Thursday, November 4, 2010

Suburban soul...

Epik Aker making a mark.

Age eats at us. We gain responsibilities and graft decisions onto decisions, layering our lives with unfortunate complexities. Where to live?

I spent many years with an ocean view from a house on Mission Blvd. I was so very lucky. My parents, neither surfers, Didn't know that they were my addiction's enablers. I feasted. Years passed. Degrees earned. Jobs taken. Wife married. Kids born. Reality is that the coastal chaos doesn't suit me well. I need waves, but I need a bit of space. I work with an ocean view. I live with a view of a canyon and my two young kids at play. It's a good life, this surfing life, and no matter how easterly I drift, the current always pulls me back to the shore.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

Small Me-steries...

One of my favorite publications, The Surfer's Path, has just released a small feature that I wrote and helped organize about the recent movement towards the "small moments" in surfing as they are represented on film. I like it. I hope you do as well. I wrote this story a long time ago and it took a long time to get to print. I think it came out quite well. Some great artists were involved. Cher, Jack, Erika, Liz, Rudy, Keith, Simon, Morgan and my forgotten mists all deserve a look.

Me, I'm wiped clean. One surf in the last month. Got a few little barrels during the last week's near-epic conditions. Thankful. I've been weighed down with the joys and responsibilities of breathing day to day. I'm looking forward to a bit of sleep and serenity.

Hope you are well.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Print rag...

New feature I wrote about waterman Scott Chandler is available now in Revolt Magazine, both in print and online.

I'm not much for standup paddle boards and their riders. I'm not interested in the big wave and tow in scene. But this guy is the real deal and has earned all the respect I can muster.

Chandler caught a 170 lb. mako shark off of a surfboard. World record? Yes. The shark weighed more than me. Yikes.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

This will never be cool...

But will always be fun!

I had fun at the Mat meet this last weekend. We had good surf and a large crew of pool toy enthusiasts in attendance. I am reminded by watching others and looking at myself in the picture above that mat surfing does not look good. It sure feels good!

Oh, by the way, last winter, on one of the bigger days at Swampi's, Kassia Meador, who is a rather beguiling water nymph, hooted at me while I was slotted, not quite barrelled, on my surfmat, making me feel a little tingly all over, and supporting my delusion that mat surfing may someday make me very popular and attractive, despite my obvious shortcomings.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Eclectic Proof...

I just penned a piece about the invigorating age of surf creativity that has blossomed in the last ten years. Find it here at Drift surfing.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010


Image from Artist unknown

Sometimes when I am running (jogging) on the trail around the lake I stand far to the right so I am next to a wall of bushes and trees. I extend my right arm and let my hand just touch, just barely touch, the branches and leaves. I lean my body back a bit and slouch my shoulders. I kind of tuck my head down. Before I know it, I am in a nice little pocket of green, spying an easy exit, moving quickly through the perfect line.

Seems like you carry this dis ease everywhere. When not surfing, you're searching.

1976 steve lis fish. Immaculate. $2900. tell your friends, virtual and otherwise.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Wandering memories...

One of my favorite lefts. Warm, brown water and long, semi-hollow walls; such a good fish wave. Bobo is stylin' in this clip.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Print is (not) dead...

A piece of writing that orbits close to my heart has found its way to your local newsstand. Pick up a copy of the most recent The Surfers Path. Read my scribbles. Have a cathartic moment or two.

How amazing is that b/w portrait shot by Cher?

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Wonder down under...

Mark and Daniel Thomson are interesting surfers. They both are making surfboards and Mark just started selling surfmats. Oh, and you might want to pick up the new Surfer's Path. It has a profile about Daniel that iss perhaps the finest piece of surf-journalism of all time. For sure.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Muck'n about...

When I'm not making "interesting" choices while surfing...

I'm making charming little baby girls!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

From Pen to Press...

The Surfer's Path, a publication I have long appreciated for it's international appeal, has seen fit to publish a profile I wrote about Aussie surfer-shaper Daniel Thomson. Please read it in the current issue and comment with exuberant praise!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Friday, May 21, 2010


The Post-millennial Grommets breathe new life. Pic: BA-->

Awake. Produce. Repeat.

Each day finds an odd haze hanging over it. The weight of expectation, exertion, evaluation becomes a rote path. One moment is left behind as the next is anticipated. So rarely is a moment let to ring until its simple song is spent. Episodes pile up like driftwood, memories of living things worn smooth and innocuous by powers greater-than. Flotsam reaches the shore. Sea-scraps accumulate.

