/*23 Breaths: May 2012*/

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Spring into Summer

The nights are warming up

The days are already longer

We can't seem to stay ahead of the fresh fruits and vegetables we have been blessed with

This batch although delicious, is past it's prime

Never to return

On their way to the compose bin

Perhaps to be reborn as next years tomatoes

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

It's Wednesday! It really is!! but now with more Cowbell!!!

Lots going on this morning so off we go

You remember Lloyd's latest book Tiny Homes?
Well they have done gone and made that puppy an ebook.
Bits and Bytes all living together under one tiny little hyper linked roof!
You can read it on your iPad or iPhone and there is a free 38 pages for you to check out.

Go to the iStore here

Next up Ramsnake has done a nice write up on Warren Pfieffer this morning. He is involved in another surf and music performance piece with Richard Tognetti. Check this out on the Magic Carpet here. Good stuff!

On the swell front, Adam Wright is forecasting a new swell on Solspot. (hint it's not from the northwest)

Totally Commerch -

I got the latest issue of Surfer in the mail yesterday. It had, much to my surprise, wedged in there between the two page full color pictures of things you must have for this season but are totally unrelated to surfing, there were a few interesting articles! I still can't believe it.  (I actually stopped typing for a minute and went down the hall to check and make sure it wasn't some sort of dream sequence) so check that out the Tutor interview and the piece on MP / Michael Peterson. (I kept wondering how many of the 17-23 year old core ER demographic knew who MP was but the editor seems to have a handle on the fact that "no one actually reads surf magazines") It's all good!

And last but by no means least, SurfSister has a new wetsuit!

Quite similar to James Brown's V Neck but with much more cowbell!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

It's a Monday in Tuesdays clothing

I had a good time over the long weekend

The weather had steadily improved

I got the a bit of the outstanding yard work done

Not nearly enough time on the new mat

I even had enough time to get my hairs cut.

We tossed a coin to decide between homemade pizza and barbecue

Barbecue won but I don't have a picture of that ;)

But still it's time to head to work

Sunday, May 27, 2012

The wind finally quit

or I should say backed down enough for me to sneak down to the beach and get in a quick surf as the hordes of memorial weekend beach goes began their assault on the shore.

I can't give you a full report on the mini mat as the surf conditions were, shall we say sub optimal.

So with that rambling pre amble

the surf was 1-2 with the occasional lonesome 3 footers sneaking in.

I surfed a couple of handfuls of waves and really like the mini mat.

The decrease in size means you don't have to move around much to be just in the right spot.

The mat had plenty of air to catch waves but was easier to duck dive. I was riding it with more air that I ride either the Fatty or the Standard 4thGF.

While I need some more time on the mat I am looking at this as a perfect mat to ride when the summer south swells require late take offs but offer critical tubes as a reward for making the drop.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

The sea was angry my friend

Like an old man sending back soup at a diner...

Well maybe not that bad
but the wind from the last two days had roughed up the surface to make it uninviting enough
that even with a spanking new mat to try out
I had to pass.

Tomorrow is another day

yet a day with decreasing swell

Friday, May 25, 2012

Help I've been Viper-ized

My feet Viper-ized by Tim 


It's sprinkling out right now with some south wind at day break, never a good sign for those of us that might want to start the day with a quick surf to say try out a new surf mat tomorrow but we will just have to wait and see.

Sunday and Monday are forecast to be warmer, along with the rest of next week but since I will be a prisoner of Lake Forrest I don't really care.

Despite the big sales advertised over the weekend (have you noticed that ALL the holidays have been converted to some commercial sale-of-the-century totally unrelated to the nature of the original intent of the holiday?) I will be doing my best to avoid the crowds and maybe catch a quick surf followed up by some much needed work in the garden.

Enjoy the weekend

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Shorter definitely shorter

Every Wednesday should include a package like this at your door.

Definitely related (note the similarities in the location of the creases) but noticeably smaller

Fatty on the bottom, standard in the middle and the mini mat on top

Shorter definitely shorter (that's what she said)

I don't remember the last time I was this excited about a new surfcraft!

The surf forecast looks like there should be a least one good day (Saturday) before the swell starts to drop.

I can't promise a full report after one day or even one weekend but given the track record of the Fatty and the Standard I expect great things from this little pocket rocket!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

unicorns and rainbows

This is the time of year when the summer surf season lays ahead of us here in the US.

The summer surf can be terrific. 

South swells from off the Antarctic or hurricanes swells off of Mexico

Hot daytime temperatures and warm balmy nights.

