/*23 Breaths: July 2013*/

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

how lucky I've been

As the sun sets on another summer

and the US Open

brought to you

thru the combined sponsorship

of the prison guards union

and the united glass workers

makes it's way out of town

I think back to the "Meet Ups"

I've had the privilege to attend

Where waves were shared

along with the latest shapes

and maybe an orange

or if you were really lucky

some avos from the family tree.

That shared grace that is Aloha

Makes me realize how lucky I've been

Monday, July 29, 2013

Another contest another riot

I didn't go down to the circus this year.

(I wasn't planning on doing a post about it either)

I did watch a bit of the live footage

The usual mid summer surf in HB.

I have watched considerably more of the youtube footage of the "riot" afterwards.

A couple of thoughts...

Before the Action Sports Retailers and general surf media come out and condemn the crowd,

take a good look at the kids in the videos.

This is your prime audience.

Young, board shorts wearing, sporting sic 40 dollar t-shirts, this week's trendy 150 dollar sun glasses, bitchin tats, 50 dollar flip flops, with a Red Bull action drink (it gives you wings) in one hand and a smart phone in the other to catch all the action.

This is the image you sell and what today's youths buy.

So as you surf executives sit around and discuss yesterdays events, probably about what the increase in next years insurance premiums and the sky rocketing fees the City of Huntington Beach will change is going to do to the third quarter profits next year.

Remember these are your customers.

They don't live here, they certainly don't surf here but you create this honey pot of what you think is youth culture (it's not) so you can sell them your products.

They aren't the most discerning group are they?

Remember the hullabaloo over the softcore porn video last week?

I know it was last week, but try to remember, you know the video (and some very funny parodies) got thousands of hits, you remember it was very good for business.

Well it seems that the image you sell, the SoCal surfer brand (no matter that few of your customers actually surf) is still really stuck on the surfer dude spicoli from Fast Times at Ridgemont High

Well dudes that was the 80's and while it does serve to sell TShirts and board shorts every summer it has become a parody of itself.

You could take some of the profits from the 40 dollar tshirts and 50 dollar board shorts and  reinvest it in a reshaping of the image.

A little more substance a little less flash.

More Duke and less dude if you will.

There have been numerous water men and water women who would make outstanding role models.

I know this has a snowballs chance in hell of coming about but I have to say it.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Just sayin'

A brisk NW wind blowin the swell out at 7:30 this morning.

It won't be long now,

the beach will grow cold and empty

it's a relative thing to be sure

but it's something

Friday, July 26, 2013

Hobo Car wash* Friday!

It's raining
in July.

Well it has stopped raining actually,
just a brief shower really
but it's July
and where as
a shower
in July
is not entirely unheard of
it's is
or should be
in this neck
of the woods
here on the edge of the desert
but these days it's not.

The weather has changed

so much
that I am tempted
to give up the whole
prediction business
and just watch
the weather man stand
in front of the green screen
and tell me what the temperature is
right now.

Instead of just
to pay attention

*Hobo car wash - def. - NOT an actual car wash but merely wiping the water off a car after being caught in a sudden brief rain. Usually popular amoungst obsessive personalities where having having dust or water drops on ones car would be unacceptable.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

4 GF Sale

With the real surf season fast approaching

It's time to take advantage of the sale on surfmats

When ever I get a new mat from Paul I always shout 

"Eureka, the best mat ever!"

But Paul is always surf, refining, prototyping and testing some more.

If you haven't gotten a new one lately, now is the time!


Monday, July 22, 2013

Sage advise

I continue to avoid the local beaches until the tourist hordes go back whence they came.

In a moment of weakness I did "check it out" over the weekend.

Fortunately as citizens from far and wide converged on the little strips of government controlled sand, a decent south wind pushed the remaining "too south" swell to the shore in long closeouts.

Oh and I think there was a contest along with the rain.

Perfect beach conditions!

good stuff.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Blinding noise and Bros for as far as the eye can see...

Everyone is tan seemingly knows everyone each other.

No one is watching the Wedge footage on the big screen. A mix of videos from the last few years. Too bad because it is pretty good.

The band starts up an any attempt at conversation is futile. Which doesn't stop anyone from continuing on talking (what could they have to say?)

I think I was the only one there in long pants.

The best part was seeing Mr. Simpson and seeing the new Viper Vectors

There was a raffle 

Some of the Wedge art installed around the big screen

I can only deal with so much surf culture in one sitting so eventually I went toward the light and made my way home before sundown.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

tad or tad and a half?

Just a tad cooler this morning

out to get the newpaper

(do you realize there is a whole industry devoted to packaging yesterdays news along with a bunch of ads, printing it out on long sheets of paper and for a price, folding and throwing it in the general vicinity of your house at 4am ? Sounds like some sort of weird performance art or  lame vandalism but I digress...)

anyways semi cold air was actually biting at my ankles!

