Celebrate National Small Business Week With Us on Saturday May 11th!

We believe small businesses should be celebrated every week but there is an official National Small Business Week which was established in 1963.   Over 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation citing the importance of small businesses in job creation and building strong, viable communities. 

Though many years have passed and many things have changed since the first National Small Business Week over 50 years ago, one thing that hasn’t changed is how important our local small businesses are.  More than 50% of Americans own or work for a small business, every 2 of 3 jobs in the private sector is created by a small business and the success of small businesses is critical to growing the US economy.  Also, on a local level, a healthy small business community contributes positively to the local economy, allowing money to circulate within the same community for an extended period of time.  Local business owners tend to use the services of other local businesses and employees spend money where they work.  This, coupled with the resulting tax dollars for infrastructure that then stay within the community, make for a stronger local economy and community.  

Please join us this year and celebrate National Small Business Week on Saturday May 11th. We’ll have special sales that day and our prize wheel will be spinning!

Sources:

http://www.mainlinemedianews.com/mainlinetimes/opinion/as-i-see-it-national-small-business-week-over-years/article_173736b5-dfb6-553d-9b78-9a6cc95f0231.html

https://www.business.com/articles/small-business-week-2018/

https://www.sba.gov/node/1615232

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-m-kirby/small-businesses-can-make_b_13127000.html

Surf Beach and the Snowy Plover

Surf Beach, a beautifully untamed stretch of coastline, is our local beach and possesses a rather unique history. From race track, to train station, to city, and back to undeveloped sand dunes, it is home to many shore birds, including the Western Snowy Plover.  The impact this small seemingly insignificant bird has had on Surf Beach is almost as great as the train station that is again in existence above the dunes today.

A modest, tiny shore bird, The Western Snowy Plover is approximately six inches in length with grey, brown upper plumage and white under plumage.  It primarily forages for small invertebrates in wet or dry beach-sand and among tide-cast kelp.  The birds nest in the dunes with a breeding season March through September and nests typically host three small eggs.  The parents share in the incubation duties but unlike many other birds, within hours of the eggs hatching, the small fledglings will leave the nest in search of food.  

In 1993 this unassuming, small bird was listed as threatened under the Endangered Species Act and has since become the fulcrum point for Surf Beach visitation seven months of the year.  As Surf Beach is on Federal property, strict interpretation and enforcement of the Endangered Species Act has been observed.  During the nesting season of March 1st to September 30th each year, only a 1/2 mile of the coastline at Surf Beach is open to the public.  No fishing, kite flying, dogs, bonfires or camping are allowed on the beach and the dunes are off limits during this time period as well.  The number of violations allowed each season before the beach is closed completely to the public is limited to 50 and can be as vague as a set of footprints in the off limit areas.  Thankfully beach closures and limitations are just one aspect of Vandenberg AFB’s management program for the recovery of this species.  Others include predator management and habitat restoration through the removal of nonnative plant species. 

With all this focus on the recovery program at Surf Beach some are surprised to find the Western Snowy Plover’s habitat extends along the West Coast from Washington through Baja Mexico and beyond.  Indeed, many contend the bird is not truly threatened and cite reliable sources, information and data.  An appeal has been submitted to USF&WS to delist the bird but to date no response has been received.  It is not, however, our position at this time to debate the fairness or accuracy of the listing or the measurements taken by VAFB mandated through the ESA.  Rather, we are asking everyone to observe the rules in place and help keep our beach open all year so that we may enjoy the beauty of this untamed area in its natural glory.  

Currently, after just a little over seven weeks, violations are listed at 15 of the 50 allowed for the season.  If they continue at this rate complete access to Surf Beach will be lost again prior to the end of the nesting season.  

Truly, whether you believe the bird is threatened or whether you agree with the restrictions, we strongly believe we should always strive to be better stewards of our incredible planet and work to live side by side with nature everyday, not just seven months of the year. 


Celebrate Earth Day 2019 With Us!

Celebrate Earth Day 2019 with us!

