Thursday, July 31, 2008

Gotham Point Surf Club

"Holy Hollywood He'e Nalu Heyday, Hodads!"

Kook on parade...

I finally glassed on the fin to this old log and it's seen the water a bit recently. Kind of a Piggy outline straight from '63. My reluctance to drive anywhere but my parking- lot-friendly beach (doesn't get much south) and a smashed toe on a rock scramble have been relegating(gifting?) me to a bunch of longboarding time. I am a kook. I wobble, I stumble, I flail. Still, it is fun and interesting putting your mind and body through the paces of a new challenge.

I'm out on this log and I'm doing okay. Trim and some cross stepping. I'm chatting about how the board is soooo hard to noseride. No concave, narrow nose, convex bottom. The whole nine- yards. Well, out comes Shredder R., who happens to ride for Josh Hall longboards. We trade boards. He gets a nice little five through the pocket on his first wave. What's that old saying, "It's the archer, not the arrow."

One nice thing about surfing: It's not a contest. Instead of being defeated, I am inspired. The next couple of days I worked on getting to the nose in the pocket. I'm proud to say I've hung my first real, true, no cheatsy five. Well, pass me my beavertail and grow me a beard. So now I'm thinking of ordering a true noserider for next summer. Please help me choose.

Finish this statement in the comments section and help me choose my first custom log*:

"Asmith, you would totally get rad noserides on an effing perfect log by ___________. I recommend ____________."

*Any and all recommendations suggesting machine shaped boards will be swiftly mocked.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sunday with Sea Surfboards...

I'm idling a bit of leisure time away this Sunday. Here's a little gem mined from down under:


I just happened to pick up TSJ #15.3 today and came upon three quotes I want to share.

"In a time when the dehumanizing effects of corporate domination, with its mass production and consumption continue to proliferate, the beauty of surfing on a handcrafted board represents a potent source of deep play, individual expression, and union with nature that is becoming increasingly rare in today's world." Richard Kenvin

"There's an underground of kids who aren't buying into all of this bigness. Surfboards have evolved into widgets- a Wal-Mart mentality. But the kids won't buy into dorkiness. They'll make their own if it comes to it. They'll make their own music, they'll make their own anti-fashion, and they'll make their own boards. And those people... I'll support them until the end. Some of them will fail, but some of them will succeed. And they're the interesting ones, the bohemians that have always driven surfing." Peter St. Pierre

"It is with great sadness that I watch out little industry totter at the brink of the black hole of globalization. Once sucked over the event horizon, some of the best things about our unique culture and lifestyle will be gone forever... All the many breakthroughs and refinements in surfboard design, from Tom Blake's hollows to Simon Anderson's thruster, were created on the cheap in humble environs by surfers who only wanted to get back into the water the next day and surf better. I see these innovations as as being the intellectual property of anyone who cares more about the bottom turn than the bottom line. Yet our heritage of cut-and-try tinkering is pillaged for profit by those who have contributed nothing to the surfboard but a logo and an advertising campaign... The major labels, of course, will continue on their merry way, shaping without dust, designing without surfing, refining the thruster into sterility, and shilling their logos in four-color ads." Dave Parmenter

A call to arms. Boycott. Educate your friends. Make your dollars count. Shape a board yourself- at least once. Learn to bodysurf, well. Take your leash off for a few waves- at the reef. Ride an old board and fix a ding or two. Hoot for the kooky dude. Teach someone to surf and about surf etiquette. Reclaim the authenticity, joy, and singular peculiarity of surfing!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008

The handshape manifesto...

Tom Wegener, creating.

  1. Whereas Surfing was born out of a tradition of craftsmanship dating to the beginnings of the pastime,
  2. Whereas Surfing was spread throughout the pacific to the shores of California and beyond in a manner seeking to share the magic of the experience,
  3. Whereas Surfing pioneers undertook to understand, enjoy, and improve the surfing lifestyle,
  4. Whereas Surfing pioneers undertook to understand, enjoy, and improve the surfing crafts that were the heart of the surfing experience,
  5. Whereas Surfing culture developed around ideals of freedom, experimentation, individuality, creativity, appreciation, camaraderie, and collaboration during a time of widespread conformity,
  6. Whereas Surfing craft evolved as an art form as opposed to a manufactured item in concert with the ideals of freedom, experimentation, individuality, creativity, appreciation, camaraderie, and collaboration during a period of widespread conformity,
  7. Whereas Surfing's heroes are most notably and profoundly those whom surfers see at their local surf spots, allowing interpersonal contact and an understanding of the shared ideals possessed within surfing's culture,
  8. Whereas Surfing is essentially an uncontrolled and unpredictable endeavor yielding new and rewarding experiences,
  9. Whereas handshaped Surf boards remain true to the above stated positions of opinion and fact, separating surfing from any number of other "sports" and placing surfing into a unique and beautiful category unto itself,
  10. Whereas Surfing is turned away from its original ideals and transformed into a "sport" of conformity, isolation, and consumerism by the use of machine manufactured surfboards,
  11. Therefore, I hereby state my decided preference for Surfcraft created by the hands of surfer craftsmen.

The simple truth, I don't want surfing to be the same as other "sports". I don't want my surfboards to be another "outdoor toy". I don't want Hurley/Nike or Channel Islands/Burton to have more influence on my fellow surfers than the local legend who has shaped and surfed for years. I want to remain connected to the wholeness of the surfing experience. Computer pre-shapes are the first step down a slippery slope. The surfboards might be unbelievable designs, but at what cost? Maybe this ship has already sailed. Maybe the legions of surfers on pop-outs have voted with their dollars and the comodification of surfing is virtually complete. Still, I'll take a handshape.

In Santa Cruz this weekend. I packed my mat.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

In tray-ning...

The most splendid of surf tools for the most splendid of surfers...

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Surf Boutiquettiquette...

Andre was quick on the camera draw and caught us in the headlights.

GG, Amy and I stopped in at the opening of Surfindian surf boutique. We had been playing on the sand in P.B. and were about to stop into Taco Surf for dinner when we saw the hubbub across the street. It was classic San Diego Surf Scene stuff. There were the self-conscious scenesters in try-too-hard get up. There were mysto dudes sitting in corners, pondering navels. There were beautiful sun-kissed California surfer girls. There were legendary watermen and craftsmen. I, of course, enjoyed the spectacle but was a little uncomfortable with the crowd. I grew up about four blocks north of the Surfindian. It's weird how when I was 12 the surf shops were all mom and pop joints. Southcoast was three different shops, not a conglomerate. There were no "mall shops". Now there are surf art shops! The money'd middle aged surfistas must be in heaven. I was an art history major in college. Besides making me virtually without marketable skill in the job market it also gave me a lot of experience dealing with art scenesters. Here's hoping that surf art will develop more art and less scene. I hope that Surfindian brings in some beautiful boards so that I can fondle the rails and wince at their pricetags. GG liked the boards, paintings and gave Skip a hi-five. I wonder what PB will be like when he's thirty...