/*23 Breaths: February 2010*/

Friday, February 26, 2010

Carpe diem quam minime credula postero


Sometimes I sit myself down and I have myself a little fantasy.

Nothing kinky

I don't tie myself up first or nothing

Just a little dream of an island where I could surf a never ending supply of lefts or rights

depending on the swell and tide.

(sometimes there is an internet connection sometimes not but always a stack of mats!)

Enjoy your weekend.

Thanks for the pic Dale!

*In Horace, the phrase is part of the longer Carpe diem quam minime credula postero – "Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future", and the ode says that the future is unknowable, and that instead one should scale back one's hopes to a brief future, and drink one's wine.

Thursday, February 25, 2010

order from chaos?

What do you get when

RT Thomas

(filmmaker behind such films as The Bruce Movie & BS! etc)


Mike Black

(the mathematically inclined pig rider who brought us Jazz the Glass and Invasion from Planet C)

collaborate on a bit of movie magic?

Perhaps collaborate is not the right word,

I would prefer to think that they are in cahoots.

Yes, in cahoots would be better.

Either way these things take time an we will have to wait and see.

Good Luck Gentlemen!

In the mean time,

RT has been giving us regular updates on his blog WWAARRBBLLEESS


the Jazz the Glass movie is now available on DVD!

Check out Mike's Surf a Pig blog for details on getting a copy

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

I was feeling a little grey

maybe a little washed out

As I mentioned in a previous post, the Vulkem I use for texture on my mat has finally worn down (too many sandy dredgers) and it was time to reapply and I was thinking of  adding a touch of color

I know that some of you out there are talented (or know the right people) and have "graphically enhanced" your mats

So growing up in the 60's

well I actually did more growing up in the 70's

But the point being I was thinking along the lines of lots pretty colors

Maybe graphics with a surf motif...

My excitement grew when Dale sent me a sample of the colors that are available with some initiative

He also included a sample of some of the work he had done for a customer

I was about then that I remembered that I have no artistic talent!

None at all!


So while I recover from that shocking revelation,

let me know what you are doing to enhance your mats.

Emails are good, emails with pictures are even better.

Interesting shots will probably end up in future posts!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

It must be spring time

because everyone seems to be planing events

On March 5th at 6:00 pm

Almond Surfboards are celebrating their one year anniversary!

Surf over to their site for all the details  - Almond Surfboards

If you haven't seen the clip of Cyrus Sutton on his new Almond

Check it out

Aquatic Almond Prototype from www.KORDUROY.tv on Vimeo.

After that you have all day Saturday to rest up for

The Shelter Surf Shop event

"Los Desperados Banditos Music and Art Show"

Saturday March 6 at 7pm

Check the Shelter Site for more details

One last note

Jet setting matting super star Jamie McClellan
has somehow managed to mangle himself a bit (just how is unknown)
his CT scan was clear and with some rest he should be back in the water soon

photo by Angela X Collins

Monday, February 22, 2010

I love surfboards!

The Surfing Heritage Foundation has the most amazing collection of boards I have ever seen!

If you haven't been to see able to see the whole collection in San Clemente they have an annex in South Coast Plaza West with representative samples from the Duke to Lisa Andersen.

(OK, no hulls and no mats but the bolsa Simmons twin fin with scooped out nose will keep you tripping on board design thru the ages).

Gene Cooper is auctioning off the 12 boards that are included in his 2010 calendar and sharing 20 percent of the proceeds with the SHF.

I gave up the opportunity to watch more Olympic Curling  to attended the auction closing party on Sunday night.

Mind blowing art work in resin high light this "Malibu Foil".

If you have never had the opportunity to see a Cooperfish up close let me just say you are missing out.  I have mentioned before that many surf craft are functioning art.  But these beauties really take-the-cake!

Much of the conversation I had with SHF curator and creative director Barry Haun was regarding if the boards were, in fact, too bitchin' to ride.  (It would kinda be like using the Mona Lisa for dart practice). The only conclusion we could come to would be that it's unthinkable to let such fine work sit on the shelf but than each shatter and scratch would be physically painful!

