Monday, November 24, 2008



I'm sitting in an SLC office where it is cold and dry... But my mind keeps wandering back to perfect 5' a-frames at XXX XXXX yesterday. Offshores grooming the waves to a slightly rippled, silky surface, with dramatic plumes of mist coming off the lips, easy drops, long rides, and turns, turns, turns!

It was seriously the best I've ever surfed it. And looking out at XXXXX, it appeared to be a cold-water indo with a golden transparency that was reminiscent of a still from One California Day - but better.

I need to check your link when I get out of this meeting.

Nice that you're getting a jump on the holiday though!

Let me know when you get back to town. This is going to be an epic winter for surf.


Email by Chum
Tweaked photo by Mark Mekenas

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Piece It Together

Some waves are so intense that afterward, as hard as you try, you can't remember the details of the ride. I caught one on Saturday that was literally the biggest I've ever ridden. I remember sitting way outside everybody else with OS and seeing a freakish swell growing out of the horizon line like a big blue carpet rolling backwards toward me, gaining size with every yard it advanced. We both looked at each other as it reared up in front of us and he said, "If you go for this one, it'll be the biggest wave of your life," to which I yelled, "I'm going!" turned, and paddled with all I had. As I popped, I saw the nose of my board hovering over thin air, a good 12 feet above the trough, then I dropped and locked in. And that's where my amnesia starts.

Luckily Hendo, a new surf chum from NZ, was sitting far enough inside to witness most of the wave, until he had to try and duck it. Rather than trying to put into words another wave-of-my-life moment, I asked him via email to describe what he saw:

"I've surfed with Chum a couple of times before, and on this day we were treated to some really amazing waves in a great setting. One wave of Chum’s waves really stands out and will be ingrained in my memory banks for a while. Chum and another buddy had paddled out in search of a couple of sets that had been breaking further over towards the rocks… It looked like they were going to be out of luck until a big rogue set reared its head on the horizon. Chum picked out a big one and went for it… Watching from the inside I was hooting and hollering as he paddled in, honestly I thought he might eat it as the waves were throwing pretty quick, but he rose to his feet perfectly and flew down the line riding nice and high in the pocket. The wave definitely was a beauty and one of the best I’ve seen ridden in Oregon, don’t quote me on size, but double overhead for a man of Chum's stature wouldn’t be far off."

I tried to draw a few pictures of what I can remember: the huge shoulder, the foamball threatening to engulf me, the tip of my 6'7, and Hendo scratching for the outside, pausing long enough to hoot me in. Thanks for the memories, Hendo.

And to the guys who filled our shoes with sand on the beach: Thanks for only using sand.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Can you find the wave in this picture?

We may not be the best surfers in the world, but it takes a special kind of skill to be able to paddle out into this at 8am on a Saturday morning and have a good time. Were there diamonds in the rough, or just really rough diamonds? We took some serious smackdowns for the few corners we found.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Pipe Dreams

Right around the time the leaves started changing, I was taking a walk through the neighborhood and I stopped by a yard sale. Among the flotsam and jetsam piled on the folding tables--the old books, board games and brick-a-brac--I found a wooden box of worn old pipe bowls. Next to the box was this brass pelican.

I picked up the weighty bird and asked the old man tending to the sale what it was for. "It's a pipe holder!" he barked. The bird's wing had an emblem reading "Daytona Beach, Florida" on it. It turned out that all those old pipes were his father's.

This was literally the same day that my 10-month old had finally started to go to sleep at 7pm, which left me with three full hours of "me time" in the evenings. I could think of nothing better than sitting on my porch with a big glass of red wine (or scotch), a pair of warm slippers, a pipe full of fragrant tobacco and my thoughts.

I bought the pelican and a pipe for $5 bucks.

The first time I smoked it, my wife almost ejected me from our bed, my hair, breath and skin smelled so pungent. She literally asked if I had snuck out to The Tube during the hour that I was outside the house. The next morning, I awoke with a sore throat the feeling that I spent the night licking the floor of a brothel. Not the best way to face a fresh-faced baby.

Since then, the pipe and pelican sit on my desk, a reminder that I can (and will) give it another try. I have to admit that I sometimes chew on the stem when I'm trying to channel Mark Twain... like now for instance... and usually it doesn't work.

Gulf Shores - Palace

Thursday, November 06, 2008

imm O rtalized

My "o-face" was recently immortalized as part of Patchie's series of surf blogger illustrations. Posted the day before the election, I wonder if my expression was an omen for the O-man's victory.

You know, hanging out at Doug Fir the other night, one thing became crystal clear: Hope makes people horny. Seemed like everybody was either making out or trying to get some post-election action. Long live love.

Thanks, Patch...

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


I almost got used to that feeling of having a dark cloud
over my head all the time.

I almost forgot what it felt like to have hope --
a sense of pride in being American.

Until last night.

I went out with OS at around 10pm to "tap into the energy of democracy."

I'm inspired, and it's nice to know
I'm not alone.