GrokSurf's San Diego

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Archive for the ‘Sports’ Category

San Diego surfing: north vs. south

Posted by George J Janczyn on May 21, 2010

San Diego’s and South County Surf Rivalry Comes to a Head at Red Bull Rivals
May 20, 2010

Red Bull Rivals is a one day surf event pitting San Diego’s North and South County locals against each other. Tapping into an area that consistently churns out heavy-hitters in the surf world, the contest will showcase some of the most talented local up-and-comers. Surfers from each county will be invited to battle it out in a head-to-head competition at Ocean Beach for ultimate bragging rights.

Two teams of 10 will be chosen by Ocean Beach Surf and Skate in the South and Quiver Boardworks and Cole Surfboards in the North. Unique to this contest, the surfers will compete in a tag team format, where one surfer from North County and one from South County will enter the water together and surf their best three waves. They will then run to shore and tag a teammate to go out and do the same; judges will score the best two waves of the three for each surfer and at the end of the day the team with the most points wins. The losing team must give up their surfboards to the winning team, and the winning team will then donate the boards to the Surfrider Foundation.

Twenty of San Diego’s best local surfers, trying to win bragging rights for themselves and their county (exact names of surfers TBA). Judges will include: Pro surfer Jamie Sterling and ASP qualified (judging) professionals.

Ocean Beach Pier (at the end of Newport Ave.), San Diego, CA

Saturday, June 5th
8:30am-9:30am: Athlete Registration
9:30am-10:15am: Practice/Warm-Up
10:30am: First Match-Up
3:30pm: Last Match-Up
4:15pm-4:30pm: Winner Announced & Awards Ceremony

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Olympics luge design flaw

Posted by George J Janczyn on February 13, 2010


I think the 2010 Olympics luge has a design flaw. See this roadway guardrail? What if they put in the posts and left off the rail? Cars would be seriously damaged and people seriously injured or killed instead of being safely deflected. Likewise, the luge should have had a wall over those posts. Instead, there’s a wall in the curve but it drops away coming out of the curve, a feature which seems only to account for the convenience of photographers and/or spectators.

[Update–Good news: they decided to extend the wall–see the New York Times report Changes Made to Luge Competition. I’m very glad about this, because the thought of further runs on the defective track was frightening!


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Disc golf at Morley Field

Posted by George J Janczyn on February 4, 2010

Take a moment and let me share a few memories from my early frisbee disc golfing days at the Morley Field Disc Golf Course in San Diego’s Balboa Park.

When I started playing in 1978 disc golf as a sport had only recently emerged and the first competitions I attended had an exciting underground atmosphere. Specialized discs were being introduced in different sizes, plastics, forms, and weights that we’d experiment with for drives, roller shots, overhead throws, “up-shots” (approach shots), sidearms, sliders, and putts, and for dealing with different wind, temperature, and humidity conditions. At the time, obtaining some of these discs was almost like trying to buy black market contraband through a secret network, whispers and furtive exchanges of bills and all. Some guys never got that involved though, and would play their rounds with a single disc and a backpack full of beer. Other guys would toke during their rounds. I never understood how they managed to play as well as they did. Women players were rarely seen.

Many of us would head over to the park every day after school or work, see who else showed up, and gather into small groups for a round of golf. One regular with exceptional talent, Snapper Pierson, would join us sometimes and give us tips as we tried to emulate his amazing throws. Over the years he organized tournaments and lobbied the city to allow him to generate funding to develop and maintain the course by setting up a small concession/pro shop and charging a nominal course fee. He’s still in charge over at Morley Field (he appears in the video below).

Sometimes we’d drive up to UCSD and play on campus on a “course” among the Eucalyptus trees and buildings, the course designed by enthusiasts and learned by playing with one of them, although instead of shooting for baskets we’d shoot for objects. We also played at a park in Chula Vista and one in Mission Hills. I’m not sure if there are baskets there anymore, however. Other times we’d just randomly find a park or open space and invent a few holes to play.

Here’s a sample of discs I collected (click pics to enlarge):


I even hunted down some Russian discs during a trip to Moscow in 1980 (it was the Soviet Union at the time). It wasn’t easy because nobody had heard the word “frisbee” — it turned out they called it “летающая тарелка”–“flying plate.” I brought back a bunch, tried selling to collectors but no one was interested after hearing my price (after all, in 1980 $25 was serious money for a piece of plastic). I still have ’em:

This was the entire Soviet offering

Instruction sheet for the blue disc

Instruction sheet for the red disc


That’s when I started learning photography too, and practicing on the golfers I produced lots of discardables but I did capture a few worth keeping. I had a Nikon FM2 35mm film camera (no motor drive). The first shot below was a little scary being in the line of fire, even though he assured me I’d be okay. These digital photos, including the black & white, are of the old film prints.


The sport has become a big draw for recreational players as well as for serious competitors looking to earn some good cash. If you haven’t already, check it out!


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