Ocean Beach (SF, CA) kayak surfing

Dean McCully did an an excellent job of creating a kayak surfing report for the sea kayak clubs in the SF Bay area. Does this kayak surfing contest report inspire you to try the sport?

----Original Message-----

From: Dean McCully [mailto:dean@dmccully.com]

Sent: Sunday, February 22, 2004 1:50 AM

To: buzz; WSK

Subject: [WSK] Ocean Crush Surf Contest Photos AND Video!!!

Howdy, Kayakers

I and a bunch of WSKers and BASKers spent Saturday (02/21/04) on Ocean Beach watching a bunch of young punks in squirt boats knocking the stuffing out of themselves. Boy, what a bunch of dummies to jump into a teensy bit of Tupperware that they call “boats” and hurl themselves into double-to-triple head high pounding waves. Us old foggies know better:

we just hung out on shore and got a LOT of photos.

Anyway, here are a bunch of photos with a report and picture-captions (courtesy of some slick new trip report software). http://www.eyeyak.com/photogallery/kayak/oceanbeachsurf-02-04/index.htm

But wait, there’s more. Check out these digital videos. You do NOT want to miss these! http://www.eyeyak.com/photogallery/kayak/oceanbeachsurf-02-04/mpg/index.htm

You know, ain’t technology wonderful?!?!

See yah on the water.


I enjoyed the photos… But why the derogatory – “young punks in squirt boats?” Are they really “punks” who happen to be in squirt boats, or are they “punks” by the virtue (or vice) of riding squirt boats…? :frowning:



– Last Updated: Feb-22-04 1:15 PM EST –

"Young punks in surf boats?????"

Not quite

Actually most of those guys are pretty seasoned, several over fourty, one guy is 62.

I believe Kenny King is surfing and he is a champion surf kayaker ... not exactly a young punk in a "squirt "boat.

But the waves are pathetic ... it was supposed to be BIG SURF ...it's that big here today.

Get Your Facts Straight
First, the main caption identifies the paddler as riding a “surf ski”. No…that’s a “wave ski”. Big difference in design and application. Second, identifying all who ride waves using a paddle as “surf kayakers” is also incorrect. More accurately, they should be identified as paddle surfers since a wave ski is not a kayak and vice versa. Not all of the boats pictured are “squirt boats”. Most are kayaks designed specifically for wave riding. And in the interest of accuracy, waves are measured as head high, double overhead and so forth…not “double to triple head high” . As to old foggies…I guess it depends on your point of reference…I’m 65 and regularly ride my Infinity wave ski…and love every minute of it. As to an “excellent job of reporting”…I don’t think so!

Who said surfers are laid back…
On reading all three replies we should all probably apollogize for being snotty. We really are nice folks, just a little high strung I suppose. Actually if you enjoyed the show at Ocean Beach you should give it a try very addicting.

Au Contraire…
I thought the original post was “snotty.” :slight_smile: But I accept that the “summary” could have been written for “in house” consumption, where folks know each other and know that the observations about “punks” and “dummies” were made in jest.

At least on a minimal level, it perpetuates this “seperation” of kayakers into different classes – surfers, white water folks and (that most “wise” of paddlers) sea kayakers. It has an implied “We/Them” mentality. As someone who likes all the kayaking arenas and particularly don’t like to be stereotyped… the post did struck me in a negative way.


Holster the guns, guys.
> the “summary” could have been >written for “in house” consumption, where folks >know each other and know that the observations >about “punks” and “dummies” were made in jest.

Bingo, Sing!!! You hit it exactly! This guy is a character with a capital “C”. Not a serious bone in his body (except perhaps when he’s doing charity work).


I Suspected As Much…
though without that preface for those who don’t know “Dean”, it becomes a set up for misconception in a board where not everybody “knows your name.” :slight_smile:


Thanks For The Photos

– Last Updated: Feb-23-04 1:17 PM EST –

I didn't get into the city to watch this weekend so I am gratefull for the photos.

Sorry, but you do have the boat terminology all wrong. No Squirt boats or surf skis in those photos. Just surf boats and wave skis.

Word on the internet is Kenny King rules OB for another year. It is fitting. He lives in the neighborhood.

Looks like the surf was disappointing, but I hear it got better later. It can be really brutal there, and the local vibe is extremely hostile.

I surfed OB once because it seemed a good way to combine kayak surfing and San Francisco night life. I will never surf it again. It was a bad day on the water, and a worse day on the beach afterwards. I posted last Friday that I would not even think about taking a boat there myself.

