Thursday, January 24, 2008


Up here in Sonoma County, we think about wine a lot. When asked about the impending recession, a local grower told me not to worry. "When the economy is bad, people want to have a drink," he said. "When the economy is good, people want to have a drink." He was old and wearing the crustiest Wranglers I'd ever seen, so I took his word for it. This was not the first time I'd heard this argument.
Some of us spend a lot of time up here thinking about surfing, and a similar logic can be applied: we surf to heal, to mourn, to express frustration or anger or fear or love or joy, we surf to celebrate, and we surf to feel connected to something greater than ourselves. A lot of people surf because they want to, but most surfers surf because they have to. It is how we make sense, and it can't be slowed by lagging economies, or falling housing markets, or births or deaths or aging bodies.
So, as another recession gathers energy and surges up behind us, it's our responsibility to put our heads down and paddle, drop in, and point it to the shoulder. And, as we paddle back out for more, it's our responsibility to hoot for the next guy or gal dropping in. What else are we going to do?
Of course, the best way to do this would be on some fresh foam, like this sugary little 5'11" diamond tail. New boards pump money into local economies, support American businesses, and rejuvenate life-giving stoke. The American businesses at work here are Ice9 Blanks, which offers, in my opinion, the best foam available today. They're a sugar-based MDI foam (no petroleum), so their carbon footprint is better than traditional polyurethane foams. They're strong and light and snappy and a pleasure to shape. This board will be glassed with Resin Research epoxy resin, eliminating VOCs, and producing a much 'greener' board than is being mass produced at the moment.
Of course, Leslie will do the glassing. Her labor charges are mostly divided up between her lizards, snakes, cats, chickens, dogs, Bob, and carnivorous plants, so you'll be hooking them up, too. Keep it local!
On a less triumphant note, my lovely wife is suffering from a cold right now. This is the sad shopping list tacked to the fridge that greeted me this morning...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

The Surf Shop

The appropriately named Surf Shop in downtown Ft. Bragg is run by some of the nicest folks around. It recently swapped ownership, but the small-town, local feel hasn't changed. They stock a solid selection of boards for the varied North Coast conditions, including a few of mine from time to time. Here were some goodies available for purchase as of last week:
5'9" double-winged quad fish. The design that knows no bounds. 21" wide with a single concave bottom, double 6oz glass on the deck and single on the bottom. Beautiful opaque 'merlot' resin work by Leslie (though I think it looks more 'beaujolais'). Lokbox fiberglass removable quad fins and, because I hate the look of plastic on my surfboards, a matching merlot (beaujolais) fiberglass leash loop. Bitchin.
7'0" roundtail egg. 2+1 fin setup, buttery full-board resin tint by Leslie. This egg has a bit more entry rocker than some of its small-wave brethren. Good for the steeper beachbreak we see up here at waist high and up.
Give them a call if you're in the area, or you're interested in having them box something up and ship it out: (707) 961-0889.
The buoy's reading 12.8' at 17 seconds, so I'm going to go now.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

Twin Fin Cruncheez

I made a promise to myself that I wouldn't post baby pictures on my blog. I also made promises to myself that I would get a Camaro (fourth grade), 'do the reading' (high school), and never wear underwear again (college), so clearly my self-pledges are a bit flimsy.
Since my Neil Diamond recipe entry was a huge hit* (see The Perfect Sandwich entry from December 9th, 2007), I've decided to include another recipe. Enjoy.
Twin Fin Cruncheez:
1. One pair freshly foiled twin fins (alliteration not necessary).
2. One eleven-month-old (girl pictured, though boys can be substituted. Thruster fins may be used for triplets, quads for quadruplets, Bonzer for quintuplets and so on).
3. Six teeth.
Mix together in sturdy, child-proofed room.
Prep time about an hour (per fin). Best served before fins are glassed onto bottom of surfboard.

*It wasn't.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Electric Smoke

El Porto enthusuast Ben starts 2008 off right with a spiffy new 6'10" egg.
Subtle purple pinline on the deck.
When my wife saw the bottom swirl, she said it looked like "electric smoke." I prefer a classic tint to a resin swirl, but I think this looks bitchin. Spiral vee bottom for speed and control.
Here's a closeup. If you stare long, you might experience vertigo or the pressing need to order more surfboards.