Monday, March 31, 2008

Manabu surf superstar?

Local videos! My nightly surf web browsing stumbled across this website just now:, which appears to feature home-style video shot around the Bay Area: from SF to SC. Video of SC is nothing new, but the video cameras don't break out that often around San Mateo, so, fun to see that.

BUT most notably of all, and I'll have to ask for confirmation on this one, but I think it's my man Manabu of fame featured pretty heavily in the video! He used to wear a white helmet when surfing, not wearing it any more, but it was nice because it made him pretty distinctive and easy to find. Anyways there's a dude in the video wearing a white helmet, getting some waves, and if I had to guess I'd say it's definitely Manabu ripping it up. I'll find out and update accordingly. Pretty awesome find if it is, Manabu you're famous!

Update: Apparently the video just starts playing automatically on it's own every time you load the page, which is a little annoying, and for that I apologize my loyal Horace reader. So you can either just let it load (and enjoy the hawaiian music over...and over...and over), or pause it. It'll move off the main landing page and into obscurity soon enough anyways. Because if it truly is Manabu, which with another watch I'm even more certain it is, pretty distinctive style he's got, it's just too good to take down. Oh yeah the video also pauses itself whenever you click anywhere on it. Also annoying.

Update II: I haven't had a whole lot of luck actually viewing any of the videos on the site itself...I think I'll figure it out soon? Maybe? Regardless still a good find.

Update III: Actually I don't think it is Manabu. I need to get more sleep. Further research indicates Manabu surfs regular foot, and this dude is goofy. Plus his helmet was blue, not white. I think I do know who white helmet dude is, I've seen him out there. Surf looks fun in the video I wish I could go get on some of that right about now!!! (But it's flat)

Update IV: This video has been nothing but problems. It seems that it's failing to ever go past about the 30 second mark, just hits there and loops back to the beginning every time...and it's NOT Manabu...and so I'm TAKING IT DOWN. Better luck next time -- I'd link to the link of the video but I can't even find that now, silly site! (Still a fan of the effort though, but UI & infrastructure could stand some improvements -- what do I know?)


One thing I really like watching is wipeouts. Most surfing vids don't have nearly enough of them...this one makes up for it. Nothing but wipeout after glorious wipeout!

The best was the kooky guy on the longboard near the middle of the video (1:03), who totally blew it in the middle of a tight pack of most likely rippers. Think he got any more waves the rest of that session?

Video shot around Santa Barbara area and taken from this surf blog site:

NO Surf Weekend

NO SURF ALERT: I caught zero waves this weekend. I didn't even go in the water. That's pretty unacceptable really, I feel like a weekend was just wasted. But on the plus side, now I'm renewed and re-energized and back on the hunt. Unfortunately looks like we have a bit of a flat spell in the forecast, but there will always be waves if you know where to look. I'll be there.

Saturday, March 29, 2008


How many passes?

I got the passes right, the second part? Not so much.

Clip found on the following blog, which contains some pretty gross stuff most notably the 'whats more disgusting than 2 girls 1 cup' post which I Really strongly advise you DO NOT WATCH. It is gross. Ew. EW! OMG EWWW. (But sickeningly amazing at the same time)

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Wild wild west

Bill Simmons writes some pretty funny stuff from time to time. Got to hand it to the guy he is entertaining. His latest write up on the NBA Western conference playoff race and how he sees it playing out is definitely worth a read, I just spent the last 40 minutes trying to read it here at work, dang ESPN page 2 and their uber bright distinctive yellow page border, don't they know I'm trying to read this stuff at work and my manager keeps walking by, so I have to constantly minimize/maximize the screen??

Read the full article here. A small sample that made me laugh below. from his breakdown of the Lakers:

Unsung hero: Sasha Vujacic, quite possibly the league's best bench player of anyone who plays 20 minutes or less. He's a feisty defender, he shoots 40-plus from 3-point range, he can guard anyone and play three positions, he's a legitimate threat to get punched in the face during the playoffs and, if that's not enough, I'm almost positive that he's wearing some sort of hair net. We haven't had a so-much-fun-to-hate-him playoff villain like this guy in eons. He's like Bruce Bowen crossed with one of John Lithgow's henchman in "Cliffhanger."

Cliffhanger! Brilliant.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Session 51 - Mar 26 - LM

Wed Mar 26, 6-7:45 PM, 6'8 Kirkshapes (white)

Lame surf session. And a good reminder of why Santa Cruz -- NOT Pacifica -- is Surf City USA (or the other surf city, whatever...). It'd been a while so I think I forgot, but yeah, good strong reminder that probably 90% of the time the surf is gonna be worse in Pacifica and the weather is gonna be more gray as well. Santa Cruz compared to Linda Mar is paradise. But hey I still got love for ol' LM as well, it definitely has its days. And on the plus side, there probably is some sort of surfable wave at LM a solid 300 days out of the year, so it does have that going for it. It's just that probably 250 or more of those days are pretty marginal, at best. Marginal, Linda Mar (ginal) get it?

