Best Winter Surfing Spots

Find Your Perfect Destinations

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

 

Now that winter’s here do you have a case of the surfing blues that has you longing for sunny, wave-filled days? If so, here’s the antidote.

 

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel got in touch with our friends at BookSurfCamps.com to find out the best winter surfing spots around the world. And wait till you see what they came up with!

Travel writer and and outdoor adventurer Octavia Drughi, who’s part of the BookSurfCamps team, has been on the go scoping out the perfect winter surfing spots. From Europe to South East Asia, she’s got a lineup of destinations with amazing weather, epic waves and beautiful settings to explore.

Whatever your level of surfing expertise or travel interests, Octavia has the inside track on the perfect destinations for you.

To see her picks, Ten Winter Surfing Spots You Need to Check Out, just click on: Winter

Then get ready to pack your bags and grab your passport!

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Seven Lucky Gods of Japan

Watching Over You in 2019

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

With the New Year beginning and so many unknowns ahead it’s reassuring to have the Seven Lucky Gods of Japan to guide us.

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel recently discovered this little book published over 50 years ago by Japanese author Reiko Chiba that outlines who these seven gods are and the roles they play in influencing our lives.

Dating back more than 1000 years, Japanese lore has it that during the first three days of the new year, the gods take over a magic treasure ship and become sailors traveling from heaven to all the earthly ports bringing magical gifts ranging from invisibility to wisdom, wealth, good fortune and more.

For each of us there is also a special god in the group that watches out for us based on our profession – say an accountant, dancer, gardener, or teacher.

Ebisu, the god of wealth, good fortune and fair dealing, watches over merchants, sailors, fishermen…and the butcher, too.

Daikoku, the patron god of farmers and tradesmen, is also a demon-chaser. People in the countryside pay homage to him during the harvest.

Hotei, the god of fortune and guardian of children, is said to have been a real person who was both a Zen priest and a rogue. He keeps an eye out for everyone from cooks to fortunetellers and politicians

Benton, often called the goddess of love, is also the goddess of muse, influencing and inspiring those in the arts – actors, writers, musicians, dancers, painters and sculptors.

Bishamon is a guardian of Buddhist values and giver of fortune, treasure and happiness. He is a healer, too, and the patron god of doctors, soldiers and priests.

Jurojin, the god of wisdom, guards over teachers, accountants, engineers, journalists, judges, and even gamblers.

Fukurokuju is the god of happiness, riches and long life. A philosopher, who loves to play chess, he looks out for athletes, gardeners, magicians and scientists

So, whether you’re looking for love, luck, longevity – or laid-back surfing days – there’s sure to be a Japanese God watching over you in 2019!

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Surf Artist Dave Reynolds

Stoked on Surfing!

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

Surf artist Dave Reynolds turns blank canvas and pieces of wood into works of art that capture the beauty and force of the ocean world he loves.

A true Renaissance Man of the surfing community, Reynolds’ talents and interests run the gamut from creating bold paintings and sculptures to trophies awarded at major surfing events, including the US Open of Surfing and upcoming Mavericks Big Wave Challenge.

 

He’s also known for his handmade chess sets with surfboard pieces and customized, surf-themed pinball machines.

 

A minimalist style painter, Reynolds turns a few, deft brushstrokes into masterpieces. Whether it’s a champion surfer, fanciful water creature or giant wave, his goal is to “use the least brushstrokes or lines to bring it to life. Somehow, when your mind sees just the basic lines, it fills in the rest,” says Reynolds.

After seeing his works at various SoCal exhibits, SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel were excited to finally visit Reynolds’ studio in Huntington Beach. Everywhere we looked there was something creative and colorful from tiny, miniature paintings to giant, wall-size paintings and his collection of surf memorabilia and surfboards.

Adding to his repertory, Reynolds and his friend Tom Gorey recently started a line of WaterClan clothing featuring his aquatic designs.

A believer in giving back to the community, his decorated surfboards have been auctioned at the annual Huntington Beach Surfboards on Parade event to raise money for Operation Surf, a charity that takes military veterans surfing. And this year, HB is honoring Reynolds as a Biennial Arts Awards recipient.

Interested in art since childhood, Reynolds says, “My dad was one of my biggest fans.” Managing the Thrifty Drugstore in Buena Park, CA, Lloyd Reynolds inspired his son’s strong work ethic.

“In the summer I used to help out in the store scooping ice cream cones. They only cost five cents then,” Reynolds told SurfWriter Girls, showing us a photo of his dad at work and a bottle of the Old Spice cologne he wore each day.

