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Posts Tagged ‘Guns’

My life has been a bit on the crazy side again.   I know, when is it not?  If it was not crazy why would you ever bother to read about it?  Well things have been gnarlier then usual and all fronts, surfing, work, social, home, romantically, school.  Basically I am getting it from all fronts.  Lisanti Land is with out a doubt on the brink of spiraling out of control.  Then again it usually is.  You can’t get apples from oranges.

What the fuck am I talking about? Shit, I don’t fucking know.  Its after midnight, I am not drunk for the first night in nearly two weeks.   I burned my hands terribly at work, had some disturbing, although not shocking news that bummed me out a bit not too long before this posting and overall am a bit unmotivated to do much of anything lately, yet have been doing everything.  I promise I will have a blog to bring everyone up to speed by this weekend, maybe even tomorrow,  I just need a day or so to compose my thoughts on things and how I wish to present them.

Sit tight I promise there will be chills, thrills, spills and as always plenty of laughs at my expense, but I could not think of a better way to present my life then through comedy.  Its the only way I keep from crying.   “A smile can defeat a frown” and “when your smiling the world smiles with you”.  Or At least is what everyone likes to hear.  If you want a sneak peak check out both the August and September pages of the surf log, which by the way has become more of a journal of my life then just a list of my surf sessions.  I may not update new blogs everyday but I do update that section just about everyday. Enough bullshit and on to the task at hand.  This edition of  “Groovin’ High“.

Music is such an important part of my life.  I am not just talking about as a performer.  I always, always have grooves playing and if not then I am most likely grooving in my head.  Certain songs I throw on for certain moments and Kanye West’s Everything I am has spoken to me since the first time I heard it while at the 2008 North East Surfing Championships in Montauk, NY, which by the way I won, taking every heat to the final.  I had just downloaded the album before I left for the comp.

At the time it was pretty much the beginning of the end for my wife (now ex-wife) and I.  That is a whole other series of blogs that may or may not ever be written.  Look for it in a fictional novel by me soon (soon meaning most likely never).  Why should I write a novel anyway, I mean no one reads anymore anyway.  This song really helped me put my shit in perspective.  I can rap basically the whole song too.  I think Kanye may even be calling me to perform it with him. Hmm…maybe I will sing that one next time at karaoke night.

I feel like the chorus really applies to me and my life perfectly: “Everything I’m not, made me everything I am”.  Its true. I have this persona on me that exudes many predisposed ideas to others of what I am about.  As a result of this I perpetually find myself in situations that constantly have me looking in the mirror in astonishment thinking “how did I get here”.  Truthfully I feel like I am the exact opposite of what most think of me.  Sure I help transmit these fallacies.  Its always easier to go along with the hype then to let others down.    So yeah; “Everything I’m not, made me everything I am”.

My closest friends and confidants know very well what it is I am talking about.  Maybe someday when I am ready I will explain that here.  In all honesty I would not even know where to begin. I think a bit of mystery is one of those spices in life that many never get to be a part of.  In a way I feel lucky.

To go a little deeper into the chorus I think most people can identify with it.  “Everything I’m not, made me everything I am”.  How many people do you know or yourself for that matter want to do something and then do the exact opposite because it was the “right decision”.  Basically if your not being true to yourself then you are living a lie.  Unfortunately I am guilty as charged most of the time and I think most would have to agree about that themselves.  If we live the lies long enough then “Everything I’m not, made me everything I am”.  I think I have only met a handful of people whom I can say I believed to be 100% honest with themselves and each one of them instantly earned my respect and admiration.

Don’t feel bad if that is not you.  Even the best of us get lost along the way.  Shoots what is the way anyhow?  Maybe this is the way and those other guys are the ones going down the wrong path.  What is wrong or right for that matter?  You see what it is like living in my brain even for a second.  I may seem smart and together on the outside but on the inside I am even more fucked up then you.

Enough philosophizing over a Kanye West song.  Musically I love the samples he put together for this one.  I have blown my sax over this track hundreds of times.  Its one of my favorites to jam out on.  Say what you want about Kanye, but the man is a talented rapper/producer and until 808 and Heart Breaks I have to admit I was super stoked on all his stuff and even 808 had its moments.  I just think he went a little overboard on that one.  I guess he has a new one coming out soon.  I must say I am rather stoked to hear it.  Wow this blog was bit on the ridiculous side.  Please don’t write me off.  I promise to have some worth while material at some point.  At the very least there are for sure some stories that have happened to me recently that will have you rolling on the the floor in painful fits of laughter.

Got to love the glasses.

This one was just too ridiculous for me not to include.

