It smelled of improvement this morning. After a heavy early morning downpour the winds abated and the sea surface became taut. Niceness correspondent Lerm informed that the south swell even looked to be showing, albeit inconsistent and lacking in oomph. A few takers braved the mediocre yet pleasurable conditions. The possibilities for wave riding remain high. Sorrowfully, i had to jettison into work early and missed the mellow summer friday-morn session.
first-hand accounts anyone?
SOo.. this weekend ought to be a zoo anywhere with southern exposure. It might be a perfect opportunity to voyage to your favorite little low-key south swell stash spot and hunker down for some long-period pleasantries? Maybe a few hours north.. maybe a few hours south? hmmm.. look at some maps, consider the wind, seek and ye shall find.
Right now is the only real moment. Past and future exist only as probable mental constructs. The grim reaper lurks around the corner. Societal machinations clammer to lock you into patterned grooves. You have total control of your destiny. You bear total responsibility for who you are. When in doubt, give. When in love, savour. When in pain, remember and empathize. Remember to listen. Concentrate on listening. Concentrate on hearing.
it's laughable out there this morning. The slight shape we've seen the last two mornings has been blown to smithereens. It's topsy-turvy out there. it's tiny. it's gutless. it's triple-whack swayzack. For some unknown reason i got it in my head to surf this morning, even though i saw the trees outside my window doing their little onshore-wind dance. Suited up and scampered down to the ocean. The pungent smell of rotting jellyfish carcasses mixed with the grey/foggy post-dawn drisel to produce a vibrantly uplifting mood at the beach. sort-of. not to mention the hacked, ugly-looking waves. But.. nevertheless.. Waves!! Soo.. i headed out and caught a handful. i surfed a little 6' 0'' pig board a friend recently lent me. It's real fat and retro looking. The conditions being what they were it would be difficult to make even a remotely objective analysis of the board's performance. regardless it was still fun to be out in the ocean, catching waves and just bobbing around. I noticed a few large brown jellyfish floating just below the surface. I could have sworn that one of them followed me around the lineup.. i kept thinking of the movie, "the blob."
cool.. soo.. Buckethead is playing this friday and saturday nights at the independent.. i'm planning on hitting it on friday. If you like the electric guitar and you like an avant-guard approach to music, you might enjoy what the Buckethead has to offer. The man is definitely strange. he wears a scary white mask on stage and a huge kentucky fried chicken bucket on his head. He stands 6'6" or thereabouts and has this brooding, lumbering presence. His guitar skillz are otherwordly. literally. he's from his own planet and is often known to transfix listeners at his live shows onto this planet of his. Beware the buckethead.. but.. embrace the buckethead.. if you're planning on hitting one of the shows.. prepare yourself.
snooping through some old photos last night i found some colorful shots from Nusa Tengarra, Indonesia... these were taken during the summer of 2001.
Ritualistic pig slaughter during a village celebration
It felt like summer-time New Jersey out there this morning. Really tiny. But, for those looking for a leisurely swim in the aptly named "Pacific," today's your day. I suited up at my house and just ran down to the local spot, sight unseen. Crested the dunes and gazed out onto dribbly, micro, placid, lake-like conditions. One other surfer a bit north of me. I stretched for a while and then waded out to the lineup, which was in about chest-deep water. Nothing with much "oomph" came in, except for one wave outside of me that i missed because i tried to take off on the 1-footer preceeding it. It was soothing to just sit out in the ocean with noone else around. I let my mind wander and enjoyed tracking down and trying to slot into the zippy little mini sections on offer. I think i managed one frontside pump and one little top-turn on my backside, otherwise it was just little drops and trims. The wind wasn't wreaking havoc or anything. Just a mellow onshore.
doable but tiny. but.. doable.
Soo.. if i'm not mistaken today is the Lerminator's birthday. Lermification turns 29 on this very day so in honor of the Dowling Swashbuckler i'd like to relate a little story from our recent trip to Central America.
After nearly two weeks of constant southern-hemi groundwell and immaculate glassiness, Lerm and i were getting our fill of sick, soul-gratifying waves. But.. in many ways the waves were just the icing on the cake. The true bounty was the deep, enriched, eye-opening cultural experience. Lerm had never been out of the country before('cept Canada) and flying into Managua from San Francisco was like going from 0 to 100mph. We were thrust into a foreign, non-english-speaking, bombed-out, hot, stifling, polluted, intimidating situation. nearly 8 hours and countless haggling sessions later we found ourselves near a beautiful, primitive, traditional village with a killer wave right out front. Anyway... many waves and adventures later we were gearing up to leave the coast and hopefully meet Jocular Jake on this volcanic island that sits in the middle of a freshwater lake a few hours inland. Lerm is known for his sometimes tempermental stomach that luckily hadn't been acting up so far on the trip... until now. Whether is was the garlic or the water or the pollo or just the oppressive heat we'll never know... but the Lerm started feeling the grumbles just a few minutes before we were headed out on foot down the dirt path to the bus stop with all our stuff. He appeased the stomach gods at the local bano and then we set off.. 20 minutes of walking brought us to an intersection with another dirt road. We put our stuff down, sweating in the heat, and began waiting for the bus. I could tell by the look of deep concentration on the Lerm's face that he wasn't feeling all light and fluffy at the moment. Just as he started announcing that he might trek back in the bush to potentially let one fly the bus came bouncing and bounding around the corner. We had no choice, it was the only bus, and we couldn't miss it. Soo.. we tossed all our shit on the top, watched as the bus-guy lashed it all down, and got on. The dirt road was super pot-holed and bumpy, and even ran across some legitimate streams a few times. Lerm wasn't talking. Just concentrating. flexing sphincter muscles. or some such.. Anyway.. an hour later we pulled into a larger town, where the bus stopped at a market for 10 minutes before continuing on. We were set to take this bus to the next town so the plan was just to chill until it left. Lerm was feeling the pangs real bad at this point so bolted on a mission to find relief. We knew we only had 10 minutes to chill so he was in full mission-mode to find a spot and let fly.. so to speak. I wished him luck and he absorbed into the throngs of the thriving market. 