Sunday, April 29, 2012

Surf Artists Create Awareness!

Surfrider Foundation Draws on Local Artists to
 Promote its Environmental Message

Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to the following copyrighted material. For permission to reprint or excerpt it and/or link it to another website, contact them at

Robb Havassy SurfArt ©
The Surfrider Foundation Huntington Beach/Seal Beach Chapter is drawing on the help of local artists and photographers to help promote its vision of pristine oceans and a thriving sea life.

Dedicated to protecting and preserving the world’s oceans, waves and beaches, the non-profit Surfrider Foundation believes that one of the best ways to convey its environmental message is through imagery.

 Robb Havassy Tropical Sea ©

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel talked to HB/SB Chapter members Gene Rascon and Seth Matson, who are both putting their creative skills to use to spearhead the chapter’s environmental concerns through the various art media.  

Gene & Seth with Chapter Chairperson Tony Soriano
Gene Rascon, the owner of online gallery Surf City Art Co., represents many of the leading surf artists and photographers, including Robb Havassy, Nathan Gibbs, Sean Davey, Tony Ludovico, Ron Croci, Flick Ford, and Jay Alders.

Rascon, who currently serves as the HB/SB Chapter's Volunteer Coordinator, looks for artists who “celebrate the beauty of nature and are able to express the wonder of our global water resources and colorful sea life.”

The stunning visuals created by these artists not only help to generate awareness of the environment, but raise money for ocean-related causes.

Robb Havassy

Surf City Art Co. donates a portion of its proceeds from the artists’ works to the Surfrider Foundation and other environmental groups. And the artists themselves have donated their artworks for fundraising events.

On Ohana “Family” Day, April 22nd, which was the same day as Earth Day this year, surf artists Robb Havassy and Nathan Gibbs both showed up in Seal Beach to lend their support.

 Sunny, Rob Havassy, and Patti

Robb Havassy donated a surfboard he painted with a Native American and environmental theme to event sponsor Kohl’s.  

One of the leading creative voices in the surf culture, Havassy balances commerce with environmental awareness. 

Robb Havassy Moonlight Cove ©

In addition to collaborating with major surf brands like Hurley, Reef, Globe, Sector 9, and Howe Jeans, he also gives freely to the Surfrider Foundation, Heal the Bay, Surf Aid International, and numerous other environmental groups.

Robb Havassy Surf Odyssey 2012 Calendar ©

A renaissance man of the surf scene, Havassy truly does it all – creating dramatically vivid paintings, designing his own fashion collection and eco-friendly line of sandals, and writing the critically-acclaimed 2-volume book, Surf Story, an assemblage of art and stories from the surf culture's most influential artists, writers and photographers. .

Robb Havassy Surf Story ©

Havassy finds inspiration for his paintings everywhere. “Sometimes after a storm all the stuff washes out of the river jetties and I find a piece of wood to paint on. Some pieces I see and can tell right away what I’m going to put on them. There’s the paintings that you do when you know exactly what you want to come up with and then there’s the ones that come out of nowhere and they surprise you.”

Robb Havassy Punta Las Palmas ©

Nathan Gibbs set up a gallery on the beach and talked to people about art and the importance of protecting the environment. "All my art is generally based on the environment," said Gibbs. "The theme is both the destruction and revitalization of nature." 

Gibbs also donated his artworks and copies of his award-winning environmental book The Betrayal of Man, a mythological story about the characters of life, water and energy struggling to get along with each other. 

"I like to give people another avenue to enjoy the environment through my paintings," Gibbs told SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti. A member of the Surfrider Foundation since 1992, Gibbs likes to work in acrylics and often paints on recycled wood panels. His paintings can typically take from 3 - 8 months to create.

Nathan Gibbs Coral Acidification ©

Gibbs is as much a philosopher as an artist. His “Dark and Light” series of surf art and wave paintings focuses on the yin and yang of the cognitive relationships between color and life.

 Nathan Gibbs Gold Rush - Surf Art ©

 Nathan Gibbs A Long Way Out - Wave Painting ©

Gibbs’ mixed media painting “Choose the Ways of the Sea” took him four years to complete, its progress reflecting his own personal journey of awareness.

