Surfing and Beach Lifestyle

Dude, I’m a Genius

Sometimes you want to make a date with a new gal more interesting. I tend to do the same things over and over like everyone else; and even though they may involve surfing and water recreation, it is nice to try something new. I practically live at the beach so there are only so many activities you can indulge in. The magic of the ocean with its white-cresting waves beckons. I love the glint of the sun on the water and the smooth expanse of pillow soft sand. I want to impress this new woman and I decided to rent some beach cruiser bikes for a day of peddling along the shore. Who wouldn’t enjoy such an outing, especially if the weather is nice.

I wanted a two-wheeled adventure like no other that would look cool and also feel comfortable. The last thing you want to hear on a date are complaints. We cruised the boardwalk after we did the beach, or took a late day trip into town. A good beach cruiser bike like the ones here, will give you a great ride wherever you are. It is not limited to the shore. What a great idea and in point of fact, it went over really big. A cruiser is a little different than a regular bike. The frame geometry places the pedals fore of the seatpost, which creates the desired low center of gravity you want and puts the rider in an upright, balanced position. It also has simple a single-speed drivetrain and rear coaster brakes that are easy enough to use. In other words, you pedal in reverse to brake. With 26 inch wheels, you get complete stability through turns at slow speeds. Plus, the platform pedal works with whatever shoe or sandal you may be wearing. Finally, one size fits most. It’s an easy choice.

Okay, we did our stint on our cruiser bikes and ended up in a boardwalk café for a light snack. The bikes are a genius idea as my date was in the best mood. We shared a seafood salad and a couple of beers before heading home. All my date could talk about in the car was how wonderful the day had been due to these custom beach bikes. Not everyone has tried them out unless they are on an extended beach vacation.

I got a lot of hits from my date that she would like to mirror the date at another time. I don’t know if she really like me as good company or the bikes. No matter, this is how relationships begin. You make some kind of connection doing something you like in common and it progresses from there. I am happy enough to give a fair share of the credit to the bikes. Don’t cheat yourself out of a new kind of cycling fun. I highly recommend you plan an adventure on the next sunny day. Take a camera and document the day, highlighting the unique cruiser bike as the center of attention.

Easy Water Fun

I like things easy, so I really loved finding a plug and play hot tub–minimal set up, maximum reward! It is the easiest way to enjoy a hot tub according to aficionados. You simply plug the hot tub into a 110V outlet, fill, and jump in. Hundreds of thousands of people worldwide have discovered the benefits of hot tub ownership in this way. Now with plug and play hot tub models, installing a spa is totally hassle free. There are multiple advantages: no plumber or electrician required for installation. All you need is an outlet and a garden hose. Most Plug and Play Spas come with a GFCI right on the cord. There are models for two to eight persons. You decide how many people you want to accommodate.

I got my hot tub from Lifesmart. Forget the inflatable spas, acrylic units, and expensive wood models you normally see in people’s backyards. Here is the product description that goes with my unit. A Plug and Play 4-person spa, for example, has the same standard parts and features as any brand name hot tub, such as Balboa topside controls, adjustable jets, and a top-loading filter, but also features a highly indestructible RockSolid Shell. The Discovery Simplicity is a 110 volt Plug & Play spa. This feature avoids the high cost of hot tub installation. Simply set it up, fill it up and plug it in. Only Lifesmart uses Eco Smart technology, the highly efficient energy management system built into every Lifesmart Simplicity spa. These Spas require less energy and deliver better performance due to a full-foam insulation system and a thick energy-saving spa cover designed to save money on the operation of the spa. It even meets the strict Energy Mandate for spas and hot tubs. The Lifesmart Simplicity Spa has 4 deep bucket seats complete with rotating back jets, a waterfall, and top-side comfort valves that allow you to find the perfect mix of air and water for the perfect massage. The Simplicity also features a top side digital command center and a spa light with interchangeable mood lens caps.

This is it in a product writer’s nutshell. It is a simple concept and a great choice for any would be hot tub owner. I compared other brands and features and settled on this one. You can have easy water fun on your patio in minutes. If you are the kind of person who likes to save time and do things the simple way, I recommend plug and play. You can spend more money and do things the hard way, too, but why. Life is too short to make things complicated. Kids love these hot tubs and you can offer them hours of backyard recreation. It is a great family purchase. Come summer you will be grateful. It will be the focal point of activity in your neighborhood to be sure. Invite the local kids for a special water experience.

