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    Texas Surfer on How to Survive a Shark Attack: From 1882 - 2009, Florida has experienced 13 fatal shark attacks and averaged on ...

    monica blanco on How to Survive a Shark Attack: It is not as uncommon shark attacks as you say, the are more than 250 a year in ...

    Scott on How to Survive a Shark Attack: I have heard for years that the smell of ammonia (as in urine or pee, piss whate ...

    Texas Surfer on Shark Repellent for Shark Attacks: The Australian Navy has just started using Shark Shield. ...

    Gabriel on Sick Surf Art by Gabe Prusmack: Thanks i give all the glory and honor to Jesus Christ for giving me the talent t ...

    New Book! Surfing Corpus Christi & Port Aransas

    "Surfing Corpus Christi and Port Aransas" is a new book written by locals Dan Parker and Michelle Christenson, with the help of the Texas Surf Museum. It basically walks you through the history of surfing from way back in the 1950's, up through today.

    book cover surfing corpus christi and port aransas 208x300 New Book! Surfing Corpus Christi & Port Aransas

    This book is full of photos of the first surf shops, first surfers, first everything. For example, check out this picture of Benjamin’s from when it was still located on Padre Island in 1979 (click it to make it larger).

    original benjamins surf shop padre 300x172 New Book! Surfing Corpus Christi & Port Aransas

    Here’s an old photo (look at how the people are dressed at the beach) of Bob Hall Pier in 1962.

    old bob hall pier photo 226x300 New Book! Surfing Corpus Christi & Port Aransas

    This picture reminded me that people have been surfing at my favorite spots since before I was even born. It’s interesting to see what was going on at these spots before I was ever even thought of. Surf spots become “ours,” like we own them because we’re the ones who are out there surfing them all the time, but they were owned long ago; we’re not the first or the last.

    Million Dollars Surf Spot in Corpus Christi, 1974:

    million dollars surf spot 300x171 New Book! Surfing Corpus Christi & Port Aransas

    This book is a must-have if you surf in Corpus Christi or Port Aransas because it’s the story of our life style. You’ll better understand the culture you’re dedicating your life to. Pretty much every page of this book has a photo that says a million things about the history of Texas surf. There are also stories about surfers, surf shops, and storms. There are a lot of pictures of storm surfing, competitions, board makers, you name it. I found a picture of a guy in there that I’ve been surfing along side for several years, and found out he’s been a major player in the South Texas surf culture for his whole life. Before I opened the book, he was just another guy in the lineup.

    This book is sure to open your eyes to the fact that surfing in Texas is greater than our lives at the beach. It’s good to feel the connection between us and the past, and to realize we are now part of the story that future surfers will be looking back on.

    The book comes out Monday, May 24 and can be purchased at the Texas Surf Museum or by going to this website:

    Here’s a flier that will tell you even more. Please click on the picture to make it large enough to easily read it. And if you get the book, come back here and put a comment telling everyone what pictures and stories you found in it that really interested you.

    surfing corpus christi and port aransas book 230x300 New Book! Surfing Corpus Christi & Port Aransas

    Sick Surf Art by Gabe Prusmack

    So I found this incredible set of surf art you won’t want to stop looking at and I had to show it to you. This guy is a surfer and artist in Galveston, Texas, named Gabe Prusmack. He paints these amazing pieces of art pretty much everywhere. If you need a killer design in your home or condo, give this guy a call. If you want an incredible work of art on your next surfboard, Gabe is the guy for the job. It was hard to choose which pictures to show you here, and I was only able to narrow it down to about 20.

    Call Gabe at 409-939-8050 or checkout his myspace.

