brain eating zombie

Brain-Eating Amoeba Closes Wavegarden?

Recent death at whitewater park the reason behind sudden decision to delay Texas pool?

As reported here two days ago, Wavegarden’s newest location, the yet-to-open NLand Surf Park in Texas, has been hit with a lawsuit for failing to comply with county safety codes.

As first revealed by the Austin American Statesman newspaper,

According to Attorneys for NLand and Travis County have been negotiating for months over whether the lagoon counts as a public swimming pool and, thus, requires a permit. NLand believes it does not, arguing that the rainwater-fed lagoon is more similar to a lake.

State law defines a swimming pool as any “artificial body of water, including a spa, maintained expressly for public recreational purposes.” It requires pools to administer chlorine to keep bacteria from exceeding safe limits and meet other sanitary requirements.

And that, as they say, is the rub.

See, on June 19, a teenager rafter died of a brain-eating amoeba after a trip to the US National Whitewater Center, home to the “world’s largest manmade whitewater river”.

From CNN:

Levels of the brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri, which killed an Ohio teen, were unusually high in water samples taken from the U.S. National Whitewater Center and were probably caused by the failure of the water sanitation system.

It’s also one of only three such systems in the United States that are not required to be regularly tested for pathogens, said Cope. According to local health officials, that’s because it’s viewed as more of a river, even though the park is made of concrete channels that recirculate 12 million gallons of water from the city’s municipal water system, some water wells and rain. 
The center was “not required to be a regulated facility, but that is being questioned for the future,” Mecklenburg County Medical Director Dr. Stephen Keener said.
Being killed by brain-eating amoebas isn’t the prettiest way to die. Convulsions, seizures, vomiting and hallucinations all intrude before a welcome death.
Therefore, NLand Surf Park, I’m guessing, has run into a wall of sudden health concerns. Which is a sonofabitch when you’re almost ready to flip the open sign.
In a press release this morning, the park says,
NLand will not open until we can assure our guests the park will meet the highest standards for quality and safety. We are disappointed the county commissioners would take such drastic measures, without explanation. We look forward to creating a win-win solution for Travis County, NLand and most importantly the millions of surfers and surfers-to-be worldwide.
On a positive note, Surf Texas photographer Kenny Braun captured this image of one of our first waves and we wanted to share it.
NLand Surf Park
Ironically, on the same day the commissioners voted to sanction our park, we hosted an orientation for over 150 new team members, more than 50 of whom are from Del Valle and Cedar Creek. Team members gathered on the pier for a group shot to commemorate the first week of orientation and training.
Does brain-eating amoeba concern you? Or are you ready to crack this thing open?

Julian Wilson is a bad mama jama!

Who's the toughest man in surfing? Wrong! It's Julian Wilson!

And now let us frankly assess the masculinity, the toughness, of surfers compared to other professionals and hobbiests. I think it is very fair to put lumberjacks at the very top and furries at the very bottom. Roughnecks, crab fishermen, strong man competitors are in the upper third, very near the top. Professional poker players, video game enthusiasts and surfers are in the bottom third, very near the bottom.

Like our furry friends we are anthropomorphic, dressing up as cute little seals and playing in the waves like friendly dolphins. We clap our hands and hoot and giggle.

But now look at Julian “motherfucking” Wilson standing between furry friend Kanoa Igarashi’s and Kolohe Andino’s lockers in South Africa talking prosaically about his surfboard’s dimensions.

“Riding the Monster Six, pretty much an identical board to what I was riding last year. It’s got a little J on it for J-Bay last year. My favorite board. It’s 6’0″ and a half, 18 3/4 just over 2 1/4…..”

Talking banally about what he rides but all bashed up and totally awesome!
That is the face of a fighter. Of a rodeo clown. Of a man who has looked fear in the eye and gotten sandpapered by fear but don’t give two shits.

I am going to dress up like Julian Wilson for Halloween this year.

He’s a bad mama jama
Just as fine as he can be, hey
He’s a bad mama jama
Just as fine as he can be

His surfboard measurements are perfect in every dimension
Its got a figure thats sho nuff gettin attention
He’s poetry in motion, a beautiful sight to see
I get so excited viewin his anatomy

Oops. Ummm. Did I just write, “I get so excited viewin his anatomy?” Shit. Maybe forget that last line.

Dane Reynolds Craig Anderson

Parker: 5 surf tips to enhance your life!

Involving booze, fins, leashes, drowning and non-edible wax… 

Got my shit done late today. Went for a surf, ate shit onto the deck of my board like a goon. Thought I broke a few ribs. Headed to urgent care to get checked out. Three hours of waiting room hell. Not their fault, place was jammed. Pretty good service, really. All things considered.

