Low Tide Aliens

They Come in Peace

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Invaders From Mars. Invasion of the Body Snatchers. It Came From Outer Space. The Day the Earth Stood Still.

Think of all the science fiction movie classics that kept us glued to our seats in darkened theaters watching aliens from other planets landing on Earth.

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel wondered What if that really happened? Would the space aliens be like us? Would they be friend or foe?

At the beach one day we got a glimpse into that when we had a close encounter with the Low Tide Aliens.

Fortunately, they came in peace.

Like the gangster-style, sunglass-wearing Blues Brothers, who turn out to be musicians, these aliens are artists – Laura, Leslie, Darla, Kaitlyn and Mila –  and their goal is “to bring joy and beauty into the world.”

Twice a month, when the tides are lowest, the artistic team heads to Newport Beach to draw mandalas – Hindu and Buddhist spiritual patterns – on the sand.

It’s a way to express themselves and to connect with the earth and ocean. Creating the mandalas is also a way to meditate and heal. Toward this end, the Low Tide Aliens have launched a Sand Art for Causes charity to help others.

Even though the tides inevitably erase their creations, the artists aren’t sad. “It’s actually a very beautiful and humbling experience to do art for the sake of art alone,” they say.  “It’s a practice in letting go and allowing nature to take her course.”

You never know where the Low Tide Aliens are going to show up! At the Surfrider Foundation’s International Surfing Day in Huntington Beach this summer there they were.

“The event was abducted by our good friends from the Low Tide Aliens,” Tony Soriano, Surfrider’s HB chapter advisory board director, told SurfWriter Girls. “We love their artistic beach talent.”

 

While they were there, the beach artists even made a Surfrider surfboard to commemorate the day.

 

Wherever they land, beach-goers are invited to watch the sand art take shape or to sign up for a session and join in the experience.

So, don’t be afraid if you encounter the Low Tide Aliens.

Just say: “Take me to your easel.”

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SuperShe Island

Idyllic Getaway for Ladies Only

Written by SurfWritere Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Have you ever dreamed of going to Themyscira, the idyllic island where Wonder Woman was raised?

Visit SuperShe Island, the island paradise owned by entrepreneur Kristina Roth, and you’ll think that you’re there.

Roth took her dream of escaping to an exotic island to the next level – buying her own fantasy island. And now she’s opening it up to women worldwide. But men? Sorry guys, you’re not allowed.

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel discovered SuperShe Island when Sunny got a personal invitation from Roth to visit and be a guest. Intrigued, we wanted to know more about this mysterious island.

Hidden away in the Baltic Sea off the coast of Finland, SuperShe Island is 8.4-acres of tree-dotted beauty with the kind of luxurious amenities you’d expect at five-star resorts. Beautifully decorated rooms, Finnish saunas and an array of daily wellness activities that include yoga, meditation, farm-to-table dining, cooking classes, fitness classes, nature activities and more.

Roth, who is from Germany, created her Amazonian island utopia with the profits she made from her business, Matisia Consultants. Bootstrapping the business with next to nothing, it had annual revenues of $65 million by the time she sold it, took the money and ran…to her island get-away.

Tired of the corporate life and working with men who constantly underestimated her, Roth was eager to take matters into her own hands. She also wanted to work with women and help them to achieve their goals, just as she had. She could see that her success story inspired them and, from her networking and professional speaking experience, knew that women wanted to be energized and have more positive feelings about themselves.

As they say in marketing, “Find a need and fill it.” And Roth did, creating a SuperShe Society and a special place where women could go to refresh, relax and renew. In short, a super networking group of super achievers.

Roth says about her SuperShe society and island, they are “meant to create a fun way for women to network — a way that men have been networking for years, whether it’s at the golf course or the cigar club.”

So now, thanks to Roth, women can channel their inner-Wonder Woman at their very own Ladies Only SuperShe Island retreat.

Just pack your Magic Lasso and go!

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Summertime Movietime!

An Endless Summer of Movies

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Summertime isn’t just beach time, it’s movietime!

 

When the temperature rises, what’s better than an air-conditioned escape to a world of adventure and romance and thrills and chills?

 

 

Movie-makers and theater operators have been coming up with new ways to draw us into the dark, cool confines of movie palaces like Grauman’s Chinese Theater since the early days of Hollywood.

Drive-in movies, parks and even lakes and resort swimming pools are in on the act. On hot, summer nights SurfWriter Girl Sunny’s family used to all pile into the station wagon and go to the drive-in. With five brothers and sisters it was a riot.

Kids growing up in the 1950s and 60s could make a whole day of it for 50-cents – with a double feature, cartoons, coming attractions, popcorn, and candy.

