Seeking For New Port - Tofino



'Seeking For New Port' is a web documentary project directed by Marc-André Laurin in collaboration with GotSurf. For this installment the crew head to the small Canadian town of Tofino on Vancouver Island to take a look at the burgeoning surf scene. Featuring Raph Bruhwiler, Catherine Bruhwiler and Kalum Temple, this short bit of film highlights one of the Northwest's best kept secrets. At least for now.

Video comes courtesy of Stoke Harvester.

Additional info is available here.

Two Flat

Hoping to avoid the shit show that is Christmas, Karissa and I planned to head west first thing Sunday morning. But with heavy winds and precipitation in the forecast, we decided to skip surfing and stay home for the holiday. Monday was a different story. We managed to get out of bed at a reasonable hour, load the Subaru in record time and catch the 7:50am ferry. Dawn patrol? Not quite. But who gives a shit. We were in the water before noon.

A western swell pushed past our favorite point break. It was flat as a pancake. There was one person in the parking lot who said he'd had a few chest high waves earlier in the day. King tide killed it, though. Crescent was big, but closing. There were only a few people in the water when I paddled out. First wave was a right. I hate rights. But I had a reasonable ride. Second wave I went left. Looked good... at least from my angle. The rest of my waves were rights. Short but sweet. Last one swallowed me whole :(

Can't complain, though. A bad day in the water beats a good day in the city.

Freedom to Foam



Here's a quick look at Cyrus Sutton's latest film, "Freedom to Foam," which features some of California's best surfers and shapers. A film that was never released outside of Japan, "Freedon to Foam" is now available to those that contribute more than $50 to KorduroyTV's Kickstarter campaign.

Click here for additional info.

Don the Beachcomber

There are few things I enjoy more than a Mai Tai. So when I was in Los Angeles last week for the International Motorcycle Show, I took it upon myself to visit Don the Beachcomber's, what some consider the birthplace of the tropical cocktail.

Established by Donn Beach, who according to Wikipedia "is the founding father of tiki restaurants, bars and nightclubs," Don the Beachcomber's has been in business since 1934. Located on the Pacific Coast Highway near Huntington Beach, Don's is everything you'd imagine it to be; a classic post-war Tiki bar full of bamboo, wicker and strong drink.

Wizard In Black



Some nice noseriding courtesy of Banjo McLachlan and The Gentlemen's Surf Club.

Katin Surf Shop

During a recent trip to Long Beach for the International Motorcycle Show, I managed to stop by the Katin Surf Shop in Surfside. In business since 1959, Walter and Nancy Katin began making board shorts after a local surfer suggested they use their skills sewing canvas boat covers to produce a pair of shorts that he could surf in. According to their website, "Walter went to his sewing machine and with the help of the sturdy boat canvas whipped up the first pair of Kanvas by Katin surf trunks." Word of Nancy and Walter's creation quickly spread and the Katins were suddenly in the surf trunk business.

Tipping Barrels



'Tipping Barrels' is a short film produced by Rene Gauthier and Michael Reid. Described as a "unique combination of surfing and environmental journalism," the film follows surfers Arran and Reid Jackson on a trip into the Great Bear Rainforest, where they learn about the region and the issues confronting it.

So Good

Saturday was so good. Woke up a little late, loaded the car and hit the road. We ate chicken and cabbage piroshky at a coffee shop next to the ferry terminal. Two hours later and we’re in the water. There were a dozen people in the lineup. Two older gentlemen with a pair of matching longboards. One of them was a solid surfer. I watched him drop into a handful of head high waves. Karissa paddled out just as I caught my first. It was big. Easily overhead. But I didn’t do much with it. Second wave was bigger yet. Steep face. I dropped in, made a sharp turn and took a few steps forward. It was a long left.

Keala's Hawaiian Coffee

After moving to Seattle from the island of Oahu, Sean Lee opened Keala’s Hawaiian Coffee, a small batch coffee roasting company located in Ballard. Looking to “create a coffee company that truly reflects the quality and pride in craftsmanship that Hawaiian coffee farmers have in their trade,” Sean blends a variety of beans from around the world to create “a coffee better than the sum of its parts.”

Staying true to his Hawaiian roots, Sean has been able to combine his passion for small batch coffee roasting with the knowledge he’s acquired working in Seattle’s cut throat coffee industry, to create “a product as exceptional and multi-cultured as the people of Hawaii.”

Available in three different blends; Hapuna Espresso, Na Pali and Nana's Decaf, Keala's Coffee can now be found at a variety of local grocers, as well as on their website. Click here for additional info.

Accept Kooks

A few weeks ago I blogged about surfing in the straits. I wrote about my desire to surf more in the winter and my experience doing so that particular weekend. A week later I received an anonymous comment suggesting that "no one needs a commentary on our winter season, accept kooks." I disagree.

While I understand the commenter's concern that my blog may draw unwanted attention to otherwise vacant surf spots, I do not believe that I have spilled the proverbial beans. If you want to surf in the Northwest, there are only a few places to do so. And they're not crowded, even when we think they are.

Troy Elmore



Troy Elmore surfing at San Onofre. Video courtesy of Jack Belli. I like the way he longboards.

Lobster Claws

I have terrible circulation. Ten minutes and my fingers are frozen. Useless digits. For years I surfed without gloves, though. I couldn't afford them. Recently, however, I happened upon a pair of 3mm XCEL gloves. Surfed most of the summer with them. A marked improvement. But last week, when Karissa and I ventured out in search of surf, with the ambient temperature well below 40 degrees Fahrenheit, I knew three millimeters of neoprene wasn't going to cut it.

