Friday, August 29, 2014

Monday, August 25, 2014

The Thing Is, The Answer Will Come

I am not one for the rampant use or ownership of firearms. At least not the sort that could kill a crowd in a clip and quickly. But just now, as I sit waiting for my New York coals to burn drinking my New York rum concoction reading my New York memoir, I spot a drone buzzing overhead. I spy it as I hear it first as the worst sort of unnecessary mosquito. Oh that I had a high power'd rifle.

Other bits:

I left California at the wrong time.
On the gang plank, Wifey remarks upon seeing the empty poster frames, "Is it Green or Green."
Then on the street today, just outside the dog-run, "The problem isn't enough food in the world, it's that people eat too much of it."
And my own eight year old son, last night as we sauntered to pick up the grateful pup, (thankful for what I don't know), "I love New York."

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Friday, August 22, 2014

Notes On A Victory Lap Part II

I did two uncharacteristic things today that tell me perhaps my paternity-inspired vacation should be coming to an end:

1) Looking up from the book I am dutifully trudging through to a vision of inspiringly regular head high lines marching consequentially towards the beach, I smile, nod my approval and keep reading.

2) After couple chapters of said reading, I finally paddle out for the third time today with a leash on.

Weird things are afoot.
Tonight I head to Patagonia Cardiff to see the thing I missed the night I left New York.
See you there.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

¡Get Small or Get Out!

Dan Malloy talks about Naomi's vision...

And our own documentation here...

Notes On A Victory Lap

There has been a two foot (ish)(+) swell running from the moment I stepped off the plane.
We drove straight up to the old stomping grounds in Santa Barbara for a professional fly through and some sentimental fever dreams of old sights.
We caught C Street small and fun twice, and had it not been for a sleeping infant, would have dipped our toes in the hallowed Queen's waters as well.
As it was we arrived back in North County to that same half-thump of body whomp material, the break in front of Red's going typically summer closeout.
The best part of the East Coast to West Coast binge banks on a three hour head start everyday. This has begun to wane after a week and a half, getting me up only an hour ahead of everyone else now, a scampering to the popular spots replacing my habitual laconic stroll of head nodding to all the old timers who begrudgingly accept my presence for a handful of days.
This morning, annoyingly late up, I found myself surrounded by a slightly younger crowd, but more importantly, an electric one as the lightning not only brought a rainbow off the reef, but bars of bolts on all sides.
Scampering in a different direction being de rigeur.

Highlight so far?
This moment of no swell surfing yesterday as my nieces got their first taste of the good life.

And Then There's This Classic Bit of Bad Vibes

Clic le Pic

Happening August 22nd 2014 : Surfy Art, Surfy Art

The Bakery Presents
Hang Ten Heat Wave
August 22–September 22, 2014
Opening Reception: Friday, August 22, 7–10pm
Hang Ten Heat Wave is a summer show of ten artists and designers whose work is 
driven by a desire to connect with nature. The contributors are based in New York 
and spend only a fraction of their time outside the city, causing their work to take on 
a romanticized and often fantastic interpretation of what lies beyond their immediate, 
urban surroundings.
In many ways New York City is an organism, constantly changing to adapt, but few 
would refer to its booming developments as natural. Even the untamed and overgrown 
spaces within the boroughs–landscaped parks restricted within the confines of the 
grid plan–turn out to be elegant hoaxes, self-aware illusions of nature. The city is so 
carefully planned that any ‘nature’ which develops within it’s limits, now or in the future, 
will be automatically subverted.
The artists and designers in Hang Ten Heat Wave join a lineage of New Yorkers who 
weave into their own urban existences a stylized version of the natural world: sunny days, 
lush forests, blue oceans and high-contrast deserts. And because they are removed from 
the harshness of these places, their work is an often playful representation of the New 
Yorker fantasy: to leave behind the city and try to reconnect with the elements of which 
they are continuously deprived.
The work represented in Hang Ten Heat Wave is pure summer vibes.

Auto Body Presents 
Groove Move 
This Friday August 22nd at 7pm 
A surf film by Jack Coleman, music by The Sweathogs and various Dj sets from some special guest will grace the airwaves. This is an all ages event.

Second House Museum Presents 
A Hundred Miles To The End 
"Join us this Friday evening for a charity event benefiting the Second House Museum in Montauk. The event features The Montauk Project, starting at 6 pm and two surf films one of which is "A Hundred Miles to The End" around 8 pm. There is a $10 donation/admission for the evening. All proceeds go to the museum."

The Parrish Museum Presents
Atlantic Vibrations Surf Movie Night Dos
August 22nd at 8 PM

The second installment of Atlantic Vibrations: Surf Movie Night, an outdoor screening of short, noncommercial surf movies made by filmmakers from Westhampton to Montauk and selected by film director Michael Halsband, artist Mike Solomon, and film curator Tyler Breuer. Created as a platform for emerging and established filmmakers, Atlantic Vibrations acknowledges the timeless connection between art, film, and surfing.
Bring lawn chairs and blankets for our first outdoor screening. The screening will take place on the Bonnie Comley and Stewart F. Lane Events Lawn. In the event of rain, this screening will take place indoors.


