Posted on September 22, 2016
We set off onto the Homosassa River in search of any tarpon that may be remaining in these trophy waters, with a small crew and boat. Lightning cut short our quest, and we started to think about what Captain Gray had said earlier about how he still loved meeting new people out on the water. It was at that moment with the thunder resonating around us, the outboard humming, and with good company, that we realized how lucky we were to have this opportunity. Not just to experience what Mother Nature had to offer, but to be able to share those invaluable things and moments with good people, new friends and old. Thanks for housing us, teaching us, having patience with us, and most importantly sharing the journey with us. The road has finally come to an end, the 2016 Privateer Road Crew is signing out.
Now that summer has dropped below the horizon line, check out our Fall 2016 offerings to prepare for future roadtrips and explorations. We will be kicking off our Privateer submissions process in the spring so get out there and start filming.
Thank you Garrett and Ryan!
Posted on September 1, 2016
CHANGE IS UPON US
We are excited to announce the Fall 2016 collection, our strongest line-up to date. Inspired by treks down back roads, off-the-grid adventures, campfire sessions, and the elements encountered outdoors, these products help make the transition from town to terrain seamless. We headed up to the mountains of Colorado to put the new collection to the test. Watch the video and then scoop up some for yourself.
HEED THE CALL
Posted on August 17, 2016
WEEKS SEVEN & EIGHT
Four straight days of 12-plus hour drives landed us in Bend, Oregon. Upon arrival, we headed over to one of Bend’s many local breweries to decompress and plan our next move.
The following days were filled with trips along the scenic highway to get peeks at Mt. Bachelor’s peak, paddle boarding in Devil’s Lake, and fishing tiny streams for brookies just outside of the town of Sisters with new friends. Luckily a hot tip steered us towards Crater Lake before we had to depart for Outdoor Retailer convention in SLC. What an amazing spot!
During the week of OR we made plans to head to Dutch John and meet up with Howler Ambassador Colby Crossland and last year’s Howler Privateer, Drew Ruff. And after one last breakfast with our crew at the local diner, we did just that.
Drew greeted us at Dripping Springs Campground with elk and venison tacos - what an awesome start. Together we made our way to Colby Crossland's bonfire party. Colby set us up to go out fishing the next day with the infamous Thomas Flemons of Diablo Paddlesports, and boy was he out there tearing it up. After a great day on the water, we met up at Colby’s to pay our thanks and say our goodbyes, then hit the road with Drew destined for his family's place outside Steamboat, CO.
We arrived at the Ruff household shortly after sundown and admired their view. On to creek patrol in search of anything that would take a fly, then we headed up into the thick stuff to shoot some skeet and swap some stories.
These last two weeks have been incredible to say the least as we continue to get spoiled with good times and even better people. The next leg includes the Casting for a Cure competition, Montana, and Wyoming until we start making our way back to the east coast.
Posted on July 20, 2016
WEEKS FIVE & SIX
Florida has been something else! We first crossed into the sunshine state just in time to celebrate Independence day on the Choctawhatchee Bay. Being Garrett’s first time on the Florida Gulf Coast we were stoked to show him the infamous white sand beaches and the emerald waters that accompany Destin. Old Florida Outfitters was actually our first introduction to the Howler Brothers brand a couple of years ago, so we had to go show them some love!
From there, we barreled down to The Keys and the turquoise lane divider quickly came into view as we cruised along A1A. We teamed up with Captain John Reed in Key West headed to Duval for cocktails. The next morning Captain Reed put us on the poon quicker than a jackrabbit. After a couple unsuccessful follows, Ryan landed the first tarpon of his life. Exhilarating and exhausting, the whole situation seemed surreal.
From The Keys, we headed back to Miami to fish with Howler Ambassador, Honson Lau before continuing on up to meet the Howler team at IFTD / ICAST. After a few days at a trade show, we were eager to get back on the road.
Being Florida, there is no shortage of great fishing thanks to long-time Howler fanatic and newfound friend, Mike Blattner out in Mosquito Lagoon. We were wiped out, but a message from Captain Lacey to come check out the Florida Outdoor Experience got us back on the road. Without hesitation we scooted over to Chiefland to check it out.
FOE’s home base was amazing! After Captain Gray gave us the lowdown, the activities turned to cocktails, darts, and some bass fishing. The next day we set out in search of tarpon. The fish were gone but time spent on the water was priceless. We were extremely fortunate to have spent another day out on the water with such great people.
The sunshine state has so much to offer, and the people that visit and reside there are some lucky, lucky dogs. If you haven't heard by now though, Florida and its waters are in big big trouble. If you have the time watch this video and help save our waters.
HEED THE CALL!
Posted on July 7, 2016
WEEKS THREE & FOUR
We trekked from ABQ to Denver, and along the way even got to make a pit stop in Colorado Springs to hang with Ryan’s Aunt for a little while. From Denver we took I-10 westward, through the Rockies, fished a mountain top creek for wild rainbows, fell in love with Vail, and before you knew it, we were in Moab, Utah.
