Sunday, August 30, 2009

Despite the preponderance of lefts in the nearest breaks around New York, it is possible to find, at the right moment on the right day, the right swell in the water, with the sand bar just so, a fun window of quickie, makeable rights. This morning I was given such a window and I made use of it, bagging and handful of fast closeouts that left me doing doubles flips out the back, taking them on the head and just making the kinds of sliding drops that are fun to make. On the way home I lucked into a series of Satie piano solos on the classical station and a great news piece on NPR about a certain sect of Moslems. Driving down the street near my apartment, I saw a few of my friends getting ready to play a little Sunday soccer at the park. Jamaican Neal and Jamaican Terry, Kevin the Scot, Ian the Limey and Tommy the bookseller, Gunnar the German plus a few more. There was little to do but stop, pull on my vans and jump in. And so I was gifted with another fortuitous circumstance. Fully expecting to get home to grumpy wife, sister and child wondering what took me so long getting home from the beach, I arrived to find them just waking up from a very big sleep-in. And here I am, sharing coffee and juice and toast, thinking about the waves and goals and radio play scored (and bullets dodged.)

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Friday, August 28, 2009

Nothing more typifies the seemingly counter-intuitive rhythms of the surfer as the inevitable sigh of relief as summer ends. Like the assumption that waking up at the crack of dawn would be anathema to the lazy beach bum surfer, conventional wisdom might dictate that a fiddling cricket surfer would loathe the ant-ish necessities of oncoming darker months. And while this is certainly true in some respects, there is the inevitable double bind that spurs us to both consternation and excitement. As with anything, you take what is given. Wetsuits are still some weeks off, but I'll not be perturbed when they get here.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

As Hurricane Bill passed, there were a few photographers I kept my ear to the ground for. I knew whatever imagery Tommy Colla would get would be the stuff I'd want to see and he doesn't disappoint. As we sat on the bluffs above some of the Montauk breaks, the vision of what we assumed was a Coast Guard training session dominated the view to the east. Pretty incredible to see these big boats rolling and pitching right next to the lineup. Check out the surfer in the first photo. I can still hear Lentini saying "that's the craziest thing I've ever seen!" Truly. Crazy.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

From the Santa Cruz Bureau

Monday, August 24, 2009

It's always a good surprise to find out a friend takes photos of surfing. Click on the photo to see some of Grant's views from Sunday. Now that I know, we'll try to get him out there more often. Although the subject matter might not be so nice...

Hurricane Bill

Sitting on the bluffs high above the surf yesterday at Montauk was a beautiful sight. A vantage point I'd never had the pleasure of gazing from, onto the kind of waves rarely seen around here.
The whole thing wasn't as viscerally epic as it was trumped up to be. That is, it wasn't an awe inspiring, fear wrenching, eyeball exploding sight from the beach. There was good surf to be had, and a lot of interest in having it. And that is enough. The waves were more manageable way out east where the rocks could shape them and further west, away from the center of the storm in some of the slightly more protected spots. Either way it was a bitch to get out by all accounts.
Right in the middle there, along the bulk of Long Island, it was tossing and turning, a difficult paddle out for some very big close outs and a few gorgeous rides.
As soon as I get my film developed, I'll post them up.

A nice little gallery of Saturday's lucky few at Surfline.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Bill Update Saturday

9:30 am
So far, for me, the epic Hurricane Bill weekend has been on the under side of what I was expecting. Smitty's this morning was a washed out mess. Lots of swell, too much water happening for the sandbar to contain anything. Add to that that I hedged my bets, got up late and didn't make the trek to Montauk early enough and I am currently on the skunked side of this supposedly 50 Year Storm. I reckon there are some smarter surfers getting very fun waves out there right now. I just decided to come home and eat breakfast with the family instead of hunting around. This afternoon may be different, tomorrow morning will definitely be different. For now I am content with having sneaked out of a parking ticket outside the ranger station by being a Chatty Kathy to the bemused park police guy.
11:30 am
What is it about hammocks that make them so difficult to sleep in. It's one of the bizarre paradoxes of life. Here you have this sling cocoon thing that is about as comfortable as something could be, but one can never get one's head to sit just right to actually get a nice, long good sleep. Maybe it needs to be in constant motion, like on a ship. I need to rig a motor to my hammock.
12:00 pm
The Mastic Beach Blue Claw Crab is officially not until tomorrow. I checked. With my own eyes.
1:00 pm
Children's blow up pools are the perfect summer day salve. For everyone. You can hear the waves pounding the beach all the way on the other side of town from our house. It is a constant distant rumble. Eerie but both exciting and comforting.
2:00 pm
Eating a leafy green salad with cubes of lightly grilled steak, chopped up strawberries and chunky Parmesan cheese, accompanied by beer in a bottle for lunch is a too-rarely appreciated treat.
4:00 pm
Jumping off a diving board into a pool is an addictive, addictive activity. Once I start I can't stop. Over at Carlo's and Johny Mastic and I are trading cannonballs. I love this country.
7:00 pm
God, I love Gin Rummy. I can play that game for hours. And my boy love's Disney's Robin Hood. Ever listen to Amália Rodrigues?
10:00 pm
Johnny is going to bon-fire tonight. He'll be lighting it up soon. We'll get up tomorrow and drive to Montauk as they've said they might close the bridge to Smith's Point tomorrow. Still hearing the surf out there. Pleasant.
12:00 am
Getting into bed. How did I stay up this late?

Friday, August 21, 2009

Antonio's Predictions

Antonio had to get in on the action...

Official Hurricane Bill Surf Report Wallpaper!

