Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Redwood Tramps

Things were simpler back then, when hobos ruled the earth. There weren’t as many pressures to appear ‘clean’ or ‘hygienic’ or ‘nonthreatening to children’; Whiskers were encouraged, explored for crumbs, made pointy. Food fell into two categories: stew and whiskey. Often the stews featured whiskey.

And people looked you in the eye. Unless, of course, they were missing an eye and the other tended to wander. There was a lot of that. Perhaps because of the whiskey stew, which was really room-temperature turpentine in a metal bucket.

Anyway, surf transportation was better then, too. No namby-pamby googaws like 'wheels,' or 'a roof,' and the combination of a plein air handcar, turpentine poisoning, and scabies made for a refreshing trip to the coast.
And the waves!
The waves were at least 100 times better then!
Or maybe they were 100 times worse.
It's tough to say, really, as the hobos wrote their histories in charcoal on the insides of their lambswool vests, then either traded their vests for berserker tonics or ate them outright. Oh well.

Although these days the redwood hobos are almost extinct, a few still survive. The most notorious are the Northcoast’s AppleJack Gang. Neither handsome nor in possession of a remarkable mental acumen, the AppleJack Gang is known more for shredding single fin logs with oldschool style, flagrantly experimenting with midlengths, and mercilessly schralping teeny fishes and eggs, mostly while under the influence of their self-distilled namesake thirst quencher (pictured bolted to car).

A rare sighting indeed: the entirety of the AppleJack Gang (From left to right). Boxcar Brent Bafflegab, the Soup Slurper. Dogballs Dan Dogballs, the Man With the Cat-Like Testicles. Linty Jay McStinky, the Cotton Sock Enthusiast. Acrimonious Andy O'Feely, the Absquatulator (aka: Sir Francis Drank).

Thursday, September 22, 2011

You Are Here

You are in Mexico, and the water is warm.
Your eyebrows are crusty and you've surfed a lot today.
The waves are small and clean and a deep-afternoon gold.

Should you paddle out for a few more?

There is beer on the beach, but yes, you should paddle out for a few more.

You grab your 7’6” egg, not bothering to leash or wax. You stroke out to the lineup. The waves are small, clean, and a deep-afternoon gold. The water is warm and your eyebrows are crusty and you are in Mexico.

You spin and catch one. Early. You glide and swoop. You lean back. You step forward. You throw your arms over your head because you’re in Mexico and the water is warm and you’ve surfed a lot today.

There is beer on the beach, but you should paddle out for a few more. You stroke back out to the lineup on your 7’6 egg. You spin and catch and glide and swoop. You throw your arms over your head. You should paddle out for a few more. You are in Mexico, the water is warm, there is beer on the beach and the waves are small and clean and soon it will be dark.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Blues for Yous

I don’t really know what do to with this word: community (I also don’t know what to do with the word moist, though that’s for another time). It’s not a tricky one to define—from the Latin cum for together, and munus for a gift, literally translating to ‘a gift to be shared’—it’s just that the word’s spread a little thin.

We’ve heard the term Surf Community as many times as we’ve heard our other surf clich├ęs of the moment (Kelly Slater is a ‘Freak of Nature,' as well as everything that comes out of Dave Rastavich’s mouth, such as the endlessly repeating commercial where he states, ‘I’ve been gifted the opportunity to not have a 9-5 job…’Gifted? Good Lord. He also abuses blessing, for which there is no excusing). So are we experiencingcommunity when we surf? It’s a ‘coming together’ for ‘gifts,’ but, as we know, most waves are actively and purposefully un-shared. And what if you have not only nothing in common, but different values entirely than those in the water with you? What if they're dicks, or disparage others, or applaud when Rick Perry boasts of 234 executions while he was governor of Texas? Does it negate the community experience, or is there a sub-community of surfers who have little regard for human life?

What about when we’re out of the water? If we’re not sharing waves, or coming together, are surfers still in any way a community? If not, why are we constantly being told that we are?

Sorry for so many questions on a Friday, people. My eldest started pre-school on Tuesday, and I've been vexed with thoughts of her fragility.

What if her peers look askance at her bowtie noodle lunch? What if she puts her hands into the class orange juice again? What if she's the kid with a booger sheet stashed in her desk? Today is Show and Tell, which I think should go well. Christ, I’m a mess.

What am I talking about again?

Oh yeah, ChrisTofurkeys new 7somethin Cigar Volant. The young buck’s chasing down a sandwich with the same intensity he applies to beard growing and shredding barefoot on leashless logs in Northen California beachbreak. Dude’s committed is what I’m saying.

How much more blueberry can it get?
None more blueberry.

Saturday, September 3, 2011


I love watching long period swells go from this:
To this:
Couldn't bring a board to the coast today, but hit it with the Lil' Ladies and managed to capture an air and a drop-knee on the same wave. Makes a dad proud.