(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.
Well it has stopped raining actually,
just a brief shower really
but it's July
and where as
is not entirely unheard of
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
that I am tempted
to give up the whole
and just watch
the weather man stand
in front of the green screen
and tell me what the temperature is
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.
(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.
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.
Oh yeah "surf blog" the NWS keeps warning me about ... BEACH HAZARDS STATEMENT REMAINS IN EFFECT FROM 10 AM PDT THIS MORNING THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING...* WAVES AND SURF... SURF BUILDING TO 3 TO 6 FEET THIS AFTERNOON AND CONTINUING THROUGH SUNDAY EVENING.
"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.
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.
... HIGH SURF ADVISORY REMAINS IN EFFECT UNTIL 2 PM PDT SUNDAY...
* SURF... 5 TO 8 FEET TODAY WITH HIGHER SETS BETWEEN DANA POINT AND HUNTINGTON BEACH. ON SATURDAY... AVERAGE SURF HEIGHTS LOWER TO BETWEEN 4 AND 7 FEET. BY SUNDAY AFTERNOON... AVERAGE SURF HEIGHTS SHOULD DROP TO BELOW 4 FEET.