The other conclusion we came to is that Mr. Haun may have the greatest job in the world! (I know if I worked at the SHF it would be "Hold all my calls! I will be validating the pedigree of the mat collection" or some such nonsense and would, no doubt, be fired within a week.)

While Barry was giving me the grand tour we discussed the idea of a SHF show highlighting the mats, belly boards, paipos and hand planes in their collection.  (I suggested the working title of "It's not real surfing if you don't standing up!" but I think they can do better)

In addition to Mr. Cooper, Jim "the genius" Phillips also attended.  Mr. Phillips shaped a couple of the "calendar boards" and glued up the custom blanks for several of the boards that will be auctioned off in the coming months.

I got to meet Mr. Phillips and personally thank him for shaping my eight footer.  (No I didn't tell him it mostly gathers dust while I ride my mat, that would be TMI in addition to being rude and disrespectful of these master craftsmen.)

Mr. Mike Black,  movie maker, mathematician and pig rider was also in attendance and has posted moving pictures of the event on his blog Surf a Pig .  Mike has been working with Gene on a pig model called the "BLACKBOARD".

Several of the calendar boards are still on display at the SHF store so go check 'em out!

Friday, February 19, 2010

All of Yesterdays Tomorrows

This would have been perfect for yesterdays post

I could have still used the UFO and everything!

Here is a clip of matter Cookson using a Hero cam to bring us along on a flight of his homemade Paipo

Pine Paipo Hendra from cookson on Vimeo.

Nice work Cookson!

No telling what playing Hendrix and Sinatra on the same computer will do to your speakers...

And speaking of new speakers, the long awaited never release Hendrix album, Valleys of Neptune is due out in March of 2010.

Stone Free
Valleys of Neptune
Bleeding Heart
Hear My Train A Comin’
Mr. Bad Luck
Sunshine of Your Love
Lover Man
Ships Passing Through the Night
Red House
Lullaby for the Summer
Crying Blue Rain

Check out a taste of "Valleys of Neptune" HERE

Mat note:  Since I blamed much of my poor performance yesterday on the Vulkem wearing down on my mat it looks like a re-texturing is in order.  This time I'm thinking of ordering a colored Vulkem.  Just to, you know, punch it up a bit. The available colors are Almond, Aluminum, Black, Bronze, Buff, Gray, Dark Bronze, Ivory,Limestone, Redwood Tan, Beige, Stone, Anodized Aluminum, Aluminum Stone, White, and Natural Clay.  Sadly nothing day-glo so my dreams of a psychadelic mat will have to wait.  Still too many for me to pick from. I'm thinking Grey.  But if any of you have used the colors or have some input I would be happy to hear it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Arms too rubbery to type

From the NWS for Southern California 
So as another storm moves in I'm breathing a sigh of relief.
I'm not sure how many warm, sunny and quite surf-able February days I can take.
It's been a rubber armed, jelly legged, endorphin fest the last few weeks.
Yesterday, out at the local sand bar, friend ThinkMat paddles over, out of the blue so to speak, and grabs two "movie waves" and then splits for work.
(Movie waves are the really good ones we want to include in the many mat centric movies we are always discussing.)  I on the other hand am surfed out to the point of exhaustion so a short break is in order.
SurfSister has reached another milestone with her bionic knee and is now Jazzing the Glass on her new PG hull.
Mary is a multi surf discipline surf enthusiast and rocks long boards, short boards, hand planes and mats!
(I am winded just from typing all that.)
The Daily Shaka is a new site by Ed Lewis.  "It's your daily source for surf blog goodness"
I like it because it has turned me on to many international surf blogs that were here to fore
unbeknownst to me here at 23B.
(here to fore ? unbeknownst? WTF!)

And by international of course I mean anything not from Orange County. 
(oh BTW the flying saucer pic doesn't really apply to any thing but CNN has a story this morning about new UFO pics from the UK and I liked it so here it is.)

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Pull In!

The high pressure bubble over SoCal is breaking down, rain is due again next week.

