mwallace's blog

Revised SCSSL contest schedule out

Surf Teams: please note the revised SCSSL contest schedule below - the January and March comps for junior high and high school teams have been shifted slightly and remain subject to change:

2017 / 2018 Season

Middle School / High School
Middle and High School dates will be finalized the Wednesday before the contest.

October 28 and 29, 2017 Waddell

November 18 and 19, 2017 Pleasure Point / The Hook

January 20 and 21, 2018 The Hook / Pleasure Point

February 24 and 25, 2018 The Lane

March 24 and 25, 2018 Manresa

State Championships
High School: April 21 - 23, 2018 Oceanside Harbor
Middle School: May 5 - 6, 2018 Oceanside Harbor

**all dates and venues are subject to change


Coach Mike

HMB High Surf TEAM Update/Comp/Practice Schedule

HMB High Surf TEAM Update/Comp/Practice Schedule:

1) SCSSL Competition Schedule below, subject to change, will be finalized Weds before each comp in terms of MS vs HS day and location.

Waddell -- Oct 28-29
Pleasure Pt./Hook -- Nov 18-19
Hook/Pleasure Pt. -- Jan 13-14
The Lane -- Feb 24-25
Manresa -- Mar 17-18

States: High School Apr 21-23, Middle School May 5-6

2) Please still sign up for alerts from as previously instructed for practice updates. Please select "email" update, as texts have been blocked by ATT for now. I will use this for practice updates going forward.

3) Surfers: please study your competition rule book before our next practice. The SCSSL will be very strict with enforcement this year after a couple controversial episodes last year. We will be the best informed team and there will be a test Sunday!!

4) Sunday practice will be at Montara at 9 am, though we may relocate to the Jetty in the likely event that wind and swell blow us to that more protected spot. Before we surf we will go over the league rule book above.


Coach Mike

High School Surf Team Practice Schedule/Update

High School Surf Team -

If you have already signed up for team alerts, you will know our first official high school team practice is Sunday morning at 9 am slated for Montara Beach (south lot). If not, please use the following link to receive text and/or email alerts. We will use this going forward for any practice times and venue changes. Chose alerts from Coed Surf Club. You must have completed all HMB high, SCSSL and BGCC/Surf Club waivers and clearances to participate:

Also the Big Chill Out Surf Contest September 30th is a great way to get in a competition tune-up for the season. There are both age-based longboard and open shortboard divisions, with slots filling up fast:

See ya Sunday,

Coach Mike

HMB High School Surf Team Update

High School Surf Team Only:

I have few items to mention before our first meeting of the season on Sunday:

1) HMB high will be requiring athletic clearances from ALL surfers taking part this year, even if from other schools. Instructions, links and physical forms can be found here:

2) Going forward, communications on practices and other short updates will be done by text alerts: Go to the Alert bar on the website and follow the instructions for "Coed Surf Club" alerts:

3) Practices will typically be Friday at 4 pm and Sunday 9 am during the season, but due to overlap with the water polo team, we will start with just Sundays unless conditions are spectacular for a Friday practice.

See ya Sunday,

Coach Mike

Surf Team - High School State Championships Results

Surf Team - High School State Championships Results:

At the start of the long season waaay back in 2016 I told this team that they were collectively the deepest and most talented group I had worked with yet in HMB. After a shaky start to the season, I'm proud to report they saved the best for last and proved to themselves last weekend that they can compete with the best surfers in the state. Conditions were super clean and ripable to start on Saturday for the team round, but turned a bit onshore, ugly and very challenging by Monday's individuals. A great set of photos from Club President Oliver Keeton can be found here:
Oceanside SSS April 2017

Team Round Saturday:

For the first time in school history the Cougars advanced teams in 3 out of 5 categories -- men's shortboard, women's shortboard and with the women's longboard team making it all the way to the semi-finals. After a fiery opening round against Torrey Pines, men's shortboard was halted by state's favorite San Clemente. Women's shortboard defeated La Costa Canyon, but fell to Carlsbad in the quarters. But women's longboard took down Laguna Beach in the opening round before succumbing to Carlsbad in the semis. The final overall team round results will ultimately be posted on: Congratulations to all, but especially to the women's longboard team of Kacie and Nikki Sorfleet and Ella Catalano-Dockens who slugged it out nearly to the end.

