/*23 Breaths: July 2010*/

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Pacific Vibrations

I mentioned yesterday that they would be showing Pacific Vibrations, which has be remastered in HD, at the US Open of Surfing on Sunday.

So I thought I would throw in a few clips from youtube for anyone who couldn't make it

From the press release (see link above) Pacific Vibrations "is coming to television for a whole new generation of surfers, beach bums and environmentalists alike to discover and enjoy".  

I'm not sure the kids at the pier will dig it as much as we did back then. No tri-fins, no tail sliding, no sick mysto slab etc. but at the time it was mind blowing. 

Thanks Mr. Severson

Friday, July 30, 2010

Friday July 30th 2010

Zorro goes surfing

Miscellaneous Notes
“It’s cold outside
It’s windy
the surf is getting worse
and I’m putting on a cold still wet wetsuit”

I wrote that last winter.
I didn’t date that comment in my journal
Probably around January
booties and the legs of your full suit never seem to dry completely
from one go out to the next
for about three months

 Today it’s warm
 Its not too windy
And the coconut wireless is calling for a couple of southies

Better or worse?
(who can tell the difference)

(Did you know, in some places, a “southie” is a bad thing?)

As with all things you read on the internet
we’ll just have to wait and see with the swell

I just stopped writing to go outside to watch some pirates fly by
Does anyone know why they squawk as they fly?
Ummm no, not pirates but parrots flew by.
Thank you MSWord auto spelling correction!

 I really liked the clip of Mark Andreini surfing somewhere down south at Gnargnar’s SURFAPIG site http://surfapig.blogspot.com/2010/07/marc-andreini-and-blackstoke.html
good surfing, nice board!

Surf report
The surf is one to three feet out of the south west
The wind is calm(er) in the morning with southwest winds increasing in the afternoon
Low tide in the morning  (6:15 .07ft) and high tide in the early afternoon (12:44 4.5ft)
The water is cool for this time of year at 62 degrees
Late night and early morning low clouds

Movie news
Over at Surfmatters the surf mat movie pot is beginning to simmer, soon to be at full boil I think.

I want to know where to buy a ticket right now
but these things take time and I'll just have to wait.

I have been trying to think of a title and so far I kinda like


But then I call my surfmat a Prana Glider and my blog 23Breaths
so my ability to come up with good marketing names for things
is sort of suspect
(Maybe the description offbeat is a better way of saying it)

More Misc
I have the first line of my epic surf noir novel.

"There are 5 Summer Stories in the Big City
this is one of them."

Now I just have to write the rest, 

apparently it involves Zorro.

Maybe Don Diego de la Vega 

KP is a vaquero and I see mats in his orbit so maybe it's not too far fetched.

Maybe Zorro as a masked toxic advenger 

(What was the name of the guy on horseback that shows up towards the end in Edward Abbys' "The Monkey Wrench Gang"?) 

How cool is this!
I just got an email advertising a showing of  John Serversons "Pacific Vibrations" at the US Open of Surfing.

The End

Have a nice Friday and a good week end.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

I ride a mat

*This post first appeared in the collaborative blog Talkin' Story

Photo courtesy of JHall at Daily Bread

The mat has been my chosen surf vehicle for a while now
I still love surfboards and I spend hours in surf shops checking the rails, fins and foils. It's just that in my opinion the mat is the most advanced and adaptive craft I've ever ridden

Lets begin with the approach,
the mat rolled up and tucked under one arm my fins interlocked and dangling from one finger of the other hand.

Photo courtesy of JHall at Daily Bread

I can casually stroll to the water.
I actually prefer to walk in some distance to my entry point
The walk warms up my body, lets me focus my mind
and I have to say I love the beach.

Beach combing was more exciting before the days of the big sand cleaners more driftwood, more shells, more beach finds of all descriptions. These days I am as likely to find a used syringe as a neat looking shell, my favorite beaches are those that don't accommodate the big sand sifters

Since I walked in, I'm warmed up enough that my pre-surf yoga is more effective. I usually don't go for a big stretch just enough to find any tight areas and loosen them up.
That way I can focus more on the wave and less on myself.

