It's a little damper in the mornings but the howling south wind has stopped
and the beach has been clearing off
much to the enjoyment of inlanders traveling to the beach for a break from the IE heat
and the local businesses that sell them cold drinks, t-shirts and sun block
I have seen with my own feet the blue sky and warm sand at the local secret spot
which was filled to capacity last weekend
nothing to do but sit back
enjoy the tomatoes
and dream about south swells and mini mats
Now for the audio visual part of today's program
You almost got Summer Breeze the Seals and Crofts #1 hit from 1972 in this spot but I was feeling more Mungo Jerry this morning. The epitome of 70's music videos, it really has everything, a prerecorded soundtrack (do the guitars even have strings?) that Mungo and his prodigious sideburns make an only passing attempt at syncing to. None of the electrical instruments are plugged in. I give extra points (or take them away depending on how you are playing the game) for a quick shot of the glass jug but we never see the no doubt classically trained percussionist who is doing a mean job playing sandpaper through the song. Remember it was the early 70's and cowbells hadn't even been invented yet. But there you have it. You be humming this song for the rest of the day.
No, not that kind but the kind you put on your feet.
Lots of people discuss fins on the Internet.
This one's good, these have turbo ridges, this one is faster because its red.
Which fin is best?
There is no one BEST fin, but there are categories.
Which I will, unfortunately over simplify.
Short and wide like these
Or long like these
The short ones are generally easier to kick with but produce less total forward propulsion due to a smaller surface area.
The long ones have a larger surface area and you get more forward propulsion but they have also been described as strapping 2 by 4's to your feet.
Which one is best depends on several things the most important of which is you.
First the fins you use MUST fit YOUR FOOT and be comfortable or at least tolerable.
If you have wide feet you need fins with a wide foot box. Vipers, while not very wide have a model that includes neoprene lining. A very good idea and one that can be used to customize any fin.
Some break in of your feet is to be expected.
Second you need to look in the mirror at your legs.
If you see tree trunks growing out of your body you can use long powerful leg movements and long fins to rocket thru the water.
If you see wispy thin legs try the wide short fins. You can use the short fast kicks to provide bursts of speed to rocket you thru the water.
So try all your friends fins and find some that are comfortable.
Hint if you wear Duck Feet upside down you get another half size up.
I am not sure why but I think it has to do with some sort of fin magic.
Hint number two there are those that will take a big fin (see the UDT's above) and carve them up to fit them better and change the flex characteristics. Thinning the blades increase their flex. Carve the straps to accommodate your ankle bones. Go nuts with it. It will do you good. See Swaylocks or Surfmatz for several discussion about fin mods.
Here are some Duck Feet that have had the blades shortened and thinned out.
These are commercially available so you don't get rubber bits all over the garden.
So even if you are not of the mat or boogie board persuasion get a pair of fins for the summer. Body surfing is a blast and it one of the things surfers lost touch with when "Leashes Ruined Surfing"
Let me know what kinds of fins you use.
I am starting a personal collection and hope to, one day, be the Imelda Marcos of swim fins...
Personally I use a several pairs of Duck Feet (no not all at the same time) but a smaller pair during the summer when I wear them over fin socks and a larger pair during the winter that fit nicely over my booties.
I am looking at Da Fin as an interesting mid-sized fin
They seem to have a soft foot box a stiff blade and those interesting winging on the side might just come in handy when blasting along a steep face on the mat.
If you have been on the net at all you know that as part of the celebration Jim Moriarty (head of Surfriders) has even offered to write a note to your boss explaining why he should let you go surf today.
That's nice, but except in a very few organizations it goes directly against the grain of the primary corporate mandate "extracting the most profit from our commercial activities while sucking the very life out of our employees"
So what do you do?
You call up your boss and in the grand tradition of workers everywhere and you lie!
To help you out I have compiled a list of excuses that should get you a few days off this week.
1 - My pet goldfish passed away and it was his last wish was to be buried at sea
If you work at PETA this is gonna work, trust me!
2 - The Doctor suggest that I need to visit the ocean “for the waters”
If you boss is a Bogart fan, you are in.
3 - I got a bad case of 3 day leprosy
By the time they get over the squeamish factor you're back
(This really works good if you are planning a trip to Molokai.)
4 - Map Quest is down and I have forgotten how to get to the office
If you are an unrepentant geek with a poor sense of direction this one has to work
5 - I use the Mayan calendar and the world ends in 2012, so why bother
If you boss has seen the movie or heard the buzz this one should work
6 - In my religion, the Aleutian Juice days are holy and the swells must be observed
I'm sure the ACLU will back you up on this one. Maybe Gloria Allred too.
7 - I over dosed on Viagra over the weekend and I need to wait until the swelling goes down.
Trust me, they don't want you in the office until the condition clears up
8 - There is a Star Trek / Star Wars marathon on and I’m not going anywhere! Make it so Number One!
This works great, but if your boss is a Star Trek or Star Wars fan he or she will want to go with you.
9 - Prana Glider say I could have the day off!
If this one works let me know.
