January 30, 2004
stormy, surbable?

I took a pass this morning. the rain was hammering down at around 6:30.. in my semi-conscious state i thought i could actually hear a voice humming deep within the pattern of the rain.. it was telling me, "Staaayyy iiinnnn beeedddd!" Then the rain really started to fucking pelt down with enormous vigor onto the roof of my house. I was worried that the skylights would cave in. Then, sure enough, the skylight above my bed came crashing down, followed by a thick cascade of turbulent water. But instead of the water splashing and spreading throughout my cottage, in remained in a viscous, translucent, watery column, extending from the floor to the skylight. The rest of the room stayed dry. It was shimmering and humming. This ethereal, melodic sound radiated out and filled me with peace and harmony. The column of shimmering water called to me like a siren. Some instinct deep down within told me to be wary but i couldn't resist the seductive, liquid siren song. I got out of bed and padded slowly toward the quivering column of stationary water. I gingerly reached out my finger and... barely... tentatively... touched the thing. I half-expected some evil portend to wisk through my body.. but.. instead i was encouraged by a warming coo that began at the edge of my finger and slowly worked its way up my arm. It eventually enshrouded my entire body. I stood there with my one fingertip dunked in the vertical column of water and a subtle, deep-seeded tingle edged its way around my system. With no pre-cognition i stepped completely into the column of water. The subtle tingling coo suddenly became an onrushing, overwhelming nirvana of sensory bliss. I felt that every fiber in my body was loosening and vibrating from its previously fixed, firm position. I felt that i was oozing and softening into a deeply meditative goo. Everything was pleasurably slurring. I slowly looked down at my arm and realized that the colors and lines seemed to blur and smudge into its liquid environment. My consciousness became smoothed and smeared. My solid-state self was literally liquifying and becoming part of the column of water. Within minutes i had transformed into liquid. I no longer had a conception of the self but i felt a vague, warming knowledge of space, of congealing movement, of physical bonding to my languid medium. At that moment the entire column of water ejected out of my cottage and rocketed high into the sky. At a certain point gravity took over and the column began breaking up and coalescing into fragmented globules of rain. Minutes later i was splashing into the ground within a 5 block radius in the outer Sunset. Part of me hit the ground and ran into a gutter which ran into the sewage treatment plant which ran into the ocean a mile from sloat. Part of me fell on some guy's head and absorbed into his scalp and dislodged a memory of his long-lost dog. Part of me fell into a dying tulip pedal and acted as the last impetuous to the pedal's fall into the soil. Part of me landed on the cheek of a crying lover who longed for the return of her love. This part of me coupled with her tears as they ran down her face. She let these tears drop into her pallate of colors. She used this pallate of paint and tears and me to paint an exquisite, absract illustration of her current mind-state. Filling it with roiling sky-scapes and turbulent, virile thunderheads.

burning man ladies (photos by Patrick Roddie)

burning man dudes

Posted by Ethan at 10:17 AM
January 29, 2004
OB gets the blood pumping.

It wasn't big out at OB this morning, barely pushing head-high.. but.. it was thick. Glassy, jumbled, hard-to-predict blippy waves would cruise in, all nonchalant, and then gulp-out, buckle and barrel on a shallow inside sandbar. I'd say about 70% of the waves closed out. PaulB was out snagging a bunch of nice rides.. i even saw him tuck into some little barrel moments. Lerm caught a few phatties, as did King-of-the-closeout Kaiser. Kaiser relentlessly took off on any malicious-looking wall that came his way. I had a good sesh but also got punished a few times. I tried to take off on this one sucking right, but before i really knew what was happing there was about 5 feet of emptyness underneath me and i got pitched right over the falls.. then my leash did its best to strangle me underwater. I really dislike 8ft leashes. I accidentally switched my 6ft leash for Robme's 8ft. What's the point of such a long leash?

SOo.. it's fairly glassy out there. A bit disorganized on the inside but somewhat patterned on the outside. The SF buoy is actually up to 5ft 15seconds but it didn't seem that big up at VFWs... maybe we just squeaked out session in before it started picking up?

good times out at OB.. not perfect.. but uncrowded and solid. go get it.

Talked with bagel as i was coming in and he was going out. He was looking to drop a growler. Watch out if you're walking in barefeet near that concrete structure at Lincoln.. Yo!


Jersey today (pics courtesy of LBInjSurfer)
Kus! were you on that?

canary islands

Posted by Ethan at 10:08 AM
January 28, 2004
dirty, sunny, utility possibilies

If you enjoy the fundemental activity of catching waves: anticipating their movement, predicting their eventual character, positioning yourself accordingly. If you like feeling that strange, oceanic pulse of energy accelerate you from underneath. If you savor the vision of that glittering, smooth, delicious, unbroken wave-face ahead of you. If you like popping to your feet, then beginning that down-the-line voyage, pumping for speed, checking off the top, smoothing off the bottom. If you like setting up that final move, gathering and harnessing subtle vectors of propagated waveform energy, then exploding with a final expression off the close-out section... If you like all those things.. you might've enjoyed the surf this morning.

However.. if you like a tight, follow-the-leader crowd of floundering, naive-but-stoked wave riders mixed in with a smattering of talented dudes... if you like a cornicopia of visible particulates floating in the water, getting in your mouth and ears, churning, obviously dirty water.. If you're of the sort that gains nourishment from hunting for peeling corners amongst the vast majority of closouts. If you enjoy the sight of mysterious boils and noises, probably eminating from our penniped cousins. If you like all those things.. there are some waves for you out there this monrning.

but.. the strait dirt..

OB - looked better on my way back.. near second lot sloat. nobody out. GLassy.. head-high. slightly messy but cleaning up by the minute. Offshores..

