Friday, May 29, 2009

Maassen, an 18 year old gifted with sight.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Long Island is for Surfers

I spent the weekend out in Mastic Beach. The first weekend of many to come. Hopefully, some weeks too. I have been spending more and more time out there the last few years and when a friend decided to abandon his place for the summer, we pounced. Mastic Beach offers a ton of amenities not usually found so far out East. My big gripe with renting a summer Long Island place, or even visiting friends out in the Hampton/Amaghansett/Montauk bog, is the time it takes to get there, the untantalizing trendy crowds and the sense that one really isn't getting away from anything. Mastic is pretty different. A stone's throw from those harried locales, it is laid back, unassuming and just this side of the maddening crush. Throw in some very good surf when it's firing, a beautiful stretch of beach for a paddle when it's not and some needed visual beauty and quiet, and you have a town that is a hidden gem. Hopefully I can luck into some goodish summer surf and make a film about the whole thing.

Smith Point film here.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Surf blogs come in quite a few genres. Good-vibe surf blogs, techie surf blogs, celebrity surf blogs, snarky surf blogs, punk hipster surf blogs, photo surf blogs, poetic and literary surf blogs and surf blogs that are really about food, tending gardens and drawings. Actually, I may have it all wrong as to whom I am mentally calling out but that's neither here nor there. What I am saying, really, is that my favorite sort of surf blog is the kind that follows the daily hurt, exhaustion and reality of trying to be a healthy, operative adult. It is, on the face of it, a seemingly losing battle that ultimately, in perspective, is being won with aplomb. There are a few in the Surf Historians section to the right and they are top notch.

For better or for worse (and it's really for worse on so many levels) the warm air of summer stokes the surf brain like nothing else. Really in the end, it should be about surfing all year round, sure. But I'll be damned if a little higher air temp doesn't do something special. And so my mind has been racing with renewed fervor to realms aquatic. So much so that the nightly surf dream has nearly returned. This is such an odd thing as I am not surfing with any consistency and waking up from bobbing in the ocean every morning only goes that much further to making me feel like a wannabe. In this crazed fever, I've been perusing the surf blog universe with what, for me, amounts to a vengeance. That is probably still not as much as some (or most) but it amounts to a lifetime of time consumption for my type. Its pretty astounding what one finds floating around in the air on just a cursory glance. A full week of real surf blog scouting has opened up all sorts of international expressions of the pursuit. It is a nice thing to peek in on. Of course this pastime opens the proverbial cans of worms and slippery slopes that do nothing to temper "healthy self-destructive" and "socially anti-social" behaviors.
My favorite thing lately? Mastastico calling the below photo of Mike and Chris "adorable." And god dammit, it is.

Two nice nochromes of recent events floating around the Long Island blogosphere.

Morgan Rae Berk is a woman on the move. She doesn't take no for an answer and this includes not answering the phone. That is, she doesn't necessarily answer the phone. That is, I've never tried to call her, but I can't just expect her to be available. That is, well, just forget I said anything. But if you're on the Long Beach Island in a couple weeks, you'll be able to see some surf films previously available only at the NYSFF '08 vintage. One of them, yes, is The Surf Magazines Don't Talk About Lapsed Catholics.

The Lighthouse International Film Festival CHECK IT!
Two Old Chestnuts

The first, Hammond's, the second, the Santa Barbara Pier.
Both around 1994.
I see here how far along my friends were while I was still struggling to get it. At Hammond's on a particularly innocuous day, the sort of day that didn't justify attention for whatever reason before the big late-90's longboard explosion, you see me tucking into toothless fun one like I'm dropping in on a straight-to-barrel bomb. Just north of the SB pier, around the same time, Ian displays the subtle physical economies that make him such a pleasurable surfer to watch. He is on an incredibly flat, ridiculously heavy powder blue early sixties keeled plank on one of those mysto-break days right in the middle of town.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Our international man, KPF is currently up in Alaska tracking the summer migrations and so forth. He lives on a boat half the year filming the things you see on the wildlife channels. Sometimes he makes it out to the African highlands or to the Dakotan lowlands to get dirty. A true adventurer and a man of many talents.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Joni Sternbach via Making Friends

Apparently her stuff was here, and no one knew. Not me anyhow.
More commute harangues.
The newest addition to my commute.

Often in the mornings my son demands to watch either Cars or Wall-E while he eats breakfast. For us the watching of moving images is designated-time activity. The morning is not a designated time. Just one of those little parameters that makes us feel better about our parenting skills. However, sometimes he looks at me with those big eyes and says "Surfing Papa?" and it pretty much melts me. He already knows how to buck the system in the right way. This morning we found this full Roxy movie on You Tube that is pretty great. We were both stuck to the screen for a while.

Monday, May 18, 2009

So we missed the Fish Fry this weekend. It got moved to Saturday, and Saturday was a work day. Come to think of it, Sunday was a work day too, so no complaints. Still, it's always a bummer to miss a good happening.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Crazy Downhill Slide!

Click on the header link to watch!

