/*23 Breaths: August 2009*/

Monday, August 31, 2009

Mat - A - Palooza

I've been thinking that it's time,

before the seasons change,

for a gathering of

mat riders

and other miscellaneous craft.

Everyone is invited.

If you would like to attend,

let me know in the comments section or email me.

Tell me where you are coming from

we will try to pick a spot

somewhere equidistant.

The weekend of the "event"

depends on the surf forecast.


The looks on other "surfers" faces

as 5 - 10 mat riders paddle out is priceless!

This would be good

Friday, August 28, 2009

Two go outs yesterday

resulting in a doozy of a sunburn

on the top of my head

so worth it

Aloe is my friend

So tonight there's a party for Greg Weaver at Hurley HQ

And there's more, the Black Hole is having a opening bash as well
It's all ages and includes music by the Japanese Motors and Gantez Warrior, a BBQ and free cocktails for those 21 and over.

Then if you make bail in time, there's a party / movie at Shelter on Saturday

Join the Shelter crew August 29th from 7pm to 11pm for a free screening of Mitch and Wyatt’s new film “You Scratched my Anchor” along with art by Wyatt and Kassia Meador.

Live Music by Greater California.

Refreshments will be served. They will be screening the film outdoors in the back so feel free to bring chairs.

Date: Saturday, August 29, 2009
Time: 7:00pm – 11:00pm
Location: Shelter Surf Shop
Street: 2148 E 4th St Long Beach, CA

No reason to stay inside on a warm evening this weekend.

See You There

I'll be the one with the hat

Thursday, August 27, 2009

The fins fit great!

Photo courtesy of Alpinist magazine

Actually, adding the neoprene to my duck feet has worked out great.

I have used them a couple of times now and no complaints!

I met up with fellow mat rider, designer, creator and film maker Jon at the local break last weekend but if you remember last weekend it was too windy for anything but kite flying.

But I did get a peek at his Da Fin's.

They showed strong promise and I have added them to the long list of things to try once the current economic doldrums subside.

South swell direction is a little better now and mixing up with a couple other swell have made for some fun surf the last few days.

Check out Southern California Surf Forecast for the details.

That's all for now it's getting light and I want to get on it early.

PS - The Apinist magazine is now available again! Great photos of some of the most beautiful places on earth (without surf)

PSS the poor guy in the photo above lost all his toes except his piggy.

No word on if that little piggy went we-we-we all the way home though...

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's over

nah, you say, trying to deny the truth of the matter,

look at the calendar its only August 24!

The equinox is not for another month!

I'm unimpressed

Yea, but look at the quality of the light.

It's been on the wain for a while now.

And then there's the "back to school" sale.

The phrase hangs in the air like a hangman's noose.

I think its closely related to "life without the chance of parole" really.

But that's it

Game, set, and match


How ever you want to say it

Time marches on and it's truer now than when you started reading this sentence.

But friends,

all is not lost,

I say we are all headed to a better place.

The fall.

Picture from Beard Art a great website you should visit

Friday, August 21, 2009

summer garden 09 in decline

the garden is on its last legs

the local squirrels have been standing on the fence

and cheering the sun flowers for weeks now

It doesn't quite come thru in this shot but the leaf decay is beautiful

I cut off most of the heads so I can bring them out in the winter months

The leaves and stems go into the compost bin for next year

The apple tree did another great job this year

as blossoms turn into fruit

which, in their time ripen

so many apples I can't keep up with them all!

everyday I come outside and eat a few, bring some into the house for later

the rest go into the compost bin.

What does this have to do with surfing?

I don't see a difference really

things just go thru their stages

waves and seeds germinate

and appear

they have their moment in the sun

then they change form again

to appear again

next year

just like us

Thursday, August 20, 2009

The un Bill swell

So it looks like the SoCal wave drought will take a break, put it's feet up and take five.


Following is the surf report from, of all places, the National Weather Service
If you went  somewhere more surfer oriented 
(like SoCal Surf Forecast)
You might get something like this,
"...there is a 198-200 degree swell at 18 seconds and a 202-204 degree swell at 12 seconds to start, the second swell swings to 190 degrees and its period extends to 18 seconds as the first swell dissipates (mon-tues)."
Not the fine prose that Adam uses to describe things but actually my, no doubt erroneous, interpretation of yet another weather / surf site. 
To boil it down to the very basics,
"There will be swell, not huge, so the hunt will be on to find somewhere that's not too walled up.  Oh and there could be some wind"
If you are more of a pictures person, and aren't we all
One more thing
Don't tell anyone
this thing's a secret

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

a little weird

Today's installment may be a little weird my neck is out and I have shooting pains down my arm but we'll see how it turns out in the end.

