April 30, 2003
looked promising.. but..

woke at the butt-crack of dawn, sauntered out of my house and noticed a faint offshore flow! huh! cruised to the north side of town, 3 guys out at FPers.. saw one ride in about 15 minutes.. otherwise flat. Looking around the corner the ocean didn't look it's normal sloshed mayhem.. maybe OB?? cruised passed a dead-flat lands-end, then around the corner to Kelly's. the sea-surface not bad, a little groomed even. Pretty much no wind to speak of, blue skies, no crowds, punchy little wind swell, low tide, tons of waves.. getting excited??? well.. so was I.. for about 14 seconds.. until i fully realized that shit just wasn't working. head-high waves would do the increasingly familiar "OB dance" of breaking big, soft and mushy on an outer bar, then slamming and frumping closed in disorganized recklessness on the inside. I saw one guy out at VFers who actually scored a ride or two.. then two guys out at Sloat. I watched a pretty nice peak at Pacheco for a while before i decided to give it a miss.. DEFINITELY surfable.. the kind of day where you'd probably be psyched that you jumped in after the fact. but.. for me.. this morning.. i wasn't feelin' it. This is exactly why east coast surfers might hate us.. surfable waves that just get ignored because we're used to better waves. I'm also coming off of 4 point break sessions in a row, which makes the thought of the obligatory 100 duck-dives at OB seem rather daunting.

if the wind stays light the random beachies like pomponio/san gregorio/Don't Eat Us Creek/Gazos/etc.. might be doing their thing this morning? the swell is pretty good for those places.. medium to small wind swell.. go check it.

Gerry Lopez at Pipe.. as classic as it gets.

Raglan... is that Kaiser out there?

Lakey Peak.. scene of my first in and out barrel
lakey peak

Laird.. in all his glory.

salsa bravo - "the end of the road" according to Alan Weisbecker.
salsa bravo

Posted by Ethan at 10:11 AM
April 29, 2003
onshores.. nasty at the beaches

SW wind killing OB... and probably most spots south of lindy too.
medium-sized wind-swell showing promise if you can find a protected cove or sheltered coastal undulation.
Surfed with Christian most of the morning. Junky, head-high waves cruising in and occasionally offering up some flesh. Christian caught a few beauties and tore em up purdy niice with some driving carves. The positive flow and rhythm that comes with surfing well never swept me up this morning.. i missed a few good ones, wimped out on one, got behind the peak and closed out on, and just basically barfed on a few others.. I caught a few friendly guys in the beginning of the sesh and was able to initiate a bit of on-rail speed work.. but.. otherwise did a lot of paddling and duckdiving and watching and wishing i was 10 yards that way or 20 feet this way, etc..


Like a low, dark cloudbank, the huge wall of water rumbles closer.
A rational mind would plead escape, but the flow beckons deeper.
Stroke and fade confidently within the sucking, lurching leviathan.
Boils and rocks peak through underneath,
the ocean scatters and escapes into the condensced wave form behind you..
You tilt forward as the bottom evaporates.
Crouched low, knees and thighs absorbing, mouth grimacing, cheeks sucked back into accellerated fierceness.
Blurbles and ugly dollops of wave slab churn and throb around you.
Resolutely shove your hand into the face.. step on the brakes. stall back deeper and deeper.
Round cylindrical hellfire crushes and bellows.
ships, bodies and rocks circle around and bash into the bone-smattering floor.
Unfazed.. the pinprick of light at the end of the maelstrom is your beacon.
Colors bend and sizzle, triumphant celestial sound. the music of the universe. the harmony of destruction.
the curtain falls and carries you asunder.
into the bowels.
into the underbelly.
into the next life.
into the now.


windsurfer killing it (thanks to go for the pic)

baja niceness

Posted by Ethan at 10:14 AM
April 28, 2003
weekend of waves.. shitty this morning

happy monday morning!
Usually my favorite time for a surf (small crowds, kick off the week right), this monday morning didn't really materialize for bay area surfers. OB a bit bigger than yesterday but the strong WSW winds were mucking it up good. Blustery and cold, ocean surface hacked and nasty.. points north a no go.. one guy out at a bigger/mushy/wild FPers where overhead peaks would break forecefully but then provide no shoulder.

soo.. a little weekend recap if you're interested.

friday my friend and i got a late start up to Mendo and ended up checking FPers on the way. Pulled up to see localised sunshine, 25+ people in the lineup.. and probably the best conditions i've seen there in a LONG time, maybe ever? Glassy surface, thick waves of all sorts... some peeling down the point, some wrapping and barrelling on the inside, some funnelling all the way around to the extreme inside, walling up and just peeling forever. Sorrowfully, the "crew" ruled the roost and held an iron grip on the main peak. I witnessed and overheard probably 6 or 7 verbal lashings from "locals" toward "nonlocals".. everything from "Learn to duckdive you fucking kook!" to "Fuck you!" All and all a LOT of negative and tense attitude out there. scowls and anger. it was weird because that vibe just didn't coincide with the resickulous waves coming through about 10 waves a minute! seriously, it was not only great out there, but unbelievably consistent. After about 10 minutes of deliberation, "is it too crowded out there? do i want to deal with the vibes?" i couldn't deny the amazing waves and paddled out anyway.. chilled on the inside and picked off 5 or 6 nuggets in about an hour. really fun drops and a backside slash or two off the top.. fun.. People scored MANY MANY barrels, more than i've ever seen, and i saw more than one scary wipeout into the rocks as people jockeyed for inside position. yo!

soo.. then we cruised up to mendo.. checked out a random spot just south of the russian rivermouth that wasn't working (thanks for the tip eightwest) extremely beautiful though.

we then scored an amazingly romantic/peaceful/intense/celestial evening atop these huge bluffs overlooking the ocean. Distant, energized storms pulsed and threatened out at sea, filling the sky with ominous, mysterious, seductive grey storm clouds. SOOO snuggly and cozy!! late night jacuzzi on the deck under the stars.. mars shining then disappearing behing clouds.. wine and discussion.. life, wonder, awe.

