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Archive for June, 2013

John John Florence reminding us that surfing is a progressive sport.

John John Florence reminding us that surfing is a progressive sport.

As many of you know the Oakley Pro Bali Pro recently concluded in less then stellar waves in a less then stellar final with less then stellar judging.  I don’t know about you folks but for me I was at a loss to understand why this contest sucked so much.  It was at Keramas a wave every single person on the WCT with maybe the exception of the Irish guy, who’s name I can’t recall (but who cares since he will most likely not be on tour next year anyway with his weak ass game) has spent time at.  The performances should have been mind boggling.  I for one thought it would be nothing then the most progressive airs and maneuvers seen in competition yet.

Then I remembered that Dane Reynolds is not on tour anymore and that the wild card was awarded to Bruce Irons a man who with out a doubt deserves all our respect for his years of being a freak.  Lets face it since he fell off the ‘CT years ago its been a slippery slope in the man’s surfing.  To think that he could keep pace with the top 32 was laughable at best just like the Bali local wild card and the 15 year old Aussie grom.  Honestly can we not get some wild cards that actually shake the tree now and again?  I know its nice not to have upsets in Round 2 and 3, but does anyone remember the Dane/Parko heat in the Quicksilver pro at Snapper two years ago when he made the guy look like a kook?  If you missed it lets just say for a brief moment everyone in attendance knew who the best surfer in the world actually was.  Of course then in the next round he lost with a combined wave score of 3.24.

This turn looks rather impossible but knowing Dane he made it.

This turn looks rather impossible but knowing Dane he made it.

Unfortunately for us Dane decided he would rather surf 2 ft onshore Emma Wood then mix up with the worlds best.  To each there own.  Lets go over the venue.  Every morning for about two or three heats Keramas was sick with perfect tubes and rampy sections.  Then the wind would come up and it looked like an average blown out day at Huntington Pier.  I was confused because I thought the US Open was not until July.  Thanks impart to these terrible conditions many were dealt a raw deal.  We saw Slater get bested by a very inform CJ Hobgood in such conditions despite the fact that he still managed to find two solid barrels.  Jordy found an early exit as well.

To CJ’s credit he killed it the entire event.  Between his performance here and Fiji I will be the first to say after a few lack luster years on tour the asterisk world champ is back.  As for his brother, well I think Damo is going to find himself with plenty of time to go fishing back home in Florida in the near future.  Too bad for CJ as he fell to a very in form Josh Kerr in the Semis.

CJ probably has the best back hand in the business.

CJ probably has the best back hand in the business.

How about our friend and 11 time world champoin, Kelly Slater?  I must admit he surfed better then I had thought him to do in this event.  Given the fact that Slater seems to only really shine these days when the waves are absolutely firing.  Fuck his performances at both Kirra and Fiji had everyone wondering what planet this guy was really from.  The man is 41 years old now and from what I understand was fighting some tendinitis of the knee.   That being said the he still surfed rather incredible and if you ask me I think the judges have been very hard on him all season long.  With Tahiti coming up you better believe if it is solid this man is going to school more then a few.  I still think a twelfth world title is very with in his grasp this year.

For a man supposedly surfing with a bad  knee it certainly did not slow him down.

For a man supposedly surfing with a bad knee it certainly did not slow him down.

While I am on the subject of injuries it seemed a very good portion of the Mens top 32 were dealing with Injuries.  One of which was Freddy P showing everyone that he still belongs on tour.  With an ankle injury he still managed to put on the best goofy foot performance of the event.  His exit in round 5 was a bit questionable to Mick Fanning causing him to make an uproar Bobby Martinez style.  I am sorry I thought Mick out surfed him in that heat and overall was very impressed with his surfing this event.  Even if the judges have been sucking  his cock all year.

