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Archive for July, 2013

As per Usual the crowds turned out in mass this year to watch their favorite professional surfers slog it out in two foot trash.

As per Usual the crowds turned out in mass this year to watch their favorite professional surfers slog it out in two foot trash.

I have to admit when it comes to the topic of the US Open of Surfing I kind of feel like a schizophrenic.  The hardcore anti establishment bad ass  surfer in me hates it worse then getting poison oak on my penis.  The entire event is everything that is wrong with the current state of surfing and the world for that matter.  What is the Open but a bunch of commercialism bullshit where large corporate sponsors fill their pockets while the athletes themselves for the majority go home with pennies.   Sure the men’s first prize was $100,000, but the rest of the crew went home with very little and on the women’s side the winner took home a measly $15,000.

This sounds great when one considers the fact that the money earned was for a day of surfing.  Compare the prize purse with that of the US Open of golf or Tennis and its a joke.   These days the contest draws crowds upwards of 200,00 to the Huntington Beach shoreline and millions watch the webcast at home.  With that kind of attendance and media exposure it seems absurd that the prize purse be so low.  Unlike a WT event not everyone at the open has a giant sponsor contract.

Money aside to add injury to insult, lets hold the event at one of the worst waves in California, Huntington Pier.  It’s not like one of the best surf spots in California and the world, Lower Trestles is only about a thirty minute drive south.  As I have heard and the media constantly makes a serious effort to point out “The US Open of Surfing is not about the surfers but the fans”.  I am a very big fan of competitive surfing and I personally found nothing stimulating about watching competitors on the final day of the surfing competition sitting idle for the better part of 30 minutes staring blankly into the horizon.  It’s cool though, the webcast “pervert cam” panned out on plenty of scantly clad females for me to beat off to while I waited for some one to catch a wave and milk it to the beach.  Oh and Chris Cote’s checkered bow tie was pretty entertaining too.

Despite a valiant effort 2013 was not Slater's year at the US Open.  Maybe it was because he was over being reminded how bad the waves he grew up riding in Florida are.

Despite a valiant effort 2013 was not Slater’s year at the US Open. Maybe it was because he was over being reminded how bad the waves he grew up riding in Florida are.

Then there is the former professional surfer side of me that remembers just how much fun the US Open can be.  It is true none of the fun I speak of happened in the water.  That was a bunch of frustrating bullshit trying to make a 6 out of a wave that should be barely worth a three.  I must note also that I absolutely suck at surfing Huntington Pier.  Every year the US Open comes to California there is this energy that big things are going to happen.  It is the only contest of the year that really makes one feel like surfing is as legitimate as any other sport.  Part of me is proud to see how far the sport of surfing has come.   Lets talk about the actual event.

The Backers

First off I would like to give a shout out to both Vans and Paul Mitchell for stepping up and allowing the whole event to go down.  In the wake of Nike turning its corporate back on professional surfing regardless of the consequences left behind many were worried about who would pick up the slack.  Guess what we got along just fine with out those clowns in the past and are better off with out them again.  One would think Hurley (a Nike brand) would have still had a hand in the comp considering at the moment the majority of the surfers competing were Hurley riders including both eventual winners and 3 out of the four finalists.  I remember, it is because all the Nike riders still with contracts were honored by Hurley for their duration.

The Men’s Side

You 2013 Men's US Open Champion Alejo Muniz

Your 2013 Men’s US Open Champion Alejo Muniz


What can I say about the men’s prime event besides the fact that with the exception of Julian Wilson’s massive backside 360 air reverse I was bored to tears.  There were plenty of upsets, but who really cares when the waves are inconsistent and fucking tiny.   The fact that it had nothing to do with the world title race and that I didn’t care about the bubble guys who may or may not re-qualify left me rather over it only watching when I had nothing better to do.  Had the waves been fun here in the 805 I would have most likely missed the whole event.  Unfortunately if Huntington is flat so is the rest of California.

The judges did decide to give us a story book ending.  A real Cinderella story in the form of Brazilian and this years champion, Alejo Muniz who in his own right surfed a solid run to the final.  Its surprising more Brazilians have not won the Open considering the waves always suck just like their homeland.  I must play devil’s advocate and make a quick comment on the judging in the final.  Keep in mind I am far from a Kolohe Andino fan.  I find the kid’s surfing about as interesting to watch as my cat pleasuring himself.  His opening wave in the final where he landed that huge inverted air reverse was grossly underscored.
KoloheUSOPen

That shit was huge.  He got a solid turn on the outside then coming into to inside close out launched an easily 3 feet out highly inverted front side air reverse and landed it cleanly.  The air was bigger then the section he did it on.  For that the judges awarded him a slightly better then average score.  Meanwhile Muniz grabbed a larger wave out the back and did four similar front side hacks and fell on his last finishing turn.  Any decent surfer could have pulled such off and he dropped an 8.5.  I thought Andino’s wave considering that score should have been in the nine range then or at least a high 8.  It was the move of the final.