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Before I get into this week’s UCB I have a bit of an announcement to make.  As everyone knows there are only two more Thursdays left in the fall quarter.  As of right now the race is pretty tight between I think three people and there a few trailers in there as well.  This quarter in addition to the two more blogs up for grabs I am going to put up a chance at a bonus double points blog to be written on the 31st. So here is the deal the topic for this one has to be something really special or I wont write it.  I will allow an unlimited amount of entries for it.  With double points it could be the difference between a victory or not so get busy.

 

That being said this has been I believe the most successful UCB quarter ever and I would like to personally thank everyone for participating.  This week Kooky Kyle takes the win with the topic “what goes into the perfect surfboard quiver”.  I feel that this topic comes a sort of mystery, most surfers having no idea what type of boards are appropriate for them.  I being a rather credible source on the issue thought I would shed some light on the confusion.  (For those who may question my background I spent nearly eight years of my life working in surf shops, ten doing ding repairs and about six as a psuedo professional surfer)

What Should I ride?

Tool Box

A quiver is a toolbox, you put the tools in that are necessary for the job.  This is a theorem that for years I did not hold true to just as a result of pure ignorance. I will elaborate.  When I was 18 my principle short board was a 6’2 x 18” x 2” Squaretail with so much rocker there was not flat point in the board.  Then I had a groveler 5’8 fishy thing and finally 6’10 pintail gun.  I mainly surfed only NJ.  The short board and the fish were fine but the large gun for a kid who barely was pushing 130lbs (heck Im still only about 135) was a bit ridiculous especially in a wave scene like NJ.

 

The only reason I owned that board was because I thought I needed a big board for when the waves got sizable and I was just copying what I saw in the magazines.  The same could be said for my short board, which was way too big for me as well.  Like I stated earlier I did not know any better.

Your Perfect Board

 

My Perfect Board

 

 

Before we get into the quiver, a group of boards, lets talk about your own personal perfect board.  This is the corner stone of everyone’s quiver and with out an understanding of this board, building the perfect quiver is nearly impossible.  All you will end up with is a collection of trash.  The perfect board is a surfer’s go to board for any conditions.  It is the surfboard that if you were stuck on a deserted island and left with only one board you would choose.  Its your all around short board or long board depending on what you ride.

 

It took me years to get this board right and I am still refining it.  Technically one always should because as your surfing changes, the waves you ride change and your body changes over the years so should this one.  Im sure when I am fifty I wont be physically able to ride what I do now.  For me this board is 5’10 x 18 1/8” x 2 1/16” squash tail tons of rocker.  I have had plenty of success with this template for the last six years.  Many people comment that I ride too small of boards but then they forget that I have not gained any significant weight since I was 21.

 

Back east I rode my boards with less rocker to fit the erratic flat spots and condition changes, but when I moved to the west coast where the waves are more conform I found more success with fuller rocker out lines.  Obviously if you weight 185lbs and are 6’1 you should not be riding my 5’10 you would most likely want a 6’1 or 6’0 a bit wider and a bit thicker to accommodate your size.

 

Same thing goes for ability as well.  If you are the same size as me but have only been surfing for 3 years then my board wont work for you either.  Once again you might want something a bit thicker, wider and longer with much less rocker.  Your quiver needs to suit you first and foremost.  Years ago we believed that everyone should ride the same board regardless of your size or ability; since then we have all been enlightened.

Building Your Perfect Quiver

 

Surfboards are not cheap and getting the right ones can be an expensive headache of trial and error.  It took me nearly ten years to get a quiver Im happy with.  First off a surfer should always have two of this perfect board as described above because surfboards are very fragile and break and ding all the time.  There is nothing more frustrating to me then riding a board Im not happy with when the surf is firing because I broke my favorite short board.  If I have a duplicate in my quiver then I can just pull this one out and go to town.

 

I personally keep three copies of this board in my quiver, but I surf a bit more then your average person even now with my shitty full time job.  The next board that should be considered is a step up.

The Step Up

 

One of my step ups

 

 

Now your step up should be geared to the waves you want to ride.  I personally hate big waves.  Once it gets more then double overhead I don’t really have all that much fun.  After that size it always feels more like survival then surfing.  My step up is a 5’11 x 18 ¼ x 2 1/8 round tail with lots of rocker.

 

This board is only a little bigger then my all around short board but a bit wider and thicker for paddle.  This is the board I got to when things get dicey on my short board.  I also keep a 6’1 x 18 x 2 rounded pin tail for macking beach break.  This is my barrel board.  I have made some of the most ridiculous hair raising tubes on this shape.  A barrel board is one that should be shaped bit more narrow and thinner then your normal short board.  It should also contain a round tail or pin tail combination and be 2-3 inches bigger then your normal short board.