Saturday morning the winds started and i anticipated probable skungage at Robme's fave mendo point break. but through some divine intervention? the wind calmed down and i somehow lucked into a 2 hour low-tide session at roping/throwing/peeling/thwacking P* with only 1 other person!! and i was glad that other person was out there as the exposed reef, shifting/scary breakers and abundance of grey-suited "locals" kept my heart a-flutter. This was without doubt the best session (in terms of wave quality and how i surfed) that i've scored in the last 6 months. probably about 25 rides. all overhead.. all thick meaty walls. the sea surface was a bit bouncy so the drops were really challenging and technical. P* really demands precision on your drops, as the wave rises and sucks and rises and thickens before it finally lets you in. then it's all about pointing your stick in the right direction, crouching low and just powering down the face and into the bottom turn. I'm not sure how but i actually didn't miss any drops!! weird as i'm usually prone to a few heinous wipeouts during my sessions. It felt great to throw myself over the ledge of overhead waves.. and then enjoy a fatty fat fat face to carve and play with. If you could balance yourself right and set your feet properly on your board right at the outset, the speed of the drop would enable pretty much any maneuver you could muster. I pulled off a bunch of full-body power carves that are still reverberating around my head and cleansing my soul with positive stoke. I nearly died at one point, however.. i took off on a smaller wave on the inside.. made the late drop ok.. then started to turn right and saw two huge boulders sticking out of the water RIGHT in my path!! i quickly turned left a bit and thought that my fins bumped one of the rocks.. then i jumped off before running aground into dry reef.. came up out of the whitewater and nearly got sucked into a gurgling rock. i collected my board and got out of there.. luckily another wave didn't crush my arse or i would have been hurting.. bad..

soo.. that was a great seshy..

then on the way home from mendo saturday afternoon we stumbled upon a secret spot in northern sonoma county that was firing! an unmarked pullout off the 1.. i saw a few surf racks and decided to check it.. we walked through the mud for a bit down to the cliff-edge, only to see this little, sheltered cove with a fairly sick left peeling and doing its thing.. about 3 or 4 locals psyched and getting on it. One guy told me that this spot only breaks about once a month. i didn't surf but just watched for a while.. marked that location in my memory banks for future reference. (soupy and eightwest, email me if you'd like specifics).

then surfed FPers yesterday with 1 or 2 others.. not much coming in.. but i still managed 8 or 9 rides in about 1.5 hours. mostly small grinders RIGHT along the rocks on the inside. I have funny story about this lame kid who pretty much ruined the chill vibe.. but.. i best get some work done here..

great weekend.. not sure where you'd score surf today?? maybe lindy during the afternoon high if th wind stays out of the south?

good luck homies!


Posted by Ethan at 10:08 AM
April 24, 2003
skunked! again!!!

did the drive from VFers to Lindy..
pouring rain, NW onshore wind, junkified, crumbly nastiness the whole way down.
Lindy particularly narsty with a huge brown slick of water stretching from the pump house all the way out toward Pedro Point. I thought with the stormy conditions there might be a chance for raging offshores at Lindy.. but.. nope!

sounds like conditions improved throughout the day at OB yesterday, based on the surfpulse report and on what wrybread said on e's.. soo.. maybe you'll get lucky if you're working at home and poke your head out around 11oclock?

the SF buoy has been giving some weird readings this morning.. i guess because of the local storm.. but.. right now it's at 6.6ft and 17seconds.. soo.. maybe your favorite low-tide spots will hook it at around 1:30 this afternoon... wish i could be out there:( so bummed on two mornings of skunkification!

i'm off to mendocino tomorrow morning. fur sure i'll check point arena.. hopefully it will be on. papa buoy is at 16.4ft and 13seconds.. soo.. there is some energy out there. maybe not too mature.. but.. waves can be found for the crafty/wily wave-riding enthusiast. get creative!

andy irons shralping
andy irons.. thwaaaack!

Posted by Ethan at 10:02 AM
April 23, 2003
grrr.. skunked!!

argh.. drove from VFWs to Lindy.. SW wind gusty and blowing, but not absolutely horrible.
VFers.. crumbly, ugly, yellow-foam, blech..
Rivera.. peak working.. sort-of.. saw a few intriguing sections.. but the sea-surface was just bobbly and jumbly and tumultuous.. it didn't look pleasant. and i thought i'd find better..
Second-Lot-Sloat - sea-surface maybe a tad smoother.. but.. waves would break and then back-off.. just not really working..

Sharp Park - wind blowing directly onshore.. hard.. nothing really close to surfable.

Rockaway - i sat there for a while on my way back from lindy. almost succumbed to the "when in doubt, paddle out" philosophy.. but.. one potential peeling face for every 15 closeouts just wasn't the ratio i was after..

Lindy - dumpy, gutless, ugly, grey, onshore, terrible.

