Sports

BASE Jumper From OB Dies in Brazil Accident

July 30, 2015 by Frank Gormlie
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Fernando Goncalves Is 5th BASE Jumper to Die in Last 6 Weeks

A BASE jumper from Ocean Beach has died in a recent accident in Brazil. OBcean Fernando Goncalves was a professional wingsuit pilot but was killed while diving off Pedra da Gavea, a 2,769-foot granite dome mountain in Brazil.

The day before his death, Goncalves, 36, posted a video of a dive on his Facebook page off Pedra da Gavea. That was Thursday of last week – a week ago – and then on that Friday, he was killed making a similar jump, using a wingsuit and parachute.

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There is No ‘Free Money’ for Stadium Study

July 30, 2015 by Source

By Joe Flynn / San Diego Free Press

money lobbyBack to basics. All money in the city’s funds, coffers, treasure chests, you pick the title, is taxpayer money. In the effort to fund the Stadium Environmental Impact Report (EIR), the unanticipated refund from the state is being treated as “free” money.

Perhaps the term “refund” got lost in the shuffle; a refund usually implies that the money you paid or over paid, is being refunded, i.e., given back. It comes back to the city with the same restrictions that it had when it was paid. It may not be earmarked for a particular use, but that only implies that it goes back into the general fund.

So a $2 million unexpected refund comes back to the city treasurer, and like any other funds owned by the city, it requires a decision by the Mayor and Council to spend it – period. This is not complicated. I won’t use the rocket science analogy, and you don’t have to be a CPA or an auditor to nail this one.

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Chargers Stadium Financing Plan: Sell City Owned Unicorns and Fairy Dust

July 14, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

This whole deal with using public money to build a stadium for a privately owned football team just keeps getting stranger.

Yesterday we learned the idea of using funds from developments adjacent to the Mission Valley site to fund the project was off the table. Ancillary development has been part of every stadium plan proposed over the past 15 years. That’s $225 million just vanishing. Gone. Poof!

Then where’s the stadium construction funding coming from? Mayor Kevin Faulconer’s spokesman, Craig Gustafson, emailed Scott Lewis at Voice of San Diego: “The plan the City/County team is developing is based on negotiations and discussions with the Chargers and the NFL.”

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Open Letter to San Diego City Council: Vote “No” Today on Stadium EIR

July 14, 2015 by Source
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Editor: The views expressed in the letter do not necessarily reflect the views of the editors and staff of the OB Rag.
_________

Dear San Diego City Council:

As a sports writer and stadium activist, I urge you to vote ‘NO’ with regard to ITEM-S500: Establishment of Stadium Reconstruction Project CIP and Amendment to AECOM Agreement for Environmental Review Services. (Mission Valley Community Area. District 7.)

In 2009, I broke the story for SanDiego.com that the Chargers had re-engaged city officials and the focus for a new stadium had turned to downtown. Since then, I have built a strong relationship with the team and spent three seasons (2010-12) as the Chargers beat writer for CBSsports.com.

With deep knowledge of the stadium issue, I am extremely concerned that a ‘YES’ vote will cost the city

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Remembering a Track Star’s Granddad

July 8, 2015 by Ernie McCray

Thomas, Carl & Me

By Ernie McCray

I’ve been thinking about an old departed friend. My best friend. Thomas Ross. Loved the dude although we were dissimilar in some ways. He was stocky and bear-like strong and prone to growl every now and then and I was sinewy and laid back, trying to live life with a grin.

Anyway, he’s been on my mind because his son, Ron, keeps me posted on his grandson, Tavian, who’s got college track coaches salivating to beat the band because the dude recently ran the 400 in forty-seven-point-six seconds (47.60).

Thomas would say to that: “The dude can step, Jack!” He would be so proud of his progeny. Especially since he’s doing his thing for Tucson High, our old high school. And, we were pretty decent jocks too. Football. Basketball. All-State and all. Living the life, strutting down the hall, wearing the big red “T.” “Badgers” to the bone!

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“Empty the Tanks” Campaign to Hit San Diego’s SeaWorld this Weekend

June 5, 2015 by Staff
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Animal rights activists from throughout Southern California will gather in San Diego this weekend in a kick-off for a world-wide campaign called “Empty the Tanks” with demonstrations against SeaWorld.

