Category surfing

Tahitian monster

I don’t think I truly understood waves until I first saw this… thing. It was at that moment that I gained the wisdom to realize how little I knew.

Teahupoʻo is less of a wave and more of a mutant water form.

It seems to break below sea level and does so with a lip thickness which scares… most surfers.

The name demands respect on it’s own,  Teahupo’o translates… “to sever the head” or “place of skulls.” C.J. Hobgood’s recent wipeout, even on a smaller wave, underscored the translation.

It’s stunning that only one death has taken place here.

The predictable soundtrack and your lack of French fluency may suggest that an optimal experience is to watch this 26 minute mini-doc on mute. It doesn’t require sound to demand your attention.

Bali on a twin fin pintail

I’ve been in and around surfing for the last number of years and the simple truth is that few videos inspire me, this is one that does.

Don’t get me wrong, I love seeing super-human surfing. I lean forward watching the top 1% pull in at Teahupoo and I was watching the streaming of Kelly’s bus-sized claim at the recent Fiji contest but I’m smart enough to know those aren’t me. Heck, my ankles hurt just reading of Bruce’s airs.

There is surfing that takes you somewhere you’ll never be… and other videos that take you somewhere you might be, this is one of the later.

Clean lines, graceful bottom turns… pure joy. Ellis Ericson in Bali on what looks like a super fun twin fin pintail. The roundhouse cutbacks are worth the price of admission and the barrels are icing on the cake.

Killer video. No, I’ll never draw these lines… but at least my mind understands them.

Free fall

Much has been written about the Jay Moriarity (no relation) “iron cross” wipeout that made the NYT a few years back.

This pic, by Tim McKenna, is among the heaviest I’ve ever seen. It’s from Teahupoo in Tahiti. Wild ride about to take place.


Hacking your vehicle’s interior

I wrote about the surfers transportation of choice a few months back. The truth behind that post is that I saw a photo of a Jay Nelson… altered vehicle… and found a way to write a piece around it.

Below is another Jay gem. This time he’s altering Rob’s Save-Mono-Lake van that some of us see around town. Simple van, generic van… until Jay arrives.

There is something quite simple about this idea, if you don’t like something… find a way to change it. I’ve written 21 posts on various DIY approaches, this makes one more. I know… you don’t own a vehicle like this… so customize something else… make something undisputedly… yours.

The definition of trim

At some point a surfboard longer than 9 feet is less of a longboard and more of something else.

I didn’t fully understand this until recently.

The first time this occurred to me was at San Onofre, I saw Skip Frye in the lot contemplating which of his Eagles to take out. He paddled out at a break a notable distance away from me. An hour later I snagged a wave and was clearly the closest to the peak. I rode the wave almost to the rocks when I started  a reverse pullout (about to spin the board to the left)… and there was Skip.

He had started from another peak (again… far away) and connected to the wave I was on. Of course I felt like a kook for not seeing him… but I couldn’t get my head around how far he had traveled. It was that wave that set a hook in me… what was it with these super long boards?

I kept looking at 11’+ pulled template boards… there’s even a blog dedicated to them.

My friend Jason Baffa let me take his Glider out for a few tiny peelers at Trestles one day and I was even more intrigued… is was notably different. It was a trim… machine.

I eventually asked Chris Christensen shape me the 11′ Glider in the picture to the left.

I’ve had this board for about a year and I’ve probably taken it out for 50% of my sessions in the last six months. I’ve had to try to NOT take it out… and force myself to take a different board.

This board is amazingly fun in surf from shin-high to chest-high and is one of the funnest boards I’ve ever surfed.

If there is a definition of “trim” it should be accompanied by a board with this length and template.

If you’re seeking a brand new way to experience waves, I recommend this shape.

Surfing into another chapter of life

This video speaks to something that happens to all of us; it speaks to the distinctly different chapters in our lives and how we transition between them.

Sometimes those chapters transition smoothly and… sometimes they don’t. Whether it’s a new job or a new career, a first child or a passing loved one… the phrase Πάντα ῥεῖ (panta rhei) “everything flows” (attributed to Heraclitus) describes life well.

The video below also speaks the the manifesto of this blog (captured in the About section above)… Life comes at us and it seems to be doing so with an increasing velocity. We are defined by how we react to it, how we adapt to the changing landscape and what lines we draw through life.

OF SOULS + WATER: THE WARRIOR from NRS Films on Vimeo.

Ocean cubed

I’ve written about Alex Weinstein’s work before. The simple truth is I love his visual interpretation of something that I hold so close to my heart… the ocean.

The following offers a nice little peek into his approach.

And yea, I love the ocean cube at the end of this vignette.


Postcard from Santa Barbara

Clean little video vignette from Alex Kopps of Dane Reynolds on a singlefin. This is #2 in a series. Check out #1 for Al Knost asymmetrical, finless, barrel tomfoolery and check #3 for that same thing but with Dan Molloy.


The best surfing animation I’ve ever seen

And for those of you that like seeing behind the scenes.

Much Better Now Short Making Of from Salon Alpin on Vimeo.


When surfing and skateboarding were one

There was a time when the sport of surfing was the dominant player in what is today known as “action sports.” Skateboarding and snowboarding, for the most part, barely existed.

The transition era has been well documented and I can’t add anything to what’s already been said.

And yet I’m drawn to this single clip of Greg Weaver. We could take away the skateboard and put a longboard (surfboard) under his feet… everything is the same from the ankles up.

Beautiful footage back from the days when surfing and skateboarding were one.