February 27, 2004
sunshine daydream

Fresh, post-rain sunshine.
Rebirth and renewal
Crisp, pungent, clear air
Large, daunting waves at OB
SF buoy 11ft 13seconds
Men Who Ride Mountains vying for aquatic supremecy on gargantuan waves.
right now.
Sheltered spots maybe offering surf during the early afternoon low-tide?
All SF beaches still posted with unsafe levels of ecoli/fecal-coliform/hep-a/etc.
This multi-cultural burg teems with life on a friday morning.
What evolutionary circumstances produced the differing facial features, skin tone and hair color of the various races?
Music, mythology, law and language all cross-cultural common denominators.
And love? Does the ideal of romantic bliss exist throughout all cultures? Is love for most born of convenience and expectation? "yes son, it would be expedient for you to wed this women, she is stout of body and comes from a well-bred family." Or do people in all places hold out and wish for that celestial, heart-racing, symbiotic, resonating dream partner? Is that idea a western export? Does that reality exist for anyone? Can blissful, mutual, extravagent love persist and continue over the years? It seems that humans are both social and individualized beings. It also seems that there are no fixed standards for how one should exist. The human animal is psychologically flexible. Change over time is absolute reality. Therefore we're hard-wired for change at every moment, every day. Neurological pathways blend and reshape to learn new thoughts, new lessons. Muscle memory forms both for disciplines such as playing the trumpet and surfing a wave as it does for psychological coping mechanisms for such things as ingratiation or lonelyness.

waiting for my smoothie this morning i heard INXS "new sensation." Thought about Michael Huchings committing suicide.

riding my bike through the pan-handle i swerved around two dogs happily playing and chasing each other around.

Waiting at a stop-sign on Divisidero a black man crossed the street in front of me, he gave me a nod of acknowledgement, then i noticed the unmistakable aroma of ganja billowing from his area... a giant blunt sticking out of his mouth.. at 8:45 in the morning.

Turning onto market at 6th street. The usual slimy characters and bedraggled street urchins moaned and twitted. A European tourist girl looked around, lost and fearful.

these observations have no purpose or point.. just regurgitations and rememberences. vain attempts to form meaning. paultry attempts at isolating meaningful moments from the white noise of existence.

anyway.. SURF!

hope everyone has a raging weekend! I might be cruising up to the bodega area to join in the final session of Daily Dale Webster's 27 year voyage to surf everyday of the lunar cycle. crazy shit!!! daily dale is a real underground hero!

Here's to another 27 years for Dale. or.. maybe here's to a few weeks off for Dale!? ha!

Sydney (pics from the sydney morning herald)

Posted by Ethan at 10:41 AM
February 26, 2004
large and crazy at OB

Got up and drove around this morning. I saw waves breaking way out toward the horizon at OB. Dr. Deni and i tried counting rows of whitewater and we lost track at around 30. There was what looked like an extreme outer sandbar causing waves to break a mile or two out to sea. Potato Patch also looked to have waves. The wind whipped out of the SW, pretty chilly. That Kelly's Cove swimmer was out in the shorebreak diving around and swimming with no wetsuit like he was in Hawaii or something. nutty. We then drove for a while and checked out some other spots but were a bit disapointed that the swell wasn't really showing that well. A few people sat out in the poo water but we didn't see any rides during our 15 minute check. Two guys caught a few, sporatic, clean waves at another undisclosed, rarely-breaking spot.. but.. with the fecal, ecoli, hep-c counts at maximum levels i decided to give it a miss.

SF buoy currently at 18ft 16sec.

Word on the street is that the Mavs contest is on for tomorrow?

Cool clip of Mike Parsons getting barrelled at Cortes Bank (in the middle of the page, under "quicktime theater"

Good summary of the the lead-up to the current situation in Haiti (also a good political/news website to bookmark - www.truthout.org)

alex martins (photos from mavsurfer.com)

modern-day mavs


no way!! Odd Todd at Mavs! (this guy can often be seen ruling local breaks and busting out old school moves like the coffin and the pirouette... definitely a bay area surfing legend)

cool pic

Posted by Ethan at 10:03 AM
February 25, 2004
stormy mayhem

Winds, rain and atmospheric violence pummel our unnassuming coastal hamlet this morning. Supposedly there were some rideable waves somewhere.. but.. the deep warm womb under the covers also provided a nice barrel opportunity of the cozy variety.
Flash flooding and torrential downpours point toward polluted lineups these next few days. So if you decide to surf remember to plug up bodily orifi while duck-diving or wiping out. Papa buoy is 21ft 14sec. SF buoy is 11ft 13sec. Winds are coming in gusts of over 25knots out of the SSW. Winds on Mt Diablo are approaching 40 and 50 knots. fuck.

The slate gray sky and damp, moody rain catalyzed a somber, downcast disposition in my mind this morning. Staring out the N-Judah window, watching water rush along the metal tracks, I felt a lump of ennui and melancholy gestating in my gut. I thought about the brevity of life and the absence of any divine moral dictates to suggest the just and right path. I felt the openness and final nihilism of existence and it made me momentarily shrink back and hide deep within myself. Positive self definition can evaporate like the puddles. Its component parts can re-manifest into introverted, inhibited walls and barriers between the self and society. The ephemeral nature of pure happiness laughs while it fleets away, prancing and skipping into the distance with new revelers on its arm. The vacuum left by its departure quickly fills with humbling, sobering perspective. You are but one of many. One particular genetic combination amongst billions of near-identical copies. Each is his/her own universe. Each feels euphoric highs and painful lows. Each creates his/her own moral compass. I tried to look into the eyes of people on the N-judah and imagine the infinity of their own experiences, their own emotions and desires and drives. I felt momentarily silly for previously insulating my thoughts into my own head, my own being. I was one of many doing this same thing. Projecting my thoughts on to my own person, my own psyche, pulls, whims, moods. I thought about all the thoughts that must be rushing through all the heads of the people traveling downtown with me. What was that old Cantonese lady thinking over there? Maybe her husband was sick. maybe her beautiful grand-daughter just got married and she's remembering the flowers in her grand-daughter's hair during the wedding ceremony, remembering the look of overwhelmed, exhausted elation on her granddaughter's face as she embarked on a new phase in her life. A new beginning. A new life altogether. And the old lady maybe thought back to her own wedding. Back in the 40s in the back neighborhoods of Kowloon. Maybe she gets a little excited as she recollects, for the hundreth time, that wedding night. The first time she embraced her man. All those pent up bodily urges, all the psychological machinery suddenly allowed expression on that one night. She remembers being transformed into a leopard on that night. The remembers the power and energy of the leopard spirit well up in her person. Her house now a jungle, she remembers prowling and stalking her husband then pouncing and devouring. The old Cantonese lady on the N-judah maybe got a little hot and bothered standing there amongst the damp, depressed, sad faces this morning. Living her life. remembering her moments. dreaming her dreams. Every one of us an infinity of depth, power and potential. Every one of us a spark off the cosmic chain of the universe. Existing for no apparent reason. We're just here. floating and cavorting and spinning and drifting. Getting caught up in our little worlds. The existence of the grand questions themselves a simple manifestation of the evolution of human thought. Why are we here? Where did we come from? Where are we going? What's the purpose? By simply posing these questions we begin to answer them. or do we?

