/*23 Breaths: April 2010*/

Friday, April 30, 2010

Happy Friday!

The shot above sent in by the always gracious and geographically well placed Mr Andrew Stephen Buck.

I'm still living vicariously thru the well photographed exploits of others so keep them coming.

(Secret message - I may have some very interesting stuff to post soon!!)

More things to do this weekend

I have posted about Matt Beards art before but he has a whole new series of Southern California 

If I ever stumble into some money, or even a well paying job this is the kind of thing I would like to spend it on.  

If you would like to see Matt's work in person, this Saturday night the Surfing Heritage Foundation is throwing a party with an opening reception for his one man show. 6-9PM with live music by Likewefi. Beer provided by Primo Hawaiian Lager. No charge, all ages welcome (proof of ID required for alcohol consumption). Surfing Heritage Foundation · 110 Calle Iglesia · San Clemente · CA · 92672 · 949.388.0313

Once again Liquid Salt has an interview up Matt

More of Matt's work from the Liquid Salt interview.

(I wish I was half as organized as these guys.)

So that covers it for todays post, the wind is winding down, the temps should be up and there is still some swell left.  You can mow the lawn later, go get some surf!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Reception for Artist and Friend - Frank Cubillos

Saturday May 1 at 7pm

Shelter Surf Shop

2148 e 4th St Long Beach 90814


Opening Reception for Artist and Friend of Shelter FRANK CUBILLOS

Also a screening of Cyrus Sutton’s film TOM’S CREATION PLANTATION


Refreshments from PRIMO

7pm – FREE

The neighborhood at 4th St Vine will also be hosting a group show entitled THE MORNING AFTER which will include the work of several local artists and live music.

The weather is warming up and the weekend should be nice!

Hope to see you here

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Bill Ogden - Artist Celebration

Join Billabong at the Surfing Heritage Museum & Gift Store at South Coast Plaza West for a celebration of the unique surf artist Bill Ogden Thursday, April 29, 6-9PM.
Food, beer and drinks will be provided courtesy of Billabong and a donation made to help support the work of the Surfing Heritage Foundation.
The exhibit will be on display April 29 - May 31

Bill Ogden has created many of the surf movie posters that define, for many of us, not only what true "surf art" should be but what the goal of the surf lifestyle could be.

Perfect waves breaking in an idyllic setting with only a  blond surf nymph to share them with.

The Sound Spectrum calendar the above is a classic example of Ogden's California Nouveau style.

The poster for the Forgotten Island of Santosha hung on thousands of California bedroom walls and launched as many first trips to the then unexplored islands of the south Pacific.

Barry Haun, Curator and Creative director at the Surfing Heritage says that, "In Bill's honor, we're installing the first ever retrospective of his work."

If you can't wait or won't be attending Liquid Salt has an interview with Mr. Ogden along with other examples of his work.

Come on down and check it out!

Monday, April 26, 2010

being the glide

I have been stand-up surfing
(that sounds so stupid but I can't think of another way to describe it)
for decades
(I did stop for five years when my kids were born
it didn't seem right to go to the beach
and leave my wife changing diapers)

After that I rode,
long boards
a host of mid rangers
the odd hull
and a school of fish
until the stars aligned
and I lucked into the mats

Since that time I have been sort of singular about riding mats

I have ridden boards on occasion but they seem so distant compared with the intimacy of mat riding

With the mats, not only are you inches from the wave face, but you aren't in the mode of “what can I make of this wave”, its more “the wave is taking me along for a ride, I wonder where we are going...”

Too much fun for words,  wheeeee is as close as I can get.

But I noticed something the other day.

I had lost my mat,

(it happens)

but I was in a great place to pick up the next wave and body surf in to where my mat was floating inside

So I'm riding along thinking hey I'm body surfing pretty good

No, not like someone watching and saying, “Hey look at that guy! He's surfing pretty good!”

Just going along having a really good time

Which is more than enough for me

I'm obviously easily amused

And I am totally enamored with a minimalist approach.

It seems the years I have spent on the mat has given me some skills that directly transfer to the other finned facets of the surfing experience.

By "finned" I mean swim fins.

This spring / summer I think I am going to devote more time to the finned water sports,

So mats, hand planes, Paipos and just plain ole vanilla, ultra groovy

body surfing.