If you finished the Sea Gypsy Race you must be a real NORCAL waterman, so I am not bend out of shape about the tone of the post. I assume you were just kidding. Maybe it does seems some of the competiotrs are young, but believe me, there are plenty of older guys out there.

Pbbbbt to you Young Punks

Ahhhh, I see how youze guyz are… Kick, a man who can’t defend hisself, eh? Start a thread on Paddling that he isn’t subscribed to, eh? Well, I know people who know people, so be careful whatcha say about us old fellers. We watch each others’ “sixes” you know. :wink:

When I was the age of you whipper-snappers, I was still wet behind the ears and all sensitive to being called well deserved names, too. In MY day, any boat that’s shorter than 8 feet and ain’t made out of the skin of seals that you built yerself was called a “squirt boat”. Whyyyyy, when I was your age, I used to gnaw down redwood trees with my own teeth (back when I HAD teeth) and carve the cockpits with my fingernails. Those redwood logs could run circles around you kids and yer prissy pastel Tupperware shark bait bobbers.

And, yes, I also paddled 30 miles to school in the North Atlantic, uphill in both directions, fighting off the polar bears and the Orcas with my Greenland paddle. Which was high tech back then because when I was a youngster, most people just used their bare hands to paddle. Or I should say, “bare stubs” because yer hands froze off when they stuck to the icebergs.

But you young fellers and your neoprene and heated booties probably just think that we’re making all this up, huh? Pshaw. We used to paddle naked, upside down, in 100 foot icebergs. And we LIKED IT! In fact, WE LOVED IT!

Now that I’m older than most of you put together, well, um, what’s that you say? Speak up, Sonnie. What that we’re talking about? I just spilled my prune juice on my keyboard and my memory ain’t what it used to be, yah know. And those damnable neighbor punks and their squirt boats put my enema bag in the freezer again…


I’ll have you know that not only did I PARTICIPATE in Sea Gypsy, but I came in FIRST PLACE in the 2004 race which will be held this coming May. (Um, well, actually, my partner came in 2nd to last by 1/2 of a boat length, and I came in last by 1/2 of a boat length in the 2003 race (the 1/2 boat length difference was because we were in a double and I was in the back seat and he reached shore 1/2 boat length before I did.) Dead freqking last. 13th out of 13. In fact, we were SOOOO late to finish that, no sh*t, the drummer had packed up and everybody had long since gone inside and turned to fast booze and cheap women. Or was it the other way around. Harumph. But I digress. Anyway, 21 people started, but only 13 of us finished. That ain’t bad. But Eric Soares was quoted in the local paper, the day before, that “any finishing time over 2 hours will suck the big one.” We finished in 2 hours, 5 minutes. Thanks, Eric. But I digress further. Anyway, we were SO late in the 2003 race that they closed out last year’s finish list about 15 minutes before we finished. No kidding! When we didn’t show up, the list guy figured that we got scared when we saw the 30 foot reef break at Mav’s and given up and were sitting in a bar in Half Moon Bay or something. So he scratched us. We showed up 15 minuts later. So, since last year’s race was officially closed 15 minutes before we finished, I’m claiming that instead of being dead last in the 2003 race by 15 minutes, that we’re actually first in THIS year’s 2004 race by 365 days. Minus 15 minutes. Plus 1 day for leap year. Pending a decision by the California Court Of Appeals, of course :wink:

Here’s pix of Sea Gypsy thru Mavericks last year. “TSURF WARS by the TSOUPNAZI RANCHERS!” Be sure to read the story of “Renaming of Loki 13”.


But wait, there’s more. I was at Maverick’s yesterday and took these pix of it going off. Sea Gypsy went right thru where I was standing. Trust me, it was scarrier from a boat-eye-level!


Check out the cover shot from Morro Bay 2 weeks ago:


Wanna see more? Check out the photo section. I just posted a BUNCH more pix that aren’t linked yet, but I’ll git to 'em. As soon as I get the spilled prune juice out of my keyboard.


Now, git out there and do some PADDLIN, Sonny Boy! Waves are 40 feet at Mav’s today. I’d go but I’m spending the day thawing out my enema bag and cleanin the prune juice off my keyboard.

Cheerio. (And Wheatie and Corn Flake too.)


Well… Dean,
nice to make your humourous acquaintance. I count some of best friends among the “old farts” generation. :slight_smile: In fact, I am closer to your generation than those “young punks.” As my 13 year old tells me, “What do you know about our generation? You’re OLD…”


Please Forgive Us, Oh Venerable One!

– Last Updated: Feb-27-04 1:34 PM EST –

Please forgive us, oh venerable one! We are not worthy!