Posted by Ethan at 10:27 AM
February 24, 2004

A plan dawned on me last night. In a guitar and BASE-mag editing haze an idea began to percolate up into my consciousness. I wasn't sure if it would pan out but i figured i'd give it a try. So i set my alarm for the wee wee hours of the morning and hoped for the best. Subconcious nerves had me up before the alarm so i slanked out of my little coastal burg while darkness and stillness hung like a blanket over all things. Miles Davis caterwauled through my head in the car as i debated the likelihood of success and formed a potential backup plan. After an elongated, focused stretch last night my body was craving waves! I could almost hear little muscle fibers in my thighs calling, "Ethan! we need waves, we need to power into a few carves, please help us!" Soo.. i didn't want to disapoint all the little micro-filaments within my own body. Anyway.. after a little road trip i pulled up to my destination just as daylight began to creep over the hills. To my bemused pleasure, the spot was working, the plan had come to fruition, and there was nobody else around. In a barely controlled frenzy I suited up and scampered down to the water's edge. I paddled out and within minutes was dropping in, bottom turning and hooking a turn under the lip, then bottom turning and carving a lengthy cutback as the wave fattened and ended. Shiiit! ok! i can deal with this! An hour later, to my total amazement, i was still the only one out there. It was sunny and peaceful, head-high-plus waves funnelled in every few moments. It was challenging and fun to be forced to use land-based markers as lineup points. The absence of other surfers to line up with was unusual. At this point i had caught maybe 15 waves. Some on the shitty side but maybe 6 or 7 long, high-performance multi-turners. Surfing by myself gave me a chance to work on different aspects of my game without the interference/vibes/jockeying/approval/observation/smiles/grimaces of others. I was loving it... except for those few moments when thoughts of the landlord wafted through my mind. but.. let's not talk about that. One thing i improved on today was turning harder off the bottom and trying to steer vertically up the face before carving off the top. Just trying to get a more vertical attack going. I dug a few rails on the bottom turn trying this but i also carved a few phatties. Two guys eventually paddled out, and they were real mellow and chill.. so it didn't really take away from the experience, though of course it altered it a bit. But.. believe it or not. the spot started shutting down not long after these two came out. Waves were still coming in, but the shape had morphed and shifted and wasn't really sculpting-out on this one take-off spot anymore. Soo.. i caught one bomb to end it.. made a nice drop but then didn't make it around the section and got eaten by a 8-foot wall of white-water... which i let wash me into shore.

soo.. it's out there. all it takes is a little luck, a little creative thought, a little more luck, and a willingness to ignore reminders of whitey and to forge out by yourself into the great peeling unkown.

reef road, florida

mellow like jelelow

couple a old surfer covers

Posted by Ethan at 10:28 AM
February 23, 2004
solid swell. good winds.

For anyone who enjoys dropping serious, no-joke bombs at OB... today is your day. The paddle out looked makeable and the outside was lining up nicely. Intense, double-overhead+ A-frames gathered on themselves and hurled thick, top-to-bottom slabs toward shore. The waves would then taper and peel perfectly in both directions.. most of the time. The wind blew a mellow offshore and the sun cast scintillating prisms of light onto the surface. If everything worked out and you somehow made it outside unscathed and then paddled your gun into one of those beasts and then careened down the line at Mach-8... you'd probably have a huge, shit-eating grin on your face for about a week. However! If you drifted into the receiving end of one of those bad-boys you'd be hurting bad. Like.. emergency room bad. I shudder to think about it. Beautiful and scary at the same time out there. it's like, "Every rose has it's thorn... every cowboy, sings a sad sad song." Not for the faint of heart or short of board.

Sooo.. Robme and i of course took our little kiddie boards and shrimpy little eunuch balls (actually, to robme's credit he wanted to paddle out at sloat) and found some other waves. While mellower than OB we succeeded in getting our asses whoomped and feeling the brunt of the groundswell energy. I managed a few racy, ledgy drops and a few turns off-the-top but also paid dearly for flirting with boxy closeouts. I got sucked over the falls on a fairly sizeable chunk of angry water and when i stopped falling about 10 seconds later the whole world crashed down on my chest and did it's best to try to split my body in half. I got the wind knocked out of me but had the presence of mind to just relax and regain my composure as the rest of the set pummelled me toward shore. I guess everybody in the lineup witnessed the wipeout because when i paddled back out a few people were like, "that was gnarly" and "I was worried about you dude." One guy also said, "i don't envy you at all." Soo.. that was kinda fun. It was real raw and kinda out-of control out there, with intimidating slabby sets rolling through every few minutes which would box up like mini teahupoo and just annihilate anything in their path. This one charger took off on a few of those and just barely barely barely held on and made some impressive drops. A big sack of balls on that guy. Cheers bruddah! It felt good to be in the midst of some oceanic energy, even if conditions didn't line up perfect for us. I'm sure that many many spots up and down the california coast were on fire this morning. The swell is nice and solid and the winds are perfect. If it wasn't for the mid-day hightide i'd advice everyone to take off work and hit the Cruz.. i guess we might get rain tomorrow and then for the rest of the week? hmm..

couple of bruce's photos from saturday morning at sloat.. I was out and conditions were pretty fun. The shorepound was massive, as pictured at bottom.. it took some courage and timing to break through.

it's gnarly in haiti right now, armed rebellion, fighting in the streets. We're lucky to be here.