I thought about heading down to the Jetty.. especially considering the South swell in the water.. but.. with the south wind i figured it would be blown.. but.. now i'm thinking that i should have given it a shot.. winds might be switched around a bit in HMB.

sounds like dano and others scored huge in santa cruz yesterday.. You heads are Biatches!! i'm jealous.. I usually love espousing the "niceness" mentality.. good vibes.. yadda yadda.. but when people score sick waves and i don't.. i'm bummin!!!! HARD!!!! but i still want to hear about it!

anyhoo.. my skunkage was utterly, totally erased upon returning home to the cozy/comfy/smiling/warm-skinned/sparkly sunshine.. umm... yeah..

dano sent this in of santa cruz yesterday..
santa cruz

Slater carving 360
Slater 360

This is the result of the gnarly sewage overflow situation in Pathetica.. WATCH OUT!!!
Pacifica Sewer Shark

Otto's Dream

Posted by Ethan at 10:13 AM
April 22, 2003
dunno.. i opted for snuggles.

I missed it this morning. looks like an NNE wind blowing at about 8mph at OB. Swell looks jumbled and disorganized on the cams. outer water pretty smooth. probably not the best OB morning.. though.. maybe if you paddled past all the junk on the inside there would be a nice outside peak workin' for you? Other local spots will probably be real fun right about now (9:56). SF buoy reads 9.5ft at 9sec... it was reading 9.5 ft at 13seconds a minute ago.. soo.. huh.. it might actually be too small on the north side? dunno.. we'll have to wait to hear from tom and matt.. Santa Cruz county probably fantastic this morning with the NE wind and the tide receding. wish that i was cruising by Ano right now.. about to check all the north-county spots.. but.. alas.. pitter patter on the keyboard for the next 8 hours.. life of the worker drone..

soo.. i'll throw down a little recap of last friday's...

...Santa Cruz County Slurf Extravaganza.

-A little pre-movie skate in Midtown Terrace, Jake charges hard but wipes out on the asphalt. For 5 minutes the morrow's surf in jeopardy.. but.. no worries..

- Double feature at the Balboa theater.. fall asleep with cutbacks and barrels on the back of my eyelids.

- wake at 5:20, hit the road.. windy in sf.. windy in pathetica.. all the way down.. contemplate Waddell.. drive to 4-mile, back to waddell.. ponder and ruminate on a windy/disheveled/surfer-less Waddell.. drive into Santa Cruz propah'.. glassy, sunny, no-wind, mellow.. about 10 people out at the lane.. super low-tide. a few peaks working, offering scrumptious shoulder-high ramps and glassy little niceties.. a little morning clam-bake boost-up in the car. slank out to the lane.. i immediately stroke into a few.. nothing stellar.. but.. couple speedy sections and a cutty or two.. cool to be in the lineup with the Jake-factor.. smiles and good vibes at the Lane on this post-dawn-patrol friday morning. Jake nabs an inside guy and i see him bash the lip twice. nice. A lot of waiting.. an otter floats by, banging a crab against a rock in his hand.. 2.5 hours and 20 rides each later.. we're over it..

- cafe brazil for breaky. delectible pancakes, lickable brazilian waitresses, mouth-watering smoothies. yuuummm!!

- on the lookout for our second sesh. cruise up to 4-mile.. eh.. blehh.. back to town.. east side.. check out 26th street.. ehh.. blehh.. jake sees a friend.. he's a local.. we cruise to his pad.. nug.. jam on guitar/drums.. sun shining in.. a little soccer in the yard.. warm air on my skin.. ahh.. santa fuckin' cruizy!! i'm down.. 3 of us off to pleasure point.. park and peak around the corner at first peak.. only about 8 guys out!!?? shoulder-head-high waves loping in and peeling along!!?! Jake can barely contain himself as he sprints back to the car for his wetty/board.. we're out there 2 minutes later.. working the peak.. catching inside guys.. I caught a few bigger waves and smacked the lip a few times.. Jake loves going left at right point breaks! then schools out and the grom-patrol takes over.. some really young gremmies.. surfing well.. then this water photog comes out and films this little blond ripper kid who is getting barrelled on the little left out there. shralping pretty hard but not excessively hard. once again we experience great vibes in the water and are totally surprised and stoked on it.. another 2.5 hours seshy and we're over it.. probably another 20 waves each but we're sitting alot too..

- pleasure pizza for the fuel up.

- head back up the coast and watch the kite-surfers at Waddell catching huge airs and pulling these wind-assisted layback snaps and shit.. looked soo fun and styly..

- pull up to Ano and walk out.. just to see whass up.. huh.. looks pretty good from afar.. we walk down to the beach.. pretty flat most of the time but an appetizing set marches through every 7 minutes or soo.. tight pack of 8 or 10 owning it.. ehh.. maybe just watch instead of suiting up, eh?.. jake feelin' the 3rd sesh.. me not really.. too crowded.. too cold.. wetty too clammy.. but slowly people start to leave as the day waxes into evening.. we decide WTF.. might as well hit that shit.. suit up in the windy parking lot.. trot down.. getting stoked for some meatier waves.. paddle out.. 5 of us in the water.. then 3.. then just Jake and i closing it out.. Fun, challenging, offshore-licked shoulder-head-high meat rising steep and wedging in that little corner of beach. walled, high-performance, glassy faces to scoot down or bash against if you're skilled enough to do so.. I caught a *maybe* barrel.. definitely slotted in the mouth.. maybe deeper? I saw Jake take off behind the peak on a solid set wave.. watched him charge down the late drop.. then disappear as i paddled over the back.. turns out he enjoyed brief barrelage.. but then the wave clamped on him and pushed him through the curtain. I suffered a hein wipeout on one nice nice set wave (would have been my best wave out there).. i just couldn't paddle into it with the offshores and the wedge.. ended up going over the falls.. d'oh..

then back to Stanford.. bong-loads.. a little september sessions.. then out to a rager party.. band.. ladies.. chill vibes.. i see/meet about 3 or or 4 of the countless ladies that Jake has on his tip. word.. workin' it. random steamroller dealings.. late-night LAIRD-watching session..

anyway.. that's the rough-draft recap..