Rockaway - eh. doable. saw one nice wave in about 10 minutes of watching. the north end actually looked somewhat attractive.

Lindy - in front of the pump-house crowded but peeling (sort-of). Saw some excellent sections at the far north end on my way home. looked fun.


Karma - the good you do will come back to you. The bad you do will come back to haunt. No doubt. Give those old chinese ladies who look so grumpy a smile. Think about what it would be like to be ancient, enfeebled and angry. that would suck! If you're healthy give thanks. So many people are living in pain. How much would it suck to feel pain with every step, with every breath. Fuuck.. my own troubles and issues pale in comparison. Think about all the angry and unhappy people out there. Can you imagine being born into a situation where your dad is out of the picture, or drunk and violent. Your mom is stout of heart, but poor and struggling. She tries to make it but ends up drinking too much and on welfare. Your education, happiness and childhood freedom take a back seat to paying the rent and getting some food. Mcdonalds, white-bread and mayo abound. Your mom gets pissed and beats you. You see other kids at school who seem blissfully unaware of the pain and struggle of your life. You grow resentful and hateful. You start to lash out. You feel this unbridled anger boiling deep down. You assume a social role of deviant and troublemaker. You have problems escaping that role. In and out of juviline detention centers. Fights. Gangs. Hard-drugs. You get a girl pregnant and repeat the cycle.

Don't take your life for granted! We're the lucky ones.

cool japanese vid

tyrez found these - tahiti

Posted by Ethan at 10:41 AM
January 27, 2004
rainy, south winds, waves!

Drove for a while after Kaiser (thankfully) woke my ass up. After watching seemingly mediocre, sewage-filled, lackluster waves for a few minutes.. i started to pull the car out and head back home. But.. as if some ghost inside me took over my bodily movements, turned the car off and commenced surf preparation. Suddenly, against my better judgement, i was in my wetsuit paddling out past the outflow of freshly polluted runoff. Only one other guy out, this big fella on a massive log. We exchanged pleasantries and then out of nowhere some solid waves cruised in. I took off on a juicy, semi-ledging head-high wall, bottom turned, then powered a speedy, elongated top-turn right up along the lip to outrun the walled section... then a few pumps... then a mini roundhouse cutback. Shit.. i thanked my lucky stars that i donned the wetsuit and paddled out.. A few minutes later another beauty of a wave presents itself for me. I take off... then enjoy some gratifying, speed-creating pumps down the line of the shoulder/head-high wave.. then this tasty, super-smackable closeout lip apears and i reach up and crack it.. then bounce off and ride out with the white-water.. funk yeah! On another wave i made sure to set my feet nicely on the takeoff.. then worked through the fullest roundhouse cutty i think i've ever done on my frontside.. schweet.. It was also cool to hoot the big fella into some solid waves.. he would wobble and bobble and barely make his takeoffs.. but then once to his feet would successfully meander down the line.
Just as i felt i was surfing like a ripper i ended up boggling my last two takeoffs and getting back on my heels. I took off on this nice, shapely wave.. barely making the drop.. and then looked up at an oh-so-scrumptious lip.. which i really wanted to launch up and hit.. but.. i was "stink-bugging" back on my heels and couldn't do anything other than watch the lip come down and annihilate me. But.. i'm not complaining at all after scoring some of my best waves in weeks..

it's also nice to surf in in the wind and rain..



Someone (sorry i deleted the email and can't remember who!) sent me this via email yesterday.. Looks like a mellow jetty wave, eh?

Posted by Ethan at 10:12 AM
January 26, 2004

Sometimes existence is bittersweet. It's often tough to come to terms with the inherent balancing of positive and negative forces in life. No ecstatic high exists without a corresponding low. Every solid, animate being casts a dark, murky shadow. This life-lesson can be humbling and gut wrenching. It can leave you feeling like you've been punched in the stomach. But.. there is also something rejuvinating and cleansing about change and progression. Whether you're dealing with a soul-drenching injury, or a loved one leaves your life, or you get laid off from your job, or you're a wave-starved surfer living in Kentucky, the dark-side should be looked upon as an opportunity for renewal, growth and personal evolution. Emotional upheavals can also be harnessed into powerful, enraged, focussed creative outlays. Tap into that energy and let it flow!

Anyway.. yeah.. soo.. the surf. Blessed be the surf which soothes us societally-entrapped human beings. This morning proved fun out at OB.. even though it looked junky and uninspired from the beach. Thanks to Lerm for motivating my lazy arse. He was sitting in his car in his wetsuit, before the sun even came up.. amping! We ended up out at Sloat. Caught a few bombs on the outer bars. good stuff.. the onshores seemed to come on toward the end of the session.. though.. an evil beacon of things to come? let's hope not.

this weekend witnessed some unreal waves! Some of the best waves I've EVER seen at OB happened on Saturday early-afternoon at Sloat. Perfectly glassy, gigantic triple-overhead leviathan's groped and lurched way way way out there. This guy with a big red gun caught two fantastic rides.. Kudos to you fella!!

Kaiser and i drove for a while on sunday and lucked into a magical, three-man point-break dawn-patrol. Tons of waves, mellow vibes, pure magic!

ok.. i have a meetings.. peace y'all!


Posted by Ethan at 11:46 AM
January 22, 2004
offshores.. large peaks..

I finally paddled out at OB! After weeks of dodging, whining and wimping.. i decided WTF (what the fuck), i might as well just paddle out at OB. It looked similar to yesterday morning. Big but somewhat backing off on the outer bars (maybe double-overhead on the biggest faces).. threatening and heinously closing out on the inner bars. Here's how my session went:

- Jogged down to second-lot Sloat in anticipation of the north-bound current

- nearly drowned trying to get past the shore-pound... secretly wished i was at lindy

- made it past death-knelling shorepound and into the clear

- waited, hunted, floated, re-positioned, etc. for 25 minutes without getting close to a wave

- watched a few glorious, head-high++ peaks roar and barrel and churn down the line.. nobody on them

- still waiting.. no rides for me yet.. watched one longboarder stroke into a good one.

