Wednesday, May 28, 2008

HeadHighGlassy Officially Endorses...

As our national political climate has continued to heat up, I continue to be harassed by those seeking political endorsement. Initially, I deferred. My job as SurfBlogger is to share stoke, offer boardporn, and delete hostile emails from French surfers claiming there is no such thing as a fish longer than 6'2".
But as the race has reached a fever-pitch, it's become increasingly difficult, unpatriotic even, to remain silent. Much like John Edwards and Bill Richardson, I've been talking endlessly with the frontrunners, both hungry for the SurfBlog endorsement.
In the last two weeks, they have called to order boards in hopes it will sway me, and you staunch readers, one way or the other. I decided to let their board choices speak for the candidates themselves, posting pics of the board of the candidate I support.
First up was Hillary. On the phone she was confident, primed. She promptly ordered a 7'6" hybrid thruster. I asked her why.
"Focus groups," she told me. "Polls. Universal appeal. My grandpappy was one of the first to bring surfing to Pennsylvania."
Didn't sound too promising.
Next, Obama called. He asked questions. Listened. Sounded tense. Chewed gum. Not annoyingly, but still. He allowed that it was Nicorette. I appreciated his candor.
He had his own ideas, but listened politely to mine. He liked some of them, and I liked some of his. He ended up with a 6'6 quad egg, an all 'rounder with a focus on performance. "I want to unite longboarding with shortboarding," he told me, "the glide and the shred." I believed him.

It's official.

Round nose with lots of outline curve.

Double concaves and a thinly foiled tail. He knows his stuff.

Round pin quad. A judicious choice for his all 'rounder.

Even more surprisingly, he came over himself to check out the shaped blank.
Turns out he's not quite as tall as he appears on tv, and we share a similar fashion sense...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

What a Difference a Day Makes

My friend Bri's been visiting for a few days. He's from Down South, and he alternated between disbelief that anybody would drive this far (sometimes twice a day) for surf, and being overwhelmed at how beautiful the commute to the coast is.
We scored fun, clean peelers one day and unfun, unclean, foggy mungus the next. The following photo montage captures the same spot, from the same angle, with only 24 hours of separation.

During the commute, we crested a hill and stopped to take pictures of a vineyard fading into a redwood stand. Bri took it upon himself to remind me how much I take the Northcoast for granted. I assured him I didn't.
"Yes you do," he said, then got back in the truck.
A few minutes later we stopped again for some pictures--this time of a rolling cattle pasture, a deep shade of green despite the already-scorched inland grasses, and another reminder that I take "all of this" for granted. During the third stop he again scolded me, this time in a eucalpytus grove. I gently reminded him that I didn't take all of this for granted.
"You you do," he said.
I submitted as evidence the fifty pictures I had taken in the last twenty minutes. Brian remained nonplussed. He popped a fresh stick of gum in his mouth.
"I drive past three power plants in my twelve-minute commute to the beach," he said.
He stared out the window. "In the dark one morning, I once ran over a bag of clothes that turned out to be a dude." Noting my expression he added, "He was already dead."
My friend continued, and I let him. People come up here for retreats, for escape, sometimes for surf, but mostly to remind themselves that places like this exist. That the not-so-distant California Coastline can still hold a community with more opossums than household wi-fi connections.
"...somebody once threw a dead cat at me in the lineup..." he continued. I let his list fill the car, then drift out the windows into the fields and hills beyond.
"...I think I caught a venereal disease walking across my parking lot with bare feet..."
I was starting to feel pretty good about myself at this point, and almost didn't mind when we checked another spot, a rocky pocket cove, to find blown out, uninspired lines dribbling onto the beach. The wind was up, the air as crisp as a fresh slip of paper. We watched as two seals made their way north, their heads disappearing and reappearing until they dissolved into the fog.
"What next?" my friend asked.
"Coffee," I said. "Maybe a sandwich."
We got back in the truck, turned on the heat, and rode for a while in silence, our cameras on our laps.

Just a hint of board porn, but it's mostly a plug for my buddy Jim, who designed my bitchin' dragonfly logo. Recently, he left his design firm to open his own. Even more recently, he should be scoring waves in Nicaragua
Anyway, I've linked his site somewhere over here--------------->

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Shape Remains the Same

Fish are so packed with techie nerdiness that it's easy to see why some shapers become 'specialists,' dedicating themselves to a design whose form is being continuously evaluated and interpreted, whose application is as malleable as the foam it's shaped out of.
There are so many Fish interpretations out there that existential questions arise: if a low-volume, competition-style tri-fin thruster with the slenderest of nods to the swallow tail can be considered a Fish, then what can't? If the outline is different, the rails are different, the volume distribution, fins, and rocker are all different, then how can it be called a 'Fish'? Linguists (are you there Sharkbait?): talk amongst yourselves.
In the parking lot of our kind-of-local south swell magnet the other morning, a fellow surfer slid his thruster back into its bag when he saw me waxing my Fish.
"Yeah!" he yelled across the lot, hopping up and down. "Let's do some fishin!" He pulled a twin fin out of his truck, assumed a guitar-rocker stance, and threw me a circa 1986 Van Halen hand sign.
I'm going out on a limb here: nobody has ever seen someone pulling a thruster out of their car, been inspired to return their egg or longboard back to its bag, and yelled across a parking lot, 'Yeah! Let's do some thrusterin!'
I hope the word 'thrusterin' doesn't relinquish this blog's PG rating.
The traditional San Diego Fish, concieved by Bob Simons and pioneered by the Mirandon Brothers and Steve Lis in the early '70s, needs a few mods to really shine up here in our steep beachbreak surf, especially during this time of year when wave intervals are low and conditions are, more likely than not, absolutely horrible.
But, to paraphrase Gertrude Stein, a fish is a fish. The lineage is not difficult to parse out. Sure, surfboard design geeks (myself included) may argue about who was the first to stick a fin here or add a concave there, but the big picture isn't difficult to grasp. To ride a fish is to understand the stoke that could transform you into a parking lot hair-rocker. To run a planer along a rail is to shake hands with Rich Pavel, or Bear Mirandon, or Bob Simmons, or King Kamehameha, or the countless others who have interpreted and reinterpreted one of the most fun things in the world.
Speaking of stoke, couch potatoing doesn't get much better than a lukewarm can of Tecate washed down with some Invasion! From Planet C. As of this penning, there are five (5) left in stock at Amazon. Get to it!