/*23 Breaths: May 2013*/

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Not a breath of wind

in my backyard

this morning

if there was some shorebreak there

instead of vegetables

I would have gone out

RE the video
for you guitar freaks
some semi decent shots of Tiger
and a few peaks at Bobby's Modulus Blackknife

"Deadheads are kinda like people who like licorice.
Not everybody likes licorice,
but people who like licorice,
REALLY like licorice!" J. Garcia

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

We have coyotes

I don't mean I personally own one
but they are part of the wild life
in my local urban setting

I also have a cat
although I don't really think of our relationship
as an owner and property
more like
a uber rich alien life form
vacationing on this planet
and the staff
who's job it is to wait on the
rich clients
hand and foot
hoping to make their stay
more pleasant
(I will let you figure out who is the alien and who is the staff,
other then to tell you I have never been so over worked for so little pay in my life)

But I mention all of this to explain why I get up every morning and accompany my client, er I mean cat on this morning walk around the estate.
To sniff here and there, perchance to mark the territory with that crazy little backwards dance cats do when they spray.
As I enjoy the predawn and my double double espresso that brings me back to life every morning
whether I want to or not
I have been witness to the morning symphony of the birds
I think the whole thing is keyed to the morning increase in temperature
as the insects start to stir the early birds in search of the elusive worm
the birds get their cow bell on
it starts slowly and grows
the bees add there bass hum
the humming birds come in on the down beat
and the whole place goes nuts
Every New Years concert you have ever been to
every morning
just for me and the cat
who couldn't care less

So where am I going with this?
no where
but to say
it's warm in the morning now
high pressure is building for the rest of the week
it's going to warm up
from all reports the water is as warm as it gets
and it's only May
The high should make the morning winds a little more manageable
go get in the water

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

It's Monday/Tuesday - Take your pick

It's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tanks of gas, half a pack of cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses.

Hit it!

Friday, May 24, 2013

Big mat sale

Paul has announced a big 4GF Memorial Day mat sale over on Surfmatters

Graeme has also put his mats on sale

You have no reason not to take this opportunity to take the plunge and join the revolution

I am riding a small quiver of four mats (fatty, standard, mini and omni)

That just about covers any kind of wave conditions in my neck of the woods as well as allowing me a couple of loaners to cover friends and family that want to get in on the fun.

At these prices you really should have one at least one in your quiver. If you already have a mat this is a good time to pick up an Omni or a Fatty to mix things up a bit. It's nice to have an extra when friends or a spouse want to see what all the smiling and hooting is about.

A surf mat is a quiver in a bag that lives in the car, disappears into your vacation luggage and is just always there when you stumble onto surf.

Besides all that, they are still the best surf craft on the planet!

Go check it out

Where I go the Omni goes

Thursday, May 23, 2013

another bad rhyme

If we were on the north shore
this south wind
would be straight offshore

but we aren't
and it's not
but it's not
as bad
as it gets

it's just another
place and time
another Thursday
another bad rhyme

just a day away from Friday
another day of wasting time
the worlds most precious commodity
even if the market
takes a dive

so remember
just blow it up halfway
and let the water
bring you home

it's another
place and time
another Thursday
another bad rhyme

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Drizzle fo shizzle

(I have always wanted to say that)

The long Memorial Day holiday weekend is shaping up to be a classic

If by "classic" you mean south winds blowing out a meager south west swell in the company of thousands of your best friends

from inland

coming to spend the day at the beach.

The June Gloom and the aforementioned drizzle, so popular this time of year there should be a Saint name for it. (St. Gloomis?) will be in full effect which should keep the seaside consumption of alcohol to mild levels on the 909 scale.

Which leaves us with what exactly?

Maybe some small swell, definitely some sideshore wind and crowds of Biblical proportions...

My advise is an early strike into the very heart of the State of California Beaches and Parks system.

