March 31, 2004
argghh cont..

Mellifluous, sugar-coated waves they were not. The beach looked hacked-up, roiled, grumpy and pissy this morn. Large chunks of disorganized nonsense splayed and sprayed this way and that.. offering little sanctuary for us would-be swell-riders. Southward through picturesque Daly City, over the hill into graceful, politically-sensitive P-town.. ha!! just downright horrible at rock-a-shitty and Lind-a-d'oh. Umm.. further south in search of an open-face or two. Magical Montara looking punishing and unforgiving.. But.. i noticed some shimmering colors up atop Montara mountain to the left.. I pulled over at the base of the little trail before the pullout to the Montara beach parking lot. Some combination of sunrise, ocean-mist and serendipitous intuitive connectivity compelled me to forgo the morning's surf mission and hike up the mountain side. As i began hiking i looked up and thought i saw the mountain morphing and slightly changing shape. Just a subtle shift.. nothing major. Almost as if the mountain was formed by billions of component parts and each were jostling and vibrating around each other. I chalked it up to morning bleeriness and kept hiking ahead, enjoying the sunshine and the cardio workout. Slowly, as i climbed higher and higher, i noticed my perceptive abilities continue to change. Things became floaty and disconnected. Never overtly unrealistic or frightening.. just backround weirdness. obtuse observations. As i hiked higher and higher, a feeling began to grow and gestate in my awareness. I began to sense an overwhelming power and sentience in the earth, flora and air around me. It's difficult to describe but an onrushing realization continued to bombard my senses. Looking up at the mountain i just felt this looming power amassing and growing. I turned around and looked out to sea and noticed little micro-flashes in the air. Pinpricks of sparkling notes and mysterious organization. I looked up into the clouds and felt this rumbling, overwhelming significance and beauty. I started feeling uplifted and charged by the increased power and radiance in and of the objects around me. The chaparrel appeared to glow and shine.. it appeared as if the many shrubs and grasses were participants in a highly organized civilization of procreative life-forces.. I continued to climb and the formerly inert forms around me continued to shimmer and burst forth with seemingly intelligent characteristics.. I also began to notice this deep, reverberating, thumping, heart-beat-like pulse move through the ground at irregular intervals. Looking up the mountain was now nearly swimming and gurgling with multifaceted movement and life. I now felt some serious apprehension and fear and considered walking back down to the car... But.. like with the sea-ray in a previous adventure.. i felt some sub-conscious need to venture forth and trust my instincts. Soo.. upward and onward i hiked.. with each step my surrounding environment continued to increase it's para-normal vibration.. seething and teeming with color and apparent conscious understanding.. i now felt like i was being observed by some higher-order entity.. beckoned even.. the colors of the sky now were dark red and violet.. stormy winds and electricity alighted the sky. power and abandon swept through the cosmos. upward i now voyaged.. step after step.. in some sort of dream-world. A swarm of gnats descended and circled around my head.. i thought i noticed a cryptic message patterned in their configuration.. in fact.. yes.. it looked like a portrait of the mountain itself.. it looked as if the mountain were rumbling, then rising.. the exploding.. fuuckk.. then the gnats quickly vanished but not before whispering some sub-linguistic coo of luck into my ear. thanks little gnats.. upward.. now sweating and swaying.. bracing myself against the torrents of wind and visceral power sweeping down the mountain side.. i was now close to the top. Rocks turned and faced me as i advanced, stoic looks of consternation on their visages. The mountain itself seemed to turn and behold me.. rumbling and groping in it's very bowels.. ready to spit and careen.. i walked to the very top.. everything at that moment hummed and screamed and crescendoed.. arrghhh.. then the mountain did in fact explode upward.. with me riding it's peak.. it lifted up and out.. over the beach.. over the ocean.. upward and outward.. i could see the california coastline... i could see the curvature of the earth.. upward and outward.. rushing and cracking and advancing.. toward the moon it seemed.. yes.. in fact.. most definitely toward the moon.. at breakneck speeds.. then.. thunk... cheese-whiz..

toddy hawaii
sloat bottom turn (photo by bruce
sloat niceness

someone sent me this increcible photo.. sorry i can't remember who?
hawaii whale

Posted by Ethan at 10:40 AM
March 30, 2004

nadda this morning. unless you like it rough, rugged and raw... and mini. After stretching and getting to bed early last night like a good little dawn-patroller I was up and amping a little after 6.. but.. something was amiss.. looking out my window it seemed that the trees were blowing and swaying in the wrong direction. hmm.. I went outside to check the flags on top of the firehouse and sure enough the wind was raging onshore. Walked to the corner and the sea-surface was hacked and white-capped and narsty. Called Lerm and he had already checked the beach and was in the process of getting back in bed for a little early morning nap. Soo.. that's what i did.. about a half-a-page of reading later i was snoozin' till 8am.

This was one of the first early-mornings in a long time where you probably couldn't really score quality waves anywhere within an hour's drive either direction. kinda depressing..

places i'd like to surf:
Andaman islands
British Columbia
random South Pacific atolls

Marcus Sanders recently went to Panama and sent out a few photos
Noriega niceness

Noriega niceness

Another scrubby dude i used to know way back when
wack steez

Niceness regular.. don't fake the funk. (thanks Scott for the photo)
step off

mavs left

John Kerry surf check

Posted by Ethan at 10:05 AM
March 29, 2004
nice and smooth

Walked down to the local spot this morning expecting the typical empty mellowness but instead saw a squadron of SF's finest chargers/rippers/shralpers tearing shit up on the playful, glassy head-high waves. I then noticed mexisurf on the beach with his telephoto, snapping action shots. Turned out he called a bunch of the local heavies and got them together for a shralp-off in front of the lens. We watched SanFranPyscho Jesse land an effortless 360 aireal. pretty cool. Alex Martins was also out there carving massive divots. I didn't end up surfing because i wanted to spend some QT with my sis before she returned to the east coast. She was here for the weekend and we got our chill on.

It was super nice out at the beach this morning. I'm sure that many of you tasted the sweet nectar of the offshore-licked user-friendly windswell. Any barrels or stellar rides?

I guess that another whale washed up on the beach - this one near VFWs. crazy. watch out for the tooth.

Yesterday my sis, Lerm and i roadtripped south in search of waves and california coastal beauty. We wound up at Ano Nuevo and scampered down the nature-filled, sage-infused, olfactory pleasure-dome trail to the magical corner beach 'neath the bird-nesting cliffs. It was packed in the lineup but vintage, text-book Ano was happening so we were out there. Powerful, head-high+ super-wedges stacked up and cruised in. Lerm and i were doing more the spectator thing on the shoulder as a bunch of serious surfers were jockeying for position, taking off deep and either getting deeply pitted or taking out frustrations on the lip, or both. I noticed a couple faces as second-tier Santa Cruz pros. It was exciting to be part of the lineup while such high-performance, magazine-quality waves and maneuvers were going down. We each slipped in to a handful of scrappy waves and leftovers. I also managed one semi-legit nugget and kind-of air-dropped the takeoff and then sped down the conical, uber-glassy crystalline wall for a few clips before turning shoreward and avoiding the closeout mass. What a wonderful wave. Too bad it's localised by not just the frothing mass of santa cruz rippers but also the landlord.. as evidenced by the TWO dead seals with huge bite marks right on the beach in front of the break.. no shit..

soo.. cool.. hopefully y'all got waves. I just received an email from Jake where he's amping on his Costa Rican lifestyle.. Ruuuaatch!! naw.. we can all live vicariously through him a bit.. i guess..

soo.. the papa buoy popped up again to 21ft 13seconds!! fuuuck.. i was getting psyched on a few days of small windswell.. but.. looks like the NorPac isn't finished yet.. We'll see what blakestah has to say when he posts his monday report.

Rob Keith photos from

mexisurf shots (
whale at VFers

bagel's house-mate on the north-side

OB - aww yeah

random shots

Posted by Ethan at 10:04 AM
March 26, 2004
amalgamated cornicopia

Myopic propensities strive for psychic dominance.

He of flexible mind sees many pathways.

But for laziness we achieve our highest potential.

Listening. To Listen attentively is a mark of a learned mind.

