Monday, March 28, 2011

Joel's Single Fin Repair

Joel in Santa Barbara:

Went out yesterday with Sam(my brother),

Caught a few tsunamis, It was pretty fun, bigger than normal, but nothing too crazy. The surges made it look like low tide one minute, and high tide a few minutes later. My first board, that I tried to learn on 15 years ago is a 7'7" single fin. I think rounded tail, or maybe rounded pin, from maybe the 70's or 80's. It had a wooden, I think mahogany sandwich with clear stuff in the middle, glassed in fin. It got broken some time back, but just bought a cheapo fin for it, waiting for a fin box. Sam showed me his new short board he just shaped. Looks nice to me, but what do I know? He's saving his pennies to get it glassed, or the new style which I think is epoxy.

Hung out with Sam, his girlfriend, and her dad last night, he heard some good stories. Back in the day, He flew from Texas to Hawaii for a vacation, and ended up staying for 11+ years to surf. Lived on Maui, and rode all kinds of boards, mostly long boards I think, including a board with holes in it that would squirt you in the face when you rode it.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Memories Make Wings

Munching down, post session, 2004. The guy in the picture is Jason, an artist who not only took me under his wing and introduced me to the Rockaway scene, but let me ride his boards during a rather painful transition I was going through at the time.

Behind him is the magical 8'2 single fin I learned on. His girlfriend created the design on the deck. It was like riding a painting.

I remember the first time I really took off on the shoulder of a clean peeler. It was one of the rare days when the water was fairly clear. I could see little bits of seaweed under the surface passing by under the board as it hummed along. A moment and a feeling I can still feel today.

If anyone reading this knows his whereabouts, please put me in touch because I have a special gift I'd like to give him.

Smuggler's Cove, Santa Cruz Island, CA

2007, Santa Cruz Island. I must be in a real nostalgic mood today. This watercolor just took shape in my sketchbook and I realized that it was the first day I really fell in love with bodysurfing. 

Wiley and Joel getting out, the swell done gone. We hiked over the hill from Scorpion Anchorage expecting just a hike but there were some nice waves greeting us, for a bit.

UCSB crew.

Friday, March 18, 2011


2003 Wategos, Byron Bay with Domenico and a sweet 9'2" longboard that I bought for a month. It snapped at Tallow Beach on a powerful wipeout. My pal Andreas, a German working and traveling in Oz, drove me to an industrial park outside of town in his van where I got the board repaired and got a chance to visit Mctavish Surfboards.

2006 Santa Barbara. This will probably be the last custom board I'll ever have shaped. Hunt Customs 8' egg. It was a blast but my heart was stolen by a Neumatic surfmat.
just remembering my past boards this evening. funny how length gave way to surfmats and bodysurfing.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


Last summer I was super close to getting a used Pendoflex quad fish. I regret letting that one go. Board Riders Review recently interviewed Steve and Cher Pendarvis. Check out these videos on all things Pendoflex.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Competitive Surfing Questions

For some time now, I've had my doubts about the big $ competitive surfing business (Olympic figure skating 2.0, anybody?), and I realize scoring can be subjective, but for me this just ices it.

Can anyone really make the argument that the below is anything other than a rigged match between Taj and the Brazilian upstart Adriano De Souza? The boy from Brazil pulls into two barrels, slices and dices with mad style, but Burrow the Australian takes the heat despite doing little more than flopping around in the whitewater. Watch:

Of course, Taj would eat me for breakfast in the Rockaways, and it'll be hard to keep me away from the ASP competition this fall. But until I smash my computer, grab a mini Simmons and take off with Kris to a desert island.....I'm just sayin'!

Friday, March 4, 2011


This is a great short by Richard Kenvin.

This is the text that follows the video on Hyrdodinamica's Vimeo page.
"The Planing Totems are a family of surfboards that begin with the paipo board of Oceana and Hawaii, along with the ancient Hawaiian alaia. These boards were shorter than the olo boards of Hawaiian royalty, and were used by the commoners of Hawaiian society. Through tests conducted on paipo inspired “plate” models in Pearl Harbor in the 1940s Naval architect Lindsay Lord quantified planing data from these models that he published under the title The Naval Architecture of Planing Hulls in 1946. Simmons used information from Lord’s book when designing his hydrodynamic planing hulls, essentially merging western science with ancient Hawaiian knowledge. After Simmons’ death in 1954 elements of his planing hull design were reborn through designs like the Mirandon Twin Pin and the Steve Lis fish. In the late summer of 2009, a young surfer named Ryan Burch from Encinitas deconstructed everything when he created the "Lord Bord", a basic chunk of unglassed foam that he shaped into a simple finless planing board inspired by the models used in Lindsay Lord’s Naval Architecture of Planing Hulls. Burch’s hyper-creative surfing on this simple planing board is a dynamic demonstration of how the surf/skate style ultimately has its roots in the paipo and alaia boards of ancient Hawaii."

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Body Surfing the North Sea

I was cursing The Surfer's Journal today and saw this. I think this dude has the right attitude. I love when he says something to the extend of "it's always over head when you're on your belly."

Follow the link, for some reason it will not embed.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Early 20th Century Brooklyn/Queens Beach Bathing

Bathing in Brighton Beach in 1901.
Escaping the city to Rockaway Queens. Who needs bungalows when you can have your own tent right on the beach.
images via

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

The Mini Simmons

While in SD I rode a 2nd Generation Simmons shaped by Jeff McCallum. Once I got the hang of it I did not want to put it down. I was having so much fun that even at the point of exhaustion I was still going for more waves. I am now obsessed with the Simmons design and plan on obtaining one for the spring/summer here in NYC. In my research I have found some key shapers working with the Mini Simmons design. From experience I can say McCallum's boards are amazing. I have never felt a bottom turn quite like that and I'm hooked on it.

2nd generation Simmons by Jeff McCallum. photo from McCallum website.

2nd generation Simmons by Jeff McCallum. photo from McCallum website.

McCallum surfboards in France from Thomas on Vimeo.

Another shaper that I have found and who seems to make a killer Mini Simmons is Ian Zamoria. There is a great interview with him on Liquid Salt that is well worth a read. He learned under Rich Pavel and Glen Kennedy so you know he's got skillz.

Mini Simons shaped by Ian Zamora. Pic from Zamora's website.

Mini Simons shaped by Ian Zamora. Pic from Zamora's website.

When it come to the Mini Simmons and the history of Bob Simmons you have to know about Hydrodynamica. The Swift Movement Hydrodynamica Test pilot series are contemporary visions of Bob Simmons surfboard designs from the later 1940's to early 1950's. Here are a couple of great interview with the project organizer Richard Kenvin in Liquid Salt and All About Surf with Rich Pavel.

Mini Simmons, pic form The Swift Movement website.

The Simster, pic from Hydronamica blog.

Check out this interview with shaper Jo Bauguess on the contemporary history on how he came to shape the first Mini Simmons.