Examining the Anatomy of a Male Pro Surfer

Owen Wright 2010 Queensland Joliphotos.comNo, not that anatomy!

In honor of the last day of the 2013 US Open of Surfing taking place in Huntington Beach, CA July 20-28, 2013, let’s look at the height, weight, foot size, and arm length of one pro surfer, Australian Owen Wright.

If you are a “big” guy, can you still make it on the pro tour? If you are Owen Wright, yes. Let’s look at some stats, both physical and Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) world rankings.

Physical Statistics

Owen Wright height weight arm span etc.

(Indoek created this image above of “The Anatomy Of Owen Wright”.)

The impression I have is that most male pro surfers seem to be between 5’7″ and 5’9″ and weigh between 150-160 pounds. As you can see from Owen Wright’s statistics above, his height, weight, and arm span put him the league of U.S. football or basketball players. Yet, look at the snippet below of his ASP pro tour statistics.

ASP World Rankings

Owen Wilson Association of Surfing Professionals Statistics July 2013

The question then becomes, how has he succeeded when his physical stature might make him not suitable for pro surfing?

The video below examines that question.

I found this video entertaining. It was informative, and yet fun, too. I thought the authors created a brilliant video that merges science and information.

What do you think? Does physical stature always determine excellence in a particular sport? Would you like to be examined like a laboratory specimen?

The “Surfer’s Code of Ethics”; What Is It and How Do You Display It?

Tribal Law Surfriders Code of EthicsThis week is the 2013 US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, CA. In honor of this annual event, I thought I’d post the Surfer’s Code of Ethics.

What? Surfers have ethics? Believe it or not — yes. Most surfers try to stick to a certain set of guidelines when riding waves in a line up, especially a crowded one. Note that I said, “most”. In one word, it’s about Respect.The various authors of the three sets of the Surfer Code of Ethics, below, summarize what it means to show respect.

Surfrider Foundation’s – The Surfer’s Code

  • Respect the beach, ocean and others
  • The surfer closest to the peak has the right of way
  • First to his or her feet has priority
  • Stay out of the way of riders on waves
  • If in doubt, don’t paddle out
  • Be aware of currents, jetties and other surfers
  • Hold on to your board
  • Clean up after yourself and others less thoughtful
  • Always aid another surfer in trouble
  • Share the water, your knowledge and your stoke
  • Give Respect To Gain Respect

A Surfer’s Code by Shaun Tomson – from the book “Surfer’s Code”

  • I Will Never Turn My Back on the Ocean
  • I Will Paddle Around the Impact Zone
  • I Will Take the Drop with Commitment
  • I Will Never Fight a Rip Tide
  • I Will Paddle Back Out
  • I Will Watch Out for Other Surfers
  • There Will Always Be Another Wave
  • I Will Always Ride into Shore
  • I Will Pass Along My Stoke
  • I Will Catch a Wave Every Day (even in my mind)
  • I Will Honor the Sport of Kings

Nat Young’s Code of Ethics – Give Respect To Gain Respect

  1. Right of Way: Furthest inside, closest to the peak.
  2. Do Not: Drop in or Snake.
  3. Paddling Out: Paddle Wide. Caught inside stay in the white water.
  4. Remember to Communicate: First to feet or on the wave. Call Communicate (Left or Right)
  5. Always: Surf with Your Ability. No big waves until ready. Take off with commitment. Paddle hard.
  6. Danger: Do not let go of your board, it’s a danger to others.

I first came across the Surfer’s Code of Ethics via Louise Southerden. I loved the drawing she included in her book, called, “Tribal Law”, which I have posted below. This image is an initiative by the Vasse Leeuwin Community Health Service in Australia, and is supported by the Surfrider Foundation and Surfing West Australia. I thought it was a great way to portray a great deal of information in a small amount of space. I like the hand drawn aspect to it, too.

Tribal Law Surfriders Code of Ethics

My next encounter with the Surfer’s Code of Ethics came when I attended Witch’s Rock Surf Camp in Tamarindo, Costa Rica last March 2013. Joe Walsh, founder of the surf camp, has summarized what us students learn at the camp in a great blog post on surf etiquette. I love the stick drawings. If you are new to surfing, I’d suggest you read his post if you’d like to learn in greater detail how to handle yourself in a line up.

For you non-surfers out there, are there any surprises in this code? For you surfers out there, are there any codes that you would disagree with? Which ones do you find easy to do or hard to do?

Update, 21 August 2013: Silverback Surfers posted “The Best Drop-in Excuses (When Saying Sorry Simply Isn’t Good Enough)“. Love it. Do you have any favorite drop-in excuses you’d like to post, either on their blog or this?

What Music Should You Listen to While Working?

Do you really need someone to tell you what the best music for you to listen to is while working? Probably not. (Unless it is your boss or coworkers, because you listen to your music without earphones!)

