Guest Post: Celebrating 50 Years of “The Endless Summer”

Two weeks ago I travelled to California to attend a 50th Anniversary celebration of “The Endless Summer” fundraiser, benefiting the Surfing Heritage & Culture Center (SHACC) and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in Huntington Beach. It certainly was a very busy couple of days, but I enjoyed catching up with old friends and raising money for two good organizations.

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A gal that I know from her surf trips to Tamarindo also attended the event, and since she is a way better writer than I am, I figured I would let her give you the account of the festivities. Thank you Jewel!

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Image (c). 2014, Foto Hetzel/Leo Hetzel.

Below is an excerpt from her blog post. To read more and see the rest of the photos, click on the link below.

Celebrating 50 Years of “The Endless Summer” with a Fundraiser and a Tribute to Bruce Brown

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“I had a great time.”

That sums up my thoughts about attending the 50th Anniversary celebration of The Endless Summer on May 3rd, 2014, in Huntington Beach, CA. The event was both a tribute to filmmaker Bruce Brown and a fundraiser. The proceeds of the fundraiser benefited the Surfing Heritage & Culture Center (SHACC) and the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. SHACC organized the fundraiser, and they held the event at The Waterfront Beach Resort. Fifty percent of any proceeds will go to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the other 50% will go to SHACC. An exhibit at the event displayed artifacts related to The Endless Summer.

The evening began with a red-carpet meet and greet with “various surfing legends”, and a private viewing of The Endless Summer exhibit. The next event was a silent auction. The items to be auctioned included various types of surf gear and equipment, and The Endless Summer-related items. Since a sell-out crowd of over 450 people attended this fundraiser, the silent auction was crazy busy and crowded! Below is a photo of two of the silent auction items.

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The Endless Summer 50th Anniversary Fundraiser Silent Auction
Image (c). 2014, Christian Flannery Photography.

Once the silent auction was underway, I was able to view the SHACC-curated The Endless Summer exhibit. I’ve wanted to see this exhibit since I saw photos of it at Surf Expo 2014 last January. If I remember correctly, Bruce Brown’s wife, Pat, had saved numerous “artifacts” over the years, including his cameras, lenses, tripod, the original movie poster design mock ups, and, The Endless Summer related products (sunscreen, I think). The exhibit included various versions of the iconic movie poster, as well as photos, letters, Robert August’s passport, and other items that had not yet been seen publicly.

Outside of the Brown family, most of the exhibit came from the collection of David Tashjian. His dream has been to create a The Endless Summer exhibit, and he was thrilled to see it happen. Below you can see Bruce Brown looking at the camera and tripod he used to film The Endless Summer.

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(c). 2014, Rod Veal and The OC Register.

Click here to read the rest of the post on Jewel’s blog, Taming Data.

Pura Vida,

Robert

P.S. Now stop staring at the screen, get off the device that you are using, and go catch some waves!

 

 

Guest Spot: The Inertia

A couple of weeks ago I chatted on the phone with Reid over at The Inertia. Below is the beginning of the post. To read more, be sure to click on the link below.

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Robert August, as happy in the shaping bay as anywhere. Photo: Kristen Brown

Robert August’s stoke is audible. And why wouldn’t it be? He’s been all over the world, surfed some of the most remote places, blazed trails where there weren’t any and came back with an encyclopedia’s worth of stories and wisdom. He speaks with an excitement and enthusiasm for storytelling usually found in people a fraction of his age (68), and it seems the decades of traveling, adventuring, surfing and doing exactly what he loves have kept him young at heart, which made our phone call a colorful and enjoyable 40 minutes.

It’s funny talking to Robert August. The conversation feels like a more relatable version of a history class I took in school. Where, in school, I read from a textbook and listened to professors pontificate on the things they’ve been taught, here I was listening to someone with first-hand experience. The difference was profound. From the origins of surfing in the US and Australia to how the route of Endless Summer was conceived, he explained everything and each step along the way. He loves telling stories, and he has plenty to tell.

These are the highlights from our conversation.

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“I grew up right on the beach in Seal Beach, California, and surfed every day of my life starting at six years old. When I was 14, I was as good as anyone. I was in Bruce Brown’s movies – all of his movies – before Endless Summer. We drove to Florida, went to Mexico, went to Hawaii in the really early days. Y’know, in 1960, 1959. Then he had this idea to go to Cape Town because he had heard there were some guys learning to make boards and surf down there. So he decided to make this big trip. He really believed you could spend your whole life in summertime by crossing the equator.”

Click here to read the full post.