When it came to finding a campsite that weekend, it seemed like we struck out more than Reggie Jackson. We eventually ended up in an overflow site that suited us just fine. We really tried to beat the heat the next morning and got up super early, but it just wasn't enough. By the time we got to the trailhead, the thermometer was flirting with triple digits. It was too late to turn back so we hopped on a trail called North-40 and got whooped by the terrain and the heat. The index eventually got up to 118° so we took shelter before deciding to brave the temps again and head to Arches National Park. The next morning we woke up with intentions to head to Loa, Utah in search of some big brown’s off of a hot tip from one of Ryan’s friends. After getting lost and some local advice we made it to a stream, got the ol’ line wet, and got skunked. It was still fun and the area was gorgeous, green and super lush.
After stopping in Zion National Park and Vegas, we arrived in sunny San Diego! Ryan’s best amigos welcomed us with open arms and a couple chilly ones. It was awesome to get caught up with those guys but we were ready to get out and heed that call! We explored Carlsbad, broke Garrett’s foam board in two and ate some really good pizza. We ended up in Pacific Beach for the night, bumped into a frisky bachelorette party, wandered the boardwalk, and eventually retreated to the hotel. The next day we went to the beach, met up with Garrett’s buddy, Pat, from Surfline to catch some waves and hit up the infamous Kameron Brown. The homies were hungry so we met for lunch, scarfed down some more of that delicious west coast pizza, and made plans to surf at Kam’s home turf. We arrived at Dana Point in San Clemente just in time to catch a sunset surf sesh. It was the perfect way to end our gallivanting around SoCo. We said our goodbyes and took off towards the Grand Canyon.
We started the drive with the ambition to knock off six or so hours but by midnight we were struggling, ended up in Needles, CA where it was 100° at 12:30am. The next day we explored the Grand Canyon and tried to break Garrett’s fear of heights. It was truly magical to see how the Colorado River had sculpted such a masterpiece.
After a couple hours on the road, a pit stop at HBHQ, we touched down in New Orleans. Loud and long was the night before heading back to the hotel to get a little shuteye. Our next day with Captain Brendon Keck was awesome. We met at The Last Stop, just outside of Delacroix, Louisiana to pick up the essentials for a long day out on the water. After a 40 minute run into the Louisiana flats, we arrived at our first spot. The water was so alive with shrimp, mullet, pogies, and blue crabs. It felt amazing to be back on the Gulf! Ryan perked up and peered into the brackish water on the hunt for the reddish/ orangish glow of the drum. A couple misplaced casts, some words of encouragement, a few beers, and some fine guiding eventually resulted in nice redfish in the boat. Garrett stepped up to the plate with a traditional setup and managed to lure a big bull red out of a school of black drum. The bull charged for the golden spoon and ate like he hadn't eaten in weeks. Sadly, a little slack in the line was all the fish needed to dislodge himself from the lure. It was an incredible but the heat began to set in and the fished moved into the deeper channels. We decided to call it a day and head back in. We thanked Captain Keck for taking us out and putting us on a ton of fish. Thanks FloraBama!
Week four ends with us in Destin Florida for Independence Day, Ryan’s little brother’s 21st birthday, 6500 miles on the van, and our eyes on the Keys, tarpon and Icast!!
Posted on June 27, 2016
We are excited to welcome Israel "Izzy" Preciado to the Howler Ambassador team. Izzy is an incredible long boarder and indomitable happy spirit. He is a local legend in his hometown of Sayulita, Mexico and one of the funniest people you will ever meet. We first met Izzy when we went down to Sayulita to film our Spring 2016 video campaign via fellow Ambassador Kameron Brown, who had known him from prior escapades. He served as our local fixer and instantly became part of the family. Bienvenido, Izzy.
When and where did you start surfing? Have you always been a longboarder?
I started surfing in Sayulita about 25 years ago. Now days I surf all types of surfboards depending on the conditions, kind of waves and crowds but I started as a longboarder. I mean as much I like riding different size and shapes of boards I still considered myself a longboard lover.
Without divulging any secret breaks (ahem), what are your favorite waves to surf in Mexico?
I love living in Mexico and being Mexican is just awesome! Bahaha. Nah, seriously it's a bit hard to pick a favorite wave because we are sooo extremely lucky here in Mexico with the abundance of fun world class waves. But if I have to pick 3 waves in Mexico they would be 1) Chacala, which its a very fun playful long left; 2) La Bahia, a super fun shortboard A-frame wave; and 3) La Ticla which is like surfing paradise there are long left, A-frames, fun right-handers and beach breaks all within walking distance.
Outside of Mexico?
