/*23 Breaths: November 2012*/

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