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Posts Tagged ‘New Jersey’

KookyKyleCow

Its been quite sometime since we have heard from our corespondent from the outer reaches of Lisanti Land, Kooky Kyle.  Those of you who have been long term readers might remember some of his earlier blogs in his segment Kooky’s Korner know this man needs no introduction.  I asked him to give us all an update on whats been going on in his life as he is about to embark on an unparalleled adventure with the Peace Corps in Tanzania. Enough of my words and onto his:

So you may be wondering,“What the hell happened to Kooky? It has been a long time since we heard from him” Rest assured I didn’t kill myself and am doing fine. Right after you last heard from me, I ran relief supplies from NC up to NJ post Sandy. Following that I quit my restaurant job and went to set up shop for my boss in NJ. They saw how many people I knew and the income level of the area and thought it would be a great place to sell solar generators. Long story short, I surfed a shit ton while my boss and his business partner dragged their feet on getting me what I needed to launch the branch in NJ. By the time I was set up to get the company running their window of opportunity passed and it was not a success as they had hoped.

This left me in a predicament before summer started. With nearly no cash and no work up in NJ, the solar guys had me move back to NC to work for them. Since they couldn’t give me full time work they also set me up with a gig driving for a friend of theirs’ limo company. Unfortunately for me the solar company had a bunch of legal and logistical issues and basically shut down for a month. The limo company didn’t tell me that I would have to get an NC license and then wait another 8+ weeks for my limo license to clear. Throw in two months rent and a speeding ticket, what money I did earn down there disappeared completely.

I can’t complain I had some fun in Wilmington and NJ was flat as a pancake so I only missed one swell. Before I left I connected the solar company with West (If you don’t remember him then you must read “The Christmas Dread” Saga” Parts I,  Part II and Part III). The company had a solar top that fits on golf carts. West loves golf, and the company was looking to get a west coast sales presence so I figured it would be a good fit. Last I heard West was doing pretty well with getting the word out and interest generated. I really believe of anyone I know he can make those sales and be a success.

With my bank account empty my friend Dave called me up and said if I wanted he could get me a job doing construction with him. Business was booming in NJ and he could pay $150 a day.  How could I go wrong? With in a day had I packed up all my shit in North Carolina and drove back to NJ.  Ah, it was great to finally be making money again. If you have never been essentially unemployed for a long period of time you don’t realize what a relief it finally is to be putting money IN the bank rather than taking it OUT!

Honestly my boss, Bob, was easy enough to work for and the pay was kick ass. The only thing that sucked is that the work dried up.  After having talked to other people who have been working construction, everyone is in the same limbo in the area. Those who had money to repair from Sandy have done so and are waiting to get reimbursed by insurance. Those who didn’t are all fighting with the insurance companies to get the money to get their homes repaired. Insurance companies take your money in case something happens and then you have to fight them to get the money back when you need it.
KookySurf

To keep us busy Bob had us help him move out of his house in Vermont and down to his house in Charleston. After that he found work redoing a basement down in Charleston so I spent about a month down there over the course of the Fall. Right now, I shall codify Kooks first law of surf: If you absolutely will not be able to surf, there will be swell. Every time we went down south, there would be the only swell for weeks in NJ; whenever we got back it would be flat.

Tanzania

Back in October, after the Federal shut down ended, I got a long awaited email. It was from the Peace Corps. I was accepted and offered a position in Tanzania as an environmental/agricultural volunteer. For those of you who don’t know what the Peace Corps is, it is a program of the Federal government whose goal is to alleviate the sources of poverty around the world and promote a cultural exchange that encourages peace and understanding between the host country and the U.S. As an environmental/agricultural volunteer, I will likely be living without running water or power, which will be an interesting experience. Usually a volunteer gets a minimum of four months notice but thanks to those assholes on Capital Hill who would rather play games than create laws that help American people, I got bit less notification and had to rush to get all my stuff done before the deadlines.

