My daughter's favorite bear, Willa, chilling out post surf at C-street in Ventura. Really fun longboard wave and one of my favorite sessions of my US trip. You should see her hang paws!
I took the picture because it seemed a fun shot and i was goofing with my daughter but if anyone important asks (especially if they're wearing a cravat) i was really trying to capture the essence of surfing as play, albeit for old children, drawing a paralell between a childs toy and the board which is in essence an adults toy, not a functional tool for any purpose other than enjoyment...... or something!
Willa and I are scouring Brittany for loggable fun as you read this. Hopefully the reality lives up to the forecast!
My 9'5 x 17 1/4 x 23 x 16 x 3 Dano Old Pleasure lying in the parking lot at Doheny State Beach, just yards away from where i dumped it a couple of days earlier after limping out of the water with blood pouring from my foot........
Doheny, depsite it's detractors, is a fun wave on a log, a mellow lined up point style righthander though of course we all know it's a shadow of Killer Dana, the wave lost when the harbor was constructed. I'd just enjoyed a mellow dawn patrol getting to know my new board, chatting with friendly locals. As i walked out of the water i suddenly felt a sharp stabbing pain in my right heel.
A number of choice expletives left my mouth as i quickly realised that i had done something pretty serious. It felt like i had stepped on some kind of spike or nail and i thought that may have been my last surf for at least this trip and maybe longer. I limped back to the car and changed with difficulty, leaving a puddle of blood on my board bag and drove home trying to concentrate as waves of pain pulsed up my leg. Believe me it really f****ing hurts!
After staggering into the condo in proper melodramatic fashion, i steeled myself to wash my foot, expecting to reveal a huge gash requiring stitches, flaps of skin etc. Instead there was a neat puncture wound seemingly out of proportion with the ever increasing pain. Turns out i had been properly skewered by a sting ray and let me tell you it's not an experience i'd like to repeat!
In this situation it is not possible to understate how much putting your foot in a bowl of hot water helps, denaturing the venom and taking the pain down to a manageable level as long as you keep the water at just below scolding temperature. To cut a long story short, it took us clueless english people a call to 911 to belatedly find this out and a trip to the hospital for x-rays to confirm that there was none of the barb still in my foot.
The weird thing is that by the 4 hour mark, the pain is gone and you are left with a pathetically small wound to heal. I'm not even going to have a scar to impress ladies with!
Not a part of the California experience i was looking for but a good story now.
Huge, massive thank you's to Tim Mason who battled the traffic to drop off this beauty today. 5'8 Point Concept Velo sim designed by Ryan Lovelace and shaped in the UK by Tim. It's mini simmons-esque but way more foiled than the Baugess caspers with a hull entry into a single concave through the ply fins.
First impressions from a brief session in sort of surfable chest high junk were really fun. It feels very much like a hull crossed with a fish, smoother and more laterally fast than a keel but more user friendly than a hull. I think it's going to go really well in a much wider range of conditions than the hull but still have that feeling of super fast trim.
Proper report when i have a few more sessions under my belt
Elliot is one of the few British surfers i would cite as an influence on my own surfing, one of the few i would say that inspired me as i started out on a longboard. Although he's a few years younger than me , he was already one of the best longboarders in the country by the time i met him. He has super competitive skills, you don't win a european championship without them, but he also has a really smooth style with nimble footwork and great noseriding ability. He has the ability to adapt his riding style to whatever board he's surfing, short or long, traditional or progressive and flat out rips on pretty much anything. He's a super nice guy and has a quiver that makes me jealous!
He's still one of my favorite surfers to watch
This diana pic was snapped midway through the day at the hotdoggers stylemasters vintage board comp, which he went on to win.
just to prove tudor still has it, and to celebrate the fact that some good quality single fin action got some serious exposure with not a rubbish progressive longboard aerial in sight!
Sadly the clip misses knosts board pinballing through the pilings and a couple of harrison roaches good waves.
Although it's all "traditional" longboarding, there's an interesting contrast in styles, here's what Thos had to say:
Knost's attractive style is like a meta-language, beautifully stitched onto his surfing technique. Cool, show-offy, contemporary, cultural. Tudor's flowing style is more like nature: as if he's somehow made himself as a surfer into a new species. Tudor reminds me of seeing dolphins and seals playing in the waves.
It's almost as if they have inverse psychological desires from surfing: Knost to develop his ego and communicate with people; Tudor to dissolve his ego and become part of nature.
I think he maybe has something. I've long felt that your style comes from within and says somthing about you and your personality, one reason that good style is difficult to force, i think you naturally have it or you don't.
Sorry about the gratuitous stealing of videos, back to homegrown pics for the next few!
p.s. meant to blog a link to this before and forgot. Sure it will relate to more than a few of you!
Jimmy Gamboa. Funny thing about hulls is that if you're watching someone surf one, it doesn't look like radical surfing, but you can bet he feels like he's going 1000 miles an hour. Super fun boards, and a feeling i'm addicted to. If only i had such a good wave to ride mine on!
Mike gearing up at Baggy Point. Climbing has been a slowly growing obsession over the last year, mostly indoors when it's provided a great workout and stress reliever when the surf is rubbish or the evenings are dark. A couple of weeks ago i lead my first route outside (trad) climbing, on the cliffs at sennen. So different to leading at a climbing wall and a real rush.
My last two surfs were great examples of maximising the fun in sub par conditions. It's suprising how much fun you can have in 1 foot mush on a soft top or a surf mat! I briefly rode the if6was9 board below and was very impressed. It's beautifully finished, feels wide but nicely foiled with nicely pinched rails so not clunky at all. It tip rode well given the crappy conditions and pivoted nicely off the tail. Well impressed!
One of Randall's stock boards already has a new home, inside the vintage splitty owned by Pete from the British Surfing Museum, along with a bespoke surfing museum pivot fin to finish it off perfectly.
Understandably Pete is stoked, not least because the Museum of British Surfing is officially happening. As of last week, there is funding guaranteed and the paperwork is being signed to give a permenent exhibition and event space in the centre of Braunton, North Devon. Official opening is set for summer 2011 and the team have lots of exciting plans to go with it. All pretty exciting news and full credit to Pete and B for slogging through the hoops to get it done.