Posted by Ethan at 10:30 AM
April 21, 2003
some waves in san mateo county

Good morning lads and lassies!
Brisk, chill morning at most bay area beaches as the sunlight battled rain-clouds for dominance of the sky. Spits of rain, rays of sun and a few moments of arcing rainbows speckled the morning horizon.
OB - bigger than yesterday.. much bigger.. SF buoy currently reading 9ft 14seconds.. it looks like it's a NW wind/groundswell mix producing most of the action.. However, the NW wind was blowin' a gale at 6:12am when i cruised sloat..
Pathetica - ruined and tattered by the onshores.. a few hapless souls, overwhelmed by jones, making a go of it at Lindy.. ugly..
Nude Beach (name?) - the big right at the north end of the beach looked like it was almost working. nobody on it.. but.. today could be the day for that place.
Montara - huge close-out slabs... a few cavernous barrels for the stout at heart.
Jetty - no wind! glassy.. small.. shoulder-head high peaks every few minutes.. only myself and another guy out for the whole dawn patrol. two peaks working and we split them between us. The right wedging-effect working nicely... albeit only on select waves. I caught three solid rides, and about 10 randoms.. Frigid water at the Jetty.. i mean.. really cold.. i couldn't turn the key in the iginition for a while after the sesh.

Jake and i scored a ton of waves on friday.. more on that later..


sweet barrel

niceness regular Paul
a lil' smack

norcal fun
sunny and glassy

nantucket pit
nantucket barrel

nantucket niceness
nantucket niceness

Posted by Ethan at 10:23 AM
April 17, 2003
wind is up now.. but.. i squeaked in a sesh

grey and rainy as i pulled up to VFers at 6:30... same deal as yesterday.. dirty/dumpy/wild/foamy and unappetizing.. cruise the beach.. same shit.. pull up to second lot sloat.. hmm.. definitely cleaner.. a huge stretch... from the northern end of ft funston to the bathrooms at sloat showing smooth sea-surface and fun-looking peeling, glassy waves and peaks scattered amidst closeouts and random fumblings. huh.. rain spitting and pelting my window.. get out of the car and feel the beginning trickles of a NW onshore.. but.. not too bad yet.. nobody out but i decide to paddle out anyway.. looks not too huge or menacing.. but.. 20 minutes and 30 duckdives later.. i'm still paddling out.. not believing how difficult and treacherous the paddle-out is after it looked so peaceful and inviting from up atop the cliff.. anyway.. FINALLY make it out.. after sever ice-cream headache and one long rest of just laying on my board in the impact zone, letting whatever happened happen.. anyhoo.. out in the lineup.. solo.. sea-surface super clean.. nice, BIG waves breaking all over.. probably close to 8ft faces on some of them.. chunkified too!! crazy! anyway.. i took off on a few rights that sectioned quickly.. but i made it over the back.. then a ledging, precipitous left that left me smiling.. another left where i was able to thwack the lip pretty good.. then sitting.. just thinking.. alot of those diminutive jellyfish with sails all around.. then i see a guy with a red longboard about to paddle out.. cool.. some company!... 15 minutes later i see him walking back to his car.. guess he got denied.. caught a really fun, big-wavy right.. where i had to paddle down the face a bit to get into the beast.. but then i funnelled down the drop.. bottom turned.. raced along for a bit.. then the wave started to bowl severely and offered up this curved wall that i instinctively banked a high-speed top-turn off of and sent out a fan of spray!! fuck yeah!! felt good. wasn't really that difficult either.. i just happened to be at the right place and just turned.. the bowling effect of the wave did all the work for me and made it look like a power snap.. sometimes surfing just makes sense like that.. Next i caught this well-overhead left and bounced and bumbled down the face.. laughing and teary-eyed from the mach-speed and power.. so psyched.. in my groove now.. catching big wild OB outside mackers, having a blast.. taking waves on the head.. fuddling with my ear-plugs that pop out after every serious thrashing. then, all of a sudden, i notice about 4 or 5 people paddling RIGHT toward me! i had been solo the whole seshy, the whole beach was empty.. seriously.. and these guys are paddling RIGHT at me.. huh.. weird.. but.. no worries.. i decide to take one more wave in and call it a sesh. NW wind was definitely stonger as i de-suited.. but.. i'm psyched on a classic OB experience.. especially in mid-april.. I mean.. shit was big and thick out there. and the paddle out had my shoulders burning and my paltry human pride wounded and humbled in the face of the mighty pacific..

check out this story told by former world champ Shaun Thompson - he's talking about J-Bay:
"As I got older I moved up the point. For me it was an important place because as I got better I moved up to more and more challenging sections of the wave.
Then came a big day - six to eight feet - very few guys in the water. Even through the 80s I used to surf there with few guys in the water - the surfing population (hadn't exploded) - during school holidays you get out there with just a few guys in the water. I took off on this wave way out the back at this place called Boneyards - and as I took off, about a hundred dolphins took off on the same wave with me.
So I was flying through this eight foot wave on a great surfboard with dolphins all around me. As I turned, they turned. I had this whole school of dolphins with me! It was amazing to sort of feel a bond with the dolphins. As I rode through the inside section down towards Supertubes - all the dolphins disappeared and I was riding the wave by myself, or so I thought. But two dolphins must have been riding the wave with me, because as I pulled up into this really, really deep tube section - I was way back in the tube, 10 or 20 feet back inside - the two dolphins jumped out of the wave, right out of the water directly in front of me. They went through the tube, and I went right through the spray they left behind."

Slates at Bells..

