Monday, November 1, 2010

50th Annual NOGI Awards Gala

As the President of the Academy of Underwater Arts and Sciences for the second year in a row I am happy to say that this years NOGI awards gala will be an event not to miss. Promptly at 6pm on November 18th at the Las Vegas Hilton the hosted bar will open and the room will fill with most interesting of our kind.

There is still time to reservations and be a part of this night to remember and join us in honoring this years 50th Annual NOGI awardees.

AUAS is dedicated to recognizing the pioneers and leaders who have had a global impact on the exploration, enjoyment, and preservation of the underwater world and to passing the stewardship of the sea on to future generations. Look forward to seeing you there!

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

A first for me and a first for Force Fin

I have always been interested in aviation. The dynamics of flight itself is fascinating to me and today I had two Army Helicopter pilots and a flight medic visit us at Force Fin straight from the flight path. I say us, but they really were coming to talk with Blair. He had talked with them last week and he mentioned to me that he had guys flying in on an Army Helicopter to size out for Force Fins. My response to Blair was, ”yea are they going to be landing on top of the building?”

Photo by Kabir Cardenas

I really did not put much thought into it until today when they showed up at Force Fin Head Quarters. I had a grin the size of California when I saw these guys walking into the parking lot in their uniforms about 15 minutes after touch down. Jsmith told us “my fins that were originally issued to me started to tear so I started looking into who was using what. I saw the videos and reviews and information and then I remembered the guys that were using them in Hawaii when I was stationed over there and thought it is time for Force Fins.” I let Blair square away the guys with fins then I showed them different models and we all had a chance to share stories. Once we started talking about aviation and their beautiful and proud EC helicopter they invited us to the check out their bird. I told Juan and Blair pack it up we are going to the Airport.

Myself and Juan with the Pilots.

It was great to meet the guys and to talk diving and flying. Smith was really excited to get into the water with his new Force Fin PROS and his energy was great I had to gift my Force Fin Hat right off my head.

Blair and Jsmith

We have had people stop by our Head Quarters from to time from all over the world. First time Force Finners to decades long time Force Fin veterans, but anything like this.

As we parted they mentioned they would fly over our building on their way out and sure enough I just so happen to be right out in the parking lot when they flew by with a smile and a new pair of Force Fin PROS. This was a first!

Thank you again for all your service and commitment to our country and its citizens it was great to meet you guys!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Don't go bananas

Don't go bananas ! Go with Force Fins

I took the fin off your foot. Most foot and leg cramps while SCUBA diving occur because your fin is hanging off the edge of your foot. One of the most common complaints that people have about diving is that their feet and legs hurt when they try to kick with today's long or stiff fins. Their arches or calves cramp, their toes are smashed into the end of the foot pocket, their legs tire... Sound familiar?

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Captain Jack Guidry Loves Flying

Flying has changed over the years. I flew as a kid in the Constellation. My excitement for flying has never changed. A few weeks ago Susanne and I experienced an American Airlines flight. First there was a lot of balloons around the ticket desk and then American airlines employees were handing out cake to all the passengers. What was up? a birthday - no, but as Captain Jack Guirdy taxied out of Dallas he announced that we were going to get wet.

A fire truck watered the plane down! WOW Then Captain Jack powered up the throttled and ripped up to 39 thousand feet. Over the intercom Captain Jack thanked the passengers for making his dream come true of flying airplanes most of his life. Learning to fly in High school and flying in the USAF then finally flying 31 years for American Airlines- My favorite Airline!- We were on his last flight out of Dallas Texas and the entire plane clapped and cheered after his touching announcement.

As we stepped off the plane I asked captain Jack if I could take a photo and by the look on his face you can see how much he loves flying!

May we all be so happy on our last flight. As I have been striving to make the finest fins on the market for the last 32 years I can relate to smile on Captain Jack's Face.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Choosing and Using a Full Face Mask

I have recently viewed Hammerhead Press's New Video Choosing and using Full Face Masks WOW, I wondered after watching it if I would receive a certification in diving Full Face Masks. The Producers Steve and Kristine Barsky are no strangers to doing something right. Choosing and Using a Full Face Mask covers everything you need to know and more. Bonus section included!

The one of the many times I donned a Full Face Mask.

This Band Mask was used for a Brooks Photo shoot, my alma mater. I know the living legends of designing diving helmets Bev Morgan, Bob Kirby, Bob Ratcliffe three of the top commercial helmet designers

If you want first hand information on Choosing and Using a Full Face Mask turn to Hammerhead Press and there is lots of professional footage with Force Fins in the video.

