September 30, 2003
surprise! there's surf!

Balderdash you may claim.
Nothing but ribald loose-mouthedness.
but au contrair, mon frere!
The wind gods slept-in this morning.
Gentle, windless calm at the beach as of 6:45.
Had to peel myself out of bed after late-night revelry.
Chilly, crisp, foggy atmosphere down at the beatch.
Smaller, vertically-challenged but well-shaped shoulders peeling here and there
Absolutely nobody out through the middle of the beach.
Paddled out near sharkbait's abode.
shoulder-high windswell peaks sucking and breaking on the shallow inside sandbars
did a snap or two but mostly just tucked and sped down crispy lines.
Relative glass!
Little quarter-sized jellyfish floating around... intriquing with their gelatinous searching tenticles.
Stepped on a crab on my way out.
Curious seals lurching out of the water, bucking their heads while staring me down, and then turning and leaping away..
Pelicans in formation, languidly gliding along unbroken waves.
Sea-gulls shitting.
Old chinese folk doing tai-chi on the beach.
Random psycho yelling at himself in the dunes.
Solitary strand of sea-weed that kept coming across my path.
peaceful, mellow, enjoyable vibes in the surf zone.
One guy paddled out at the end of my sesh.. kindly found his own peak a couple-hundre yards down but we still shared the special energy of a gentle, soulful, midweek OB dawn patrol.

tim mckenna photos (thanks bagel)

Posted by Ethan at 10:46 AM
September 29, 2003

whassup doggs and doggettes! Relative shite this morning at our illustrious beach break. The onshore winds just keep pummelling us with relentless force. Go to bed saturday night - onshore wind - wake up sunday morning - onshore wind - go to sleep dreaming of morning offshores last night - onshore wind - wake up this morning - onshore wind. Feels like spring or something. The small NW that we'll call "Blakestah's preseason baby swell" is slowly diminishing.. SF buoy currently at 4ft 11seconds. Kaiser and i thought about surfing this little wave yesterday but it ended up looking like crap.. soo.. i went for a skate down Ortega instead.. I carved all the way down the long, car-infested wave of asphalt.. From 25th ave to the beach.. thought about taking the 71 bus back up for another go.. but.. thought i'd have a quick look at the waves.. just in case.. and low and behold.. the wind had slackened just enough to allow for some acceptably schweet conditions. Sooo i skated my arse off to get home and into my wetty.. the sun was close to the horizon so i knew i'd have to skip the stretching and just pack as many waves as i could into the time before dark. I did the customary sprint from my house to the beach and paddled out. Dolphins and seals lept and danced as the western sky melded oranges and violets in some sort of celestial kaleidoscopic hue. The thin sliver of moon hung over the sea and lent a mystical, cosmic glow to the proceedings. Ledging, shoulder-high waves crept in and crunched along the shallow sandbars. Racy, high-performance rides were the norm. mostly lefts at the sandbar i hung-out at. I caught a few where i got in and up early.. micropositioned and pumped along for a second as the wave remained kinda mushy.. but then it would hit the inside ledge and just gulp and suck.. sculpting-out into chisled little pockets of heart-fluttering fun. Last night's sesh ended up a 6.5 or so.. even though the waves at OB were dismal crap all day. Soo.. with that in mind keep an eye on conditions as the day wears on.. ya never know what'll happen..

also someone mentioned that the sandbars up near Crespi at the 'Mar were workin' somethin' fierce on saturday morn.. soo.. maybe good ol' Pasweetica will come through in the clutch?

Looks like there are a couple a' northern hemi swells stacked up for us!!! the first one looks to hit us this friday.. and then on tuesday the 7th we're supposed to get a WNW macker.. hmmm....

bring it.

just chill these friggin onshores out!! then we'd be stylin!


cliff house

bagel's housemate

Posted by Ethan at 09:56 AM
September 26, 2003
teeny.. cleaner

the winds abated last night.. still flowing slightly onshore.. but.. not enough to muck up the surface.. Cruised down to the middle of the beach 'cause i needed to move my car for street cleaning.. The sea-surface looked real good.. not glassy but under control and inviting. The only thing missing were the waves!! Seriously.. biggest waves in the middle of the beach probably about knee-high. too small even for beginners! well.. maybe if you've only surfed a handful of times you'd be psyched out there.. I then cruised down to Sloat and watched about 10 people all congregated at the same peak catch little gutless burgers.. One shortboarder managed to milk a few slow, styly rides.. but.. it was just so small.. I mean really really small.. Even so it's a nice morning to be out in the water.. warm and sunny.. not much wind.. maybe even fun to cruise out on your 10-foot log and milk little peelers.. down at second-lot sloat looked a little better and nobody out.

