Posted in California, Jack's Surfboards on February 22nd, 2013
We love to surf as much as humanly possible, but winter conditions and water temps can make a surfer think twice about stripping down to pull on that wetsuit and jump in the ocean. The sky is darker, the winds are stronger and the water temps hover in the 50’s- not exactly your ideal day at the beach, but there are benefits to pumping yourself up and paddling out. Next time you think you’d rather enjoy your coffee and other creature comforts than go surf, consider these five reasons to get suited and catch some winter waves.
1. Cold water temps actually help boot your immune system, and train your immune system to have better reaction time for when you need to fight the flu.
2. The waves are better and the lineups are less crowded. Northwest swells coming down from Alaska hit the west coast during the fall and wintertime for bigger waves. Colder water also keeps the faint of heart away and deters tourists from renting their soft tops and giving it a go.
3. Cold water can improve your mood (no, really) it releases endorphins which will have you feeling good while you’re in the water and give you that relaxed mood post-session. (It’s also proven to enhance your libido!)
4. Surfing in colder water improves your fitness, burning twice as many calories as paddling in comfortably warm water temps would.
5. You won’t find yourself in that irritable I-haven’t-surfed-in-a-while mood all winter, which your friends, family and significant other will thank you for.
Posted in California, Jack's Surfboards on February 13th, 2013
Sun Bum SPF30 Sunscreen Face Stick
Winter might seem like a strange time to talk about sunscreen, but if you’ve ever gotten a wetsuit tan in January you know
Zinka Colored Sun Block
that the sun means business year-round—and it’s sneakier in the winter, because most of us don’t think to apply sunscreen after we pull on a wetsuit hood. We here at Jack’s have your skin covered, though, with some surf-specific sunscreens.
Standard waterproof sunscreens don’t always cut it for surfing, for a couple of reasons. First, even water-proof sunscreens tend to wear off after an hour or two in the water. Second—and even more annoying—is that applying normal liquid sunscreen leaves your hands slippery, and it’s a terrible feeling to be duckdiving the first wave of a big set and have your board slip out from under you.
That’s why a lot of surfers use stick-style sun screen, like Sun Bum SPF30 Sunscreen Face Stick. It’s high-quality sunscreen that will last an entire session, and you don’t have to get it all over your hands while you apply it. Plus, the stick limits spills and prevents messes (just make sure to keep it out of direct heat).
Zinc oxide is also another great bet for surfers. We carry Sun Bum SPF 50 Zinc Oxide along with Zinca Colored
Nosecoat Sun Block. The Zinca block works great to cover your nose, and the Sun Bum will give your whole face great protection from the sun no matter the time of year.
Posted in Jack's Surfboards on January 31st, 2013
Even if you surf in Southern California, there’s a good chance that your hands get cold at the end of long sessions. It’s normal—your extremities lose heat fast, and even if the water’s in the high 60s it can still take a toll on your fingers after a while. That’s where wetsuit gloves come in. You don’t have to surf in Alaska or Patagonia to appreciate keeping your hands warm, and gloves also give your hands a bit of protection from sharp fins and reefs.
One of the biggest decisions in picking gloves is how many finger slots you want—that is, whether you want mitten-style gloves, gloves where all your fingers are separate, or something in between. If you’re surfing somewhere moderately warm—somewhere you typically wear a 3/2 wetsuit—then a standard five-fingered glove like the Quicksilver Ignite will do the trick. If you typically wear a thicker wetsuit, lobster-style gloves, like the West 2 Finger Mitten, provide a nice compromise between warmth and flexibility. And for those of you dodging ice in the lineup, we carry full mittens like the Rip Curl Flash Bomb 7/5.
Thickness isn’t quite as important with gloves as it is with wetsuits, but it’s still important to consider. In general, it’s better to err on the side of getting a thicker glove. Having that extra neoprene won’t really affect your performance when you’re paddling or standing up or grabbing rail in the barrel, and it’ll keep your hands warmer so you can keep surfing longer.
