Friday, August 21, 2015

The Last Stab In The Heart

A couple Summers ago, during a more blessed time. Mastastico in the foreground, EBNY in the background
Foto by Johnny Panessa

Hurricane Danny. You jerk. The recent troubles that have beset my surfing life have become the stuff of legend (in my own mind.) So much so that I've taken to unfollowing my Instagram friends who post too many images of themselves surfing or enjoying the waves in any way. I can't tell if this is an adolescent reaction to a nonexistent dilemma or whether it's a nonexistent dilemma created by an adolescent reaction. Unpack that. Anyhow, Danny swirls and swirls, pasting the shore with perfectly little lumps of aquatic gold. Just my size, just my temperature. And here I am, finally on vacation, a couple weeks stretching in front of me, at least one of which will be spent staring at a placid, riderless sea (rocks and sheep.) Certainly not the generously unfurling lines in full blossom of early Autumnal fun.

And this all makes me think of the triple bind that is surfing:

1. Embracing the hurricane swells we take the most enjoyment from things that cause devastation and misery.
2. Partaking in this most arch of climatic activities, we often employ some of the most environmentally hurtful processes.
3. This bliss inducing activity is the bane of our peace of mind.

I'm not sure how I feel about Beach Grit. I like Derek Reilly's hip stuff well enough. I enjoyed that Chas Smith book where he talks about smoking all the time.  But I also feel like that whole endeavor could be weirder. It has this fringe/mainstream mode it runs in, almost to the point of being very, succinctly straight. It's the insider's club making insider's jokes. Where's the weird?

Well, here is something lovely they posted not to long ago courtesy of Rory Parker:

The question is, when do they get the cease and desist letter from the Frenchies?

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Fan Art!

Take your pick. Shannon, aka "Shmickwally" sent through some amazing art for the Boy's Journey. I'm sorta partial to the the seventies rainbow version... editing and thought process on this sucker starting in earnest around this time. Stay tuned for more updates.

The Boy's Journey

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Happening : Jianca Lazarus In Rockaway (& Women of the Seven Seas)

As part of the Women of the Seven Seas festival, one of our favorite water photos, Jianca Lazarus will be presenting her work on the walls of the Rockaway Beach Club this weekend.

 "Saturday night having a photo show at @rockawaybeachsurfclub in conjunction with the NYC Woman's Surf Film festival. If you are in NYC please come join us in the ‪#‎SUBMERSION‬ of the creativity of woman in the ocean. /// August 15th Opening 7pm Rockaway Beach Surf Club + Lava Girl Presents 302 Beach 87th St, Far Rockaway, New York 11693"

This is the sort of thing one might as well not miss if one can avoid missing it. So, as they say... don't miss it!

Friday, August 7, 2015

Today's Thought

The Boy's Journey : An Update

I have to say at the beginning of this (and this may get a little weird):

The internet must be the most unsurfy place in the entire universe. I say that with some hesitation to hypocrisy, because for the last while the internet has the most surfy place in my universe. Social media has been the drip feed I've convinced myself is the necessary nourishment for this ghostly idea of an aspired-to life. I've been crafting my own digital papier mâché version of a wave I'm sure I'm riding. And maybe I am. Riding it. A wave. And maybe there's no harm in that. But there is harm in that. Because the internet is the least surfy place in the universe. Even the word surfy, a shorthand for anything faintly wafty with the aesthetic underpinnings of surfing culture, is a kind of red herring internet meme phantom.

And this unsurfy internet tells us when the swell will hit. It tells us where. It shows us where our next trip should take us and exactly when we should go and what board to bring. It offers us the plane tickets, books us our hotels. No, it doesn't book our hotels, it tells us where to rent the surfiest cabana, the surfiest camper van, the surfiest campsite. And just before we go, here is the darned surfiest all-weather protective jacket, most comfortable surfiest cozy warm wetsuit, and the surfiest indestructible camera to record the whole thing to feed right back onto the internet, the surfiest place in the universe where we will burnish our surfy reputation as at least as surf addled as the next one. And all that assured surfy success? All potentially wildly unsurfy.

I should say that all before I start.

Because I had the unfathomable luck in witnessing what was sure to be some kind of bottomless pit of windmill chasing genre-fueled, meme-stuffed, intention-soaked video documentary perfection blossom, by dint of disaster, into a real surf trip.

We started our journey in the winter of 2014, hatching plans and making little videos to pop up on Kickstarter to woo the generosity out of our friends and family. Thanks to some cognitive leniency on the part of all, we actually hit our marks and funded our trip, leaving in February for a three-week exploration into the dark recesses of what it means to be a father teaching a son about surfing.

We had interviews lined up, people to see, places to stay, secret spots to explore, communities to become part of, boards to ride, shoes to wear and bags to carry it all in. We had everything we needed to pursue our dream of making a movie about surfing that would plunk all those aspirationally surfy notes, making our audience's collective knees wobbly with a kind of perfectly pitched "aw shucks" authentic surfy makersmanship.

