Friday, July 30, 2010

The above imagery was gratefully lifted from the blogs of Janicza Bravo, Shawn Stussy, a Google image search for pelicans & Pablo Picasso & Woody Brown, Life Magazine and the art site But Does It Float.
The Endless Bummer Movie Machine is slowly, very slowly chipping away at a block buster.  We don't know exactly when this blockbuster will bust any blocks, but by gum, when it's ready, we'll tell you.  Give us a number of months.  Maybe more than a small number.  But here is a taste of the current direction!

Surf Porn

Let's face it, most surf films can get pretty boring. Do you really think you ought to teach kids how to make industry standard crud? Well, I guess they have to start somewhere. I guess I ought to start there too. Truth hurts.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Board Sale, Sale Board

The Thom Browne is up for sale over at the old timey Mollusk shoppe.
I am the proud owner of three surfboards in a three surfboard size apartment.  Wow, you really have it made! Well, you'd think, and yeah, in so many ways, I do.  The only catch is I have two longboards. That is one longboard too many at this point. So I flipped a coin and the newer, nicer-condition board ought to be sold off to make room for another shape.
So there it is over at Mollusk waiting for someone who wants a longboard that works great, paddles great, rides great and is an actual longboard, not a facsimile of a longboard popped out for posterity.
The board itself was commissioned by Thom Browne from Natures Shapes to accompany a fashion show.  Instead of running of a few turkey's off some sort of turkey press, NS just applied the appropriate logo design to their NR-1 model.  A year or so ago a friend, who works for Thom Browne asked if I wanted to take the board, dormant, untouched and cluttering a corner of their office off their hands.  So I did, and there you go.
I guess I haven't talked about it much since then, but here are my initial impressions.

"Based off of a classic combination of a Hanson 50/50 and Bing templates this board has become our best performing nose rider. If you are looking for a classic all around longboard then this is the model for you. The combination of a wider outline 50/50 rails, concave nose and rolled v bottom allows the NR 1 to trim and nose ride without a step out of place."

So head on over to Mollusk, they'll let you ogle it, touch it, and if it smells right, buy it.


Yaan P. from Springsidetown sent this through, maintaining the current focus on modal exploration.

Meanwhile, on the adjoining linkage, we find a Skip Frye oldie...

And a couple John Lamb raddies...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

The Otherside's Passage.

There are few times one wants to celebrate the trip one didn't go on, the one missed, but the exploits of one sea captain and the shifting contents of his ragged crew should not be ignored. I was, naturally, slated to be on this boat at some point. I did, of course, flake out for purposeful reasons that only slightly served their purpose. But I wish I'd gone. Anyhow, lest we forget the other modes of using the wind and waves during the summer...

The New Jersey Goings On (Off) - A Night of Pine & Where Oceans Converge

Please join us on July 31 at 6pm for "A NIGHT OF PINE".
This event is a fundraiser to help reimburse the artists who lost irreplaceable works of art, hand made clothing, and jewelry.

Refreshments, food, silent art auction, raffle and a viewing of "Hanging Five"- a documentary on Wolfgang Bloch, Andy Davis, Julie Goldstein, Alex Knost, and Tyler Warren.

A very special thank you to all of our sponsors and friends:
LBIF, Mud City Crab House + Black Whale, Black Eyed Susans, Yellow Fin, Living on the Veg, Patagonia, Roxy/Quiksilver, Peerless Beer Distributors, Barefoot Wines, Callahan's, Neptune Liquors, Harvey Cedars Shellfish Company, Wooden Jetty, Farias Surf Shop, Jetty, Ando and Friends, Lily in the Valley Florist, Jennifer Kretzer Yoga, Karen Garcia Personal Trainer, and many more!

