Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Monday, May 27, 2013

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Stolen Board

My lady friend got her board stolen today at the 41st parking lot in Santa Cruz around 10am today.  As the story goes, a guy was acting like he was waiting for a space in front of her car while another lady in a huge SUV stopped and asked her for her spot to distract her, both cars blocking her view from where she was at.  The guy loaded the board into his car and both of them sped off down 41st. 

The board is a FCD Fark, 5'4", 19 1/8, 2.5

Traction pad on the board.

The discription of the thieves are 1) White male with a orange beanie and 2) The passenger, an African American woman with dreads. 

If anybody see's anything similar on Craigslist or in a local shop, please leave a comment in my box and we'll get right on it.  Thanks for reading and for your help.

Random Thoughts

There is something so beautiful about being in the curl while riding an overhead wave.  From the curl that forms above our head to the tug of power grabbing on to our leashes, helping us stay within the most powerful part of the wave.  Plenty of this was going on during the last south swell.  There are always these mental snapshots that stay with me for weeks upon months after great sessions.  One of those moments remain from a year ago last winter when I claimed this epic overhead wave at Sewers.  Pure glass and tranquility while the sun shined through that hollow piece of heaven.  And during the last swell, an epic wave from "First" that took me past the "Cove" will be put on the top shelf of my Hippocampus for years to come.  From what I seen to what I heard, to how it felt, the visceral re-experiencing of that moment will keep me from experiencing Nirvana for lifetimes to come.

While we are on the subject of moments that we will hold on to for a lifetime, Swayze got a gash on his fore head so deep that he needed 12 stitches to put it back together.  Yeah, a scar may form there, and every time he looks in the mirror, he'll probably remember that moment as he went head first off the cliffs of a four foot wave at Beacon's in Encinitas.  But then again, anytime he meets a cute girl and she asks "How did you get that scar?"  he can always reply "Surfing." 

I don't know if your like me, but when I see a full moon forming over a week, I try to get as much sleep as possible.  During the span of the full moon cycle, I will be up all night watching taped recordings of Conan O'Brien and Fresh Prince of Bel Air.  But the negative tides that the full moon brings is the trade off.

This sticker reminded of some bad etiquette that produced some uncomfortable heckling in Santa Cruz during the last swell.  A lot of hollering and splashing of water was going down as people dropped in on each other endlessly that day.  I didn't understand why there was so much bad etiquette going down as the conductor was providing endless mountains of water for everybody to enjoy.  One guy just couldn't control his rudder as he paddled into everybody's wave, especially into waves that "the crew" were on.  I ran into another "Beach" guy who was down for the day, and we discussed this matter during lulls.  He brought up a good point that went something like this, "There aren't much waves during spring and summer and when there are, imagine the whole world trying to play in your backyard and you have to get in line to play on your own swing".  I guess I understood it before, but now I got it.  But damn, I felt a lot of empathy for all those getting ran out of the water that day.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Olas de Liso

I took this one a few weeks ago.  You wouldn't have guessed that this was Linda Mar during spring.  The three photos were stitched up by my buddy Johnny. 

Friday, May 10, 2013


C Street
Earlier this week, I conducted a training on the neurobiology of trauma.  I'm neither a nuerobiologist nor a doctor, but I am a brain geek, been working in the field for double digit years and as a somewhat odd hobby, do a lot of research on this fascinating thing that's in between our ears.  And since I have years of experience in working with trauma patients, I was asked to share my views on the subject.  But one thing that I am not is a public speaker.  My hands start to sweat, my heart beats faster, my voice gets a little louder and things around me get a little faster.  That's what us brain geeks call "fight or flight" mode.  Fight or flight is activated by external threatening stimuli that pushes the  blood in our brain into this part called the"amygdala".  Basically we go into survival mode.  Both our mind and body become more vigilant and aware, ready to either strike or run on a moments notice. I train adults and children how to move from the amygdala to their frontal cortex, which is the creative and solution focused area of our brain that helps us make rational and creative decisions.

Why am I providing a brain training on my blog?  Well for one thing, when the surf get's big, my mind and body want to go into fight or flight.  Public speaking makes me want to do that also.  Hence, being out when it's big is somewhat similar to me speaking in front of a 100 pair of eyes.  Or more specifically, making the drop on a big wave.

As I was moving towards the stage, I envisioned myself paddling into a monster.  Once I opened my mouth and words started jumping out through my chest, I thought of popping up.  Then I went for the gusto, starting off the training with a joke.  "I sure hope people will get it and laugh... " I said to myself. I related that to free falling down the face, hoping that I'll make it down without my nose grinding the flats and sending me hurling to oblivion.  Then I said the joke. I saw smiles, and then I heard laughter.  And then I saw engaged eyes.  I made the drop, made a clean bottom turn and now I was safe and flowing down the line.  Did the training go smooth from there?  Yeah, here and there, but I did make the "sections" and ended the training like ending a wave at it's tail end, in the shallows, and with a big smile.