Still, Sonos’ Working Jams: What Music Should You Listen to on the Job is a cute decision tree. I listen to Jazz, Classical, & Ambient when I am writing or doing other work on the computer. The author of this decision tree recommends those genres for my work type. I listen to Trance when I am coding or scripting. I do like synchronicity, even if it between what I already know and the advice from some random infographic I found online!

Sonos -- Working Jams: What Music Should You Listen to on the Job

What music do you like to listen to while you are working? Does this chart reflect your choices?

The History of the Internet, Visualized

The Hamster Dance, c. 1997I love history. I love technology. Thus, an infographic detailing “The History of the Internet” should be right up my alley, correct?

Only if it is accurate.

Gizmodo recently released this detailed version of the Internet’s history, but there are some glaring errors. Where is Vannevar Bush’s Memex from 1945? What about the invention of the personal computer and the mouse? You cannot use the Internet if you do not have a computer.

For comparison, please check out The Computer History Museum’s Internet History (1962-1992).

Gizmodo's History of the Internet

Can you spot a few other things that “should” be mentioned in this infographic?

As for me, Internet history means one thing, and one thing only. The hamster dance. :)

The Success Indicator – What Factors Make Someone Successful or Unsuccessful?

Have you ever wondered what makes one person successful, and another unsuccessful? Is it simply intelligence, economic background or educational level?

First, let’s define “success” using the Oxford Dictionary.

success definition oed

MaryEllen Tribby, Founder and CEO of Working Moms Only, spent some time thinking through the indicators of what makes someone a success. Oddly enough, money or fame are not part of her definition.

Tribby writes that “success” is really about someone’s attitude and behavior.

The Success Indictor - MaryEllen Tribby

In case you find it difficult to read, here are the success and failure indicators mentioned in the image above, as text.

Successful People
Have a sense of gratitude
Forgive others
Accept responsibility for their failures
Read everyday
Keep a journal
Talk about ideas
Want others to succeed
Share information and data
Keep a “to-be” list
Exude joy
Keep a “to-do/project” list
Set goals and develop life plans
Embrace change
Give other people credit for their victories
Operate from a transformational perspective


Unsuccessful People
Have a sense of entitlement
Hold a grudge
Blame others for their failures
Watch TV everyday
Say they keep a journal but really don’t
Talk about people
Secretly hope others fail
Horde information and data
Don’t know what they want to be
Exude anger
Fly by their seat of their pants
Never set goals
Think they know it all
Fear change
Take all the credit of their victories
Operate from a transactional perspective

What do you think of MaryEllen Tribby’s success indicators? The unsuccessful indicators? Do you agree or disagree with her assessment?

How would you compare or contrast her indicators with the dictionary definition of success?

Finally, since none of us are perfect, which indicators from the right “unsuccessful” side do you need to let go of? Which indicators on the left “successful” side do you need to add or increase?

What Does the U.S. Confederate Rebel Yell Sound Like?

US Post Office Battle Gettysburg Centennial stampWhat famous parts of history have librarians documented and placed online, that, prior to the Internet and digital libraries, were obscure and difficult to access for the average person? One example is an authentic recording of the U.S. Confederate “Rebel Yell” from the American Civil War.

July 1st to 3rd, 2013 marks the 150 anniversary of The Battle of Gettysburg. The National Park Service has several events planned to commemorate this battle. It is an important battle because it turned the tide of the war, and the Confederates eventually lost the war to Union forces. Casualties were high on both sides. The Union had about 23,000 dead, wounded, or missing. The Confederate forces had between 20,000 to 25,000 dead, wounded or missing.

Like the Battle of Gettysburg, people have recorded many parts of the history of the conflict between the North and the South, either on paper as written history, or via audio or video. Other portions have been lost to history. One famous part of the War Between the States is the Rebel Yell. Members of the Confederate Army were famous for their Rebel Yell. When Union forces heard the Rebel Yell, it often brought them feelings of terror and panic.

But…how many people have heard an authentic Rebel Yell from an actual Confederate soldier?

Not many living today, I’m certain.

However, thanks to the digital librarians at The Library of Congress and The Smithsonian, you can hear an authentic recording of the Rebel Yell, as given by Confederate veterans. In the 1930s, some people recorded Confederate Veterans giving a Rebel Yell. This video is below.

WBT Radio of Charlotte, NC archived another example of the Rebel Yell given by Pvt. Thomas N. Alexander of the 37th North Carolina Troops in 1935, when he was about 90 years old. (You’ll have to go to the page to listen to the Rebel Yell. Unfortunately, I have not figured out how to embed an audio file of that type.)

Did the Rebel Yell sound like you imagined it would? If you heard that sound en masse from enemy soldiers, would it strike fear in your heart?