Individuals Monday:

In men's shortboard Grayson Capers (2), Ryan Bair (1) and Nate Feix (2) all advanced out of the first round, with Ryan (4) ending his run in round two just out of the money. Nate (3) advanced out of round two before being halted in the quarters (4).

Men's longboard saw Ethan Levitt (3), Clay Johnson (1) and Coel Miller (3) all advance out of round one, while freshman Clay marched all the way to a fourth overall in the state finals.

Women's shortboard was led by Emma Stone (1) and Ella Catalano-Dockens (3) in the opening round. Freshmen Emma and Ella extended their streak all the way to the semi-finals with a 5th and 6th respectively in very rough and challenging conditions.

Women's longboard was dominated by Ella Catalano-Dockens, who made mature wave selection a hallmark of her run all the way through 3 rounds to a fifth overall in the state finals.

In co-ed Bodyboard Grayson Capers whirled, spun and barrel-rolled all the way through to a sixth place in the semi-finals.

What a remarkable feat for HMB to advance so many surfers in this round as well -- by far the most for us of any state championships performance. We also honored our seniors Grayson Capers, Tanner Islander and Team Captain Coel Miller, who will be sorely missed -- may the swell rise to meet them on their next adventures. Kudos to all on a fantastic weekend of competition, but a special shout out go to Clay and Ella for displaying maturity and tenacity beyond their years and making state finals as freshmen. The future looks to be in good hands. Thanks to women's team coach Kerri Kemp, and to Marty Phelps for arranging camping on-base at Pendleton within striking distance of Trestles and San-O. Fun times, go Cougars!


Coach Mike

HMB High Surf Team Results from Pleasure Point

HMB High Surf Team Results from Pleasure Point:

It was HMB taking down HMB in "bye" at the Point, which HMB swept in every category of Men's shortboard, Women's shortboard, Men's longboard and Women's longboard. This was due to lack of a sixth high school team in the SCSSL, but it also allowed the Cougars to stack the quarters and semis in the individual rounds. Fun, clean, ripable conditions prevailed through the early low tide, before getting more challenging as the tide filed back in. Always a great venue, the temps, wind and weather were ideal.

Alternate/Individual round:

Showcasing the depth of our team, all of our alternates advanced in either 2nd or 3rd place to the quarter finals, before a few stumbles in men's shortboard in particular, which saw Clay Johnson, Nick Wiley, Andy Vana, Nate Feix and Nico Simrock bow out. Mitchell King rode his alternate (3) run through in shortboard to the semi-finals with some aggressive toe-to-toe surfing with the Santa Cruz rippers. Likewise, with the exception of Emma Stone, the women's shortboard team of Ella Catalano-Dockens, Nikki Sorfleet, Kacie Sorfleet and Holly Ebert ended their run in the shortboard semis. After fielding four surfers in the men's longboard semis, Ethan Levitt and Andy Vana bowed out, while Clay and Mitchell moved on.

Final Results:

Emma Stone (4) women's shortboard
Clay Johnson (2) men's longboard
Mitchell King (6) men's longboard

Emma was swarmed by the Santa Cruz women in the final, but landed an under-the-lip take-off on a bomb and lined up a long, contestable runner with several mean cutbacks. Clay finished first in every longboard heat bar the finals and had that heat combo'ed in the first 6 minutes of the final before the others fought back. Mitchell finished the regular season with his best combined result and first finals appearance, with marked technical improvement and a feisty competitive drive.

State Championships are up next weekend and it will be great to get the full team back together after missing our seniors for the past two comps. Forecasts are looking good for waves and weather. It should be an epic long weekend and I will send out more details shortly on some logistics.

Mahalo and Happy Easter!

Coach Mike

HMB High Surf Team Results from Manresa

HMB High Surf Team Results from Manresa:

Well, folks, we pulled off another classic contest at Manresa on Sunday, in the deep south of Santa Cruz. And the beach break was "right up our alley" as predicted in our last missive. Glassy shoulder high peelers with an inner and outer bar greeted us mid-morning, pretty enough to send a couple coaches scurrying for their wetsuits before the team round. Shorts and T's gave way to hoodies, windbreakers and Uggs, however, by the time the onshores arrived, but it was contestable all day and HMB came to play.