Breathing. Concentration on your breath leads to an awareness of the the onrushing, over-determined, cacophonous train of thoughts raging through our heads at every waking second. Concentration on breathing leads to a pause into nowness. Past and future disapear and all that's left is the filling of your body with air.. then the releasing of that air back into the world. Sloowwwlly innn.. sloowwwlly out.. in the now right now be here now now be here.


more waves this morn. Busted it again at the inner-butt-crack of dawn.. way up in the deep crevice where it's still all dark and mysterious and smelly. Spelunking into the bowels of the wee wee pre-dawn caverns. Back to the little nook down the coast a ways. Got out there and waves still funnelling through. Not as well shaped as yesterday but still a plethora of sparkling, glassy bulbous mounds. First wave i scratched and paddled as the thing rose, dredged and gulped-out.. Just made it over the ledge and should've sleuthed down the near-vertical face but instead saw the nose of my board dig into the bottom of the face and next thing i know i'm ragdolling end over end and then spazzing around in the white water and just generally getting raped by the crashing wave.. d'oh!! nice wake up call! But after that i generally locked into most of my drops and enjoyed maybe 10 or 15 steep-drops then a turn or two down the line. Kaiser proved the king of the superman air-drop over-the-falls on the biggest monster set waves to come through. He repeatedly decided at the last minute to take-off on impossible waves and then suffered the consequences. Tough day for the big guy.. but i also saw him snag a medium size one and carve two smooth, balanced top-turns. A beginner out there got sucked into a bad area and then naively attempted to take off on an inside wave and got absolutely sling-shotted over-the-falls right into a family of not-so-forgiving rocks. I don't know how he made it out unscathed but somehow he survived. He was gathering himself way out on the shoulder 15 minutes later. I stopped to tell him how crazy that wipe-out was and i could see in his eyes that he was still really scared and shook-up from it. He was even shaking a bit and actually got out of the water soon after. fuuuck. Ragnor was smoothly killing it as usual. He's a fabulous surfer but i gather a George Bush supporter.. who knew?

soo.. that's the skinny.

Kirra tow-ins (from

Caitlin Kuhwald's artwork (from - an awesome site!)

Posted by Ethan at 10:25 AM
March 25, 2004
a few waves..

OB looking big and burly. I didn't notice much shape on my way home from an early morning road trip. The scale of the crushing white-water was made clear while watching a little speck (surfer) getting pummelled by wall after wall of angry oceanic energy. Largish/mushy overhead++ ? behemoths crumbled and bounded on the outside. I didn't see anyone out there. kdalle and crew were probably scoring from their secret sloat paddle out spot? After considerable driving I found a little nooky locale and managed a gratifying session. Gyrating, funnelling wave after wave pumped in with crowd-easing consistency. There were barrels on offer but i didn't sniff any out. The first 40 minutes was solo so i got to work-out a few aspects of my game and also enjoy the solitary zone-out that comes with surfing by yourself. Spacing out on thoughts of life, love, music, geology, the space-time continuum, exoskeletons, burp-singing, Bhutan, tea ceremonies, high quality mustard, Brazilian bubble-butts, etc. Soon a crowd gathered but there were enough waves to go around. I scored one memorable ride where i took off on a smaller inside wave, navigated the steep, sucking drop, then did 6 linked turns in a row.. bottom turn - top turn - bottom turn - top turn - bottom turn - muushhy top turn.. Granted my turns weren't incredibly "rippy" or anything but it still felt nice to carve around a bit and try to smack the top off the wave. Upon exiting the water i watched a legendary sponger come flying down the line on a long wave.. he had a head-of-steam flowing and then he cruised up to the top of the wave and whipped a smooth 360 off the lip, then came down to the bottom again.. looked tight.

soo.. the swell is waning on the papa buoy. down to 15ft 10seconds.. OB should be tamer by tomorrow's dawnie. just a question of whether the winds will cooperate?? hmm..

boosting with the retro 'stash point job (igotwake's photo)

murph bar?

yes please

Posted by Ethan at 10:04 AM
March 24, 2004
the swell has landed.

All the buoys are jumpin'. Papa buoy currently 21ft 14seconds. OB looked doable around 8am on my way back from an early morning road-trip. I didn't see anyone braving it but bombs were exploding out the back, and the light onshores weren't thrashing the surface too much. I woke up around 4:30 and drove down along the coast to a more protected spot. Found some inconsistent peelers and locked into a few chunky monkeys but nothing to write home about. Surfed it with just one other head until the morning crew finally got on it and assumed their allotted spot in the lineup, ahead of me. Other Santa Cruz county spots were probably on fire as the tide started to rise and the swell continued to build. hmm... good day to take the morning off and explore all the various slots and divots of coast. hint.. there are many spots between Wadell and Natty bridges.. get your thinkin' cap on and explore.

I feel slightly out of sorts right now after taking a monster spill on my skateboard last night. I wasn't even bombing hills or anything.. just taking a leisurely cruise down to the local burrito joint. I had my headphones on and i was on the sidewalk looking for little banks to turn on.. next thing i know i'm flying through the air then i hear a distinct crack as my cheek hits the concrete.. then i phase out for a second before re-orienting myself. I just sat on the sidewalk for a few minutes collecting my wits. fuck.. scary.. but.. 1 bruised cheek and 1 bruised hip later i'm on the mend.. wear your helmet.

good waves to you all.


mexisurf photos

alex martins

Posted by Ethan at 09:51 AM
March 23, 2004
blowy.. small

Entropy. the gradual dissolution of an organized system. A tendency for everything to gradually fall apart. You know how a sparkling clean room shuffles into dissarray in a few weeks.. entropy. Without wind or currents a body of water will slowly settle down into flatness.. entropy. Without focussed, resolute effort over time that long, drawn-out linear algebra problem disintegrates into nonsense... entropy. The perfect, non-dinged conditions of your new surfboard slowly dissolves into a mess of dings, pressure dents, cracks and breaks... entropy.

any science or philosophy people out there please help refine my understanding of the idea!!

I didn't check it this morning. Got home around 1am last night after watching Guitarmageddon at the Elbow Room. 4 uber-rippy, young, bay-area guitar phenoms got together for a jimmy hendrix tribute show. Two ladies held down the rhythm on bass and drums and the 6 of em' rocked the mutha fizin hizin! good times. But.. got home at 1 and the onshores were fucking raging.. all wet and gusty and nasty.. felt like a storm moving through. I momentarily blinked my eyes open for a minute at 6:30 just to make super-sure that the surf-gods were playing some evil trick on me and switching the winds around to offshore for the dawnie.. but.. they weren't .. and it was still raging onshore this morning.. but.. who knows? yesterday was fun so maybe again this morning? anybody surf?

sweetness on the lively debate yesterday.. here are some highlights..

Everyone should give it a shot, the thing is sick. (No he didn't pay me, or give me one of the fins to say it) but in my opinion it's definately an awesome invention! SATURDAY WAS SICK!

OB: Spring sprang, it's mini and foggy with onshores of capricious velocity from zero to phone-line jangling... PS tom : regrets missing your crazed party, but heck I've connived 2 women into Ocean Beach sessions so my karma is good, yes?
- sharkbait

i also rode blakestah's low-profile 6'8" ufo, briefly - felt VERY smooth, and paddles great. gorgeous morning at lindy
- loon

How would you like the Gov coming in and taking your backyard , that you had already paid for?
- jacob

who cares when everybody has their own little peak and a pod/pack/gaggle/pride/herd/posse of 5,6,7,10 dolphins keep cruising by you to say hello and take shots of tequila with you.
- j

Does anyone out there know of a more benign, bio-friendly resin perhaps hemp or corn starch based?
- peej

Looks like a solid shot of swell coming Wednesday and Thursday...
- blakestah

and all misssed a rager....over 100 people and easily 60% female...
- tom

City Of Filthe, Lust and Desire
- Kaiser

promiscuous pinnipeds
- dt

it wasn't perfect, and yet it was
- friendly

Cows as far as the eye can see all basking in their shit with nothing to eat except chemicals and crap.
- mexisurf

My first wave I pulled an overhead drop and just slotted into the pocket for a 50 yard ride.
- wrestler

comparing Harris Ranch to Auschwitz serious tweaked me for some reason.
- jdz

The Infinite as a tool of an evil seductor.
- jimmie

i think of our conscious experience as the first time the universe is knowing itself
- jake

they basically sit around eat and do nothing for a while then are whacked. that helps the marbling and taste of the meat,
- dsx

Sure the combo lock looks ugly, but no more messing around with hiding keys.
- wrybread

