Posts Tagged ‘Dane Reynolds’

Today as a result of my extreme laziness, me lazy…noooooo, never.  Mr. go getter over here, about to become the next Rockefeller.  I am going to combine both the UCB and Groovin’ High.  Now I know what your thinking: “Chris you can’t do that”.  Its my blog and I will cry if I want to.  Alright that really did not make any sense at all sort of like this opening paragraph of complete ramblings of an idiot.  In truth I do prefer asshole as I tried to explain to the girl I kicked out of my bedroom last night cause I wanted to go to sleep.  “Sorry, you need to leave now cause that pillow is where my cat sleeps”.

Now that every female subscriber has clicked the unfollow button on my blog let me get back to the point.  Wait what was I writing about again?  No in all seriousness I am not a womanizing prick.  I am actual a hopeless romantic who has been maliciously manized a few times too many and am now jaded, discontent and at this point rather disappointed in both sexes of humanity, male and female on the whole.  Thus I am forced to lash out in at times an inappropriate manner in order to achieve a petty vindication of sorts.  Basically I am an asshole, at least I’m not bitter, I just get better.

Now that we have gotten that out of the way.  John Mauriello in one of our usual Facebook chat sessions, which by the way may become a monthly segment here if I ever get around to it, yep that lazy thing again.  He posted a link to this funny little surfing short Dane Renyolds posted on his blog Marine Layer Productions.  He put the video to this bizarre song, if you can even call it that.  The singing sounds like a chorus of ally cats crying late at night.  Musically it is probably one of the worst songs I have ever laid ears upon.  The lyrics on the other hand are priceless.

Here is a mental image for you.  I was drinking a cup of tea when I played the video, mid sip mind you.  I ended up snorting tea out my nose I laughed so hard.  It was a fucking mess to clean up.  Mucus, blood and tea, but hey now my sinuses are clear for the moment.  The video for the song is rather fucking funny too.

It reminded me just how much working sucks.  Maybe not my job.  Find a job that you love and you never work a day in your life.  That being said I cant stand having to be somewhere for eight hours at day at a certain time till a certain time.  Then being yelled at for coming an hour late sometimes, showing up intoxicated or disheveled from the night before, yelling at customers, having too much fun (yeah my boss told me I needed to calm down cause I was scaring some of the other employees with the antics I hatch in order to amuse myself), throwing food, throwing knives, starting a fire.  All honest mistakes right?  I guess that sort of stuff is only ok on your first day at work, but now its been a few years since that for me.

Like the song says “Today your boss is nice to you, tomorrow he will be mean to you”.  If you laughed at this blog then this song and subsequent video should have your rolling on the floor.  If by reading this bull shit I have just wrote you found yourself offended in some way then get over yourself and stop taking life so seriously.  Either that or “KILL YOURSELF”. Enjoy “First Day At Work” by Daniel Johnston.

Then watch this a Groovin’ High daily double!  Actually it is in honor of the fact that in a few hours my old and best wingman I ever had, great friend and overall enjoyable dude, Brennan will be in town with his boy Christian.  This means I am going to get sloshed tonight.   Whooooooooooooot!!!!!!!!!!  This is also for John Mauriello cause it was our song two summers ago.  Nick the Kook gets a mention since he introduced us to the song.  Kooky Kyle cause he used to sing it at work on a Tuesday in order to pump me up to go party with him.   Finally my perfidious ex-girl friend Ades who loved this song dearly especially when sung so beautifully by Mauriello and I every Friday and most other days of the week for that matter.  “Ooooo I put on my shoes and Im ready for the (insert high pitched tone) WEEKEND”!

“Ready for the Weekend” by Calvin Harris

Nobody messes with Alfie's sleeping spot...

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Picture perfect Lowers. Isn't it grand when things look good on paper?

Ahhh…summertime in Santa Barbara, what a great time to be here according to tour books and international visitors.  If you’re a surfer on the other hand summer it is all about hassle, especially if one decides to keep surfing through the season.  Sure there is the occasional short period wind swell day here and there, but for the bulk of the time the channel is a complete lake.  That is just how the tourists like it here on the “American Riviera”.

