niceness.org is going through some server/ip hiccups today so it might be up and down..
Felt like Typhoon Lagoon or something out there this morning. Well-shaped shoulder-high A-frames came cruising in every few minutes and offered delicious, technical , rippable, gulping sections. A few dawn-patrolers scattered up and down the beach but pleasant vibes throughout. 2.6ft 13 seconds at the SF buoy and that’s exactly what it felt like. Well-defined sets of small-sized, medium-period swell pulsed toward shore at regular intervals. The wind blew a mellow onshore but the faces were glassy and often conical. I had a nice look at a barreling wall in front of me on this one backside wave but I got pitched over the falls as the bottom totally fell-out and I didn’t really have anywhere to go. Worth it for the millisecond view. Also always good to charge a semi-gnar wave and then wipe-it with style in front of your homie (Lerm was right there). A few nice frontside waves came through that allowed for some checking and jiving and pumping and carving. Felt good to pick my way down the line on some blippy, rampy waves. Also extremely unbelievably awesome to go through a session with more rides than duckdives!!! You could basically just stand in the lineup. Really shallow. Kinda dangerous out there too as the waves would often bowl then pitch and break with force in just a few feet of water. I had a few wipe-outs where I collided with both the ground and my board. Yo! I saw Lerm on one nice left that he got his board up over the lip on a nice off-the-top.. then bumbled a bit on the re-entry.. but still a stylish off-the-lip for the Lerm.
This one Marine-looking guy with a flat top and fluorescent rails on his board kept doing this slightly annoying thing where every time I would paddle south to combat the north-bound current he would start paddling south too. He basically wouldn’t let me get further south than him.. but as soon as I stopped paddling, he would stop.. as soon as I started, he would start.. pretty annoying.. but once I got out of the little rip that was happening I just let him have his space and just forgot about it. He didn’t give bad vibes or anything it was just funny I guess. People!
Worrrdd… it’ll probably be happening most of the day today, I’d imagine.. not sure if the higher tide later will kill the small swell??
Rippers should be having a field-day out there as it’s small but really punchy.. good for maneuvers or barrels or whatever your mind can fathom.
People are at the Black Rock City right now. Put yourself there for a few minutes this week. Out on the Playa. Exploring. Enthralled.. Enriched.. Weirded… Dirty… Dancing.. Watching… Cavorting… Participating.. Grooving..
padang padang (photos from baliwaves.com)
niceness.org just moved servers.. thanks to MWSF for all his hard-work and willingness to let all our inane drivel slow down his connection! If you see MWSF, buy that cat a beer or three!
ok.. the surf was really fun this morning. Peaky and weird but glassy and small. Barrelling in shallow water. Find a peak. wait for your wave.. then take-off into the hollowness. There were some chunky/funky mini-pits out there during the lower tide. Rippers delight! I backed off a few i should have charged, but i also melded into some steep, quick, ledging niceties.. Carved my best cutty in months.. funk yeah!
This weekend saw some mildly fantastic surf at local beaches. Saturday started off large and wild.. out-of-control victory at sea stuff for the dawn-patrollers.. then by 9am the swell began to decrease and some fun-lovin' nugs presented themselves. By 2pm it was sunny and clean and head-high and really really good (for around here anyway). Peaks all up and down the beach with wave-riders hitting lips, lipping hits and generally slashing and/or gallavanting all over the scene.. Mad mad bikinis on the beach too!! Guh?? Can't complain. Loon had an insane clam-bake setup near Lincoln. Teched-out clam-baking pit.. fur real.
Sorry i missed the window on chowing down..
then Sunday the swell decreased a bit more.. still largish and a bit wild.. but relatively tame compared to friday and saturday. I didn't get out there until around noon.. but made my way with a friend who brought some beginners and another friend and a bunch of longboards and fins and fishes and all manner of vehicles. I started off having a solid session on the "brown turd" 6'6" shortboard.. had some crazy-ass stony rides and suicide drops and wipe-outs and 8 billion duckdives in the pleasurably warm water.. then i helped some of the illinois newbies try to catch insiders on the longboards.. Then my friend and i went out in the bowling, pitching, semi-serious windblown surf on the 10'+ logs.. HOLY SHIT!! how do you longboarders do that shit? I could barely turn on the beast. Paddling was wicked-fast.. but.. bottom-turning was an enigma to me and i repeatedly yard-saled on successive bottom turn attempts. Longboarding on short-board waves is farking TOUGH!! i think i also suffered because this board was kind-of a home-made 300lb. monster with 4inch box rails and not very much in the way of a tapered tail or rocker. It seriously looked (and acted) like a real log. gnarly! Also my friend brought his friend Lee who is a really cute wahine who ruled it on her longboard and caught many critical waves. She teaches surfing at Paskowitz surf camp down in San Diego and was a pleasure to watch. Go the Wahines!! There actually are cuties other than sharkbait, steamwand, welle, friendly and anastasia that surf OB!! i'm serious!! Go the cuties!
Misty morning, clouds in the sky
Without warning, the wizard walks by
Casting his shadow, weaving his spell
Funny clothes, tinkling bell
Just keeps walking
Spreading his magic
Evil power disappears
Demons worry when the wizard is near
He turns tears into joy
Everyone's happy when the wizard walks by
Just keeps walking
Spreading his magic
Sun is shining, clouds have gone by
All the people give a happy sigh
He has passed by, giving his sign
Left all the people feeling so fine
Just keeps walking
Spreading his magic
A little Black Sabbath to start the day.
“The Wizard” is the song that accompanies Gavin Beschen’s part in “Football Schmootball,” one of the greatest video segments ever made. Tons of slow-mo of Gavin’s lanky, fluid, radical surfing. Mostly footage of the San Clemente “wizard” at Backdoor, Pipeline and Sunset. Shot on grainy, trippy, high-quality 16mm film. Anyway.. to the surf...