One family full of screaming kids. Not angry, crying. Screams of laughter. The absolute worst. Running laps around the adults, singing, having a great time.

People will take a crying child outside. But not a happy one. Because I’m supposed to love the joy of children? I definitely do not. Better seen and not heard.

People will take a crying child outside. But not a happy one. Because I’m supposed to love the joy of children? I definitely do not. Better seen and not heard.

Best never seen at all.

Got my x-rays, nothing broken. Just bad bruising. Sweet! Looking forward to my upcoming Nica trip, don’t wanna deal with an injury while I’m there. Doc says I probably bruised my spleen too. Which I guess isn’t a big deal, unless it turns into internal bleeding. Which I assume it will not. But I’ve got a week of the wife watching me like a hawk in store.

I also got a small bottle of percocet. Which is a silver lining, for sure. Perks to being injury prone. Kinda. Only because I can handle my shit.

Derek says to surprise you all and write about some surf knowledge. That which I have. Which is a bit, I’ve been playing in the ocean for a longish time. But I don’t know if I can drop any true knowledge bombs. We’re not the Inertia, I don’t know if many of our readers have less than a year under their belt. Fairly certain I can’t hand out anything that isn’t straight “yeah, duh!” stuff.

So maybe I’ll just share some surf knowledge it took me far too long to learn.

Cut your leash rope short: No one ever told me your leash rope can pull through the rail of your board if it’s too long. Found that out in my late twenties. After it happened on a small day at Log Cabins.

You can’t drown from a hold-down: Not if you’re a normal human. Toss your hat into the lunatic ring, try paddling into a skyscraper. Then maybe. But stay calm and just deal with the carbon dioxide build up and you’ll be fine. Learn who long you can hold your breath with just a little practice and you’ll be laughing at life.

I do enjoy Wassel’s take on apnea. “I can hold my breath for one minute.”

Because it only matters if you’re being flogged halfway to death. Five minutes in a pool ain’t shit.

(By the way, listen to the podcast if you haven’t. It’s good shit. Recording episode two tomorrow.)

Alcohol is terrible for your surfing: I wish it weren’t true. Could crawl in a bottle every day without my body slowing turning into mush. But the facts be the facts. With every day that passes my body bounces back with a bit less vigor. Just can’t go big one day and expect to surf worth a damn for the next couple.

Fins don’t make that big of a difference: A good set (Techflex Merricks!) is heaven. But you don’t need a fin quiver. That shit’s just marketing.

Marketing that got me to buy way too many slivers of glass that gather dust before I came to my senses.

I could be wrong, though. Maybe constant swapping would invigorate my jams!

I would happily admit so, publicly, were Futures to kick a few bucks our way. Wouldn’t do it for FCStitch. As far as I’m concerned one set’s too many. Especially with the shenanigans they’re trying to pull these days. Which I don’t know if I’m allowed to talk about. Innocents caught in the crossfire.

You shouldn’t eat Bubblegum surf wax: I probably ate a few bars worth as a kid. Someone older told me you could and I didn’t even question it.

Occy's Left
This is the sort of wave that makes you want to stand on the top of the newly refurbished seats and clap like thunder!

Surf Resort voted “Best Hotel in World!”

Dazzling Sumba resort Nihiwatu best hotel in the world say readers of Travel + Leisure magazine… 

The times are a-changing. Or they’ve changed. And it ain’t necessarily bad, at least if your credit card glows.

A few days ago, Travel + Leisure magazine announced that its readers had voted the Nihiwatu resort on Sumba, where clifftop villas overlook a sizzling lefthander which the resort claims exclusive rights to, the best hotel in the world.

It ain’t cheap, of course, but what price the sublime? The five-bedroom estate is $US12,000 a night in peak season while a starter villa is $US1500, inclusive of all food, yoga, wifi, but not, uh, surfing, which is limited to ten surfers.

Let’s examine the rate sheet.

“All surf slots are charged at USD100.00++ per day. A maximum of 1 surf slot per villa applies. If our guests are surfers we need to know how many will be surfing at the time of paying the deposit. Adjustments will be made to invoices for additional surfers according to your response. The above rate is subject to 11% government tax & 10% service charge and is non-commissionable. Please note that only registered surfers will be allowed to surf. These will have received a confirmation from the Boathouse time prior to their arrival, confirming their paid surf slot.”

How’s that Mastercard feeling? A little warm in your hands?

Study the wave, here.