Posted by Ethan at 09:59 AM
April 16, 2003
offshores! scored some waves..

yo! sounds like a few of you (dano, eightwest) scored "tasty" waves yesterday. very cool.. Cruised OB this morning around 6:30.. wind a faint offshore.. sea-surface basically groomed and scalloped.. looking good.. but.. for some reason the swell wasn't jiving with the sandbars/tide/vibe of OB this morning.. head-high waves would flirt with breaking on an outer bar and then dump quickly and violently on an inside sandbar.. A few nice sections presented themselves here and there.. but you'd be paddling and repositioning and duck-diving and cursing and jockeying to find your spot.. so.. onward.. rounded the hill into Pacifica and the flags are blowin hard *STRAIT OFFSHORE!* seriously!! i couldn't really believe it.. but.. the flags don't lie.. or.. do they?.. but.. they weren't this morning.. i checked Gazebos and almost solo sessioned there.. but after about 10 minutes of back-and-forth indecisiveness i concluded that the waves were too mushy and inconsistent.. although every few minutes a glorious, razor-edged section would rip and peel along, being held-up by the brisk offshores.. hmm.. at that point i knew i get slurf somewhere so i was stiz-oked.. onward through sharp park.. ehh.. almost.. maybe i'll come back.. then to Smoke-a-Jay.. hmm.. SE offshore breeze PERFECT for "the Jay".. swell not being received perfectly.. but.. waves were offering up some "skin" in the middle of the beach.. glassy conditions, shoulder-head high waves.. mostly closing but sometimes offering a steep, barrelly shoulder. only 2 others on it.. I surfed for about 75 minutes.. caught about 8 rides.. nothing great.. one pitching/racy left.. a few punchy rights.. pulled back on one i should have charged.. this one shortboarder got a little in-and-out barrel.. the sun came out.. the waves shut-down.. i rolled.. felt good to get back on it.. and.. offshore wind!! i kiss you, offshore wind!!

oh yeah.. the uber-heady sorcerer of wavefest fame.. bandini.. is putting together a sure-to-be-sick double header of surf flicks tomorrow night at the balboa theater.. Poor Specimenís 3 Degrees and Billabongís Frame Lines. 7:15 and 9:15... 38th and balboa.. april 17.. bring your stoke.. bring your nugs.. bring your popcorn.. bring your girly.. bring your dog!?


angorie point... i'm down.

Haggarty's.. i think?
So Cal


for those who thought Costa Rica was wussy

Posted by Ethan at 10:24 AM
April 15, 2003
drove the stretch.. nothing

land's end - flat
eagle's - swell showing.. gaping closeouts.. maybe for the boogies?
north beach (noriega-vfws) - jarbled, upchucky, head-high, long paddle
south beach (funstoned-noriega) - a little cleaner.. still messy and dismal, long paddle
Rockaway - the little right in front of the southern parking lot flirted with working.. but.. closed out 95% of the time.. swell showing.
Lindy - pathetic..

i saw what may have been potential in the sharp-park region.. but didn't really investigate.. the wind was blowing hard out of the WSW up high on the 1 rounding down into pacifica.. but seemed pretty light at the 'mar.. based on the swell size at OB and lindy, and the presence of southerly direction in the wind.. i figured the jetty wouldn't be working.. though?? who knows.. ahh.. i just thought of a spot that might be working.. it's one of Tom's old faves.. hmm... if you know it maybe give it a check..

If you could be any animal what would you be? (jellyfish, flying squirrel)
If you could be any superhero who would you be? (aquaman, green lantern)
Would you rather be a fast-living/touring/groupy-loving/rampaging/arena-rocking guitar-god or a sensual/low-key/meditative/prolific/island-living surf journalist? (both)
true love for one day every year or loveless sex every day of every year? (true love)
be invisible for 4 hours at any point in world history or at any point in the future? (future)
madonna or marilyn monroe (MM)
Spicoli or Slater from dazed and confused? (spicoli)
mountains or ocean? (both)
dawn or dusk? (dawn)
redwoods or palms (redwoods)
reefbreaks or pointbreaks (points)
lefts or rights (lefts)
barrels or airs (barrels)
gavin Beschen or Bruce Irons (Gavin B)
Slater or Curren (Slates... tough one!!)
Layne Beachly or Lisa Anderson (Lisa Anderson... not tough at all!!)
Pipeline or Teahupoo? (hmmmm...)
Gland or Cloudbreak? (cloudbreak)
Bali or Lombok? (Lombok)
Sumbawa or Sumba? (Sumba)
beauty or truth? (hmm..)
grace or honesty? (honesty)
flow or rightiousness? (flow)
strength or flexibility? (flexibility)

Posted by Ethan at 10:27 AM
April 14, 2003

whaddup homies.. i'm out of the surf-loop this morning.. just drove from SLO-town after a 4am wakeup.. but made it to work on time.. I'm feelin' weird now..