Monday, August 11, 2014


Gracias Bertha.

According to somebody, at some point, there are more than a handful of ways to skin a cat. In the case of quality summer surf sessions in New York, well, I suppose there are just as many permutations. In the past week we've been treated to nearly every single shade. I enjoyed only three (as work took me out of town as soon as the fun began) but they were three about as good as you (I) can get.

1. Tuesday The Fifth MidDay Slush Slop Session of Goodness : the wind turned, but it didn't matter.
2. Wednesday The Sixth Dawn Patrol Bertha Perfection : heaving, duck-in perfection.
3. Sunday The Tenth Family Morning Body Whomp and Soft Top Extravaganza : two kids, two dads, two soft tops and more fun than you can shake a stick at.

I'm not sure why I need to commemorate this week with such thin fanfare. I just don't have much to say other than true words of gigantic gratitude.

Next week we will pick up normal blog activity as we go Best Coasting. Stay tuned for tales of Pacific pride.

Happening: The Inner(Lost) Limits of Pure Fun at PataBowery

George Greenough found 20 minutes of lost footage and you haven't seen it yet. 
Here's you're chance.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Happening : Today in Bellport

There's a new gig in town, or in some town, out there. The Autobody Gallery has opened up in Bellport and is instantly offering worthy go-looks.

"Auto Body is a creative platform and exhibition space in Bellport, New York. With each project we seek to use local influence as a vehicle to engage the community and showcase its surroundings."

Stop by today.

Friday, August 8, 2014

Happening : A Film For L'Est, Some Films for L'Ouest

August 16th will be an important date for New York surfy cinephiles.
For once you don't have to be bummed you're not in the right spot.


Lava Girl Surf, The women's surfing, education and events company, presents Women Of the Seven Seas, at the Rockaway Beach Surf Club on Saturday, August 16 (doors open at 7pm, films begin at twilight around 8:30pm)(Facebook Event Page )

The New York Women's Surf Film festival celebrates the filmmakers and female wave riders who live to surf, highlighting their sense of adventure, connection to the ocean and love for their own communities and those they discover. At Women of the Seven Seas here in Rockaway Beach, New York, we'll share the spirit and inspiration of the talk story of women wave riders from around the globe. 
We have a fantastic list of raffle prizes including a Surfboard by Natures Shapes, a Hand plane by Imaginary Surf Co. a signed print by Californian Photographer  Dylan Gordon,  gift certificates from Uma's Restaurant and Sayra's Wine Bar, and surf gear and apparel from Breakwater Surf Co. and many more other great designers and companies.   


The world premiere of Expencive Porno Movie a surf experimental film Featuring Dane Peterson, Kassia Meador, Alex Knost, JJ Wessels, Mike DeTemple, Trevor Gordon, Kyle Albers, Devon Howard, Justin Adams, Scotty Stopnik, and Jared Mell. Shot entirely on Super 16 mm film.

Follow Afterparty at LA BRISA

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Pinky On The Brain

More Notes on Surfing a Poo Board

Going left is a little more fun that going right actually.
As there is no real solid "control" so to speak, the added comfort of frontside surfing actually takes away from the helter skelter sloshy mania of backside desperation-sliding.
There is no long nose ride, no complete cutback, no knifing trim, no sexy bottom turn.
There is an arm pierce to rail yank to butt dangle to parallel stance to switch foot to half cross amble to sloppy cheater five back to regular stance to mush ball float turn arm extension quasimodo.
There is knee knocking and back bending, elbow jiggling and neck gyrating.
In a funny way, the whole experience eschews any sense of control other than whatever I can exert into the slim arena of staying slightly stylish during the most unstylish ride possible.
It has occurred to me that this whole thing might smack of the most boring kind of aggressively ironic screw-you posing, and maybe it is.
But it has also occurred to me that my favorite boards right now (the idiotic softtop and the irascible Vaquero) play by their own rules, rarely allowing me to dictate much in terms of trajectorious decision-making.
In this I find a little solace in fooling myself that as I grow older and wiser I just may be looking for novel ways to practice my new-found acceptance of an inevitable loss of control in all bits of my life.
Either way, I can only hope I look like I'm having as much fun as I'm actually having, a maneuver I find surfers often fail to master.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

The Problem Of Evil

Hijo Numero Uno, giving some fingers to all you hypocritical naysayers.

The problem of evil has ever been with us. Leibniz pontificated that, in fact, we are living in the best of all possible worlds as apology for that conundrum, the sort of progressively practical solution that has been pretty much used ever since to justify all sorts of personal and communal insecurities. (And really, as in the Beiber v Bloom, one must really choose a side in the Newton v Leibniz.)(I'll take Leibniz and Bloom thanks.) 

Many mathematicians continually pursue the "all possible worlds" bit of that equation, espousing a kind of multiverse of every conceivable action and its resulting effects, random becoming a by-word for completely predictable in any other given format.