Then someone walking along the beach picks up the discarded and forgotten bits. Fashioned by an inspired mind, the memories and moments take on new life and meaning. The visionary act of reinvention and re-invigoration breathes new life.

Scale for personal use. Apply as necessary. Work, play, family, expression, success, all need a bit of re-invigoration when the time i'swell.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Feeling the kneed...

1977, Huffman, Rex. The Banzai Pipeline. Oahu, Hawai'i. Photo: Jeff Divine.

Flat, short, wide, keeled and kneeled.

In the middle of a satisfying session it happens. You've been enjoying some speed runs, turns, and stylish this'n'thats. You're feeling good about your surfing. You're in rhythm, you've got a flow. You even start to feel a couple of sets of eyes watching you. All is right with in the salty sea.

Then it happens. The peak down the beach gets bombed by a beaut. Overhead and hollow. Only that mysto-kneelo is down there, where only he tends to lurk. He's too deep. He'll pass it up. He'll never make the late drop. Oh, well, maybe he's going to try it. Oh, wow, he made the drop. Oh, damn. He's deepish. Oh, yeah. He's going to make it. Perhaps he's on to something.

Knees if you please.

Half-stance for a chance.

Cripple-style for a while.

Half-man is the plan.

Turns high-g for li'l ol' me.

Find each little barrel a true kneelo-style feral.

I'll pass on the fins, though. I like to standup on those kneesleds too.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Speak, Memory...

Image Heist from Ryan Field Photography (Kllr Px)

1995. The Jewel,CA.

My daily fun was headfirst, with an eye for an almond-exit. Lounge, VJourneys, GoodLuck Reef, and Retirement Heaven were my favorite haunts. Sea grass on the knees and finless tunnel hunting was the norm.

Low tide Little Left, adjacent to Hydrodynamic Innovator Reef. I'm done with my fun but see a nice right over yonder. I kick my boogie over to the racy little reef and meet a nice barrel as a welcome gift. Then the fun really begins.

I paddle back out and am greeted by two JewelBox Locals. Apparently I am at a place I shouldn't be. Apparently this spot is Kalifornia Kapu. I inquire a bit and am taught about the eponymous reef's history. In a none-so-friendly manner I am asked to leave. I believe the exact words were, "You're going to get a surfboard up your..."

Of course I stayed for one more wave. Of course I did.

I'm so thankful to my boogie years. The time spent in the heart of the beasts taught me a love for the ocean more intimate than breathing. As soon as you stand on your feet there is a separation, a loss.

I'm 90% standup today, but I enjoy the other 10% immensely.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010





To make myself clear. There are no rules about how you can surf, just as there are no rules as to how you can paint. There are only techniques, tools, canvases all for the purpose that you choose.


Photos via BA---->

Sunday, March 14, 2010

The change due...

Derek Hynd from aramis17 on Vimeo.
From Andrew Kidman's Litmus. Derek Hynd=an original.

We've reached the plateau, now the pinnacle awaits. Broken are the molds that mandated clear, three-finned, rocker-wafers. Matriculated memories are the leftovers of the counter culture rumblings and psychedelia of the down rail Hynson missions. Simmons' machines and the wooden wonders of ancient Hawai'i have come into focus. Greenough, Duke, Blake, Downing, Alter, Quigg, Kivlin, Anderson- there is now a timeline to trace, a story to be told that is divergent in its interpretations. Some would say progress is in the air, spinning and grinning with youthful exuberance. Others would place progress under the feet of those who pay homage to the past in their careful, poised surfing. I say yes. The wannabeards and be-stickered both have a stake in the now. The technicrati and the stylized dramatists play a role. The giggling wompers and the scowling swell wranglers all eat at the same table. Be self-aware but not self-conscious. Be joyful and respectful. Be a watcher and an emulator but also an original.
We are in the age of surf sincerity. Nobody who matters cares what you look like. How does it feel? Are you ecstatic? Are you freed? How does it make you feel?

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Inspecting inspiration...

Hynd, Litmus, 5'8" Frye keel fish, Visual interpretation from Litmus screenshot via Jack Brull at Saltstainedeyes.

The Litmus Fish really liked the spear takeoff, no paddle takeoff, fast paddle was all about controlled speed entries. That 5'8" liked the wave the bigger it got. I learnt another side of surfing on that old friend ala glide etc. That's not to say there hadn't been other revelations on other boards. Particularly - the key of Campbell Brothers rail fins in accelerating layback snaps at JBay in the late 80's...not unlike the feeling of Al Merrick's 6'4" bump tail of around 1987. Put the right board in the right wave and any surfer feels touches of magic.

