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Posts Tagged ‘Santa Barbara’

No blogs, just surf

No blogs, just surf

June came and went with not a piece of writing here on SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  For that I must say I am sorry.  I thought I would take a moment to explain myself a little bit.  First off things have been a bit on the crazy side.  Alright, when isn’t my life on the crazy or hectic side?  Normally by July I have hit my stride of chilling on Uncle Sam’s nickel.  That was exactly where I saw myself by now.  Unfortunately my superiors at Westmont had other plans for my summer.  While I would usually find myself living on the dole of unemployment with a little hustle and flow on the side I found myself stuck in the kitchen four days a week.

The Westmont Grind

Back in April I had been asked if I wanted to work May term hours.  May term is a one month micro semester Westmont runs for it’s students.  Like any institution of higher learning this means they compress classes into a short time period but still charge students the same amount of money per credit for the normal semester.  The motherfucking business of education.  “Hey come spend all your money and go into debt, then graduate with a useless degree and have to go work for minimum wage for some idiot like me”.  The only difference is I too am a well educated idiot working way outside of my degree or education for way less money then I should.  I think I just summed up every American from 22-35 at the moment.  Ain’t this country grand.  America land of the free only if your rich while the rest of us have become the in debt slave laborer. Sorry for the rant but it has been a while.

I did the math and realized if I worked all of May and saved the bulk of that money I could kick it on unemployment for the remainder of the summer and still have my “extravagant” or lack there of life style with out any change, unlike my usual summers where by August I am eating out of the trash and basically sucking dick for crack.  Well maybe not that last part, but you get what I am saying.   The fuckers stuck me on the morning shift meaning I had to get up at pretty much 5:30 every morning and leaving me forced to surf windy blown out shit in the afternoons.  It was only temporary…or at least that is what I thought.

May term came and went and I began getting even more hours as an influx of camp and convention groups came in.  Apparently Westmont whores out its campus to anyone willing to pay for it all summer long.  This sort of makes me a prostitute for the institute I suppose.  Whatever, dollar bills!   I have been working about 25-40 hours a week, work depending since May.   My schedule changes week to week which is certainly a pain in the ass.  I still manage a surf everyday and am stacking some mean paper while flipping burgers.

Reaping the fruits of my labor.  Your looking at a bacon double cheese burger for yours truly.  You think I would feed the customer this well, as if.  Yes that is a plastic plate on top a 350 degree F flat top grill.  Safety as always is my number one concern.

Reaping the fruits of my labor. Your looking at a bacon double cheese burger for yours truly. You think I would feed the customer this well, as if. Yes that is a plastic plate on top of a 350 degree F flat top grill. Safety as always is my number one concern.

Also it looks like I may actually become the full blown sous chef this fall considering that our old sous chef and my fellow friend in suffering Geoffrey is taking off a few months for hand surgery due to old age.  The guy is like 62 and been a war horse in the kitchen for over 40 years.  I am bummed to see him go as I have been able to learn so much from him and he over the past  six months has become sort of a mentor to me not to mention a great friend.  Honestly I don’t really want his job.  If I get impressed into it I am looking at twice the head ache, three times the responsibility, 100% more bull shit for if I am lucky $2 more an hour.  Whooooooooooooooot!!!!!!!!!  I am actually going to have a sit down with my general manager this week to see what is going on with the fall semester.

Catering

This was close to 150 salads for a wedding at some Hollywood directors 30 million dollar estate in Montecito.

This was close to 150 salads for a wedding at some Hollywood directors 30 million dollar estate in Montecito.

Those of you who frequently read the surflog know all about most of everything I have written and will write in this blog.  Basically I may not write blogs everyday or even monthly these days, but I do however write in my surflog, my online journal, daily.  So if you have not discovered it yet give it a peruse every now and again.  My boy Trevor recently became Executive Chef for a local catering company here in Santa Barbara.   I will not disclose the company so as to not cause any problems that this blog so often does in my life when I name, names.