 

When Reynolds isn’t catching waves (his nickname is “Tuberider”), he enjoys spending time with his wife Kellie and their surfing dog Bandit – a rescue dog that Kellie found. Reynolds and Kellie met at the Wahini Kai and Longboard Surf Club’s Christmas party eleven years ago. Six weeks later they got married.

 

You might run into Reynolds at a Pearl Jam concert, too. A big fan of the rock band, he became friends with lead vocalist and guitarist Eddie Vedder when he made some trophies for him. Vedder signed and added his own art to this pineapple ukulele that Reynolds customized.

And, in his art studio, you can always count on Dave Reynolds to be turning out something new…helped by his canine buddy and collaborator Bandit!

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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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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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Rose Garden Memories

Labor of Love Creates Family Legacy

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

 

They say that the rose – written about by poets and painted by artists – is the most noble of flowers.

Patricia Alorro Magdaug, SurfWriter Girl Sunny’s mom, thought that.

After seeing the Exposition Park Rose Garden in Los Angeles, a landmark with 15,000 rose bushes in more than 100 varieties, Sunny’s mom was enthralled by the flowers’ beauty – and decided to plant her own rose garden.

Sunny remembers visiting plant nurseries with her mom on the weekends and walking in local neighborhoods to admire the gardens and get ideas for their own garden. Sunny and her mom filled the yard around the family’s house in Los Alamitos, CA with a variety of roses.

Finding just the right flowers, planting and tending them was something they could do together, making the garden a place the whole family could enjoy.

Years later, when Sunny’s mom was losing her memories to Alzheimer’s disease, fresh-cut roses from her garden could always make her smile.

Now, Patricia Alorro Magdaug – lovingly called “Mama Pat” by her large, extended family in California and the Phillippines and “Lola” by her grandchildren – has passed away. But the roses remain and the love she shared with everyone.

Lovely Spring While Roses Bloom

Written by Sunny Magdaug

Red rose petals are fragile in velvety dew,

Glistening and abundant in the Spring mornings about sunrise.

 

Imagine you and me meeting in lovely Spring while roses are blooming…

A precious moment in Heaven that will have eternal value.

 

In Loving Memory of Patricia Alorro Magdaug

August 25, 1925 – October 29, 2017

 

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Women of Surfing: Art and History

Huntington Beach Exhibit – A Tsunami of Talent!

Written by SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel

The Vans US Open of Surfing is over now, but some of the best surfing action you’ll see this summer isn’t on the beach. It’s at the Huntington Beach Art Center’s Women of Surfing: Art & History exhibit (now till September 2, 2017).

 

Featuring paintings and photographs by today’s top women surf artists, the exhibit is an ode to the joys of surfing and the beauty of the beach.

It’s also a tip of the hat (or board!) to the amazing women artists who are helping to capture the essence of the ocean and this sport of Hawaiian kings.

When SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel arrived for the opening night reception we got a big surprise.

Kathy Kohner-Zukerman (AKA “Gidget”), who inspired her father’s 1957 bestselling book Gidget that helped launch the surfing revolution, came over to greet us.

 

Taking a break from signing book copies, she told Patti she remembered meeting her before – a special gesture from an icon in the surfing community.

 

 

The exhibit – staged in collaboration with the Surfing Heritage & Culture Center – is curated by Costa Mesa surf artist Phil Roberts over a three-room space that creatively showcases the different styles and periods of art.

Among the artists represented are champion surfers Courtney Conlogue, Sage Erickson, Kim Hamrock. and Lynne Boyer.

This is Conlogue’s first time participating in an art show and it was clear that she was enjoying interacting with everyone who stopped to see her painting.

 

As you move from one gallery space to the next there are exciting discoveries around each corner, changing the artistic mood and direction…

 

much the way a wave can change course when you least expect it.

 

SurfWriter Girls were especially excited to see San Luis Obispo. CA award-winning artist Colleen Gnos – one of the nine outstanding women featured in SurfWriter Girls Women Making Waves 2017.

In addition to her paintings, Gnos is known for the mermaids she paints on surfboards and her murals on lifeguard stations.

Seeing Kim Hamrock was a thrill, too. A champion surfer, surfing instructor, artist and much more, Hamrock is one of SurfWriter Girl Patti’s former students.

She took Patti’s business start-up class at Cypress College when she was developing her Danger Woman surf school.

 

Reflecting the different viewpoints and visions of each woman, the paintings and photographs are as unique as the artists who created them.

But, they all share one thing in common: a love for the ocean.

 

 

Roberts says, “This exhibition is for us to see, feel and appreciate the ocean through the personal narratives of women who call the waves home.”

For ocean-lovers, Women of Surfing is a joyful homecoming. 

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