Am far far away in the Caribbean and while it is very nice and warm and perfectly tropical, I have missed yet another epic swell…I’ve been posting shots from the swell we got right before I took off about a week ago, and post this shot as a toast to all of you who got it good yesterday and the day before…Good’on ya, the reports I got were that it was all time.
Flew out to Haiti last night and am here for two weeks…will look for surf, but tis’ not the season for Caribbean surf. So will be posting random images and old shots from recent swells…Here is a shot from last week, really had a lot of fun that day surfing this spot.
I’ve been courting the Queen these last few days, and she has definitely returned the love with some incredible sessions…here is a shot I took pre-session yesterday during the low tide…I like this shot for a lot of reasons, one of them being the guy boosting the pelican-like-air…see the incredibly pixelated shot below.
A man named Freedom passed away a few days back. A war veteran and friend to all, he lived on the streets and was a ray of light. My girl and I met him two nights before he passed, and in that short time really came to consider him a friend. It has been cold, wet and nasty here these last few days, and the elements got the best of him. We are blessed with food, clothes, warmth, friends and family…not to mention being free to surf at will. So be grateful for what you have and please consider sharing your resources, friendship and love with those in need. What would you give for your Freedom?
Found some fun steep ones this morning near County Line, it was glassier up north closer to home, where I took this shot but I opted for size…and I found it. I took the photo through the window of my truck, while parked on the shoulder of the 101…i kind of like how the door frames the right side of the shot…a total accident, but cool.
Rain rain go away, come back another day, it you don’t, we don’t care, we’ll go surf…if we dare? Man the water is chocolate mud pie soup, and still every lineup was full this morning on the gold coast.
Got a little surf yesterday and got a little cold this morning…but it was worth it. On a different note I am loving the new look at wablog!
The sweet afterglow of a delicious day wafts over the horizon, delicately dancing a slow waltz across the drifting lines of swelldom, not a sound is heard beyond the sleepy shorebreak and twinkling stars. We are safe and sound, basking in the warmth of a purposeful day spent in the pursuit of truth. Surf and epiphanies were had and horizons expanded, as time slowly turns the afterglow dimmer switch to night.
No surf means being able to scan old and not-so-old photos…and then realizing you spend way too much time updating your blog and should instead be driving to Mexico where there is undoubtedly big uncrowded surf.
The world sure seemed flat today, not a ripple on the ocean. Here is a shot that I took through the sideview mirror of the Tacoma while on a surfcheck…I took it while driving and kinda just shot from the “hip”, the focus is a little off but so am I. Hope to see more surf in that mirror soon.
Wow the ocean was big and angry today…went to this spot and got it good with just one other guy out. It was way bigger than I expected and the offshore winds were keeping the faces open just long enough to entice us in, and though I got a handful of crazy fast rides, I mostly got worked…feeling humbled I got out after only an hour and took some shots as the afterwork crowd filled in. This one doesn’t really show the size, but I like the idea.
Hey party people, sorry for the lack of posts but had to drop everything and fly to Kentucky to celebrate the life of Grandpa Jack…am back in Cali now and posting up…Here is a video to encourage you all to follow your dreams–Grandpa Jack was a close family friend and like everyone who met him, I quickly adopted him as my own grandfather. At 90yrs. old he released his third CD and was living his dream…SMILE!
Did not surf today, did not take any photos today…did not watch TV either. Found this shot from my trip to Honduras last June, thought I’d share. Sharing is caring. Wouldn’t mind changing the channel to something with a little more surf…
Saw Dominic Bali tonight in Ventura…check him out, it was a pretty great show!
Checked all sorts of spots today and didn’t find much…ended up surfing this 10’2″ Takayama Model T down south…which was perfect cause it doesn’t need much of a wave to get it going…fun wind-slop, but fun nonetheless.
Found a little something today…There was some nice size (chest-to-head-high) down south in Ventura for the morning session, but with the size came the thickest crowd I’ve seen there in a long long time…opted for the Queen on rounds two and three…much better crowd setup, but small. Here’s a a shot that kind of sums up the day…making something out of nothing!
The Surfbird Store is finally up…it’s an evolving project and will be updated as new art projects come to life.