Check this...Ari Marcoupolos' film!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Friday, May 15, 2009

More in the mode of finding great photos on other's blogs and sites and such and reposting them here. It gets me deeply excited to find a photo somewhere that captures the feeling of something good.

Layne Beachley gets Shacked!

Layne Beachley paddled out at notorious big wave spot "Ours" near Botany Bay in Sydney on Wednesday, after a bet from Tim Bonython. The Bra Boys were with her the whole way & towed her into this monster, after she'd paddled into afew smaller ones & survived!! They reckon it's the heaviest wave ridden by a woman in Australia ever!!! Sick...Good stuff! Awesome pic! Love it!
Click on the header link to read the full story & there's also some footage of it floating around...enjoi!


Thursday, May 14, 2009

Great Lakes Surfing

There are some images that cry out for appreciation. There is that famous image of Pat Curren and crew looking like pirates sailing across the Pacific, stogies in mouth, rum in hand, jauntily capped and furry. Here is a Curran of slightly different lineage, but similar ilk, displaying fancy footwork all his own.
Beyond the compositional elements of a surf photo, there are many angles of criticism and types of wonder to consider when looking at the actual subject matter. Sometimes it is the sheer speed and power generated, a sure sign of the rider's understanding of the dynamic situation and the ability to manipulate that momentum at critical moments. Sometimes it is the flow and trim, the subtle use of the provided energy to make even the most fleeting feelings obvious. And sometimes it is the dance. Those moments of balance and rhythm, of angle and step, the lines drawn against both hard and soft. Leroy Grannis knew how to capture that well.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Four More

There are a couple Grannis classics, but check out Osio in Blue for more cred.

More great images from Osio in Blue

Photos by Allan Grant, Bruce Usher and Ron Church, as far I can tell.

Osio In Blue

I was over at Pineapple Luv and bumped into this guy, had a look at his stuff and settled my eyes on this picture. What a classic. In fact, I liked the whole vibe the blog over there, and you might too.
Osio in Blue

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Days of Beer and Roses

Carlsbad Bureau, Tommy & Reba's Wedding

When I'm in North County, things take a decidedly homely turn. It's a casserole filled with family, surfing and letting the boy get his fill. It is also about morning Budweiser, afternoon gin and Cessi's burritos. Koko Beach, Pollo Maria, Leucadia Donut Shoppe and Pizza Port all make sneaky appearances. And if I really haven't been around in a while, In 'n Out is a must. The twenty minute drive up to San O and Church or the 10 minute ride down to Swami's inevitably happens once or twice. And every now and then, for good measure and for a clear mind, I remember to sleep on the beach. The Santa Cruz Mullis Compendium tries to plan their trips down to San Clemente as close as they can to our scheduled visits, and Tommy and Reba always make an appearance for a night or two. If we are extra lucky, the Sacramento and SLO Stewarts make the trek. If we are even more extra lucky, the Santa Barbara Demmons drive down. Abuelita is around, Mimi is around, G&P, Tia, Buelo and Uncle are around. It is a magical place filled with magical people and the expectation is to have a good time.

Monday, May 11, 2009

The Greatest

I am the greatest surf photographer ever, deftly maneuvering my seal-like body into critical positioning to capture only the most high-performance moments on only the most high-performance waves with only the most high-technology apparatus.
Tell your kids you knew me even before I knew me.

Jack "Shortcup" Mullis, ripping G&Ps.
Shot with a found water-proof disposable camera.

All Hail the Old Guys

Buelo and the Master of the Court

This last trip out to California I had a nice long chat with my son's grandfather. We sat on the deck, watched the afternoon slop turn into early evening glass, and he told me about going up to LA to pick out good balsa to take to Phil Edward. This was in the late 50's. Buelo would drop off the raw balsa 4x6s, with redwood for a stringer up at Phil's place in Oceanside and come back later and pick up a new board. Altogether, he said he must have had Phil shape him and his friends a dozen boards.
As the stuff out in the water improved, I have to admit I started feeling the tug to paddle out. Buelo pointed out to some mush and said that Phil used to come down to Tamarack every now and again and paddle out and rip whatever crud was breaking.
"Boy, the speed he'd get, on something no better than that, he could do things on waves I'll never know how."
Then he said I'd better get out there.
No pressure.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Last weekend, when I took out the new board I also took out the long dormant Holga. Some photos of Jack Brull's kind of got me back into it. This was the end of the session. Looks like the conditions were calming down a little.
Everytime some non-surfer finds out I surf, the questions are the same. Where do you surf around here? Do you surf in the winter? Is it any good? Are you good?
I have my answers I give to the first three, but the last one always gets me. I realize, of course, the answer is no, but it kills me to admit it. I simply don't surf often enough to get back to any level of real authority. Competence maybe, but no authority. After a week or so surfing consistently in California (what I do about two or three times a year), I am just starting to feel it. But then I come back to New York, get mired in the toiling rhythms of work and everything goes down the other tubes. I guess it's ok, but it doesn't feel ok. I suppose, for right now, processing the necessities is my life's work. And so I process away.