SurfWriter Girl Patti’s husband Greg’s favorite all-time movie getaways are Forbidden Planet and The Day The Earth Stood Still.

Patti’s parents knew Monty Schoedsack, the producer of King Kong, and she grew up hearing about the making of this blockbuster movie that set all attendance records for its day.

What’s summer without a scary movie monster to keep us glued to our theater seats…or inner tubes.

This summer look for 70-ft-long, sea monster Meg to ratchet up the excitement to a new level.

SurfWriter Girls can’t wait…for an endless summer of movies!

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Surf2Skate – from Liquid to Asphalt

International Surfing Museum Exhibit

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

 

Skateboarding has come a long way from the 1950s when kids used to pull apart a roller skate and nail the front and back wheels to the bottom of a board. That’s when “sidewalk surfing” took off and a new sport was born.

Check it out for yourself at the Surf2Skate exhibit at the International Surfing Museum in Huntington Beach.

Filled with vintage and new skateboards, photos, posters, memorabilia, and more, S2S is a blast from the past and a salute to the future.

“The exhibit is community-driven,” museum director Diana Dehm told SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel. “The people of Huntington Beach came up with the idea and they organized and put it together.” Surfers and skateboarders, volunteers and businesses all joined in to make it happen.

 

 

Early Zephyr skateboards, made in the 1960s by legendary surf and skateboard shaper Jeff Ho, are show-stoppers.

Known for their vibrant colors and graffiti-style designs, Ho’s Zephyr boards – named after the god of the west wind – helped turn Venice Beach into a Mecca for skateboarding.

 

 

And don’t miss the first mass-produced skateboard – a bright red Roller Derby board made in La Mirada, CA in 1959. Sold in Roller Derby rinks, Thrifty Drugstores and Sears stores across the country, it propelled the skateboard craze into a movement.

There’s so much to see. Huntington Beach definitely pulled off a burly with Surf2Skate.

It will have you ready to grab a board and break some moves of your own!

Painting by Ricky Blake

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Have a Happy Handstand!

Glenn Sundby – From Muscle Beach to the World

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Now that summer is here and people are jumping with joy, it’s the perfect time to recognize the achievements of gymnast, publisher and showman extraordinaire Glenn Sundby.

The founder and publisher of International Gymnast magazine and one of the founders of the The United States Gymnastics Federation and The International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, Sundby put gymnastics in the public eye and helped it to gain recognition as a sport.

 

Known for his trademark greeting “Have a Happy Handstand!” Sundby was a virtuoso at doing handstands

He even earned a spot in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not for a stunt he did in 1949 – walking down all 898 steps of the Washington Monument…on his hands!

 

SurfWriter Girl Sunny Magdaug knows from her own experience what an amazing person Sundby was. He gave her her first writing job after college covering gymnastics events all over Europe. Handing her a Nikon camera and a list of sports events and contacts, he sent her on her way.

She even got her own column with a byline “Sunny’s Side of Gymnastics.”

“It was an unbelievable opportunity,” says Sunny. “Thanks to Glenn, I was able to be an international sports journalist and write stories about top gymnasts from around the world.”

Growing up in Los Angeles, Sundby (1921-2009) was fascinated by Hollywood’s movie stuntmen and the bodybuilders who used to hang out at Santa Monica’s famed Muscle Beach.

With Jack LaLanne, Vic Tanny and Joe Gold as his role models, Sundby honed his own athletic ability and soon joined forces with former professional wrestler George Long to form a touring acrobatic act The Wayne-Marlin Trio that included his sister Dolores.

During the 1950s the trio traveled across the country performing with legendary musician and bandleader Spike Jones. It also appeared on TV’s The Ed Sullivan Show.

In 1956, after starting an earlier gymnastics magazine, Sundby started International Gymnast (originally called The Modern Gymnast) and worked tirelessly to build interest in gymnastics and the competitors. This was especially true for Olympics events. “To me every Olympic competitor is important,” said Sundby. “They are the best from their country. Win or lose, it is an honor they can pass on to their grandchildren with pride.”

With Glenn Sundby as its primary booster, the audience for gymnastics grew exponentially, earning America not only a place on the international stage, but the winners podium.

As Sundby would say, that’s reason to celebrate… and have a happy handstand!

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Tiki Time!

Join the Party!

 Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel


Who can resist those smiling tiki gods luring you to join the party?

Tiki art, tiki mugs, tiki shirts, tiki bars. When you add the word “tiki” to anything it just becomes more fun.