He asked me if I would help a brother out for a bit while he got on his feet there.  At the moment I am currently his sous chef.  I am a double sous.  Always a fucking a bridesmaid and never a bride!  On my days off I am stuck either at an event busting my ass or in his kitchen prepping for an event.  Its a good learning experience and even more paper to stack.  At this point I am doing the best I have monetarily in about eight years or so.  Last night I took Heather out to dinner, where I proceeded to get sloshed and told her “MONEY IS NO OBJECT”.  And you know what?  It wasn’t…

Here we are at the Palace toasting to Trevor's new found success

Here we are at the Palace toasting to Trevor’s new found success

And we cooked up a surf and turf feast for the occasion.  That is grilled tri tip, Grilled fresh local prawns, orzo and roasted vegetables, and goat cheese horse radish bruschetta

And we cooked up a surf and turf feast for the occasion. That is grilled tri tip, Grilled fresh local prawns, orzo and roasted vegetables, and goat cheese horse radish bruschetta

DING REPAIR

Look at the ghetto set up I have going here.  My board is propped up by a cooler in the ally way on the side of my building.  I like to call what I do no guerrilla surf board repair.

Look at the ghetto set up I have going here. My board is propped up by a cooler in the ally on the side of my building. I like to call what I do now guerrilla surf board repair.

It never fucking ends. Just when I think I am out I am always sucked back in.  I don’t even have a space to repair boards.  I literally glass boards in my bathroom and then sand them in the ally next to my building.  Its a fucking pain in the ass and I hate it.  Yet for some reason surf boards keep showing up at my house to be repaired.  It’s true that  I am always breaking my own boards and needing to fix those.  I have four spares meaning I only really need to fix boards a few times a year when I have destroyed all four.  Usually in that time period I end up getting a new one anyhow.  My quiver is in reality a bunch of destroyed boards with one or two good ones.

People still show up at my house with dings.  They hit me up on Facebook.  “Hey so my boy said you fix dings…ummm can you help me out bro?”  My own friends are constantly hitting me up to repair their boards.  “Please Chris, don’t make me go to a surf shop, your the man”.  I am the man who hates fixing surf boards.  I even get phone calls on occasion from people in New Jersey who need a board fixed.  WTF.  It will never end will it?

Just in case you thought I was exaggerating.  That is a surfboard about to be glassed IN MY MOTHER FUCKING BATHROOM!!!!!!

Just in case you thought I was exaggerating. That is a surfboard about to be glassed IN MY MOTHER FUCKING BATHROOM!!!!!!

Surfing

I have actually been surfing up a storm.  Jalama has been the best it has been in ten years.  The kelp is good, the sand is decent and there have been waves thus I have been staying wet.  A normal day for me goes like this.  I wake up a 5:30am, go to work and make food for about eight hours.  Then I get off at around 3 pm, meet whomever hit me up first at my apartment to go up north with me.  I only take one person and its first come first serve, no nepotism.  Read The Rule of Two blog for more on my philosophy on that.
Jalama7314-173

I change out of my work clothes, load up the car and shove off on the hour or so drive to Jalama.  When we get there its not over, oh no.  There is about another 25 minutes of walking on the beach to get to the spot, maybe further, swell and crowd depending.  Then we surf for two hours, make the walk back, followed by the drive.  If I am with Trevor we always stop at Denny’s in Goleta for a post surf dinner.  If it is a party night then my day is not over.  I come home, take shower, suit up and cruise to the Wild Cat.  As you can see by this account of my day to day there is not very much time for blogging.
SpringSurf14-524I managed a perfect month back in May surfing every single day of the month 31 sessions in 31 days and a few doubles as well.  I don’t think I have accomplished such a feat since I lived in New Zealand.  It was fucking exhausting and I surfed all sorts of garbage in all sorts of dumb crowds.  You can read the May surflog to find out all about that one.  Basically I have found a renewed love for surfing and my performance is off the charts. I may be surfing better right now then I have ever surfed in my life.  Maybe I will write something about the perfect month here if I ever find some time.
Jalama61214
I guess that pretty much should bring everyone up to speed on what has been happening in Lisanti Land.  Heather and I are still together.  Even I don’t understand how or why that is.  At the moment it is actually going along at steady calm.  Whether or not I am doing the right thing for me or her is yet to be seen.  Just as I felt at the beginning I still feel now completely uncertain and confused.  Then again who really gives a fuck anyway cause at least I am surfing every day.