The main demonstration is on Saturday, June 6th outside SeaWorld from 10am to 1pm, at the intersection of SeaWorld Drive and SeaWorld Way. The goal is to advocate for marine mammals held captive worldwide for entertainment and profit.

One of the orcas at the center of this campaign is Corky, a female who has been at SeaWorld for 25 years and another 20 years at the former Marineland of the Pacific.

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What’s Going On With the Stadium and the Chargers?

May 20, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Little green men from Mars could have seized city hall on Monday the 18th and I doubt anybody would have noticed.

The Mayor’s stadium advisory group presented its vision for building a facility worthy of consideration by the National Football League and its San Diego Chargers franchise. And that was the talk of the town.

Tuesday’s UT-San Diego had eight, count’em, eight stories about the team and the stadium proposal. (At least that’s what I saw on their web site. There could be more…)

Columnist Kevin Acee displayed some skepticism in the sports section:

A starting point will be the amount of money the Chargers are being asked to contribute.

There is the $300 million initial investment, which is at least $100 million more than the team has said it can give. Then there is the rent, almost $476 million in payments over 30 years ($10 million in the first year with a 3 percent annual increases), of which the city would realize $173 million.

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The Fuzzy Picture around the Chargers Stadium and Mission Valley

April 23, 2015 by Source

black-hole-money1A Reader’s Rant

By Joe Flynn / San Diego Free Press

Editor : The following “Reader’s Rant” by Mr. Flynn is a response to Taking a Wide Lens on Mission Valley by Mary Lydon, published in Voice of San Diego.

A wide angle lens may not be the appropriate analogy for this discussion. It seems a telephoto lens for a close up was used here focusing on providing a stadium for the Chargers. The rest of the picture is fuzzy. What is troubling about these discussions is that they begin and end with the assumption that the city owned land in Mission Valley, now improved with Qualcomm Stadium is “dedicated for sports facility use.”

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Manufacturing Consent for a New Stadium in San Diego

April 22, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Two months ago prospects for building a new football stadium were waning. The thinking was that San Diego had done too little, too late to accommodate the demands of the Chargers for a new facility. The football team, it seemed, was ready to head north for a more obliging locale.

Now, thanks to a blizzard of press releases and the timely release of a think tank study, the tide may be turning. Today we’ll take a look at those developments and the role they may play in shaping public opinion.

Back on February 2nd a certain columnist (me) noted :

“The only thing more likely to be declared dead on arrival than any plan coming out of the newly ensconced Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group for San Diego is the budget proposal the President is sending to the Republican-controlled congress.”

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OB Rec Center Make-Over Allows Everyone to Be a Kid

April 7, 2015 by Matthew Wood
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Spring Renovations Include Re-Surfaced Gym Floor

By Matthew Wood

This isn’t your grandfather’s Ocean Beach Recreation Center.

Oh sure, it’s the same building that has been on Santa Monica Avenue for the past 60-plus years. But recent renovations have sharpened up the place that gives kids of all ages a chance to, well, be a kid again.

The first thing you’ll notice is a brand-new paint job on the walls, …

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Baseball is Not a Metaphor

March 30, 2015 by Jim Miller

dugoutBy Jim Miller

Baseball season is here again and with it comes one of the last times in my only son’s fleeting childhood that I have the opportunity to help coach his team. This brings much joy and more suffering because, as we all know, most of the game involves failure.

When you watch young people pitch, they throw balls more often than not. And when they try to hit, they strike out a lot. It’s a house of pain.

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The Unnecessary Parts of the ‘Chargers Are Going to Leave’ Narrative

February 24, 2015 by Doug Porter

end is near

By Doug Porter

The prospect of San Diego losing its beloved football team provides an opportunity to examine the worst of what the local media does in terms of misleading people about the relative importance of news.

Many stories in the local news media outlets seem based upon the belief this potential business decision (by an entity dependent on taxpayer largess for its profitability) is of critical importance for San Diegans. While I certainly appreciate the emotional connection between fans and sporting organizations, much of what I’ve read in the last few days is simply not connected to any reality that I’m aware of.