The first Earth Day was celebrated over 40 years ago on April 22, 1970.  It was founded by Gaylord Nelson, a US Senator from Wisconsin, after seeing the impact of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.  At that time it was the largest oil spill in US history and still ranks at number 3, behind only the Deepwater Horizon and Exxon Valdez oil spills.  It was Mr. Gaylord’s vision to have a “national teach-in on the environment” and energize the public to protect the environment by addressing water and air pollution concerns.  Over 20 million Americans participated in that first Earth Day celebration uniting many in a common cause that had been previously fragmented over several specific environmental concerns.  

This year, Earth Day celebrations will focus on community volunteer clean ups world wide.  Green spaces, urban spaces, waterways, beaches and more will be patrolled by volunteers looking to pick up trash and dispose of it correctly.  Most of these clean ups are scheduled for Saturday, April 20th but Earth Day is officially April 22nd.  I couldn’t find an organized clean up for our area scheduled so I challenge everyone to take some time during the month of April, while walking down the sidewalk, through a parking lot, along a walking trail or beach to stop and notice what is in the environment.  Appreciate the plants, trees and flowers you see, the birdsong you may hear but also take note of any trash that may be present and pick it up to dispose of properly.  It only takes a moment and it is a way of sharing some love with Mother Nature.  If you would like to share with us on Facebook or Instagram your contribution to Earth Day, take a pic and post it to our Facebook page or DM us on Instagram and we will choose a picture at random on April 23rd.  The winner will receive a Final Straw collapsible travel straw worth $24.50!

Lastly, consider making every day an Earth Day.  Join us here at the store as we strive to continue reducing the number of single use bags that are used by saying ‘No’ and entering for a chance to win a $25 Gift Certificate back to the store.  A winner is drawn each month from all the entries!  Also, think of ways to reduce other plastics you use, like single use water bottles, straws, plastic lids, plastic wrap and many other items that have become an integral part of our lives.  Many times there are alternatives and when there aren’t please consider reusing, recycling or repurposing the item.  Together we can make a change!

Sources-

https://www.earthday.org/about/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1969_Santa_Barbara_oil_spill

https://cleanup.earthday.org


Celebrating Women in Skateboarding

March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate the impacts women have made to our communities and societies.  These impacts are as varied as a field of wildflowers and just as beautiful and precious.  History has deigned to record some names while others are remembered only by loved ones, family and friends, for those contributions, while not noteworthy to historians, are just as important to the individuals affected.  Earlier this month I wrote briefly about some of the women that have influenced surfing through the years but then I began to wonder about skateboarding as well.  It is regarded as a predominately male sport like surfing, so who are the women that have left their mark in skateboarding? 


The name that first comes to mind is Patti McGee.  Perhaps best known for the picture of her cruising gracefully with ease on a skateboard, her shoulder length blond hair pulled away from her face and wearing a colorful cropped blouse with mint green thigh length shorts, she was also the first Women’s National Skateboard Champion in Santa Monica in 1965.  Other firsts she is known for include being the first professional female skateboarder and first female to be inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame.  All of this began with her first skateboard, a gift from her brother, that he had made in shop class using her roller skate shoe.  

Another prominent name from those early years is Peggy Oki.  She was the only girl on the Zephyr or Z-Boys competition team in the 1970’s, skateboarding with the legendary Tony Alva and Jay Adams.  At the historic 1975 Del Mar Nationals she was the only member of the team to take home a first place trophy which was in Women’s Freestyle.  She was inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame in 2012.  

 Since those early years many names like Ellen O’Neal (often referred to as the Godmother of Freestyle skateboarding), Cara Beth Burnside (first president of the Action Sports Alliance and winner of more than 16 competition titles), Elissa Steamer (winner of four X-Games gold medals), Patti Hoffman, Jen O’Brien and many others have continued to pursue the joy of riding concrete waves on a board with wheels. Some have their names are recorded in the history books for their impact on the sport of skateboarding, others, their names remembered and treasured by loved ones, family and friends for the impact they had.  And for us, we recognize and thank all of them today.  

http://www.skateboardinghalloffame.org/projects/

https://www.ranker.com/list/famous-female-skateboarders/reference

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Patti_McGee

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peggy_Oki

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Elissa_Steamer



Celebrating Wahines History

March is Women’s History Month, a time to celebrate the impacts women have made to our communities and societies.  These impacts are as varied as a field of wildflowers and just as beautiful and precious.  History has deigned to record some names while others are remembered only by loved ones, family and friends, for those contributions, while not noteworthy to historians, are just as important to the individuals affected.  With all of this reflecting I began to wonder about the role women have played in the years with regards to surfing, a sport that is typically identified as a male dominated activity.  