The swell showed up last thursday and lasted through most of the weekend…spent most of those sessions at this break and a few down south in Ventura. The fog lasted all weekend and made for some incredible shots…but every time I framed a cool photo in my mind, I was in the water getting some waves–the camera safely tucked away in the car…and so you are left with these not so interesting shots…really wish there had been a cool something or other for the foreground of this shot…but I still kind of like the gradient.
A beautiful afternoon and glassy chest high sets made for a fun session today at the Queen. The water was apple pie warm. Playing with the exposure on this shot in an attempt to give you a taste of that apple pie…
A long long hike down an empty coast to this gem of a spot…got a little water in the ‘Waterproof” camera and am pretty upset, but I guess it makes for an interesting blurring effect….that being said, the camera is out of commission and so you are stuck with this photograph until my return to Cali…
Sometimes I imagine these as dandelions blowing in the wind…but there was no wind blowing and so the seeds of change remain in want, and the little kid inside me keeps wanting to kick them into the air, wanting to see those seeds do their thing.
Had to escape the island today to find non-suicidal surf…waves were coming in at way way overhead and very non-makeable (not that that is really a word)…Checked a number of spots and they were all in the 10-12ft faces category, scary and very hollow.. we chose a headhigh+ spot that was fun fun fun…
Hurricane Bill just showed up and we’re off…loaded the lobster boat and headed to Shipwrecks for some fun shoulderhigh cold angry monsters…waves out here seem a little more angry than our waves back home…still had a ball!
First off I want to say that I’ve been hiding on an island off the coast of Maine all summer with very limited internet connectivity and as such have not been updating this site daily…but have been trying to retroactively get shots up whenever possible. I’ll be back in SB next week and all will be back to order, yeah! The moon is doing her thing and the tides are crazy high. The swell is building, you can feel it rumbling over the horizon, and though the ocean is crazy flat and there is not a speck of wind it is definitely the calm before the all-too-real-storm…Hurricane Bill is scheduled to push some surf up this way right in time for a proper send off. They’re calling for 4-6ft swell @ 16seconds for saturday morning…which around these parts means a solid headhigh…building to 6-8ft by evening…we’ll probably surf the secret spots around here and then hit the road early sunday heading north towards Canada as the swell builds to 14-18ft…which would blow out the local spots and will make a few northern outer reefs come to life…and so I end this post with a quote by Margo in one of my favorite surf flicks…”I’m just frothing mate, I’m that excited, I’ve got butterflies and all those funny twitches in my stomach”!
My brother and now new sister just got married today…well technically they eloped, then got in a boat we build four years ago and sailed away…but not before we were able to attach some cans to the transom and stick a just married sign on the boat in proper wedding fashion…Congratulations you pirates! Photo taken by Spencito Kawamoto….what’s a pirate’s favorite letter?….P, its like an RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR but it’s missing a leg.
Yeah yeah, I am really happy with this shape, needs a little oil and she’ll be ready to go…assuming we ever get some real surf around here I’ll post more photos of bottom contours and can email shots of other details if ya want…Dimensions: 6’6″ X 15″&7/8 X 3/4″
Got so many surf reports and epic-session-stories these last few days I figured I should just fly home and get ready for miracle summer swell #2…but then I remembered the all-time-offshore-and-glassy-head-high-plus-swells that Maine is so well known for and figured I’d wait it out here…in the fog.
Started making an Alaia today…will post photos of the process sometime soon. Supposed to be a little bump making its way towards Maine this weekend and I’ve decided that some wake surfing might have to happen if the swell is a noshow.
The epic surf never made it here today, the storm weakened and ankle breakers were about the best thing around and so with that I post a photo taken almost exactly a month ago on a nice day in LA Co. (by the way, he makes the section and glides down the line for quite a nice long ride).
Life on an island has a tendency to slow way down yet somehow days fly by…checked the surf three times today, it’s definitely building and we might actually get in early this week and in turn you might get to see secret spot #32 going off somewhere off the coast of Maine…come on olas!
We just finished the first week of boatbuilding…and this is what she looks like. What a joy it is to work with wood, with your hands, with kids, with family–so fun! Have big plans to shape another surfboard and a few Alaias this summer…maybe I’ll start this weekend. No surf here in Maine, so I hope one of you out there is getting some for me…thanks.
