The 18th Annual Surfrider Paddle For Clean Water is taking no BS.

by on September 9, 2009 · 19 comments

in Environment, Ocean Beach, Organizing, San Diego

paddle 3

This years Paddle For Clean Water event is happening Sunday- September 13th at 10:00am at the OB pier. This marks the 18th year the San Diego chapter of Surfider Foundation has hosted the event in Ocean Beach and this should prove to be one of the biggest and best years to date.

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“This is going to be the biggest lineup of bands that have played the event and also the first year we’ll expand into the grassy area at Veteran’s Park” according to Bill Hickman.

Bill is Surfrider’s San Diego Chapter Coordinator and has been very busy in recent weeks planning and putting together Sunday’s Paddle. Last years theme was focused around the Save Trestles campaign which ended early this year in a resounding success for the Surfrider Foundation and environmentalists in California.

This years theme will focus on Surfrider Foundation’s “No B.S.” Campaign (the B.S. stands for Border Sewage) which seeks to bring awareness to the increasing problem of sewage flowing through the Tijuana River into the Pacific Ocean.  Says Hickman:

border helo view

“Some people won’t go surfing at those spots near the Tijuana Sloughs, “there are some great surf spots out there, but the pollution levels are really bad. Especially when it rains, those spots just aren’t used much anymore, and a big step in starting to solve some of these problems is bringing awareness of the issues to people. That’s what the Paddle for Clean Water is all about.”

This years event will also feature many eco-friendly vendors. Clif-Bar will be the years title sponsor and will be hosting a special “wrapper recycling contest” at the event. The person who collects the most wrappers at the event will win a cool prize from Clif-Bar. Every year millions of non-recyclable energy bar wrappers end up in our landfills.

In response to this problem, Terracycle along with Clif-Bar are committed to finding a new use for the discarded wrappers. They are going to be converted into cool things like backpacks, tote-bags and purses. All energy, granola, nutrition, cereal and protein bar wrappers with an inner-foil lining are acceptable. No candy wrappers or wrappers without the foil lining.

There will also be local food vendors Roots cafe and Peace Pies cooking up delicious and healthy vegetarian fare. I’m particularly excited to see Roots Cafe at the event! They have been missed by many in the local area since the closing of Rock Paper Scissors.

Stone Brewing Co., another sponsor of this years event will be pouring their epic, locally produced and award winning beers once the morning paddle is over. There will also be free face painting for kids and fun for the entire family to enjoy.

As stated previously, this years event will also feature five bands set to perform throughout the day on a solar stage. Local bands “The Professors” and “Pullman Standard” will play as will local favorites : C-Money and “Tribal Seed” headlining the event will be the band “Iration” joining us from Hawaii.

Of course, the centerpiece of the day aside from the music, the food, the beer and the face paint is the Paddle! The literal “paddle” around the pier is a sort of gathering of varying tribes of water enthusiasts. It is a non-competitive event where anyone is welcome to join. All types of human-powered water craft are used: surfboards, bodyboards, kayaks, outrigger canoes, etc…

If you don’t have a board to paddle with, get there early because Surfrider will have about 30 boards being generously donated by Ocean Beach Surf and Skate. The paddle is about 1 mile and generally takes anywhere from 20 to 60 minutes to complete.

Complete days schedule:

10:00a.m. – Paddle around the Pier

11:00a.m. – Group photo

11:30a.m. – Live music begins with The Professors

11:30a.m. – Stone Brew beer garden opens in the pier parking lot

– Kids arts & crafts area opens on grassy area

12:35p.m. – Pullman Standard

1:40p.m. – C Money and The Players, Inc.

2:45p.m. – Tribal Seeds

4:00p.m. – Iration

5:00p.m. – Festival Ends

{ 19 comments… read them below or add one }

Dave Sparling September 9, 2009 at 9:25 pm

So there will be a Club Gitmo drinking compound. Line up, get your wrist ban, enjoy a cold beer as you look out at the people walking along the ocean. Some of us old guys will look back fondly to the day when you could have a cold beer as the ocean rolled over your toes. Back before FAULKNER. LOL


Shawn Conrad September 10, 2009 at 8:47 am


Let’s meet at 10 AM and get hammered on the beach. We’ll drink whiskey from milk jugs. You game?


jon September 10, 2009 at 3:11 pm

Well Dave, from what I understand Kevin will be speaking, and possibly even paddling at the event. Personally I blame the yahoo frat/desert-rat sect in PB for getting alcohol banned from our beaches. But if you want to talk to him about it, he’ll be there.

But let’s all leave our unloaded firearms at home for this event okay folks? LOL!


Shawn Conrad September 10, 2009 at 3:16 pm

I’ll be packing, and smoking legal weed.