If you want to chat with another personal friend who can give you a quick heads up contact Blair Mott at Force Fin.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Flat Fins VS Force Fins

Force Fin production run in the 1980's

A simple way to understand the difference between a Flat Fin and Force Fin.
Every Force Fin that is hand poured has a curved blade that faces away from the bottom of your foot to provide more resistance on the power or downward ( during freestyle) phase of the kick. The blade then snaps back to assist on the recovery.

Have you ever seen a fast-swimming fish with a blunt or squared-off tail? Neither had I. That is why I pattered my fins after the split V shape of fish tails that more efficiently channels the water.

I also noticed that other fins worked basically like boards strapped to your feet; they were stiff and inflexible. Again I took my cue from nature and physics, and I came up with very flexible fins using innovative materials like polyurethane instead of cheaper rubber from the beginning when I started making Force Fins in 1983.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Follow the Ocean Futures Society Team

As many of you know I have a special connection with Jean- Micheal Cousteau and Ocean Futures Society.
Jean- Micheal Cousteau diving the Fins made especially for his team. The OPS Force Fin.

Force Fin as well as myself personally have been long time supporters of all their efforts and adventures towards marine science and education. Most of them not only live in the same town as I do, but I am good friends with most of the team members and staff. I have been following the Ocean Futures Society Expedition Team while they have been documenting the Oil Disaster in the Gulf of Mexico.

I believe it is important for us to gather as much information about such a disaster and having the good people from Ocean Futures Society on the front lines has has been exciting to watch and read about their encounters.
Tonight on the "CBS Evening News with Katie Couric" will feature some of the underwater video that the team has gathered so don't miss it. If you don't have TV that is OK because they will be showing the video on their websites! Good luck to the entire OFS Team, we are thankful for all your hard work!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Have bike will dive

Somewhere along the road we found a way to transport our tanks from Hermosa Beach to Redondo Beach California. My Bike was the prefect horse in 1966. Jim Pennington and I walked the bike with two cylinders and equipment along the train tracks and down to the surf.

Did we try to ride the bike? Yes! It was like steering a time bomb - totally out of balance with two heavy steel tanks full of high pressure air. Walk don't drive worked quite well in those days!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Celebration of Life

Celebration of Life
My father engraves the patented numbers on the Original Force Fin that came out the first Santa Barbara Force Fin head quarters in 1981.

Gordan Evans was a solider, Husband, Father and a remarkable Artist who contributed to my love for the Ocean, Art, Design and so much more...

Following a short illness my father Gordan Evans recently left this earth to join my mother and remain close to me only in spirit. Thank you for all your condolences and I look forward to sharing more of his work with everyone.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Beach Care

Beachcare is an amazing organization that brings beachcare issues to light. Their website is full of excellent information concerning beachcare issues around the world.
Blogs, news, videos, pictures and more. Get informed and get to Beachcare's website

I feel very honored that they have chosen one of my photos for Photo of the Month.

Keep up the great work Beachcare and thank you for your support!
Bob Evans

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Reminds me of the Colosseum

I recently shared an old news clipping with our Force Fin staff. It was a response I had written to The Santa Barbara News Press's editorial "The case against captivity" many years ago when the Atlanta Aquarium opened up and I would like to share it with you.
"“Good for the Santa Barbara News Press for pointing out the sadness captivity brings to these beautiful marine animals. When I was a child I lived in Rome, right next to the Colosseum.

Me with my mother and sisters in Rome.

Towards the end of the empire, the Romans would bring animals from Africa-giraffes, elephants, leopards, lions, monkeys, etc. They would perform in the Colosseum. The latest great aquarium in Atlanta, Ga., reminds me of the Colosseum. It is the end of civilization when they can justify captivating people in awe of spectacular animals. If you wish to learn about dolphins, whales, look to our oceans, take a scuba class from one of Santa Barbara's instructional centers, or book a snorkeling adventure. You'll get more out of the experience of floating in the water and watching what marine life may swim by than a beast circling in a Plexiglas Coliseum.
I speak from experience. I have photographed marine animals in their native environment and in Santa Barbara's own Undersea Gardens in the 1970s. I rejoiced when Myrtle the Turtle somehow escaped from Undersea Gardens Aquarium in Santa Barbara, California.

