/*23 Breaths: January 2009*/

Saturday, January 31, 2009

small really small

The surf has been so small I didn't even want to take the mat out.

But the wind was blowing offshore,

and parts of the sectiony little dribble were hollow so...

This little beauty has been living in my trunk waiting for it's day to shine.

It floats (barely) and after a couple of waves to learn it's basic handling characteristics,

I had a blast riding it!
PS - I have been looking for options to mount a camera on my mat but I haven't come up with anything other than a helmet cam.
This looks like it may be a nice platform for a GoPro Hero Cam.
If anyone has one and want to offer any tips, tricks or suggestions let me know. Thanks

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lost and Washed up

Ok you know the drill 

If your Parol Officer says it ok can you go 

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

In Nature's Temple: The Life and Art of William Wendt

"Spring Time in the Canyon"

The Laguna Art Museum is showing the work of William Wendt.

Click here for more details at their site

I could talk about his style (plein-air) or the fact that he moved to California in 1906 and settled in Laguna Beach in 1919 after the city got too crowded.

I love the art and pictures of SoCal before they planted condos everywhere.

The 10 bucks to get in is money well spent.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Ladies, Gentlemen and Children of the Sun

I found this on the Grass is Greener Project and it's incredible

I have been running it over at FrequentRipCurrents for the last few days.

You might have already seen it

But just in case you didn't

The narration alone is classic

Very Endless Summer- esque

49 seconds in, the quote "lets sort of move it now with Georgy" just swings man.

Too groovy for words really, but classic "Hipster speak" from the era.

These guys were cutting edge

Paul Gross commented on FRC that the clip is from "Children in the Sun".

Great footage comparing and contrasting what Greenough was doing on Velo with some of the best surfers of the period.

This is what really started the short board revolution.

When Greenough brought his boards to Australia the boys went nuts.

Starting with "Greenough fins" and then cutting down on board length

the Aussies were all over it.

Back at the ranch, (so to speak) west coast surfers had seen Georges boards too.
This information soon made it's way to Hawaii.

Brewer started cutting two feet off the end of the blanks and started shaping mini-guns.

Was GG the Johnny Appleseed of the short board revolution?


Surfers have been messing with their equipment since the days of riding a log.

No I mean trees, logs, palm fronds, whatever was floating at the beach.

Polynesians have been surfing boards of various size for ages.

But the "Total Involvement" era?

If that's what you want to call it, then

I'd give it to George

for changing the direction

(both literally and figuratively)

of surfing


Every surfer should read the following,

Required Reading: a Bob McTavish piece in Surf International from the Surf Research site.

He was there in 67 and describes it like I never could.

Ok you punks beat it out of me.

Soon to be released as a best selling book and a Major Motion Picture!

The REAL story of the short board REVOLUTION!!

The story begins...

A spaceship lands in Santa Barbra California and debarks two passengers,
the creatures that the world would know as,
Micky Dora and George Greenough.
While Dora kept everyone busy watching him at Malibu,
George created short boards of his own design.
The design allowed for the rider to make radical turns in the pocket of the wave.
Only the Amish had done this sort of surfing before
on their homemade Paipos
So Greenough changed everything
Then George got a mat
and is patiently waiting for the spaceship to return,
along with the rest of us

The End
(for now)

Coming soon,

Matthew McConaughey* as George Greenough

Johnny Deep as Dora

* Cause if you need a surfer you want Matthew McConaughey.

But seriously, If Mr. McC can become as good as a writer, actor, director as Sean Penn did after being the "Spicoli" of his generation then good.

In full disclosure, I haven't seen the movie

and probably won't

I already saw Annette and Franky

That's enough for today

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Malibu comes to Newport

During the last flat spell...

The surf was limping in then hitting a sandbar just off shore.

So desperate I took a board!
If it was your turn, the takeoff was uneventful and preceded a dribbey little section.
This is the “outside” part of the wave about 15 feet off the beach.

The wave slowly got bigger as you went.

Mind surfing when you are really surfing
If you were 7 inches tall and had a fish this was the first interesting section.

A little bit farther down the line trying to achieve perfect trim and maintain speed

Hit by a lazer blast from the beach and stayed frozen in this position for the rest of the day
(kids beware this is what happens when you get old)

Coming into “Outside-in-the-Middles”

The 7 inch guy could be doing a nice roll-a-coaster right here.
Pretty water here since it's so shallow.
On a lot of these waves I would get distracted watching shadows on the bottom.

So close to shore that backwash hits the wave and ruins it for a while.

This part was the “Dangerous Part”.
Hands coming up into a defensive position to deflect oranges thrown by the point troll (standing on the beach 10 feet away)

Inside In-the-Middles and heading for the next section inside

Made it to safety and celebrating the end of aerial attacks by bending the knees

Inside and close to the end

A fun, interesting, and challenging wave.
Using only glide and no turns you had to maximize your trim (o'school) through the flatter sections to be able to surf the whole wave.
It looks like I am carrying a tray.

I got hurt that day.
It's always the small days that get you!
I had to take the fin out of this board to get it in and out of the car.
I was trying to move the fin up and heard something pop in my chest.

The next day I thought the mat would be ideal to glide through the flats on the way to steeper sections to see if I could still ride the mat.

Those are my Ugg prints on the left. Returning with Duck Feet on the right

The wind was more offshore and the mix of little threads of swell had changed again.

I would try to move way up on the mat and lift my legs to minimize any drag and zip through to the next section

Right after the cutback, reengaging my inside fin to cutback before sliding Lala style through outside In-the-Middles

If you blow this up I look like Kenny

A windier day
I wore my hood
but this one was glassy

(Ok, no more Haiku this post)

Not as good (or as long) this day but a least it was overhead.

Dragging my inside arm to try to stall in case the inside section pitches (I'm delusional, I know)

The wind came up and made it a little hollower (very little), still dragging my arm

Still delusional

All photos courtesy of http://dalybread.blogspot.com

Monday, January 19, 2009

Let's get simple

Photo courtesy of Daly Bread.

It has come to my attention that everyone I know is broke.

Of course the people I come in contact with the most are unemployed and or retired surfers at the local beaches.

But assuming that you have a mat but are still interested in other surfcraft, how about these relitively cheap options.

Alaia - I road Clay Fin's a few weeks ago. An amazing amount of fun!
Here is Cyrus Sutton at Cardiff Reef

Take a board off the side of the house shape in some belly and rails and give it a go!

Hand Plane - another fun way to spend some time and increase your knowledge of the advanced hydrodynamics that make up our surf craft.


Check out this video over at Shakas and Singlefins

Single fins - Not to take anything away from two, three, four and five fin surfboards. No wait a minute that's exactly what I'm saying! But shape your own clean line single fin, glass it in the garage and surf it!
Extra points if you include a hand drawn pen and ink decal!

(PS - your wife / husband will hate you after this. The process leaves a huge mess in the garage! But well worth the experience)

Body Surf - Or should I say body surf more? If you ride a mat you probably body surf quite a bit already. Trade fins with your buddies and compare and contrast!

Just a few things to keep your mind and body nimble between mat sessions.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009


I got a new book of poetry for Christmas

Here's one

Surprised by Autumn on the Fen
by Su T'ing

The North Wind blows white clouds
a thousand miles and across the Fen
the hopes of my heart shudder and fall
the sounds of autumn are hard to bear

from Poems of the Masters
translated by Red Pine

What's that have to do with surfing a mat?

I can't tell you.

I can say that today's post title "Caution" comes from a conversation with Graham over at Shelter

So that, at least, is something