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Posts Tagged ‘California’

Is that a barrel? Nope just a "PGCB" (don't know what that stands for yet? Read this.

Is that a barrel? Nope just a “PGCB” (don’t know what that stands for yet? Read this.)

Its sort of funny how fast this summer deteriorated on the surf front.  Usually it is the opposite.   June and early July are the hardest months for surfing here.  So far it being ten days into August and I have only surfed twice and both were in waves just over waist high I will be the first to declare that I have officially given up on the summer 2013 as being anything more in the books then marginal at best.  I thought July was pretty fruitful, but as I just looked over my stats I beg to differ.

I will say I was rather diligent and made the most out of just about whatever ripple the Pacific did decide to send my way.  I got off my lazy ass and even did a bit of surf adventuring first up in San Francisco with Mauriello (if you missed the tales read here) and immediately following, Bizarro and I cruised down to San Diego for a few days where I met up with West for some Blacks Beach action (for that scoop read here).  With out jumping on a plane and traveling half way around the world or to a different hemisphere I did my best to stay wet.  Here are the numbers and top surf sessions from July.

Surf Sessions: 27
Days Surfed: 18

Total Time Spend in the Water: 47 hrs
Total Waves Surfed: 788
Average Waves Surfed Per Hour: 17

Spots Surfed:
Blacks Beach, San Diego: 7
Emma Wood: 4
Santa Clara River Mouth: 3
New Jetty: 3
Grey Whale Cove, San Mateo: 2
Waddel Creek, Santa Cruz: 2
Lower Trestles, San Clemente: 2
County Line: 1
Oxnard Shores: 1
Scripps Pier, San Diego: 1
Davenport, Santa Cruz: 1

Top 3 Surf Sessions:

3) 7-21-13 PM Session: 3-5+ ft, Blacks Beach , San Diego
Time in Water: 2.5 hrs

Waves Surfed: 31
West and I wanted to grab one more session together before I leave town tomorrow.  After the terrible morning session I was not expecting anything.  I figured worse case scenario we go out there and shoot the shit while we grovel.  As it turned out the wind died, the swell was holding and the crowd was slowly dropping off. Everyone was sitting on the north peak so we went and sat the top of the canyon.   There were plenty of really fun ones.  As the evening wore on it just got more glassy.  I managed to get a barrel down the entire length of the canyon and came out.  The swell seemed a bit stretched on many of the set waves.  Still it was prob the most fun I had of the trip surfing.

2) 7-22-13 AM Session: 2-4+ ft, Blacks Beach, San Diego
Time in Water: 1.5 hrs
Waves Surfed: 22
I find it very fitting that on my last morning here Blacks was about as good as Blacks gets condition wise.  The surf was solid chest to head high, glass, nice lines, good corners and pretty consistent.  The crowd was on it making it a bit rough at times to get a good one.  I paddled more down on the north end of the canyon.  There were really good rights and lefts.  This was finally after days, the Blacks I drove 200 miles to surf.   I had one really deep sick frontside barrel, stuck a few good airs and overall was finding plenty of good ones.  The wind came up around 11am and that was fine cause I had already gotten more then my fill.  Good times.  Looks like I am back on the road home again.  I can’t wait to get home to the Barb and see my lady.

1) 7-13-13 AM Session: 3-5 ft, Waddel Creek, Santa Cruz
Time in Water: 2.5 hrs

Waves Surfed: 42
Once again Waddel looked the best.  I was feeling a bit hung over after last nights little visit to Fancytown.  This time we gave the reef a go where we saw a fun looking left peeling down the north end of the reef.  Turns out it was a bit soft, slow and lully.  After three waves I floated to the beach break which was a barrel fest.  I had the place to myself the whole session while everyone else surfed the mush burger on the reef.  Then John paddled over and it was a full on froth shred sess.  I can’t remember the last time I enjoyed a session with so many barres and kill-able sections.  So much fun.  And we got to heckle Nat Young in the parking lot cause we are stupid like that.  Most likely they just thought we had a learning disability.