The garden producing more fresh fruits and veggies than I can eat.

Bar-be-ques to fire up, fireworks to set off and the occasional cold beer to consume.

The season can also be cold foggy and with south winds that bump up any swell and make a day at the beach seem like a winter day complete with gray sky's and drizzle.

But yesterday it was in the low 80’s.

After the late night and early morning low clouds burned off it was hot and the sky was blue.

Things are all unicorns and rainbows.

The Memorial Day weekend is coming up and even the water is starting to warm up!

I got an email from Paul and my new mat is due today and I can’t be more stoked.

There is even a jump forecast in the NW swell on Saturday.


Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Home after a long absence

Cold clean sand underfoot
Makes that special “cruch” you don’t hear anymore
With so much dirt in the sand
But it’s here this morning
Welcoming me back

As I walk along
My favorite stretch of beach
You can still beach comb
They can't bring in the big machines
To groom the sand

The swell isn’t as good as earlier in the week
The tide a little too high
But it’s my first surf in months
So I don’t complain
In fact I'm giddy with excitement

The time honored ceremony is the same
The surf check
The suit up
The walk

My wetsuit is dry
Dry as my whistle
Dry as my gills
Dry to the bone

I stretch and I walk
The water surrounds my ankles
And I’m home
After a long absence

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Revolution will not be televised

As I was exiting the water yesterday I was blissfully tired my body was flooded with endorphins and I was thinking about why more people don’t ride surfmats.

That morning I’d had the same conversation as a hundred times before, “what is that your’re riding? It sure goes fast …” and a couple of kids even recognized that it was a surf mat “yeah I saw a guy riding one at Salt Creek the other day”.

So why am I the only one out riding the most advanced wave riding craft on the planet?

Why haven’t the masses caught on?

When Greenough changed everything about wave riding with his kneeboard Velo the cutting edge board riders (McTavish, Young etc) were quick to cut their board’s length down and change the fins to something more organic and functional. Surfing maneuvers, like nose riding and drop knee turns which had been cutting edge on 9’6” 50/50 railed logs were replaced by more radical bottom turn top turn combinations and significantly more time was spent in the tube.

The best professional wave riders on the planet were hungry for “total involvement” and a style of surfing which was less surfing the board and more about surfing the wave. 

The top pros, for the most part, have fallen back into that same rigid surf contest based definition of what constitutes surfing once again.  Just as nose riding (a sport within a sport) once ruled surf contests aerials are now the ticket to winning your heat and assuring the continued corporate sponsorship all pro surfers rely upon.
So will there be a paradigm shift moving away from the current definition of contest surfing as the gold standard and back to a “the best surfer out is the one having the most fun” definition of a good day in the surf?

I think so.

Free surfers or pros that no longer let the “three turns to the beach” mentality control their approach are on the rise, some are still retaining full corporate sponsorship.

Even more important is that everyday surfers are beginning to include alternative surf craft in their quivers.  The recent Hand plane Hoedown has drawn international attention. Paipo, Alaias and body surfing are all making a comeback.

Standing up on a Alaia or a fish, lying down on a mat or a Paipo or total imersed body surfing or using a handplane.

Surfers just want to have fun!

Remember the kids I mentioned as the beginning of the post? After I had shown them the mat I was riding, a Fourth Gear Flyer, one of them asked me what I did when I lost the mat in a wipeout. I replied that since I had fins on and was probably still in decent position in the lineup I would just bodysurf for a while then pick up my mat and continue surfing it. A wipeout wasn't a failure it just required some shifting gears to continue the stoke.  The poor lad, raised on a steady diet of magizines and contest video had never considered that surfing could be anything more than the one dimensional exercise that he saw the pros do in the magazines.

Surfing can be and should be practiced as a multi faceted exercise with a variety of wave craft.

The revolution is in the works but it still hasn't reached the  farthest or in some cases even the nearest corners of the surfing world yet.  

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Mini Max

I have been reading with great interest about Paul's latest creation over on Surfmatters

More here

Basically a smaller standard that would fit in the hollows.

Sounds like a perfect match for the small and occasionally hollow surf at my local beach break.

So I put in my order and I let you know how it goes.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

New Shoes

Call me Imelda Marcos cause I got more new shoes

The Achilles tendon is healed and I was looking for something with a little more padding.

These are like walking on pillows!

I know that phase of a shoes life is short and I haven't had a chance to do much running yet.

My run distances are still very short since I still have some discomfort in my foot (mild neuroma?) which I have been treating with nsaids. It's getting better.

Will the fun never stop?