 

Surfing Ollie’s Point

Ollie's Perfection

Photo by Mayan Koren

Potrero Grande, also known as Ollie’s Point, is located in one of Costa Rica’s national parks, Santa Rosa, there is no development for miles and therefore the break is only accessible by boat. No development means lots of wildlife; I have seen flying manta rays, whales, mating turtles, birds, and huge schools of fish. One minor detail are the crocodiles that live in the estuary…out of sight out of mind! A group of us once were up at Ollie’s and one of the gals in our group came face to face with a croc while snorkeling while we were surfing! Besides the crocs, the whole trip is a great experience. An interesting fact is that the wave got its name from Oliver North, the American Colonel who used a “secret” airstrip nearby to land weapons for the Contra rebel groups in Nicaragua. Ollie’s was made famous by The Endless Summer II and it is a perfect right point break.

Ollie’s needs a South swell to really break. I have heard reports numerous times of surfers going to Ollie’s only to find it flat while other spots were 5ft. The beauty of Ollie’s is that even if it is big, the wave is not going to pound you and it is not hard to paddle back out. The best time to usually surf Ollie’s is around low tide. The wave becomes fast, steep, and if the sandbar is just right, it will peel towards the beach giving you a nice long ride. The takeoff point is right by the rock; you can’t miss it during low tide. 

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Pura Vida,

Robert

P.S. Now stop staring at the screen, get off that device that you are using, and go catch some waves!

Winner Winner!

What a busy couple of weeks it has been! In the beginning of March I travelled to Australia with my daughter Christine to attend the Noosa Festival of Surfing, then returned to Costa Rica a couple weeks later straight into my annual charity event, Surf n Turf! I certainly had a great time in Australia and during Surf n Turf, but I am sure glad to take a moment to relax the past couple of days. Check out my quick recap of the past month…

I was lucky enough to bring my daughter, Christine, with me to Australia. It was a long flight, but comfortable. Pete, my good friend, met us at the airport and took us up to Noosa, a beautiful tropical part of Australia. The waves at Noosa were fantastic with the three perfect point breaks. The Noosa Festival of Surfing is a major surf competition so there were a lot of people there to see the contest. This also meant that there were a lot of people at Noosa to also surf, so waves were crowded. We got to watch the best longboard surfers in the world compete. Even all of the girls in competition were way better than me! They are such beautiful surfers and really good. One of the highlights of our grip was going to the Steve Irwin Australian Zoo. I certainly enjoyed it as much as my daughter!

After three weeks in Australia it was time to head back to Costa Rica. It was a long trip back and our flight was delayed ten hours! As soon as we got back Surf n Turf kicked off. SnT is an important event to help kids here in Guanacaste and the mood was,  “How can we help?” It was a great couple of days. All of the community here has gotten behind the event and people from near and far came to participate in event.

So I know you all want to know who won the event?! The very talented and beautiful Mary Osborne helped carry her team to victory by winning first in the surf competition and her team crushed it on the golf course with a 14 under par. Way to go Mary, Muriel, Robbie, and Clay! Congrats to our second place team Royce, Sam, Calinche, and Brian, and our third place team John, Tyler, Kyle and Aaron!  We also had some very talented players with closest to the pin with Clay, Berto, JJ and Jason… and Waimea crushed it for the second year in a row and got ladies longest drive! To finish it off, Juan Diego, who glasses my boards down here in Costa Rica, got the best nose ride of the surf competition.

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I have been in a lot of surf events but the RA Surf n Turf is one of the most exciting events I have ever particpated in. I lack skills in the golfing department so I was super lucky to score such a great golf team who took me under their wings and guided me to the hole. In regards to the surfing, well maybe it was a female bikini advantage that helped me win or the fact that the waves were about 2-3 feet and I was the smallest person in the event that helped me win. Either way, my stomach is still sore from the amount of laughing I did at this event. What an amazing cause with great people!!! I cant wait till next year!

xo – Mary Osborne

In addition, the kickoff and closing events at Witch’s Rock Surf Camp were a blast, the fashion show by Azul Profundo at Langosta beach club was so nicely done, and Lola’s refueled us during the surf competition at Avellanas. I would like to thank everyone to came down to participate in the event and all of our sponsors. Every lit bit helps raise funds for CEPIA and goes to supporting programs for these kids. Thank you again!!!

Until next years Surf n Turf…

Pura Vida,

Robert

P.S. Now stop staring at the screen, get off that device that you are using, and go catch some waves!

*Special thanks to Waimea for the photos!

Countdown to Surf n Turf

SnT poster

With  less than two weeks to go until my annual charity event “Surf n Turf” kicks off, I thought I would take a moment to thank all of our sponsors and confirmed participants. If you have not registered or donated yet, what are you waiting for? 100% of the proceeds go to the local non-profit organization CEPIA, which helps underprivileged kids here in Guanacaste.