Posted by Ethan at 10:33 AM
February 20, 2004
cleaned up, surfable

"Welcome back to the world of viable surf!" said King Neptune to his merry band of jovial, wave-starved miscreants. "Hasten to my shores and ye shall reap poignant moments of visceral pleasure." "Make haste my children because an ever-strengthening bastion of disturbed energy breaths fire within my bowels and will quickly extinguish your fun-loving wave-riding play." Those with an open ear heard King Neptune's message and harkened toward the oceanic shores of this legendary bay area. At the great beach at the north-western-most edge of the peninsula glassy waves broke on the outer bars. Not very consitently but with potential for enjoyable gliding and trickery. Not a soul chose to engage the waves in their final, existence-ending dance along the southern fringe of Ocean Beach, though the beach did her best to conform to the surfer's wishes.

Further south, the beaches of SF's coast-side neighbor also put their best face forward. As the winds turned offshore (2mph out of the NE) Aunt Linda began tossing up decent head-high peelers. Still some warbles and bobbles existed from the tempermental winds of days past but.. glassy sections popped up here and there. Recent fish acquiree Kaiser Sose could be seen dropping in to a glassy mid-beach left and scooping a turn out of the face. Fun, mellow, relatively uncrowded vibes defined the lineup. Funky, enjoyable rides swooped in from the NW, the windswell nature allowing for a near constant supply of potential. The city of Pacifica did its best to ruin the tranquil human/ocean harmony by dumping noxious effluence from the pump-house into the water but unperturbed board-riders plugged their ears and noses and rode onward toward infinity.



pig-doggin' to survive!

Posted by Ethan at 10:52 AM
February 19, 2004

fuuuckk.. After a lengthy 4-hour monster-jam last night i fricken pried myself out of bed this morning around 6:15 in hopes of catching a jetty session. Here are some surf-spot observations:

Sloat - hurly-burly, hard-onshores, biggest waves head-high++, messy, disorganized, sunny, swell smaller than yesterday (8ft 13sec on the SF buoy), nobody out. I watched a smattering of rideable waves, but you'd have to work for em' and really want it. I'd say doable but ugly.

Smoke-a-jay - strait onshore. hard. a few waves loping in. long waits between rideable waves. icy wind stinging your face as you sit out there waiting in poo water. nobody out.

Lindy - super ugly. strait onshore. a few people suiting up in the lot. crumbly, ugly but rideable for the grim and stout.

Montara - Raging onshore wind. I barely even gave it a glance. the flag near the charthouse looked like it was going to rip off its pole.

Jetty!! - nope. the wind was almost offshore but the waves were doing the typical Jetty limbo where they would rise and threaten to shape up nicely, but instead would throw quickly at the top of the wave but mush and peter into nothing very quickly. There were a dismal few rideable sections but they weren't consistently breaking in any one place.. Two guys sat out at the main corner and waited for 15 minutes while i watched. They didn't catch one wave. I'd say if you're suffering from an unquenchable desire to get wet you could find some action there.. but the high tide might be killing it now? I'd advise a santa cruz mission. in fact.. i'd strongly advice a santa cruz mission.. especially considering the pic that dano just sent me. (from yesterday?)

sc niceness

some gaffs posted by trogdor on the surfermag board
martin potter



I'm pretty sure this is slappy garcia.. deeeamn!

bagus (which means "good" in bahasa indonesian) posted a friendly message to all y'all last night.. i'll repost it here

Salamat Jalan!

I am far away from my home on Oahu sitting in Kuala Lumpur at the COP7 meeting (Convention on Bio Diversity). This seems a far cry from the niceness discussion and stoke on surf, but this international, global convention helps protect the places in the world we all wish to visit and surf some day. I have been focusing on the marine and coastal protected areas along with invasive species. Anyways, I just want to thank the niceness crew for their stoke on surf, life and music that has kept me going day after day of 15 hour plus negotiations.


Searoom also posted a provocative message last night.. It's another take on ye ol' secret spot dilemna. i'll repost here..

hey Christian,
with all due respect, take my Pappy's advice and don't shit in your own bed. i grew up surfing at a 2nd tier SoCal point break. life was good, i learned to respect the older guys, I found my niche in the line-up. and then the county came in and tore down all the houses to make way for a public beach park which still has never been put together properly. now the LA transplant japanese surf mafia have taken over the place:lesson one.
I don't mind hiking to surf spots. i took a semi-friend/co-worker to a spot and we had an amazing dp day. a week later i was hiking back from a morning sesh and who was heading up the trail? yep, mr coworker with 4(!) friends along for the ride. He was 'afariad of sharks", so he brought along some friends (chum?): lesson 2.
the net has enabled all of us to share info freely and maximize our bounty of the wave potential offered by this amazing region, thanks in large part to this site. but somewhere we have to draw the line. OB, lindy, montara, jetty are all on the map, its the precious few remaining spots that require some work, some knowledge of conditions, some commitment to extrapolate the sweetness they offer. i feel strongly that the few that hike in to surf (NZ style) will double their solo surf potential. those that act quickly upon the ever changing conditions here in NorCal with the same vigor will do well also. but giving it away for free, getting the tounges wagging, will only serve to speed up the process of exponential surfer population growth at the places we are hopefully destined to enjoy in some sort of surf solitude in our lifetimes, crowd free.
My dad quit surfing Malibu in the 50's because the 12-20 guys out were enough to drive him south a few points. lucky him! now it takes more dedication and time to taste the the real deal sweetness of solo surf, you and your favorite board trying to find the the zone of a new spot, with no one to define the line-up, size, length of ride, rips, beasts in the water etc. Isn't that the core of surfing, an experience which touches your core? why create another cowells?
aloha S.