9 minutes later the bus engine was rumbling and we were about to take off.. still no Lerm.. Shit.. i started to go up to the bus driver to tell him to wait and then i see the Lerm come around a corner. a deep grimace on his visage.. fuuckkk.. no luck with the hunt for a bano. Turns out that via a series of miscommunications Lerm never found his oasis. so it was back on the bumpy old schoolbus for another hour to the next town. Lerm was pale and hurting at this point. Not a word escaped his mouth during the next leg and i could tell he was entering into a deeply meditative state. I felt for the dude, but also couldn't help but to enjoy to tapestry of rural 3rd world life cascading by the windows. Old ladies hauling bushels of wood on their heads, little kids riding horses through the fields, horned oxen affixed to ancient-looking plows, etc.. amazing. Finally.. after much tribulation, we reached the next town were there was a gas station.. Lerm lept from the bus and bum-rushed the bathroom.. ahhh.. nirvana.. his prayers answered.. Cool.. sooo.. now he's feeling better but still pretty nauseous and queasy. We caught a cab to the ferry port, unloaded our stuff and began to take in the lakeside scene. The water on the lake was decidedly rough, and just then we saw our little ferry come around the corner of the harbor, rocking back and forth with much gusto.. Fuuuuuck.. do you have your dramamine. Lerm didn't look too happy.. and neither was i as i suffer from a penchant for sea-sickness. Perturbed and a bit nervous, we walked on to the ferry with all our shit and hoped for the best. We pulled out of the harbor and started rocking and rolling. But.. thankfully.. as we continued forward the rocking wasn't too bad and we were soon gently cruising toward a otherwordly-looking tropical island with two conical volcanoes. Legend has it that there are fresh-water sharks in the lake so we kept a lookout. We were also highly doubtful that we'd meet our boy Jocular Jake on the island. It just seemed so remote and random. We thought for sure there would be a screw up or something.. but.. the plan was set and we were bound for the Finca Magdelena.. an old farm that had been converted into a guest-house for hikers and travelers at the base of one of the volcanoes. Soo.. we made it to the island.. then boarded an old rickety schoolbus.. We drove about 4 hours down a dirt road, through jungle and village. The people on the island had a more indigenous look and were very beautiful. After 4 hours we got dropped off in this old-school, spanish-style town where we were supposed to pick up another bus out to the Finca. The town had a large square, where banyon trees shaded school children who were getting there lessons right outside, in the middle of the town square.. Lerm was feeling the pangs again but sorrowfully couldn't track down an appropriate "drop-off station." Somehow he still retained enough rico-suave to have these two German girls giggling and laughing we waited for our bus and they for theirs. Go the Lerm! Soo.. finally our other bus came and it had to be seen to be believed.. I think it might have been an old American schoolbus from the 1930's or something. It actually had wooden seats. The front was decked out in classic 3rd-world bus flair. trinkets and sparkling stickers and jesus medallions and disco balls. The sound system was kickin' too.. anyway.. after numourous delays, sitting still in 100+ degree heat while the dust and dirt wafted through the still air inside the bus we began making our way down the remote dirt road to the finca. At one point this ancient, frail, hobbling, wrinkled, beautiful tribal-looking lady sat down next to Lerm. It was great.. I seriptitiously snapped a few photos but should have used the flash. Soo.. after about 2 or 3 hours on this bus we were fucking ready to get off the fucking bus and into a shower or something. Soo.. the bus finally drops us off near the end of the road and i see a sign for the Finca. it says it's 1.5km up this little dirt path. Fark. Soo.. we have our huge backpacks and our boardbags and shit and it's over 90 degrees and Lerm is borderline psychotic at this point... definitely dehydrated.. and kinda senile. He starts out ahead of me in this weird, semi-conscious daze. Without realizing it he starts walking the wrong way down the trail and just keeps walking until i yell.. "YO Lerm, This way!" He has this pale, haggard look on his face and i know he's hurting, bad.. Soo.. we begin to hike up this fucking trail. sweating and lugging all our shit. Lerm is almost staggering around. It's getting ugly. We don't see the Finca. only jungle and an uphill path, and bugs, and a hazy melting heat all around. but we keep trudging and lugging and one-step-after-another marching up the trail.. We FINALLY get to the Finca, a gorgeous old barn at the foot of this ridiculous volcano. I stand in the sprinkler for 5 minutes to cool down.. Lerm hits the bano.... hard... But.. we made it.. We think that there is no farking way that Jocular Jake will have made it all the way out here.. no fucking way.. but.. literally 5 minutes later.. the Jake-meister and two of his friends march up the trail!!! crazy!! 30 minute, rejuvinating cold showers and beers follow.. and everyone is feelin' better. Lerm was near passed-out at the table.. but.. there was a little smile on his face.
happy b-day Lerm!
After a late, post-band-practice "Football Schmootball" viewing last night I was ready to charge some overhead barrelling waves this morning, preferably just like the Pipeline waves in the movie. With visions of cavernous Backdoor tunnels floating through my head i pulled up to the illustrious VFWs and gawked at the "sickness" laid out before me. Waist to shoulder-high spineless windswell peaked and peeled up and down the beach. Yeah! It certainly wasn't Backdoor, but it's the best i've seen OB in about 6 or 7 days. A pack of about 7 or 8 surfers huddled together in front of the beach chalet. One guy slanked into ride after ride along the weak, piddly sections (the only ones on offer). Somehow he managed to snap, pump and maneuver, even when all the other surfers around him were barely getting to their feet. I paddled out to my own peak a ways south and was initially flummoxed by the girth and additional weight of the wetsuit. I felt much heavier on my board, but i also felt impervious to the frigid water. My hat goes off to all those responsible for the advancements in wetsuit technology. I ended up sniffing out a handful of enjoyable sections, mostly just nibbly/squirty little ramps. Lewis and Bird were out there and Lewis managed to punch the top off a few racy lefts. nice..
soo.. the wind was coming out of the south this morning. The sea surface was alright at the beach. pretty smooth actually. There is a 0ft low tide around 11am. sooo.. lunchtime heads should deal accordingly.
albert reyes artwork (from fecalface.com)
what's up niceness crew..
