Sunday, August 30, 2015

This Week In Not Surfing

This Week In Not Surfing features surfing (!) and not surfing! The above a shot of an actual moment just after I'd actually surfed. And surfed a place I'd never surfed. A place not in the United States. Which effectively means I went on a surf trip. But only effectively. In reality it was a blip on an otherwise unsurfy trip. A remarkably fortunate blip.

The trip to Canadia courtesy of Wifey's insistence, the surfing in Canadia courtesy of Dean Petty and Ricardo Salcedo. 


Friday, August 28, 2015


Here the tides flow,
And here they ebb;
Not with that dull, unsinewed tread of waters
Held under bonds to move
Around unpeopled shores
Moon-driven through a timeless circuit
Of invasion and retreat;
But with a lusty stroke of life
Pounding at stubborn gates,
That they might run
Within the sluices of men’s hearts,
Leap under throb of pulse and nerve,
And teach the sea’s strong voice
To learn the harmonies of new floods,
The peal of cataract,
And the soft wash of currents
Against resilient banks,
Or the broken rhythms from old chords
Along dark passages
That once were pathways of authentic fires.

Red is the sea-kelp on the beach,
Red as the heart’s blood,
Nor is there power in tide or sun
To bleach its stain.
It lies there piled thick
Above the gulch-line.
It is rooted in the joints of rocks,
It is tangled around a spar,
It covers a broken rudder,
It is red as the heart’s blood,
And salt as tears.

Here the winds blow,
And here they die,
Not with that wild, exotic rage
That vainly sweeps untrodden shores,
But with familiar breath
Holding a partnership with life,
Resonant with the hopes of spring,
Pungent with the airs of harvest.
They call with the silver fifes of the sea,
They breathe with the lungs of men,
They are one with the tides of the sea,
They are one with the tides of the heart,
They blow with the rising octaves of dawn,
They die with the largo of dusk,
Their hands are full to the overflow,
In their right is the bread of life,
In their left are the waters of death.

Scattered on boom
And rudder and weed
Are tangles of shells;
Some with backs of crusted bronze,
And faces of porcelain blue,
Some crushed by the beach stones
To chips of jade;
And some are spiral-cleft
Spreading their tracery on the sand
In the rich veining of an agate’s heart;
And others remain unscarred,
To babble of the passing of the winds.

Here the crags
Meet with winds and tides
Not with that blind interchange
Of blow for blow
That spills the thunder of insentient seas;
But with the mind that reads assault
In crouch and leap and the quick stealth,
Stiffening the muscles of the waves.
Here they flank the harbours,
Keeping watch
On thresholds, altars and the fires of home,
Or, like mastiffs,
Guard too well.
Tide and wind and crag,
Sea-weed and sea-shell
And broken rudder
And the story is told
Of human veins and pulses,
Of eternal pathways of fire,
Of dreams that survive the night,
Of doors held ajar in storms.

 E.J. Pratt

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.