Surfing history takes us back in time to the 17th century and there is evidence men, women and children all surfed together as a family activity in the Hawaiian and Polynesian Islands.  Mamala was a demi-god or kapua in Polynesian culture and was recognized as a skilled surfer taking many different forms including that of a beautiful female or a combination of half shark and half woman.  There are also stories of a mythical princess from Maui named Princess Kelea who was described as the best surfer in the Hawaiian Islands.  In 1905, the oldest known surfboard was found in the burial cave of Princess Kaneamuna and it is believed the surfboard belonged to the Princess and entombed with her.  

Fast forward to 1885 and Princess Ka’iulani demonstrated her skill on a surfboard not only to her fellow Hawaiians but to the English as well when she surfed the English Channel.  From there we meet Isabel Letham, a 15-year-old Australian girl who was proficient at swimming and bodysurfing.  Duke Kahanamoku taught to her ride a surfboard in the early 1900’s at Freshwater Beach and she is considered to be the first Australian, female or male, to have surfed a surfboard.  Since then names like Marge Calhoun, Mary Ann Hawkins, Kathy Kohner (better known as Gidget) Rell Sunn (Hawaii’s first lifeguard), Linda Merrill, Lisa Anderson, Layne Beachley, Bethany Hamilton, and many others have continued to pursue the magic of riding a surfboard as it runs along the face of a wave.  Some have their names recorded in the history books for their impact on the sport of surfing, others, their names remembered and treasured by loved ones, family and friends for their daily actions and contributions.  And for us, we recognize and thank all of them, past and present, for all the paths they have blazed and all the love they have shared.  

https://www.streetdirectory.com/travel_guide/38995/recreation_and_sports/wahines_through_the_ages_the_history_of_female_surfers.html

https://www.history.com/news/women-surfers-1600s-hawaii-princess-gidget

https://www.slydehandboards.com/blogs/news/12878453-women-in-surfing-a-brief-history

Best Run~Best Trick~College Park Style

Lompoc Parks and Rec Annual Skateboard Competition is a community event and fun for all ages!   We have been partnering with Lompoc Parks and Rec since 2000 on this competition featuring Best Run (skate jam format) and Best Trick in five different age groups.  Registration starts at 10AM with competition to begin shortly afterwards by age group, youngest to oldest.  Prizes will be awarded for first through third place in all categories and there will also be opportunities to win some great raffle prizes throughout the competition.  Lompoc Foursquare Church will be joining the fun again with snacks and water!  

We are so very thankful and grateful for everyone that makes this competition possible each year including the skateboarders and the spectators, the businesses that provide sponsorships, Lompoc Parks & Rec staff, Lompoc Foursquare Church Elevate Youth Group, Charles-our emcee and our judges.  Without all of these wonderful people this great event wouldn’t be possible.  

So bring your skate, helmet and pads or perhaps your lawn chair and some sunscreen this Saturday and we’ll see you at College Park for some fun!

World Oceans Day!

World Oceans Day is on Friday, June 8th and a chance to celebrate and bring awareness to a part of Mother Earth that covers 71% of our world and holds 97% of all the water on Earth.  The concept for World Ocean Day was first proposed by the Canadian Government at the Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro, in 1992.  After several years and the coordinated efforts of many organizations and tens of thousands of individuals, a resolution was passed in December 2008, and the United Nations officially began recognizing World Oceans Day on June 8th of every year.  This was an important step in turning the effort into a global one.  Since then the network of partners worldwide has grown to include approximately 2,000 organizations committed to preserving our oceans and the marine and plant life that call them home.  