There you have it another month of surfing in the can.  As you can see its been nothing but monkey cock her in the 805 considering my top three sessions all came from out of town.  Please feel free to follow along with both my surfing and life adventures in the surflog. Get the full scoop on July there.

The theme of July was GROVEL. Photo: Christopher Dunlea

The theme of July was GROVEL. Photo: Christopher Dunlea

 

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Protos Eye Wear

Recently I was up in San Francisco for one of my usual jaunts, a vacation from my vacation so to speak, kicking it with my boy John Mauriello (for the fun behind that trip click here).  If your a regular reader of this blog then you have come across more then tale of the crazy character he is and our ridiculous antics together.   My good friend Devin once put  it frankly after hanging  out with us for 24 hours straight “I need to go home and get away from you guys.  No offense I think your both really awesome people but when you get together its intolerable.  The pair of you is enough to drive a sane man crazy.”  I implore any reader out there except for West and Kooky Kyle (cause they are out of their minds too, the four of us together has never happened, that is a force to be reckoned with.  Shit that meeting could accidentally lead to the end of the world.) to come out here and spend a weekend with Mauriello and I and test the endurance of your patience.

John and I on another SF excursion years ago

John and I on another SF excursion years ago for that adventure check this out and then use the bread crumbs to follow along with the subsequent parts of the story.

While I was up there he pulled out this pair of eye wear frames unlike anything I have ever seen before.   It was as if he had just stepped out of the Delorean with a trail flames behind the car holding the coolest pair of shades I had ever seen.  Made of a highly break resistant space age material, quality frames and a 3D printing manufacturing process that will allow its wearer to custom fit each frame to his/her face I surely thought the dude had found away to make time travel possible.  I was also a bit pissed of that, A: he embarked on a journey to the future with out me and, B: all he brought back was a pair of sunglasses.

I was about the beat his ass when he mentioned he designed them and had a hand in the company.  All I thought he did day in and day out was sit around making doodles in his note book and eating cereal.  Turns out the kid has skill.   Since then he has teamed up with another friend of mine Marc Levinson and a few others to create PROTOS EYEWEAR.  Although they have been designing and producing glasses on a small scale the past few years these guys are ready to take it to the next stage.  In order to make that happen they need your help.
Protos EyeWear2Don’t take my word for it.  Why not read the words out of the horse’s mouth or pen.  Here is what John Mauriello has to say about his en devour:

” Protos Eyewear is a company that I’ve been working on for well over two years. We’ve created a simple way of purchasing the perfect pair of eyeglasses/sunglasses made to order. In a crowdfunding campaign launched Monday, we have released a brand new line of 24 eyewear frames, along with our styling/custom fit service. We need your help in order to raise the funds to develop a web-app for our advanced custom fitting algorithm. In exchange for your contribution, we’ll be offering our glasses and a few of our other products at a highly discounted price. Our company has a rare synergy between technology, fashion, and design.

Technology:
The newest addition to the Protos Eyewear line is a service that allows a customer to order a customized pair of glasses. When ordering, the customer answers a few questions and uploads two photos of their face. From there, Protos’ software is able recommend basic frame styles based on the customer’s personality, face shape and other facial features. The chosen frame design is then altered to fit and 3D printed to order.
Protos EyeWear3

With 3D printing abuzz in the news lately, Protos has applied the technology in a way that everyone can get excited about. Though many have claimed to do so, they are one of only a small handful of 3D printing companies that have created something refined enough to truly be sold as a usable, lasting product. Protos spent years working with manufacturers to develop proprietary materials and production processes that actually exceed the quality of more traditional materials used in eyewear.