Best bet if you surf, go on an extended trip, crash at a friends pad for the season down in Orange or San Diego Counties or find another way to occupy your time.  For me summertime is all about surfing marginal waves for which I drive nearly forty miles each way to get.  There is nothing better then burning $5 a session in gas to go surf garbage.  Ok, its not that bad, I mean most of the time it is far better then what I would be surfing back in NJ this time of year.  I’m just jaded these days.  Five years in California will do that to a person, especially up here where beach breaks are scarce and good points and reefs the norm.

Usually by this time in the summer I have scored a good day at Malibu or Jalama, even a sick day or two at River Mouth.  This year unfortunately that has not been the case.  A good south swell was forecasted for early week and two opportunities for me to get some quality surf for a change presented themselves.  The first a boat trip out to the Channel Islands.  This was the one I really hoped would materialize, but just like that ranch connection that never comes through, it never happened.

Luckily my boy Kevin and his friends, Luis and Jeremy were eager to make the three hour trek south to Trestles just south of San Clemente.  For my non-surfing readers Trestles is one of the most famous surf spots in the United States and one of the top in the world as well.  It is considered by most the hot bed for progressive surfing in the continental US.  Anyone who is anyone has surfed the wave at some point in his/her life.  Its one of those places every serious surfer should visit before death.

Basically Trestles consists of a collection of coble stone reef breaks with in a ten mile span of beach.  Going north to south you have Cottons, a mushy left that can be fun on the right swell direction, wind and tide and usually has the least crowd factor.  Then there is Uppers a rather punchy right with the occasional closed out left that draws a sizable crowd being it is the closest break from the trail.  Following Uppers you have Lowers, the crown jewel of Trestles offering a 50-100 yard wally left and a 100-250+ yard right that although a bit softer allows for just about anything the imagination has in store when it comes to wave riding.

Lowers is always packed with everything form top pros, to hot up and coming groms, to kooks, long boarders and every type of surf tourist you can imagine.  That being said if you just get one or two good ones you will be more then satisfied.  After Lowers you will come to Middles, a collection of mainly closed out bowls that serve up on the right day some fun killable peaks and is a refreshing break from its always crowded counter parts.  The most discouraging thing about Middles is one has to watch lowers peel off perfectly in the distance, while surfing short ended closeouts.

Finally after middles you have Churches, a usually mushy and sectiony right hander more known for long boarding then anything else.  On the right day though the place can fire.  I surfed there about five years ago and it was solid overhead and dredging for easily 150 yards.

I used to fancy all the spots at Trestles, opting to surf Lowers as little as possible just to avoid the horrendous crowds.  These days being a Californian now and a seasoned Rincon aficionado I have become completely desensitized to stupid obnoxious crowds.  I always get my waves eventually anyway and would much rather catch fewer waves that are really good then a bunch of garbage any place else.

We showed up at Lowers Monday (7-11) and it was solid 6-8ft with bigger sets and to my surprise only had about twenty guys on it.  The wind was a little bit funky but there were still great left and rights coming in.  The lefts had more juice then the rights.  I went out there and absolutely frothed for three hours.  I have never surfed out at Lowers and pretty much had my pick of waves.  I mean there was still plenty of scraping and jostling to get the good ones but it was nowhere near as intense as usual.

I went in for lunch and hung out on the beach before paddling back out for the evening glass off session.  The tide had gotten a bit higher, but the surf filled in a little more and it was very clean.  Unfortunately the crowd came in with the tide and it got really shifty.  Between both those factors getting the good ones became very frustrating.  I did manage to snag one huge right I managed around eight turns on and two really fun lefts, one I stuck a crazy vertical tail free thing, where I came completely unglued on the re-entry yet somehow managed to recover and then get three more turns.  The last I had a solid ally-oop.  It was a good day of surfing.

After a double session and an entire day at the beach I was over Trestles and ready to come home.  My compadres unfortunately for me were still stoked.  I soon found myself in my least favorite situation: camping.  We got ourselves a plot over at San Onofre State Beach on the bluffs.  Luckily my boy Kevin had a two man tent and a queen size blow up mattress making the night more bearable.  The boys and I lit a solid camp fire (you know how much I love fire), talked some story, and ate a gigantic pizza made for us by this crazy skin head dude who was completely tattooed from head to toe at a local joint in San Clemente. The pie was surprisingly not bad or I was so hungry it did not matter.  I would bank on the latter.