However!!! the situation might improve this afternoon!! .. according to Blakestah and others..

blakestah says, "Swell should hit by 6 PM Friday at 3 ft 14 sec 315 deg, and possibly a few hours earlier. This swell will be fairly clean from start to finish, quite enjoyable at Linda Mar and VFW and Sloat. Swell will be nice and head highish, maybe slightly overhead, Saturday with sunny warm skies and null winds."

surfpulse says, "A possible small northwest swell from remnants of ET Choi-Wan to arrive starting at 3 AM Saturday with period at 16 secs but size not even noticeable. Most size to arrive starting by 2 PM and holding through the evening with swell 2.6-3.0 ft @ 12-14 secs."

wetsand says, "Friday the 26th is looking at a tad more NW, and less SW. W 1-3 foot surf, NW 2-3."

as of 10:30am both the california buoy and sf buoy are up!!
California buoy: 7.2ft 14seconds
SF buoy: 2.6ft 13seconds

wind is light.. low tides at 6am and 6pm..

hopefully blakestah is on it and we'll all be pullin' in after work!!! thass what i'm talkin' about!!!

Tom and some others have sent me some fantastic pics that i'm going to post up soon.. i've just been a little lazy.. sorry 'bout that..

puerto escondito

Posted by Ethan at 10:33 AM
September 25, 2003

well.. if the last two days were *barely* surfable.. today is almost totally *definitively* unsurfable. Tiny, crumbly, miserable, measly little unworkable nothings rolling in. I didn't see any of the little wedgy peaks that have been saving the last few days from being an utter wash. 2 guys out at Sliz this morning.. but.. it's shitty... no doubt..

crazy tech-talk yesterday on the discussion board.. all kinds o' shite about wave-period this and frequency transform that. click here to check it.

Hopefully the offshores will return for the weekend.. i'm invisioning peaky, head-high, punchy sections scattered throughout the beach.. morning sunshine that glimmers off crystalline-turquoise water.. glassy, funnelling barrels.. mellow vibes..

Jersey Legend Kus had this to say about his session two days ago...
"yesterday, september 23, 2003, was an epic day for surf. chest high +
wind swell from the due south combined with 10-15mph due west wind =
barrels galore. On my way to the surf i spoke with mark on the phone(on his way to work after a session in Belmar) and he was like DUUUUUUUUUDE. So i went to my favorite south swell spot in Mantoloking and almost passed out as i saw 3 dudes get PITTED in a 20 second time span. Had about a 2 hour session
and caught 20+ rides. 3 LEGIT barrels. All clean fun waves that reeled
along until the beach. I wish Daniela was around to take pics, it was top 3
best sessions ever. No lie, pretty much the funnest wave I have ever surfed.
It peaked up along about a 50 feet area right at take-off, then curled the entire distance from the drop until it mellowed into the inner bar. I found my self taking off more and more on the inside until i started to really go for it... then, three consecutive waves- steep drop, quick pump, duck low, angle board on a slight down angle, and shuffle my feet toward the front of my 6'6'' fish, and... MAGIC. After those three waves, and the suprising long paddle back to the corner of the bar, my arms were toast and my soul was so nourished, i think i chilled on the outside for like a half hour before i took another wave. When i saw my buddy Schmidty (rips) the next day at work he said "dude, i didnt even sleep last night i was so amped." ... His session was equally as rewarding. Wish you could have been out there with me, brah."

Posted by Ethan at 10:38 AM
September 24, 2003
messy, ugly, angry... surfable!

Once again i donned the wetty without checking the conditions..
Saw that the wind wasn't absolutely out-of-control so got out of bed, suited up and sauntered down to the beeatch..
Steel-grey morning, constant onshore wind, isolated grandiosity at OB.
Some deep-breathing, relaxing stretches..
The waves very much like yesterday morning.. maybe even more disorganized and razzled.
biggest peaks maybe head-high.
Everything junky and ugly..
But.. once you're already in your wetty it's so easy to just jump in.
Wind howling at times. whistling in my ears.
Bulbous, riotous, disheveled, violent waves rearing up and unloading in about 12 inches of water.
Patience and wave-selection of paramount importance this morning.
Some slotty rights and lefts available.
I made this one air-droppy, pig-dog-takeoff left, let go of my rail, and used the speed to crank one off the top.
Some sub-optimal rights with fun/challenging drops.
Some sandy/gurgling/dirty/rambunctious inside shore-pound that knocked me down and around a few times.. don't fuck with OB!! even on small days..
It's surfable out there.. barely.. maybe somewhere else on the coast is dealing with the winds a bit better but still open to the meager 3.6ft 9sec windswell? montara? Or you could just suck it up and snag a few at SF's finest beachie..

Check out pics and words in "Jake's Hurricane Juggernaut!"