I am very excited about this trip. I don’t have the funds I wanted before leaving due to work slowing down, and I didn’t get to visit my friends in California before I left, but that is okay. This winter has been excellent in New Jersey wave wise. There have not been many really big heavy days but there has consistently been hollow head-high days. I am doing my best surfing I have ever done which is reassuring considering I had about a 6 month spell of almost never surfing. The first few sessions were rough but I am back to progressing. Tanzania has a coast, though it is heavily swell shadowed from the predominant swell generator for the Indian Ocean by northern Mozambique and Madagascar. If there are surf spots there I will find them. Fingers crossed I can swing a trip over to Madagascar and explore some of the amazing set ups they have over there.

Thanks for reading. I would also like the give a special thanks to Chris again for helping me in my year long surf adventure that helped me get my Peace Corps position and all that he taught me. I am sure I will have plenty of tales from my African Adventure and I will hopefully check in every once in a while with the Surfing Ruined My Life readers.

So there you have it.  If Kooky doesn’t die of the plague, get kidnapped and sold into slavery, Kidnapped and killed, killed in some type of mass genocide or find death in one of the many other gnarly ways for one’s life to end in a country as remote and uncivilized as Tanzania you can be sure I will publish any writings of his adventures he wishes to send me to share with you all.  Stay tuned and wish Kooky luck!!!

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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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This was a giant wave pre-storm surge in Cape May, NJ at a spot called Poverty’s which can be a really fun shore break barrel on a strong Nor’Easter. Looks like it bit off a more then it chew here.

I woke up this morning, my little toe was three shades of purple and looking rather infected.  Surfing was out for me, probably for a few days, yet this was the least of my concerns.  All that was on my mind for the last two days has been the absolute destruction and devastation to my home town of Manasquan, New Jersey courtesy of Hurricane Sandy.  As much as I hate New Jersey and it’s seemingly reciprocal feelings towards me to see what has become of it has been rather heart breaking.

Then I consider all of my friends and family back there and what they must be going through actually having to live in what has seemingly become a third world country. I was on the phone with my sister last night who evacuated to Pennsylvania with her husband.  They went back up to Manasquan and basically found out that more then four feet of water had filled the first floor of one of our family homes.  The cats although a bit freaked out were safe.  Most of the furniture was destroyed, the wood floors, the carpets, the appliances, three cars all ruined.  At this point power is estimated to be out anywhere from 8-10 days and there is the possibility that the drinking water is no good.

I fielded a call from Kooky Kyle later in the evening who is scalping generators, batteries and other survival apparel, currently making a small fortune.  He is doing a good deed as well even if it comes at a cost premium to those in need. Supply and demand is the American way after all.  In his defense he called me to see if my family needed anything from him.  My parents are currently in Florida.  At the moment they are planning on staying at their home there till things get a little more stable in New Jersey.

This was once a street in the beach area of Manasquan…

At the moment it looks like Bosnia over there minus the civil unrest, although I have heard rampant looting has broken out at the shore causing residents to have to show proof of residence to even get to their own homes now.  My parent’s beach house in Manasquan as of right now we have not a clue.  From the few pictures and the little bit I have heard things are pretty bad up there with most parts of the island buried in anywhere from 8-20 feet of sand.  Their house sits on the narrowest part of the island and on an estuary that floods around the house on a regular full moon storm high tide.

The house with the brick steps that are all torn up used to be rented by a friend of mine when I was 16. I used to store a board and wettie over there so that whenever my mom would punish me and not let me surf I would tell her I had to stay after school for something, ride my bike to his house and go surf.

One can only assume the house took it on the chin pretty bad. It was built on a floating foundation to begin with.   At the moment access to the island is very limited and from what I hear just about not drive-able with out heavy equipment.  Some of the bridges are completely blocked by boats and debris.  I had a quiver of surfboards in the crawl space of that house.  Let me stress the word “had”.  My entire family is safe and from what I know all of my close friends as well and in the end that is all that matters anyway.

This is the Brielle Road draw bridge looking rather inaccessible.