The judges have apparently decided they are going back to the old antiquated format of three to the beach and have added that if one falls at the end of the wave it is extra flair points to the criteria as we have seen most recently in the case of Parko in Bali and Fanning back at Bells in 2012.  I wish that rule was in effect when I was a pro surfer cause I could have won the world title.  You know what Kolohe has enough money anyway so at least now Muniz will be in good shape for next year.  I am always a fan of the underdog even if it comes from bullshit judging.

The Women

Carissa Moore showing why she has been a prominent figure in modern women's surfing since she was ten.

Carissa Moore showing why she has been a prominent figure in modern women’s surfing since she was ten.

I hate to say it but I had a better time watching the women compete at this year’s open then the men.  They were just way more exciting.  Most of their heats were nail biters all the way down to the final which until ten minutes after the buzzer no one knew who the winner was going to be between Carissa Moore and Courtney Cologne.  I for one was glued to the score board.  The whole final everyone thought Carissa had it in the bag till the last ten minutes when Cologne went nuts.  In the end Moore took the cake and the current world number one spot.

The Riot?!!!!?

HB-Riot

Sadly the most excitement of the entire US Open happened after the whole kit and caboodle was over Sunday evening on the 29th of July.  Apparently a bunch of idiots decided to trash Main Street Huntington Beach in a post surf contest riot the likes of which has not been seen since the US Open of 1986 at the same venue.  Although not nearly as severe as the ’86 riot damage was done, 8 people were arrested, police injured.  I for one was outraged when I heard the news this morning as I was trying to enjoy my breakfast.

We have come so far to legitimize surfing as a sport to the world stage.   The majority actual view surfing in a positive light as well.  The US Open is a perfect venue to spotlight all of this being attended by so many and watched at home by many more.  Instead of the mass media picking up the results of the contest all I was bombarded with was pictures of a bunch of dumb ass imbeciles who most likely don’t even surf destroying property and wreaking havoc for absolutely no good reason all the while making surfers and surfing look like a bunch of lawless bafoons, a stereo type I believe we have all been trying to get off our backs since the movie Point Break.  Two steps forward, ten steps back eh?

Well that is all I have to say about this event.  Tahiti is next.  Lets hope for some gut wrenching barrels that only a wave like Teahupoo can dish out.
Teahapoo

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Nothing like clean fun crossed up peaks at Blacks for a good session.

Nothing like clean fun crossed up peaks at Blacks for a good session.

“What are you on some kind of tour of the California coast?”  Words from my friend West just before paddling out for a fun evening session at Blacks my first day in San Diego.  Over the past two weeks I sort of have been on at the very least a California summertime wave scoring mission.  One thing I would like to claim is that I made the most out of this summer as far as surf time went.  Not having a job to go to day in and day out certainly does give one this luxury.

Chris Lisanti, Blacks Beach

Photo: Christopher Dunlea

Unlike my previous adventure up in surfing’s equivalent of Northern California (San Francisco, San Mateo, Santa Cruz) and I say that because technically San Francisco should be the end of Central California considering there is another 400 miles of coast line to go before crossing the border in Oregon.  My trip to San Diego had been spawned at the end of drunken night at the Wild Cat on my couch shooting the shit with Bizarro over a month ago.  Apparently I had agreed to go with him to Comic Con in SD from July 18-22.  Of course thanks to my impetuous SF adventure this meant I literally had been away from home for pretty much two weeks.  The last time I was on the road like this I was a professional surfer.  I felt the invigoration of freedom to cut loose, live out of suit case and crash on couches for an extended period of time(Read about my SF journey last week here).

I was a bit reluctant to get back on the road and leave the tranquility of my beautiful Santa Barbara home.  The Lisanti Palace has been refined over the years to fit my needs exquisitely.  Then again as far as consistency and quality of surf goes one really can’t beat San Diego this time of year.  Just like that I found myself on the road late Wednesday night of the 17th cruising south with Blacks Beach on my mind.

San Diego and Me

La Jolla Cove

La Jolla Cove

 

Its true I have a special place in my heart for San Diego.  It was my first experience of actual California surf as a kid and the first place I had lived in California for a brief stint ten years ago.  Since then I have just about made a surf pilgrimage there at least once a year.  The place is a surfer’s dream, and more then that a kook and avm (average surfer) paradise.  With relatively warm water most of the year, nice summers and mild winters, over 300 days of sun a year, ease of coastal/surf access, exposure to all swell type/angle, and user friendly waves its no wonder the surf population from Imperial beach to Oceanside has exploded over the last twenty years.  There is a wave for every level and style of surfing just about 365 days a year if a surfer is keen.