The last few weeks have been good

(translation - water has been dripping out of my nose non stop for the last week!)

I'm off to surf before it all turns to crap.

Enjoy this!

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A path with heart

I have been reading Tamalpais Walking - poetry , history and prints by Tom Killion and Gary Snyder

A great book based on either the strength of Killions incredible wood block prints or Snyder's discussion of the area.

Mt. Tam and the surrounding area figured into much of Snyder's poetry and stories and I'm a big fan so this is particularly sweet for me.

Tom Killion's wood block prints are just amazing! Hundreds of hours go into carving each one and since his subject matter are the California mountains and coastal region it is always a special treat for me to see his work.

 Two quotes from the book have been rattling around inside my head for a few days

"All paths lead to nowhere, so choose a path with heart"

"There are things to be learned and stories to be found only when you leave the trail."

Both quotes, for me, are the essence of why I ride a mat.
Well off the beaten path of the surf industry.
(I mean can a brother get a tee shirt with a mat rider on it?!)
No false icons to pray to that might magically remove all your obstacles.
Nothing left to do but take a look for yourself.

Don't like those fins?
Carve on them!
Tune'em up a little.

Mat not working working?
Let some air out or add some more in!

Tired of the crowds?
put your mat and fins in a pack
and take a walk down the beach

It's your trail,
for you to walk
(or paddle as the case may be)

breathe deep
pay attention
and enjoy the ride!

"roll of mats" photo by warren pfeiffer

"A way that can be followed is not the ultimate way"

Monday, February 15, 2010

Tom Threinen

Todays surf mat shrine comes to us from Tom Threinen.

Tom's roots as a San Diego area surfer / artist go back to his days riding the local breaks on a fish shaped by Steve Lis.

Tom has donated his Lis fish to the Surfing Heritage Foundation collection.

By the mid 70's Tom was the staff artist for SURFING Magazine and worked with Drew Kampion as the illustrator of the ever popular Don Redondo comic strip!

A shot of Tom's knee board quiver.  Tom was the glasser / airbrusher at Mike Sheffer's Fresh Fish Surfboards.  Jim Blears won the world contest on a "Fresh Fish".

Tom driving his board though the slot somewhere in Mexico.

Tom says, "I now surf only on a deliberately under inflated air mattress, George Greenough started it all in the 1960's".

A close up of Tom's shrine, according to Tom it "contains two sacred relics: the last fish kneeboard I made for myself in 1977, and my current 4GF hybrid mat (which is often missing from the shrine)".

Tom riding on one of his sacred relics in SD. photo by Ken McKnight

Check Tom's latest work at his website TomThreinen.com

Friday, February 12, 2010

If we don't hug trees who will?

You know the old line, "If I told you I would have to kill you" well there are too many of you now and I won't have time since the surf looks good this weekend, so I'm not saying.  End of story. Let's call it "whereIdLikeToBe's" and just dream of riding those lefts.

If you haven't gotten that special someone something for Valentine's Day (slacker!) I just got an email from the Sierra Club about their "Support a Wild Place" program.  You can do it over the net. you get some gifts and you save a tree to be hugged at a later date.  Sounds good!

If GreenPeace is more your style then check out them out here

Want to get your EcoWarrior on with a little more edge?
(The possibility of jail time has been know to bring a couple together!)
then check out Earth First!

And as I have mentioned in earlier posts the Surfrider Foundation is always nice

The Center for Biological Diversity aims to do nice work.

You may also be familiar with The Oceania Project - Caring for Whales, Dolphins and the Oceans

or may want to favor Surfers for Cetaceans

All good groups, all deserving of your attention.

If we don't hug trees who will?

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Hike Who?

The remembrances, art, and dare I say evidence of last weeks matting activities are still streaming in.

This shot by Bagjuan of Pete was taken the last morning on his mat cam (wrist mounted) final session ended with a rainbow ending in a pot of gold. Nice!  white bottoms were humming.......!

Sadly I missed the mat themed poetry jam, but Kendog was kind enough to send this along.

