Blog #3

Journeying into the Magic Towel

12/1/20236 min read

What up?

Been a few weeks since the last post. With it being holiday season, this time of year just tends to fly. A lot of music, work, and family things going on. Meanwhile, I'm probably obsessing about surf. I got quite bit of sessions in the last few weeks. I've been maintaining the morning pre-work paddles. Been exclusively on the mat.

I took out the Solo Shot and GoPro a few times. Captured a lot of fun footage. The youtube channel ( has been growing. I really enjoy putting the edits together. Finally took a stab at doing things with a more vlog style format. Been a big fan of surf vloggers with the likes of JOB (Jamie O'Brien) and Ben Gravy. Really love their work with the edits, personability, and quality of conent. I was always a bit hesitant to go with the whole "Hey guys!" approach, but I really wanted to find my way of vlogging. This video ( is really showing the progression of what I'm doing. This was done on Thanksgiving Day. I feel like it's really coming together.

My new favorite piece of surf gear is my Sunman Marine hat. It's got the flap and chin strap deal. It's really great and comfortable. I enjoy wearing it. I observe that I might look like a dork, but it's definitely grown onto me. Dropping down faces and flying down lines, the hat flap rustles as the air passes through quickly around my head. I feel like it enhances the experience. I also picked up another hat by Sunman without the flap. I was thinking my wife Ashley would mostly be using that.

We had a heavier day the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I decided to paddle at one of our shore break beaches for a change. I tend to mix things up to really gauge how my surfing has developed. Waves were nice and had some size. We got suited up and started paddling. These waves were like 4-6 with nice shoulders. I got about a nice 45 minutes of just pure fun and excitement. At that point, I felt satisfied. I even shared with my buddy..the paipo riding treasure that is Quincy... that I would be good if our session ended here.

Well, I spoke to soon. It seemed that waves were getting bigger as the tide was dropping. We got there just as the tide peaked and was starting to drop. Sets were coming in. It was a day to be on your toes and not paddle alone. The buddy system was in full effect. One set coming from the outside was just slowly building. It just happened to break right in front of me. I had nowhere to go. A surf mat is probably the most difficult surf craft to duck dive with..with the exception of a longboard. I wasn't able to get deep fast enough. The lip caught one of my fins and ripped it right off.

A week prior, I decided my Viper V7 surfing fins were snug enough without aid that I took off my fin savers. That was a mistake. So, here I am with sets coming in with one fin and holding on to dear life to my G-Mat. I, with great restrain from panicking, yelled out to Quincy, "I'M OUT!!" I quickly turned towards the shore and started kicking what I had left. I made it to shore.

I desperately tried to see if I could locate my lonely fin. I saw it at about 20 yards from the shore in a rip. I wasn't about to risk going out there with one fin on my leashless mat. I was already pretty beat at that point. I just watched the fin hopelessly drift from view praying it would wash to the shore. About 15 minutes later, I had accepted defeat.

That wasn't the only piece of gear I lost that morning. Distraught with the loss of one of my favorite fins, I had forgotten that I also packed my Taylors Mistake Handski. Just the day before, I was catching my best rides with that thing. Some of those rides were captured in the Thanksgiving video. On top of losing the gear, my Solo Shot was not tracking properly. I reviewed the footage and ended up just outside of frame the whole session. That day was not my day. Nonetheless, I quickly ordered a new pair of Viper V7's and a replacement handski. The new V7's arrived. I'm still waiting for the handski, but it will take a while since it's coming halfway around the world.

Losing one half of my favorite fins, I was forced to dig into my fin quiver for alternates. I got to rock my Mark Cunningham DaFins, Yucca standards, and my yellow dot MS Vipers. After committing to the mat back in June, I was convinced that I needed the longest, most powerful fins I could find. That led me to picking up UDT's and eventually some V7's. After exploring with the earlier mentioned shorter blade fins, I believe that's no longer the case. Proper technique goes a long way.

I was first surprised how well the DaFins worked out for me on the mat after really just digging into the water with minimal splash when kicking to catch waves. They've got those nice raised walls for setting rails, comfortably soft foot pocket, stiff blade, and really cool color schemes. Months back, I had learned that Mark Cunningham would be showing up to Ventura to participate in an art show showcasing his ocean project of random sea finds that he would curate into artwork. I met him there with my son. I took my fins with me and asked him to bless them. He did it kindly. He was a real gentleman. This pair of fins will always be special.

Like the DaFins, my Yucca standards worked efficiently well for the mat. They too share high side walls for rail setting. They're probably the most comfortable fin with their wide foot pockets. Their always limited edition colorways are unmatched.

The MS Vipers worked great for catching but don't have the best rail control. They lack in the raised walls that the DaFins and Yuccas carry. The MS Vipers have the shortest blade of the three. I do appreciate how light and fast they feel in the water. You can really get good bursts of speed with them. They were my favorite boog fin for months straight.

Earlier today, Yucca mentioned the pre-order of their long awaited long blade fins. I couldn't miss this. I've been waiting for this a whole wile. I ended up pre-ordering a pair of the 4GF colorway that is made in the ultra soft stiffness. I'm really stoked for those. I hear a lot of mat riders preferring the ultra soft stiffness. Looks like I'll be getting them around February. Can't wait.

Weather and water has started to feel a bit colder as it does around this time of year. It'll get colder for a few months until we head into spring. To battle the cold, I started looking into a 5:4. Been having my eyes on one by Rip Curl. Last night after work, I took my son and myself to the Rip Curl outlet close by. They had my size. I've never put on a 5:4 before. It was really a struggle. At the end, I was drenched in sweat (my own). I felt like I had just gotten out of a jiu jitsu class. When the suit was on, it felt nice and cozy. It's a bit snug, but I don't know what else to expect out of it. I'm just stoked to be that much warmer in the water battling the cold air.

I get up this morning just before 5 am. I brushed my teeth. My stuff is already packed the night before. All I got to do left is suit up and fill my water jug with hot water for that oh so nice post sesh rinse. As I'm suiting up, I get halfway and start to get my arms in. I now have both arms in only to feel tears on the chest. I was pretty bummed. I still am not sure if the tears were born out of the struggle of getting the suit on or what. I had a great time trying to settle it with the manufacturer on what next steps would be. I mean I just got it the night before. You'd think I'd be able to swap it or get my money back pretty fast. Turns out the shops didn't have the same size I needed. They only had the XL, but this not so tall, stocky Filipino needs an XLS. I opted to drop off the suit and have it sent for repairs.

This isn't were I would have liked to end this blog. I feel this is very Empire Strikes Back feeling, but this is where we're at. Hoping to get the suit sooner than later. Weather is cold now. I'd like my suit now. Haha. If I don't talk to you guys sooner, be well, enjoy your family, enjoy your life, and happy holidays.