Photo courtesy of JHall at Daily Bread

The mat and fins allow me deeper access to the water.
Less paddling on top of it and more swimming through it.
I love the water, I find the feel of it to be quite sensuous.

A bit of wading, a few duck dives and some kicking and I am outside waiting for a set. Duck diving with the mat is not that different than a surfboard. Just before the wave reaches you, you shift your weight forward and drive the front of the mat underwater. At this point you are underwater under the wave energy and holding on to a bag full of air. All that is left to do is relax and hold on while you and the mat rockets to the surface behind the wave.

I have on occasion swam out through larger surf and then inflated my mat. Easy on a mat, impossible on a standard surfboard.

The mat take off for me is a lot like body surfing in that the takeoff is usually in a critical breaking part of the wave. Of course you can take off well before the wave breaks but as a matter of personal preference I like the no paddle take off, no doubt a remnant of a lifetime spent surfing short, short boards. Good position, sucked up the wave face I turn and with a quick flutter of my fins I am sliding down the wave face.

Flying is really a better description, there is much less drag on a mat than a board. The toed in fins on most boards that allow small radius turns are completely absent, along with the drag they create.

Less drag means more speed.
Most mat riders are speed freaks.
I make no apology, I like to go fast!

Mats are optimally ridden less than fully inflated.
This allows you the freedom to shape the mat as the wave changes moment to moment.
You build a rail by squeezing the outboard front corner of the mat which plumps the inside rail which as it turns out is quite adequate to hold in steep conditions.

Photo courtesy of JHall at Daily Bread

If the wave flattens out or you want to hold yourself back in the tube, you release pressure on the outboard edge the mat flattens out and with the correct body english you are in a controlled side slide.

"Just like a Willy's in four wheel drive" to quote my friend and Matter El Supremeo, KenDog.

If you have ever riden on a dirt track the feeling is similar to drifting through the corners.

Since you can adjust the floatation of the mat so easily you can change it on the fly from a substantial floating platform to a completely neutral flotation surfing device.

Liquids do not readily compress. Winds blowing across the surface of the water hundreds or thousands of miles away introduces energy into the water which gets passed along atom to atom and moves as waves until it dissipates or breaks upon a distant shore.

I like to watch waves. Sometimes I'll sit on the shoulder and just watch them go off.

Sitting just out of the impact zone with a ringside seat waiting for that special wave that invites you to ride it.

Photo courtesy of JHall at Daily Bread

Riding the mat is all about the wave.
Not necessarily the size (it’s always over head) .
Compared to stand up surfing the motions are much subtler.
You move your weight around your core to emphasize the changes you make in the mat volume. Maximizing speed and subtle directional vectoring.

This quote from Antoine de Saint-Exupery explains it best, “Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

Mat surfing is and will continue to be for those of us who seek an intimate relationship with the ocean unencumbered by all but the basics of a fast slide down the waves face and some quiet moments in the water.

PS Thanks to Jason at Daily Bread for the use of the photos!

One More thing
The summer mat get together is still on and looking like Cottons sometime in mid August, swell and tide permitting.  Shoot me an email if you are interested in going and want to be copied on the email with the final day / time / location.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


Spring maybe

It could be fall

But summer?

No it can't be summer!

Record low high temperatures set in SoCal for the date.

Still surfing in full suits (and needing them on some days)

No definitely not summer.

Maybe some Beach Boys


Well you have to like the duds they were wearing on the Merv Griffin show in '71

How about this one?

Still nothing?

Was the mullet too off putting?

Hmmmm, maybe this is what you need

Tuesday, July 27, 2010


A do it yourself surf check

First, invite over a friend that has already been to the beach.

Next casually drop something and ask them to pick it up.

If salt water streams from their nose as they stand back up the surf was good.

As your expertise grows you will be able to accurately predict the size of the surf by the volume of water.

