Saturday, August 29, 2009

In other worlds...

Photo: Web Foundling

There are small cracks in sidewalks
Seeds fall in and reach
Around other seeds in search
Of what will inspire germination.
The feet above scatter busy days

Above the heads of small flowers
Now questioning
What will inspire germination

- Padante Namimbu Bakura

Summer draws it's curtains with a fine show of sun and swell. My adored wife and son fly away to visit the in-laws. I begin my work year in two days.

Tonight, I drop off my two beloveds at Lindy Field and they flap off into the sunset. I jag the car to the coast. A beautiful sunset and glassy, waist high waves greet me. "Hmmm, I guess thirty minutes of surf is better than anything else I might do." Mat, fins, down the cliff, into salty reflecting pond. I spin and slide a wave and then another. The sun slips away. One surfer paddles in and then another. At last it is just me, alone, in the dark.

Surfing by sensation is a treat. Although I began to feel like bait after about a half-hour, I did enjoy some solitude and that rare feeling of being inspired for all the right reasons. No one could see me. No one knew I was there below the cliff on which they stood. It was me and ocean in our own slow dance, no one else on the dance floor to impress.

A beautiful counterpoint to life in general.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Fragile moments...

At one North County break a surfer called Skip a kook and told him, "When I tell you to kick out, you kick out!". The worst part, nobody clued the offending surfer in. (photo BA)

The final fling before I'm back to the 7-3:30. Three morning sessions in a row lead me to North County locations that I seldom frequent. These are waves that people talk about with a smile but never in serious tones. Inconsequential waves of summer south swell fun. The fishies and mat had a minor feast.

But really, every time I visit North County San Diego I am profoundly aware that the quality of the waves are not matched by the general quality of the surfers. Two of the sessions I surfed this week ranked in my list of top three kookiest lineups ever (you mean you don't keep a list?). I've encountered more SUP misbehavior, more lineup lunacy, and more bizarre surfing in North County than I imagined possible. North County surfers of quality, will you please do more to keep your lineups and surfers accountable. Thanks.

You have to understand, I surf a Drive Through break about fifty percent of my sessions. I deal with kooky lineups all the time. But North County, you've got to get your act together. I'll be checking in on your progress during the school year. Thanks.

Nice waves, handle with care.

I've been stung four times by bees as I've walked the beach this summer. Karma?
I broke the box and fin out of my favorite JHall fishy for the second time this year while pulling into little beachy barrels this morning. Karma?
Shuffle your feet, ASmith. Shuffle your feet.

Yes, I'll name the spots. Poops, Crowdiff, and Qualcomm Reef/Beachy.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Mas Despacio, por favor...

Jim Phillips' work. You can bet this took a minute or two. Photo via Web Foundling

"clean up the deck and get rid of anything that is wrong, skin the bottom to thickness, thin and rocker nose and tail, add vee's and or concaves. If the shape is NOT a full template stocker, draw out nose and tail and middle dimensions and template, cut out with power saw or hand saw, true up the planshape. Now true up the bottom, making sure the 2 sides are even and symetrical, give the bottom a light sand to get rid of any planer chatter, go back and look the deck over. Flip blank, cut bottom bands, fair in bottom bands with additional planer fine cuts, check for accuracy if you have NOT stabbed yourself in the eye with a pencil first. Flip blank over, band deck rails, fine bands to finish up, check for accuracy again, Sand flats out to rails top and bottom, sand over edges to end of final planer cuts top and bottom, tune up rails for the rough screening. Fine sand top and bottom flats, finish sand rails, give it a final drag of fine screen.

It damn near took me 40 minutes to type it all in proper sequence.

It takes as long as it takes to do it right, not a minute sooner.

A job worth doing is worth doing right No one has time to do it right, but has time to do it over The faster I go the behinder I get Would you buy a board from me if I took a little over a half hour ? Fast is not the same as good More is not better"

-Jim "The Genius" Phillips

Last night I sat on the beach with my son. My wife was out surfing. GG is jumping over holes, a little spiderman. "Daddy, how did spiderman get his powers?" Amermaid comes in, I grab the board to go out for a splash. "Daddy, I want to surf with you." Stop. Warm feeling toes to nose. "Okay, come on." Three years old, 34 pounds, on the deck of a 9'o. I walk him out, past the shorebreak and motorboat him over the oncoming microsurf. He does little push ups to get over the waves- a longboarder in the making? For minutes we are just floating on the outside. Then, moments later we are sliding towards the beach together. A first to equal to any monumental kid first; first step, word, haircut, bath. Anything.

Today, on the boogie, we try for a few from aways out. GG slides towards the shore and has that wonderful wipeout on the sand. He is shaken. We get on the horse again and take another, just to show fear that we are not mastered. Then, fun without expectation. "No more boogie waves right now, okay?" Sure GG. Take it slow. Enjoy your ride. No hurry towards some fictional finish line. "Maybe tomorrow we can surf again, Daddy?" Sure GG, as long as you're enjoying yourself.

How passe'...

I used to have a 5'6 Larmo keel from KG. It was one of the best small wave boards I've ever ridden. Corpo-politico tomfoolery kind of made KG a joke. But back in the day (what? 200? is back in the day?) KG had Larmo and RK repping from a seriously knowledgeable fishhead perspective. I still love this shticky- tacky video and song. It makes me want to paddle around on Kauai and in Baja. Reality is that I'm too poor to travel to the Garden Isle and too unwilling to scare my wife by traveling in California Sur at the present moment.

Speaking of things fishy- Lis resurrection board is eminent.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Architectural Psyche...

Photo: web foundling

Archetypes are made, stone by stone, image by image.

Waves were junk at The Drive Through. Grabbed my fins, hung my key around my neck and ran a minute or fifteen to Triton's Doorstep. Bodysurf session ensues. A few caverns explored. Sinus flood and tired legs my reward. All around are clones.

Twenty seven 6'2 thrusters, a few fishies, and me. The Logos are important. The wetsuits are important (Matuse is the new SD uniform by the way). The scowls are important. People can make almost anything into a competition. A beautiful, simple, sublime activity mangled by human insecurities and corresponding narcissism. Don't they know that I stopped going to Church to escape the pollution of the perfect by The Body Politic? I'm a member of The Church of the Open Sky. Look up and see the glide of the gull, gaze down and see me, sliding along on my belly, arm outstretched in an embrace to hold the whole of the sea close to me.

On the way back to The Drive Through a few of us are chatting. "I would love to live there." Yes. An elevator down to separate me from The Rest. A circle of windows giving me reign over a kingdom that I serve. The tide and wind would be my clock. The swell would be my church bell. Ring, sweet sea, ring.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

Comflex reasoning...

Pendo most likely via Cher.

The new TSJ arrives. I love that white envelope. Inside are the usual suspects. I line them up and analyze each one thoroughly. Melanesia looks unbelievable. Alter's story gives me nostalgia for the days from before I was born. I sensed the stoke in the womb.

I come across an article about flex. Pendo is a contributing voice. He's one of my favorite Sin Diego surf characters. The 'stache is just so enamored of surfing and surfcraft it makes me giggle. I don't think I'll soon forget doing figure eights on a wave with our surfmats, bouncing off each other and grinning like my son on the bumpercars at Belmont. It's no surprise he's into the mat. He understands about variable flex. He and Stanley Pleskunas are a couple of minds on the hunt. His mind is always flexing. Take a wander over to his new site created by RR of 70%.

A bit of a surfing hiatus this last week while I enjoyed time with my family by the poolside on vacation. GG can now swim about eight feet underwater pretty comfortably. Tomorrow a bit of snorkeling and a GLIDE session. life is hard.