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel are big fans of all things tiki. Growing up in SoCal, there were lots of tikis to see in shops and restaurants, on clothing, and more.

Classic Polynesian restaurants Don the Beachcomber, Trader Vic’s, The Islander, Kelbo’s and many others celebrated the tiki lifestyle with their island decor and exotic drinks.

Deified by the early Polynesians, it was thought that Tiki was the guardian of the entrance to the underworld. By the 1950s tikis were pop culture icons. With their smiling faces and gleaming eyes, they represented fun and adventure, beckoning us to an alternative lifestyle unburdened by convention.

 

Today the mysterious and mischievous Tiki is still part of the scene and showing no signs of letting up.

Tiki artist Doug Horne told SurfWriter Girls, “Tiki culture is alive and well! I think it’s still growing.”

 

Artist Josh Agle (better known as Shag) is a fan of the irrepressible tikis, too, and often includes them in his swinging, mid-century motifs.

To celebrate the tiki culture for yourself, why not check out one of the many tiki bars out there and feel the vibe? SurfWriter Girls came across this list of the Ten Best Tiki Bars in the World compiled by Critiki, a travel guide and historic archive of Polynesian Pop culture hotspots around the world. Nobody knows tiki better than the crew at Critiki.

To find your own little slice of tiki paradise, click: Tiki Ten

Then let the party begin!

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Surf’s Up At The Royal Wedding!

Prince Harry and Mehgan Support Clean Oceans

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Even if you weren’t one of the 600 guests invited to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s royal wedding on May 19th at England’s Windsor Castle you can still join in the festivities by supporting one of the couple’s favorite causes Surfers Against Sewage.

Harry and Meghan, who are both environmentalists, have asked well-wishers to support the England and Wales-based non-profit organization that is committed to cleaning the United Kingdom’s beaches and getting pollution out of the ocean.

Started in 1990, Surfers Against Sewage (SAS) is widely recognized as one of the UK’s leading marine conservation organizations and deals with a wide spectrum of marine conservation issues from marine litter to climate change.

Sick of seeing sewage in the water and on the beach, SAS’s founders were fed up with the pollution that was hurting the ocean sports they loved and anything else that involved the sea.

As a result, SAS became a strong catalyst for change, highlighting the need for investing in sewage infrastructure and much higher water standards, which now protect hundreds of coastal locations throughout the UK. SAS also is working to reduce plastic pollution in the ocean and guard against the effects of climate change.

SAS Science and Policy Manager David Smith says its program, “Plastic Free Coastlines currently has over 150 communities across the UK, as well as some internationally, that are working towards gaining Plastic Free status. The success of the project and the ethos it brings has been vast.”

Working with over 50,000 volunteers each year, the Surfers Against Sewage community of ocean activists organizes beach cleanups and education programs, protects local beaches and gets people on board to reduce single-use plastics usage.

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel think it’s great that Harry and Meghan are making their special day a special one for the planet, too. In fact, the wedding is taking place on the same day as Endangered Species Day, which highlights the need to protect at risk animals around the world.

That’s definitely something to toast at the royal wedding!

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Wave Quest!

Finding Kelly Slater’s Wave

  Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Since the earliest history explorers have searched for new lands – from Ponce de Leon’s quest for the Fountain of Youth to Columbus’ journeys across the Atlantic looking for a direct route to Asia.

Surfers around the world were on a similar quest to find Kelly Slater’s Wave – the man-made wave pool he created to generate perfect waves…no ocean required!

Keeping a tight lid on the whereabouts of his creation, Slater – the World Surf League Champion a record 11-times – unveiled his Wave to just a select group of elite surfers in a series of sneak peeks between 2015 and 2017, culminating in a secret surf contest held last September.

Top surfers from current US Open of Surfing Champ Kanoa Igarishi and three-time world surfing champ Mick Fanning to six-time world champ Stephanie Gilmore were all on board to test the waters.

And the general consensus of those lucky enough to score a ride on Slater’s Wave – Wow! Gilmore called her 30-second ride in the barrel “an experience I’ll never forget.”  Igarishi said, “The waves were as perfect as they come.”  Courtney Conlogue tweeted to her followers, “I just walked into the future.”

Excited by the reactions, Slater finally revealed to the surfing community the spot he’d chosen for his Wave – 20 acres in Lemoore, a farming town near Fresno, California, in the heart of the San Joaquin Valley – more than 100 miles from the beach!

Slater said, “I’ve been dreaming about this wave my whole life.” Created with the latest technology, it took ten years to make it happen. Slater worked with geophysical fluid dynamics specialist Adam Fincham and a team of engineers to develop what scientists call a ‘soliton wave’ – a self-reinforcing solitary wave that maintains its shape while it multiplies at a constant velocity.