Posted by Ethan at 09:46 AM
February 18, 2004
melodic convergence

The fifth mode of the harmonic minor provides a powerful counterpoint to the skull-jarring profundity of the harmonic minor itself. Filling the air with an ambient infusion of flat-seconded, dominant seventhed Indian droningness, the 5th mode of the harmonic minor fills space with nuanced strangeness. The western ear, unused to anything but the ubiquitous do-re-mi gestalt, is at once perplexed by and attracted to the sounds of the altered scale wafting through the air. Key yourself in C, with a flat second (Db), major 3rd (E), 4th (F), 5th (G), minor 6th (Ab), minor 7th (Bb). Sculpt the sonic space with that for a while, drone on C while emphasizing the flat second and minor 7th. Flirt and play with the the natural harmonies, but don't give in fully to the pull of the major 3rd and the 5th.. keep teasing that flat 2nd. Tease yourself and the music into feeling like it's going to resolve.. but.. don't.. quite.. let it.. sync into resolution. Resurrect ancient south-asian spirits through the timeless indian raga. Entertain the sultanate and his entourage with vibrant, perverse dischordance. Flow up and over, radiate but don't syncopate. And.. just as you're comfortably numb, thumpingly glum... drop the hammer down into F harmonic minor. Immediately sear the cosmos with that hauntingly gothic scalar juxtaposition. The F harmonic minor is simply an F minor scale with a raised 7th. But.. don't underestimate the power and demonic quality of that one changed note. The spirit-essence of evil itself gets birthed in that jump from minor 6th to major 7th. Gut wrenching and morbid. Ring out the F and use the E as a tweaked reminder of universal asymmetry. Don't abuse the E.. maybe flit it in as an occasional reminder of all that is wrong and out of sorts in the world. Thunder out that minor 3rd and minor 6th.. let it growl and snarl. Rage upward and outward. Recall the ghost-filled, frightful mysteries of the Carpathian mountains. Imagine dark, slithering tendrils lurking at the corners of your vision. Imagine a vacuous, foreboding fog enshrouding the landscape. Maybe the demonic laugh of an evil clown, with a bit of blood drooling from its fanged mouth. Imagine screams crying out unbeckoned, unheard. The power of the end. The certainty of death. Blackness universal. Then.. just as the light has dimmed toward nothingness. Just as hope has been lost to dripping, sneering aggression.. set the gear back up into the fifth mode. Ring out the C. sing out the major 3rd (E).. triumphantly, happily, exhaustedly return to the region of happiness, faith and sunlight. Give in to the positivity of the minor 7th and major 3rd. Mixolydian triumphancy. But.. just as you're getting comfortable again. Just as you start thinking the world is all peachy and butterflies and rose pedals.. tickle that flat 2nd (Db). Remind the world that all is not rosy, all is not picturesque. Pain and strife intermingle with pleasure and hope.

let it all ring out. The spectrum of experience and emotion. The cycles of life. Exuberance and friction. Exultation and prostration. Anger and forgiveness.

and.. in surf news..
stormy and blustery at the beach.
sf buoy at 12ft 13seconds.
Wind is light onshore out of the NW
Swell should be diminishing through the day.
The beach didn't look rideable at 8am.
Anyone check lindy?

Ian got waves yesterday afternoon. good on him!

a few nice pics from knice. anyone guess the spot? (i don't have the answer)

Posted by Ethan at 10:06 AM
February 17, 2004
raw and stormy

I didn't check it this morning but the weather in the outer sunset was enough to keep you tucked deep within your covers. Strong, gusty south winds combined with a tumultuous 13ft 7sec swell seem to have things considerably mucked up out there. A deep -1 low tide around 4 this afternoon could be of interest to some. The papa buoy is currently going bananas at 26ft 13seconds, and according to Blakestah we're in for a week of pounding winter swells. geez. a little bit different from the surf i enjoyed all weekend.

Saturday: Drove for a while then lucked into a high-performance pointbreak with only one other surfer for about an hour. Soon the hordes descended but not before i snagged 10 or 12 set waves. Caught some thick, slabby, high-performance waves but also was thrown to the bottom a few times while trying to take off too deep. Then i drove down to LA.

Sunday: woke up in Brentwood, drove down Sunset Blvd to the ocean.
I wasn't quite aware of the tremendously gifted coastal contours of northern LA county. A string of point and reef breaks stretches from Sunset all the way out to County Line. On sunday morning i drove past a mushy, hyper-crowded but spread-out Sunset point. Other than Cowells and Waikiki Sunset might be the most perfect beginner wave i've ever seen. Long, slow and easy. Then I watched some faster, zippier lines at Topanga... kept driving past thigh-high Malibu, past some little reefs and things north of malibu point.. then i cruised out and checked a closed-out, glassy, shoulder-high zuma. I drove around the point dume peninsula and saw some peeling lines out at the point but i've heard it's a private beach so i didn't hike down there. I saw a resident SF ripper also checking out point dume but didn't say hi. What's up if you're reading this. I decided to loop back and catch a few at Topanga. Nothing amazing but so nice to surf a mellow, glassy, shoulder-high, user-friendly Southern California point break. It was tough to get waves at the main peak so i paddled north a bit and caught a bunch of rogue outside waves... not as perfect, but no jockeying. Even though it was crowded the vibe was noticeably friendlier and mellower than our local spots. I witnessed some rippy surfing too.. Some of those guys were small wave maestros who knew how to manipulate the point-break crowd.

Monday: Left LA in the morning, drove up to Oxnard and surfed an infamous beach break that i've been wanting to check out for years. Known for its vehement localism, i tried to park stategically and keep a low profile. Immediately upon glancing at the mile-long stretch of beach between two jetties i saw why surfers might want to protect this place. The waves were going ballistic. Picture-perfect head-high bowls were peeling and snarling and grinding all up and down the stretch. Real glassy and manageable though, not crazy punishing like OB. I mean, i took some beatings while on the inside after rides, but there weren't rows and rows of kill-you white-water to deal with. Top-notch surfing was going down too, airs, gaffs, barrels. I've never experiences such an accessible, high-performance beach-break. I mean, fuck, this place was working so good. Needless to say i was amping in the parking lot and quickly suited up and paddled out to a less populated stretch of lineup. This was probably my best session of 2004. I caught about 30 or 40 rides in about 2.5 hours, 20 of which were steep, glassy, racy, down-the-line excursions. The waves were shaped so well and were such peaky A-frames that you were almost guaranteed a punchy section to have-at. Damn. and the water was warmer than here too. real nice..