Not really sock weather but still it gives one pause to note the passing of the seasons...

The aged end of July, the Tour de France is almost over

and it's a bit cooler.

Great stuff!

I can only wait to see if we have another HOT Autumn like last year of if someone has hit the reset button and we get some "normal" weather for a change.

Time will tell.


"BEACH HAZARDS STATEMENT" sounds a bit odd but hey surf it if you got it...


I myself never venture out after dark (vampires you know)


There is one of those things at Hurley-ville tonight that might be interesting

Wedge Photography Slide Show -

Thursday, July 18 from 6-10 PM at the Hurley World HQ at 1945 Placentia Ave Costa Mesa

Ron Romanosky with additional photography from Matt Vaughn, Carlos Santana, Russell Hoover, Pat Towersey, Dan Taylor, Mike Libudziewski, Justin Enright, Robbie Crawford, Brian Pezman and Travis Williams.

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

on the QT

It's cool and damp this morning

a nice break from the hot and humid conditions of late

Nice if you are a hot house plant

If you are not, then not so much...

I've taken to seriously reading the foreign beer labels

in the local wine and beer mega market

just to enjoy the cooling effects

of the walk-in cooler

If I show up with my wetsuit, mat and fins

pretending it's winter

I think they might get wise

So for now

let's just keep it on the QT

Monday, July 15, 2013


The Huntington Beach surf contest had come and gone and the crowd had faded back to the local crew.

Which is to say the beach was covered with out of school high school kids, plus mom's their broods and the odd tourist.

I had been entrusted with 5 bucks (a small fortune) to get two Cokes, an order of "strips" and whatever I wanted from the snack shop just south of the HB pier.

I came back from the snack shop with the food, drinks and "whatever I wanted", which was a rental mat in tow.

Navy Blue canvas, enormous Yum Yum Yellow rubber bumpers on each end, inflated to rock hard and equipped with the requisite rope for towing and steering.

All the other kids were riding them, so never one to stray far from the herd, (a good survival trait in pack animals) and I wanted to ride one too.

My older brother was riding surfboards and being a good teenager had passed on the opportunity to hang at the beach with mom and his kid brother.

So off I strode, fin less into the briny depths. Dragging and attempting to paddle the raft through the classic jellyfish infested, way too south swell, completely walled up surf conditions that makes up the "good" summer time surf in Huntington.

Even at a young age I was a strong swimmer but by the time I had made it outside I was happy to lay on top of the mat and take a rest.

By the time the next closed out set came along I was in perfect position to take the set on the head  and hanging on for dear life as I was rocketed toward the beach.

With a near fatal case of nipple rash and a smile that truly extended from ear to ear the hook was set and thus began a stoke fest that was to continue for decades to come....

Fast forward to the present day, last weekend in fact.

The surf is still too south, still walled up (it's probably good at that secret spot up the coast called Malibu) and the once plentiful Jellyfish have been poisoned by runoff from the local communities.

The pier is still there, rebuild in fact and a huge multi use mega sports complex temporarily occupying all the sand just south of the pier to market a multitude of items to the action sport demographic. Young and tattooed, each with a cell phone in one hand and a can of Red Bull in the other. None of whom have a remote chance of buying real estate in the area in their lifetimes. Most of which would be out of there depths in water past the knees. The age of water men and women is over Frodo and the age of the weekend tourist is upon us.

After decades of riding single fin, twin fin, and five fin boards (yep missed the quads but there is still time) of both long and short varieties I survey the same scene with a few minor changes.

Older, fatter, with less hair and perhaps a touch more wisdom.

The mats have gone under considerable redesign. Although much to my chagrin if asked even supposedly knowledgeable surfers will comment that they just "don't have a rope now".

Actually, the surf mats of my youth have been totally redesigned. The materials, the internal design, outer traction materials everything has been rethought, tested, thrown out and redesigned again.

There has been a few changes in surfboards too.

Today's modern surfmats have as much in common with the rental mats of the 60's as current surfboards have with the ancient Hawaiian Alaia boards.

About the only thing left in common with the old mats is the air.

An there is considerably less of that!

The air that is left is allowed to move freely in response to the riders reshaping the mat as the wave changes.

That and now I have fins.

Friday, July 12, 2013

It's been said

that the rain

in Spain

falls mainly on the plain

The last three days

the rain

courtesy of a defunct

hurricane off of Mexico

has fallen mainly

along the coastal plain.

Which is nice

the dried vegetation

gets a little head start

on the break down

back into compost.

Helps with the danger of wild fire too.