Posted by Ethan at 10:37 AM
September 23, 2003
hacked frumpy but surfable

The fog blew in last night.. and with it an onshore wind.
woke up this morning and the fog was gone but the onshore's remained.
The sea-surface groped and burped through disorganized choppiness
Waves around the same size as yesterday morning (chest/head)
Sandbars extremely shallow!
Legions of pinnipeds frolicking and snorting... staring and leaping.
Absolutely nobody else out.
Challenging/pitching/ledging/unpredictable pockets of wave energy on offer
Extremely quick pop-ups or raw, non-bottom-turning side-slips necessary to get into the waves and not over the falls.
Smackable lips.
Warm water.
Absolutely nobody out.
big crabs swimming on the inside.
Waves bowling on inside sandbars...
... look for the bowl...
... find the power center..
... take-off with confidence...
... hug the face...
... explode into the lip..
... back out for more...

I have a bunch of pics that Jake took of hurricane isabel that i'm going to post up on the report in about an hour.. so check back..

ss sharkbait.. speedy recovery to you!

video of hurricane fabian in new england

Posted by Ethan at 09:51 AM
September 22, 2003
offshores.. poor shape.. fun

Surfed the north end this morning with Robme and Lerm.. We were the only three out for the first hour. Relatively mild windswell peaks loping in and occasionally offering a steep, shoulder-high section. Today's waves demanded that you immediately pop-up and project down the line. Waves would meander in, all subtle and unassuming, and then just suck-up and pitch-out in about 6 inches of water... cracking legs, crabs, fins or whatever else happened to be in the wrong place.. Looking north or south down the beach you could see throaty, gurgling barrels tapering and rampaging... but at the same time you'd be sitting at your spot wondering where all the waves went. The wind blew a gentle offshore.. adding a slight feathering/grooming to the lips.. but.. the sea-surface wasn't shellacked/massaged offshore nirvana or anything. Watching a young ripper this morning reminded me of how good some people are and how much of a friggin beginner i still am!.. I watched him do three floaters on one wave! Then on the next wave he turns smoothly-but-abruptly off the bottom and then just cranks one hard off-the-top.. It's both humbling and inspiring to watch someone effortlessly kill waves that you just struggled to make a few turns on..

anyway.. after a little sickness on friday i headed up to Earthdance in Mendocino.. Bunch o' bands rocked it (Sector Nine, Kimock, Spearhead, etc) plus i got in free because i helped out at this booth (global cooling collective). I'd say about 90% of the few thousand people there had big, phat thick dreadies. the scene at Earthdance made your average phish show look like a gathering of uptight investment bankers. People walking around with huge nugs, hundreds of people swimming naked in the river, giant circle prayers and peace dances, early-morning yoga and healing sessions, macrobiotic shade-grown free-trade free-range spoon-fed tofutti tofu vegan raw air, etc.. funny.. Felt SOOO good to get home and take a shower last night.. plus Seymore and i rebelled against all the organic/vegan this and that throughout the weekend by charging hard at In-and-Out burger in mill valley last night at 10:30... mmm...

also.. looks like there is another sanfranpsycho movie in the works.. "san fran sequel"

this is what Kus had to say about the recent swell activity in jersey:
"Dude- pretty much the last 3 weeks here has been sick. Fabian of
course gave us swell, but isabell hooked it up soooooo nice from sunday thru
wednesday (then the onshores started) and leftovers on saturday.
tuesday night had ridiculous groundswell- bouys reading 10+ at like 18
seconds. And it totally was not closing out at a few spots. i surfed with my
buddy schmidty at seaside heights, nj. it was sweeticulous."

isabel - wrightsville beach, NC

Posted by Ethan at 10:14 AM
September 18, 2003
pleasurable.. up from yesterday

Lerm, Kaiser and i hit it as the sun rose over the city.
Bigger than yesterday morning.. Largest set waves a bit over head-high.
A little junky out there even with the absence of wind.
We found an enjoyable sand-bar where mostly rights (and a few lefts) jacked up and peeled along for a spell... but then mushed out toward the inside.
After surviving 10 days of double-overhead macking monstrosities on the isle of Bali Kaiser continually chuckled and giggled at the comparatively spineless/gutless miniature windswell dribblers that rolled in today. Sometimes windswell will interact with shallow sandbars at OB to produce racy/roping/intense rides (ala last weekend).. but other-times (like most of the waves this morning) the windswell just doesn't provide the juice.. With that said i did manage two total smile-inducing walled-up rights where i slithered down the drop and then fucking pumped and jammed and pumped like a screaming banshee out-a hell down the line.. racing the sections and riding high off the top in an effort to stay ahead of the breaking wave. super-dogg fun!! All three of us ended up finding little pockets of meat so the session ended up worth-while fo sure..

tom posted this yesterday.. hope this kid recovers... i wonder who it was.. a lot of the guys in sanfranpsycho are totally chill dudes.. great surfers who are also mellow cats.. but a handful of the guys in the vid are outlandishly pricky. I've been threatened and harrassed by a few of them and Lerm and i have had horrendously negative encounters with a few of them in the water. One guy is always looking for a fight.. paddling and sitting right next to you.. etc..

ANYWAY!! regardless of who this guy is... let's hope he recovers quickly!!!