After the session i stopped in Ventura and checked a shoulder-high California Street. geez. C-street has to be one of the longest point-breaks in America. If a huge, correctly angled swell lit that place up... damn.. The surf didn't lure me so i ate at Tony's pizza shack and continued driving up toward Santa Barbara. I began getting excited upon seeing Rincon island and when i rounded the bend in the road and saw the Queen of the Coast i felt comforted deep within. She wasn't giant, but LOOOOONGGG, perfect, shoulder-high, barrely waves were reeling around her hub like sequencial spokes of a wheel. I pulled into the lot and was surprised to see it not that crowded. Ran down the good-viby trail then ran all the way around the point to the top above of the creek and paddled out. It was slightly slim-pickens out there but unbelievable waves were still pulsing in. I didn't really catch my dream wave during the session but pulled into 4 or 5 racing walls that turned into closeout barrels. I also sauntered in to a handful of pumping, sprinty waves were i had to stay high and on-top-of-shit just to beat the sections. So fun!! damn! that wave is sooooooo good. jesus. One big set came through during my 1.5 hour session that linked all the way from the top of the point down to the cove near the highway. It was only a two wave set. A longboarder rode the first and then a shorboarder the second. I counted over twenty lip-bashes for the shortboarder! no joke. can you imagine.
anyway.. it was a dream just to surf that place and to paddle into a few regular-foot fantasy waves. So mellow out there too.. absolutely no duck-diving required. A few ladies on longboards were owning the inside section. Walking the nose, side-stepping, drop-knee turns, floaters. It was inspiring.

soo.. shiit.. that's that.

i received an email from Bad Vibe Bob (big red board, gets lots of rides, someone mentioned him the other day on the blog and he emailed me). He sounds like a chill dude and mentioned he might be down for an interview.. soo.. hopefully i'll send him a few questions and then post up his answers.

word - what happened around here this weekend? any surf? pollution?




Posted by Ethan at 09:51 AM
February 13, 2004
wild, cross/offshores, dredging death pits

Burly, wild sorcery out there this morning.
The strong SE winds had the beach looking like the north-shore. Spindrifts and crystalline spray whipping and floating all over the place. Raunchy, spitting, pissed-off caverns and mayhem breaking and damaging and crushing. The swell (6.2ft 14sec SF buoy) is coming in untamed and bad-ass. Its not really large or anything, it's just barrelling like mad. The biggest waves are just a few feet overhead. Pretty much every wave rose and sucked up off the shallow inside sandbars and unloaded brown, chocolate wheels of fanged anger. Pretty gnarly. I surfed it solo for about 25 minutes before Robme paddled out to join me, which was kind-of a relief because these waves could/would inflict damage if you fucked with them in the wrong way. I didn't see anybody else around until a red-booger (BBR?) and friend paddled out as we were coming in. In the midst of the chaotic, violent orgy of waves there materialized some finely sculpted gems. I caught about 7 or 8 rides during my quick 60 minute session. One of them probably one of my best all week. I spun and took off late on this medium-sized (head-high) right. I saw that it had a slight probability of tapering so i angled down the line and took off under the ledge. I kind-of slanked into the pocket and then raced in the mouth of the barrel for a good 2 or three pumps. The thing was barrelling angrily right over my back shoulder and i could feel it trying to eat me from behind. When i glanced to my right, and even out ahead a bit, i could see the circular arc of the wave reaching over me. But i was racing and grimacing and kicked out just as the wave collapsed in about 3 inches of water. felt good. Then i paid the price by taking 3 or four obliterations at the hand of the shallow sandbar.

Robme caught some solid lefts. It was good to see him out there after suffering some nagging injuries lately. He loves the crazy, wild stuff so he was right at home out there.
Just about any wave you paddled into required a elevator-shaft drop.

ahh.. work beckons.

anyone have house-parties or cryptic bacchanal initiation ceremonies or surf trips or slippery hot-tub shenanigans or trippy inner-cave sonic explorations or camping trips or anything planned for the weekend? I'm looking to bust out if possible. Might go to LA, maybe central coast, maybe mendo.. dunno.. ideas?


bagel sent me these pics.. kind-of appropriate for today's conditions.. though it's obviously not as well-shaped or consistent at OB this morning.

Posted by Ethan at 09:49 AM
February 12, 2004
yet more sweetness

The succulent nectar continues to infuse bay area beaches.
With a combination of gentle offshore winds, brilliantly sunny skies, small-but-fun 14second energy, and light mid-week crowds local surfers should be dancing a little jig right about now.

this morning a bit smaller than yesterday. glassy. well-shaped. real nice.

A large niceness concentration formed for the dawn patrol in front of the somewhat salacious homosexual roving grounds (ride you bike through there on an early friday evening!) at the end of the park. Some highlights included Christian taking off extra deep on a set-wave righhander. I lost sight of him until he blasted the lip nearly 50 yards down the line. Turns out he was in the green room. a cozy place to be. MWSF represented tough on the ol' green lantern and caught his first ride ever on a shortboard. Right on MWers. Bug could be seen snaking down the line on his new, custom-shaped Wells board. Wells is a local surfer who has now shaped two boards, one for Marco and one for Bug. The boards look pretty groovy and seem to perform moderately well. Be on the lookout for Wells' boards in a barrel near you. Kaiser took off on anything that came his way, as usual. Christian and I watched as he took off too deep on the bowl of the morning. A fantastic wave coagulated and super-bowled right where Kaiser was sitting. It looked like it would most likely barrel somethin' fierce in both directions.. but.. it wasn't to be for our main man.

soo.. if you haven't already done so, grab your sunscreen, wax and board and go hit it.

