Sunny Garcia lookers left of me, the Volcom Surf team and me after a crossfit workout but before surfing on the North shore
I have been meaning to post this pic for awhile. I went on vacation to Oahu and stayed in this amazing pad in Wailupe just east of Waikiki. Place had a dock and a deep water channel for a boat and also a surf break 300 yards away. Pretty amazing.
I windsurfed one day in Kailua, long boarded waikiki, and SUP’d wailupe and Tongs the other days. However the highlight of my trip was getting hooked up with Sunny Garcia. I was pretty intimidated at first but he really could not be any nicer. He picked me up at 6:30am and we drove over to the North Shore where the 1st of the Triple Crown was on at Haleiwa. He was entered in the contest so we stopped by the beach to talk with the contest director and up walked Rob Machado, and Taylor Knox to say hello to Sunny. Pretty sweet. The waves were small so we drove along the North Shore while Sunny showed me all the spots and told me some sweet stories about Waimea and other contests. We stopped across from Pipeline and did a crossfit work out with the Volcom, Billabong team. It kicked my ass. I slacked this summer. Then we got a snack and went and talked to his buddy Uncle about a board for me. Uncle wanted to wrestle me but he looked strong even though he was 70. You could tell he had that old man strength. I declined. We picked up a board and headed to Chuns. Waves were perfect for me. 3-5 feet, luckily. I caught 5 out of 7 waves even though I could not even muster a push-up after crossfit. I tend to drop straight in b/c of my slow snap and Sunny was trying to help me by using ski lingo. He kept saying , you have to “traverse” on the wave. Brilliant and true. Of course Sunny was ripping it up and chatting with the crew.
Sunny did an interview on the beach and I had to bounce after that to get back to my family and Sunny drove me home after we stopped to pound a shave ice at Matsumotos. I loved hearing all about his life. I snapped an interview for my radio show on XM which I will post at some point.
Hi ex-wife Anela manages the house and she hooked me up. She also hooked me up with Kainoa McGee, reknown pro body boarder and SUP boarder. He took 4 four yr old son Jack, my mother-in-law and my wife and I surfing in Waikiki which was fantastic. Jack was fully standing up on the shore break with Kainoa’s help. He did eat hard into the beach one time, but is was a good ride.
Getting the backstage north shore tour from Sunny and having Kainoa help us navigate Waikiki was amazing. I felt like a local getting hooked up everywhere and put into all the right spots. Epic.
Was at the World Cup in Beaver Creek last weekend. Fun to see Bode win the downhill. I wish they would put the GS on Saturday instead of Sunday so we could watch Ligety.
You can’t really see the actual race very well so most people watch from inside the tent on TV.
On Saturday, I got this shot of (from left) Franz Weber, Billy Kidd, me , Franz Klammer, and Klaus Heidegger, inside the tent watching the race on the TV.
Working on my eighth week of pairs figure skating for “Skating with the Stars“. Last week was amazing and very tough all at the same time. We started off with a great trip to Squaw Valley where we skated on top of the mountain and then I took Brooke skiing for her first time. I knew she would be good, but not that good. By her fourth run she skied Siberia which is an advanced run. A ski instructor would get fired for bringing her up there and it was stupid on my part because if she would have gotten hurt we would have been done with the skating show. My plan was to bring her down the ridge while our buddy skied the face, but when I showed Brooke the run from the top she wanted it. She is a tough chick. The snow was great but there were small moguls and it was variable which is hard for beginners, not to mention steep. I tried to make her follow right behind me and cut deeply across the hill but she did not like my instruction and wanted to do it her own way. She ended up executing three perfect “yard sales” losing all equipment and goggles each time. Each time she got right back up and continued laughing and wanting more. Her final crash was the most spectacular. After pointing em straight down towards the bottom of the pitch and making three nice GS turns she was too far forward when the slope flattened out and she got snagged in some soft snow and did a nice headplant/yard sale completely filling her pants with snow.
It made me realize that skiing is a bit like surfing. The actual motion of turning a ski which Brooke could do very easily from her skating experience is only a small part of skiing. Managing conditions, steepness and other element is the harder part. Like surfing, standing and turning on the board is not the hardest part, it’s everything else that kills you.