Fashion: 
These frames don’t just fit well, they also flatter the wearer. Protos’ core team includes professional designers who have a deep understanding of microtrends in the fashion world. This knowledge allows Protos to develop highly resolved designs that range from classic to current, all of which are timeless. The team also includes a certified optician with decades of experience styling celebrities and consulting with world-class eyewear brands including Tom Ford, Prada and Oliver Peoples. His knowledge of frame design and how eyewear should fit on faces has been integrated into the way the Protos software works.
Protos EyeWear4

Design:

Good design is core to Protos’ philosophy and process. We has an outstanding commitment to quality control, from form language to materiality and surface finish. Most tech companies build a technology, then try to skin it with something that looks good. With Protos, every aspect of the design and user experience has been considered from the moment product development begins. We know that good design is as much about how something works as it is about how it looks. Protos’ customers are not consumers, they are discerning clients who are interested in receiving excellent service. All custom fit frames are reviewed by designers before and after they are printed. They continue to work with the customer until the frames look amazing.

Eyewear is just the beginning for Protos. We are focused on meaningful applications for 3D printing and are focused on executing them well. The goal is to open an entire world of consumer grade 3D printed products meant for discerning end users. ”

Wow talk about educational, informative and en vogue.  Thanks for those amazing words John and an amazing product.  Those of you who read here regularly know I rarely pimp products or anything for that matter.  I certainly don’t give a forum for anything I don’t personally believe in.  Protos is some quality shit right here and these guys are giving everyone an opportunity to get involved on the ground level and help bring an amazing innovation that will change eye wear as we know it to fruition.

Visit their web page today at ProtosEyeWear.com and help make a good idea become grand.  The future is now, no Delorean necessary.  Every dollar helps and these guys claim they are willing do one push up each for every buck earned.  Mauriello was looking a little soft last time I saw him and could use the muscle tone from a good spell of push ups.  I will throw in an incentive of my own: throw down a $1000 bucks or more and I will let you come spend a weekend out here in Santa Barbara, 48 hours in Fancytown with Bizarro and I.  You probably won’t remember a thing but I promise to have someone around sober enough to take fun photos like  this one:

Now tell me you don't wish you were in this picture.  Give $1000 bucks or more to Protos and this dream scenario could be a reality!

Now tell me you don’t wish you were in this picture. Give $1000 bucks or more to Protos and this dream scenario could be a reality!

Seriously at least give the guys a $1.  Even my cheap, broke ass did that.   So check them out. PROTOSEYEWEAR.COM

Protos EyeWear5

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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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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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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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I did mention there would be an abnormal amount of monthly recaps in the coming weeks courtesy of my laziness.  So September in December?  Well its better then a Christmas blog, don’t worry there were no arrests and no stabbings in Lisanti Land this year.  (see Christmas Dread Part I, Part II and Part III for more on that) As a matter of fact I did not even make it to the bar Christmas night.  Instead I ended up just falling asleep on my couch watching Seinfeld.  Very exciting stuff I know.

September is usually one of the better months for surfing in California.  Especially up here in the Ventura/Santa Barbara area.   All bets have been off this year considering it is by far one of the worst and strangest years of surfing I have ever experienced.  September did not disappoint in disappointing everyone.  There was a total of one NW swell that was the biggest let down since cheese in a can. One South swell I missed thanks to a non-surfing trip I took to Portland, Oregon for a family wedding and subsequent Vacation.  On said trip I managed to get myself into a family squabble impart because of a blog I wrote critiquing the wedding (see Portland Blogs: Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV) and further proved to my parents what a fuck up I am.

There was one near epic day of crazy barrels at River Mouth that as far as I am concerned was the only worthy session of the whole month.  The city of Santa Barbara decided to close the Mesa Lane steps pretty much denying access to the only really consistently short board-able wave in town.  On top of all this I had to make a week long trip New Jersey for my sister’s wedding at the end of the month where I did manage among all the drinking to sneak in a couple of average surfs.  To continue with the theme of 2012 September was just another month of let downs and screw ups.  Here is how the numbers worked out:

Number of Surf Sessions: 19
Actual Days Surfed: 18

Total Time Spent in the Water: 31.5 hrs
Number of Waves Surfed: 531
Average Waves Caught Per Hour: 17

