July 30, 2004
Yet again it’s small and dumpy

Funked-up Friday. Yet AGAIN it’s small and wind-blown at our lovely Ocean Beach. July 2004 would have been a fabulous month to spend somewhere that's not here. Preferably in the southern hemisphere, on the west coast of south or central America or in Indo or western OZ. But.. If you’re a die-hard Bay Area surfer that’s stuck at home and you can’t really drive 4 hours a day to surf the Slot, then it’s grovel time at local beaches. To make yourself feel better, just think that you could be living in Tennessee like EGPimp, or you could be working 60 hours a week in a cubicle in Toronto, or you could (god forbid) be paralyzed or handicapped or otherwise unable to stand up and enjoy the glide, even on (shitty) waves. You could also be one of the majority of peoples on this earth who have never ridden a wave, never seen that unbroken wave-face stretch out ahead, never taken off and accelerated down the face, never held a high line and pig-dogged as a powerful, conical wave-form enveloped and cascaded overhead, barreling into oblivion.

Blakestah mentions a hurricane swell. It’s weird that the SF buoy is showing 14 second energy, but none of the other semi-close buoys show anything. I definitely didn't see any groundswell juice during my 7 minute check at around 7am. Cali buoy is 8sec, HMB buoy is 9sec. Some of the central coast buoys like point st luis and pt arguello are showing 13 seconds. Man… might be nice to be on the east cape of Baja right now?? Hmm…

Soo.. I’ll continue E’s pro surfer break-down..

Andy Irons – Aggressive. Possessed. Incredibly fast and radical. In “Lost Across America” Andy performs a few of these difficult-to-describe aireal maneuvers that I’ve never seen anyone else do and to this day are hard for my mind to decipher. He screams down the line.. then just as the wave gets really critical and he’s traveling up toward the lip, he ollies 180 up into a floater (leading with his tail), then launches off the lip into another 180 and lands and keeps going. The guy has balls the size of planets. Just giant giant balls. Barrel master. He really deserves to be world champ. Part of the Kauai wolf-pack. A few friends of mine from Kauai say that Andy buries his brother Bruce when you watch the two of them surf the same waves in person. His girlfriend’s a cutie.

AI - getting spat out

being world champ has its perks.. Ladies wear hats with your initials on them.

Casey Kurtis – underrated California pro. Really strong style with graceful, arcing turns. Thigh-burning cutbacks. Fun to watch if you like the big-guys. Saw him trade stand-up barrels at Padang-Padang with Rizal Tanjung. Seems like a chill guy.

Cory Lopez – The most radical surfer earth? Maybe. The skinny kid from the Gulf of Florida possesses unreal amounts of natural wave-riding talent. He's the American Taj. He has an extremely curious and experimental mind in terms of inventing maneuvers and lines. His video part in “Lost, Decline of Western Civilization” shows Corey killing it from 1 foot gulf coast mush to booming triple-overhead right-point-break mayhem. He also possesses a scrotum full of gihugic balls, as is evidenced by his seemingly suicidal missions at T-poo. When asked about his pre drop-in thoughts before going over the ledge at grotesquely huge Teahupoo, Cory mildly responds, “It’s just like any other wave. I don’t think about falling. I just take off and surf the wave.” Rumors circulate about Cory’s harem of skanky So-Cal surf-pro groupies. Cory Lopez is the kind of surfer that if you saw him shredding at your local break you wouldn't believe your eyes. You'd be like, "how can someone actually do that shit on these waves!?" Cory Lopez can. Cory Lopez is the man.

Tom Carroll – Older school Aussie ripper. Ruled the sport in the 80’s, pre Tom Curren. Won two world championships and almost a third, as he lost at the last heat of Pipeline?? (lewis or others, is that true?). Built like a fire-hydrant, incredible physical specimen. When Tom first bust out on the scene he was noticeably faster and carved harder turns than anyone else. Pushed the cababilities of the thruster. Killed it early on in Indo. Watch Bali High for some early Carroll footage in Indo. Now in his 40s Tom Carroll still kills it. He gets invited to the Tavarua contest every year and actually advanced a few rounds this year. Brother Nick Carroll a well-known surf journalist. Tom seems like a likeable, chill guy, though maybe a little confident. I’ve heard rumors of him dropping in on many people in Oceanside and San Clemente. I’ve also heard that he’s really friendly and talkative in the lineup. Known for one particularly ginormous cutback at Pipeline, dubbed, “the cutback.”
Riddled with injuries but keeps plugging away. A true inspiration for anyone who aspires to keep ripping well into middle age.

Carroll - still charging after all these years

Joe Crimo - legendary So Cal airealist. surf/skate crossover god. Tattooed from head to toe. lives in his van. Surfs on stumpy little fishes and trick boards. First to hit many surf moves like weird shove-it type things and the "Crimo Shrink Wrap" and other anomolies. Not the most beautiful style but the man can innovate. Check him out if you like unusual surfing.

Crimo - innovating

CJ Kanuha – blond-haired, blue-eyed, tall skinny kid from the big island. Has a little big of regal Hawaiian blood in his veins. Super smooth, eccentric, unusual style. As lanky as you want to be. For all us tall skinny guys he could be the great tall-skinny hope! Watch 5th symphony document to get a taste of what CJ is trying to express through his surfing. All the ladies have huge crushes on him.

CJ Kanuha - in the pit

Posted by Ethan at 09:35 AM
July 29, 2004
small, crumbly, doable.

Again with the small, crumbly, onshore windswell. Doable if you’re jonesin’. I saw one logger making his way out at VFers. I also noticed a few attractive lines out there. Once in a while a wave would hold up, firing off a seductive, inside racy section. If the wind would only chill-out, the swell could be quite enjoyable. Little A-frames and peaks streaming in and breaking on the inner bars. Blakestah predicts a mellowing of the wind for tomorrow so be on the lookout all y’all surf rats.

In amplifier news. I put a $50 deposit down on a Fender Concert Reverb. I think it’s a ’97. Upgraded tubes. 60 watts. 1 12” speaker. Liquid warmth. Thick, buttery tone. Mucho volume. Mucho clean headroom. No joke. I plan to pick it up today and take it down to the studio where my band plays (Secret Studios). If anyone wants to rock out after work in the studio kick me an email at cranial_bulge@yahoo.com. We can play as loud as we fricken want and there is a drum set too, which i'll gladly play if you want to rock-the-fuck-out solo on your ax.

Soo… I watched some of the OP pro Mentawais video last night, and also some of the bonus footage from Shelter. It inspired me to craft a little E’s summary of a few pro surfers. Enjoy.

Taylor Knox – Carvy. Uses his quads for power. Crouches low and is centered. Good balance. Stylish frontside cutbacks as he spreads his arms wide like bird in flight. Athletic body dynamics. Again really crouched and low in his stance. Bent at the knees with his leading knee almost hitting his chin during turns. Clean-cut. Powerful physique. Draws radical lines even though he’s not often recognized for doing so.

