Saturday, 31 December 2011

coastal cruising no.2

Happy New Year one and all, yes i know it's slightly premature but reading blogs will doubtless be low on all your list of post celebration things to do tomorrow morning so i'm getting in early!

The last couple of years i've listed my top three "funnest"  boards of the year at this point but 2011 has been a year of transition in my quiver with a bit of a clearout followed by some new acquisitions so i thought i'd list them all as they stand right now, when i'm happy with all of them and not bored of anything enough to sell right now!

So here goes:

5'2 Tyler Warren for Hobie Bar of Soap.
5'6 Gulfstream twin keel fish.
5'6 Jeff McCallum Mford
5'8 Larry Mabile classic keel fish
6'10 Spence by Tim Mason displacement hull
9'4 Bing NR-2
9'4 Gulfstream CP model diamond tail saunton foil or "old faithful!"
9'4 Squire Dirk of doom (gato death dagger inspired pointy log!)
9'5 Dano Old Pleasure
9'6 Classic Malibu Jai Lee 1 model

If i'm honest, it's the bar of soap and the mford that i'm most excited about surfing at the moment, both different branches of the simmons inspired tree, both blazing fast and loose, both great on our frequent average days as well as the good ones. Of course ask me in a couple of months and i'll probably give you a different answer!

Incidentally, the photo is topanga in case you were wondering!

Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Sunday, 25 December 2011

seasons greetings..

the merriest of christmasses and best wishes of the season to everyone!

Friday, 23 December 2011

crystal cottages

Taking the title for my girl's favorite californian beach is historic crystal cove, just up the coast from laguna beach and one of the bays that make up a state park. There's a beautiful golden sand beach and tucked into the dunes a collection of wooden cottages in varying states of repair. Back during the depression they were built by a group of locals keen to escape the awfulness of the times and live simply by the sea. They became a favorite area for artists to work before many fell into disrepair. The Californian State Park authority purchased them all a few years ago and is busy restoring them, rebuilding, painting them. It's possible to rent them to stay in now as well although word has it it's difficult to get a reservation.

It's a spot you could easily drive right past on PCH 1 but there's such a cute feel to the place it's worth stopping and taking the time to visit.

Monday, 19 December 2011

soap and chair no.1


Feels a little like groundhog day around here, the pattern of big lows but strong westerley flow has wrecked any plans for surfing my local for the last few weeks and i'm starting to worry i might actually have forgotten how to surf by the time i get in again. The water temp will undoubtedly have dropped by the time the wind eases and the rubber quotient will have risen to the full gimp suit level as a result!

Listening to others plans for imminent departure for sunnier climes is not helping either! At least there's plenty of christmas cheer around in the village to keep our spirits up!

Thursday, 15 December 2011

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Dear Santa...

If that special someone in your life is casting around for christmas pressie ideas, here's a book that it might be worth dropping a few hints about..........The Surfing Tribe by Roger Mansfield..........

The british isles has rich and storied surf history but for many years, not much of it was written down, that was at least until roger mansfield took the task in hand and started to write "the surfing tribe"

Originally released in 2009 and now back in a second, updated edition, it's a beautifully presented book, crammed with high quality photographs and little vignettes of the places and characters that have populated british surfing over the years. From the outside, its a mind boggling task to begin, even if you experienced much of it firsthand as Roger undoubtedly did. It must have taken a huge amount of work to bring it together. The resulting tome is well researched and lovingly written with a section for each of the surfing areas in the country, detailing the history of the scene in each place. The prose is easy to read if a little simple at times and the scope of the information is vast which perhaps necessitates the slightly simplified approach. While the focus is very much our own country's stories, the worldwide history of surfing is told in broad strokes which helps to contextualise our history within the greater whole.

Like much of history, it's the characters within the stories and events that make it interesting and as the name suggests, the sufing tribe is very much about people rather than places and things. With surfing's counterculture past it's little surprise that the book is filled with tales of wanderers, dreamers, chancers, visionaries and hustlers. Names that still grace our surf landscape today and names long forgotten, tales of derring do and those with better luck than judgement.What comes through it all is a peculiar britishness to surfing in this country, something the book rightly celebrates and something that we should be proud of and celebrate more than we often do. Surfing in our damp windy isle is not quite the same beast as it is in sunnier climes and this comes across well in "The surfing tribe".

All in all its a worthy addition to any coffee table or bookshelf. I like to think that I have a reasonable grasp on the past but I learnt many new things, not least about the stretch of coast closest to my front door. I enjoyed it and I think you would too!

Saturday, 3 December 2011

douglas e powell

 The exceedingly talented, Mr Douglas E Powell. Acoustic singer songwriter tinged with americana, english folk and melancholy. Wholly deserving of your attention!

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