    Galveston Surfing Picture from Today

    Looks really fun!

    galveston texas surfer Galveston Surfing Picture from Today

    Texas Surf Pictures

    This is really a tribute to a website that was called Surf Texas 365. It was one of my favorites and I linked to it from Texas Surfers until it disappeared. I was able to grab some of the photos and info off of the website, though, and I’m posting those here.

    davegreen Texas Surf Pictures

    Dave Lilliott- Jetty at Surfside, TX, 10/24/00. Photo Leon Bryse

    dan Texas Surf Pictures

    Dan Biddington- the OctaGONE at Surfside, TX 11/24/00. Photo Dave Lilliott

    I got tired of hearing how there was no surf in Texas. So in 1999, I got myself a waterproof camera and set out to dispell the fallacy that there was no surf in Texas. Following you will find photos of my ventures up and down the Texas coast, capturing totally ridable surf ridden by surfers with as much stoke as you will find anywhere in the world. We may not get huge surf in Texas, but we get surf just the same. The surf we get simply makes us hungrier for more. Enjoy these photos and keep on surfing! Mahalo! -Dave Lilliott

    Most of the pictures on the website weren’t able to be saved. I got everything I could.

    carol 300x200 Texas Surf Pictures

    Here's a Jansky wahine going right. Surfside, TX, 1/16/00. Photo D. Lilliott

    closeup 300x191 Texas Surf Pictures

    A close-up of Larry gliding by. Surfside, TX, 1/16/00. Photo D. Lilliott

    bottomturn 300x202 Texas Surf Pictures

    A Texas unknown making a bottom turn. Surfside, TX, 1/23//00. Photo D. Lilliott


    Clay Marzo, Surfing with Asperger’s Syndrome

    Found in Surfing, ,

    Clay Marzo is an exceptionally good surfer who has Asperger’s Syndrome, which is a form of autism. Napoleon Dynamite had Asperger’s. I can tell you that when waves don’t seem to be forming or breaking the way I want, I can get really upset and even yell at the water … and watching Napoleon Dynamite yell at the ocean would be a treat (Tina!). But Clay’s Asperger’s Syndrome actually helps him concentrate for hours on how waves form, dramatically improving his surfing. In the latest issue of Outside Magazine, Jonah Lehrer profiles Clay Marzo; below is a really interesting piece of the article.

    0 Clay Marzo, Surfing with Aspergers Syndrome

    Clay Marzo has been waiting all morning for waves. He’s standing with his surfboard next to a NO TRESPASSING sign on the edge of a pineapple field, looking down at a remote beach on the northwest shore of Maui. There are no tourists here, because there is no sand, just a field of jagged lava rocks and a private dirt road. The tide is still too far out, so the waves are trashy. Clay hasn’t said a word for more than an hour; he hasn’t even moved. He’s just stood in the hot tropical sun and stared silently at the sea.

    The waiting ends a few hours later, shortly after 1 P.M., when the trade winds begin to blow. Clay furiously rubs his hands together, like a man trying to start a fire, and lets out a few guttural whoops. He then grabs his board and quickly descends the steep slope in his bare feet, motioning for me to follow him.

    There are a few surfers in the breaks to the right, away from the rocks. Clay heads to the left, where the waves are bigger. He paddles out and starts scanning the horizon, counting the seconds between the heaving swells. After a few minutes, he abruptly turns around and points his board toward the shore. His body goes taut and he starts to push backwards. The wave is still invisible–I can’t even feel the undertow–but Clay is already searching for the perfect position. And then it appears: a six-foot wall of shimmering blue. The water rises until it starts to collapse, which is when Clay pops up onto his board. He accelerates ahead of the break–his sudden speed makes the wave seem slow–and then he snaps upward, launches his board into the air, and somehow whips it around, so that he lands backwards on the disintegrating lip. For a dramatic moment, Clay looks off balance, but then he reverses the board and calmly rides the whitewash until it can no longer carry him. The wave is over. He’s already looking for the next one.

    Clay Marzo doesn’t love surfing. Love is a complicated thing–sometimes people fall out of love–but there is nothing complicated about Clay’s relationship to the ocean. For Clay, surfing is an elemental need, a form of sustenance, a way of being that he couldn’t be without. He just turned 20, but he can’t remember a time when he wasn’t obsessed with barrels, shortboards, and the daily swell report. When there are no waves, Clay sinks into a stupor. His face takes on a sad, frustrated expression, and strangers think that he’s constantly about to cry, although that’s just because his light-blue eyes get irritated by the sun. When I ask Clay what he would do if he couldn’t surf, he looks confused for a second, as if he’s unable to imagine such a terrifying possibility. “I don’t know,” he says. “I guess then I would just want to surf.”