A very special thank you to the artists who generously donated original pieces of art: Ann Coen, Kristin Myers, Chris Pfeil, Matt Burton, John Furno, David Wright, Cyrus Sutton, Jason Murray, Andy Davis, Ash Francomb+ Kris Boline, Brad Hoffer, Susan Wickstand-Roche, The Surf Gallery, Mary Tantillo, Kyle Gronostajski, Sue Doyle, Art Brewer, Russel Budd, Ty Williams, Jessie Wolfrom, Alison Craft, Jennifer Harp-Douris, Maryanne Hughes, Alex Weinstein, Nick Zegel, Michael Montanaro, Ryan Tartar, and more!!

Please contact Julie Goldstein: with any questions on the event.

Come to the opening reception of Where Oceans Converge, an exhibition of artwork that is inspired by the surf community. The exhibition bridges both the east and west coast surf communities to bring together some of the most well-known artists in the country.

Sunday, August 1.
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.


The Union Express This Thursday

Dueling Movies! Go for the Witzig Sea of Joy over at the Mollusk shop, or check out the Union Express projecting in Bellmore! So much surfy filmy action it cannot be contained! The summer is a good time to be in New York.

Tickets are now on Sale. You can purchase tickets at:
Sundown Surf Shop, 2726 Hempstead Turnpike, Levittown NY 11756
Online Tickets will go on sale This Thursday July 8th @
Call: 516-796-1565
Tickets will be on sale at the door
Where: Bellmore Theater 222 Pettit Ave, Bellmore NY 11710
The Playhouse is located right behind the Bellmore Train Station.
When: Thursday July 29th, 7:15PM.
The Surfrider Foundation is a non-profit grassroots organization dedicated to the protection and enjoyment of our world’s oceans, waves and beaches. Founded in 1984 by a handful of visionary surfers in Malibu, California, the Surfrider Foundation now maintains over 50,000 members and 90 chapters worldwide.
For More information please call
Sundown Surf Shop (516)-796-1565 or go to

Surfy Shouts and Murmurs

Nick Cook Photography
One of the super joys of living with a toe in the interconnected cloud is the constant stream of plausibly impactful imagery that slides through the wires. Today's webby find is Nick Cook who looks like he has a nice vantage point from somewhere near the Santa Ynez mountain range.

Another big gift from the blog experiment is that people contact us from all over the place with all sorts of different perspectives. You don't know who these people are at first, then you do a little research and they turn out to to be so and so a person doing such and such a thing. Ed emailed us recently, we emailed back, then checked to see who Ed was. We think he was this guy. Which is very cool.

Witzig Wigging Out

Greetings Team,

Hope this finds everyone well-surfed and tanned, enjoying yet another Summer of Love! Turn off ya AC and join us this Thursday the 29th at 8pm for a special screening of Paul Witzig's 1971 psychedelic classic SEA OF JOY along w/a short program of skate/surfy films made by Joseph 'Cups' Gallagher and Sam Salganik.
Cupped-beverage service and streetside BBQ as always!

See ya'll Thursday Nite...

Aloha from River Street,

Hello friends.

Come out tomorrow night for some sidewalk grilling and a selection of

surfy films.
We'll be showing a selection of shorts from Joey Gallagher, Jason John
Wurm and Sam Salganik before our feature, Paul Witzig's psychedelic
transition era surf film "Sea of Joy".
This is a BYO grill and drink.. Films will start around
8:30 or as soon as its dark enough!

Hope to see you there!


Rainer Fetting & The Complicity of Guiltless Guilt

"[It] taps into your aesthetic so completely, so ultimately, with such meaningfully shallow remorse, that you will break down and realize that your whole ironic, self-congratulatory anti-intellectual anti-Republican thing is just a sham. This movie is your bhodi tree. Watch it. Hate it." -Ok Oh Movie Review, 2006

I strolled into a fashiony store in Motauk recently, the sort of place that captures the imagination in just the way you'd rather not have your imagination captured. That is, it's packaged up your own sensibility a little too perfectly. A touch of the tackle shop, a little bit surf shack, a nod to the Goodwill. All at premium, premium prices. The out-of-the-trash paint-by-numbers paintings of ships at sea start at $450. The sarong/beach towels net out around $100 a pop. The surf trunks go for around a 130 bucks. Just really exorbitant, obviously, but the whole thing is done just right. The changing room is a big tent of sailboard cloth. The surf trunks look really, really good. And if they actually sell a $450 dollar paint-by-numbers painting, they'll be stoked. It's almost as if you can't argue with it because, in the end, it works. And there is no reason to deny something that works.
The real find in the store was a thirty dollar art book of impressionistic surf paintings by Rainer Fetting, a book I later purchased at eight dollars from an online used book store. Admittedly, the fact remains I wouldn't have found this book had I not walked into that frustratingly well-appointed little shop.