If you think that Harris Ranch is providing a healthy environment for its cows and the people who live in that area, you shoulds keep surfing Pacifica because we'll all end up in that crap.
- mexisurf

i did the vegetarian thing for 5 years but baaaaaacon brought me back. i can't resist the pig flesh,
- bbr

- caveman

You're crazy man, you got a fookin dart in your neck..
- ian

- goodmorning

people seriously underestimate my powers
- bacon

if you like gnarly death-pits.. check out this video (turn off your popup blocker)

our man jdz stylin' in Namotu
Fiji me please

Fiji me please

Fiji me please

Fiji me please

Fiji me please

Fiji me please

Fiji me please

Fiji me please

Fiji me please


Posted by Ethan at 10:07 AM
March 22, 2004
Scrupulous Gyrations

Maximizing his ruthless, hypnotic, magic breath, Omar Skeevar of Oceana often wooed unsuspecting vixens into a lulled susceptibility. Like Freddy Kruger before him, Omar patrolled the dream-worlds of young, nubile, slumbering teenage ladies. Just as these damsels bounced through the unconscious universe of the their dream-states, Omar lurked from behind the shadows and confronted the startled dreamers with a soft blow of his noxious breath. The smell of this breath stimulated in the dreamers a clear and immediate vision of existence on a grand scale. For a brief flash, the dreamers saw the expanding and contracting universe as a holistic entity. For a milisecond of shockingly, hauntingly abrubt understanding, the dreamers comprehended that the entire universe existed as one connected, interrelated being. This realization came as an instant scream of awareness and was followed by one primal thought. Like a flash of lightning the dreamers for one moment were thrust into the meta-mind of the entire universe. For one brief section of time the dreamers stepped into the mega-consciousness of the universe primeval. One thought, one emotion, one overarching vision radiated through their cranial temples... "time waits for no woman." Then, as quickly as the vision had come.. it was gone.. and the dreamer re-awakened into her normal dream-state, looking now at Omar Skeevar from Oceana walking away from her with a subtle smirk on his face. Knowing the peplexity left in his wake.

soo.. look out for Omar in your dreams tonight ladies.

The beach was purdy fugly this morn. I did ye ol' wetsuit change at my house then ran down.. thinking i'd get lucky and score a few.. but.. up and over the dunes i saw that conditions were blown and flown and painful like an ingrown. but.. with wetty alreay on i was obviously out there anyway.. nobody else out as far as i could see to the north and south. small, choppy, blowy chest-high windswell waves lapping in. BUT!! surprisingly.. i caught waves after wave and ended up having a blast out there. I think that maybe the expectation game played a huge part in my enjoyment level.. i.e. i expected a total crap session upon seeing the waves.. but once out was pleasantly surprised by the discovery of little pockets and corners of fun. Just mellow windswell slop but never-the-less i ended up scooting down some chunky faces and even snapping a turn or three on my front-side.

yesterday morning was small, glassy heaven out at OB.. hope that all of you caught some.

saturday morning looked super gnarly but awesome along OB. Big and serious but groomed and makeable.. any stories?

my pops was in town so i didn't end up surfing too much. Played a round of golf at Presidio. Ate a huge steak dinner at Harris' steak house. burritos in the mission. jam last night with all his fave crosby-stills-nash, beatles, dylan, dead, the band tunes. Cajun Pacific on friday and ebisu last night.. pops in the house..

bummed i missed the fiesta at Tom's.. any stories??

word.. jake sent me a bunch of fly-ass photos of costa rica.. i'll try to post them up now..


Central America
central american sweetness

central american sweetness

central american sweetness

central american sweetness

central american sweetness

central american sweetness

central american sweetness

central american sweetness

central american sweetness

Posted by Ethan at 10:19 AM
March 19, 2004
cooler at the beach.. onshores.

Yup folks.. onshores! The north end of the beach was surfable but the winds were kicking up and the surface looked hacked and grumpy. A handful of die-hards made a go of it and i actually saw 2 or 3 down-the-line rides in front of the beach chalet. But.. the magical fairytale conditions seem to be winding down. After a slightly disappointing fall/winter season the surf gods blessed us with two weeks of glorious weather and an extendo string of inviting, lip-smacking surf. While sucking down beers tonight at the noc-noc or Kilowatt or wherever remember to tip one back for Poseidon, god of the sea, protector of all waters... and also a god of fertility! hmmm..

one artists' rendering of Poseidon

I think i speak for everyone when I express deep condolences to Ian and his family. It seems that Ian's good-vibed cousin was killed yesterday when a driver of a Jeep hit him at full speed and then accelerated off and left the scene. A hit-and-run. Turns out the driver of the jeep later took his car into a body shop, telling the mechanic he had hit a deer, but the mechanic recognized the jeep from a recent news story and called the cops. The driver has now been apprehended and is in jail. Damn Ian.. I'm really sorry to hear that. Someone yesterday mentioned that Ian puts out tons of positive energy and that this energy could be a real asset to his family right now. I wholeheartedly agree with that sentiment. We've followed Ian through some ups and downs, moving to san diego and back, working like a slave to keep his shit going.. and he's always maintained a positive stoke about life and surfing... that stoke is infectious and a positive light in the world. Other people instinctively feel that light and are drawn to and comforted by it. It helps to nourish and foster their own light. Basically, good energy begets good energy and to be a natural source of good energy is one of the highest forms of human existence. keep it up Ian. I think that your cousin is experiencing something like this right about now..

tube of inner light

also.. in the general realm of celebrating life, celebrating youth, celebrating positive energy.. Tom is having a kick-down, throw-down pajama jimmy-jam tomorrow night at his styly place in the presidio. Steely Wonder is playing and they rock. Here's the info

Steely Wonder is a talented rock tribute band based in San Francisco. We pay tribute to two of the most creative and inspiring artists in rock music history - Steely Dan and Stevie Wonder.

Play the mp3's at

Keg's on hand and band starts at 10:30 PM (and they are supposed to rip/wail/rock as they are extremely talented.)

In the Presidio.

From Geary take Arguello blvd. in to the Presidio and make a left on to Washington. Follow down apx 6-8 houses on left to 406B Washington Blvd.

Feel free to bring friends, carpool, an extra 6 pack as a large crowd is expected and we may run dry.

Please designate a driver.

a few random photos

cave rock

slates at Haleiwa


slabby slab

barney at pipe

Posted by Ethan at 10:20 AM
March 18, 2004
user-friendly emptiness

Nobody around this morning 'cept Lerm, Lewis and I. Conditions significantly cleaner and more organized than yesterday morning. Nothing too large or critical on offer, but quite a few modest chunks rolled through. When i first paddled out i watched Lewis catch about 15 rides in 5 minutes. I was like, "damn, there are definitely waves to be ridden!" Sure enough a steady stream of shoulder/head-high squirty waves coursed through. It felt good to stroke into then take-off on well-shaped, glassy lil' nugs. The potential for perfomance surfing existed as well. Lip flicks and floaters, pumping and cruising. whatever. A sporatic longer-period groundswell was evident too?? as a solid 5 wave set would lope in every 10 minutes or so.

It also seems that our friends the pelicans are back in force. I watched many formations of em' soar lazily above unbroken wave faces.

Warm, sunny skies - glassy, easy waves - absolutely nobody out except a few friends - shit.. I'm not complaining. It could, however, mark the final hoorah of this two week stretch of immaculate weather/waves?? but now that i look at the weather forecast it might be niiice all weekend...

Blakestah's calling for a groundswell this weekend. starting late friday. Surfpulse also mentions a swell increase but says it'll be more local swell, less groundswell.. hmmm..

Koby Abberton might be going to jail.. seems that his brother killed someone and Koby is accused of helping to cover it up.. looks like he might get seriously covered up in this pic.

Posted by Ethan at 10:19 AM
March 17, 2004
bumpy.. morning sickness?