- started to paddle for a big set wave.. got butterflies in my stomach as it rose and rose without letting me in.. got rained on by the offshore-licked spindrift as the wave exploded just inside of me.

- rising fear that i was a bit undergunned on my 6'6"

- Finally a mountainous left came my way.. scratch and paddle furiously to get in.. point down race to the bottom.. consciously letting go of the pig-dog.. bottom turn.. then a arcing top turn.. then the wave peters out.

- Funk yeah. OB!

- 3 minutes later an even bigger left reers up for me.

- Commit myself to the biggest drop i've attempted in weeks.

- wave builds and grows, rises and mounts, without letting me in.

- i'm fucking scratching and sprinting to get into the bitch.

-Just as the wave begins to throw-out it lets me in and i kind-of air-drop/pig-dog at the top of this cavernous 8-foot face.. I lean back and just try to hold on.. which i do.. barely.. then i let go of the pig-dog and try to rebalance and steer higher up the wave face but it's too late and i somehow end up careening off my board.. soaring through the air.. then the world comes down on top of me and i'm underwater for a long time.. Come up smiling as that was one of the most exilerating drops i've ever attempted.. next time i'll stick it... maybe..

- more waiting and waiting

- My heart still pitter-pattering in response to that last drop/wipeout. geez.

- another large, mushier left comes my way and i take off and meander down the line for a spell..

- decide to head home

- catch a shore-dumpy right on the far inside for my zippiest down-the-line ride of the day.. do a few turns..

- raison bran and orange juice..

- a little C.G. Jung on the N. Judah..

- at work remembering the session..

SF buoy currenly 5.5ft 16seconds.

have fun out there!


San Mateo county sponger George sent me some killer pics of a few local waves


Posted by Ethan at 10:05 AM
January 21, 2004
good winds.. clean swell

Swell down a bit from yesterday. It looked squeaky clean as i pulled up to Sloat at 6:45. But.. sorrowfully.. waves would mush out on the outer bars and then lurch/close-out on the inner bars. It was kinda frustrating because all the conditions seemed to be lined up perfectly. Crisp offshore wind, solid (but not too solid) 5ft 16second groundswell out of the west. OB was trying its damndest to work.. but.. just.. wasn't.. pulling it off. At around 11am the tide will switch and start going out.. at which time the beach might turn on and begin to fire off scrumptious, delectable, rifling sections?? dunno.. if i wasn't working i'd probably just be sitting in the lot with my radio on, waiting for it.

soo.. Lerm and i headed down to Blakestah's favorite high-performance mecca. Lindy actually represented this morning. Not fantastic.. but, for the wily, crafty, determined wave-hound glassy/peeling lines could be found. Lerm sniffed out a good number of tapering rides, and i watched him carve a nice turn on a shouder-high left. A few adventurous lads were taking off right next to the rock on the far north end.. and seemed to be snagging a few. It was extremely mellow out there.. with minimal duckdiving necessary. A great day for beginners or for those with nagging injuries that want to get wet without getting punished ala OB.

I just finished James Michener's Hawaii. If you're interested in the history of Hawaii.. how the islands formed via tectonic plate movement over a stationary hotspot... How ancient polynesians left bora bora or Tahiti in their two-hulled canoe for a mythical land to the north, using stars to guide them... how congregationalist missionaries settled in Lahaina and other places and attempted to spread their moral and spiritual teachings to the islanders. How smallpox spread through the land.. how and why scores of chinese, then japanese, then filipino people were brought over to work the sugar and pineapple fields.. how surfing, hula and the ukelele intertwined into the culture of the islands, etc.. you should check this book out. Michener's style is historical fiction.. soo.. the specifics of every story and name aren't absolutely historically accurate.. but.. all aspects of the story are based on actual history. Also.. my sister lives in Michener's old house in Doylestown, PA!

here's a couple of Bruce's recent photos (surfhumor.com)

Posted by Ethan at 10:41 AM
January 20, 2004
Looks disheveled.. didn't check it.

After a substantial amount of surfing over the weekend i took this morning off. You could probably sneak some waves in around P-town somewhere? or maybe out at OB if you didn't mind the soupy, duckdive-heavy mish-mash.

soo.. here's a little MLK-weekend surf recap..

Saturday - cruised south with Kaiser, we ended up surfing a wide-open reef-break about 11 miles north of Santa Cruz. It was nice to actually surf a left in the Santa Cruz zone. Thick, slabby, shifting peaks would sometimes line up for extendo 100-yard rides. Very mellow vibe, surfers spread out over a long stretch. Family style surfing!

The whole coast looked surfable on saturday morning. OB looked great. The jetty was actually firing later in the day! Every nook and cranny of north-county santa cruz looked quintessential. We chowed at Pleasure Pizza after our sesh and then checked out some west side breaks. A few spots looked super inviting and randomly uncrowded!! crazy! but.. we had to get back to the city cause Kaiser had steak dinner scheduled with his inlaws..