Big Trip Planned?

I am always in search of water adventures of any type. I have experienced most of the traditional ones like riding a Jet Ski, snorkeling by a reef, boating, rafting, kayaking. There are dozens more. I just want to be on, in, or near the water. There is something purely relaxing, magical, and mind expanding about the liquid: whether fresh water or salt. When I have free time and a vacation coming, you better bet that I will be going somewhere known for surfing and/or water sports. I have my special choices. This gives me a lot of choices on virtually every continent in the world. I like to rotate the places I go for variety and scenic excitement. A good water vacation is put a plane ride away. Sometimes a long one, however. I don’t mind. To explore the surf on other shores, I am willing to spend time in a claustrophobic hollow metal cabin. That’s what I think of flying. It is not my favorite pastime. The air gets so bad after a few hours that you worry for your health. You also wonder what disease you could be catching sitting next to other passengers.

A few tips are in order when you fly. Some people even wear HEPA filters. You never know from where other travelers are coming and what maladies they bring onto the plane. I wish there were medical professionals on every flight. It would ease my troubled mind. I am a wreck by the time I get to my destination. No wonder I need the soothing relief of water the whole time. I have gotten a bit paranoid. I am at the point where I wear compression socks designed for nurses to reduce the risk of blood clots. They are similar to the kind you wear in surgery when you are under the knife for many hours for the same reason. They are the type nurses wear to improve their circulation as they work long hours on their feet.

I am in a quandary about where to go for my next vacation. It has gotten to the point where I could open an atlas and aim a dart and go there. I no doubt would not have been, but would be happy to give it a fair try. I feel that I should limit my airplane ride to 8 hours since I worry about blood clots, but this fear is a little over dramatic. With my compression socks, why not go to Australia, Tahiti, or beyond. I will be well protected for the extra hours on board.

I mentioned the socks to a friend, and guess what?, he got me a pair for a bon voyage present. How a propos. Also a bit odd. I was about to run some down on the Internet, not knowing where nurses and other people who wear compression legwear buy them. Maybe a travel store? The kind that sells sunscreen clothing, hiking gear, and assorted camouflage hats. They are a medical type of attire so a medical supply store might also be the place. No matter. I now own a pair.

Glassing or Glossing Your Board

I could write a paean to surfing in every blog I offer; it is that important. If you agree, you are a fellow traveler. You know who you are! When you have an activity or interest that occupies your life, you are a richer person indeed. Surfing is more than riding the waves with aplomb. It is living the culture throughout your days, even to the point of monopolization. You can assume that I do it often and well.

Who doesn’t love that miraculous combination of sand and sea. There is something wonderful on any beach in the world. If you can live nearby, you are in heaven. A real surfer will find a way to so reside. On a good day, you have sun-kissed waves. You feel buoyant and alive. You chase the experience every time. Surfing is gliding through life with every moment a challenge. The results are truly exhilarating.

Surfing needn’t be an expensive sport, especially if you don’t need to travel. I know people who roam from Chile to Hawaii with ease. The plane fares can add up as can the basic equipment. I am thinking wetsuits and the like. You take it in stride as moving about the globe is part of the sport. There are times when the old board just gives out or you are “bored with the board”. It is time to have some fabricating fun.

I pride myself on my ability to make a new board when necessity calls. I have a space set up in the garage with plenty of much-needed ventilation. You use materials and products that can be dangerous to breathe in. More than one board maker has fainted on the spot. I love that I can build the board from scratch from foam and epoxy resin. Just make sure you have a good dehumidifier in the room as you work to take excess moisture from the air. Protect your health at all times. Air quality is important if you want to inhale and exhale comfortably. You can get console models that don’t take up much space, but that really do the job. These air-sucking machines are divine.

There are many steps and stages, but let me be brief. You plan your design, make a stringer and glue it between block foam, remove bulk foam from the block, do a rough shape of the board and cut it from the blank, create some artwork, proceed to fiberglassing and laminating, hot coat application and sanding, gloss coat application and sanding, and final polishing before you head out to the waves. Not easy, but it produces results.

You can see that there are chemicals and smells involved, hence the need for adequate ventilation. In a garage, you can open the door. Working close to the opening is your best bet. Whether you are building a board in the summer or winter, the dehumidifier will work on moisture and impurities alike. You want to stabilize your environment the best you can.