In my usually mode of making everything way to complex and complicated

I thought I would try a variety of hand planes

ranging from too big too flat plywood Paipos

(getting cut in half in the shore break,

coming home with a belly full of splinters,

those were the days!)

thru my latest favorite

micro hand planes made from discarded flip-flops.

There is something about the glide,

not being on top of the water feeling it thru a couple of inches of poly

but in the water,

being the glide.

PS No this does not mean I am giving up the mat!
Not going to happen, so save your emails about scoring my mats cheap.

Just sharing the plan

Speaking of the plan.  I'm looking at posting at 23B less often.
I have been doing the M-F thing pretty consistently for a while
and I would like some more time to develop longer pieces and to work on other projects.
Posts (like this one) may not have pictures
I spend more time looking for pictures than writing
(if  you have pics you would like to send over please do!
If they get used I will gratefully acknowledge your contribution)

Friday, April 23, 2010

Transcendental Memories

Mike Hynson Book Signing
Start Time: Saturday, April 24 at 1:00pm
End Time: Saturday, April 24 at 4:00pm
Where: Surfing Heritage Foundation – South Coast Plaza Satellite Store

To paraphrase, 
if you were there and would like to remember, stop by and pick up the book.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Drains to Bay

How could I not do an Earth Day post?

Perhaps a better question to ask is,

"if this is a surf blog why do an Earth Day post?"

Because we surfers, are all about the water

the waves man

my bitchin new 6'2" and

this cool new stuff I got,

just like all the pros have

and tree hungers are about, you know trees and dye die and protesting and stuff.

(Insert flower picture here)
But really the person you are on land
amongst the trees
is the same person
that surfs the waves
the curb side reminder says it all
Drains to Bay

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Locals Only

I read a lot of stories about
locals and loyalism

I consider of myself as a local
of several spots really
but more than just surf spots
as much as
the small strip of coast where
I grew up
and still reside

I like to think a local is someone who works to develop,
over a period of time,
some personal sense of place of an area

With some knowledge of the history of a place.
A feeling for the geology of a place
how it is moving in geolocial time

In terms of the meeting of land and ocean
how is that interface changing?
Since it is always in flux
always moving
there is quite a bit to take in

Then there is knowledge of the
flora and fauna of a place,
as well as
things like climate.
Are we in a drought this year?
Last year?

Explictly important to surfing and surfers
but equally important to fisherman, boaters etc
What swells reach the coast? What directions do they come from
Where are the swells born and what seasons produce which swells.
Oh and how is the wind that time of year?

So a more than passing knowledge of
the characteristics of a place

not just where the locals park
(although thats good too)

not just a drinking relationship
with the current pack of
supposedly Alpha males

should characterize
a true local

but that's just me

I hope the next thing
I read about locals
is that they organized
a local
"Clean up the Beach" day


from drowning
by paying attention
to some visiting non-locals
an by using their "local knowledge"
to identify a dangerous situation
and safely extracted a visitor from harms way.

As to behavior in the water
try to keep in mind
that no one owns the waves
not even the locals
and that everyone out
is there
for the same thing you are
so share

When you develop
a sense of place
you can appreciate
the beach
the water
the day
as much as the waves

Monday, April 19, 2010

Please Stand By

Before the time of 24/7 everything
Before your choice of 200 channels
After midnight the local broadcast channels
would play the national anthem 
and then send out a test pattern
not unlike the one above
until a decent hour
the next morning

I haven't been in the water 
in at least a week
so I have nothing new
to report

Even the books I'm reading
are uninteresting

So the staff here
at 23B
wishes you a good day

until next time

PS the combo swells over the weekend looked fun

Friday, April 16, 2010

I Yam what I Yam!

OK this is the deal

I'm still under the weather and

can't think of anything to say

I will be spending most of the day

watching the videos I missed

over at

the korduroy tv virtual film festival

So in the artistic stylings of

Lost Stolen or Ripped Off


Thursday, April 15, 2010

a funny hop

So instead of getting better
I seem to be getting worse

Kind of odd
I'm usually never sick

Today's post will be short and hopefully sweet so I can get back to coughing my lungs out

First up, I wanted to share a body surfing  video that comes to me via Wedge changer Kevin "Mel" Thoman

The best set of pics from the Sacred Craft show are the ones just up on the Pendo site

The shot above is from the is the from the Saturday morning demo.
They even let folks try out the mat! Super Nice!

