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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11-06-16-Capitola - Andre Bouchard
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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

Surf Contest Nutrition Update

Surf Contest Nutrition:

I have been asked to resend this note from last year ahead of our first contest this weekend (thanks Andre!), which is an essential part of each surfer's recipe for success. Those planning on surfing more than one heat on contest day should be prepared to bring healthy snacks in their contest packs. Noshing in small portions between heats and staying hydrated is key -- keeping your energy levels elevated over the course of a potentially long day, even if you'd rather free surf, is crucial.

"Healthy snacks" include the likes of power bars (Kashi- or granola-type), trail mix, grapes, bananas, cuties (tangerines), veggie sticks, multi-grain chips or crackers, Gatorade, or juice mixed with water in your water bottles, etc. Or pick your favorite, so long as you can peck away at your snacks over the course of the contest, metabolize them easily and stay fueled. Donuts (again, sorry Marty!!), pizzas, hamburgers, burritos or other big entre's can wait until after the comp and will not leave you light on your feet or belly. Coaching studies have found that on contest day healthy complex carbs and glucose will give you the greatest shot in the arm. And you want to be able to sustain that over the day.

Formula 1 drivers wouldn't put sugar cubes in their tanks (maybe their competitors'); so as athletes, put the "high octane" fuel in yours. Don't stand there shivering wondering when the folks are going to leave their front-row parking space to go get you a big meal. Be prepared in advance and take responsibility for your own success. A couple power bars, fruit, Gatorade at a minimum will do. This is especially true at the Hook, Lane, Manresa and Waddell, which have minimal concessions nearby.

Let's start the season strong in our first regular season comp, with some energy and passion for your sport and teams! Especially after a long and successful water polo season (Good Luck Saturday Cougars!), it's time to refuel. We will have plenty-o-swell this weekend, so don't be caught napping in your heat and let's make the next rounds. May both teams have a fantastic contest at the Hook/Capitola this weekend. Good luck!

Also, note the recent NSSA comps at the Hook had a lot of non-competitors poaching in the contest area and conflict, and we are likely to face that as well. The SCSSL wishes to remind us that they have a permit for the staging area, but not the water. Please be polite and respectful if you drop in and burn non-competitors this weekend. Remember, no heat is worth a collision and injury though. Represent your team and league with style and maturity.


Coach Mike

SCSSL 2016 / 2017 Season

SCSSL 2016 / 2017 Season

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

November 5 and 6, 2016 Waddell

November 19 and 20, 2016 Pleasure Point / The Hook

January 28 and 29, 2017 The Hook / Pleasure Point

February 25 and 26, 2017 The Lane

March 18 and 19, 2017 Manresa

State Championships
High School: April 22 - 24, 2017 Oceanside Harbor
Middle School: May 6 - 7, 2017 Oceanside Harbor

**all dates and venues are subject to change, see for updates and further information.

Your Coaches

Upgrade Children's Center Coastal Adventures seeks after school program camp councelor

Jon Lowings of Upgrade Children's center (located in the Harbor) is seeking a fun energetic person to replace my daughter Sarah in his after school program. Sarah is moving on to full time teaching after 4 awesome years with Jon. She absolutely loved working with Jon and all the great young kids at upgrade.

This would be a perfect job for a young adult or parent searching for a fun part time job on the coast.

Please contact Jon at 650-303-4055.

Check it out at

Summer Jobs at Maverick's

Summer Jobs at Maverick's:

The Maverick's Surf Shop in Princeton Harbor may have a couple openings for any junior or senior in high school surfers who haven't yet lined up a summer job. Great place to work and be close to all the surf action.

For more information, contact Cassandra Clark at:


Coach Mike

SCSSL End of Season Awards Ceremony

SCSSL End of Season Awards Ceremony:

Great job HMB middle and high school surf teams on your epic 2015/16 El Nino season, pulling down a couple of very respectable third place finishes for the team category!!

Individual Placings for the season:

Middle School:

Co-Ed Bodyboard - Andy Vanna 6th
Boys Longboard - Clay Johnson 2nd, Luca Padua 4th
Boys Shortboard - Clay Johnson 5th
Girls Longboard - Emma Stone 5th
Girls Shortboard - Emma Stone 2nd

High School:

Mens Longboard - Hunter Murison 6th
Mens Shortboard - Hunter Murison 4th
Womens Longboard - Kaira Wallace 1st
Womens Shortboard - Kaira Wallace 4th

The competition from Santa Cruz was fierce this year, while we were hard pressed to pull off consistent practices in this historic winter season (The Eddie Went!). You had to overcome a lot of adversity and wild contest conditions, rising like an orange and black tide to the occasion.

Kudos! See you next year...

Coach Mike

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