The multi-discipline surfer Kai Lenny models the inflatable back carrot.

Watch: Kai Lenny debut “the inflatable back carrot!”

A must-have vegetable-themed accessory currently doing the crowdfunding circuit…

Two days ago, the multi-discipline surfer Kai Lenny introduced, with a flourish, a giant inflatable carrot that delivers a kick of speed for downwind foilers.

“I got this from Lou Wainman and you’re meant to go real fast downwind with it,” says Kai, who turns twenty six years old in a couple of weeks and who lives on the Hawaiian island of Maui. “Supposedly, way up in the atmosphere where it’ll be it’ll catch the wind and propel you forward. The idea of the carrot is it catches just enough wind to help assist me going downwind faster so now it’s a light wind and I can feel it pulling on me to catch onto the next swell. Still gotta get used to having a carrot on my back!”

Lou says, “I’ve made some prototype tubes about 20 to 30 feet tall tubes that create a lot of drag/power in the wind. I think they could be good for Stand Up Paddleboards to go downwind without needing to paddle. Maybe even hydrofoilers could make it work to go upwind and eventually surfers, when designs get modified and evolve. I’m looking to build more prototypes and test them here on Maui to eventually do a production run and some promotions to get it off the ground. It’s actually a lot of fun just to stand on the beach with one on. There is a lot of power there.”

Kai’s conclusion?

“Does the future have space for the carrot? I say YES!”

Lou’s chasing thirty gees for his carrot biz. So far he’s raised $645.

Wanna make a dream come true? Donate here. 

https://www.instagram.com/p/BoPj_9TnsyM


Opinion: Wave Pools are totally and utterly disgusting and also abominations!

Saltwater matters!

I’m going to be completely honest here. Totally and completely honest. Wave tanks are totally and utterly disgusting and the tragic death from brain-eating amoebas should be the end of all of them, even if the brain-eating amoebas came from hotel hot tubs, and by all of them I mean all the freshwater inland ones, not that there is any other kind.

Kelly Slater and the WSL should head up to Lemoore with flamethrowers strapped to backs. Pete Coors, owner of NLand, should rent a B-52 bomber for the day. BSR Cable Park in Waco should ignite the thing with napalm. The United States Senate etc. should stop jibber jabbering about Supreme Court nominations for one second and craft laws that ban them unless they happen to be touching the ocean and sharing water with the ocean like all those gorgeous Australian swimming pools.

Otherwise it’s over.

It’s a wrap.

I truly don’t care if the brain-eating amoeba in the tragic case of New Jersey victim came from a hot tub or local hotel swimming pool or local hotel bathtub.

All the wave pools thus far are fucking disgusting wastes of water in places that shouldn’t be wasting water. And the water they are wasting is totally suspect to begin with, begging for issues if not today then tomorrow and if not tomorrow then the next day.

They are unnatural abominations and we laughed at God for a minute but the giggles are over and it is time to pull the plug.

It’s just my opinion, of course, but how will the problems be fixed in Lemoore and in Waco and most of all in Austin? Public swimming pools are gross. No one has ever questioned the grossness of public swimming pools yet they are tiny and easy to filter unlike giant repurposed waterski lakes.

And the worst is yet to come.

Austin is the grossest, in my mind. Lots of indy music over there. Lots of “artists.” Lots of population and a shitty wave to boot. Ugh.

But back to those gorgeous Australian swimming pools, the ones that share water with the ocean, that’s where wave pools should be built. In places that don’t have waves but have ocean. It would solve all the problems at once and especially the brain-eating bacteria ones.

So that’s my final position. I didn’t become a bass fisherman because I’m already suspect of freshwater. Saltwater matters and now we know it. Saltwater is an amazing. Saltwater is why we do what we do and who knew? Or I suppose we all did. We all knew or at least I did. The times I’ve been on houseboats or waterski boats or lake fishing boats and someone always developed some sort of gross eye infection.

Ugh.

I literally loathe freshwater unless it’s a fast running river or I’m drinking it from a fancy bottle.

We should have all known when these damned perfect barrels snatched our eyes, infections looming. We should have known.