A gorgeous morning.. but.. the waves weren't quite feelin' it. 5ft 14sec on the SF buoy, no wind and some explosively vibrant sunshine might make your think the surf is good... but.. It was pretty topsy/turvy out there this morning. Chunky head-high mounds would show themselves here and there, but you'd have to seek them out amidst the mine-field of sulking, disquieted ocean. Really choppy and messy, take a bit of dramamine before paddling out if ya don't have your sea legs. Even though it looked easy and mellow from the beach, I counted 32 duckdives before getting outside and was feeling like i wanted to take a break from surfing... until i hooked into a few good ones.. then, of course, i was singin' sweet soliloquies to our seductive mistress OB... saying.. "how could i have forsaken thee for but a few violent smashings at your hand. You continue to nourish and suckle, and i thank thee for your section-al healing." ... in the form of a handful of dope, racing, chunkified down-the-line sections. One happened on a walling right.. took off and enjoyed some speed along the bowling, conglomerating section.. then it looked like the wall was going to close out in front of me but i pumped for speed and then kind-of steered up and floated along the crashing section.. then back into the clear, unbroken wave for some more pumps and mellow carves. fun.. Then my last wave was a left that opened itself nicely for a few mild hacks off the top. I also enjoyed a hein wipe-out where i tried to backdoor a peak but instead got slingshotted with the lip and cracked the water below with my head.. felt like smashing into concrete and i could feel my jaw rattle around on impact.. then, of course, i got sucked around the rinse cycle and then pummelled by the next two waves.. yay!!

Lerm surfed well.. taking off steep and deep on his backside.. go the Lerm!


Sam Flores' artwork..

Posted by Ethan at 10:28 AM
March 16, 2004
diminutive crispy warmth

gutless little wave
I seek out pockets of speed
a few little turns

silky smooth texture
grandiose natural bounty
california dreams

break out the longboard
graceful cross-step to the nose
hangin' ten my friend

a critical drop
race along the glassy face
arc a turn and burn

stomach calling out
hey! it's time to head back in
must drop a growler!

david pu'u photos

Posted by Ethan at 10:05 AM
March 15, 2004
a bit frumpy... but doable.

Gentle offshores.
head-high warbly A-frames.
SF buoy down to 6ft 13seconds.
Still some power out there.
Watched a few crystalline, paper-thin lips jettison out to form transluscent, inviting caverns.
Smaller, wind-swelly feel.
Frustrating south-bound current.
Potential increased cleanliness as morning-sickness fades?

Yesterday ushered in some fantastic waves up and down the beach. Lerm and i missed out on probable VFWs perfection as we cruised into the lot around 9:30 and the N wind was beginning to reak havoc. Saw Elias and his self-shaped board. He told us ye ol', "Ya just missed it!" Shiit.. soo thinking maybe santa cruz we began driving south but only got as far as Second Lot Sloat... which didn't look spectacular from the lot but in reality was firing on all cylinders. Saw Bug out there and proceeded to lock into wave after wave. Long, tapering, overhead walls for everybody! Heaps of waves pouring in. Agonizing, brutal paddles back out. Loads of fun.

weekend highlights:
- picked up a hitch-hiker after surfing on saturday morning. She ended up being this super-chill lady who actually plays softball with John from 2-mile surfshop in Bolinas. which was weird because i just received a chill email from John.

- jammed with my friend Vijay who plays a two-sided Indian drum. raga.

- sunny, beach-like chill session at Dolores park on saturday arvo.. So many beautiful people.

- brain melding groove syncopation at band practice last night.. letting it all hang out. felt good to attempt to rock the proverbial house down at Secret Studios in the deep mission.

- received an interesting email from "TGN" who says,

"I linked to you from glad you are getting waves...
Born and raised here, I started surfing at Kellys in 82...when there were more kneeboarders than anything, I once got punched and dunked at Deadmans at age 14..pretty fucking brutal....
Have you ever heard of Piranha or Jabba???
I work alot now...and to tell you the truth I have gotten used to missing good days of and career first...does anybody work anymore???
Having surfed for close on 25 years, (35 yrs old), I envy the enthusiasm that you neophytes have for the game...when you look down the beach, the guy hitting the lip is me...
I have surfed on a college surf team, and like the ads say " only a surfer knows the feeling"
So continue bogging you TRANSPLANT..and when I do make it out there...share a wave w/ one of the real locals..."

soo.. thanks for that email TGN... i think?

Bruce snapped some nice new photos.. some of OB, some of SC..

pics from

Posted by Ethan at 10:14 AM
March 12, 2004
domo arigato mr bulbous destructo

It's amazing what a difference 12 hours can make.
Yesterday evening Bagel and i speed-freaked home after work and schnagged an hour of unbridled, succulent, visceral enjoyment out at the local spot. We rushed to get out there and then shimmied into wave after wave after wave after wave. All fun-sized and racy and speedy and rampy and just loads pleasurable sweetness. We got out of the water well after the sun had set and looked at each other and basically started laughing because of how good it was.

now.. contrast that with this morning. Over the dunes to the same spot. looked a little bigger and more powerful, but definitely glassy and surfable. Immidiately upon stepping into the ocean this river-like current nearly swept Lerm and I off our feet and carried us north. Lots of water moving around on the inside. I basically let the current carry me toward a little channel.. then a few pissed-off walls of oceanic energy did their best to crush my feeble body into oblivion. Fuck. seriously rattled.. sand all up in my nostrils and my board ripped from my death grip. but.. regathered and eventually made it outside. Once out it became obvious that the waves weren't fucking around this morning. Yesterday evening was all playful twinkle magic rainbow fairies from lala-land. This morning was more hell's minions blood-dripping demon-spawn amputated nightmares from the 4th level of the Inferno. It's not that it was huge, or even that big. It's just that the waves would lurch in as thick, bulbous masses of energy. Intead of breaking in a predictable, fun-loving fashion, they would instead often collect on themselves and grow and rise and shift and bend.. then would peak up strangely and unload sharpened guillotines of angry wave form onto the shallow sandbars. Don't get me wrong. there were many many super-rideable sections, both hollow and playful.. but.. you constantly had to hold vigil for that mischievous neck-breaker that was looking to thwart the wily efforts of any inside poaching surfer... such as me!

but.. again.. i'm probably hyperpolizing slightly for the sake of a good tale. There are plenty-o rideable waves out there waiting to receive a good bashing... a good carving... a good sluicing. If the wind holds off we might even have another delectable arvo?? hmm...

Friend #1.. thanks for the boomy story of your trip up the coast and inaugural surf session with that board, sans wetsuit even!! As someone who has delved deeply into psychadelia over the years I'm bummed to admit that i've actually never surfed under the influence! Though I've had some twisted, celestial times playing footbag on the ol' liquid L. One time we were waiting to see Phish at this huge basketball arena in the Happy Valley of PSU. We were feelin' the Love for Son and Daughter, if ya know what i mean, with much force even! the show hadn't started yet and 4 of my friends and I had great seats near the front of the floor. Randomly there was this big open area with no seats so we were circled up and shredding our faces off, literally. We as a little group had been playing footbag seriously for years and had developed into quite the little rat-pack of rippers. Anyway we were jamming through juggles... warped, transfixed and raging with the harmonious universal consciousness coursing through our L-infused minds. We soon noticed these huge rounds of applause and hooting/yelling that erupted out of the 10,000 seat stadium every minute or so. We thought it was the semi-customary fake-applause that comes before a show as fans mistakenly think that the show is about to start. We shrugged it off and just kept shredding. My friend Chris Park then burrowed into an extra-long, extra-diffucult string of "guiltless" maneuvers. Something like blur into smear into double-leg over into butterfly into paradox mirage into double around the world into pixie-butterfly into ripwalk into paradox reverse mirage into pass to me. Immediately this huge surge of applause erupted from the stadium and we instantly realized that thousands of people were in fact cheering for us!! And they had been for the last 15 minutes and we didn't even realize it! FUUCKK!! crazy!! So then all this crazy energy and significance and emotion just pulsed through us and we proceeded to blast through our best combos and strings. we were looking at each other with these wide-eyed grins and just smiling and amazed at what was happening. The four of us for years had jammed and sweated and played our asses off.. every day.. for years and years.. in basements and squash courts and hallways and back alleys and living rooms and just wherever.. and now here we were tripping face, playing in front of a stadium of people. After each of the best juggles the crowd continued to go nuts! Then suddenly Phish came on stage and the show began. After the show all these people came up to us and patted us on the back and said how amazed they were. It was outrageous to have thousands of people watching and cheering for you.. anyway.. just a little story..

video of me playing footbag at the world championships in '99


my friend Eli

peter Irish (the executioner)

