Only 2.8 miles from Home Yoga OC is one of the iconic surf spots in Orange County, “Blackies”. Located just off Newport Pier and edging down to 28th street, the location was originally known as 22nd street, but later re-nicknamed as “Blackies” as a nod to Blackie’s By the Sea, a bar with a lot of local flare. (We will get back to Blackies…. over and over again.) As a surf spot, it was once known for its 60’s crew: Ron Sizemore, John Peck, Russel Brown, Mike Marshall, are just a few of those early pioneers of SoCal surf culture. Today, it is the mixing ground of groms and pigeons, potato chips and logs, snakes and studs, all trying to catch its famous w-swell.
Today was an unseasonably warm mid-winter day down in Orange County, so, Scott and I decided to take a studio break and head to Blackies for a post-lunch break that might or might not have included a couple of ankle slappers and a cold beer. Beyond the gaze of the statue of Ben Carlson, a local surfer and lifeguard who tragically lost his life on duty, the waves and the wind were in agreement for a beautiful early afternoon surf session. Scott and I headed out to spend some time in the sun, me just dipping the toes in the water and Scott fully submerged, wearing his brand-new, Christmas present wetsuit.
Before hitting the sand and surf, Scott did his usually pre-surf yoga stretch. These are poses that awaken the muscles used when paddling, straddling, and riding. (Sounds a bit racy for a tutorial on surfing!) The main muscle groups used while surfing include the arms (bicep, deltoid), shoulder (trapezius, levator scapulae, rhomboid major and minor), abdomen (rectus abdominis, latissimus dorsi, obliques) and the upper portion of your leg (quadriceps, gluteal, and gastrocnemius). While these muscles get most of their strength-training in the water, warming them up beforehand and a light stretch afterwards allows for maximum mobility.
It wouldn’t be a true trip down to Blackies without stopping by Blackies By the Sea for a cold beer after surf. Around since the 1950’s, Blackies By the Sea is a local hangout for the pigeons (old-timer surfer guys who watch the surf all day long and go “Coo-Coo-Coo” at the passers-by), your local Newport/Costa Mesa-ians, and sprinkled with the vacationer looking for an authentic experience. Inside, you will find the TVs playing fishing shows and the walls covered with stuffed sharks, surfboards, silly signs, and stickers from all over the world (see the alliteration…hahaha). Everyone from the bartender to the regulars are nothing but friendly and welcoming. (I mean, come on, there is nothing like being hit on by a guy offering to let you pick out the music on the jukebox.) And, as far as I am concerned, their sign saying that they have the coldest beer in town is a 100% true.
Looking forward to the next “midwinter-post-lunch-break” before the summer crowds roll in.