• April 2021

    Santa Cruz Surf Contest

    Santa Cruz Surf Contest Photo Story by kevin painchaud High school kids from Aptos, Santa Cruz, Half Moon Bay, Soquel, Santa Cruz Mountains, and Marin competed on Saturday March 20 in the Santa Cruz Scholastic Surf League contest at Pleasure Point in Santa Cruz. Read More Extremely Sports Articles

  • tri side
    April 2020

    Meet the Four Iron Men

    Meet the Four Iron Men Triatholon is a Family Affair BY KEVIN PAINCHAUD Meet the Vandermeer family. This is not your typical family. Yes they have four boys. Yes all four boys have a lot of energy. But what really separates this family from all the rest is that the entire family competes in triathlons. All of them! Every single one of them competes in swimming, biking, and running for miles. Not only that, but they all typically win medals in their own classes. How did this start? I’ll let their amazing mom, Candi tell the story. Before the kids came along: Dennis and I both were triathletes before we…

  • Nor Cal Flag Football Robert Foster
    February 2020

    Touchdown for our Community: Extremely Sports February 2020

    Touchdown for our Community: Extremely Sports February 2020 Sports Helped Save Robert Foster; Now he’s Helping Kids do the Same Extremely Sports February 2020 By Kevin Painchaud Gratitude, inspiration, purpose and family.  These are the characteristics that flag football has brought to the life of the Aptos resident Robert Foster.   Being born and raised in the San Jose area, life was not easy for Robert.  His parents were high school sweethearts and were only 17 years old when Robert’s mom got pregnant with Robert. Being so young, Robert’s mom and dad tried and failed to make it work.  Robert’s dad moved to Texas and his mom ended up moving…

  • baja bicycle trip
    January 2020

    Adventures in Baja: Extremely Sports January 2020

    Adventures in Baja Many surf there, fewer hike and bike Extremely Sports: January 2020 By Karen Kefauver We all know that stretching beyond our comfort zone can be a good thing. So when I was invited to visit Baja in December, I jumped at the opportunity to renew my passport, rebuild my rusty travel skills and practice my even rustier Spanish. Plus, I’d never been to Baja. Little did I know that I would bypass the beach, at least at first, and instead hike and bike! First Step Outside my Comfort Zone The only plan I had was to meet my Aunt Joy for a week in San Jose del…

  • Taj Rodriguez
    December 2019

    He Flies Through the Air with the Greatest of Ease: Extremely Sports December 2019

    He Flies Through the Air with the Greatest of Ease Extremely Sports: December 2019 By Kevin Painchaud Taj Rodriguez, 13, started bouncing on a trampoline when he was 2. Now, he’s a competitive trampolinist who trains at Vargas Academy and placed seventh in the country at the nationals for Trampoline and Tumbling held in Des Moines, Iowa.  The Aptos Junior High eighth grader does Jiu Jitzu and has been a Capitola Junior Guard. He enjoys mountain biking, snowboarding, skating and surfing. KP:  When did you first discover the trampoline?  Taj: When I was 2-years-old I saw my dad on a trampoline and I tried to copy some of the things…

  • Little Bellas biking Santa Cruz
    November 2019

    Small Bikes, Big Confidence: Extremely Sports November 2019

    Small Bikes, Big Confidence Girls Take to the Trails in Little Bellas Program Extremely Sports: November 2019 By Karen Kefauver When I first considered volunteering with the Little Bellas program in Santa Cruz, I thought, ‘I don’t have time!’ Then I reconsidered: Just like chocolate and peanut butter, the combo of mountain biking and mentoring sounded irresistible. I took a closer look at the eight-week commitment on Sunday afternoons in Scotts Valley and learned that Little Bellas is a national program for women mentoring girls on mountain bikes. I felt proud that Santa Cruz, our cycling mecca, had its own chapter. After I talked to the leadership crew, helmed by…

  • pump track santa cruz
    October 2019

    Pump It Up: Extreme Adventures October 2019

    Pump It Up Cabrillo Grad Makes Olympic Race Tracks Extreme Adventures: October 2019 By G.P. Scheppler From humble beginnings all the way to the Olympics, Alex Fowler has made the most of growing up in Santa Cruz, building a small bike track business into an industry innovator. For those brave individuals who blaze a trail all their own, the road to success isn’t smooth, flat, straight or paved. Its hard packed dirt filled with jumps, twists and turns. Count Fowler, founder of Action Sports Construction and builder of the 2016 Rio Olympics BMX pump track, amongst the latter. The 31-year-old Aptos transplant is changing the way people design and build…