Putting this in perspective, the Chargers “fan base” ranks in the bottom half of National Football League, according to data compiled by Nielsen Scarborough, who looked at the percentage of adults who have watched, attended or listened to the NFL team in that market in the past year. Despite what team boosters say, San Diegans are decidedly lukewarm about most pro sports.

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Chargers Give San Diego the One-Finger Salute

February 20, 2015 by Doug Porter

By Doug Porter / San Diego Free Press

The drama surrounding the San Diego Chargers’ pursuit of a stadium–somewhere, anywhere–is turning out to be much more entertaining than much of the action on the field in recent years. Today I’ll look around at what’s been said and do my best to provide some insight.

Yesterday the team let it slip–as a story in the Los Angeles Times was going to press–that they were working on a joint stadium deal with the Oakland Raiders for a facility in Carson, California, a city of less than 100,000 people with a history of shady dealings.

The coverage at ESPN included a nugget from an unidentified source saying the teams had been working together on this deal for the past nine months. The Chargers, by the way, denied inquiries from the St. Louis media about a deal in LA just a few weeks back.

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Chargers’ Point Man Calls Out Mayor’s Malarkey On Stadium Task Force

February 19, 2015 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

Chargers’ special counsel Mark Fabiani has done San Diego a huge favor by pointing out the obvious. He’s single-handedly challenged the existing political narrative about the politics of the process being used in deciding on the advisability of building a new stadium.

You won’t find me among those pining away for the possibility of a new football stadium in America’s Finest City, even though I sometimes wonder if I’m addicted to watching games.

First, there’s the silliness of taxpayers being expected to subsidize a rich man’s game in return for the possibility of an endorphin rush at some future time. And then there’s my sense that the long-term prospects for the sport aren’t very good, what with players’ health issues, spousal abuse scandals, and anything having to do with Patriots’ coach Bill Belechick.

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5 Reasons Losing an NFL Football Team is Good for a City

February 18, 2015 by Source

Qualcomm-Stadium-aerial-Google-750x350By Bill Adams / UrbDezine

My family will attest, I’m a San Diego Chargers football fan. During football season, not only is the TV tuned to Chargers games, but so are multiple strategically located radios around the yard, lest I miss any action while attending to a honey-do task or breaking up an argument between my children. Then there are the pre and post game shows, and wasted hours reading about the draft, trades, and other team side shows. Lest I forget to mention, I’m also a San Diego County resident – just outside the city’s boundaries.

However, the Chargers are one of several NFL teams, along with the St. Louis Rams and the Oakland Raiders, considered likely to move to another city unless they receive a new football stadium. The likely recipient city: Los Angeles.

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Chargers’ Stadium Dreams Destined to be Dashed

February 3, 2015 by Doug Porter

Qualcomm StadiumBy Doug Porter

The only thing more likely to be declared dead on arrival than any plan coming out of the newly ensconced Citizens’ Stadium Advisory Group for San Diego is the budget proposal the President is sending to the Republican-controlled congress.

Today we’ll start out by looking at what the composition of the Faulconer’s task force tells us about the impossibility of their task ….
On Friday Mayor Kevin Faulconer introduced a nine-member stadium task force including what UT-San Diego called “financial experts, prominent developers, longtime government leaders and a former Chargers executive.”

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Where to Watch the Super Bowl in Ocean Beach

January 30, 2015 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

As OBceans decide who they’ll root for in Sunday’s decidedly non-SoCal Super Bowl, the bars of OB are fast at work coming up with specials to entice spectators.

Most bars in the neighborhood remain neutral between the New England Patriots and Seattle Seahawks. That’s not the case for Wonderland Ocean Pub, which supports Boston’s finest (if not classiest) fans.

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Let’s say “No More” Violence Against Women

December 18, 2014 by Ernie McCray

By Ernie McCray

Stop Violence Against Women

It’s sad that there’s such a notion as “violence against women,” but it’s heartening that, seemingly, we, as a society, are now looking into such an unsavory practice as though we want to do something about it.

A catalyst for a big part of our interest in the subject has been the National Football League (who would have ever dreamed that?) with their “No” to violence against women television PSA’s, featuring present day and ex-pro football players, motivated by that horrible tape we saw of star running back, Ray Rice, punching his wife out in an elevator, one of the nastiest sights anyone could ever see.