We will be celebrating the day by spending some time enjoying our local beach and recommitting to being better stewards of our environment.  Some changes that we have personally made include: to not use single use plastic bottles and opt instead for stainless steel or multiple use bottles; to use reusable totes or bags when shopping; to not use plastic straws either at home or while out dining; picking up trash when we see it even when it was not ours; recycle/repurpose when possible; and our Save the Plastic Tree promotion.  We are also exploring other ways of reducing our use of plastic and impact on the environment and will be sharing with you in future posts what we have found successful.   

Help us spread the word and share how you plan to celebrate World Oceans Day this year and any changes you have made or plan to make to preserve our oceans and environment. Change starts with each of us…

https://www.oceanicinstitute.org/aboutoceans/aquafacts.html

http://www.worldoceansday.org

Celebrate National Small Business Week With Us!

We believe small businesses should be celebrated every week but there is an official National Small Business Week which was established in 1963.   Over 50 years ago, President John F. Kennedy signed a proclamation citing the importance of small businesses in job creation and building strong, viable communities.  This year the SBA National Small Business Week officially begins Sunday, April 29th but we are celebrating our local small businesses beginning Monday, April 30th through Sunday May 6th. 

Though many years have passed and many things have changed since the first National Small Business Week over 50 years ago, one thing that hasn’t changed is how important our local small businesses are.  More than 50% of Americans own or work for a small business, every 2 of 3 jobs in the private sector is created by a small business and the success of small businesses is critical to growing the US economy.  Also, on a local level, a healthy small business community contributes positively to the local economy, allowing money to circulate within the same community for an extended period of time.  Local business owners tend to use the services of other local businesses and employees spend money where they work.  This, coupled with the resulting tax dollars for infrastructure that then stay within the community, make for a stronger local economy and community.  

Please join us this year for National Small Business Week with our other local small businesses neighbors!  Visit http://www.lompoc.com/small-business-week.html to find out more and click on our logo to see how we are celebrating!

Sources:

http://www.mainlinemedianews.com/mainlinetimes/opinion/as-i-see-it-national-small-business-week-over-years/article_173736b5-dfb6-553d-9b78-9a6cc95f0231.html

https://www.business.com/articles/small-business-week-2018/

https://www.sba.gov/node/1615232

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/david-m-kirby/small-businesses-can-make_b_13127000.html

Celebrating Earth Day and Making a Difference!

Celebrating Earth Day

The first Earth Day was celebrated over 40 years ago on April 22, 1970.  It was founded by Gaylord Nelson, a US Senator from Wisconsin, after seeing the impact of a massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California.  At that time it was the largest oil spill in US history and still ranks at number 3, behind only the Deepwater Horizon and Exxon Valdez oil spills.  It was Mr. Gaylord’s vision to have a “national teach-in on the environment” and energize the public to protect the environment by addressing water and air pollution concerns.  Over 20 million Americans participated in that first Earth Day celebration uniting many in a common cause that had been previously fragmented over several specific environmental concerns.  

This year, Earth Day celebrations will focus on the effort to end world plastic pollution.  Not only is the plastic unsightly in our oceans and detrimental to both ocean and animal life but it has also entered some of our food sources leading to health issues.  The campaign this year includes four main parts, one of which is, ‘educating people worldwide to take personal responsibility for plastic pollution by choosing to reject, reduce, reuse and recycle plastics’ which is in alignment with our ‘Save a Plastic Tree’ campaign.

More than two years ago, as we became more aware of the negative impacts the single use bags were having on the environment, we began our ‘Save a Plastic Tree’ campaign.  It is simple, if you say ‘no’ to a bag at check out you may sign up for a chance to win a $25 gift certificate to the store.  We draw the first week of every month from all entries for that month.  Over time we have noticed a dramatic reduction in the number of single use bags people are requesting when they leave the store and we have a very happy customer every month when they get the phone call to ‘come on down-you're a winner!’  A win win from our point of view.  

So we are asking you to join us in continuing to reduce the number of single use bags that are used and to consider reducing other plastics you use, like single use water bottles, straws, plastic lids, plastic wrap and many other items that have become an integral part of our lives.  Many times there are alternatives and when there aren’t please consider reusing, recycling or repurposing the item.  Together we can make a change.