I have been watching a lot of the Woodstock anniversary stuff on TV

Interesting times

Here is a link to a movie about the era in Hawaii

Surfboards were smaller, curvier, down railed, psychedelic mind machines

Good times

I didn't make it over until the mid 70's

and things were different

Enjoy the video

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Just three things I want

  1. World Peace
  2. Universal Health Care
  3. Good video of what you can really do with a mat
RK's clip from Hydrodymamica of Mark Thomson has finally given mat riders everywhere something to look at, study and cheer about.

Finally got some good footage of a great rider on a nice wave!

I've seen still shots of this session for a while but the video is just fantastic.

The clip shows Thomson just flying as he winds his way thru some nice right handers.

The backdoor tube ride is my personal favorite but it's really the subtle mat handling that starts to standout the more you watch it.

Some of you may remember Thomson from Ken McKnight's article Matafesto - The Delicate Wind . There are some still shots included in that piece could have been frame grabs from the same day. (Check page 5 of Matafesto)

Some things to think about as you watch the video

This is Mark Thomson surfing his mat five years ago.

Mats and mat surfing, like Mr. Thomson, are constantly evolving.

Makes me wonder what's he's up to right now.

But for now, this clip gives us all something to aspire to.

Monday, August 17, 2009

interesting stuff to ride

I'm into flex and release

in my fiberglass boards

and you are too whether you think about it or not

Think drive to the bottom on take off, throw the bottom turn

(this is the loads up energy as the board flexes)

then use that energy temporally stored in the board to fling the board and rider down the line

(this converts the stored energy into the kinetic energy of the release)

So the latest issue of Surfer's Journal has been a real treat for me.

The article interviews several surf craft designers who are working to refine and build these concepts into the boards they make.

I especially like the bit on Steve Pendarvis as his boards seem to be closest to solving the problem of getting the "Greenough Effect" in a stand up board.

Great stuff, click on the link and check it out.

(Did I mention Steve rides a mat too?)

Rasta loading up a Pendoflex about to release the stored energy.

Elsewhere on the Flex Front

There were several blog posts over the last few days on a hybrid Alaia that Jeff made in his shop.

Copper Dove has made a hybrid Alaia that paddles and catches waves better that a standard Alaia.

Photo grabbed from video shot by Matt Shuster which I ripped off RT's Wwaarrbblleess blog.

Check out Wwaarrbblleess and Hydrodynamica for more / better pictures.

The rider of a fin less Alaia also depends on flex to set the rail and provide the blistering speed these shapes are known for.

I especially like the neet sideways drift these boards are known for (Lala).

One day, maybe sooner than later, all this work on variable flex and general fin-less-ness will be merged into a ultra hybrid that tastes great and is less filling.

If they make it out of canvas and it provides variable inflation they'll call it a surf mat.

Until then, these designers have some created some interesting stuff to ride.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Funny thing

It's come to my attention that I have no idea which blog entries people will like.

Most mornings after my wife leaves for work I sit down, surf the net a bit then hit the "New Post" button and type up something, grab a photo or song off the web and that's it.

Generally, I write something that makes me laugh, but there is no master plan, no dead lines and for better or worse no editor and certainly no monetary compensation.

No surprise.

So enjoy and thanks for stoping by

Today's post was going to be something about Woodstock (and Zinfendel)

and to mention musician, inventor, and session man Les Paul

who passed away yesterday at the age of 94.

But it starting to get light out and it seems I've almost used up all my letters

so here is Mr. Paul playing "I can't get started" with the Les Paul Trio back in 06

He was only 91 then

I hope this is a good clip, with my dial up I don't get to watch the stuff I post ;)

My favorite Les Paul fact was that after a car crash that shattered his arm he had the Dr set it in position to play his guitar.

That's core!

One of the promotional tag lines Pacific Vibrations had was "Like Woodstock on a Wave"

There will be tons of real Woodstock stuff on the net and you may win the Surfers Journal daily trivia quiz with this little bit of history

They gotta go with that, don't ya think?