John John’s Air

“The biggest air ever done in a WCT event!!” That was what everyone was touting it as.  To his credit the air was huge and clean.  The media loves to make lofty claims then run away with it.  Slater threw up two huge fucking 360 airs at both Bells last year and New York the year before that.  Both were equally huge.  John Johns might have been bigger.  Who knows, its hard to say.  Either way it was sick and I was glad to see that at least someone stuck a big air in the event.  You be the judge.  Here is the clip from Bells:

and  this one from New York:

Parko’s Perfect 20

Kooky Kyle coined the phrase the “Parko Push” which refers to how the judges constantly over score Joel’s mediocre at best surfing.  It won him a world title last year and then Keramas this year.  Were those two barrels he got worth two perfect tens.  I must beg to differ.  Think back to Slater’s perfect 20 based on barrels in Fiji this year.  Maybe the second one was a ten but the first not eve close.  It should have maybe been a low 9.  It was the most exciting heat of the entire event that in my opinion could have gone either way.  Both him and John John put on an excellent show.  The judges ruined the entire heat by boxing themselves into a corner five minutes into it.  So they ultimately gave the win to Parko.

Then in the final they handed him the event when in my opinion Mickey Bourez should have taken the cake.  I guess the ASP Championship Tour has pretty much become professional wrestling.  In the last three years the judging has gotten so sporadic no one including the athletes have an idea how the scoring works.  At this point I believe they either have a tick tack toe playing chicken picking the scores or the judges just pick the winner of each heat out of a hat.  Which ever the case these guys get paid a ton of money and need to shape up.

An ASP Judge hard at work...

An ASP Judge hard at work…

Tahiti is coming up next August 15.  Lets hope its solid for a change so that we don’t have to watch our boys getting head dips and doing turns.  Till then I guess we will have to look forward to the US Open on July 20th at wonderful Hunting Beach, California, a surf contest that has absolutely nothing to do with surfing.  There is nothing better then watching all your favorite surfers slog it out in terrible waves at a terrible surf spot in a terrible place while there is a motor cross demonstration, skate jam and grand stage with musical performances going on in the background.  Just the kind of scene Mickey Dora loved.

What you mean this isn't the first though that comes to your mind when you think about surfing?

What you mean this isn’t the first though that comes to your mind when you think about surfing?

 

 

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I was charged up this May, way too stoked on surfing.  So much so I might have well been a grom. Then again how could I not have been.  I was off from work not having to go back till mid August giving me ample time and freedom to make the most out of whatever was on offer.  We had some minor NW wind swell that decided to hang around for nearly the entire month giving us very surf-able waves in town.  Then throw in a  few little south swells with good conditions and a macker of a late season WNW that allowed me to surf waves I have not seen break in months.  Did I mention the water was in the high 60’s by mid month and there was almost no fog and nice warm sunny days.

Conditions had me wondering if I was still living in the 805.  I don’t know if this is a direct effect of global warming or what, but hey lets keep it coming.  I actually went out and bought a 3/2.  I have not worn a 3/2 out here since the very first summer I moved here six years ago.  That was when I was fresh off the plane and my blood still thick.  May is usually an ok month thanks to plenty of combo action.  As you can see from the numbers I think I more then utilized it.  As always you can read my month in surfing in depth and my life for that matter in the surflog, which by the way is updated daily.

Surf Sessions: 29
Days Surfed: 21

Total Water Time: 48.5 hours
Number of Waves Surfed: 916
Average Waves Surfed Per Hour: 19

Spots Surfed:
Mesa Lane: 10
Emma Wood: 7
New Jetty: 3
Santa Clara River Mouth: 3
Summerland: 2
Rincon: 2
Zeros, Malibu: 1
Sharks Cove: 1

Top 3 Surf Sessions

35-1-13 AM Session: 4-6+ft, Santa Clara River Mouth
Time in Water: 3.5hrs
Waves Surfed: 45
Another solid day of surfing, what a run.  That’s it I am claiming it: Summer 2013 is going to be on.  I got on the dune around  9 or so and all I could see were left peaks everywhere.  It was not super hallow but the ones that did throw out were spitting.  I ran down to the south end of the reeds and got a few only to realize the drift was absolutely horrid and the better peaks way up the beach towards Mc Grath.  Ryan and I got out and walked to the south end of the river mouth, which at the moment is as wide as I have ever seen it.  It wouldn’t take much more water with the right tide to break that through.  At the moment the sand is really good so hopefully it won’t happen till we need it.  Trevor met up with us on the walk and we found a very appealing peak in front of  this giant log.  Right off the bat I snagged a huge deep barrel that I got spit right out of.  From there it was on.  The current was so bad though, since the angle of the swell was so steep that it made more sense to just drift a few peaks then get out and walk back.  I ended up doing like five drifts finding tons of good ones.  Got my share of beatings too.  When I got out of the water I was exhausted.  I wanted to hang around for another session but I had to run back up to Santa Barbara to pay my rent.  May run for a evening session up at Indicator time and wind depending.