Spots Surfed:
New Jetty: 6
Emma Wood: 3
Santa Clara River Mouth: 2
The Pipe, Spring Lake, NJ: 2
Manasquan Inlet, Manasquan, NJ: 1
Riddle Way, Manasquan,  NJ: 1
Hollywood by the Sea: 1
Little Rincon: 1
Gold Coast: 1
Gudalupe Dunes: 1

Top 3 Surf Sessions (as per Surflog)

3) 9/12/12 AM Session: 2-3+ft, New Jetty
Time in Water: 1.5 hrs
Waves Surfed: 26
New Jetty is back baby.  I had heard rumors in my long hiatus from surfing that it was the case.   Then on Tuesday my friend Lindsay confirmed it.  I decided I would wake up and see for myself if it was true.  Expecting a lie and then a subsequent terrible Emma Wood session I climbed the dunes in low spirits.  Especially since the wind was whipping out of the west.  Sure enough I saw a set of chest high waves break off the jetty and just peel.  Stoked I called my boy Ryan and it was on.  The crowd was about eight strong but everyone was taking turns.  I was surfing really well although found that my lack of surfing had left me out of shape and struggling in the paddling department. Serves me right for nearly three weeks of drinking, partying and sloth.  After the session I went to the Ventura swap meet where I scored a boss ass lamp for my living room $15, an alarm clock $3, “Breakfast and Tiffany’s” and “The Young Frankenstein” $1 and Candide and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn $1.  What a score.  Then I had my dinner party which was ten strong including myself.  I served Chicken Parm over Linguine Rigati with garlic bread and stuffed apples for desert.  It was a fine evening.

2)  9/17/12 AM Session: 2-3+ft, Gold Coast
Time in Water: 1.5 hrs
Waves Surfed: 37
What a fun ass surf courtesy of more tropical action.  Its seems like all the best swells this summer were thanks to cyclones.  I started at Ventura harbor but it was all swampy with the tide at New Jetty and I could not judge River Mouth.  I had seen some good ones at Emma and went back there.  As I was checking Emma I noticed some decent looking lines coming in at Gold Coast, which loves these short period tropical swells.   I pulled up near the concrete retainer wall in the middle of the beach and picked a really fun peak.  For a change I was surfing incredible and the crowd was easy and fun as it usually is there.  Some how I pulled a front side submersible reverse.  I think I have only stuck maybe three of those in my entire life.  Nothing like a good day of surfing even if they are few an far between these days.

1) 9/26/12 AM Session: 5-7+ft, Santa Clara River Mouth
Time in Water: 3hrs
Waves Surfed: 40
Fucking barrel fest.  By far the biggest heaviest, most hallow day at the River Mouth of the season. I was a bit slow getting down this morning and very sore from all the surfing yesterday.  When I got up on the dunes I could not believe my eyes.  All I saw everywhere was spitting huge open tubes.  I almost fainted.  I ran back to the car, tore on my suit and joined the party.  I did not even do a turn till my 7th wave.  Everything was just a take off right into the pit.  Then the wind kind of got on it and made it a bit harder to get tubed but there were still plenty of heavy double ups that would let you in even if then did not let you out.  I had three where I was in a tube so big I could have drove a Mack truck through them.  Sooo fucking good.  It will make missing a week of solid swell while I am in shitty flat New Jersey tolerable at least.

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

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

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July 2012 Surf Session in Review

I am currently super behind on my monthly surf reviews.  I guess there really is not shock there.  I decided the other night to run the numbers from July considering how dismal a summer it was up here in the 805.  Now I know this is not really the place to be in the summertime, but still in past years there were at least a few unreal days.  July was mostly about suffering. I had not the money or time to travel south to better wave locals and it was windy most of the time up north, nor did I have a wettie warm enough.  Besides two tropical cyclone swells there was little if anything to get excited about.  Here is how it all shaped out according to the numbers.  I will say one thing I was rather frothy for whatever was on offer.