Based on the diminished swell and slight offshore winds it looks like there is probably surf to be had in the local zone?? anyone??

sorry not much of a report today.. work beckons immediately..

bagel had this to say about his fiji trip..
"just thought id chime in...got back from Namotu Fiji a few days ago. was there for a week and im telling you, if any of you ever get a chance to check that place out, you must. one of the best surf trips of my life. it never got toooo big, but the last couple of days had some overhead+ surf and there are spots where you can always find something at least head high...had some epic sessions at Namotu lefts (one of the 2 exclusive waves on that island) it never really got big enough for the other exclusive wave to really break, but got "swimming pools" about shoulder high, a peeerfect right..the potential of that place is amazing...also a place across the pass called Wilkes, supposedly the longest right in Fiji when its working(and big), got that place about head high... just a beutiful vacation..im still on Fiji time as they say..sooo chilled out nothing can really phase me at the moment..saw sharks and all kinds of sea life. yellow fin and wa hoo jumping out of the 80 degree aquarium clear water..chilling with really cool staff on the island and the local fijians, the most mellow and funny people ever..its taken some time to adjust to this place, ready to go home now and throw on my wetsuit and booties and see how OB stacks up tongight..hurray for daylight savings..looks fun on the cam, glassy at least. seems like y'all have been getting waves...peace"

Posted by Ethan at 10:09 AM
April 11, 2003
solid at OB

I'd say an improvement from yesterday.
Thick, shoulder/head-high mounds rising up and churning along in shallow water. One of the few times where the waves turned out to be about as large as they looked from the lot.. Usually you might comment to yourself from the comfort of your hoodie in the lot, "Gee.. it doesn't look too big out there, maybe head-high, mellow between sets"... and then you get out there and it's double-overhead destructo-freight-trains beating you down relentlessly..
but this morning i'd say head-high.. pretty glassy.. maybe a faint SW breeze.. slight jarble and rip to the water in the lineup, but not really compromising the niceness. Surfed with Robme.. Kaiser and Marco on the next peak down. Not really many bombies presenting themselves.. more just seemingly mellow rollers that would gurgle and jack-up on the inside sandbar.. sometimes barrelling, sometimes closing, sometimes rifling perfectly down-the-line.. not really that crowded this morning either.. i think it was better in actuality than it looked from afar. I didn't pull any progressive maneuvers (for me) or anything.. one fun cutty on my frontside.. a few steep drops on both sides.. one left that i worked for a few off-the-tops.. Robme and i went back to back on what could have been the set of the morning.. first Robme digs-in and thrusts himself over the ledge on this bulbous, intimidating suck/lurch of a left. somehow makes the drop and powers down the line.. near barrelage?? then the next wave is mine.. similar to Robme's, maybe a bit smaller.. but a "hella" steep drop.. I barely hold on in the pig-dog but *just* pull my outside rail up enough to scoot through the drop.. felt good..

I don't know if it's because i had a good session.. or if the conditions were good.. but.. goodness pervades the morning.. let's keep it flowin' into the weekend!

go get some..

marco/kaiser - you heads score?

buoys are up.. papa is at 17ft 14sec.. hmm..

wish this was ob this morning! It's somewhere in California.. anybody know where? i don't..

Dano sent this in.. santa cruz during the last south swell.. umm.. yeah!
santa cruzin'

on the head


Posted by Ethan at 10:15 AM
April 10, 2003
good at VFers.. but..

Pulled up in the pea-soup fog. Couldn't see jack-shite.. huh!? Just a hint of onshore breeze.. but no real biggie.. really couldn't see anything from the lot.. Kaiser and i paddle out anyway.. Immediately realize there are fun/peeling/glassy sections cruisin' in.. smaller than yesterday.. but same general shape to the waves.. probably less closeouts but a bit mushier. caught a few mini-rides.. sorta fun.. got a good/steep left that closed on me.. couldn't tell if we were drifting or what?? super still and grey and foggy out there.. calm, drippy, somber atmosphere.. theme from jaws.. spooky.. a few more peeps paddle out.. Blakestah out there.. eventually just Blakestah, Kaiser and i.. we think we're south of VFers but don't really know.. fog sooo thick.. not really much coming in where we're sitting.. Blakestah takes off on a few.. i wipe out on a semi-nice right walling closeout.. I'm generally kooking out all over the place.. geez. a few choice nuggets grind and peel just out of reach.. grr.. I'm sitting and waiting and not getting anything.. for a while.. then a patch of blue sky appears overhead.. i paddle inside and north for a while.. finally find a little inside sandbar.. catch a few little conical blips.. super-steep drops followed by not much.. catch one final ride where i finally light into a big fat full-bodied cutty.. felt good.. came in.. realize we're pretty far south.. maybe around judah? walk back to VFers.. it's sunny now.. VFers is GOING OFF!! nobody out.. everybody sucked south.. huh!?

that's the dealy..

good to hear the marin county representation yesterday.. right on!

matt sent in these pics of midwinter OB
big ob

big ob

how about this drop?
steep drop

this is what i'm talkin' about
hawaii gauge

Posted by Ethan at 10:12 AM
April 09, 2003
pumpin' thumpin' and dumpin'

deeaamnn.. shit was hittin' this morning.. probably still is right now (10am).
I woke up late but still made it to VFers by 7.. The swell had obviously filled in since yesterday morning.. overhead+ waves sucking-up and CRACKing ferociously along the shallow inside sandbar. Probably about 20 or 30 heads in the water when i paddled out.. even more at the end of my session. The sea-surface was super glassy. The swell kinda raw and jumbled... but powerful!!! geezarks! Waves were barreling, waves were massively closing out.. waves looked like pipeline, waves looked like Waimea Bay shore-pound. there were fun/rampy shoulder-high 'tweener waves.. then a set would march in and just unload. I saw some incredible rides out there.. One guy took off on a overhead++ bomb.. barely held on for the drop.. then grabbed his rail and miraculously jettisoned along inside this monster/foaming/snarling beast of a barrel.. then this huge/thick/bullyish slab of wave soared over the top of him and gulped him into its bowels.. ouch. I witnessed Kaiser take off on a serious serious bomb.. the dude fuckin' BARELY made the drop on his frontside.. he just held on to that shit... then screamed down the line.. i was paddling over the top of the wave, a bit down the line.. and i tellz ya that thing was THHIIICKK.. chunkified meat. There was this other guy out who was just ruling.. (white short-board, goetee, skull-cap, blue stripes on his wetty). Cheers to that guy if you're reading this. He probably caught 25 rides during my session ( i caught about 10).. he was just real smooth and solid.. not flashy but ripping. turning hard in the critical sections of mutant/chunky waves. fun to watch.. I caught one life-affirming left where i made the drop pretty easy.. didn't really need to pig-dog.. but then the wave kept getting faster and faster, hollower and hollower.. till i was not only pig-dogging but kind-of pig-dog-extending.. pulling up hard with my outside hand.. back foot almost slipping off the board.. back knee flat against the back of board, etc.. but i was in the mouth of a mean barrel and i could feel it's throbbing juice all around. then i got pretty much spit out.. which i hadn't really felt before.. not spit out like pipe or anything.. probably more like "nudged" out.. but.. it still felt cool..