25-31-13 PM Session 2: 2-4+ft, Sharks Cove
Time in Water: 1.5hrs
Waves Surfed: 37
The plan was to go back to Rincon for the last hour of light.  As I was driving over the hill I did the look back of death and noticed that Sharks had a wave and there were a handful of guys out.  I love Sharks.  Its my third favorite wave here next to El Cap and Sand Bar, but with half the crowd and hassle.  I turned around and on a second drive by confirmed it was good.  I parked and made the terrible rock dance walk to the point.  Damn winter swells removing all the sand away.  When I got there I saw nothing but perfect chest to head high grinders going down the point.  I was so stoked.  I got out there and just frothed.  I was like a kid in a candy store.  Sharks when its on breaks like a small version of Nias.  I ended up surfing till dark.  Stuck a money bs air reverse, and just had an amazing all around surf.  What an amazing day of surfing.  If I had gotten hit by a bus on the way home I would have died a happy man.

15-31-13 PM Session: 4-6+ft, Rincon
Time in Water: 2hrs
Waves Surfed: 21
I woke up late thanks to a night in fancy town with Bizzaro at the Wild Cat.  Upon checking the buoys it looked as though the points were to have a wave.  I was figuring with the low tide I would just grovel something at Rincon or Pitas and then get a high tide session at the lane.  I pulled into the lot and it was full.  There were no spaces to be had in the front lot. The back lot was empty so I just decided to paddle. How bad could it be if the lot was full.  When I got down to the point I almost died.  It was solid.  I am talking winter time good.  Tons of perfect lines wrapping in everywhere. There were barrels all over the point although the best ones focused up in the River Mouth section. I did six drifts and in each one caught a wave from Indy to mid Cove, then Cove to call box.  I can’t remember the last time I call boxed a wave.  I was in sync too. Probably surfed a near flawless game.  I had to get out of the water by two because I had an interview with the well fare office about my food stamps.   Rincon on the last day of may and real Rincon that shit is absurd.  May have been the best session I have had since Pitas back in March (see March ’13 of the Surflog, 3-7-13 session). I also ran into Jenks charger Dalton Johnson who’s mind was being blown by his first Rincon session ever.

Sand Bar may have laid dormant for me this season. Here is hoping for next winter...

Sand Bar may have laid dormant for me this season. Here is hoping for next winter…

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Book XXII: Othello, by William Shakespeare, 1604, 127 pages

“Forth of my heart those charms, thine eyes, are blotted.  Thy bed, lust stained, shall with lust’s blood be spotted.” Ah there are few works more disparaging then a Shakespearean tragedy.  It seems every four novels or so I find myself picking up a work by the master playwright.  Othello is considered by many critics to be one of Shakespeare’s greatest of his tragedies.  Somehow our great public education system allowed me to fall through the cracks on this one, never reading in either high school or college.  Luckily I found  a copy at a thrift shop a while back for 75 cents.  It seems almost a crime that a Michael Connelly work was going for $3.  Then again no one reads anymore anyway.

A story of love, deception and honor Othello does not fail to appeal to one’s own struggles in life on some level or another.  For me it was the lesson of always trust your own personal feelings and instincts over those of another and do not be rash to act until all the facts have been laid out.  Overall I found Othello to be a rather entertaining work although far from my favorite of Shakespeare’s.  That being said it is a decent read and well worth your time.