An excerpt from the dialogue between Mr. Fetting and Karl Pfefferle that opens the book:

Do the uplifted arms in the painting L.A. surfscapeIV signalize danger?

No, Surfers want to get past the wave. Some people dive through it because they don't want to be caught up in its sheer force, or if possible, if it's not too strong, they force themselves over it. And when you raise your arms they absorb the wave's resistance. It is about man's struggle with the universe. In contrast, pelicans hover effortlessly, exploiting the lift above the waves. People become small in the surf. Small figures waging battle with nature. All of a sudden that intrigued me. Previously, I would paint surf pictures that only showed the sea, where you only see the sea's force. Then for the first time I started to add people, who actually move about in these waves.
Basically that is an age-old topic facing humanity; man alone out to sea, alone even in boats. Naturally, in the 17th-century Dutch painting it is the entire crew, but it is nonetheless alone at sea.
Yes, that's another similarity with Turner. Where the battleships go up in flames and sink, and in my case it is just individual persons.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Introspection Ripe for an Exercise in Redundantly Too-Talky Blog Posting

Snagged from Shawn Stussy's Blog

In New York at least, you can't throw a stone without being, as some would say, tainted. Many of us either work in fashion, or for fashion, in finance or for finance, as artists or for artists. And, truth be told, even if we don't, our paychecks say otherwise. Someone buying your art? Probably payed with stock market coin. Someone gave you a big tip? Probably some banker in from Connecticut. The order on that brass work in the new local bar? Frequented by fashionistas. The custom cabinets in that loft? Inhabited by ad execs. That new surfboard? Oh, you know, just plastered with the name of a menswear designer who happened to commission a few ten footers for the runway.
The whole gig is to be at the right place at the right time and few come here to ignore the hopeful glance in the direction of that lucrative moment.
The internal struggle this represents, this battle for authenticity in a place so dependent on the whims of other's systems, is a spiritual self-immoloation that seems to last as long as you're here.
But the concept of authenticity is tricky anywhere. It is a mantle placed by one on another; you can't say you're authentic anymore than you can claim humility.
This brings us to the sacred cows, the holy horses, the cultural recognition of the sublime. Surfing arouses an extra-extroverted sense of propriety in terms of authenticity. And there the question is begged. Where do we get this idea of authenticity? Who lays the thing on whose head? Why? When? At some point it seems there was some tacit acceptance that what goes into surfing, the culture, the design, the mores, the tropes, is as much a part of surfing as surfing itself. But surfing has never had anything added on. It is still just and only riding a wave. Sure, might as well ride stylish and creative, but ridden, and that's essentially all. Everything else is window-dressing necessarily left back there.
In this way, most things we've ever been told about surfing through our own surfing media, most things we've read in the magazines or seen in the movies, is either bunk or art (appreciable bunk) part of some big act put on by the savvy few who've seen an opportunity to either support their lifestyle of surfing by selling the idea of surfing, or the creative few who want to celebrate their lifestyle of surfing, inviting others to celebrate it too. Surfing has nothing to do with a t-shirt, but sell a t-shirt and maybe you'll buy some time to go surfing.
The great western hero-anti-hero himself, Dora, knew just how far he could use the system to get what he wanted before he took off to do something different, returning every now and then to replenish the stores. All the while surfing.