Surfing is so much easier.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Big Ole Mat Meet Canceled

Yes the mat meet that really never was has been cancelled

" Forecast for Friday is showing that there will be some rideable waves in a few S wind protected spots, but overall it isn’t looking like it will be all that exciting surfwise......."
Surf forecast courtesy of Solsurf

I really didn't mean to give the impression that there was a Big Ole Mat Meet scheduled for this weekend anyways.

Two things came together to create the "perfect storm" of misconception.

The first thing is I write this and other assorted bits of drivel first thing in the morning. Everyday. I often don't bother to have my mind fully engaged before sitting down and banging away at the keyboard. Everything you see here is a rough draft, words misspelled, participles dangling, past present and future tenses fighting it out to make some sense (drives SurfSister crazy). And don't even start about punctuation.

That just how I do it.

The posts are so fresh the bits and bites are still wet.

Please don't touch the page!  You may have random 1 and 0 stains on your fingers for the rest of the morning.

The other thing, what was the other thing? Oh yes, I have given up my morning coffee (for like the millionth time) so reality is sort of soft and spongy as I write this. Especially around the edges. Not all that unpleasant really and certainly nothing like the diving bats Hunter S. Thompson had to deal with.

I'm lucky like that.

So here is the deal.

There will be a Big Ole Mat Meet in the future (for one thing I just found out that Paul Diamond has a cache of  70's 4th GF's) but we need to wait for decent weather and some good surf.

I will let you know

In the mean time enjoy your weekend.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

mat meet crowd sourcing

Initially the idea of multiple do-it-yourself alt surfcraft meet ups was met with success

Later on it became obvious that herding cats would be easier.

So now I'm leaning back to the idea of 


but time alone will tell. 

(someone get Surf Sister on speed dial!)

[There is some confusion. The OBOMM (one big ole mat meet) is not planned for this weekend. I'm looking forward to going surfing but surfing in and of itself does not a mat meet make. At this point I'm thinking June / July as that is when the better SW swells and or tropical hurricanes are more likely.] 

All that said I'll leave you with the shot above from the Daily Bread archive.

the river mouth filled up with sand, the jetty almost covered over.

HQ don't care

Players gotta play

PooBar gotta left

and a right if you go that way

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mat Meet Morphage

"I'd rather be caught in front of a big set than caught at work behind a deadline"

Another goody from Jason Hall. 
How many Alt surf craft can you find in this picture?
Jason has gone on to a better place now.
And by that I mean Maui.
Visit his blog at Daily Bread

Some more random thoughts about the upcoming flurry of mat meets.

Instead of  one or two meets over the course of the summer how about one every weekend?

The problem with one or two is there is always a ton of people that can't make it that weekend  (says the guy that missed both the hand plane hoe down and the SDSFF).

The there is the surf or rather the lack there of same, which while not a complete show stopper, does put a damper on things.

I'm thinking of something like folks posting things in the comments (or even better perhaps on the "In GG we Trust" or the Aquatic Apes groups on facebook)  If you want I'll make a 23B facebook page

But a random posting might be something like

"Hi, I'm Fred and I'll be surfing the south side of the Huntington Pier this saturday with my Green Jing Tinglers handplane."

Followed by a post that says, "Hi my name is Bob and I'll see you on the south side I'm bringing a matching pair of yellow Flu Floopers Floaters that I built myself"

So starting off slow then beginning to grow there could be Tar Tinkers and Who Hoovers and even Gar Ginkers to ride.

There could even be multiple meets happening up and down the coast or dare I say world wide on any given weekend.

Meet ups of like minded surfers, like your selves, that aren't finding surfing Nirvana riding a mass produced action sports - surf division - retail profit object produced by near slave labor and flown in to your local costco.

This can work to the extent that you put your own energy into it.

We can't all depend on Surf Sister to organize these things.

Imagine coming down to the local spot and seeing people sharing surf craft and waves.

Besides I always wanted to try an official "Dr. Seuss Who Wompers Handplane"

You just don't see those around much anymore

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


"In the ocean or in a glass cool clear water is such a gas"

One of the reasons I like the mat is that you are in the water much more.

There is a sensuality to being totally immersed in water that just makes everything better

A lot more of the body surf or hand plane feeling to it.

And that's a good feeling to know

Still working on the core ideals for the mat meets

Basically I'd like everyone that really surfs to take back the activity / lifestyle / art from the big gigantic corporations that are using it to sell t-shirts to kids from the Midwest

(For the record I have nothing against kids, t-shirts or the Midwest)

How that will work exactly I don't know

Occupy the Beach?

