2014 Year of the Abalone

16 05 2011

I have been a little negligent in keeping this website current, for that I apologize. Last year I was gone half of the year, five months of that I was bringing a slow boat from China to the U.S.A. We crossed the central Pacific island hopping at a speed of around 5 m.p.h. for 6,000 miles. Think of Forest Gump running across the united states twice. I had the opportunity to dive in some of the top dive spots in the world, but I also missed half of the abalone season. My last ab dive of the year was at the end of November 2013 and it was my best to date. I came away with a limit of 10 inchers, the largest measuring in at 10 7/8″ and 9 pounds, ironically I found him in 4′ of water. Granted he was wedged deep in a horizontal crack and a challenge to remove in the surf. It’s shell turned out to be my most beautiful to date containing deep blues.

2014 brings us some unfortunate new abalone regulations, unfortunate in the sense that some of them, I believe, are not warranted for the sustainability of the fishery. Sonoma County will now be limited to 9 abalone for the entire season, with 18 abalone being the limit overall. This is sad since the population of abalone appear quite healthy in all of the areas I dive in. There is a lot of controversy surrounding the methodology being used to base these changes on and questions into their scientific reality. In spite of the protests, these are the regulations we are currently stuck with, so you might as well spend your time and effort hunting for the big ones. I plan on spending a lot of time in the water this year.

As far as Kelp Skimmer Dive Boards go, I presently have 2 in stock. When these sell I will do another build. I build the boards 10 at a time to make them cost effective, which means I have to front $2,000 for each build. I then have to sell 7 boards to recoup my investment. If you are interested in a board, then email me at rvrude@hotmail.com and let me know. The price of the Kelp Skimmers has remained the same at $300. That’s about $100 more than it cost to buy the materials. The design continues to evolve. I have added attachment points for a spear gun and a 3′ long bar, floatlines, kelp clip, and game bag that hangs in the water for putting speared fish in. You supply the actual bag. The photos on this site still represent what the boards look like for the most part.

I will start updating my ab diving videos, several of the links appear to have broken, these I will repair as well as posting new material. Greyfin Films is still working on our documentary on abalone diving. The focus of the video will be how a group of successful north coast abalone divers do what they do, in short the secretes of successful abalone diving. More to follow on that.

I hope you find something of value at this site, so take a look and enjoy.

Have fun, dive safe,




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