anyway.. shit is on fire.. not perfect, not mellow, not all-time.. but.. firing..

oh yeah.. marco.. thanks for the cash toward the fort-point surfer defense fund!! so funny! and the "jerry ripped" sticker.. siick!


Posted by Ethan at 10:26 AM
April 08, 2003
glassy.. small.. find your sandbar

Mini meandering muslix of swell showing at the beach...
Mostly dumpy and small.. but glassy and clear too..
Kaiser and i found a sandbar around lincoln.. Fun for about 40 minutes until a whole squadron of people paddled over RIGHT on top of us.. i mean.. that's cool and all.. but I don't think that our peek was significantly better.. It's the magnetic crowd principle in full effect.. "Where surfers are sitting.. other surfers will follow." anyway.. the vibe was cool.. so i should stop griping.. The sandbar created a bowling, pitching effect to the breaking waves. I suffered three huge nosediving wipeouts on my backside before i figured the damn thing out. My last ride hooked my shit.. Sitting deeper than the pack.. i faded into this head-high left. As i paddled I saw the section ahead of me begin to go concave.. A few power-paddles.. immediate pop-up/pig-dog/slide-down-face/pull-up-on-outside-rail and i was in the barrel! I could feel myself move and groove inside the tube.. not consciously.. just my body reacting automatically to the bend and languid movement inside the wave.. then i was out.. just a quick small shack but it immediately stoked my stoke! I caught one other high-speed right during the seshy where i pulled an ok grinding turn along the top.. other than those two rides i just got some little fun ditties.. I'm sure there are empty sandbars all over the middle of the beach.. I probably should have checked but i just decided to jump in at the first spot i stopped.

go get wet

I love this pic

the other day at blacks beach

east coast mayhem
east coast mayhem

Posted by Ethan at 10:14 AM
April 07, 2003
glassy.. punchy.. lackluster conditions

solo sloat mission this morning..
windless, glassy conditions..
shoulder/head-high waves cracking on the inside sandbar.
Mostly closeouts but many many grey pits of dispair..
I pulled back on this one right that threw and peeled along perfectly..
Still bumming on that one..
Caught another right that opened up nicely and allowed for a full-tilt power cutty.. haven't pulled one of those since last weekend... reawakened that primal sense of pleasure in the expressive outlay of surfing. ahhhh..
caught about 6 or 7 others.. fun but not resickulous.

surfed the HOok yesterday afternoon.. probably one of the nicest vibes i've ever felt in the water there.. only about 3 of us sitting on the main peak.. not much coming in save for a shoulder high set every 5 minutes or so.. racy, glassy walls.. sometimes closing.. sometimes makeable with frantic pumping and precision line choice. pulled a floater and a nice off-the-top.. Biffed on a really nice wave.. felt a pungent, definitive, mellow-yellow stoke in the water.. yeah santa cruz!! There was also a friendly, jovial otter floating on it's back in the lineup.. just munching on a crab, making eye-contact with surfers.. and seemingly having a great time.. I got to about 4 feet of him at one point. i was like, "what's up buddy!" Also watched some incredible ripping out at Pleasure point.. HOT DAMN!!!

chowed so hard at Pleasure Pizza.. aww muthhaa funkinnn. yeah..

Big Sur unbelievably beautiful this weekend.. We absolutely scored with perfect crisp/clear weather. great for camping.. NW wind raged... I watched Molera breaking OK with strong offshores and the occasional head-high, wind-licked A-frame.. I also peeped F****** sort-of breaking.. but not really.. that place looks seriosly gnar! geez..

all and all the weekend uplifted my spirit and catapulted me, fresh and smiling, into the now.. thanks...


blakestah!! dude.. great to see you posting.. your input is welcomed and encouraged here!! I think people get bummed when you stop your report in the spring.

Posted by Ethan at 10:08 AM
April 04, 2003
nadda in sf

Robme and thought we'd score on the north side of town as the sun rose over Robin Williams' mauve palace. sea-surface and wind (w 5mph) not too bad.. but.. the swell dissapated over night. Flatness where we hoped for waves. Horizontality where we hoped for undulating cosign patterns.. Mind straining to see the inviting glassy peelers i had dreamt of.. Wizardly attempting to coax and manifest blips of swell from the deep... but.. to no avail.. shit was flat.. and.. sorrowfully.. i'm no wizard.. though.. how sweet would that be! Crafting bizarre elixers that ellicit prophetic dreamscapes.. Chanting arcane linguistic rhymes that enduce flight, or rain, or romance.. growing a styly long beard and workin' the pointy hat. yeah.. that would be sweet.

On to OB.. junky.. blown.. dribbling.. smaller and messier (sp?) than yesterday.. not really surfable.. nobody out.. i didn't check Pacifica.. maybe rockaway?? probably too small for the jetty.. there is swell in the water though.. and the wind isn't utterly penalizing.. soo.. probably slurf somewhere..

