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Topics - andygere

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General Discussion / Matunuck Sunday, 8/2
« on: August 01, 2015, 08:38:54 PM »
I'm in CT vacationing with my family, and I'm going to jump in at Matunuck with my wife and nephew around 6-6:30 Sunday morning.  I'll be the guy on the white Uli, if you see me, paddle over and say hi.  I surfed that spot all through my extended college career, but haven't been back for over 20 years.  I can't wait.

I just received the following letter from the Port Director in Santa Cruz:


 Attention Santa Cruz Boaters:

The United States Coast Guard is proposing to remove the Mile Buoy and replace it with a mark on the chart. There would no longer be any buoy or other permanent marker in the waters along the Santa Cruz coastline.

The Coast Guard distributed a Local Notice to Mariners describing the proposed removal (see page 2 of the notice). They are requesting comments from all interested parties by Thursday, November 28, 2013.

Comments may be directed to Lt. Melissa Smith at (510) 437-5984 or via email at

The Coast Guard is particularly interested in any rationale relating to why the buoy is necessary for safe navigation in spite of the current availability and affordability of electronic navigation equipment (e.g. GPS).


Lisa Ekers, PE
Port Director

The local Notice to Mariners mentioned in the letter above can be found at this link on page 8  The notice indicates plans to remove many other important navigational aids, take a look and see if the one you use is in jeopardy.

The Santa Cruz Lighted Whistle Buoy SC (know locally as the mile buoy) is the only navigation aid outside of the harbor jetties, and it's an important visual and audible marker for all small boaters, but especially for SUP paddlers and others without electronic navigational instruments such as GPS.  SUP paddlers rely on the sight and sound of this navigational aid to safely return to the harbor, identify the boundary of the outer waters of Monterey Bay, to mark distance during downwind runs and as a safe rendezvous point during group paddles. To me, it's insane that the Coast Guard would consider removing such an important tool for safe boating. I can not imagine that the cost of maintaining the buoy is terribly high, and since it's the only one for over 60 miles of coastline, it seems a strange way to try to shore up the operating budget. My guess is that one rescue mission for a lost paddler would eat up many years of maintenance cost savings.

If you are a Monterey Bay paddler, or if you ever use the Santa Cruz Harbor, please take a minute to make a call or send an e-mail to Lt. Smith at the number and address noted above. Even if you are not from the area, please consider a general letter against removal of visual and audible nav aids. They serve all paddlers and boaters, and if this trend catches on, your buoy may be next. Thanks in advance!

Sessions / SUP Surf Flick: 2 Summer Mornings
« on: July 27, 2013, 12:30:39 PM »
I made a little surf movie to capture the essence of summer surf in Santa Cruz.  It's better with the turned up.

Gear Talk / Ordered an L41 SIMSUP today--Stoked!
« on: September 30, 2012, 09:48:38 PM »
I'm lucky to live in a wave rich town where some of the best surfboard builders in the world set up shop.  Among them is L41's Kirk McGinty, who has taken custom SUPs to a new level.  In addition to being a killer designer and shaper, Kirk is a top-notch SUP surfer and a real ambassador for the sport, so it was a foregone conclusion that my next custom SUP was coming from his shaping room. After having the opportunity to take extensive demos (like days and weeks, not hours) on all 4 models in the SIMSUP line, I zeroed in on a SIMSUP 2 with a few special touches as the ideal ride for me.  I am stoked out of my gourd, and can't wait to have it in my hands and under my feet.

Extended demo courtesy of the SRNFF, who planted the original SIMSUP seeds...

Getting ready for a 12 miler next week, and I haven't been too scientific about my pre race diet.  What about the morning of the race?  Any foods to absolutely avoid?  Tips and ideas from the experts out there are welcomed.