 

The barrel board is designed with one purpose, getting shacked.  This board should be able to hold a rail in the steepest sections the waves through at you.  It is also the board you must rely on in the most critical of moments.   Basically your step up board should be what you ride those hand full of days your home break gets outside of its normal comfort zone and a key board for travel.

Guns

 

A gun is a term that is loosely thrown around in surfing far too often if you ask me.  I am definitely guilty of the offense.  A gun is the board you ride when it gets scary.  This is your big wave board; triple overhead and bigger, when you pull a gun out of your garrison there should be butterflies in your stomach.  Most likely it is a day where the waves could kill.  Now like I said Im not a fan of big waves.  My gun is a 6’3 x 18 ¼ x 2 3/16 pin tail.   I have rode this board maybe ten times in my entire life.  I don’t go looking for giant waves and on the rare occasion that I find myself in a chest thumping mood I will pull out this board and go up north in search of fear.

 

Now if I lived in Hawaii a 6’3 gun would be laughable where the average gun is anywhere from 6’8-7’10.  Like I said your quiver is a toolbox.  I don’t live in Hawaii I live in Santa Barbara where we rarely see waves over double overhead and even that is rare.  Personally I feel a 6’3 is too big as well, but every now and again it comes in handy for a mission up north.

Rhino Chasers and Tow Boards


 

I cant give much help here because I don’t have the desire to ride waves the size of houses.  A rhino chaser is a gun made for waves in the twenty foot plus range.  They are what is ridden at Waimea, Todos, Mavericks and every other BIG wave spot in the world.  Most start at around 8’10 to as big as 11 and 12 feet.  I  would not consider purchasing one of these unless you live in a place near a big wave spot and believe yourself ready for the challenge.  I know when I was tested in such conditions it had me paddling back to the beach like a scared little girl.

 

Tow boards are super narrow and weighted down with lead usually in the 5’6 – 6’0 size.  I have only seen these boards in surf shops here or in production and have never rode one nor desire too.

Small Wave Boards

 

A good small wave board is gold in any surf locale.  No matter where you decided to settle down there are going to be terrible small gutless days, some places more then others.  You can either spend these days sitting around watching Brady Bunch re-runs on television or surfing.  I choose the latter.  This where a good small wave board comes into the picture.  Picking the right small wave stick is totally dependant upon how you want to surf tiny waves.   Do you want to still try and get high performance on it or do you want to cruise.

 

A lot of this is ability dependant as well.  If you are not great at surfing then most likely you should seek out a small wave board that will allow you the most float and maneuverability.  If you are looking to shred in the miniscule then you want a scaled down, stubby lower rocker version of your all around short board.  For me this is a 5’7 x 18 1/4 x 2 2/16 wide swallow tail.

 

Others lean towards keel fishes, which offer great float and glide in even the worst of conditions.  Round nose fishes give plenty of float and offer the rider a chance to ride a super small board with a fair amount of maneuverability.

Fun Shapes & Long Boards

Everyone should own a long board in their quiver.  You never know when you will have to rehab an injury, teach someone how to surf or just want to go out and chill.  I had never felt the need to own a long board till I moved out to Santa Barbara where there are tons of perfect point break set ups that break under knee high most of the time.  There is nothing more fun then cruising down a perfect point peeler on a good long board.

 

Long boards and fun shapes are also the unskilled surfers and big man small wave machines.

Specialty Boards

Specialty boards are those that are not necessary at all but in some cases fun or even cool to have.  Alias and hulls are perfect examples of these.  Who really needs a fin less surfboard that only works in perfect waves and is near to impossible to ride?  When you snag a wave on one and feel that unimpeded glide it’s a pretty cool feeling.  Retro boards are another one.  Every true surfer trying to reach guru status needs at least three classic boards from contrasting time periods and know how to ride them.  I currently have two but at one time had four.  How can we create new ideas with out revisiting the old ones from time to time?

 

Slab boards are another specialty board that has also recently came into modern quivers since everyone loves slabs.  A slab is a wave that comes into shallow water from deep water too fast to properly form thus causing a mutant triple up tube.  The Box in Western Australia is a perfect example of this.  Slab boards should be geared specific to the different slabs but rule of thumb should be your regular short board but thinner, more rocker, more narrow and pined out.

 

Basically the perfect quiver is not harmonious but specific to each surfer and his needs. It’s a toolbox.  End result you should own the boards that allow you to have the must fun.  At the end of the day that is what surfing is all about anyway.

My perfect quiver circa 2006, 2 5’10’s 2 6’1’s and a 6’3

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