Marcus sent me this pick of Peru.. he just got back yesterday and said it was... ON FIRE!... lucky dog..
peruvian niceness

Posted by Ethan at 10:11 AM
April 03, 2003
Royal smack-down at OB

Cruised the beach around 7.. looked big but not too big..
unruly but not too unruly..
jumbled but not too jumbled..
Down at second lot sloat things looked almost smooth and inviting.. From the parking lot i was guessing head-high and a half, with lulls between sets.. there wasn't anybody out but that didn't really phase me. I figured most peeps assumed today's conditions to be like days past.
suit up and paddle out.. and paddle.. and paddle.. and duckdive.. and paddle.. and paddle.. and take 10 waves on the head.. and throb through repetitive ice-cream headaches.. and paddle.. and paddle... and duckdive.. and then float.. resting.. then take a few more on the head.. ditching my board on a huge one and diving as deep as possible.. getting sucked back and then ragdolled toward the beach for 50 yards.. contemplate bailing.. but get back on my board and start the never-ending paddle again.. at this point it feels like i'm in some sort of aquatic war-zone. Huge, voluminous double-overhead, sucking bombs detonating with little rhyme or reason all over the friggin place.. take more on the head.. realize that i'm way way way way out there at this point, that i've already drifted past 1rst lot sloat.. and i'm still not to the lineup.. probably been paddling for 25 minutes at this point.. FIIIINNNAAALLLYYY make it out and chill out for a sec.. Nobody else around.. thunderous, cacophonous rumblings pounding all around.. water-surface pretty glassy way outside.. catch a medium-sized right.. probably about a 7ft face.. race down.. botton turn.. back up and over the top before the whole thing sucks-out and closes. waiting and waiting for another wave.. Witnessing fucking huge cauldrons of white-water and ugly, thick, petrifying hell-barrels.. trying my darndest to avoid the beasts while still being in position to catch a good one if it comes.. then i see this gigantic double-overhead wall coming right at me.. gonna break on my head.. fuuuuck.. ditch my board and dive as deep as i can.. hear the crash from under water.. feel it suck me back up and all around.. mentally work through the Robme-holddown-count-slowly-relaxation technique.. the thing holds me down for a while but then spits me up.. annoying head-bounce on the bottom of board as i surface.. now i'm in the impact zone.. take another on the head.. catch the white-water of a random little guy.. but then get a little ride on the reform.. pounded by the shorepound on my way in.. arrhhg.. finally make it to the beach.. one hour of fifteen minutes.. 2 rides.. many beatings.. FUN!!!

dano sent these absolutely incredible pics of Santa Cruz during the current south swell.. farrkk!!


Rick Griffin is the man
rick griffin

wedge death
wedge death

this guy is great!
frank at the wheel

Posted by Ethan at 10:33 AM
April 02, 2003
looks junky..

sorry about the late and lackluster report.. I've been runnin' around this morning.. not slurfing.. dealing with the shit that needs to be dealt with.. you all know the drill..

anyway.. i think i picked a good morning to skip the languid glide.. as the wind is blowing out of the NW and OB looks junky.. The lane looks about perfect though.. so.. tom, jake, dano and the rest of you blessed to be able to roll to SC midday.. go hit that shit.. 4.5ft high tide around 1.. but.. it should be great as the tide dips at the end of the day.

the new "water" mag is out.. it's definitely my favorite magazine.. Gerry Lopez crafted an enjoyable yarn about his first ever barrel ride. there is also a macabre tale about an encounter with "the landlord" up in the lost coast. yikes..

soo.. i'll leave the actual first-hand conditions reporting to all you folk.. hopefully somebody scored waves!?

surfing haiku:
point waves reel along
parabolic bending lines
stare think salivate

bells beach

Posted by Ethan at 11:17 AM
April 01, 2003
crystalline glass, head-high perfection!

O My God
Rolled out of bed and thought it a bit windy but cruised down to VFers anyway.
As i turned into the parking lot the overcast, grey sky suddenly parted and these immaculate sunbeams cascaded down into the ocean.
I looked out to where they were alighting the sea and this pod of dolphins erupted from the water and twisted and cavorted in the air. wow!!
The frumpy, disorganized ocean-surface instantly reacted to the magical appearance of a mellow offshore breeze.. huh!! crazy!!
I'm not sure where it came from but the hairs on the back of my neck were bristling with excitement..
and the waves!!! WTF???
Never have i seen OB so playful and chock-full of nuggety ramps and reeling, never-ending lines. Everywhere you looked there was a wave peeling.. but everything happening on the inside bar.. not much of a paddle-out necessary.
Frothing with disbelief and ebullient excitement.. i put my wetty on backwards.. then had to reverse that shit.
absolutely sprinting down the the water.. i stroked out, turned around on the first good one that swung my way, and just got immediately shacked.. long, timeless, easy barrel.. came out and just pumped along the wall for a while.. a few more of those and i notice some activity on the beach.. huh?? weird.. it looks like a band setting up.. some congas.. huge bass cabinet, guitar, dready dudes.. before i know it they start kickin' out the fresh/funky/rhythmic reggae beats!!! fuck yeah!! now the flow is really kickin' in.. reggae thumpin' and pulsing.. long, quarter-pipe-like plate-glass sections funnelling in all over the place.. just a small, good-vibed crew in the water.. people gettin' barrels left and right, right and left..

man.. soo good..

here's a pic of this morning..
stellar ob

but.. fur realz.. tis april fools day!!

on the serious (cereal) tip it's messy, blown and ugly at all bay area beaches this morning.. good day to sleep in and snuggle up with your hunny or your pillow or .. umm.. whom(what)ever..

Posted by Ethan at 09:43 AM