Gavin Beschen – Supernatural balance. Uber-stylish flow and positioning. Huge feet. Really mellow and modest guy. Appears to be a head. Good at finding barrels. My favorite style of any pro surfer. I just like how his body moves. He’s lanky and flexible. He’s loose and jells with the wave. Awesome airealist. Super new-school but also has won at Sunset Beach. Has a cute girlfriend. Lives in a dope house with his brother Shane across from Rocky Point on the North Shore. Seems to lead a charmed life.

Occy – Funny, likeable guy. Has a knack for getting the sickest waves. Not afraid to try weird boards (single-fins and such). Extraordinary barrel rider. Devastating frontside (and backside) cutbacks and gaffs. Extremely powerful, well-build lower frame that allows him to continue to compete at the highest level despite getting close to 40 yrs. old. Can do sick airs. Buries the rail. Desires dreadlocks. Just had a baby. Spent a few years getting fat, doing coke and bumming around. Great acting in “the North Shore.”

Dorian – Smooth surfer. Kinda has a “too-cool-for-school” tude or something. Like he’s “over-it”… which maybe he is. Amazing barrel rider and basically fearless in any conditions. Hails from the big island. Dad owned a popular restaurant. Has had many liaisons with uber-hot ladies. Neurotic about personal training and physical fitness. Really smooth style. Awesome Dorian footage in “The 5th Symphony Document.” He surfs this one ledging right in Hawaii that other surfers like Greg Browning refuse to surf.

Tim Curren – My impressions of his personality are that he’s bratty, spoiled, rich and whiny. I befriended this guy who was his wetsuit sponsor (Japanese wetsuit company “Axis”) and he confirmed my impressions of Timmy’s personality. HOWEVER! This guy is one of my favorite surfers to watch. He’s ridiculously innovative and experimental. Maybe the best air guy on the planet? His video segment in Loose Change is awesome and blows Machado’s segment out of the water. He’s been struggling on the ASP but, the tour is fucking tough and it shows balls to keep striving on the tour when Timmy could definitely be a photo-slut video guy if he wanted. Great style in the water. Athletic and wild.. but he fucking pulls out the sickest moves.

Tom Curren – Oozes style. Extremely radical in terms of top-turns and barrel riding. A pleasure to watch. Definitely a head. Subtle things in Curren’s surfing are amazing. He just always seems to be in the right spot. He hits the lip really really really hard. He surfs with aggression but also with flow. Seems a quiet, spiritual, elusive person. An Aussie that I traveled with in Indo reported getting a sack of ganj for Curren after a contest near Sydney. Then chilling as Curren jammed on guitar with a few local heads. Curren has imbraced Christianity in the last few years. He has a few kids from two different wives. One wife French, the other Panamanian. Kelly Slater talks about visiting Curren in France when Kelly was in high school and watching Curren charge these crazy beach-break bombs while Kelly watched from the beach, deciding not to go out. Kelly talks about Curren’s intense work ethic, both with the surf and with the music. The dude is an inspiration.

I wanted to add photos but work beckons..

also.. speedy recovery to Nep, who almost died after suffering a heinous bike crash. Get better quick Nep!!

Posted by Ethan at 10:17 AM
July 28, 2004

Top o’ the morning. Looks small and marginal out there again. Might be like this for the next few days here at OBSF. The local wind isn’t acting too cooperative, blowing with aggression out of the SW… but just within city limits. Our friendly neighbor to the south looks pretty groomed and maybe extremely fun on a thicker board? Very little wind down there, and the faint breeze looks to be blowing offshore. You might find yourself zipping along a score of micro-peelers, laughing your head off and having a great time. Who knows? Kaiser probably knows. Klooless probably knows. Yuskei probably hit it. Lermified funkification? Again I feel like a faker because I’m still out of the loop. Blah blah my back blah blah injury blah blah. You know the story. I remember a few mornings last summer when the wind mellowed out and a little bitty south swell eeked into OB. The sets where maybe waist high and peeling in about 2 feet of water. I remember having a blast trying to work the waves for every little kernel of energy they offered. Subtle pumping, short-board-cross-stepping, knee-hugging crouches, body-surfing. Just good times in the ocean. Don’t tell anyone, but sometimes I enjoy small waves more than big ones! I’ll take perfect glassy shoulder-high peaks over mammoth double-overhead craziness with a million duckdives.

I’m feeling the “haven’t surfed in forever” depression. Sucks! I can mind-surf, watch vids, longboard skate, visualize, write about surfing, etc. but… it ain’t the same thang!

Once again.. THANK GOD FOR THE MUSIC!! Seriously. I got really depressed about 4 years ago when I couldn’t play footbag anymore because of a recurring arch injury. I was living with hard-core footbaggers, We video-taped every session. People around me were inventing moves and at the forefront of the entire sport. Then I got injured. Something that had been a core part of my life for 7 years was ripped away. I felt abandoned and lost. I was still in the middle of this community of footbaggers but I couldn’t participate. It drove me crazy. But.. lucky for me.. the guitar and I had a little 3-month binge. Hours and hours of angered, saddened, eruptive musical noise and expressing and ugliness and occasional glimpses of beauty resulted. Since then I’ve come to terms with the fact that the body is temperamental. The ability to participate in athletics at a high level is extremely dependent on the vagaries of physical health. Music, on the other hand, connects much more directly with the mind. The pathway from imagination to expression is much more immediate and direct with musical creation. In surfing, you get those moments where everything comes together, the wave, your ability, the crowd, your board. In surfing you sometimes get that one turn that really resonates and pervades your whole being with personal fulfillment. But.. it’s tough when your make surfing a dominant personal outlet in your life. When surfing is the major mode of personal expression and fun in your life and your body farts on you… that can be a recipe for heart-ache. I learned it from footbag the hard way.

Music, man!

Learning to play an instrument contains many of the same feelings of personal gratification as surfing. There is the never-ending learning curve. There is the spirit of improvisation and freestyle. There is the “cool” factor. There is a deep history of human beings who have taken the discipline to unbelievable heights. Every musician, like every surfer, has their own style.

But unlike surfing, music is inclusive. It’s better to play in a group than play by yourself. It doesn’t derive from an inherently limited quantity (waves). There aren’t any bad-vibes or localism. Girls play music almost as much as guys!

Anyway.. that’s my little rant. (as you can tell i'm bitter that i can't surf!)

Lots of thoughtful comments on the board yesterday. Cool to hear some of the old HMB crew pipe up.

"Grom" from the surfermagbb posted some killer pics.. check em' out

bells beach


cathedral rock


near winki

boogies going crazy

Posted by Ethan at 10:04 AM
July 27, 2004
windy and small??