Monday, July 26, 2010

The Life of a Wave

Somewhere, in the south seas

a storm had transfered some of its energy

to the water

and a wave was born

this wave would have a long and interesting life

as waves go

traveling past many island chains

some of its life force spent on coral reefs

sometimes moving thru deep water

past South America and much of Mexico

always moving forward

never resting

and when I met this wave and rode it toward shore

I almost pulled out early

after the bottom turn

the little run on the inside

but I rode this one to shore

to be there are the end

of the voyage

the life of a wave

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Friday, July 23, 2010


Found the digital macro button on my camera!

Ran into some relatives

But by the end of the day it's the same old same old

The End

PS  Still seeing lots of white water along the coast!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Attention Earthlings!

and other 23Breaths readers
(you know who you are!)

I will be out of contact for a couple of days

because of a road trip

I'll be on with my family

I don't want anyone to think I did something weird and got a job or something!
(There was something on the horizon but that opportunity fell out of the sky like a dead crow.  Bummer)

If anyone can do something about the lack of sunshine

I would appreciate it

PS I'm heading to SD everyday and the camera comes along so I'll try to bring back something interesting!
There maybe some late night postings.

(That the mat and fins are coming along, doesn't need to be said)

One more thing

I need some dates from you who want to attend the upcoming socal mat meet. 
I'm thinking sometime in August.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


I was looking at some of the fabulous photos Mike Moir has over on Facebook

I don't have any photos from the period

But I can still remember the Good Times

Already ridiculous tan but still sunburnt

At the beach from first light to way after dark

The boards were short and thick and only had one fin

Rocker was something the shaper put in

You could go as fast as you wanted but you had to be good to turn

Now just memories

Memories don't get their corners bent

Memories don't get lost or misplaced

Memories don't get destroyed in the fire
or the water that helped put out the fire

Memories get better with age

Monday, July 19, 2010

Pool Toy Story 3

This kid grew up to ride the Wedge on a similar inflatable  

told ya

It's time to plan this years SoCal mat meet.

This years gathering will be called Pool Toy Story 3.

Since we bring such a wide variety of mats together
(I think all the mat manufactures will be represented)

any color you want as long as it's blue and red with a white rope

I would like to encourage everyone to ride a variety of mats and I would  like to facilitate a short mat review post surf.

This is the vibe at the mat meets

I will post up the more lucid descriptions as an independent reference for 23B readers.
(I am taking suggestions for review questions so if you want to know about relative volumes or traction now is your chance)

The idea is to give someone who is "mat curious" about getting a surf mat some idea about the relative strengths of the various models.

for instance this one has a cup holder for your favorite beverage

It also gives me a place to direct all the people who want to know why they should get a good mat and not just spend 10 dollars on an Intex.

I like this one but it only comes in black and white

So if you are going to be in the San Diego area in the August / September time frame shoot me an email at  pranaglider at hotmail dot com and I'll keep you on the mailing list for this years event.

Big week ahead

South Swell filling in this week

ComicCon starts Thursday

and the Tour continues in the Pyrenees and finishes up in Paris next weekend.

One more thing

I think we can trace Lance Armstrongs problems in this years tour to a splash too much milk in his fruit loops and drinking crappy lite beer.

Or maybe it's the other way around

(there was a very funny parody of this commercial up on youtube last night but is has been disappeared)

Anyway Lance is a great rider and I hope he is enjoying his tour.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Endless Summer

One of those days you wish you could repeat over and over and over

The surf came up a notch unexpectedly

There wasn't a cloud in the sky

After surf we ate from the summer garden all day

Although I wish gas was only one dollar a gallon

Friday, July 16, 2010

So many good things

All this new summer heat has pushed the Plumeria to bloom out.  Find some, put your nose in there and breathe deep.  Truly intoxicating in all the finest sense of the word.

More good news

PendoFlex Fridays

Pendoflex Friday, surf and talk story, Cardiff Reef on Friday, July 16th at 8 AM. Bring yours and/or come and borrow a Pendoflex and have fun. Shortboards, longboards, fish, and duckies
(Cher assures me that she and Steve bring there mats everywhere too)  As I type this you still have an hour and a half to get there.