There is this fallacy running amok out there that my style is robotic, like an 80's dancer. Dude, what? Well, the guy with the big camera on the beach captured my dangerously-far-from-any-discernible-pocket style. My lengths-away-from-anything-heaven-forbid-critical style. Except those arms look pretty critical. The tight leg treatment looks kinda critical. Of something. Maybe of someone on the beach. Maybe I saw something I didn't like. I dunno. Anyhow, here is a little free advertising for Mr. Rovnyak's watermarking prowess. Which one should I buy? (Gotta support your local photog!)

Friday, July 23, 2010

Puberty Blues

Directed by Bruce Beresford in 1981
The quintessential coming of age film of the 80's
If you haven't seen it you can pick it up at Rhombus!

Simon Perini

Some of Simons photos going up on Rhombus walls the link to have a look at his site & some of his shots!



Thursday, July 22, 2010

Mick over at Safe To Sea has always got something good to say. Something worth hearing. Yesterday he presented a link to Ed Sloane's photo blog and a basket of goodness.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Grain Surfboards

Some days there is a moment to go down the list of Surf Historians to the right and just check out what's going on. This doesn't happen that often, but today's morning reprieve brought this little nugget lifted from Johnny Abegg's blog. The surfing is nice, the shooting is pleasant. I don't know what the sound is, I'm listening to bossa nova on the web radio instead.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

May It Be Crushed to the Rocks (or) Mixed Bag Of Poo

Last night's online weather activity produced this morning's fine display of longboard recklessness.  To say this morning was fun wouldn't quite convey the nuances of the morning.  Safe to say, I got lucky enough to the wrong way on one side of the jetty in a successful search for an obliterating little cover-up on the other side of the jetty.  There were some nice ass-dragging pigdogs in between. At least they felt good.  They probably looked tweaked. They probably looked more like ass-drags than pigdogs.  There was probably no pigdogging.  Then, as things would have it, the camera slipped out of the suit, lost to the vagaries of the great Atlantic ocean first and subsequently to the hands of someone who won't return it. But, if you are a person who will return it and you found washed ashore today a small hand-held white camera thingy with some footage of a little boy and some surfing on it, I'll be happy to reward you with something, I'm just not sure what yet.

••Long Beach NY, Lindell/Washington/Laurelton area••

Yocal Old Guys Make Good!

A quick search engine perusal of some online imagery brought me to a couple recent, local "soft" news pieces about some of the more advanced practitioners out at Ditch Plains. Man, the yocals love the old guys. I guess they're pretty lovable though. And always good for an affirmative head nod if you aren't a jerk out in the water. Here's to the vets, the boys and girls who were there before you...

Dan's Hamptons : "Boys of Endless Summer"
Thrive NYC's : "Old Guys Surfing? You Betcha"

Monday, July 19, 2010

Plutocracy & Oligarchy: Recent Thoughts on a Surfing Life

I wake up early to get to the beach. Seeing a big citrus fruit rise over the buildings dotting the beach or magically appearing through the morning fuzz, fingering an uneven reflection through the water in my direction is an experience I haven't gotten used to. I also go at dawn because a basic appreciation of this primal event, while widely acclaimed, is less practiced, leaving me to surf in relative solitude. There is a third reason, when given the weight of thought, brings about more unpleasant realities. I go surfing early because I don't have a permit to park at the beach.

Richard gives me a look of furious disappointment. While explaining his latest surfy invention, one that would inevitably be ignored by most surfers but likely purchased by the trend following hoi palloi, I mention that he needs to brand it for the right crowd:
"You know, those guys who put their board on top of their car nose first."
"Huh? Nose first? That's how I put the board on my car. What do you mean?"
I verbally fumble around and realize I've touched my teeth with my toes.
"Oh, you know, that old thing, that's how you tell real surfers from fake ones...I don't believe it, of course, but it's kind of a colloquial given."
"You don't believe it, but you just said it. So I'm a kook?"
This is a bad moment, I realize. I've let myself get tangled up in something both larger and smaller than me.