Funny thing

Thursday, August 13, 2009


... when we last left our intrepid explorer he was still unemployed, reading his way thru the local lending library and gluing pieces to his fins.

Let's tune in to see where today's adventures take us

Today's episode is called,

"bored as heck in supville"


"mama, why ain't there no surf?"

we join our blog news program already in progress...

... In other news, local surf forecaster Adam Wright was replaced by a machine by his previous employers.

He will continue to make his surf forecast available at his website

(aside to the co anchor / talking head - "I thought forecasters predicted where your golf shots would go.. (rim shot) ha ha ha, that's right Fred now back to the news)

(Voice over screen shot)
Local action sports retailer Almond Surfboards has successfully channeled both Bob McTavish and a beautifully representative surf board from the era when surfers made surfboards and rode them at their local breaks. Mr. McTavish, who lives in Noosa Australia couldn't be reached for comment.

This quaint business model was replaced years ago by large corporations shipping the manufacturing process over seas to the lowest bidder. Then the onshore marketing departments could do their jobs of telling young surfers what to think.

In weather news, Tropical Depression 10 has been cured by massive daily doses of anti depressant that were flushed down the toilet. We expect TD-10 to wobble to the west where he will be someone else' problem. BigHugePill inc, the makers of the anti depressant used to "treat" the depression had this to say about that. "Everyone talks about the weather but we did something about it!" The company spokesman was taken away by federal police after making the statement due to an ongoing investigation with the firms accounting irregularities.

(aside to the co anchor / talking head - "you would think they could come up with a big huge pill for those "irregularities".. (rim shot) ha ha ha, that's right Fred now back to the news)

In sports news today, a new platform was discovered today that allows local surfers to further enjoy their romps at the shore

The device is comprised of an air filled bladder. The bladder itself is made of a space age material called "canvas".

Seeing how the kids were having so much fun the board of dictators for LA County immediately outlawed the riding of mats in the interest of public safety. When asked why the board had passed ordinances preventing surfers from riding their mats, a representative of the board replied "cause it ain't got no string in the front to hold on to, that's why". The board then moved their massive intelligence and political focus on issues such as the economy, the wars and health care.

Good night and have a peasant tomorrow.

I haven't posted music in a while, this one seems to fit

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

look at all the pretty colors

We are going thru a bit a end of summer slow down and so I'm taking the opportunity to play with my fins

Even with fin socks I have been getting an abrasion on the top of my toes so I thought I would add some additional padding for my piggies

This mod is inspired by Viper fins and Paul Gross' tweeking as mentioned on Surfmatters

(If only the Vipers came in EEE widths!)

I am using some neoprene scraps from trimming my winter hood

Pre mod shot

(feel free to ask your friends at the office what this is a picture of)

(If they mention Wolfgang Bloch give em half credit)

Since the piece of material I was using was more than wide enough I am going to see if the "wrap around" gives my enormous toes some additional cushion!

This would be the left foot

I'm using just a dab, maybe a dab-and-a-half of silicone sealant to tack the whole thing down.

That will make it easier to remove and reposition if need be.

If this turns out perfect on the first try, highly unlikely I know, I'll glue it in more securely.

PS - Let me know how you mod your fins. What are you cutting off or adding on and what glue you use to hold it all together.

If you can send pictures great!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Learning to surf

Greenough photo by Harold Ward

I was tasked with teaching someone to surf the other day

I have to say it took me a while to find a place to start

  • ocean swimming
  • finding waves
  • paddling
  • catching waves
  • standing up
  • turning

All of these basic topics take awhile to discuss and much longer to learn

I'm truly amazed that anyone surfs at all

And even though these items begin to cover the basic physical act of surfing there are maybe a thousand more items to know

  • don't let your attention drift from the waves
  • don't take off in front of someone else
  • where do the wind and waves come from
  • why does the tide change

In the end, I threw them a mat and their surfing experience took off like a house on fire

(No not my "good" mat)

But still so much to know

So if you have started someone on the surfing path,

what pearls of wisdom did you imparted to them?

Let me know in the comments section

Down erupting calm he falls

but what breath has put him there?

(the above is a snippet of a poem by Drew Kampion that was published in Surfer during the late 60's early 70's. My apologies to Mr. Kampion for what is, no doubt, an inaccurate quote of his work.

I just can't find the issue it's in without tearing my house apart and waking the kids up.