Sources-

https://www.earthday.org/about/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1969_Santa_Barbara_oil_spill

 

Small Town~Big Heart

The ‘I Love Lompoc’ window contest is back and we LOVE Lompoc!  We’ve entered again and this is so much more than just a contest.  For us it is about community, about our love for our wonderful town and about a celebration steeped in tradition.

The Lompoc Flower Festival traces its roots back to the 1950’s when an annual parade and two day rodeo was held during the summer in Lompoc.  George Miller, a prominent citizen, began advocating changing the celebration from a rodeo, arguing they were common and rather mundane, to something more unique and aligned with what Lompoc had to offer.  The Alpha Club Flower Show had been established in 1922 and it was decided to develop the Festival around this key event.  Since those days the Lompoc Flower Festival has grown to a 5 day event with local entertainment on stage at Ryon Park, the food booths run by community organizations and nonprofits, a parade on Saturday which includes floats and marching bands and of course the opportunity to visit and catch up with all your friends that you haven’t seen in the past year.  

And so, it is important to us to play what small part we can in this event, a chance to show our community spirit and proclaim our love for our city.  Help us spread some Lompoc Love by voting online at 

http://survey.constantcontact.com/survey/a07ee8za5enj3kna5qz/start for your favorite windows (please remember us!) this year.  We may be a small town but we have a big heart!

 

Thankful, Greateful and Blessed

Thankful, grateful and blessed.  Three simple words that due to a sequence of events last fall were brought into sharp focus and spurred a new venture for us.  It is a simple idea; take old, beat up surfboards with little value, have them transformed into works of art and auction, raffle or sell them to raise money for children in our community.  

And so we have begun this new journey with the first of these boards on display at South Side Coffee Co.  It was painted by local artist Melody Lara and is a breath taking rendition of a surfer in a barrel with a very realistic shark underfoot.  Tickets are available for $5 each or two for $9 with only a total of #225 tickets to be sold.  The winning ticket will be drawn on March 20th.  Proceeds from the ticket sales will go Jason Contreras for medical expenses.  He is 5 years-old, a bilateral amputee, full of love and life and through a chance meeting, our inspiration for this project. 

Other boards are currently in the process of being transformed so that we may help more children in our community.  We hope you will consider assisting us realize our dreams by purchasing a ticket, sharing this story, donating an old used board or being a participating artist.  Thanks everyone!  We are thankful, grateful and blessed!

 

The Majestic Palms of Refugio

Growing up in the northern, landlocked state of Montana, California seemed like a paradise one could only hope to visit.  When I found out my family would be moving to that magical state, visions of a life on sandy white beaches kissed with sun and balmy sea breezes whispering through stately palm trees occupied my thoughts as we prepared for the move.  And so, after a few days of driving across several states, we arrived in Lompoc.  No beaches, white or otherwise, and no sunshine either as the rain was continuous those first days in my new home.  As for the palm trees, I thought those must reside only in Hollywood's imagination or perhaps they too were hiding from the rain for I didn’t see any in Lompoc.  There were other things that I loved about my new home but the dreams of living among palm trees and beaches had been lost.

A visit to Refugio Beach a few months later rekindled those dreams and as I spied the palms standing guard to the ocean I thought ‘this is the California I dreamed of.’  Over the years those palms have signaled the return home when I see them as we travel north.  They have provided shelter from the summer sun, the backdrop for family pictures, a point of interest in gorgeous sunsets and even the occasional back rest.  They were the stabilizing and static element of my vision of California.

However, time moves on and with it comes change.  For the Refugio palms, planted in approximately 1928 by Nelson Rutherford, this has meant erosion by the ocean waters next to which they reside.  The once three rows of palms are now a single, if staggered row and the storms of winter 2016 reduced their numbers further.  It is heartbreaking to see these statuesque guardians fall though there is some consolation in the fact they have left 100+ offspring throughout the park.  And so the circle of life continues and with it the one constant we have, change.

