Tuesday, August 28, 2007


I found myself bored in a meeting the other day and my mind and pencil started to wander. I wondered what would happen if Serge Gainsbourg were alive today and he had the chance to meet Paris Hilton. The notion was probably spawned by an article I read in Vanity Fair that described a certain breed of guy in Hollywood who makes a name for himself by dating famous blonds. Gainbourg, or his drunken alter-ego Gainsbarre, would have surely gone out of his way to kick those losers in the balls and ridicule the shallowness of the chicks who seem to dominate the media these days.

If you don't believe me, check out this video, when Serge, having actually become the drunken Gainsbarre he invented, meets Whitney Houston.

Serge Gainsbourg - Requiem por un Con

What is this post doing on my surf blog? Not sure, really...

Sunday, August 26, 2007

That Fall Feeling

The report said 62 degrees. Tried to surf sans booties and was denied; the water gave my feet an instant ice cream toe-ache. I guess there was an arctic upwelling of some kind. I grabbed booties, but was stuck with my hole-riddled 4/3 wetsuit. Had to duck maybe 10 waves on the paddle out and yelled at the top of my lungs after the third dive, my eyes bugging out of my head. But that didn't bother anybody. OS and I were the only two guys out.

Astonishingly, the next beach up had a gaggle of people flailing around. When I checked it half hour before, I stopped counting after tallying 60 soft toppers, spongers and kayakers all seeming to get in each other's way, despite the size of the beach and the variety of peaks. I got back to the ranger's gate quick enough to grab a refund and headed south, to where I was currently, ducking waves and marveling at the size and frigidity of the a-frames.

It was tiring to get to the outside. It reminded me of the paddles when fall starts to turn to winter and one wonders if he'll ever make it (and even considers turning around after that ninth wave over the head that turns you sideways, making you feel like you've made no ground). But I made it.

Waves were steep and wedgey and surprisingly easy to catch on my 2+1. The board seemed to be made for these waves. I started to figure out that if I crouched low on the drop, I would stick in the pocket and trim high and tight for the duration of the ride. I wouldn't outrun the curl and I wouldn't get swallowed up. I'd just stay tucked in. Like I'm about to do tonight, in an attempt to get rid of this sore throat I picked up from the freezing sea.

The Fall - Totally Wired

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Closer to Perfect

Hints of fall
Push behind the swell
Summer still gives Gifts
Warm water
Smooth surfaces
Sunsets and smiles
Peaks here
And there
Pitching ahead
Ducking in
Feel the vacuum
Hear the echo
Go weightless

Then tumble...

Ride - Leave Them All Behind

Monday, August 20, 2007

Laid Back

I've been a little laid back on the blog.
Going surfing again tomorrow, though.
Until then enjoy this drawing from my travels...

Snoop Dogg - Gin and Juice

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

The Second Coming

The timing couldn't be better. Around the New Year I rented Stylemasters from Netflix and all my friends who came to town for the holidays (surfers and land-lovers alike) were addicted to it after a few late night screenings. Phrases like "Just you and your bros, getting tubed," and "Perfect V-land," were being thrown around with abandon at inappropriate times - like shortly before OS was escorted out of Sassy's in a headlock...

Now, on the eve before the very same crew of revelers from NY and LA land in the Pacific Northwest again, I find out that Stylemasters 2 is available on DVD. Shoots, brah, I need to pick up a copy...

Style Council - Shout to the Top

Monday, August 13, 2007

Note to Self...

New goal: Surf better. Of course I still want to get a legitimate tube, but after watching really good surfers in person last month, I realized that I still have tons to learn about what parts of the wave I should be riding on. I have this habit of being so stoked when I'm on a green face that I just fly down the line as fast as I can go, until I run out of speed. Only then do I think, "Shit, I need to do a cutback." The resulting turn, as you can imagine, is pretty anti-climactic. Seven inches of spray squirts off the outside rail as I struggle to get back to the steep part of the wave.

And I've also noticed that really good surfers spend most of their time in the critical part of the wave, either right next to the curl, under the curl, or even slightly behind the foam ball. The first image that comes to mind is Tom Wegener in full trim on a waist-high Noosa right where the lip is actually breaking on his legs but the board is zipping along the inner wall of the wave. His knees are actually getting tubed and he never gets knocked off!

So that's my simple goal for the rest of summer: to surf better and harness as much speed from the small stuff as possible by turning back toward the breaking lip.

And maybe boosting a totally sick air, or something...

Wire - The 15th

Thursday, August 09, 2007

How to Disguise a Bad Ding Repair

Here's the first ding on my Mandala. It occurred when I dropped into a "bomba" at Panga Drops, realized that the wave was going close out, kicked out the back, and underestimated just how much speed I'd gotten off my bottom turn. When I looked down with my feet still on the deck, I discovered that I was about five feet up in the air over the back of the wave. By that time my legs were fully extended and I had no way of softening my landing by bending them again. First my heel hit the middle of my board with karate-like precision and force, then my ass hit it. At first I couldn't find the ding and I thought I could keep surfing. Then, to my dismay, I saw the 3-inch impression running down the stringer, cracking the glass deeply along the wood.

When I got back to Playa Gigante, where we had rented a boat, I was informed that there was a ding repair guy in town who was capable of handling the job. As a matter of fact, he'd just patched up a resin-tinted Hobie that had suffered exactly the same injury, and the job looked fine to me! Unfortunately, when I got my board back it looked like someone had spilled a cup of coffee in the middle of the glass job. Oh well. It's under the wax anyway...

In other news, I got a great surf in today. The Mandala still works like a charm. Waist to shoulder-high peelers--perfect glass the whole time. Weird thing was there was a massive school of fish under the water that was so thick, you could actually smell them. The seagulls and pelicans were having a bit of a bacchanal.

Nazareth - Love Hurts

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

I Saw, Therefore I Draw

I think drawing from memories of sights, sounds and feelings is much better than sitting in front of something and trying to get it just right. So every day of my summer vacation I tried to spend time on the balcony with my ipod, some paper, a box of colors and two beers, in an attempt to capture what I experienced that day. Sometimes it was as simple as leaves on the ground, sometimes it was as profound as the perfect wave. I ended up with a wide range of paintings/drawings that say more than words--or even photos--about the time I spent in Nicaragua. The condo didn't have any art on the walls, so I taped a picture above the beds each afternoon before my evening surf session.

Mogwai - Travel Is Dangerous

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Memory Trigger 4

Sunburn peeling
Ear infection no more
Mosquito bites scabbed over (all 80 of 'em)
Sore muscles gone
Jellyfish sting fading
Ribs softening up
Rashes a thing of the past

But the memories are still strong.

The Jesus and Mary Chain - Far Gone and Out

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Art, Style and Surfing

There are some hot conversations being batted around about the validity of "art boards" and "hipster shops" in the Oregon surf blogging world. Go HERE and HERE to jump in on the healthy debate. I think if you read my blog you know where I stand on the subject.

Coincidentally, I just found a really great article on Mollusk NYC's blog about John Belik, an arty dude whose creative spirit helped him push the boundries of surfboard design. Check it HERE.

Cat Power - Hate