Pre dawn patrol (dawn patrol is for sissies) entry into the park of your choice, finishing off the morning coffee as the sun peeks over the Saddleback hills.

Time your go out for that 23 minutes long lull between the pre dawn winds  and the winds for the rest of the day.

There is definitely a surfable window, my cat and I have confirmed it every morning this week as he takes him morning constitutional and I stand guard against coyote attack.

(they are now quite brazen in these parts)

So there you go

My personal plan is to change the strings on my guitar and spend the duration hiding in my bathtub

Just my usual precaution for holidays along the shore

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

a great surf day

I knew it would be an interesting day

The espresso grind was so light and fluffy it threatened to float away.
I did manage to herd enough into the pot to make a decent batch.

My morning surf ritual.

Next to the internets. Not to the "surf site" because they vary widely and are more inclined to overhype a marginal swell that to tip you off to "the thunder from down under"

Besides pulling up to the beach to check it out to find out it's firing is one of lifes great pleasures.

Using a service to tell you what the swell is going to be like would be like having a service to tell you what your Christmas presents are going to be. "The yellow package in the corner is a catchers mitt. You will leave it at practice in two weeks and never see it again..."

That said sometimes I cheat. Maybe look at a tide chart or a wind forecast.

The waves are the waves are the waves.

Meditate on that koan for a while. You will figure it out.

But the omens were still with me today.

My wetsuit was dry and if you don't count a bit of sand was still in perfect condition.

Love the limestone neoprene. Although I still haven't figured how they get a delightful bit of rubber out of a rock...

I am happy enough that when someone asks, after a multi hour session "how was the water" I honestly can't say. It was either cold and the new suit was a great insulator or the water was very warm all winter. I can't really say.

My mat and fins are perfect.

Everytime I get a new mat from Paul I think "OK that's it, this is perfect and it can't ever get any better that this!" then six months later (and probably a thousand subtle research projects on Paul's part) he comes up with something that rides even better than the last one.

Never buy a surf craft from someone who doesn't surf.
Always get your stuff directly from the maker and
probably most importantly shop locally.

That small bit of wisdom should be obvious but in looking at the surf craft industry I think it prudent to point out these facts.

But back to the day at hand.

The coffee now drunk, the tidal swings deemed appropriate and the gear all accounted for I began the voyage to the beach.

I don't live far from the beach but living as I do in the very epicenter of the Kingdom of Orange the trip to the beach can at times be rather trying

and that is how I knew that today was going to be special

because today

there were no stops

the 2 point 3 mile journey

using roads under the combined jurisdiction of the

city / county / state of Kaliforna

with some federal highway moneys thrown in for good measure

did not impede my progress

even once.

and that is how I knew that it was going to be a great surf day.

Monday, May 20, 2013

I need it to be summer

Water color by John Severson

I need to shake off this winter slumber

I need to wake up to blinding sun shine first thing in the morning

I need that smell of summer, part coastal sage, part hot asphalt, part surf wax

I need to call the surf report and hear for the 100th time, "there is a south west swell running from 2 to 3 feet"

I need my hair to bleach out to snow white with the consistency of dry straw

I need to wonder how many days the water temperate will stay above 70 before plunging down the chilly 50's with the arrival of a big south swell.

I need to wear the same clothes, trunks, flip flops and t shirt until people start asking if these are the only clothes I own.

I need to decide if I am going to surf in the morning or in the afternoon, then surf both just like yesterday and the day before.

I need to forget what day of the week it is.

I need to go to the surf movies and know the California crew by first name, the Hawaiian crew by surfing style alone and have thought to myself "hey I was out that day!" at least several times during the movie.

I need to quit my job because, "this could be the biggest swell of the summer!" and they can't give me the time off.

I need to have my significant other tell me that I am getting too much sun and really need to apply more sun screen.

I need to have surfed so many days in a row that I seriously think about taking a day off , and then don't.

I need to have ordered a new board at the beginning of summer and have ridden it enough to think of it as my old board and have ordered another one.