Anybody have exciting plans for the 3-day weekend?

i wouldn't mind doing a little of this, 'cept i'd be on my forehand

one for bbr and be (from fluidzone)

dave kalama and malia jones tandem


Posted by Ethan at 10:17 AM
February 11, 2004
golden morning

Sparkling, golden dawn.
Smoothing offshores
Playful, consistent swell
Surfers hooting for other surfers
Sculpted, parabolic symmetry
Easy, mushier, head-high+ setwaves
Dumpy up north, slower down south
Early morning sunshine alights smiling faces.
Lerm taking off deep


Posted by Ethan at 10:04 AM
February 10, 2004
powerful, strangely shaped, offshores

This morning had all the makings of an epic session.. but.. it didn't totally come together in my neck of the woods. Ran down the street in my wetsuit, anticipating the possiblity of OB perfection, but holding also in my head the futility of expecting perfection. Paddled out just as the sun started to peak over mt. davidson. The surface was glassy and the waves really chunky. Thick, head-high waves broke with aggression on shallow inside sandbars. Barrels galore. everything barrelling. angry barrels. But maybe about 10% makeable. I locked into 5 or 6 whippy, ledging, racing rights where i charged through the steep drops and then pumped for all i was worth down the line to stay ahead. I was able to translate that speed into a gauge or two on a few of 'em. I enjoyed one particular take-off when everything flowed nicely. A larger set wave began to grow and divot and i saw it was going to peel right. I spun and positioned myself under the ledge.. then took about two paddles and hopped to my feet and tucked down just ast the thing began to throw.. but.. sorrowfully... the lip was behind me and i was racing ahead. It felt good to take-off under the ledge and be balanced and poised. So often i'm just ever-so-slightly off-balance and it detracts from my ability to utilize the speed of the drop into down-the-line antics. At one point Lerm and i were sitting out there.. getting pulled this way and that by the bizarre/annoying/unpredictable currents when this glorious, ridiculous, cover-shot wave rose up about 50 yards north of us and just barrelled and spit and went crazy. It was a huge, throaty, sucking, breathing cylinder but totally makeable and wide open. I couldn't help but to let out a loud "Whoooo!" That thing was just beautiful. I caught a few more and called it a session. Very shifty out there were i was. But hall-of-fame waves coming through here and there.

the new 15 second energy is on the buoys. I only witnessed a few of these sets in the water.

sounds like Kaiser made out real nice down at the southern end of the beach. this is what he had to say,
"My second wave, I got a nice bowly wave, made a sweet
drop on the faster moving beast, beautiful bottom turn
merely to set my rail and then the most beautiful wall
of water making its best canvas impression just kept
leading me down the line. The lip was clearly in
sight as I just tried to hold my line. 30-40 yards of
this and my head just seeing the lip over me. I cant
claim it but I have to believe that was one of my best
waves at OB!"

One thing you can do with a bit o' speed (Sarge's pics)

After wiping out on this floater at Backdoor Shea Lopez needed both his anterior cruciate ligament and posterior cruciate ligament to be replaced, and his medial ligament repaired as well... gnarly!

Posted by Ethan at 10:10 AM
February 09, 2004
just what the dr. ordered

tortured myself out from my cocoon-like bed this morning.. into the frigid, penalizing pre-dawn air. Damn.. it was cold!! Got outside and noticed the flags pointing offshore.. hmmm... very nice... Rolled to VFers.. didn't look fantastically amazing.. but.. i noticed glassy, pitching possibilities on the inside bar.. nobody out.. Cruised to Sloat just to get a lay of the beach.. The waves seemed to get larger as i headed south. Bigger and messier in the middle.. then squeaky clean at Sloat but waves couldn't decide whether to break on the outer or inner bars. Soo.. Lerm and i trekked it back up to VFers and immediately suited up and hit it.

and... Gawd Damn!!

it didn't look that great from the lot but once in the water is was nothing but head-high, offshore-groomed, barrelling niceness. Lots of bigger, windswell waves cruising in and buckling/throwing on shallow inside sandbars. After a long ride you were often punished and brutalized by rapid-fire hammering lips to the head.. but.. it was well worth it. Kaiser and Marco were out there for about 5 minutes and then left.. what happened to you guys? There were a fair share of closeouts but also a peppered plethera of imminently shreddable waves. I watched one blond shortboarder lock into a long, head-high-plus, totally glassy barrel. I probably caught around 20 waves.. 10 or so high quality. The steep drops often resulted in copious helpings of speed.. which often led to thigh-quivering turns and powerful lip-bashings.. The sun was out.. the crowd was somewhat thick for a monday morning.. but very mellow and plenty of waves for everybody.

also.. makeable barrels!!!



hopefully we'll have a whole week of this..

also.. i need to practice what i preach here.. but.. if you're about to paddle out at a huge, expansive beachbreak, and you see a bunch of surfers grouped in the same area.. but you then notice another peak down the beach with not many or no surfers.. go to that other peak. We all need to do what we can to spread the crowd at OB.

Check out some of this email that Jersey-charger Kus sent me.. He has a tendency to throw-up after wiping out on really cold days in jersey.. jeez! committed!
"yesterday was overhead and perfectly clean and barrelling!!!!! water temp in 30's though. It was my first successful overhead cold day in which I grabbed some screamingly powerful winter surf without "yacking"... my remedy is-whenever i bite it largely (everytime i try to do something stupid while in a 5 mil), i let myself ride whitewater straight into the beach, breathing deeply, then slowly get out of the water and relax for a minute in the sand. so i'm stoked.. cause even on wednesday, the session before, i was having a blast until a closeout barrel poked me on my face and drove me into the sand bar that was 6 inches below the surface, i paddle in and totally YAK all over my board, it was most non-triumphant!"

needless to say Kus isn't afraid to go for it.

great post from "Someone" (hope he doesn't mind me reposting here):

The last 24 hours have been the best I've had in years, no exaggeration. Last night I hung out with my girlfriend and her roommates. We went to Urth Cafe and then the Gypsy hookah place in Westwood. Everyone was in such a great mood, great vibes all around. I spent the night at her place and we stayed up till five Wonderful night, we talked things over and pretty much got on the same page, realized that we both are insanely happy the way things are going This morning she had to go to work, and I got to sleep in. After helping my dad do some odd jobs around our apartment building, my bro came up to usc, picked me up to go surfing, and gave me some psilocybe cubensis mushies We dosed, watched a little bit of Baraka, partook of some ganja to ease the stomach, and went surfing. I got to ride my brand new board for the first time, after an agonizing week of waiting for the thing to cure. The conditions were gnarly, STRONG wind howling down the beach, strait onshore. It was hectic, but there were some fun ones to be had. I felt so alive, so stoked, I was brimming with enthusiasm, love, I felt like screaming out there in that chaos. It was beautiful. My first wave was a bowling left, sketchy late take off. I started into my first bottom turn on that board and almost fell backwards, the thing TOOK OFF! Its so drivey, its insane. 6'1, real hard rails, rounded pin. I could tell from the first couple of waves that its the best board I've ever owned. Dan Cobely shapes insane boards. Anyways, we surfed in those conditions until we were so tired we had to go in. By this point we were trippin balls, sitting in the parking lot playing guitar and skating around on my friends mini. I was skating really well, doing these long drawn out pumps and backside drop knee turns around the cul-de-sac at the end of the lot. Shrooms help you realize how amazing the world is, they place you right there in the midst of life, raw and accessible. The combination of that, and the realization that I am in love, I can't communicate the waves of euphoria that I felt, pumping down the strand, under the sun, not a care in the world.