The Collector

I have buddies who share my love of water recreation, even though they have a given favorite sport, and I have other friends who don’t. To each his own so they say. One of the latter is a gun enthusiast who prefers to hunt and shoot above all else. I prefer my own pastimes, but was willing to hear him out on the subject recently. He enjoys firearms for sport and it is not about politics, citizens’ rights, or self-protection from assorted perils. He does not envision an imminent hone invasion or mugging. He just loves guns in and for themselves and he wanted to share the news. He got a new gun safe he calls “the Collector” and he swears it is a marvel to behold.

Guns and gun safes go neatly together as a pair. If you own guns, you must secure them from view. You don’t want kids to get any ideas nor robbers to boot. A good gun safe will protect the public from harm while safeguarding your assets from rust and corrosion, not to mention fire, flooding, and other acts of God. You can choose to hide the safes out of sight or have them prominently displayed. Your decision will dictate the right product. My friend opted for a decent size unit made of sturdy ten-gauge metal. It has a hinged door that he says deters robbers from picking the lock. I must say that even as a casual onlooker, I was pretty impressed.

I thought it was interesting that my friend went on and on about the lock. I didn’t know you had a choice of type. He insisted that his combination dial was superior to an electric lock as it doesn’t need a battery and wouldn’t go on the fritz. I can’t believe he spent a half hour raving about it. I looked dutifully and tried to smile. “I see it is durable and trouble-free.” He liked my attentiveness and went on to describe the standard most-acceptable and highest visibility “front read” white on black dial. “You have to avoid those cheap imported electronic locks,” he droned on. “The keypad internals just wear out. Plus, people often reprogram their locks and forget the combination!” What about dial locks? I thought to myself. What if you forget to lock the safe after opening it?

He went on to measure his safe in my presence and pronounce its perfection for his particular collection of rifles. You always go several inches higher than your tallest one and the same goes for width. He also pointed out the handy shelf he used for a couple of pistols and the organized racks inside the unit. I got lost when he raved about bolts, fire linings, and relockers and got misty eyed over protective seals that dissolved to fill in crevasses during a fire or flood. You would think the guns would be more interesting to him at this point. Nonetheless, I learned a lot about gun safes from his description and gained a new respect for the devices.

When You Get Cut, Staple Up!

If surf’s up, then I am too. You don’t even have to ask. Water recreation is my passion for those new to my blog. I want to share a world of fun and adventure with others who might be of the same ilk. New people are flocking to the sport every day when they hear about its benefits. Sometimes I share a few misadventures as well, like the time I surfed my way into a coral reef, achieving a major wipeout in the process. There were some consequences, although not a real threat to life and limb.

Was I not paying attention? Was my mind wandering? Who knows. I ended up with some serious cuts on my legs that had to be stapled up. Yes, I said stapled. When you have emergency care right there on the gritty sand, you don’t get a plastic surgeon by your side with needle and dissolvable thread. The wound just has to be cleaned and stopped from any further bleeding, whatever it takes. They want to send you home in one bandaged piece. As for scars, they are irrelevant.

Surfing isn’t that dangerous for the most part. I don’t want to give a bad impression and deter you from partaking. When the waves are colossal, maybe it borders on peril like a rough day at the Banzai Pipeline, but most of the time they are tame and timid. You don’t have to give it a second thought. I haven’t been hurt in quite some time. The worst is a bit of swallowed water as I descend after a fall. Falling off your board, by the way, is pretty common, if not mandatory. No one is perfect. Everyone wipes out regularly. If you say you don’t, you are showing off. The trick is to avoid hitting your head in a wipeout.

So for newbies thinking of taking up this wonderful sport, fear not. You will not need stapling, I promise. You will need some good, sound swimming skills, a lot of moxie, and a dash of guts. You need balance and quick reaction time, not to mention stamina and drive. Anyone, at any age, is eligible for a great day at the beach. If you like sun and sand, this is your sport. A bit of research on the best locales will tell you if you are within driving or flying vicinity. You can plan your vacations accordingly. By the way, coral reefs are mostly in Hawaii, the Caribbean, and Australia. You can avoid them if you like.

In closing, perhaps I should suggest that you put a box stapler in your first aid kit and keep it handy. Just kidding.

You might want to consider keeping a basic kit in the car or backpack, however, for minor inflictions that don’t merit a call to Triple Zero. Some Bandaids and other types of small dressings are automatic along with some antibiotic ointment, tape, and mini scissors. Some aspirin might also be included. Finding your abandoned surfboard down the beach can give any aficionado a big headache.