Again with the lackluster, paultry, gutless shittyness!! fark!! After a week off i'm about to explode with the jones and i think i speak for everyone when i say, "We need some waves! Pronto!!" Soo.. yeah.. this weekend was gruesome around the bay area in terms of surf. If you were willing to voyage south of Ano Nuevo you most likely scored a few enjoyable nuglets but for the local crew, unwilling or unable to ambulate down there, the pickin's were slim. Yesterday and this morning I tried my darndest to perceive the diamonds in the rough out at OB... but.. they just weren't out there. Super small and onshore-y. Good if you're a beginner kite-boarder or windsurfer and you want to give OB a try.
Not to be even more of a downer, but, if you're already depressed about the local surf situation, don't go to Blakestah's site. Shit looks bleak for the near future, according to the 'Stah. Fuckk... soo.. if any of you out there are into sorcery or voodoo or black magic.. or have even maybe watched too many episodes of "Charmed," please please please invoke some incantations or delve deep into the lexicon of Talmudic numerology or tickle inner dream demons to perform your bidding.. or.. whatever.. but.. we're experiencing a true, real-life flat spell here in the bay area and we need something or someone to break the hex.
Soo.. now i'm at my desk here at work, looking at all these pictures of perfect waves that i have plastered all over the walls. This one photo in particular is of a sculpted, chiseled, uber-glassy overhead mentawais wave with one guy slotted in the barrel. I'm looking at that wave and just imagining paddling into it and pushing over the ledge, taking off, slipping down the wall and then crouching into a bottom turn... then pumping and racing along the speeding wall of water.. seeing the wave fold and buckle ahead.. then throw over top of me.. engulfing and surrounding... glassy, warm, tropical, groundswell, windless, barrelling sickness. fuuuck!! need waves!!
soo.. thanks everyone for contributing such eloquent, thoughtful, insightful perceptions in regard to the objectification of women. I'm not sure if everyone is any closer to agreeing, or if shiny, bulbous female posteriors will no longer grace this site.. but i think everyone is more aware of the differing views out there.. and i think in general most of us guys will be a bit more conscientious about how we express our "primal" impulses and desires..
thanks welle, friendly, ss, steamwand and all the other ladies out there for hangin' in and makin' your voices heard!
anyhoo.. check some of these pics that Sarge took in tavarua.
Occy and Perry Ferrel (sp?) of Janes Addiction rocking!
Occy and Jackson Brown
Curren on drums
some Aaron Chang shots that i've posted before but need to be posted again
Jeffrey's mutha fuckin' Bay
beunos dias amigos. Ambitious plans to wake at 4am and jettison down to north santa cruz county flushed my mind last night.. but.. this morning things didn't exactly work out and i ended up getting up at the wimpy hour of 5:15.. not enough time for the full mission.. so instead embarked on the customary bay-area surf cruise.
Some signs of the meager south swell showed at Sloat. Diminutive, crumbling chest-high sets. You could see the distinctive bands of groundswell energy coming from the south. The wind caressed from the WSW but didn't ruin conditions. the lack of swell ruined conditions. Past P-town where there were a few spirited early morning linda mar hooligans. I didn't see any rides.
Montara looked borderline doable, and on my way back there were a few carloads of takers gearing up for a session. It looked onshore and poorly shaped, but.. within range.
then down to EGPimp's spot, where we (Kaiser and I) thought there might be signs of the swell showing. One wave every 10 minutes softly peeled along. chest-high at best. 6 or 7 guys sat at the peak waiting. waiting. waiting. One shortboarder nabbed a glassy, tapering wall that he milked for juice as best he could, draining the proverbial utter of the wave of all its lactic energy. But.. flatness pervaded the zone and it wasn't quite enough to break my re-virginized Nor-Cal cold-water seal. Instead scones and convo..
soo.. Many of you may have noticed the brief but steamy(?) little foray into soft pornography i imbibed in yesterday. Longtime readers know that it's a bit unusual and, to be honest, i'm not exactly sure what inspired it. It began as a tongue-in-cheek attempt to go haywire with the whole reef-girl-butt fantasy and just kind-of spiralled from there. But... i think that the lightheartedness wasn't shared by all readers and many out there were either mildly or majorly insulted and bummed by that portrayal of women. I want to apologize to any and all of you who felt slighted or disappointed. We've run the full gamut here at niceness of either showing photos of faceless, buxomed, bikini-clad lust-objects to singing vigorous praises to all the real ladies in our lives who we love, cherish and respect. A good friend brought it to my attention that portraying women as i did yesterday contributes to the view of women as weak sexual objects, second class citizens. Hearing that makes me feel so shitty. As a white american man it's sometimes difficult to instinctively empathize with those being descriminated against. Imagine existing as a strikingly beautiful women. Your day to day encounters are constantly skewed because of your beauty. Men on the street leer and whistle. Men in the office befriend with hidden agendas. Women sneer and vibe with competitive undertones. Everything gets shaded by the fact that you're a beautiful women. That sucks. TV, advertising, hollywood, music, etc. are hyper-saturated with images of women as sex-object. Our modern conception of women as intellectual/spiritual equals has only reached widespread acceptance in the last 50-or-so years. Strong, capable, empowered women continue to have to prove themselves above and beyond the fold in the public sphere in order to keep beating back the ubiquitous portrayal of women as sex. women as meak. women as submissive. It's a constant battle between the onslaught of saliscious, dripping, eye-candy, pornographic women-as-object media fantasy and the real life certainty of women as brilliant, women as capable, women as inspired, women as radiant. women as human.