When I was on a photo assignment for a water park in 1973,

I first came in contact with how dolphins were treated. They were in these very small pens, and the trainer told me the dolphins became aggressive over time. I thought to myself that I would become crazy being put in these dark water coffin pens. Time to let killer whales, sea lions, dolphins etc. all go back to the sea and close down these modern day Colosseums

Friday, February 26, 2010

Hitting 100

I have recently hit number 100 in my Tan Delta Flying Force Fins! The Flying Force Fin is special to me for many reasons. One is it looks cool and with its down turned wing tips it always commands remarks even above the standard Force Fin comments. This model has been around for a long time, but I have only recently started selling it to the public. Decades ago the engineers from the Stars and Strips yacht racing team were researching how to make the fastest hull design. They actually bought a pair of Force Fins and took the fin into the boeing wind tunnel to preform analysts. Afterwards they gave me a call and discussed their results! After the call the Flying Force Fin was born.

Now to modern Day I am proud to announce that I have just signed number 100. Amethyst Purple and they are a exquisite!
I can also say the Jaun Fiscal, who has been one of my employees for the last 20 years, assembled them. Thanks for all your dedication over the years!

This pair is going to a wonderful Ocean Enthusiast. His request of inscribing " Save our Sharks" on one of the blades will say a lot where he is diving! Thanks for your support with all my hand crafted products.
Fair winds and Following Seas,
Bob Evans

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Cove

On the night of February 10th the SBIFF awarded the David Attenborough Award to The Cove for Excellence in Nature Filmmaking. I hope you have all seen the movie The Cove, if not, it is a must see and someone should have told you that you must see it.

Blair Mott and I had a truly inspiring experience February 10th 2010. I would like to share his take on the evening. Blair thanks for getting my there and sharing your words with us all.

When I arrived at the Lobero Theater with Bob Evans it was a good hour before the film was to begin. The Lobero is the oldest working theater in California and is a great venue, we have both seen a lot of shows there and Bob has even presented his work inside the theater accompanied by live piano music.

Sandra Squires, Executive Coordinator for Jean-Michel Cousteau, was the first to arrive from our group and she walked up with The Cove poster for the backdrop during the Q & A and awards presentation after the film.

She stopped to take photos and swap stories. Thanks Sandra and good luck to all your efforts in saving the planet. I remember seeing the head of the communications department at SBCC, various ocean activists, enthusiasts, local Natural History Museum staff, plus a plethora of local and out of town individuals who were jazzed for the night. We were then soon joined by Dr. Marc Grandle Alki Chiropractic and Myotherapy, Kirsten Candy ,Holly Lohuis from Ocean Futures Society
and Michal Hanrahan President and co-founder of the Ocean Channel.

Mike deGruy has been the head of the Reel Nature Series for the SBIFF for years and he stopped by. We had a chance to talk about the success of the Reel Nature series this year and about the man himself Ric O’Barry being on-site for the show.

Holly Lohius immediately whipped out her book to ask Mike if he could help her get the book signed for her son Gavin. They devised a plan and something about 8:45, green room and it was another covert OPS in the works. Mike had to run, so we moved inside and when we started to move down the isles we could not get 5 rows into the theater before we ran into Fred Benko from the Condor Express and started a pile up in the theater as our group broke into a barrage of greetings as almost everyone in the group began reconnecting with someone else in the theater. Energy was everywhere and the Lobero was the prefect backdrop.

The Film……is….a MUST SEE!!!!!!!!!!
I don’t know, but I believe if you find someone who has not seen it, I was one of them, tell them it is about poison and they might leave behind their thoughts of watching a movie filled with dolphins being massacred in an unknown cove in Japan. Just a thought.

The blend of allowing us to see a bit of the mobilizations and “behind the curtain” moments drive the film for me and they were inserted appropriately throughout the film. There is excellent historical footage and an extremely visually compelling sequence of a dolphin blowing air rings and manipulating the rings with its sonar and body movement that leaves in you in awe of the intelligence of the mammal. Bob and I will be talking about that forever. I have heard and read about Ric O’Barry for years, mostly from Holly Lohuis, but having him in the film allowed me to get to know him and become a bigger fan!

Among many, one thing that sticks out in my mind was when Ric O’Barry brought the point of- “this is not a cultural issue- we could not win that argument, this is not an emotional issue– we eat cows they eat dolphins etc…– we could not win this either, but we can win because this about health” Japan is poisoning their people by selling them contained dolphin meat. They are actually selling poisonous meat to humans, dolphin meat no less, dolphins can you believe that!
The film is well put together and allows the audience to feel the energy behind a story that needs to be told because it can start a change in the world. Mike deGruy hosted a conversation session with the Director Louis Psihoyos and Ric O’Barry that covered filming making, inspirations and anecdotes with nothing left behind.

