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Brian Bielmann Tribute to AI
Posted November 9th, 2010 by Thelo 

Sticking around
Posted November 5th, 2010 by Thelo 

Swell is still here and it’s all about catching it at the right time… like my neighbor here.

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Bob Bishop 1947-2010
Posted September 29th, 2010 by Thelo 

I was deeply saddened to hear that one of our brothers passed away last Saturday while surfing along the east coast of Taiwan.  Initially it was unclear as to whether or not it was due to head trauma or something else, but details that I’ve gathered thus far say that it was the result of cardiac arrest.  He took off on a wave and when he didn’t return to the line-up the two friends he was surfing with, long time Taitung local and expat John and his daugther Kaylee,  noticed him floating face down unconscious.  All efforts made to resuscitate him turned out to be in vain.

I first met him back in 2000-2001 when he began splitting his time between Shanghai and Taiwan to manage his surf apparel and accessories factories.  He had impeccable timing and I knew that when Bob was in town that we would score.  He was to me, someone who had life dialed.  Down to earth, fun, and as his friends would say ‘the oldest grom they knew’.

One of my all time favorite images from Taiwan is a shot I took of him paddling out during a Typhoon swell.  I have it hanging on the wall in my living room.  I looked at it long and hard when I heard the news. There Bob is, first one out, paddling into some of the best waves of the season.

There is a planned memorial ceremony in October and a few tributes in the works.  I have asked friends to send me photos, memories, or anything else they would like to share to help heal the pain and loss within the surfing community in Taiwan and beyond.

The surf community has lost a great friend and inspiration.  My sincere condolences go out to his family, friends, business partners, colleagues, and fellow ocean brothers and sisters.  Rest in peace Bob!

Dark Side of the Lens
Posted August 30th, 2010 by Thelo


Great Pacific Northwest
Posted August 19th, 2010 by Thelo 

Made a trip out to the Oregon coast to see what I could see.  First time I had been on the coast north of Lincoln City.  Wasn’t much swell and I didn’t have any of my gear, but took the trip anyway to just poke around.

Traveling to the coast was beautiful and the closest thing to it in California is probably up near Crescent City and Del Norte.  On arrival was awe struck by the sheer scale.  The roads to some of the neat little coves had full on coastal rainforests that looked Jurassic or like something out of a movie.  Really incredible. Big ferns, and moss hanging off trees like spooky halloween costumes, green green and more green everywhere you looked.

We found some empty beaches that looked like they could keep me busy for hours.  Driftwood treasures, unique shells and who knows what else.

The local surf shop told us that it’s often just too big and gnarly.  The summer they just get windswell since the souths don’t make it all the way up there, but the fall, winter, and spring it goes off.  The types of boards I saw reinforced that it can get pretty serious.  The locals in these parts have quite the reputation as well.  We ate at a killer little joint called The Relief Pitcher up there.  I highly recommend their albacore sandwich and burgers.  Some of the friendliest people around…but who knows how that changes when you start taking waves.

This summer has been the foggiest I can recall in years here in SF and so I felt right at home cruising the coast up north.  It was 80 degrees inland and as we came within ten miles of the coast the temperature started to drop and got down to 52 by the time we hit the beach.  Came across beautiful scenes like the one above.  I plan to go back in September or October to sample some of the spots I stumbled upon.  One in particular reminded me of a set up you’d see in Taiwan, a real thigh burner, except a lot colder and more consistent.

Topped it all off with some local brew.  Looking forward to getting my real session in.

Sweet Aspirations
Posted August 13th, 2010 by Thelo

Jay Alders’s new piece ‘Sweet Aspirations’.  I like the look on the SeaGulls face…


Good Surf Days
Posted August 10th, 2010 by Thelo 

Got a few nice images from Taiwan this week.  Thanks Gazza!  Looks like some fun little in between Typhoon action.

Show Jays in the water…I swear that’s Gazz in the shorebreak eyeing the honey as he bodysurfs it up.

These photos are making me want to go on a warm water surf trip.

I’ll go right you go left!