I’m out of the loop this morning. Allz I know is that it’s windy at the beach. Pretty strong out of the SW. Blakestah and Loon had a go of it so it’s probably within range. Another funky, small situation with maybe a surprising allotment of tasty morsels? Ya don’t know till you go. Sorry if I haven’t been able to provide the first-hand, in-the-lineup accounts these last few weeks. My body hasn’t been cooperating, as I’ve mentioned and complained about time and time again. Soo.. yeah! But.. if you’re in Japan is looks like Typhoon #10 is bearing down on you. If you saw a shark out at OB last weekend I heard a little rumor about that. Possibly involving remote-control?? Hmm… In pro-surfing news it looks like Chris Ward will finally make the ASP tour. He’s third on the WQS… so that’s good news for any Chris Ward fans out there. On the ASP Andy’s (5016) way out in front of Kelly (3552), who’s a distant second place. There is still more than half the schedule remaining (Japan, Trestles, 2 in Europe, Brazil, then 2 in Hawaii) so anything can happen. Kelly is still my dark-horse pick! Go the Kelly! In non-surf news my amplifier shorted out last night at band practice. It just wouldn’t turn on. I had to play directly through the PA. Soo.. looks like I’m FINALLY going to be forced into purchasing a new amp. Right now the frontrunner is a customized Fender Concert Reverb. 60 watts. 1 twelve inch speaker. Loud. Buttery. There is a rad guitar shop near the DMV, right on Fell Street. It’s called Panhandle Guitar and the guy who owns it is super mellow and really knowledgeable about amps and guitars and such. DON’T SUPPORT GUITAR CENTER!

Also, if you’re a musician, check out the melodic minor scale. Then toggle between the 1rst and 5th modes of the melodic minor. In the 5th mode you get a bad-ass sounding minor sixth, which in conjunction with the major third sounds really middle-eastern and drony. Also, if you’re not into altered scales, try the third mode of the standard doe-re-me scale… which in C major would be E. It’s called the Phrygian mode. It’s the same as a minor scale ‘cept it’s got a minor second. This is probably the darkest/meatiest of the non-altered scales, in my opinion. I wrote this new song, which is in the key of C but really it’s in E Phrygian. It goes E minor (two counts) then F major (one count), G major (one count) back into E minor (two counts) into G major (one count), F major (one count) back into E minor (two counts), F major (one count), G major (one count), into A minor (hold).. it repeats that one more time and then there’s a second part which is pretty cool but I won’t write here.

OK! Work!

Have fun surfing all you healthy-bodied people! Enjoy!!!

Blacks Beach

Remember your circle of fifths

Posted by Ethan at 10:05 AM
July 26, 2004
Junky and small

Yesterday looked mini and fun but this morning it’s tiny and junkified. The SW wind is beating it down. Maybe a voyage south will place you at a spot with less wind? Somewhere between SF and SC probably your best bet. I tweaked my back again yesterday playing footbag (grrr!!!!!) soo.. my stint on the Injured Reserve might be extended. Sucks!! But, as I began feeling sorry for myself this morning I heard this radio program about people waiting for organ transplants, hanging onto life by a thread and just hoping for another few months to live. That slapped me back into reality. Can you imagine going about your life as a healthy 20-something, trying to find pockets of happiness amidst the rat-race turmoil, then suddenly you’re on the ground unconscious because your heart just decided to give out. The next thing you know you’re in the ambulance being rushed to the hospital. After a few unsuccessful surgeries to try to repair your heart the doctor looks at you with some compassion and tells you that you’re going to need a transplant in order to survive. Suddenly your whole life takes on new meaning. The little things like stubbing your toe or getting dissed by Susie Fishman take on less importance. Suddenly your life-long aspirations of having kids, starting your own radio station, taking care of your parents when they get old, traveling around the world, finding a partner to get old with, being a grumpy ol’ guy rocking in a chair on the porch, look like far away pipe-dreams. Suddenly just making it to the next month is the challenge. Cheers to the people struggling just to make it one more day. Life is tenuous. Case in point: I got attacked by a fucking Pit Bull on Saturday. I was skateboarding in Oakland when this snarling Death Dog comes running up and chomps down on my knee, knocking me off my skateboard. Luckily the dog just gave me a little love-bite and I was left with a scrape and a tooth-sized puncture wound in my knee. The dog could’ve ripped my knee to shreds and I would have forgotten about my little wimpy back injury. The human animal is fragile and temporal. Enjoy what you have while you have it! Don’t take it for granted.

David Choe

Patrick Hoelck photography

Upper Playground

Posted by Ethan at 09:47 AM
July 23, 2004
Freaky Friday

Just got paid
Friday night
Crowd is jumpin’
Time is right.

Small but highly doable at local beaches this morning. 3ft 14seconds on the SF buoy.. but I think the long-period reading might be an aberration. It looks more like 3ft 8sec. out there. At 6:30 there was no wind. By 7 it was blowing gently onshore. The wind should continue to increase all day so get out it early if you have the opportunity.

I’m beginning to fiend for the surf really hard. I just want to drop in, pump and carve. I miss crouching down and trimming along at the end of a ride, trying to milk the wave to its final death throws. I miss hooting my friends into unmakeable closeouts. I miss hitting lips… or trying to. I don’t miss the crowds. I don’t miss duck-diving. I don’t miss huge wipeouts into 2 feet of water. Well.. I miss that a little bit. I miss the post-surf psychological warmth.

Cool. Thanks Reality Check and Neil for contacting me about venues for the niceness bash. You heads rock!

I travelled through time and space, past billions of particles and googolplexes of atoms to get these shots.

[darn.. it looks like the photos got currupted some how!? whattup with that?.. anyway.. one made it]

Lermified Funkification

Here's a shot of south america my friend sent me

Posted by Ethan at 10:01 AM
July 22, 2004
Lookin’ pretty good

A bit blustery, but well within surfable range at the beach this morning. Shoulder/head-high peaks crumbled and peeled all along our 3-mile stretch. I was somewhat surprised to see absolutely nobody surfing as conditions looked fairly attractive. The small windswell doused the inner sandbars with a smattering of quick, junky A-frames. On a July 2004 scale of 1-10 I’d give it a 7. On an overall scale of 1-10 I’d give it a 3. Zippy drops and precise cutbacks and lip-flicks looked possible. I also saw what looked like a few micro-barrels. The wind blew with strength out of the SW but hadn’t caused irreparable damage to the ocean surface as of 6:45am.

Yesterday after work there were a few takers. Definitely wind-whipped, definitely sub-par, definitely surfable. Probably a repeat today for all the post-work crew (dusk-patrol).

Soo… my back is getting better everyday. It’s to the point now where I can start to get psyched on surfing again because I know I’ll be healthy enough to soon paddle into some waves. Footbag and yoga last night. Again this morning. I’ve also been doing a lot of crunches and they feel really good on my tight back.

Soo.. in the interest of getting jazzed to surf again.. I’ll fantasize through the steps of catching and surfing a wave.

1. Lineup micro-positioning – Before the wave comes you feel your way around the lineup, responding to an instinctive understanding of where to position yourself. Not too far outside. Not too far inside. The logic of this dance is perhaps the most profound and difficult-to-attain aspect of the surfing mind.