It’s large and wild out there. Lerm and I did the deed and succeeded mostly in getting tumbled and jostled around a good deal. Largish, ugly, messy, turbulent shorter-period groundswell/longer-period windswell (9ft 9seconds) marched toward shore from somewhere in the north pacific. It’s a bummer that the conditions were really the exact opposite of the prevailing weather at the beach. On land it’s calm, warm, sunny and pleasant.. In the water it’s rough, bruising, tumbling and out-of-control. I guess the winds in the outer waters are still blowin’ a gale. If those outer winds subside the surf-situation could get really good, really fast. The potential for serious sweetness is there and it might actually be happening as we speak at certain wind-protected spots up and down the coast. Those in the know are in the know. But.. not really being in the know I ended up sacrificing my body to the mercy of the mighty OB and she chewed me up, sucked on my head for a while, then spit my scrawny ass back onto the beach. Geez.. I feel a bit like I’ve been taken advantage of by that bruiser of a woman. We got sucked about two blocks south while paddling out (30 duckdives) and then sucked 4 blocks north while chilling on the outside looking for waves. I took around 5 wipe-out air drops over the falls as waves that looked like they might peel ended up jacking-up and pile-driving down into the shallow sandbars.. It was like, "here kitty kitty kitty.. come paddle into me.. i'm a niiice wave.. then fucking "SLAM! take that beeatch!" Lerm locked into a few nice lefts.. Good on ya lerm! I did grab two warbly, junkified rights and one speedy, hold-on-to-your-pants left. Soo.. it was fun. Also just fun to be out there dodging bombs, trying to hunt sections and feeling the occasional head-high-plus powerhouse mini-bomb pass underneath and then erupt on the inside. Mostly close-outs and random unsurfables out there this morning.. But also some amazing, glory-sections and barrels and just about everything. The needles in the haystack are out there.. ya just have to dig em’ out. Supposedly a few people were shredding up at VFers.. soo??
Keep an eye out on the winds at the SF and California buoys.. if they start to mellow.. maybe the beach will follow suit in a few hours?? Felt like winter this morning.. ‘cept you could tell the swell wasn’t real thick-like.. just out-of-control, semi-serious windswell action.. Beautiful day though.. just spectacular.
this is a great photo.. but.. i heard that this woman is playing at some George Bush rally.. soo.. beware of the seemingly stoked-out surfer chick.. can't judge a book...
sean brady shots
Summer…oooh oooh oohh ooohh..
The Summertime rolls.. ahh ahhh ahhh..
Ok.. Jane’s Addiction is rad and all.. but seriously, this morning felt like summer. Warm air, warm water, sloppy junky fun laugh-along waves. After getting up at the dingleberry-crack of dawn and foolishly driving all over creation I ended up at good ol’ sloppy-jalopy Lindy with Kaiser and CK and I’m sure other of you cats. OB was definitely better but my friend from high school was with me so we were driving around, checking the coast and all the spots, experiencing the grandiose beauty of the misty mountainous morning… ended up at the ‘Mar. The water was crazy warm. Possibly trunkable for a 20 minute sesh in the middle of the day? ‘specially for all y’all spare-tire crew. Looks like the swell is down. SF buoy is actually at 5.6ft 6sec.. But most of the other buoys are still showing the groundswell.. down to around 11 or 12 seconds now. It’s fading.. definitely short-lived.. but.. nice to have some juice after quite possibly the longest drought in bay-area surfing through the last 5 years? It looks like the next week might be more sloppy windswell in store for us. Oh yeah!
Still some throaty bombs out at OB for anyone interested.. you just have to get in the right spot and take-off under the ledge and generally make it happen. Somebody like Lewis or Alex Martins could find some pits no problem.
I had this dream last night where I was jacket-and-tie-clad student at some stuffy boarding school and Miles Davis came to play a show. All the students packed into this room and then Miles walked in and acted all surly and rude. Then I felt embarrassed because the other students were requesting songs from “Kind of Blue,” which I knew annoyed Miles. He then asked me directly and I requested a tune off Agharta, which is more of a later, jazz-fusion album, and his face lit up in a smile and he started blowing on his horn. Then I was walking around campus at night and the mood was all spooky and eery and there were giant tendrils of moss hanging from the trees and someone offered my ecstasy for $100 and I refused..
also.. anyone out there have a base and base amp that i could borrow after work today??
all the ladies in the house! the ladies, the ladies!
photos from http://www.rcpphoto.com
Happy humpday. The swell is here. It’s lumpy, frumpy and grumpy… but it’s here. Lerm and I hit it from 6:40 to 8:20. Nobody around ‘cept for a few of my neighbor-headies a block down. It’s not macking like a serious wintertime groundswell, but a juicy set marched in every 5 or 6 minutes. Biggest waves maybe head-high and a half? Maybe not even that big. At our spot the sets would lurch in and buckle on an inside sandbar, mostly closing out violently in one thumping mass of destruction. Ask Lerm about that! Hee hee. From the beach it looked like we’d score plenty of well-shaped sections but once out in the lineup it proved difficult to get in the money-spot. Too far inside and the good ones would break on your head. Too far outside and you’d be sittin’ there all bored. Lots of random rips and currents and divots and sloshiness making the situation far from glassy/placid/groomed/smooth. I felt like we were getting pulled all over the place. Often the thickest set waves would break all jarbly and nasty, sucking out and not really allowing for a proper entry. Doing that weird OB rip-induced, textured, shore-poundy thing. I tried to take off into one of these pitching/barreling beasties on my backside but only succeeded in wiping out over the falls and into the maelstrom. Lerm liked that one. Each of us did catch a few set waves and I found a handful of racy, pump-happy voyages that were great. I also enjoyed just being out there in the vibrant oceanic energy. It felt exhilerating to be forced scramble under powerful, hammering set-waves. Also nice to have that lingering potential of a throaty, groundswell ride. Gets the blood pumpin'.
All in all it’s definitely doable. If you have the time I might recommend waiting for the 1pm low tide (3.5ft) and heading south into the land of reefs, points, crowds and barrels. Although the swell seems pretty raw and lumpy, it’s also pretty powerful and consistent. Could be epic if you sniffed out the ideal spot.
I posted the interview with Alex Martins that appears in the premier issue of BASEmag. Enjoy.
If you like Neal Stephenson, check out this interview in Locus Magazine. Neal is my favorite contemporary author.. by FAR!!
south of here
somewhere (painting by peter pierce)
Sloppy but effective utility session this morning. I did the “I’ll put my suit on at my house and just go for a surf without checking the conditions” thing and I’m glad I did. If I had driven down there and snooped around and been lulled by the calm, non-windy warmth of my car I probably wouldn’t have headed out. I hoped that I’d benefit from a few for-runner sets of this Aleutian groundswell…but.. absolutely no long-period waves came in between 7:20 to 8:10am. I chuckled about all the talk/venom/consternation on the board yesterday regarding nor-cal crowds.. because there was absolutely NOBODY around this morning. Granted the conditions looked horrible from the beach. I mean really bad. But ye ol’ adage, “It was better than it looked,” came true once again today. Nothing special but I found maybe 5 or 6 mildly chunky lefts that caused a smile and necessitated some technical maneuvering. One little guy set up nicely and allowed for a speedy drop and then a quick bottom-turn top-turn combo.. then a fun re-entry as the wave closed-out. I enjoyed a few totally wacky waves that would break and then reform and then warble and just do all these funky gyrations as I just glided along and tried to stay on the thing. Pretty cool.
Doods.. would like to write more but I have a meeting here at work.
Shout out to Jeff in Los Osos.. thanks for those pics.. nice boat shots..
Shout out to sharkbait – always strait up wit it.
Couple of tasty photos from Jamie
I didn’t get out there this morning. It looks doable, especially if you’re simply yearning for your dawn-patrol utility session. The wind is blowing onshore, but not crazy-whack onshore.
Yesterday morning I found some of the best waves I’ve seen all summer. It looked frumpy and ugly from the beach, but once in the lineup it became apparent that chunkified, powerful bowls were swooping in every 10 minutes or so and actually rifling down the line along the shallow sandbars of my local. Ya can’t really beat falling out of bed on Sunday morning super-early, stumbling out to the yard naked, cutting through the grogginess by donning the soggy/sandy wetsuit, then jogging down to the beach for a surf with nobody in the water for miles. I feel extremely lucky and grateful. Lucky to be healthy enough to surf. Lucky to not be working like a dog 7 days a week. Lucky to not have to drive to get waves! A few lefts that came through really sucked and buckled up on a shallow bar and provided exhilarating, heavy excursions down the line. On one drop I literally did the butt-slide pig-dog and fucking held-on with all my might just to make the drop and stay in the pocket. Then it was a zippy, conical, rapid-fire section that I raced and did a little backhand reo at the end. Good times yesterday. Good also to hear that our man Robme got out there with his super-gremmie Silus and ripped shit up.. right on!
My parents were in town this weekend and on Saturday we cruised the coast, eventually making it down to EGpimp's favorite lunch-spot Barbara’s Fish Stand in El Grenada for some crab sandwiches. On the way we stopped at a beautiful but flat rockaway and did the little hike up the hill between Rockaway and Lindy. It was amazing to see the HUNDREDS of surfers out there in small conditions at Linda Marginal. My parents could not believe how many people were out in the water. It was daunting and scary and incredible. Will those teeming masses be making the progression to OB in years to come? Are most of those people new to the sport? Are as many people entering the sport as leaving? An even crazier thing was that M***** also had almost 100 people in the lineup.. With nary a decent wave! I was flabbergasted. How many of those folk are simply weekend revelers looking for a little splash in the ocean on a sunny day? How many are determined wave-hounds on the road to daily surfdom? (it's cool if you were out there.. even though it was crowded it still looked fun and mellow and glassy and chill.. if i weren't with my 'rents i might have gone for a lil' sesh) Will our lineups be chock full to the breaking point in the next 5 years. Will the days of the early-Sunday-morning emptiness be a thing of the past? Is it all just a part of the cycle of generations? Old crew retiring.. new crew coming up? Is it all good? Does it really matter? Everyone has an equal right to the waves. One interesting thing is that while these two popular San Mateo county spots were teeming with enthusiastic wave-riders, other close-by San Mateo breaks looked just as good and were completely empty. I mean NOBODY out.. with pretty much the same waves. Soo.. to all the old carps bemoaning the influx of new surfers into the world.. keep yer chin up.. allz ya have to do is poke your head around the next corner. Sniff it out. It’s out there. seriously.
get up to the lip!
somewhere.. radio controlled surfer?
Good times out in the drink this morning. The therapeutic windswell we’ve enjoyed the last few days is dwindling.. fading. There wasn’t much wind this morning but that didn’t correlate with a glassy sea-surface. I’d say yesterday morning was bigger and a tad smoother. However, today was pretty relaxing out there. Great conditions for a chill, no-frills session with your friend or by your lonesome or whatever. Nobody around for miles, fast waist/shoulder-high peaks coming in every few minutes. Lerm scored a handful of racy lefts. He pumped along a fast-track wall or two or three. I scored a nuggy or two, nothing crazy. I managed to hold some speed during one ride and arced a feel-good carve into the face of the section as the wave slowed down. That felt nice. Also enjoyed some cool views of semi-glassy, rampy walls stretching out ahead of me as I dropped in and pointed down the line. That’s always nice. Many curious seals in the water. I abruptly stopped paddling at one point because one the lil’ guys popped up right in front of me and stared me down for a few seconds.. then he dove back down. I wonder what he was thinking? Soo.. yeah.. another energizing session in mamma ocean. Can’t complain.
Blakestah is getting all jazzed on this groundswell due next week.. 3ft 14seconds are my favorite numbers at OB so hopefully that sucka will pan out just like the ‘Stah says. That would be hella wicked sick!
also.. either there is red tide happening right now or the water is really really dirty.
Shout out to all the ladies out there! Seriously! I don’t know exactly what it is but the SF ladies are so so so fine! Whether you’re the funky Indie girl with the low-cut, ¾ length Ben Davis pants/ huge belt buckle/librarian glasses/ankle tattoo/Maude hair-cut with faint blue highlights or you’re the slightly subversive down-town corporate hottie with the business-suit/fast walk/pumps/bright smile or you’re the low-key/demure/shy girl with freckles and green eyes who wears running shoes and baggy pants and a little flower pin on your stylee jean-jacket and you talk with a slight lisp to your friend as you laugh and enjoy life. Thank you!!! You seriously bring happiness to all us duh-duh, unsophisticated, unrefined boys! Thank you ladies!!!
pics of san diego from www.hisurfadvisory.com
more art from fecalface.com
I guess everybody was surfed out this morning? I didn’t see one other wave-rider during my hour-long sesh. Inevitably when I’m out there alone, and It’s grey and overcast, I start to feel the vibe. You know that vibe. Spooky, subtle, morbid fear. The landlord. The man in grey. But.. I didn’t let it get to me and actually enjoyed a fun, engaging, technical session. The windswell is still doing its thing. Lumpy, slightly-jumbled head-high peaks cruised in with delightful (if you’re waiting for a wave) or punishing (if you’re on the inside) consistency. Let’s see... first ride a fast, shoulder-high left that I pigdogged the take-off.. then backhand pumped and trimmed down the line for a bit. Upon seeing the conditions from the beach before the session my expectations were low, so this first ride got me all stoked. Second ride probably my best of the morning. Steep backside takeoff.. no pigdog.. stayed really low with bent-knees.. bottom turned.. checked off the top and then trimmed down the line.. then a nice glassy section presented itself and I went as vertical as I could up the little wall, carved and turned off the lip as the wave closed-out.. then barely kept my nose from pearling as I came down with the lip rode it out. Cool. Then, as if to humble me immediately.. I took about 12 waves on the head and felt pretty pummeled.. ended up ditching my board and just swimming back out to the lineup. Next wave a right that required a fun, ledgy, steep, quick takeoff.. but then I got caught behind the section... but the drop was nice. A couple more random lefts came through and then another squirty right. The waves were pretty peaky and sensitive to the dynamic bottom contours of the beach.. in other words.. I spent most of the time paddling to stay on this one tasty left peak. Then.. I knew it was getting time for me to head in so I made the mental decision that the next one would be my last… and waited.. and waited.. and tried to take off on a pitching left but got pitched with the lip and wiped it hard.. then paddled back out.. waited.. waited.. continued to wait.. late for work.. etc.. started to get grumpy… back hurting.. ocean why do you do this?? But.. then a scrumptious, bulbous peak came floating toward me.. I positioned myself under the ledge and then held-on for a steep backside drop.. I’ve been trying for the last year to wean myself off the pigdog unless absolutely necessary but on this wave it was.. steep and gurgling and fast and unpredictable.. I sped down the line as the wave sucked and careened.. It tried to buck and throw me off but luckily i was balanced and just held onto the bitch and kept firing through section after section. finally I crashed in about 1 foot of water pretty far on the inside.. oh yeah!! All of a sudden my back didn’t hurt, my grumpiness was gone.. and the stoke was back.. surfing!
Great vibes on the comments yesterday! Shredular!
here's a couple of dank morsels:
usually the guys who make fun of other surf spots like lindy suck.
Linda Mar's cool.
learned on Sammy Steamboat's big red rental boards
it's no wedge, but if you're looking for a beating (short rides, thick barrels, lots of time pinned to sand in 3 ft of water), baker beach will fill the bill.
Baker beach is a legit body whomp spot- I have tested it and been whomped.
Any band that plays the band, is a serious band.
enjoy what you got... hit that shit, and keep sharing the stoke.
I hope everyone got slotted and pitted around here
- Sutro D
I dropped into a mackin set wave, streaked across and zipped into shore heart thumping.
Never so happy to surf some marginal windswell.
Life doesn't get much better.
Saw one guy fully slotted
attributing it to sac as opposed to poor judgement is most gracious!
The best way to assess swell potential is emailing me or Mark Sponsler
Oh, I almost forgot, i had another kid!
Sweet bowls this am.
there ARE girls in bikinis in NorCal, they're just hidden under 4 mm of neoprene. Maybe they should be worn *over* the wetsuits instead. Hm.
You get girls in bikinis at your beach. We get good-size windswell.
- kaiser sose
forgot to wear my earplugs and i brought a little bit of ob to work via my head.
daydreaming of log-gliding at the boatdocks.
Did one huge top turn and it felt so good I had to let out a little yelp.
The waves are back! Yesterday afternoon a new windswell made its way into our area. There might also be traces of the south swell every 10 minutes or so? Surfed yesterday arvo and then the dawnie this morning. Allz I have to say is that it’s nice to surf some chunky waves again! Bagel, Kaiser Roll and myself nugged then looked for nugs out in the refreshingly-thumping head-high wave playground. I got out there a few minutes before Bagel and watched a bunch of glassy, steep A-frames seductively peel all around me… but I couldn’t track one down… The instant that Bagel makes it out to the lineup a solid right rears up for him and he spins and takes off.. then carves one off the top.. Stylee. I think it might have been his first wave in a month or something? Nice one! I proceed to surf about as shitty as I can remember surfing.. even though the waves were righteous. Caught a few racy rights and had a chance to pull this semi-huge lip-hit but I bailed after hitting the lip instead of trying to air-drop down with the crashing wave and land in the flats I just jumped off my board and dove into the maelstrom of white-water. Would have been sick if I’d made it but the wimp in me warned of potential leg-breakage so I bailed it.. Kaiser Sose nabbed a nice backside ride and flew past Bagel and I on his new Hobie egg-board.. the Superman looked pretty smooth and kind-of rode up high on the wall and then back down to the bottom of the wave.. he was moving pretty fast. After a few more face-plants and other uber-kook-outs I ended up trading boards with my friend Brett and got to try his new 5’10” Manny fish. 4 wooden fins, huge swallow tail. Yum Yum Yellow. The thing is beautiful.. and I proceeded to biff it about 4 more times before I finally tracked into a conical right that whipped me along purdy nice. The fish felt small but it paddled well and felt good under my feet on that one ride. It took me a few waves to get used to how short it was. I placed my rear foot way too far back a few times.. not used to the sub 6foot boards. It was nice to surf on a peak filled totally with friends. Waves were hooted, wipeouts encouraged, unmakeable drops celebrated. I also got caught inside multiple times and probably did about 3000 duckdives yesterday. D’oh!
This morning things were a bit glassier.. Lerm and I paddled out all by our lonesome and had a pleasurable sesh. Same peaky, head-high windswell. A few mini-bombs. A few shallow sandbars that caused waves to suck and buckle, barrel and hammer. Pretty strong north-bound current. Lerm surfed really well on his chippy fish. He carved a few cutties on his frontside. A few drops were fun for me and I lined up one speedy lip-bash on my backside. Some sweet sweet sections were on offer. A good surfer could have done some serious damage out there this morning as the juicy was dripping and the shred potential high.
Anyway!! Surf!!! Fucking yeah!!
Robme was kind enough to forward me some pics sent to him by goodmorning
Goodmorning in high-school about to kill himself at Sandy Beach
black and white wall - kinda looks like lindy
this sign is a serious understatement!
Not too much juice but the winds are mellow. Some strange weather this morning as it was dark, overcast and brooding at my house on 45th avenue. It was windy while walking down to the beach. But, while standing on the playa looking at the waves, it wasn’t that blustery. A huge swath of clear, sunny sky hung over the ocean, seemingly a few hundred yards from land. Rays of sunshine beamed down on unsuspecting oil tankers and carrier ships making their way to and from the golden gate. A pod of orcas leapt out of the water, spinning and gyrating in the air as the sun glittered off their slick, svelte skin. They leapt and landed in a pattern that I soon discerned as Beethoven’s fifth symphony. The orcas somehow discovered a way to derive differing tones when their bodies contacted the water after leaping toward the sky. They jammed all the way down the beach.. first Beethoven, then some Wagner, then the unmistakable baseline to Zeppelin's "Dazed and Confused." I was mesmerized and inspired. Fantastic!
The sea surface looked pretty smooth. Small windswell waves lapped onto the inside sandbars of OB. I noticed a semi-zippy, partially-glassy corner section every few minutes. Good longboard conditions as the waves appeared small and slow. A few takers in the middle of the beach and few up at VFers. I saw one dood near Santiago snag a slow-motion, putt-putt down-the-line ride. Looked pretty enjoyable.
Here’s the raging south swell down in southern California... but at least it's glassy!
More pics of the south in so cal (these from yesterday afternoon) photos by Awe F'shore
Blakestah's favorite surf outfit
Mark Brown painting (from fecalface.com)
Top o’ the morning to ya.
Not much on tap at local beaches today.
OB lookin’ small, wimpy, sloppy.
Waves are droopy, disheveled, crumbly.
The wind is light. The air is warm.
With a fish or a log and a trip south you could probably find somethin’.
Friday I drove north, up the coast. I hoped to score some local dawn-patrol waves before leaving the city, thinking the north coast would be blown-out and unsurfable. To my chagrin the wind howled like tortured banshees at OB. My sis and I hooked a Sea-Biscuit breaky and then began our leisurely drive up the 101, through Sepastapol, and then up the coast to the house my parents rent in Mendo. As we approached the Sonoma County ocean and I noticed clouds and fog amassing. I figured the wind would be going bananas, just like in the city. We rounded that final bend in the road and instead saw a beautiful, plate-glass ocean with chest-head-high, oil-smooth peaks loping in up and down the beach! Not having seen glassy waves in over a month I almost caused an accident as I screeched off the road and parked in a little pull-out. Into the wetty and out into the lineup in about 3.2 seconds. My sis rocks for sitting on the beach for an hour while I played and jived in the fun, not-amazing-but-at-least-good chest-high windswell peaks. Not too crowded. Slower waves with the occasional high-performance section. Strong Whitey vibe. Did a few lip-clicks and mini carves. My sis asked why I “didn’t stand up quicker” on my backside.. basically observing that the pig-dog looks lame unless the wave is barreling or close-to. No rippers out there but 10 or 15 happy lads having fun in the ocean.
Let it be known that this same spot was blowing a-gale yesterday afternoon. Totally unsurfable. Soo.. i think that i lucked into a random window of niceness.
Didn’t see any other waves all weekend. Checked all around Mendo and north Sonoma.
Soon it’ll come around.
What’s happenin’ in the east? Hurricane sweetness?
Mural in Dominical
Darrel Collins drawing
Wayne Roten painting of Rincon
Tertius Watson drawing
thanks to http://www.wavescape.co.za/ for the last five images today
I missed the dawn-patrol today. I was up until 3:30 this morning! At first just jamming at the studio, then picking my sis up at the airport at 1am. Now i'm a bit like a zombie.. but.. It looks rather similar to yesterday morning out in the surf zone. Windswelly, a bit dishevelled from the onshore breeze (2mph out of the SW). SF buoy at 4.6ft 8sec. Doable. Probably pretty enjoyable and cruisy. A good day to hunt down corners, work on the subtleties and timing of your take-offs.. maybe try to jump up on the lip while surfing backside. I've seen people do that on slow waves. When you're cruising down the line on your backhand, project your upper body up toward the lip and then kind-of olley your way up onto the lip. After watching this one dude do this every wave at a left point-break i tried it a few times and it wasn't that hard. Whenever i had a little speed and was balanced correctly and the wave just meandered nonchalantly, i would try to hop up into a floater/lip-dance/slow-top-turn. Pretty fun.
anyway.. hopefully i'll have the Alex Martins interview from the newest BASEmag up in the next few hours. be on the lookout. I also had an enlightening interview with next issue's "Underground Ripper" Lewis that i'll provide a little sneak preview of next week.
Tom Servais photos
A wee bit more juice out there this morning. Nothing spectacular, but a consistent flow of swell produced chest-high A-frames, dumpy closeouts and the occasional makeable barrel. Lerm and I surfed all by our lonesome somewhere out in the spooky, foggy, gigantic expanse of empty beach. A few sea-lions swam over to hang out with us, and formations of Pelicans swooped overhead. Most of the waves were small, piddly mushy things but occasionally a larger mound would line up on a sandbar and unload its collective mass in just the right way to produce a steep, shreddable wave-face. Lerm was owning the chest-high nuggies on his backhand. I caught a handful of fun ones too. I got up to the lip with some speed on a right toward the end of the session, which felt good. Good times. I love mid-week foggy dawn-patrols with nobody around. I forgot how much fun it is to just catch waves. Surfing!!
If you read the comments from yesterday afternoon you’ll see that the illustrious BVB is currently struggling through a bit of an ethical dilemma. Turns out that a friend of his, the wife of his friend ‘Bert,’ isn’t exactly happy in her marriage and has the hots for BVB. Check out BVB’s post,
“Ethical question seeing as how it's kinda slow here today and I have time to write and I need help with a most pressing issue.Ok, my wife and I were partying with our friends up at the R-River this weekend. It was way hot. We swam and drank margarita's - had a great lunch then I found myself alone on the deck with my friends wife and she blurts out, ' Are you happy?', her tanned breasts are hanging out of her small top and she can see I am trying not to react to them. No biggie, I say to myself - I can handle this: I say , ' Of course I'm happy - what do you mean!, why?'
'Well... I'm not', she say's and continues:
' - he's (let' s call him Bert) become so boring, sexually, and as a mate he's losing it - all he thinks and cares about is the mortgage and his ability to make the money to keep this house'... and she trials off with a heaving sigh. The entire time she's writhing like a sex starved snake in front of me - all raging nipples and flesh - I can see my wife down on the street below innocently playing with the dog and Bert is in the yard tinkering with his fucked up fence.
So today she sends me these naked photo's of herself. The four of us have been friends for over 10 years - WHAT THE FUCK AM I SUPPOSED TO DO NOW?”
Joe sent me this cool pic from Indo (thanks Joe!)
Seth took this pic of a spot he calls Pickles
I didn't surf this morning... but it looks doable if you like it small and mellow. Blakestah predicts a slight increase in windswell for tomorrow and thursday.. soo we could be locking into a zesty pit or two this time manana? who knows. The wind is light out of the SW.
Not much in the way of major low-pressure systems anywhere in the Pacific right now (according to my newbie interpretation of stormsurf atmospheric models.)The Indian ocean has a phatty system right between capetown and western australia. Margaret River and Indo spots will most likely be niceness in a day or two. The "roaring 40's" in the southern hemisphere seem to be the most significant swell-producing latitude on earth (40th latitude). If you look at a globe you'll notice that the 40th latitude is almost all water. Lots of room for storms to amass. Lots of water to move around. Plenty of area for swell to germinate and then radiate outward... maturing and coalescing... marching toward shore. You might have also noticed that the west coast of most land-masses receive more swell then the east coast.. morocco and france more than the eastern us. California and mexico more than florida and venezuala. Chili more than brazil. Chili more than papa new guinea. oregon more than japan. If i'm not mistaken it's because of the coriolis effect. The spin of the earth on it's axis causes most storms to travel west to east. pushing winds and swell in a generally eastward direction. Exceptions include the typhoons that rip up past the Philippines into japan and the hurricanes that make east coast surfers happy..
meeting for me.. lates..
Thank you Huey for sending a few waves this weekend! A tasty windswell crept in sometime Friday night and provided fun, shoulder-high peaks both Saturday and Sunday mornings. (cheers to Blakestah for making the call!) The wind picked up by around 11am both days, but before that it was relatively smooth and shapely. Nothing to go crazy over but after this huge stretch of lackluster surf it felt nice. After taking a month off due to a chronically tight/gnarled back I jumped in the water Saturday morning. I was pretty nervous and anxious. I thought for sure I’d take one paddle and my whole back would seize up and I’d be on the injured reserve for another month. Once in the water, I tried to paddle and move smoothly and stay conscious of how my back felt. Luckily it felt pretty good and I proceeded to enter the surfy flow that I’d near forgotten. I thought that it would take me a few sessions to regain a feel for surfing but instead it felt like I just picked up were I left off. Caught a few lefts that kind-of doubled-up and churned along a shallow sandbar. I forced myself not to pig-dog and ended up bottom-turning then riding high up on the lip a few times as the wave gulped-out and raced along. I stayed really low over my board and was able to whack the lip on my backside a few times. A few good-looking rights swept through as well. I kooked-it on a particularly nice right where I slightly biffed the take-off and then found myself barely behind the section the whole wave. I just couldn’t get out ahead of the whitewater onto the open face..
Anway.. then Sunday was fun too.. Lerm and I shared a semi-legit peak with a few other heads. Good times. One guy approached “ripping” status. I learned a lot from watching the way he micro-balanced himself on the board.. then with subtle ticks and pumps set himself up for vertical lip-hits and roundhouse cutties. The only bummer was that he and his friend paddled RIGHT to the spot where Lerm and I sat, even though huge stretches of beach were completely deserted in either direction, with nice empty peaks. After they paddled out Lerm and I just paddled away.
if you're going for a surf and you see an empty peak, then you see a peak with a few people on it. Go surf the empty peak. Spread the love.
Then this morning I surfed too. The swell is almost gone. Just tiny wavelets marching in. I only surfed for about 40 minutes but managed 2 down-the-line rights in that time. Then another 4 or 5 mushy, nothing drops that were still enjoyable. Just good to dunk the ol’ noggin in the salty brine. I forgot what a good morning head-clearer surfing is.
Cool.. I’m heading to Mendo at the end of this week. Doesn’t look like too much groundswell will be in the mix..
Excerpts from the recent Gerry Lopez interview in surfer mag:
SURFERmag: And what do those moments do for you?
GERRY LOPEZ: They make you understand and believe that you’re here for a reason. It’s something that’s undeniable and something that’s indelible. It’s there...the foundation everything else wraps around. So no matter what, no matter how much shit you pile on top of it, it’s there and all you have to do is, y’know...
SURFERmag: Peel the layers?
GERRY LOPEZ: Yeah, get down to the center of it. That’s what life is. I think everybody at some point in life understands that, or at least sees it for a moment. They may forget it two minutes later, but it’s shining through in that moment.
SURFERmag: So has your life been the Gerry Lopez cakewalk it appears to be or have you experienced major periods of conflict?
GERRY LOPEZ: (Laughs) No. It’s never a cakewalk. Life is the most difficult thing there is, but the thing that’s reassuring is as time goes by you get more and more glimpses of what really matters. You finally accept it and realize that it’s there and you go, “There it is, I just have to keep getting there.” To be truly successful at riding a wave we’re approaching a Zen state of mind, and that’s why surfing...especially surfing well...is so satisfying. You’ve banished all those extraneous thoughts from your mind and you’re in the pure moment. Other parts of your life might be in shambles, but because you’re tapping into the source you’re truly happy.
SURFERmag: Is that why surfing is such an obsession?
GERRY LOPEZ: Definitely, but those pure moments are available whether you’re riding a wave or pushing a lawn mower. You’ve just got to figure out how to get to them. That’s what we’re here for, to figure that out. That’s part of man’s evolutionary process.
Gerry Lopez at G-land
longboarding photos from surfermag.com
More of the same summer stuff you’ve grown to love… err… it’s small, piddling, inconsequential. At the same time it could be fun with the right attitude. If you’re just looking to swim around a bit and maybe snark into some mini-gliders on your super-mal, you might be psyched. If you’re looking to just float on your back and relax as non-threatening wavelets pass underneath, you could be satisfied. Or if you’re back clenches up in pain the moment you sit up in bed.. you might be deeply relieved that it’s not going off out there… or something.. Blakestah and others (surfpulse, wetsand) all predict a little bump in swell from the NW so that could be exciting.
Cool.. soo.. I’ll throw down some more pro-surfer reviews.. it’s pretty fun to write ‘em.
Kamalei Alexander - Deep in the Kauai wolfpack. Big brother is Kala Alexander, who was one of the rough-necks in Blue Crush (tattooed, ripped). Kamalei is featured in many of the Volcom vids including Computer Body, Football Schmootball and Magna Plasm. The guy friggin’ rips and has a smooth, aggressive, ballsy style. In one of the videos he successfully air-drops into one gaping Backdoor pit after another. He just keeps taking off inside the barrel and somehow gets spat-out alive every time. Cat-like. Slater-like. Has a knack for stuffing himself back into barrels. He’ll be maneuvering down the line, then all-of-a-sudden he’ll stall like a mother-fucker and cram himself back into the barrel. Crew up surfing with the Irons brothers. Distinctive style. Inspiring to watch surf. Produced the movie, "Ahead," which features the whole wolfpack, and also the Irons brothers and all the Kauai boys. Don’t know anything about his personality or character but his brother made the internet rounds a few months ago beating the shit out of some California surfer who refused to paddle in during the pipeline bodyboarding contest. Kala got this guy on the beach and just pummeled him with his elbows in front of a huge crowd of onlookers. No joke.
Wardo – Hyper-talented San Clemente loose cannon. Barrel hound. Absolutely fearless and probably doesn’t really care if he dies. Or.. at least.. he’s very willing to put himself on the line. Can pop and land airs without even thinking about it. Rules it at shallow, barreling spots like the Box and Off the Wall. Has a kid. Likes to wrestle with Flea or whoever. Doesn’t mind fighting. Innovative, cutting-edge surfing. Huge floaters, carving 360s, deep barrels, the whole nine. Most likely will finally make the tour this year, which shows some character and perseverance from Wardo because he’s been super close the last few years and just barely missed making the cut. Last year it came down to the last WQS event at Haleiwa and Wardo missed out by one heat. Doesn’t come off like the smartest kid in school but damn can the dude surf.
Archy – Cruisy, older-school, tattooed San Clemente legend. Best backhand in the game? The Arch was one of the first surfers to leverage his “look” (in conjunction with his sophisticated, bad-ass surfing) into lucrative endorsement deals… ala Donovan, Rasta, etc. He likes the rockabilly style with greased hair, hot-rods, 50’s rolled up jeans, wife-beaters, etc. “Addiction, the Archy story” is a great flick to add to your collection. Archy simply destroys it in any conditions. Developed a huge reputation virtually owning Off the Wall and Backdoor for a good stretch of the late 80’s, early 90s. Has a son who reportedly rips. Comes across like a mellow, likeable guy. Has struggled with alcohol addiction. Extremely loose, quick, agile and athletic on a surfboard. Fucking attacks lips. Still enters air shows even though he might be getting close to 40 years old and does well in them? Legend has it that Archy was pulling 360s within his first month of surfing (T-street, san clemente pier). Timmy Patterson shapes his boards. One of my favorite surfers.
I saw a few *maybe* sections at VFWs this morning. It’s not lake-flat. There are waves. If my back were pain-free I might have jumped in just to jump in. We’re at the bottom of the valley right now and there’s nowhere to go but up.
Ode to Summer:
Fog enshrouds. Coolness pervades. Somber greys fill the mood of the city. Flashes of sunshine tease but the fog regains control. North Pacific hibernates. South Pacific pump majestic swells that rarely alight our shores. Onshore wind dominates like a power-drunk dictator. Onshore wind crushes like a Mac-truck gone rabid. Onshore wind knows no respite. Onshore wind come on now homie! Girls pine to don halter-tops but the chilly breeze keeps their sun-starved skin under wraps. Bikinis exist somewhere but not here. The summer exists somewhere but not here. Tahoe warmth reminds of seasonal change. Take a jog, don’t need to sweat. Can’t complain about the lack of bugs. Can’t complain about the refreshing chill. Can’t complain about this cosmopolitan city. Can't complain about the comfy, cozy, snuggly evenings. But.. we miss the physical and psychological loosening that the sticky warm muggy hotness provides. The lush, verdant, sky-reaching cornucopia of vegetative growth. The heat! The natural world expanding and blossoming to meet the sweltering environs. Bugs and birds and kids and bbqs and lawnmowers and shirts-off chilling and flip-flops and sunburn and beach-missions and lazy hot laziness..
Summer.. where have you gone?
But.. fall’s around the corner.. oh yeah!
art by John Coopwood
east coast pics from localswell.com
Again a repeat of the same ol' stuff. A few stout lads were having a go of it down near Lincoln. They looked to be having a good time. I saw one of them almost catch a little waist-high dribbler. It's blowing onshore purdy hard at the beach. Blakestah mentions that a 2ft 14sec south is producing waves.. soo.. maybe get up to Bobo or down to the greater Santa Crustaceous area for some groundswell action. The 'Stah also reports activity up in the Gulf of Alaska... so we might start seeing some olas grande this weekend.. hmmm...
In Right coast news, the east is feelin' the pulses from Hurricane (tropical storm?) Alex. Here are a couple reports from joemac.com (new jersey surf site)
Double overhead big long lines but big long lulls. Get on it get out there as fast as you can. LBI is the place to be all day I bet. I wonder if anybody down there will submit a report?
Some really fun waves coming through around chest to head high with the occassional bigger set-it has gotten bigger since this morning so get on it and have a blast-shold be fun all day!
Update-Waves have built to head high+ perfection- time to bring out the Duke K. board!
soo.. Kus, Drdy, J.O.C., Hennessey and all you east coast grovelers! Enjoy that shit!! let us wave-starved Californians know what's happening. This is what east coast surfers live for! The Hurricanes are here. East Coast represent!
Anybody have any old distortion pedals they're not using and wouldn't mind selling? preferably Blues Driver or Tube Screamer but i'd try anything..
If you liked Kem Nunn's books, "Dogs of Winter" and "Tapping the Source," he just came out with his newest work, "Tijuana Straits."
couple random photos
I feel like a broken record. But.. it’s more of the same waist-high windblown drivel out there at local beachies. It’s surfable at OB. I saw one guy out near the middle on a log. With a shortboard and the right attitude you could work on quick, little drops in shallow water and probably have a grand time. No duckdiving necessary. No crowd issues. No 2-wave hold-downs. Just mellow, crappy oceanic enjoyment. Not sure what SMC beaches look like but I don’t expect that they’re firing on all cylinders or anything. But… dunno..
My main homie Kus from Jersey writes,
alex in da house. Due south swell angle and juice.
Place is gonna be jumpin'.
Sooo.. all you east-coasters break out your bigger boards and get ready for some east-coast barrel action.
Do you ever get the feeling that you’re not living up to your potential, that you’re wasting a good portion of every day? Do you ever feel like you want to make a positive impact on other people but you’re just wallowing in your own un-fulfilled world, treading water as the days and months float past? Idealistic dreams from adolescence blinking out one by one as the weighty press of reality sets in. Human civilization as an ant colony. Each thinking he’s the center of universe when in reality he’s but one of many. The stench of mediocrity setting in. Desire for self-actualization. Desire for interesting, engaging work. Desire for human interaction. Desire for love. Desire for comfort, relaxation and stability. But then everyday comfort grows tiresome and the desire spectrum shifts to progression, change, novelty, growth. Goal-oriented or living in the now? Balance? Happiness fleeting. The human condition. Pain has no meaning without joy. Wealth has no meaning without poverty. Fulfillment has no meaning without mental anguish. I don't know what i'm talking about.. i'm just jabbering and regurgitating unpolished thoughts as they burp up.
Couple shots from OB this morning
Here is my music gear, along with Dennis' Fender Super 60 amp.
Skate bowl at Yerba Beuna
I poached this photo at Yerba Beuna, then got yelled at for taking pictures
Here's a little reminder for myself that there was a time when i wasn't a cripple and i could actual ride waves and not worry about back spazms. ahh.. those were the days.. (Bruce photo)
What’s up surf-heads. Yet another repeat of the seemingly endless string of small, onshore, disorganized, sloppy surf. However, It’s well within doable range and probably pretty fun out there. I’m giving my back as much time as I can but at this point if I see a glassy wave I’m out there. I feel really thankful that my injury has coincided with such legendarily shitstein waves. If I was forced to take a month off in November I’d be crying! Fingers crossed that I won’t!
Saturday looked grey, windy and disorganized at the beach. At around 5:30 I took a stroll, just to reintegrate my mind with the movement of the ocean. I watched a lonely surfer make his way out to the lineup and then catch squirty ride after blippy ride. Looked like good fun. He even found a lip or 7 to hit. Good on that guy! And then I stumbled into what seemed like a giant burning man party. These inebriated revelers constructed a huge wind barrier on the beach. They also set up a gigantic trampoline and had this huge sound system blasting dance music. The crowd was mostly dressed (cross-dressed) in colorful dresses and huge wigs and make-up and cave-man gear. The party was mostly guys with a few, fluorescent-fur-clad ladies in the mix. I wandered over to check it out and this 6’ 4” british guy with a pippy longstockings wig introduced himself to me and then kind-of hugged me to his bosom! He then pranced me around the party and introduced me to many of the partiers. He then asked me to pull his dress down! Umm.. yeah.. I respectfully refused and extricated myself from his grasp. I think most of the partiers were homosexual and they may have been either on E or trippin. It was 5:30 pm on a foggy, chilly Saturday afternoon and they were raging at OB.. good on em’!
Then Sunday Lerm and I checked it in the morning but decided to take a pass and go over to Secret Studios for a little jimmy-jam instead. It was even smaller yesterday than it was on saturday.. but.. still surfable! We rocked it Cranial Bulge styleeee and I got a chance to test out my new amp. After much wishy-washying I decided to go with the Fender Concert. It's a blackface reissue from '98. Thanks Dennis for letting me try out your Super 60 and thanks to the dude who let me try to Vibrolux Reverb and thanks to Pat for letting me try his Deluxe Reverb Reissue. I’m really happy with my amp purchase. The Concert is basically the same as the Twin Reverb ‘cept it has 60 watts instead of 85 and it only has one 12” speaker. But.. fuck.. the thing has loads of clean headroom and sounds all warm and comfy and rich and sparkling. I’m psyched. Hans Blix and Inspectors practice tonight so we’ll see how it sounds with a serious drummer mixing it up underneath.
Oh yeah.. then yesterday afternoon my friend rented this 43foot sailboat and we sailed all around the bay, for about 6 hours. I used to have romantic notions of buying a big sailboat and sailing out to the south pacific for a year of cruising around, surfing various mysto reef passes and anchoring in exotic, tropical island lagoons. However, yesterday’s tumultuous journey in the bay re-awakened my awareness that I’m a landlubber city-boy at heart and I’ll never be at home on the open sea.. or bay.. Hats off to all you sailer-folk that can deal with the constant rocking!! Fuck that! I was kissing the concrete when we landed in Alameda!!
also.. there are a bunch of people who emailed me about BASE-mag and other things and i've been a slacker about emailing back.. sorry..
Bruce Irons photos from sargesdailysurf.com
funky but functional bottom-turn.. Bruce is probably moving at mach 18 here
barrelled. Nothing new for the likes of Bruce.