“No more boys will be boys,” one of the athletes says.

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Who Runs San Diego? … How Do You Solve a Problem like Sea World?

September 19, 2014 by Source
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Shamu, we hardly knew ye

Womans Democratic Logo


By Linda Perine /San Diego Woman’s Democratic Club

For most of us it has been a slow, painful process to understand that our love affair with cute, cuddly, smiley Shamu has made us participants in a cold-blooded business that imprisons and mistreats sentient, social creatures in ways that turn the stomach and shock the conscience.

Concerned environmentalist and civic leaders have been telling us for years that the capture of orcas was nasty and brutal

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American Football Fantasy

September 12, 2014 by Source

By Jay Powell

football punchI enjoy American-style football because I enjoy the variety of plays, the effort, the amazing feats that occasionally occur during a game. The incredible runs. Completed forward passes. (I think the forward pass is one of the finest inventions of mankind) Intercepted passes and run backs from kickoffs.

I only played dis- or intentionally un- organized football in various intramural and amateur leagues or just plain back lot, mud ball where we refereed ourselves. We sanctioned players who wanted to hurt people. We loved playing the game.

What can we do to incentivize that part of the game and dis-incentivize all the behavior that is really just sanctioned violence …

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“I’m No Longer Ready for Some Football.”

September 10, 2014 by Doug Porter
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By Doug Porter

There was a time, back when I ran a sports bar in Washington DC, when celebrating our national gladiator sport was a near obsession for me. Televised games (no matter who was playing), betting pools, fantasy teams and the ultimate thrill of a couple of actual seats in an stadium were a big deal.

Not any more. The onset of the NFL marketing mix this year leaves me feeling empty. And sad. And mad.

It’s no longer about the triumph of the human spirit over adversity. (It never was, but that’s another story.) Now its about brain damage. Now it’s about closing the ranks to hide egregious behavior. Now it’s about money, power and a platform for flaunting greed.

The big news yesterday was Baltimore Ravens player Ray Rice. He was banned from the sport following release of a February 15th elevator video showing him punching his fiance.

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SeaWorld San Diego to Build ‘Bigger Bathtubs’ for Its Killer Whales

August 15, 2014 by Frank Gormlie
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In response to the public pressure that has decreased its attendance and finances due to awareness of how its orcas are treated, SeaWorld has announced that it will “upgrade” its facilities for its killer whales. Larger tanks will be built along with “water treadmill” systems to give them exercise.

According to a Wall Street Journal article published today, SeaWorld is spending millions to build the new enclosures – beginning in San Diego:

The company plans to upgrade the killer whale tanks at three of its theme parks, beginning with the San Diego location. The new enclosure in San Diego will be almost double the size of the current one, holding about 10 million gallons of water and extending to a depth of 50 feet. The company wouldn’t specify the cost of the upgrades, only saying it would be several hundred million dollars.

Our lucky San Diego orcas will now have new exercise equipment

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Reader Rant: Surf School Takes Too Much Space on Beach and in Water

July 14, 2014 by Source
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By Albert Elliott

This involves an incident I had on July 11th with Pacific Surf Schools in Ocean Beach.

I have heard people complaining about the amount of space both ON THE BEACH and IN THE WATER the surf school (Pacificsurf.org) has been taking down at the beach. On the 11th, someone had gone to the lifeguards and asked how much space the school was allowed and can they rope off the area to save it.

The lifeguards told the surf school to remove their rope.

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Watching With the Enemy: US – Germany World Cup Match at Kaiserhof

June 27, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

The biggest question is, Why? Why watch the big World Cup soccer match between the United States and Germany at Kaiserhof, the long-standing Ocean Beach biergarten and general German fan meeting place?

Like the idea of climbing so many mountain tops and starting so many world wars, I countered with, Why not? When I came up with this hare-brained idea, …

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San Diego Grit: Remembering Tony Gwynn

June 23, 2014 by Jim Miller

IMG_20140619_142336_131By Jim Miller

Tony Gwynn died last week and it stopped me. In part it was because he died too soon at 54, only four years older than me and many of my friends who grew up watching and admiring his skill as a player. As is always the case when someone who has been a part of your collective experience goes, there is a new hole in your life, that sense that something’s missing that won’t come back except as a ghost, a haunting memory.