Sometimes it's tough being a modern man, forced to quell the expression of raw, primal imaginings. But I think it's hard for a modern women too, who want to feel sexy, who want to BE sexy, but who don't want to perpetual or feed into the gross, festering, over-sexed media-stew of modern america..
anyway.. the ladies rock. we all know it. How nice does it feel to snuggle up with your hunny and just get deep about what you're feeling, what your thinking. Women are generally open and accepting of the whole range of emotions. They seem to posess some instinctive understanding of the underbelly of life. they see connections and meanings that men glance over or don't notice. Vent to your lady about when so-and-so slighted you at work or whatever and most likely she'll soothe your wounded pride with wise observations about the human condition.
soo.. All you fellas out there who are lucky enough to have the companionship of a fine, strong, loving women. Appreciate her! hook her up! make her feel loved, not just sexy. Let her know that you appreciate her for her style, for her mind, for her warmth. Make her breakfast tomorrow morning and pick up her favorite magazine. give her some morning kisses and let her know that she's the bomb.
lisa anderson - the queen - the trailblazer
If you're currently absolutely overwhelmed with an unrelenting, mind-numbing, crushing need to surf good waves.. you may want to step on a plane or drive south a long way... cause it ain't happenin' around here today. Last night i thought i'd slink into the wetsuit for the first time in a while this morning, but.. Lerm gave me the early morning call that it was small and cruddy so i stayed under the covers and fantasized about glassy indian ocean barrels, with dark, seductive bikini-clad vixens striking luscious poses on their surfboards while getting pitted and sweating in the midday heat, wrything and winking as they decide to lay prone on their surfboards and elevate their posteriors for improved balance in the tube, plucking their little dental floss bikinis from their tight, tanned, ample backsides. all the while moaning and sucking their fingers and making faces of half-pain, half-pleasure.. grimacing and salivating. Puckered, lascivious lips wet and pouty. Saultry green eyes mysterious and brooding. those eyes. umm.. or something...
There is a little south in the wind so maybe our southern neighbors are fairing better in terms of surface smoothness? Kaiser scored down there yesterday so you might do the same with an early lunchtime mission? The south swell is also starting to maybe poke it's head around.. as the california buoy is registering 6ft 17sec.. but.. that might be a fluke? maybe dano has the inside scoop on santa cruz county.. or maybe blakestah or someone worked the SF-SC challenge this morning? Part of me thinks it would be worth it for this south but another part of me invisions waking up at 4am to get to one of the points by 6.. then getting out in the water with a dozen other dawn-patrollers, all sitting there waiting for the 4 shoulder high sets that come in every hour?? but.. maybe that's too pessimistic? It's possible you could score glassy, empty, overhead groundswell juice for hours?? Ya don't know till you go.
central coast (photo by RemyXO)
ted grambeau photo of inner chopes
curren bottom turn - photo by brewer
pitted - photo by jon frank
weird collage by dave sparkes
Still nursing a little ear infection from the last few days of the trip, i decided against surfing this morning. But on the way to the MUNI i strolled along the beach and was pleasantly surprised to see an inviting, glassy ocean surface and some rideable, albeit sloppy waist/chest-high windswell peaks. I didn't see anyone surfing but it looked well within surfable range. I even got that little, "fuck, should i run home and get my stuff for a quicky" thought in my head as i watched a shoulder-high shore-grinder peel and barrel along, and then flourish a genuine exhalation of spit at the end of it's life. Don't get me wrong.. it's definitely small and weak out there. It'd be tough to track down rides longer than a quick drop and pump. But, if you haven't surfed in weeks and you're really feelin' the pangs, get out there before the wind totally kills it. (Right now (9:28) the wind is blowing at 1 knot out of the WSW).
another quick story from central america...
Last sunday was my final day of the trip. Even in central america the surf spots are more crowded on weekends and this day was no different. 15 or so people bobbed in the lineup, picking off the consistent and fun head-high groundswell remnents. A group of 5 or 6 older American guys were kind-of dominating the main peak, even at times paddling around the locals and other surfers and exhibiting the classic unchill, wave-hungry, high-profile, weak lineup etiquette of many visiting california surfers. But.. all in all the vibes were chill and these guys were probably working in San Salvador and wanted to get a few waves on the weekend.. Plus.. who am i to complain, having basically resided right at the waves, with nothing to do but surf and sleep, for the last month.. I had gotten my waves and i wasn't getting all uppity about subtle breaches in the lineup dynamics.. But.. eventually i chose to leave the main wave and paddle across the rivermouth to an alternative, outer-right that broke with less consistency but still peeled and fired along.. then crashed over shallow rocks on the inside. Not symmetric perfection like the main wave.. but with nobody out i was on it. Good times for the next 45 minutes catching waves by myself and experimenting with steep drops and racy, high-line pumps and speed. But as the tide continued to rise this outer wave kind-of shut down and i paddled back to the main wave. At this point, the older americans had gone in and the local boogie-board brigade was out in full force. For some reason the local kids at this spot are all into boogie bording.. And they're serious about it to.. Crazy drop-knee and standup antics, huge airs and barrel rolls, etc. really high-quality bodyboarding.. Anyway.. i caught a few and was starting to feel the end of the session vibes as i'd been in the water a few hours and still needed to pack and get to the airport. I decided to sit on the outside and wait for a bomb for my last wave of the trip.. The locals kind-of surrounded me at the peak and were taking a lot of the waves. If i had beginning-of-the-session energy and a serious wave-lust i could have easily jockeyed for position and caught a few.. but i just kind-of sat there and enjoyed the warm water and the good vibes of the laughing, chilled-out local boogers. Sooo.. after 20-or-so minutes without a wave i began to fidget and feel the jones.. Then this beautiful peak rose up outside of me. I was psyched for a second but then realized that one of the local gremmies had inside position.. I started paddling easily.. just in case the peak shifted or something.. but it was obvious that this kid had the line. Soo.. i started to ease back and hoot him into it.. I guess he heard me.. then turned to look at me just as he began to paddle into the wave. He recognized me from chilling the night before and for some reason decided to give the wave to me, calling, "Vas Louis, Vas!" (I went by my middle name, Louis, during the trip because the locals can't pronounce Ethan that easily). Soo.. surprised and delighted.. i paddled hard into the wave, took off over the ledge.. then bottom turned and carved one final top-turn into the steep, conical section.. then pumped and worked the wave to the beach.. Stoked! That kid hooked me and left me feelin' the good vibes..
anyway.. thanks for that wave homie!
mellow little drop
terje.. with the steez
wave-ski top turn
Another day with abysmal surf. Woke up not really thinking i'd hit it.. walked to the end of my block in my boxers and peeked over the dunes.. to see white-cappy, blown-out drivel. nada out there this morning unless you like cold/windy/lake-like conditions. Soo.. while we wait for surf and hope for leftovers from the pumping south swells that are alighting most of the west coast of the americas with kick-arse waves.. I'll describe a magical session that Lerm and I enjoyed a few weeks ago down in central america. A session that involved the apex of one of those long-period southern-hemi groundswells.