Nathan Gibbs Choose the Ways of the Sea ©

Nathan Gibbs

Seth Matson, the owner of Matson Graphics in Huntington Beach, has designed websites, advertising pieces, corporate logos, and T-shirts for many of Southern California’s leading surf businesses, including Rusty Surfboards and Billabong.

 Seth Matson Curren-King ©

A lifelong environmentalist, Matson donates many hours to the Surfrider Foundation, helping it to communicate its message by designing promotional materials –T-shirts, hats, reusable bags, posters and flyers – and guiding the HB/SB Chapter’s website.

 Seth Matson Cool-Wave ©

Seth Matson Wax–Wave–Web ©
Matson, who has organized many beach cleanups, has even turned trash into artworks, using his skills to make an environmental statement. 

Seth Matson Big Round Resin Art ©
He also designed the DVD covers for the Emmy Award Winning Wave of Compassion, a film to raise money for SurfAid International, and was the associate producer on Minds in the Water, the award-winning documentary about protecting dolphins.

Asked about his involvement in the Surfrider Foundation and in making the environmental film , Minds in the Water, Matson said, “I love surfing and I love dolphins and whales. I will do anything to protect them.” 

 Seth Matson Dolphin Ceramic ©
Seth Matson


They say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”

In this case, SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti have just one word to say – Thanks! – to all the artists who help the Surfrider Foundation to preserve our oceans and beaches.

Painting a Seascape from KoolPix ©

This lone artist is capturing his vision for everyone to see.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Award-Winning Surf Movie – "Minds in the Water"

A Surfer’s International Movement to
Protect Dolphins and Whales

Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to the following copyrighted material. For permission to reprint or excerpt it and/or link it to another website, contact them at

SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel encourage those who care about protecting dolphins, whales and the ocean to attend the Newport Beach Film Festival and see Minds in the Water on Saturday, April 28th. It will be screened at 1:45 p.m. in the Triangle Square Cinemas at 1870 Harbor Blvd, Costa Mesa, CA 92627.

Newport Beach Film Festival
From Visit Newport Beach
Minds InThe Water is an extraordinary Award-Winning feature-length documentary following the quest of professional surfer Dave “Rasta” Rastovich and his friends to protect dolphins, whales and their ocean environment that they all share. Through Dave's journey—an incredible five-year adventure spanning the globe from Australia to the Galapagos, Tonga, California, Alaska and Japan—we see one surfer’s quest to mobilize his community to help protect the ocean and its inhabitants.

Dave Rastovich Surf Hawaii
From SVNews

This movement has blossomed into an international cause of like minds. The film captures a key moment in one person’s life when apathy is no longer an option.

SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti learned that Minds in the Water is an epic tale of one man's transformation from apathy to activism that is both beautifully and brilliantly directed and narrated by Justin Krumb and written by longtime Surfer magazine editor Steve Barliotti

Dolphin with Surfer
From KurtJamesPhoto
The film emphasizes the duty of each individual to take a stand and has an empowering message for all concerned citizens to become involved in the protection of the world's oceans.

Surfers For Cetaceans ambassador and pro-surfer Chris Del Moro joined the film crew in a sailing mission down the coast of Australia to raise awareness about plastic pollution and the threats facing migrating humpback whales. According to Del Moro, "The global collective of surfers and human beings and groups around the world can really step up and aid in this whole process. It's not just about Dave, it's about everyone." 

From Bee Happy 123

"As ocean people, it is our privilege to be the custodians of our coastlines. The film documents our attempt at fulfilling that role as we travelled to surfing locations around the world. Cetaceans are the ultimate and original surfers. They are our ocean kin and it is our role to do what we can to protect their well being." ~ Dave Rastovich

The message of Minds in the Water is twofold: that one individual has the power to inspire people to take action and make a difference and that ocean-minded people must become responsible stewards of their coastal environment. 

Northern Right Whale Dolphins
From Scarff

Krumb, an Emmy Award-winning filmmaker, is a supporter of the non-profit Surfrider Foundation. He said, "My interest in doing this film about Rasta's journey from observer to activist really stems from my own love of the ocean. Growing up in Huntington Beach made me realize early on in life how special our coastlines are and that we need to protect them for future generations." 

Whale Watching
From Yeimaya

"Dave's mission is really my own and we hope that others feel the same way. If this film can help further that idea then we can show the world what a powerful collective the surfing community really is." 