My cooking partner in crime Calvin finally moved back out to Santa Barbara and is currently living on the couch here at the Palace.  Where would I be with out a guy on the couch?  Him and I are in the process of the early stages of planning that Italian restaurant I always talk about opening.  He moved here with the intention of getting this place off the ground with me.   With any luck our goal is the try and open it by July of next year.  Lets keep our fingers crossed.  Expect to hear more on this from time to time as it begins to consume my life.

Here is some homemade potato gnocchi in a meat sauce to get your mouth watering.  This is just a taste of what I will be serving up at my restaurant.

Here is some homemade potato gnocchi in a meat sauce to get your mouth watering. This is just a taste of what I will be serving up at my restaurant.

What can you look forward to here on SurfingRuinedMyLife.net?  Kooky actually wrote a Kooky’s Korner for me to publish.  Of course this happened about a month ago or so, but my lazy ass never got around to publish it.  Since I have not heard from him since he may be dead in Tanzania right now, though he will live on here on the blog.  Nick the Kook was nice enough to write some of his recent adventures in Chile.  He wrote these like two months ago and I never posted it.  I am sure at some point I will rant about some bull shit like how I got a pimple on my right ass cheek and now it hurts every time I sit down to take a shit (that has not happened).  There you have it,  the last 45 days or so in my life.  Glad you still decide to read the trash I put out here.  Bye bye for now…

Calvin, Mark and I doing some R & D for the restaurant at the Wild Cat.

Calvin, Mark and I doing some R & D for the restaurant at the Wild Cat.

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Jalama122213

12-22

Crowds everywhere!  What the FUCK!  These days California has been no bargain if your an avid surfer.  I have to say 2013 will likely go down as one of the worst years for surfing on record for the entire state.  Besides a moderate spring season, which would have not even been worth mentioning if winter was not so bad, its been one let down after another.  Summer started with some fun, yet far from epic south swells, followed by an unprecedented six week  flat spell.  Then the lot of us thought that maybe fall would be our redemption.  Fall came and went with no combo action and nothing more then a few weak NW swells.  The last hope, our saving grace up here in the Santa Barbara/Ventura area was winter.

Unfortunately as we watched Hawaii get amazing swell after amazing swell (usually a very good indicator that we are about to score), that same swell got to the California coast and sucked.  Glad the boys at Pipe are scoring. Now already in peak season everyone is super hungry for whatever little bump mother nature decides to grace us with.  What does all this mean to me?  Exuberant crowds at all of the well known surf spots, my beloved Rincon being one of them.  If you follow the surf log you may remember a session I had at Rincon not to long ago where the party was steadily ruined by a crowd of about 250 people.  If your not following the surf log  you should because that is where the meat of this blog is these days.

All of the overflow spots where I will usually trade quality for crowd compliance have also been stupid packed.  Even the bad days where few would even think about paddling have become out of hand.  By this past swell I had it up to my head with people.  Luckily I was off from work till the 4th of January and had the ability to do some searching.  Sunday the 22nd of December saw the beginnings of a new long period WNW swell.  Since it was a weekend and a holiday weekend to-boot I was not at all eager to go surf anywhere.  My boy Pat had called me the night before and put the idea in my head to go up to Jalama.
Jalama122313_3I checked the buoys, and the conditions.  Sure enough it had all the makings of a good Jalama day.  My only concern was that if the swell moved in too fast it would be too big to surf.  My boy Mike ended up crashing at my house after a night at the Wild Cat in Fancytown and was keen for a surf.  As soon as I told him my idea he was up for it.  I called Pat to see if he wanted in considering it was his idea.  He bailed, leaving Mike and I on a mission.  That was fine cause three has always seemed like a crowd to me.

We struck out later then I normally would have liked for a Jalama mission. These days I’m always later then I would like when it comes to surfing anyway. The winds looked good all day and the only alternative was to sit in an obnoxious crowd for very average waves down south. Worse case scenario we had a nice drive, surfed a few waves and hung out. Jalama is always a good idea in my book.
Jalama122313_4

We got there and it was solid. Tarantella’s was way overhead and crowded. I could tell from the bluff it may have been a bit more then I had a board for. I figured I could try my luck with Cracks or maybe even venture further south into the ranch and try some of the reefs I had scoped out a few years ago with Kooky Kyle while he was living at the Palace. I knew of one reef in particular I was interested to surf.

