Kelly McGarry flips a 72-foot-long canyon gap at Red Bull Rampage 2013 to earn a 2nd place finish. The flip happens at 1:09 into the video. The Red Bull Rampage happened in Virgin, Utah. For some reason, Kelly only took 2nd place. Check out the rest of the highlights on the Red Bull site.
Craig Clasen was hunting yellow fin tuna with fellow fisherman Cameron Kirkconnell, photographer D.J Struntz (DJ Strunz’s portfolio) and film maker Ryan McInnis in the Gulf of Mexico when a 12 ft. Tiger Shark aggressively approached and circled Ryan McInnis in deep waters south of the Mississippi River’s mouth. Regarded by many as two of the world’s best free diving spearfishermen, Craig and Cameron have come into contact with thousands of sharks.
Craig Clasen immediately swam to his friend with his spear gun.
‘I positioned myself between Ryan and the shark and I tried to watch it for a second, hoping it would pass us by,’ explained 32-year-old Mr Clasen.
‘I noticed that the shark was getting tighter and tighter and just kept trying to get a back angle on us and behaving in an aggressive manner.
‘The shark made a roll and looked like it was going to charge us so I just went ahead and took the conservative route and put a shaft through its gills.
‘Cameron and I have been around sharks for years and we all have a lot of experience with them but this encounter had a different feel to it.
‘Down in my core I really felt the shark was there to feed. I didn’t want it to come to that.’
Craig spent nearly two hours wrestling with the giant 12ft shark, spearing it seven times and even attempting to drown the beast before eventually finishing it off with a long blade knife. (Rest of the story at SurfThereNow.com)
Beautiful video of locals surfers in Bangladesh.
“Here are a few images from a recent trip Kahana Kalama and Surfing the Nations went on to Bangladesh. It is a glimpse into a documentary that Russell Brownley is working on about a surf club in Bangladesh. Many of the children are street kids or come from very poor families. Some don’t even know how to swim, but their love for surfing brings them together and into a way of life they never even knew existed. An ocean that was once deemed off limits due to fear and a very conservative Islamic culture, is now becoming source of fun, escape and even a chance for a way to make a living.”
Here’s video of Francois Bon, Frenchman and inventor of the sport: Speed Riding, descending Argentina’s 22,834-foot Aconcagua. It took 10 days to ascend and 4 minutes to descend 9,000 ft. The good stuff in the video start 2:30 into it.
From National Geographic: “Speed riding is the sport (if you can call it that) of rapid descent. Adherents leap from mountaintops and fly down sheer faces at near-free-fall speeds, guided only by a small, specialized paraglider. When the grade flattens, they touch down briefly to ski ridiculously fast before taking off again over the steeps. Bon, 36, is the grandfather of the sport. In 2006, he leapt off the Eiger and Mont Blanc. In 2007, he made some riotous runs in New Zealand’s Southern Alps.”
Photo below of New Zealand Kitesurfer, David Sheridan, kiting over a whale. As he’s riding over the tail flips up and hits him in the head. The photo was taken by a camera mounted in his kite that takes a photo every 10 seconds. (From Surftherenow)
I’ve tried to teach dozens of friends over the last few years. I’ll take them out in small surf, show them a few things, they get the hang of it, buy and board and never use it again. The same barrier seems to hit everyone: the surf is too crowded. My advice to everyone has been to head off somewhere tropical and surf everyday for a week. You just won’t get better at something, especially something like surfing, going once a month. It’s a way to guarantee you won’t really enjoy the sport. Also, paying an instructor in the US is going to be $80-100/hour for individual instruction! Add the price of renting a board and wetsuit and it’s $150 or more a session.
Flying off somewhere tropical and spending a week on the beach is a lot cheaper than you’d think. Aside from the cost of a flight, staying in a cheap beach hostel can cost as litte as $5/night. More reasonable accomodations can be $10-20 night in the right places. Board rentals are around $50 a week and you can always find local surfers willing to give instruction for $10-20/hour (probably free if you’re a girl). The waves are likely to be less crowded depending on where you head (beach breaks are ideal at first because they spread the crowd out), and you’ll be in warm water surfing and drinking cerveza on the beach after each session. You’ll fall in love with surfing and get good enough to be able to navigate the line-ups when you get back home.
Here’s a list of the cheapest places to go to learn to surf (also check our previous post on the best places to learn to surf). The surf season is from March until September, but this is when the surf is biggest and can often be far to big for beginners. Better bet is to go during the surf off-season when the waves will be smaller and the line-ups will be empty.
El Tunco, El Salvador – Small surfing village outside of La Libertad, El Salvador. Walking distance from one of the best waves in the area: El Sunzal, a gentle long right, ideal for beginners. El Salvador has become much safer than in the 90s. El Tunco is nothing more than a couple guests houses, restaurants, internet cafe and a few families living there. Accomodations range from $5/night to $25 for a private room with AC and a pool. For more information on traveling and surfing in El Salvador, check out the surf travel guide for El Salvador at SurfThereNow.com.
San Juan Del Sur, Nicaragua – San Juan Del Sur is a beautiful, sleepy fishing village in Southern Nicaragua not far from the border with Costa Rica. Although the town itself doesn’t have surf, you can take a daily shuttle out to Playa Maderas where there’s playful surf all year long. It’s cheap to stay in SJDS and there’s multiple options starting at $8/night for the cheapest accomodations. There’s plenty to do, restaurants and bars as well. If you want to graudate to a more intermediate spot and stay right on the beach, then you’re best bet is to head up the coast a hour and stay at Playa Colorado’s.
Santa Teresa/Mal Pais, Costa Rica – The adjoining towns of Santa Teresa and Mal Pais are on the southern tip of the Guanacaste Pennisula on the Pacific in Northern Costa Rica. The towns are beautiful and hardly developed, offering just enough options to eat, drink, sleep, and surf well. The beach is stunning and pristine and goes on for miles offering miles of empty surf. Many first timers to Costa Rica head to the only place they’re head of: Tamarindo. Tamarindo is over-developed and the waves are crowded. Mal Pais is just the opposite. Accomodations here start at $10/night, not as cheap as surrounding Central American countries but still plenty cheap. There’s waterfalls and a national park close by to check out as well.
Bali – Bali is everything budget travel should be: incredible scenary, beautiful beaches, exotic culture, welcoming locals, and cheap, very cheap. Although flight will cost more than destinations in Central America, you would be surprised at how little it costs to get by in Bali. $5-8 for the cheapest accomodations. Bali has become a hot spot in recent years and in addition to the beaches and culture, it has a thriving nightlife, music, and art scene. It also boasts some of the best surfbreaks in the world on the Bukit Pennisula. Bali get good surf year round, with the best swells arriving from March to September. Kuta Beach is a long beach with smaller surf, ideal for learning. You can party all night and walk out to the surf at sunrise. For more on Bali, see the surf travel guide on Bali at SurfThereNow.com.
Here’s a great post on the best places to learn to surf posted on the surftherenow blog which has great info on surf and travel. Picking a good spot to learn can make a huge difference on picking up surfing quickly! There’s tons of different types of waves and size, most are unsuitable for learning. To get started you want a gentle, slow breaking wave and waves smaller than waist high. Of course, warm tropical water helps. The waves at many beach breaks are too fast and break too quickly to be good for learning. Here’s a good article on how to pick a good beach to learn to surf.
- Cowell’s Beach, Santa Cruz, California
- Waikiki, Oahu, Hawaii
- Miami Beach, Florida
- Mal Pais, Costa Rica
- Florianopolis, Brazil