  • synchronized swimming santa cruz
    September 2019

    They Dance, They Swim, They Fly: Extreme Adventures September 2019

    They Dance, They Swim, They Fly Three Santa Cruzans Splash into Synchro Extreme Adventures: September 2019 By Brad Kava How do they know what’s going on when they are underwater? How do they align themselves so perfectly? You can’t help but wonder that when you see synchronized swimmers. We got to ask them those questions and more. Although, they feel old for the too-unknown sport of Synchronized Swim, three Santa Cruz girls are excelling in the 13-15 year old category of the sport. Scout Bauman, 13, Meredith Robbins, 14 and Annelise Robinson, 12, have been working out in Santa Clara with one of the nation’s most prestigious teams, the Aquamaids,…

  • custody battle santa cruz
    August 2019


    Alien-Nation By Bob Derber and Judge Paul Marigonda Custody disputes are difficult and seldom rewarding. More so, where a parent alienates the child against the other parent. This is not a norm for families. But custody disputes are high conflict situations and alienation is often present. Alienation can be hard to identify. It might be the child calling the new ‘significant other’ Dad or Mom, off-hand comments to the child that the other parent is irresponsible or the scheduling of doctor visits difficult for the other parent to attend. Where there is positive co-parenting, these matters may simply reflect circumstances. But if active alienation is involved, this behavior destroys parent/child.…

  • santa cruz horseback riding
    August 2019

    Gymnastics on a Horse

    Gymnastics on a Horse This Aptos 13-year-old has been riding, jumping and competing since he was 4 Extreme Adventures August 2019 By Kevin Painchaud Growing up, many kids fantasize about riding a horse through the dusty streets in the old west, jumping over fences and aiming their six-shooter at bad guys. Cole Giraldo, 13, may not be wearing a cowboy hat and spurs, but he is sure living the dream of riding horses and competing at a high level. It was a hot sunny day at White Rock Ranch in Watsonville when I sat down and spent some time talking and taking photos of Cole and his horse that he…

  • Sophia Park Santa Cruz
    June 2019

    Looking Down on the World From Up High: Extreme Adventures June 2019

    Looking Down on the World From Up High: Extreme Adventures June 2019 By Kevin Painchaud You ask most people what they are afraid of, the most common answer is heights.  Most people tend to get a bit of vertigo when standing on a tall ladder or peering over a bridge.  For 15 year old Sophia Park, she has no fear of heights — In fact, she craves it.  For the last four years, Sophia has been a competitive rock climber.  This has lead her to compete all over California and Nevada.  Sophia has won many competitions and consistently ranks high in the standings for her age division.  Last year in…

  • Jackson Taylor Santa Cruz surfer
    May 2019

    This Santa Cruz 12-year-old is a Ripper

    This Santa Cruz 12-year-old is a Ripper By Kevin Painchaud As the fog was gently settling down on the Steamers Lane, I sat on a bench in front of the lighthouse interviewing a bright-eyed, blond haired 12-year-old ripper named Jackson Taylor.  He had just won the Santa Cruz Waves Swellies award for best “Grom Boy under 16 surfer.” He’s 12 and goes to New Brighton Middle School. KP:  Tell me about your family history in Santa Cruz. JT:  We’re a third generation family for surfers.  My grandpa grew up here.  He started shaping boards for people and started surfing more.  Then my dad came along and he was a very…

  • surfing in santa cruz inspiration
    April 2019

    From Growing Up in Santa Cruz to Competing in Australia: Extreme Adventures

    From Growing Up in Santa Cruz to Competing in Australia: Extreme Adventures By Kevin Painchaud On a brisk Sunday morning I met the young Autumn Hays at Steamers Lane. With her surfboard tucked beneath her arms, I had a few moments to speak with her. It was her final days before she was to go on a trip to Australia to compete in a surfing competition. From growing up in Santa Cruz and going to Mission Hill Middle School then to Santa Cruz High, this 19 year-old-pro is making a name for herself in the surfing world. Photo by Kevin Painchaud EXTREME AMBITION Autumn Hayes, 19, has been traveling the…

  • Lee Faraola santa cruz bmx biker
    March 2019

    An Uphill Battle for this Downhill Rider

    An Uphill Battle for this Downhill Rider By Kevin Painchaud Extreme rider Lee Faraola, 17, is a rising star in the Santa Cruz mountain biking scene. He’s a sponsored rider who has been racing since he was 11. The Santa Cruz High School junior is overcoming a major set back when he broke his back speeding downhill at Northstar in Tahoe, but is on the mend and ready to hit the dirt. Tell me about your family history here in Santa Cruz? My Dad’s family settled here in Santa Cruz from Naples Italy around 1860. They were one of the original fishing families here in town. Photo by Kevin Painchaud…