Lerm and I were staying in these thatched-rooved bungalows a short hike up a mountain-side, situated above a picturesque beach. We were about 40 minutes down a dirt road from the nearest town. At the northern end of the beach was a little right point break and at the southern end a reverse-Ano-like wedging left. We had scored fun, glassy, meaty waves on the left as the swell got larger and larger over the last two days. We woke up on the third day and the swell was fucking cranking. Lines of smooth cordoroy stretched to the horizon and our little private beach was closing out unmercifully on both ends. hmm.. what to do.. macking swell.. need to surf... After consulting some maps and talking with a few locals we decided to sniff out this "supposed" left point break located 10 km south. We readied our gear and hiked down a dirt trail to the road, where we sat there and waited for the chicken bus to pick us up. We thought we may have missed the 1 bus per morning so passed the time waiting for a ride (hitchiking) by singing old bon jovi songs, bob marley, van halen, the dead, etc. Finally the bus actually came, we loaded our boards on the top, with all the livestock, wood, elves, etc. and jumped in the old school bus. We wound around turns and ascended a few small mountain passes and then yelled "Sueve!, Sueve!" when we saw our destination over the next rise. We jumped off the bus and then hiked into the beach.. We reached the expansive beach and looked way way out to the left, where a headland wrapped out toward the sea and we could see from a distance what looked like seductive, feathering, point-break sickness. We were really far away so we couldn't really tell the size, but there was obviously a wave out there and there wasn't anybody around at all.. I mean nobody. We were absolutely by ourselves, approaching a rarely surfed point break.. in full exploration mode.. With some butterflies in our stomachs we trekked a kilometer or so along the beach to where the headland began jutting into the ocean and the beach ended. We ditched our sandals, waxed up our boards and began the extra-long paddle out to the point. As we got closer and closer it became obvious that offshore-licked, longboardy peelers grooved along the inside while mysterious, fiercesome, wild, groping ledges pulsed and shifted on the far outside peek. We slowly, conservatively inched our way into the outside lineup and eventually started taking off on the shoulders of bombs. There were giant volcanic boulders sticking out of the water on the inside so we weren't taking too many chances. As our confidence grew we positioned ourselves deeper and deeper and were eventually taking off deep into the pit and pig-dogging (me) and tossing ourselves over overhead++ ledges, then racing and carving down the line of the radial point-break walls, over boils and along idiosyncratic, character-rich sections. Fuck yeah!! Ride after ride went down and we looked at each other and just smiled and couldn't really believe what was happening. Here we were, an east coast kook and midwestern farm-boy, deep in the bowels of rural central america, dropping into these beautiful, thick groundswell bombs at a rarely-surfed, enigmatic point-break, with nobody around for miles. The thrill of exploration and adventure made every ride all the sweeter and when it was time to come in we just kept smiling and shaking our heads in disbelief. A truly once-in-a-lifetime surf experience.
anyway.. here's a random smattering of photos from the trip..
mellow left at Playa Sympatico (A-frame reef break)
The wedging left at the beach described above
Wake up to this every morning
Back in the northern latitudes. Things look decidedly bleak, surf-wise, up here in the crisp, modern, first-world. Yesterday I was surfing head-high, glassy peelers at a tucked-away central american point-break in 82 degree water. This morning I gazed out on onshore, waist-high, close-out dribblers in 48 degree water. uggh.. It's strange and exciting to be back in this beautiful, clean, chilly, stylized city. After a month of 3rd-world immersion and inferno-like heat i was starting to feel the itch to return to the comparitively slick, orderly, safe, comfy confines of home.
I haven't had a chance to read back through the posts over the last month, but it sounds like Kaiser manned the helm with ease and charisma... and that there were a modicum of rideable waves pulsing through the bay area. schweeet!
soo.. shit.. i took a bunch of photos and have a handful of potentially intriquing tales to tell.. I'm hoping to piece together a little central american highlight website in the next few days so be on the lookout.
shiit.. and the waves down there.. god damn.. To be brutally honest.. this was the sickest surf trip i've ever gone on in terms of waves... hands down.. I mean.. one macking south swell after another alighted the points, reefs and beaches i parked myself at with laughable consistency.. I probably surfed almost 100 sessions during the 31-day trip.. Every day had surf. Every fucking day. it was uncanny. Some of the setups were unreal.. Playa Sympatico was a lowers-like A-frame reef that fired through all the tides and blew offshore all day. The left was hollow and ledging on low tide. Backdooring the right on high-tide was the shite.. Then the last 10 days, chilling with Jake at (basically) our very own right point break.. Punta Pizza looked like a suped-up 4-mile.. wrapping around a cobble-stone/river-mouth point with a gaggle of thatched-rooved huts huddled at the terminus of land. We alternatively surfed, chowed down on papusas, surfed, slept, surfed, blazed, surfed, hiked, surfed, bungled through spanish with the locals (not jake though - he's fluent, which helped immensily with the ladies - more on that later). ALmost every drop required an over-the-ledge commitment. I could feel my surfing improve and my stoke lift. With each wave you were pretty much guaranteed 2 or 3 strikes at the lip.. whether it be powerhouse bashes, light-footed lip-dancing, hangin' 5, or soul-trimming.. it was all possible..
shiit.. but.. work beckons.. more lates..
anybody surf this morning?
I needed it. It wasn't great, but the feeling is back along with all the other nuances. That neoprene-worn-skin smell is back. Those slightly irritated eyes. The random nose drip. The slightly dull, tired feeling in the shoulders. A bit of wind chap on the face. A change in perspective........
It was good to be back out there for sure!
After driving the beach, I was a bit worried I wouldn't get out. Words can't do it justice, but the beach basically looked like crap-ola today. Small, gutless little warbles of wind swell flapping about near shore. Out a bit further, chunky mounds of disorganized water wondering about. A little further down the coastline, things not much better but at least a bit more "doable". So, without much hesitation, I suited up and hit it anyway. Got a few good rides, only one which launched me further then 20-30 yards away from the lineup. On that one ride, I got a nice little inside section which gave me some good projection into the forthcoming white water. Good time.