Next morning thanks to certain lazy members of the group we got a super late start, getting to Lowers after ten.  We parked and walked up from San-O.  Let me give the reader a sound piece of advice: that is not the way to go.  The walk is ten times harder; being one has to trek across hot soft sand for an easy two hundred yards.  To our dismay Lowers was blown to shit and there were easily 75 guys on it, six cameras on the beach, wannabe pros and invidious colored wetsuits everywhere.

I did manage to run into my old photographer Dave Molleck as he was cruising.  It was nice to catch up with him after moving to New Port for more opportunity to make it as a surf photographer.  Not stoked I watched it for over an hour as the sun burned the fuck out of my skin (a fact I am not enjoying today). Finally Kevin and I forced ourselves to give it a go and by far it was the most demoralizing sessions ever.

I have not been in a shit fight for waves like that since last summer at Malibu.  It was a straight up battlefield out there.  I literally had to push a 14 year old hot headed grom off a wave.  I was already up on the left and he stood up to try and backdoor the right.  He yelled at me and I grabbed his arms and sent him off the back.  That was my first good wave out there.  When I was kid I would never challenge a person of higher rank then myself for a wave, alas times have changed.

After about and hour and a half the crowd died and I began getting some really good right-handers.  I had three in row where I banged out 6-10 solid turns.  I would have surfed another two hours but after two and half hours already I was completely strung out from the previous day and all the exhausting lineup jockeying.  As I was getting out Dane Reynolds showed up and absolutely destroyed the place.  I have surfed with Dane a bunch of times, but have never seen him surf Lowers.  The guy made every other surfer out there look like a kook and judging from my knowledge of his ability he was having an off session for him.

I was contemplating another session before cruising, but I was sun burnt, completely enervate and eager to get back up to the “Barb” by a decent hour.  Looking back I probably should have sucked it up and paddled.  This was the first time I had been back at Lowers in three years and I think I am good for another three years.  Give me a good day at Rincon any day.  Winter is coming!!!!!

The reality of surfing Lowers.

The reality of surfing Lowers.

LNF: Lowers Raid! from Lastnamefirst.tv on Vimeo.


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December was all about periods of fun surf followed by periods of flatness.  There was tons of rain and wind bringing near toxic water conditions and tricky surf conditions.  Crowds were lighter then usual thanks to the weather not to mention that I think a bunch of people have already given up on surfing this winter it has been so bad.  As far as Im concerned I had some great sessions in December.  Unfortunately I was also plagued by a host of surf injuries mainly my lower back, knee and neck causing me to worry that my years of misuse are finally catching up to me. Here is how I made out in December of 2010 surf wise.

Number of Surf Session – 21
Days Surfed19
Average Wave Height3-4ft

Spots Surfed:

Rincon – 9
Juno Pier, Florida – 2
Civic Center, Jupiter FL – 1
South Jetty – 1
C Street – 1
Loons – 1
Sharks Cove – 1
Sand Spit – 1
Santa Clause Lane – 1
Stanley’s – 1
New Jetty – 1
Dredge – 1

Top 3 Sessions

3: 12/8/10 – 3-4ft, Loons
Loons is a magical wave and a very secret and fickle one at that.  When and if you happen to find and score it the reward will more then equal the toil.  This session was solid chest to head high plus with a light crowd, glassy conditions and lines running an easy three hundred yards down the point.  Read Sometimes Miracles Happen Blog for more on this stellar session.


2: 12/16/10 PM Session – 4-6ft, Dredge
My afternoon surf was purely based on the wind dying out, which luckily it did.  I cruised to Rincon where it was perfect oil glass but only around chest high or so at Indicator.   Discouraged I called my boy Ryan down in Ventura who was claiming Dredge was solid and no one out.  Dredge never has no one out especially in the afternoon.  I mean the place is the exclusive surf spot of the entire Pierpont community, a society made up of 90% surfers.  Dane Reynolds lives there along with my good buddy Adam Virs.  With no better options I took the advice and tipped my boy Kevin off as well who was just getting off work from making mass quantities of food.  I got there and it was definitely well overhead on sets and although fast more then make able if you chose the right one.  Of course by this time there were 5 guys out and about another ten in the parking lot frothing.  There were plenty of waves and with the strong southerly current that always plagues Dredge the crowd was not a big issue, still I managed to get a long board to the head courtesy of this decrepit old guy who was blowing every set wave he paddled for.  He very courteously ditched is board right in front of me after straightening off on an overhead close out.  I came up from my duck dive into his board.  Besides that I managed to get a ton of great rides and boosted a few huge backside airs but came unglued on the landings.  I would have to say it was by far the best session I have had since Loons last week and one of the best in December.