I'm not sure which will be more interesting. New works by Tyler Warren or the rent a cops reaction when the band takes the stage before a crowd oiled up on Primo.  BTW Crystal Court has some interesting vibrational properties. Even on a good day the place shakes like a plate of jello on top of an alarm clock.  When the band(s) crank it up, anything could happen.

More good news but still ugly

So after almost three months of oil gushing from the BP well deep in the Gulf of Mexico the flow has been stopped.  Now starts the decades of clean up.  Maybe they need a better handle on these deep wells before they drill any more.

Drill Baby Drill?  
hmmm maybe not.  
How about " let's develop energy sources that don't blow up or ruin the environment when things go south and we have been too busy counting dollars and getting tax breaks to have a viable disaster recovery plan" ?

I know it does have the same ring, and it doesn't have that sound bite cadence to it but I think it has potential.

That's it for the Friday edition.

Breathe deep and enjoy the weekend!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

The Right Stuff

"the right stuff" is the title of  this beautiful John Severson water color

I find it interesting that given the HUGE amount of images that Mr. Severson has to choose from how often he returns to the mat riding of his youth.  Makes me wonder if he had a really good mat would "The Surfer" magazine might have turned out to be "The Mat Surfer"

Mark Thomson staying high and driving.
Open the pic in its own window to see more detail

Out surfing yesterday in some fun little waves under a beautiful blue sky.  Lots of people in the water and lots of questions about the mat I was riding (a 4th Gear Flyer Fatty) so after the usual comments, I get the question, " how do you keep it from going sideways?".

The answer is well placed fins and no you don't have to glue them to the bottom.

I have been thinking about posting about the importance of fin placement for a while.

It all came together watching Ramsnakes  Fantasea Mat Riding in Slo-Mo post a few weeks ago.

I could pirate the video over here but follow the link above and go check it out at his site.

I sat in the local library, with their high speed video connect for the maximum time allowed watching and re-watching GG and Paul surf.  I can't get enough high quality slow motion mat video. It's only in slow motion that you really see all the subtleties.

(I have been trading emails with one of the big names in surf blogs about doing some mat video for inclusion on their site.  One of the most important things I think in capturing surf matting is a good tight shot in slow motion. More about that later.)

One of several things I noticed watch the Fantasea video was how much they used their inside fins to turn and keep a high line.  All part of the dance when riding your mat.

The next time you are out, especially if you find yourself getting "flushed" out in front of the wave, try being a little more conscious of rolling to your inside rail and using your inside fin to keep yourself higher in the wave as you drive out to the shoulder .

Photo by Jason Hall - Dalybread.blogspot.com

Unless fins up and sideways is right for the moment.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The heat is on!

In my daily prayers for employment and surf and stuff

I seem to have left out a few things

While the sun is out (and the SoCal hillsides have erupted in flames)

The water temperatures have plummeted and the surf is a collection of several small swells

So Pray for Surf and Sun and Warm Water!

Here are some more of the MT5 shots, just so you know someone somewhere is getting something good

Off the bottom to set up a

Bash off the top

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

The Sky is Blue

I just wanted to pass that along
It has been so long I had forgotten

Mark Thompson passed along a great batch of shots of his MT5 in action

I will post some more in the coming days

Here is a blue sky shot for any of you who, like myself haven't seen it in a while

There is some swell(s) in the water so you may want to investigate the local nooks and crannies

(does this mean the beach is like an English muffin?)

The wind seemed to lay down toward sunset last night

We are due for some summer weather

Monday, July 12, 2010

Sun missing, Foul play suspected, Bummer

lo-tech hi-Joy has a few thoughts on his new MT5 as compared to his new 4GF Tracker RoundTail.  It seems that, like our hard board brethren we are headed toward a "quiver approach" to matting. Even though mats are variable they are not, at least for the moment infinitely variable so it doesn't seem unreasonably that you might have one mat to ride the mush, prefer a different one for larger surf and have a special one reserved for when things get hollow.