We decided to go on a full on skate sesh. Being three of us, we alternated being the driver and the skaters. We'd drive to 9th and John in MB, basically the top of the hill section. Then two of us would skate down the hills while the third followed us in the car. I was getting so into it, doing really good turns, really feeling the muscles in my leg contract and push against the board. It felt amazing. Then I hit a rock, flew off my board, landed on my face, flipped over. I ate shlt so hard~! It was allright though, I checked myself, just a little road rash and a few cuts. COuld have been much worse.

I'm back at SC now, recuperating from the best 24 hours I've had in years. I'm still brimming with stoke.

Life really goes in ups and downs. From this perspective, I realize that I was a little depressed last year, though I didn't see it then. For anyone that feels lonely, nervous about the future, take it from me, things can and will get better. Life is funny like that, dynamic and alive. Those same waves of change that we ride, they're manifestations of the fundamental waves that fuel the universe. The good, the bad, its all GREAT. It takes days like this to see that.

Sloat from friday (thanks Todd for the pic)

Posted by Ethan at 10:35 AM
February 06, 2004
infrequent bombs

laaate report..

Big but not huge.. biggest faces about double overhead.
light offshore.
thin crown from Taraval to second lot sloat.
butterflies in stomach when decision is made to surf.
5 or 6 wave sets breaking top-to-bottom on the outer bars.. then backing off.

two hour session for me this morning on Caveman's 10yr old 7'4" minigun. (Caveman - you da man!!) I luckily squeeked through the shorepound with almost dry hair but then got absolutely crunched by 5 giant set waves as i nearly got out before they started breaking... but didn't. My board got clean ripped from my hands and i ended up doing the Robme breathing technique to stay calm and hold it together. It was a little scary.. But then outside.. waiting.. waiting.. waiting.. Kaiser gets one.. waiting.. waiting.. waiting.. i paddle like mad for one but just can't get into it.. then... waiting.. waiting... waiting.. waiting.. waiting.. fucking waiting forever.. I see other folk hooking into rides.. but.. i didn't even paddle for another wave for 45 minutes!! didn't even paddle for one!! for some reason i just couldn't get near one of the breaking waves.. always 200 yards to the north or south.. you know how it is.. Needless to say i was feelin' the pangs and suffering from some serious wave repellent.. there were beautiful, fantasy waves feathering and peeling and doing the mini-mavericks thing. But.. finally.. this big, meaty set-wave comes loping in for me.. A few paddles and i'm over the ledge and taking off backside.. I start descending and the thing tries to buck me off but i kind-of hold it together and end up with a long, fun drop.. but no shoulder.. still a fun wave and i broke the wave-repellent hex. cool to hear Kaiser hooting from the inside. then more waiting.. waiting.. waiting.. waiting.. another 30 minutes go by.. this one longboarder has snagged maybe 8 waves in the same 30 minutes that i came close to zero. arggh!! but.. today was a good day to have a log out there as the waves were difficult to get into. I then saw Christian paddle out.. turns out he snapped his leash on the way out and had to swim back to shore for another.. d'oh! then i see him try to take off in the white-water of a sizeable wave.. almost held on but not quite.. a valient attempt!! soo.. meanwhile. i've been out there for two hours with only one wave to my name!! grrr.. soo.. i'm frothing and just ready to paddle into anything.. and i'm also late for work.. but.. i just wanted to catch one of those delicious looking glassy, long-peeling bombs that consistently proved just out of reach. Soo.. eventually this macker set wave comes and i'm paddling like a rabid banshee to get over the fucking ledge. spray and spit from the offshores are all whipping in my face and blinding me but i just keep paddling as hard as i can.. still not getting in.. this beast of a wave is growing and growling and getting steeper and taller and steeper underneath me.. finally i somehow found a little ramp and got in.. popped to my feet.. and.. yeeesssss.. finally.. a huge, 8ft+? face... long.. tapering.. looonnnggass ride.. two or three elongated big wave mid-face turns and cutbacks.. the wave flattens out but then rebowls for me near the inside and i'm pumping and a little scared that the whole thing is going to suck up and bury me.. but.. it ends up mushing out and i paddle in on my belly.. not before getting annihilated for good measure by the shorepound..

soo.. pretty typical outer bar OB sweetness..

if the wind holds off it should be good all day??


Posted by Ethan at 11:39 AM
February 05, 2004
yay!! solid, glassy, barreling waves!

A nice, crisp, inner-bar winter morning. Slight offshore breeze, anvil-like head-high swell, not too crowded, slightly foggy, not much current, heaving barrels. I personally didn't surf that great but watched in amazement as a few waves literally threw out as far as they were tall. I saw some huge/wide/gaping barrels... though most of em' were closeouts. Kaiser, as usual, was taking off on totally unmakeable walls of destruction.. and laughing about it! gnarly! A niceness regular from Kentucky was out there catching a few, as was CK. The water tasted a little funny and that disturbing poo smell was eminating from the water treatment plant next to the zoo.. but.. no GI issues for me so far... fingers crossed.

yeah.. i love days like today.. heavy waves on the inner bars. glassy. no crowd. toss in some 75 degree water, tropical setting, hot-tub full of ladies on the deck of your secluded beach-house partying and chilling, people jamming on a wide array of top-notch instruments, fresh organic salad and smoothies waitin, good vibes, couple cool dogs running around..

from fluidzone

rice found these

Posted by Ethan at 10:33 AM
February 04, 2004

I slept in this morning.
I woke up briefly at 6:30, thought about p-town, thought about the Jetty, considered the raw dwindling swell, considered the still-potent runoff toxicity, considered the mucky onshore wind.. and.. fell back to sleep. If you're not working today you could definitely work out a session later in the day. The swell is dropping fast. Papa buoy is down to 8ft 10seconds, SF is at 10ft 11seconds.

soo.. hopefully tomorrow will shape up for us dawn-patrollers.