The crowds have become rampant just like most popular surf locales these days.  SD is for the most part the first stop the majority East Coast surfers make when they decide to migrate west to greener pastures.  For most, southern California is the perfect surfing compromise.  As for myself I decided long ago that the over crowding was too much to bare and found my way up to the central coast in search of quality over quantity.

This is a light crowd for a San Diego line up.  Photo: Christopher Dunlea

This is a light crowd for a San Diego line up. Photo: Christopher Dunlea

San Diego also happens to be where Bizarro Chris grew up for the greater share of his life.  He had not been home since Thanksgiving.  I was offered my gas down covered, basic expenses and a place to stay.  I would have to be crazy to turn down such an offer.  Do I stay in Santa Barbara and drive nearly two hours everyday to surf bad to average Ventura or drive four hours to San Diego and surf fun Blacks for five days and reconnect with some of my surfing roots?

Blacks Beach
Blacks Beach

When I lived in SD I didn’t have a car and was inhabiting a residence near the La Jolla mall.  Blacks was a straight shot by bike.  It was a full on daily triathlon.  Everyday I would wake up at 6 am, get on my bike, ride four miles or so down to Scripps where I stashed my boards, then walk the beach about a mile around the cliffs to the actual break.  After the walk pull on my suit and surf for two to three hours.  On completion of my surf I would repeat the whole scenario in reverse.  Sometimes I did this twice a day.  I was in the shape of my life back then.

As a result I learned Blacks on every swell, tide and wind better then some who have lived in San Diego for twenty years.  Whenever I go back and surf the place I am in tune with her.  Blacks for me since I am constantly comparing surf breaks to women (I have a problem, “its a real disease with pills and doctors”) is like the ghetto princess from the neighborhood.  She has a nice big ass, tits, is always glad to see you and show you a good time.  Sure she isn’t model quality, but will treat you better then most.  She was my go to girl for years, until the queen of the coast, Rincon stole my heart.  Blacks has not held a grudge always fulfilling my expectations.  She still always manages to throw more then my share of set waves at me.  In return I always make her purr.

Me, doing my best to not squander any gifts Blacks decides to give me.  Photo: Christopher Dunlea

Me, doing my best to not squander any gifts Blacks decides to give me. Photo: Christopher Dunlea

From almost two weeks out I knew I was going to score surf.  There was plenty of long period south swell showing and was to be in the window I was going to be there for.  Initially the swell appeared like it was going to be solid.  As time grew closer the swell’s intensity began to ease.  It does not take much to get Blacks going.  Any little bump will show a head high set or two out there.  A day or so out I decided to leave the step up at home opting to bring an extra 5’10 just in case of breakage.   Unlike the San Francisco excursion all I needed in rubber were my 3/2’s if that.

Sure enough Blacks did not disappoint.  I was graced with five days of solid surf the smallest of which was about chest to head high.  Most days conditions were clean.  Besides some NW wind swell mixing the first few days causing conditions to be solid but challenging, overall I would say I did alright.  Fuck, I surfed my brains out despite a foot injury caused on my SF drunken rampage.  Luckily it hurt more to walk then surf.  Then again the hike down and up from Blacks is none two easy for a healthy person let alone a surfer with an injured foot.  In usual Lisanti fashion I sucked it up and  made lemonade out of lemons.  You can read more on the surf sessions in detail in the July Surflog, 7/18-7/22.

The long arduous trek down to Blacks is not for the lazy.

The long arduous trek down to Blacks is not for the lazy.

It seems in the past few years downhill skaters have been testing their skills on the path.  Thats some crazy shit right there.

It seems in the past few years downhill skaters have been testing their skills on the path. Thats some crazy shit right there.

Catching Up With My Boys

I just so happen to have a handful of close friends currently living in SD.  SurfingRuinedMyLife.net all star, West currently calls Pacific Beach home.  Every time that crazy fucker and I get together you can be assured something gnarly will go down especially when alcohol is involved.  This trip I must admit we kept things rather mellow between us only meeting up for a handful of sick evening surfs at Blacks.  One of which we had the entire line up to ourselves with glassy over head conditions.  I also have to give the guy props for in a matter of two years of surfing he as went from a kook on a fun shape to a performance short board and is semi-competent on it.  As per usual West will most likely join me for Thanksgiving at the Lisanti Palace in Santa Barbara, which has become a tradition at this point.