1: 12/20/10 – PM Session – 6-8+ft, Rincon
Sometimes Christmas comes early and today it came early at Rincon.  Epic Rincon is one of those things that happen at best a dozen times or so a winter and today my friends was just that.  The day had a slow start with a super high tide, small swell and rain.  I decided to stay in bed and wait for the afternoon of which I knew more swell would fill in.  I checked the buoys at breakfast and it was 8 ft, by noon it was ten, by 2pm it was twelve by four, 14ft.  The swell grew six feet in a matter of hours and that set the pace for the entire session.  I got in the water at 1pm and it was about chest to head high and every hour it grew by two feet till the occasional ten foot clean up set would wash through.  Up until today I had yet to legitimately call box a wave.  My first three waves all went double call box and then I had about a dozen more that were single call box.  I think the worst wave I caught all session I still managed to hit ten times, on average I got around 15 hits a wave.  Soooooooooooooooo Gooooooooood!!!!!!

I think this picture embodies December perfectly here in Santa Barbara.

I think this guy needs to slow down and enjoy a little famine. Maybe that is metaphoric for how I look when Im frothing on a good day at Rincon

As always if you liked this blog visit the surf log where I update my surf sessions daily.

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How many fingers am I holding up?

By now I think everyone in the surfing world unless you live under a rock knows that Kelly Slater has achieved the unimaginable; winning an unprecedented 10th world title and claiming his 45th world championship tour victory.  The man has broken just about every competitive record there is in surfing and raised the bar so high we may never see such a surfing champion again.  It will take some pretty phenomenal surfing talent to undo the Kelly Slater dynasty.

More then all the stats and records Slater was as stoked as anyone to win.  You think after nine ten would be just another notch on the belt, but you could see just from the look on his face the amount of emotion going through him as he was chaired up the beach in Puerto Rico.  Then when most people would be ready to celebrate he went out and won the whole dam event.  All bull shit aside, judging, favoritism or whatever Slater truly claimed this years world title on pure ability.

The guy surfed flawless and not just Kelly Slater flawless but at the par of the so called “modcol” generation.  The guy pulled off one of the craziest ally oops I have ever seen, falling completely off his board and some how recovering at Bells Beach, event two.  He stuck another ridiculous full rotation ally oop at the Portugal event.  Kelly has been throwing down on the gnarly aerial maneuvers the entire season on top of his usual blend of flow and power.  Im not even going to get started on that backside reo he pulled at Trestles another event he won that from the first heat he set the bar so much higher then anyone else out there.

The only other surfer who was really worth watching for comparative ability this year was Dane Reynolds.  Not in contest statistics per say but in just the aspect of pure go for broke performance.  Dane has consistently surfed the best wave or maneuver in just about every event on tour this year.  Some of the stuff he sticks is outlandish for a free surf or video segment let alone a contest.

The problem with Dane is his ability to put a heat together in terms of points, but you know what I don’t think anyone cares how Dane finishes just as long as he does well enough to stay on tour.  Personally I would be really sad if decided to fit his surfing into a mold just so he could win a few more heats.  Its about time we got someone out there who just goes for it no matter the consequence.  Dane my hat is off to you as well.

As for you Kelly, great job now lets bring the magic through to Hawaii and take the Triple Crown and Pipe Masters as well making it a banner year.  I know I have been saying for the entire year that I hope he takes his tenth and then retires, but after watching his performance on tour this year I really hope Kelly sticks around.  I would really like to see how many more victories the guy has in him.  Could Kelly Slater be a forty year old world champ?

http://www.surfline.com/surf-news/tracing-kelly-slaters-career-defining-2010_49310/ This is a great video up on Surfline.com on Slater’s amazing title journey this year.  Watch it and see some of the crazy waves I was talking about.

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