The event kicks offs on Friday evening with a welcome 60’s night themed BBQ at Witch’s Rock Surf Camp. Saturday is the golf outing at Hacienda Pinilla, women’s “9 and Wine”, and beachwear fashion show by Azul Profundo and DJ Matos. Sunday is an early start at Playa Avellana for the surf competition with breakfast at Lola’s as well as the Frijoles Face Off Shredtacular for 17 & under, concluded with the awards ceremony that night back at Witch’s Rock Surf Camp. To top it off, this year Surf & Turf will be helping to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “The Endless Summer”.

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Check out the “Robert August Surf & Turf” event page on Facebook for more information and a list of our sponsors.

For more information contact Van (vansalmai@hotmail.com)

Pura Vida,

Robert

P.S. Now stop staring at the screen, get off that device that you are using, and go catch some waves!

Sharing the Stoke Part 2

Back in December I received an order to shape a Wingnut II model and a Martinson Stepdeck for a father and his son all the way from Australia.  Shaping the boards definitely made me rise to the occasion as I had to go back in my memory bank…just one of the reasons why I still really enjoy shaping! On top of that, good thing Wingnut was here in Tamarindo while I was shaping the boards as he joined me in the shaping room to supervise the shaping of his WII model!

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Photo courtesy @SambatotheSea

Fast forward two months later, last week Frederick and Alex arrived in Tamarindo to pick up and surf their new Robert August custom boards. They also brought along Wingnut as their surf guide here in Costa Rica. Just bitchin!

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Over the past week I was fortunate enough to spend some time with Frederick and Alex talking story, chatting about their surf sessions with their new boards, and getting dusty in the shaping room. I think I may have ruined Alex’s life as well! From what I have heard he is a really good student and attending a top university in Australia, but after spending some time here in Costa Rica he wants to be a shaper and work on his bottom turn.

Pura Vida,

Robert

P.S. Now stop starting at the screen, get off that device that you are using, and go catch some waves!

Surfing Marbella

The swell here in Tamarindo has died and the waves have been pretty small. The past couple of weeks the best place to surf has been the beaches to the south. One of these beaches happens to be Marbella, where the third stop on the Circuito Guanacasteco de Surf was held this past weekend. This traveling surf circuit contest is a great way for the kids in the area to get a taste of surfing competitions and just have fun with their friends at the beach on the weekend.

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Photo courtesy of Fabian Sanchez, Surfing Nation Magazine

Marbella is a beach break that has multiple peaks up-and-down the beach. When it gets big the outer reef will start to break. Unlike Tamarindo where the wind will be offshore all day in the summer months, the wind tends to switch more often the further south you go from Tamarindo. I have surfed Marbella a couple of times and only caught a couple of good waves before the wind turned onshore in the morning. If you are lucky, the wind will stay offshore pretty much all day like it did for the surf contest!

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Photo courtesy of Fabian Sanchez, Surfing Nation Magazine

Photo courtesy of Fabian Sanchez, Surfing Nation Magazine

Photo courtesy of Fabian Sanchez, Surfing Nation Magazine

For a competition the waves were great. Both days of the contest were beautiful with offshore winds until noon. During the finals the wind turned onshore and made it even more challenging for all of the finalists. The organizers did a great job. I know from experience that it is not easy to do what they do! Everyone was comfortable, especially with the beachfront Tiki Hut to grab a bite to eat. AND drum roll..my daughter Christine got first in one of the divisions she entered and third in the other! Congratulations Christine!

Photo courtesy of Fabian Sanchez, Surfing Nation Magazine

Photo courtesy of Fabian Sanchez, Surfing Nation Magazine

Photo courtesy of Fabian Sanchez, Surfing Nation Magazine

Photo courtesy of Fabian Sanchez, Surfing Nation Magazine

So if you are looking for a place to surf the next couple of days in the Tamarindo area, head south and go find some waves!

Photo courtesy of Fabian Sanchez, Surfing Nation Magazine

Photo courtesy of Fabian Sanchez, Surfing Nation Magazine

Pura Vida,

Robert

P.S. Now stop staring at the screen, get off that device that you are using, and go catch some waves!

*Special thanks to Fabian Sanchez for the photos. Check out Costa Rica’s surfing magazine here.

Sweet Tamarindo

Here in Costa Rica you can usually find waves within a thirty minute drive, if not at your home break. However, during the first couple weeks in January, the waves were hard to find. When a rumored swell headed directly at Tamarindo started to circulate, it was almost too good to be true. What resulted was a week full of day-long barreling, beautiful waves right in the Tamarindo river mouth. It is not often that Tamarindo gets a swell that produces 5-8t+ waves and the surrounding beaches to be a fraction of that.

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Corduroy Lines. Photo courtesy of Kristen Brown.