It's a beautiful poem

If anyone has the complete and accurate text at hand please let me know)

Monday, August 10, 2009

He shoots he Scones!

It's come to this

I'm posting pictures of baked goods on my surf blog

(It must be Monday)

But since I stuck to my semi rule about not surfing on the weekends

(because it's impolite that's why)

I decided to make up a batch

Lots of blueberries in the local market this year

The late summer weekend was spent reading and working around the garden

So I have no idea what the local water temperature may be this morning

Usually after the the initial move to the upper 60's or lower 70's the temps

stay semi consistent

with just enough variance to keep your attention

this year after some low 70's we have enjoyed some dips to the mid 50's

and it's been bouncing around for a couple of weeks, slowly recovering

Since I usually don't surf the same place twice in a row it's been an adventure.

I am feeling sleepy this morning so I think I will cut this one short and load the full suit in the car and check the surf.

One more thing

Thomas Threinen is posting some of his "Teachings of Don Redondo" comic strip on his Facebook page.

Totally cool stuff, check it out

(Tom would want me to point out that Drew Kampion writes the stories and that he draws the strip, he's very modest like that. )

Let me say that both parts are equal in telling the story and its the first thing I flip to when perusing the Surfer's Path.

Perhaps the Surfer's Journal could use their publishing prowess to whip up a free standing comic book with all the outstanding "teachings" up to this point.


Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Inherent Vice - Thomas Pynchon

There is a new book out by Thomas Pynchon.

He been on my list of people to read for a while.

Some of his other books Gravity's Rainbow, Vineland etc all sound great

This quote, from the new book makes me want to get it now.

"Offshore winds had been too strong to be doing the surf much good, but surfers found themselves getting up early anyway to watch the dawn weirdness, which seemed like a visible counterpart to the feeling in everybody's skin of desert winds and heat and relentlessness, with the exhaust from millions of motor vehicles mixing with microfine Mojave sand to refract the light toward the bloody end of the spectrum, everything dim, lurid and biblical, sailor-take-warning skies. The state liquor stamps over the tops of tequila bottles in the stores were coming unstuck, is how dry the air was"

I read a lot, maybe too much, but

"the state liquor stamps over the tops of tequila bottles in the stores were coming unstuck, is how dry the air was"

is the most interesting sentence I've read in a while.

But maybe I just need some decent surf with light off shores.

(I couldn't decide which shot to use so I used both)

(you're welcome)

PS I also have a library hold on

The Beat Hotel : Ginsberg, Burroughs, and Corso in Paris, 1958-1963

love the work that came out of the beat period.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

The word for today is Virga!

Frequent and

I can't think of anything to say today so I thought I would update links on my other page

I could wax on about why anyone has or needs two blogs that cover the same topic

but, as we used to say in high school

"let's not but say we did"

So on to the new links

Pendo surfboards - link courtesy of Born To Lose

If you haven't checked out a PendoFlex board you should.

Steve Pendarvis is someone who takes the flex in surfboards seriously.

Drift Online Surf magazine - Lots of good content and the last thing I need is another bitchen print magazine to collect, so that's a big plus.

Raw Waters in Cedar - A beautiful view into the Great North Wet

A Green Surfing Movement - I am a big supporter of the planet and the miscellaneous plants and animals that live on it but don't link to the groups I support. I don't know why.

Ready for the House - I never know exact how to categorize this blog but there's lots of cool stuff to check out. Did I mention he rides a mat?

Pineapple Luv - "Surf, music and fashion. Health and wisdom. Pearls and guns a blazing" Oh and a killer tomato toast receipt.

For a definition of Virga, I'll point you here or you can check out the pictures over at Daly Bread

Monday, August 3, 2009

At least the water's warm

Mentawai shot by Brian Nevins courtesy of Surfer's Path

As summer draws to a close

Wait did I just say that?

Let see,

May Gray / June Gloom over months ago - check

4th of July over - check

Huntington contest over - check

Back to School sales in full swing - check

ONE decent swell for the entire summer over - check

Continuous stream of 2 foot wind swell and morning on shore winds - check

So bring on the fall!

The tourist stop coming to the beach in droves

The NW Pacific wakes up from it's summer sleep and throws us some decent swell

The wind, ah the beautiful, wonderful, morning offshore breezes return

So it bring on

but for now

at least the waters warm