/*23 Breaths: October 2013*/

Thursday, October 31, 2013

Day of the Dead

Every year same thing,

I no longer jump up and down on the couch screaming

"I can't be sick it's Halloween!"

(Dressed as a flying wombat or something it's surprising my parents could keep a straight face)

but the change of season has found me the host to a cold virus.

Not real sick (thank heavens) but sick enough to know that I should just take it easy for a few days,

work half days and

repair to my lair and let the cat,

who has grown to the size of a Bengal Tiger in the sickie selfie above,

keep the treaters back and use me as a hot rock to sleep on....

There is always next year

Monday, October 28, 2013

Lou Reed

It's funny to see all the musical heros of my high school days

passing away

back then

I thought we would never die

and we used to BLAST THIS ALBUM

all the way to the beach in the morning

well I had it on 8 track

but be that no never mind

Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner

"a little classical music for you there kids"....

Friday, October 25, 2013

The revolution will not be televised ...

but portions will be caught on GoPro

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 surf mats.

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.
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 even 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, not that they really ever left. So long as wave riders for go their leashes, waves will be waves and toss said riders ass over tin cup requiring a body surf to the beach to recover their surf craft. When "surfing" is not so narrowly defined as standing up on a board, the full spectrum of wave riding can be experienced not as separate pieces but as part of the whole enchilada.

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 wipe out. I replied that since I had fins on and was probably still in decent position in the lineup I would just body surf for a while then pick up my mat and continue surfing it. A wipe out wasn't a failure it just required some shifting gears to continue the stoke.  The poor lad, raised on a steady diet of magazines 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.

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.  

Thursday, October 24, 2013

the shoes

A bit of a Holloween, Days and Nights of the undead, Surf story...

in the backyard for weeks
covered in mud
the result of my son’s nocturnal roaming
thru the back bay mud

It was irritating,
a good pair of regulation
size 10's
going to waste

I have worn out
many pairs
over the years

The blue suede ones
in high school
as much as a uniform
as the red ones were that
I wore busing tables at the Cannery restaurant
my senior summer
(I had long hair and had to wear a wig to work
but that's another post)

Immortalized as the prefered footwear of surfers in
Fast Times at Ridgemont High
Vans have been around for ages (Founded: March 16, 1966)
One of there big draws was they came in different colors and materials,
other that blue and white canvas Keds or Converse
Surfers are hip and unique individuals
so we all had to have something different on our feets...
They had a store right across the street from my high school
the shoes held up well,
and the box was useful
My seashell collection currently resides in one on my closet top shelf

Vans were indeed my shoe of choice for decades
I'm partial to the two tone blue slipons...

I wouldn't
these shoes go to waste

First I soaked them
in a bucket
for days

but alas

they would never be
snow white again

So and idea came to me
as all ideas do
during my morning

I am a sloppy
coffee drinker
and I know
it stains everything in its path
stains it good

so in full Cyrus Sutton DIY mode
I would use a half pound
of the weird espresso
to stain them
a nice
mocha brown

after a week in the coffee bucket
no change!

They were

the shoes

that wouldn’t


(ohhh scary)

RIP James Van Doren co founder of the Van Doren rubber company.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

and again

practice, practice, practice

Yes the same song as yesterday

(in real time I have moved on)

I like to focus on one thing

bottom turn, chord change, growing greens

until I get it perfect

"perfect" in this case

meaning it finally occurs to me

that there is no such thing

every occurrence of a thing is it's own perfect instance

just a perfectly whole, complete variation on a theme

and that chasing after an ideal

is a doomed enterprise.

Things get easier then

you can relax

go with the flow

as the kids used to say

in the 60's.

Enjoy the changes

the differences

each flaw

is filled with gold

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

When I Paint My Masterpiece

Surf conditions

are promised

to be

"pretty fun"


Monday, October 21, 2013

I gotta get away from this day-to-day running around

Another fine fall Monday

Looks like a good week ahead

A bit of an uptick in the swell

Neil Young live version of the title song from the Everybody Knows this is Nowhere album

Released May 14, 1969

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Everybody loves Raymond

of course I personally would love him just that much more if he were to jog to the north-west for a bit and then hang an abrupt right...

