Tuesday, May 10, 2011

The Adventures of Christopher Sugrue: Angola Episode 2


Ola! I just came back from another vacation to one of the most amazing places in the planet, Angola. In the second episode of the "Christopher Sugrue in Angola" adventure, I went to both familiar and new places, visiting old friends and meeting new ones. Wherever I went though, there was always something fun and exciting to do.

The Beaches

Because I had such a good time the last time I was there, I came back to the Angolan beaches. Ilha do Cabo, Mussulo, Corimba, Santiago, and Palmeirinhas didn't change much, and it was a welcome familiarity. The Angolan sea, sand, and sunshine were as fantastic as ever.

The Town

In my last trip there, I made friends with a few locals with whom I kept in touch with. When I saw Diego again, it was like I never left town. "Christopher Sugrue, Angola misses you," he said. We met with some old friends as he introduced me to new folks. We spent the night chatting, dining, wining, and dancing to the old-meets-new ambiance of the African locale.


The Parks

After a couple of days lounging in the familiar places, I visited the parks I wasn't able to go to the last time. Iona National Park may not have been the "animal paradise" it once was, but the marvelous rock formations there were a sight to behold. Cameia National Park led me through the labyrinth of waterfalls, rocks, different climates, and various cultures and colors that is Angola. It was a refreshing reprieve from the mundane hullaballoo of city life.



As always, Angola will be one of my favorite spots in the world. Angola, até que nós nos encontrarmos outra vez!

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Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Christopher Sugrue’s Pointers on Paddling

Surfing Legend Tom Curren showcasing his buttery smooth technique, from Christopher Sugrue Photos

My name is Christopher Sugrue. As an advertising creative, I pitch the products of my mind’s musings to corporate bigwigs and serious suits for a living. On the interims between the serial episodes of brainstorming and bluffing that constitute my job description, however, I grab my wetsuit and board, fill my tank up, hit the road that leads straight to my favorite sparkling blue water, and surf.

Kate Bosworth paddles out in a scene from surfer film "Blue Crush" (2002), from Christopher Sugrue Photos

What beginner surfers need to know is that paddling makes up a huge chunk of the time one is in the water with a board. Paddling is how you propel yourself beyond the breaking waves and onto the lineup to hitch a ride on a wave.

This brings us to Christopher Sugrue’s paddling pointers:

From Christopher Sugrue Photos

  • On a day when the water isn’t too choppy, choose a spot where you won’t knock anyone else out.
  • Lay your board flat on the water. Lie on your stomach with your weight along the center of the board and your feet raised slightly off the end.
  • Keep your body far back enough to keep the nose of the board a few inches out of the water’s surface, but not too far back that you create too much drag.
  • Reach out with one arm at a time and stroke your way through the water. There’s no need to dig your arms to deep – just maintain a rhythm that pulls the board through the water.

  • From Christopher Sugrue Photos

  • Make sure that the nose of your board does not dip underwater at any point. To balance yourself on the board, try moving your legs slightly apart.
  • When paddling, maintaining good balance and proper board waxing are key to prevent from digging the nose of your board underwater or from having the board shoot up in front of you.

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Monday, March 14, 2011

Christopher Sugrue Defines More Surf Slang

My name is Christopher Sugrue, advertising suit by day, swell rider all other times. In another blog entry I discussed some terms surfers use as everyday vernacular.

Here are a couple more terms and their definitions, from a “brah” to many others who fall victim to the befuddlement that often hounds non-surfing folk.
  • Bogus – This means fake, plain wrong, or really lame.
  • Brodad – This refers to a surfer wannabe who overuses the terms “Bro” or “Brah.”


  • Burnt Reynolds – This is a term used for a surfer who is badly burnt.
  • Cactus Juiced – ‘To experience an injury that leaves you unable to surf.’ Example: “Did you see Christopher Sugrue break his ankle on that reef? Bro was totally Cactus Juiced.”
  • Cash – Describes the feeling when the flame goes out, this term is used ‘cashed,’ to mean “tired,” “relaxed,” or “done.”
  • Dirt Baggin’ It – This describes living conditions wherein a surfer is making do with a bare-bones existence to save every bit of dough he or she has for the next surf trip.
  • Drop In – This means to catch a waved that is already occupied. The second surfer takes off on the shoulder in front of someone who is both deeper in and has the right of way.


  • Dunzo – This means done, or finished. Example, “Max you and I are dunzo.”
  • Eat Foam – This describes what happens when a surfer wipes out on a huge wave and ends up swallowing some of it.


  • Excellent – This is 80’s surfer lingo for “cool.” Saying it in a long, drawn out manner is imperative.