When we got in front of Tarantella’s it was packed, at least thirty heads. The waves were solid double overhead and bigger on sets. I could have pushed the envelope on my meager 5’10 but it would have been a slaughter. When I looked south toward the reef I had in mind,  I noticed there was a wave coming in. Mike was keen and we set off.  Keep in mind this reef is around 500 yards or so from T’s so I was going on speculation at best.  There is nothing better then to walk that far down the beach only to realize it was a flash in the pan and have to walk back. That is the risk one must take to score.

Tarantella's doing its thing.  Believe me it is a much bigger then it looks.

Tarantella’s doing its thing. Believe me it is a much bigger then it looks.

As we approached the reef I noticed a few guys out. I guess we were not the only ones hoping to score a few waves off the beaten path. The left itself was a nice little slab. It came out of deep water and slammed into this little finger reef about fifty yards or so in front of a rock outcrop. The wave had a barrel off the drop on the double ups opening up to a turn section or two on the inside before closing out on the beach break shore dump.

That inside was heavy.  I thought I was going to break my board or neck more then once. It appeared that the crew that was out there were together and at the end of they’re session. We chilled on the beach and assessed the situation. The last thing I wanted to do was crowd four guys who had also went out of their way to avoid such. Plus I wanted get the lay of the land so to speak.
Jalama

To tell you truth I was glad there were guys out. It gave me a chance to learn the wave. With in fifteen minutes of getting there one by one the line up cleared. Mike and I suited up and paddled.  It was solid overhead on sets. I had no idea where to line up or how deep it was. I have this thing when I go to a new spot where I have to pop the cherry. I caught the first wave which jacked up way harder the I had expected. Luckily the reef was rather conform and about four feet deep the entire way.

Mike and I made the most of this fun wave just enjoying the beautiful surroundings and laughing how lucky we were to experience such a thing on one of the most crowded days of the year. We decided to call the wave (although I am sure it already has a name) Pats Remorse since he blew it and stayed home.  It wasn’t the best wave I have ever surfed and certainly far from the perfection of Tarantella’s, but considering the fact we had it all to ourselves it was just what the doctor ordered.

12-23
Jalama122613-014

I woke up feeling rather sore from the previous day’s mission.  The new swell had filled in according to the buoys.  All reports came back that it was too walled for the beaches and too small and inconsistent at most of the points to make it worth a paddle.  I took my time and waited as all my contacts kept me informed on their hunt.  Finally Pat called and said he was coming up my way, the plan being to go try and get some waves in Isla Vista.  All the college kids were home for the Holiday making the place and line ups a ghost town.  There was plenty of west in the swell that at the very least Devereux and Sands would have something.

Devereux was tiny and kooked out with long boards and SUP’s.  Sands had waves, but it was about chest to head and pretty walled with the occasional corner.  Not too frothy we decided to take a minute and watch two goats head butt the shit out of each other.  At the moment we decided that may have been the highlight of our day.  I must say it was rather entertaining.  One goat was twice the size of the other and they just kept smashing skulls.  Every time we thought the little one was throwing in the towel it would back off just enough to get a solid lunge at the other.

At that point we did not know what to do.  It was a good thing we didn’t just suit and boot the Sands.  As we got back to the lot a fucking UCSB campus police officer was ticketing cars.  The dude was chill and let us bail with out a fine.  There were a dozen or so other surfers’ cars that were not so lucky.  Between that and the goat fight I figured we were already ahead of the game.

While driving off the deliberation began.  Then Pat said what we were both thinking, “What do you think about making another trek to Jalama.  At that point I figured we had nothing left to loose and off we went on a very late day excursion retard mission. We got there and Tarantella’s was fucking huge.  I am talking easily triple over head to twenty feet.  Guys were getting tubes you could drive a car through.  With a pair of 5’10’s between us Pat and I wanted nothing to do with that.