Fellow Standup Zoners,

I am reaching out to my friends and paddling brothers and sisters here on the Standup Zone to support me in sharing paddling and other adventure opportunities with folks who would otherwise never get to experience them. On Saturday, October 15, 2011 I will be stand up paddle boarding a 5 mile racecourse on San Francisco Bay in support of Environmental Traveling Companionsí (ETC) accessible outdoor adventure programs for people with disabilities and economically disadvantaged youth.

I have set a personal goal of raising $300 for my effort and I am asking you to support me by making a contribution toward this goal.

Throughout my life, I have been blessed to have the access and the physical ability to enjoy surfing, paddling, snowboarding, hiking, camping and fishing.  These activities have enriched my life immeasurably, and I have often taken them for granted.  ETC provides outdoor adventures to those who are not as lucky as me, including folks that struggle every day with a disability, and disadvantaged youth from nearby communities.  When I learned about this event at an SUP race last weekend, I knew immediately that I needed to get involved.

Any level of sponsorship will directly and positively impact the lives of people who live daily with challenges many of us can never imagine.  You can follow the link below to donate and learn more about how Environmental Travel Companions makes the outdoor experience possible for others.

Thank you,

Andy Gere

Downwind and Racing / Covewater Classic
« on: July 17, 2011, 02:17:39 PM »
Yesterday was the first ever Covewater Classic Northern California Stand Up Paddle Championship, and it was a terrific event.  Scott and Leslie Ruble and the folks at Covewater did an amazing job of selecting the venue, setting the race courses, organizing the event and most importantly infusing the whole thing with massive doses of aloha.

The race courses were fun and challenging, and by my estimation a bit longer than advertised, but for the better.  The registration and timing was flawless, the announcers recognized every single competitor coming through the finish gates, and the awards lunch, music, raffle (Prizes included a BARK Competitor donated by Surftech) and stunning trophies were second to none.  I hope this becomes an annual event, and would encourage veteran racers and novices alike to come to the Santa Cruz area to participate.

A few photos of the event are posted here, taken by my friend Sam Lucas who sat out the race to help man the Paddle Surf Hawaii demo booth.

To get the full flavor of the event, check out the SRFNFF's blog post at

General Discussion / Airline traveling with a SUP paddle
« on: May 23, 2011, 12:34:47 PM »
I will be traveling across the country on Continental Airlines, and want to bring with me a a handmade wooden paddle that will be given as a gift.  What are people's experiences regarding how to pack (Box vs. padded paddle case vs. case and box) and what condition the paddle arrived in? 

Continental posts the following policy regarding traveling with Oars, anybody use this for traveling with a SUP paddle?

    Continental accepts one pair of oars or one oar case containing up to two oars per customer as checked baggage.

    Continental is not liable for damage to oars.

    Excess Valuation may not be purchased for oars.

    If applicable, the first or second bag fee applies to oars.

    Oars carried in addition to the free baggage allowance will be assessed at current excess baggage charges.

I'd ship it, but I don't think I'll have time to ship it and have it arrive on time.

Sessions / Chilly morning on the Central Coast
« on: April 13, 2011, 01:02:09 PM »
I've attached a link to a neat little surf movie filmed and produced by a talented local photographer/film maker named Chris Elmenhurst, owner of Point Pics Photography.  I was lucky enough to be out surfing with my friends Sam and Dana at our favorite local spot while Chris was set up on shore doing his thing.  We had a great surf session in fun conditions despite the 41 degree air temps when we paddled out at sun up.  I dig the whole production because it really captures the essence of the morning: a few friends sharing waves in a beautiful setting.

Sam is the regular foot on the white PSH board, Dana is the goofy foot on the white/green PSH and I'm the guy wearing the beanie on the lime green Angulo custom.

Sessions / Kelp Saturdays
« on: January 24, 2011, 07:30:36 PM »
We've got a good little crew that gets together for a SUP surf dawn patrol most Saturdays.  Sometimes the waves are good, sometimes not, but we always have fun.  This film should give you the general flavor of the thing.