Yacine is a head from Montreal

Posted by Ethan at 10:27 AM
March 11, 2004
svelt, sexy nuggets

Woke up around 6:15, suited-up and jogged down to the local. I knew it would be working after seeing it en feugo yesterday evening. Sure enough, over the dunes.. and.. "Blam!" Glassy, head-high, barreling, spitting A-frames breaking on the inner bars. Absolutely nobody out as far as i could see in either direction. no wind. Sun just popping out to the east, silhouetting mt. davidson and that huge church on Lawton. Excitement wells up inside but also a bit of consternation as i'm still coughing up phlegm-balls and experiencing occasional dizzy spells... not sure how my body will deal. Stretch for a while, pick out a spot in the lineup. Bob Marley, "Lion of Judah" bouncing through my head... still is right now actually. Relatively painless paddle out. Solo session for about an hour and a half. Quick, racy, high-performance walls. Scored a few high-speed floater/lip-rides then kind-of air-dropped back down into the section... actually pulled off two of em but i'm sure i looked rather kooky and unbalanced as i nearly wiped-it on the landings. A few mega-rippers paddled out about a block south of me around 7:30. One smaller goofyfoot guy hit the lip so resolutely on one steep left i thought his knees would pop off.. but.. they didn't. and of course he landed it cleanly then bottom turned and hit the lip again. shredding. damn! how do they do that? rippers. birds soaring along wave-boosted air currents, fishing? surfing? sunny, warm skies. Throaty, barrelly waves. but not too gigantor sand-chugging death-knelling psycho or anything. fun and high-performance.

then i met a girl i've been crushing on for months outside my office.. we rapped for 10 minutes but i lamed-out on getting the contact info... which is basically the equivilent of setting yourself up perfectly for that dope wave but then pulling back just before taking off. argh.

cool stories yesterday bagel and everyone else. Also BVB thanks for writing that craziness about car theft and shit. damn. take your key out with you when you surf. BVB.. also.. hope you didn't think i meant anything derogatory toward dark-skinned peoples!? I just used that as a descriptor. I got the sicilian/hungarian blood flowing through my very veins.

poor dolphins

rochelle took second place to Brazilian Jacqueline Silva

kinda looked like this around here this morning

Posted by Ethan at 09:55 AM
March 10, 2004
murders, shacks and loogies

Absolutely, immaculately gorgeous outside today, as all of you probably know. I tried to sleep off this annoying cold last night with a solid 11 hours but woke up this morning all dizzy and disoriented. I couldn't bear to lay in bed thinking that the surf was going ballistic so i moped to the car and cruised around checking shit.

VFW - super-solid, body-rockin' barrels cracking and smashing and wreaking massive destruction. Lots of bodies floating around out there but i only saw a few successful rides. One guy took off, got pitted, came out, then swooshed violently off-the-lip. fuck yeah! Another guy air-dropped, got pitted, didn't come out. Another guy takes off.. a tad bit slow, and SLAM! just gets clobbered. If you don't have that extra-quick takeoff down-pat you can pretty much forget about it out at VFers this morning. It looked like if you hesitated just the slightest wee bit you'd be tasting sand up in your mug. If you're a seasoned ripper, countless barrels are moaning and lasciviously waiting for you. Go to them. Head their beckoning. Slip your stick into their cavernous innards. Penetrate their slippery apertures and exalt in the primal urgency of their brief, radiant existence. Fly brave barrel-warrior, fly courageously into the shadowy night of procreative demolition.

umm.. yeah.. soo..

It looked really fun out there.. absolutely high-performance, with definite hints of fear and chaos striking deep chords. I had my board and wetty and i started to get ready.. but.. then i started feeling all woozy and i coughed up this huge green/yellow phlegm-ball.. fuck! I did some jumping jacks to see how my body might react to some slight physical exertion and my equilibrium got all out-of-wack and my body forced an immediate sit-down.. in essence saying, "what the fuck are you doing, chump, get back in bed right now!" umm.. yeah.. i'm sick.. Soo.. i then drove down to Sloat just to compare notes. Much glassier down there. not much inner-bar action but the outer bars were crackin' and smackin' and movin' on down the line. Looked good! nobody out. A bit warbly maybe but definitely some solid sections and lines on offer. You'd probably end up taking a family or 4 or 5 sets on the head getting out but once out you'd be laughin' with double-overhead glassy set waves all to yourself. Saw mexisurf in the lot and he told me about the murder yesterday at VFers.. Some crazy gang related shootout. It seems that one of the suspects ran out to the surf zone and buried a gun out there, which the authorities are still looking for. So, if you see a fucking glock poking out of the sand after your session.. maybe call the cops. Even the though the dude shitting on the beach yesterday was narsty.. this is just taking it too far. I actually noticed on sunday the high prevelence of thug-like characters hangin' in the lot at VFers. I thought it interesting, in a socio-anthropologic kind of way, and enjoyed observing their styles and mannerisms and speach-patterns and such while biking around. It reminded me of a bit of the neighborhood i used to live in in West philly, except the vibe was much more friendly and family-style on Sunday.. The Style was decidedly more West-coast too.. more hispanic flavors and tan dickie jeans and wife-beaters and greased hair and mega neck-tats and shit. But on sunday all those dudes where smiling and hangin' with their little kids and drinkin' beers and throwin' out good vibes, at least to the honkey hippy white-boy likes of me. But.. bullets started blazin' yesterday i guess.. Mexisurf was actually in the water when it went down and said that he heard a series of "POP, POP, POP" but didn't really think anything of it. He works in the public school system in south san fran? and said he thought it was a Red vs. Blue gang thing. The chronicle said that it began as a fight between a bunch of their girlfriends which then escalated to the boyz gettin' involved. Shit..

anyway - it farkin' SUCKS being sick and not surfing when its solid and challenging.. i'm sure many of you got into some smooth, wet, succulent, smelly caverns this morning. good on ya!!

caveman and all other injured folk.. i feel your pain.. it SUCKS donkey butt not to be able to surf!


Posted by Ethan at 10:28 AM
March 09, 2004
beautiful day.. but.. waves bigger and haggard

Drove around then came back home and slept for another 1.5 hours. OB looked a little too daunting for my sickened, phlegm-gurgling, cloudy-headed reality. Anybody else sick out there? Kaiser, Bagel and I are all feelin' the pangs.. and no.. we haven't been making out with each other! at least not that much. umm.. but.. OB is doable if you're jonesing hard or just like it a little crazier. It looked wild and disorganized on the inside, with quite a few rows of white-water.. but then it didn't look to be really working on the outside. I did, however, notice quite a few tantalizing sections and corners scattered throughout. With some patience, perseverence and luck you could be grooving down the line on some mini-mackers no doubt. I guess there is a good chance that conditions might improve as the day progresses? The winds are still offshore out of the NNE.. the swell is slowly lessening and will probably be mellow(er) again for tomorrow's dawnie.

i saw a bunch of people paddling out so maybe it was better than i thought? any first-hand reports?

I accidentally crushed a snail in front of my house yesterday.. hope there are no fatherless baby snails now. d'oh!

A big "FUCK YOU" to the little bird that decided to sing and chirp and carry on from 2am to 4am last night RIGHT outside my window. What the hell little birdie!?.. you're usually my morning alarm. But maybe something traumatic is going on in the little bird's life right now? Defending his/her territory, attempting to seduce potential lovers? teaching his/her young ones? Annoying the shit out of humanoid neighbors? I was preying for a BB gun last night... even though i know that's not very "niceness"..

Also a semi-strange thing happened to Kaiser and i while surfing in front of some dunes at OB on Saturday morning. We were happily surfing and generally minding our own business when this dark-skinned ripper paddles out. This guy lives on the same street as me so i often see him out. I even talked with him briefly a few hours before while checking the surf from the dunes. He is an extremely talented surfer (360's, airs, barrels, etc) but always wears a scowl. Once i even saw him punch a guy at the Fort.. but i always kind-of shrugged that incident off because the guy he punched sorely deserved the reprimand (blatently dropping in on everybody on purpose.. smiling about it, etc.)... anyway Kaiser and i are out there.. the crowd is pretty spread out.. plenty of waves.. then we hear this "GO AWAY!"... "GET OUT OF HERE" being screamed from the general direction of the dark-skinned ripper. Turns out this guy was yelling to nobody in particular, "GO AWAY!" "GET THE FUCK OUT OF HERE!" I mean just yelling really loud. It was bizarre. Nobody was really even close to him but he was just snarling and yelling. Crazy! Kaiser started to paddle toward him just to prove a point but then thought the better of it and we simply paddled right past the dude while he grumbled and frothed. talk about spreading the love.