On the way out, I talked shop with a couple construction guys working on the Linda Mar parking lot and beach renovation. From our conversation, it looks like the bathrooms and old shower system will be shut down today for a short while. They have replaced the showers with a temporary one just to the north of the building. All in all, the next 10 weeks they are breaking down the current building housing the bathrooms and reworking a lot of the rock formations out in front. Basically, they are restoring it to a more "nature" state. They are replacing the wall in front of the parking lot as well. So, expect the work to continue but I am sure it will be much improved when it is finally done.
Lastly, I want to say thanks to all of you for listening to my rants and raves over the past weeks. I am not sure if E is coming back this weekend or not but regardless, its been fun! Since the Hawaiian way is dear to me, may I leave you with the following:
Class will not be held today as the teacher is suffering from serious surf depression. The lack of quality surf has left your professor to day dream about a new board, far away surf travels, and the multitude of pictures he has posted here over the last few months. Hopefully Captain E will return from his own surfing sabbatical in time to save the Surf Report from further doom!
As you might expect, no surf for me again thismorning. That completes the 4th morning in a row of no surf. Depression expected to fully take over about 1:00 this afternoon.
To make matters worse, I have to quote Blakester: "Thursday. Winds blew onshore all night, modest onshore at dawn, hacked sea surface with short period energy. Still, late morning may bode sloppily barely rideable. The good news is that it is looking better for small "cleaner" but not clean, surf and decent morning winds through the weekend as this coastal wind gradient backs down a tad. But, no long periods in sight. No souths coming, just small sloppy surf in mornings."
So, look at the glass half full or half empty. We don't have anything good setting up in the near future but we can still surf. THANK YOU! I will do just that in the next few days or I will eat my arms off..... Ok, so the winds have been in full effect since late in the day Saturday. The swell is small but still rideable. Just be glad you don't like in Wisconson, Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, etc. Otherwise, you would be bitter as hell that you missed summer in April....
Look for my final update tomorrow as I do believe E should be returning shorting and providing a much need infusion of stoke and story to carry us through the duldrums of spring and summer.
A couple of quotes that you might find interesting:
- Single-fins, Omniverse, Understanding, Love.
Seriously times have changed and in todays world we can only keep in touch with so much SOUL; Music, epic sessions with just your mates, barrels, chicks, beer and a good bloody barbie are all filthy ways, but unless you are living a nomadic excistince grazing waves sniffing soul all day, everyday how the frick can can it be like it was.
- Soul is all about your love for the ocean and your love for surfing.
I donít believe just because somone has good skills on a board it makes them more of a surfer. For me itís all about the love of the ocean. The love of being in the waves. Surfing is just an expression of that. Donít get me wrong, I love my surfing, but being in the ocean gives me the feeling that there is more to the world than just us. That there is somthing bigger more important than us. I hate people that say they surf and donít even give a shit about the enviroment. As surfers we have a right to protect it. Without the ocean we couldnít go surfing! I guess what Iím really trying to say is that soul is really your soul and you canít truley surf without it!
Chillin at Chopes: A little something for the ladies, a little something for the guys.
The winds still be messing things up out there. However, this morning looked pretty doable from a surf standpoint. OB looked decent, nothing epic or great but if you needed to get wet you could. The winds really died out late last night.
Local Winds: 0-5 kts out of the SW
Swell: 5.6 ft @ 8 sec.
Outer Bouy Winds: about 10 kts from NNW
So, I have always been confused/interested/intrigued/curious about surfboard design and the evolution of surfboards. Many of you know more then others about this kind of stuff. So, let's do a little lesson on surfboard design and some of the popular "retro" shapes we always here about. If you got some dusty old pics of that Twinzer you rode back in '89, throw it up here so we can check it out..... Likewise, for those "in-the-know", now is your time to shine. Here goes..............
Fish - A surfboard design invented by Steve Lis of San Diego, California, which features a wide nose and broad swallow-type tail design, with a twin-fin setup; in recent years, refers to almost any short, stubby, wide surfboard.
In 1966, Steve Lis was a teenage surfer from San Diego who'd been making kneeboards in his Point Loma High School woodshop class. He later graduated to skinning broken longboards for shorter foam blanks, deciding that what he needed to surf his favorite wave at Sunset Cliffs was a pintail. Lis solved the problem of a kneeboard's twin fins extending over the rails on a traditional pin by taking design elements from one of the early split tails, the radical "Superboard," designed by "Bear" Mirandon, that sported twin pins and a deep "V." In essence, what Lis created was a double pintail with a fin on either rail. The board was flat and fast and was capable of drawing dynamic new lines, especially compared to the more restrictive longboards still in the line-up. Under the knees of Lis, himself a fantastic wave rider, the Fish represented a quantum leap toward taking this new generation of surfers where they wanted to go.
Bonzer - Forerunner of today's popular single-to-double concave bottom shape. .
Twinzer - Four-fin surfboard design created by Will Jobson of California in 1990; adds control to the instability of the twinfin design.
A twinzer has 4 fins, with two fins toed in on each side. Generally speaking, a twinzer is much looser than a thruster. The twinzer set up has a lot less drag than the thruster set up, and this becomes especially evident in bottom turns. When you first switch to a twinzer from a thruster, the bottom turn happens so fast it screws up your timing. You're out of your bottom turn before you've figured out what you're gonna do next. They are not too common, but some people swear by them. Wil Jobson is probably the best known twinzer shaper in Santa Cruz currently working under the Pearson Arrow label.
Egg - Fast, loose and fun. As always, the egg is one of surfing's most versatile designs. Easy to ride for all levels of surfing skills. Great in beach break. Best in small to med waves. Wider nose and volume throughout. The egg does it all: nose rides, paddles fast, catches waves easy, quick and loose off of the tail.
Alright class, sit down, sit DOWN! We are going to have a little lesson today on what we call Oceanography. Can you spell O-C-E-A-N-O-G-R-A-P-H-Y?
Seriously now, here is some stuff I have always been interested in so maybe you might be too........