West and I embarking on the long walk down to Blacks. Photo: Christoper Dunlea

West and I embarking on the long walk down to Blacks. Photo: Christoper Dunlea

My most recent couch guy Daniel cashed out his chips up here in SB and moved down to San Diego this past June.  Who could blame him.  He found himself a decent enough job and free rent living with his brother.  Beats minimum wage and sleeping on my shitty couch any day.   He did mention he missed our nights at the Wild Cat.  If only I could remember them all.

Bizarro and I met up with Daniel at the San Diego Swap meet where literally hundreds of ghetto ass vendors peddle everything from socks, to collectibles, to appliances, to absolute trash and everything in between.  Think of it as one big janky make shift yard sale.  Normally there is nothing I love better then to walk around and haggle with people for useless junk I don’t need.  Given my current monetary situation I had no room for useless acquisitions.  Bizarro on the other hand was in peddlers heaven.  It was chill.  While he haggled Daniel and I were able to catch up.

The three of us ended the afternoon with tacos and beer at South Beach Bar and Grill in Mission Beach.  The tacos were good and beer tasty  all for a decent price in a relaxed beach front setting.  It reminded me of a typical Jersey shore spot.  Across the street there was some random pro-am going on at the pier and we happened to get there just in time for the stand up paddle division.  I could not believe what I was witnessing.  If I had an automatic weapon I probably would have started shooting people.  The competitors were pretty good in their own right, but really, STAND UP PADDLING! In a contest?  What has the world come to?  I think I need to get out of California.

Too bad we didn't buy this little number.  I could have wreaked havoc at the display of kookery.

Too bad we didn’t buy this little number. I could have wreaked havoc at the display of kookery.

The Comic Con Party

Initially Bizarro and I had a slight hope we would have a chance of getting into the actual event considering two of the chicks staying with us were working it and thought they might be able to get us passes.  As the case was they could not even get passes for themselves to see the show when they were not working it.  That was fine cause after the convention center spilled out every night all those patrons found their way into all the local downtown clubs.  There was no way we were going to travel all the way to a city like San Diego and not party.

Fuck, if The Chris’ show up at your town you can count on the fact that we are going to get down as soon as the sun does.  Its true I did blow it on Thursday night.  We were suppose to meet up with Daniel in little Italy or West in PB.  I was exhausted from a double surf session and hardly any sleep the night we came in.  Couple that with my injured foot and I really needed to rest.  I know all I am reading above is pussy shit and I should have manned up, but Bizarro was not bumming on it and did not force me to man up.  You all know if called upon Chris Lisanti will always rally.
TheChrisOut

Friday night I was well rested and ready to fuck shit up.  Bizarro and I scored tuxedo jackets from a local thrift shop for cheap and new shoes.  In our usual fashion we went out all done up.  Still nursing the injury I decided it would be in my best interest to stay out of Fancytown for my own safety.  The plan was to meet up with the girls working the event, but they had other promotional work to do at the near by water front Hilton leaving us to our to own devices.

This is never a problem, Bizzaro and I get along just fine.  We were walking around the gas lamp district among all the comic book themed dressed freaks deciding on where to go.  Bizarro saw this line out in front of a club called The Tipsy Crow and thought it was going to be popping.  We got on line and were immediately ushered in by the woman at the door.  She put wristbands on us, pointed to a small stair case and told us to have a good time.  Next thing we knew we were in a private party for one of the films that was premiered at Comic Con.

Upon getting up there we noticed wait staff passing trays of food and a buffet table of appetizers.  We had no idea at this point what was going on besides the fact that we most likely were not on the guest list.  Bizarro went to the bar to get us a round and came back with this giddy smile on his face.  “Its an open bar!” he exclaimed to me.  From there it was free food and drinks all night long.  We spent the majority of the evening bullshitting about a film whose title we did not know, did not see and knew absolutely nothing about.  Most thought we were higher end producers or the like.  I think it may have been a horror film, but your guess is as good as mine.

Towards the end of the night we found our way to the club’s basement dance floor and got crazy.  After leaving the club we had no idea how we were going to get home, when the girls called and said they could give us a ride if we met them at the Hilton.  Of course we had no idea where that was and being a tad on the intoxicated side didn’t help.  We jumped into a peddi-cab figuring he would know where to go.  He took us to the wrong place and over charged us.  If it was not for Bizarro pulling me away I might have beat that guy to death, stole his wallet and dumped his bike cab into the harbor.  In the spirit of Comic Con lets just say I got Incredible Hulk angry.  Luckily we found our way and got home.

Saturday night we got a later start thanks to me getting back late from a killer session at Blacks.  Sofia one of the promo girls staying with us decided to join the group and the three of us rolled out downtown at midnight.  We expected it to be more crowded then Friday but it was empty considering the massive amount of people in town.  Later we would find out that all the best movies were going down Sunday morning causing many to either have to sleep in line out front or get to bed early.  There was still enough going on for us.