Posted in Jack's Surfboards on January 25th, 2013
Kids Body Glove Pr1me 3/2 CZ Fullsuit
It’s the heart of winter right now, and if you’re a parent you’ll know that it’s one of the toughest times of year to keep kids active and entertained. Even if you live here in Southern California, it can still be rainy or cold for days at a time. It probably won’t surprise you that we think surfing is one of the best ways to get outside with your kids in the winter. Even when the sky’s a bit grey and drizzly and there’s a bit of wind, it’s likely that you can find some kid-friendly waves close to home.
With a good wetsuit, kids can stay in the water just as long in the winter as in the summer.
Kids are particularly prone to colder water temperatures, so when the water temps drop or the wind starts blowing, it’s crucial that they have a quality wetsuit that fits them well.
We often recommend the Kids Body Glove Pr1me 4/3 CZ Fullsuit. This also comes in a 3/2, but the extra neoprene in the 4/3 keeps kids warm even during the heart of winter. And since most kids have flexibility and energy to spare, the added thickness won’t hinder their paddling or surfing.
We also carry XCel’s extensive line of kids’ wetsuits. If you’re looking for a budget option, the XCel SLX Offset
Kids’ Xcel Infiniti X-Zip2 5/4 Hooded Fullsuit
3/2 Fullsuit is a great value. Or if your kid is surfing some northern beach—or is just extra-sensitive to the cold—the Kids’ Xcel Infiniti X-Zip2 5/4 Hooded Fullsuit is one of the best kids hooded coldwater wetsuits you can get.
When you’re picking out a wetsuit for a child, it’s important to get a good fit. We have an extensive sizing charton our wetsuit, so if you measure your child beforehand you can make sure that the wetsuit will be a perfect fit.
Posted in Jack's Surfboards on January 19th, 2013
One of the great things about being a fan of competitive surfing is the short offseason. It seems like the Pipe Masters competition—and one of the best world-title races in years—just finished up, and we’re already less than two months from the 2013 World Tour kicking off at Snapper Rocks on March 2. Here are a few of the things we’re looking forward to on the 2013 World Tour.
New Cast of Characters
There are a few new rookies on tour for 2013. Sebastien Zietz is in after tearing through the Vans Triple Crown on his home court. Nat Young’s in via solid performances at Prime and Six Star events. Taylor Knox retired with style. Patrick Gudauskas, Yadin Nicol, and Heitor Alves are all relegated to alternate positions for the year (which means they stand a good chance of getting into a few events). We’ll miss seeing some of these guys at every event, but we’re excited to see how guys like Sebastian and Nat fare against the current top pros.
Sophomore Season for Last Year’s Rookie Class
Along with that, 2013 should see last year’s rookies—John John, Gabriel Medina, Kolohe Andino—hitting their stride on tour. For Kolohe, that might mean making the final series of a few events. For John John and Gabriel—well, no one would be that shocked if either of those guys won the world title next year.
Parko, Kelly, and Mick
For a few years there it seemed like Parko might go down as one of the best competitive surfers to never win a world title. But in 2012 he put together one of the most consistent seasons in recent memory, capped with that victory at surfing’s center court, Pipeline. And Kelly and Mick gave Parko a good challenge throughout. With all three of these guys still somehow at the peak of their powers, and with one of the best crops of young tour surfers we’ve ever seen, the 2013 World Tour might be even better than last year’s—and we don’t have to wait long to see it.
Posted in Jack's Surfboards on January 7th, 2013
Would you ask a professional golfer to help you learn to swim? Or a professional chef to build your house…of course not. You would ask someone who is experienced and skilled in that field to perform the task at hand. This idea should be carried over to who is shaping your boards. You shouldn’t have a shaper who solely longboards shape you a thruster for your trip to Indo; just like you shouldn’t have a shaper who has never cross-stepped on a single fin shape you a board for your trip to Scorpion Bay.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a huge proponent of shaper loyalty and my shaper, Jeremy Covington (Surfboards by Jeremy), surfs like I do and because of that he has shaped my last five or six boards. But if I ever get the inclination to charge big waves I will turn to a shaper who has experience shaping big wave guns. Try to do more than just know your shaper, but surf with your shaper. Not only will you be stoked and be able to give immediate feedback as to what works and doesn’t work, but he will be stoked to see the rails, the tail, the rocker, the nose and, most importantly, your surfing in action.
