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Team Blacksheep

This is a blog dedicated to pushing the sport of bodysurfing.
Honk the horn. Call the Police.

"People often ask me “How do I become a great bodysurfer?” Here’s your answer: Be independently wealthy or a teacher. Both of those occupations can afford you the time needed to tackle bodysurfing greatness."
- Thomas VanMelum
Pipeline meet @nameshawthorne .      He made out with a girl on the beach right after this. #twotimer #micropipe #dirtyoldwedge #pipeline #bodysurfing #bodysurf #torpedopeople #thewedgecrew #wedgecrew

Pipeline meet @nameshawthorne . He made out with a girl on the beach right after this. #twotimer #micropipe #dirtyoldwedge #pipeline #bodysurfing #bodysurf #torpedopeople #thewedgecrew #wedgecrew

Anonymous asked: Can you recall a day when you got your ass handed to you by mother ocean? Explain?

Not a whole day, but certainly moments. LOTS OF THEM — and it brings me to a bigger point. PUSHING THE ENVELOPE.

If you aren’t failing, you’re not pushing. If you’re not pushing, you’re going to get boring. I’m constantly trying to push — and because of this I eat shit all the time. I currently hold the title of “Best Wipeout of The Year” for the Wedge Crew, and have held it for 3 years straight. That’s not a joke. 

Shit, at the PIpe competition I took off way too late and way too deep on a wave and got gobbled up alive. Other than Mike Stewart’s GREAT waves, it was probably the most memorable wave — in a bad way of course. The point is this:

Get the basics down. Once you have that, start experimenting. You’ll fail a million times. But if you’re lucky, your failures might lead you to one ground breaking success — that’s all you need. Zero in on that success and fine tune it. 

PS I just finished writing this and remembered a WHOLE day I got my ass handed to me, Rockpiles in 2013.  I’ve written about it many times here…although I’ve never shown the video of me getting my ass handed to me. Maybe I will pull it out.

Anonymous asked: Can you make the water hot again? My turbo's getting antsy.

Fingers crossed for El nino this summer. There will be so much turbo action girls won’t come down to the beach because their hoo hahs will hurt from too much of us.

Anonymous asked: Yeah I know hand boards and wetsuits are lame but so am I. 40 years of doing this and I still suck. But I dont care cuz I love it and it makes me happy. I just bought a synergy tri suit hoping the extra buoyancy and silicon might help me get slippy. And I'm looking at Zoggs hand paddles to maybe help with speed and lift. (I dont lie spending $ on a bespoke handboard when a cafeteria tray seems to work fine) Maybe an outboard strapped to my ass. Thoughts?

My initial thought was “Where was your head at when you wrote this?” Maybe I’m dense but I can’t understand what you’re trying to say in half of this. I’ve never said hand boards are lame, and I love wetsuits. 

If you’ve been bodysurfing for 40 years and you still suck (your words not mine), I feel confident that a tri suit with extra buoyancy isn’t going to work any magic. Ha. 

I’m just giving you a hard time but I seriously don’t know what you want my “thoughts” on. Although I will admit your post was entertaining. 

It’s been hot. Thinking about summer. #skiesoutthighsout
Has anyone been keeping tabs on this el nino summer possibility?!?!? Ho man, if it pulls through it could be a pretty crazy summer for Mother Wedge — maybe even Auntie Point Panic. Ho BRA! That would be amazing.

It’s been hot. Thinking about summer. #skiesoutthighsout

Has anyone been keeping tabs on this el nino summer possibility?!?!? Ho man, if it pulls through it could be a pretty crazy summer for Mother Wedge — maybe even Auntie Point Panic. Ho BRA! That would be amazing.

"I am not a crook!"
In my head it was perfect: Shoot into a giant closeout barrel while wearing a Nixon mask, and filming it first person with a hand plane and a gopro. Simple. So I put the mask on and slip out of the house without anybody noticing, onto the beach, and toward Off the Wall. The waves are double overhead…no biggie.
My first hurdle to overcome: people are staring at me like I’m an idiot who is going to get rescued. Probably because I am an idiot (but I’m not going to get rescued!). So I get over that embarrassment. 
I’m at the water’s edge. Where the hell do I put all this stuff / gear? Ok, strap the hand plane on. Attach the gopro to the hand plane. And the mask? Fuck it. Stuff it in my turbo. Tie it tight. Hurdle 1b to overcome: people are staring at me stuffing a Nixon mask into my pink turbo.
Ok. Hand plane is on, gopro is secure, and bulge is solid from mask stuffing — time to swim out. There’s no clear channel and it’s reef all the way, so I’ll just take my time, take a bunch of waves on the head, and then I’ll be fine. Nothing new here. 5 minutes later I’m almost to the critical point of where the waves are, getting ready to make my hard push past everything. Take one look back at the house, and everyone is on the deck staring at me. Fuck. So much for incognito — better not screw this up. Well, at least I am out here alone.
Wait…there are two surfers paddling out now. Fuck. Just act cool and say hi to them. “Hi guys.” 
Good job.
Ok how is this going to work? I’m just going wait for the perfect wave. Throw the mask on over my head, go blind, and hope everything works out. 
10 minutes go by…me looking for the perfect wave…swimming around trying to get into a good spot so I can take off on a wave blindly.
A SET!!! Welp, it’s now or never. Pull the mask over my ears, swim out to the wave, and do the same thing you’ve done a million times…except with a mask…and a hand plane. Don’t forget to hit record on the gopro.
AND I’M OFF! Fuck Peter Pan — I’m flying. Face of the wave is a little bit bumpy holding a hand plane but who cares. Everything is perfect. Get ready for the giant close out barrel. WHOOOOOOOSH!
Long story short, because I couldn’t see, I was cutting up the wave way too high. I carved up so high, the hand plane dug into the water and flew off my hand then everything proceeded to go over the falls — go pro — hand plane — my limbs. I was instantly separated from my possessions (except the Turbo). Kiss the love, showing it some love and pop up pretty quick. SHIIIIIIT! I just lost $400 worth of stuff. No joke, a split second later, the hand plane along with the gopro popped up right in front of my face. WOO! A scream of relief. 
After searching for the Nixon mask, I found it on the inside 20 minutes later. Do I have video of all of this? Yup. I’ll post it later when I give it an edit.
VanMelum

