/*23 Breaths: 2012*/

Monday, December 31, 2012

The Christmas Gift Wrap Up or the Monday into Tuesday Gala Celebration

* First off, I am a week late with my annual Christmas gift guide (yes I know "I'll never work in the surf industry if I can meet a deadline. Specially one that offers advise on what to purchase from the advertisers" BIG surprise there

** Second, this is another one of those posts where half of the text is in parenthesis in an attempt to convey a "comical aside" sort of deal (which is darn hard to pull off in a blog post) 

If that doesn't "float your boat" or perhaps "inflate your pool toy" would be a better analogy, try playing the home game and write your own cleaver quips as you go along...

so without further ado (every wonder what an "ado" is?) 

The top 10 gifts to get a surfer are...

(drum roll please)

Well to begin with you don't need ten new things
(maybe knowing that is the biggest gift in itself)

Surfing is an experience maybe a lifestyle but not a product

(you can't buy a set wave from The Queen)

(Even if you did walk around the point handing out 100 dollar bills to all your new friends you are bound to miss someone and you are going to get stuffed)

I suppose there is some stuff required

(I ALWAYS get email from hairy naked body surfers who will argue the point and then send pictures)

but we tend to get more and more and more stuff, 

(especially here in the land of plenty)

some of the stuff never get used, a waste of the materials and energy that went into the manufacturing process and  lots of this stuff ends up in a landfill. 

(I'm not  buying that's a thoughtful gift for your great, great, great, great, great grandchildren who might be cultural anthropologists)

So what do you need?

(do peaks come in a ten pack with a side of off shore winds?)

More importantly during the gift giving season, what do you need that someone can buy you?

Grandma is more likely to pick up the pop out from the offshore sweatshop than the custom board from your local shaper.

(It had all those pretty plastic flowers and it came with matching shirt and trunks dearie)

(If grandma is jiggy with it and knows your local shaper (happy belated birthday wishes go out to Gary Hanel BTW) then goody for you and your obviously outstanding genetic lineage. Grandma may have even gotten handplanes for all the grand kids this year.)

Ok so where does that leave us?


(wax on wax off)

I had a standing order for surf wax for all gift giving occasions for years

(If you see me at the beach, ask me, I have some)

(hopefully the humor of a mat rider with a huge stash of wax is not lost on you)

There are some even neat wax scrapers available

(beats using a credit card, oh you cut those up? good!)

(judging from the layer of ice on well EVERYTHING outside this morning you would probably get some mileage out of an ice scraper for the car this year. just sayin')

So where are we now?

more is out

less is in

waves come in sets
But don't come in a store.

The truth is no thing you can buy will make you feel like this

"Family treasures can't come thru the front gate"

So ask for a new beach towel.

That one in the car trunk stinks!

If it's a magic towel so much the better

So that's it for the Monday 23B post I'm off to make preparations for tonight's celebration.

Tonight we celebrate a Monday turning into a Tuesday here in the local time zone,

Always cause for much drinking and merriment...

Friday, December 28, 2012

the surfer's lament

Every night I go to bed

thinking the same thing

"at O ' dark - thirty tomorrow I'm in the water and charging!"

of course the resolve of this solemn oath

has to pass the acid test of  40 degree mornings

and the penalty points occurred

when you uttered those words

after 2 am

brrrr baby brrr

maybe  I'll check it

after the morning

high time

goes down

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Saturday, December 22, 2012

just by getting wet

Photo from the California Surf Project

So if the current air temperature is 39degrees

and the water is the stated 58

I could net a 19 degree increase

just by getting wet...

Friday, December 21, 2012

Winter Soltice 2012

So here we are

The rumors of our


greatly over


Just another 

trip around the sun

Today being

the point were

our planetary


speed wobble

tilts the

northern hemisphere

away from the sun

But remember

at this moment

our southern hemisphere

Brothers and Sisters

friends and lovers

are basking 

in the height of


We are all one



Now please

put your gun down

and come to the table.

You have nothing to fear.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

23 B end of the world post

Much has been made of the Mayan calendar.

While I am in awe of many of their engineering  and astronomical achievements I really have no basis to judge the calendar,


check out the image in the very center

a human face

tongue sticking out

the only thing missing

is the sound of the raspberry


Which would be after all very hard to convey in stone

Well played Mayans!