I left work about 5 and headed west. Stopped and got board at Selin's. Manabu was going out too so he called me, but he wound up at a spot a bit further south. No chance I'm taking HW 92 during rush hour traffic, that drive is a nightmare, so I kept going and cut across on city streets, put me out a bit north of LM. Rockaway actually had a few people on it, sure it was probably 3x better than LM, but call me crazy unless it's WAY better I just feel more comfortable as the sun goes down in the water at LM than I do up there, or at other spots further south. Lots of (big) creatures swimming around in that sea out there, so for a marginal surf experience anywhere, I'm sticking to LM. Strength in numbers, right?

There really wasn't any surf worth writing about. My best wave was worse than my worst wave last night at the hook. I tried to make the most of what there was, caught a lot of waves but none really that good, best one I suppose was pretty decent left that I cut up on real quick and then back down, at least some people watched it and seemed impressed. (another fun reason to surf LM, I'm better than a lot of people. Ego boost). Tomorrow is a day off, no surf, going to Warriors-Blazers game courtesy of Selin and Big G getting us some free tickets, supersweet.

Bedtime. I'm exhausted. I paddled through a lot of closeouts tonight.

Session 50 - Mar 25 - Hook

Tuesday Mar 25, 5:45-7:45, 6'8 Taylor

Session # FIFTY! I don't know what is more impressive...50 sessions in 86 days...or the fact that I've blogged each and every one of them. I'm leaning towards the blogging.

The last and final session of the spring break surf-fest was a good one. Dad went out on his own at 38th, Joel and I felt like ripping apart some performance oriented race-track walls, enough of that 38th slow roll, so we let him go solo and went to the hook. I rode my bike again, that thing is awesome. I need to do something about the pedals though they're very sharp on my bare feet (they have these little metal traction spikes on them...good for shoes, bad for feet), but it's great and super speedy to cruise to and from wherever I want to go, board safely secured in the rack next to me. At the Hook which is a great wave we had the normal slightly large crowd, but not as bad as it can be, and so I was able to sit inside a bit and catch a Bunch of waves...picked up a lot of the supershort but superfun lefts that most people don't want (why would you when the right is 4x longer), but I caught those, can get one quick hit off the lip and thats about it, but it's a left so I like it, and got some rights too that I was actually able to keep up with and get past the inside closeout section. Really is a perfect hot-dogging wave, fast, great shape, couple quick paddles and you're in, imagining that wave in some remote tropical locale with only a couple of my best bros on it...that would be something else, wouldn't it?

After a shower and dinner at the Crow's Nest (dinner plus salad bar $6.95 impossible to beat that) the family loaded up the Volvo and hit the road for an overnight voyage back to Oregon. Good to have them, come back any time.

Session 49 - Mar 25 - East side surf tour

Tuesday Mar 25, 11-1:30, 6'8 Taylor

For the adventurous paddlers out there, a pretty good way to tour the east side surf spots is to simply get in the water and start Joel and I did yesterday. I rode my new (to me) surf-rack equipped bike down the street a bit to the local beachbreak, where we started our session with some shorebreak a couple, it's a bit of a thrill to catch those things and see the sand sucking up the wave as the water is pulling out from underneath you...then punching through the closeout as hard as you can to avoid a pummeling (and possibly a broken board) from the sand below...caught a few of those and that was enough. So, we paddled down a bit further to this pretty heavy and shifty left that a pro was on before (complete with photographer and all) after he got out. I see now why he got out, that wave was a disaster, pretty heavy and really bowling up BIG TIME, definitely a wave a bit over my skill level at this point, but nobody was there so I tried throwing myself into the pit a couple times, with pretty much the same result, a decent was nothing big or anything, but just the way that wave works, it's a tough one. No paddling for the shoulder, you got to really commit to the drop...and as far as drops go, it's a pretty vertical shot down. Tried that for a while, then decided to keep paddling, paddled out around the rocks to get to my more normal surf spots, caught a couple rights at this finicky little local spot that one other guy was on, tide a bit too high, pretty bumpy but still fun, then paddled some more out to 1st peak/sewers, more of a crowd, caught one quick wave there and surfed it pretty much all the way to inside 2nd peak, quickly caught one more there and surfed it nearly all the way to 38th, and didn't mess with 38th as I'm not catching anything there on the 6'8 and plus -- what timing -- I saw dad the surfing wizard getting out of the water as well having just ended his morning session as well. So we got out and walked back home and cracked opened a couple beers.