Freshwater is gross.

Saltwater matters.

And that is that.


Breaking: Shark attacks teenaged boy in Encinitas.

Calls came in about the attack around 7 a.m., the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department confirmed.

Well hell. Today sure is off to a bummer start. First very bad news out of Waco and now this as reported by Fox news:

A teen boy was attacked by a shark off Beacon’s Beach in Encinitas Saturday morning, witnesses told FOX 5.

Calls came in about the attack around 7 a.m., the San Diego County Sheriff’s Department confirmed. Deputies were at the scene assisting lifeguards and Encinitas fire officials.

A witness who knew the victim told FOX 5 he was a young teen on a lobster diving trip. Photos from the scene showed lifeguards treating the boy on the beach before transferring him to a helicopter to be taken to the hospital.

Chad Hammel, who was out with a group of friends diving for lobster, helped rescue the boy and bring him to safety on his kayak. Hammel said his group had been out diving for about a half hour that morning when he heard screaming. At first he thought it was the excited yell of a fellow lobster diver. But then, “I realized that he was yelling, ‘I got bit! I got bit!’” Hammel said.

The group paddled over to the boy and pulled him onto the kayak. They quickly realized the teen was suffering from serious bite injuries and bleeding badly. “His whole clavicle was ripped open,” Hammel said. ” We told him he’s going to be okay, he’s going to be alright — we got help. I yelled at everyone to get out of the water: ‘There’s a shark in the water!’”

As the group paddled to shore, Hammel turned around to a terrifying sight: “Once we threw him up on the kayak and started heading in, that’s when I looked back, and the shark was behind the kayak. He didn’t want to give up yet.”

The group of friends — some of whom had medical training — tried to keep the boy calm and put pressure on his wounds as blood filled their kayak.

People on the beach called paramedics who rushed to the scene and got the boy into a helicopter. He was airlifted to the hospital.

Officials have not yet released details on the boy’s status.

Ugh.

A real stomach turning day. Sorry for the depression.


Tragedy: Waco Tank closed as CDC tests for “brain eating amoeba.”

“Preliminary testing results should be ready later next week.”

The BSR Cable Park in Waco, Texas was closed on Friday while officials from the Center for Disease Control tested the water for Naegleria fowleri, which is commonly referred to as a “brain-eating amoeba.”

A surfer from New Jersey named Fabrizo Stabile recently visited the Park then subsequently passed away from the disease after returning home.

The Waco-Tribune Herald reports:

The CDC is assisting the Waco-McLennan County Public Health District in the investigation into a potential Naegleria fowleri exposure, CDC spokesperson Candice Burns Hoffmann said.

“A small CDC team collected samples for Naegleria fowleri testing and will be working with the health department on recommendations to provide the facility on how to reduce potential exposures,” Hoffmann said. “Preliminary testing results should be ready later next week.”

Naegleria fowleri, commonly referred to as the “brain-eating amoeba,” can cause a deadly infection called primary amebic meningoencephalitis when contaminated water enters a person’s body through the nose, according to the CDC’s website.

The amoeba is commonly found in warm freshwater, including lakes, rivers and hot springs, and swallowing contaminated water does not lead to infections, according to the CDC. Symptoms start to show one to nine days after swimming, and infected people typically die one to 18 days after symptoms start, according to the CDC’s website.

Naegleria infection causes a disease called primary amebic meningoencephalitis, according to the Mayo Clinic. This disease causes brain inflammation and destruction of brain tissue.

Signs and symptoms of naegleria infection may include:

A change in the sense of smell or taste
Fever
Sudden, severe headache
Stiff neck
Sensitivity to light
Nausea and vomiting
Confusion
Loss of balance
Sleepiness
Seizures
Hallucinations

The ideal environment, warm freshwater, can also be found in Lemoore, California home to the Surf Ranch property and I wonder if traveling surfers will pause before booking inland surf trips or if potential amoeba infection will simply become the price of admission… like sharks in the ocean?


The real Jen See (pictured) thrilling at buoy news!

Confession: “I believe the bouys like they’re mystical omens sent from the heavens!”

