always do. I still wish I could do nothing else but surf and golf every day. Darn work, getting in the way. Oh, and by the way - I see stand up paddle surfing more and more and am now determined to give that a try.

But What About This:
Yeah, I can I talk about anything except for the NFL today? The first re-season game airs shortly this evening. We get the first appearance of Terrell Owens with the Buffalo Bills facing the Tennessee Titans. I like pre-season but I just can't get really worked up until week one...actually, I am still a bit nonchalant then. I am really worked up around mid-season.

Effin Dodgers: This is the part of the season where they throw away that first place standing and start to stink up the place. How do you scream on a blog? How about this...AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Today In Sports History

1992 - 25th Olympic Summer games closes in Barcelona, Spain

Happy Birthday to Troy Percival, Ken Norton, and Deion Sanders

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Tales From The Inbox - August 8, 2009

I know we just visited the inbox yesterday but I really have a lot to get through!

Surgery: Check out the Femmefan makeover. The site has undergone a transformation.

ProMounds Inc., the parent company of On Deck Sports, announced that it has welcomed Olympic gold medalist Jennie Finch as the newest member of its Professional Staff Team. Through this relationship, Finch and ProMounds have joined together to produce the Jennie Finch Powerline Pitching Mat. The mat’s design includes a powerline that keeps a player’s pitching motion consistent on every pitch, and a slide proof backing that ensures a safe training session on any surface. Finch and ProMounds will also be working together on a number of events around the country. The Powerline Pitching Mat is now available at the On Deck Sports website where you can also information on the company’s upcoming event with Finch.

Gear: MMA star Debi Purcell has added some new items to her Fighter Girls clothing line. Now I just have to get back in the shape to be able to wear those fashions.

Have a great Saturday everyone! Are you doing anything exciting?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tales From The Inbox - August 7, 2009

Thanks to Carolyn for today's two tales of loosely-based on sports, yet interesting topics. Make sure you check out her basketball-themed blog. She always manages to find very cool kicks, art, and human interest stories in there.

Barbie Foot
: I laughed when I saw this one. Certainly something for the whole family, it combines the joys of foosball with cutesy dolls. Who wouldn't want one one of these for the game room!?

Two For One: What's that? You say you want to enjoy bicycling with a friend but you need more storage space? Check out this gem, a tandem folding bicycle. Of course, your friend should be relatively compact in order for this to really work.

While I was figuring out how to put this together I was looking for Barbie videos and found this beauty. You're welcome:

Happy Friday everyone! Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Blogspotting - August 6, 2009

Costco Surfing Revolution? Is Costco starting a surfing revolution? The blue foam numbers that run for $100 are popping up on beaches everywhere. I even saw a group of teens with one last weekend. This is definitely growing the sport and, of course, some surfers don't like this. I don't mind sharing - the ocean is a big place and there is more than one place to surf in SoCal.

How To Golf With The Boss: I found this guide on playing 18 with the boss.

I Knew He Was Cool:
Two of my favorite golf guys got together and had a talk. Scot answered the Ginger or Mary Ann question correctly in my opinion. I talked to Scot a few weeks ago and will have Vince on Monday as a guest.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Wild World Of Wednesday - August 5, 2009

As you may have been able to tell, I've been a bit distracted over the last week or so. Actually, probably much longer than that but I'm trying to hold it all together. I'm quite grateful to be working and busy so I'll stop complaining.

Here is what has been making me laugh, scratch my head, and be generally discomforted by this week:

First, I don't care who passed wind at the Buick over the weekend. So much effort was put into finding out whether or not it was Tiger Woods that it was amazing. It just goes to show you how many people are really just five years old in their minds as scatological humor appears to bridge the generation gap.

What the heck is up with the whole Plaxico Burress shooting thing? I'm glad that they're taking a second look since it is a bit odd to shoot oneself in the leg and then have the gun mysteriously disappear.

The Dodgers still have the best record in baseball but sports media is still enamored with New York and Boston. No offense to my friends on the east coast but we REALLY get tired of hearing about those two teams here. We're really happy for you that you have these winning traditions, blah, blah, blah...but I'm seriously ready to stop watching SportsCenter.

P.S. I could also not care any less about Tom Brady. Poor guy. What a rough life.

Today In Sports History

- Baseball players go on strike for two days

1999 - Mark McGwire hits home run number 500

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

I Know I Should Be Excited About First Place...

Here is the part of the season where we are excited about our baseball team in Los Angeles only to be disappointed very soon. Remember last year? The Dodgers had the best record in baseball for a period of time. They were really killing it. Then they lost. Sure, they got to the series just before the World Series. They get to the playoffs almost every year. Something happens when they get there. They just don't close the deal. Who cares about making it to the playoffs if you can't win the whole thing?

Last night's near rally is really a metaphor for how the whole season usually ends up. The team looks like they just might do it but then trip and fall.

A small flicker of optimism is alive inside of me. The last time the Dodgers won a World Series the Lakers also won a title that year. The Lakers have cleared the way and another parade downtown would be great.