Monday, December 17, 2012

Omni - a Latin prefix meaning "all"

Conditions looked questionable so I decided not to make the drive down to the Whomp-a-thon in the ever funky Leucadia.

About half past my morning six shots of espresso I decided that perhaps a surf check might be in order.

Long story short I got another go out on the new Omni in lieu of  braving the crowds at the local mall.

I sent Paul the following note as soon as I got home,

"Only two feet maybe three on the sets but with enough offshore to make it look really good, maybe better than it really was but I digress... I like to do this sideways stall at the top, right after take off, you never know when the swell could hit a sandbar and cover you up but if that doesn't happen this drifting sideways at the top of the wave is nice because you can pick the steepest moment to drive to the bottom, get maximum speed and throw a turn. Not a hard move really, it mostly depends on getting the timing right but it requires a mat that is ultra sensitive to the wave and responds immediately to your body movements to do it well."

The Omni does it all and the mat keeps getting better every time I ride it.

The rarely seen gray back mat rider photographed is his native environment
It's hard to imagine him walking upright with that huge belly being supported by those tiny little legs
One of the wonders of nature

I can hardly wait for the next go out!

Go check out Lloyd's blog for some good stuff on GG.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Cold and Flu Season

Tis the season

for buying stuff

while the good folks around you

are coughing

up a lung

and don't get me started

about what is in the rain


so on a semi regular basis

I takes me a few supplements

Turmeric and Ginger (the root on the right)

should be in everyone's home medicine chest

most of the rest are specific

for my situation

Garlic (the bulb on the left)

cannot be underestimated

in it's properties

to spice up a meal

and to

keep people back

which is half the battle

in avoiding

a cold

Wednesday, December 12, 2012


Before we all paddle out for one more wave

let's take a moment

to watch

one breath

come and go

come and go

one breath


Monday, December 10, 2012

super powers

I have super powers

I can walk across a swimming pool

and not get wet

I can fall into a bathtub and not spill a drop

I can walk into the shower

fully clothed and

remain completely


I have a new mat,

a new wetsuit

and I can't

seem to

get wet...

I go thru the day

like an old sponge

used then rung out and left upon

a shelf

Slowly curling up,

salt crystals forming on my skin

dreaming of water

The new board curse is upon me

Friday, December 7, 2012

Even the easy way is hard enough

The dead of winter finds me enjoying 70 plus degree afternoons after 40 something degree nights.  A whole year’s wardrobe worn in just 24 hours.  Down fill for the pre dawn chill, Polar Tec for the mornings, and cotton for the warmth of the afternoon then as the sun begins it’s downward arc the whole thing reverses. In Southern California you never get to put everything away.

I’m basking like a lizard on a rock in the warmth of the early sun enjoying the last cup of the sunrise pot of tea. The morning’s chores completed and the afternoons not as yet quite defined.

I know I really should bathe the dog but she knows this and always outsmarts me by looking like she is so enjoying her mid day nap, knowing full well that I am a sucker for a good nap and will let her sleep.

This time of the year, north of the equator we should all intentionally take a moment, even if it’s only one breath and appreciate that we are likely to make it.  I have mindfully listened to the old stories and I’ve come to appreciate that it was not always so. Children coming back to school after the winter recess often meant that school chums, often whole family units had succumbed to the diseases we now regularly dismiss with a dose of aspirin or antibiotics.

It’s a deeply ingrained appreciation and respect for the challenges of another winter. Not that we would be able to take advantage of the after Christmas sales or even the next good swell. But every creature’s deepest desire lay down and for the most part silently locked away in their DNA is to make just one more trip around the sun. 

Wednesday, December 5, 2012


I get up early

too early

so early the cat


and goes back to sleep

The dog would have

at least relocated

before going

back to sleep

But then I get on the net

and see that

the virtual world is in fact



"insomniactics and gypsy hacks"

all connected by

the thin blue line

of the



and I feel

a little better

Monday, December 3, 2012

winter is here

 Photo by Graham Day whose birthday is today!

As a taste of winter graced our local shores

I sat miles from any local beach

But how does the saying go?