Saturday afternoon - back home.. I decided to check a local spot and scored it with only 3 others. The winds were mucking things and the tide wasn't perfect but there were plenty of waves cruising in. Half way through my session an asian longboarder paddled out and joined me at the peak. As he started to paddle past me this big set started marching in. This dude decides to ditch his board and dive under the wave, seemingly oblivious to the fact that i'm RIGHT BEHIND HIM. Sure enough his board slams into the side of my head while underwater. I heard a distinct, "CRACK!" and thought for a second that something was wrong and that i was damaged. He said, "sorry", but i was fuming so i gave him a serious scowl. Luckily the pain dissapated after a few minutes. But i still have a sizeable lump 4 days later. IF you can't duck-dive your board you shouldn't be surfing anywhere near other people. Strait up! Go out at OB or Lindy everyday at a peak where nobody else is and learn to duckdive. ok.. rant over.. But.. the session was still fun and i managed to stop thinking about my noggin getting pulverized.

Sunday - HUGE Swell. The whole coast was maxing. Driving south i watched sucking, mammoth double-overhead walls of destruction pound at Montara. Really scary!! I saw giant waves at Don't Eat Us Creek and also way outside at Mavs. The jetty actually looked good again! But.. i was headed back down to Santa Cruz. On the west side i couldn't really believe my eyes. J-Bay had come to Santa Cruz. No joke 400 yard rides were roping/peeling/barrelling/firing from Swift street all the way to the bottom of mitchell's cove. Maybe 200 people out over the entire stretch. Grueling east-bound current sapping energy from everyone's arms. I watched Ratboy get barrelled multiple times right in front of me. He also launched a huge air on a 1.5 overhead wave right as i paddled past him. Crazy!! that guy is a truly gifted surfer. I also shared the lineup with one of the upcoming Santa Cruz pros Anthony Tashnic, the young dude that charged Mavs a few years a go. I watched him flagrantly drop in out multiple people.. on waves that could have easily been the best of their lives. The worst part is that this guy would usually blow the waves that he dropped in on! I also heard him yelling, "Fuck, you Fucking Fuck!" many times on the inside after he blew a turn or something. Bad vibes streaming from that guy! I managed to lock into 3 or 4 serious walls. I stood in the mouth of an overhead point-break barrel on one while this guy almost dropped right down on me. Instead he saw me, hesitated, then got pitched literally over my head and down into the maelstrom. Yo!!

Monday - Surfed a beautiful spot with some UGLY crowd dynamics. Got out there early and craftily managed a few set waves. But it got real crowded real fast, and there weren't many waves coming through to pacify the masses. I want to apologize to Blakestah's friend Mike for getting in his way one time! sorry about that dude! I ended up picking out at ton of little scrappy insiders and bigger waves that the big local-yokels missed or failed to make the initial sections on. I also noticed a disturbing thing out there. There were 5 or 6 guys out that really shouldn't have been out there. I don't want to sound like a biatch or a grumpy surfer... but... If you aren't TOTALLY CONFIDENT AND CAPABLE with your drops and your surfing in general you shouldn't paddle out to crowded/localized spots. Many times i had to contend with surfers who just kind-of made poor decisions in the lineup. Sometimes just subtle things like paddling the wrong direction when a big set was bearing down, or jockeying for position within the pack and then blowing takeoff after takeoff on waves easily makeable. On a wave with a tight takeoff area, if you have a few people that don't flow properly and confidently, it can be dangerous for everyone and can bring the whole experience down. It's totally cool at beach breaks or at points/reefs that aren't that crowded.. but.. as a general rule, if you see a crowded, localized spot and you're thinking about paddling out, make sure that you're not still at the point in your surfing where you're often bobbling your takeoffs or can't really duckdive well. I guess just basically know your limits.

But.. I also met some really cool people out there yesterday and enjoyed some moments in the green-room.. although they always ended in the black-hole of destruction.

Sorry if a few of those comments were downers. more of public service anouncements. especially because i feel partly responsible via this report for some of the the congestion in the lineups.

MLK quotes:
"All men are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality."

"Violence as a way of achieving racial justice is both impractical and immoral. It is impractical because it is a descending spiral ending in destruction for all. It is immoral because it seeks to humiliate the opponent rather than win his understanding; it seeks to annihilate rather than to convert. Violence is immoral because it thrives on hatred rather than love."

"There is nothing more dangerous than to build a society, with a large segment of people in that society, who feel that they have no stake in it; who feel that they have nothing to lose. People who have a stake in their society, protect that society, but when they don't have it, they unconsciously want to destroy it."

"Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Hate destroys a man's sense of values and his objectivity. It causes him to describe the beautiful as ugly and the ugly as beautiful, and to confuse the true with the false and the false with the true."

west side on sunday
these pics don't do it justice at all but maybe give some idea of what was going on
west side

west side

west side

west side

west side

west side

Posted by Ethan at 10:01 AM
January 16, 2004
large at the beach.. fugly at the 'mar

Big, raw and no doubt penalizing at Ocean Beach this morning. In the pre-dawn light all you could really see was a soupy quagmire of disorganized white-water. Enough to know that the surfing experience would most likely be unpleasant. On my way back i watched a few gorgeous, serious-looking A-frames grind and hammer on the outer bars. If you somehow locked into to one of those you'd probabably enjoy an exhilerating, high-speed ride.

P-town just wasn't really working. Tons of people in the lot at the 'mar.. but.. barely any peeling waves to be found. A few in the south-center of the beach.. smaller ones. For the most part this 270 degree swell is getting blocked from coming into the Linda Mar cove by Pedro Point.

I'm sure there will be many incredible waves on offer up and down our coastline as the tide recedes. Find your favorite low-tide, anti-crowd spot and hit that shit super hard. Because.. as some cheezy song describes, "these are the days!"

- Solid west swell
- Offshore winds
- Lower tide throughout the day
- No weekend crowds

This is the pinnicle of the season here in cen/nor-cal. Enjoy!

random thoughts:
- What would it be like to exist within the mind of another human... ala Neuromancer or Being John Malkovitch? If you had the opportunity to live within someone else's mind for an hour who's would it be?