If you missed the show
(I thought I was the only one)
Cyrus Sutton with be showing some of the video we missed on the Korduroy.TV channel  on Friday!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Crystal Voyager and More!

Friend of the blog
Andrew Stephen Buck

Andrew's photograph by Seth de Roulet

wrote to make sure I had seen
the classic mat footage in Crystal Voyager
I had
but there is never a time I don't
want to watch it again!

Here is another bit of CV, the matting is almost 8 minutes into the clip
(Had to get that fish on the boat first!)

If you have never seen
Children of the Sun
you are in for a treat
The film has a feel
not unlike
seminal favorite
Endless Summer
less than
30 seconds in
you get a shot of
long boards
with the fins that would
start the short board revolution!
Then there is George showing everyone
how to really surf it up

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.

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

The REAL story of the short board REVOLUTION!!

Matthew McConaughey as George Greenough

Johnny Deep as Miki Dora

The story begins...

A spaceship lands in Santa Barbra California and debarks two sole passengers,
the creatures that the world would come to know as,
Micky Dora and George Greenough.

While Dora kept everyone busy 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 during their voyages thru the Pacific!

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 to a theatre near you!,

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Surf Check

Checking the surf this morning and not finding much got me thinking about the whole process.

Everyone has their own rituals, with variations, to looking at the surf.   Some people have to have coffee (with milk and sugar) or the whole process falls apart.  Some use a car (much faster) others prefer a bike (slower but you see much more detail).

After years of watching swells at your local breaks you should be able to tell a lot about how other breaks may be reacting to a particular swell or combination of swells.  So if spot A is showing a lot of South swell you can leave the NW swell spots off your list to check. Unless, there is so much South that everywhere is walled so you may want to check the NW breaks for a chance at a shoulder. OR the south swell is really a south east swell which only lights up a couple of beaches every 10 years or so.  

An then there is the wind to consider.  Every breath of wind provides a new piece of the puzzle.  Different wind directions can groom it to perfection or blow it to ribbons.

The surf check is really a riddle.

The cams can help, but only to the extent that you know a break already.  Sort of like being able to tell how a Big Mac will taste by looking a picture of one.  If you had one yesterday you have a good idea.  If you have never eaten one, you'll have no clue.

In the end it always comes down to, "either go out or go to breakfast".

Happy trails and good hunting!

(I am still feeling under the weather and resorted to the demon NiQuil again last night. Nothing was buzzing around the cranium this morning so a repost was in order.  Should be back in order by tomorrow)

Monday, April 12, 2010

Sacred Craft recap

Having never been
I was really looking forward to
the Sacred Craft show last weekend.

A gathering of the tribes,
Woodstock on Waves
(without the brown acid)

but instead I stayed home
to enjoy a nasty head cold

Moin' Phoam
Photo from a bunch over at Daily Shaka - thanks for the shots during the show!

Photos over on Daily Bread  including the Jazz the Glass show Saturday night (missed that too of course)

Best in Show pics on A day at the beach
Feeling a little asymmetrical myself this morning

Here is SurfSister's take on the whole thing with pictures!

I believe I have a rail fondling deficiency.

oh well there's always next year

I dreamt and I dreamt
for two days  NiQuil dreams
I really missed it

Friday, April 9, 2010

Summers comin in and it's goin out in style

I jumped in the water yesterday
the swell had dropped off some more 
but it was such a beautiful day
that to just go back home
would have been like 
returning a gift 

There were two basic options given the swell 
or lack of swells
and tide

the outside pop over sleigh rides
no thank you very much
shore break
but maybe 
shore pound break 
is a little more 

Whilst being "rag dolled" relentlessly in the aforementioned shore break, 
(sometimes the shore break can be perfect and sometimes its not
today was a prime example of the latter)
that I thought it's a good thing I do a bit of exercise now and again  

I have often thought that a post about fitness, health, exercise would be a worthwhile

The problem being 
that any diet, exercise, fitness plan 
needs to be configured to you
your body 
your needs at the moment 
nothing I can say would apply

What I do may not only not work for you
but could cause you harm

Take a look at this little squiggle jumping around down below
The sun salutations are a beautiful set of exercises 
It's practice by millions everyday
I practice it on occasion
but if I jumped up from the computer and dove 
into it right now
I might not get the benefit I was after
(unless, of course, I was looking to sprang something)

