UrbanSurf4kids.org Orange County Chapter – 4.28.12 “Day on the Bay” Event Review
This weekend’s “Day on the Bay” at the Newport Aquatic Center (NAC) could not have gone any better! When I woke up and saw blue skies after a day of on-again off-again rain, It was clear that God had blessed our event. The day started around 9:30am with Foster Parents and volunteers bringing delicious food for our feast later (Paola, brought sandwiches and a cake for the whole group and Kathie, a crockpot of Mac & Cheese). We had another great group of kids show up for this event, fifteen in all, ages six to 16 years old, volunteers wasted no time getting everyone sized up for life jackets and paddles. After choosing partners for tandem kayaks, we all paddled out to the private bay, working on paddling techniques and getting in sync with our partners. As everyone got the hang of it, several small race competitions and playful water splashing broke out.
We returned to shore for sun protection and drinks then made our way to the SUP station where we held our land lesson to focus on safety tips and techniques. Then one by one, we headed back out for another paddle. After paddling back in, we enjoyed delicious pies donated by Newport Beach Z Pizza (WestCliff), California Pizza Kitchen, Al’s NYC Pizza, and The Pizza Bakery. The kids were laughing and sharing stories about their SUP experience over a cold root beer and a hot pizza, and throughout the day we enjoyed snacking on REED’s all natural Jamaican style ginger ale and root beer donated by the Original Ginger Brew Company.
After relaxing for a bit and fueling up on carbs, cookies and cake, we introduced Katerina, Nikki, Hillary and the many other volunteer students from the NAC Outrigger class. The leaders demonstrated paddling techniques and then loaded the kids into a double hull 12-person outrigger canoe for a crash course. The rookie crew left the shore looking a little timid and somewhat skeptical, but after 20 minutes, you could hear the crew shouting in synchronicity from a distance as they returned, “Paddle left!, Paddle right!”, the confidence in their unified voice grew as they got closer “Left, right, left, right!!!”. They came racing back to the lagoon looking like pros holding their paddles above their heads in victory as they coasted onto the shore.
After a long day the kids helped volunteers return the borrowed equipment to its appropriate place and everyone pitched in to cleanup. But the day wasn’t over yet – it just so happened that Legendary Big Wave Surfer Dave Kalama was holding a SUP clinic the same day, place and time as our event. So Dave met with the kids to sign autographs on some great photos of Dave surfing monster waves, donated by PrintingOC.com. Dave told the kids a little about how he became a big wave surfer and added what surfing means to him; “Surfing has been an awesome friend throughout my whole life. When times are good, I love surfing. When times are bad, it can be a place where I can go to find some happiness again.” We handed out the photos along with hats donated from the NAC to the kids. Dave was a class act, personalizing autographs for each kid. He even stayed around to take a couple group photos with us. On behalf of UrbanSurf4kids, I would like to personally thank Dave, Billy, Pam, our volunteers, and all donating supporters for coming together to make this an unforgettable day on the bay.
Please take a moment to view some photos from this event at http://s1166.photobucket.com/albums/q612/UrbanSurf4kids/
UrbanSurf4kids.org – Orange County
(949) 297-8598 Office
(949) 355-6337 Cell