But it was more than that. With the death of Gwynn, San Diego lost the last of his kind, a Southern California product who went to school at SDSU, came up with the Padres, and stayed here for his entire career, …

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Surfrider Celebrates 10th Annual International Surfing Day with Free Event in Ocean Beach

June 20, 2014 by Source
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From Surfrider Foundation Press Release

Celebrate the Surfrider Foundation’s 10th Annual International Surfing Day!

The Surfrider Foundation San Diego County Chapter is teaming up with FM949 to host a free family-friendly in Ocean Beach. During the day, the Surfrider Foundation will be set up, along with a local surf school who will be offering free group lessons at 3pm and 4pm (limited spaces available), and local surfboard shapers who will be showcasing some of their boards.

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Where to Watch the World Cup in OB

June 13, 2014 by Matthew Wood
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By Matthew Wood

Calling all soccer fans: The place to be if you want to watch the World Cup in OB is at Niagara and Bacon Streets.

That’s where neighboring spots Bar 1502 (aka the New OB Noodle House) and Raglan Public House will be showing all the games with the best specials in the ‘hood.

“We’re really excited for it,” Bar 1502 owner Steve Yeng said about the World Cup. “We want people to come out and have some fun.”

They will have an array of specials as well as jersey and soccer ball giveaways throughout the tournament, which runs through July 13.

Get select drafts for just $2 each day, as well as $10 glass boots (10 liters). Shots will flow freely, with specials including $3 Jim Beam, $4 Jameson and $5 Makers Mark, as well as $3 shots of Fernet – the official drink of Argentina.

Bar 1502 will also be open for breakfast during the games, …

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The National Football League Has a “Donald Sterling” and it’s Daniel Snyder – Owner of the Redskins

June 5, 2014 by Source
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By Beau Grosscup

Hours after the private racist statements of Donald Sterling, the NBA Los Angeles Clipper’s owner became public, millions of people, from players, owners, fans, indeed the whole sports industry and many in the general public went appropriately apoplectic. In unity they said the National Basketball Association must take decisive action. Clipper players engaged in symbolic acts of protest before their first playoff game. Threats of player and fan boycott preceded the second game.

Outraged at Sterling’s racism, Americans inside and out of the sports world waited to hear what action NBA commissioner Adam Silver would take. It had to be of consequence, they insisted, a strong message that racism in today’s society is socially unacceptable. Silver banned Sterling for life from NBA events. Arguing Sterling violated Article 13, Section d. of the NBA Bylaws,Silver said he would push Sterling to sell the Clippers. A month later the team was sold to a new owner.

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OSHA Wins Case Against SeaWorld Involving Death of Orca Trainer

April 11, 2014 by Source
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From OH&S / Apr 11, 2014

OSHA has won the appellate case involving its enforcement case against SeaWorld of Florida LLC following the death of killer whale trainer Dawn Brancheau on Feb. 24, 2010. A 2-1 decision issued April 11 by a panel of three judges of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit found that SeaWorld “recognized its precautions were inadequate to prevent serious bodily harm or even death to its trainers and that the residual hazard was preventable.”

“The remedy imposed for SeaWorld’s violations does not change the essential nature of its business,” the majority opinion written by Judge Judith W. Rogers states. “There will still be human interactions and performances with killer whales; the remedy will simply require that they continue with increased safety measures.”

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Cal State San Marcos to Study Surfing’s Exercise Value

April 11, 2014 by Source
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From a CSUSM press release

On any given day along San Diego County’s 70 miles of coastline, thousands of surfers may be spotted in the ocean, riding waves or patiently waiting for the next one.

A new study underway at California State University San Marcos seeks hard, scientific data on whether amateur surfing is more than just fun — whether it also provides a dynamic physical workout.

A research participant at California State University San Marcos simulates paddling on a swim bench modified with a surfboard. Photo courtesy of the university A research participant at California State University San Marcos simulates paddling on a swim bench modified with a surfboard. Photo courtesy of the university

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