Been there done that....

It is arguable, of course

but I would have to say that this was the first

regulation winter swell

rain or threat of rain

water quality suspect (not really suspect I'm sure it was terrible)

NW swell

some local news person talking about 15 foot sets

People having a good time surfing medium sized, somewhat bumpy, chilly little bumps that taste vaguely like rain mixed with 30 weight oil and whatever toxins laying around in what comprises the drainage for SoCal?

Yep winter is here

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


My mother-in-law used to tell a story about Christmas gifts back on the farm she grew up on.

There was no extensive sales and marketing of the holiday.  No "Black Friday" no "Cyber Monday", no riots and no one was trampled to death trying to get the last marked down Tickle Me Elmo. Her favorite gift was an orange. You see by December the fresh fruit from the family farm was in short supply and something like a simple orange was quite a treat.

The "Holidays", no matter which ones you choose to celebrate, were different back then. Sadly there is no bridge to go back to those simpler times. We are all alive in times that perhaps call for a different approach.

First admit that what we are celebrating as Christmas is an economic holiday. The sales from gift giving prop up the economy from the manufacturing segment through transportation, retail, grocery and hospitality. Everyone is touched and arguably everyone benefits. Except those who try to find the measure of things without cash value.  

So create your own holiday traditions.

No color coded days of the week, no special codes for a discount, no charge card bills to pay off later.

Notice and celebrate the change of the seasons.

Be kind for no good reason.

Share what you have with someone.

Take the whole family to watch the sunset.

Make cookies.

It doesn't have to be much but you do have to do it with intention and awareness and of course you have to repeat it next year to make it a tradition.

Shipping is free if you act today!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Omni Update

I was just sitting on the porch with the cat, drinking my morning coffee, thinking about the meaning of life.

It turns out that the meaning of life IS sitting on your porch with the cat, drinking coffee.

Who knew?

Omni Update

I met up with Tom T. on Friday at the Boneyard and got to try out the Blue Streak Omni.

My first impression is that the Omni is so fast it's going to take me a while to figure out how to ride it.  As fast as it is I think the real advantage is in its handling and maneuverability.

I like the breaks in the front half of the grip.  By introducing a break you can change your grip pressure by small amounts without interfering with your connection to the mat on your side arm. The chest area is open and I put in more grip stripes in the back. I wanted a mat that allowed me ample grip in the hand and forearm but that left my upper torso free to roll and twist. I also left more of the rear outside rail grip-free to cut down on drag.

So how does it ride?

When you are perched on a wall you can alternatively squeeze or let off on the front corner. This lets you subtly move the air in the mat. Squeezing moves the air to plump up the inside rail and you go a little faster. When you let off and the air moves to a more neutral position, then depending on your body position you can either move up the wave a little higher in the pocket or if the wave has flattened out, lets you drift sideways.

This subtle movement of air inside the mat and the resulting variable changes in riding characteristics are what make the surf mat the most advanced surf vehicle available. The Omni displays all those favorable characteristics and turns on a dime. 

Paul will always be tweaking the mats as he builds and rides them up in SB, and along with everyone in the global mat community I am always looking forward to what he will come up with next, but right now I am just looking forward to getting more time in the water with the Omni, this mat is all time!

More to come

Monday, November 19, 2012

Never again!

Until next time...

I thought about it for weeks

I dreamt about it

Dare I say, I obsessed about it

Some design features never made it to the final spec

(the multi color Vulkem, the text and the disco ball never made the cut)

In the end

I gripped the mat

Like a drunken monkey

A couple of days drying time


I finally get to ride the thing!


If you have any questions or would like someone to do this sort of thing for you

talk to Graeme.

He has it all figured out

Friday, November 16, 2012

Thanksgiving Mat Meet

Well as you all know

there are shoppers and there are surfers

of course

there are shoppers that surf and

surfers that shop


I was interested if anyone


would be inclined to a

a group surf

on the Friday after Thanksgiving

something to clear away

the tryptophan induced cobwebs

the location would depend on the size and home base of the group.

It might even be best to have multiple meets, an up north, a down south and a local surf city event.

It looks like there might be some swell

and the high tide looks like a manageable 5.5 feet at 5:43 am.