2. The wave approaches – You see a wave on the horizon that has your name on it. Immediately begin to anticipate its trajectory and predict how it will break. Paddle resolutely to the requisite spot and line yourself up for the takeoff. As your skill increases over the years, you position yourself deeper and deeper within the soon-to-break wave. You try to maximize the length of peeling section forthcoming and try to give yourself a chance for a little backdoor barrel on takeoff.

3. The takeoff – As the wave begins to push from behind, feel it lift and carry you of its own accord. Hopefully you see a glassy ledge begin to gulp-out underneath. A few solidifying paddles for good measure and you should be in the wave and ready to stand. This could be my favorite moment in surfing. The wave is sucking out. You’re committed. You’re accelerating downward. You pop to your feet and stay low and balanced. You set your line.

4. Off the bottom – You barely hold-on through the drop. Hopefully the wave is vertical, overhead and glassy. If you’re on your backside maybe you’re pigdogging and seeing the wave toss-out over your head as you take a high line, speed-burning toward the shoulder. If you're on your frontside you're vibrating with speed, crouched and low, turning hard off-the-bottom. Looking up onto a arcing, conical surface.

5. Down the line – Hopefully at this point you’re traveling at mach speed, in perfect balance and have a long, thick, svelte wall of unbroken wave-face-canvas in front of you. Come off the bottom low and pouncy. See a point on the lip that is beyond vertical. Extend up toward that spot with all your might. Explode into the lip with your entire essence. Push out your back foot and extend your turn as far as you can. Recover with fluidity, letting the wave guide you back to the pocket. Pump for speed. Be the wave. Create. Express. Enjoy.

in ASP news.. Andy Irons won at J-bay, beating Hedge-hog in the finals. Kelly lost in the quarters to the Hog. Sunny made it to the semis. Andy looks primed for a 3rd strait world title. I'm not sure how i feel about that. Regardless, the dude's on fire! He had three in-and-out barrels on one wave yesterday. damn!

Over 1000 unique visitors every day this week here on the niceness surf report. 1,335 yesterday. most ever! also first time over 100 comments.

also.. who wants to get their post-work jam on? Caveman? Lewis? Marco? Klooless with the Pro Reverb? I have a good jam-spot. Anybody play the drums want to rock out today after work? Let's get our jam on.

which also reminds me. What do y'all think of putting together a niceness party/show/event. Rent out a space. Get some bands in there. get some art on the walls. Surf photos. Surf film projected on the wall. Maybe some spoken word. definitely mucho alcohol. ganja. Anybody know a good space we can rent for cheap?



AI - with a Sllluuuddddddgggee!! turn

Posted by Ethan at 10:19 AM
July 21, 2004
it's out there.

Not too windy, especially south of HMB. The buoys are down (SF buoy at 5ft 7sec) as the south swell wanes. Rising tide through the morning so you might feel the push somewhere. Today might be the “every dog has it’s day” day at random spots like Gazos or Sharp Park or Stinson or some shit like dat… not to name names or anything. I spent the night over in the East Bay so feel completely detached from the current oceanic vibe. I don’t know how all you East Bay heads do it? It would make me crazy to always have that huge bay separating me from the ocean. But, the East Bay has its benefits. Temperate, stellar weather, palm trees, Zachary’s pizza, ummm.. lots of young families, umm.. err?? What exactly are the benefits of living in the (L)east Bay?? Ha!! Just kiddin’ with you East Bay home-slices. I like all the cottage-houses with all the gardens and trees and flowers. I like the uber-liberal, intellectual , ultra-PC feel, I like the Albany Bulb, I like Indian Rock, I like the warmth and the sunshine. If I was into punk rock or if I was 17 yrs old I would absolutely love Gilman theater. Tilden park is heady. I like Blue Note music on Telegraph (best place for jazz guitars and amps). Chez Panisse is nice. Sprawl (sp?) Plaza is a great place to play footbag. On a huge west swell the Berkeley Marina can offer up some seductive, peeling longboard lines. There’s a great longboard skate route from that huge white hotel all the way down into the flats (recommended late-night, post traffic). Good burritos at Cactus. The Greek Theatre is my favorite outdoor venue. Too Short. Primus. Joshua Redman. Charlie Hunter. Will Bernard. 3to5. Eye-doctor Steve. Capoeira Café. Beers out back at Jupiter. Loads of academic cuties. Hummingbirds. Kasuri Dieworks. Hoops at People’s Park. Magazine racks at Cody’s bookstore. Good Indian food.

East Bay!!

Berkeley Marina

Posted by Ethan at 10:02 AM
July 20, 2004
bigger... burly at the beach

Looks like winter out there. Large, bulbous mounds of juicy wave energy made their way into the beach this morning. Both the 3ft 17second south and the growing NW windswell were evident as waves broke on the outer sandbars. No takers within the 5 block radius of my house at around 7am. The onshores did their best to ruin an otherwise tempting situation. A few intriguing sections offered themselves but mostly it was crossed-up and disorderly at Ocean Beach. Biggest waves a few feet overhead.

You probably don’t have to drive too far to find acceptably decent, if not epic, conditions. Without blowing anyone’s secret, a drive north might pay dividends today, especially if you’re sick of the Santa Cruz element to the south.


Thanks Dano, DM, Trippy and everyone else who offered advice or empathy in regard to my tight/injured back. I played some footbag this morning after walking to the beach and then did some mellow yoga while trying to focus on my breathing. Every day my back feels perceptibly better so I’m confident that I’ll be back in action within the month. It’s painful to miss surf now but it’ll be even more painful to miss out when it’s 3mph offshore breeze on Monday morning with a 4ft 12sec NW swell and nobody out at the local.

artwork of Rebecca Miller (from fecalface.com)

Jeff Soto

Posted by Ethan at 09:41 AM
July 19, 2004
South Swell Sweetness

Happy Monday.

Well… some waves finally came through. Yesterday I hobbled my aching back over to a certain semi-local spot that was feeling the south-swell love. I literally tortured myself on the beach, watching surfers pull back on roping, funneling radical sections. If you pulled back, you know who you are… you could’ve made it! A few people did, however, pull the trigger and scored zippy, high-performance rides. The wind mucked it up some, but it was the best waves I’ve seen north of steamer lane in the last month. It took me a few seconds to get my head around the fact that there was actually groundswell in the water. I hadn’t really seen it since central America.

I again tortured myself this morning by cruising down to check the conditions. I watched one head-high groundswell set crumble in. The local onshore wind wasn’t being too friendly to the wave-shape, but otherwise it looked totally doable out there and most likely very fun.

My back is not happy, but it gets slightly better every day. Both of the main muscles that run vertically up either side of the spinal cord are giving me problems. They’re tight and send the occasional pain-pulse when I bend the wrong way. Kinda middle-upper back. The yoga has been helping, and I’m considering getting a massage. I’m hoping to get back in the water this weekend. This has been my longest stretch without surf since Christmas break. As I was feeling sorry for myself this morning I watched this guy put a giant knee-brace over his wetsuit, then limp/run across the beach for a session. It made me feel like a pussy for not surfing through my injury. How many of you out there suffer chronic injury? How many are pain free?