I feel strangely out-of-sorts after 3 days out of the ocean. It feels like some rudimentary component of my psychology is empty, or askew. I feel out of touch with the flow of waves and of riding them. It doesn't feel good.
All you injured and land-locked surfers, i feel for you. It takes strength and courage to keep the surfing fire burning in the face of such obstacles. I think that if i suffered a big injury or was forced to move to Arizona.. or even Berkeley i would suffer some serious withdrawal and depression. Even when i have a 5 day cold or something i can't stand to watch surf movies or look at surf media. I shove all my surf mags deep in some closet and push all my energy into music or reading or twiddling my thumbs or something. Surfing creates such a passionate love-affair with those it touches. While in the throws of it you feel euphoric and fulfilled, cleansed and energized. Your core feels mellowed and you feel like you're tapped into some secret life-source that not everyone knows about. The flip side is that when you've been touched by the surfing bug but you are then blocked from tapping in.. bad things can happen... at least for me... ha ha!! but.. there will always be more waves, more days, more seasons, more offshores and more barrels.. whether it's tomorrow or next year or ten years from now. Life is short but it's also long..

... or something..

surfing rules.


jersey a few weeks ago (sean brady photos)

belmar NJ

i know it's an ad.. but check out that setup..


jeff divine photos

Posted by Ethan at 10:48 AM
February 03, 2004
giant, polluted, good waves later

I meant to walk down to the beach and check it this morning but the pouring rain and my beckoning guitar kept me indoors. From the N-judah i could see mammoth, tumultuous white-water walls creeping toward shore. It looked ominous. The winds, however, are pretty light right now (2mph from the west). There is going to be a deep low tide this afternoon so if you don't mind polluted water and crowds you should be able to score some insane waves at the end of the day. It's 16ft 15seconds at the SF buoy at 10am. Now that i look at some websites (wetsand) the winds are predicted to blow out of the NW later on.. sooo santa cruz town, although potentially filled with hepatitus and the such, should offer some reeling, roping, groping point-break succulence. maybe the jetty too? though obviously not as succulent.

anybody have any book recommendations (not necessarily surf related)? especially about central america?

If anybody has any favorite posts or comments from niceness past send em' over to me. For example if you really liked Sharkbait's report from Oct 2003 or something? or you liked when matt yellow board talked about the secret spot he surfed solo last summer.

two days no surf.. the jones begins!!

shout out to the Jeff up in oregon! dude.. i want to cruise up there soon

shout out to Carter James Rowe - who will most likely be shredding it up soon around the streets of southampton and ivyland.

shout out to Dr. Deni - psyched for your visit.. planning a little soiree at my house for the occasion..

surf like taj



OB article on surfermag.com

Posted by Ethan at 09:56 AM
February 02, 2004
stormy, raucous, south winds

Today might have been the day for the insane, roaring offshores at Lindy? Mix a healthy helping of valley-squeezed offshore storm-wind coming down through the town of pacifica with an equally healthy portion of toxic-butt-sludge running down the san pedro creek from the heavy downpours and you get the potent, wave and disease rich compound of Linda Mar beach during a strong winter low pressure. Sometimes when that brown, stench-laden runoff fills the southern half of the beach, the waves have an ironic sense of humor in that they start to peel, beckon and barrel. Many of us have sucked it up, suited up and paddled out into the ecoli-filled muck, swearing to not open our mouths, eyes or nose while underwater. Sometimes the brave toxic-warrior is rewarded with tight, chocolate barrels. Sometimes the gluttonous toxic-warrior becomes stricken and ends up expunging bodily fluids at regular 20 minute intervals, out of both ends. Anybody make the plunge this morning?

this weekend saw some tasty waves throughout the bay area. I drove for a while on saturday and lucked into an hour of point-break solitude before a second surfer paddled out. The two of us then traded waves for 10 minutes before a third paddled out. You would think that with just 3 people, lining up and trading waves would still be the good-vibed way to go. But.. that's not what this third guy thought. Regardless of the fact that the second guy and i were out there before him and were successfully catching and riding the somewhat challenging waves, this third guy simply paddled right by us and sat a little bit further up the point. He positioned himself for the next wave, even though we were out there before him, etc. I was a bit incredulous but I'd seen this guy before and he's one of the "boys" yadda yadda.. but.. it still kinda irked me. After he caught a wave he wouldn't sit down the line and wait for us to catch one, he'd again paddle right by us and sit deeper. I thought about saying something or maybe just paddling deeper than him and getting into a little positioning war, etc. but.. i just didn't want to create a shittier vibe out there so i just let it slide and grimaced each time this guy took off on a nice set wave that could/should have been for me if we had been taking turns. Then another of the "locals crew" paddle out and did the same thing.. just paddling a wee bit deeper than the second guy and i, even though there was only 4 of us out.

What do you people think about this? Do these two surfers have the right to paddle deeper and not line up if there is less than 5 total surfers? It's like they, in essense, flipped us the middle finger after each of their rides, totally ignored us, and acted as if they were the only two surfers out there. I mean i can understand aggressive inside positioning battles when there are more than 7 or 8 people within a small takeoff zone.. but when there are only 3 people?? I just think it's pretty lame. I know these guys surf this particular spot frequently, does that give them the right to ignore the two other surfers in the lineup? When i was in Indo the Aussies and Kiwis frequently amazed me with their orderly and democratic turn-taking line up proceedure at points/reefs with less than 8 surfers.. even the super-rippy surfers. But often as soon as a Brazillian or American paddled out, the turn-taking ended and everybody started scrapping and battling for position. Anyway.. those guys on saturday just kinda got under my skin.

sooo.. sunday! OB!! yeah.. a nice, inner-bar OB day on sunday. strong SE offshore winds held up some lips. Surfed with Kaiser and Loon at VFers and found a few sections. good times.

Talked with Jake last night. He's on a plane to Costa Rica as you read this. He's thinking of trying to settle for the next few months in the tamarindo area.. though he's not sure.. Lerm and i are headed down to central america in April so hopefully we'll meet up with Jocular Jake.

Posted by Ethan at 10:02 AM