Sessions / One January Day
« on: January 20, 2011, 08:18:56 AM »
This is a short film about a rare chance for Nancy and I to surf together. I had the day off and the kids were in school, so we loaded up the 'Burb and went looking for a wave. The surf wasn't big, but the sun was shining, the crowd was small, and I was on the water sharing waves with the love of my life. It doesn't get much better than that.

Sessions / Locked Gate
« on: January 19, 2011, 09:16:44 PM »
This spring I went for a dawn patrol surf at a favorite spot, only to find the gate locked while the stairs were being repaired. I ran into Ron at the overlook, and the two of us paddled up the coast to get to the spot, and had it virtually to ourselves in fun conditions for several hours. I put this goofy little trailer together with some of the footage from that morning.

Downwind and Racing / West Cliff Challenge, Santa Cruz
« on: September 12, 2010, 09:14:37 PM »
Great event put on by the Ghostryders Watermen Club today.

A few photos are at:

General Discussion / Cape Codders...
« on: July 14, 2010, 12:31:33 PM »
This is becoming an annual plea to my fellow Zoners.  I'll  be on Cape for a  few weeks in August (14-30) for vacation at my folks' place in Eastham, but won't be able to travel with any of my SUP boards.  I've got some traditional longboards there, but would love to get out on a SUP in that clear cold water.  If any of you have a spare board and are willing to meet me for a surf session or two (or flatwater paddle as conditions dictate), I'd be eternally grateful, and would be happy to return the favor here on the West Coast.  If you have a spare board, beater, old Soft top, Costco model, whatever that you would be willing to loan, that would be awesome as well.  I will have a Jeep with south Nauset Oversand permit, and would be happy to work out some beach trips, etc.

Andy Gere

Sessions / Quickie weekend surf report
« on: February 03, 2010, 01:21:30 PM »
We had some waves and decent weather this past weekend, here's the fast

Saturday I bailed on the dawn patrol, scored some much needed sleep
and finally finished sanding/polishing the paddle.  Only burned
through the gloss in one or two spots this time...#%&&!!!

Hit the low tide at the newly formed Indie bar, along with about a
hundred or so of my closest friends.  Waves were good, well overhead
at the Lane, and a steady shoulder to head high at Indies, but lots
of takers, few misses and a lot of work getting one to yourself.
Current was insane, and the sideshore wind didn't help paddling
conditions either.  Still, it was warm, low tide and I was out on a
new board with a new paddle.  The Imagine has a lot less volume than
my Angulo, especially in the rails.  It's definitely more tippy, and
I worked pretty hard to stay on it in all the chop, bump and wind.
It likes a later, more critical take off, but handles them with ease.
Once on the wave, it's fast, loose and surfs from the tail.  I had it
finned as a 2+1, and it was loose but predictable.  Speed off the
bottom turn on the better set waves (the few I got) was a rush.
Didn't notice that it was a spit board, other than using the seam as
a place to line up my toes.  The paddling sweet spot on this board is
tight, gotta stay on it or fall off.  2.5 hours, a few real good
ones, but overall a learning session.  Dinner plans at 7 had me out
of the water just as it got dark.

Sunday I cracked it at spot X, and was stoked to see the swell
stayed up and the crowd slept in.  Me, Steve, Joanna and Tim had the
joint to ourselves, and despite the high tide there were some real
smokers blasting in.  I scored the wave of the morning, an outside
bomb that found me in the right place at the right time, easily 2 ft
overhead on the peak.  After working hard on the Imagine the day
before, I thought nothing of the spin and go on my rock steady Angulo
and it didn't let me down.  Chest to shoulder was more the order of
the morning, and it was fun and consistent until the high tide
backwash and lump started to put a lot of texture on the faces.  The
others headed in, but I cruised up to spot Y for another hour and had
it to myself.  Surrounding reefs were loaded, and spot Y was a bit smaller, but
still plenty fast, and many of the waves held up and hooked into the
cove before swamping.  Overall a pretty decent winter weekend.

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