One thought-provoking aspect of the above scenerio is that many of us have privately felt, "go away" when we see a few other surfers in our vicinity at the beach. I mean who doesn't feel a little churn in their stomachs when a batch of surfers paddles out near them. What's the difference between thinking these thoughts and acting on them? morality? decency? civil society? the golden rule? This guy was not afraid to spread the hate. Will it come back to him? Is the quality of his life lessoned because of his mean-spirited actions toward others?

fairly gnarly Brazzo wave

Ladies continuing to push the limits (for friendly, SS, Welle, and everyone)

Posted by Ethan at 10:30 AM
March 08, 2004

wish i had more time to write because this morning was off the the mutha fuckin' hiz-ook.. Imagine sculpted, head-high, barrelling, offshore-groomed, inner-bar A-frames peeling both ways, constistently. Imagine sunny skies and warm air with a relatively moderate crowd in the water. Well.. stop imagining and go out a get some right now! fuuckk. Scrumptious, chisled sections rolling through. Cracking and thumping on the shallow inside bars. Barrels!! Glassy!! fuuuuck. i mean.. i don't really know what else to say. For me this morning's conditions were just about perfect. I don't really like it huge.. but rather steep and fast and tight and smooth. all those things. Paul B took off on the wave of the morning.. a overhead+ right that looked painfully (because i wasn't riding it) like Lance's Rights in the Mentawais. He took off super deep.. then maybe got pitted?? then about 10 minutes later kicked out way way down the beach.. I took off on the last wave of that same set, slanked into a solid drop.. then turned off the bottom and looked up at this huge slab that was groping and gurgling and ready to detonate.. I maybe?? could've pulled up and into the gaping maw of a thick closeout barrel but i lamely opted to straiten out toward the beach (and safety).. I probably caught about 25 or 30 rides while kooking out on maybe 4 or 5 drops that i either should have gone on but didn't or tried to go on and just got worked. I'm sitting here at my desk right now recollecting moments of pumping and carving on immaculate, uber-glassy head-high walls. A few times i dropped down with a shitload of speed.. then pumped and cruising down the line.. then just clicked off the top and sent some mini explosions that i barely noticed out of the corner of my eye because the wave just kept walling and beckoning and racing.

sooo.. today is the day!! (imho)... do what you can to get out there earlier.. because this afternoon will most likely be a madhouse of surfers.. everyone trying to escape the heat and get their session on..

last night was fun too.. we actually had an afternoon glass-off!! a phenomenon unheard of around these parts. As a bay area surfer i would often hear the phrase "afternoon glass-off" and just shrug it away as some type of ghostlike unreality like wetsuit-less surfing or mellow beachbreaks.

a few waves this morning actually looked like this

all photos from

Posted by Ethan at 10:49 AM
March 05, 2004
nothing stellar.. but.. a few olas

Minimal winds at 6:30 at the Beach. VFers within surfable range.. but.. a little thumpy/dumpy, a bit large, and nobody around. biggest waves slightly over head-high... maybe more. The shape left much to be desired. Disheveled, warbly, indecisive wave-forms galloped in and crunched on the inside bars. A few corners and opportunities presented themselves.. but.. it'd be a grind out there. Soo.. southward... flock-an'-play showing some life. breaking semi-glassy and small through the middle and south end. nobody out. I thought about it for a minute but then headed down to our very own little cesspool. Over the hill then looking down on our little gem of a cove. our little playland of picturesque peeling perfection. Ha!! As if!

Disorganized, junky-but-interesting head-high peaks gyrated up and down the beach. The south-end looked every bit as large as the north, i think as a result of the predominant NW direction of this 7ft 14sec swell (SF buoy). Soo.. I'll splay a quick recap of my session:

- Kinda psyched in the lot as i watch a few offshore-groomed shoulders peel along

- Start paddling and notice how farking cold the aqua is. geez.

- 30 duckdives later i'm still paddling out. what the fuck happened to the mellowness?!?

- 10 more duckdives i'm off my board, holding my head with my hands in a futile attempt to alleviate the mind-bending ice-cream-headache. god damn!!

- finally make it out after cursing the Gods of Lindy.

- try unsuccessfully to find a shoulder amongst the aggressive closeouts.

- finally grab a left.. scoot down the line.. then get bucked off by a weird warble.. kind-of a kookie ride.

- countless more duckdives as i flirt with the inside and try to be in position.

- start thinking negatively. i.e. "Man this sucks out here." "I'm not catching jack shite." "That last wave was so kooky, after all this time i still can't surf." "blah blah growl blah cold blah blah closeout blah blah what's that weird boil? blah blah negative blah"... soo.. i'm in a shitty mind-set and need to get out of it..

- after 15 minutes of no rides i finally nab a little closeout drop..

- then i slowly become self-aware of the negativity circling through my head.

- i try to relax for a second and change my perspective.

- I now consciously get into the mind-set of, "all i'm trying to do is catch a wave. I'm just going to have fun with that simple task. Scour the horizon and just concentrate on catching waves.. not shredding.. not smacking the lip.. not bumming on your session.. just catching a wave."

- so i start to cheer up a bit. This "just have fun trying to catch a wave" philosophy takes me back to when i was 8 years old catching waves on my little orange boogie board. I remember as a little kid deriving the same enjoyment from the simple act of seeing a wave approach, anticipating its trajectory, then stroking into it and gliding down the line.

- soo.. as if the surf-gods are smiling down on me in agreement.. a large, shapely right cruises in directly to me.. a few paddles and i'm up.. steep drop.. a few pumps near the bottom.. then turn up the face.. slow, long turn off the top.. then back down to the bottom.. around a section.. then a few more pumps and a small floater/turn off the close-out.


- paddle back out and i'm smiling after that one.. work my way back to my spot and a minute later another peaky right cruises in and i milk it for an enjoyable journey. schweet.

- 10 or so more rides later call it a sesh and feel the juicy goodness of some good waves in my belly on the drive home.. and now..

Watched Drive-thru Australia last night at the Balboa theater.. Sat with Ian and her crew and then cheered maniacally for him as he fricken almost won a new wetty in the "australian accent contest." In my opinion the other guy was a shmo and Ian was clearly the best. Ian.. that wetsuit should've been yours bro!
My personal opinion of the movie was that the surfing and waves were great but the "personality" shots of the surf stars and the road trip was super lame and filled with a weird vibe. Every time any of the surfers commented on the waves it was things like, "man, these waves suck".. "nothing but closeouts," "i want more sleep".. etc.. then you'd see them surfing these resweetulous waves!! Just perfect waves almost every session. Typical pro-surfer jadedness i guess. Machado and Donovan are fun to watch, for sure. and damn. those guys can find the barrel!!! fuck!

i actually preferred Bandini and Alex's movie "Piranha Surf!" Hi-fucking-larious! The North Shore preview was funny too.

thanks Bandini and Alex for putting that together!

also good to see Bojon in attendence!! that kid's gonna be a dad in a matter of hours!!! yup. Michelle looks like she has a beach ball in her stomach. Look out for Cassidy Hahn shredding up local spots in the not-too-distant future.

also good to see bird, adam, sam, B Biggs and crazy Moss Landing ripper Nathan representin'..

I'm looking to maybe put together a little post-work jam at my place this evening.. I'm trying to get Marco to come.. then.. maybe Caveman?? anyone else have interest??

South Florida pics


(thanks Patrick Roddie for the beautiful, captivating pics!!)

Posted by Ethan at 10:46 AM
March 04, 2004
extrapolate from without

The mime gesticulates wildly
surging aquatic vectors blast and whir
Subtle blending of ambiant inertias
paltry cohesion strives to occur

Western man upholds the ego
A separation of all identities
the individuation of the self
A gestalt of megalomaniacal propensities.

Fear of death as the great arbiter
Fear of death as the humbling machine
Fear of death as societal leveler
Fear of death as the deep-seeded dream

But oneness comes while losing the self
It comes from immersion, acceptence and love
Oneness comes through awareness and vision,
It comes from within, about and above.

One path of knowledge comes from catagorization,
disection, observation, labelling and tabelling.
Another comes from deep interaction,
from flowing and melding, delving and growing.

With surfing we're forced to exit our selves.
We're forced to extend toward the language of nature.
We strive to blend with the wave-form energy
We boundlessly extend toward the womb of creation.