Session 48 - Mar 24 - 38th

Monday Mar 24, 6-7:30, 6'2 KG Fish

The spring break surf-fest continues! After our day at the beach we got back home, and old man the surfing wizard wanted to go out again for his daily, what are you gonna do? When the old man wants to surf, it's time to surf! So we helped him put on his super suit, grabbed the boards and headed on down to dad's playpen, aka inside 38th. And for this session it wasn't just Dad dropping in, getting in the way, pearling, and wreaking general havoc, but we had the privilege of being joined by none other than the floating sensation herself, sister Madeleine! She has about the best ability of anyone of just paddling way outside and laying out there, hair dry, not getting wet, looking pretty...teenagers, I guess. So image conscious! Quite a contrast from dad who could care less what he looks like (which is a good thing too because for all his effort he looks pretty goofy out there in the water) :)...Anyways in the end, both Maddy and Dad got some waves, Dad even stood up and wobbled on in, Maddy caught two waves boogey board style, she didn't even try to stand up (image), and was riding the wave all the way into the rocks (Maddy, to get out of a wave, just fall off the board. Now you know)...and the surf outside was actually pretty good, I had a great time on the fish catching some of those. 1st time on the fish out at 38th, it's such a slow wave normally I want as much board as I can possibly have, but it was peaking up pretty nice actually and had no problem getting into most of the waves I wanted, caught some fun ones. That board is a lot of fun, really flies down the line if you put it in the right spot. I'll look forward to using it more as spring/summer continues to roll on in.

For this session as well we also had a dedicated photographer, Selin, who was snapping away as our cavalcade of surfing kooks made our way down to the water. It was a bit of a spectacle I'm sure, all four of us going in a line down to the water...but you know what they say, a family that surfs together, stays together!

Joel the surf instructor, in the yard pre sesh

Spotless the surf dog

Bennett family surf gang

Follow the leader

Dad paddles out

Maddy, posing

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Session 47 - Mar 24 - 4M

Monday Mar 24, ALL DAY, 6'8 Taylor

I'm lovin' this "at-home vacation" thing! Santa Cruz is a great town. Today we made the trek up north of town a bit to a lovely protected little beach. Took all the supplies for a day at the beach and set up camp...Joel and I took two boards, mom, dad, maddy brought books, sunglasses, sunscreen, towels, beach blankets, Spotless brought a tennis ball...what more could you ask for. Joel and I surfed and surf was again OK, not stellar but plenty fun, we each got a lot of waves. More crowded than you'd expect for a Monday but I guess with Easter some folks had 3 day weekends or whatnot, plus it is spring break too, still, nothing too bad. Took the water camera and got some water shots, unfortunately completely missed my subject (Joel) on the best setup of the day...too busy watching instead of shooting!

Session 46 - Mar 23 - 38th

Sunday Mar 23, 6-7, 7'6 kingfish

Dad is a surfing maniac! He was all over it jumping at the chance to get wet again, so took him out to 38th in the early evening...2nd time around, showed some notable improvements, paddling like a champ, catching waves on his own, not too bad old man! Just gotta get him a little more aware of some of the rules on dropping in, and he's set... Surf was again pretty small, more just messing around with dad than anything else. Beautiful weather continues though, I think everybody is having a good time in Santa Cruz vacation.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Session 45 - Mar 22 - 38th

Saturday Mar 22, 4-5, 7'6 Kingfish

Old Guys Rule! At least that's what dad would say...he joined us out there in the water for some splashing/flailing around...he's getting better! Unfortunately he isn't much of a wave catcher, don't take it personal pops, I couldn't catch anything either a short while ago, but with a small little push he's a wave catching machine. He surfed my 9'6 FSC board on the little dribblers a bit down from 38th. We had a crowd watching on the rocks, mom, Maddy, Selin, rooting him on and driving him to greatness...We'll have to get on it again later today. Dad's stoked and ready to go!

Session 44 - March 22 - WC

Saturday Mar 22, 11-1:30, 6'8 Taylor

This one I remember, pretty fun session up north a bit. Felt like surfing somewhere less crowded and just catching a lot of waves, and so that's just what we did. Cruised on up and joined only a couple other guys, at most crowded time was maybe 6 others, so we all got lots of waves. I got some good ones, surfed the Taylor pretty well, got barreled (close-out style) but I was excited about that (as always). Fun surf, nice sunshine, session ended when both Joel and I got ejected from the ocean on a big cleanup set. We were going in anyways.

Session 43 - March 21 - 2nd peak

Friday Mar 21, ? - ?, 9'6 FSC (Carl's)

This is what happens when you combine unmemorable surf with falling behind on posts...I can't remember much. Joel was here and we went out down the 38th stairs and surfed some waves but I don't remember from when to when...pretty small. Oh well!


Family is in town visiting! So falling a bit behind on the Horace updates, will crank some out soon. Mom, Dad, brother, sister, and dog, good to have 'em. They're staying in a little vacation house a bit down the street, pretty comfy -- at least when the car windows aren't being broken! (Bummer, somebody broke their rear window yesterday evening. Didn't steal anything, just broke the window...punk).

Having visitors also means I have Joel my surf partner around, so we've gone out a few times, surf hasn't been anything great unfortunately but we've found some waves...