- Do you ever consider the possibility that there is some conscious entity observing all things happening within your own mind? Some rider on your personal experiencial universe.

- Is the average level of personal happiness within our society any greater or less than in societies past?

- Does organized religion have a net positive or negative effect on American society?

- Succulent, head-high pointbreak perfection will be breaking all over the planet long after humans are extinct.

- What organism will dominate the earth after humans?

- Is orgasm the single most poignant, god-given moment of pleasure known to man?


photos from wavelust.com

Posted by Ethan at 10:10 AM
January 15, 2004
snuck a little session in

Basically a repeat of yesterday.
OB looked doable.. but the outer bars would break nicely then immediately back off. The inner bars were all jarbled and mish-mashy and fugly. Nobody paddling out at 6:45. I saw one guy trying to make it out on my way back home around 8:40.. but.. didn't see anyone outside. You could make it happen if you were feelin' it.. more power to ya!

Rockaway looked interesting.. pretty glassy.. but.. i was on turbo-speed because when I'm forced to surf Pacifica during these late, 7am sunrise days, i'm invariably late for work. Soo.. Lindy looked "eh." But i paddled out anyway in hopes of a utility session. For the crafty/creative types there were a few enjoyable sections and some makeable, walled lines. The wind was doing some weird things. Not blowing at all.. then blowing out of the NE.. then NW.. then not at all.. pretty variable. I was pretty much the first guy out.. and spent a few moments scoping the lineup for anything resembling a consistent section.. I saw what looked like a consistent corner to the otherwise closeout walls up north.. I paddled out and immediately caught two or three peeling lefts.. Not great but each offered a playful canvas. Then a few peeps paddled out.. Kaiser, Stan, some other mellow guys.. and the character of where the waves peeled continued to shift. My best rides were actually on these steep rights that looked like there would surely close-out.. but in reality ended up racing and peeling along allowing for a brief sprint of frantic pumping and the occasional turn or lip-click. On my last ride i landed the biggest off-the-lip of my life.. I was pumping down the line on an otherwise unassuming shoulder-high right.. all of a sudden the wave gulped-out and began to close. I instinctively crouched down and bottom-turn/pumped and then projected my board, tip-first, up and over the lip. I pivoted my board and kind-of lept off the lip of the wave.. I think i disengaged the fins from the wave.. then just came down with the crashing lip and rode it out. It almost felt like the beginnings of an aireal. I basically rode up to the top of the lip as the wave was crashing.. then jumped/unweighted, turned.. and came down with the wave.. It would be interesting to see a video of it.. in reality it was probably this little, sniveling, nothing turn. I probably would think to myself, "I can't believe that i exagerated that weak, wimpy turn to all the people who read the surf report." but.. in my head it felt kinda radical!

Soo.. i guess the new swell is supposed to arrive today. California buoy is at 13.5ft 17seconds..

be aware of the afternoon low-tide.. all you work-at-homes and not-work-at-alls..


Rincon Video from surfline (surfdad find)


Posted by Ethan at 10:32 AM
January 14, 2004
glassy.. smaller.. fun

Last night there was much banter and planning and hoping for an OB session this morning. We figured it might be the only charitable opening in this parade of W and NW swells we've been hammered with. But.. for some reason it just wasn't working as of 6:45. A few nice sections would rise up and peel on the outer bars.. but usually would quickly mush-out and disapear.. then the inside was just a raucous mess of turbulence and white-water. Nobody out in the early morning but then on my way back home i spotted a few slalwart OB fans sitting way out the back waiting for sections.. I'm sure they found some. Sooo... again i ventured forth past the event horizon into Pasweetica. I noticed some interesting activity near the RV park.. but didn't have time to check it out. Smoke-a-Jay pretty darned flat. Then Lindy! much smaller than yesterday.. but.. that was actually a good thing.. because yesterday was mostly closing out and today offered quite a few shoulder-high glassy peelers. The positioning gods were somehow shining down on me this morning and i lucked into quite a few racing, steep, bowly little rights that set up perfectly for that one move off the closeout. A few times i was able to pump and cruise down the line.. then kind-of jump up with my board to meet the about-to-crash lip.. I then bounced off the crashing wave and rode it out toward shore. I had about 5 or 6 attempts at the same move and landed 2 or 3 and wiped it on 2 or 3. It was super fun and the memory of carving up the face and whacking the pitching lip warms my belly this very instant.. To keep it in perspective these wave were relatively puny and unsubstantial.. On your typical OB death-slab of a wave.. my wimpy arse would be riding over the back instead of hitting the closeout lip almost every time.

I was cool to share the lineup with Kaiser, Lerm, CK, Stan and LHGVAG. good vibes. I was really bummed to get out of the water this morning.. but.. like a fine women the surf keeps ya coming back.. i guess..

goodmorning wrote an empassioned defense of the seemingly misunderstood and apparently identity-heisted Pez. The Pez-man seems a gentle dude who just was having a weird day one day. So.. whoever's impersinating him.. maybe try another alias like, "Spongy" or "Fort Point Local" or something..

There are also reports streaming in all over the place of our man Blakestah making apearances all over bay-area lineups. I received this email from a Blakestah admirer who i'll leave anonomous..

"Anyway i was taking off my wet suit this evening at sloat, and who has been out charging, but none other than Blakestah back from injury. i thought it would be sweet for your blog to welcome him back to the line up, especially
since many of us depend on the man's skills to plan our surf fix."

Soo.. it's seems that blakestah has many fans out there.. and are psyched that their man is back ripping shit up.


also.. caveman just got back from Maui and sent me some unreal pics.. i'll get them up in the next few minutes.. but.. i'm runnin' late today.. so please be patient.

