Monday, July 28, 2008

Wall Hangers

Gerry Lopez says that with surfing there are no prizes to bring home after a trip—no antlers to hang on the mantle to remind you of great sessions or amazing waves. He says that’s the reason why surf culture has developed such an amazing array of storytellers, because, “Sometimes the only thing as good as surfing is talking about it afterwards.”

I have to disagree with Gerry a little there. I’d say that surfing does have its version of antlers, and to keep that analogy going, Mr. Pipe is a big game hunter. Photographs and videos of surf trips are undeniably the deer heads we hang on our walls to bring back memories of our surfaris, from the harrowing drives down half-dry riverbeds to the rich colors of suspect street foods to, of course, the waves that we all go on these crazy quests to catch. And Gerry Lopez has collected some of the most iconic and prized images of the sport of kings—tangible, true souvenirs from a life well-spent. That’s not to say “talkin’ story” isn’t great as well, or that memories of certain waves won’t stay with you in the first person for the rest of your life, but man, it’s nice to have snapshots to go along with the words and reflections.

As I mentioned in the last post, we surfed with Ed from Quality Peoples a few days in Mex and, aside from being an all-around great surf chum, he also recorded our adventures on film. Like any good photojournalist, he takes pictures without being intrusive or making a big deal of it. He just gets his share of waves, then, when you least expect it, pulls out a camera and snaps away for a few minutes. The quality of his images are incredible, as you can see from the pics here and on his blog and photostream, really capturing the experience of surfing with friends in foreign lands.

So this post goes out to Ed, a true marksman and sharp-shooter when it comes to helping a band of motley surf dogs score some quality antlers for the mantle. Your blog, your designs, your photos—hell, your LIFE—is an inspiration. Looking forward to surfing together again, wherever that may be.

All images above copyright 2008 Ed Fladung, Quality Peoples.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

La C*leta

Some great surf the last couple days, leaving not much time for drawing, but I found about fifteen minutes this afternoon to do a quickie computer sketch. It's been so great to hang with Ed from the Quality Peeps blog down here. He's probably the most talented designer/photog out there in surf blogland and I was honored that he took an hour from surfing La C*leta two days ago to snap some shots of OS, Gee and Me. Check his blog to see the results...

This trip has been a blast. Surfed a crazy little beach break this morning that I was sure would either break the board or the body, but somehow emerged unscathed -- if you don't count the mosquito bites.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Faraway, So Close

Our boat guy, "Freddy," loved taking pictures with my telephoto and it turned out that he had a really good eye. It didn't hurt that he surfed this area for eight years and knew the waves like the back of his hand. He claims that he gave up surfing five years ago because he "had enough waves." With consistency and perfect shape like the waves we've been getting, I could almost believe him.

Here's Freddy...

Sunday, July 20, 2008


It took some time and effort (and a little extra dinero) but we finally scored a nice day at this Mexican point on Saturday... Mellow takeoffs, glassy conditions, hollow sections inside, and, best of all, all by our selves for two hours....

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Down in the Funky Rivermouth

Went back out to the Rivermouth yesterday and scored again big-time. Can't really judge the size of these waves by the pictures, but if you look at the tire tracks on the beach above, it gives you an idea: shoulder to head-high with some punch. Inside the "boca" started to fire while we were out there and we took our chances paddling to the other side to catch some of the grinding, hollow rights. Caught some very, very memorable waves. Got worked a few times too.

We noticed the water was feeling a little greasy and wondered if the rains had unleashed some nasty runoff upstream. There was all kinds of wildlife out there, big fish, birds, and a school of rays that swam through the face of a wave as I hauled ass down the line.

Our questions of whether or not the water was dirty were answered this morning when OS woke up with a sore throat and cold symptoms. Our boardshorts stunk even after two washings today. We've renamed the break "Croc Pisses."

I think that if you ask OS, though, he'll say it was worth it. On the drive home he told me it was one of the best sessions of his life.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Surf's Where You Find It

Sometimes it's at the bottom of a Michelada (Beer + Lime Juice + Salt + Worcestershire Sauce), as it was the last couple days -- as we endured a rare flat spell in San Pancho, Mex -- and sometimes it's actually out there, just requiring a little more "gasolina" and conviction to uncover.

I've been out of town, which (along with a rental house that doesn't have internet) has really slowed my blogging down. We really thought that were were going to get skunked (again, for some) in Nayarit, but found a rivermouth that magnified the miniature swell and organized the waves into sweet, shoulder-high lines. When OS and I rounded a bend on a muddy, rocky road this morning we looked across an amazing, rock and palm-lined river and saw firing lefts and rights, staggered like laced fingers. We literally screamed at the tops of our lungs and rubbed our eyes like we were waking from a dream.

Needless to say, it was mirage-like, much like a cold beverage to thirsty men crawling across a ridiculously humid, crab-infested desert, filled with mosquitos that seem to bite no matter what third-world pharmacy spray they apply no matter what time of day it is. It was good. It was wet. And it was ever so refreshing.

More posts when I actually remember to bring a camera, but until then, cheers!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

A Couple Goofies

I got a chance to meet Gerry Lopez a few weeks ago and it was really cool. I enjoyed the talk he gave at the Patagonia store, especially the end of it, when a little girl in the audience asked him if he's ever drowned before. His response was classic:

"Just hold your breath. You'll always end up floating in the end..."

I also got my goofyfoot hero to give a shout out to Sissyfish. Not a bad endorsement. I just finished his book, Surf Is Where You Find It. It rules too.