If you don’t have a relationship with your shaper at least know how they surf. I don’t know Matt Biolas from …Lost surfboards but I see him at Lowers enough to know how he surfs. If you don’t live near your shaper at least know where your shaper is from. Shapers shape what they know, some know point breaks so their boards are better suited for that type of wave, some shapers surf heavy barrels and their boards will typically be better suited for fat barrels…of course they will be able to shape a board for other conditions but it won’t be familiar or comfortable.
The guys on tour practice this very idea. A lot of the guys switch shapers as the tour travels around the globe because they know that the best boards are going to come from the guys who know the wave best. So next time you head into Jack’s surf shop or order your next board from your trusty shaper, make sure to do your research because you’ll have more peace of mind when the times come to put the money down.
Posted in Jack's Surfboards on December 3rd, 2012
For people who don’t surf, and for a few who do, sharks are the most common topic of conversation when talking about the ocean. Unfortunately, sharks and shark attacks have been in the news a lot lately with two attacks on surfers in Northern California a couple weeks ago and two attacks on divers on the same day in Hawaii. This got me to thinking about what kinds of shark repellents are on the market today and why surfers don’t use them. After Google searching “shark repellents for surfers” and sifting through heaps of strange inventions I have taken it upon myself to compile a list of my most noteworthy findings.
Firstly, the SURF7 by SharkShield (www.sharkshield.com) is an eight foot long antenna that attaches to the tail of a board and emits a protective electrical field. The electrical field is detected through the shark’s sensory receptors and deters them from the area, in theory. The SURF7, besides most likely being absurdly frustrating while tangling your leash and slowing you down, will also put a pretty substantial dent in your wallet. The SURF7 costs a smooth $650.00, but if it gives you peace of mind, maybe it’s worth it.
My second find was the Shark Camo (www.sharkcamo.com). It’s pretty much a big sticker that goes on the bottom of your board to resemble certain fish species that predatory sharks do not eat. This product is way more convenient than the SURF7 and substantially cheaper at an easy $49.95 for short boards, $74.95 for longboards, and $99.95 for SUPs but again, if you believe the evidence then it’s a small price to pay for serenity.
There are a plethora of other repellents such as wetsuits with certain designs, odorous aerosol sprays and anklets that work similarly to the SURF7, but it doesn’t answer the heart of the question: Why don’t surfers use them? Maybe it’s because we understand that the risk of being attacked is exceptionally rare, (1 in every 11.5 million) or maybe we’re just stubborn and think it will never happen to us, but either way I can’t foresee a barrage of shark repellents making their way into the lineups anytime soon
Posted in Jack's Surfboards on November 26th, 2012
The time is finally here for big north swells, offshore winds and awkwardly tan faces…it’s winter! Well, to be completely factual winter does not officially begin until December 22nd, just in time for Santa Claus to bring us new wetsuits, we wish we had two months earlier, new booties that we always try to get out of wearing and cold water wax with its perfect holiday fragrance. But for surfers, winter starts much sooner than the winter solstice.
The holiday season for surfers starts as soon as the kids go back to the classroom, as soon as the summer time shredders retreat inland and those who “don’t do cold water” hibernate until the summer months. “Winter” is the best time to be a surfer in Southern California.
It’s that magical time of year when spots in Ventura, Santa Barbara and Orange County finally start to work, and the number of electric blue soft-top surfboards littering the lineups starts to diminish.
Winter is the time of year when the beach breaks that have been walled up all summer long finally start to take shape as peaky barreling right handers. And the rain brings forth bittersweet feelings of polluted water with the hopes of great sandbars.