There are a million assumptions I've heard and felt surfers make over the years that seem to be part of a kind of DNA code, written into one's system the moment one is confident enough call oneself a surfer. Generally the code is stronger, more pronounced in those steeped in surfing culture from a youth, but the pose can be struck by those who've acculturated later in life. One strain of the code is a garden variety tribalism, a this is this and that is that protectionism that sweats out of the pore of every true believer. It is a feeling felt, on one level or another by any person whose felt their space encroached upon by anyone else: get out of my space. It is not a particularly discerning code.

The beaches of Long Island, New York are devastatingly beautiful. This is a fact lost upon the vast majority of people not from Long Island, New York. It's been an effective deception to keep them that way, one that includes constructing a massive, dirty city nearby, developing a culturally meaningful geographic trope (read: the mob movie) and, finally, putting tariffs on the enjoyment of its beaches. Further west on the island these take the form of a tidy daily parking fee, further east, seasonal parking permit.

Localism is historically one of, if not the, most important parts of surfing culture. I don't mean this in a we'll-beat-you-up-if-you-surf-here way, but in a more wide sense: people surf together at one place for long periods of time, tell stories about the place and people, building strong community. It inevitably begs the line: your strength is your weakness.

The parking permit effectively means the sole way to enjoy the beach is to live in the adjacent townships. Of course, one could always walk or bike to the beaches from a train stop, but for surfers this inevitably assumes proximal accommodation as bringing boards and bikes on the train is not always permitted.

There are eleven and a half million people populating the Eastern Seaboard of the United States. The Atlantic Coast of the United States stretches for over three thousand miles. There are approximately one hundred and seventeen town, county and state beaches on Long Island. The Taco Bell in Shirley serves a delicious after-surf bean burrito that takes roughly two to three minutes to prepare. Any given breakfast wrap at Joni's in Montauk will take fifteen to twenty minutes to prepare. The average driving time, without traffic from Taco Bell in Shirley to Joni's in Montauk is just under an hour. The breakfast burrito will cost around eight dollars, the bean burrito ninety nine cents.

My own assumptions, when unchecked, tend to lead me to believe that surfers care more about the environment. This can send me down the path to mistakenly conclude that surfers are more liberal thinkers. This erroneous presumption gets me to think that surfers are, basically, open-hearted people on the whole. The deep, personal knowledge that this is a fantasy comes from a lifetime of empirical evidence.

The liberal dream is an open society. It is a place of inalienable rights, democratic choice and equality. The idea that you'd work hard enough that opportunity will inevitably open its door. The idea that that hard work will make you ready when luck smiles upon you.

There is a certain segment of the population I consider kooks who nonetheless are technically better surfers than me.

In America there is an added, conservative component to the liberal dream, a national creation myth that assumes a Calvinistic moral certitude: everyone is created equal and ought to have the same opportunities as long as they work hard. People who are successful have worked hard to get there. The possession of monetary wealth signifies a functioning moral compass.

There are four fast food chains in the furthest reaches of Long Island. Two McDonald's, one Friendlys and one Burger King, none any further east than Hampton Bays. I have never eaten at a Friendlys.

There are many double bind afflictions in my life.

The oceans, the lakes, the mountains, the gullies, the deserts are here for everyone to benefit from. These are places of education and spirituality. These are places that, if we look at the Earth as a whole ecosystem, ourselves included, is no more differentiated from us as humans as our own minds are from our own bodies. But to protect these things, at least on the surface level, we have to place restrictions on their use. We have to govern their accessibility.

There are a number of rules of conduct ubiquitous to every surf spot in the world. These are understood through basic tribal initiative rites during the period of acculturation. Some of these are cartooned on a placard at Ditch Plains in Montauk and include the basic codes of conduct of paddling out and sitting in the lineup. There are others that are more apocryphal, others that are more cultish, others that have deeper ramifications beyond getting yelled at for "being in the way." They are an important self-governing tool used in the most simple of societies. They are the same tools employed, via different methods by governing bodies in more complex societies.

To paddle out into a lineup is to take part in a meritocracy based on oligarchy, gerontocracy and technocracy. In a large number of scenarios, the only way to access a break is via plutocracy.