Things are heavy over there to say the least.  It was not only my town that took things tough.  From video it looks like Long Beach Island was ravished, parts of it still under water.  Casino Pier in Seaside Heights has been just about entirely washed away.  What was once a venue of rides and amusements, not to mention one of the top surf spots in NJ has been reduced to a pile of sticks and rebar.  The Ocean Grove pier another surf spot I frequented is gone as well.  I sit here writing this at a loss.  Part of me wishes I was home attempting some help to those in need.  Then again I don’t live there anymore.

The remnants of the once grand Casino Pier, Seaside Heights, New Jersey. Yes that is a roller coaster in the ocean.

I suppose my heart will always be in New Jersey no matter how much I try to deny it and be Californian.  Its Halloween here today and everyone is getting hammered in costume yet again for about the eighth straight night in a row. With the exception of my few friends here from New Jersey not a single person even mentioned if things were all good back home to me.  Its 3000 miles away on a completely different coast so who cares right?  Well whenever there is a fire or earthquake here I get calls from most of my loved ones back in NJ to see if all is ok here.  Hey to each their own.  As for me at the moment I don’t feel very much like partying.

I wish all my friends and readers in New Jersey the best of luck.  Hang in there guys one thing about Jersey people we don’t take shit from anyone or anything.  I know you guys will rebuild bigger, better and stronger then ever.  To my surfing friends out there; We may have lost a few spots but I bet when things clear we most likely gained a few as well. The red cross has set up a relief effort fund for the havoc that has been unleashed on the Jersey shore.  If you feel so inclined every bit helps https://www.redcross.org/donate/index.jsp?donateStep=2&itemId=prod10002.

The closest house with the first floor buried in sand was the residence of my boy Cory and his girl Tagan. Hey guys if you need a break from all the bull you are always welcome here at the Lisanti Palace. Heck the Palace would not be in my possession if it was not for Cory.

*all photos borrowed from various internet sources.  For more pictures of the damage to Manasquan use this link: http://photos.nj.com/star-ledger/2012/10/devastation_along_manasquan_be_24.html

For pictures of the damage done to Point Pleasant, NJ use this link: http://nickjonesphoto.com/sandy.html

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I know what your thinking, “another blast from the past”.  Reruns suck, but since this stuff is like four years old I find it rather interesting and worth a read.  Syndication is great.  Kooky and I are currently working our way through all nine seasons of Seinfeld in sequential order.  It has become quite the task. 

So I wrote this blog back in May of 2006.  It is back in my competition days as a failing professional surfer.  Every year they had this big contest in NJ that took place on the best day of the fall and only the best of the best from NJ were invited to it.  If you did not get an invitation (mine always got lost in the mail) there was a qualifier event for it where the top three guys would get spots.  This blog is about the 2006 qualifier.  Enjoy.

Another year.  That’s what went through my head when it was announced that I was eliminated from the 2006 Grudge Match Trials.  I’m not complaining, although making a Semifinal berth I was definately tasting it.  It was not meant to be.  This was not my year.

The sea was angry on Sunday my friends.  I pulled up to Meters (Meters is this trashy beach break they held the contest at to save money on a permit for Casino pier, a way better surf spot just about a few miles north.  It is called Meters cause the entire parking lot is filled with parking meters and the only free parking is four blocks in land) in Seaside Park at about 8am and am greated by the competive portion of the Jenks Militia (The Jenks Militia was this militant group of surfers who attempted to keep the crowds down a this decent little spot Jenks in NJ.  They thought they were tough but when push came to shove it was just another case of stupid localism that I the time I whole heartily bought into) , Brian “Slobby” Robinson, Dalton Johnson and Neil Bergen.  Slob was like “its retarded out there”.   I went up to the beach to check it and it is about 6-8 foot plus out of contol dumping heavy strom chop.  Im just like fuck another year wasted.

I go to check in, usually Im in round 1 or 2 and I hate that cause you dont really get a chance to feel out the contest scene.  This particular day though I was hoping to go early so that I did not have to watch the gnarl all day.  We all know how my luck works.  I drew Heat 12 the last heat of round 1.