"I am not a crook!"

In my head it was perfect: Shoot into a giant closeout barrel while wearing a Nixon mask, and filming it first person with a hand plane and a gopro. Simple. So I put the mask on and slip out of the house without anybody noticing, onto the beach, and toward Off the Wall. The waves are double overhead…no biggie.

My first hurdle to overcome: people are staring at me like I’m an idiot who is going to get rescued. Probably because I am an idiot (but I’m not going to get rescued!). So I get over that embarrassment. 

I’m at the water’s edge. Where the hell do I put all this stuff / gear? Ok, strap the hand plane on. Attach the gopro to the hand plane. And the mask? Fuck it. Stuff it in my turbo. Tie it tight. Hurdle 1b to overcome: people are staring at me stuffing a Nixon mask into my pink turbo.

Ok. Hand plane is on, gopro is secure, and bulge is solid from mask stuffing — time to swim out. There’s no clear channel and it’s reef all the way, so I’ll just take my time, take a bunch of waves on the head, and then I’ll be fine. Nothing new here. 5 minutes later I’m almost to the critical point of where the waves are, getting ready to make my hard push past everything. Take one look back at the house, and everyone is on the deck staring at me. Fuck. So much for incognito — better not screw this up. Well, at least I am out here alone.

Wait…there are two surfers paddling out now. Fuck. Just act cool and say hi to them. “Hi guys.” 

Good job.

Ok how is this going to work? I’m just going wait for the perfect wave. Throw the mask on over my head, go blind, and hope everything works out. 

10 minutes go by…me looking for the perfect wave…swimming around trying to get into a good spot so I can take off on a wave blindly.

A SET!!! Welp, it’s now or never. Pull the mask over my ears, swim out to the wave, and do the same thing you’ve done a million times…except with a mask…and a hand plane. Don’t forget to hit record on the gopro.

AND I’M OFF! Fuck Peter Pan — I’m flying. Face of the wave is a little bit bumpy holding a hand plane but who cares. Everything is perfect. Get ready for the giant close out barrel. WHOOOOOOOSH!

Long story short, because I couldn’t see, I was cutting up the wave way too high. I carved up so high, the hand plane dug into the water and flew off my hand then everything proceeded to go over the falls — go pro — hand plane — my limbs. I was instantly separated from my possessions (except the Turbo). Kiss the love, showing it some love and pop up pretty quick. SHIIIIIIT! I just lost $400 worth of stuff. No joke, a split second later, the hand plane along with the gopro popped up right in front of my face. WOO! A scream of relief. 

After searching for the Nixon mask, I found it on the inside 20 minutes later. Do I have video of all of this? Yup. I’ll post it later when I give it an edit.

VanMelum

Sexuality Re-examined in the Surf Industry ( . Y . ) | The Inertia

A little something I wrote for The Inertia. 

Oh. Just down here at W street shooting the new #howtobodysurf video inspired by @benjaminfeanklin @thetorpedopeople @cyrussutton  Starring the greats : @nameshawthorne @sluttyviking @teddawg JLo. 

#torpedopeople #thewedgecrew #wedgecrew #teamwhitesheep #teamblacksheep #howto #bodysurfing

Oh. Just down here at W street shooting the new #howtobodysurf video inspired by @benjaminfeanklin @thetorpedopeople @cyrussutton Starring the greats : @nameshawthorne @sluttyviking @teddawg JLo.

#torpedopeople #thewedgecrew #wedgecrew #teamwhitesheep #teamblacksheep #howto #bodysurfing

@rideanything makes the greatest Handplane on the market. If you’re into this sort of thing. Wave riding pics to follow.
So everyone wants to know what I think about handplanes…well here you go. This custom model, designed by Bryan Knowles of Ride Anything, is ready to shred any wave you’d like it to. Trust me…I tried it in Hawaii on 8 - 10 foot surf. Thing works like a charm. I think you’ll be hard pressed to find a better shaped handplane…suitable for any surf conditions (18+ years and older). I’ll post photos of it in action and write a full review soon enough.

@rideanything makes the greatest Handplane on the market. If you’re into this sort of thing. Wave riding pics to follow.

So everyone wants to know what I think about handplanes…well here you go. This custom model, designed by Bryan Knowles of Ride Anything, is ready to shred any wave you’d like it to. Trust me…I tried it in Hawaii on 8 - 10 foot surf. Thing works like a charm. I think you’ll be hard pressed to find a better shaped handplane…suitable for any surf conditions (18+ years and older). I’ll post photos of it in action and write a full review soon enough.