Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Reports Of This Blog's Death...

Image courtesy of deriveone.com

... have been greatly exaggerated. I'm sure I've twisted one of Twain's quotes for a title before and it would have served me well as a retort when a friend chided me on the content chasm this place has become over the last month. As usual though, I formulate my witty one liners approximately three days after they would have been useful.

Mental note to me: hang in there. I'll be back.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Stoked For Mandela

It's twenty years ago to the day since Nelson Mandela was released after twenty seven years imprisoned on an island off the Coast of Cape Town. When I consider the sorry shower of goons we have in charge here, you can struggle to remember that there are any politicians who are worth a hill of beans. Nelson Mandela is one of only a few, remarkable exceptions that I can think of.

Today's anniversary had me wondering about all that time Mandela spent in jail so near and yet so far from the pleasures of the ocean and the surf scene that his fellow countrymen (and women) were enjoying while he festered in the clink.

What if he'd never spoken out, never fought the fight and kept his head down? Like I said before, some ads I just don't get, but this is one is rather wonderful. Produced for the Morgenavisen Jyllands-Posten - the Danish newspaper that ran those Mohammed cartoons back in 2005 - it makes a point about free speech and activism that hits home hard.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Big Wednesday Giveaway Competition

It's Wednesday, I've just combed my hair with a wet fish so it must mean another freebie. This time it's the chance to grab a copy of the the classic John Milius "Big Wednesday" movie. If you haven't seen this by now, welcome home to earth. If you've watched this a 100 times, here's your chance to make it 101 and upgrade your sad, scratched copy. If you won a Bustin' Down The Doors DVD last time round, do the decent thing and let someone else in the line up catch one.

Question: One of the actors in the movie played Curly in another classic 70's movie. Who was the actor and what was the film? Answers on an email to beachbum@s-e-x-wax.com please!

The competition is open until Sunday 14th and the winner will be picked at random using some well, uh, random method.

Monday, February 01, 2010

When Surfers Evolve

I was going to entitle this post "Aquatic Advertising Conundrums ... Another Occasional Series" but I hope you'll agree that the title I settled on works best. I will be posting several more advertisements with aquatic themes where the product, idea or lifestyle we're being sold isn't immediately, or even ever, clear.

I spotted this undeniably arresting shot when I Googled '"Fish" for some pictures that Nipper 2 needed for a homework exercise. As you can see, it's an attempt by the World Wildlife Fund to highlight the dangers of climate change by suggesting that...uh...well...hmm - you'll have to fill in the missing words as I struggled to make any sense of exactly what the connection with fish-head and climate change is.

It just reminded me of certain people I know who seem to spend more time in the ocean than on dry land, who swim relentlessly on training nights, particularly the ones with webbed feet and gills behind their ears that they think their long hair disguises.

Friday, January 29, 2010

Surfing On Sine Waves

As I desk work, and that's only when absolutely necessary, I load up tracks that have few, if any lyrics going on. Otherwise I get head clutter. Now this masterpiece from the offspring of Welsh parents, born in Ireland and developed in Cornwall helps me concentrate. I am, of course, referring to Richard D. James aka Aphex Twin. This album has my head going like a nodding donkey.

The sine wave is a Mathematical function that describes a smooth repetitive oscillation. The sine wave is a Mathematical function that describes a smooth repetitive oscillation.The sine wave is a Mathematical function that describes a smooth repetitive oscillation. See what I mean?

His Cornish connections get name checked on specific tracks like "Portreath Harbour" and "Redruth School" which ridiculous as it sounds, had me loading them up 1st time round for no other reason than my familiarity with the actual geographical locales.

I enjoy this work even more than the critically revered Selected Ambient Works 85-92 but in any case, I must insist you check out the man, turn up the sub-woofer and catch some sine waves. Don't let the dude looks put you off - anyway he's shaved that stubble off and is looking smoooooooth.

Monday, January 25, 2010

TUACA Travellers Snowboarding Snowfari

To paraphrase The Bard, some people are born lucky, some get lucky and some - like 29 year old Steve Besagni from North London - have luckness thrust upon them. There, I've just made up another word.

Steve's the luckness monster who's just won the TUACA Traveller Competition that was set up to find the UK’s biggest snowboarding enthusiast. His prize - an all expenses snowfari across Europe to discover the most radical snowboarding destinations out there. And he gets to take a mate with him!

TUACA, in case you're wondering, is an Italian liqueur which prior to getting the heads up on this wheeze, I'd never heard of, or tasted. Stay tuned however, as after posting this, there may well be an opportunity for you and me to try it out.