When we got back to LA we had a lot of work to do and we had an increased level of stress and intensity because we had not been getting good artistic scores. This made us both focused on getting the details of the routine right. The emotion and artistry specifically. Plus, we were exhausted from both the skiing trip and just being on for so many days in a row. In addition the difficulty level of the routine increased because we were now skating in lock step as a pair telling a romantic story of forbidden love. On Sunday the day before the show we had never completed a routine yet we had to perform on the studio ice for the director. On our first attempt I swung too wide on a lunge and snagged the edge of the ice sending me into the lights then whipping Brooke over my head into the seats. Luckily, we were only bruised. We got up and tried it again, this time I caught an edge taking out Brooke who came inches from launching herself off the ice to a 5ft drop to concrete. Scary stuff.
So that did nothing for my confidence and went to bed that night thinking of how to change the routine which can be even harder. On show day Brooke and I finally got through the routine once but the directors wanted to see it again which was good for us. On the second time around I made a misstep and tripped Brooke who slashed her finger on my skate as she fell and had to go tot he hospital for stitches. Her finger would not numb so she was there forever. She finally told them to put the stitches anyway and she showed up just in time for the dress rehearsal. We ended up nailing our routine with the exception of my shaky jumps and we ended up on top. Of Course, Brandon did not compete because he was in the hospital with as stomach virus, but I’ll take it anyway.
This week I feel better physically although today I am very sore again in my hammies. My groin is at least doing well. I think my hammies are sore from doing overhead lifts with Brooke. We have had a pro skater named John Zimmerman here teaching me how to lift and throw Brooke which are required elements for this week. Our routine is going to be awesome 80’s music. I hope you will check it out and vote at ABC.com.
Up at CMH right now shooting a segment for Warren Miller. Been snowy so been skiing a lot of pow in the trees. This is a shot of Andy Mahre in front of the heli and the fire that our pilot Roger builds for us everyday during lunch. Yes, this place is awesome. Be here til Sunday then headed straight to Vancouver for the Olympics to commentate on Freestyle for NBC. Bummed that Daron Rahlves got hurt at X games. Have not heard the final prognosis.
I ran into the legendary Franz Klammer during the world cup at Beaver Creek. I love watching his Olympic run from 1976 in Innsbruck when he won the Olympics. Check out the ruts in the course and minimal fencing in the video below.
My favorite paper, the Wall Street Journal, interviewed me for an article on Shaun White. I guess he had mentioned my 02 “Dinner Roll” performance when talking about his plans to unveil new tricks in Vancouver at the Olympics. Most of what I have to say about the subject is in the video which I embedded. The written part is very brief and my quote is little out of context. Of course, I do have some moments of bitterness when thinking back on my 4th place result but I don’t mean to disparage my competitors. In general, my performance there has been a highlight in some ways equal in satisfaction to my gold in 98, X silver in 99 etc. although it has taken me awhile to realize that. It has been a great part of my whole career. I love hearing people recounting the 02 games. There was no hesitation for me. Had I known ahead of time that I would not be able to win, I can’t say that I would have done the same thing but I felt strongly about presenting the myself and the sport in its most advanced stage on the worlds biggest stage, the Olympics. I am flattered that my performance pops into Shaun’s sphere when he is thinking about his strategy, even if it is as a “don’t.” I remember what I did as do others and my performance contributed to the evolution of a sport that I love. In the end, I was true to the spirit of Freestyle competition and I can live with that.
Check out this pic of a bench in front of “The Grove” cafe in SF Marina District. Billy Kidd still being represented with a pair of his signature Hart skis. Billy Kidd and Jimmie Huega (son of lift op in Squaw Valley) were the first American men to win medals in the Olympics in skiing (1964). Four years after the first televised games in Squaw Valley which celebrates the 50yr anniversary of those games this year. Ski history is cool. Read “Skiing Heritage” my favorite ski mag. You can check in out on Google books.
The thing I remember about this ad was that they brought in a stunt double to ski for me. I did not use him, but that made me feel really big time. Also, notice the awesome trap door they built on top of the mountain in the first scene. The second scene is a huge refrigerator in LA built by John Hammer.