Team Round:

HMB (61) took out Santa Cruz Mountain (44) despite the absence of three of our seniors for Lifeguard training, which leveled the team round. But the next generation and alternates really stepped up with some aggressive heat surfing. Mitchell King (2), Clay Johnson (1) and Nate Feix (3) swept the first men's shortboard head and Ryan Bair (2) and Luca Padua (1) advanced out of the second. Emma Stone (1) and Ella Catalano-Dockens (2) took charge of women's shortboard. Clay (1) and Andy Vana (2) dominated men's longboard, while Kacie Sorfleet (3) advanced from women's longboard.

Alternate/Individual Round:

The Surfin Cougars took advantage of the clean conditions to send several surfers from alternates into quarters/semis. Among them, Nick Wiley (3) advanced in shortboard, before bowing out in quarters, along with Ryan. Mitchell King carved his high performance longboard (2) out of quarters and as far a semis. Emma (2) and Ella (3) displayed fine team spirit with another dual advance in women's longboard alternates. Kacie extended her run to both women's short- and longboard semis, as did Ella in her best performance to date.

The HMB mega-heat in men's shortboard semis saw Clay, Mitchell, Nate and Luca challenge each other as well as two others, but it would be Clay (2) and Luca (3) who squeaked through to the finals. Emma marched through to her second consecutive double-final, a feat that Clay matched for the first time at Manresa. Clay had his best finish of the season in men's longboard and appears to be just getting warmed up.

Final Results:

Emma Stone (5) women's longboard
Emma Stone (5) women's shortboard
Clay Johnson (2) men's longboard
Clay Johnson (6) men's shortboard
Luca Padua (5) men's shortboard

Super proud of this team to overcome a depleted roster and adverse conditions, but I believe that all of our talented surfers have a lot left in the tank before even approaching their potential. We will have a make-up contest at Pleasure Point on April 15th as a final tune-up for State Championships in late-April. Let's crank it up to 11!


Coach Mike

Manresa contest schedule - MS Saturday, HS Sunday

Manresa contest schedule from Susan at SCSSL:

"Hi Coaches,

Our contests this weekend are at Manresa State Beach. Start time for both days is 8:00. Conditions look good - light wind, medium tides, and the sand bars have been setting up nicely. Parking is $10 (I think) or bring your State Park pass if you have one. Here is the schedule for the weekend.

Saturday, March 18: Middle Schools at Manresa

8:00 New Brighton v Aptos
9:15 SC Mountain v Half Moon Bay
10:30 Mission Hill v Shoreline

Sunday, March 19: High Schools at Manresa

8:00 Aptos v
9:15 Soquel v Santa Cruz
10:30 Half Moon Bay v SC Mountain

(Aptos gets all 6 spots in each heat of the team round. We have 5 HS teams this year instead of 6. Each team will have one contest where the team will automatically advance out of the team round. However, surfers will need to surf their heat to advance. Teams can fill the empty spots with additional surfers from their own team.)

Contests rosters are attached.

Let me know if you have any questions.
831 458 9332"

High School Surf Team State Championships - Individual Entries

High School Surf Team State Championships - Individual Entries

States is just around the corner and the Team application and $600 fee will be taken care of by the Surf Club, but any surfers who wish to participate in the Individual Competition on Monday, April 24th, will need to submit an entry form and pay for the divisions in which you plan compete at $60/division. You will submit these forms DIRECTLY to the SSS -- do not hand off to your coach.

Please follow the instructions in the link above VERY CAREFULLY. All surfers (Team and Individual) will need submit a Student Membership form for Non-SSS Members and the Individual entry form will require a coach signature. All slots are on a first come, first serve, basis. So, please be sure to take care this ASAP if you plan to take part. If you are making the effort to go to Oceanside, I would highly encourage those seeking more competition experience to do Individuals. The deadline is April 1, 2017, but I wouldn't wait that long.