Sedor does it again with Mozzie’s Taiwan


Check our more Sedor’s vids at Taiwan Bootleg TV and The Board Wok or theBluebird Video Page

So much goodness
 Grey Whale Sessions – Trailer from Tyler Manson on Vimeo.

The Surfer's PathMonday Morning "Quote"

"When your itching for the waves, the only lotion is the ocean." 
-  Tito

I’ve got a One Track Mind
Posted November 18th, 2008 by Thelo

The new film by Woodshed Films which promises to be a keeper. I mean come on….Thicker than Water, A broke down Melody…need I say more.

Check out the cool progression animation in the clip below.

Office hours on a Hawaiian Outer island. Or is it church? Either way, show respect.
The Surfers Path
PHOTO: Chris Klopf  

It’s about Sea Life Benefit
Posted November 20th, 2008 by Thelo Surf Aid Benefit

So my buddy Brian who used to work for Surf Aid sent me this invite. Looks to be a great event for a great cause. Was reminded when my ZunaSurf newsletter came via email today.

Here is the scoop.

“Surf Addict” and its crew, named after SF based Clothing & Accesories Manufacturer, along with other local partners/sponsors, will be the presenting sponsor of a launch party to benefit several sea life protection and environmental non-profit organizations.

Tomorrow night Friday, November 21st, 2008, 6:00pm-12:00pm - Aquarium At The Bay. Paddle Out on Saturday, November 22nd, 2008, 8:30am - Crissy Field

Learn more here
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The Road to J-Shui
Posted March 4th, 2008 by Thelo Aiken
Thelo posted some really great photos (with discription) in our blog which give some of us old farts a flashback into the good old day's of surfing Jailoshui, Taiwan.

Earthquake Island
February 19, 2007
Taiwan surfing. Killer sessions with good friends never forgotten. On tape, a reoccuring dream. Doesn’t take too long on the ROC to feel the earthquake shake either. This island seems to give so much, take its share. Stoked to be able to go back in time to firing AK point with the late Kyle Z and Terry M, aka the Mayor.

Images for this movie pieced together from old footage, as far back as the 9/21 Puli 1999 earthquake, up to last year’s typhoon season. Featured music from Taiwan foreigner bands: The Deadly Vibes, MILK, and garage band jam-out recorded with Studio D.
Check it out!
aka redneyrude

Justice for Kyle
Posted by Dawn Zielinski

Kyle was killed as most of you know, by a boy who was out with his friends. A lot of information has been out there but not all of the information has been correct. This is what I can tell you I hope it gives some closure to some of the people who knew and loved Kyle.

Mr. Yu is a 20 year old boy who was in college at the time of the accident, after he hit and killed Kyle he fled and then later turned himself into the police. Since that time Mr. Yu has taken full responsibility of his actions and has never denied the fact that he was at fault. (Read More and post a comment)


Posted August 11th, 2010 by Thelo 

I didn’t see The Drifter, but was more interested in seeing the sessions that surrounded making that film.  Was pleasantly surprised to see this new movie and so I picked it up last night.

Melali : Drifter Sessions - Music Trailer from vas entertainment on Vimeo.

While wandering through Indonesia filming the award-winning surf movie The Drifter, Rob Machado met up with various friends for surf sessions on the best waves the Islands had to offer.

Set across the vast Indonesian island chain, Melali: The Drifter Sessions features Rob Machado — one of the most stylish and skilled wave riders of our time. Melali returns to the fundamentals of surf cinematography by focusing on the surfing experience, the artful relationship between man and surf, and the sharing of this experience with good friends.

Spearheaded by Machado and director Taylor Steele (the godfather of modern surf film), this two-disc set contains two versions of the 35-minute surf film, an audio CD of the original score, and a short film documenting the recording of the soundtrack. Joining Rob at the finest surfing locales Indonesia has to offer is an eclectic and world-class cast of wave riders: Dane Reynolds, Kelly Slater, Kalani Robb, Shane Dorian, Dan Malloy, Mike Losness, Marlon Gerber, and Rizal Tanjung.