"Pete's wife Diane and I traded some Haiku's on the highway in front of Swamis one day last week.
Here is what was written down. Me first then Diane's three."

Turn loose summer clouds
For 3 men 3 mats and fun
gallop straight overhead

I feel the water
rushing beneath me flying
The mat unites us

Beneath the water
rushing wild atop I feel
just a mat between

I trade the power
of kicking fin clad feet for
the wave's massive surge

I added one more post event

Then two arrived
and 2 plus 3 makes 5 ha
sliding in pre storm bone yard

not as good as the previous ones but that points out the wisdom of making things together
poetry, like a day surfing with friends improves
as the experience is shared
and the energy ricochets

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Adventures on our Event Horizon

Bits from all over today

Keith Novosel is a frequent contributor to the bodysurf site.
Great stuff!
Check his personal stash at his Look at what the light did now blog

I have always been a big fan of "Adventures in Trim" blogger Chris Preston

Check out his quiver piece in the Drift Surfing Euro Edition

Here is a great body surfing clip from the up and coming movie "Stoked and Broke"
I can't wait until this comes out.
But wait we must, so in the mean time, enjoy

Cyrus filming for "Stoked and Broke" from www.KORDUROY.tv on Vimeo.

After things change I want to get one of those cams out on the mat.

I have mearged the "too cool for words" and "seperated at birth section" of 23B today to bring you the following

Brought to our attention by the fine folks at the "Grass is Greener"

First a shot of local cinematographer, producer, director and independent film maker RT.

Next a classic shot of Mr Pipeline himself, Gerry Lopez


Reminds me of this except that it's good

In todays "Print isn't quite dead yet" section ...

There is a new book out by surfer / shaper / psychadelic adventurer
Mike Hynson - Transcendental Memories of a Surf Rebel

 This Mike remembers Rainbow Bridge movie clip goes along nicely.

So many great adventures on our event horizon!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The iMat has arrived!

As the conference hall light go down a gnome of a man steps to the podium and utters the following,

"... an one more thing I wanted to show you..."

The light show starts, LOUD rock and roll blasts thru the sound system and a small shape rises from the center of the stage as a HUGE graphic coelleses on the gumbo-tron behind the stage

I give you

THE iMAT!!!!!!

Of course you knew it was coming. The word on the street had been going on for months. Everyone was wondering what JJ had been working on all those late nights in his underground lair and surf mat lab.

Originally as a proof of concept model for the design which would be the Speed Stripe mat. News of this diminutive mat (or mat-lett if you will), took on a life of it's own in the mat community. Rumors abounded that micro matting would be the surf craft of choice amongst surfing’s elite.

People spoke in hushed tones of Slater riding one at Teahupo'o. Certain strictly off limits outer reefs were rumored to be overrun with them in the Islands!
Even though the mat was originally a model the inflatable hand plane applications are in double top secret testing as we speak. Rumors include a black gardening glove attached to the deck. I have also heard, from a reliable source, that a highly modified PlayStation controller has been rewired to control a matrix of servos necessary to control hydro actuators which have been specially designed to add “turbo speed assist” , “lateral drift power assistance” as well as several additional modifications that may assist the rider control the mat in “4th dimensional space”. My source for this information had heard rumors of additional options but did not have the necessary security clearance to work on the projects.

(On a side note, my informant died in an unfortunate accident involving a bottle of Tequila and several common pigeons, shortly after passing me this information).
Way to go JJ!  ugh, can I ride it when you are done?

Monday, February 8, 2010

The art and meditation of riding a surf mat

It was one of those times when friends get together to surf.

Friends that you just don't see unless the stars align just so.

So despite a waining swell and an impending storm the days surf had been a blast.

Photo of KenDog driving along the bottom and linking one section to the next.

The post surf feast of hot coffee, more hot coffee and eggs was  slowly reviving the frozen fingers and toes and the conversation had turned to mats in the movies.

We all lamented the lack of a full length feature film starring mat surfing!

Many of you are making some fantastic short clips
(YouTube has about two dozen )
but a feature length mat movie is still as elusive as definitive shots of the Loch Ness monster.