From Tom: of the san fran psycho kids broke his neck this morning at kelly's cove.

so be careful all especially on the inside and root for him to make it back as quick as possible.

Posted by Ethan at 10:35 AM
September 17, 2003
clean, mellow and dinky

the wind raged out of the NW last night but at some point in the early morning hours it began to abate.
Not a hint of wind at the beach this morning.
Super-small, glassy short-period swell on offer.
Probably only about 3 or 4 takers throughout the whole stretch of OB.
I enjoyed an hour-long solo session.
Caught about 10 rides... 3 or 4 fun ones.. one legit wall..
During my sesh these unusual, colorful birds circled and dove into the water all around me, picking off little mackeral or sardines or something.

Good longboard waves out there.. smaller and gutless.. peeling.

Good day to take your girlfriend/boyfriend, dog or moms out at OB..

"relax, don't do it.. when you want to come.."

watched the film "bali high" last night.. it's an old 70's surf flick set in indonesia.. The music is fantastic.. sureal/trippy/psychodelic/funky.. the waves are immaculate... huge ulus, padang padang, *early* Lances right, bingin. The narration is hilarious.. a little bit of "dazed and confused," a little bit of "electric cool-aid acid test".. and the randomly-tossed-in scenes of bikinied women, naked women, smiling women, swimming women, fruit-eating bikinied swimming women, etc. stands as the precurser to all modern "tits an' tubes" surf flicks... It's a great movie.. It's also eye-opening to observe the level of surfing in the mid seventies. NOTICEABLY less smooth and radical than the chisled precision/dexterity/power of today's pros. The 70's surfers seem to flail their arms alot and draw inelegant lines on the waves.. some early tom carroll footage too.. he was ripping compared to everybody else in the movie..

surf article in the NYTimes this morning.. there was a surf photo on the front page!

hurrican isabel in jersey (photos from

Posted by Ethan at 10:24 AM
September 16, 2003
strong onshores.. but.. surfable

Skated down to check it even though the wind was blowing onshore with authority.
Shimmied over the great highway and low an' behold... rideable sections!! Seriously.. remove the chilly/blustery onshore wind flapping your cheeks from your mouth and bringing tears to your eyes and it actually looked kinda fun out there.. probably around shoulder-high. lots of crumbling, lackluster wavelets but also a plethera of chunky little walls and hittable corners. If you haven't surfed in a while or if you're just kickin' it at home with your buddy who maybe isn't the best surfer i'd say give it a shot. Maybe throw on some mellow Thievery Corp on your radio, whip out a little "Jack Herer", throw down your yoga mat and groove through some deep stretches for 20 minutes or so.. then grab an old wettsuit and board for your friend and cruise the beach.. put your wetty on before you look at the conditions in an effort to sort-of force yourself into a session.. then paddle out and enjoy the floppy, uncrowded but surprisingly fun wave-riding experience!

I'm giving my body a little rest after surfing about 20 of the last 25 days. my back is a little tweaky..

peace in the middle east!




Posted by Ethan at 09:49 AM
September 15, 2003
blowy and ragged..

the fog and onshores rolled in yesterday afternoon and blew through the night.
the morning's sea-surface struggles with tattered, wind-swept confusion.
The powerful, super-enjoyable windswell that blessed our coast all weekend fades and diminishes.

SF buoy at 3.6ft, 8seconds.

winds around 10mph out of the SW.

5ft high tide around 3pm

i haven't checked Pacifica in about a week but with the afternoon high tide you might find waves if the wind stays out of the south?

As many/most of you know, Friday and Saturday "brought the mutha fuckin ruckus". Friday afternoon Bagel and i jettisoned home and then spent about 2 hours hunting down pockets and pits and ramps and drops. I scored a few handfuls of ledgy, racing waves but i struggled to set up any mcneuvers. The high-performance, throaty waves offered many chances for a groaning lip-bash or a silky barrel set-up.. But for some reason i found myself pumping and racing instead of bottom-turning and bashing.. Bagel, on the other hand.. scored 3 barrels and one or two or six above-the-lip re-entries. He took off on this one thicky, double-up right that was obviously going to close-out.. I was thinking to myself, "Oooo.. that's gonna hurt" while he was pulling in.. A minute later he paddles back out and nonchalantly informs that he just had a quaint little tea-party in the green room. Had time to cook crimpets and talk about Heideggerian philosophy with his imaginary friends... aka.. long barrel ride..

The waves kept coming.. one after another after another. I loved the constant barrage of swell lines. Forcing you to constantly decipher and predict likely outcomes.. forcing you to hunt down power-centers and double-ups.

Saturday more of the same.. i checked the middle of the beach in the morning and shit was actually really big and scary.. It seems like this windswell peaked on saturday morning.. I planned to find more sheltered surf for a saturday arvo seshy but skated down to the beach for a cursury glance around 5:30 and conditions were immaculately glassy and clean. Powerful, head-high dredging waves loping in and sucking off the shallow sandbars. Crystal-clear, sunny, warm beach day with tons of folks frolicking on the sand.

anyhoo.. there is a big tropical strom south of baja.. might be too steep for us but it'll definitely generate some south-swell energy. The NW windswell is supposed to persist.. though it'll be pretty small.. hope for mellow morning winds and we might score..