Atmospheric winds generate horizontal currents that move around the ocean's surface. Wind can also generate vertical water motions in processes called upwelling and downwelling. When wind blows over water, the surface water does not move directly in front of the wind but moves about 45 degrees toward the right of the wind's motion in the Northern Hemisphere (Figure 1). This process is called Ekman transport and is a result of the Coriolis effect. In the Southern Hemisphere, surface water is deflected to the left of the wind's motion. Where winds cause the surface water to move away from a coastline or to diverge from another surface water mass, deeper water will move up to the ocean surface, creating an upwelling current. Where winds cause the surface water to move toward a coastline or to converge with another water mass, the surface water will try to move downward to create a downwelling current. For example, northerly winds are common in the summer along the California coast. Winds moving from north to south cause surface water to move toward the west, away from the coastline. Upwelling currents are created, which bring deeper, colder water to the surface. Our coastal waters are cold because of these cold upwelling currents and because of the cold California current (eastern boundary current).
Whereas surface waters are usually depleted of nutrients such as phosphates and nitrates that are critical to plant growth, deeper waters have high concentrations of these nutrients. Upwelling replenishes the surface layers with the nutritional components necessary for biological productivity. Regions of upwelling are among the richest biological areas of the world.
SF Bay Coastline:
Fault lines in SF Bay:
Look closely. You may notice a major fault line running right through Pacifica and Daly City, cutting right along OB. I am curious if we would see a major shift in near shore topography if we had a BIG ONE! Anyone...... Blakestah.......
So, as you might have determined, there was not surf for me today. Winds seem to have lessoned this morning at least at the shoreline but still howling out at sea. I can only think or a few places I would even attempt to surf right now and in all cases the rate of gasoline consumption to surfing enjoyment is way in favor of the major oil companies. So, maybe Chopes will turn on today and we can focus on that. Otherwise, I am going to sit hear and daydream about my 6'6'' Retro Egg with some sick-ass resin tints and ignore all the negative flow that comes my way........
Hopefully I will be faced with this dilemma in the near future:
Also, check this out, looks SWEET....
Good morning everyone!
I hope all of you scored some waves this weekend as things are starting to look more and more like springtime around here. As nice as April was, you know we were due for things to turn sour at some point. Well, if you haven't left the house in a few days/been traveling/or have been hiding under a rock then you know it is WINDY out there. Not just your average "slight onshore breeze" but your macking-knock-the-swell-back-to-New-Zealand type of wind. It really picked up on Saturday night out at sea and then arrived at our shores sometime in the early part of Sunday. From all indications, it doesn't look like it is leaving any time soon either. So, not to get too depressed or anything but I am sure there will be some moments of opportunity this week. Just a matter of when......
Had a couple of good surfs this weekend. On Saturday, Marco and I rolled out thinking about hitting a little spot we have been checking periodically the last 2-3 years. We didn't make it too far down the coast before we realized (when the fog allowed some visability) that the swell was tiny, the fog was thick and there was no way we were hittin' the mysto spot. Bumped into Loon as he was on patrol for some olas as well. After some deliberation, we went socal-style and tried to surf thru some fishing lines and pier pylons. Got sunburned even though the fog was thick as hell. CK and his lady charger joined in the fun and we hooted each other on for a bit. Good session making the most out of what was available which wasn't really much. Fairly mellow while uncrowded and fun. Sunday, headed south as well trying to catch whatever south swell was showing. Stopped along the road to surf a little slice of heaven near El Granada. What a great surf spot! Ha! The setup was actually pretty good with all due respect. Sometimes I feel that if we were to lobby the Surfrider Foundation for some funding, the HMB area could be one hell of a surf mecca! I am sure the residents there would love that...... Anyway, the winds were blowing pretty hard along the coast by early Sunday so driving wasn't much of an option as the strong winds seemed to be killing most spots.
Quick question for peeps out there: Anyone ever ridden a single-fin egg? Any thoughts? I am seriously thinking about hooking one up. Lemme know.
Some Mandala Shapes I found while Egg searching last night:
Pretty cool shots here:
What up y'all? Anyone get som o' dat dere Pacific juice dis mornin'?
After a long 2 hour sunset sessions last night, my arms were a bit noodley this morning. Along with a persistant morning sore throat, I bagged yet again on the DP. With the negative tide and the swell down, I felt there were only a few options this morning, OB being one of them but I still didn't have the mojo to get up and get after it. However, the winds were light out of the SE and there is definitely enough swell to give it a go. Hopefully the winds stay light thru the day thus creating more opportunities to get on it if you got some later in the day when the tide fills in.
Last night I had a really good sessions at one of our favorite south-winds-are-favorable spots. I seriously caught over 30 waves in 2 hours, all lefts with the exception of 1 right. I would claim 40+ but that might be aggressive. Anyway, the shape was pretty good, nothing super high performance like we get at OB but still really fun. The winds were holding the waves up, sometimes too much but not to the extent that you couldn't get into 'em. I got at least 10 rides that I connected the 2-3 sections that were showing. All in all, it was a good exercise in getting to know how the waves were breaking, the angle of the approaching swell to the sand bar, my positioning vs. the oncoming shoulder, the probability of the wave making it to the inside, yah, yah, yah. On reefs and points, this exercise is much easier since those breaks are way more consistant. But at beach breaks such as those we have around here, I find it rare that conditions set up so you can really find a groove and actually work on your surfing techniques.
A bunch of babbling but its Friday! Get out and get some when you can. Looks like we have our second bigger South pulse coming in later today and should hold through the weekend. Find your favorite south-swell-loving spot and have a good weekend.
Crowded WCT Lineup, imagine trying to get a wave here:
Errrr Errrr Errrr Errrr Errrr (insert the most annoying alarm sound here) Errrr Errrr ................
Freakin alarms! Once again laying a perfect roundhouse to that mother this morning. A swooping right-hander laying the smack down straight on the SLEEP bar. That's right punk-ass, who's your daddy now bitch......
9 minutes later: Errrr Errrr Errrr Errrr (my alarm's way of tellin' me I am actually his bitch!)
Alright, I got up finally after an extra 17 minutes of sleep. Pulled from the sheets by the hope of clean waves, lite winds and some morning endorphins....
Endorphin: n. Any of a group of hormones with tranquilizing and pain-killing capabilities that are secreted by the brain.
Yeah, those things.... How appropriate that the "pain-killing" part specifically applies to my days sitting behind this here computer screen. EUREKA! Besides being born there, the term has come full circle now: I surf the dawnie each and every day for the "pain-killing" endorphins which make me numb until I depart my paycheck/cubicle domicile......
