I consider myself 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 of 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 an how 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
saved someone 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 smile hoot!
When you develop a sense of place you can appreciate the beach the water the day as much as the waves
Riding a mat is not like riding anything else,
but at times it's like riding everything else.
It's not like a body board.
Yes, you have fins. Yes, you are treated like a lower life form for no good reason. But there is a whole lot more going on with a mat that isn't with a body board. You do reshape the body board as you ride but not nearly to the extent as you do on a mat.
Mattitude off the top at speed, while reshaping the mat and getting ready for the next section
photo by Ken Samuels
It's not like a short board.
First there is no ER or ING so there is no mass marketing machine telling you how cool you are if you have the right tee shirt and surf the right way. But seriously, when you are riding a mat you are surfing the wave in a more intimate way than you could possibly do when riding a fixed fin hard board. You can't really say you reshape your short board on the fly to fit the ever changing wave face, can you. The "moves" are a lot more subtle and aren't really maneuvers at all but optimizations to fit the context of the wave at the moment.
It's not like a long board.
Well maybe it is more like a long board. Position surfing, working with the wave, an emphasis on trimming and finding those spots on the face that provide bursts of speed. And the tube riding, eh well then again, maybe it's not like a long board.
Sideways thru the end of the outside waiting for the inside section to set up
It's "like jet-propelled bodysurfing".
This is right from the horses mouth. Some people say that a mat is a good thing to ride when it's big and bumpy. And it is a good thing to ride when it's big and bumpy. But it is even better when it is dredging and pitching. Don't take my word for it. Go look and any of the George Greenough's tube shots. Most were done while he was riding a mat. There is a feeling of connectedness with the wave that really helps when you are trying to sit in the tube. You can see the wave changing ahead of you and you can feel it, thru the mat, underneath you.
Photo by Harold Ward
(He's that dot in the channel remotely activating the camera on George's back. He has his hands full)
I have kept you a long time but here is one more comparison.
I surf in one of the more crowded areas of Southern California. But I surf alone. I surf it like it a early 60's longboard, lots of soul but maybe not that exciting to watch. But I am having a blast! As much fun as those first days as a super stoked grimmie in the shore break at Huntington. I hope to, someday, be a part of the mat revolution. Faster, more turns, more "total involvement". But right now it's like the 1950's or early sixties and I don't see another mat rider for miles and if I saw someone with a mat I would pull my car over and chat because I either know them or I share something very important with them.
So my final comparison is that mat riding is a lot like surfing used to be, a simple, joyful pleasure shared amongst friends.
Chiledub, Tom, some kook and Ken Dog. Post session conference
It seems that the 1% have been reading the US Constitution and have come up with a few changes that they feel would be better for them.
Like where in says in the First Amendment
"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances."
Ok, so there is no law against free assembly
The work around is that when the people exercise their right to free assembly they can expect the local police to attempt to disperse the crowd around midnight with tear gas and "projectiles".
"Exxon Mobil posts quarterly profit of $10.3 billion, a 41% increase from a year earlier, on higher oil and gas prices." (source CNN) and still doesn't pay any income tax.
People say that the Occupy movement is just a bunch of kids that don't want a job and are just lounging around. That there is no clear message from the protesters.
I would like a government that represents the people and not just the corporations.
You might say that corporations are people too (the dumbest thing I've ever heard btw and just a dodge to get around campaign contribution laws) and should be able to go out and sell a product and make a profit.
OK, fair enough, but I want to go out and sell my time and make a profit too so why don't they pay income tax an I have too?
Why do the people pay their share to educate the population, pay for roads and police all the services.
The corporations take advantage of an educated workforce, manipulate the government, ship jobs overseas, get enormous tax breaks (enough to shelter 10.3 billion a quarter), get bailed out if their profit plan bankrupts their market segment all while the rest of us working people pay the tab.
Why are we bleeding the national treasury dry with multiple foreign wars?
Sometimes it comes to a point where you just can't turn away from the things you see happening.
What is that old saying?
"The more things change the more they stay the same"
This isn't over and I don't see it ending well.
I'll be back tomorrow with more surf related drivel.
The purpose of any avant garde movement is to change the way of seeing or participating in an act so that any preexisting barriers between the act and the participates/observers are broken down.
More simply, to remove barriers that keep observers from being included in the act itself.
Stay with me on this...
People started riding waves doing what we now call body surfing.
Stand up surfing, generally on longer boards, created a barrier of space because you were no longer "in the wave". In many ways surfers were just observers. Not that observing a wave is bad in some way. I spend more time "mind surfing" waves than really surfing them.
After decades of riding long boards there was a revolution of materials and thinking that led to the modern short board and the surfing associated with it.
Although the short board revolution aimed for total involvement, in the end it fell short and todays hottest surfing maneuvers uses the wave merely as a ramp. (Amusingly enough this is called "getting air", something mat riders already have)
Obviously all surfing has merit regardless of device but I think surfing on a mat strives to remove the boundary between what was wave and surfer/rider/observer and allows a more direct connection to the wave.
While we are talking about waves this may be a good time to point out that the waves we ride are only to a small degree moving water. Waves are really energy in wave form that storm winds transferred to the water. We ride them at their terminal end when they break on the shore but the same waves can be ridden out to sea as unbroken swells.
Something to think about the next time you ride an energy wave with your under-inflated air cushion.
Feel the energy, be the wave, you are the avant garde!
Seeds planted last Sunday are already starting to appear!
This is what I'm after.
All Winter and most of the summer, my wife and I dine on home grown Swiss Chard.
The last batch lasted almost a year and when it was finally finished it went off in a big way.
Like green and red fireworks
that go slow enough
to get a good look at
The Chard stocks were almost as tall as the giant Sunflowers when they reached their full height.
For now I can only wait and be stoked this stuff grows like weeds in the backyard
Mat Meet Update -
The surf is looking pretty small over the weekend for a mat meet so it is on hold until we have some more swell.
There has been a bunch of San Diego Matters getting meeting up on the Facebook group "In George we Trust".
I think regional chapters are forming (or have formed, I am usually out of the loop on these things) but the point I wanted to make is that if you would like a note here on 23B to notify people that you "will meet at the Denny's parking lot at 6am" before heading off to terrorize the local spot, let me know. I'm glad to help out. If I can make it I might be in the parking lot too.
Why no one has snagged this beautiful piece of the north side for their Huntington town home I don't know.
The outside working on what could only be a combo swell and that right on the inside sandbar going off as well. This should be the official Huntington Beach painting!
Some of us in the United States Matting Federation or USMF if you prefer have expressed interest in another mat meet.
Well not really, Surf Sister demanded one over on Facebook. But be that as it may, I have no objections in principle to gathering together for some communal wave sliding.
We are now in the fall of the year here in SoCal a season that can be many things for many people. I can be the best of times and it can be the worst of times
Blah blah blah blah
So if we have all recovered from my literature brain freeze I will continue, so here is the deal, fall can be great with both northern and southern hemispheres churning out swell, which if fortune smiles upon us can lead to crossed up perfection.
It can also mean that we are stuck in the doldrums for weeks where neither hemi does anything interesting but just sits and sloshes about.
So here is the mornings sat gifs. I always go with the ones with the pretty colors although I have no idea what they mean having lettered in the droll science instead of something practical like meteorology.
While it doesn't look particularly bad or anything maybe some wind swell over the next couple of days, the swell of the decade isn't going to happen in the next few days. At least one coming from a NW direction. After that maybe, there may be something on the horizon (in this case both a literal and figurative reference) if that reddish hue on the edge of our globe goes medieval the event could be on!
The northern hemi being covered, more like cloaked in uncertainty lets move on. So then you have the southerlies, we enjoy two variants, local south swells generated by hurricanes off Mexico and the thunder from down under, massive storms that travel huge distances to delight us here in the US.
Local - too soon to tell, while "tropical cyclone activity in not expected in the next 48 hours" I do like the looks of those dark spots on the weather graph. They look like claw marks and that has to be good, werewolves and zombies being so the rage this season.
I am notoriously bad at doing any sort of predictions so please don't book your travel arrangements to Mexico and then blame me when the only waves you find are the ones in the pool when that drunk gringo fell in.
So moving on.
If you live on the west coast of South America you have already have waxed up your big wave boards.
We may get some of this depending on what this blob was doing during the last 48 hours when I wasn't paying attention, preferring instead to spend time composing bad poetry and blowing on dandy lions in the vast rich meadows and forests which surround my palatial estate.
So if you have read down this far you will be expecting some sort of summation, a few words of wisdom to but things into perspective, perhaps some signs to watch out for in the coming days.
I got nothin
As my Gram Gram used to say to me, "Prana, we'll just have to wait and see..."
I we decide on a date and a location for the next mat meet I'll post it up.
The temps have returned to the normal fall mid 70's from the low 100's earlier in the week
So it's time to get the backyard in shape for the fall garden
But first a quick walk around with a hot cup of tea this morning to see where we are
We have an spot by the fence you can see from the living room. These California natives are going in the ground soon.
The fig tree is doing well we got a lot of figs last summer.
After years of waiting the avocado is finally producing!
In the immortal words of Robin, "Holy Guacamole Batman!"
Fluffy the garden troll.
I love the big sun flowers and the local squirrels love the seeds.
The pumpkins go in the compost heap and so there are always volunteers sprouting up where I use the compost.
Fall tomatoes. After a summer with a huge crop of tomatoes I just can't eat those red things the store sell as tomatoes. No flavor. So I put in three bushes and hope for the best. Last year we had tomatoes thru Thanksgiving (the end of November).
Volunteer tomatoes growing over by the compost heap.
As a kid I was all over the honeysuckle. You pull off the flower tear the end off and pull the stamen back thru the flower. If you are lucky you get a drop of nectar.
After a record number of blossoms
from the cereus
another fall bud.
Cher and Steve gave us this beautiful orchid, it hasn't stopped flowering
Strawberry's still flowering
My birthday present
The hibicus are wonderful but seem to get a lot white fly.
Just not as cool as Black Flys but a beautiful flower still.
Bio-based epoxy resins. We are plum out of dinosaurs and we need to look toward renewable sourced products in all areas. Surfboards and other surf equipment (wetsuits, fins, etc) have traditionally been made from petroleum based materials. Surfings "dirty little secret" is that for all the tree hugging, ocean loving we do our toys are, for the most part made from non renewable resources and don't break down after their life expectancy is over. These guys are offering an alternative. I think it's a step in the right direction and I'm stoked they are offering an alternative.
I had the opportunity to talk to Ed Lewis and Kipp Denslow for the first time at Sacred Craft. It was obvious from the get go that these guys are on the vanguard of surfing's new direction. Their handplanes are recycled from broken boards. The foam is already here so instead of chucking it into a landfill one board is being recycled into several handplanes. This is what is meant by Reuse in the Reduce, Reuse, Recycle waste hierarchy. The shaped blanks are then glassed using the bio-resins from Entropy (see above). Did I mention that the shapes are sweet and are blast to ride?
Super stoked on their energy and the direction they are heading.
Big lessons to be learned here by the rest of the surf industry.