A good float is sort of like the last 5 minutes of yoga class when you lay on your back and thank yourself for taking the time to do yoga…while simultaneously napping on your favorite couch and wading in warm, tropical salt water. It’s that good.
Or as Kane Mantyla, owner of the Float Matrix, describes it, “It’s the only technique I know that allows us conscious access to the subconscious. It’s like you’re dreaming. But you’re not. You’re wide awake.”
“Remember when we were kids, all of us ran. We ran in the playground, in the halls at school, at home, in the grocery store, and everywhere else we went…and we loved every minute of it. As adults, running has become something different. The fun part seems to have gone away, and running is something we have to do, either to stay in shape or get back into shape. Hashing puts the fun back into running.”
-From the San Francisco Hash House Harrier’s Guide to Hashing
Deeply ingrained in modern surf culture is the desire to find the perfect wave. Somewhere out there in the world is the wave just right for you. At least that’s the story that the multi-billion dollar industry loves to promise in glossy surf magazines.
The problem is, as Ocean Beach resident and author Jaimal Yogis points out, that while “the search for the perfect wave” might be really fun for surfers, it’s not always good for the pristine coastlines where those elusive waves can be found.
“The Bay Area is one of the prime training grounds for elite athletes,” Kate Ligler explained to me when I walked through the doors of VeloSF. Kate is a professional cyclist and the General Manager of the indoor cycling-based performance center in San Francisco. “The weather and terrain make it an incredible place to develop as an athlete.”
Which is ironic, because one of the most efficient and grueling bike workouts that you can get around here is actually indoors at VeloSF, Bay Area weather and hills be damned.
I’m a huge believer in milkshakes. I also love burritos. And hamburgers. Oh, and pizza. So I am far from a likely candidate to tackle a three-day cleanse, composed entirely of raw, living juice made by Juice To You, but what the hell. You only live once.
I trained all summer for an Ironman, and Charlie Gulick (one of the founders of Juice To You, who I met at the dog park) kept telling me that a great way to celebrate the completion of the event would be with a cleanse. I had so carefully maintained my external, muscular health, and now it was time to take care of my insides.
There are plenty of places in the Bay Area where you can buy a surfboard. And almost as many that offer customized boards, where you meet with the shaper and discuss the specific dimensions of a board you’d like. But Sunset Shapers, located in the Outer Sunset, is a totally unique surf shop, because you can shape your own board there.
For years, the Embarcadero Rowing Club, a 31 year-old club that specializes in the niche activity of whaleboat rowing, has been hosting recreational rows on Tuesdays and Sundays, free and open to the public.
The boats are more Captain Ahab than Winklevoss — they're 26-foot whaleboats optimally made for 10 people: 8 rowers, a coxswain and a bowhook. They hearken to an era when hunting whales was acceptable sport, but now are used as part of an invigorating and novel team sport in the Bay Area.
On June 8, 2011, the San Francisco Giants beat the Washington Nationals at AT&T Park, 3-1. Matt Cain pitched a complete game, and struck out 11. But otherwise, it was just another game for the reigning World Series champs.
Except for Joel Zimei. It was a pretty big day for him. You’ve probably never heard of Joel. Which is funny, because he is one of the most popular members of the Giants organization.
Since 1999, Joel has been the man behind Lou Seal, the loveable team mascot. Since he took the job 12 years ago, he has never missed a home game. Which meant that on June 8, Joel celebrated his 1000th consecutive home game as the Giants mascot, which is the longest-running streak amongst mascots in all of Major League Baseball.
When I first heard about San Franpsycho, a self-given name for a group Ocean Beach surfers, I imagined prototypical surfing locals: Rowdy, in-your face and really good in the waves. They had a few surf movies, all subtitled “Wet and Wreckless,” that emphatically drove home this impression.
“Oh yeah. The movies were just that. We were a bunch of degenerate surfers, partying and being crazy,” agreed Andy Olive, one of the stars of the San Franpsycho films.
Summer's here and the Bay Area surf is...down. While that’s bad news for experienced local surfers, it’s great news for anyone interested in learning. In the Bay Area, summer is definitely the best time for beginners.
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