Here are a few pics that Jake took on his east-coast Fabian Ho-down.





Posted by Ethan at 10:15 AM
September 12, 2003

smaller up at VFers... bigger through the middle.. sculpted and lined up at Slizz..

surf potential is running high throughout the beach. kinda disorganized through the middle.. threatening to break on the outside.. then often backing off.. then crunching on the inside (sometimes nicely, sometimes not)..

Sloat "hella" crowded.. but smooved out glass on offer.

biggest waves overhead. a bit burgery on most of em' but i saw a boogie make a nice in-and-out.

Super surfable.. not fantastic.. but.. purdy good.. i'd say a 6.

i actually didn't surf this morning.. Slurfed a solid 2 hours yesterday afternoon.
Pretty close to a dream senerio after work yesterday:
- got a seat on the N-judah right away (mongomery street station)..
- new surfer mag to get me pumped up on the ride
- cutie french girl sits across from me and we exchange mellow eye contact.. but i'm not sweatin' it at all 'cause Seymore Sassafrass is the bomb diggity..
- Bright, immaculate sunshine as i step off at 45th ave.. no wind
- sprint home
- soft afternoon sunshine streaming in my windows
- Sample some of the new bubonic chriz i just picked up
- shred for 25 minutes on the guitar.. work out some new material
- musically transport into the dark dripping nether-regions of skewed perplexity..
- wake up out of the sonic revery and realize there are waves to be ridden
- change into the wetty in my house, grab board and sprint to the beach..
- sucking, head-high muscle flexing and hollowing throughout the lineup
- power sprint to the water and paddle out..
- start stroking into meaty mini-bombs..
- brief cover up on the backside
- stonily pull out of a pitching closeout at the last second.. go over the falls with the board between my legs.. d'oh!!! luckily no injury!!!
- breathlessly taking as many waves as i possibly can..
- craving and frothing and salivating over the waves..
- looking down the line as barrels thump and roar.
- feeling the primal power of the swell pass beneath me and then ledge up on the shallow sandbar. Sparkling kenetic outlay..
- golden, vibrating sunset..
- big phat burgermeister burger post session..

- werd..

hopefully a repeat today post-work.. fingers crossed.. anyone want to meet up for an arvo seshy?

also a shout-out to Gary who golfed it up with my boy Nate-dogg yesterday. heard that you headies had fun! it's all about teeing off on the 3rd hole!

more east coast fabian pics
east coast boast

east coast boast

Landon crafted these illustrations...


Posted by Ethan at 10:23 AM
September 11, 2003
conditions seem perfect... but..

No wind through the night..
buoys reading a healthy 7ft 10seconds..
pretty fun session yesterday evening..
all signs point toward sweetness..
run down to the beach in my wetty.. hoping for the best.. feeling pretty confident about it..

but.. nope..

a mish-mashed slopfest i do attest.
garbled disorganized riotous mayhem
a few optimistic souls scattered about..
I watched for 7 minutes but didn't see any rides or really any rideable sections..
Maybe the 6:20 tidal turnaround mucking things up?
Biggest waves slightly overhead..
Absolutely no wind.. maybe a breath of offshore.

Ran back to my house and drove for a while in my wetty..
sweatin' in the wetty..
found some waves eventually.. started solo but then others paddled out.
successfully focussed speed and rhythm on one particular wave into a quick, pivoting off-the top..


hopefully the beach will clean up today.. Anybody know what's causing the confusion this morning? wind in the outer water? tidal change? characteristics of the swell? squadrons of angry, energized escaped sea-monkeys swimming and churning up the lineup? vibrations from amassed whale-songs channelled via some oceanic anomoly?


sooo nice out.. go find some waves...

Posted by Ethan at 09:58 AM
September 10, 2003
foggy.. scored a few..