Monday, August 3, 2009

5 Questions About Surfing

I decided to dedicate today's five questions to one of my favorite sports to participate in - surfing. The sport is more accessible than ever and gaining dedicated followers all the time. Growing up in Southern California there were many beaches that you just didn't go on unless you were a local. Today, a much less prevalent attitude prevails (with distinct exceptions) and you'll see everyone from kindergartners to great-grandparents in the water. If you're interested in taking up surfing here are just a few hints for you.

1. Should I get lessons or can I just go out in the water and give it a try?

That all depends - first of all you must honestly answer how comfortable you are in the water. Every beach is not created equal. The Pacific Ocean behaves differently off the coast of Hawaii than it does off Santa Cruz or Malibu. You must first know how to swim. The better you are at swimming and the more confident you are in the water, the better. Don't assume your board is your life support.

Next answer honestly about your abilities - are you athletic and pick things up right away? Do you have good balance and endurance? You may be able to give it a go on your own. I've had friends that took lessons and swear by them. Most everyone stands up on the first day of lessons.

At the very least, ask an experienced surfer about the basics. There are instructional videos all over YouTube like the one above so you can at least get an idea of the etiquette and other important facts.

2. How big of a board should I get?

Beginners should start out on longer boards. For example, I am 5'10" and the board I learned on was 7'8". It was rather heavy but it was easy to paddle, stable, and fun to ride. I have a much lighter 6'8" now and I feel like I am learning all over again. I've heard somewhere that your first board should be at least 36" longer than you are. That means I should have started on a board that was almost 9'? I'm not so sure. If you're taller you should go for closer to 8' and if you're closer to 5' then a 7' should do you fine. Ask your local shop to be certain. I would say not to invest too much in your first board and get something that you can learn on before getting your ideal setup.

3. What about those soft surfboards?

If you are a teenager, in small waves, and not serious about the sport then get one. Those $100 numbers from Costco seem like a good deal but I can't speak to their durability. I would much rather spend another $100-$150 on a decent used board. They do exist.

4. Where should I surf?

If you are a beginner, please stay out of the big waves. Even though most everyone in the water is quite friendly these days they'll turn on you very quickly if you act like a bonehead. I know if you just Google "beginner surf spots" you'll find what is in your area. This is quite an important thing to check out. For example, off the coast of California there are areas where beginners thrive and others that even the most experienced surfers have a tough time in. Know where you are going beforehand.

When you are starting out it is probably a good idea to surf where there is a lifeguard on duty. Taking a friend or two along also helps make things safer and gives you someone to talk to if there is a long period of time between good sets.

5. Where can I find more resources on surfing?

One of the best resources in surfing is word of mouth. Check out your local shop and talk to the people there. If they are pretentious and affected leave as quickly as possible. If they are selling boards that look like a piece of foam wrapped in clear nail polish for $400 and $500 plus you should also leave quickly.

Ask around and do your research online and you should be able to find a good shop in your area. A good one will answer all of your questions (no matter how silly they may seem) and help you get the right setup for your ability. After you visit them a few times and get out in the water you will meet more people and find out where the good deals and surf spots are.

Before you go out you should check the forecast so you know what you are dealing with. I never leave without checking surfline first.

Have fun and be safe!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Sunday Sports Wrap - August 2, 2009

Gone Surfing:
Today's post isn't late due to my usual Sunday laziness. No, I actually got out and went surfing. The waves were small, but fun. It was a little crowded but still fun in spite of me not really catching anything. It's all good you know since a "bad" day surfing is better than a good day at work!

Tiger's Back:
Or so everyone says now that he is the Buick Open champ. The Buick has been in Michigan for 51 years but there is talk that it won't be returning. You know, all of that GM bankruptcy stuff.

Senior Star: Fred Funk won the US Senior Open today. I've been a fan of Funk's since I saw his wife caddy for him at an event. That's how me and the Mr. would be. If he was playing in some major event I would totally be his caddy. Talk about the best seat in the house!

X Games:
Kenny Brack won a gold medal in rally car racing while Travis Pastrana took the silver. Pastrana wiped out yesterday in the best trick contest for Moto X. Christian Hosoi took the Skateboard Park Legends title.

Today In Sports History

1375 - The first roller skating rink opens in London (I tried to verify this but could only find lists that say this and no story. If someone finds this is valid/invalid then let me know.)

- Thurmon Munson crashes the plane he is piloting and is killed.

Saturday, August 1, 2009


I got an interesting press release about an essay contest that may interest some of you. Many of you said that you prefer these to be edited so here it is:

Surf and swim apparel designer Girls4Sport will honor inspiring women with its “Ordinary Heroes” essay contest. Girls4Sport invites participants to nominate the women in their lives — mothers, daughters, sisters, and friends — who have accomplished extraordinary things or inspired others dream bigger and better. The contest entry deadline is August 30, 2009.

Girls4Sport will select three hero stories as grand prize winners. The grand prize winners and their heroes will each receive a $100 gift certificate for Girls4Sport’s online store plus an autographed copy of Dara Torres' new book, Age is Just a Number. Ten runners up will each receive a free t-shirt and grab bag from the online store.

Winners and their winning stories will appear on the Girls4Sport website in September 2009. The deadline for nomination is August 30, 2009 at 5:00 p.m. PST. All participants in the contest will receive a 35% off coupon code good towards any purchase from the online store. Participants may nominate as many heroes as they want. To nominate a hero, visit the website.