With daily posts, you can keep up to date with their adventures over at The TUACA Travellers blog and the clip below will give you a taster of what they've been up to. If you've experienced the recent UK snow-in and seen it all turn to slush, or had your windscreen chipped as you drove behind a gritter, this will surely cheer you up, or make you very, very jealous.

Now I've had a taster of cross country skiing and even tried glicading but my own snowboarding experience can be summed up in a few words - "tea tray" and "hill". Coincidentally, as can be seen in the picture above, Nipper 1 bought me another air freshener for the car to go with my collection (him and her).

Perhaps this is a sign. The crossover lines between surf, skate and snow get ever more tangled and this Beach Bum may yet head for the piste rather than the beach. Or maybe my car just smells.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Before Boogie There Was Belly...

...boarding and as this video will show, this can only reinforce the opinion of some that the English and now the Cornish are, indeed, a nation of eccentrics. I spotted Perranporth's very own Ian "Beaner" McD sporting his club cap and a close fitting pair of (even by Speedo standards) budgie smugglers. More on the "sport" here (though needs a little update?).

(I've been meaning to give mycornwall.tv a mention here for a while now. The Falmouth based media company started up last year with a mission to capture online some of the cool stuff that's happening in this most excellent county/country of Cornwall/Kernow. They've an eclectic mish mash of stuff on their site and more than a few tasty surf related goodies. They also claim to employ young media graduates "meaning that the money spent developing them is reinforced by local employment opportunities, which in turn creates wealth in the local community". Part funded by the ERDF - which I was pleased to see - since one of the few whinges I have about living here is the irrational Europhobia which is peddled by some who should know better. )

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Surfing DVD - Competition Closed!

Just a quickie to say that the Bustin' Down The Door DVD competition is now closed. Great response from all over the place and the lucky winners are ....

Mike Hobbs from Scotland pictured below after a rather chilly New Year's surf.

Sylvain Garel - a Frenchman marooned in Luxembourg with a penchant for longboards and fish.

Philip Schonken - who describes himself as "an African living in Oxfordshire".

Sqz D'Souza - from just down the road in Cornwall and the author behind the eminently readable KERNOWKALLING blog baby.

There was such a feeding frenzy for the DVD so I know that many of you were disappointed. I hate to see grown men (or anybody) cry so I've chucked in a couple of posters by way of consolation prizes. The winners were picked at random after the stock of DVD's were snapped up and - luck of the Irish - these go to Patrick Black and Ben Tyler from Northern Ireland. Goodies should go out to you all this coming week...enjoy!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Rather Stoked ...

... to see one of Beach Bum's photographs feature twice in the February edition of 220Triathlon. They've a section on the UK's toughest triathlons and surprise, surprise (not) - our Perranporth Extreme Surf Challenge Tri gets their vote.To quote their piece:

"Over its 23-year history this triathlon, which centres on North Cornwall's north coast surfing beach, has gained huge respect thanks to the "surf swim". Competitors must negotiate sea swells of up to eight feet, white topped breakers and on-shore winds as they swim out for the exhausting open water section. Ironman age-grouper Kit Stokes remarked that the Perranporth swim made Ironman Hawaii seems easy. Oh, and that's before the hilly bike course and a run along the soft, sandy beach. Ouch."

Nice to see the recognition and I'm sure Chris Strickland, who's been behind this event from its inception, and the club's triathlon committee will be chuffed as well.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Free DVD - Bustin' Down The Door - Yes, A Freebie!

This Beach Bum’s has Been Bustin’ Down The Door of independent movie moguls Metrodome and swiped a stash of DVD’s to give away ahead of the official UK release (Monday 18th January) of the surf movie that one reviewer claims “perfectly captures the bittersweet moment when the once-free sport of surfing became the big money phenomenon that it is today.”

Whatever your views on surfdom and the money men behind it, there’s no denying that season in 1975 on Hawaii’s North Shore changed the surfing scene forever. Bustin' DownThe Door tells the story as it was.

Fancy a freebie DVD to see for yourself? Just email beachbum@s-e-x-wax.com with a ship-to address and name the two South African cousins who feature in the film and I’ll have a copy wing it’s way to you. (Limited offer, first come first served! Competition closes Sunday 17th January. Region 2 DVD or viewable on multi-region players.)

Don’t worry if you miss out on the freebie - the DVD will be on sale next week from Magicseaweed and Extreme Horizon.

More DVD goodie give-aways coming in the next few weeks so don't forget to sign up to this blog.

You can keep up to date with this this blog through GoogleFriend Connect by clicking on the link on the widget on the right hand column (under Beach Bum's Buddies) and subject yourself to my random musings on Twitter to make sure you don't miss the stoke!