For Book XXIII lets move back in to modern British literature with Rebecca by Daphne du Maurier.  The book was gift from a dear friend of mine in an early edition hard cover no less and was also highly recommended by the special lady in my life.  So if you missed Othello pick it up and give it a read or grab a copy of Rebecca and read along with me.  Or just turn on the TV and watch some pointless trash.  The choice is yours.  Don’t buy into the hype.
Othello

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Tell me this doesn't make your taste buds yearn.

Tell me this doesn’t make your taste buds yearn.

How this amazing breakfast/dessert item has eluded  me all of these years is beyond my comprehension.  Apparently the Dutch Baby has been pleasing the breakfast enthusiast for a long time.  I know its been a while since I have posted a recipe up here due my own personal laziness, but I promise my friends it was well worth the wait.  About a month ago Heather told me about this giant oversize pancake she used to eat when she lived in Portland called a Dutch Baby.  After doing some research on the subject I just had to have one.  This past Sunday was the day.

I woke up and was craving a Dutch Baby.  I was lacking a medium size cast iron pan.  Immediately I went on thrift store lurk.  Two thrift shops later and a debate on whether this some what fly pair of chocolate loafers looked good on me and was worth $10 (it wasn’t), I found my pot and was ready to go.  This thing blew my mind and I am sure it will yours as well.  Cook it up for your peers and they will no doubt be giving you praise.  The best part is it is fairly easy and cheap to make too.

Total Cost: $9
Feeds 2-4 people

Ingredient List:

  • Butter – 3 Table Spoons
  • Eggs – 3 (large)
  • Milk – 3/4 Cup (Whole)
  • Flour – 1/2 Cup (All Purpose)
  • Sugar – 1/3 Cup
  • Vanilla Extract – 1 Tea Spoon
  • Cinnamon – pinch
  • Salt – pinch
  • Pepper – 1/2 Tea Spoon
  • Confectionery Sugar – Table Spoon
  • Lemon Juice – Table Spoon
  • Medium Size Cast Iron Skillet (8-10 inch)

Step 1: Preheat Oven –  Preheat Oven to 425 Degrees F and at the same time on a medium flame melt 2 table spoons of butter in a medium size cast iron skillet (8-10 inch) If you do not have a cast iron skillet you can use an 8-10 inch baking pan or sautoir pan.  If you use the sautoir pan be sure to make sure it does not have a plastic handle or it will melt in the oven.

The pan with 2tbs of melted butter

The pan with 2tbs of melted butter

Step 2: Make the Batter – Combine milk, eggs, flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, pepper, and vanilla extract in a large bowl preferably with an electric mixer.  Beat till foamy.  Pour finished batter into skillet with the melted butter and place into  preheated oven (425F) for around 20 minutes or until Dutch Baby has risen to it’s maximum height and has browned up.

Your batter should be rather runny looking

Your batter should be rather runny looking

Notice the layer of foam settling at the top of the finished batter.

Notice the layer of foam settling at the top of the finished batter.

Step 3: Serve After 20 minutes or so pull out your finished Dutch Baby.  It should have risen rather high and the peaks should have a brown caramelized appearance.  The Baby will fall rather quickly so don’t be alarmed.  Slice up the remaining table spoon of butter and spread it over the top.  Squeeze some lemon juice over the top.  Cover with confectionery sugar.  Fruit topping is optional, add to your own taste.

Your finished Dutch Baby fresh out of the oven sans topping.

Your finished Dutch Baby fresh out of the oven sans topping.

Your final product ready to eat...YUM

Your final product ready to eat…YUM

 

 

 

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The-Wedge

I have had many request from all of my of my friends that I get off my lazy ass and do a bit more writing.  Some wanted horrific tales from the vault of the Lisanti Past, others were looking for recipes, and then some just wanted some new adventure tales.  I hope over the coming weeks to make everyone happy and a bit disturbed by the content as usual.  I thought I would start with the tale of a recent Lisanti adventure, a common California adventure at that; Chasing a solid south swell.

Summertime in coastal California is not quite what all the songs, pictures, media, movies and television would have you believe. Most of the time the weather is foggy, damp and cold. The ocean cold and windy.   The surf, unless you live in San Diego or Orange county is less then amiable.  Up here in Santa Barbara unless you have a boat, access to the ranch or a plane ticket to Indo you might as well put your surf board away and take up lawn bowling.  Unfortunately for me I have none of the above and left my bocce set at home when I moved from NJ.

