Wednesday, October 28, 2009

East Coast...and then Malibu

Scored two days in a row this Sunday and Monday. First day was 5' and fast, but lots of sneaky closeouts.

I sometimes get in this pattern of initially paddling out and getting a string of nice rides, then it quickly turns to shite and I start surfing like the town drunk. I almost quit after this happened on Mon but turned it around with a nice one from the jetty all the way to the beach. That fixed the stoke all right.

So much that when a larger, perfect peeler showed up, I gave it to the other cat, a stranger that I was trading waves with. He took it all the way in to the sand, then turned to look back at me. A grateful hand went up over his head before he headed up to the boardwalk and out. Brother, when there's enough waves to go around, it's all good.

Which brings me to this video, which blows my mind:

No rules of the road, way too many bodies in the water. Beach 90 at Rock is like the wilderness compared to it. But why does it still look so fun?

The style of these cats works for me...smooth, in a dance with the wave. The absolute best is the very end of the video, that last ride is something to see!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The stiffness of skill

Im starting to notice something...I am a hater. Well I didn’t just notice that I’ve been aware of my douchebaggery for a minute now. So yeah I sometimes spite the next guy for being better than me in the water. But what I’m noticing is that the intentionality of peoples surfing affects my perceptions. I think I tend to resent those who use elaborate moves to master the wave, its very punctuated and the rides tend to look like –insert maneuver here-. Yet there are others who seem to be getting loose when they bust out and I become downright inspired. I guess it comes down to attitude and style, or maybe haircuts.....

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Board Lust

The other day I was scanning the interweb for surfboards. I'm looking for a new board and a shaper that is environmentally aware. While browsing Board Riders Review I found an interview with Solid Surfdoards Dan O'Hara and I really liked what I saw. Check out the interview here.

Below is their 5'9 Discus board made with recycled EPS foam strips stringerless blank, bamboo cloth, hand-foiled bamboo fins, a Bio-Plastic leash plug, and epoxy resins.

I would be more than happy to ride a recycled board with replenishable materials, such as bamboo. Check out the Solid Surfboards website for more info and more boards. Be sure to check out the shaping videos. Being on the East coast and riding mostly small waves, I thought the boards pictured below would be cool to have in any quiver. I'm looking forward to ordering one this spring!

Solid Surfboards: F-Bomb, shortboard fish hybrid.

Solid Surfboards: DisFish, discus fish hybrid

Solid Surfboards: The Kwad, shortboard fish hybrid.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

A shaper i've admired

Geoff Mccoy's nugget is a board I've always wanted in my quiver. I saw them out in Byron Bay while I was still in my newbie longboard phase. The nugget's shape and heft seemed to make sense to me and I'll forever kick myself in the ass for not bringing one home.

Mccoy in his own words.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Four on One

Added four fins to my Catch Surf ONE. I want it to stick to the wave when I kneeride it. It kept side slipping out but the quads should keep it tracking and get me howling.

So I can fly like this:

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Last Hope at the New York Surf Film Festival

This post is long overdue but I was on the move. A few of us took in a screening of Andrew Kidman's Last Hope. The film is a collection of 16 shorts that portray our connection to the water. As children, as seventies aussie surfers, as northeast winter surfers, as defenders of the past, as outsiders. Kidman and band played during some of the shorts and obviously the live sound gave it that "Oomph" that only a live performance gives. If I could decree something it would be that all surf films need to be accompanied by live music. What better way than to get transported, elevated into that celluloid tube ride...

Magic Seaweed Bodyboarding Action Shots

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Arctic Surfing

Winter in NYC is approaching. According to the Farmers Almanac, we are in for a cold winter. I was cruising The Surfer's Path website and found this trailer about surfing in the Arctic Circle. If I could only get a hold of one of those self-heating wet suits! Enjoy!

Monday, October 5, 2009

The tribe

For me surfing is a tribe not a f-ing sport

This quote taken out of a recent issue of surfer magazine has me thinking on the state of tribalism in surfing. While the author is a bit larger than life and beyond my analytic reach I do feel his words illustrate a pervasive mindset, which is the schism between competitive surfing and well, I hate this phrase but lets just call it soul surfing for now.