Sources-

http://goletahistory.com/the-refugio-palms/

http://www.sanluisobispo.com/news/local/environment/article57920288.html

Scarecrows, Trick-or-Treat & Community

Reflecting back on my youth, oh sooooo many years ago, it was always fun to travel through town and see the business windows decorated for whatever holiday was on its way.  Today the traditional window paintings and decorations seem to have been lost for more corporate or polished store and business fronts.  While this may just be a sign of progress, I find it a little sad, a little piece of community lost.  This time of year, however, I am able to relive my youth for a few days as I delight in seeing business windows once again decorated for Halloween thanks to the Scarecrow Fest.  

Thankfully the Halloween fun doesn’t stop there in Lompoc, but continues with Old Town Trick or Treat on Saturday, October 29, 2PM-4PM in Old Town.  We are looking forward to joining several other businesses at Centennial Park with our Prize Wheel and seeing all the joy and wonder a holiday filled with candy and costumes elicits for young and old alike.  

So help us celebrate our wonderful community this Halloween by voting for your favorite scarecrows here http://bit.ly/Scarecrows2016 (don’t forget us!) and/or stop by Old Town Trick or Treat this Saturday.  Happy Halloween Lompoc!

 

Enjoy the Scene & Keep it Clean

The word Jalama brings to mind a beautiful, sandy beach and the sound of clear aquamarine waves sparkling in the sun as they play hide & seek with the sand.  A wonderful place to spend a morning, an afternoon or a day, just relaxing; content to enjoy what nature has to offer for entertainment.  Unfortunately this idyllic scene may become a thing of the past due to the amount of trash and debris that is infiltrating our oceans, beaches and coastlines.  

The latest statistics from the Ocean Conservancy 2015 International Clean Up reveal some sad facts.  Just under 4 million pounds of trash and debris were collected along 9,780 miles of US coastline and included: 118,973 glass bottles; 231,264 plastic bottles; 170,357 plastic bags and over one million cigarette butts among other items.  The good news is that more than 200,000 people participated in the clean up effort here in the United States and the effort was met with an additional almost 600,000 individuals internationally.  

The negative impact this trash has on our environment extends past the visual aesthetic to marine and coastal life.  The biggest threat comes from abandoned or lost fishing gear (nets, lines, traps, buoys, etc.) due to entanglement which can be life threatening.  Plastic bags have the second largest impact as sea turtles and other animals ‘eat’ plastic bags mistaking them for food.  The Ocean Conservancy states “99% of all seabird species will be eating plastic by 2050 unless something is done to stem the tide.”  A frightening statistic that will ultimately impact our food sources with plastics becoming a part of our diet as well.  

As dire as this prediction is, proactive measures are being taken to change this.  Explore Ecology is coordinating a California Coastal Clean Up Day this Saturday, September 17th from 9AM to 12PM for several Santa Barbara County beaches including Jalama Beach.  If you are interested in participating at Jalama Beach you can call Chelsea at 736-4567 ext. 223 or visit http://lompoc.chambermaster.com/events/details/jalama-beach-clean-up-3754 for more information.  You can also make a difference by making every day a coastal clean up day no matter where you are.  Remember to enjoy the scene but keep it clean and hope to see you Saturday at the beach!

http://www.oceanconservancy.org/our-work/marine-debris/2016-data-release/2016-data-release-1.pdf

http://www.exploreecology.org/next-events.php

Celebrating the 25 Year Journey

From dream to business plan and then execution, the journey for us and Surf Connection began 25 years ago.  During this time we have traveled many different roads, made new friends and discovered so many remarkable things about our community.  The blessings have been bountiful, the challenges abundant, but we are very grateful for all that we have experienced and learned. 

Most notably it is the day to day experiences and interactions with our customers that have touched our lives in many surprising ways.  We have watched new generations of youths discover the joys of surfing and skateboarding.  We have celebrated birthdays, graduations, engagements, weddings and births.  We have had the opportunity to keep in touch with customers over the years as they come back to Lompoc for a visit, hear from them via Facebook or Instagram and have even reconnected for a few moments with shared memories at the skate comp.  It has truly been a journey and a very joyous one, filled with blessings and treasured memories.