Claude and Petra Graves set up Nihiwatu in 2000 before selling to American entrepreneur Chris Burch and South African hotelier James McBride in 2012. After renovations last spring, Nihiwatu was visited by Travel + Leisure magazine‘s Peter Jon Lindberg, who wrote:

I spent my week in Sumba in a state of suspended bliss, orbiting among infinity pools, natural mud baths, waterfall-fed swimming holes, glowing valleys full of rice paddies, misty mountaintop villages straight out of Tolkien, and a beach that looked as if it were airbrushed on the side of a van.

That beach is spectacular, with or without the left-hand break, and one can easily see why the Graveses pitched their tent here. It can’t have changed much in the 27 years since: every morning I’d walk the mile and a half to the end, and every morning mine were the only footprints.

Nihiwatu’s redesign—by the Bali firm Habitat 5—finds a winning balance between refined and raw. Guest villas allude to traditional Sumbanese homes, with steeply pitched thatched roofs and massive kasambi tree trunks for support columns. Sumbanese ikat tapestries and black-and-white photos of local villagers hang on ocher stone walls. Wide-angle windows overlook lush gardens and the sea beyond.

Local touches show up everywhere: bathroom sinks are hewn from slabs of roughly carved stone; wardrobes are fashioned from coconut wood. The space is natural where you want it to be, sleek where you need it—as in the seamless glide of sliding glass doors; the light switches that glow in the unfamiliar dark; or the straw paddle fan that swirls inside, not outside, your monumental canopy bed. Most striking of the new villas: the Kanatar Sumba Houses, where an outdoor shower is magically cantilevered off the second floor. All the other outdoor showers went home and cried.

Ninety-eight percent of the staff are from Sumba. Like most guests, I was assigned a butler, a jovial Sumbanese man named Simson, who arrived at 7 a.m. every morning bearing breakfast—papaya, rambutan, watermelon juice, house-made yogurt, Sumba coffee. (The foodhere is terrific, highlighting the bright, fresh flavors you crave in the tropics.) One morning Simson was limping because a scorpion had bitten him on the toe back home. “I didn’t check before putting on my sandals!” he said, as if it were his fault, not the scorpion’s. He quickly added that one seldom encounters them at Nihiwatu.

Scorpions or no, I can’t remember a resort on any island that I’ve liked more than Nihiwatu. And while it is clearly not for everyone—there are no golf carts to whisk guests around— I can’t imagine what sort of crank wouldn’t fall for the place.

As they reach out to a broader clientele, Burch and McBride are determined to honor Nihiwatu’s commitment to the island. To this day, all profits from the resort go to the Sumba Foundation. They’ve even added an on-site “Guru Village,” where doctors stay for free in exchange for volunteer work. During my visit, a team of Australian eye specialists was in residence; they spent their mornings surfing and afternoons performing cataract surgeries in local clinics.

Of course there’s an inevitable dissonance between Sumba’s privation and Nihiwatu’s privilege, between a subsistence-level economy and a butler-staffed resort. Perhaps that’s why so many guests are compelled to support the foundation and, not least, to visit Sumbanese villages. To do so is to realize how unique— and symbiotic—the relationship is between Nihiwatu and the island it calls home.”

Did you, like me, laugh a little at the reference to the butler? “…a jovial Sumbanese man named Simson… one morning Simson was limping because a scorpion had bitten him on the toe back home.”

Oh, poor Simson, the damn native, paid to be jovial, even when he’s seized with poison!

Watch the promo video here.

Radio: Scott Caan plays Chas Smith!

Kooks of Komedy is a very funny podcast. Come listen and learn who will play Mick Fanning in the film version of Welcome to Paradise, Now Go to Hell!

I am well aware that I have a face made for radio and a voice made for the Muppet Show which leaves really only one viable career path. Surf Journalist. Nick Carroll knows what I’m talking about. But this past Saturday found me sitting across from two men who each possess a constellation of talents.

Lachlan Patterson and Joe Praino are both very funny working comedians, very handsome and enjoy the surfing. I had heard about their side project podcast Kooks of Komedy for some time and even heard snippets before on other websites and liked but now I love because I was the guest on Saturday.

Not that I love what I have to say. Oh no no no. I am exhausted to death of own story, the damned Hezbollah capture, Mick Fanning incident etc. I feel like a fraud talking about any of it, not that those things aren’t true, but the moments that have become signposts of my career happened a lifetime ago. I don’t like looking back, generally, and especially not back a decade.

What made being on the show so great, what made me love it, were the hosts. Surfing is such a comical thing and it works best in the hands of comedians. We sat and laughed. I drank Titos and Vitamin Water and delighted in what we all have in common.

Damned surfing.

You can listen here. And visit the website for video, pictures etc.

Damned surfing!