Posted by Ethan at 10:41 AM
January 13, 2004
waves abound..

They're out there.. somewhere..
OB - I watched a few beautiful, perfectly tapering waves barrel and peel out at Sloat as i returned from my session down south. One stout-hearted lad was attempting the paddle out. Not sure if he made it. I saw one A-frame that looked exactly like Peurto Escondito. Just a big, burly, barrelling monster. Earlier in the morning, at 6:45, I looked out at menacing rows and rows of white-water against a still-dark sky. I got out of my car and heard ominous, threatening rumbles and i tucked my tail between my legs, got back in my car and headed south.

Rockaway - i pulled up to the lot just as 5 guys paddled out. There were some rights peeling along but they looked really mushy.. kinda borderline rideable. I might have headed out there but i didn't want to bum the group of five headed out to the small surfable area.. sooo..

Lindy - More doable than yesterday. The huge pointbreak left out at Pedro point was fucking FIRING!! Jesus! Kaiser and i watched many many waves churn, grind and spit down the point. It looked like huge foamball barrels from my vantage sitting waiting for shoulder-high closeouts at Lindy! Yup.. it was pretty ugly at the 'Mar. The offshores raged.. but still didn't do enough to prevent the infamous Lindy closeout syndrome. About 10 super mellow peeps spread throughout the lineup.. Kaiser and i found a little left just north of Taco Bell.. We each found some mini sections and at least got some drops under our belt before the workday began. My last ride i found a little open face and kind-of moved around on it a bit. Felt good to get wet..

I'm fairly certain that Santa Cruz area reefs and points will be absolutely on fire right now. The winds are blowing perfectly out of the NE. The tide is almost down to 2ft. The Swell is out of the WSW. There are a lot of waves in this short-period swell. Even if it's crowded there will be a lot of waves for everyone down there.. Go! Go get some peeling, reeling point break waves!! Go right now!!

Bruce took some cool photos of OB on Sunday

Posted by Ethan at 10:25 AM
January 12, 2004
made the drive.. got skunked!

Yup.. the swell is up today.. as prophisized by Blakestah.. 8.5ft 16sec at the SF buoy. but.. not too much on offer for mere mortals within our SF-Princeton-Jetty window. The beach looked... um.. muscular.. to say the least.. It wasn't giant out-of-control ridiculousness or anything.. but.. it would be a battle. Through P-town Rockaway and Lindy just weren't handling it. A left at the southern edge of rockaway happened every few minutes but your session would be no doubt compromised by the ledging, chocolate beach-wide close-outs that slammed down consistently. I was almost tempted to try my luck at the south end of lindy.. but.. pretty much close-out city.. I was also thinking that the Jetty had a chance so i bailed on Lindy post haste. Montara looked placid one minute but then the next minute a thick slab of death-knelling juice would rise up and close-out violently.. yeesh!! Got down to the Jetty and things were a sloppy, disorganized mess. Nobody out, not really surfable! gargg!! I'd wager that North-county santa cruz is feelin' the love right now. If you're not working.. get your arse down there! Immediately!

Soo.. Finally... I picked up the Brown Turd on Saturday!!! Got a call from Ward Coffey in the morning that it was finished so i cruised down to our surf-blessed sister-city to the south. The board looked "hella" tight. It's more of a mocha color than brown. 6'6", 2' 5/8, 19.. a little wide at the hips. If you're a college-age lad.. you might want to introduce yourself to the hyper-cute helper Ward has in his shop.. yikes! Anyway.. i immediately fired back up the coast.. checked 3-mile.. then ended up surfing 4-mile for about 3 hours. God! the conditions were the best i've ever experienced out there.. About 15 dudes on it.. but a very mellow vibe. Tons and tons and just copious amounts of waves streaming in.. In the first 30 minutes i probably caught 10 rides and noticed with some giggling that i hadn't even had a chance to sit up on my new board yet! I had plenty of opportunity to test the new board on steep drops, cutties, lippers, wipe-outs, bottom-turns, etc. and on all parameters i'd say i'm super stoked on how the board performed.. I thought because of how light it was and because of the relative absence of foam compared to the bestial 6'11" SF i've been riding, that it wouldn't be very buoyant or paddle-happy in the water.. but.. amazingly.. it felt super-quick while paddling.. and i felt that i had much more control of subtle direction changes and maneuvering while paddling and positioning for waves.. Once up and riding the difference between the brown turd and my old board was huge. I felt much more in control and precise with my turning.. It took way less work to initiate a turn. it was as if the board really wanted to turn.. all i had to do was provoke it a bit. I also felt confident right away on my steep drops.. I have always liked having a light, maneuverable board under me for barrel-style steep drops.. I really feel that long-boards and bigger boards are more difficult to take-off with on ledgy, steep waves.

But.. the two best surfers out at 4-mile saturday afternoon were longboarders who repeatedly took off super deep on the best waves.. then faded way back into the pocket, flirting with the cascading lip.. then pulled up under the curtain at precisely the right time.. and stuffed themselves back in the green room.. repeatedly! shiit!

oh yeah.. then a crappy session at Lindy yesterday.. crowded and closing out! LINDY!!!

soo.. thanks again for the brown turd everyone!! You all rock!!


don't hate the map

Posted by Ethan at 10:27 AM
January 09, 2004
missed it...