Its easy to see the athletic/competitive component to surfing as godless. Especially on a professional level I would imagine that the business side of peoples careers could become really overbearing and the culture around that downright stifling. But I am attracted to competitive surfing. I feel it serves its purpose in nourishing the spirit of the culture even though on the whole I don’t see surfing as a sport either.

The thing is that tribes can be exclusive to the point where the expression gets inbred. And the idea that on any given day of a pumping swell that people are not competeting, not just for waves, but energy and shine is naive and in some cases dishonest. Take the etiquette of surfing. These rules are observed for our safety and so that the palette of a wave is not ruined by our chaotic behavior. But actually etiquette is a guidline, the real underlying principle is judicious sharing. True enough that any old a-hole who paddles out does not deserve a wave but if an individual is legit then there is no reason why a guy who just got a ride should paddle back around deeper and take another wave first just because by law he is entitled to do so. What is the motivation? It’s a stilted psuedo competition based on a skewed interpretation of the „rules“ to suit the whim of the prevailing tribe.

This sucks. It makes the surfing at the break crappy and mutes the soul. There are lots of stupid things about surf comps and the business around them no doubt. But there is also something democratic in the criteria. You don’t need to be liked, you don’t need to be in with the tribe. Although favoritism does exist, in theory its about letting the surfing speak for itself.

Pushing each others limits in the name of growth as opposed to blind progress is at the heart of the matter. Sometimes this is best exemplified by a contest and sometimes it is better expressed at a session where like minded individuals are getting their flow on.

Stay focused......

Newport RI

Last weekend I found myself in Newport RI for sight seeing and over all relaxation. I did not know much about the area and was not expecting to find surf. To my delight Sunday proved to be a great day for waves! It was waist high and relatively glassy for New England. Here are some shots of the locals enjoying the waves.

After watching the locals do their thing, I stumbled into Island Surf and Sport. The folks their are the friendliest people you would ever want to meet. I was scoping out potential new boards and found out about Strive Surfboards and the Bully Fish shaped by Jon Henderson out of Santa Cruz CA. It's a hybrid Fish or some would call it a Long Fish as the shortest model is 6'6" with a modern rocker and hard rails at the tail. I can't wait to take this board out for a session!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Action over admiration

In many aspects of our culture we worship the maverick, the rebel the non conformist, weathered and weary from a life spent bucking the system. In surfing especially we tend to lionize these characters. Its no small wonder though, that many times the heroic struggles of these warriors involves drugs, alchohol and other self destructive vices.

While I empathize with the mysanthropic righteousness of the misfit savant it also occurs to me that we who have managed to etch out a viable existence in this joke we call society are a part of the malignant force that condemns the so called non conformist to a life of hardship. The fact that we glamourize just as the victim rationalizes is a coping mechanism. On the one hand for complicity, on the other for denial. What I’m saying is that non conformity implies choice, when really there never was one at all.

When moving through time and space we need to mind our basic laws of physics. One of which is that two bodies can not occupy the same space at the same time. So the social space that I inhabit, the job I work, the home I live in, the friends I make etc..will exclude another body from occupation, Which is fine assuming that there is room elsewhere. The assumption is that society being a construct of our imaginations as such can accomodate an infinite number of beings. This is false, society as we know it, the paradigm we have generated has a limited amount of space.

It does not have to be this way but that is the way it is. And here in lies the great crime of our complaceny and the sin of martyrdom. It is the idea that pure individualism can only exist on the outside. Alienation is not a choice it is an imposition. And admiration from a safe distance is simply putting a positive spin on the sentence.

I think if we could all make more of an effort to be our own heroes then we wouldn’t need someone else to live under a boardwalk, or in a tent on the beach as a symbol of what we wish we could have. If we all made more of an effort to go ahead and have it, then maybe there would be more energy and will to help out our brothers and sisters who suffer needlessly for a cause that really should be a burden shared by us all.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Local style

in Hawaii it is my limited understanding that back in the day the land was divided into radiating pieces from the center of an island to the ocean. Proponents of localism could take a lesson from this.