Sunday, March 30, 2008

Citizenship incentive program...

Goya- Saturn Eating His Son-
Surfer loves surfing. Surfer creates surf company. Surf company sells surf gear. Surf company markets surf gear. Surf company creates larger market for surf gear. Surf company meets demand by creating more product and still more demand resulting lin larger surf market. Surf market now creates lots of coastal use and trash. Surf company sees a marketing niche. Surf company will clean the beach in order to do a good thing, oh, and, er, um, grow surf market.
Wash. Rinse. Repeat.
(Blatant oversimplification)

It's a little hard to fathom for me. I was exiting the water mid-session to trade my mat (killer!) in for the new fishy (killer!) When I saw the pop-ups being erected, the donut boxes being piled, the coffee containers being placed, the garbage collection bags being readied, the well-logo'd marketing materials being hung. A promo guy taking pictures of the "event". Seems there was to be a beach clean-up, a well sponsored beach clean-up. You get goodies to do a good deed. Cynical? Yes. I'm really glad that someone is cleaning up the beach, but why the co-opting of the motivation by market forces? Anyways- if you need inspiration to clean up the beach then you're probably not paying attention while you're surfing. How about picking up all the trash you see as you walk back to your car from the water? Mind-blowing, I know. Pffffft!
I told the lady in the store today I didn't need my merchandise bagged. She looked at me sideways and did it anyway. I removed items from bag and carried them to my car. I suppose not everyone is aware of the enormous island of eco-system disabling plastic floating in The Pacific. Pffffft!

So here's your incentive program. Pickup your trash and you get a prize. Someone will see you doing it and think you're cool and groovy and cosmic and be impressed. Yes, they will be impressed because you picked up a little trash.

How far can the bar be lowered? Pffft!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Oxymoronic platitudes...

This flick sent to me by my friend Jay, brought to mind a layering of thoughts regarding surfing. Many not entirely consistent.

-Surfing is art and sport.
-Surfing is recreational and competitive.
-Surfing is craftsman-centered and a commodity.
-Surfing is a subculture and an iconic American mythology.
-Surfing is spiritual and a purely human creation.
-Surfing is nature-driven and nature-abusing.
-Surfing is feeling the wave in a "dance" and being seen/judged.
-Surfing is passive and purposeful.
-Surfing is unpredictable, yet surfers try to control the variables.
-Surfing is solitary and social.
-Surfing promotes selflessness, yet requires selfishness.
-Surfing is a gift, yet surfers are picky, complaining, whining consumers of our "resource".

Easter Sunday. The choir sings a song:
"Alleluia, Alleluia! For the Lord God Almighty Reigns." My mind fills with an image of a green and grey thunderhead of a wave, a right, standing tall over hidden rock reefs below. Folding in elegant angled descent. Thin and lacy-lipped. A strand of kelp just visible sliding through the curtain. Amen.

Friday, March 14, 2008


I received an unexpected call from Moonlight Glassing today during school/work. "Hi Andy, your board is ready to be picked up." Skip, whistle, hop, hum, grin, giggle. A twenty minute drive from work has me holding my new friend, a fine gift by a fine wife. Thanks again, Amy. Josh and Moonlight make a good product, too. Thanks.Blue Pinline to match the lam.
My first board with Lokbox. I usually like glass-ons. I'm trying out some bamboo fins.

So, of course, it must be surfed tomorrow! I'm going to try to find a little organization in some nook or cranny. Give this baby a spin and then flop around on the mat. Sounds killer!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Slippery slope...

Me, tomorrow, minus the flowing blond hair.

So, you imagine yourself as something. Father. Husband. Teacher. Surfer. More specifically, a Surfer who prefers a specific style of board, wave, wind, water, coast, crowd. Confession. This mat riding thing is going a little haywire.

Tomorrow, for the first time in two years, I have the opportunity to ride any wave I want in the middle of the day. That means small crowds. That means I'll probably head to one of the area's usually overcrowded quality reef/point waves. Question: what do I throw in the car tomorrow morning?

Wetsuit. Wax. Mat! Fish. Fins.

It used to be I mind surfed my favorite surfboards across swell lines. More and more I find myself imagining the fall line of a mat on a yet unbroken peak, rolling towards it's cascading climax. To be sure, my last several sessions have taken the form of most in the past- Surfboard for an hour and change, Mat for a bit, bodysurf a few, boogie if the barrels and blackball are cooperating. A bit schizophrenic, I know. But more and more the slow leak of ugly, black bag, prone and projectile-like stoke has been dripping into my surfing thoughts. Not a bad thing. Just a thing.

Thursday, March 6, 2008


Spazzed out but still remarkable.

Yesterday after school/work it was blown out and shifty. I took out my mat and had a blast. McKnight four-limb-drive had me in chin to mat position from the start of the little beachbreak zippers. I left a boogie on the beach just to try it. No fins on feet or board. Just an imaginary sense-memory of standing up on a boogie when I was younger. Paddled into about five waves and did a lot of side slipping. On one I actually trimmed for a bit and did a little spinneroo as the wave shut down. I'm going to give it a few more tries. 43" of foam with a 20" tail and no fins is not made for ease of use, but it is interesting.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008


From the Kidman files

I stumbled upon Mick Mackie's website and wondered to myself, "Why have I not been to Australia?" This guy's website is flush with interesting personal and regional information as well as pictures of those remarkable "side cut" or "parabolic" fishies seen ridden by Garth Dickenson in Glass Love. I loved Garth's take on fish projection. Compress, extend. So fluid, simple, and true to the design.

Plus, he's got a killer shot of a vintage Steve Lis ultra- projected bottom turn lurking on the site.

Saturday, March 1, 2008