There exists worlds out there in which I might not have just drank half a bottle of rosé with my Sunday bowl of midday pasta; a world in which Hitler would become the heralded (and ultimately tame) Broadway costume designer he secretly dreamed he'd be; a world in which Da Vinci's flying machine successfully launched  the aeronautics (and thus the surf) industry hundreds of years before the Marx Brothers.

This is not that world. And that begs some questions.

There are two enjoyable articles I've read today that approach this co-existential crisis (granted from obtuse angles.) One by Sean Dogherty about surfing hipsterism, the other by Elizabeth Rosenthal about a cultural hucksterism.

Each of these tackles in their way the question of authenticity, in which our entirely complexitized, consumerized and atheisticized culture finds the de rigeuer apelate replacement for that earlier problem of simple badness.

For some time the boiling, roiling point of semiotic no return angry finger pointing barometer has been eking closer to a near total and wantonly broad condemnation of all things hipster. And I see it, I really do. Because what did hipsterism do other than rob me of my self respect as a long-time ukulele plucker; as a long-time collector of stripy sailor shirts; as long time rider of single-fin surfboards? As a 40 year old tattooed guy living in Williamsburg Brooklyn, sporting a sometime beard and a serious alignment with the localvore movement, I am ostensibly a guy with a target on my forehead. And yet with a considerable deficit in knowing exactly what might be actually hip at any moment and the adverse affliction of never wanting to buy anything, I find myself as useless to those who'd gun me down as to those who might presumptively prop me up.

The always engaging Cyrus Sutton reacts to this sort of thing this way:

Within surfing, hipster culture in my opinion often confused and entangled with the DIY culture that started in the punk era. DIY culture is about facing the world as it is, instead of rebelling, hiding or submitting, it's about choosing to participate where appropriate.
It's about being interested, not being interesting.
The fun comes from looking at culture, not as good or evil, but as a game where certain pockets are opening and closing all around us. In our frantic march for progress and marketing's decades long propensity to celebrate the newest and best there's a lot of these pockets which if re-engaged can be inhabited and worked to create a more diverse, interesting and joyful world.
Pro surfing as it progresses is becoming increasingly formulaic. The boards break quickly and need to replaced, good waves need to be traveled to, food devoid of chemicals need to be purchased, trainers, gyms, contests, free time... All of this isn't going to stop kids who really love surfing but who've might not have had the support or resolve to jump through all of the above hoops from giving their best to surfing. And this is what you are seeing today- kids who can shape their own equipment, respect bodysurfing, as much as trimming and noseriding, as much as carving and doing big airs. They are doing this by defining for themselves what is good surfing and striving to raise themselves to that standard.
I'm glad I live in a time when these surfers are supported to explore areas of the surfing experience that the contest thoroughbreds need to overlook in order to achieve their specific performance goals. The truth is that most of these kids don't care whether their inspiration comes from Mick in a red singlet at J Bay, or the old vegan bodysurfer dawn patroller down the street.
Hipster culture, from what I've observed has always been preoccupied with rebelling against a flawed system through an obsessive tendency to define themselves through every purchase. It's about the result more than the process. To me it's sad that subcultures are always celebrated and then judged in the popular eye as the actions of each generation's most self-absorbed participants.
I just hope my kids have surfing in their lives, and that along with other immersions in nature, it helps them to connect them with their gifts and serve as a jumping off point for exploits that aren't exploitive as generations prior.

Me, I'd probably just as soon (or maybe not so soon) return to my musical roots listening to my dad's cassette favorites as we'd head up the Cascades for one of our weekends of skiing. A couple of admittedly cheesy, perfectly tuned classics that might just explain what it is I'm talking about in the most embarrassingly self-revealing way possible:

In the end I can only appeal to evolution to make it all make sense. I can't second guess anything as everything has been given. Thank the mathematicians for that one.

Friday, August 1, 2014


The screening of the surf film, Beyond the Surface, has been moved to Sunday August 10th. The Rell Sunn Contest, Art Auction and AfterParty have also been moved to this Sunday (from Saturday due to weather). Thanks!

Get On Board, Spread The Word, As Much As It Hurts

It is today's laughably sad double bind of being a surfer (or a climber, hiker, angler or any other nature-immersed fanatic) so long taught to hoard our resources, sustain our secret spots and regulate our lineups, that after all these years of personal quasi-hypocrisy we must about-face in such dramatic fashion to sell our lifestyle and usher the hoi polloi into our already over-crowded breaks just to save our own skins, urgently pushing the people around to a sort of D Day of environmental collapse.

D standing for Dumbstruck, as hopefully a population finds itself so instantly aghast that everything they'd suddenly assumed they'd be able to enjoy is also suddenly already gone, that there is a collective, overwhelming moment of reckoning.

We've left the advertising to the despised few, the dreaded, bureaucratic commercializers, diligently consuming their product while brazenly sneering at its disreputable taint, the whole time knowing full well their dirty work is what makes things possible.

But now we all have to get our hands in the muck of sales. Go sing it to the hills. Get every one of your landlubbing, kook, hodad friends and push them into the water, pour them out into the lineup.

Get them hooked. Because then, and only then will they realize they share our pain.