But winter is not so sweet for everyone. For those trapped inside of a classroom (or office) who can only watch a flag blow straight offshore, who know the tide is low and there’s swell in the water…winter sucks.
Posted in Jack's Surfboards on November 13th, 2012
It looks like the ASP World Title race between Joel Parkinson, Kelly Slater and Mick Fanning is going to be as contestable as the 2012 presidential election, with Kelly playing President Obama, Parko as Mitt Romney and Mick Fanning playing the unlikely successor, but still hopeful Roseanne Barr.
Here’s the breakdown as the ASP moves to Hawaii for the 30th Triple Crown: Parko is currently in first place with 53900 total points, closely behind is Slater with a total 50700 points and still in the title hunt is Fanning with a total 47000 points. For either of these three men to win the world title there are a plethora of if/then scenarios that must occur:
- If Parko finishes 5th or lower at Pipeline:
- then Slater needs a 5th or better to win his unprecedented 12th world title;
- then Fanning needs to win the contest to win the title (Slater cannot finish 5th or better)
- If Parko finishes 3rd at Pipeline:
- then Slater needs a 3rd or better win the title;
- then Fanning needs to win the contest to win the title (Slater cannot finish 5th or better)
- If Parko finishes 2nd at Pipeline:
- then Slater needs to win at Pipeline while simultaneously becoming the ASP champ;
- then Fanning cannot win the title
- If Parko wins at Pipeline then he will be the 2012 ASP champ.
Let’s take a look at the past to try to forecast the future. Last year Parko took down Kelly in the semifinals and Fanning did not surf the event. During the 2010 Billabong Pipeline Masters, Kelly made it to the semifinals again, while both Parko and Fanning lost in the third round. In the 2009 contest, Kelly lost in the final, Fanning lost in the quarters, and Parko lost in the third round.
Personally, I think Kelly is too strong of a competitor to lose the title when it is within arms reach. That being said, Parko’s three Triple Crown victories and Fanning’s two World Titles cannot be ignored, but an incumbent is hard to dethrone and Kelly has proven time and time again that he is king.
Posted in Jack's Surfboards on November 8th, 2012
xcel surf hood
You may have heard the old bit of folk wisdom about how most of your body heat leaves through your head. It turns out that, in general, this is completely false. The amount of body heat you lose depends on the surface area you have exposed, so a larger surface area, like your leg, naturally loses more heat than your head.
But if you’re already wearing a full wetsuit, then your head probably is your biggest source of heat-loss—it’s the largest uncovered surface on your body. That’s why a good wetsuit hood is one of the unsung heroes of winter surfing in California (or year-round surfing in colder climates).
If you live in California—and not in the far-flung northern reasons—your go-to wetsuit probably doesn’t have a built-in hood. Most of the year it’s unnecessary and only gets in the way. But for a few months of the year, having a hood can make the difference between a fun session and a session where you dread every duck dive.
That’s why we carry a number of hoods that you can use with your current wetsuit. The Rip Curl Flash Bomb 3mm, for example, is a great hood to wear with your 3/2 fullsuit. It has flash lining, which means that the hood is warm and comfy, and that it dries in around fifteen minutes. Which is great, because the only thing worse than putting on a wet wetsuit is also putting on a cold hood.
If you want something super warm to go with a 4/3 or 5/4 wetsuit, we recommend the Hyperflex 5/3mm Bibbed Surf Hood. Not only is it a bit thicker for additional warmth, but it has a bib. Basically, the bib tucks under the neckline of your wetsuit and extends to your upper chest, which means that there’s no gap in your neckline to allow water into your wetsuit or into the hood.
O'Neill 2MM Sport Cap - Men's
For a hood that you can use year-round for warmth and sun protection, check out the O’Neill 2mm Sport Cap. It’s super light and unobstructive, but it’ll protect your ears and face from the sun, and it’ll give you a bit of warmth on windy days or early mornings.
Hoods are relatively inexpensive, and they’re a great addition to any non-hooded wetsuit—and you won’t have to worry about exactly how much heat you lose through your head.