If one of you readers wants to send me a bocce kit I promise to drink one for you at the Wild Cat!

If one of you readers wants to send me a bocce kit I promise to drink one for you at the Wild Cat!

What do I do?  I fucking get in my car and I drive at least 45 miles a day to surf sub par surf in a frustrating crowd.  Wait, isn’t that what the California dream is?   Shit folks the California dream ceased to be a dream 60 years ago if it ever really existed.  Its more like the California nightmare now.  We all know I love to suffer.  Actually this season has not been as bad as usual.  We had a month of NW wind swell that gave consistent surf and even a few epic days with some south swell thrown in for good measure. Check out the May edition of the Surflog for more on that.  In my book there are few things sweeter then a late season NW.

When the Queen looks like this you would have to be crazy to go anyplace else...or would you?

When the Queen looks like this you would have to be crazy to go anyplace else…or would you?

This story begins on May 28th 2013 down near Antarctica.  Antarctica?!? WTF! Truth be told that is where most south swells that grace California with their loveliness begin.  Of course on the 28th a south swell was the last thing on my mind.   I was too busy capitalizing on local wind swell to even notice any action in the south pacific.  Then a few days later Surfline.com had a feature on this crazy swell that rocked Tahiti.  At that point my attention was grabbed and I knew it was only a matter of time before it would show here.  From Tahiti the swell traveled to Hawaii giving the boys on the South Shore some fun ones.  Once in Hawaii it was only a couple of days.

By June 6th front runners began to show up.  The morning was still a bit down thus I decided to sleep in hoping for some action in the afternoon.  Solimar Beach was the spot for me after a great deal of deliberation.  This time of year surf is hard to come by and the wrong decision is a fate worse then death.  Every wave squandered is a flat day you will be kicking yourself in the near future.  I really wanted to utilize this swell to its fullest extent.  The reef had some solid rights to be had with a very light crowd.  I always seem to surf Solimar on the beginning of  large south swell.  It is a cool wave that bends around a horse shoe cobble stone reef usually covered by sand.  From the beach it always looks pretty mushy which keeps the crowd down. Actually its a pretty fast bowly wave when your on it.  It sort of reminds me of Noosa a little bit.

I got a solid session in and felt although deeming it “the best of the worst” a rather fun session.  The next morning things really began to get big.  Unfortunately for me too big for my usual south swell jaunts in the area.  When I went to bed I was dreaming of all time Santa Clara.  Instead I was faced with walled close outs and strange wind.  I wanted to go to Malibu and most likely should have.  I let the fact that it was a Friday and the immense crowds that goes with it keep me at home.  Later I would find out that even though the crowd sucked there were still plenty of waves.  Once again after lots and lots of checking  I found myself settling for the “best of the worst” at Pitas Point.  Through my binoculars down the beach it looked like it was firing.  After paddling my boy Ryan and I would soon find things to be a bit more sectiony then we would have liked, not to mention very inconsistent.

The only really worthy session of September looked something like this only bigger!

This the sort of Santa Clara I was dreaming of…

I had always heard these rumors up here that El Capitan, one my favorite right hand point breaks actually will see surf on a large south swell.  Apparently it sneaks through the gap between the Santa Cruz and San Miguel Islands.   I needed to see if the rumors were true and this swell seemed perfect for that.  I got up there a little later then I should have thanks to some chores that needed doing.  Afraid I had missed my window I was walking  to check it when a stoked older dude parked in front of me yelled “get your board and go dude, its on”.  Like that I found myself trotting down the trail.  When I emerged from the woods sure enough there were waves!  An older guy from Santa Barbara told me once while hanging out in the car park at Manu Bay in Raglan, New Zealand that one can tell a good point from a great point by how it holds its shape no matter what the swell angle.