I camped out on the beach about 50 yards from the contest area, just far enough to hear the announcments but far enough not to be recognized or noticed.  For me this is standard contest procedure.  I need to focus, get in the zone and I need to keep to myself for atleast the first few heats.

After watching the first 5 heats and seeing everyone getting annihilated with already 2 broken boards in, I was getting a bit freaked out.  I was feeling a little anxious and over the conditions.  In a moment of extreme adversity I even seriously considered throwing the event and going home.  This was not a realistic option though cause Smith my sponsor was putting on the event and it ould look real bad if me one of thier team guys was a no show.

So with the encouragement of Sindia and Slobby I maned up and got ready for my heat.  At the advice of Maffucci I paddled out down at Fun Town Pier nearly 400 yrds North of the contest zone.  It although a bit unnecessary worked out nicely since I found a nice chanel in between 2 sand bars there.

The heat began and for the life of me I could not find a wave that even looked remotely ridable.  Everything looked like death to me.  10 minutes went by and I had still yet to catch a wave.  All the while my competitors were getting worked by the ones that they were taking.  Finally using the last 5 min adrenaline I picked off a 6 ft left, came off the bottom and hit a gnarly close out section for my first wave.  Then I snuck back out and picked off another mid-sized left, ran the barrel and doggy doored out before the wave ate me alive. Lucky for me I drew an easy heat with nobodies in it and somehow won the heat.  I was stoked on one hand for the win but a little nervous about having to paddle back out there.  It was definitely scary and I have charged a lot of crazy surf.

My quarterfinal heat came up and it is pretty stacked.  I got my boy Slobby in the heat, This kid from down south who beat me in the Golden Glove and some other older guy.  Dont ever count out the older guys especially when the conditions are big and chunky.  I was not about to make another Amo Mistake.  Amo was the Rip Curl rep at the time and this fat disgusting older guy who surfed like shit but everyone kissed his ass anyway to get deals on gear.  I was not one of them.  He beat me in the quarter finals at some pro-am. I left the guy alone and did my own thing meanwhile he frothed and some how surfed the heat of his life.

The surf had gotten a bit more organized but also began to feather way the hell outside and had amplified to atleast 10ft on set. I dont know what changed inside me from round 1 to the quarters, but all of a sudden I just got in a zone and the size no longer fazed me.  I from the opening bells to the closing bells charged and killed the biggest waves of the quarter finals as many has told me later.  I thought I should have won the heat, the judges gave me second.  Who really cares cause both spots advance.  Slob got worked real hard on a gnarly one and went in mid heat.

Now I was in the Semis and feeling incrediable.  At this point I began to think that I had a shot at winning the thing.  I had a pretty stacked Semi (Semis are always pretty stacked) Nick Blunda my ESA foe from last years season, him and I were neck and neck all year till I eventually clinched the title at the last contest of the year.  Pat Emery and amazing seasoned competitor and 2 times Easterns Masters Champ and Super Grom Rob Kelly who had just come off a win at the NSSA Scholastics in Florida against the East Coast’s best.  Needless to say a tough heat.

I surfed this heat similiar to my last grabbing bombs.  The only problem was most with exception of 2 were close outs and out of those 2 only one was a really exceptional score.  I knew Kelly had first cause he was picking of safe insiders and getting turns in.  Blunda was out of the mix trying for a right that was not really happening down the beach.  This left just Pat and me with 2 minutes left on the clock and I had Pat edged out.  With 30 seconds left I nab a bomb that like many others closed out on me.  When I get to the beach I turn to see Pat pick off this right with 5 seconds left and proceed to get barrelled, come out and then hit it twice.  I knew then that I was done for.  Thats the story of my life.

Pat went on to take 2nd in the finals along with Kelly in 3rd and some old guy from Ocean City won it.  Dave Warner from LBI got 4th earning the first alternate spot.  Some say they thought I got robbed and should have beat out Kelly in the Semi.  I say the judging was probaly pretty accurate although my one good wave in the Semis should have been an 8.  Im stoked for Pat.  The guy  is old and does not have as much time left as I do.  Time goes fast and now I am old, but I also looking back find it comical how much this stupid shit meant to me.  