See there's no wind in the tree and i'm outta bed..
into the wetty and scamper down the street..
earplugs in, i can hear the pound of my footsteps reverberate up through my legs
Over the great highway and i'm hoping for head-high glassy perfection..
Instead the ocean serves up healthy portions of crossed-up, frumped jarble-schmook..
well.. i'm in my wetty already.. hmmm..
The relative absence of wind manifests via a semi-smooth ocean-surface.
Waves flow toward shore.. sometimes breaking on an outer sandbar.. then reforming and mostly dumping and closing on the inside.. it's not that huge.. maybe shoulder/head-high.. Real foggy.. I'm committed to the session but it's gonna be real solo and extra lonely out there in the foggy unknown.. paddle out.. duckdive a few.. get out to the lineup.. can't see the beach.. utter, absolute isolation.. make a conscious effort to concentrate on the waves and not the eery/spooky/misty/darkness and just try to get into my session.. a peaky right comes along.. i stroke in, pop-up.. pump a few times and then draw out a long, mellow cutback.. cool!! already a better ride than i thought i'd get while looking from the beach.. paddle back out there.. a few more rights and a left come through.. for a moment i forget about my isolation and the grandness of the pacific and just groove with the rhythm of the session. then these three skinny, alien-looking heads jut out of the water and start thrusting toward me... staring me down.. turns out they were seals (sea-lions?) but they swam damn close to me and it was unusual to see them in such a tight-locked formation and with such thin necks.. almost like fat eels or something.. anyway a few moments later this peak rises up and i start to paddle for it.. then i see two dark shapes in the wave (seals) and they're already riding it.. so i let them have it.. then i notice a sizeable, chunky left that seems to be breaking over a sandbar with some consistency. So i paddle over and schnag two or three lefts and a fun right.. another guy paddles out out of nowhere and i'm actually really happy to see someone! a few more waves and i call it a sesh.. quite a few duck-dives to get outside.. but.. the peaks are ok out there.. if the wind stays chill you could/should definitely score a session out there today..

everybody that complains about the crowds at OB.. ya should have been out there this morning.. one of those mornings where you really wouldn't mind seeing someone else..

also.. my cell phone is currently broken..
Kus.. i have your camera!! email me your addy..

barry mcgee

Posted by Ethan at 10:11 AM
September 09, 2003

fumbly bumbly jumbly and crumbly..
not much to get excited about at OB this morning.
the pine tree in my yard was shimmying this way and that so i knew the winds were up.. I skated down just to check it at around 6:30 and as i walked over the great highway the wind started howling in my ears. If you're feelin' the super/crazy/whack/mega jones you could probably score a session. but.. it's even white-cappy out there. borderline victory-at-sea.. I did notice a slight increase in wave size from yesterday morning.. soo.. if the winds abate tonight we might be smilin' tomorrow... but.. who knows.. blakestah predicts indian summer/offshore winds for thursday and into the weekend.. soo.. that should be schweeet.. you might drive the coast and find a little pocketed protection and score some waves?? or maybe just bust out that ol' journal you haven't written in in a while.. or maybe it's time to finally learn how to tie a knot in a cherry stem with your tongue..

anyone care to relate their best wave ever? (or at least one of)

one of mine was at Lakey Peak in Sumbawa.. We knew it would be crowded the next morning because the swell was rising and the winds were totally calm. A friend and i woke up about an hour before sunrise and paddled/walked across the reef to get out to the wave before sun-up. Just as it was barely light enough to see we started paddling out.. there were actually already two people out there. it was grey and slightly misty and cool. We were paddling out through the channel (Lakey Peak is a reef-break A-frame with channels on both sides) and we could barely see this big set approaching.. one of the guys already out takes the first wave.. i'm paddling by him as he gets totally, completely pitted within this crystalline, uber-glassy utterly-Indo sparkling barrel. You could feel and hear it roar past.. everything else was quiet.. i keep paddling.. faster now because i'm close to the lineup and might pick off a set wave before the crowds decend.. The other guy out, a sponger, takes off on the second wave and stuffs himself back into this mean, gnarled, groaning bestial barrel and just gets eaten up... At this point i'm approaching the lineup and there is nobody else out there.. the third wave of the set is big... and for me... Total, utter, complete, shellacked glass.. a few feet overhead.. i don't even sit-up on my board.. just keep paddling in a 180 and start to dig and stroke into the wave.. i stand up and pig-dog/slide down the face.. i'm pig-dogging and firing down the line when from behind/above me... the lip and barrel begin to engulf me from behind.. I witness the telescoping effect of the barrel fly over me... i'm fucking in there for a second and i see my friend pumping his fist from the channel! then the telescope recedes and i'm out on the face.. i carve a turn into the glassy canvas and then kick-out.. absolutely shivering and quivering with adrelenine and energy.. I look to my friend and he says, "you just got completely pitted, mate, good 'on ya!" .... Soon the crowds decending and it was time to get out and walk the 40 minutes to periscopes.. for dream session number two... hmmmm...

soo.. if you feel like it.. let's hear about one of your best waves..

this is kind-of what it looked like in the early morning hours.. this pic is actually of lakey peak

slates at lowers

Posted by Ethan at 09:54 AM
September 08, 2003
small.. textured.. doable?