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Session 42 - March 18 - Jetty

Tuesday March 18, 6:15-7:40 pm, 6'8 Kirkshapes

I really needed to get a surf in yesterday, for some reason...just a long boring day I guess. So I got out a bit early, ran by Selin's picked up my board and headed west. First stop Linda Mar, crappy, 2nd stop also crappy, so headed south. It was really pretty crappy everywhere but Jetty was best bet for the evening, a little protected so waves were actually waves and not just windchop slop. I haven't surfed jetty in a long time. Climbed down the rocks and jumped in and joined the 3 other guys who like me were surf addicted junkies in need of a fix...not a whole lot to write about but caught some waves. Nonetheless it's good practice, surfing small junky waves on a shortboard is not a strong suit of mine, so good to put in some time. One kid was making the most of the waves, can tell it was his forte, not me so much although I did surf better than the other guy, so not the worst out there. Not long ago it was pretty much safe to assume I'd be the worst at any given break, not the case anymore, and that is a Victory! Sat and tried to catch the wedge type waves that would form from the backwash off the jetty, from time to time everything would come together right and they'd form some pretty quick moving little wedgy rights to try and do something on. By the time I got out and changed and in my car to see what time it was, it was 7:58--can surf til late these days!

March Madness

My NCAA tourney picks are in. And my national champion is...


Call me a homer, Kevin Love the Oregon boy bringing in the championship banner... But I really don't know much of anything about college hoops and lots of people like UCLA so, there you have it. They seem as solid as anyone. Defense wins championships!

I hadn't actually planned this out, but, it worked out quite great. I have Friday off work as my family is coming down to visit, which will be fantastic as I can surf and watch hoops games all day long...1st round is w/o a doubt the most exciting time of the whole tourney. A lot of people I know take Thurs & Fri off always for the tourney, I just happened to luck into it this year! Good timing mom, dad, Maddy, Joel, Spotless...

Looking forward to having everyone in town soon. Goooo Bruins!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Session 41 - Mar 16 - 38th, 2nd, 1st

Sunday Mar 16, 5-6:30, (Carl's) 9'6 FSC

Carl doesn't have a car or way to transport his board at the moment, so he left it at my house. Rather than have it sit around and collect dust, I decided to take it out for a test drive myself today -- hey I figure I put in a couple hours of ding repair work on that puppy I earned it! Plus I just wanted to try it out, see if he got a good board or not. Factor in that it was just the type of board I felt like surfing today -- a little bit more performance oriented than my 9'6 singlefin noseriderish longboard -- and there you have it, I grabbed it off the rack and off we went. Went down the stairs at 38th, wind howling offshore/sideshore, peaks kinda mixed up with some lulls in between but I scored some pretty tasty waves on that board--it passed inspection (and then some!). It's a nice board, Carl better be careful and not keep it around here for too long, or it might just disappear (ie be hidden under my bed) some time soon...

Sunday nights can often be a great time to catch some waves, folks get surfed out after all day Sat and Sun and are off doing other things late on Sunday night so crowds tend to be manageable. Mix in the strong wind and somewhat jumbled swell and it was a real light crew out there tonight, no worries at all. If you were patient there were some pretty good waves coming through, not all time epic or anything but just big, fun, mushburger type things but if you work it they'd give you a nice long ride. I caught 4 long ones that I rode for all they were worth, from in between 1st/2nd peak to nearly all the way by the 38th staircase (not quite but close), fun long waves, good slow arching longboard turns and cutbacks...felt pretty good. Really liked the board, good selection. It's kind of got a bit of the Brewer in it -- the deck is pretty white and pristine, while the bottom has seen it's share of battle wounds, plus looks like got left in the sun for a while as it's a bit yellowed on that side. That boards got a lot of life in it still though, I hope Carl gets a lot of use out of it.

Weekend is over already? Oye. At least the start of the workweek means I'll get to go to Linda Mar probably on Tuesday morning -- gonna take the 6'6 quad with me over the hill and get that thing out for an inaugural LM session I think, see how it goes. Funny I'd be excited to go to crappy LM instead of SC perfection, but I like to mix it up...keep it fresh ya know? G'nite.


In an ongoing effort to occasionally post something non-surfing, I thought this was worth throwing on here. Everybody out of the way!!!!!

Session 40 - Mar 15 - Hook

Saturday Mar 15, 5:30-7:30, 6'8 Taylor

Ah the joys of living in Santa Cruz. Surf when I want, where I want, no long drives, no planned trips, no wasted days, if it's good I can see it's good and get on it, if it's not, I can get on it anyways and try to make the most out of it. Surf was looking better as the day went on so I opted for another session before the sun went down. This time I elected to ride a bike to the Hook, which worked out pretty well, took Joel's mt bike with the Taylor under my arm, and managed not to crash or drop anything -- success. Plus a very speedy and not cold trip to and from the surf, solid. Surf was fun, nothing else to say about it, it was really really fun. I might've caught a new 'best wave ever' -- last wave of the day, most of the crowd had gone in so I got to sit and try for the gems, didn't have to stay a bit inside or take lefts, and I got a great one, head high to overhead and just walled up speed racer, what a fun wave...managed to hit the lip twice and coulda/shoulda had more but didn't keep up...good wave though and pretty happy with my speed on it. Getting out guy said it was a nice wave, which it most certainly was, good way to end the day.

Tonight we watched In Bruges which was a really good movie. I enjoyed it a lot. Recommended viewing.

And tonight yes I'm doing more work. I didn't quite finish my work last night so I'm procrastinating doing it now again as well. Might as well get it actually finished though I guess...that would be nice I suppose. Focus!