As far as the product toss goes if Sindia had come we would have cleaned up, but she was previously engaged.  I scored a hat but then forgot it on the beach.  Plus I fell wierd beating younglings for product from my own sposors when they send me the same shit for free anyway.  Over all though I can’t complain too much.  I surfed the best I could have possibly surfed and came up short.  Ill get em next year. I did not get them next year instead getting injured.  Fuck competitive surfing and all the hoopla around it.  Just surf and have a great time doing it and you will always be a winner.

Chris Lisanti is a fucking goon

One of my hits from the event. Look at that wonderful wing span.

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I have been scourging through the old Myspace archives to save some of my old writing.  So expect more blast from the pasts then usual.  Not to mention when ever I find myself lost in life I always look back to my past writings to amaze myself on just how little anything ever really changes.  This blog goes back to 2006. At the time I was surfing for this rinky dink small time NJ clothing company called Slide.  At the time I really believed in the thing and thought it had promise.  I dropped O’Neill to sign with them. 

They threw this elaborate party to promote the spring line at some swanky hip club in NYC.  It just so happened to be the same night and same club as Carmen Electra’s Birthday Party.  At the time I was on a hiatus from the party scene.  Being married I was trying to do the responsible settled down guy thing.  As you can see it did not work out, any of it, the wife, life or the sponsor for that matter.  Hindsight 20/20 right.  Fuck it cause I am still partying like a mother fucking rock star, but with out the money, glamour or accolade, but the same destroyed liver.  Who has it better then me??? I wonder!!!??!?

So about a month ago Mark Provost of Slide Clothing invited me to a party that him and Joe Delgado were throwing to promote the line.  He sends me this Evite invitation to my email. I had never gotten an Evite before and I thought it was rather impressive.  Just saying the word Evite made me feel important.  Turns out the party is gonna be held at this club in the Meat Packing District in NYC call AER.

I had no idea what to expect from this event so I decided that the only way to do a party like this was to bring an entourage and I immediately roused the troops.  I always try and roll with an entourage when I step out.  Power in numbers, well I say party in numbers.  If you bring your own little party to another party then you my friend have just made a better party.   My entourage included Nick Kiefer, Grep P., Sindia, Her friend Tina (Tina was this posh chick Sindia grew up with although the two were complete opposites. Her and I never really got along until about a year after this she took up surfing, cashed in her life and moved to Hawaii.  Not even I can hate on that kind of commitment to allowing Surfing to Ruin Your Life)  and her MYSPACE date James (who by the way was one of the most stylish Asian guys I have ever met I was from Jersey, we did not have very much diversity in the town I grew up in) and Tina’s Friend rachel.   The scene was set for a most interesting evening on the town.

Like I said I had no idea what to expect all I knew was that Joe was known for throwing legendary parties and that this was his biggest yet.  So we arrived in the city via train around 11pm and caught a cab to the corner of 13th and 9th where the club was suppose to be.  We got there and were totally not in Kanas any more.  I am talking like we just stepped into the Twilight Zone and were lost in Yuppie Town.  There were fancy resturants, posh clubs, well dressed people, limos and nice cars everywhere.  I was like fuck it lets get this show on the road.

Now finding AER should have been a piece of cake but as it turned out we ended up walking around the same one block radius for about 15 minutes. Sindia finally asked a bouncer from another club where this mystery place was.  He pointed around the corner which we had already walked by twice.

Now the only places on this block was a club called Fusion and another called CVB.   Sindia once again bails us out cause guys dont ask for directions and asked the bouncer at CVB where AER is (Damn NYC weird ass letter club names).  Turns out CVB is AER and that it is one of those NYC underground “It” clubs that does not need a sign cause its patrons are “cool” enough to be in the know. There was a time years before this when I was in the know.

This place had a line, but I was on the VIP list so there were no worries in my mind that we were getting in.  We get to the door and the lady with the list looked us up and down, rolled her eyes an said we had a bad girl to guy ratio and cannot come in unless we found 2 more ladies.  At that point we were on the street trying to find any 2 random girls to join the entourage.

