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Travel Tips / Train Travel / Amtrak / Surfing / Sports Travel / Luggage / Baggage / → All Tags
Since airlines are constantly jacking up their baggage and oversized baggage policies, if you are traveling with oversized baggage it is in your best interest to check out your shipping options. Recently we looked into shipping our surfboard from the Southeast to the Northeast so we could do a little New England surfing next month.
Taking oversized baggage on a domestic flight will usually run you around $100 each way, and that doesn't count the awkward hours lugging your giant items to and fro the airport, which when coupled with a flight is sure to cause irritability even in the most zen traveler.
What are your options? UPS quoted us $500, counting packaging materialsyikes. Amtrak, however, charged a reasonable $50 to transport the board to South Station in Boston. Amtrak also offers insurance, with $1.00 equals $100 worth of insurance.
Surf Travel / Surfing / Film Festivals / Film Festival Travel / Sports Travel / California Travel / → All Tags
You can hang 10 at the California Surf Festival in Oceanside, California without even touching the water. Running October 6 to 10, the third annual fest is a land-based event that celebrates surf culture.
Put on by the folks at the California Surf Museum, the festival kicks off with a screening of Accidental Icon: The Real Gidget Story, preceded by a meet-and-greet with the original Gidget herself. No, not Sally Field, but the person her character was based off of, Kathy "Gidget" Zuckerman.
Active Travel / Sports Travel / San Diego Travel / Southern California Travel / California Travel / Surfing / → All Tags
During a recent trip to Santa Barbara, our surfer companion wanted to try stand-up paddleboarding, a popular sport in the city. We don't surf and figured we'd end up swallowing a whole lotta salt water. But we're always up for an adventure, so we eventually gave in. Imagine our surprise when we nailed it after only a two-hour session, besting our surfer pal.
We rented the equipment—a stand-up paddleboard, paddle and wetsuit—and got a 10-minute tutorial, which was enough of a lesson. Basically, you wade out until you are knee-deep in water; hop on the board, resting on your knees; paddle out and when there's a break in the waves, grab the edges of the board, jump onto your feet and start paddling. It takes a few tries to find your groove, but when you do, it's super relaxing and fun to paddle around, plus you get a nice workout.
Neighborhoods to Know and Go / Surfing / California Travel / Beach Travel / Food Travel / Travel Tips / Southern California Travel / Sports Travel / → All Tags
Encinitas, CA is a sleepy surf community a half-hour north of San Diego. Walk around the small downtown that centers around South Coast Highway 101, and the seemingly mandatory bathing-suit-and-flip-flops dress code tells you that this is a beach town. And that's why people come here—for the six gorgeous miles of Pacific coastline in North County (northern San Diego County).
You won't be overwhelmed by tourist attractions in Encinitas. There's not much here as far as shopping, mostly just tchotchke shops. This is a place to visit so you can kick back and enjoy the view. But between the sand, surf and picturesque places to unwind, you'll have plenty to do.
Dreading the doldrums of winter already? Instead of hibernating til spring, you could spend two weeks this January volunteering, surfing, and exploring private beaches, all while living in a beach side cottage just outside of Canoa, Ecuador. The Eco Surf Volunteer program matches volunteers with local elementary schools where they work hard teaching the kids English through games, activities and sports. But, they also find time to play hard. Each afternoon volunteers are taken to the area's best surf spots to catch some waves before going on a local excursion to meet indigenous tribes, visit re-forested mangrove islands or explore animal sanctuaries.
The daily schedule for the trip begins at 7:00 AM when breakfast is served before heading to a local school. There is a lunch break from Noon- 2:00 PM, which is when the afternoon surf lessons begin, followed by dinner at 7. Volunteers also have the option to take a free, private surf lesson from Ecuador's Junior Surf Champion and his team. Each night, Eco Surf also plans social activities like beach parties, bonfires or salsa dancing.
Since summer is over, we naturally assume that shark season is over. But of course not, since these beautiful beasts of the sea frolic and hunt close to some coasts throughout the year, and southern California is just as pleasant a vacation for them as it is for those of us who head to warmer climes in winter.
Thank to an excellent photo capture by Randy Wright on Surfline, of a white shark (not a Great White, just a white) breaching along an LA beach, we realize that it's not only visor-wearing tourists who flock to Sunset Boulevard; this shark jumped near the end of Sunsert Boulevard, at Sunset Beach. The road goes from the sharks of Hollywood to actual sharks, it seems.
