Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Of Thanksgiving, Turkeys, and Fresh Foam

For some, the mere name conjures food porn of the highest order: turkey, duck, chicken (sometimes in the same overall package), ham, mashed potatoes, yams, and more pie than you can shake a big, pie-shaking stick at.
For others it's about family, offering thanks for the many blessings we've received during the year, and maybe having a few too many dry reislings before telling your uncle that he could probably better understand the Occupy Movement if he rolled down the windows of his Lexus and took his first deep, un-airconditioned breath of inequality. Oops!
Most of the world doesn't give a shit about Thanksgiving, though, and that's fine with me. Babies continue to be birthed, waves continue to roll toward shorelines, and my 1998 Toyota Siena minivan continues to guzzle coolant like someone I know guzzled dry reisling before having a few fateful words with their newly-estranged uncle. Oops!
And surfboards! Surfboards are dreamed-up, fantasized about, laden with impossible hopes and dreams, belabored, ordered, anticipated, then finally received in a ritual as complex as the holiday itself. The following is a journey of two fresh boards--one for Mike and one for Kelsey--delivered, surfed, and toasted during our recent Thanksgiving pilgrimage to SanO.
1. The reveal: 7'6" quad egg and 9'4" log.
2. The First Wax. Child labor makes the process faster, though much more likely to get wax in places where wax doesn't go, Like on the bottom. Or on fins. Or in finboxes. Tough call.
3. The Kicking-of-the-Tires: gonna be a good noserider! My 2yr old channeling George Greenough's hair.
4. The Hero Shot.
5. The Locating-of-the-Sweet-Spot.
6. The Staying-Out-Until-Near-Dark-and-Trading-Boards-and-Experiencing-General-Euphoria.
The seasonal spirit more than made up for the I5 traffic, though I have to admit the first spirit I hit after twelve hours of driving was a wee bit of the Talisker 10yr--another reason to give thanks.
As Artie from the Larry Sanders said of Talisker 10, "one day you will die and go to heaven. When you enter the pearly gates and meet God for the first time you will say 'hello' and he will say 'hello' back. When he does, this is what you will smell on his breath."
In my dreams God also has a post-sess saltwater nasal drip going, some serious surf hair, and a smile that says my secret spot is snapping, and I'm in a giving mood. That's an idea of heaven I could really get behind.
Thanks for reading, and hope you had a great holiday.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Blues for Tues: of Mini-Simmons, Thanksgiving, and Snickers

Nothing says, "America's fuggin rad" quite like the calendar stretch that encompasses both Halloween and Thanksgiving. The two holidays capture America at its best: creative, free of secular nonsense, and steeped in sharing.
They also capture the best as aspects of consumption, which, when it comes to Russian River pinot noir and Snickers Bars, isn't a bad thing at all.
These four weeks also hold the promise of epic surf conditions for California--active storm systems to both our north and south, warmer water temperatures, and an end to the devil winds of summer.
Not so much this year, though.
The good news is that despite this season's meager surf offerings, creativity and consumption have flourished. Especially if you're Fred, who has already consumed several waves on this baby blue 5'7, and expressed his freaky side on their wide-open faces.
And a solid community put this thing together: foam by the good people of US Blanks, glass by the talented hands at Almar Surf Works in Santa Cruz, and fins by Marlin Bacon of 101 Fin Co.
Have a great Thanksgiving. Don't forget to call someone and tell them you love them, even if you're exaggerating a little bit--they'll never know, and you'll feel that much better as you dig into some beaujolais nouveau.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

War Pony Chronicles: Urho the Milk Drinker

In a department store in Minnesota in 1956, Richard Mattson invented the patron saint of Finland. He called him St. Urho. Why? Because Finland needed a patron saint, damnit, and their current one, Henry, Bishop of Finland, kind of sucked. For example: Henry could not guzzle sour whole milk in obscene quantities. Urho could.
Henry could not expel plagues of grape-munching grasshoppers from the countryside. Urho could.
And Henry’s name was Henry, for God’s sake, not Urho. Would you rather pray for strength to a saint whose name translates to Hero, or to one whose name translates to, ahh, Henry?

My point is that I’m calling this board a Jet Pony. I’ve tried other names and they don’t stick. I care not what anonymous blog commenters (“sounds like a Power Puff girl character” and ”isn't that the Care Bear with the rainbow on her overalls?”) or that one grumpy guy in France (“Not at all masculine. Also, a fish must be under six feet in length”) thinks. It’s a War Pony with a jet tail and it just makes sense.

This particular Jet Pony (or Jet Poni for my Croatian readership) is for North Bay surf-bathing enthusiast Keefe, who likes to shred Ocean Beach when he’s not consulting international startups, Occupying London, or blazing our local single-track offerings.
It's 6'4, very shiny, and sports a quad setup (patyo sa loob for those in the Philippines). Just the thing for OB, which has no shortage of steep walls and likes to reward those with superior rail-to-rail quickness.


Tuesday, November 8, 2011