How do you feel about surf forecasts?

I am a terrible optimist. I look at the weather forecast models and I believe what they’re selling. I believe it every single time. There’s a giant hurricane about to slam into Los Angeles? Sure, why the hell not. A beautiful low winking at me as she spirals down from the Aleutians? That is so totally going to happen. Come on, let’s go surfing.

I believe the bouys like they’re mystical omens sent from the heavens. A talisman, a harvest moon, a rare constellation — signs of the sort that I hesitate to question. They claim a freak afternoon windswell and there I go, running out the door. I show up at the beach and it’s flat as fuck and I’m standing looking at the ocean with a shortboard wondering what the hell I’m supposed to do with the thing. The bouys are assholes.

The day after I ate ice cream in Kettleman City, which was right after I left the Surf Ranch, I went surfing in the ocean. I never wanted to see the inside of a car again, but there was south swell, which from my present location generally requires driving either north or south. So I drove to Ventura, which was windfucked and mediocre, but I convinced myself it wasn’t that bad and paddled out anyway. Optimism, it’ll get you in trouble, is what I’m saying.

After three days in Lemoore, I would have paddled out in just about anything. This reacquaintance with the ocean was not a revelation by any means. I fell on half my waves and forgot what to do on the other half. My feet felt completely separate from my body. Even I didn’t have enough optimism to convince myself that I was actually surfing well. Maybe I need to read some of those pop-up guides that litter the internet. They say it’s the most important element of surfing. Maybe i just need more practice.

I may not have surfed with any distinction, but I did see a would-be ripper who was a dead-ringer for Spicoli. I couldn’t tell whether the resemblance was intentional. Hair, voice, the whole thing — he was Spicoli, come to life. That made the whole thing worth it, the driving, the wind, the weirdly far away feet, the falling. Sometimes, it’s not the actual surfing that matters; it’s all the weird stuff and the roadside attractions you see along the way.

Now the seasons have shifted noticeably to fall. I wore a beanie to the coffee shop this morning for the first time in months. The marine layer’s returned and the onshore winds whisper tales of the coming winter. Santa Barbara faces the wrong way for good surf, right up until it faces exactly the right way. I’m not telling any secrets here, when I say it’s either amazing or it’s dead flat for weeks on end. Is it any wonder that I’m addicted to forecast models, when there’s nothing to do but hit refresh day after day after day.

The GFS says it’s going to massive in two weeks. Or maybe it’s three. I’m sure I need a new step-up. Maybe I should have paid more attention yesterday when the man at the coffee shop tried to explain to me how to buy surfboards.

— Hey do you surf?

— Uh, yeah, I guess.

— There’s this website, they have super cheap boards, it’s really great.

— Uh I don’t buy my boards online.

— But you should! Look at these deals! You can get like a Lost for next to nothing!

— Uh I get my boards made to order.

— Well, I know my dimensions.

I rolled my eyes and went back to my macchiato and the New Yorker feature about Boulder, Utah that I was trying to read. I’d been there once, Boulder, I mean, on the way from the start of a bike race to the end. It’s not far from Escalante and the Grand Staircase and some of the most exuberant geology I’ve ever seen. I’ll read Kathryn Schulz on just about any topic, but this one resonated. I was glad to know website guy knew his dimensions, though, because I was worried about that. It might have kept me up at night.

There is a certain optimism in ordering a board, rather than grabbing a finished one off the rack and going surfing right away. It means you believe that there’ll be surf again someday and that the world will still be here eight or twelve weeks from now when the resin dries and the sanding is finished.

You believe that the numbers and squiggles scrawled on that scrap of paper will translate into magic under your feet, just as the readings pumped out every hour by the bouys will translate into good surf at the beach.

Sure, the bouys are assholes, but maybe just this once, it won’t be a lie. That’s what I tell myself. Maybe I’ll show up at the beach with my favorite board under my arm and there’ll be a gluttony of waves. There’s a fine line between optimism and delusion and I’m pretty sure I’ve slamdanced right past that thing. Look at that perfect low, just spinning out there, the stuff of dreams.

At least I’m not in Lemoore anymore.