Today and yesterday have been lackluster in the local wave department. It seems that the onshores blew through the night last night. The ocean has a rippled, frumpy veneer. There alse isn't much swell to speak of. However, with an optimistic frame-of-mind and some healthy stoke you could score a session this morning. the sun is out. There look to be a few peaks working throughout the beach. I noticed a handful of small, glassy faces. If you're a beginner you might want to get on it while you can, as these mellow days at OB will be long forgotten in a few weeks (hopefully!). Blakestah predicts offshore flow on wed.. Offshores!! bring it! If you surfed yourself crazy last week like some people who check this site than you might take today off.. maybe take a nap or do some yoga or just sit on your couch and stare at that fascinating brick on your wall.. looking deep into the microscopic granular universe of reconstructed earthen material..

also of note.. bruce irons beat brother andy irons in the 3rd round of the asp contest at Lowers.. Things are looking good for a kelly slater world title run!!

weekend recap:
Saturday witnessed small but gorgeous waves all day.. the sea-surface was plate-glass all day with little, inconsistent waist/shoulder-high dumpers cruising in.

Saturday the swell was all but gone and the wind succeeded in dismantling any organization that remained. Soul-dog Nate-dizogg enjoyed his first-ever OB seshy.. after an early morning bob-marley-in-sausalito-inspired blaze.


Posted by Ethan at 09:38 AM
September 05, 2003

ain't no thing but a chicken-wing on a string from burger king!

6:13 reveille..
dark calm sky as i slip the wetty on..
slank out the door and saunter down the street..
Meet Lerminade...
Ascend the dunes and gaze out on multifarious peaks.
A humble texturization to the surface..
shoulder-high meat peeling..
glassy veneer.
cavernous pockets peel and spit..
As the session continues conditions improve
head-high A-frames lumber in, rise-up, throw and peel.
Lerm takes off on a left.. turns and banks a turn off the top.
Yours truly muscles into a pitching gremlin.. holds on tight as the barrel engulfs... a few milliseconds in the Church of the Cacophonous Chamber of Euphoria. awww yeah...
Then Lerm takes off on a crackling, ledging right.. barely makes the air-droppy takeoff.. then i lose sight of him as i'm hunting the next in the set.. 4 minutes later he's beaming and espousing, "Best right i've ever ridden!"... go Lerm..
Again i take off on a sucking left.. pig-dog the drop and try to condense down into a tight, barrel-fitting package.. almost a cover up.. then release.. bottom turn and smack the lip with all my might.. the lip smacks back and sends mine arse head-over-heels over the falls.. lost a earplug..
waves cruising in.... more consistent than yesterday..
mellow barrels.
micro barrels.
i love barrels..
'cept when you're trying to stuff yourself in there and the lip smacks you in the noggin', thrusting you down to the hard-packed sandy bottom like a elephant crunching a little ant..
a toast to barrels!!

the ASP contest at Lowers is going on right now.. be careful with the streaming video.. might be difficult to get work done.. andy and kelly both advanced.. cory lopez is out..

Posted by Ethan at 10:08 AM
September 04, 2003
smaller.. peaks here and there..

although the buoys were/are jumping.. the reality in the lineup the morning was less than stellar.. I walked from my cottage (no driving!!) and jumped into the water with Lerm at around 6:20. Not much wind.. maybe a faint SW breeze.. There definitely seemed to be crossed up and varied swells in the water.. We'd be sittin' out there.. pickin' our noses.. then a 3 wave south-swell set would cruise in.. Both of us would try to pick off a section.. then a few minutes later these delectable head-high A-frames would cruise in, lurching up on the inside sandbars and barrelling and peeling along.. then there would be nothing for a while.. then some random windswell waves.. then another 3 or 4 wave south swell set.. then some more A-frames.. then flatness.. repeat.. the south swell pulses didn't organize themselves that well this morning at OB, at least at our spot.. they suffered from a bit of close-out-itous. but the a-frames, which i hope are the forerunners of this incoming NW.. were killah!! I scored a brief cover-up (Jerm described it as, "a few trickles were throwing over your head) and enjoyed one solid, resounding lip bash. Lerm caught some good ones too.. his surfing is soo much better than last year.. look for the Lerminator in the barrel a lot this fall/winter. Blakestah predicts that this small NW swell will be short-lived.. soo.. git on dat shite while ya can..

peace in the middle east!!


south of santa cruz.. north of monterey


Posted by Ethan at 10:12 AM
September 03, 2003
a jolly good time..