So, what was the surf like? Uh, first stop, flat but cleaner. Second stop: small but much cleaner then I have seen lately. Swell obviously down a lot and winds behaving much to a surfer's delight. Thrid stop: same size as stop #2 but a bit more mushy and forgiving. All in all, 2 people sitting in the water along the great beach of ours when I checked it. More suiting up but still very few takers. I decided against getting in thinking that a few more hours of minimal wind might make a mid-day session a little more interesting. Definitely doable out there if you are interested. Just checked the winds again and they look absent. Let's hope they stay that way most of the day today.
Sit back, relax, and dial up billabong.com today because its about to get INSANELY HOLLOW for the boys and girls at CHOPES! Not to mention SHALLOW!!!!!
Geeked up down in South San Francisco, this has been Kaiser Sanchez with your Seis De Mayo report.
Tip of the day: All the Mexican food joints will be empty today, so get on it and expect delays because you know everyone working there is hungover for sure! Go with the Chili Colorado, always a favorite......
I am going with Slates to win homies...... Who do you like?
Hola Amigos! Buenos diaz. Kaiser Sanchez es mi nombre.
Let's start with a little history lesson for the day. This should give you something to think about while you are need deep in chips and salsa later today:
Cinco de Mayo [the fifth of May] is one of 2 days which commemorate the independence of Mexico. Although Mexico's official independence day is el Dieciseis de Septiembre [September 16th], Cinco de Mayo is also considered a day of great importance.
Having gained its independence from Spain by 1821, Mexico continued to be a hotbed of unrest. Rich in natural resources and gold, this land was coveted by the U.S. in its push to span the North American continent, as well as by European powers who viewed Mexico as a political foothold in the western hemisphere. Its territorial disputes with the U.S. having been settled by 1849, Mexico's attention was then focused on Europe.
In the spring of 1862, after receiving word that French forces were marching on Mexico City, President Benito Juarez (a native Zapotec Indian) sent troops to head them off. It was on May 5th, in the little town of Puebla, that a small, ragged, untrained, and under-equipped army led by General Ignacio Zaragoza met and defeated the invading French, a well-armed, professional army led by Napoleon III. Though the battle was only a temporary setback for Napoleon, it proved to be the catalyst which provided the Mexicans with confidence enough to persevere and ultimately triumph over the French in 1867.
Though Cinco de Mayo is a day of huge military and political significance, we must remember that it is not the battle of Puebla itself that we celebrate. Rather, it is a day to celebrate pride, independence, and freedom. Viva la Fiesta!
Surf Report: WINDY! Yeap, really windy today. About 10-12 mph out of the NW at the coast right. But the winds are dying at the outlining bouys right now which is a good thing. Blakestah calling for some decreasing winds later today and more tomorrow as well. Things should clean up enough to get some surfy surf in towards the weekend.
Nothing much else of interest out of me today. I didn't make it to the surf flick last night, instead I did some editing of my own on some of my super 8mm footage I have been collecting over the last few years. So, spill the beans y'all, give us your thoughts on the flick if you checked it out.
To avoid the inevitable cranky-ness that surely would have set in some time later today, I decided I needed to surf this morning NO MATTER WHAT! 4 days out of the water makes me angry as hell. Don't know why, its just the way it works. So, that was the theme of the morning: NO MATTER WHAT! The plan had been formed: wake up a little after 5:00, get in the car, drive and drive and drive and drive until some little rollers could be obtained. Conferred with fellow niceness regular CK last evening and the plan was put in action. Along with his traveling Aussie mate, we meet up later in the morning after a good deal of driving. Past the morning fog in San Francisco, the cold onshore winds, we finally came upon a nice little spot with no one around. Suited up and hit that crap with no delay.
Once out, I couldn't help but take in the full moon, the hills surrounding this particular break... what a great morning. In fact, with the moon as bright as it was, CK reasoned one could probably surf way before sunrise. I on the otherhand would all but refuse getting up any earlier then I did this morning, just can't do it! All in all, we all got some really good waves before being joined by a few others. I nailed my first wave and it was just a domino effect from there. I did take a few "over the falls", in fact, I hit the bottom once and I NEVER have hit the bottom at this spot. That was really strange for sure. Good times surfing with good peeps and with a good vibe all around. Couldn't ask for anything more. Well, the donut and coffee on the way back into my office wasn't too bad either.....
Don't forget, Blue Horizon is showing at the Balboa tonight. Not sure about the availability of ducets but I can't imagine it completely sold out. Jack McCoy, the filmmaker will be on hand as well. Should be cool.
Lastly, the Billabong Pro @ Teapuhoo turns on May 6th. Time for some more insane pro surfing. Keep an eye out for updates.....
Ah, Monday morning! Gotta love sitting in your office/cube/living room on a nice Monday morning about to tackle another week of work/deadlines/season finales. The week is always made better by starting it off with a little dawnie and getting that post-nasal drip thing worked out before mid week. Well, didn't happen for me today. After getting back from a glorious weekend in Seattle pretty late last night, I checked the weather conditions and there were only a few options that looked appealing. But, after taking in NBC's worst-ever production they called "10.5", I just wasn't having anything to do with surfing at 6:00 in the morning. Especially not in the fog w/ winds directly out of the west. Nope, nothing for me. So now I am going on my 4th day of no surf.... I am bound to get cranky at any time now.
So, as far as the weekend surf, someone break it down for us. I did get word that SC was pretty good most of the weekend. However, crowds were in effect as a friend of a friend was down surfing one of the more popular locations, took a board in the head which escalated into the attacker trying to get in a fight with the attacked. Why is that place so ass-backwards??? He survived and the other guy let up once he saw that the "attacked" was coming in around 6'5'' or so.
Oh, I did get some solid story in this weekend from a lifetime SC/Aptos/Watsonville local. As we were putting down those complimentary wedding cocktails, I got a full on WWII story about coastal patrols along the NorCal coast from SC to Pidgeon Point. I always have wondered what went on back in the day. With all the lookout points scattered about on peaks in the Marin Headlands, Devil's Slide area, etc., you know there had to be some serious threats to our coastline here. Ultimately, this guys' story ended with he and his army buddy having to shot a Japanese soldier as he came ashore with his wilderness survival pack. Crazy stuff......
Pretty cool shot here:
All time- J, nice post w/ this: