Woke up at the wee hours. Got in my car and listened to some mesmerizing Gypsy music on 90.3 KUSF as I road-tripped in the dark. The pre-pre-dawn crew milling about on their way to work… making donuts? Trading currency? Coming home from some serious partying? Found some waves and rode a few. Beautiful misty morning. Swell coming in sets from 6:30 to 7:15 but then almost disappearing. Locked into a few waves early in the session but, as usual, got humbled just as I began to believe that I could actually do this thing called surfing. If the ocean doesn’t humble you then other surfers will. Good surfers make good surfing look so easy. All the minutia and subtleties of the art form get effortlessly played out by those who rip. It’s a long, committed road to mastery. Those who achieve it get there via natural talent, diligence, passion, community and good waves. It seems that most of the best surfers are gifted natural athletes who also had the good fortune to surf in a group of like-minded friends at a young age who all pushed each-other. There are also examples of rippers like Lewis who grew up in a relative vacuum but excelled anyway, learning the art of high-quality surfing from videos, road-trips and the like. The common denominator amongst most great surfers seems to be athleticism and balls. They all have good body dynamics and coordination, and they all are willing to put themselves in seemingly gnarly situations. The other common denominator is style. Whether it be loose and flowy or aggressive and hard-charging, idiosyncratic and comical or expressive and radical. Surfing is an art form where human beings express themselves on a liquid canvas. How does each surfer connect and meld with the wave? How does each surfer interpret and celebrate the pattern of the wave's shape? What mood or melody do they play? Which do you play?
Thumpy, empty, brutish and snarling. Again with the grey on grey ensemble. I blindly took the plunge this morning and it’s good that I did because I may not have elected to surf if I’d seen conditions beforehand. The swell seemed a tad larger than yesterday morning. Waves were buckling, groping and rising on shallow sandbars and then pounding down with angry force. Thick foamy barrels on hand. A ripper might get him/herself in some gloriously tight spots on the wave. Periods of relative calm interspersed with sets of 6 or 7 head-high A-frames that would generally close-out in monstrous fashion. Solid OB conditions. Small but muscular… at least on the low tide this morning. It’s out there if you want it. And you can have it all by your lonesome.
Yesterday it seems that the mid-day crew scored high-quality, glassy, sunny succulence. Good on ya if you got some of that. By the time I got off work downtown, all frothing to surf, the fog had rolled in, along with the wind and the gloom. I was so anxious to get some waves that I couldn’t wait for the N Judah (why do you never come when I’m in a hurry N-Judah! You suck!) and decided to take the L-Taraval and then run the 12 blocks to my house. I was basically sprinting along the Great Highway (the lesser). As I passed surfers coming in from their sessions I would ask “Howzit out there?” I received a comical assortment of appraisals. “Crappy, it’s gone to shit.” “Ya should’ve been here two hours ago.” “It’s still pretty epic bro, get out there.” I really liked that last one so I sprinted up my street, suited up and then virtually swam through the pea-soup fog out to the beach and then to the lineup. No sight of land from the water. No other surfers around. Nothing except for grayness, fog, disheveled/warbled/peaky/fun waves, the landlord, thoughts of the landlord, and a general spooky, eerie, twilight zone-esque quality to the situation. There was this one gnarly sandbar out there in the fog which caused waves to warp, barrel and hammer. I flitted with this anomaly and eventually tagged into a cruise left or 3. But eventually I just got so spooked out in the darkening foggy scariness that I came in. While out there I thought I was drifting north really fast, but as I came to shore I realized I hadn’t drifted one inch.. weeeirrrddd!!
Anyhoo.. blakestah.. dood. Your forcasts are the shit man. Don’t let a few grumpy surfers spoil a good thing. Your forcasts are part of what it means to be a computer-locked bay area surfer.
It also dawned on me yesterday how insular and myopic us internet denizens can be. I talked with a few surfers about where they got there forcasts and 3 or 4 separate individuals all said they called the Wise phone report and hadn’t heard of E’s surf report or Blakestah’s site. It’s just a small percentage of us surfers who are locked into the computer all day and live in this virtual world for 8 hours every day. Anyway.. just a thought.
africa (photo by marc johnson)
puerto (there were some mini versions of waves like this today)
Randy Bloomfeld photo of Tavarua
Howdy surf fans.
“Easy like Tuesday morning.” Good times out in the drink before work today. Anyone complaining about crowds should’ve joined Kaiser Sose, Bagel and I out there. Other than a few loggers and a squadron of territorial sea lions there was nobody around for miles and miles. A grey sky combined with a grey sea to form a muted, calm, monochromatic pastiche. Fun, chunky, head-high blips and blaps cruised in from their nor-pac origins and alighted the inner bars with racy, shallow, quirky meat. Narrels and Barrels a’plenty for the skilled, quick and picky surfer. Hein, spine-crunching wipeouts for the sluggish or haphazard. Bagel styled it (as usual) on his new, Elias-shaped super-fish. That board is bad-ass. Nice work Elias! It looks freaky, with a really wide front-end and barely any rocker and some handmade-looking parallel wooden twinfins. Some of Bagel’s tweaky imaginary characters are silk-screened on the front and back. The stick basically looks tight! Bagel made it ride real smooth on a bunch of rights and even ripped the top off a wave with this one particular top-turn that was shreddy. Niiice. Kaiser Sose took off on some bombs and Bruce would’ve been proud on a few Superman efforts. For the most part though the Kaiser Roll is becoming more discerning in his wave selection and has been seen tearing down the line on his new favorite 6’6” orange egg. He caught a fast backside ride this morning and Bagel and I watched from the lineup as he bumped and rode high on the lip.. workin’ it. Some fun stuff out there. Pretty ugly looking from the lot.. but.. once out there it’s fun and kinda high-performance. Ramps, walls, barrels, close-outs, sucky/gurgly/chocolaty weirdness, etc.
Soo.. shiiit. Blakestah’s site is still down. I personally think the Stah’s predictions are rad and I like to have an idea in my head of what’s going to happen in the next few days. It gets me pumped. If you know what you’re doing and you’re not surfing on Saturday and Sunday from 9-11, or after work during the week, then crowds are really a non-issue in the bay area… in my humble opinion. Soo. Stah.. My vote is that you keep it up. If you’re really going to desist from predictions for the next month, it will be interesting to note the change in crowd (if any) when the next swell pulses in. hmmmm…
sorry about the gnarly technical issues going on right now here at Niceness.. hopefully we'll get them sorted out soon.
Well… this morning looks hacked, frumpy and blowy… at least.. from three blocks away it does!! Ha. For the sake of my state of mind I hope it’s shitstein out there. I saw the trees outside my window dancing in the breeze so I succumbed to the temping balm of slumber for another hour. Riding to work on my bike around 8:20 I saw the whitecaps out there.
Yesterday, however! Yesterday!! Damn! I got it all in my head that I wanted to surf somewhere *other* than OB yesterday. You know, sample the incredibly varied coastal goods, refine the subtleties of my game through exploring different spots, yadda yadda. Soo.. I pull out and check Ortega, just to see what it looks like. Even thought the winds flirting with harsh it’s large, clean and rad! Only one guy out too. Damn! Waves breaking on the outer bars, alternatively mushing then lining up. Kinda daunting looking. Then I cruised down to Sliz. Shit’s kinda on fire down there. Glassy, overhead walls… peeling, mushing, barreling. I watched one guy just kill it down the line… bottom turn – WHACK off the top – bottom turn – WHACK off the top. Shit! But.. I was feeling lazy and wanted to get my road trip on. Soo.. I figured with this much swell and relatively mellow winds I’d find something in north santa cruise county. Right?? Beautiful drive down the coast, past all the spots, crazy pumpkin and corn castle/maze near Don’t Eat Us Creek. Full-on Karate tournament at Bean Hollow beach. Saw some guy get smacked down. Waddell unreal-looking with legions of colorful kite-surfers. Getting huge airs and generally shredding. Shit. That’s not a good sign for the wind-situation. Spots south of waddell…tiny, windy, no waves! Huh! Guh? 4-mile only 5 guys out. Sweet! But.. wait.. I’ve been standing here 10 minutes and haven’t seen one ride. Hmm.. down into town.. all of a sudden it’s summertime. Bikinis on rollerskates, Tough bros walking their Pit-Bulls, beach cruisers. People at Natty Bridges swimming and wading with no wetties.. hmm.. Down to the Lane.. Uber glassy, tiny wavelets forming up and peeling into the slot and middle-peak. Only about 15 people out and not many rippers. Not much out there to rip. I’m out there. Mellow-yellow session. Caught a handful of insiders and eeked my way down the line, hunting for miniscule power-pockets in the wave. Crouching into a tiny ball and just trimming down the glassiness, kelp trying to hold me back but no way kelp, you can’t stop me. Mellow vibes for the Lane. A few solid chunkies came through at the slot but I didn’t catch any of em. Then I walked down to the skate park and watched some dudes shredding on the half-pipe and mini-pipe. Cool to see everyone with their own style. Skating is so freestyle-based. Infinity of maneuvers out there and each pulls em’ in their own fashion, with their own body-dynamics. One little kid couldn’t have been older than 5 dropping in and making it happen. No fear. Skater dad coaching from the lip.
OB was the place to be from here to SC.
You heard it from me, the kook they call e.
Soo.. with Niceness’ new host we’ve been experiencing technical difficulties. Slow loading times. Funkiness while posting comments. Style-sheets not loading (white screen with huge text). After discussing it with mwsf there is not really much that can be done except to get a new host. Soo.. shiitt.. it would be nice to have niceness all fast and tight, easy to check from work without having to fidget with the refresh button for it to load. Anyone out there willing to host niceness? There are no large files that get served. Mostly just text and optimized images. It’s pretty low-maintenance once set up. There could also be some serious perks in it for ya! Anyone have opinions about whether this is even necessary.. (i.e. do it, checking the surf report has become painful due to the slow loading times. Or.. no need man, everything looks smooth for me)
Asp contest in france right now.
Russia (from surfersvillage.com)
Curren pitted in the Sickle and Hammer
Our hero in Red Square
Lindy this morning
another cool Lindy shot
Hey everyone. Hopefully bay-area computer-bound surfers got some serious work done yesterday with this site in hibernation. I woke up with a nasty sore-throat, then slept till 11am. Then surfed for a bit.. then slept from 2-6pm, then surfed from 6:30-8, then slept from 9:15 until this morning. Soo.. a recovery day with mellow surf sessions as the medication of choice. As the sun set last night the waves turned on and offered up extremely enjoyable, zippy, nuggy lil’ nugs. Waves peaked up on various shallow sandbars, wedging and peeling and looking really nice. A few peaks did their best “mini-Indo” impressions as they barreled and peeled, all glassy and perfect… but small. I actually locked into one of these beauties and enjoyed a split-second “narrel.” I paddled a few strokes and then slide-slipped down the face and just tucked up into a small, tight package, trying to stay back in the pocket. The smooth, conical, reflective wave wrapped around my right side and I felt momentarily embraced by that enigmatic force of oceanic energy. I also managed an extremely kookified “air.” I had a lot of speed coming out of this one section and the wave ahead of me presented a rampy-looking wall.. I did a few preparatory pumps and then tried to “air” off the wall.. Jeez.. It must have looked really ugly.. I think I did manage to get my board into the air but my whole body was all flailed out and I ended up just shooting my board away from me and wiping it. Ha! It’s farking tough to pull an air and land the bieatch. At least for me.
Then last night I had my second ever dream where I was actually surfing. For some reason I think I was traveling somewhere in the Straits of Juan De Fuca. Conditions were glassy and peaky, with A-frames all over the place, mostly resulting in sweet, long lefts. I remember taking off on this wave and the surface was all smooth and green.. I had really good balance and positioning on my backhand and fired off a series of bottom-turn/snap combos. I remember really torquing off the top and tossing tons of spray. There were huge splotches of weird yellow foam in the water too. Hmmmm..
it sounds like certain San Mateo county spots are still feeling the affection of this south swell. OB was fun but really small yesterday, so maybe a trip south will serve your wave-jonesing needs? just watch out for murderous knife-weilding dads and the ever-daunting presence of the tooth.
the tooth is out there.
If you could trade places with any living human for a week who would it be?
Who’s the sexiest person?
J-Bay or G-land?
Steamer Lane or Pleasure Point?
Malibu or Rincon?
Friday night or Saturday night?
Oahu or Kauai ?
Missionary or doggy?
Pancakes or French toast?
Barrels or nooky?
Ganja or beers?
Punk or Metal?
Miles or Coltrane?
Snowboarding or skateboarding?
jdz sent me some photos of a mysto so-cal beach break during this last south swell
Not sure what happened to the swell? Last night thick pockets of south swell juice pulsed into our beloved OB. Fast, high-performance, rampy lefts could be seem peeling up and down the beach. The surface was slightly ruffled but nothing too detrimental. As the sun set and the last of the daylight faded, surfers looked to each other with a knowing grin that said, “yeah, it was good this afternoon, but tomorrow morning should be killer!” As predicted, the wind calmed to an absolute stillness this morning and the weather beamed cool and immaculate. The sea-surface appeared smooth and inviting.. But.. the south swell!?! Where art thou oh south swell of yore? Maybe?? one or two pulses of extremely residual south swell energy made it’s presence known… maybe. Otherwise the morning offered up just a meager helping of faint NW windswell. Glassy, potentially perfect longboard waves on the inside peeled and beckoned from shore. Unfortunately most of those glorious-looking waves ended up being too mushy or weak to allow for proper shortboard revelry. Lerm locked into one of the only tasty morsels on offer, lurching over the ledge of a succulent, double-up left and working his way down the line on the old-school Green Lantern board. That wave was purdy! Yesterday and today I returned to surfing on ye ol’ Brown Turd (6’6” Coffey thruster) and wow, let’s just say it felt extremely comfortable to be back on the old stick. Compared to the RFS demo the Brown Turd felt so much more exacting in its responsiveness. My rides felt soo soo much more tight and fluid, smooth and energetic. I felt like I could harness my speed off the drop and torque off the bottom and occasionally off the top… My balance, positioning and flow felt really natural and easy, compared to the RFS demo board where I felt constantly off-balance and lacking in confidence. I felt like pumping on the thruster resulted in a bum-rush of speed down the line while on the RFS it resulted in bogging and even falling behind the section. I’ll probably give the RFS demo board one more try.. but.. shit.. if nothing else this little trial has shown me how grateful I am for Simon Anderson’s invention, the three finned surfboard!! I’d like to try a non-RFS single-fin shortboard to see how much of the feel is due to the rotating fin and how much due to the single-fin in general. I commend Blakestah for his inventiveness and his willingness to go out on a limb and experiment with a new idea.. but unfortunately (for me!) i just haven't been able to find my groove on it. Could be the waves, could be the board, could be the fin, could be the surfer.. in fact most definitely it is the surfer.. who's a bit of a kook. but.. regardless.. i couldn't lock it in and in my opinion the three-finned shortboard rides world's better.
HB with some swell
Suited up in the yard and scampered down to the local this morning. Didn’t want to deal with the “masses” of 10 or so folks at either end of the beach, though conditions may have been better up at Kelly’s or down at Sliz? Dunno. Lerm, Christian, Anastasia and I enjoyed a pleasant session with nobody else around somewhere in the Pacific Ocean. Peaky, strangely shaped shoulder/head high waves wafted in every few minutes. They would often bowl-up and break steeply but then back off and mush-out. Hard to get in the exact right spot but if you did, good things could happen. Christian found some chunkified corners and I saw him zip along backside on a somewhat phatty wave that then closed out violently... on my head. Lerm also watched Christian milk and work a long, tapering left. Teasing it like a Sufi snakecharmer. Good surfers make it look easy. Anastasia also took off on some solid humps of aquatic energy, maneuvering her egg-board like it was a little toothpick potato chip. I, personally, struggled out there this morning. Riding the RFS again I had difficulty getting into the flow. I think I’m having a hard time adjusting to riding a single fin. It feels really unresponsive while moving down the line. My normal pumping technique is all thrown off and I haven’t been able to capitalize on little pockets of energy in the wave like I can on my thruster. I basically feel like the board is sluggish and bogged down. On steep drops it holds a tight line really nice. I like how it feels when I slide-slip down the face on pitchy drops. But off the bottom, man, it feels really slow and dull, like I have to labor to get it to react. I have a tendency to think that it’s not the board, it’s me. The board doesn’t suck, I suck! It’s probably true. I mean.. on the OP pro Mentawais video Kaiser let me borrow Occy absolutely destroys it at No-Kanduis on a retro single-fin shortboard shape. Soo.. it’s not the single fin.. maybe it’s the RFS?? I don’t know.. but over the last 4 sessions I really haven’t been able to meld with the board. I feel like my progression has been stilted and I’m suddenly down 4 notches in surfing ability from where I usually am, just trying to maintain trim rather than being on top of shit and looking to burn speed by hitting the lip and cutting back. I want to be on top of my game out there but I feel held-back by the board. Is that just a product of surfing a new board? How many of you have surfed single fin shortboards?
Anyway.. it’s fun out there. Probably waves all up and down the coast today. Very little wind. Both a south swell and NW windswell making their presence felt. Good vibes blue sky. A good day to be a surfer in California.. Enjoy!
also.. about the site funkiness. It turns out that mwsf allready has a blog spam blocker set up.. soo.. it's not the spam that's hurting things.. Niceness recently switched DSL providers and mwsf thinks that the new provider (sbc) sucks for hosting.. It would be helpful for us to know what kinds of problems you're experiencing (pages won't load the until you hit refresh twice, comments won't post, long delays, etc.) Sooo please either kick me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or just describe your problem in the message board.. Or.. if you're not having any problems maybe mention that too. Thanks everyone! trying to get things smoothed out on the backend.. we know that you heads like a smooth backside..err. backend..
Slates on one of those lefts that cost him the final... i think he did a huge rebound/roundhouse on this wave and came unstuck in the whitewater.
Joel... with style to burn
Rocky sent in this photo of ****. This is the wave were Curren rides the fish and gets nutso barrels. ALso where Rasta and Dan Malloy ride those Gerry Lopez guns at the end of Sprout.
Howdy surfies. Glassy this morning. Not too much in the way of rideable waves however. A few corners in the mix. Once in a while a chunky south-swell peak will rise up if you’re at the right spot. Gazing out at the ocean from the middle of the sunset district conditions looked fantastic. Shellacked, smoothed sea-surface. Peaky, fun, consistent wavelets. But upon closer inspection the variables aren’t coming together in harmonious synchronicity. One boogie caught a few steepies right as Lerm and I shivered in the early morning freeze, deliberating about whether to take the plunge. One minute it appeared fun and worthy, then the next 10 minutes nothing would come through. Hmmm… in hindsite, as usual, we probably should’ve suited up and charged it.. But.. with visions of warm femalian bodies and beds and books dancing in our heads, we snuck back into our voitures and high-tailed it home for an additional 40 minutes of snoozin’.
It’s definitely highly doable. The south swell is showing every 10 minutes with sizeable, peaky chunks. With the right tide and sandbar/reef, good things could happen. I’d imagine that SC is feelin’ some lurve? Maybe other mysto spots that only happen a few times a year but like slack wind and 185 degree souths??? Think about it.. hmm…
Saw Sprout over the weekend. Very impressive. Beautiful, artistic, refined, unusual surf film. Nice and long. Gorgeous, unbelievable, never-ending pointbreak after gorgeous, unbelievable, never-ending pointbreak. Dan Malloy and Rasta blowing minds with their stylish, aggressive, balls-out ripping. Tons of longboarding too, which I really admire and respect.. but.. to be honest, I still can’t get past the impression that even world-class longboarding looks a bit “kooky.” Maybe it’s because I was raised on shortboarding and my first videos were “Strike Force” and “Wave Warriors 3” back in Junior high.. But.. I find the full-speed, S-turning, carving, shredding, high-intensity aesthetic of shortboarding much more beautiful and amazing then the gentle, touch-oriented, subtle, light-footed logging.. Flame me all you want.. but.. even though I have a total appreciation for how difficult all that longboarding stuff is.. in my opinion it just doesn’t look as cool and radical shortboard improvisation.. just my two cents. Regardless of your tastes in boardlength, Sprout has something for you. Dan Malloy kills it on a finless shortbaord. Rasta and Ozzie Wright mat ride in Sumatra. Bonzers, Eggs, fish, boogies, human bodies, logs, etc.. The basic premise of the movie is/was to explore the art of riding waves on as many mediums as possible. Good stuff. Shot on emotion-enducing 16mm film too..
Soo.. Boost Mobile Pro at Trestles might be finishing today. Luke Egan is beating CJ hobgood right now in the Quarters. Slates is still in it.. So is Cory Lopez. www.aspworldtour.com
trestles (photo from sargesdailysurf.com)
trestles.. the definition of "fun surf"... except for the crowd!
Luuuuke! (just beat CJ! yah!)
Some random and his lady
Not much time for a report but the waves are out there this morning. A bit sloppy, a bit junky but also interesting and rich in character. Good surfers will find heaps o’ sections. Beginners might cringe at the frequency of duckdives. I watched a few smooth barrels crack and peel. As usual OB suffered from some gurgling, swirling inside current/rip/weirdness that often funked up otherwise good-looking peaks. It’s sunny and pleasant at the beach with a faint SW breeze. It's cool to think that Occy might have been riding a wave at Trestles generated from the same pulse of wind as a wave i rode this morning at OB.
I surfed the RFS again and liked it more this time than last.
California Coastal Cleanup Day tomorrow.
Sprout playing tonight and tomorrow night in the mission.
More fun today than yesterday (for me at least).. unless you really like those dredging, chocolate, body-beating barrels. Still some juice out there but more manageable and not so punishing. Far less people around this morning too, maybe because of all the beat-downs yesterday? Surfed again with the DP crew of Kaiser Sose and Lerminade. As I paddled out, a few minutes after those heads, I see Lerm take off on a mean, angry, inner-bar left. He takes off and air-drops for a few moments, then he kind-of squeezes into a little closeout barrel but just gets annihilated and eaten, his board shooting up in the air. Nice. While it wasn’t so large or gnarlsburg out there this morning, there still was a really shallow patch where wave after wave after wave would just ledge up and unload. Barrels for the skilled. Beatings for the unskilled. Kaiser Roll took off on some mackers early. Good on the Kaiser. I also found some quality rights and enjoyed a few high-speed blissful moments while accelerating down the line. I had a few hein wipeouts too. Always better to go on the ones that are questionable and wipeout than to not go and be left bummed that you didn’t turn and burn. As the session wore on the wave-quality seemed to dwindle. Lots of warbles and rips and messiness. Could have been the typical cyclical nature of OB. Good and clean for 20 minutes, then weird and warbly for 20 minutes, then again cleaner and calmer for 20, etc. Anyone else ever notice that?
Couple intermediates/beginners right near us were taking flying superman hell-charging mega-wipeouts over the falls. Aww yeah.
Good to meet BVB yesterday. The dude is even scarier and more intimidating in person that is his online persona. Beware the bad vibe! Ha! But for real he seemed a chiller.
Also.. for the pro-ho ASP fans out there. Andy Irons lost to California teen sensation Dane Reynolds in the second round of the Trestles contest this morning!! FUCK YEAH DANE!! That means that Andy gets a last place 33rd for the contest. If Slates or CJ go far they could make up serious ground. Good on Dane for taking it to the champ. The plot thickens on the pro tour.
surfermag photos from trestles yesterday
AI goes down! yeah!
niceness - sortof
Reports from various people say that yesterday afternoon was epic. It might need a little more tide out there as this morning was a bit frumpy and hectic. Not too ginormous or anything.. just a lot of waves coming through, breaking in shallow water. Most waves broke in the immediate vicinity of my skull. Blakestah, Lerm, CK and Kaiser all slipped out past the breakers while I sucked foam on the inside and took pounding after pounding. I watched Kaiser catch a few waves and paddle back out right by me as I continued to tread-mill and go nowhere while getting man-handled by relentless windswell guillotines. Lots of fun! I finally made it out after 30 minutes or so and 8 billion duckdives and just rested while the crowd milled about me. Crowded out there! Today was the first time in months that I’ve driven to surf. Remind me not to do that again! Anyway. Lerm and Kaiser were taking off on chunky nugs. One came my way.. I paddled, caught it.. stood up.. then just free-fell into the chocolate death-cauldron. Got raped by the sinister turbulence while my feet were hog-tied by my leash and my head banged against the sandy floor. Great! Also got washed back into the inside and had another 15 minute, 7000 duckdive mission to get back out. Yay! People around me getting rides no problem. Hmm.. Maybe I just suck. A few minutes later I go to take off on a left and again the thing just bottoms out and I’m free-falling into the mouth of doom. Again through the rinse cycle. Again chewed up and spit out. No love for me this morning. Again the parade of duck-dives and avoiding people getting sick rides. Soo.. finally I stroke into a walled right and had a nice drop and a few pumps and a mellow turn. I paddle south to evade the mass of surfers all huddled in the same area. A friendly seal comes close to me, closer than any seal has ever ventured, and stares me right in the eyes before ducking under the water. Yo! Then an overhead upchucker wave comes through for me.. I see it’ll probably close-out but I take-off anyway.. really steep, throaty drop.. the whole world crashes down all around me as the wave closes out and then drags me all the way inside. Try to make it back out but can’t. Walk down the beach. Try again but turn around cause it’s getting late. That’s my sesh!
Good surfers will have a field day out there. It’s wild.. but not too big. OB definitely the spot. Maybe check the whole beach for the best sandbar? Maybe wait for a little more tide?
Huge barrels on display.
ASP at Trestles on right now.. if you have a chill-day at work.. kick back and watch some contest surfing.
Mars (from fecalface)
Dawn patrol low tide.
Glassy, peaky windswell.
Surfers sleeping in.
Barrels cracking down.
Lerm hitting lips.
Kaiser pulling back?
E on the swivel single-fin.
Thick, sumptuous lips.
Warm, inviting water.
Short rides, quick drops.
Classic OB September morn.
Does God exist? If so what is it?
Pre-determination? Yes or no?
If you could be reincarnated as any animal.. which one?
What’s the best age?
Religion, does it serve a positive purpose in modern times?
What’s the most pleasurable moment?
Do you fear death?
Do all things die?
What’s the best thing in life?
Butts or boobs?
Linda Mar - back in the 70s
Rocky sent me this pic of a large wave at a local break (jdz's favorite spot).
Welcome to the week. The wind started picking up steam yesterday morning and it hasn’t stopped raging since then. Total white-cappage out there but not much in the way of significant size or girth coming through. With a kiteboard you could probably cover some serious ground but for us non-wind-assisted surfers it looks pretty bleak. If you’re super-hella jonesin’ somewhere like the Lane or the Hook might be your only bet (5pm 2ft low tide). Lots of local wind.. not much fetch. Maybe if California and Nevada disappeared from the earth and the ocean had another 800 miles of distance there might be waves generated from these winds on the west coast of Utah. Might be 5ft 12 seconds instead of 6ft 7seconds. But.. lot a good that does us. Word on the street is that the Linda Mar Ladies Surf-Off (not sure it’s real name) went down in small but glassyish conditions. Not only did the ladies represent, but many a dude was sighted sporting hot-pink dental-floss thongs barely covering hairy derriers. Umm.. Soo.. watch out for that action.
Many beautiful people could be found at the Peace festival on Saturday in Golden Gate Park. Lots of Playa dust. String Cheese and Spearhead radiated tunes throughout the flocking throngs of hippies, golden children and SF chillers dancing and laughing in the refreshing fog-licked sunshine. (Jake.. I ran into OC! He ended up staying with that girly in Guatemala City for a few weeks! Ha! Then to Belize, Mexico and Cuba. He just got back to the States.)
So then Robme, Kaiser Sose and myself checked out Aussie crooner Xavier Rudd at the Great American last night. The dood can definitely throw down on multiple instruments at once. Lap guitar, didj, harmonica, various drums, strange mysterious bass-drum box-thing, homemade wooden instruments, etc. As soon as dude put his mouth on the didg the audience started dancing. every time. He was great but what really wowed me was how into it the crowd was. I’ve been to hundreds and hundreds of shows, and I’ve rarely ever seen a crowd so riveted and transfixed. A flock of college-aged lassies danced with abandon all around the stage, shouted encouragement and pouted flirty looks toward Xavier all night. At one point there was a call and response between Xavier and the crowd and the crowd sang really loud and surprisingly right on key. Some good singers up in there. When Xavier finished his set.. the whole place started jumping up and down, pounding the floor and going bananas for him to come back out. It was crazy.. I mean.. he was good and all.. but. I saw Charlie Hunter there a few weeks back and Charlie made this cat look like a total amateur.. but.. the crowd doesn’t seem to care whether a musician can hit 800 various chord substitutions while alternating chromatic phrasing and whipping through complex modal inversions. They just want smiles and vibes and the basic groove. Which Xavier happily provided. It was cool. He has a nice voice too.. But.. that chick who opened for him… I was ready to hit the gong! Gong-show style. Made me cringe.
old-schooler Rocky from Marin sent me this photo of his friend at OB along with these words:
"Here's one for you............. You can classify this in the over 50 (age, not feet) department. This is OB guy Jack Martinelli @ Sloat, 52 years old. Geezer?, Not yet!"
Most signs point toward mediocrity today. Onshore wind blowing gently but consistently, small piddly windswell lapping up onto the beach, white-caps in the outer water. Seems that our 2004 summertime conditions have returned. While I’m not that psyched on the onshores, I’m super-psyched about the return of the cool weather. Bikinis are wonderful and all.. but sweating onto my keyboard as I work all day I could do without. Awesome whale stories from everyone yesterday. Here are some highlights:
I was surfing alone at 'white trashes' last night and this loc ness monster thing surfaced 20 feet away…
I'm pretty sure it was a juvinile whale, but it was kind of skinny and darker than a normal gray whale. I know grays pretty well from spring sessions. It kind of had spots or barnicles, but it was bony and monster like. Maybe 30 feet long.
Biff that was probably a baby humpback that put the willies up you. I've been watching them for the last week or so going north. Sometimes they'll locate a school (I presume anchovies), sound for a couple of minutes and then launch. They make bubble nets deep down that drive the fish to the surface and corral them. Up come the whales and boom! Bloody cool to watch if you can catch them when they're here. We see them each September (we're up the Manor cliffs, a great spt to watch them), then the grays go south in about Nov thru Jan, returning around April-June. If you want to see 'em, set yourself up on a cliff with a comfy seat, a few beers, a book and some bino's. Just keep watching and you'll likely see 'em between 1/4 to 3/4 mile out.
You really gotta love California when it offers that kind of action in an urban area.
- NZ swell
Btw if you're ever down Baja way in around February head out to San Ignacio Lagoon. They'll take you out from the fish camps and you'll be totally surrounded by mums and babies. I even got a spout in the face. Great spot to camp too, there are so many out there that you hear them breathing at night if it's still. Bugger of a road though. San Ignacio village is a great spot to stay as well, a beautiful mission.
- NZ swell
I had a grey surface about 30 ft away from me one time. Scared the shiznitz outta me. Those fokkers are big and covered with barnacles. It's way scarier when you see a break in the surface expecting to see a seal and you see something the size of, well, a whale.
- Andrew on 44th
many years ago surfing the homeland i saw a whale surface 25 yds. away. There was a begginer that actually got caught in the "wake" of the surfacing whale and kinda bounced off the side of the animal. It terrified the guy and was the last time I ever saw him in the water again.
snorkeling off maui, high on mushrooms a pod crusied within the visibility range of me and my freind cruising the reef. it was beautiful, a bit un-nerving and quite a humbling expereince. my freind, she was really into whales and solid free diver just started swimming toward them. i followed but the whales soon dissappered. it was rad and we felt really connected to them cause we were naked too.
Last spring a mother gray and her two babies kept surfacing slowly and eyeing me. Maybe 30 feet away or so. The babies and I kind of stared at each other. They were as interested in me as me them. I'm sure they were thinking I'm some alien doing some weird magical shit on these waves every now and then. I see them out there all the time. Sometime I think I can communicate with them, but that's another story.
Also really cool to hear all the stories about music on the beach while you’re out in the lineup surfing. One time while surfing Kuta beach they were preparing for a contest and were blasting all this ACDC and Zeppelin. Pretty schweet.
The man, the myth, the legend Jeff sent me some more stellar photos! Jeff! you rock!
trimmin' by the pier
Jeff on the hunt
Allen Weisberger's end of the road
the secret to jeff's success
Did some yoga last night. Didn’t drink that second beer. Went to sleep early. All in the hopes of scoring some wave-riding action this morning. But.. got the call from the Lerminator that conditions were knee-high and windy at 6:27am. Ahh.. It’s winding down I guess. Our magnificent spat of intoxicating weather, glassy/fun surf and general warm, summertime succulence may be coming to a close. I didn’t check the surf first-hand, however, so.. there’s a chance that Lerm was just tired and “over-it” after jamming with Sendei till the wee hours last night? On my bike-ride to work I saw this one dude skateboarding through the park with a surfboard under his arm and his wetty hanging out of his backpack. He probably caught a few. San Fran buoy is 5ft 8seconds. Blakestah said it last night that there is wind at the buoy.. looks like 20 knots out of the NW.. soo.. that’s probably why the surface is all lumpy. Oh well.. maybe a few days to get your work done or hang with you lady or compose some music, etc.
On my bike-ride to work I pass by Alamo Square Park, then down a steep hill to City Hall.. then around the Civic Center to Market Street. While riding around the Civic Center there are these large metal grates in the road that let out steam from the subway system. Usually I try to avoid riding through the steam because it’s hot and sticky and gross. But today I couldn’t avoid it because this car was shouldering me out of the lane. So I ride right through the mucky steam and breath it in. Within seconds this strange sensation begins to creep up in my consciousness. It feels like I’m going ridiculously fast, but still totally in control. Then I realize that, in fact I’m not traveling any faster, everything else is just slowing down. Within about 2 minutes everything around me, the whole rush-hour, downtown San Francisco craziness, has frozen into complete stillness. People are stopped mid-stride. Some dog’s piss is stopped mid-stream, hanging in the air while his leg cocks back. I stopped my bike right outside the new Asian Art Museum and just looked around, slack-jawed and in disbelief. Not only was the lack of movement shocking and disturbing, but the profound quiet was like nothing I ever heard. I also realized that I no longer could smell anything because the breeze had stopped and basically everything, including micro-particles, stopped moving. I yelled but heard no response. I ran up to the nearest person, an older Chinese lady holding a bunch of shopping bags and tapped on her shoulder. No response. I yelled in her face. Nothing. Then slowly the sky began to darken. I looked up and the saw that the sun seemed to be eclipsed by some vibrating mass of black darkness. Slowly, with growing horror, I thought I heard millions upon millions of cackling, snarling high-pitched wails. I looked up again and realized that the blackness blocking out the sun had in fact been billions and billions of rapidly descending shiny silver egg-shaped creatures. Each of the eggs was smooth and rounded, except for an extended proboscis with a huge mouth-shaped, multi-fanged opening at the end. The now-earth-rending shrieks and cries were emanating from these mouth-shaped things. The eggs remained completely still and calm while whipping through the air toward earth, while the mouth-things vibrated in rabid frenzy, teeth and bleeding flesh all spitting all over the place as they yelled some alien war-cry and flew down like the swarm of invading extra-terrestrials that they were. Before my very eyes the egg-things began tearing in to all the living things on earth. Humans, dogs, trees, grass, squirrels, birds. Eating them whole and laughing and cackling and going bananas. For some reason they completely ignored me and I watched in absolute shock and horror as the world around me, frozen in time except for me and the egg-things, got devoured before my very eyes.
Sorry for the evil ending.. ha!!
here are some more exquisite pics from Jeff!! Jeff! you da man!
nice camp site... jeff stayed here for 6 days
Marin surfer bottom turning at a boat-access spot not in Marin
North end of linda mar
Anybody guess this spot?
Semi-glassy, vertically-challenged utility windswell in the water right now. A few micro-kegs presented themselves if you could find the momentary conglomerations of wave-energy. Not bad for a logger or a beginner out there, or even for a lonely surfer looking to enjoy a few quiet moments with the ocean. A gentle smattering of dawn-patrollers caught brief rides in inconsistent but doable conditions. Blakestah made the call that it would be a slight bit larger this morning than yesterday and he was correct. If you could find that specific spot on the sandbar where the few largish waves every 10 minutes would refract and wedge then you’d sleuth into a ride or five. I managed a few pumps, a few fun drops and one lip-click off the closeout.. soo.. that warm/calm/satisfied/relaxed/post-surf body-high is oozing through me. Also it’s ridiculously gorgeous outside YET AGAIN! Jeez.. feels like southern California. So nice.. ‘cept my office is cookin’!
Personal favorite sci-fi books (in no particular order)
Diamond Age – Neal Stephenson
Childhood’s End – Arthur C. Clarke
Dune – Frank Herbert
Fahrenheit 451 – Ray Bradbury
The Man in the High Castle – Philip K. Dick
Baroque Cycle Volume 2: the Confusion – Neal Stephenson
Ender’s Game - Orson Scott Card
Red Mars - Kim Stanley Robinson
Signal to Noise - Eric Nylund
Hyperion – Dan Simmons
Neuromancer - William Gibson
Loon's pic of OB on monday
Jeff sent me some wonderful photos, a few of which are posted below.
near santa barbara
off-limits secret spot
Hot sticky summer in the city! For all of our collective griping and whining and complaining about the lack of a real “summer” in SF. For all our moping and bumming about months and months of non-stop onshore slop… the last 4 days finally hooked it up. September rolled into town like a soothing/warm/calming spiritual elixer. I don’t really remember which day was which.. but it felt like conditions were glassy and warm, with fun-lovin’ head-high windswell peaks all day every day the whole weekend. Crowded from 9-11 each day but otherwise relatively mellow. Heaps of folks havin’ a go in their springsuits and even a few brave lads out there in their boardshorts. Bikinis and bbqs and party-people gorging themselves on the immaculate weather and refreshing Ocean. Wait.. is this Ocean Beach?? Felt like Ocean Beach in some twilight zone.. or maybe some genetic cross between Ocean Beach and Redondo Beach, or maybe Ocean Beach San Diego swapped places with our home beach for a week? Dunno but I ain’t complaining! Well… until this morning.. the swell is all but gone.. there are still some lil’ kernels of fun for the pickin’. I found a smattering of interesting and enjoyable pockets.. but mostly nabbed mini drops and weak glassy cruisers. Fun on the log out there this morning I’d guess.
Christian’s coworker Davo had this to say about OB (though he’s not talking about bizarro OB of this weekend)
I have a lot of respect for those of you who call OB your home break and surf it regularly. I've only surfed it less than a dozen times, and I must say that it's a bitch. I'm an experienced surfer of 15+ years and it's gotta be the most shifty peaked, current laden, wind swept, touchy and tempermental beach break I know of. However, it seems that just when you've thrown in the towel on OB and cursed that stretch of beach vowing never to return, she'll throw you the sickest pit this side of Puerto and keep you coming back for more. Definitely a love/hate relationship.
In Asp news CJ hobgood beat Joel Parkinson in the final in Japan. CJ jumps ahead of Slates to take the second spot in the ratings lead behind AI. Kelly admits that he has his work cut out for him.
A tight turn
New Thomas Campbell flick next weekend (thanks Jeff for sending)
Yup.. waves a’plenty this AM (what do “am” and “pm” stand for anyway? i.e. 6:30am) Immaculate weather, a smooth sea-surface, low tide and some chunky windswell combined to produce high-performance waves this morning. I wasn’t even going to get up, either. I surfed a bit last night so prepared to let myself sleep in but Lerm called and was like, “Dude.. it’s kinda working, get yo lazy ass down here.” 7 minutes later I was looking out on a warbly, largish, barreling, setty situation. The best waves would gather themselves together, coalescing/amassing/congealing, buckle, then unload sweet bejebus on the inside sandbars. My first attempt at one of these bigger suckers had me paddling like mad to get into the thing and then before I had time to react I was flying end over end into the foamy brown shallowness at the base of the soon-to-crush-me wall of destruction. Lerm and Kaiser both got a good view of that one. I guess ya can’t get the good ones unless you take-off on a few of the not-so-good ones. Sharkbait also joined us so it was a pretty core niceness crew of Lerm, Kaiser, Sharkbait and myself bobbing and trying to snare bombs as we quickly drifted southbound with the current. Nobody else around. At one point mid-session we drifted onto a particular sandbar that fired off a few high-quality rights. I scratched my way into one and enjoyed the best wave I’ve surfed since Central America. Not real long but the beeatch was thick and I had a brief barrel-esque moment. Basically the wave reared up considerably on the sandbar and tried to intimidate with fangs of anger.. but I slinked in under the ledge.. pretty deep.. and then just dropped down and bottom turned and watched as the thick wall achieved conical status and pulsed right next to me with vibrant strength. I could feel it throwing over my head and back-shoulder and I could see the pit right in front of me.. the wave just kept sucking and throwing. I wouldn’t say I got “barreled” but it was exhilarating to get whipped along by a power-pack of oceanic energy and be deep back in the pocket while this powerful curved wall of liquid churns and gropes beside me. I came out of the pocket as the wave slowed down and carved a little turn and just felt this wave of euphoria wash over. That’s what a good ride will do! A few minutes later Kaiser nabbed another of those legit rights on that sandbar and whacked two nice top-turns on his backside. I saw the spray fly up from the back of the wave and it looked like he was moving with speed. Nice. There were some serious barrel opportunities on the inside. I mean shit was heaving and throwing and going ballistic. A sophisticated inside-poaching barrel-hound could score some spitting pits out there… Too bad Lewis is in Indo right now scoring even sicker pits. I’m sure the mid-beach 9:30 ripper crew is out there as I write this getting shacked. Lerminade also took off on some nuggets.. Go the Lerm. And Sharkbait! Not afraid! Seriously. I thought it was a bit gnarly out there and she was like, “Really? I thought it was pretty mellow.” Gnarly.
As I walked back up the beach I talked to this surfer who said, “yeah, it really sucked out there!” And then I said, “wow, I thought it was awesome!”
Soo.. differing perspectives on the same situation. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
Loon took this pic of glassy OB on Monday
The ASP contest in Japan is getting sick sick waves from a Typhoon.
shane beschen beat sunny. Bruce Irons advanced. Taylor Knox lost. Cory Lopez advanced. Occy lost. Neco lost.
A New windswell arrived sometime last night and is infiltrating the beach with non-stop shoulder to head-high walls. No wind means relative glass on the sea-surface but the swell is a bit unruly and lumpy. However there are tons of rides on offer for both the long and shortboard crews. I watched a few crystalline barrels crack and peel along. A few more takers out there than in days past but still pretty empty. Fun drops and quick rides were the rule of the morning, with the occasional lined-up glassy face. I pulled back on this one overhead right because a seal was furiously swimming to catch the wave. Gotta let the true locals have their waves.
i agree with "klooless" that it was pretty fun and solid out there. Definitely not whitecapping! (who said that?) Definitely WAY WAY better than 98% of the days this summer.. which may not be saying much. This week has been RAD!
As I walked back up the road to my house after surfing I noticed what looked like a vermillion newt scamper under a fence and then into this old abandoned house. I followed the little bugger through the small front-yard and then up the steps to the doorway. He seemed to turn to look at me and then scurried into the house. I’d been curious about this house for years as it’s a genuine historical landmark. Built, along with hundreds of similar houses, to shelter San Franciscans who’d lost their homes during the earthquake and subsequent fires of 1908. For some reason it was moved to the Outer Sunset in the 20’s and is now abandoned and run-down and a bit spooky. The front door hung ajar so I decided to venture inside. I walked slowly, brushing away spider webs and sniffing the old mildew and age. I then saw the striking red newt again. This time it looked back at me momentarily before running down a flight of stairs into a basement. Funny, I thought, most of the homes out here don’t have basements. Huh.. but.. I walked over and began descending the steps. The steps and walls seemed much older than the 1920’s. Old, well-worn stone. It was very dark below and I could hear a faint dripping of water striking rock. I walked down about 20 steps and then was arrested by what sounded like the scraping of metal against metal far below. I then heard an in-human cackle.. then suddenly the door above me slammed shut and I was in complete darkness. The laughter below now turned to a building torrent of hideous mirth. A shrieking, voluminous war-cry. I felt a rush of heat and pungent fumes rise up from below. My heart was beating through my chest. I saw the newt rush up and run back up the stairs beneath my feet. I too turned and ran as the maniacal laughter rushed closer and closer. Something large and non human was running up the stairs and about to meet me. Something not of this world. I ran to the top of the steps and into a giant wooden door I hadn’t noticed before. It was locked. I couldn’t get out. I turned to face my onrushing tormentor. It was dark but a faint light snuck in between the panels of wood on the door. I could smell a ripe, decomposing odor waft up and could feel the pounding as this thing ran up the steps toward me. I heard again the scraping of metal. Now I could tell they were swords, or weapons of some sort. A moment later I saw a flash of teeth and flesh. A black eye set deep in a scorched, mangled face. A flash of blade. And end to life.
AI made it through
Masatoshi into the losers round
Tim Curren won his heat... Oxnard boy
land of the rising sun
Another day in paradise? An embracing, warm morning greeted the dawn-patrol crew up and down bay area beaches. The sun glittered softly on the smooth, inviting ocean surface. The morning mix of fishermen, surfers and dog-walkers smiled and enjoyed as the elements aligned to produce a magical, intoxicating beauty. A golden hue cast on mount Tamalpais and the Marin headylands. The city outlined in shimmering brightness as the sun climbed up from the east. Again Lerm and I all by our lonesome, along with guest-appearance by my good friend and first time surfer CJ. I caught a few waves but mostly helped CJ with the rudiments of sitting on her board, watching waves appear on the horizon, getting out past the breakers, “Egg-beater” leg movement to spin and head-toward shore when an attractive wave approached, looking back at the wave as she’s paddling to catch it, etc. Her first attempt she took off a bit late on a steep, pounding wave and got beaten up a bit, but she popped back up smiling! You don’t really know how a newbie is going to react to getting pounded by the ocean until it happens.. soo.. once she was through that hurdle I knew she’d enjoy. Her next wave I pushed her into it and she caught it and rode all the way to shore on her belly. She was super stoked and you could see that radiant smile of someone who has caught their first wave. It stoked me out just to see it. She’s from Oklahoma and hasn’t really ridden waves before so that was her first ride ever! Pretty cool. A few sets came through and she got a rush from the bigger waves passing underneath as we sat out in the lineup. It was great to experience the wonders of surfing through the mind and facial expressions of a first-timer. Things I had taken for granted like sitting on your board, the feeling of waves passing underneath, ducking under set waves.. just little things.. she noticed and remarked on and enjoyed. Then toward the end of the session we saw a likely wave approach and I gave the ol’, “Paddle, Paddle! PADDLE HARD!!” and she caught the wave on her own and again rode it on her belly all the way to shore. She was beaming!
Gentle and beautiful out there this morning. A great day to hit the beach.. maybe for a picnic.. maybe a little surf.. take the kids out.. maybe the wifey.. just a nice day to be alive and living in California!
The ASP contest in Japan is on hold today. They're expecting a typhoon swell to descend on the island tomorrow so it might get interesting. Some of the competitors are worried that they didn't bring large-enough boards.
cool forcasting site for australia
Seth took these pics of a mysto spot in San Diego