  • Gnar – This means the same thing as ‘gnarly,’ but it sounds better.
  • Gnarmax – This means ‘gnarly’ to the maximum. The waves can’t get any cooler than that.


  • Graze – This is surfer for ‘to eat.’
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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Christopher Sugrue on Cause-Related Advertising

I am Christopher Sugrue, and I am an advertising consultant. I have always been passionate about advertising – I have always known it was something I would want to do for a living. At first, the thought of any brand I handle being able to achieve top-of-mind awareness was the only thing that inspired me at work. Later on, it became this: to ensure that the campaigns I create for my clients tell a bigger, more meaningful message.


I have always believed that advertising can be used as a means to make the public more socially aware. While branding is still a major and inevitable factor in advertising, I applaud the efforts of some companies in churning out advertising campaigns that send a socially-responsible message, while promoting their product at the same time.


I, Christopher Sugrue, am a strong advocate of cause-related advertising. That social responsibility can work hand-in-hand with consumerism is just plain genius. Among my favorite cause-related ads include the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty, which encouraged the breaking of beauty stereotypes. It gave rise to the Dove Self-Esteem Fund, which aims to empower 5 million young women through information on positive body image, because, as the ad says, “every girl deserves to feel good about herself and see how beautiful she really is.” I also like how Lee, a traditional male brand, empowered consumers to organize workplace drives for employees to contribute $5 for the right to wear jeans on the first Friday in October, starting in 1996. The fund is being used for breast cancer research and advocacy.

To find out more about my thoughts on advertising for a cause, visit my Facebook page.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Beginners Guide to Surfing by Christopher Sugrue

As a longtime enthusiast of the sport, Christopher Sugrue gives a quick advice to those interested to start surfing.


Surfing is poetry in motion, a graceful dance to the tune and tempo of the ocean. However, just like any sport, without proper knowledge and preparation, it may lead to disappointment or even injury.

There are people who think that surfing is all highlight reel moments just like how it's often seen on television or movies. This is perhaps the most common mistake committed by newbies. Yes, it would be genuinely satisfying to look cool when riding the waves. But, being safe in the water should be given the same level of priority.


I’ve mentioned this before on my recent blogs: I, Christopher Sugrue, strongly recommends to always putting safety first. Equip yourself with essential gear before hitting the waves.

Learn to respect the ocean, the beach, and fellow surfers. The ocean is undeniably a place of pure beauty. But keep in mind that the ocean is governed by unpredictable natural forces. Accidents can be avoided by being prepared and alert.

Never litter on the beach. Everyone, including you, will enjoy surfing on clean shores. And while giving attention to your personal safety, be sure to keep fellow surfers safe, too. Avoid hitting other surfers with your surfboard by attaching a leash.

Lastly, never ever commit the mistake of being impatient. There are just days when certain factors are not on prime condition: waves are just too small to ride, your balance is terrible, etc.

In this sport, perseverance pays off—ten folds. Just keep at it. Practice, practice, practice. And sooner or later, you’ll be having your very own highlight reel moment conquering the tallest of waves.

More on Chris’ Facebook.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Breathtaking: Christopher Sugrue on Angola’s Beaches

Hello there. I’m Christopher Sugrue, an advertising consultant and adventure junkie. I’ve just finished organizing an ad campaign for this mom and pop business (anyway, that’s another story), and so I told myself, “Christopher Sugrue, Angola seems like a good place to have a much-needed vacation, why not fly there for an authentic African R and R?” And I tell you, it was probably one of the best vacations I ever had.

I mean, the beaches are just breathtaking. Angola boasts of an Atlantic Coastline stretching over 1, 650 km where the weather is warm all year round. As soon as I stepped into Angolan soil, I went straight to the world-renowned Luanda port. There I went beach-hopping in true Christopher Sugrue style. There was Ilha do Cabo, Mussulo, Corimba, Santiago, and Palmeirinhas. It was paradise. The food was just fantastic—and the people were just wonderful. Smiles wherever you go. The underwater spectacle was nothing short of amazing. Snorkeling there was a real eye opener. If only I had brought an underwater camera, you’ll see just how beautiful the marine life over there is. It was hard to leave the place but then I didn’t want to miss out on the other beaches the Southern African country has to offer.
So, after a few days of adventure in Luanda, I spent the last half of my vacation in Benguela. There I lounged and just relaxed in the beautiful beaches of Baia Azul and Baia Farta. I spent the days just relaxing under the sun and frolicking in the clear blue water. The nights were spent in bars alive with local music and dancing, providing a dynamic and exciting highlight that fused well with the mystery of African nights.
Indeed, my stay in Angola completely rejuvenated me and now, I’m ready to face the adventures of daily life once more.

Follow Christopher Sugrue on Twitter at twitter.com/chris_sugrue.