Also.. BASEmag should be still available at Aqua and SF surf shop. Let me know if they’re all gone and I’ll replenish. You can also send me a SASE (manilla envelop bigger than 5.5 x 8.5 inches with two stamps)… email me at cranial_bulge@yahoo.com and I’ll send you my address.

Also.. NOTE.. the sick photo of a peeling OB left at the top of the “OB Heads” feature in BASEmag was taken by Mike, who is a friend of Blakestah, a mellow cat and a rippy surfer!! Sorry about that oversight Mike!!!

C'est barrellesque, non?

BVB was here!

attack of the cute alien heads

I saw this on the side of a van in the city

Here are some shots of the south swell at a local spot yesterday

there is a surfer back in there

Posted by Ethan at 10:00 AM
July 16, 2004
Small and meager.. no signs of the south.

Top o’ the morning to ya. I really thought that it could be firing this morning. An unusual calm hung in the air out by the beach and a wet fog seemed to dampen the wind. I cruised down to the shoreline for a check and witnessed conditions that looked very much like yesterday. Dainty, sub-optimal wavelets lapped up onto the inside sandbars of OB. No signs of the south swell during the 5 minutes I stood there looking at it. The buoys are reporting that the south is coming from 174 degrees, at 2.4ft 16seconds. That seems pretty steep since Blakestah mentioned the waves originating from NZ? Dunno though.. I wish I had a globe here on my desk to get a quick glance at angles and such. Again if you have a flexible frame of mind and you're desirous of a simple plunge into mamma ocean.. get yer butt down to the beach.. but.. if it's glassy, funnelling waves you seek, toss September Sessions into the VCR one more time.

My back is still tight but it gets slightly better every day. Last night after a multi-hour Hans Blix and the Inspectors jam I was able to groove into an elongated, breath-intensive yoga session that felt good. I’m beginning to really understand how to breath deeply from the diaphragm and how to extend each stretch with every exhalation. I can finally touch my nose to my knees during a forward bend and my friend jokes that I’ll be able to “pleasure myself” soon. Do you think anybody really does that?

I miss surfing.

Today after work.. around 5:40pm.. anybody interested in a long-board skate session? I know this one route, on Dellbrook Ave in Midtown Terrace (SW slope of twin peaks) that has nice pavement, minimal cars and is relatively blocked from the wind. Traut and I rat-packed it last week and it was fun. If you can get over there I can probably give you a ride home (unless you live in the east bay or somethin'). If interested email me at cranial_bulge@yahoo.com

Do you think that party at Yerba Beuna will be awesome tonight? or too crowded? or both?

Also.. The premier issue of BASEmag is finally available!! I’ll put 50 copies each at SF surf shop and Aqua surf shop tomorrow morning and you can cruise by anytime and pick one up. Also.. if you send me a self-addressed stamped envelope (send the envelope within another envelope) I’ll send you a copy of BASEmag in the mail.
If you’re interested kick me an email at cranial_bulge@yahoo.com and I’ll send you my address.


Posted by Ethan at 10:18 AM
July 15, 2004
beautiful day! miniature surf

I took a walk down to the beach this morning.. just to see what i'd be missing during my self-imposed back-recovery/no-surfing stint. The sea-surface looked great as i approached the dunes and i was sure that I'd see flawless head-high glassy peaks with nobody out.. but.. to my selfishly pleasant surprise. the surf was pretty shitty. It's really tiny out there today. With a huge 10-foot log you might actually have a groovy session at OB but with your typical short-board you'd be floundering and basically just floating in mama ocean, squinting toward the horizon waiting for an errant pulse from the depths of the mighty Pacific.

Some gems within the discussion board yesterday. Lewis.. if you do more history lessons i'll bundle them up and give them their own page within local's corner... if you want.. dat's some good readin'!

Soo.. here's another installment of the hidden Isle of Barhedral Zaharzabo... the story left off as i wandered through a back-alley in the Moroccan town of Tafraoute. I stumbled through a ancient door that i remembered from parakeet dream. An old, wrinkled, one-eyed man sat in a basement room and smoked chalice out of a hookah and beckoned me to sit.

...After smoking from the one-eyed man’s hookah I soon began to notice subtle shifts in my experiential framework. The small fire in the center of the underground room shed a soft, glittering light. The light shone on the underside of the one-eyed man’s face and cast morbid, horror-story shadows onto his already frightening visage. He let out a cackling laugh as he noticed my look of terror and wonder. The walls and floor of the room were covered in Persian rugs of the most intricate patterns and vibrant colors. I soon found myself drawn to one particular rug hanging on the wall opposite me. The flickering light of the fire made it seem as if the maze-like formation of colors in the rug morphed and swam in careening undulations. I kept staring into the rug, and at this point couldn’t pull my gaze away. Soon I noticed that the pattern of the rug transformed into gigantic landscape. It felt as if I were soaring at high-speed above a dry, mountainous coastline. I looked down and could see huddled, smoky villages tucked into valleys and within natural harbors. I swept down closer to land and then began to fly out over the ocean. I flew past what I thought looked like the Azores, and then past the legendary pointbreaks of Madeira. Soon I was whipping at mach speed a few feet over the water surface, seemingly out in the middle of the ocean. I then began to slow down and eventually just hovered over this indiscriminate section of water. I looked down and noticed what looked like dark-green seaweed forming into a large circular wreath. Soon a turtle poked its head out from the center of the seaweed circle and seemed to beckon me follow him. He then dunked his head underwater and began swimming. Without a thought I dove into the water within the wreath and followed the turtle underwater. The sunlight shown a beautiful turquoise and reflected a rainbow of colors off a huge coral reef that we swam toward. The turtle approached to this one particular spot along the reef, stopped, looked back at me as if to tell me to stop, and then swam away. I somewhat involuntarily stopped and just floated there for a few seconds. Soon a resplendent fish swam by and stopped right in front of me. I had never witnessed such an extraordinary animal. The fish was transluscent and I noticed these various specks and shapes twitching and moving around inside. The flecky innards of the fish soon formed up into an unmistakeable arrow and I looked in the direction the arrow pointed and saw what looked like a huge golden lever jutting out of the reef. I swam over to the lever and pulled it with all my might. It slowly began to budge and after a few anxious moments the whole reef began to rumble and quake. I swam back as far as i could and then surfaced to get some air. About 200 meters away the whole ocean bubbled and gurgled and spat. Moments later a gigantic landmass seemed to be rising out of the water. Just then i felt a tap on my shoulder. I turned around and stared at the one-eyed man directly in the face. Suddenly i snapped out of my daydream and was back in the basement chamber of the one-eyed man, with his hookah, flickering fire, and persian rugs. I looked at him in astonishment and he just gazed into the fire and said, "It seems that the dream-visions are strong within you. We will begin the quest tomorrow in earnest. But first i must show you a few things right here in Tafraoute."