As I said, a true NORCAL waterman. You obviously know the NORCAL coast pretty well. Actually, your reputation preceeds you...I really love the hats!

Great photos of Mavericks. Thanks!

When will the 2004 Sea Gypsy race be held? I would love to stop by and see the Tsunami Ranger club house and watch the race. Is it for tandems only? How long is it? Do I have to have a viking hat to enter?

Isn’t eye yak
the stuff you scrap out the corner of yer eye mite?

Tee Hee. Gotcha!
Hah. “Venerable One.” LOL! Truth be told, both adjectives are utterly inapplicable to me. I’m actually a mean sucker. But don’t tell my mom. She thinks I’m “Too kind”… More on that in a minute.

Venerable? Hardly. Venerial, maybe. But, trust me, I’m just a hack who happens to own 13 extremely beat up rental-return kayaks that I got CHEAP. I take newbies into places like Monterey Bay and Elkhorn Slough and around Alcatraz.

One? Hah, guess again. My shrink’s tests say there are probably 12, maybe 13 of me, not just one. The manic “one” has driving the boats lately. He’s my favorite of the 13 voices, though he’s also the one most likely to piss people off. Yeah, piss them off, then whack them and bring their meat to a kayaing BBQ. Finger sandwiches, anyone? Or a nice rump roast of old kayaker served with cream of some young guy straight from the soup zone?


Back to my mom. She used to say “Son, you’re too (two) kind! Yeah, ‘kind’ of ugly and ‘kind’ of stupid.” Toughened me up, my mama did! LOL!

I’m not a Tsunami. I’m not fit to wipe the dog crap off their paddles. (Don’t ask how they get dog crap on their paddles. You don’t want to know. :wink: The Tsumanis are INSANE. And they bite. I’d stay away if I were you. But if you have no common sense whatsoever, if you have a death wish, and if you want to join us for Sea Gypsy, I think this year’s race is April-ish. They might change it depending on health concerns of one of the founders of the Tsunamis. IF you’d like to be notified, come to


and “Join” us on our monster kayak trips thru the year. My BBS is rather quiet lately, but you’ll get on our trip posting BBS if you sign up. (Free, of course. (The site is run by 2 of my other voices. The “Geek Voice” (I’m an engineer by day) runs the technical stuff and writes pile of software to customize the hell out of the site. The “Huge Ego Voice” keeps the site’s “Kum Bay Yah” enthusiasm side running (which is why I lose my ass on the site: because my Huge Ego Voice also pisses people off so they don’t contribute to keep the site running :wink: No annoying popups or ads, though. Totally non-commercial site. (Unlike some paddling sites to which we post. Wink wink. )

Sea Gypsy is 100% open class (or no class, in my case). Everything from huge double SOTs to one-man SOTs, to surf skis, to 1-man long ocean boats to squirt boats to Rodeo boats to canoes to … whatever… shows up. Of the 21 that started last year, only 13 of us finished. I only finished because I had an incredibly competent guy in the front seat of my double SOT. 8 other kayakers got completely trashed in the amazingly soupy beach launch. Of those 8, there were several minor injuries and several wrecked boats. One of the really fast paddlers, a world class dude (I forget his name) took a multi-thousand buck custom race boat into the surf. It hit a rock and cracked in two in the surf and pretty much ruined his day.

My favorite Sea Gypsy story is from 2002 (I wasn’t there but I heard the story). The slowest paddler got into Mavericks’ “Boneyard” but didn’t know what to do. Details are a bit sketchy but his boat either cracked up on the razor-clam and barnacle crusted reef rocks, or maybe he missed a roll. Either way,he went swimming. Anyway, when he didn’t show up at the finish line, everybody apparently figured that he’d pulled his boat out into the Half Moon Bay harbor and was drinking beer in the bar. So when he didn’t show up for the post-race party, nobody missed him. Turns out he was swimming for an hour in the Boneyard of Mavericks (maybe two hours???). They said that a tourist with binoculars got suspicious to see somebody swimming in the Boneyard, so they finally called the Coast Guard. The guy spent time in the hospital for hypothermia.


Oh well, hope to see yah there. And, like I said, go to http://www.eyeyak.com and “register” to be notified of many trips thru the spring and summer…


Many Thanks, Oh Well Aged One!
Thanks for the entertaining and informative post! I will be keeping an “Eye” on your site. Looks like you guys know how to have fun!

I have a certain short, fat, plastic SOT that is slow but might be able to finish such a brutall test of watermanship. I tend to buy boats that suit me!

I myself am now over 50 myself, and facing my rapidily approaching AARP membership with some chargin!