So as we wander collectively, 
into the beauty of the Spring and Summer months
here in the Northern Hemisphere
give some thought to where you are
right now
and what actions 
would best serve 
to get you down the road

I found this example of Surya Namaskar - the Sun Salutations at the Yoga Site

Since I have offered some general advise that might cause someone to run out and hurt themselves I am bound to offer the following disclaimer. Don't be an idiot and then blame me! Check with your doctor before you start exercising. Maybe the best thing you can do is know your blood pressure and your cholesterol levels! If you want to start and exercise program go to a qualified teacher so that you start of headed in the right direction. good luck

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sacred Craft on Saturday

The Sacred Craft show is on Saturday in Ventura.

I have a perfect record in attending these shows

I've never been to even one of them

But this weekend it all changes.

(Thanks to JJ who has offered to haul my carcass up there!)
Renny Yater - Master Craftsman
(The Yater spoon would be marketed by others as a "step deck" and was one of Miki Dora favorite shapes)
Now I would like to say that,

I'll have a huge booth with mats you could take out for a spin in the artificial wave pool

or that I'll have a huge array of computers with CAD / CAM software to show the various forces at work as the mat goes through it's work bringing smiles to our faces

would you believe a hand held phone with a couple of blurry shots of a partially inflated mats?

Not even that.

But I will be milling about with the rest of the crowd.

I hope to see you all there

(which would be pretty weird if you think about it)

Head over to the Sacred Craft website for all the details
Jason Hall of Daily Bread fame will be displaying his work at an art show on Saturday night in Ventura.

In addition to Jason's work, Mike Black's new movie Jazz the Glass will be playing and it seems there will be beer.

Trivia test

"Bring me my Yater!"

was dialog from what famous surf movie

a - Apocalypse Now! 
b - Jazz the Glass

(correct answer will be found in the comments section later today)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Old school new school

Lots of great video today. The cost of production has dropped dramatically with the use of bits and bytes.  While some still prefer the look and feel of film.  So with everyone in the mix what should you do?
(I, for one, would like to get one of those new Hero cams and go spelunking).

My advise would be, study the classics, then go out and make your own movie.

Today's offering is a bit of old school with a bit of new music and is one of my favorites of the period

Enjoy some nice camera work by Mr. Greenough

Short post today, forecasts call for some nice off shores this morning

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Derek Hynd - finless forward motion

As readership increases (a new record yesterday)
and correspondence explodes
so many posts are polished emails
from friends

Here is a bit of video that needs no polish

Such great footage!
I see a lot of similarity between how Mr. Hynd rides his finless boards and the lines we draw with our mats.

What do you do with all that speed?

Monday, April 5, 2010

You ride a what?

Craig Stecyk III supposedly said “ surf mats are the fly fishing of wave riding”

While I don’t want to assume his exact meaning, I believe he meant that mat surfers were above all else, really into it. Their approach is mindful. That their craft and approach was as adaptive as the fisherman whose flies were tied to mimic the ever changing dance between the cycle of fish and their prey. That mat surfers as a group are not people who buy their surf vehicles at Costco next to the DVD's and the cheap, one season lawn furniture.

I bring this up because I was lamenting the reaction of some board surfers when I try to explain the mat. First comment I get, is the standard “I used to ride one of those in the 50's, 60's and maybe 70's. So after the lesson about variable inflation, reshaping the mat to fit the wave and that it’s not straight off to the beach anymore, I get the money question.

Now I’m usually talking to someone with a two thousand dollar long board under their arm and judging from their 700 dollar wetsuit it’s likely that they have several more at the house in two inch increments. So when I say that these are hand made craft. That they are the result of thousands of hours of R&D and untold trial and errors. That these mats, are the regular ride of some of the best surfers in the world can be had for only a few hundred dollars, I am taken back, nay offended, with their response that “that’s a lot of money I thought they would be about 10 bucks ”

This has happened enough so that I have a perfect fantasy reply. “You know we had a revolution in the 60's so you wouldn’t have to ride long boards anymore. I would suggest you get your head out and sell that piece of shit relic reproduction and buy a quiver of surf mats ” But I don’t, partly because I really don’t care what people ride. I would even object strongly that anyone has the right to do so. And I feel that a truly adequate quiver would contain a broad spectrum of long boards, Alaia, thrusters, quads, Bonzers, hand planes, swim fins and mats.