Am off to Maine today for 6 weeks. I run a boat building camp there (for kids ages 7-18) during the summer and am stoked to go. Check out the website www.islesfordboatworks.org, it’s a great program and great fun, though I have to rebuild the site…we have not updated it in a while and it needs some TLC. In any case the camp is on an island off the coast and sure enough there is surf (very good and uncrowded surf)…but unfortunately it is certainly not as consistent as Cali and so I will take this opportunity to delve into various photo projects and may stray from surf-only content ( i hope you’ll forgive me:)…So with that… see you in Maine.
Found an exact Central American replica of Rincon on this last trip…the cobbled point, the long rides, even the way the trees hug the beach were the same…less of course the crazy crowd. Here is a shot of a local grom checking it…
Wow what a crazy trip to Central America…we planned on a two week trip to Honduras and ended up having to make our way out of the country about a week in after a coup shut down all the roads and airports and things got messy…after quite a bit of maneuvering we found ourselves in El Salvador for the best swell they’ve had all year. We posted up at a chill little hostel and surfed the building swell…Just got back last night and already thinking of my next trip south to those magical breaks…definitely going back soon.
Ain’t summer Gr8? Packing my bags as we speak and flying south tonight to Honduras…stoked. There’s no internet where I am going and so I am given an opportunity to rethink how I do things…I started this site as a metaphorical branding iron–red hot, ready to poke me into action–so that I’d be motivated to shoot everyday. Well, if you have ever tried to do this, it is quite difficult but a fun exercise in discipline. I try, try, try to shoot everyday, and almost all of these shots are posted the same day that they were taken, but sometimes I don’t shoot, or maybe I have way too many fun or good shots I want to share from previous days, and then they take precedent and get posted…I guess it has turned into an exercise in complete objectivity and randomness…all of which luckily revolves around my surfing obsession. So anyways, today I fly south and have pre-posted an assortment of shots from past shoots to keep you entertained until my return…enjoy
Wow did I get some epic sessions full of lefts in LA these last couple days…yes, I surf goofy and this south swell is exactly what the doctor ordered to cure my summertime SB no-surf blues…Here is a shot from a cliff south of Co. Line, definitely one of those semi-secret spots with zero crowd and all sorts of surf.
I come down to LA about once a week to work with a client whose office is right on the beach…surfed Topanga this sunrise and had a blast…here is a pretty mediocre shot of the view from my office. I can see Sunset and Topanga from here and they’re going off with the changing tide. Go get it!
Made it to LA Co. today and hit up some great spots…had a 4hr. long evening sesh. full of lefts, lefts, lefts. This photo doesn’t do the session justice. It was consistently shoulder to headhigh (with a few overhead sets) and the kelp was glassing it off…so fun!
Lowers was going off today (as reported by a little birdie) and SB was just not…Did not get in today and starting to get a little dehydrated. Am off to LA county for two days in the morning for some hydration therapy and salt baths…see you there.
What a fun weekend…found waves everyday and even had a couple double sessions…went camping, did yoga, swam in a very warm Pacific, met new peeps, enjoyed old ones, ate some tasty food and smiled smiled smiled.
YEAH, just got out of session number two…waist high glassy, maybe even as big as bellybutton high, really long rides all the way to the cove. Yeah! Got a new waterproof/shockproof/stoke-giving/ugly-looking/but-great-photo-taking digital camera yesterday and put it through it’s paces today…And just as advertised I am stoked. Everyone looking for a waterproof/shockproof/stoke-giving/ugly-looking/but-great-photo-taking digital camera should get the new Canon PowerShot D10! Enjoy your weekend!
I really like this shot of El’Marinero. It was shot in maine on a cold winter night, it’s about to snow and the raging Nor’Easter is bringing in some serious swell…its taken at the beach while checking the surf. I am posting this shot because El’M. just got back from sea today with only 9 fingers…that is pretty heavy stuff and its been weighing on my mind and heart since the phone call from the hospital. His index finger was ripped off at sea working on the engine of a huge tanker…it took 36 hours to get back to port and a hospital. The pain must have been excruciating only to be overtaken by the mental anguish. I do not know how we deal with such catastrophes- granted it could have been a whole lot worse, entire hands or arms could have gone missing, but that being said it is an incredibly sad and heart wrenching affair. Life is incredibly precious and delicate. We need to live every moment to the fullest and give thanks. I am sorry for your loss El’M.