I sorrowfully had to miss out on this morning's action. I was hangin' at everybody's favorite party place, the DMV!!! yay!! But.. all internet-based tools suggest that this morning is much like yesterday morning.. which means that P-town's "Cove of Desire" probably offered a smattering of waves on this South-wind dawn. I'm not sure how the entire Santa Cruz stretch (Capitola to Ano) is handling the south wind.. but generally it doesn't like it... however.. the swell direction is coming out of the S too.. soo.. maybe maybe you could find something down there? The SF buoy is currently 10.5ft 8seconds. blakestah wrote a nice, informative report this morning about the upcoming few days.. check it out... How that cat can continually be in the daily surf forecasting mix without having surfed in the last 3 or 4 months (shoulder injury) is beyond me!! But.. i think i speak for the community when i say, thanks for the reports Blakestah! Hopefully he'll be back in the water soon.

Last night i was jamming with some friends in the Mission.. The three of us were mostly improvising.. with a smattering of tunes thrown in for good measure. One of the jammers, my friend Rob, has a 5 year old daughter. His five year old daughter and her 3 yr old friend came down into the jamming room/studio. The 3 yr old friend was dressed as a fairy.. wings, leotard, tiara, wand, etc.. all pink.. the whole nine yards. First they just wanted to dance around while we jammed.. then they started singing at the top of their lungs (we were playing loud). So.. we stopped and lowered two microphone stands so they could sing into the microphones.. They were so excited they nearly vibrated out of their skins.. Then we just kept jamming along and they would make up lyrics or just yell randomness into the mic. They weren't that bad either!! It was fun.. and i would try to do a little background vocals behind them. One of the girls kept singing, "Do what you do!" "Do what you do!" So i started trying to harmonize with her.. but.. she didn't like that! it was really funny.. They were also striking all these rock-star poses they must have learned on TV or something.. we were all cracking up.

anyway.. music! thank god for it!

I'm still thinking of checking out Curren tomorrow night in santa cruz.. hmm...

south africa

occy in the mentawais



"Slappy" Garcia


costa rica

Posted by Ethan at 09:36 AM
January 08, 2004
lumpy/dismal at OB.. better south

Relatively glassy at OB.. but.. you'd have to work for your sections this morning. 1 wave in 6 looked to offer a racy, high-performance shoulder.. but the other 5 of 6 waves either closed out or just weirded out in some non surf-supportive way. Biggest waves a tad over head-high. No takers as of 6:50.. two guys out at Sloat on my way back around 8:30. Down "where the south winds do good" things looked decidedly better. About 20 or 30 heads bobbed throughout the complete stretch of everybody's favorite cove. A few different peaks to pick from and a smattering of peeling, glassy waves on offer. Not fantastically amazing sweetness.. but.. pretty damn good for this secret spot. It was mellow times sharing the lineup with the likes of Kamikazee Kaiser, Marco the Marauder, CK orange beard, Long-haired-good-vibed-asian-guy (LHGVAG) and a few others. LHGVAG caught a few nice ones and succeeded in smacking the lip with his trademark style. I was honored to be riding the legendary 6'6" blue Xanadu and really liked the feel of this deeply historical board under my feet.

Sorrowfully the morning waned and it was time to rush home and get to work.. i could have stayed out a few hours longer.

Super Super sucky news from Paul (PaulB?). He posted this yesterday afternoon

Aloha niceness,

Bumming right now as my 3 favorite boards were all stolen last night in the Mission. (Big) Doh!

I'm thinkin they may go on sale on the SF street market in the next few hours (Thursday morning), and if you happen to see these boards for sale on the street, please contact me.

At around 10pm last night, my truck was broken into at 22nd/Alabama and someone stole my grey surfboard bag with 3 boards inside.

If you happen to walk by any of the following lcoations today and see the boards for sale, please fell free to email or call me (415-999-6861). I am offering a reward, as well.

I think they may be peddled today on the street at these common stolen goods hot spots:

-Civic Center (7th and Market)
-Market next to Church, by the Safeway
-20th and Mission, near the Donut Shop
-Potrero and Army Street

Here are the details:

The bag was grey w/ blue and purple stripes and black handles..about 8' long. The boards were:

1. Dark Blue and white NorCal Matt Ambrose 7'2" pintail Gun, narrow, and very thick glass and very thick stringer. FCS, but no fins attached.

2. Bright orange 7'0" Stewart Fish, about 21" wide. SG stickers covering up dings on the underside of the nose. 1 white middle FCS fin and 2 black outer fins.

3. Very Neon Yellow, Green, and Blue 6'7" board with DaKine sticker on the top middle and large O'Neill sticker on the nose underside. FCS but no fins attached.

I drove around for hours and hours last night in the Mission and Civic Center looking for a trace of the boards but with no luck. If you see them for sale on the street, for consignment at a Surf Shop, on the beach, or in the lineup, please give me a ring.


NPac - yowza!

Posted by Ethan at 10:27 AM
January 07, 2004
bumpy and stormy... but doable.

Jumped in for a short session at Sloat this morning. I figured i would try to get on it before any more rain accumulated and threatened my gastro-intestinal health via poo-laden runoff. I first glanced the ocean around mid-beach and things looked frothy and generally unpleasant. The waves have picked up in size. Plenty of peaky, wobbly, disorganized, head-high waves of various form and character burping, melding and peeling along the beach. The SE wind kept the surface somewhat smooth. but there was definitely a chop to the water. It's the kind of morning where if you have a buddy to cajole you into paddling out.. you'd probably go for it.. otherwise you'd probably give it a miss.. Down at Sloat there was one brave dude (blue egg-shaped shortboard) who ventured out by himself. I watched as he got swept north at a brisk clip.. then a few minutes later caught a solid right, complete with steep drop, bottom turn and top turn. I had seen enough and was in my wetty and paddling out a few minutes later. The water seemed murky and dirty, and that faint scatalogical fragrance hung in the air (what's up with that shitty smell, anyway?? I often smell it in the outer sunset)... so i made sure my earplugs were in tight and that i exhaled vehemently during each of the 15 duckdives to the outside. Once outside it was apparent that waves were bigger than they looked from shore (surprise surprise). They were really peaky and seemed to be coming from the south. A few of the largest beasties approached 8 or 9 feet on the face, and caused much destruction in the immediate vicinity.. but then would generally mellow out instantly as this is more a windswell than a groundswell.. I squirted into about 5 or 6 rides in 40 minutes.. then came in to get to work on time. The wind started coming up more toward the end of my session and the surface looked a bit more frumpy.. soo.. you might want to get on it sooner than later.