This is where Tina’s Friend Rachel came into the group.  She jumped at the chance and grabed a cab across town to join us and boost our ratio.  AER and its contents was a pretty big deal at the time.  We got to the front of the line again, I have some words with the list bitch and she finally lets us in.  The next hurtle was if Greg’s fake was gonna get bythe bouncer or not.  It worked and we were in.

This is where the raping of our wallets began.  All the guys got hit wth a 15 buck cover charge and then we had to pay to check our coats.  The place is packed.  I am talking elbow to elbow, hard to get around packed.  Turns out the Slide party was in the downstairs VIP lounge. We meander our way through the club till we find an elevator that took us down into the VIP Lounge and the supposed Slide party (we had yet to see).  This room is packed too.  There had to be 200 people packed into a room the size of the surf shop.  The surf shop I worked in at the time was maybe just over 500sqft.

We made camp near the bar in an attempt to find a familiar face.  Nick went off and got an $8 beer.  My figuring was that eventually someone we knew would need a drink and have to show up at the bar.  After a half hour Greg was over it and bounced (not that I blame him cause it definitely was not our scene).  Nick managed to run into his ex-gril friend of 5 years who was with another one of his ex’s.  Whats the odds of that shit? Nick’s had his share of ladies.

Finally Nick decided that we should get wasted and always up making an ass of myself I concurred. See I told you some things never change.  Unfortunately our cash situation had been dwindled exponentially since we got to the city, but then a light bulb went on in my head: Bar Tab. Once again things that never change.  I pull my credit card out and told the bar tender (who was hot in a crack whore sort of way) to run me a tab.  Turns out you have to have $50 minimum.  I figured for 50 bucks we could get pretty thrashed.  Think about it you could pretty much drink yourself to death “Leavin Lost Vegas” style.  I now know after three years of trying that drinking yourself to death takes much more commitment then my wallet and personal triumph at suicide can handle. 

As it turns out it got us 3 rum and cokes and a beer, no one got drunk and not even a little buzz.  I decide we should cruise and try to find Mark and Joe to atleast get credit for being at the event.  Now getting through this crowd was no simple task and definately not for the claustrophobic.  Somehow we made it to the other side of the lounge where I see Joe mixing drinks and puring shots for some of the hottest girls in the room.

Turns out they were getting bottles of vodka brought over to them by the house all night and we could have been drinking for free. Now stoked that we could finally get some rounds free Sindia chimes in that her feet hurt and that she was ready to split.  Chicks always want to throw in the towel when the night starts getting good. Meanwhile I was just getting started, but when I looked to see what time it was my watch said 1:10am and we needed to be on the 1:41 Train which was the last one of the night.  Problem: Miss the train.  Solution: Party all fucking night till the 5am train shows up.

We had to make like Cinderella and book.  As we were leaving the club was even more packed and there were camera crews around.  I was like man the Slide party must really be a big deal.  Later I would find out that Carmen Electra was having her birthday party at AER that night as well.  Her, Dave Navaro and god knows what other famous people were there. If I had known that I would have fucked the train and just stayed till the club threw us out.  After all I did not get home till 3:40am anyhow.

Total Collateral wallet damage: $52.82 bar tab, $30 cover charges, $10 coat Check, $15 cab fares, $30 in Train tickets, $10 in gas and $60 for an outfit for Sindia. Over all I could have bought a board for what I spent at the Slide Party. Will I attend the next one you ask?

HELL YEA CAUSE THATS HOW I ROLL.

Turns out there were no more Slide parties since this one actually bankrupted the brand.  I like how I complained about all the money the night out costed me.  These days I do high roller nights like they are going out of style.  Shit my bar tab last month at the Wild Cat was over $400.  Its not cheap to party.  Forget about clothes, my wardrobe is always popping.  I try to figure out if I was better off back then or now?  Fuck I guess its not for me to decided and all I can do is move forward. 