(But aren't those Greenough clips on Surfmatters are fantastic!)

Part of the problem is that in addition to all the normal challenges movie makers face
(surf conditions, wind, lighting, equipment, travel, funding, pre and post production, editing, music rights, advertising, distribution etc)
mat films would have to face one final challenge

Mat riding doesn't really lend itself to filming.

Photo of MT, one fin helping hold his line in the tube while the other gently strokes the roof. Most of the mat work being done by a weight shifts done  around the second and third chakras.

Mat surfing usually consists of a series of subtle weight shifts around your body's core.  Subtle actions that change as the wave changes in front of you.  Slight movements that are gone in an instant.

The motions of a mat rider takes on the steady rhythm of ritual, something commonplace transformed into an act of art and meditation.

Exhilarating for the rider but, often times, unnoticed and unappreciated by the uninitiated.

I'm sure there will be many fine mat centric surf movies in the future.
Perhaps using extreme slow motion to highlight the sublime dance between rider and wave.
But the waves will be the star of the show, as it should be.

Photo by Harold Ward.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Surf Music

Some old school surf music for you this Friday.

Usually I listen to strong instrumentals before a surf, how about you?

I am leaving early to catch a few before the next storm comes through my area.

(Super Secret don't tell anyone - iMat pictures next week!)

Have a good weekend

Thursday, February 4, 2010

The Cold

Rerun from Frequent Rip Currents - I'm waiting for the plummer the second time this week!

"Take long walks in stormy weather or through deep snows in the fields and wood, if you would keep your spirits up. Deal with brute nature. Be cold and hungry and weary."

Henry David Thoreau

It's winter time in the northern hemisphere.

Even though I live in sunny SoCal winter sea temps are in the mid 50's and when you add the wind chill factor its a tad chilly,  for me.

You when you look at the conditions Ras, Gaz and Eric deal with on a regular basis I am the first to admit I have it easy and warm.

(oh and Ras, Gaz and Eric with be the name of my new band)

The point is, we all have a relationship with the cold.

What's yours?

Do you ignore it? Hide from it? Complain? Joke about it?

It doesn't seem to matter how cold. It's relative cold. If it was 20 degrees out I wouldn't leave the house. But in the same temperature RAS, Gaz and Eric would be skipping to the beach in shorts.

(OK maybe skipping is an over dramatization but you get the idea)

The point being that it is all in your head.

One of very few things you actually have some control of (exercising that control is another thing).

Think about that the next time you are in the parking lot putting on a damp full suit and wet smelly booties.

But I am still looking into a Patagonia wetsuit for next year.

PS I never go anywhere without my hood

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Mat Shrines

Thanks to everyone that wrote in to tell me about their mat shrines!

It turns out that most of you have mats, fins and wetsuits (in season) stashed in the car ready to go at a moments notice!

There was also a man from Nantucket that kept his mat stashed in a bucket,

(unfortunately he sent pictures that I can't include here because of the family nature of our show)

Warren Pfeiffer has devoted a room to his mats and other mat shine misc.

This shot shows the rocker built into some of his mats

(Warren also has the only known mat mating program in existence!)

Warren flying along in the real mat shrine.
photo by Dane Peterson

Jamie McClellan is on the move alot sampling the fine waves along the coast in Oz but sent in this photo.

Jamie's current quiver contains, ";">5' alaia, and handplane from the scrap end of the blank, shaped by me and  Richard Harvey (early Indo pioneer, discovered Padang Padang), a whole bunch of mats, one Neumatic, the rest by PG.;fins, UDTs, Vipers, and Da Fins. not pictured: 4'10 x 19 tri-plane edgespoon, 9'9 Allison Classic singlefin gun, and 7'0 CI MSFG1. all in storage in the states. the two foam boards are for sale to a good home."

Here is Jamie at Rockbreak, Burleigh Heads, Jan 2010 riding a 4GF Standard w/ the old metal valve/black nylon. 
Photo by Angela X Collins

Jonathan Jarret, who many of you know as ThinkMat sent in this  quiver shot.
This is actually the famous "mobile mat museum" and includes mats of his own design as well as mats he has collected.