Session 39 - Mar 15 - Lane, Cowells, Hook

Saturday Mar 15, 11 - 3, 6'8 Taylor

3 spots, 1 session?? I'm making the rules as I go here -- so yeah -- 3 spots, 1 session. It was all on the same board so it doesn't count as 2, at least that's what I determined before by past logic so might as well keep it consistent. We were on a bit of a surf wild goose chase this morning, pretty eventful hunt. Ramin from work and a friend of his were in town, so I met up with them at the Lane around 10:30. Made Ramin wait a while as I was lazy and slept in and ate cereal, sorry buddy. So we met up and there was a kayak contest going on at the Lane, and they were telling surfers to stay out of the way (with varying levels of success) but still making a pretty strong effort. So we decided to check some other spots. Spot 1, windy. Spot 2, windy but doable, maybe we shoulda gone there? Lane? Good! But full of kayakers. But we decided to go anyways it wasn't that crowded and there were plenty of other surfers. So we suited up and as we were getting down the stairs, a policeman came up and said it's closed, you'll get a ticket when you come out...he did say you can surf at the Slot or Cowell's though, but nowhere else. So we thought we'd go to the Slot. So we went and tried to get out there, but it was actually a surprisingly strong current not wanting me at the slot, wanting me at Indicators, where I would get a ticket...bah! Lots of paddling, made it out to Slot, caught one lousy wave and was then already at Indicators in the kayak zone, didn't want to paddle back out there again, too much effort too little reward, so let myself continue to get washed down all the way to outside Cowells...Ramin and Taylor had walked down there themselves to met them and we had some discussion about what to do, I decided I don't want a stinking ticket so left. Walked up the Cowell's stairs, snuck past the police, and went to the car. In wetsuit drive, checked a few other spots but wound up at the Hook, was a slight negative low tide and sorta crowded but we'd been on enough of a chase already so that's where we went. Turned out actually pretty fun -- midday weekend crowds at the Hook so pretty tight out there but I had no problem catching a lot of quick lefts and some OK rights sitting a bit inside. Good to get out in the water. Sun came in and out mixed with rain and even mixed with HAIL, interesting weather pattern today. Got nicer as the day went on, as did the surf, good enough for surf session #2, which I'll post on now. Good to have some surf company though as always, thanks for making the drive Ramin, next time we'll get something a little better. He's off to Sydney tonight...lucky.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Friday night work session

Yay I get to work tonight! Stupid quarterly reviews...gotta finish by midnight. Friday night fun!

This picture is extremely random and a little bit creepy but it made me look twice and so I figured what the heck why not post it. Plus it's not surfing related and I don't think I've posted anything not surfing related in months, so, there ya go.

Some people come up with some pretty weird stuff. Picture taken from comments section of Niceness (yes, surf blog). Alrighty, back to work for me. On the bright side, Friday night work session means I'll be up bright and early and ready to go for tomorrow morning surf. I hope it's not raining.

Update: OK I'm back, this one made me laugh also.

That is just so ridiculous looking I can't help but laugh. What to even say?

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Session 38 - Mar 12 - 2nd Peak/38th

Wednesday Mar 12, 5:30-7:30, 9'6 FSC

Joined for this session by coworker Carl Damerow who hails from the surf mecca of Sheboygan WI...he's been getting out on his own a bit, caught the surf stoke, I helped him pick out a used longboard last week, fixed it up this week (first delam repair -- was a minor one but still those aren't easy -- I'd say I did a pretty decent job if I say so myself), and we went out for an inaugural session last night after work. Left the office at 4:30, home by 5:20, in the water at 38th about 5:30. As I like to do when I got company and relaxed surf, I took out my waterproof digicam and entertained myself between waves trying to get photos -- the one you see here was the best of the lot of a guy ripping one of the set waves out at 2nd peak. Beautiful sunset too! I liked that photo. I didn't get any great ones of Carl -- he didn't provide me with a ton of opportunities to be fair -- but it was a pretty good first Santa Cruz session for him on a new board. He'd only been on foamies to this point. We sat a bit off the best peak and picked off some of the waves that came thru there, he managed to catch some, he'll be a fast learner as he's a really good swimmer, so paddling is pretty strong, and he seems more comfortable out there than most folks I see at his stage. He caught one wave that I saw, actually made a pretty nice adjustment to avoid pearling which I was impressed by. Natural talent, you can't teach that!

As for surf, it was pretty good -- I hung out and caught a lot of waves inside where I normally woulda gone, but still plenty fun and caught some good ones on the 9'6. The tide dropped through our session and the wind died down too, by the end was getting even more solid, so thought we could move back to 38th and get Carl some more easy ones w/ no crowd, so we paddled back and then the wave machine shut down and we got skunked at 38th, had to paddle back in...and then once on the sand of course a set came...never fails! :) Fun session, nice night, good livin'.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Status update

'08 Status Report - 150 goal

37 sessions
72 days

To meet 150 session goal, one session is required every 2.4 days

37 sessions in 72 days = one session every 1.95 days
72/365 = Year is ~20% complete
37/150 = Goal is ~25% complete

5% ahead of pace! I'm a little worried about summer doldrums and extended flat spells, so it's good to be ahead of pace right now, when the surf is consistent and consistently good. Doing my part to keep up -- surfing today after work!