Ric O’Barry is trying to get 1000 people to Tijia, Japan September 1st and he opened the invitation to everyone last night at the show. Get your frequent flyers miles ready and go the website as he said they will be posting more info on how to get on board. September 1st 2010 we need THOUSANDS of people in Taiji, Japan. Thanks for the invite Ric!
Afterward Peter Howorth presented the David Attenborough award to The Cove received by Louie Psihoyos and Ric O’Barry and the lights came on.

I asked Holly if she had Ric O’Barry’s signature on her book that he wrote and she sheepishly said she tried, but no. Bob said let’s go and try again, Holly hesitated and I looked and Bob and said,” Get her backstage NOW!” they took off and the theater started to let out.

I did a resonances mission and located Simon Hutchins – Expedition Director for The Cove and Director of Expeditions for OPS, Charles Hambleton – Clandestine Operations -The Cove as well as Mary Jo Rice from the Earth Island Institute. They all stayed late after the show and when the staff of the Lobero finally kicked us out they hung around a bit more to talk and take pictures. Thanks a lot guys and your respective dates for staying till the very end. Out of the 150 plus people that were there that night we the remaining 9.
Myself and Simon Hutchins talk logistics and life on expedition.

I look forward to keeping in touch and keeping informed! Thanks for inspiring us all!

All photos shot by Bob Evans

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Catalina weekend

This last weekend our Product Specialist, Blair Mott, was fortunate enough to travel to Catalina Island for the Ultimate Diver Challenge Catalina Reunion. As some of you know the weather was not in his favor for a weekend of diving and it was in question if he could even make it to the island. Erik Phariss, who is an instructor for the National Academy of Police Diving, invited him along and they were lucky to make the first out of the only two Catalina Express runs to the island on Friday. Once they arrived they were greeted by Ron Moore of Dive Catalina Ron asked them who they were with and then he immediately offered to help. He was a tremendous help with getting the gear to their house for the weekend. Blair knew they might not be diving because of the weather, but that did not stop him from bringing 2 drysuits, 2 wetsuits, full scuba set up and 3 sets of Force Fins. With the a recent landslide occurring near the ferry dock they had to lug all of their gear into town.
The site of the Dive Catalina truck loaded up brings a smile to Blair's face.

It seems that not only was he a safety diver and camera operator during the UDC, but a good friend of Blair Mott's old mentor Don Santee. Once they settled in Erik and Blair started to explore the town and if you have been there, you know it is a special place with signs that you are not on the mainland everywhere. Blair captured this photo of one of the local transports.

They met up with Jim Pearson of Cinema Rentals who was the logistical coordinator for the Reunion and in charge of all the filming that took place during the 2009 competition as well as the topside filming that would take place during the weekend.

Erik Phariss recounts his experience during the Ultimate Diver Challenge 2009.

They did not get to dive on Saturday as originally scheduled, but they did see some clear sky from time to time.

It was a great weekend where Blair learned a lot about the Ultimate Diver Challenge and met the very passionate people who compete and support the competition on a yearly basis. Pam Bertrand, the Executive Producer of the Ultimate Diver Challenge, has a lot of great enthusiasm and energy that is contiguous and truly a breath of fresh air towards promoting SCUBA diving in 2010. Blair was fortunate enough to meet the contestants, safety divers, judges and production crew for the 2009 Ultimate Diver Challenge and he is excited about the the UDC 2010 , but Blair's highlight of the weekend had to been spending time with Erik and swapping his Tactical and Special Response Diving missions with his own expeditions. Erik Phariss has an amazing story and a lot of experience with Force Fins. Before he left to Miami to teach another course he shared his thoughts on Force Fins.
Thank you Erik for your support over the years and to all the people involved with the UDC. Thank you for letting Blair be a part of your special weekend. He has told me about the passion and excitement surrounding the competition and that is fantastic! I am excited to learn more.

All of us at Force Fin applaud you on what you have accomplished and what is to come!

Monday, January 18, 2010

The Funk Zone

Decades ago, the Funk Zone was started @ 28 Anacapa Street, Santa Barbara California with Bob's studio and Elaine Hyde Glass blowing studio.
In the above photo Susanne and her son Alex Gagnon checking out Bob's push rod fin in his design studio circa 1987.