Friday, January 08, 2010

More Naked People Calendars 2010 - zzzzzzz

Regular readers here will know (my REEF rants excluded) that I am not averse to enjoying imagery from the garden of fleshly delights. Even I, however, am wondering if getting photographed with your kit off - even for a worthy cause - is getting rather passé?

With the possible exception of strippers and priests (and for the latter, it’s surely only a matter of time) I can think of very few professions that don't have a calendar out this time of year depicting themselves in various states of undress. Inevitably, naughty bits are shielded with strategically placed footballs, books and whatnot. You’ve got the usual crew of firemen and rugby players but everyone from clowns, Ryanair cabin crew and - wait for it - Polish coffin manufacturers are getting in on the act.

That's Zuzanna Pasierbinska-Wilson on the left - a "wannabe surf chick and cowgirl”. Apparently, “she’s better with her lasso than catching waves." Yee-haw! I don’t know about you but the leash and stiletto combo is troubling - in a forbidden, kinky sort of a way. Maybe that’s just me. Anyway, the cause is a noble one and the internal debate she had with herself before stripping off revealing. I’m just not sure we need a bunch of self tagged “techies” stripping off for charity.

If you do feel the need for some cheeky calendar action I’ll point you closer to home where a “group of buff Cornish surfer boys” (that’s just a plain troubling juxtaposition) are baring all to raise money for a mate who lost and arm and leg in a traffic accident. Credit to the man in question, when he found out what his friends had gotten up to, he insisted that a cut of the proceeds should be donated to Help For Heroes. I know you can buy this Beach Bum calendar for £10 in GUL stores and the Truro branch had stock in lately. If you ain’t from round these parts you can also email darrencopemanfund.helptheheroes@hotmail.co.uk to arrange delivery with a £2.95 surcharge towards postage and packing. Better to spend your money on that than this.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Beach Bum's Best Wishes For 2010

No, that’s not Beach Bum & Sea Nymph in the picture. I’m no spring chicken but I’m not quite an old turkey - yet.

There's a venerable Irish saying wishing health, wealth and happiness for you that would be suitable to pass on (belatedly) as the year kicks off. Unfortunately, it is so old I can't remember it exactly. Pondering those three attributes, however, has me wondering if the traditional "sláinte" (health) wouldn't really just suffice? As Virgil said (in Latin presumably), "the greatest wealth is health" and certainly, without a body that more or less functions as you want it to, happiness is rarely, if ever, even close behind.

 If all this sounds a little "heavy" as we get into 2010, it's because I've seen 2009 end with a series of friends & acquaintances - online and "off"- coming to terms with some serious health problems.

Jonny, my old surfing buddy back in Belfast - was finally diagnosed with MS – several years after developing a range of symptoms that were assigned to just about every other possible condition, except the one he actually had. It was only when he started shuffling round the corridors at work looking like man with a hangover from hell that he got referred to the neurologist he should have seen three years ago.

Then I’ve been following, first with alarm, and lately (since he got through his operation OK) with relief the bum health hand that Alex Wade at Surf Nation was dealt when he discovered that on top of the potentially paralyzing condition of “cervical myelopathy” – medical shorthand for “crumbly spine bits” – he’d picked up a dose of Lyme disease to boot. For a man who’s been told he may never surf again, he’s dealing with the pain, the recovery process and the need to dose himself with enough drugs to keep a small pharmacy in business with admirable stoicism and humour. I’ve not met Alex personally though I was about to paddle over and say “hi” when I spotted him sitting out the back at Sennen late last Summer. Weirdly enough, I got diverted into helping out when a holiday maker's head said "hi" to a surfboard and developed what’s referred to in beach lifeguard lingo as a “suspected spinal”. Surf Nation has moved from the Times, via a co-operative venture with A1 Surf and now carves it’s own solo spot - which rather suits it IMHO. Tune in and follow Alex’s mission to get back to surfing.

Lastly, just a few weeks before Christmas, one of our friends from the Surf Lifesaving Club was diagnosed with breast cancer. Even writing that sentence seems somehow trite as if words could contain what must be one of the hardest things a woman gets to hear from a physician. She’s already had surgery and starts her chemo treatment in a few weeks. But she’s courageous and fit and will get a ton of support from all of us.

Actually, the chap in the photo above is Dr. Dorian Paskowitz, of whom you can read more here. For Dr. Dorian, there’s no doubt that surfing has contributed to his health and longevity. “Surfing is a metaphor. And indeed that’s just what it is, a pillar, a post to tie health and lifestyle to.” For some of the people I mention above, the jury may remain out on that thought for a bit yet. Personally, I’ll resolve to whinge less about my minor ailments so I’ll settle for “sláinte” and hope it finds it’s way to you all this coming year.
(And Dr. P - just to make it clear, I wasn't calling you an old turkey - honest!)