Wow, talk about flat. Am excited about this week’s roadtrips, one evening sesh planned for up north and at least one dawn patrol south…wish it were way way south like to Playa Negra, but that’ll have to wait a few months.
A buddy called me last night reporting that he had just had one of the top five sessions of his life…an evening glass off sesh at a spot not too far from here on a day where most everyone I know (including me) had written off finding much surf in SB. Goes to show that if you’re willing to drive a little and check a few spots, you will be rewarded..here is the text he sent me “Long, fast, glassy lefts. Sets were a couple feet overhead. Arguably one of my best sessions ever. STOKED!”…good job buddy!
The size of the crowd is directly proportional to the temporal extent of the flat spell…huh? In other words, the Bu should not be this crowded except that these peelers are as good as it’s been since I left for the East Coast.
A photo from C street, DC. Posting it makes me realize how much I’d rather be shooting waves…or the pier. But I guess I should smell the flowers and count my blessings that at least I know what drives me, what I love, what I seemingly could not live without…SURF!
Rolled into DC last night for two days of work and play before rolling north to Rhode Island, and hopefully a little surf. Took this opportunity to upload some photos. Am without computer on this East Coast trip so the daily photos will be uploaded in batches. Hope some of you are getting some surf.
Went into the hills to find peace above the clouds covering the view of rush hour below the sound of birds singing to the setting sun and came down centered and ready to follow the path…but still no surf.
This winter flew right by at 99mph…Summer once seemed like a far off place, but here we are, its arrival forcing the memories of winter sessions into the past tense. It was a weirdly inconsistent winter by all accounts, yet somehow I feel like I’ve never surfed as much. Off to the east coast in a few days for weddings and graduations, and perhaps, if I’m lucky, a few east coast sessions…but until then I’ll be driving this road searching for the surf of sessions passed.
Drove around all morning checking every spot from here to Cardiff…almost got in at the reef but wanted a little more size so drove back south and got in at El Rancho, for some chest high close outs…punchy and fun. Might have to take some logs out tomorrow for the morning session.
The same Santa Ana’s that have been driving this fire have been holding up faces and turning this surprise swell into some fun sessions. Checked way too many spots today and sifting through the junk found a spot down south and jumped in…good to get wet on such a hot day, crazy to be surfing in light of all this destruction. There was so much ash falling from the sky tonight that you could have thought it was snowing. Be safe and remember to help your neighbors! (and if being kind and selfless isn’t reward enough, think of it as an investment in them not snaking you next time you’re in the water together ).
Got in this evening at the Carp go to spot…whenever everything is nonexistent or slop (like tonight), this wave offers up little jewels of stoke. A fun session with friends and a nice floater to end the evening. Here is a shot of a break down the way that I checked before getting in. Go surf!
“It is important that we look at wrinkles as signs of wisdom and not as scars meant to be removed. We need to destroy the idea that perfection is a static thing…We need to start realizing how our world is so much richer because of time and use, and celebrate that richness, celebrate it’s mark. ” -Brendan Ravenhill
Got rincon to ourselves this afternoon for about 10 minutes of pure fun as we traded sloppy wave after sloppy wave…water was almost summer warm and the waves, well, they were all over the place. Had a great time. Here is a shot of a good friend trickin’ it out.
Jumped in at Rincon this afternoon…sloppy but good to get some waves. Supposed to get better as the week goes on. Trevor was out on his new Ryan Lovelace hull and tearing it up…man that thing gets some speed. The talk in the lineup was that Costa sounds like the place to be in June…and I might have to let my arm be twisted into going. Got out and went for a hike as the sun was setting. What a day. Ooh, yeah, had a meatloaf sandwich for lunch that was killer….uhmmm, what a day!
Went to the beach…but no surf was had…somebody asked me if I crop my photos (and the answer is no, what you see is what I shot…exactly as I composed the frame) and if not then why is this photo (and other photos) a different size, and the answer is that sometimes (rarely) I shoot with my little digi point and shoot (such as here) and the dimensions of the frame are slightly different and so the image is sized differently…word!
Have made the most of this flat spell and finished my taxes, sold my truck, completed my first album, climbed Mt. Everest, worked on my ninja tricks, decided that I want to be a firetruck when I grow up…or more likely have done nothing but check the surf everyday for the last week and not gotten in…here’s another attempt at trying to find surf, this time as found in the power lines down the street.