Number of Surf Sessions: 21
Days Surfed: 20
Total time Spend in the Water:  35hrs
Number of Waves Surfed: 644
Average Waves Caught Per Hour: 19

Spots surfed:
Santa Clara River Mouth: 15
Mesa Lane: 3
Gold Coast: 2
C Street: 1

Top 3 Surf Sessions (taken unedited from the Surflog):

3) 7/13/12 AM Session: 2-4+ft, Santa Clara River Mouth
Time in Water: 2hr 15mins
Waves Surfed: 43
My roommate and I cruised downtown last night for some pool and other shenanigans. I found a box of books on the walk home.  Surprisingly I woke up rather well rested and ready to surf. I got to River Mouth and the wind was already on it, had been all morning.  My boy Ryan was out so I just suited up ran down.  Turns out although a bit on chunky side there were plenty of really fun lefts.  I ended up frothing the shit out of the session catching anything and everything that came my way.  I stuck a few nice ally-oops, went for a shrink wrap that I almost pulled coming unstuck on the switch stance landing.  It was a sick sess to say the least.

2) 7/30/12 AM Session: 2-4+ft, Santa Clara River Mouth
Time in Water: 1hr
Waves Surfed: 21
I got a late start this morning.  I was not really expecting much to be happening out there.  Buoys had dropped from the previous day and the tide was a bit fat.  Stephanie was suppose to surf with me, but missed me by about ten minutes.  Chris Lisanti does not wait for anyone in the morning.  Surf always comes first, always.  I got down to River Mouth and it was clean with some small but fun looking peaky bowls.  There were a few  guys scattered along the different banks.  Turns out when I got down to beach level it was more like chest to head and solid with double up barrels.  It became an instant froth fest for me.  I had a deep ass FS tube that I have no idea how I made it out of.  Stuck a bunch of critical reos and some decent airs.  Then as I was paddling back out after landing a sizable fs air reverse I saw this right sucking up off a rip on the sand bar.  I stroked into and air dropped into the pit.  I felt my board crease, even heard the pop when I hit.  I grabbed the rail to stabilize the board, but the pressure was just too much and as I was about to come out my board snapped right in the middle under my feet.  Just like that the session was over.  The board itself was kind of at the end of its life.  It sucked that I had to have my session cut short.  I guess I am going to have to always start bringing a spare again.  Great session while it lasted.

1)7/17/12 AM Session: 3-5ft, Gold Coast
Time in Water: 1hr 15mins

Waves Surfed: 22
I only surf the Gold Coast when the surf is either just right so the place fires (its one of the few spots that can handle south wind) or if I am with a novice and looking to beat the crowd.  Today both entities held true.  I have been trying to make time with this chick I met through Lindsay a few weeks prior.  At first the attraction was purely physical but as of late I am really starting to enjoy her company.  I know this puts me in a dangerous predicament emotionally, but maybe its time for me to try again?  Whats that fall off the horse saying about anyway?  Our schedules really contradict thus making finding time together difficult.   Last night she hit me up wondering if she could come surf with me in the morning.   She has some skills but they are rudimentary at best meaning a surf with her has to be a compromise between waves the both of us can ride and a place where I will not be disgraced by other surfers for bringing her there.  I know I hate it when guys bring girls who cant surf out at Emma Wood.  Last night I thought nothing of it.  The reports all showed average south swell from Fabio leading me to believe the morning was to be average at best and thus ok to give up.  We checked Kooks Peak and there were a few fun looking bowls out there, fun for both of us.  I just wanted to have a look at the Gold Coast since the wind was right. Sure enough it was firing.   I mean I started to froth.  I must have tore my wettie on so fast it was not even funny, although The kook beat me, but I am a slow changer as anyone who surfs with me knows.  I was going to help her along, but it was just too good out there and I just ended up frothing.  Literally it was as good as New Port is on a good south swell.  I got one tube that had to be like 75 yards long.  I had some sick airs, almost brought down a huge bs full rotation air but came unglued in the landing. So far I would say it was the session of the summer!

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