UPDATE: So Joel that mathematician called out my 5% ahead of pace as bunked up. He's probably right. Dan, Zac, somebody else let us know for real. His logic below:

Joel: BTW I think you're actually about 24% ahead of pace
Joel: anyway, the pace thing
I may be wrong, but I think you are calculating that all bunky
me: bunkdified
yeah maye it is?
Joel: all you need to do is compare 1 sesh out of every 2.4 days to your current rate of 1 sesh every 1.95 days
Sent at 4:16 PM on Wednesday
Joel: 2.4/1.95 = 1.23
me: bunky
Joel: So let's say you keep going at your 1 out of 1.95 pace, you'll end up with 187 sessions
which is 37 more than your goal
187/150 = 1.247
me: OK that might be right
Joel: so maybe you're almost 25 percent ahead of your goal pace
me: I'll post this now
Joel: ha, OK, Zac or Dan ought to make sure it's correct

Well, I'm a surfer, not a math wizard. I don't have time for this stuff anyways -- all I know is I'm ahead of schedule and I'll be more ahead of schedule in about an hour cuz it's time to GO SURFING AGAIN! Later chumps!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Session 37 - Mar 9 - 2nd Peak

Sunday Mar 9, (More daylight savings!) 5 - 6:30 , 9'6 FSC

Daylight savings is great! I can also now surf after work -- sick. (a note on my use of surf slang "sick" "gnar gnar" etc: I don't really talk like this. But seeing this is primarily a surf blog, I'll use surf terms when applicable). I'm looking forward to many post work sessions to come, and probably even a good helping of daily doubles if I can get that to work out.

But back to Sunday, also a double session day. Following Steamers which was a lot of fun I came home, hung out a bit, mowed the lawn, checked the surf again and it looked pretty fun so back in the ocean it was. Put on an alternate wetsuit (the 3/2 rip curl, warm enough outside to start getting the 3/2 back in rotation) and grabbed the longboard. I thought I'd go out at 38th but actually wound up heading over to 2nd peak and got some really good ones out there. Great to be on the longboard, just cruuuuuuuuuuuisin'. Easy does it, can catch anything on that, even when my arms were exhausted from my earlier 4 hour session...Surf was pretty good, again not too crowded, crew of pretty much all longboarders. I sat kind of in the wrong position for a bit, further inside and too far over, where on the low tide it was really bowling up, pretty much a mini little slab type wave, which if you've never tried is pretty difficult to pull off on a 9'6 noserider single fin longboard -- maybe not for Bonga Perkins but it is for me. But there was no shortage of waves coming there so I tried my hand at it a few times, good practice at the least, some fun wipeouts mixed in with some that I made. After I had my fill of that I paddled out to better position and picked off some of the real gems, got some long rides, up (near) the nose, some decent longboard turns...good ol' fashioned longboard fun. Caught one final one rode it as far as I could, real nice wave, and headed for home. Showered, and then went to have sushi dinner with Selin. Tough life!

Session 36 - Mar 9 - Lane

Sunday Mar 9, Daylight savings time 11 - 3, 6'8 Taylor

Wetsuit Tan! That's what you get for surfing 4 hours in the bright sunshine on a beautiful and very fun surf day in glorious Santa Cruz. Seriously though this wetsuit tan thing is getting out of hand -- despite my consistent sunscreen efforts (I used Waterbabies SPF 50 for this session. It works, but Bullfrog is much better. Bullfrog or bust from now on) there's just no way to avoid getting a lot of sun when you're surfing for that long. So I've got a nice straight line about halfway up my neck, where the tan stops and the white starts, plus the same at both wrists. Like Charles Barkley's tight white shorts...Sexy!

But aside from the inevitable wetsuit tan, a 4 hour surf session also usually means one other thing: good surf! Steamer Lane is really a great place to surf, I can see why it is so crowded, and today was no exception. In fact, due to the high high tide which I hit, it was actually pretty empty. Very much surprisingly so -- but I think the surf was pretty good at a lot of spots, so likely a lot of people were getting barreled at points and beaches further north out of town. As the tide dropped and the session progressed, the crowd picked up with the standard pack of Steamer Lane rippahs, but it was still never a complete feeding frenzy -- rare. I'm glad I went there and got on it when I did.

Given the high tide, my 6'8 Taylor wasn't the ideal board choice, but I made it work. Day like that is when I really miss the 8'10 Vernor, woulda been flying on that thing, performance longboard central, can't get much better than that. But like I said I made the 6'8 work, definitely got my share of waves. Lane is fun to surf, because in a small area it offers up a pretty solid variety of waves -- of which I caught a little of each -- big drop fat bombs at middle peak, which just give you a big fun drop and then not a whole lot after that, race track rights breaking off the rocks that the pros just rip apart, airs, hacks, whatever you want to see they're doing it, and even an occasional left that will give you a good drop and a bit of a section to work with. Fun to have that kind of variety out there and get to mix it up a bit. I caught one big one I remember from far outside middle peak, that was probably a double OH drop but just kind of petered out into nothing after that...but I stuck the drop backside which I was content with. Kind of just a big fat shoulder, nothing too gnar gnar but good for me. Also caught a few of those lefts which were fun and some rights as well. Current wasn't bad at all, really easy to stay in position, all in all a pretty epic surf session at a pretty epic surfing spot.