-Derek Hynd, 2/2010

Two nice sessions on a 5'8" Frye Fish brought me a lot of pleasure this weekend. I looked back over some recent correspondence and came across the above quote. I think Derek hit the nail on the head- a traditional fish will teach you about "glide". The single-minded purity of a true keel is so enjoyable. The original recipe: short, flat, wide, double foiled big-base keels. I think I'll take the '76 5'6 Lis Keel out for a bit of crucial keeling.

Mr. Hynd, thanks for your inspiration.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Can you find me...

Yes, I'm the one submerged.

I profess to desire balance. I've been underwater with responsibilities a bit too heavily. Time for some pre-dawn equilibrium-enabling sessions.

Off to bed.

Sunday, February 21, 2010


Lis fish, Select Surf Shop, Roots!
I received these images and a request for a determination of value. I responded by asking what was meant by "value". I could see myself valuing this beauty through a high line or two. Smirk. Grin.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Lines Converge...

A personally inspiring interview I held with Manuel C. Caro has just reached the interwebs. Please enjoy it on Drift Surfing Magazine.

The Pendulum Swings...

LCrow, putting some resin on a surfboard by CChristenson for MHealy. Pic via MMiller.
Remember Edgar Allen Poe? The Pit and the...?
A meticulous metaphor crafted to incite horror. And it did. And it does.

I was chatting at the beach with Sin Diego fixture and single fin maestro LCrow. "It's been a good winter, eh?" "Yep, but I've just been dragging a bit. You know, just have to get motivated to get out there." I shrug and skip to the sand's edge, grinning a Cheshire's large. LCrow becomes a spectator. Days pass, as they do, and I see LCrow at The Drive Through for an early morning dip. Meager lines bob and warble along the sandbar. I eye my boards, beauties each, and kind of mumble to myself about cold and stiff and stinky wetsuit and time's a-tickin'. LCrow looks over at me, "Let's get out there." In minutes we are in the lineup. The cold seeps through my stinky wetsuit as time clicks along. But I am smiling. Not mumbling, smiling. The pendulum swings.

Each day a pass of the pendulum, razor sharp, comes closer. Each day we swing like the pendulum. We breathe life into the tiniest moments, then fritter away the grandest. We enfold our thoughts in minutia, then are able to draw intelligent visions upon the future. We dictate and then contradict. We are in constant danger of the pendulum's death blow. We are the pendulum.

The surfing life gives a weight to the pendulum's swing. We have a central gravity that draws us center. Regardless of the wild gyrations surrounding our unsalty-selves we always come to a rest at center. Thank God for the center.

Monday, February 1, 2010


Solitude sent me searching at my out of the way spots. High tide and decent swell mixed with a rambling shuffle of the feet. Two days, many waves, tired, satiated but not satisfied. The only surfer I surfed with was an invitee. Crowds are a manifestation of expectations too high or explorations too limited.

Above, Larmo etches petroglyphic echoes. Since the inception he'e nalu has been filtered by a collective and singular duality of thought. I am me on a wave at this moment. I am a member of us who are on waves at many moments. Sometimes I need to get lost in the former in order to put the latter in perspective.

Suggested reading as an alternative to surf media described in video above : Footsteps as Flotsam; Granuped, Janus

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Let it be...

Enjoying my new Lis. Many more of these little pocket rides this year...I hope. Oh, and maybe I can learn to bend my knees. Pic via BA

I love resolutions but hate New Year's Eve.

1. Create more/Consume less. A holdover from last year. I was pretty successful with this goal. This goal is empowering in its overarching breadth. In every moment to ask what can be created rather than consumed is a perspective altering behavior. Think broadly on this one, not simply book>TV.

2. Be present. I feel the pull of competing concerns almost constantly. Particularly troubling are the ubiquitous screens which offer a two dimensional mirage of a three dimensional world. I am here and with those around me. I am in this ocean, on this wave, on these feet, in this turn, in this tube, in this water.

3. Develop a sense of complete health- Physical and beyond. This resolution grows from a couple of conversations with interesting peripheral characters in my life partnered with the exhortation (and warning) offered through the story of Dorian Paskowitz and his family.

And, of course, Surf More!

Best wishes to all for Two Thousand and Ten.