Bug Hunting Season Nears for the California Spiny Lobster

September 23rd, 2010 | By | 1,377 Comments

For those of you getting excited for “Lobster’s Eve”, the date for this year’s Recreational Lobster season in California is set for Saturday, Oct. 2nd, 2010. What is “Lobster’s eve” you might ask? Well it is the time of the year when lobster divers –well seasoned & novices alike– come out of the woodwork and descend on the Pacific like hoards of  neoprene-clad army ants in search of those prized red crustaceans. At 12am midnight on “Lobster’s Eve”, you will find crowds of night divers hitting the water with flashlights, glowsticks, and all. Just off shore, you will also see tons of boats dropping anchor and many a hoop-net as the countdown comes to an end and all licensed fishermen are finally allowed to take their alloted amount of lobster.

The opening days are crucial because recreational fisherman are given only a week or so before commercial boats start reeling in their giant traps and thinning out the near shore populations. This is why the day before open season you will find lines of fishermen posted up at the local stores gathering their report cards, liscences and new gear. All are hoping to score as many “bugs” as they can before commercial fisherman start doing their job..

So what’s the big deal about lobster fishing? In a supermarket a 1-2 lb lobster fetches around $30 a piece…. So when a fisherman can take up to 7 of these per day, these bug hunters can have a feast fit for a king if they score the right spot and put in some time.

Don’t let this get you too excited though.. In the past Lobster’s Eve has lead some divers to abandon common sense and dive no matter what. Even with macking surf and poor visibility divers have tried for to go out and died. So if you do decide to go out looking for bugs, check the surf report beforehand and if there is surf don’t be that guy who thinks he’s the lobster king… you can and will drown.

Lobsters Eve, 2009 – catch of the night: 11lb bug

Need more info?
check out the California Fish and Game Website’s FAQ and click on the spot at says spiny lobster:

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DEMO DAY 2010: World’s Best Shapers Showcase Progressive Models at Hollow Beach-Break

September 22nd, 2010 | By | 2,155 Comments

The southern-hemi swell that carried Slater into the top of the ASP also provided fast hollow barrels for the inaugural SWELL Demo Day in San Clemente, Ca. The conditions favored faster, lighter models able to drive through the rifling close-outs, making it obvious which boards and riders could make the cut.

With over fifty sleds lining the sand, even grommets found it hard to choose a board to sample. Shaper for both current world champs Mick Fanning and Steph Gilmore, shared his trade secrets by lending out DHD’s Bobby Martinez small wave Monster. Darren Handley himself gave everyone a free lesson in hung-over hacking after a long week of waving the Aussie flag at lowers.

Other standouts of the day came from Firewire’s ex-WCT soldier Chuy Reyna who brought down a whole trailer of boards, and made everyone look bad in the water by schralping every wave to the beach. The Firewire En Fuego model’s versatility made it a favorite throughout the day’s varying conditions.

Scotty and the boys at T.Patterson owned the south peak, blowing up lips like collagen with The Weapon.

Johnny from Catchsurf and Sean from SWELL back-doored the bigger peaks of the day and got funky with some fins-free spins in the pocket on their Beaters.

Dave Boehne of Infinity Surfboards busted out some hyper-progressive shapes to the likes we’ve never witnessed. His fin-less green egg featuring reverse winged rails and deep channels, baffled SWELL’s own resident-ripper Billy, who flailed over the falls all session.

When the sun retreated, so did our beach-goers back up on the bluff to throw back some coldies provided by Firestone, followed by an amateurish horse-shoe tourney. Everyone in attendance grinded tons of local mexi grub and heckled one another around the fire all night.

We’d also like to thank; Bobby Lockhart from Billabong for a sneak peak at new wetsuit technology, Scott from Dakine for showing off the “hide-a-board” board bag to save $$$ at the airport, big Johnny at Lost who showed of Kolohe Andino’s magic board The Scorcher , and Nick at Thalia Street Surfshop.

Click all the links to peruse the cutting edge gear you coulda sampled, and don’t blow it next year.

Check out the Demo Day 2010 video above and water shots below –taken with the Go-Pro— to see what you missed.

Picture captions in order (Click thumbnails to view individual picture sequences): Johnny from CATCH SURF pulling in with the Chode Chomper; Sean cruising by on his Infinity Single Fin; Dave Boehne on an Insider; One of the DHD boys flying down the line and throwing some water; Unknown Demo Day-er on a liner; CHuy & the DHDers

Also check out this video made by the guys down at Infinity

Surfboard Demo w/ Swell.Com from theINFINTREE on Vimeo.

Behind the Scenes: SWELL Holiday 2010 Photoshoot

September 20th, 2010 | By | 4,151 Comments

Glitz, glam…camp fires and cleaning up cigarette butts. It was all in a day’s work for the SWELL team at the 2010 Holiday photoshoot at San Clemente’s San Onofre State Beach. Making appearances are the ever-so-popular Brit, Kristina, Bill “the dude” Ee, the white windowless CoreShops van, and cute babies. We’d like to thank Poseidon for dishing out zero waves and chilled Bud heavy for the appearance of (brand) team and local riders: Dane Ward (Billabong), Jamie Parkhurst, Tyler Mumma (Insight), Ford Archbold (RVCA), Jake Davis (O’Neill), and Jason Miller.

SWELL and Firewire Surfboards Raise over $4,500 for Firefighters at 9/11 OC Brew HAHA

September 15th, 2010 | By | 4,160 Comments

Irvine Hidden Valley Park, 9/11/2010: The SWELL flag was flying high and the line snaked around the festival grounds to spin SWELL’s “wheel of misfortune”. Firewire Surfboards donated a lip leveling surfboard, aka the 6’2″ Dominator, and thousands mobbed the boys holding down the SWELL booth to take a shot at winning it.

Many left with SWELL shirts, hats, koozies, but only Sean Fitzgerald of Orange took home a glossy new Firewire. We hear he’s en-route to Playa Hermosa, so we’re pumped it landed in the hands of journey-man, hungry fro the last south swells of the season.

The festival included over 50 breweries like Stone Brewery were pouring and pairing, local rockers: The Creepers kept the mojo flowing, and I saw at least a dozen buzzards fall off the climbing wall. We couldn’t think of a better way to raise money for fallen firefighters than to raise a glass and honor our brave brothers in red. This was the inaugural OC Brew Ha Ha, so don’t miss next year’s beers, we know we won’t.
As for the pickled patrons who wandered into the neighboring water-park after the beer went dry… you’re freaking creepy (Yes, you Matt).

Special thanks to:The James Family who hosted the Fund-Raiser, Firestone Walker Brewery who donated their hoppy happiness for tomorrow’s Demo Day, and Firewire for donating the Dominator available on SWELL.com
Brew Vision Below