Set to an original score written by Jon Swift, Todd Hannigan, Fernando Apodaca, and Machado (The Melali Sessions Band), the music complements the imagery of the synergy born from long-standing camaraderie. “When we premiered The Drifter across the country, the best part of the night was the live improvisation with the band to the surf bonus footage,” Machado says. “That inspired us to make another movie with the unreleased surf footage and record some music as the score.”

Swift, a fellow surfer and Machado’s friend of 25 years, led the intense creative push by this team of accomplished musicians, who recorded the score in a barn in rural southern California. The result is a diverse mix of musical compositions ranging from simple ballads to full band improvisations that captures a broad spectrum of moods tailored to the soulful and dynamic surfing.

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Taiwan On the Radar
Posted November 6th, 2008 by TheloTaiwan on the Radar

It was inevitable that Taiwan eventually got on the radar of the International Surf Community.  For a place with so much potential and such a unique culture to remain relatively untouched for as long as it has, is/was indeed special.  Hiroaki, who ran the only surf shop in the south when I arrived, has been spearheading the movement to create awareness for the typhoon rich island.  Mostly among the Japanese surf community.

Luckily for the surf community in Taiwan, scoring good sessions generally requires local knowledge and a bit of resourcefulness.  If you haven’t seen the post yet on Surfline, you can check it here. (Read More and post a comment)

That’s gonna be me!!
Posted October 24th, 2008 by TheloShacked

That’s gonna be me…all weekend long.HOOT!
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Ask and you Shall Receive
Posted October 22nd, 2008 by TheloIrie

Awoke before the crack of dawn to almost balmy weather for these parts. Grabbed my 6′5″ not knowing how much swell would have squeezed in and hoped for the best.

Needless to say, I was pleasantly greeted by spitting barrels. Its funny too, cause I was just talking about them and its not all the time that the tide and swell come together to create those types of waves. It wasn’t big…about 2-4ft but perfectly shaped. Within the first few minutes I saw probably five waves that spat…one right on me as I duck dove to get outside. The water was a little chilly and I was one of three guys out at 7am. I guess everyone slept in a little not knowing what to expect after a couple days of wind.
(Read More and post a comment)


It’s on at Mavericks!!
Posted January 10th, 2008 by Thelo Aiken

The Maverick’s Surf Contest is on this Saturday January 12th after a much anticipated wait having missed the window last year with no significant storms to speak of. This year has had some really good warm up sessions from Mavericks and Ghost Tree to Cortes Bank and Todos. Great weather is forecasted. It will be broadcast live online as well as at AT&T ball park on the jumbo trons.

Taken from the MavSurfer site:

“We cannot stress it enough, don’t try to come watch the event. You won’t be able to see anything. If you can’t resist the urge to come out and you make it through traffic, respect the coastside residents and the surrounding areas. Maverick’s is located smack dab in the center of a very eco sensitive area. Use common sense, stay on the trails and pack out all your trash and if you see any on the ground pack that out as well. (Read more)

NorCal Lights Up
Posted October 24th, 2007 by Thelo Aiken

NorCal and its lucky waveriders lit it up on the first swell of the season.

It started out on Friday night talking with my family about the plans for the weekend. We decided to take a spur of the moment weekend trip down the coast. Didn’t really have any plans but were excited for the forecasted warm weather and solid swell hitting on Saturday.

Woke up Saturday morning way too early and it was already shaping up to be a beautiful day. My son and I walked out to Ocean Beach to check the waves and it was a pretty good size…no one out and a lot of water moving. Not the best shape, but plenty of good swell. We packed up the car with boards, suits, and other toys and meandered our way south.

The waves at Pacifica weren’t all that encouraging as it looked to be only slightly overhead on the best portions, but you could see on the points and just south of OB that there was some good swell running. A bit windy, but had a lot of potential.

Driving past Montara and all the other nooks and crannies before Half Moon Bay I had to struggle to keep my eyes on the road. Montara was pretty large with no one out... (Read more)




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