We are inviting you to celebrate our 25 year journey with us on Saturday, September 10th, 9AM until 3PM at the store and create more memories on this journey.  We will have vintage surfboards on display from local collectors, our prize wheel will be out, there will be sales throughout the day as well as some special visitors.  Don’t miss the fun and remember to enjoy the journey!

Best Run~Best Trick~College Park Style

Lompoc Parks and Rec Annual Skateboard Competition is a community event and fun for all ages!   We have been partnering with Lompoc Parks and Rec since 2000 on this competition featuring Best Run (skate jam format) and Best Trick in six different age groups.  Registration starts at 10AM with competition to begin shortly afterwards by age group, youngest to oldest.  Prizes will be awarded for first through third place in all categories and there will also be opportunities to win some great raffle prizes throughout the competition.  Lompoc Foursquare Church will be joining the fun again with popcorn, snow cones and water!   

So bring your skate, helmet and pads or perhaps your lawn chair and some sunscreen this Saturday and we’ll see you at College Park for some fun!

Stay Sane & Save Your Brain

Skateboarding is a personal choice, an expression of freedom, art through skilled and choreographed movements.  Wearing protective gear is perceived to restrict the skateboarder’s freedom and impede the natural flow of movement, so despite city ordinances or any governing laws, most skateboarders choose not wear any protective gear.  While we concede that elbow and knee pads as well as wrist guards may protect from injuries the body can heal from, it is the wearing of helmets that is our biggest concern.  

In a simple split second a life can be changed forever from head trauma and it is the use of helmets that protect against this type of injury when worn correctly.  Falling from just 2 feet can cause a traumatic brain injury and in 2009 over 23,000 traumatic brain injuries were reported due to skateboarding or riding scooters. It is estimated that 85% of these injuries could have been prevented by wearing a helmet.  

Unfortunately we have had first hand experience of friends riding a skateboard, falling and experiencing head trauma because no helmet was worn.  One of them has lost his peripheral vision in one eye for life, another was in a medically induced coma for several months and has cognitive as well as short term memory issues he has to deal with for the rest of his life.  The latest was in the hospital for a couple of days and released with a severe concussion which on the surface may seem inconsequential but may have more severe long term consequences.  Only time will tell.  The best thing about all of these outcomes is that each one is still alive; that is not always the case with traumatic brain injury.

Statistics, threats and the possibility of negative consequences haven’t change the ingrained, cultural behavior of not wearing a helmet, so after consulting with Healthy Lompoc Coalition, we are starting our own effort- Stay Sane & Save Your Brain.  We will be visiting the skate park on random days at random times and anyone wearing a helmet correctly will receive either a $10 SC Gift Certificate or some other reward as acknowledgement for protecting their brain.  If you are in need of a helmet and can’t afford one, let us know and we can get you one.  We would also ask everyone, regardless of age and skateboarding ability to wear a helmet while surfing the concrete, no matter where you are.  If not for yourself, please consider your friends and family and the consequences they may pay for your choices.  

http://www.healthylompoc.org

http://www.aans.org/patient%20information/conditions%20and%20treatments/sports-related%20head%20injury.aspx

http://skateboardsafety.org

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2015/jan/24/teen-readjusts-after-brain-injury-from-skateboard-/

http://www.kcci.com/news/injured-skater-warns-against-skateboarding-without-helmet/32313434

 

Fun in the Sun and All That Jazz!

A window contest?  Really?  We are a surf shop so this may not seem to align with our mission or goals but the reality is this annual ‘competition’ is so much more than just a contest.  For us it is about community, about our love for our wonderful town and about a celebration steeped in tradition.

The Lompoc Flower Festival traces its roots back to the 1950’s when an annual parade and two day rodeo was held during the summer in Lompoc.  George Miller, a prominent citizen, began advocating changing the celebration from a rodeo, arguing rodeos were common and rather mundane, to something more unique and aligned with what Lompoc had to offer.  The Alpha Club Flower Show had been established in 1922 and it was decided to develop the Festival around this key event.  Since those early days the Lompoc Flower Festival has grown to a 5 day event with local entertainment on stage at Ryon Park, food booths run by community organizations and nonprofits, a parade on Saturday which includes floats and marching bands and of course the opportunity to visit and catch up with all your friends that you haven’t seen for a day or maybe a year.  