Good, solid, long session after the day before's poor showing. Back on the surfing express, full speed ahead.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Session 35 - Mar 8 - SC Beachy

Saturday Mar 8, 4:30-5:30, 6'8 Taylor

Well, when it comes to sessions not actually being sessions that should count, this is about as close to that as it comes...just not really feeling it today. Surf wasn't terrible, actually I'm sure it was really quite good earlier in the morning at some north of town spots, but I took the morning off, tended to some stuff at home, got all my boards (finally!) fixed, Plus photographed -- look for photos soon once I can upload them -- and just relaxed, absolutely beautiful gorgeous warm sunshiney day.

Surf pretty small out front so loaded the surfmobile planning to go north, but stopped at some beachbreaks on the way close to home and decided to just go out there. Were a few people out at a few of the normal spots, I surfed a spot I never have before (add another to the list!) but it wasn't really anything special, just beach break really...waves weren't doing much, kinda piddly and pretty much only closing out. I think I timed my session quite nicely to coincide with a 0.0 low tide, which wasn't helping things. So, I caught I think 4 "waves" but really wasn't much to em, closing out pretty instantly. Since things weren't so good at my chosen beach break I went back to the car, laid my towel over the seat and drove in wetsuit back to the Hook, thought I'd go out there, but the south wind had really picked up and it was pretty much complete crap out there, and that wind was kind of chilly in my 3/2 which I decided to wear, so I said forget it, it's shower time and went home. Warm shower, heavenly.

So now I'm relaxed and rejuvenated and ready for tomorrow, will try to get somewhere good early in the AM.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Session 34 - Mar 7 - LM North

Friday Mar 7, 7-9:30, 6'8 Kirkshapes (white)

Nice morning! Surf was better than yesterday, a little bit bigger and more powerful, not as mushy. Was definitely crowded for a DP but I guess it's Friday and I guess the Surfline effect was in full play, they had a good report on it for a while. I really do love surfing in the mornings, great way to start the day, when the suns out, I'm almost even becoming a fan of the cold water, it's kind of like my "morning coffee" -- definitely a good wake up, refreshing. I got some OK waves, thought I surfed OK for the most part. I still just need to work on my consistency, I don't know why it is but I'll often get 3 or 4 good waves in a row, and then on the next one I completely kook out. I need to get more consistent on the shortie to the point where they're all good...I'm making progress.

Had tried to round up a few surf buddies but missed everybody: Manabu, Ramin, anyone else. Next time.


It took a lot longer than normal, but I was finally able to upload a picture again. I have a few more I'll post but when I have more time...SO...the above picture is the first glimpse of the Pacific I see every morning when I head to Linda Mar. Driving up I usually go El Monte to 280 to Sharp Park Road to HW 1 south to LM...coming over the crest of Sharp Park Road there's a little pull-out with this beautiful panoramic view of Pacifica below. I really enjoy and look forward to this part of my drive, because at this very moment I can often tell how my surf session is going to shape up -- I can get a pretty good idea for what conditions will be like from this view. This picture was taken yesterday, and I could tell it was going to be clean, but pretty small, and probably some long waits. That's exactly what it was. On days when it's big and a swell is really pumping, you can see lines all they way out the horizon on this view -- the day I broke Vernor in half looked like that. On days when it's going to be complete jumbled mess, you can see a complete jumbled mess on this view, no organization at all just chop all over. So on this particular morning, I was a tiny bit disappointed because I'm really hoping for some size, but I was happy to see it looking pretty clean. Surf forecast central!

Thursday, March 6, 2008

How not to get out

I did not bother with watching the final 14 minutes of this Youtube clip, but the first minute and a half definitely kept my attention...ouch! Hate to be that guy -- what's he thinking? But as surfers most all of us have been in some kind of hairy/stupid situation like this before...although hopefully not quite this stupid...or painful...or board crunching...

Not exactly sure why, but watching that video made me think of this:

Session 33 - Mar 6 - north LM

Thurs Mar 6, 7:20-8:45, 6'8 Kirkshapes (white)

For some reason, Blogger isn't working on letting me post pictures. I've been trying since yesterday, every time I try it crashes my system and I have to wind up waiting what seems like 5 minutes for my mouse to be able to click anywhere, even CTRL-ALT-DELETE end program doesn't do anything -- it's really annoying.