The title of the post says mat meet but, as always, feel free to bring anything you care to ride

Bring your Jing Tinglers, Flu Floopers, Tar Tinkers, Who Hoovers, Gar Ginkers, Trum Tupers, Slu Slumkers, Blum Bloopers, and of course where would we be without our Who Wompers ?!

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

...as you remember ...

we last left our intrepid hero

(that's me)

with a new wunder mat

using the secret alien technology

that is sweeping the globe

Only two things keep him from

his Kundalini piercing the final seal,

his ship coming in,

and other sundry enlightenment and bliss related stuff...

waves and deck grip.

First and while I have waxed long and hard about the Fall being my favorite time of year, it can also be well, not my favorite time of year.

Swell can be a hit or miss deal. Ideally you have multiple crossed up swells as the Southern Hemisphere continues to pump out the goods while the Northern Hemisphere roars to life and immediately gets down to business. All the while being groomed to perfection by gentle off shore winds.

You can also get small or shall we say meager swells from either hemisphere that don't add up to nothing. Usually, for some sadistic reason unknown to me, this usually occurs with enough off shore wind to blow the little swell back to whence it came.

Leaving us with epic flatness.

oh and then there is the tide.

If you have run your boat aground you would like this tide.

Huge tidal swings every day starting with enough water in the morning to float a battleship.

Nice to look at as you swing by the beach on your morning surf check or as I like to call it "going out to breakfast again"

The Second is the grip. I won't go into this in detail because Paul has done has done such a good job of it over at Surfmatters

Let just say the I after I get this mat done I don't want to hear the word Vulkem and surfmat spoken in the same sentence for a while.

It's not that it's undo-able. I have resurfaced my other mats several times.

It's just that I am so ill equipped for the challenge.

I don't even own a roll of tape

I type for a living, starting and stopping processes and procedures.

"Providing business concentric services to our customers" whatever that means.

So it goes like this.

My mind will spin endlessly through the millions of options while I slowly collect the necessary items.

This usually happens between between 1 and 3 am but really continues through out the day and pops up unexpectedly in casual conversations. "Yes honey I do love you! Very much my snookie - oockums! Say don't you think wavy lines of Vulkem would work great on the mat?! Now honey bunch why did you throw that lamp at me?"

Then suddenly, all the items needed will arrive. Usually at the same time as one of our pesky little "rain storms" I use the quotes because anywhere else in the universe it would not qualify as rain, more of a dewey event perhaps but not rain. So then I wait, like the caged tiger of Vulkem I have become until the weather clears.

Then in 15 minutes it will be done.

And despite many, shall we say cosmetic flaws, it will work awesome.

Monday, November 12, 2012


No names

no locations


haulin' ass!

Friday, November 9, 2012

I'm just waiting

Jock Sutherland Sunset Beach 1968

I am anxiously watching the weather
(the wind just came up and it started raining)

so I can apply the grip

and get into the water

with the new

blue streak


The wind and clouds

with intermittent (can I say intermittent? the election is over after all)


isn't forecast to break until Sunday

(how appropriate sun on Sunday...) 

when we can expect high preasure and

offshore winds

before the next

winter low

passes by

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Some rain today

A little earlier than I had expected.

(This is what I get for watching more CNN than Weather Channel)

I got a new mat in the mail from Paul that I'm itching to ride but I need to apply some grip to first.

I need some free time and some clear weather.

This the stretch of "bad weather"

Is all my fault

I apologize

Actually we are getting some seasonal weather for a change

a couple of days of sprinkles

followed by

a couple of days of warm dry winds

the SoCal version of Fall

No one will ever write songs about it


the surf can be good

and I have heard rumblings

in the underbrush

about afternoons

when the wide tidal swings

we get this time of year

the sandbars that the summer swells have groomed

and a happy blending

of swells

comes together

just right

for a few hours


"In this crowded world,
the surfer can still seek and find
the perfect day,
the perfect wave,
and be alone with the surf
and his thoughts."

John Severson

Perfect Day Perfect wave Headquarters photo by Jason Hall

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

One of these things,

is not like the others...

New Omni Blue Streak between the Standard and the Mini.

