Thursday, May 27, 2010

Huevos Rancheros

Or is it Wave-os Rancheros? A couple weeks ago I finally got a chance to visit a wave I've always wanted to surf: The Ranch in Guerrero, Mexico. It's a lefthand pointbreak that can hold up for more than 200 yards, and can hold some serious size to boot. We got it pretty good.

The pics above are from a day that I almost opted out of (see previous post), but decided to paddle out at around 11, right when the wind started blowing. Thanks to Ebb for putting together this little photo collage a typical day. When the swell really started cracking later in the week, seems like shooting photos took a backseat to actually shooting the curl... I can't believe I actually just wrote that.

But you know one of the best things about surfing the Ranch? Getting a breakfast of huevos rancheros, cooked over an open fire, served to you in front of the waves after a 3-hour session. The most pressing question of the day? Cafe con leche or a cold cerveza? Or a second session?

More pics to come...

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Signs of the Times

Just got back from a two-week trip to Troncones, Mexico. Reviewing the pictures, this one really stood out. The one on the left is the sign I duct-taped to the fence outside our house early in the morning after my little boy struggled through a sleepless night, letting the other surfers in our "band of bachelor partiers" know that I'd have to take a morning off. I honestly think the reason he couldn't sleep was because the swell spiked that night and the explosions of the crashing waves kept him awake. I know those bombs going off made me a little restless.

The one on the right is the painting we worked on together that day. Sort of says a lot about how my life has changed from the old surfari days. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Reno 411 (The Rest of the Story)

My previous post about running into Reno Abellira on the beach at Trestles left me with a few questions. Among them: Was he really wearing one of those H-Bomb wetsuits with the batteries taken out? What happened to his choppers? Did I almost just get my ass kicked for saying "That's cool?" And was he really claiming to have designed the Bonzer center fin?

A week later I had the rare opportunity to do some fact-checking. A job put me on Oahu for a few days, where I took a morning to drive out to Cafe Haleiwa on the North Shore and speak to Duncan Campbell, one of the two brothers behind the Bonzer.

When I described my run-in with Reno, Duncan laughed hard and told me this story: He said that as crazy as Reno seems, he's one of the most important innovators of the modern surfboard. Back in the '70s, Reno was one of the few people experimenting with putting three fins on a board, along with the Campbell Brothers. But Reno's version of the tri had the fin cluster arranged in reverse, with the center fin placed in front of the two side fins. Duncan said that whenever Reno claims to have invented the thruster, he always tells him, "If that's true, then why aren't you still making surfboards with two fins in the back?"

But Duncan went on to say that Reno's designs for the board's center fin had a huge influence on the current Bonzer center fin. In fact, he wasn't lying on the beach at Trestles. It actually was his creation that he was about to ride on those speedy rights.

"And you can blog that," said Duncan.