cass collier wiping out at Dungeons - photo by grant ellis (grant is a chill dude from South Africa who i had the pleasure to hang with at the good ol' Swell.com house in San Clemente.. he really likes sucky waves at Salt Creek)

slater on a large left

These pics are for Friendly and all the other wahines who get sick of us cro-magnon boys always posting pics of ladies with dental-floss bikinis. I found them on Tostee.com



Posted by Ethan at 10:31 AM
January 06, 2004
super miniscule

Lerm called at 6:40 and said that conditions looked absolutely teeny. That was a relief for me because i had to go to the DMV.. the pinnacle of bureaucratic frustration! Soo.. i don't have the first-hand report for y'all. The winds are perfect at 1knot out of the East. The SF buoy, however, is reading 2.6ft 4sec!!! I don't think i've ever seen a smaller reading. Both the California (11ft 8sec) and Papa (15ft 11sec) buoys are up soo we'll probably have waves in a few hours.. maybe by the end of the day?? but most likely tomorrow morning. Remember to thank the surf gods for this stretch of offshore winds we've been enjoying. Project yourself into late April - with a few months of consistent onshores behind you and a whole summer of onshore slop ahead.. trying to squeak in sessions before the wind picks up around 7:30... looking out at OB and just grimacing because you know you'll be bobbing and bouncing all over the place out there.. trying to finagle into disorganized corners and random, upchucky sections. yup.. enjoy these winds while they last!!

Also.. it looks like the legendary Tom Curren will be playing with his band in santa cruz on saturday night.. i'm thinking about checking it out.. Some of his guitar work appears in the movie Litmus, along with his surfing section. He's in tune with that ethereal, searching, improvised, soaring guitar-solo sound.. Could be interesting.. Go to surfpulse.com and look under "news" for details.

Brown Turd update - i just want to again thank everyone who contributed to my new board!! you heads rock super hard. However.. after about 6 months of ordering, waiting, waiting, getting bailed on, ordering from a different shaper, waiting, waiting, and more waiting.. I'm still frickin' waiting on that new stick!!! It's been really frustrating as i've been forced to ride my old old board that's way too big. but.. hopefully soon it will be finished.

At this point i'd recommend buying a surfboard off the rack.. unless you have a half a year or more to wait.

also.. It's come time to plan an early summer surf trip.. probably 4-6 weeks.. here are the canditate destinations so far. any thoughts?

Nicaragua (with a possible visit with Jake in Costa Rica)
Indo (already been.. but could go back for sure!)

Bruce (surfhumor.com) continues to take some great surf shots... check em'!
anyone guess this spot?

OB a few weeks ago

Posted by Ethan at 09:59 AM
January 05, 2004
mellow, idyllic, empty

Not a soul in the water on this crisp, arctic, crystal-clear morning. The waves lapped in consistently, never reaching above head-high. Lerm and I shivered in the pre-dawn darkness and then chuckled at our futile attempts to stretch while our bodies braced against the cold. The ocean was actually warmer than the air and we paddled out through gentle, offshore-groomed mellowness. We each caught about 10 or so rides during the hour+ session. I found two particularly interesting sections... both lefts that buckled, ledged and flirted with barrelling. i may have actually tucked into a brief cover-up.. as i witnessed some blips and blaps of water stream over my head as i was making the drop.. but.. in reality it may have been water bouncing off my head and tricking me into thinking i was a little covered.. who knows.. After nearly two weeks out of the water it felt fantastic to get a long 3 hours session yesterday and then another, more soulful session this morning. Yesterday the beach got "hella" crowded as the near-perfect, head-high, silky-smooth lines enticed every surfer for miles into the water. Impressive maneuvers went down. I watched one dark-skinned Ft. Point local guy take off on a shapely left.. steer into a sliding 360 right off the take off.. pump once.. then launch into a no-grab frontside air and land it! I was then surfing with this guy named Nathan, who is from Moss Landing and competed in some of the original air shows in the late 80s/early 90's.. He takes off on this small left.. pumps 4 or 5 times until he's blazing with speed, then launched a gigantic 4 foot air that he lands with a resounded "PLAP!" as his board reconnects with the water. I couldn't really believe it and it's definitely the largest air i've ever witnessed in person. The guy fricken shreds!

After nearly two weeks out of the water, out of the lineup, off the internet, totally removed from anything surf.. i noticed a big change in my perspective while surfing. I was just so psyched to be out in the water, catching waves, gazing at the beautiful headlands, soaking up the sunshine, watching good surfing. Recollections of crowd-induced angst, aggro frustration, and surf-related jadedness barely seeped into my renewed newbie ignorant bliss.. it was refleshing to just enjoy the waves i caught and not be constantly pained and saddened when crowd dynamics became tense.

anyway.. happy new year! May this be a year of never-ending offshores, never-ended medium-period windswell that lights up the whole beach, never-ending good vibes, and never-ending improvement and stoke for all those committed and psyched!

also want to give a shout-out to MunLao Lee - the east-bay rock-climing phenom who has recently fallen under the seductive spell of the surf! right on MunLao! keep charging!

sarge's pic of mick fanning

scott bass' pic from surfermag

Posted by Ethan at 10:12 AM