Using a system of hydrofoils that run the length of a 2,000 ft-long man-made lake to create swells, the Wave can generate waves over 6-feet high.

And, in true surfer fashion, it’s powered 100% by the sun.

 

Slater was particularly stoked about being able to “alter all the aspects of it, the speed, the height, the shape” of the waves. And, with no shoreline break, the waves can go in two directions – back and forth in the pool – giving viewers more surfing action to see from different angles.

Surf artist Dave Reynolds (on right with artist Phil Roberts), who was there in September, told SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel, “It was the most incredible and interesting surf contest I’ve ever been to. I’ve been intrigued by wave pools for the last 20 years. This wave was freaking amazing! Surfers were getting more tube time on one wave than I get in a year.”

Reynolds was excited by the different types and combinations of waves Slater’s wave pool could generate. “What I soon came to realize is every wave wasn’t the same. Different sections of the Wave were doing different things. Lots of open face sections and lots of barrel sections.” Reynolds, whose nickname is “Tuberider,” can’t wait to try the Wave for himself. “I need to get a 30 second tuberide before I die! I just love surfing and a good challenge. I have to do this!”

Reynolds and Roberts earned their Wave-side seats in return for creating the trophies that were given out.

Soon the general public can see the Wave for itself when the World Surf League holds its Founders’ Cup of Surfing event at Slater’s Surf Ranch May 5-6. Teams of men’s and women’s World Surf Tour surfers from the USA, Brazil, Australia, Europe and the World will be on hand to compete…

and to share in Kelly Slater’s dream.

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Ohana Day 2018

Creating Family One Stitch at a Time

Written By SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Surfers around the world are heading to the beach to celebrate the spirit of Ohana – family – and to give thanks to Mother Earth for all of her gifts.

 

On Ohana Day, April 14th, which always falls near Earth Day, the Surfrider Foundation hosts beach cleanups, environmental education activities, surfing lessons, paddleboarding, kayaking, games, music and more.

“It’s about giving back to the community and the environment and recognizing the common bonds that we all share,” says Tony Soriano, Surfrider Foundation Huntington/Seal Beach Chapter chair.

This is one of SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel’s favorite times of the year because it brings everyone together and reminds us of the importance of family and friendship.

The Hawaiian concept of family is one that embraces everyone, not just relatives.

Like Lilo and Stitch discover in the heartfelt Disney movie, your family isn’t just the one you’re born into. It’s the one you choose…even one with a little girl and an alien from another galaxy.

Celebrating Ohana Day

Come together, enjoy the sea, be with family.

Share a hug, give a smile, stop and chat awhile.

Plant a tree, lend a hand, picnic on the sand.

Protect the land and the surf, celebrate Mother Earth!

Just like Lilo and Stitch learned, from the galaxies beyond to the seas below, love of family and Mother Earth makes all things possible.

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Are the Stars Out Tonight?

Light Pollution Robs the Night Sky

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

They say, “Too much of a good thing can be bad.” Even something that’s become a basic part of our lives – like artificial light.

In 1879 Thomas Edison’s light bulb lit up the night, freeing people from darkness and enabling them to see and do things they couldn’t before. But, the world has drastically changed since then and now the welcoming beams of light that illuminated people’s lives have morphed into light pollution.

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel learned from a new study in the journal Science Advances that the level of global outdoor lighting has grown over 2% per year from 2012 – 2016.

The stars and moon are being blotted from view by the bright lights of outdoor lighting as growing cities and developing regions around the world increase their light usage.

 

Astronomers are finding it more and more difficult to find places that are dark enough at night to set up their telescopes to study the heavens.

One of the study’s authors, Franz Holker, of Berlin’s Leibniz Institute of Freshwater Ecology and Inland Fisheries, warns that there is a cost to having light at our fingertips wherever we want it – “an ecological, environmental cost.”

Animal migration and reproductive patterns are being affected. Newborn sea turtles, mistaking street lights for the light of the moon, have headed inland instead of to the ocean.

 

Plants are affected, too, as the increased light causes changes in growth and flowering.

 

The light also reduces the activity of nighttime pollinators – insects, bats and beetles – that the plants depend on for fertilization.

And people aren’t immune, either, as sleep cycles get out of sync, affecting our health and productivity.

To combat light pollution, countries will need to learn to use outdoor lighting wisely and only when and where it’s needed.

And we all can help by closing our window blinds, reducing decorative landscape lighting and shielding and aiming lights downward to eliminate upward glare.

Then look up and enjoy the beauty of the celestial universe.

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