 

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Talk about one of the worst months of surfing I can remember in years.  August was positively atrocious for surfing here in Central California.  Up north was blown out all month.  Down south was blown out all month.  There was a serious lack of quality south swells and what meager scraps of bread we were garnished with came along with terrible winds.  Then I flew home to New Jersey to play some shows in the East Village, NYC (see A Trip Back East blog for more about that excursion) and stepped into a terrible flat spell there, just when California got a fun run of south surf.  Go figure.

Besides depravity there was not much more to report from the month of August.  Here is the break down.  If you have been following some of the previous months the numbers speak for themselves on just how pathetic this month in surfing was.  Also the Surf Log section of this site has taken a bit of a new direction.  I am now using it not just as a place to log in my surfing sessions but also as a little day to day  journal on some of the more major events, but too minor for their own blog that happen to me.  I update it just about everyday so it may be worth a look from time to time cause I write some funny fucked up shit in there.

Number of Sessions: 16
Days Surfed: 14
Time Spent in the Water: 25 hours
Waves Surfed: 400
Waves Caught Per Hour: 16

Spots Surfed:

New Jetty: 5
Emma Wood: 2
Santa Clara River Mouth: 2
Fruit Stands: 2
C Street: 1
Lead Better: 1
Hobsons: 1
Manasquan Inlet, NJ: 1
Philadelphia Ave, Sea Girt, NJ: 1
Top 3 Sessions:

3. 8/26/11 AM Session: 1-3+ft, Emma Wood
Time in Water: 1 hr 15min
Waves Surfed: 33
A small rise in wind swell had me scrambling down to Emma Wood for a little grovel session before work.  Far from spectacular it was about chest high and glassy although a bit weak and inconsistent.  There were only three people out and I was there so I went for a paddle.  For whatever reason I was surfing very well sticking all kinds of good shit including a backside air I rode out fakie, a frontside ally oop and nice backside reverse.  I even had one wave I managed to get three solid top to bottom reos ending it with a small backside air reverse in the shore break.  Then all these grommies came out and clogged it, but it was fine cause I had to go to work anyhow.

2. 8/8/11 AM Session: 2-3ft, Fruit Stands

Time In Water: 1hr 45mins
Waves Surfed: 44

Fruit Stands has been the out performer this season.  Although a tad bit smaller then the day before and slightly more windy there were still plenty of boostable bowls and some barrels.  I turned the place into an air show.  Oh and did I mention My boy Ryan and I had the place to ourselves yet again.  I love surfing.

3.  8/7/11  AM Session: 2-4+ft, Fruit Stands

Time In Water: 2.5hrs
Waves Surfed: 35

Small drop in size, with a big drop in current, light wind and peaky little bowls up and down the beach led to an amazing session.  My new roommate decided to roll with me.  The whole line-up consisted of myself, him and my boy Ryan.   My Roommate way out of surf shape got swept down the beach by the usual current at Fruit Stands.  I found a killer peak all to myself, while my buddy sat a bit north of me and we just ripped the shit out of these fun waves.  It was like a fucking skate park.  Sooo Good.

This has nothing to do with surfing but then again neither did the month of August. I thought this to be an interesting form or birth control. Fuck them stalks and their stupid babies they try and push off on us.

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Kooky Kyle takes the cake on the last UCB of the quarter with the topic “lightning”.  Him and I were actually discussing this topic while cruising around the streets of NYC on my most recent jaunt back east (see blog: A Trip Back East for those deatails). Out of all of my friends he was the only one to come see my performance in the East Village and for that I was rather stoked.  He had never heard me play before and I think was left a bit awestruck good or bad I do not know.  He gets one point for his efforts.  Sorry Kooky no double points for you.

I have two interesting stories to tell about lightning and although rather far fetched I can vouch for both and actually have witnesses for both.  When it comes to something as crazy as lightning anything is possible.  A fellow psychotic die hard surfer gave me some wise advice when I was a teen “There are two things you should never mess with, sharks and lightning”.  I have yet to heed his warning.  I fuck with both.  Surfing in some of the most shark infested water to surfing through full on lightning storms.  That brings us to our first story.