beach again.. crowds descending like locusts on one of the tastier sandbars. I paddled out at around 6:20.. there were about 2 others out.. A few semi-distinct peaks A-framing and breaking steep and purdy.. mellow vibes at first.. soon there were about 30 surfers within 10 feet of each other. I paddled away.. far away.. The peak probably was incrementally superior to some of the other utterly unpopulated peaks along the beach but i would think that for most people that slight incremental superiority would be outweighed by the 30 other surfers vying for the same waves.. but.. no worries.. the vibes were pretty mellow and it's easy to extricate yourself from a tight pack at OB by simply paddling away.. Soo.. i ended up at the next peak down and calmed my psyche with some ledging, racy rights and a few speed-bursty lefts. To be honest, the waves offered some resickulously high-performance corners and sections.. but also tons of closeouts.. Semi-glassified A-frames buckled and then languidly melded to the tapering contour of the bottom topography. My best waves were the kind where you stroke and micro-position to set yourself at the corner of an unbroken, walling wave.. then glide on your belly for split-second until the wave begins to pitch and let you in.. then the rest of the ride is established by your success at massaging and balancing the take off so that you immediately burst down the line with speed and don't get caught back on your heels or off-balance.. if you're slow or slightly off-balance on the takeoff, you wouldn't make most of the sections this morning.. but if you power and project down the line as you're taking off.. a phatty, sculpted liquid race-track sets up for you. I managed a few nice snaps and performed one of my first legitimate, high-speed floaters!! I'm really not trying to brag.. but on this one wave i pumped and put the hammer down.. gaining more and more speed as the wave walled and peeled.. then i literally pumped/jumped up high as the wave began to close.. rode on the top of the mini-barrelling closeout.. then kind-of lept off the top of the wave back into the white-water and rode it out.. needless to say i was happy!! I've pulled probably 30 or 40 racy floaters without jumping back toward the front of the wave to complete the maneuver.. Usually cursing myself for wimping out and just sinking off the back of the wave.. but.. this time i had a bucketload of speed and with the speed, to be honest, it was pretty easy..

anyway.. enough rambling.. to keep it real i also kooked out on a few good ones out there.. taking off a bit late and "stink-bugging" and missing the section..

a couple of the "sanfran-psycho" guys were out there killin' it.. humbling everybody..


oh yeah.. there were energizing, soothing rain squalls, lightning bolts and thunder this morning out in the water.. soo cool!
so cal last week (photo by smslavin)

Posted by Ethan at 10:36 AM
September 02, 2003
Thanks OB!

Lerm and i woke up at the butt-crack and surfed the beach. Relatively glassy sea-surface. Calm wind. It proved difficult to check the situation from the highway as the fog hung low and thick. The 2.5ft 17sec 190 degree south swell offered up about 7 sets during our hour-long session... at least we think it was the south swell!?! Glassy, walled-up waves would sleuth in... looking all gentle and fun-loving.. and then just suck-up and detonate on the shallow sandbars. Biggest waves a few feet overhead.. most waves shoulder/head-high.. The fog and absence of wind created a still, calm, eery environment... From the road you could just make out dark slabs of wave out in the water.. you couldn't really perceive their specific shape or breaking dynamics. Anyway Lerm paddled out a minute before me and on my way out i see him paddling like mad into this gruesome, doubling-up, thick, backless, ugly beast of a wave.. he takes off and just gets tossed over the falls into the bowels of the darkest, soul-munching, angry, spitting black barrel.. D'oh! A great session all in all.. plento-o air-droppy racy rides along zippering, chiseled, glassy walls.. Tons of close-outs so you had to be picky.. We watched some other dude get a solid in-and-out barrel.. he let out a yelp upon exiting.. I was looking for the barrel but couldn't will myself into that green cathedral of mystical succulence. The waves seemed to die down at the end of our session.. I'm also not sure if those sets were the south swell or just windswell sets?? but.. i'm pretty sure they were the south... anyone??

cool.. yesterday was awesome at OB too.. i walked from my new house to my new local spot along the beach... in my wetty so there was no turning back... had a fantastic session about 100 down from what seemed like an Asian surf contest?? About 15 asian surfers were sitting on the beach watching and judging alternating heats of 4 surfers in the water.. they had whistles and flags and seemed to be having a great time.. good vibes too!!! I want to give a shout out to all the asian surfers out there.. from my time in indo to the japanese heads at our local points (watched them puff-tough before paddling out one time) to LHAG (long-haired asian guy) to Stan to Dr. Deni and many others.. the asian surfers are generally super chill and toss around the good, non-aggro vibes.. nice work fellas!! .

It also looks like a few hurricanes are finally tracking toward the east coast.. Fly right east coasters!!!

In lamer news.. check this post from J
"super bummin' tonight, HORRIBLE end to the long weekend, hopefully somebody here can help. the straps on my rack broke on I-5 north of LA and my nearly new surfed maybe 5 times 9'8" pintail was sent flying off my racks. board was about 1/4 mile behind me on the far left side of freeway by the time i pulled off (i was in the process of pulling off on right as i heard the straps go *POP*). couldn't get across all the lanes on foot (4 lanes going 80+ mph) so hopped in another car to get on the highway other direction, hop over median to grab board. as we're coming down on ramp somebody had pulled off, picked up my board in it's bag and took off. got back to my car and tried to catch up, but by then they had a good 2 minutes on me, there was no chance. i'm hoping either some reader out there was the person who happened upon my board, or know of someone who did (9'8" becker malibu supersport, volan glass, rootbeer brown res tint on bottom/rails, tan deck) and will be willing to return it to it's rightful owner for beer and karma points. 650.219.4088 if you have any information, thanks."

CK sent this pic in of a barrel at bondi
bondi barrel

local surfer Nate
Nate down the line

Posted by Ethan at 09:53 AM