The first club we came to wanted $20 a person to get in.  I scoffed and walked away.  Finally we settled on a spot called Jimmy Loves since the door man said he would let all three of us walk in for ten since we were well dressed.  It was a pretty cool spot and was packed.  There was a decent cover band playing on a grand stage with a dance floor in front and a cool little lounge area behind it.  As a musician I highly approved of the set up of the venue.  Unfortunately the music was not really our cup of tea being mostly rock.

I had to use the restroom downstairs and when I got there I found a whole other level way more ghetto, red lighting and a dude spinning 90’s hip hop and a more diverse crowd.  I quickly ran back up stairs to get Bizarro and Sofia.  Basically the downstairs could have been the Wild Cat.  We danced the night out down there.  The drinks were strong as fuck too.  If your ever in the SD downtown gas lamp district I highly recommend both Jimmy Loves and The Tipsy Crow.

The rest of our trip was spent relaxing at Bizarro’s dad’s house.  It was a very nice place and he was a most accommodating host.  I cooked a few meals.  Got to hang and play with the coolest dog, Stella that I have ever come across.  She was so awesome it made me briefly consider dog ownership.  All and all I must say it was a great trip.

Stella and I kicking it

Stella and I kicking it

I was a little overwhelmed with how crowded San Diego has gotten in the last ten years. There was traffic everywhere we went.  People everywhere.  Construction everywhere.  I was in severe culture shock.  I have been complaining about the over crowding of Santa Barbara lately.  In comparison we are very lucky up here.  Despite coming home to an apartment covered from wall to wall in borax I was relived to get back to the Barb.  Seriously my place looked like Johnny Depp in Blow sneezed all over it.  That is a story for another day.

And the sunsets on yet another adventure in Lisanti Land

And the sunsets on yet another adventure in Lisanti Land. Photo Christopher Dunlea

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North County always reminds me that one can find empty perfection anywhere. Even in crowded ass California.

North County always reminds me that one can find empty perfection anywhere. Even in crowded ass California. Btw, its a bit bigger then it looks…

What a spectacle!?! Who what have thought such a thing would go down?  Certainly not I.  There I found myself with compatriot John on the beach at Davenport in the mist of an innocent surf check.  To be honest the surf was pretty bad at that point, the tide was a bit too high and getting fatter by the moment.  The wind had picked up out of the north west causing a bump and crumble from hell and the swell had appeared to have backed off, or was just not showing so great on the reef.  We ambled around the shingle for a bit in the hopes of seeing something magical.  What we ended up getting a look at was more like starring into the sun as she bent down to pick up a shell.  “You take a quick look and then you look away, it’s too risky otherwise”. I will just leave the rest of that up in the air for imagination and a laugh between John and I that pretty much set the pace of the entire trip.

Ahhha ha ha ha ha, pardon my brief sinister laugh.  I just was unable to contain myself.  This story all began just like many other summertime tales that involve surfing on the West Coast of the America, down off the coast of Anartica in the shape of some storm that sent crazy huge surf to South America, while gracing California with a nice groomed long period south swell.  My initial plan was to just stay home and take my chances with both Ventura and Malibu.  The period of the swell was a little long for River Mouth, but one can always find something to surf if he is keen.

Then on Tuesday July 9th the day after another less then stellar Trestles mission I found myself bitching to my boy John up in San Francisco just how much I hate the fact that I suck at surfing Lowers and dealing with the crowd there.  He mentioned the possibility of renting a car for the weekend and cruising down to either Santa Cruz or San Mateo in search of some empty reef surf.    It didn’t take much convincing to get me to make the drive north to join him in his endeavor.  Just like that I found myself on the 1o1 north heading to San Francisco.

You always see something interesting on the interstate.

You always see something interesting on the interstate.

I got up there in record time actually cracking city limits in just over four and a half hours.  Thanks to not properly following John’s directions I quickly became lost on the complete opposite side of the city.  Luckily with a little help from John I was back in the right direction and at his place only  with a thirty minute detour.  It was good to see my old friend and former surf shop minion.  I seem to find my way up there to see him once a year these days during either the spring or summer.  Santa Barbara pretty much sucks in the summer time anyway being that there is no surf to speak of and the majority of the town’s population, primarily made up of students bails for the summer.  Plus I don’t work and have nothing better to do either.

Early to Bed, Early to Surf

Just another empty cove off PCH. This one offered a very tricky to access right wedge.

Just another empty cove off PCH. This one offered a very tricky to access right wedge.