For my morning surf, I need to wake up even earlier than 6 AM, which I'll do tomorrow. High tide killed it a little bit so wasn't anything epic, but managed some decent fun waves. I like LM because I can surf lefts all the time, so yep that's what I did. North end of the beach, there was about 10 or so guys there but it was a pretty tight little spot to take off from cuz there really isn't much swell. No worries though got my share, best of em was maybe head high and presented a bit of a wall, mostly was all pretty mushy soft slow surf though. Hoping for better tomorrow -- although it'll still be affected by tides high tide is later and I'm gonna try an earlier start so, hope for the best! Manabu was out there as well, we shared one wave together, party wave style, which was fun.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Session 32 - Mar5 - 2nd Peak

Wednesday Mar 5, 7 am - 8:30, 7'6 Kingfish + DUBLIN VISITOR ULI on the 9'6 FSC

Going international! Uli the Ireland surfer (by way of Germany) made it out to SC last night in preparation of this mornings early AM surf attack. Always great to have visitors to the beach, couch is big and comfy and not a bad place to spend a night. Plus I got to put Uli right to work, he helped me sand down some of my repairs on the 6'9 Leaf, earning his keep. My repairs from Sunday actually came out pretty good for the most part, was pleasantly satisfied about that, was worried I'd have a repeat of my last ding repair session when I got started on it too late and it got dark and cold and damp and I didn't use enough hardener and my dang repairs never dried...that sucked. But that didn't happen this time so I was happy, and my boards are almost all good to go now.

As for surf, with sun coming up even earlier and earlier these days, set the alarm for 6:30. It's always a bit of a challenge to get out of the warm comfy bed at that early hour, but the sun shining in through the window always helps. We got up and walked down for morning surf check, I knew there wasn't gonna be much cuz we're on a really high high tide swing right now (think it was 5.8 at 8:17) and there isn't a whole lot of swell, but there were some tiny little waves and only a few people out so we went for it. Worked out well for Uli, good to get out there with no crowds even if waves aren't anything special. Since I had a visitor I decided to play photog for this session...I caught a couple waves myself but most of the time was trying to take photos. Sad to say my photog skills need more work, didn't wind up with any great ones, but I think it's always a kick for anybody to have some surfing pics of themselves even if nothing looks that great. (I've been trying to post pics to this blog for a few hours now but it's not working for some reason, boo, reminds me of being in India!). So it was fun doing that, and as I said before, it was an absolutely beautiful sunny warm day, shame to go to work but got to pay the bills.

Uli was a good visitor, made the most of our conditions and caught some decent waves, plus he was going for everything so wiped out all over the place too but that's what you got to do to get better...come back any time. Friday is his last day in Mt View office, then he's doing some US sightseeing (Grand Canyon, Vegas, LA) before heading back to Dublin. Glad he got some California beach livin' experience before heading back to grey and rainy Dublin.

I'm hitting LM or Montara tomorrow morning, hoping for a good session. We'll see!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Session 31 - Mar 2 - SC beachy

Sunday Mar 2, 11-1, 6'8 Taylor

Lazy in the morning, busy in the evening, wound up surfing in the afternoon which all things considered is usually the worst time to surf...wind was blowing. The early AM glass had been replaced by some pretty choppy ocean, checked again later in the day and was glass again, but you work with what you got, and it wasn't like it was bad out there, still pretty good surf. SC is amazing in that regard. What's also pretty impressive about SC is that if you're willing to look, you can find some uncrowded surf. Most of the session was just me and one other guy out there. My surfing wasn't great, I kept getting caught inside too far when the bombs came from outside. I went after the small to medium size sets, caught some, one left that was good, nothing else really of note. I think my spaghetti is done on the stove so, this post is over!

Session 30 - Mar 1 - 38th

Saturday Mar 1, 5:30-6:45, 9'6 FSC

After Selin and I gorged ourselves at Hanks with a huge helping of fries, salad, and a chicken sandwich, I decided I'd head back out for a few more waves before the sun went down, taking advantage of these longer days we're having. I've learned that a full stomach and a short board do not mix, so I grabbed the 9'6 cruiser again and hit up 38th. Good selection -- nothing like the effortless glide of a nice long longboard, especially after a big meal. Wasn't too many people still out so it was a virtual wave bonanza for me, wave after wave after wave, some really fun long rights that I picked off from far outside and cruised all the way in. Also mixed in my fair share of lefts too, as the left that sometimes works at 38th was working tonight. It really was fun, pretty great conditions for longboarding, I love winter in Santa Cruz...chest high+ on the sets, but a little bit of south swell in the water giving those classic long easy waves perfect for a longboard...surfed til it was nearly completely dark and headed for home. Probably my best session in a while -- figures soon as Joel leaves I a) get good surf and b) actually surf it well again. Bah!

Session 29 - Mar 1 - 38th/2nd peak

Saturday Mar 1, 1-2:30, 9'6 FSC

For Joel's farewell session we actually got served up a pretty nice helping of offshore wind, fun peaky waves, and not much of a crowd...pretty good combination to send him off on a high note. I opted to cruise on the longboard, Joel took the Brewer, walked down the 38th stairs and up the beach, paddled out in between 2nd peak and 38th and surfed out there most of the time. Lots of waves coming through in varying spots, and the wind which really picked up in the afternoon was blowing hard offshore, making for some pretty fun surf. Had to give it an extra paddle or two to make completely sure you were actually in the wave, but wind holding the waves up nicely and some nice rides were had. Joel ended his vacation with a left, the only left of his trip...I need to work on switching my stance!