I have enough money to own a car. I have enough money to rent a room near the beach. I can afford the time to drive to my room near the beach. The further east I go, where I rent my room, the more beautiful the beaches become, the cleaner the water becomes and the more inaccessible they become to the average citizen.

Surfing the Interconnectivity Volume Eight (or Nine)

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Three Thousand

More hype coming Angus' way. Nice job kid. Looks like you're getting it better than early morning LI flat attacks with Tony et al!

Friday, July 16, 2010


As much as I like to play at being a troglodyte tech hater, a kind of "back to the basics" craftsy handyman I'll never be, really, down deep, I'm a lover of interconnectivity. Mostly because I get shit like this floated my way. And ultimately, I am a pig in my pen. Thanks Pete and Dan, you guys made my day.

Vevant: Exile, A Surf Film

It's not always or even often that we get to mesh our career life and our life life, but here we've been given the chance to visually capture just such a moment of symbiosis: a little art&fashion film shot in Montauk for the online fashion magazine Vevant. Neither of us had the time, initially, to take on the job, but after we heard there was some surfing involved we hatched the plan to tackle it together, each of us picking bits and pieces off the whole to masticate and spit back into the bowl. Gian, the director, was patient enough with our process and I think in the end he found himself happy enough with the impressionistic narrative that ensued.
Antonio & Toddy

Thursday, July 15, 2010

MidSummer New York = Longboards and Sidebends

Big topic for imagination around here has always been bodysurfing. No sooner than we found out we were all surfers occupying the same Manhattan office space than we started talking about the necessary joys of a good bodywomp. Danny Hess has been around these parts lately, so we've been ogling his wares, and Richard King hasn't been able to shut up about shaping a handplane in his NJ backyard shop (not that we want him to.) He reckons he'll fashion one after the Brownfish. The preferred method for us uncrafties is to take spongey flip flop with the nylon straps and sand down the bottom for a bevel. All to say: get in the water!

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Monday, July 12, 2010

Eno Sofes, One Way Or Another

Rhombus is for Surfers

Apart from claiming Neal Purchase Jnr as a Cali shaper....I reckon it's a pretty good piece.

Thx to Kate for writing the Press release & Caroline at Broadsheet for editing it & getting it up there!



Saturday, July 10, 2010

How is it that I always seem to make half the fun and miss the other half? Perhaps I ought to be thankful for my fifty percent success rate. Perhaps I ought to look at it as a one hundred percent success rate. Perhaps you ought to go to this show if you, unlike me, are still around the joint tonight. I missed it by one measly day...

FRRREE! | 07.03.10 — 07.31.10 | Opening 07.10.10 @ 6pm

A fun little show in a great town. In the next couple of days we'll be setting up an installation for Joelle and her great shop right in the center of town at the far east end of Long Island. The shop is called, Share With... Montauk, its a great little store that sells clothes made using recycled material and fabrics bought thru Fair Trade. We had our first show there last year and it felt so right we're doing it again. We'll be there all month with some great artwork by Chris Pfeil, Ed Fladung, Mike Perry, Paul Gallegos, Paul D'Elia, Stephanie Hosmer, Steven Harrington, Kassia Meador, Scott Massey and more... Signed copies of RRR.001 will be there all month, but if you're out there on the 10th we'll have some Sangria, some nice food, and some fun. Join us...
More info at

Thursday, July 1, 2010

The Surf Magazines Don't Talk About Lapsed Catholics

Two years ago they found a big lump of malignant cells in my friend's chest. It wasn't the first time my life had been brushed with cancer, but it has become, in its way, the most intimate. Something about the sameness of our age, the closeness of our friendship, the already looming specter of mortality that had just started skulking around my mid-thirties. The whole thing set me off into what is still a period of reckoning. Antonio came up with the footage at the right time. Alex, the voice.
This weekend we go to the beach to celebrate with our friend who has since gone through the ringer grappling with the thing. I promised him I'd take him surfing.