There are some places in the world where the surf actually stays clean all day or is better in the afternoon.  California on the whole with certain exceptions is not one of them.  This means if one wants to catch the best surf of the day he usually has to get up with the sunrise.  At one time in my life I was quite the early bird.  I used get up at 5:30 every morning when I was in my late teens early twenties, then it became 6:30, then between 7 and 8.  These days if I find that if I am out of bed and brushing my teeth by 8:30 I call it a “damn patrol”.  Hooray for laziness or maybe I just like surfing shitty blown out waves so that I can blame the conditions for the fact that I suck at surfing.  Whatever the case I can’t tell you the last time I have been up before 8 am for a surf.

As it turned out John was short a roommate in his place at the moment thus I actually had my own room instead of a spot on the couch.  I don’t really know if you could call it a room for that matter.  It was more like a walk in closet with a nasty stained full sized mattress on the floor that may or may not have wished to give me a social disease or two.  All of that was renting at the “bargain price” of $950 a month and I thought Santa Barbara was insane.  I have slept on a lot worse in my past.  Around 7:30 am there was a knock at my door and it was John looking to shred.

It was fucking freezing out.  I know Mark Twain once penned “The coldest winter I ever spent was in San Francisco” but this was ridiculous.  I am lucky I didn’t freeze to death in my sleep.  My poor dick had just about crawled up into my body like a scared little turtle.  What better way to warm up then to pull on a 4/3 and boots and jump into equally freezing water.  Oh and I guess one can completely forget about seeing the sun up there.  The entire time I was in the city it was foggy and grey.

Lefts galore. Just another empty beach break.

Lefts galore. Just another empty beach break.

We loaded up and headed down the PCH to find something to surf since Ocean Beach was not doing it one bit.  That was fine by me.  I love that stretch of coast  between San Francisco and Santa Cruz.  The Pacific Coast Highway just weaves in and out of all these cool pristine beaches, coves, points, reefs and river mouths.  On the whole most are unscathed by the stain of man.  Its food for the soul in my book.  The thing about this coast is that there are actually so many options to choose from it can drive a surfer mad.  My rule of thumb is never drive away from something fun.

From the get go we had Waddel Creek in north Santa Cruz County in mind because of its variety.  The place has an array of reef peaks, a river mouth peak and a beach break all with in walking distance of one another.  There is something there to suit any surfer of any level.  For the entire trip the place did not disappoint.  From fun rip-able reefy lefts to left beach break keggers, to kill-able walls to boost-able stupid close outs.  It was a party that allowed us two very keen sessions.

A kegger about to scream  down the line unridden at Waddel Creek.

A kegger about to scream down the line unridden at Waddel Creek.

Thanks to hard afternoon on shores we had to settle for a small protected cove in San Mateo County called Grey Whale Cove.  This wave was average at best and reminded me lots of Mesa Lane here in Santa Barbara.  It was consistent and had some really good corners.  I had two good sessions there, where poor John on the other hand had a hate session.  All and all I would say surfing wise I could not complain.  For details on these sessions consult the July ’11 Surflog dates 7/11-7/15.

Grey Whale Cove, this place looked like Point Dume except it broke more like Mesa Lane.

Grey Whale Cove, this place looked like Point Dume except it broke more like Mesa Lane.

Fancytown is a State of Consciousness (or lack there of), Not a Specific Location

Now how could I ever visit a major city or anyplace with booze for that matter and not party?  Friday night after an amazing day of surfing, charged up, John and I bought a bottle of Bacardi from the corner bodega and decided to cut loose on the town.  Unfortunately time and bus schedules were not on our side.  We had to make due with the legendary (according to Kooky Kyle, whom I found out had never actually been there) Buck Shots, John’s old college hang out.  College season is over at the moment thus leaving us in a dive bar with a barely palatable DJ, dingy picnic tables across the bar, dead animals on the wall and two forms of skee ball.  Shit, I might as well have been in a shit hole in Asbury Park, New Jersey.

Speaking of dead animals here is a picture of a sea otter skeleton that we decided to put sandals on.

Speaking of dead animals here is a picture of a sea otter skeleton that we decided to put sandals on.

I got wasted so who really fucking cared in the end anyhow.  I went to the bar to order a drink.  They had $6 double shots of Bacardi.  As the bar tender was pouring the top fell off the bottle and I ended up with a brimmed glass.  He was going to pour it out and start a fresh one.  Luckily I caught him and got way more then I bargained for.  From then on I was on the out skirts of Fancytown the rest of the night.  Besides a game of skee ball against John, which I got my ass whooped in I would say it was a most uneventful night.