Because some will always ask

Fatty (bottom) - 20 breaths
Standard (next one up) - 16 breaths
Omni (the blue one) - 20 breaths (I know! but I think I was just getting light headed)
Mini Mat - 13 breaths

The happy stack before the Omni

I will need to apply grip to this mat since it doesn't have a canvas top.

I have spent the weekend pondering interesting graphical designs versus my (very) limited artistic abilities.

I had ordered one tube of white and one tube of black Vulkem but they ran out of white so black on blue is the call.

A the moment the "design" will look something like the webbing on a cantaloupe. The idea being that the deck will have a broader range of movement.

Only time will tell

Monday, November 5, 2012

Just let it be!

Please leave my arbitrary space time coordinates alone.

It disrupts my sleep and it's very hard to make the cat understand.

I tried to tell him about Benjamin Franklin and saving lamp oil but he just doesn't get it.

If you keep this twice a year shenanigans I will be force to move to Arizona

and none of us want that.

I have other concerns about this space time biannual two-step.

I think we are tearing smart holes in the space time continuum.

For example

I was riding my mat the other day

on a wave I knew I wasn't going to make

when suddenly

the whole universe made a quarter turn

and I came screaming out of the section to make the wave!

OK that part was cool

but the rest of this day light savings time thing needs work.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Heading into Fall

Heading into the Fall season now

More seasonal-able weather

Some chill, some fog, some dry Santa Ana winds,

maybe even some rain one of these days

A new mat on order

Halloween behind us

The Holidays straight ahead

Nothing to do other than

watch my breath

watch Fall turn into Winter

watch with all your might

it could pass by unnoticed

not to be seen again

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Omni

Is here.

The new mat from 4GF
that reportedly, uses previously unavailable alien technology
is soon to be available.

I kept hearing from test riders.

In unrelated and wildly separate conversations that the Omni was "the best mat ever"

When someone says that I tend to think "Great! Good session, good waves, stoked you got some!"

But as the summer turned into fall turned into, well whatever season we are in now.

(It's "fun size" candy week according to my calendar so don't ask me)

I kept hearing the same thing from everyone who had ridden one.

People whose mat knowledge and water experience exceeds mine,

by like a factor of ten.

"Best mat ever!" seems to be the most common comment

followed closely by

"(this mat) Makes the Unmakeable" which, you have to admit, is something you would like in your surf craft.

So now the secret is out

(Paul uses the same people as Apple for new project security, although none of the early mats turned up in Silicon Valley bars)

You can read all about it over at Surfmatters 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Griffin - The Movie

A re-post but an important one as the time frame for the Kickstarter program is coming to a close.

We have discussed this before, this is how the movies you really want to watch get made.  Steve really wants to make the movie, we really want to see the Rick Griffin story so we all have to chip in to produce it. If you want Hollywood or Bollywood for that matter to make your movies for you then you get what they want to produce and deliver. It's your choice. The link is down below.

The Life, Art and Raging Times of Rick Griffin

The Film: “Griffin” is a feature-length documentary that explores the art, life and eccentric spark of one of the world’s least known and most influential 20th Century surrealists. Over the time-warped span of the 1960's, one-time teen cartoonist Rick Griffin created defining icons for three pillars of west coast counterculture: surfing, psychedelic rock and underground comix.

Check the Kickstarter for the movie

I stumbled over the Rick Griffin website the other day, and as usual whenever I run into his work, I think back to the first time I saw this drawing or that poster.

His work is synonymous with not only early Surfer Magazine but his influence both of and by the San Francisco 60's scene cemented his standing as a great American artist.

His character Murphy is the archetype stoked surfer and will never be surpassed as the ambassador of stoke.

Griffins work is immediately recognizable,  there is an energy that comes from the work., be it poster, album cover, flyer or doodle.    

Classic Griffin, classic stoke

The Laguna Art Museum did a retrospective showing of his work in the summer of 2007 that was fantastic.  I hope someone gathers enough of his material to do another show. (Nope they are doing a movie! See the Kickstarter link above)

I think my favorite part of the show (other than one of his personal boards) was that since his work was done in the pre-digital age you could walk up to an original work and see the blood and ink that went into it.  

Amazing stuff!

I'm super stoked to see a movie made about Griffin. I hope it's a good one.