Category: surfing

Cardiff by the Sea 100th Birthday Celebration

Falling on the heels of Canada Day (July 1), and preceding American Independence Day (July 4), my local community of Cardiff by the Sea, California, celebrated its centennial birthday on July 2, 2011. That’s like 100 years old, dude!!

One might think it would be totally overshadowed and lost sandwiched between two nation’s birthdays, but in these parts, it was the biggest event of the weekend, and a grand cause for parades, picnics and parties.

In case you’re feeling pangs of agony and remorse for missing Cardiff’s big birthday bash, I’ve compiled a few of the highlights – so feast your eyes and take in the atmosphere of a small laid-back surf community’s centennial celebration!

Grand Marshall of the Parade: Marion Ross

That’s right, it’s Mrs. Cunningham from television’s “Happy Days”! Now, who doesn’t love Mrs. C? She’s everyone’s favorite mom, and she’s Cardiff’s dearest resident. You know when Mrs. C. lives on your street, you’re in a great family neighborhood!

Speaking of families, here’s one you see a lot of around town: The Machados

Of course, Rob Machado, the world-famous surfer/guitar player, grew up in Cardiff and has never lost touch with his roots. He gives back so much to the community, particularly the schools, and you can read and see more about his contributions to the Cardiff Education Foundation in this post from 2008: Rob Machado: Because He Cares.

Clearly, classic cars were a theme in the parade – given that Cardiff sits on a stretch of the Pacific Coast Highway 101, a favorite for Sunday cruises. The parade included many models from a 1917 Model T (San Dieguito Heritage Museum) to a 1970’s Hot Rod.

What I loved about this particular parade entry is that it almost looked like a local resident accidentally turned in to the parade route…classic cars with boards sticking out are an everyday sight around Cardiff:

A few of the more active parade entrants choosing to go on foot include:

Cardiff 100th Birthday Parade – Images by Kymri Wilt

Plus, an honorable mention for the Costume Contest Winner: A Walking Sandcastle!

If there’s anything we Cardiffians love as much as, or perhaps even more than, classic cars and surfing, it’s walking our dogs. So naturally the parade would have to feature lots of them – worthy of their own slideshow:

Dog Days of Cardiff – Images by Kymri Wilt

Of course, there are many great places in Cardiff that the dogs love to explore, and Cardiff wouldn’t be nearly so beautiful were it not for these two organizations in particular:

The Cardiff Botanical Society – responsible for the beautification of public areas such as Carpentier Parkway, which was officially dedicated April 30 as part of Cardiff’s centennial celebration:

The San Elijo Lagoon Conservancy, which looks after the coastal wetlands and backcountry of San Elijo Lagoon Ecological Reserve:

The parade route finished with a big party in Glen Park, and while the linked article covers it nicely, I wanted to share two of the more artistic aspects which caught my eye:

Cigar Box Guitars and Ukuleles by local artist Smokebox Bob:

And this guy, Dylan Barmmer, performing “Random Acts of Poetry” – another local artist passionate about the community, be sure to check out his Ode to the Surfing Madonna video.

Follow this link for the full gallery of images from the Cardiff by the Sea 100th Birthday Parade.

For more information about visiting Cardiff by the Sea, please check out the Chamber of Commerce site, Cardiff 101, and Beach California. Maybe you even want to consider dwelling here!

You can always contact me for tips and suggestions as well!

Have a Happy Holiday Weekend!

Stand Up Paddle Surf Safari in…China?

For those unfamiliar with the term SUP, Stand Up Paddling is an evolved form of surfing (and a growing trend in the waters of southern California), where one stands up on a thicker wider version of a surfboard with a paddle to ride the waves (or simply to hang out and get in the way of surfers, who refer to them as “sweepers”).
Stand Up Paddling is really a renewal of an ancient form of water transportation, which is most commonly credited to the Polynesians (who get credit for just about everything surf-related by those who surf), or less commonly to the indigenous peoples of Lake Titicaca in Peru/Bolivia (for those who travel beyond white sandy beaches and the tip of their surfboards). Obviously, in Polynesia they took to the ocean, and in Bolivia/Peru they took to a lake. But what about ancient river civilizations? Would you ever imagine a form of stand up paddling in…Asia?
Now, I’m not one to argue the age of civilizations, but last I heard, the “ancient secret” is Chinese, not Polynesian or Bolivian. Perhaps the ancient Chinese secret is not just a laundry detergent; perhaps there are many ancient Chinese secrets yet to surface…
Guilin, China, boasts an amazing landscape of limestone formations, which – get ready for the anthropological, geological, and historical link – once formed the terrain of the ocean floor. Now a landlocked pocket in southern China due to a series of plate tectonic events, there was a time when Guilin rested at the bottom of the sea. It’s one of those facts that just puts me in awe of our planet, and to visit Guilin today, I really feel as if I am exploring the ocean floor.
The Li River flows through Guilin, and a scenic cruise on the Li River is the biggest draw in the province. Most people come for the scenery, but for me, I felt like I was a special envoy from southern California on assignment to search for the roots of Stand Up Paddle Boarding, and I was about to break the code that would turn the surfing world upside down.
Since I’m not an anthropologist, but a photographer, I really do better arguing my point with photos rather than words. So following I present my “photo thesis” as documented evidence that stand up paddling began, and continues to this day, in Guilin, China.
“In 314 BC, a small settlement was established along the banks of the Li River.” (source: Wiki)
“In 313.99 BC, the first stand up paddle board was crafted from bamboo by some dude who took to the water with a broom in hand.”(source: Kymri)

Exhibit A – The early morning line up:

Exhibit B – The sunset line up:

Exhibit C – Catching a right:

Exhibit D – The “Green Room”:

Exhibit E – “Roxy Girl” female paddle boarder:

Exhibit F – Tandem surfing (or, trandem sit-down paddle boarding?):

Exhibit G – The local marine mammal sightings:

Exhibit H – The local “paddle-thru” fast food joint:

Exhibit I – The catch of the day:

Exhibit J – Dude, got a cerveza for a bro?

Oh, and just one more historical reference:
In 2006 AD, a Hawaiian named Gary Young started shaping bamboo surf and stand up paddle boards. Considered a “pioneer” of shaping bamboo boards, clearly, he wasn’t the first. I don’t know Gary, but I do like what he’s doing and hope to someday get a board from him. And if it has a “Made in China” stamp on it, all the better.

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