Saturday night one of John’s friends was throwing a birthday party in the Mission.  We assumed it was going to just be an apartment event on the small side and in my opinion lame.  When we got there the party was in an auto body shop with cars and everything.  Apparently they rented out the whole space for the night.  It was packed and there was an open bar.  Things were looking up.

The bar was packed so we ran across the street and bought a large flask of Captain  Morgan to satiate.  It was not long before I was in full on Fancytown and not long after that when I became the president.  At one point towards the end of the night I found myself behind the bar downing whatever was alcoholic, just fiending.  That was about the last thing I remember before winding up in a puddle of my own vomit on the sidewalk in front of John’s apartment.  I totally ruined my suit.  From what I heard I was pretty much a full fledged shit show and John was barely able to get me home.

Next morning I woke up around 1 pm still drunk and an absolute mess.  John had this look mortification in his eyes, still a bit taken aback never having seen me in full on Fancytown before.  As the day wore on and I sobered up I found that I must have hurt my foot in one of my falls on the way home.  There was no surfing that day for I could barely walk let alone surf.  I  probably would have drowned. John’s friend Marc said he got “white girl drunk” that night.  I suppose then I must have been crack whore drunk. You have to pay hard to play hard sometimes.

Styling in my suit before Fancytown took over.  Lets just say the majority of that outfit found it's way into the trash.

Styling in my suit before Fancytown took over. Lets just say the majority of that outfit found it’s way into the trash.

The Impromptu Jam

Sitting at John’s kitchen table hating my life Sunday afternoon I noticed he had picked up his roommate’s base and began noodling around.  His roommate, Jesse got behind the drum kit and shit got real.  Jesse had a saxophone and although a beat to shit student alto with a crap mouth piece and tattered reed I decided to pick it up and give it a whirl.  It had been two years since I have jammed with anyone and John and I have never played together in all the years we have been friends.

Sure we played nothing earth shattering and most of the time it was out of sync, out of tune and out of tune.  I was still drunk for most of it and was just thriving in the moment.  I think if we laid tape there would have been a riff or two worth something.  We jammed out on “I want you back” by the Jackson 5 for like ten minutes that sounded pretty tight.  After years of lots of serious play it was great to just kick back and make some noise.  Almost made me stoked I drank to much to surf that day.

All and all despite some adversity and a port-a-potty or two from hell it was a “most excellent adventure”.  Life can get pretty stagnant if you stay in one place all the time.  Every so often even if its only a few hundred miles away I must change things up a bit.  One thing is for sure when I ever I leave Santa Barbara it feels that much better to get back.  When I got home I cooked an amazing Shrimp Scampi (click here for my Scampi recipe) for both Heather and Bizarro and all was well, business as usual.  I am actually headed to San Diego with Bizarro for the next four days for some surf, party and Comic Con fun.  Look for a fun filled adventure blog on that trip soon or follow along with the surf log while I am there.
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Book XXIII: Rebecca, Daphne Du Maurier, 1938, 457 pages

“I am glad it can not happen twice, the fever of first love.  For it is a fever, and a burden, too, whatever the poets may say.” Folks all I can say about this novel is WOW!  It was that good.  It is rare for me to pick up a piece of modern literature, but it was modern British literature and  came very highly recommended.  Ironically this pick proceeded Othello which set the tone for Rebecca quite nicely.  My hat is off to Du Maurier as a writer her descriptive style and articulation was off the charts for me.  It has been a while since I have not been able to put down a book.  I almost could have housed it in one sitting.  From the very first page I was taken by it.  Usually I am not a big fan of writing done in first person, but at times I was so in tune with the main character I may have well been her.  Mystery or thriller I am still not sure, maybe a little of both.  All I can say is if you have not yet done so, get a copy right now and read it.

For Book XXIV lets go back to American Literature and keep things in the 20th century with Jack London’s The Sea Wolf.  I was very impressed by The Call of the Wild and since have considered London one of my favorite writers.  Here is to another great literary experience.

This was Hitchcock's version of what Manderley was suppose to look like.  I had never heard of the movie till after I read the book and it was pretty much how I envisioned the estate too.

This was Hitchcock’s version of what Manderley was suppose to look like. I had never heard of the movie till after I read the book and it was pretty much how I envisioned the estate too.

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Could this have really happened?  That was my first thought as I compiled June’s surf numbers. I put an unprecedented amount of time in for a month that is usually barely ride-able at best.  The north pacific decided to keep the ball running through the bulk of June.  At the same time the south pacific graced us with just enough magic to remind everyone here in central California that south swells actually do exist north of Point Mugu.