… to be continued.

in asp news.. round two of the j-bay contest completed.. Knox is out. Bruce Irons is out (lost to Sunny Garcia!). Neco lost to Cory Lopez.

Posted by Ethan at 10:20 AM
July 14, 2004

I wrote a huge chapter in the adventures of the hidden Isle of Barhedral Zaharzabo but now i sit at an internet cafe on Clement street and they don't let you access the desktop of the computer so i can't copy it from the floppy to this here report. d'argh.. My office has a retreat on Angel Island so i won't be computer bound today.

In surf news the surface looked halfway decent from my house but the wind was blowing pretty strong out of the SW and conditions were most likely marginal. I'm actually taking a little surf hiatus for a while due to nagging back soreness/tightness/bitchiness still lingering from oversurfing down in centro. If the south shows up on friday i'll of course hit that shit but otherwise i'm going to enter into a deep period of yoga, long-board skate and mountain biking until my back shapes up.

Check out aspworldtour.com for all the latest J-bay coverage. should be some good photos and vids there.

I'm almost finished the new Neal Stephenson book, "Confusion." It's the second in the Baroque cycle, after "Quicksilver." If you liked Snow Crash or Diamond Age and you generally like quirky, intellectual, sci-fi weirdness you should check it out. Neal is the man and is, without a doubt, my favorite contemporary author.. by FAARR!! this book has been wonderful and provided me with hours and hours of pleasure.. can't wait to get home and read!!

peace out y'all... keep rockin.

Posted by Ethan at 09:04 AM
July 13, 2004
Barhedral Zaharzabo

[here's the last installment.. from a few weeks ago, feel free to pass over if you remember it]

Soo.. let’s see.. the last time I spoke of the hidden Isle of Barhedral Zaharzabo the Flower of Zibe had imprinted a faint multi-colored tattoo onto the palm of my hand. I recited an ancient Zen Koan from my grandfather’s book to dislodge the Flower. When I now touch the tattooed flower petals of varying color on my hand I experience a intense rush of different emotions, depending on which color I touch. Before this moment I had taken the whole story of the Isle of Barhedral, my grandfather’s book, the propensity of members of my family to experience vivid dreams, the existence of my ancestor Marmaluke Dohefdron, the Flower Zibe and the rest of it as a bizarre yet harmless distraction. But now that my body had been permanently marked, and the dream-world of my childhood revived, I grew both anxious and determined. This was for real. I was now committed. For the next two days I buried myself in the book given to me by my grandfather. I poured over countless descriptions of journeys off the north-west coast of Africa. I studied the animism and black-magic of ancient Mali and Mauritania. I deciphered cryptic algorithms pertaining to the colored patterns within the Flower of Zibe. I did my best to translate ancient, faded Latin entries that described the sorcery and legend of my supposed ancestor Barhedral Zaharzabo. The more I read and digested, the more I realized that the hunt for this isle had consumed and captivated various members of my family for ages. There also included countless descriptions of dreams. Dreams of wild abandon. Crazy, fanciful netherworlds; arcane, pungent, olfactory revelations; grotesque, wild seductions, etc. Dreams of dizzying variety and intensity. Throughout many of these dreams appeared glimpses of colored patterns. Throughout many of these dreams also appeared mythical creatures and demons. It was startling to notice that many of the visions and characters within my own dreams of the last few days were described in this book. A guy by the name of Ghonan Klinterlock, writing in Algiers in 1645, described seeing a large red dragon with three eyes shooting arrows of glittering flame. I read dream after dream and slowly became aware of a few underlying themes within the dreams. Patterns of color (specifically red, then yellow, then green then olive then blue). Prehistoric flying creatures spitting rays of flaming death. Crystalline mountainous structures. Glittering, dripping, prehensile fangs. I began to attempt to piece together these various themes.

… to be continued

[July 13 installment]

I’ll pick up the story of the hidden Isle of Barhedral Zaharzabo three weeks after the last installment. Numerous dreams and countless hours pouring over the book left to me by my grandfather confirmed the fact that I needed to go to Africa. I booked a flight and soon found myself in Rabat, Morocco. From Rabat I traveled via local bus to the sleepy coastal town of Tafraoute. Tafraoute had been mentioned many times in my grandfather’s book. I had also seen a faint vision of Tafraoute’s main bazaar in one of my dreams. Within this dream I touched the blue petal on my tattooed Flower of Zibe and was overcome with feelings of unquenchable curiosity. Within the dream I wandered through the central bazaar of Tafraoute, looking for something. In the dream I was a parakeet, flying through the narrow streets, alighting on the rooftops of mosques and the backs of camels. I wound around dusty, crowded alleys, past colorful carpet sellers and nut merchants. I weaved through multi-hued tapestries of overhanging cloth, through pungent aromas of tobacco, kabobs and hashish and past old-world vignettes of turbaned women stirring cauldrons of curdling milk. In my dream I finally came to a dusty, crenulated doorway with an attractive, arabesque frame and a dim light coming from within. I flew inside but woke from my dream upon seeing the unmistakable visage of an ancient man with one eye and a mischievous smile.

Soo… now here I was, in real life, wondering through the central bazaar of Tafraoute. To my amazement, I recognized the basic layout from my dream and had little trouble retracing my steps to that same arabesque doorway in a dirty back-alley. I summoned my courage and walked through the threshold. The building seemed easily 1000 years old. But it was hard to tell as most everything in this part of the world seemed ancient. It was dark inside so I called out “Al salaam a'alaykum” (Good day) and at first received no response. But after a few minutes I heard a raspy, throaty, far-away voice. “Over here my young friend. Come over here and sit by the light.” I followed the voice, and the faint greenish light, down a flight of earthen stairs, into a subterranean chamber. Sitting on a small stool in front of a tiny fireplace was the very man from my dream. His one good eye was fixated on a hookah that he busily packed with what appeared to be fresh, green marijuana. He bade me sit down, finished packing the sticky, green bud, and then sat back and took a gigantic, bubbling, hit from the snaking tube connecting the hookah to a mouthpiece. He exhaled a voluminous amount of smoke and then set his gaze on me. “I’ve been waiting for this moment for a very long time,” he said. “I noticed an unusual little parakeet enter my doorway a few weeks ago and knew that the day grew near. We have but little time and much to do! Please imbibe in this plant of the spirits and then we will begin our journey to Anti Atlaslar, the abandoned village, where my minion will help perform the ceremony of Krim. There is much preparation we must manage. You must fortify your strength. You must summon your inner warrior. You must relinquish insular shortcomings. Prepare yourself, my brother, for you are about to embark on the final journey of the rest of your life.”

