Monday, September 29, 2014

Of MiniSims, William Butler Yeats, and Fruta

Early fall is the best of times, and it is the worst of times. The best of times because it’s amazing. The worst because the pool is going to close soon--where the hell am I supposed to get $2 MGD drafts and $1 microwaved hottogs between now and May 1st?
Also, a house on my street burned down. Not good. 
Also, we got hammered with an early season winter swell. Good. 
Also, it rained. Weird, as it hasn’t done this for a few years, as far as I can remember.
In his oft-quoted poem The Second Coming, William Butler Yeats wrote, 'the center cannot hold,' in reference to some kind of global event (his interpretation of a global event is not a rosy one). Over the years, I've repositioned my thinking on this one. Not to challenge Yeats, but I think the center is the thing that holds us in difficult times. The center is, well, the center. The core. The strongest part of our selves. The outside may crumble off like decaying bark, but inside, at the core, there’s still bright, fresh wood.
This morning I woke up my five-year-old, who was in the throes of a dream. “You were in my dream,” she said, sleepily. “Only it was just half you.”
“What was my other half?” I asked.
“You were half man, half strawberry,” she stated.
"Which half was strawberry?" I asked solemnly.
"Whatever," she said, then rolled over and fell back asleep.
I liked her response. It was correct: it didn’t matter if I was a strawberry with arms and legs and a human head, or if I was a human torso with a strawberry head, or whatever. The point was that it was me but not me, but underneath it it was me.
There’s an essence to things, an inside we can feel but not see. The center, and it is strong. It can hold. The details aren’t important—arms, legs, seeds, a stem, whatever.
What’s this got to do with Woodworker Dan’s new 5’4 MiniSims? Not a goddamn thing, that’s what. But not everything has to connect. Sometimes the great world spins and it lands us on a pair of snake eyes and we get the prize. Sometimes the great world spins and our neighbor’s house burns down and a long-period groundswell graces our shores and your boss gets a new car.
Sometimes it spins and spins and we tuck into a clean section of wave on a freshly-minted slab of foam  with two fins and suddenly we’re spinning, too, and when we stop we’re half strawberry and could use a strong cup of coffee.
What I’m saying is: we lost our third hockey game of the season 7-0 last night, and I’m sad this morning.

Know who’s not sad?
Woodworker Dan! He’s got some fresh foam and a new punch on his sandwich card. He's got a great wife and a great kid and is the source of many of the tailblock woods you've been admiring for years. He's got two earrings in his left ear (!), so you know he shreds.
Speaking of sandwich cards, I would like to take this moment to remind you that I care about you. Because of this, I’m offering yet ANOTHER choice on your punch card. In addition to Ike’s incredible lunch sandwiches, and Devil’s Teeth incredible breakfast sandwiches, you now have the choice of redeeming your punch card at Fruta, Sonoma County's own Michoacan-style ice cream shop (Michoacana palateria y neveria), after a mere five punches. 
!Dios mio!
Because of the incontestable goodness of Fruta, I can no longer say the following words in my house, lest my girls go apeshit: Fruta, fruta, Fruit, Froot, Ice cream, Michoacan, neveria, Phineas and Ferb, Taylor Swift, dessert.

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Orange Boss

Orange Boss: not John Boehner, but another punch for Chad's sandwich card.
Dude's getting close to an Ike's. You know me, I'm no betting man, but if I were I'd say he'd be all over a Jaymee Sirewich--fried chicken, yellow BBQ sauce, ranch, pepper jack, non-mouth-ruining Dutch crunch. What?!?
Chad knows a few things. How to manufacture an iron grate for subterranean pork roasting. How to convert energy from the sun to power your home. How to climb steep granite. How to shred steep waves, bounce back quickly from nose-into-the-board smashes, rescue a good dog, marry a nice lady.

This is Chad's brand-spanking new 6'6 Pitboss, all cured and ready for fall-into-winter ground-swell shredding.
The PitBoss is no Jaymee Sirewich, but it is a step-up design meant for steeper, punchier waves. It's got some volume under the chest, because steeper, punchier waves worth surfing tend to not break on the shore up here. So you need to paddle to them. Sometimes pretty far. Sometimes you need to be able to lift your head up as high as you can when you're paddling to see over the 'bump' in front of you to the 'wave' behind it.
Sometimes you wish you hadn't seen the wave behind it, and were instead on your couch with a dram of Kilchoman bingewatching Quickdraw on Hulu.
This one's a quad. And a thruster.
The deep orange palette is Chad's nice-lady approved.
 Round pintail is standard on these mofos. I've done a few baby swallows, but they look weird to me. And sharp.
Just the hint of a beak nose--not enough beak to affect the ride, just an aesthetic nod to the larger-wave shredders and shapers who came before us. Bigger-wave riding has a history of folks with large balls and large ladyballs, and does not include me.
Top notch resin colowork from Almar in Santa Cruz, fins from Rainbow in Watsonville, foam from US Blanks in Gardenia. California is awesome.