Bombing Jalama beach break

Bombing Jalama beach break

Up on the bluff just before the entrance to the park there is a little pull off where you can check the surf to see if it is worth the $10 parking fee.  From there I looked north onto Vandenberg AFB.  Through my binoculars I saw a few reef breaks that showed possible potential and looked like a not so far walk.  A little further, a distance I really could not gauge from that vantage, could  have been fifty yards or a half mile I noticed a really good right or at least what appeared to be.

Necessity it the mother of invention or in this case exploration.  Pat and I loaded up our gear and started the long march to the unknown.   Seriously we had no idea how far we needed to walk or if what we saw was even ride-able.  We went on blind faith in the hope that our commitment would pay off.  About a half mile in we got to the reefs we had seen from the bluff.  They were do-able, but more closed out on the sets and unpredictable then one would have liked.  From there we could see the mysto right hander better.  It still looked pretty good.  Unfortunately its distance still near impossible to tell.

Our right reef in the distance.

Our right reef in the distance.

I had learned from countless missions abroad that the best way to gauge how far a spot is that you are walking to is to consider how much more visible it gets as you keep walking toward it.  If that spot never seems any closer odds are it’s way too far to walk.  When I walked to the Kumara Patch in Taranaki, NZ for example I could barely make out the wave from the parking lot, which was around 2 miles away.  The spot did not look any closer till I got with in 3/4 of a mile from it.  This wave was definitely looking closer every step.

In the distance just before access to the wave was a cliff head land.  From our position we had no idea if there was going to be a trail around it or not.  We did not even know if there was a beach beyond.  As far as I could tell we were either going to have to climb down a cliff into the surf traversing boulders when we hit the water or paddle from the foot of the cliff.  Either option  seemed to suck to me.  We had already come so far.  Also the closer we got we noticed a column of white water that seemed to make the second section possibly impassable.

We kept on with high spirits.  When we got to the cliff area there was a small goat trail around.  Although an awkward grade to walk with a surfboard and gear it was far better then other trails I have had to traverse in my day.  Sure enough the path emptied onto a big open deserted beach.  The whole scene was surreal. Just Pat and I in the middle of nowhere staring into a right we had not known existed until that day.  The only discouragement was that it appeared to look much smaller then we thought from the beach.

See any signs of human life?

See any signs of human life?

We cautiously waded out into the water.  Remember we had no way of telling how deep the reef was, or how sharp or what creatures may dwell beneath.  It was all a mystery.  Upon paddling closer to the wave we could tell right away it was much bigger then it looked from the beach.  Almost to the take off zone, which was about forty yards in front of this rock out crop I decided to swing around on one of the insiders.  Like I said I love to be the first to test the waters.  What I thought was a smaller one ended up sucking up to head high and reeled down the reef.  It had a nice bowly wall the entire way in.

The reef was rather conform, about five to three feet deep all the way to the inside shallows where it eventually went dry.  On the way back out a set came and cleaned us both up.  It was solid ten foot and bigger.  The sets were make-able if you were in the right spot.  I seemed to always get into them a little too late and got owned by the next section.  The real gems were the in between ones that just hugged the reef all the way to the inside.  There was a little wind on it, but we could tell that if it were glassy or offshore the place would barrel if not just at the first slab section, but the inside slab too.  The place had real potential.
Jalama122313_1

For over two hours Pat and I traded off right for right, pushing the limits of the spot each time.  As the tide got lower a few rocks began to pop up in the take off zone that were a bit problematic.  The wind picked up a bit out of the NW as well adding a debilitating chop to the face.  Considering these new extraneous factors both of us decided to call it a day before any inopportune instances occurred.  Over a mile from the parking lot and over 20 miles from decent medical help and no cell phone reception, an injury would be very inconvenient.

Pat said if he got attacked by a shark to just drag him into the beach, hand him his pack of cigarettes and let him smoke away till he bled out.  There was this big sand drift at the head of the beach so I figured once he died I would just drag him over to the foot of that and push the sand down over him and call it a day.  I could think of a lot worse ways to go and places to be left to rest. Considering the distance for help that seemed to be the most logical plan for any serious injury. I decided to tentatively call this right hand reef, Pat’s Redemption.  T’was another good yet very unexpected day of surfing!

