Author Archives: Surfing Scotty

About Surfing Scotty

Scott is surfer from the Bay Area. Scotty is pictured here with a dog, though it's not his dog. More on Scott's quiver later. He's a surf instructor in San Francisco, a Coastal Geography expert and a people-watcher when it comes to NorCal surf culture.

Shark Attack in Marin County: Dillon Beach Feels “Sharky”


Totally-Fake-Shark-AttackMore people in the water equals more encounters with wildlife. Below Tony Johnson talks about a recent NorCal shark attack experience. Dillon Beach is about an hour north of SF. Never surfed it, but friends have reported the place feeling “sharky”. Good thing Tony and friends decided to go for a kayak session before a surf.  Be careful out there!

The following report of a Great White Shark attack was provided by the Shark Research Committee: Dillon Beach — On December 20, 2008, Tony Johnson reported the following:

“Lucy, Anders, Cristina, Bill, Gordon, Jonathan and I were returning from a beautiful day of paddling. We were all gathered just south of Tamales Head in front of Dillon Beach. The group was deciding on surfing options when I asked Lucy if she wouldn’t mind if I went in. While going in I remember trying to make a conscious effort to use proper torso rotation and form while using my Greenland paddle. When half-way through my right stroke, a Great White Shark, with a girth larger than the width of my 22-inch kayak, hit my paddle from behind with such force that it slammed me forward to the front of my deck. Feeling the turbulence on my boat I sat up in shock at the speed, power, and size of this creature. I wish there were some way I could relate, or explain, how fast this creature was in water. I was facing the beach with my paddle out of the water, holding it in preparation for a second hit and saying to myself, ‘stay frosty.’ I was afraid to move and started yelling to my group that was behind me, ‘Great White’ – ‘Great White.’ I did this for several seconds before I decided to turn the boat around and head for the group. I stayed very still and slowly extended my paddle to turn towards the group. While turning the boat I looked to my right and there, 15–20 feet away, was the Great White, its dorsal fin out of the water. Its dorsal fin was large and shredded at the tip. The Great White was moving slowly, turning with my boat, this really caused me to panic and I paddled as fast as I could to the group yelling ‘Great White’ many times until someone heard me. We all gathered together and paddled in to Dillon Beach. While on the beach I examined the paddle and there were no bite marks, which I can’t explain.”

Canadian Surf, Eh? Wetsuit Technology Aids Development, Check this Vid


Wetsuit technology has made surfing possible in places we previously would never have considered surfable. It still sounds strange to me to use Canada and surfing in the same sentence, but make no mistake about it – there are Canadian surfers enjoying epic Canadian waves.  If you’ve already explored the many tropical destinations so well advertised in every surfing publication and are looking for something different, consider heading to the wild north where you’ll find uncrowded waves, spectacular scenery, and friendly locals.

Introducing the “Surf Simulator”


According to it’s UK promoter, Corporate Leisure International (, the ‘Surf Simulator “gives you the opportunity to ‘ride the tube‘ without getting your feet wet“. Huh? A sign the Corporate world is REALLY out of touch? Nah, just another way to have fun at a party. CLI, an event business, also offers among others: snowboard, jet ski, and magic carpet(?) “simulators”. The best part? Like a mechanical bull, simulators are controlled by an operator who can pretty much buck yo ass off at will. This thing might be pretty entertaining….after a few pints.

The Wave of the Future – Wavepools


The world of Surfing just keeps on expanding. Seems like every year a new way to ride a wave becomes popular. Now technology has come full-circle to offer us a completely new wave to ride. Wavepools are not new, but the process of perfecting the wave and taking ‘Wavepool Surfing’ mainstream has taken a while. I’m still waiting for one to come to my neighborhood while places like the Ocean Dome in Japan are making fantasy a reality with endless rippable waves – on demand! Once Six Flags clues into the phenomenon that is surfing, it won’t be long before we’re surfing in 48 new locations country wide. Don’t want to get skunked on your next surf vacation? Perhaps a roadtrip inland will soon be the ticket.

Guinness Surfer Commercial


Is this supposed to be Irish surfers of lore? There’s an ancient tribal feel to the content, but they’ve got fiberglass/single-fin Guns. The guys frolicking in their underwear has got me guessing too – not likely in the freezing North Atlantic…unless, after a few too many pints of Guinness!

Why you don’t lend your boards to Beginners


For anyone planning to start surfing, it’s a good idea to buy a used or epoxy board that can take a beating. And, before you paddle out don’t be afraid to ask a local where to get in and out of the water. This dude’s next lesson will be in ding repair.

[Editor’s Note: Yeah – trying to look cool is the number one reason, in my mind, why people tend to look like kooks, especially when starting out. Everybody who has been in the water started as a kook. The key is to recognize when you’re kookin’ out!!]

Childhood Memories


Remember that first big wave (to you)  as a kid playing in the surf? The first glimpse at a wall of water growing before your eyes and bearing down on you?  That moment when you were either brave and playful with it, or freakin’ panicked!? For many, these were the childhood experiences that shaped their lifelong fear or love for the ocean. In this clip we spy good ol’ dad supplying lifelong memories for his family at Baja‘s K38. Hell of a ride for the kids in this dinghy – I wonder who was crying and who was smiling.
K38 is epic – my memories of the spot are of double overhead blue water perfection and big tide swings.  My first trip to this spot back in ’96 we arrived at sunset and the tide was way out exposing 100+yards of craggly rocks and spires – not even walkable. I wondered where the break was. We awoke the next morning to a completely different sight – the high tide had filled in and 200 yard long rights were peeling across that same field of hazards. We scored, but it took me a little time to get out of my head what I knew lay below.

Speaking of Laird…re-visit this.


I thought this would be appropriate (since we currently have a feature interview with Surf God Laird Hamilton up that you should review) and it’s THE heaviest freakin’ ride EVER! What really struck me about this clip is Pat Curren (Tom’s dad) admitting he could never have ridden that wave – Whoa! – I’ve met Pat in the dunes of Baja and although I know he’s a humble guy deep down I’d never have expected him to bow to another regarding big wave riding. He’s one stubborn ol’ mule of a big wave charger, STILL charging triple-overhead storm surf to this day!

“Skindog” vs. Jaws


Santa Cruz surfer Kenny “Skindog” Collins is a madman. He’s successfully established himself as a big-wave hellman with a knack for finding his line into cavernous tubes at places like Maverick‘s and Puerto Escondido (see this). Looks like he‘s finally met his match.

Clark Little featured on Good Morning America


Ocean sunsets, storms, and waves have always awe-inspired the casual observer, but now Clark Little is given the platform to share views typically reserved for those of us more intimate with wave activity.  Armed with the latest technology in water cameras, and many years of ocean knowledge, Clark clicks away in places that produce images needing no artificial enhancements.

The “Aquaskipper” – manufacturer suggests not wiping out.


Remember Laird charging giant Hawaiian swells on his hydrafoil? Pretty freakin cool, but all I could imagine with that thing is wiping out and having metal blades decapitating me. Well now you too can ride a foil type thing with even more slicing and dicing action. How this company avoids the tsunami of lawsuits will be the real test for success.

New View from the Green Room


We’ve seen Brian Conley’s view of the barrel with his rear mounted board cam which seems to work better  for tube vision looking down the line and out. I’ve seen some pretty lame front mount footage where the site of the surfer isn‘t very appealing, but this clip features a guy who can surf with some trippy angles and colors from sky and water – check it.