This certainly depends on the range of surf in your area and on your travels. I have gotten by with one mat for years but the addition of a new one has let me have something different to ride which is always nice.

I for one, have other problems as I am still looking for the sunshine which seems to be totally absent in these usually temperate summer climes.
I have taken to staring at the device pictured below just to get adequate Vitamin D.

As you all know, the great sun travels through the sky on a seven horse chariot, its arrival heralded by the beauty of the Dawn. As the sun moves through the heavens in each season, it is accompanied by a set of hermits, gandharvas or flying musicians, celestial maidens, serpents, and giants who sit as envoys on the chariot. 

I fear that someone in this heavenly court  has kidnapped the sun,
and may be holding him for a ransom.     

What form that ransom may take, I have no idea.  I am sure that our collective governments will attend to the matter as soon as some other issues are attended to. In the case of the US government this may mean taking action on unemployment, the financial markets and the catastrophe in the Gulf.  But first they have to get back from their vacation.  (Blocking progress is such trying work)

Until the sun is back in it usual place in the sky, there is nothing but a hole where the sun goes


Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saturday in July

It's a Saturday in "July" and seeing as the swell has dropped

it will be a gardening day

This time of the "Summer"

and I'm using the word in the loosest possible way
(its still cloudy most of the day)

the tomato plants are full, the giant sun flowers are at their peak and the apple tree is acting strange.

"How can a tree act strange", you ask?

Especially one as normal and docile as an apple?

Let me explain,

I'll be working in the garden,

well not working really just kind of standing there,

taking it all in

my favorite part of the gardening really

and an apple will suddenly fall off the tree

and roll over to me and stop

right at my feet.

Far out!

Is the tree thanking me for being a good caretaker of the grounds?

Watering, fertilizing, and weeding when appropriate?

I know the pruning last fall was a point of contention for a while

but we seem to have grown past it.

So is the tree offering me a bit of fruit as an offering?

Or is it just saying

"Eat Me"?

I expect this from the cat

But the apple tree?


Well at least the Tour de France is finally in the mountains!

salutations à mes amis qui ont passé tellement de temps récents sur mon site humble

Friday, July 9, 2010


So I'm thinking this might be fun on Saturday

It's near by, that's a big plus,

and Graham will be there playing with his band "The Underwood Brothers"

Looks like the weather should improve over the weekend and pickup more over the next week.

The surf well...

Thursday, July 8, 2010


Hey it doesn't look like it rained last night and the wind seems to be a less than blustery 0 mph!

It maybe time for a surf check!!

but first

The 100 greatest movie insults

If the real surf doesn't work out there is always this

or this

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Things change

I find myself writing this morning from a different computer
with a superfast connection to the internet and perhaps as many viruses as I have ever seen in one place.

Which is to say that I have just spent several hours "surfing" the internet without writing anything

(but I did find this strange craft, I wounder how it goes?)
courtesy of Swaylocks

I have gotten to view video that is beyond the download capabilities of button and string that I normally use.

I have gotten to actually view some of my past posts and I  would like to take this opportunity to apologize for some of the lame video that I have posted before completely viewing.

With that all said, the weather conditions are the same and will continue to be gray, rainy and windy until the appropriate sacrifices are made to the gods of summer. Only then will the skys clear and the windy calm. To reveal the ocean in all its summer glory.

Flat as a pancake!

Until things change

In celebration of national poetry month (which was last month btw)
Here is a poem by Chucky  B.

this kind of fire
by Charles Bukowski

sometimes I think the gods
deliberately keep pushing me
into the fire
just to hear me
a few good

they just aren't going to
let me retire
silk scarf about neck
giving lectures at

the gods need me to
entertain them.

they must be terribly
bored with all
the others

and I am too.

and now my cigarette lighter
has gone dry.
I sit here
flicking it.

this kind of fire
they can't give