Besides mother nature who is not even close to making up for the skunking we faced here in the 805 this past winter, there are a few other factors I need to acknowledge that allowed me to maximize the most out of my surfing in June.  First I must thank America for their great unemployment system, sure I only get around $230 take home a week, but I don’t have to work either.  Although it is a pain in the ass to fill out the five question form, put it in an envelope adhere a stamp and take it to the post office.  First off I am unemployed, so why is it that the government thinks I can afford a packet of stamps?  That shit ought to be postage paid.  Then do you know how hard it is to find a mailbox these days?  The post office near my house closed down.  How the fuck a U.S. Postal Office closes is beyond me.  Damn broke ass government.

I think they do it on purpose to make things more difficult for free loaders like myself to get those unemployment forms in.  I have to give a shout out to my girlfriend Heather for keeping me out of the Wild Cat more times then not.  I had no idea how much more time I could spend surfing and how much better I can surf when not hung over till 5 pm everyday.   My overly stoked surfing buddy Trevor whom with out his blind love for absolutely terrible waves and grom like surf stoke kept me in the water more then a few days I would have not even bothered.  Besides all of that it was a super fun  month of average to good California in surprisingly warm water.  Here are the numbers and as usual feel free to enjoy daily surf updates in the surflog.

Surf Sessions: 34
Days Surfed: 24

Total Water Time: 62 hrs
Total Waves Surfed: 932
Average Waves Surfed per Hour: 15

Spots Surfed:
Emma Wood: 9
New Jetty: 6
Santa Clara River Mouth: 6
Mesa Lane: 4
Lower Trestles, San Clemente: 2
El Capitan: 1
Rincon: 1
Hammonds: 1
Leo Carrillo, Malibu: 1
Oxnard Shores: 1
Pitas: 1
Solimar: 1

Top 3 Surf Sessions taken directly from the June ’13 Surflog:

3)6-27-13 AM Session: 4-6+ft, Santa Clara River Mouth
Time in Water: 2 hrs, 45 mins

Waves Surfed: 33
I knew it was going to be solid today.  Everything just depended on the wind.  I got to the Harbor and there was some WSW wind on it and things were really foggy.  New Jetty had a wave but it looked average at best and bit on the crowded side for what was coming in.  I took a walk down to River Mouth and sure enough there were clean enough peaks coming in.  It was hallow as hell.  I saw a wave spit while I was checking it.  I paddled and it was way heavier then I had expected.  Full on double up bowls and some creepy rouge close outs from the west.  I managed a handful of crazy barrels the first half of the session. As the tide came up it became a rip fest out there.  It was solid and super fun to surf in waves of consequence again.  I came in due to exhaustion from fighting the current.  I decided to kick it in the lot for a chance at another session in the afternoon.

2) 6-29-13 PM Session: 3-5+ft, Santa Clara River Mouth
Time in Water: 2 hrs 15 mins

Waves Surfed: 36
I got a late start today courtesy of a full black out at the Wild Cat.  I don’t even remember walking in.  I was hung over as  fuck all day.  The surf was firing so finally I manned up at the end of the day grabbed Heather and headed to surf.  Luckily the wind decided to stay down and the surf was firing.  Ryan met up with us and we trotted down to the reeds where it was going off.  Barrels, kill-able sections everything you would want out of a surf.  There was almost no crowd.  The sunset was amazing and water was warm. I must say it was another great day of surfing.

1) 6-28-13 AM Session: 3-5+ft, Oxnard shores
Time in Water: 2 hrs

Waves Surfed: 38
I decided to check Rincon first thing this morning and seriously almost vomited at the destruction the new highway expansion program has done to the sanctity of Rincon.  Of course it will not be till the winter when we find out if the sea wall extension will cause extra backwash in the bottom of the Cove.  Lets hope not, but hey who cares as long as there can now be three lanes of bumper to bumper traffic instead of two.  I was at the bottom of the trail when I ran into to regulars, die hard Rincon locals and good friends of mine.  Both were not very enthusiastic.  We were chilling up in the lot for a spell when I got a text from Ryan that Oxnard Shores was on.  Considering the tide and swell direction I figured he was spot on.  I booked it down there and as I was changing all these guys were getting out.  I was afraid it had already turned off.  The Shores is one of those very fickle spots.  To my shock they said it was firing and that they were just too tired to surf anymore.  Gordo pulled up and we paddled.  Sure enough it was about as fun as waves can get.  Head high to over head, glassy, perfect A frame bowls up and down the beach.  I got my first ten waves before the half hour mark.  It was amazing, not a drop of water out of place.  Not really hallow although there were a few shacks.  Just completely rip-able surf.  I went to fucking town.  Might have been one of the best sessions I have had all year.  Soo much fun.

Just another perfect end to another perfect day of surfing in the month of June.

Just another perfect end to another perfect day of surfing in the month of June.

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