If you find yourself tempted to swim in the waters here, but are deathly scared of seeing a fin emerge from the water near you, then we might suggest a little activity on dry land, like the nearby Getty Villa. Once you turn on the Pacific Coast Highway from Sunset and head north, it's only one mile further up in Malibu. Keep in mind that the museum is closed on Tuesdays and requires advance ticket reservations, which you can make here. Tickets are free!
An epic wave at Teahupoo
If you asked us to converse in surf lingo with you, we wouldn't know the difference between a double overhead and an A-frame. (Thank goodness for Riptionary). But that doesn't mean that we don't appreciate the sport, or lack reverence for the gorgeous worldwide locations that surfers visit to test out their aerial skills.
World champion athlete Kelly Slater, Raimana Van Bastolaer, and director Stephen Low share this love of surf culture, which is what drew them to the Polynesian island of Tahiti, where the waves are gnarly and the scenery storybook perfect. The three just wrapped principal photography on Ultimate Wave Tahiti, which will be shown in IMAX® 3D once it's released next February.
If you’re hanging out in Hawaii this week, please make sure your tropical umbrella drink is securely placed in a cup holder. Paradise is going to be a little stormy over the next few days as Tropical Storm Felicia nears the Aloha State. The storm was hurricane strength over the weekend, but it has slowly lost its mojo. Still, a tropical storm is serious, so visitors should still be cautious heading out into the surf and keep watch for rip currents.
Despite some beaches being closed on the Big Island, we’re thinking that passionate surfers aren’t going to heed these warnings. After all, the bigger the storm, the bigger the waves.
With the mercury rising to almost unbearable temperatures in some parts of the country, it's nice to know that San Diego is one of those rare destinations that offers a postcard-worthy experience in a comfortable, temperate oceanside climate. Think adventure activities and the option to spend your days lounging on the beach—and that's just scratching the surface. Enter the Chill Out in San Diego contest and beat the heat with one of two robust vacation packages, depending on what your idea of an ideal getaway consists of.
If you're in the market for a music getaway this summer that goes beyond standing in muddy fields for hours, you might want to consider the second annual SeaSessions Surf and Music Festival going down in Ireland. Just don't expect many penny whistles or fiddle playing, because this isn't your grandmother's Irish music festival.
Set for June 26, 27, and 28 in the beachside town of Bundoran, SeaSessions highlights the more modern side of Celtic music, showcasing a diverse array of young Irish rock bands and DJs. They even score a big get from the isle next door, reeling in Welsh indie rock gods Super Furry Animals to headline the festival. Oh yea, and there's a surfing competition (bring a wetsuit), a skating event, and an air show to compliment the music.
You'd think the promise of Irish whiskey and surfing would be our favorite part about this fest, but it's actually the affordability for all the action. Unlike its big-bash counterparts in England and the States, a pass to the fest is not so expensive that you've got to ration your drink tickets. One-day passes are going for 35 Euros, with three-day passes set at 53 Euros. You can also camp on site for just 5 euros a person, officially negating the need for daily transportation to and from a pricey hotel. Just be sure to have stocked up on that whiskey.
Dream a little dream for us: In this weekend's New York Times travel section, rock'n'roll saves an industrial casualty, the Rat Pack lives and anyone can surf. Hey, it's nice to escape every once in a while, but why not stick to places that exist beyond the pages of the Gray Lady?
We're not saying the writers involved didn't do their due diligence in finding a silver lining to every cloud. Detroit's music scene as chronicled by Micheline Maynard presents as one very much alive, albeit through the IV of bored teenagers and repeated shocks administered by the Pussycat Dolls.
Atlantic City may yet rise above the ashes to become a rival to Vegas, although the existence of Amtrak's service alone doesn't have much to do with it, nor is Steven Kurutz's review of same particularly inspired. ("I sat behind two mustached men"; good for you!)
Surfing / Violence / Violent Travel / Crime / → All Tags
Most surfers have a reputation for being peaceful and laid back, but that hardly describes the scene on Oahu's famous North Shore, if a recent New York Times story is to be believed. The paper of record introduces us to a menacing but handsome gang of local surfers known as the Wolfpak, who are known to resort to violence and intimidation against visiting surfers who don't show the proper respect for their rules of the waves. Surf gangs are nothing new, and protecting breaks from interlopers is as old as surfing itself, but the Wolfpak holds particular power on the Banzai Pipeline because every pro surfer worth his Sex Wax is pretty much required to be proficient in its massive winter swells.