The Flaming Barrel

 About seven years ago or so I was out surfing in front of the Lost Castle (nickname given to my run down beach bungalow I lived in on 2nd Ave, Manasquan, NJ.  Currently we call my abode in Santa Barbara the Lisanti Palace although it is far from a palace and more like a run down crack house.).  It was mid August and the surf had been down for nearly two weeks.  We finally got an inkling of a tropical swell with a very short window.  I am talking hours here.

Conditions were trash with heavy onshore winds thanks to the extremely hot weather.  In the summer NJ on such days as a result of all the humidity is garnished with intense thunderstorms.  The storms bring a good deal of thunder and lightning. They also bring offshore winds with them.  The catch is the offshore winds usually only last while the storm is hitting.  This makes for perfect yet dangerous surfing conditions.

We like to call these surf sessions, electric sessions for obvious reasons.  My buddy Sorbo and I had paddled out at Sea Watch beach and were making the most of the crowded chest high blown to shit conditions.  As we are sitting out there we noticed the ominous black clouds on the horizon, which could only mean one thing, bad weather.  As always when adverse weather arrives on the beach there is a mass exodus of fleeing beach goers to escape the rain and lightning.

The storm cleared the line up and the wind began to pick up turning absolute garbage into perfect little cylinders.  Immediately we found ourselves getting shacked off our ass.  Then it started to rain, torrential down pour.  It was raining so hard it made it hard to see.  Still using my surf senses I was grabbing good tube after good tube.  The lightning started and we could tell this was not going to be one of these thunderstorms where the lightning stayed up in the clouds or hit far away.

Sorbo and I could see it hitting all around us and at one point even felt the heat from the strokes.  At this point we thought of leaving, but my justification for staying out was that it was most likely more dangerous to get out and run up the beach for cover.  Lightning loves to get people on the beach. Sorbo was a tough sale, but I told him I read it somewhere.  Rule of thumb when attempting to convince a person on anything tell them “you read it somewhere or saw it on the news”.  Nine times out of ten they will take your word for it.

Right after we made the decision to stay and surf I ended up snagging a solid head high bowl and backed doored the thing.  While in the barrel all I could see was yellow and orange and it was hot in there.  Then I came out and there was a huge crash of thunder.  I was all disoriented and Sorbo was sitting on the shoulder with a crazed look in his eyes.  According to his account a bolt of lightning hit the wave as I pulled in and all he saw was a bright flash of light and then me coming out of the barrel.

I believe that because I was in the tube the voltage went all around me with the water but never touched me.  I came out griming with no idea what happened or how close I had come to be fried.  Shortly after the storm cleared, the wind went back onshore and the crowd showed back up.  By far it was one of the strangest surfing experiences I have ever had.

The Circle of Death

It was the summer of 2002, mid August. Like I said that is peak thunderstorm season.  A group of my close friends, including my old roommate Cory, Mookie, CH, Brian M. and a few others were helping out with this free one day surf clinic at Manasquan Inlet courtesy of Quicksilver.  This was before all the surf camp mambo jumbo of today.  I was working at Ocean Hut Surf Shop at the time and was let out early to go represent the shop as another instructor.  I got there just as the thunderstorm was beginning to roll in and everyone scurrying off the beach for their lives.

I was standing under this cabana type thing they have up on the ocean walk there (Manasquan does not have a board walk, but an asphalt paved walk way along its beach front) slyly filling my pockets with Quicksilver promo gear.  I heard one of the loudest crashes of thunder I have ever auscultated in my entire life.  Upon looking up I saw all of my friends lying on their backs on the beach.

I wanted to go running to their aid, but then checked myself.   The lightning was not letting up and if they got hit they were probably dead anyway and I was not nearly qualified to give the kind of aid they would have needed for survival anyhow.  I stood there momentarily horrified.  Then one by one they began to get up and stagger back to the cabana.  As it turns out a bolt of lightning struck the sand directly in front of them and the whole group was brought down by the excess shock. Cory claims it was one of the scariest moments of his life.  All I can say is it was nuts to witness.

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