After listening to my rant, foam dripping from the corners of my mouth, a friend stops me cold by replying that most people who ride mats are nice, normal, intelligent people and that if someone doesn’t “get it” after you do your best to explain it, then that’s ok. They weren’t meant to. It’s not their karma to ride a mat. This has the sweet benefit of keeping twenty first century mat riders in a mode a lot like surfers in the 1950's.  Except the equipment is much better!  Everyone either knows the other matters in the water (if there are any) or is looking forward to meeting them.

Like surfing before Gidget.

How cool is that!

Friday, April 2, 2010

They sat

in the backyard for weeks
covered in mud
the result of my son’s nocturnal roaming
thru the back bay

It was irritating
a good pair of regulation
size 10's
going to waste

I had worn out
many pairs
over the years

The blue suede ones
in high school
as much as a uniform
as the red ones were that
I wore at the Cannery restaurant
my senior summer

I couldn’t let
them go to waste

First I soaked them
in a bucket
for days


they would never be
snow white again

I am a sloppy
coffee drinker
and I know
it stains

I used a half pound
of the weird espresso
to stain them
a nice

after a week in the bucket
no change!

They were
the shoes
that wouldn’t
PS Better luck with your eggs
Have a Happy Easter

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Mats for sale yet again!

Some of you may know that I have been working on my own customized mat.

I am happy to report that many years of painsteaking R&D is over and I am happy to offer my mat to the charming, gullible and mattifferous public.

This particular model comes in any color you like
as long as it's black
so I have decide to call the this first of many models the


Pricing is flexible at this time but will run in the 1 to 2 thousand dollar range.
(hey these puppies are petroleum products bub!)

Please send your checks and money orders to 23breaths@gmail.com


23 Breaths said...
the first run of 250 mats has completely sold out! A new run will be available as soon as I get back
from the grocery store. Thank you 23Breaths
APRIL 1, 2008 9:29 AM 

Anonymous said...
I got my new mat in the mail today. Thanks for the quick turn around! I really like the mat everything about it seems fun. It even has the words GLAD embosed all over it. I do keep losing air as the twist tie on the back keep coming un done. Can you help me?

23 Breaths said...
Anon, I was great to get your check, I mean to meet you. The losing air is all part of the low inflation deal. The mat will ride better trust me! Once you find optimum inflation levels you may want to tie a knot in the bag, I mean mat to keep the inflation just right!

23 Breaths said...
Well I'm back from the store and the next version of mats will be white in color and be in a new model I call "tall kitchen" model. This will be both a big wave and small wave version. As always the mats have the patented "conventional inner/mid chamber" and the whole mat is contructed of .001 mil polyproleane. There will be a slight increase in price as my cost of manufature has risen dramatically!

MR said...
I'll take two!

23 Breaths said...
MR – as soon as your certified check passes thru my labyrinth of Swiss bank accounts and is converted to gold bullion your mat(s) will be in the post!

twinfin said...
Do you take certified monopoly money? I hear it spends the same as cash depending on where you are at.. what other uses would you recommend for this seemingly, too good to be true wonder product? Will it make my teeth whiter?

23 Breaths said...
twinfin - as long as it is CERTIFIED monopoly money. I had I guy try to buy a mat with phoney monopoly money! The nerve! The mat will indeed make your teeth whiter and make both your FICO and SAT scores go up.

twinfin said...
Thanks for getting mine out so quickly.. Im a bit embarassed to say this but I took it down to the beach this morning and I left it next to the showers for a second...by the time I turned around, a large dirty man resembling Santa Claus had taken it and draped it over his body and run away..what a bummer...he did kida look stylish tho.. Do you think hes on to something?

23 Breaths said...
The new and improved mats are in very high demand! This sort of mat theft should be reported to the authorities! Did you happen to buy the optional replacement insurance with your mat?

Bob said...
My sincere apologies, but I am going to have to cancel my order. Turns out I have an ample supply of your same model mats in my basement. I'll just have to re purpose the existing contents. On another note, do you know where someone might be able to dispose of 3 cubic yards of hobo pieces?

tres_arboles said...
Screw it, I'm getting my matt at Costco! David, Seattle

23 Breaths said...
Bob - haven't we talked about this before? Put the hobo down! 3 trees - All the cutting edge surf gear comes from costco! the only draw back being that you have to buy 500,000 at a time...