    In December 2007, Clay was diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome, a form of “high-functioning” autism. In recent years, as parents and doctors have begun to worry about a possible autism epidemic–a reported 1 in 150 children are now diagnosed with the syndrome–there has been an increased focus on understanding and treating its symptoms, which include impaired social interactions, difficulty with communication, and the tendency to fixate on repetitive behaviors. While Clay has many of these deficits–he’s easily overwhelmed by other people and often struggles to express himself–he also demonstrates one of the distinguishing features of Asperger’s: an “encompassing preoccupation” with a narrow subject. Some children with the syndrome become obsessed with 19th-century trains or coffee makers or The Price Is Right. Others will memorize camera serial numbers, even if they show little interest in photography. Hans Asperger, the Viennese pediatrician who first identified the disorder in 1944, argued that such obsessiveness can be a prerequisite for important achievement, even if it comes at a steep social cost: “It seems that for success in science or art, a dash of autism is essential,” Asperger wrote. “The necessary ingredient may be an ability to turn away from the everyday world … with all abilities canalized into the one specialty.”

    What makes Clay unique is that his obsession is a sport, not an abstract intellectual category. While many children with Asperger’s are marked by their lack of coordination–”motor clumsiness” is a very common trait–Clay moves in the water with an uncommon grace. (His movements are much more awkward on dry land; I watched him hit his head on a car door and knock over two water glasses in the span of 15 minutes.) “Clay’s kind of a surfing freak,” nine-time Association of Surfing Professionals world champion Kelly Slater has said. “He’s like a cat. He’s got this ability to always land on his feet. Clay definitely knows things that I don’t know.” Clay’s nickname is “the Rubber-Band Man,” since he’ll consistently stick maneuvers, such as his signature aerial reversal, that aren’t supposed to be possible. He’ll be bent over backwards, his blond hair in the water, and he’ll find a way to stand up.

    At the moment, Clay is one of the most celebrated surfers in the world. He already has a national surfing title and numerous Hawaiian titles; he’s been featured on the cover of Surfer magazine and is a mainstay on YouTube, where one of his clips has been watched more than 100,000 times. Although Clay has yet to qualify for the ASP World Tour–a series of competitions featuring the 46 top-ranked surfers–his low ranking hasn’t hindered his reputation for being world-class. Kai Barger, a fellow Maui surfer and the current ASP world junior champion, recently called Clay “the best out of all of us, and it’s all natural. He never had to work at it.”

    But Kai is wrong. Although Clay’s body appears to be perfectly designed for the sport–he has a long torso and short legs, which gives him a low center of gravity and the ability to crouch in tight barrels–his real secret is that he’s always in the water. If Clay isn’t surfing (and the only time he’s not surfing is when there are no waves or it’s a moonless night), then he’s probably watching slow-motion videos of himself surfing, which he’s been known to study for ten hours straight. His mom, Jill Marzo, used to be his main videographer. From the time he was seven years old, she would sit on the beach in the shade and record Clay until the camcorder battery ran out. “If I ever missed a good ride, he’d get so upset,” Jill says. “He remembers every single wave. They all kind of look the same to me, but not to Clay. Those waves are what he lives for.”

    Jill is used to speaking for her son, since he often struggles to speak for himself. Here on Maui, I’ve watched him flail for words during several interviews with an ESPN news crew, avoiding eye contact and staring instead at the cameras and sound equipment. Even the simplest questions lead to awkward silences and stammers, as if Clay is terrified of saying the wrong thing. And yet, if you’re able to talk to Clay when he’s comfortable–and he’s always most at ease in the warm Hawaiian water–he’s likely to surprise you with his eloquence as he reels off one vivid metaphor after another. He describes the feeling of surfing inside a barrel as “like being inside a throat when someone coughs and spits you out.” When I ask Clay what he loves about waves, he goes silent and looks away. I assume he’s going to ignore my question. But then he utters a line that could easily be his slogan: “Waves are like toys from God.”

    I’ve also always felt that waves are like toys from God, each one a gift you can enjoy if you’re willing to put your life in God’s hands and swim with the sharks.


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