But it makes it a little humid though

Perhaps a dip at the shore is just what I need



Wednesday, July 10, 2013

This morning

The 5:23 weather check definitely shows that some rain fell last night

not a lot

but some

The beginning of the rainy season?

A bit too much to hope for

this early

but like finding money in the pocket of a jacket

you haven't worn in a while

a spot of rain

in the summer

is always a welcome surprise

Tuesday, July 9, 2013


It's hot

but before that

it's overcast

foggy if you will

with a touch  of south wind

just to give it a texture

But that all burns off by noon

or maybe 10 or maybe 2

it depends.

those who tan


and have been for

a while.

I for one

look out

across the vast expanse

of time an space

to see summer

as that crowded

kinda crummy

time between


that beautiful time when the earth renews itself and all of us

and fall

the real gem of the seasons

the crowd goes home

and I can pull on some


and surf

Sunday, July 7, 2013

On the morning walk

The 4th of July banners are, for the most part gone

The sticks that just a few days ago served to provide

a launch pad for miniature rockets

have lost their red glare

and will either contribute to the local compost

or take a trip

through the municipal sewage system

"warning drains to bay"

to my favorite surf spot.

It's over

nothing to do but

wait for next time

Friday, July 5, 2013

Happy Happy Joy Joy

Having survived the holiday

I slowly open the door of my subterranean bunker

and wrinkle my nose at the mixed smells of

salt-peter (potassium nitrate), charcoal, and sulfur

with just a bit of brine on the breeze.

As everyone knows the 5th of July is always a great surf day.

The tourists are sun burnt beyond all recognition and usually vow to never ever return to the shore


or until next weekend

whichever comes first.

The locals

are usually still in jail

it takes time for the courts to process all the paperwork for the ones that have sobered up and can be released on their OR (own recognizance) 

the ones that aren't in jail

usually have new stitches

or a new tattoo 

it's kind of an either or situation

neither of which should be soaked in the local salt water for at least

a few days




new batch of combo swells

has not arrived.

I was planning on a bit of a briny dunk but alas,

while it's not literally but figuratively flat

so I'll pass


the best ride on the south side Sol Cam

was the produce truck backing up

the entire length of the pier

between the tourists.

Pretty awesome when you think about it

I give it a 8.9

on the surfcam wave judging, sliding  scale.

So it's eggs for the dawn patrol

Brixton my grandson - my wife says he looks like me around the muzzle

I'm on vacation

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

A big to do

As I gather the last few things I will need for the 4th of July celebration

And descend into my massive underground bunker complex for the duration of the festivities

I think back on the summers of my past

All those waves ridden on the south side

The entire staff here at 23B wishes you a safe and happy 4th of July


One more thing,

You see the bit of plastic crap I'm holding in my hand in the picture above?

It was painted in the national colors of the USA to help sell the product.

(while being manufactured in China BTW )

Oh and it didn't surf well which, for me is the most important thing partly because of a nasty twist in the blank, but that not really what I wanted to talk about.

It seems that just everyone in the surf community is upset about a certain surfwear company's new promotional video of one of their stable of women surfers.

The video shall we say "features" this young woman womanly charms to sell the product.

Everyone is aghast, there are petitions to sign, commentary is everywhere.

two things

ONE and probably the most important

Where have you ALL been the last fifty years?

Advertiser have been using sex to sell their products in an increasingly explicit ways for quite some time.

Surfing has been leading the way all along.

Have you never seen the Reef ads? If so can you explain to me how a bare butt is related to sandals?

For a professional surfer having "good" blond surfer hair, pleasant anglo features, and a chiseled physic is much more important to the sponsors than the quality of your cut back

(Colonel Kilgore cares about your cutback but no one else)

Here is an exercise for you. Pickup the lastest issue of Er-Ing-Trans surfer monthly.
First off the thing is just a batch of ads.  From cover to cover. Even the "content" is advertisement.

Now take a look at the young stylish people in the ads.  They are predominantly young white, blond, straight, good looking, fit, tan and quite possibly related. 

To summarize, because it's summer after all, Sex Sells, and while the action sport retailers didn't come up with the concept they are familiar with it and have been for quite a while.

SECOND, because I said there would be two points to this rant.
Do you want to know what the surf brand in question makes of all this hoopla?

Well I can't really speak for them but I think "Laughing all the way to the bank" covers it.  

"Surfing isn't a sport, it's a soft core porn lifestyle ...."

Tuesday, July 2, 2013


A little more NW if you please...

Monday, July 1, 2013

New old guitar

New old guitar over the weekend.

My wife who is a saint was quick to size up the situation.

"You are just like a two year old that just discovered his willy,
you haven't stopped smiling and you won't stop playing with it."

That pretty much sums it up. :)

From NOAA regarding current beach conditions -