While riding we cease to separate ourselves
from the hydra of our true being.
While gliding we literally lose ourselves
to the radiant light of true seeing.

alby falzon pics

Posted by Ethan at 10:25 AM
March 03, 2004
waves. a little bumpy.. but.. waves!

yup. Sunny skies, temperate clime and dry wetsuit conspired to kick off the morning right. Drove two blocks down to the local and caught a handful of enjoyable waves. OB looking a bit topsy-turvy but well within the range of surfability. It was fun to catch a few with the 'Stah, even though i was in heavy kook mode this morning and even dropped in on everyone's favorite surf forcaster on this one right. oops. But.. let's see... the best waves were slightly overhead rights that would lurch, grope and chug along down the line for some quick, high-performance action. My first wave may have been my best as i dropped down and then hugged the wall for a few mouth-of-the-barrel milliseconds. The surface was a bit bumpy and the swell would often cruise in all fugly and frumpy.. but sometimes when a wave would begin to suck-out the face would clean up and you'd get a slick little pocket to work with. Then toward the end of the session i just couldn't put it together and plummetted into the anti-zone. The Anti-zone is basically a state-of-mind where you're unable to tap into that native, elemental flow of movement and harmony. Everything is off-balance, off-kilter, stilted. ugly.

but.. a beautiful day out there. keep an eye on the wind, grab your stick and go hit it.

also.. photographer Elizabeth Pepin took the last pic of Bad Vibe Bob in that interview. i wanted to post some of her good-vibed pics up today but i couldn't copy them based on how her website was coded. Check it out

Jocular Jake kicked me a pura vida email from the southlands.. i'll excerpt some of it here:

It sounds like the swell is oddly similar between SF and Puerto Viejo,
where I am today. We get big juicy short period windswell here. Today was a little too big for the beachbreaks... I ended up paddling out by myself,
dodged heaving closeouts for half an hour, finally pushed myself over a ledge,
raced a wall, dodged a thumping barrel, and kicked out to safety before
riding in. One and I was done. Salsa Brava was going off... but it gets pretty
crowded, and a crowd is the last thing I need to worry about when trying to
charge that Heavy Hawaiian wave.

I have scored a few fun rides there... it's not terrible to paddle into... one of those waves like Ulu's where its perfectness makes it more approachable...
Not that it breaks in a consistent spot... it is a shifty, thumping peak of a Barrel... I approached it with respect initially, then grew a false sense of confidence, and finally had it teach me a serious lesson about the respect it
deserves. I kicked out of a wave to see an 8 foot bomb about to explode 2
feet from my face... the rag doll wasn't so bad, but the holddown was a little intense, only because I feared what other bombs might be coming behind it... you know the kind of holddown where you are scrambling to get a breath before the next wave of the set. turns out there weren't any waves behind it, but if I ever thought that the wave was undeserving of its reputation, this showed me I was wrong. It's seriously fucking easy to get caught inside... I think I have to change the way I approach it... none of this sitting a little
inside hoping to pick off some scraps kinda mentality... cause you really don't want to be in the wrong spot when a thick double O barrel comes rampaging
through. I went and fetched ice this morning for a bro from Florida who smashed his knee on the reef after getting caught by a 3 wave set on the inside.

woooooord. Enough on the gnarleyness of Salsa Brava. Just wanted to
share some surf scoop with ya. Otherwise, bro, shit is FUCKING TIGHT down
here. Can't complain about the life I've been leading over the last month... it is
the dream... finally living a life that is about as surf filled as it could be (after anticipating it so greatly all during my last year at Stanford). Well you know what it's like to live at the beach, even if you have to go to the office during the day. What an awesome feeling to be out at night, knowing as well as you can that surf awaits you in the morning, and all that is between now and then is comfy times in the land of sleep. You're stoked as hell for Nicaragua, and I am too! It's definitely my plan to make my Visa Run up there at the end of April... maybe around 4-20? Keep me updated on your plans. Get ready for waaaaaaaaarm water. I really hope I haven't lost my NorCal Core... hopefully a new wetsuit will have me ready for Cali again when that happens.

But for now, it's Pura Vida. I've met some cool people... chilling with some
Euro surfers, some Pot Wizards of Colorado, cute Argentinian girls living next door... The people and the Country are superb. Always rediculously sweet to be out traveling and meeting people, meeting new ideas, finding Moments of Eternity... feeling the Love.

Puerto Viejo is a cool town... there is a ton of Positive energy here, although there are some negatives. There's a bit of a crack problem, and some
aggro vibes here and there... class - racial strife a little bit... but the True Rastas do flow with Jah Love, and the ubiquitious Live Reggae is a truly DOPE thing... Acoustic Love, Flowing Energy... you know my feelings about the relation between surfing and music. Pura Energia, Pura Vida.

Dude, Captain ZERO. Lives in Puerto Viejo. He found me my first night in town, and now we're pretty tight. I hang with him a bunch, enjoy some silly stories, buy herb from him and puff down... Captain Zero! It's a trip. (He
is essentially the guy the book was written about, and he's been sucked into this town for the last 14 years). I got sucked in too... came for a few days and will have spent about 3 weeks here before leaving... it's lush tropical jungle on a gorgeous coastline... when the sun shines, a multitude of vibrant colors radiates though life... Caribbean.

So here's the rest of my Surf Scoop: I got here. Went to Tamarindo for 3
days. Did not really like the town there (super touristy, super Norteamericano), the swell was down, the beach was for beginners. I'm sure there were great spots, but I wasn't going to pay for Witch's (at least with no swell) and I felt fairly trapped without a car to get to the spots further down the Nicoya Peninsula. I did get a tip from a surf shop owner where I picked up a fast little 6'4 board about a secret bay on the Nicoya... have to check it out one day. So I checked the Swell Report, saw some big stuff headed for the Caribbean, and the next day I went from one corner to the other of the country. A serious trip with my not so light baggage. But like I said, I've been stoked on the paradise like life of this town... and my first two weeks were great. The beach break south of town is Playa Cocles, and I dig it. It's not huge, but it's suuuuuuuuper glassy in the morning, and I've had some awesome seshies there. It's perfect when a big swell is starting to back off. When the swell is big, it's maxed out, but there are a few other spots, like mushy Punta Uva to hit when it's big. The Caribbean has been really consistent, and Cocles always has a wave as it pulls in all available swell like OB. It is a hollow, fun wave... though I've seen it snap
about 7 boards on its shallow bars. I've had different board injuries, but
have received good ding repair... I started to move in to this guy's house
where I was gonna help him fix it up in exchange for my room... it ended up not
being the right move, but he is a good shaper, and even shaped me a new glass
Futures fin after I ripped one out of my Retro Phish with my leg. Pulled into
one too many closeout barrels. Otherwise, the town like I said is cool... mad
travelers come through here... there are big parties on Monday and Friday night... Reggae Night... it's fucking happening, and I enjoy the great dance vibes 100 yards away from Salsa. A sick day to score Salsa and then dance at
Bambu's on the shoreline. It'd be like having a great bar and party right on
the beach at Pipe. Maybe there is one, but this scene is obviously much
smaller and more intimate than the North Shore.

Wrapping things up.... a friend came from NJ for the last week... a nonsurfer
so it was my big touristy - mostly mountains week... But we did hit up Mal
Pais, and that beach is FUCKING FUN. It's huge, as big as OB, and there must
have been 300 surfers in the water spread out over a mile... last monday I
scored a triple session dream day there, with big 8 foot, soft not toptobottom
peaks coming in and giving 100 to 200 yard rides... soooooooooooooooo fun.
Had to leave, but that's a great scene up there.

And on March 10th, I'm moving to Dominical. I swung by that town right before
my friend came, and I got a job at the San Clemente Bar and Restaurant... that
was about the only lead I had coming down here, I had talked to the owner Mike
over email... Well I showed up and they needed someone right away for the
Internet Cafe... I work 6 days a week, from 3pm to 10pm... so that's mellow,
leaves me plenty of time to surf. They give me my room, a few other perks
like half price food, and a tiny bit of cash... but it's enough to make this
life very sustainable... my expenses to live on the beach down there should be
only 100 to 200 dollars a month. The town is super tranquilo... although
popular with tourists and traveling surfers, it is a hundred times more mellow
than Tamarindo, or forsaken Jaco... so I'm getting stoked on settling in there... it's near beautiful mountains, and I'm ready for some time spent playing guitar, writing, meditating, living, loving.... and surfing!

Dominical's beach is also huge... seems like a very interesting, exciting break... it is famous for being hollow, and infamous for snapping boards... we'll see... I'm already looking forward to the notsobig playful days there.