... to be continued

Dream door

Anti Atlaslar, Ancient hilltop village near Tafraoute

Tafraoute market


Posted by Ethan at 10:20 AM
July 12, 2004
Gusty winds, lackluster conditions

If you’re feeling the jones. If you’ve been dreaming about waves every night and some of those deep-barrelled dreams resulted in a little wetness upon wake-up… ahem.. If you watch the bus go down the street and pass underneath an overhanging tree and you can’t help but think, “damn, that bus is getting shacked!” If you close your eyes and see approaching waves on the back of your eyelids. If you can’t ride your bike in a strait line but instead bank rounded turns off imaginary lips. If you’re making love to your sweetie and can’t help but think that the abdominal workout will be great for your late take-offs. If any or all of these things are happening to you, you could probably satiate that jones with a session out at gloomy OB this morning. However, if you’ve just returned from 4 weeks in Sumatra or Chili or something, and your thighs are aching from long, roping wave after wave of glassy groundswell godsend then maybe you wouldn’t be feelin’ it today. If you’ve spent May and June cruising around the south-pacific on your boyfriend’s 70 ft yacht, scoring ledging reef-pass mysto waves all day long, then maybe the local surf scene wouldn’t exactly pass muster this morn. I feel a bit like a weatherman in Los Angeles (Steve Martin in “LA Story”) in that the conditions are the same as they’ve been almost every day for the last two months. Again it’s knee-waist high, onshore, topsy-turvy, funky, and a bit depressing. BUT!! It’s surfable for those with the spirit for it.

I was a little under the weather this weekend but managed a few sessions here and there. Surfed Lane Lizzard’s favorite spot, Steamer Lane, and couldn’t really believe how amazing the waves were. This meager windswell was somehow being focused into the hallowed grounds of the Slot, forming into waves much better than any other along the local coastline. 60 or 70 glassy, overhead, peeling pointbreak walls whipped through the slot during the 2 hours I surfed there. Mind you if there had only been 5 or 10 surfers in the lineup I might have enjoyed one of my best sessions ever. But as it was, 30 or 40 rough-neck lads jockeyed and jostled for every blip or blap of wave that hinted at breaking. This was to be expected, of course. Nevertheless I worked my way into a handful of high-quality sections. Linked a few turns, maneuvered a few drops, etc. good times. It’s always pleasurable to get some speed and then power through a cutback on a glassy wave. A few 13 year-old super-groms were absolutely ruling out there. This one kid had the full spoiled-sponsored-scowling-shredonyourfacemutherfucker thing happening to the T. He probably weighed about 90 lbs. dark hair with freckles. Big quicksilver sticker on his board. He probably caught 80 waves during my session and was pulling (and landing) huge airs and cutting-edge gaffs and roundhouses. He dropped in on anybody that was on a wave that he wanted and just faded them into the whitewash. Some of the older teenagers were threatening and cursing this little kid but he didn’t care. He just kept scowling and cursing under his breath and ripping and dropping in on everybody. If he missed a move he’d let out a loud, “FUUCK!”

The future of surfing?

ps - thanks Kaiser for filling in on Friday
- cool to see photos of marco and klooless kook out there. I think that klooless kook might need a new moniker, like "Shreddy Freddy, "Larry Destroyer of Waves."

I received this email on Friday... what kind-of asshole does this shit?

20+VINTAGE SURFBOARDS STOLEN from Huntington Beach Museum
Date: Thu, 8 Jul 2004 10:01:48 -0700
This passed along by Gary Lynch and Tom Keck.......

Got the word last evening, and more will be following as soon as they
send me an inventory of what was taken. But at this point Some
SOB(son of a b...) or a group of B (bas....) children broke into the
storage container belonging to the International Surfing Museum of
Huntington Beach and stole aprox. 20 some VINTAGE boards and other
historical things. Great ALOHA! Please put the word out to everyone
you might know. We feel that these items might be put onto E Bay
and/or other places where these items could be sold without knowing
the real story behind how they were aquired? More will follow as soon

as we have a total inventory, but please get the word out ASAP.

Michael W. Spence
Long Beach District
Phone 562-981-8269/31269
Fax 562-981-8281/31281
Cell 909 286-0224
Pager 800-473-6383


Posted by Ethan at 09:42 AM
July 09, 2004
Substitute Teacher Day

Yo, what up everyone? Kaiser back for a short update this morning.

I think our man E is feelin' ill today, probably getting his groove on or at least getting his snooze on. Not sure exactly of his whereabouts but figuring that the surf has been decent lately, the weather has been cooperative and its Friday, why not throw in an update... Rumor has it Jucular Jakester is rolling the coast hooking up his new foam/glass.

Got some decent ones myself out there this mo'oning but it wasn't nearly as good as last night's session. Pretty fun yesterday arvo as the size had increased a bit and the winds were a'ight. Shoulders are burning today after 6 sessions this week. Tired arms, tired arms!

So, here is what is going on out there today:
Swell: down a bit from yesterday as the windswell seems to be tapering off a bit. Rumor of some S swell coming. Don't expect much though.

Winds: Still looks like it is pretty gusty locally out of the SW or so. Supposed to change more northerly for the weekend. Keep an eye out.

Surf Breaks:
Pizza Point - 3-5 ft, semi-clean lines, 4 people burying a pep & shroom in the lot. Waves looking pretty round.
Donut Point - 3-4 ft, a bit smaller and slightly wabbly. A couple of logs out there, one old fashion dude.
Bucks Beach - 4-5 footers and really consistant. As usual, not totally EPIC but it will suffice. Pretty popular spot like usual so be patient as it is still serving it up.
Pescado Inlet - A bit smaller here, 2-3 ft but lots of activity. Semi-consistant lines. Winds not a factor but watch out if you paddle across the channel by the rocks.

Also, looks like Mr. Lane Lizard dropped an update on his glorious site last night. Some good shots from yesterday morning post sharing the lineup with him at "Closeout City".

Posted by Kaiser at 10:50 AM
July 08, 2004
Windy locally… no surf for me

Everybody in the house make some noise!
Now somebody, anybody, everybody, SCREAM!!!

Ain’t it funky.

Umm.. yeah.. soo.. maybe the music coming out of my car stereo isn’t played by a miniature band within my dashboard.

Can someone explain the stacked meta-levels between the rudimentary sequence of 1’s and 0’s (binary code) and the movement of your mouse across the screen?

Can sound waves be surfed?

Does our individual consciousness (I) end when we die?

When plants release pollen, do they experience orgasm?

Do aggro, bully surfers (people) feel good about themselves?

Will Ryan Farrell start fights again when he returns to local breaks this winter?

Is it true that one out of every 10 people on earth is homosexual?

Largest city in the world? (Bombay – 12,147,100)

Largest urban area in the world? (Tokyo – 31,036,900)

What happened before the big bang?

Is light a wave or a particle?

What kinds of maneuvers will surfers be pulling in 50 years?

Will there be waves tomorrow?

What is the greatest achievement of the human race?

What is the purpose of art?

Why aren’t there forks with a knifed edge.. (knork?)