No that not the stuff the bike racers take (they aren't supposed to and they get into trouble if they are caught)
LPO is the name of my new band - Low Pressure Organizing and in this endless repeats of small swell and eddy winds here in the OC may be the only hope of getting a change in this unending weather/surf continuum.
If or should I say when conditions become more favorable (sounds like a fortune cookie) I'd even like to organize a mat meet some weekend.
All year I wait for the Sun Golds to come in and they are finally here.
If you need me I will be in a tomato comma for the rest of the summer.
Even though it's a Hallmark Holiday it's never a bad idea to get everyone together for dinner.
Onions, mushrooms and bell peppers marinated and about to go in the oven.
The menu was grilled chicken and shrimp kabobs and while there is no photographic evidence let's just say that the "dogs never left the kitchen" Make of that what you may.
This is my grandchild.
He does a fair dog paddle but I fear he may never make a good mat rider.
As it traditional for this holiday there were gifts.
Above is a close up of the cuttlefish logo on my new favorite t-shirt.
Below is a shark themed objet d'art.
The kids never let me forget that there are sharks out there.
I also will be eating free at Wahoo's for the next month on the gift card from another son.
I would have more pictures but as part of the festivities I wasn't allowed to help with the preparations other than to sit on the couch with a glass of wine and watch the finish of the Tour de Suisse. Things got a little blurry toward the end of the evening and it took me a while to even find the camera this morning.
Paul Diamond posted this song on the FB the other day. It brought back such sweet memories. The year was 1964, I was a precocious child and strictly forbidden to enter my older brothers bedroom when he wasn't there. Which of course I did as often as possible. Mostly to read his growing collection of Surfer Magazine and listen to his questionable taste in music.
Things got better as soon as his he started listening to Zappa and boards dropped from 10 feet to 6.
If I had only stayed on the mats!
I do still enjoy some surf music, gone are the formula bands that were just making a buck on the "surf craze" faze of those crazy teenagers. What is left of surf music is some very strong musicians keeping the surf sound alive.
Not that it will generate surf that reaches my local beaches but just that it's so active so early
"... on average, the third named storm in the eastern Pacific basin flares up by July 5, with the season's second hurricane popping up by July 14."
OK so usually the second storm shows up before the third one (I have enough trouble with the English Language Usage, Punctuation and Spelling Police I don't need no beef with the Interger Nazis) but the important thing here is that we are so far ahead in the season to have had three named storms by mid June! Warm water and big Southies!
Besides anything that could save me from the continual coastal eddy (SSW) winds would lpso facto be a GOOD FRIEND of MINE!
It's sprummer (spring / summer) and everywhere people are coming out of the long dark winter months of the northern hemisphere and having successfully decanted themselves on the beach, mat and flippers in hand, they suddenly come to a full and complete stop (never a good idea on PCH) and wonder aloud "how do you ride this thing?"
The answer is simple but it comes wrapped in a riddle.
Solve the riddle and the answer is there staring you in the face.
On the way to the answer,
there is often times, I must say, usually some awkwardness,
some taking off on the right waves and going left
some squeezing the wrong spots at the wrong times
(sounds like some dates I've been on)
There will be some times when you take your trusty surf board when you should have taken your mat
there will be times when you took your mat when you should have taken a nap
If you are lucky enough to be strategically collocated you might attend a mat meet and make friends with some of the nicest people on the planet.
Eventually one day you will swim yourself outside on a nondescript day at some nondescript break and take off on a nondescript wave.
You will roll / lean into a turn using you whole body. From the ends of your fingers up to and most importantly including the very ends of your inside fin tips. And suddenly, while you are wondering if you put the milk away this morning or did you leave it out on the counter, your surf mat, which you have come to think of a non sentient object but is really an special class of omnibenevolent space alien technology will decide that it's time to give you a taste. The mat will on it's own volition choose the fastest possible path on the spinning vortex of the wave as it unfolds before you. Since up to this point you have been thinking about little else but the possibility of spoilage of a milky variety will have no other option but to stop thinking, hold on and pay attention for the next 20 odd seconds or so as your little mind is totally blown. Surfing, surfers, in fact the entire universe will never look quite the same after that first wave.
After the wave is over you will have a weird little smile on your face and a glazed look that will only fade after several days. You will try to recall the wave in detail in a futile attempt to explain the speeds you achieved but the harder you think it about the faster the whole experience will fad into a warm fuzzy memory of no discernible dimension.
Your stoke will suddenly increase exponentially and return to levels unknown since your mom dropped you off at the beach that sunny day all those summers ago and you rode your first waves. In fact, your stoke will be so high that it will extend out from you and start stoking up other people that are merely standing in close proximity. People, usually total strangers, will come up to you and say, "How did you do that?! What is that you are riding??".
You will start to tell them the story about leaving the milk out and the mat taking you on this wild ride and those people will frown and back away. Some rather quickly.
Then you will wise up and the next time someone asks, you will wrap the answer up in a riddle and say, "you just sort of lean over and twist at the optimum moment and then you know, the hydrodynamic forces, being what they are and the basic laws of physics being what they are and then of course there are certain unalienable rights endowed upon us by our creator..." and they will smile. And they will get their own mats and they will unravel their own riddle.