Coach Mike

HMB High Surf Team Results from the Lane

HMB High Surf Team Results from the Lane:

Great call by the SCSSL to pull the trigger this weekend at the Lane. It was a beautiful and chilly day at this world class venue and the Cougars took full advantage of the conditions with a moderate swell running with a high tide and clean conditions early followed by a deep tide drop and light wind picking up over the course of the day.

Team Round:

HMB (66) took down a depleted Aptos (22) with men's shortboard advancing in 5 out of 6 slots and women's shortboard advancing all three surfers Emma Stone (1), Ella Catalano-Dockens (2) and Nikki Sorfleet (3), a feat that they repeated in women's longboard. Mitchell King also advanced in men's longboard with Kacie Sorfleet.

Alternate/Individual Round:

HMB advanced several surfers out of the alternate around. Mitchell King (2) and Nic Bouchard (3) moved through in men's shortboard, while Coel Miller (1), Grayson Capers (2) and Ethan Levitt (3) all went through in men's longboard. Ella Catalano-Dockens won her longboard heat and Holly Ebert (3) advanced in women's shortboard. Holly was the team hero for the event after nearly getting swept into the cliff twice after a close-out set, keeping her calm, and willing to go out for the next round.

Ryan Bair, Nate Feix and Luca Padua kept HMB in the mix in men's shortboard with some critical surfing and mature wave selection. Nate bowed out in the semis, but Luca and Ryan kept their streak running all the way to the finals. Luca in particular stuck to his plan on Middle Peak and cracked some backside top-turns that compelled the judges to take notice. Coel Miller also took advantage of the alternate round and used some stylish carving and nose-riding to advance to the finals in men's longboard. Emma Stone was on point all day in both short- and long-board divisions.

Final Results:

Emma Stone (4) women's longboard
Emma Stone (3) women's shortboard
Coel Miller (3) men's longboard
Luca Padua (4) men's shortboard
Ryan Bair (6) men's shortboard

Congratulations to the team and individual performers for a great result at the Lane. This was a sublimely fun event and it was great to have the Cougars grasp the nettle again and show that they can step up when it counts. Next up is the March 18 contest at Manresa, a beach break which has been right up our alley.


Coach Mike

HMB High Surf Team Hook Results

HMB High Surf Team Hook Results:

The Cougar Surf Team finally got around to its second contest of the season amid spectacular weather at the Hook and some clean, shifty, contestable right peelers on the famous reef. It was a relief to get the season back under way after a long stretch of cancelled comps, wild weather and swell.

Team Round:

HMB (49) came up just shy of Soquel (54), unfortunately narrowly snatching defeat from the jaws of victory. The 5-point difference was a matter of just one or two surfers placing higher, but illness and lack of practice due to the unruly weather took their toll. Notable advancers to individual round were in men's shortboard Clay Johnson (1), Coel Miller (3), Ryan Bair (2) and Nate Feix (3) in a solid pair of heats. Women's shortboard saw Emma Stone (1) through, who also placed (3) in longboard. Hot dog logger Andy Vana (3) also went through for men's longboard.

Alternate/Individual Round:

Several surfers stepped up in the alternate round. Andy Vana (3), Nick Wiley (2) and Mitchell King (3) advanced in shortboard before surrendering in the quarters along with Ryan Bair. Grayson Capers advanced in longboard, as did Ella Catalano-Dockens (2) before exiting in the quarters. Kacie Sorfleet rode her shortboard alternate berth all the way to the women's finals.

Grayson and Andy made some stylish runs through the inside, but their busy longboard heat strategy ended in the semi-finals after a fun day. Coel bowed out in men's shortboard semis after some tactical power surfing, as did Nate. Both Clay and Emma made multiple critical turns that turned the judges heads in their semi-final shortboard victories. Emma was the standout of the day in a dominant display, placing first in every heat right through the finals in a very seasoned performance for the freshman. Clay was let down by a lully heat and lack of commitment to holding a strong position in the line-up.

Final Results:

Clay Johnson: (5) men's shortboard
Emma Stone: (1) women's shortboard
Kacie Sorfleet (6) women's shortboard

We'll have some work to do before the next contest, which is scheduled for February 25-26 at the Lane.


Coach Mike

SCSSL Hook Contests Cancelled this Weekend

From SCSSL Director Susan:

Hi coaches,

Unfortunately conditions for this weekend are deteriorating. The forecast is for rain and strong south winds and it's unlikely that we will have a large enough window of contestable surf to run a full contest.