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fall is the best part of Summer

Another nice thing about the Autumn time

is that you can literally wear your entire wardrobe in a day

the mornings are a bit chilly

so Ugg boots and a hoody are the call

by mid-day or early afternoon if you live closer to the beach

you are back to the usual formal uniform

flip flops, shorts and a t-shirt

add sunglasses and a hat if you are going outside

very nice

these last few

crumbs of summer

which around here

can last thru January

but by the late afternoon

you are changing into long pants

and maybe wearing a light windbreaker

on the after dinner walk around the neighborhood

Nothing to do with today's post but I couldn't find this picture when I was looking for it earlier. 
I had planned to include it in the annual "surf car" post and couldn't find it. 
Found it so here it is.

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Hobbies, Habits and Addictions

And so it comes to pass

That I spend more than a few

of my afternoons

in thrift shops these days.

It was bound to happen

I am, quite possibly,

"the cheapest man on earth"

Sadly no beer commercial,
I guess
"Stay cheap my friends"
just doesn't have that ring to it...

To me it's a lot like fishing, in that,
you never know what you are going to catch

Remind me to tell you about the time I found two pairs of Patagonia trunks in my size for 5 dollars.

I get them home and try them on and find 5 bucks in the wax pocket!

Gotta love Patagonia...I didn't even know they had a rebate program...

So anyway yesterday there was a box full of VHS surf videos

I'd seen most
and didn't want to see the rest
I've grown tired of watching fins out tail slides set to speed metal

But these two promised to be interesting

Any of the Tom Curren Seach series is going to be worth the watch
(I'm hoping this is the one that re-ignited the interest in twin fins and fish)

and something about the title Fluid Combustion seemed familiar.

So for 50 cents a pop, I pulled the trigger

no wait it was half price day at the thrift store

make it 25 cents each

Like I said, I'm cheap...

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

It's here*

I asked for it

pined away the spring and summer

waiting for

the earth tilt

to be just right

warm days

down right chilly nights

(yes I found my Ugg boots)

some not unreasonable water temps

and some interesting combinations

of swell

and offshore



It's here

*at a northern hemisphere location near you! some restrictions apply, for instance if you are at a southern earth hemisphere please wait six months for delivery...

Monday, October 14, 2013

Tropical Storms? Yeah we have two of those...

500 AM PDT MON OCT 14 2013



Nothing says "Fall" more than a two pack of hurricanes

*If these storms were called "Biggie Big" and "Snoop"
I would say we have a "Tupac of hurricanes"

But they aren't
and I can't
and on this chilly Monday morning
I think we are all a little bit
because of that...

Have a good week

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

The Board Room - Wednesday - The Board Edition

Even though I don't really surf them on a regular basis
I do like to browse me some surfboards!

It's more the historical and evolutionary aspects I enjoy
With a collection like this you can see things

For example
when boards were first cut down in length
shapers kept the same belly and rails,
down rails came along later.
Extreme pin tails were the rage for a while
along with extreme V in the tail

Sometimes the tails were just THICK
and the roll of rocker (pardon the pun)
in getting these boards to turn
was yet to be discovered.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

The Board Show - Tuesday Edition - What do you call a group of legends?

So whatever you call it 
wherever you turned
you ran into
 literally or figuratively
a Legend in our sport

Rennie - Dreaming of empty Rincon?

Some are just legendarily good people, artists, film makers and the like

Bing and Pez and the rest

Others are the more traditional board makers, magazine publishers, surfers etc

I gathered all of my available courage and walked up to Steve Pezman and thanked him profusely  for making such a great magazine.  I continued to gush that one of the reasons it meant so much to me as a surfer was that I didn't have to read Surfer and Surfing ...

Pez laughed and started looking for the panic button that would alert event security of another nut job... 

The pic above has at least 2 and a half Legends in it

The Shape Off

The shape off had an interesting twist this year

"an interesting twist" being an old shaper joke ...
but I digress...

They gave each contestant
a BIG block of foam
(sort of shaped like a refrigerator)
and said,
"you're a shaper...shape something out of that...you have two hours"

no preshaped, close tolerance blank for this one folks

"you want some rocker? 
well do ya punk?
go ahead and shape some in"

I resisted the urge to shout
"Is my board done yet?"
There by escaping the pounding I so richly deserved...