Click on the pic for your free wallpaper.
(er. eh, thanks to surfer mag, corey scott and doug young)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

It has long been the practice here at the Endless Bummer New York Surf Blog that we laud, hail and otherwise trump up our momentarily unsurfing seagoing brethren. And so it is that we find in our inbox today this photo from the Pacific NorthByNorthWest, via the digital signal strength to be found in the Straights of Wanda Feucha. Feed upon the primal oceanic energy here at the peril of your cubicle squatting sanity.
Mollitzkus Williamsbogus

Notepadding & Ku Yahing

Some hilariously observant topical observations here and here.
A few weeks ago I admitted that my understanding of the finer points of board design and such were severely wanting. Here is the guy I go to when I want to feel even extra stupider. RK and his friend Burch.
One of the things about having long hair and a tan and a veneer of the easy going vibe in New York is that people peg you right away. That may not sound like such a good thing, being pegged right away, but if it's being pegged as a long-haired-tan-covered-easy-going-type, it's not all bad in a place like this. Here at the office, people tend to say things about surfing more often to me than Antonio. I'll write it off as purely Pavlovian call and response. But here is a prime example of the benefits: a link sent to me by a considerate and knowledgeable fellow in his own right, and one not usually given to the nod nod wink wink game of Oh, You're a Surfer. Thanks Al.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Looks like Bill's trajectory is a little bit perfect for us. And I just got back a set of photos only to find that the focus is off on my long lens. What timing.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

There's nothing like getting old to make you feel old. These kids were doing a great job. Having fun and filming their fun for someone else's fun. I thought "Great, I'll just sneak over and grab a couple pictures." Of course they figured I'd gotten in the way, and I probably had. And maybe a few years ago maybe I wouldn't have. Then this old guy from the repair shop ambles up with what amounts to a bat and starts chewing the ears of these kids. An old asshole with a bat. Planted himself there and told them he didn't mind if they played with their "toys" but they'd better stay away from the front of his shop. Getting old can certainly make a bone dry. Here is an interesting article.
I wonder how my ten foot log is going to handle this?

Monday, August 17, 2009

Sunday, August 16, 2009

When it's flat, it's really flat. This guy bobbed up and down for a while before I paddled up beside him for the hell of it. I caught a few smooshers, the kind that tear up the nose of your board on the sand, and then took off to read the paper and eat eggs and toast. I waved goodbye and he was content to keep bobbing. Nice guy though.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Thursday, August 13, 2009


I met Viss out in the water a few weeks ago. I'd seen him around. We started a conversation after I had accidentally (I swear) taken two set waves in a row. We laughed about it. I probably a little jollier than he. During the winter he works out in Colorado doing ski mountain stuff and skiing his brains out. He looks like a ski mountain guy. I know, I grew up around them. I think maybe at one point I tried to look like a ski mountain guy. There are definitely embarrassing pictures of the awkward attempt out there to that effect. Anyhow, Viss comes back in the summers to visit his ancestral home in the Mastic Shirley area and to surf at Smitty's. I had one shot of him actually surfing a wave, but as luck would have it I took the photo a fraction too late, right after he had landed that sick lolipop cheesburger mcfraction aerial, so he looks a little out of sorts. I'll get a good one of him soon I bet.

I didn't know Andy Kessler. It's one of those funny things, that is, I shook his hand a few times, was introduced a couple times, saw him around. Always seemed to be cracking a joke with a straight face. I think I tried to crack a joke too, once, but he didn't seem like he was having any of it. But it doesn't matter that I didn't know him. He was known in his own right to thousands of others, and was known well in his own right to some people I like to be around. Those people thought a great deal of him and that has made me think about communities and cultures and inspirations in a different way. I'll try and make it out to the paddle tomorrow at Ditch Plains. It would mean a great deal to me to be there and support a community and a feeling and pay homage to someone whose vital energy I've felt whether I knew it or not.
Here are some photos of the beach from Mastic from late July. That place has become meaningful to me. The idea of meeting new good people and having a place to teach my son about the ocean and a place to drink beer and BBQ with friends means a lot to me.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Andy Kessler

Andy Kessler was a good friend to a lot of good people and an inspiration to many more. Whenever a community loses a hero and legend it is an enormous blow. His energy lives on.

Our very own Antonio (El Otro Gustav) in El Salvador as shot by Chris Pfeil. Lots of interesting things being bandied about for a big show in September around the time of the New York Surf Film Festival. Stay tuned.
Squibnocket, MV

The water in the northeastern seaboard of the United States gets warm and inviting in the late summer. The waves pretty much die, but the water is warm and inviting. When the waves pick back up in September, the water stays warm enough for a handful of weeks, at which point life becomes nearly intolerable for the regularly working stiff. It is like the whole wait is magnified a thousand times. It makes every wave caught a precious jewel. But for now, during summer, when there are no waves, there is the blissful enjoyment of true family beach time.

Monday, August 10, 2009


Club Monaco Surf Wax & Cinelli Ts

When it rains it pours. I'm gone for a week and when I get back Angus has posted, the Glider is back and Manny drops some fun SF shwag. A good day out of the water.


You always hope that when someone takes off for a trip, they'll be real diligent about editing their photos for consumption when they get back, cutting out the fat, leaving an audience with a strong feeling of something. Jack Brull harnesses a photographic impressionism that is all his own. There are some gems over at Salt Stained Eyes at the fore for the moment.
Sometimes a holiday doesn't include surfing. I'm not sure which kind that is, as I reckon you can find something to ride anywhere. New England early morning spongy longboard summit in full effect last week. Story to pop up somewhere, sometime, hopefully.

The fins actually didn't get used. Neither did the leash or the farmer john. So this is a picture of the extra stuff I didn't need. I ended up with spongy foamy rides and settling for trunking with the occasional zip-up top. I did luck into a day on a big sponge stand-up paddle board, cruising around the rocky coastal bights and coves, spying the richie's playground from afar, in my own element.