Checked it this morning and nada…checked it this evening and even less. Was still going to get in for a paddle and the wind turned me away. Here is a shot from a break down the road, taken en route to LAX to fly to Mex last week. How I wish those waves were still around…I would so be stoked!
So after a week of crazy surf (12 sessions in 4 days) I have returned to SB and somehow not surfed the last two days…am excited to bring that loosing streak to a close with tomorrow’s dawn patrol. On a side note, I think a friend may have just convinced me that there is absolutely zero reason why I shouldn’t move to southern France and live and work and surf in Bearritz. I’m a dual citizen (US and British) and thus can work in the EU without much hassle, and am fluent in french (it was my first language)…so I got a tattoo today to remind me that I just need to get up and go…well, ok, it’s not a real tattoo, just sharpie, and I most likely am not moving to southern france, though it would be dope, but it’s a possibility and possibilities make the world a more interesting place.
Didn’t find much surf today, spent some time checking the spots and rockin’out to Modest Mouse but didn’t get in. Somehow I didn’t mind too much as I’m still riding the Cabo stoke. Here is a shot of La Roca after I got out yesterday to get on a plane. Such a fun wave, and the left is just as good.
Am back in cali, and with a little luck will get to surf this south swell all over again. Looking forward to hitting some of the local spots these next few days. Sad to think of putting on a wetsuit…anybody wanna go to Cabo next week?
The rising sun cast its rays on the biggest day yet. Paddled out to La Roca, got two fast rights and then moved to the left for the rest of the session. Got some crazy drops and carved them up all the way to the inside rock…paddled over to the left at old man’s as the crowd filled in at the rock and got my best rides of the trip. Bigger sets coming in a 3-4ft overhead and fast but super makeable. The lefts were walling right up and I smiled all the way down the line, hitting the lip a couple times. Am so amped right now despite the battle wound on my heel (see below).
Today’s dawn patrolmen were two locals and me and my brother Ruben. Complete glass, water warm as apple pie and the sets were consistently head high. My first wave was a screamer! After breakfast we packed up the rental and headed to the east cape for some size and diversity. It was empty wave after empty wave, empty point after empty point and empty cove after empty cove…you could have taken an epic-day Rincon crowd and each person would have had his or her own break. We checked out the local favorites and settled on a double overhead pointbreak. Much faster and more hollow than La Roca, it kept me on my toes…kooked out a couple good ones, and nailed another handful. I hadn’t seen size like this in a while…of course in all my excitement I did not photograph that wave–but maybe that’s how secret spots stay secret. Some fish tacos for lunch and back home for the third session. Just got out of the water and wanted to share. La vida es buena.
A good friend asked me about my day…dawn patrol.. jaccuzi.. breakfast… hammock.. session 2…pool/yoga…water, whole lot of water…snack…shade tree…lunch… session 3…water/sunscreen break…evening session (#4)…pool/jacuzzi…fish dinner…lots of margaritas…exploration…squidrow…sleep….repeat. I might never leave this place!
You’ll have to pardon my lackluster photo…been surfing all day and barely got off a shot. Here is La Roca as seen from my balcony between session 3 and 4. I have noodle arms and my head is congested with stoke. So good today, bigger sets were well overhead and it’s supposed to be bigger tomorrow. Psyched for the dawn patrol.
A beautiful sunrise this morning. It’s 7:30am and I’ve already had my morning sesh. Got in at 6 right after I took this shot and got some good ones. The swell has built overnight and is consistently shoulder high and supposed to build with the falling tide. yeeyeah!
Cabo is grand. Rolled up midday, jumped into the rental and made our way to this little magical spot. Settled in, met all the locals in the lineup, trunked it into the evening and got some great rides. Only about waist to chest today, but supposed to build to overhead by Thursday. Stoked!
Drove right by potentially epic rincon this morning on my way to LA…and if you want a taste of what I (and most of you) missed read Kyle’s post for today…darn it, sometimes work just plain gets in the way of fun. Here is a shot from an LA spot I checked out after a day full of meetings. Definitely not the size, glassiness or speed that I saw at the con, and seeing as that I am flying to Cabo in the morning for a week of stokage, I didn’t even get in. See if you can make your eyes turn this photo inside out, whereby the dark bars turn into the background and the surf,sand,sky turn into bars…huh? Good job Kyle.