12-26-13
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The day after Christmas Heather and I got a late start.  It was nice to spend the morning together with out any obligations or a care in the world.  Word was things down south were far from good and rather crowded.  Heather had never been up to Jalama and conditions looked right.  Figuring I could find a wave some where up there we set off.  Like I said Jalama is never a bad idea.

We got up there around 2 pm way later then I ever make such a trip.  As soon as I got out of the car I could tell it was bombing just by sound of the waves breaking.  When I came over the dunes it was macking.  I guess the new swell had already begun to fill in.  Thinking things were a bit too big for Cracks and Tarantella’s considering all I had was my 5’10 again (you think by now I would start bringing my bigger board), the call was to go north.  It was still smaller then when Pat and I came a few days prior.  I knew of at least one left hand reef slab I wanted to check out.

We made the walk and sure enough the spot I was thinking of looked really fun.  It was a short little left that offered a quick tube off the drop followed by a hit section, ending with a boostable close out.  Basically it was a goofy foot playground.  There was even a crazy right too, although its pace and steepness made it pretty tough to make.  I did manage one sick one on the right.
Jalama122613-003Heather tried her luck with my DSLR and managed to score some pretty decent photos.  Its been a long time since I got a few shots of me surfing.  She was pumped on the whole experience.  Most people are when they make it up there.  Here we were basically with an entire beach to ourselves.  I must say the only down side was I felt a bit like fish food out there all by myself.  There is some solace to be found in the buddy system.
Jalama122613-198Besides the solitary factor that at times I actually do find most refreshing I have to say it was one of the best surfs I have had in weeks.  As far as the day went I could not ask for a better one.  The weather was great.  I was at one of my favorite places in the whole world and I got to share it with the woman I love.   Who could ask for anything more.  Its the simple things in life that matter the most.

After a year of frustrating surfs, obnoxious crowds and all the other day in and day out bull shit one has to deal with its amazing to know all it takes is an open mind and thirst for adventure to take back your soul.  Some people travel all over the world to find new spots.  I found three in less then a week in my own backyard.

***This blog was suppose to post on 12-23, I wrote it on my cell phone and messed up posting it and somehow lost the whole blog.  Thus it had to be rewritten.  With the holiday it has been sometime since that initial lost posting that was regrettably promoted.  I think this is a way better version any way.  Sorry for the confusion.***

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Talk about a load of absolute bullshit!  Worse then bullshit.  I think I would have much rather have been dragged through a pile of filthy, smelly bullshit any day then have to live through a month of poor surf like I have never seen anyplace, anytime, my entire life.  Yeah, it was not the best summer on record for California.  We only saw one really exceptionally large south swell all season, the sand bars at Santa Clara River Mouth were average, Lowers was average and packed, as was just about ever other place I surfed. Never the less I stayed wet with the minor south swells that graced our coast.

Then August came along and it was as if the pacific ocean decided it wanted to fuck everyone who surfed in California over for the entire month.  Most days the report read 1-2 ft.  Some even read flat.  What little swell that did trickle up to the 805 was absolute crap not worth the drive.  Every day I kept hoping for things to pick up, but they didn’t.  When all was said and done I had surfed just five times in the entire month.  Since I started surfing I don’t think I can even remember a month that piss poor.  Some how I managed to not kill or maim myself,  end up in jail or get on a plane and disappear to a better surf locale.  Nope, I grinned and bared it like the rest of my fellow Californian surfers.  Lets just hope August was the sacrifice we needed for a good fall and even better winter.  If not I am going to have to move.  Here are my pathetic numbers:

Surf Sessions: 5
Days Surfed: 5
Time in the Water: 8 hrs
Waves Surfed: 172
Average Waves Caught Per Hour: 22 

Spots Surfed:
Emma Wood: 1
Gold Coast: 1
Ocean Beach, San Francisco: 1
Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo: 1
New Jetty: 1

I have no top surf sessions this month cause basically they all sucked.  The Ocean Beach session was the best of the lot and that was just barely palatable.  To read about a month of misery and a look into a surfer’s brain when there are no waves check out the August ’13 edition of the surflog.

Here I am looking very enthusiastic after 1 out of the 5 surfs I had in August. Note the lack of waves in the background.

Here I am looking very enthusiastic after 1 out of the 5 surfs I had in August. Note the lack of waves in the background.

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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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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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