• 10%
  • Troy Nebeker

“People who’ve never read fairy tales" the professor said, "have a harder time coping in life than the people who have. They don’t have access to all the lessons that can be learned from the journeys through the dark woods and the kindness of strangers treated decently, the knowledge that can be gained from the company and example of Donkey skins and cats wearing boots and steadfast tin soldiers. I’m not talking about in-your-face lessons, but more subtle ones. The kinds that seep up from your subconscious and give you moral and humane structures for your life. That teaches you how to prevail, and trust.” ---- Author Charles de Lint. The Onion Girl

How to prevail, and trust is my favorite part. Cancer has taught this well and why 10% isn't a negotiable part of what we are about. 90% is easy. It is the last 10% that is the difference between doing something good and doing something that matters.

So what does that look like. A shirt costs 8 dollars to produce and sells for 20.00.

10% of 20.00 is 2.00. Which leaves 18.00 - 8.00 = 10.00 which goes back into making more shirts.

One shirt, like one person - struggles to make a difference. But a community? That's where things start to happen.

We can do things that matter.



Give back.

As one person it is difficult to feel like you can make a difference. A magical thing happens when you surround yourself with others who feel the same way. Suddenly you have a community. There is strength in that. It is amazing and humbling what you can do.

Today we did what we loved and were able to lend a hand to a family in need. A beautiful day to paddle for Raelyn Beckler.

Let's Go!

3:30 a.m is technically still night time which makes it a little harder to roll out of bed and load up. My fault really for making the call a few hours earlier. Fortunately Spencer answered the call and said the key words "I'm in. Let's go!"

Waves in the PNW are elusive and a commitment to get to. No matter how you slice it - its a haul. What makes it worth it every time are the people you share the water with. The stoke is always on 11 even if the waves are at 2.

A day trip that turned into a lifetime of trips to come.

Day trip. Westport.

Westport is roughly an easy 3 hour drive from Seattle and the sound of the ocean and the salt air alone are worth the trip. Today was a complete mess, waves from every direction and soup as far as you could see. The guys who could get out past the chaos made it look easy. For me - falling, smiling and taking a few photos were the order of the day. So glad my family is patient and understanding.

It pays to look up once in awhile.

Winter. The temperature outside is a brisk 26 degrees and by all accounts it seems silly to get on the water. I would argue that now is the best time. The colors you see aren't anything like the warm months of the year - Beautiful.  It isn't about training on days like this, it is more about going, looking around and enjoying.

The Maliko run

Out of the blue one day my friend Ian says - "Hey, how would you like to go to Hawaii and paddle with Jeremy Riggs?" Okay that is a big sentence. I heard - Hawaii, Maliko and Paddle with Riggs. Absolutely was my first answer, then reason kicked in and sadly I needed to turn it down.

Now for the truly humbling part - Ian says "You have had a crazy hard year. I'd like to figure out a way to do this for you." - silence. Really?

Fast forward to the rental car lot on Maui. We debated for all of 2 minutes and then decided that our first order of business was to get to the water. A call to Jeremy and we were on boards paddling out into the channel 30 minutes later. Pretty nice way to stretch the legs.

Jeremy is a fantastic paddler, extremely humble, and a great teacher. His local knowledge of the reefs and where not to get caught inside made both runs all fun with zero stress.

I can easily say this was a trip of a life time and one I will never forget. Time spent on the water with friends in one of the most beautiful places on earth. Thank you Ian with all my heart. I hope to be able to do this for some one else one day. It was too good to not pass on.

www.paddlewithriggs.com www.bluesmiths.com www.sicmaui.com



A dose of California sunshine

76 and sunny is a little different than rain and showers. Don't get me wrong I love the PNW but sometimes a dose of sunshine in the winter is a really nice thing. The surf was small but the stoke was high. Everyone I talked with had kind words and that look of complete joy for life. Something about the water. It is difficult to explain.

Downwind in the PNW. An epic day.

The day started with a simple text - "You up? Let's go! On the other end of the line was my friend Sean. Right back popped - "Meet you at Enatai - Joel is coming too." A few other hits and Craig was in. We had four.

So I tend to get a little excited and drove well above the speed limit to make it to the water. It was well worth it. The wind was up - gusting to 25 and the water looked angry. I didn't hear Joel pull into the lot but I did see him jump out of his car. Picture an 8 year old boy jumping around like he just defeated Darth Vador in the ultimate duel to the death. It was awesome. Mostly because I did the same thing and when Sean and Craig showed up - guess what they did.

There is a feeling when you are on the water with the wind at your back - it is difficult to describe. Match it with good, lined up swell, good friends and you have is the start of a epic winter on the water.


FRIDAYS. I learned to hate them.
For some reason every time bad news came, it happened to be on a day that is generally reserved for relief and the start to a lazy weekend.

Hearing the worry in my wife's voice as she delivers the news not once but twice —I guess cancer really doesn't care what day it decides to call.

It is a terrifying word to hear. And crippling when it is associated with a loved one. Cancer. It grinds things to a halt and turns the joys of living into the fears of the unknown.

Hidden in all of that fear there is also surprising hope. Compassion from doctors, the rallying of friends and neighbors. It becomes a day by day focus on how precious life is and the desire to do what ever it takes to get healthy again.

Monster and Sea was born from this. Listening to the waves and water and built on the simple idea that hope and life and the joy of living comes from doing and going — because you can.