The contests this weekend are CANCELLED. I will let you know the make up dates when I have them.

Thanks for your hard work and for being flexible!


Hey, you, goofy-footer!

Hey, you, goofy-footer!

There are some great video resources out there if you really want to improve you surfing technique. It can be challenging competing in Santa Cruz, the land of the right hand point break. But Surfline has posted a really helpful tutorial on how to crack the whip backside with Ace Buchan, narrated by former World Champ Barton Lynch (another right foot forward legend):

How to do Backside Carves With Ace Buchan

'It all comes back to the bottom turn,' says Ace
Hurley also has been running a serious of videos from the likes of team riders Michel Bourez and Kolohe Andino, which are archived here. So, even if you can't get in the water every day, you can do some mind surfing before this weekend's comp (so long as you get your other homework done first).
How-To Videos

Unlock your surfing potential with The Hurley Surf Club. Improve your technique with personal coaching, how-to videos and tips from the world's best athletes

Coach Mike

High School Surf Team Pics from Capitola

High school Surf Team -

Andre Bouchard has a couple hundred shots from the Capitola contest, including several interesting series that could be useful to review before this weekend's comp. Many thanks to Andre for taking the time to shoot and load these for the team. Details are below.


Coach Mike

From Andre: "I have loaded the full sequence of the ride and will leave these up for a week for parents and boys/girls to download their favorites. After a week, I will reduce the number of pics to just the best shots. Let me know if you have any issues with downloading. Please forward the link to other parents."

11-06-16-Capitola - Andre Bouchard
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this link is accessible via the smugmug app. Please note you do not need to sign up for an account to view these pictures.

11-06-16-Capitola - Andre Bouchard
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This gallery hosted by SmugMug; your photos look better here.

HMB High Surf Team Results from Capitola

HMB High Surf Team Capitola Results:

It was an action-packed Super Sunday for HMB with one of the strongest WNW winter swell pulses so far washing the season opener from Waddell to the relative protection of Capitola in Santa Cruz. Clean head-high lefts and rights swung through the line-up with contestable regularity, though there were indeed some lully heats. Crowds were on hand too, which meant certainly more than 5 other competitors in the line-up (ahem, no HMB coaches were seen near the main peak, though
"Team Geriatric" surf-toured all the way from the Hook to the Capitola Pier).

It was a nervous start for the team as a whole, with some very strong individual performances, but that belied the depth and talent of HMB, which is sure to emerge later in the season.

Team Round:

HMB (38) fell to an in-form and deep Santa Cruz high (66), but advanced a handful of surfers to the individual round. Men's shortboard saw Coel Miller (3) and Nate Feix (3) advance, along with Emma Stone (1) from women's shortboard and in men's longboard Clay Johnson (2) rallied through as well.

Alternate/Individual Round:

Several team alternates made wise use of their opportunity here. In men's shortboard as Andy Vana (2), Nic Bouchard (3) and Tanner Islander (3) made it through to the quarters before bowing out. Andy also advanced in men's longboard (2) before being halted in the semis (4). This was Nic's first comp and he displayed contest skills well beyond his limited comp experience.

Coel (3) and Nate (2) extended their run out of the quarters in men's shortboard, but ran out of waves in the semi-finals, finishing 6 and 5 there respectively after an abundance of strong power hacks and mature finishing maneuvers over the course of the day. Freshmen Clay Johnson and Emma Stone should be applauded for grinding it out all the way to the finals in men's longboard and women's shortboard, respectively. Clay was on point all day after trading the left with world-class longboarder CJ Nelson in the morning. He waited for quality waves to display his cross-stepping and critical nose rides, followed by 360 spins for finishing maneuvers. Emma won all her heats until the finals, when the fluky sets conspired against her. Very solid bottom and top turn combos will serve her well this season.

Final Results:

Emma Stone: (4) women's shortboard
Clay Johnson: (3) men's longboard - full results and ranking can be found here over the course of the season.

The next contest will be upon us fast, scheduled for November 19-20 at either Pleasure Point/Hook or even Waddell depending on the forecast.


Coach Mike

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