I'm sure it's been done

What I have so far is multiple gatherings of friends and friendly strangers to meet at the beach and share in the surfing experience.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Let's do it again like we did last summer

Maybe my favorite mat photo ever. 
Thanks Jason! 
That's me with a serious case of sway back as I over inflate my mat and  worry about getting through the shore break. 
JJ is already charging.

Since we have established that we will be "Partying like the Mayans" this summer

I see no reason not to have a mat meet or two (or more) to go along with the festivities

So we need to start organizing
You don't just show up at the beach and surf your brains out
Well actually, yes, that's just what you do 
but still we need certain nodal points to be established on the event horizon
certain mass communications to take place

Charlie Sheen (or his spirit at least) must be located and notified,  as per his contract

We are early in the process but don't let that stop you from putting on your respective thinking caps

and thinking about how YOU are going to put on YOUR local gathering.

Photo by Ken Samuels

One of the great things about a meet is all the surf craft you get to check out.

I see no reason not to encourage all Alt Surf Craft riders to show up and bring their goodies! 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Stopped by my Mom and Dad's house for a visit and got out a few pictures. 

My brothers Surfboards Surfside. At least 9'6". Tri-colors were all the rage.
Pig or just hippy?
You decide and vote in the comments section. 

Just another kook with a VW Bus

The white thing with stripes in the bottom right was my first shot at a home made paipo. Given the conditions "outside" it probably worked ok.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Bill Ogden

Bill Ogden does amazing art work. He was introduced to many of us by the Sound Spectrum calendars he did for that Laguna Beach record store.  Everyone I knew had his work up on our walls. 

His work still features the same organic shapes and ocean themes.  Check out his interview at Liquid Salt

It takes me back to all those summers every time I see his work.

Friday, May 11, 2012


Gone but not forgotten

"Killer Dana" Point back in the days before the harbor. A good swell would wrap around the headlands and into the bay. I used to float on my mat with a mask and snorkel looking at all the sea life down below.

Sometimes it would get big. "Peanuts Larson" getting a good one.

Peanuts was a Laguna local and spent his days fishing for lobster and abalone.

Good Times.


I'm headed back to work this morning after taking a few days off to help my wife make arrangements after the passing of her mother Kathryn.  She was a great lady, wife, mother and nurse.  Thank you to the friends that have offered condolences.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

They're Here!

The food of the gods, also known as Sun Gold tomatoes are making their summer appearance in the garden.

Pretty stoked about that.

Spring is coming on strong now.

As I sit in the pre-dawn darkness the birds, acknowledging their own internal thermostats, awaken and begin singing as they start the day hunting for insects.

It starts off slowly and like an orchestra tuning up before the performance, the tweeting and chirping grows louder and louder until reaching it's crescendo just after sun up.

Good Times.

I understand the surf has been good too.

But more about that later

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

San Diego Surf Film Festival

Party like the Mayans this Summer!

For the third jewel in this summers triple crown

It's back to the theater for the San Diego Surf Film Festival

So many good surf movies in one place (Bird's Shed) your head will explode!

BTW if you are without the Nautilus Pass and are buying individual tickets I would GET THEM AHEAD of TIME.

Check the website for all the details the Festival runs from Thursday thru Sunday

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sunday, May 6, 2012

avo's ! ?

I have always wanted an avocado tree or more to the point I want to go out in the back and pick avos on demand.

So after the initial plant purchase and shovel work there has been just a few years of watering and waiting.

Finally we are getting avos.  The first crop was one, there are 4 or 5 on the tree now. I'm hoping the next go round continues in this fashion.

They taste great and have a thick rough skin like a Haas variety.

The only thing is the all have a long neck like the one I'm holding above.

It looks like a squash to me.

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Virtual Hand Plane Hoedown

One of the reasons I wanted to go to the Hand Plane Hoe Down was to see all the interesting craft.

Blake has been making his own hand planes and because he wasn't able to make the Hoe Down he had emailed me and asked me to bring down some of his craft to share and get feedback on. 

Some sweet concave in this bamboo one

It turn's out that neither of us could make the event but he had some pictures
 so here is the
 23B Virtual Hand Plane Hoedown!

Blake, who also rides a mat, had been riding trays and after breaking the last one began looking for something else to make planes out of that would stand up to the local beach break. These two examples started out as cutting boards.

So follow Blake's example.  Look around the house, don't worry everything works. Some better than others, true. But each experiment is a lesson in building your own surf craft. 

What could be better than that!

*All photos by Blake, thanks for sharing