Author Archives: Mike Sturdivant

13th Annual Surf Spooktacular & Monster Paddle !

Blue Mountain Surf is proud to announce the return of our creepiest event of the year…

The 13th Annual Surf Spooktacular!

This years event will be held in conjunction with the “Monster Paddle” poker run.  Join us on Halloween for an unforgettable paddle on Destin Harbor- October 31st from 11am to 4pm!

The Surf Spooktacular is a Halloween costume contest on the water!  Dress up and paddle with us on Halloween and we’ll take your picture for the contest.  That’s all there is to it!   … or, put on a costume and hit the water anytime before October 31st, take your own picture  or brief video and send the pic or a youtube link to: .

Can’t decide what to wear?  Enter as many times as you like!  We’ll have prizes for the scariest, funniest, best kid and best action shot.  Get tubed in a ballerina tutu and win a prize!  You can surf, SUP, kayak, sail, swim, waterski or scuba dive…if it’s in the water and in costume, it’s all good!

Video from prior event :

2008 Surf Spooktacular

Beach Bonfire Saturday Sept. 19th

Join Blue Mountain Surf, Stone Mountain Surf, and the Surfrider Foundation for a beach bonfire this weekend.  We’ll meet Saturday around dusk at the Van Ness Butler access (betweeen Watercolor and Seaside) .  If you are participating in the YOLO event in Seaside, we’ll be just a few steps away after the concert. Walk on down the beach and hang with us.  We also have a few spots left at the campground in Grayton beach if any paddle board racers need a place to stay for the night.   Hopoe to see you at the YOLO race and bonfire after party!

In Fond Memory of Bill :)

Well, it has been a few days now and I am finally getting back to normal after an amazing experience with Hurricane Bill. We traveled to the coast Friday evening and camped at Anastasia State Park for the weekend. This turned out to be an excellent call as the epicenter of Bills swell landed right at our feet. No searching around the state for the best break. Having reviewed the pics pouring in from up and down the east coast, it’s safe to say that St. Augustine was going off! Bill brought incredibly clean, long period swell and a variety of face shapes (as the tides changed the waves throughout the weekend.) The good size, at times approaching double overhead, was tempered with ample time between sets for getting into position. If you paid attention to the patterns, paddling out was no big deal…if you got to casual, well, then you got thumped and beaten like a rag doll! Needless to say, I kept focused and was rewarded with some of the best rides I can remember!

Saturday morning began with a bang as the largest of the swell was working it’s way in. The tide was making for what I consider violent pitching bombs. There was no easing into the session, just pick the wave carefully (for me that means wait out the back and claw for the biggest wave possible) and point the nose down. Riding a 9-1 HP longboard in macking surf has it’s advantages…covering some distance between sets on the paddle out and early entry. The disadvantages are it’s impossible to duck dive if you get into the wrong place and if you get hung up on the lip or flail in the barrel with that board there’s a good chance of getting knocked silly by it and then held under as it tombstones. I did not miss a single drop on Saturday and my fear of getting worked resulted in hanging in there for what turned out to be the biggest, widest, fastest barrel of my nearly thirty years surfing.

While many folks are debating about whether Bill was the best swell ever, I have my theories. I think it largely depends on how your session went, your surfing style, ability, and attitude. As for me, I love the drop. I especially like those way outside sets and dropping in before passing by the majority of the lineup that’s now scrambling to safety. I enjoy a powered up ride and snapping my longboard off the top, so I can drop again…no nose riding for me (perhaps, till the reform on the inside). Bill was ideal for my kind of ride. As for ability, I’m certainly no pro. Being over 40 years old I think I may just be a late bloomer. My skills are continuing to improve and this means that any big swell could easily be my own best swell ever. And my attitude, it’s all bonus! A good swell is anything that’s rideable, like most things in life it’s what you make of it that matters most. Having a young son also helps, cause I now look forward to even waist high days where we can surf together.

Obviously, I can go on and on. If you read this far you deserve a break! Check out the link below for some amazing photos of Hurricane Bill taken by Chandler Williams :
Client login for Modus is “bill”
Just a few hours after this post, Dylan and I hit Blue Mountain and scored some perfect glass waist high peelers…brilliant orange sunset with a half moon rising…perhaps the new best session ever!

Hurricane Bill Sunday Leftovers, Anastasia

Hurricane Bill Sunday Leftovers, Anastasia

2009 YOLO Race Series Final

For many surfers, summer time along the Gulf Coast typically brings mixed blessings.   Longer days and warm clear water make comfortable  surf sessions lasting till 9 pm possible…  no missing a swell because of day job interference.  The down side has always been the reduced frequency of swell events sometimes stretching for a several weeks between sessions (longer if you haven’t learned the joy of longboarding).

Over the past two summers, YOLO and the local groundswell movement of stand up paddle boarders have been working to fill that summer swell gap.  This summer has flown by in a good way.  The YOLO race series has made good use of that extra daylight and constant desire to be on the water.  We have enjoyed some spectacular races in beautiful places.  The variety of race venues  has re-introduced many of us to the excitement of exploring new locations to play.  The gatherings have reminded us of the joy of discovering new friends to play with!  I think this captures the childhood essence of summer some adults only vaguely remember… essentially, it is a season that promises more opportunity to enjoy life outdoors and more time to play with friends.

So what have we done this summer?  We played outside with our friends.  Very simple, very easy!  And, along the way we have  crowned new queens and kings of summer, our new champions for the 2009 YOLO Stand Up Paddle Board Race Series.  Congratulations to teams “On The Coast Magazine”, and “South Walton Lifeguards”!  And congratulations to everyone who played like a kid in the summertime …You Only Live Once, now go play outside!
Photo: Modus Photography