And so, it is important to us to play what small part we can in this event, a chance to show our community spirit and proclaim our love for our city.  Help us spread some Lompoc Love by voting online at http://www.lompoc.com/shop-lompoc-shop-small.html for your favorite windows (please remember us!) this year and remember to have some Fun in the Sun and All That Jazz this summer!

 

College Park Turns 16 Years!

Dreams.  Cotton candy fluff and ethereal or a concrete reality?  For Lompoc skate park, aka College Park, it is a dream that is literally a concrete reality and celebrates 16 years this month.  A dream first dreamt in the late 1970’s (and perhaps before then) but discarded as impossible, became more probable with the advent of SB994.

SB994 was a little piece of legislature that included skateboarding as an extreme sport and limited the property owner’s liability if injury should occur.  With the passing of SB994, skateparks began popping up in California and the dream kept alive by a few began to become more viable.  The idea was then brought to the Lompoc Parks and Rec Youth Commission who made it goal to make the dream a reality.  

Working together, the Youth Commission, Lompoc Parks & Rec and Surf Connection rallied the skateboarding community and raised monies as a good faith testament to the need.  A piece of property was acquired through an agreement with Santa Barbara County and the Lompoc City Council agreed to fund the project through the City Budget.  Several meetings with an experienced professional skate park designer and the skateboarding community resulted in the current design of the park.  With the design in hand, the project was put out to bid, a builder selected and ground was broken.  Soon a simple dirt field became a concrete playground for skateboarders of all ages and levels of ability to enjoy.  

Today, the park is virtually unchanged from when it first opened.  There is a fence that now surrounds it, some of the edges are showing the wear and tear of daily use and Lovin’ Lompoc helped revive its image last summer with some fresh splashes of color on the vertical aspects of the park, but overall, the concrete waves first put in place remain the same.  What makes us smile the most, however, is that just about any given time, on any day, one can visit the park and see skateboarders challenging the concrete and enjoying the ride.  And isn’t that what dreams are for, becoming concrete?  

 

Soul Surfer or Pure Sport

We just read an article about a new surfboard being released by Samsung called the Galaxy Surfboard.  It caught our attention as Samsung was synonymous to us with smart phones, not the ocean, so we were intrigued.  Would this be for surfing the web or is it truly a surfboard as we understand it?  To our surprise it is a surfboard for use in the ocean but has the communication capabilities of a smart phone.  Quite a combination.   Or is it?

This ‘smart’ surfboard purports to enhance the surfing experience of the individual with the addition of technology predicated on the following.  It allows the surfer to obtain real time information regarding the weather, swell and wave conditions.  It allows for communication with a coach or other party to improve surfing skills.  It allows for support and encouragement from fans, friends and family through social media channels.  All of this is possible through a screen on the board’s deck connecting a surfer with individuals not only on shore but miles, even continents away.   

On the surface these communications seem innocuous but for the surfers we know this is contradictory to why they surf.  Surfing is a chance to unplug from the day to day rat race of technology.  It is a chance to commune with nature, to face the elements of the ocean and make decisions based on knowledge acquired through practice, to conquer the force of the wave.  And while there is a camaraderie that is enjoyed with friends in the water, cheering and joking with each other in turn, it is still primarily an individual activity in which your competition, if you will, is yourself and the experience of the activity is primary to the performance.  

Perhaps though, this distinction is the difference between the serious athlete or professional surfer and those individuals that surf for the pure enjoyment of spending time in the ocean, feeling the board beneath their feet as they ride a wave…for us, soul surfers.  We are not trying to say professional surfers don’t enjoy surfing, that it is not their passion, but that perhaps there is a different motivation and with that the need for more progressive equipment.  For the professional surfer the Galaxy board does have advantages a traditional surfboard does not but it also changes at a fundamental level the experience while in the water.  Is one experience better than the other?  That is not for us to decide but rather for the individual.  However, if the ‘smart’ board becomes the norm we do believe something precious in the art of surfing will be lost.