Groksurf September 10, 2009 at 6:10 pm

I’m trying to figure out how that second picture (with the lifeguard station) was taken from that height and angle. I can’t see how it could have been shot from the pier. A cherry picker parked on the beach?


Dave Sparling September 10, 2009 at 9:48 pm

WOW–a real reaction. First off I just drink cold PBR’s @ Winstons Shawn. As for meeting Faulkner Jon, should I bring my old crippled NAM Vet and his dog named Faulkner? I don’t think you understands how it works. The frat desert rat sect in PB don’t have any political power. Faulkner is the politician and without his big mouth, we would still be drinking beer on the beach.


Shawn Conrad September 10, 2009 at 11:01 pm


I will respectfully buy a few rounds of PBR @Winston’s as my schedule allows.

On My Word

Suzy Creamcheese


jon September 11, 2009 at 8:59 am

Hey Dave, I understand very well how it works. First of all, I don’t want anybody getting the wrong idea. I’m not absolving Kevin of all sins. And I still think there were some poor decisions made by his office. However, he is not solely responsible for taking away our right to drink beer on our beaches. I think we owe that more to a combination of the drunken frat boys and the sensationalized media that played the same clip over and over on every local news channel for weeks scaring the piss out of Tom and Sally over there in Mission Hills, who Kevin has to answer to next election turn. Was it a poor, knee-jerk reaction to a relatively isolated problem? Absolutely! But is Faulconer the only one to blame? I don’t think so. I think he’s just the most convenient political punching bag. That’s all I’m saying.

Anyway, this post is not about drinking beer on the beach, it’s about keeping our beaches and water ways clean and preserved for us and future generations to enjoy. It’s about protecting marine life from our own pollution producing society. It’s about a large group of like-minded, environmentally aware people getting together to share ideas and enjoy a Sunday at the beach together.


jon September 11, 2009 at 9:07 am

Oh, and that being said, I do hope to see you there. Along with Gitmo Dave, Old Hermit Dave, and any other Dave you decide to bring along! Who knows….maybe I’ll run into one of you at the OBC tonight!


Shawn Conrad September 11, 2009 at 10:11 am

I think it is intersting that to show how much we want to keep the water clean we allow a mass of deodorant, cologne, hair gel, and scented lotion laden people into the water.



jon September 11, 2009 at 10:30 am

There’s a strict no deoderant and no perfume policy, and prior to the event all participants will be deloused in the lifeguard station.

But seriously…that is an interesting point. Although I don’t know many folks who put in hair gel and cologne prior to going surfing in the ocean. That’s more something you do if you’re going to the Stingaree club with Tila Tequila for a night of debauchery, imprisonment and choke-hold maneuvers. Sunscreen would probably be the most offensive thing I could think of. But the real problem is plastics and sewage. Not surfers.


Shawn Conrad September 11, 2009 at 11:30 am

Someone invent EPA for Mexico quick!


Dave Sparling September 11, 2009 at 3:48 pm

THANKS guys, I agree it isn’t all Faulkner’s fault. Just couldn’t resist using him in the 100 word City Beat contest.


Dave Sparling September 11, 2009 at 11:30 pm

Jon missed you tonight, Sac Dave, Reverend Dave and Gitmo Dave had a fun time at the goodbye Bob Hansen show @ Winstons.


jettyboy September 12, 2009 at 8:59 am

Funny, all these posts and none about surfing or clean water. Let me be the first. Number one, if you are a kook (see ) don’t attempt the paddle “for fun” it’s a hard paddle, and you will regret it. Ask a surfer. Come and have fun at the event, then go home.
This is the time of the year most of us that surf the pier and North OB enjoy. The tourists have gone, and except for the new students at the colleges who show no respect to locals, we have our local breaks back. Sounds silly I know, but to us any reduction in crowds in the water is a good thing.


jon September 12, 2009 at 11:13 am

So sorry I missed the show Dave. Got caught up in the beach clean-up thing for a bit too long. I’m sure Bob was excellent.

Thanks Jettboy for bringing us back on topic. It’s true that the actual paddle is tough and beginners should understand that, but there are also other methods. You can use a kayak or simply float along on an inner tube. It’s non-competitive, so everyone is encouraged to attend. Even if you don’t want to paddle, there will be plenty to do.


jettyboy September 12, 2009 at 1:30 pm

Jon absolutely right. Didn’t mean to imply that people shouldn’t come. The more people that support Surfrider the better! So by all means come and have a blast, Spread the word. (but be careful about that paddle if you’re not in condition). Aloha


jettyboy September 12, 2009 at 1:34 pm

For an idea what to expect check out


jon September 14, 2009 at 9:31 am

In case you missed it, the paddle was called off due to rough surf conditions. So it turned into the Party for Clean Water! It was still a really fun day and featured great music, food and drink. Thanks to Surfrider San Diego chapter, Stone Brewing, Clif Bar and all the others who helped make the event a success and fun for all!


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