El Capitan did just that.  It was only around chest to head high with a light crowd of local vets and very inconsistent, but my friends it was perfect.  I only caught 9 waves that session.  6 out of the 9 were wonderful keepers.  I can surf El Cap so well, I guess anyone can cause it is so perfect.  It is just one of those waves that makes anyone feel like Kelly Slater on it.  That is until you see Kelly Slater surf it…  Anyhow it was just one of those magical sessions that make you remember why it was you started surfing in the first place.  Later I would hear that the session of the day went down at C street that evening.  Fuck it, I hate that wave anyway.

God damn, why do all these swells have to fall on the weekend and a weekend where I had at least two party obligations to fill. A boys night on Friday with Bizarro and my boy Daniel’s going away party, which I was throwing for him at the Wild Cat.  As a result morning sessions were completely out of the question.  I know some surfers are reading this right now thinking “I can’t believe Lisanti is blowing it like that”, while I see it as a balance between the two worlds I exist in.  Balance my friends is everything in life.  It only took me 32 years to realize that.  Man cannot live by surfing alone.

Saturday I found myself a bit more hung over then I would have liked (still have not figured out that balance thing when it comes to alcohol consumption) causing a very late start.  I was still a bit sick to my stomach as I climbed the dunes at New Jetty where I heard the morning was near to all time.  There were long lines coming through, but overall things looked a bit soft and still very inconsistent.  My boy Pat hit me up that he was in Malibu all morning and was about to go back to surf Leo Carrillo.

I don’t go to Malibu on the weekend, ever!  He claimed the crowd was not bad and given I didn’t really have a better option I jumped in the car with him.  You know what it was a great call.  I got to surf the best Leo I have ever surfed.  By Leo standards and a weekend the crowd was not bad at all.  It was tough to get a set wave off the old guys and long boarders.  That was fine cause I enjoy the inside double ups better anyway, plus the sets were too big and most closing out.  I managed to put on a very strong backside performance holding it down for the goofy foot contingent.  Fuck, give me a wally lined up right any day.  That shit is my bread and butter.  Later Pat and I had a look at Hueneme Pier and he was frothing.  It looked decent enough.  I had to get back to the Barb for Daniel’s party.  It went down without a hitch.

By this point I was dead set on a Lower Trestles mission.  I had not been there since ’11 and I was thinking Monday would be the day.  I texted Trevor and planted the seed in his head.  My tires are bald on my car at the moment so the only way I was going to be able to partake in such an ordeal was if I had a driver.  Sunday I was in bad shape.   I cut down on the party and my body has totally lost its tolerance to take a beating and keep on.  I heard New Jetty was on again that morning.  I headed there for low tide.  Although very inconsistent there were a handful of decent lefts coming in.  I paddled it.   There were a few fun ones to be had among the lulls.  Later that night I returned home to a text from Trevor that he was in for Lowers.

The reality of surfing Lowers.

This is what a Lowers crowd looks like

Monday morning we made  the three hour drive south in high spirits.  We got there and it was way more crowded then I had hoped for.  As a matter of fact I can’t remember ever seeing that many cars parked on the San Clemente side.  It was decent Lowers in its own right.  The crowd was miserable and sets inconsistent.  That is a very bad combination.  My stoke was gone and part of me wanted to jump back in the car and just drive another 45 minutes south to Blacks Beach.  It was Trevor’s first time and who am I to rob him of a bad surf experience.  We paddled.  Despite a pack of annoying groms training for nationals next weekend we both found a few keepers.

Who can really hate on an entire day spend on the beach with your bud?  I fucking can.  I got sun burned.  My eyes hurt from all the sun and as of press time my back is sore from carrying all my shit down there, my neck stiff and my fucking knees hurt from too many really bad frontside air reverse attempts cause I suck at surfing.  In all seriousness it was a fun day and I am glad I went to remind me why I never go there.   At the moment it is flat with not much happening for at least a week.  Fiji just got some sick waves for the contest (congrats Kelly on another mind blowing victory) so its only a matter of days before we see the remnants of that swell. For more details on the surf sessions, party or swell visit the June Surflog.

Here's to the next good South swell and Go Slater for number 12!

Here’s to the next good South swell and Go Slater for number 12!

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