Whew. And I think that's it! I've been thinking of you while enjoying this blessed surf life, and wanted to give you a shout when I was in the middle of
my sickest run of consecutive surf.... stoked! But I'll be super accessible - in touch when I start my Internet job, and I can't wait to jam when you come
down to Nicaragua. Think about a trip by Dominical if you can swing it. Let
me know what's up with you... I hope everything is good in San Francisco and
you had a sweet month of surf in February (the Internet is horrible here, so I
haven't had a chance to check niceness before today).

I'm gonna sign off, but just for a little extra stokedom, I'm gonna throw down
a little descrip of my most memorable wave moment at the bottom of this letter.

Sending lots of Positive Vibrations your way.... Go Surfing!!!... One Love....
-Pura Jake

Wave: The glassiest, peakiest morning yet at Playa Cocles... mostly lefts... very exciting drops, drop in vertical off the peak and glide across insanely smooth glass, maybe 8 foot faces... time to turn a little bit, eventually dodge the closeout... Well on the wave of the day, I come in really late, angle straight down, flying fast, racing in the section, maybe pump turn on the face once, and then I crank a bottom turn and fly straight up into the lip as it starts to throw for a huge backhand snap... I think I may have broken my fins free, all I know is that as I started to turn the wave started to push and I had to apply great pressure to counter that, barely got my board around, and then the greatest moment happened of hanging vertical in the lip, paused up there for a few seconds before coming back down onto the face of the wave.
Stoked!!!! Aloha bro...

pink lady pimpin' it

sofia slayin' it

Rochelle rampaging

fuck yeah

Lisa A... pitted.

surf prep

Posted by Ethan at 10:34 AM
March 02, 2004
new swell.. raw.. got skunked

Did the complete drive. got skizunked.
OB big and burly, shorter period.
SF buoy at 10ft 11seconds but conditions seemed bigger.
P-town extra large.
Saw one of the biggest waves I've ever seen at linda mar. Probably double-overhead and breaking top-to-bottom.. mostly a giant closeout barrel but if you happened to be in the right spot ya could've taken off deep... got encapsulated in the toxic green room.. and then spit out into oblivion.

Jetty shitty.

the winds are perfect.. blowing gently out of the E.

with the 0ft low tide at 3pm many places from Santa Crowded to Marin county will be en fuego me thinks. if you're a member of the non 9-5 community get on that shit. fur real.

cheers to Blakestah for deciding to keep his report going for a while longer.

currently reading "The Road Less Traveled" by M. Scott Peck. It's pretty inspiring and revealing. Peck is a pychotherapist who illustrates the main tenets of modern psychoanalysis. He talks about how every human being deals with a certain level of either neurosis (taking on too much responsibility) or character disorder (denying responsibility). He uses case studies to illustrate how various childhood experiences lead to the development of certain coping mechanisms and interpretations of reality. He also discusses how personal psychological growth is always a painful process. He talks about the human inclination to avoid this pain and therefor halt personal growth.

anyway.. a good read for anyone interested in psychology or for anyone that maybe feels a bit stuck on the same level of thinking/being/interacting as they've been on for a while.

a couple pics of Bandini's Skip Frye fish
beaut fish

beaut fish

beaut fish

ben sent me this pic of another schnazzy lookin' fish
beaut fish

Posted by Ethan at 10:03 AM
March 01, 2004
rain, SE offshores, smaller swell

Did the drive in the rain this morning. 7.5ft 6seconds on the SF buoy looking a bit bigger than that at the beach. The sea-surface looked finely shellacked by the offshores. Nobody out at Sloat. Thick, unruly shorepound looked to be all that was on offer, with the exception of an inconsistent, mushy outside wave every once in a while. otherwise pretty flat. (did i just say that?.. we haven't even approached the "f" word in months and months) Surfable. Soo.. I drove south, more out of habit that a determined desire to surf. The P-town spots were actually looking mellow and fun. Lots of closeouts but also quite a few rideable sections scattered about the otherwise lake-like lineups. A few peaks near the north-center of Lindy were showing some rideability. A handful of takers were out there. I watched a logger schnag a roping left at the far far north corner of the beach before he got closed out on. The winds were blowing directly offshore down there.. but are supposed to switch around to the NW by day's end.. soo.. you might want to get down there sooner than later.

this weekend was chock-full o' surf for me. After stormy, gigantic and pollution-riddled conditions last week i was itching for some waves. Woke up on saturday and started leisurely driving south, figuring i'd stop wherever i found waves. Well.. i drove all the way down to the Lane but then doubled-back a few miles and surfed Natty Bridges with only a few others for about 2 hours. Jake used to regall me with impassioned tales of this wave, which i've never surfed, so i decided to give it a go even though the swell was smallish and inconsistent. You could see even from the lot that the wave was reeling, barrelling and breaking in extremely shallow water. After a few bigger, wide, mushy corners that i was randomly in position for.. a few of the chargers left the lineup and i moved over to the inside peak. The wave at Natties during my session required an extremely quick takeoff, made a bit more hair-raising by the site of the dark-mass of reef nearly sticking out of the water a few feet from the takeoff spot. I was amping so hard and psyching myself up enough that i just charged through my first couple waves and quickly got past the intimidation factor. I took off pretty deep on this medium-sized (head-high) wave and just kind-of crouched and tucked into the pocket as the barrel threw over.. I was actually getting barrelled for the first legit time in almost a year.. it felt like i was skimming over the reef in about a foot of water. I had a few moments of the barrel-vision before getting schlocked by the lip and plastered onto the reef which actually WAS about a foot below me. Luckily i anticipated the impact and laid out flat and bounced rather softly on the flat reef. I snuck into another barrel on a bigger wave after a tricky drop.. but again got smacked down and thrown into the reef. I could have made it through if i took a slightly higher line but i didn't have 100% balance off the drop and hence got worked.. but.. the view was nice..

soo. that was a good session on a tricky, high-performance wave. thanks to Jake for the inspiration.

then on the way back north i caught another right point going real nice. The wind whipped hard side-shore but there were tons of head-high walls reeling along. I had the mojo flowin' in the lineup and that resulted in 8 or 9 long, multi-sectioned rides... along with one gruesome lip-munching wipeout in the pit, right in front of the frothing pack of dudes who were probably hoping that i'd wipe out so they could take off. My last wave lined up super nice and i was able to set up and carve through three long, pre-planned top-turn/cutbacks. Just like.. pump pump.. see the section.. bottom turn.. then caaaarrrvvvee.. back into the white-water.. then regroup.. pump and work the wave for speed.. pump.. pump.. then bottom-turn.. then caaarrrvee.. back into the white-water.. etc.. really fun.. and the drive home felt dope after that long ride..

soo.. then on Sunday the "great bandini" (brian musial) invited me up to Bodega Bay to surf with Dale on his final 10,470th session in a row! (28.5 years). They picked me up at 6am and we cruised up there.. I ended up imbibing in some inebriants on the drive up without realizing it! which setup an extremely grooovy session at an offshore-licked Doran beach. Multiple camera crews and a small entourage of fans/groupies/well-wishers surrounded Daily Dale Wavestar as he made his way to the lineup for this self-appointed final day of his guiness book of world records streak. He caught some good ones on his big red stick and then was back on the beach for interviews and kisses and such. Meanwhile our little crew was out there in the fun but closeouty, glassy beach break. Scripps research institue scientist Norman could be seen pulling into closeout barrel after closeout barrel. His style cultivated by countless sessions throughout his hometown San Diego reefs... real smooth and committed. Niceness regular Bird could also be seen taking off on any nasty looking wave that came his way. Bandini also stylistically sleuthed into many a wave.. a chill dude with a chill surf approach and good steez. He let me borrow his authentic Skip Frye fish for a few waves and i was blown away. The board is fucking beautiful and surfs like a dream! The paddling speed and buoyancy made my shortboard feel like it was constantly sinking and sluggish in comparison.. And once on the face of a wave that little fish fucking rocketed along at break-neck speeds. A truly valid and overlooked design, in my opinion. The modern "thruster" fishes don't do this classic design justice. This thing had these two wooden, glassed-on fins and a huge, wide swallow tale. It was also thick and pug-nosed.. but.. it was so responsive and quick and wave-magneted. Damn.. i want want.. but i guess i should step in line!

anyhoo.. then we partied with the Valley-Ford locals and dale's friends and surfermag bb reggies (Mr. Doof, seth, iceman, tfad, stinkeye, etc)... it was loads of fun and i promptly got home at 6pm and fell asleep until this morning..


"to all the ladies in the house!... the ladies, the ladies."


Posted by Ethan at 10:31 AM