I need to be surfing just before dark and think to myself "just one more wave" and spend another hour and a half in the water.

I need it to be summer.

Friday, May 17, 2013

River Run by Dirk Brandts

If you missed Dirk's film at the San Diego Surf Film Festival

Here it is

River Run from Dirk Brandts on Vimeo.

Kind of makes you want to go surf doesn't it?

Thursday, May 16, 2013


going finless

isn't for everyone

but if you tried it

you would understand

what your fins

are really for

if you ride a mat

fins are extra important

you have one on each foot

and their effects

are variable

like inflation

and rail shape

and every other thing

about the mat

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Aaaallllvvvviiiinnnnn! maybe

What may be the first storm of the 2013 Eastern Pacific Hurricane season is gathering steam as it were 600+ miles south-west of Acapulco Mexico.

stay tuned campers

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Ode to Spring (redux)

As I sit here writing this I am luxuriating in that combination of exhaustion and endorphin high that only a good surf session brings.

I have been in sort of a slump lately, the "great waves" were always somewhere else.

(If you can believe the coconut wireless!)

One of life's truisms is that when you have the time to surf you don't have the money to travel and when you have the money you don't have the time.

I have had the time but local swell and wind machines wouldn't cooperate.

But today that changed.

The swell wasn't that promising and the last few days have been windy.

But every the optimist (and with a fresh pot of coffee) I got to the local spot early.

It looked small but glassy and no one out!

At this point I would like to thank everyone who had a few beers last night and skipped the dawn patrol!

So it was me and three other guys out for the first hour and a half.

Have you ever seen a bear gorging himself on salmon?

That what it felt like!

Nice sized glassy peak, 

no one else on it, 

take off and pull in,

over and 

over and 

over and


I think spring is coming

Here are some shots from around the yard 

Another post plucked from the archives

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Stokefest, SDSFF and Bird's Shed

Just got back from my first SDSFF / stokefest weekend ok it was just a Saturday but still. the stokefest went off in knee high surf directly seaward of the Cardiff Kook  which on the mat is still overhead but since it was the first time I have been in  the water since, well the last time it was fun.

Then on to Bird's Shedd which is part Congressional Library of SoCal surf history, part lending library and the hub of the SDSFF and SD surf culture. This was my first time and my neck will take days to recover from the 23 degree posterior bend from looking up at the ceiling (Sistine Chapel ceiling for surfboard lovers) Look a Plastic Fantastic! Was that a Shoe?, An 80's Rusty, a quiver of Frye's, Pendo's personal big wave performance gun, and that's just what I can remember because my head exploded about half way through... if you haven't been you gotta go. Then there was the movie(s) which were great,  Dirk's River Run is something akin to 2001 a space odyssey, but with a river, a kid, surf mats and a nice looking right instead of space ships, monkeys and a bunch  of stuff you really needed to read the book to understand.  All in all an awesome time. Thanks to PMK, Petra, Andrea, Glenn, Cher& Steve, Dirk, Kendog and a bunch of other people that put this event together. A set wave for all of you!

Friday, May 10, 2013

SDSFF Stokefest

Tomorrow 9-12 
Before the Movie
"River Run"
Set 4

Monday, May 6, 2013

Hoots and Shakas - SDSFF this week

(yes this is the actual offshore viewing platform)
Just, you know, a little thing PMK and the miscellaneous misfits put on

(yes last years graphic but I like it)
There is music at the after party

(yes the event location went with another poster but I like Matt Beard's Art what can I say)

So get your tickets


Friday, May 3, 2013


this semi-random picture found on the internets


it looked good

Thursday, May 2, 2013

River Run Q&A

Check it out over on Surfmatters this morning

Some Q & A on Dirk's movie River Run with Ken Dog

River Run will be in the

San Diego Surf Film Festival

this year

Check it out

Score some tickets

Come to the show!