Thinkmat here rides a mat of his own design and fabrication. This one is patterned after the "stripes down" Hodgemans mats.
photo by Ken McKnight

In addition to making mats, JJ also is at work organizing and digitizing miles of surf footage and we may see one of the few surf films with decent mat footage from him in the future!

 Thanks to everyone who sent in pictures and words for me to share!

Today I think it's fitting to leave you with some of ThinkMat's footage shot from his home made water rig

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Early Spring?

I noticed a lot of these flowering pear trees blooming around town
Which is nice but this doesn't usually happen in SoCal for another month or so.

So will there be an early spring for the northern hemisphere?  We'll have to wait and see.    Take a look at your local trees and bushes for signs of spring.  Keep an eye out for south swells!

Now for something different.

Following is Peter Coyote reading a part of Shunryu Suzuki's book "Zen Mind, Beginners Mind" on YouTube.  I prefer the book actually but you may not.

Monday, February 1, 2010

Someone has a case of the Mooondays

I'm not sure if it's some sort of cosmic Luna hang over or what but I can barely move this morning

I wouldn't mind as much if I had some rip roaring experience I could relate

but no

same old same old

early to bed

up before dawn

"makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise"

Let's just say the jury is out.

But anyway,

If you haven't signed up for the emails from both Surfers Path and Drift Surfing

you are missing out

Surfers Path has an emailer called Monday Morning Wave

This sucker has saved my personal sanity more times than I can count.

(clue the harps for dream sequence)

First thing Monday morning, at work, praying the coffee kicks in soon, sitting in my work chair, the back spasms already starting and  reading emails from work-alcoholic staffers who send and expect replies to work related emails sent over the weekend (the weekend shaped up as some swell and a lot of tide) I push aside thoughts of mayhem that would only get me 5 to 10 and click on another email

What shows up is the following

Photo by Chris Burkard

then a little bit of postive vibrations

"Just before an epic wave, there is a trough. So if you are down, get in position for the good coming to you."
- Gary Young (surfer, innovator, bamboo researcher)

I mean emails don't get any better than that!

(well there are those ones that promise that I have won a zillion dollars in some third world lottery but since it happens twice a week the surprise is starting to were off )

(did you know those lotto things were fake?) 

So sign up, it free and the pictures and bits of text are excellent.

Drift Surfing has a similar r-,s;oerm (or e-mailer if your fingers strike the right keys)

It gives you picture links to their various bits of well thought out  surf journalistic goodness.

But you already incessantly browse to http://www.driftsurfing.com anyway don't you, so the email is more of a reminder of goodness past than something you haven't already read.

Something to note, now that we are in the era of iPad-e-ness, and there is now an Apple-rific platform for paper monthly magazines to move to I think the surf mag shake out is near.

And who is sitting in a better position to take advantage of this nodal point than Drift Surfing?

(just wanted to take this opportunity to suck up)

New blogs

If you haven't already, you may want to fling yourself thru net space over to Brine Time.

The work of another talented Ozzie whose past times include "turning light into gold" and "being pushed about by briny waves".  Photo heavy, good stuff, check it out. Brine Time

One last thing

I may have been out of the water for too long but I finally scored this morning

A new spot I am calling Pillsbury Point.
Today was a solid 10-15 with bigger sets.  I would tell you where it is but then I would have to poke you in the stomach with my finger.

The point is ruled with an soft white buttery hand but an iron fist by a bunch of toughs that call themselves the "dough boys".

Actually nice guys once you get to know them.  They have an bad boy image due to crankiness caused by exposure to the heavily polluted waters of the point and the chronic yeast infections that result.  I could see Tom Wolfe doing an expose on these guys.   Pictures are hard to come by but here is a snap I wanted to share.

   Funny story, I thought this was a cool bro I had talked to before.  Turns out he was totally somebody else and  REALLY didn't want me to surf there. Yew!