Enough of deep thoughts and back to surfing.  A couple of us Kiwis decided to head south for something different.  Being that one of us is from Ventura, we decided to head there for the weekend.  We had it all planned out, where we were going to surf, tides, and Google maps on hand.  But what we didn't plan for was a huge burning fire that closed The One (or what they call it down south: The "PCH") from Ventura and all the way down to Malibu.  Yeah, all the spots we planned to check out were down that stretch of the PCH.  Yeah.  Bummer.  But we had fun anyways.

This young lady could really cross step.  Great long boarder for sure.
We hit up California Street (natives call it "C" street) and found chest high, hollow and peeling waves with about 5 knots of offshore winds.  We immediately suited up, without booties that is, and hit the surf.  We headed to the most northern point in front of a small dog racing stadium and paddled out.  I would love to say that I got some great waves, but for some reason, I was always lined up with a hollow lip, and it would just throw me over.  I would make the pop up, but I just wasn't fast enough that morning to get my board turned to make it down the line.  I saw a couple of the Kiwis catch some fast ones, especially Manav, who brought his Hess with him.  But as the morning hours passed, the waves got smaller and lulls got longer.  What we were experiencing was the tail end of this south swell.  We missed it by a day.  Darn.

C Street is a really accessible break.  With one free parking lot, and another lot next two it that costs $2 per day, both just a few steps away from the beach, it's pretty surfer friendly.  I surfed there a year back when I made my way up from Baja Mexico to San Francisco.  Freddie, a buddy that I met at Rincon, took me on a whirl wind surf trip around Santa Barbara and Ventura Counties.  During that trip, I didn't get much waves.  I was a real down to earth kook, just watching in amazement at how well people surfed in Southern California.  C Street is sort of a cobble stone break with sand.  Presently, out there as somewhat of a seasoned surfer now, I can see how this break can get hollow if a big south was to push it's energy on it.  And C street is home to some great surfers.  Most notably, Dane Reynolds who resides somewhere in Ventura County.

One thing that I appreciated during our paddle outs was how easy it was.  I think there was a 45 minute period where I paddled out, caught three waves and didn't get my hair wet.  Manav tried to go through the whole session without getting his hair wet, but that failed after he tried to make it out of a small chest high barrel.  Can't blame him.   

But with the sun shining, palm trees swaying and smooth sidewalks, both Manav and Amal decided to enjoy this trip skateboarding.  I am not a skateboarder, but I had a camera, and taking photos and video's of these Kiwis was pretty fun.  Both guys spent the majority of their times trying to clear our homemade roadblocks, successful on most, but taking a spill on one.  After a few attempts, they even had a crowd watching.  

Representing the Bay!
After the pavement sessions we decided to take a ride out to the FCD Patagonia shop and check out stuff we can't afford.  One person we spent time with down in Ventura called it "Pata-Guchi", which isn't far off from the truth.  Shit's pretty expensive, but they had an interesting collection of surf boards and accessories.  What caught my interest was the quiver of hand planes they had in the shop.  The hand planes even had FCS fin plugs attached to their nose so one could attach a GoPro and a capture their epic belly ride.  Pretty cool if you ask me.

After 10 minutes of browsing around at their collection, I found my way to the back of the store which was the shaping bay.  I sticked my head through the door to take a peak but one of the clerks quickly approached me.  I was ready to reply to anything the clerk would say with something like "It wasn't me!" but instead the clerk politely greeted me and offered me a tour of the shaping bay.  I was totally surprised and stoked at the same time.  I grabbed my other two buddies and for about ten minutes, the clerk walked us around the bay, showing us different sections of the board shaping process, which ended with Fletcher's sanding bay.  According to the clerk, each board that FCD creates is personally shaped by either Fletcher or his partner (forgot his name).

Three Kiwi Hippies and Kohl Christensen

After a ten minute tour, a tall guy and a one man camera crew came walking in.  I recognized the tall guy as I had watched a few of his surfing videos before.  After trying to figure out his name for a second, one of my buddies was able to name him.  It was Kohl Christensen.  I had watched his Patagonia video a few months before when he surfed the Easter Islands.  He told us that he was stopping by to give some spec changes to Fletcher Chouinard while making his way to San Clemente for the XXL awards.  After taking a picture of him with the crew I said thanks and that "I posted your video on Facebook a few weeks ago".  What a kook I am.

Above is the video that I saw Kohl in a few months back. The store clerk told us that we missed Dan Malloy who stopped in earlier.  Bummer.

If you have a free weekend and live in California, take a trip out to Ventura.  It still has a "town" feel that is similar to Santa Cruz.  The surf is fun, the water is warmer then up north and the downtown has a lot of great shops and small eateries without the crowds and flash.  It's a pretty humble place.  Plus, it's affordable.  I'll probably hit up Ventura again this year in the summer when the south swells start to kick up.  I'll probably even stay their in the winter, as Rincon is only about a fifteen to twenty minute drive with a bunch of fun breaks inbetween.  Hopefully, a fire won't get in our way the next time down.  And maybe we'll get a swell where I can make a big drop.