Thursday, April 12, 2007


"I'm gonna shove that easel up your ass!"

Yesterday I was sitting in some mushy surf, watching a certain break go off like I'd never seen it before. It was absolutely beautiful in its angularity, size, color, consistency and power. It's widely known by surfers here that there's a strict underground policy forbidding any photography of the wave. Tales of bloody deer heads on car hoods and cameras being ripped from the hands of dumbfounded beachcombers all reinforce the legend of this, arguably the most coveted break on the West Coast.

Bobbing in the less-than-stellar conditions that I had relegated myself to yesterday (a spot a half-mile closer to the beach), I couldn't help but imagine what would happen if I were to amble out along the rocks with my portable easel on my back, a flimsy canvas under my arm, and a beret perched askew on my head for good measure.

I looked left at a dirt parking lot filled with Ford F150s and wondered if I'd even make it past that grizzly gauntlet, where locals have been known to huck rocks at kooks and pros alike, especially those threatening to shed light upon the perfection of the only thing that makes life in that seaside town livable. At least I'd have my easel box protecting my back and a square of stretched fabric to deflect incoming sticks and stones.

Then I thought about writing a short story about it. I smiled as a dark speck dropped into the glassy left impossibly late, drew out a precise bottom turn that brought him ten yards behind the roaring whitewater, and then swiched his weight on the rail, whipping himself back into the trough, where he was immediately swallowed like Jonas, ejected seconds later only to spray a triple overhead rooster tail that sent him back down the wave, where he repeated the process.

And I just might sit down and write that story. When I get a little time.

Alex Smoke - Don't See the Point

This post is dedicated to my grandfather, David Cosley, the man who passed an intense love of adventure, family, the Sea of Cortez, and off-color bar jokes to me. Godspeed.


Gazelle said...

I'm not a big fan of the "Kill Bill" movies, but reading your post I couldn't help imagining Uma's character from those films kicking some 'grizzly gauntlet' ass.

Now THAT would be entertainment worth paying for...

Paula the Surf Mom said...

That was a pretty good story you presented in this post... painted a picture with your word

ras said...

Man I always wondered if the aggression at that spot was more fiction than fact. But I never checked for myself. I like surfing -it peacefulness, its beauty, its proximity to nature; to truth. Why ruin all that for a wave that's perhaps better but full of all the things I want to avoid.

Nash said...

Is this a computer sketch or paint? Love it. I almost cut my finger off yesterday, I actually saw my bone. it was a bit scary.

Slim said...

I passed an elk head on my walk out earlier in the fall/winter.

A sponger was dumb enough to change into his suit out at the spot and got his shit tossed into the ocean after he paddled out.

Slim said...

Props to yo' grandpops, R.


Chum said...

The mythology (which is actually mostly reality) is what keeps this spot from being overrun by bro-brahs on road trips and surf mags looking for an icy Indo. It also probably helps keep unprepared surfers out of harm's way. This is a dangerous wave. Like ras says, there are plenty of other spots that are fun and carry much less weight in terms of vibe and consequence.

Anyone who knows me knows that I'm vehemently against aggressiveness and any form of violence, but I can also acknowledge why locals like to perpetuate the aura of fear that surrounds this break. This blog post probably helps their cause, but so be it.

Nasher, I just did a sketch from memory on the 'puter, then through a pointillism filter over it.

G said...

Sorry to hear about your gramps. He might appreciate the adventure of traipsing out to the point with beret, brushes and board. You'd have to grow a frawnchy mushache, of course.

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