SurfWriter Girls spoke to Seth Matson, the associate producer of Minds in the Water and its graphic designer for the movie posters, DVD art, promotional materials and creator of the film’s Web site. 

When Matson's long-time, childhood friend Krumb asked him to come on board the project Matson said he didn’t blink an eye. “It’s fun to be able be an associate producer and create graphic designs in the sport you grew up loving so much. I love surfing and dolphins and whales. Surfing at the Huntington Beach Pier whenever a dolphin or porpoise showed up in the lineup it would just make my day… whether the waves were perfect or just blown out junk. So working on this film was a win-win situation for me.” 

Minds in the Water is currently screening throughout Europe, Australia and the U.S. The film was selected as the opening night feature for the 2011 Artivist Film Festival in Hollywood, where The Humane Society of the United States served as the presenting sponsor. HSUS experts joined the filmmakers for a Q&A after the screening to discuss the plight of marine mammals.

Minds in the Water Filmmakers

The documentary continues to screen at universities, beach communities, and film festivals around the world and recently won the Environmental Film of The Year Award at the Byron Bay Film Festival.

For more information about Minds in the Water or to order tickets, please go to the Newport Beach Film Festival website. Tickets are $12.

Red and White Popcorn Box
From Nati Elogia

So, grab some popcorn, and SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti will save you a seat on the aisle!

Monday, April 9, 2012

Ohana – Family Beach Day

Surfrider Foundation Ohana Day – April 22
Celebrates Family & Environment

Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel hold the exclusive rights to the following copyrighted material. For permission to reprint or excerpt it and/or link it to another website, contact them at


SurfWriter Girls Sunny Magdaug and Patti Kishel are ready to celebrate Ohana “Family” Day on April 22 from 9 am – 1 pm at the Seal Beach Pier and 8th Street parking lot.

Hosted by the Surfrider Foundation Huntington Beach/Seal Beach Chapter and Kohl’s Department Stores, the event should draw as many as 4,000 people. 

This is a fun-filled beach day for bringing friends and families together to relax and learn about our earth – especially the ocean. “It’s all about the kids,” said Surfrider HB/SB Chairperson Tony Soriano, emphasizing the importance of getting kids involved in protecting the environment.  

Ohana Day, which falls on Earth Day this year, features programs on environmentalism, shoreline ecology, and ways to create “ocean friendly gardens” that don’t pollute the waterways.

There will be hands-on activities, demonstrations, gifts, music by the Originalities, and more.

Families can learn about how to reduce ocean pollution and protect endangered species from the staff of the Long Beach Aquarium of the Pacific

Watch Seal Beach Junior Lifeguard workouts, get wet with outrigger canoes, kayaks and paddleboards, or fly kites.

Local wetsuit shop Coral Reef is bringing its surf team and setting up a dunk tank. 

The Surfrider HB/SB Chapter and Kohl’s will have plenty of volunteers on hand to lead beach cleanups.

The Chapter is eager to share information about its many programs: water quality testing, beach cleanups, Rise Above Plastics and Butts Out campaigns to get rid of plastic in the ocean and reduce cigarette butt litter, and its elementary school education activities.

Julie Gardner, Kohl’s Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer, said, “This April, as we celebrate 50 years as a company, we are excited to continue making a meaningful difference for kids and the environment.”


Among the other sponsors and participants onboard for Ohana Day are: 5 Gyres Institute, Harbour Surfboards, Honda Dealers of Southern California, Java Jaws Coffee, Lokahi Outrigger & Paddling Club, Long Beach Windsurfing & Kayaks, River’s End Restaurant, Seal Beach Up & Away Kites, Shorebreak Hotel, and surf artist Robb Havassy.

Surfrider HB/SB Volunteer Coordinator Gene Rascon told SurfWriter Girls Sunny and Patti that he hopes the community will come out and join in the celebration, adding “We extend this invitation for all those who love the beach.”

This will be a great time to check out the restaurants on Main Street, too. There will be lots of different foods to try from hamburgers, barbecue and pizza…

To tacos and seafood.

Or, stroll down the pier…

And check out the view from Ruby’s Diner.

Whatever you choose, make sure to work up an appetite and indulge in your favorites.