Posted by Ethan at 09:45 AM
July 07, 2004
Back to our regularly scheduled programming

Deeez nutz! i just wanted to say that. But.. shit.. The good news; there is some swell in the water. The bad news; the onshores are going bananas. The SF buoy reads 4.9ft 15 seconds. Lerm and I surfed the beach all by our lonesome and it seemed like a sizeable, chunky set would venture in every 10 minutes or so. I’m guessing this was the 210 degree south reported by Blakestah? If the wind mellowed out some, the surf could be rather schweet. But.. the onshores are causing the waves to crumble and/or close-out. Some thump was in evidence this morning, as I got ragdolled and bullied by a few of the larger waves. It’s bigger than yesterday though not “big” by any means. Word on the street is that some san mateo county beaches were working yesterday afternoon.. and not the beach you’re thinking of. Some creative thinking, a bit of driving and a dash of luck might result in a quality session somewhere around here. Today could be a good day to take a chance.

Couple of announcements:


Tonight! Surf movie night!! Hosted by that chilled-out cat Bandini!

Coming July 7th is the SF premiere of THE BIG SWELL an
independent film about Mavericks, featuring Grant
Washburn, Randy Cone, and an insane surfing lawyer
among other SF area surfers!

The Big Swell tells the story of a giant winter swell
in the North Pacific, from its birth to its death
throes on California's shores.
Three big wave surfers and two elite forecasters share
the passion, fear and obsession that these huge waves
inspire. This film does a great job of mixing
big-wave action, local knowledge, and the science
behind swell forecasting.

Filmmaker Peck Euwer and surfer Grant Washburn will
present the film, and answer all your questions about
50 foot monster lumps, sharks and more!

One Showing- One Night Only!!!
4-STAR Movie Theatre
Wednesday, July 7th, 7:30pm
2200 Clement Ave (Corner of 23rd Ave)
SF, CA 94121


This Thursday from 6-9 Juice Design is having an art opening featuring photos of Guatemala. The super-heady Brett will be hosting and since Brett is usually surrounded by a posse of stylized, uber-cute artsy-girls.. this will probably be a good place to be.

threewindows art show


Sunday July 11th at 11:00 Other Avenues Food Store will be having a beach cleanup party.
Meet in front of Other Avenues (3939 Judah – between 44th and 45th) around 11 for free coffee, chai, bagels and cream cheese then walk down to the beach at Judah around 11:30.



don't know where.. but.. it looks good


Posted by Ethan at 10:10 AM
July 06, 2004
Summertime fun!

Thank you OB for heeding our call
You gave us a morning with no wind at all
Squeaky-clean nuggets alighted your shore
I walked over the dunes and knew I would score.

Fun, peaky windswell loped in clean and nice
I saw a few barrels, not once, twice but thrice
And that shallow sandbar not far from my street
God Damn, OB, that was somethin’ sweet.

My last ride of the morning, overhead and gulping
A precipitous drop, to land clean I was hoping
Land it I did, with much speed to burn
Then a crispy lip appeared, on which to turn.

So now I’m computering, recalling the session
To surf in the morning, there’ll be no depression
Thanks again OB, for the fine windless morning
If it happens again, you know we’ll be scoring!

Posted by Ethan at 09:31 AM
July 02, 2004
Small but friendly

I took the necessary steps of suiting up at my house and then jogging down to the beach without checking the conditions first. I didn’t look out my window to see what the wind was doing, I didn’t talk to anyone on the phone and I didn’t scamper down to the corner in my boxer shorts for a quick peak at the sea surface. In this time of lackluster swell the blind go-out is often the way to go. Up and over the dunes and I’m pleasantly surprised by a not-so-tousled lineup. Punchy, waist/shoulder-high peaks peel, mush or throw up and down the beach. One or two surfers within the 10 block radius. Rad! I was stoked. Paddled out and immediately spun around and took off on a right that meandered and walled, allowing for a few pumps and a little click off the closeout. My hair still dry and I’m thinkin’, “damn, it’s kind-of working out here.” Back out and again another tasty right rears up. Paddle into it, make the quick drop, pump and find my line, quick check-turn off the bottom, then power through a full-bodied cutback that actually felt good as it stretched my back out. Putting my board on rail for the first time since last weekend reawakened the shreddy outlook and suddenly I was hunting for ramps and sections. A mode of surfing I had almost forgotten about in all these days of lackluster Lindy and point-break predictability. Out at OB it pays to be the wave predator, kind-of stalking around quietly, always adjusting and repositioning so as best to pounce on your prey when it appears.

As the session continued the peaky windswell kept offering character-rich mini-nugs. I caught a fun left that demanded I take an unusual high-line to make it past the racy section. Then I came down off the high-line with a head of steam and was able to pull off a quick bottom turn then a backside snappy something that felt good. A few rides later, as if to karmically balance the nice rides I’d enjoyed, I took a hein wipeout when a bowling left chucked me over the falls with the lip and I landed in about 2 feet of water. Yeah! I even noticed a few makeable barrels out there, albeit small and disorganized.

Looking down OB from atop the dunes on my way home it seemed that the wind had come up, disheveling the surface some. It looked as it sandbar after sandbar set up nicely on the inside, with typical OB rips and weirdness between each well-shaped bar.

Soo.. that’s that. Felt good to get some surf.

Tahoe for me this weekend..

Shout out to Binkstatic Aromatic, the Lord Binklestein, Abraham Brinkowski, Deacon Von Binklesworth (the Arch Duke Baron Binkhausen)… aka seymore sassafrass..

also a shoutout to Jocular, who i guess has finished the Phish tour and might be out on the West siiiide soon?

Have a fun weekend all y’all

cory lopez

joel fitzgerald

Posted by Ethan at 10:06 AM
July 01, 2004
A few dribblers

Did the rounds this morning and got skunked. A hardy-bunch of salty dogs were making a go of it at Lame-dy, and I salute them.. but.. all in all it was a stay in bed morning. If you don’t mind the wave-crumbling onshores, I saw a few potential areas in the middle of the beach and then down near second lot Sliz. Maybe a section or two or four that reared up on the extreme inside and peeled for an instant before closing. If you were going for Daily Dale Wavestar’s record (25 (28?) years of surfing every single day… and counting) and had to surf today I’d suggest somewhere along the southern stretch of the great OB. Key word today: Lilliputian. But.. it’s not lake-like.. the waves are out there.. begging to be surfed. Some of these waves have traveled hundreds of miles. Most of their journey was most likely spent in anticipation of the moments before death, when a humanoid rider will dance and massage their very essence as they exhale their final vectors of energy onto the approaching landmass.

Soo.. thanks to everyone who contributed to yesterday’s discussion. Some of the comments really touched the core of what it means to be human. How should we best orient ourselves to produce a successful/vibrant society? What are meant by the ideas of wealth and poverty? What kind of social contract exists in American society today, if any? What does it mean to be a parent? How should we balance the oft-conflicting drives toward financial security and personal freedom? How does the quality of life in America compare to other countries, in terms of both wealth and happiness? What’s a good recipe for meatloaf?

check out the interview with Christian

scene of my first in-and-out barrel (photo taken last week)
oh yeah

oh yeah

Posted by Ethan at 10:04 AM