I don't know who came up with this idea 
but it was brilliant!

We will never see it again.

My favorite part of the show is the stuff people bring in to have appraised
Great Stuff!

Like I said before Lots of Legends
Rich Harbour who most people think of a long board guy
 shaped one of the best short boards I ever saw,

Side note
more Legends than you could shake a stick at!
I was starting to test this theory
but in short order
security was called
and they were not amused...
and the stick was confiscated ...

there were even virtual legends on the big screen

BTW this was as close as we got to anything mat related at
The Board Room
Still no Love
for the most advanced surf craft on the planet
Yeah I know
"The Bored Room" an all
but come on
throw a surf sub-culture a
freakin bone people!

* Answer to the question in the title

What do you call a group of legends?
A League of Legends

Monday, October 7, 2013

The Board Room - Monday Edition

The first thing you see when you enter The Board Room
(Yes apparently my left leg is significantly shorter than my right at this point)

I could go to a surfboard show, just see this one surf vehicle and go home happy.
Made in the mid sixties I think there is a good argument that, 
fifty years later, nothing is any better or that there has been anything nearly as
You have to remember that when Greenough came up with these spoons everyone was riding 10 foot D fin longboards with big fat round rails and not much if any rocker.
"Ok let's cut the length in half, put a fin in it that looks like a fish and thin it out so the glass on the top and bottom meet, because it needs to flex as it screams off the bottom.
It's fortunate that George wasn't locked up by his friends.
"Sorry George but you have gone round the bend"
George hadn't gone round the bend, 
he had just gone up the point to Indicators where he redefined what surfing is

(*if you have the waves for it)

This booth had some excellent and progressive shapes

Why did I choose to take a picture of the gas can guitar?

No idea.

Lets move along

 You know your trade show has grown up when they have a full bar!

the only inflatable at the show!

That's it for today, I'll have more pics and witty repartee tomorrow

Sunday, October 6, 2013

It just wasn't fair

So we went to the Board Room show yesterday

(note to self LOUD Aloha shirts are no longer "de rigueur" for surfers at social events - who knew?)

A subtlety different crowd and general vibe to this one versus the shows down in San Diego

Still the best boards, those with the most mana, were the ones that were created by hand and not popped out of a mold.

Greenoughs Velo is always a mind blower and then you can walk right over to a Liddle hull and see how far we have come.

Of course the 6'2" tri fins were well represented but it's getting more and more difficult to get enthusiastic about them no matter how pretty and well made they are.

Surfing for me is still a pair of fins and a blow up

I have yet to find the cable for the camera I took so pics may be coming

but then again maybe not

Also in the" maybe not" category,

The Santa Ana winds were really blowing yesterday,

and there was swell

so as many of the locals enjoyed some of the best surf of the season

I was limping around the fair grounds

It just wasn't fair

A beautiful Mike Moir photo

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Mat Meet

Anonymous mattitude said...
hb at huntington street a bit more towards hilton meet up at high tide 9 am.



This folks is how you call a mat meet!

Unfortunately I am neck deep in aberrant 1 and 0's  (it's a work problem)

and sadly my knee is acting up so even a quick dip into the heaving brine is ill advised

(Although I am hopeful for maybe tomorrow)

Friday, October 4, 2013


"Fall is when all the best summer days happen"

The Fall is my favorite time of year

The northern hemisphere starts a long slow exhale

with a pause during the Winter

before Gaia starts the cycle over again with the deep inhale of Spring

The Board Room show is this weekend at the OC Fairgrounds

If you see some guy checking out the boards and art work but muttering about mats

that would be me.


Quite a serious wind event in the works apparently. Starting today and lasting through the weekend.

Drink extra water, make sure the kids, pets and plants have water and be careful with fire

Suppose to be some swell in the water

I wonder how that will turn out?

Prono Paradiso this weekend !

Enjoy the day

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

The Board Room

If you are going to the Board Room this weekend
(click on the link for all the details)

make sure you stop by and check out the latest from

Matt Beard

I will be roaming around (at least on Saturday) and I hope to see you there!

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

shut down

just a thumbnail of a moon this morning

October 1st

the race to the end of the year begins

and despite the promise or threat of dense fog

it is clear

our government has shut down