Taken from the Witch’s Rock Surf Camp blog,

What took place was a 7+ day run of swell coupled with the offshore ‘Papagayo’ winds that are typically present each January, perfect summer weather, and a sandbank on the south side of the Playa Tamarindo Rivermouth that continually sculpted  each wave as they finished their voyage across the Pacific.

Barrel, after barrel, after barrel, after barrel rolled tightly along the sandbank for what seemed like minutes at a time.  This happened from first light to last, each and every day for a week. Anyone who was lucky enough to participate in this gift from mother nature will tell you- This is one that won’t soon be forgotten.

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If you missed the magic of this past week, you can still catch some of the swell. As of this morning, the waves are still coming through.

Pura Vida,

Robert

P.S. Now stop staring at the screen, get off that device that you are using, and go catch some waves!

**Special thanks to Kristen Brown for capturing some of the magic that happened right here in Tamarindo. An avid photographer, she recently started designing a line of 100% recycled postcards and notecards from her Costa Rican photographs.  Check them out here.**

Surf & Turf 2014

The countdown to the annual Robert August Surf & Turf is two months away! We would love to see you down here in Costa Rica to help raise money for a great cause and of course have a lot of fun. This year Surf & Turf is March 21st-23rd. The event kicks offs on Friday evening with a welcome BBQ at Witch’s Rock Surf Camp. Saturday is the golf outing at Hacienda Pinilla and beachwear fashion show by Azul Profundo and DJ Matos. Sunday is an early start at Playa Avellana for the surf competition with breakfast at Lola’s, concluded with the awards ceremony that night back at Witch’s Rock Surf Camp. To top it off, this year Surf & Turf will be helping to celebrate the 50th anniversary of “The Endless Summer”.

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In case you all need a refresher on Surf & Turf, check out my post from last year…

From a very early age I learned the importance of community and the value of helping other people. On family trips to Mexico, my parents used to bring down bikes for the local kids. My dad also was a trained mechanic and welder, so when he showed up in the local towns he happily helped with whatever work that needed to be done. Over the thousands and thousands of years that I have existed, I have been involved with numerous fundraising events and charities. One of my favorite events happens to take place in Costa Rica, appropriately named Robert August Surf & Turf.

Like a lot of good ideas, Surf & Turf came about after a few beers one evening…

A few years after “The Endless Summer II”, Wingnut, Paul Strauch, Mark Martinson, several other surfers and I were in Costa Rica filming “Step Into Liquid”. During a short period of less-than-great waves we decided to have a fun surf competition for the local boys and girls.

With help from Tom Battaglia (we called “Century 21 Tom” because no one knew his last name) and his organizational skills we formed teams of two: one of us and one of the local kids. It was great fun! Everyone received surf products for prizes and since that first contest, it grew a little each year until we were able to help the orphanage in Santa Cruz and some local schools in Costa Rica.

CEPIA kidsNow here comes the great idea after a couple beers…we realized that if we added a golfing component we could attract the golf crowd and raise some serious money. With great help from the people at Hacienda Pinilla (the golf course), plus Don and Christi at Lola’s Restaurant in Playa Avellana, Witch’s Rock Surf Camp, and Azul Profundo and DJ Matos, the “two-man competition” has turned  into a big annual event that is a lot of fun, featuring a golf and surf contests, silent auctions, and beachwear fashion show, all to help a local non-profit organization called CEPIA.

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Some twenty teams of four compete every year for good prizes and bragging rights. Not too many people are good at both sports, so getting together a four-person team is very interesting. I still surf OK, but I am a lousy golfer so I am an average team member.

RA surfing

Pura Vida,

Robert

P.S. Now stop staring at the screen, get off that device that you are using, and go catch some waves!

SurfExpo

Happy 2014!

This year certainly has started off pretty fast, especially with the kickoff event this past week at SurfExpo celebrating the 50th anniversary of “The Endless Summer”.  SurfExpo is the largest surf, skate and beach lifestyle trade show in the world. The opening day of the show ended with a screening of “The Endless Summer”, complimented with Bruce Brown’s, Mike Hynson’s, Wingnut’s, and my narration. It certainly will be a fun an exciting year as the celebrations continue for the anniversary!

Overall, it was a really busy couple of days! SurfExpo also has become an annual reunion for me. It was really great to see old friends from the all over the word and people that I have done business with for over thirty years, like the first ever retail surf shop on the East coast (as far as I know), Smith and Holland, from Virginia Beach. I also really liked seeing new products and materials to make surfboards at the show.

Much thanks to Surf Expo, Surfing Heritage & Cultural Center and Surftech for all the support. Be sure to stay tuned over the next couple of months…there are some cool things happening at Robert August Surf Co.

Pura Vida,

Robert

P.S. Now stop staring at the screen, get off that device that you are using, and go catch some wave

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