Kinsley ThomasWong Fundraiser

Kinsley and his super smile!

Friday night (April 15, 2011) a fundraiser was held for Kinsley ThomasWong at the Taste of Pismo event in Shell Beach.

Kinsley, a local Central California expert Kiteboarder, was the friend who taught me the fine art of using my stand up paddle board to surf!  Check out his business website Xtreme Big Air for all of the latest and greatest in kiteboarding and SUP.

As documented on his website, in July, 2010, Kinsley was enjoying one of his favorite sports when a wind gust hit his kite and carried him out of the water and onto some nearby rocks. There were many other  kiteboarders and spectators around who were able to call 911 and get him airlifted to a nearby hospital quickly.  Kinsley suffered head and neck injuries, the most serious of which was to his 5th and 6th vertebrate.  They initially relocated him to Sierra Vista Hospital where a team of highly regarded Neurosurgeons took over his care.  He had surgery on his neck, placing support rods in to strengthen his 3rd–7th vertebrate which allowed him to begin rehabilitation within days of his operation.  These rods will remain in his neck — his own bones will eventually cover over them.

Barry, Kinsley and Jamie

The good news is the mobility of his neck (side to side & up and down) will be extremely close to what it was prior to the accident.  That said, both the spine swelling and surgery swelling has severely impaired Kinsley’s mobility below the neck.  Kinsley is home in Pismo Beach with his family and after extensive physical therapy, he is now able to move and lift his left hand and arm and even move his right shoulder.  Kinsley is a remarkable person and has not lost one ounce of his motivation, spirit and cheer.

Jamie and Kinsley’s first child (Taizen) arrived Aug 26th.  Below is a video explaining how the VMC Rehab staff made it possible for Kinsley to share in this exciting event.

Taizen - April 2011

Go to his website to see how you can help Kinsley and his family.

Soul Sauce

At the fundraiser, the group Soul Sauce provided the night’s entertainment.

The venue was a huge tent set up right on the cliffs at Dinosaur Park in Shell Beach, CA

The Big Tent at Shell Beach

Plenty of food, wine and beer was on hand and the place was packed.  A silent auction was held with everything from a stay at a house in Big Sur, to a custom longboard, to wine, skateboards and everything surf & beach.  All proceeds went to help with Kinsley’s medical expenses.

Great Food!

Nice Wine Bar

Some of the Kites on Display

Central Coast Storm

The Central Coast’s biggest winter storm came this weekend.  We were visiting relatives in Monterey.  There the surf was pounding and very rough.  Waves were crashing over the sea walls.

Locally, we saw winds gusts up to 55 mph, the season’s largest waves, and a lot of rain (from 1 to 3 inches of rain was expected in the coastal valleys and up to 4 inches in the mountains).  A high surf advisory was issued by the weather service for the weekend.

The water in Pismo Beach is too dirty for any surfing at this time from all of the runoff.  We hope to get back in soon, but rain is predicted for most of the next five to seven days.

Things were quiet on on Cannery Row

James & O’Hare

Here is a shot of my first board (1965).  I am the short guy on the left.  It is a 9′ 6″ James and O’Hare.  Bought it from a friend of my brother Ron (on right in picture).  Came with a custom bike trailer.  It was a sweet board.  Think I paid $50 for it.  Had no leash and had to melt flammable wax bars to “paint” was on it.  Would love to have that board now.

Operation Surf

Amazing Surf Adventures (ASA) puts on the annual Operation Surf Programs in Pismo Beach, CA for wounded soldiers from the Brooke Army Medical Center in San Antonio Texas. This is a community-sponsored event.  The Van Curaza Surf School has developed an adaptive surf program to allow these soldiers to experience the thrill of surfing in a safe, constructive, land and ocean environment. They begin this program with comprehensive instruction on land that includes ocean safety, ocean awareness, equipment use, and adaptive techniques that cater to each individual’s disabilities.  They then take the soldiers into the ocean to put into action the instruction they’ve just received on land. While in the water each participant is assigned a professional adaptive surf instructor to maintain a safe 1:1 student-teacher ratio. In addition each instructor will also have two trained assistants placed in the water at various distances in the participants surf zone as additional safety buffers.  This process creates a surfing experience that is based upon proven teaching methods created by legendary waterman Van Curaza and National Amputee Surfing Champion — and the original founder of the event — Rodney Roller.  Through generous sponsorship and donations the soldiers will experience our communities hospitality from the time they arrive at San Luis Obispo county airport to the time they depart.

The 2011 event will be held September 29 – October 5, 2011.

I filmed arrival and day one of the Operation Surf 2010 held in Pismo Beach, CA September 2 – 7, 2010:

And the 2009 event:

K*Five Boardshop

K-5 Boardshop has been selling Quality Surf, Skate, and Snowboarding Boarding Equipment since 1987. Their first location is located five kilometers from the coast (K5). That’s where the K5 comes from. They have two 10,000 sq ft stores. The original in Encinitas -280 N. El Camino Real, Encinitas, Ca 92024, and the Poway location at 12630 Poway Rd, Poway, Ca 92064. Their newest store is the Stand Up Paddle Board shop in Oceanside – 525 S. Coast Hwy, Oceanside, CA 92054.