Since the fateful moment we landed on that confoundingly coruscating continent, our trip has been some sort of fateful mixture of the fundamentally fantastical and terribly real. To say it another way it has been the stuff of mishap, misdirection and mistakes buffeted by the sheer joy of the journey. To say it another way: we came, we saw, we failed. Since getting back to New York in March, I've barely had a chance to breathe a bit of that documentary air. Hitting the ground running, back as a father-to-two-sons, business owner, life-partnery-person and all around headless chicken, life has put editing off and off and off.

I think that has been a blessing.

For one, and classically, it has allowed the space all director/editors need to make a film. I can look at the footage with a somewhat clearer eye, less encumbered by the sense of captured catastrophe and more from the brain of re-exploration and appreciation.

But another thing has happened in this interminable interim, something far more devastatingly conceptual: I've barely surfed a wink. I've surfed so little in fact, and this deficit has taken such a toll on my emotional stability, that I've started to hate surfyism. First mildly, unconsciously, then more recently, bubbling and whole hearted. I can't stand the surfy idea of surfing. It's gotten to the point that I am actively "unfollowing" anyone on Instagram who posts up an image of fun in the waves. The mere visual mention of a day at the beach triggers an internal buckshot of envious rage. I am so filled with a bottled up surfless anxiety I think I've actually started to see just how unsurfy the internet is and how incredibly unsurfy "The Boy's Journey" was going to possibly end up, following along this soulless pied piper fantasy of web-engorged surfy path.

What I mean is, I think the film can now be its own wonderful thing, and not what I'd hoped it would be, which may or may not have been a misconception of what I thought it needed to be.

All this to say, the post process is starting. Finally. I am so excited to jump in and witness the carnage that will tell a real story. I apologize for taking so long to update you, but I hope you can stick with me just a little bit longer. Stay tuned dear friends, dear supporters.

The film is on its way to being on its way.

Friday, July 31, 2015

On Your Calendar : Beach Lovers in September

"Join me for the the Brooklyn gallery debut of Beach Lovers.
Beach Lovers is a collection of intimate moments shared by couples I have captured at Rockaway Beach.
This series is about the small moments of tenderness between couples, whether sharing a picnic, long laughs, or a lazy limb-entwined nap on a beach blanket.
These photos illustrate love in its purest state.
Celebrate lovers and the end of the Summer at this special opening.
The first 8 couples will have a Lovers Polaroid Portrait taken.
When: Wednesday, September 7th 2015, 6:00-9:00PM
Where: Ground Floor Gallery 343 5th Street, Park Slope, Brooklyn, NY 11215
 See you then!
Erica Reade"

Monday, July 27, 2015

Happening : Women Of The Seven Seas

AUGUST 15 for the 3rd annual NYC Women of the Seven Seas Surf Film Festival!

NY Surf Chicas is more than proud to be a sponsor of Davina Grincevicius' Women of the Seven Seas Surf Film Festival 2015. Saturday 8/15 at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club, the festival will feature a selection of films from established and emerging directors focusing on the inspiring lives of women surfers around the globe, highlighting what makes their journey unique, fuels their passion and connects them to the ocean. Doors open at 7:00pm. Films begin at twilight (8:30pm).

Free Admission.

The feature film, The Wave I Ride will be the east/west coast premiere, with filmmaker Devyn Bisson attending the festival. The film premiered in Maui, May 2015.

Accompanying the feature film are shorts by filmmakers Ed Fladung, Adam Reynolds & Shane Passantino, Leah Dawson, Morgan Maassen, Nathan Oldfield, and Hayley Gordon.

Alongside showcasing surf films, the festival will host a raffle with a Nature Shapes surfboard and many other great prizes from Imaginary Surf Co., SEEA, Salt Gypsy, Grindergirl Surfwear, Zingara Vintage, The Blue Bungalow, Scotty Bags, Suger, Goldie's Natural Beauty, Off Season NYC, St James, Boarders, Sayra's Wine Bar, and Uma’s.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Today's Quote

“It’s like you’re holding a rugby game in the Serengeti National Park during the great migration.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Then there was this.

via Ricardo Antonio of Phoresia fame.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Becoming Westerly for Nowness

A few years ago Jamie told me about this crazy project he was involved in, documenting and writing a book about this surfing superstar pursuing a sex change in his later years. I wanted to be part of it right off the bat. I had a few good talks with Jamie and Alan, his co-director on the film side of it, but the pressures of keeping a business afloat knocked me out of contention to help edit the thing. A little while ago Jamie rang up, and asked if I wouldn't step back in for a quickie on his book's behalf, crafting a little trailer piece from bits of the documentary-in-progress. His editor was neck deep in finishing the feature, but was incredibly generous enough to let me comb through some footage and make a piece for Nowness.
Jamie's book is a must read, as much for anything surfy as for the interest and psychology of watching someone find themselves and all that entails.
I'm stoked I finally got to be part of this journey.

Forget that Samsung Advert, Forget Gisele's Chanel...

This is tops now. Best piece on surfing I've seen since those damn cows.

Friday, July 10, 2015

Could This Be The Greatest Surfing Commercial Ever?

Only if you don't count the Chanel/Gisele one, which really, for pure, universal surfing stoke, simply cannot be beat. But yes, this reaches right into the pumping heart of that matter.

I'm still for the cow jazz.

Could This Be An Instant Classic Surfing Poster?