I have to start my year with a trip to mainland Mexico in December. I know it's not technically this year, but since 12/07 was a bust, I'm going to count this shot taken by my wife of a set wave at La Lancha among my greatest moments between Decembers.
It snowed so much last January that I white-knuckled the whole drive over the coastal range. The road was a sheet of ice, and we pushed forward, finally stopping in Cannon Beach (not being able to drive south to PC until the roads warmed up the next morning). I snapped this shot from the snowy beach the next day.
This was one of those sessions where, for some reason, there was nobody out midday at a very well known break. It was Sunday and I remember wondering if the Superbowl was on. Just three friends in the rain, sunbreaks, decent waves, and a rainbow to boot. Let the gay pride cracks rip.
Same place as the above drawing, except much bigger. We were surfing a hollow grinder along the shore all day and when we paddled in, noticed that the outer bar had started firing. Again... not too many dudes out, for some reason.
This was a drawing from a great day where I skied (for the first time in my life) paddled a river, and surfed in the same day. We called the water-fueled marathon "Spring Runoff" and documented it on film for the new outdoor apparel company Nau. It was really cool to teach somebody to surf who had taught me how not to be a "gaper" earlier in the day.
Ah. My little jewel. The Mandala Winged-D 2+1. When I ordered it I asked Manny to make something that could handle bigger, steeper waves than my 5'8 quad. He sold me on the design when he said, "People may think this board looks funny as you're walking down the beach, but you'll have the last laugh when you take off way outside spray them from 50 feet away."
I was cruising through my blogroll when I made my usual stop at Surfy Surfy. It was there that I found out Sissyfish had been featured in an article in my favorite magazine The Surfer's Journal (thanks for the subscription Mom and Dad!). JP, who wrote the piece, wondered in the article if I'd ever score. I promptly emailed him and told him that by including me in the illustrious mag, he had ensured that I did. I was psyched.
Nicaragua. The most challenging surf trip I've ever been on. The powerful waves there claimed two of my boards very quickly (including the aforementioned Mandala), leaving me to paddle into some serious surf on my trusty little fish. This pic is of one of those "oh shit" moments that makes for good bar story.
After a few weeks of small swell, a group of friends were reunited for a session in Pacific City. The waves were great: peaks everywhere, sun shining. We surfed until the sun went down and I took this picture of a moonlit sea that whispered of a great autumn to come.
There's a popular break in our neck of the woods that "core" surfers just love to hate. I learned to surf there, and it has remained one of my favorite spots. Maybe it has something to do with the long lefts that roll through midweek in the autumn.
Surfing with friends. That's what this blog is really all about. This fall we seemed to get some of the biggest, cleanest waves of any season since I started four years ago. It's always great to share those moments with your best chums.
My second to last surf session of the year was a macking day at Smuggler's Cove where I hesitated to even attempt the paddle through the shorebreak. When I finally did, I was rewarded with some of my biggest waves there. I shot this as I packed up to leave.
Nico dropped into our lives in November, and I spent the whole month of December getting to know the little feller. I haven't seen the ocean since his arrival, and I can't say that I've had much time to miss it. More challenging than any wave, he's my greatest treasure... but I can't wait to go searching for treasures again in the sea!
Animal Collective - Peacebone