The waves I like outside of Mexico... in California I like Church's, Cardiff Reef and Pleasure Point up in Santa Cruz. Boca Barranca in Costa Rica is very looong and fun. La Libertad is a pretty solid wave in El Salvador. I would love to go back and surf again outside of Rome, don't remember the name but it was very fun mushy wind swell waves. La Lefitania in the Basque Country was very fun but man it was sooo crowed hahaha!
Is it true you used to captain a fishing boat?
I was once a captain incharge of a sport fishing / tour boat when I was younger but I only worked in that bussiness for like 3 years then I decide to stick to surfing lessons and selling real estate in Sayulita.
You started a killer longboard competition in Sayulita, Mexi Log Fest (@mexilogfest). What has been the best part of throwing that event?
@mexilogfest is like my second baby now that my daughter Olivia Jade was born ;)
There are alot of awesome things about organizing this event. The challenge to do something when not a lot people believe that you can pull it off, the challenge to raise the money for it when corporate or big surf companies somehow are not interested in supporting this kind of event. But at the end to see amazing longboarders from all over the world sharing waves, having a great time plus some of them make some good money. More importantly they make more friends and keep on sharing the stoke and beauty of longboarding. That, my friend, makes it all worth while and that's why I'm already working on 2017 Mexi Log Fest events. I'm planing to run the first log contest/art exhibition/music/mucha fiesta in my hometown Sayulita around mid January 2017 and I will be having another event during the month of May the location of it will be disclosed during the first event in Sayulita.
When we were hanging out in Sayulita, you showed us some damn fine grub. Tacos or Ceviche? Pick 1.
Tacos. Every day!
Tequila or cerveza? (trick question)
Ha! I think I know where this is headed...but I pick cerveza every time. Almost every time.
Any big plans for this year?
Apart from working on Mexi Log Fest, I will be in California this summer for a couple of months with my girlfriend and our beautiful newborn daughter. As for big plans for me this year, well I have a life long plan and it's to learn to become a good father and friend for my daughter.
Posted on June 23, 2016
WEEKS ONE & TWO
The first week of Privateering began with an indoctrination at HB's Austin headquarters and a sendoff gathering at the Johnny Cash-themed Mean Eyed Cat. A nice way to begin our quest. After a few breakfast tacos the next morning we left HBHQ, in search of Texas cuisine and saltwater. After some of the most amazing BBQ brisket on this planet at Kruez’s in Lockhart, TX, we made our way to Mustang Island. We were blessed with clear skies, a campfire, and a view of the Milky Way. What more could you ask for.
We woke early the next morning ready to get salty, either surfing the Gulf side or fishing the Laguna Madre. Turns out we were fortunate enough to do both. After a couple of waves we met up with one of the awesomest dudes in town. Captain Marcus Haralson showed us a day on some of the best water in south Texas. Suffice to say we had some laughs, swapped stories and even caught some fish.
After a pit stop for the infamous kolaches we heard so much about, our path led us to Dallas where we met up with the awesome folks at Tailwaters Fly Fishing Company. I learned more about dog breeding than I ever thought I would, added 15+ feet to my cast, and even landed my first needle nose gar on the fly. Week numero uno is in the books!
Two weeks in , 3k miles on the van... LIFE IS GOOD! The second week came fast with the first trade show of the summer. Grassroots was a good time, we met some of the coolest Howler representatives, and a handful of ABQ’s finest. Everything was under control at the booth, so it provided the opportunity to escape to Santa Fe for a night of camping and half day of fishing. We emerged from the trip with an appreciation for the Pecos River and possibly some voodoo spell put on me, but that’s neither here nor there. Next up, Colorado, Utah, San Diego, then back eastbound!
Posted on May 27, 2016
The bar had been set high by last year's Privateers, so selecting our winners for this summer was no easy task. Once again, there were hilarious applications and impressive videos, which added to the difficulty of the task. But without further ado, we are excited to present the Howler Privateers for Summer 2016.
Meet the Boys
Garrett Hughes and Ryan Sompoyac like to grab life by the horns. Whether they are chasing surf or searching for fish with fly rods, these Virginia natives are ready to rock and roll this summer. You can check out their application video here:
They are no strangers to living out of their vehicle and having an incredible time, which should come in handy as they are heeding the call all over the US of A this summer.
The Road Ahead
Posted on May 6, 2016
In this final installment of the Sayulita Chronicles, the Howler Brothers crew recovers from some "rough weather" and sets out in search of some fine Pacific swell. With the help of local guru Izzy, they not only find the surf but manage to tap into some beautiful scenery as well. Surfing in Sayulita is sought after for a reason.
Posted on April 7, 2016
Picking up where we left off in Episode One, the Howler crew and Ambassadors are back in paradise of Sayulita, Mexico. After mixing with the locals and filling their bellies with street tacos, the crew decided it was time to wet a line and go fishing. Rough seas may have made for tough fishing conditions, but returning to the Palapa after a day on the water healed all their wounds. They also discovered that even in paradise you can have car troubles. But it just makes the adventure that much sweeter...and hilarious.