Alex Knost: Single Fins



I'm not sure how I feel about Alex Knost. At first I was impressed. His style speaks for itself. Unadulterated. Unique. But on a short board? I'm just not sure. His rigid upper body and wild gesticulating. Looks alright on a long board. A little out of place on an egg. Just my opinion.

Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps

For years I neglected to wash my wet suit. I would come home from surfing, climb into the shower, rinse my suit and hang it out to dry. Done deal. I never thought to wash it. It never smelled. But after a few months of surfing two to three days a week, with my suit sitting in a plastic tub night after night, it no longer smelled like butterflies. Enter Dr. Bonner.

Nathan Adams' Almond



Short video of Nathan Adams riding his self titled 9'9" Almond surfboard at San Onofre.

Surf and Snow

With snow on the ground, I slipped into my wet suit, put on my lobster claws and paddled out. It's a drug, these lefts, something you keep coming back for, no matter how cold it gets. You have one, then another, chasing the dragon until your face and fingers are blue and your feet frozen.

Summer Blues

A few weeks ago I asked Todd Fischer if he'd like to donate a painting to the 'Back in the Water' fundraiser we were putting together. He graciously obliged, donating not one, but two pieces. I bid on one of them. Didn't win. But seeing his work in person inspired me to pursue purchasing my own original piece.

On our way back from surfing on Saturday, Karissa and I stopped by Todd's home near Port Ludlow to pick up a painting I had purchased a few days earlier. Todd works in watercolor. He captures both the beauty of the northwest and the serenity of surfing. Browsing the paintings he had available on Daily Surf Art, I came across something that spoke to me, a piece titled Summer Blues.

I like sad stories. Not because I'm dysphoric, but because I find that when faced with the cold, dark reality of life, one can find solace in the simplest things. Surfing for instance. So when I saw Summer Blues, it reminded me that even the best of times don't last long. Like standing on the nose.

The painting measures 7" x 9.5" and is framed in drift wood. According to Todd, he painted Summer Blues while "listening to old records (vinyl that is), with a nice hot fire burning in the wood stove."

Click here to see more of Todd's work.

Invasion! From Planet C

Since its release in 2007, Invasion! From Planet C has garnered a cult like following. It is a "cinematic masterpiece," according to my friend Jeff ;) Shot in New Zealand, Costa Rica, Australia and California, the movie stars Mike Black as Gnar Gnar and Matteo Plummer as Casanova. The story, a strange mix of sci-fi and surfing, goes something like this: Planet C has run out of waves and in hopes of saving their planet, Gnar Gnar and Casanova travel to Earth to "mine the stoke." Not the most exciting surfing and a plot that doesn't thicken. But that's not what it's about. You don't have to understand, just enjoy. BLAST IT!

Tenuousness



My friend KEG is a one man band. He plays the guitar, bass, drums, sings and does flying side kicks. He wears tight black jeans, cowboy boots and eyeliner. He is both a talented musician and entertainer. But KEG's got nothing on Andrew Bird. Aside from their multitasking musical abilities, they have nothing in common. Bird was trained in the Suzuki method, a way of teaching music conceived in the mid-20th century by Shin'ichi Suzuki. He plays the violin, guitar and the glockenspiel. He released his first solo album in 1996 and four since then. Tenuousness, the fourth track on Noble Beast, is my favorite.

One California Day



When I stopped by Wave Hounds to pick up a new pair of gloves, I mentioned to Todd that I don't own any surf movies. He seemed surprised. It's not that I don't enjoy them, just that I have little time to watch them. Suppose everyone should own one, though, so I picked up a copy of One California Day.

An all encompassing look at California surf culture, One California Day features a number of different surfers, to include Alex Knost, Tyler Hatzikian and Dane Perlee, a former Pearson Arrow employee and son of the infamous Al Perlee, proprietor of The Surf Shop in Westport.

One California Day highlights a wide range of shapes and styles, and unlike other films that are, in my opinion, overwhelmed with bottom turns and "big air," features both long and short boards, big barrels and slow peelers. If you haven't already seen it, you should.

Peaks Brewpub

Peaks Brewpub is the only brewery in Port Angeles. They've been in their current location since April of 1999. It's a dive bar by all conventional measures; pool table, pull tabs and big screen televisions, but Peaks is different. Beside brewing their own beer, they also have a handful of guest taps, most of which are occupied by local brewers. The hamburgers are respectable and their french fries, which they bake instead of deep fry, are delicious.

Two Big

It's interesting how a spot can change. One weekend it's small and forgiving, the next it's overhead and angry. When we headed out on Sunday, we were ready for the later. You see, last weekend was the first time I'd surfed in the winter. Often preoccupied with shotguns or snowshoeing, I just hadn't been able to motivate myself to surf in the winter. But this year is different. I am determined to surf every weekend until the spring.

Sunday was big. Well overhead and windy. There weren't many people in the water. A friend of mine from Oly, one of the best surfers I know, won wave of the day, hanging ten on a head high left. I had my fair share. Surfing without a leash, my confidence level was about half of what it should have been. Managed to keep my shit together, though. Pulled into half a dozen overhead waves, the last of which took my board to the beach and forced me to swim to shore. You live and learn. Next weekend I'll bring a leash.

Grey Whale Sessions



Garrett Dutton, Keith Malloy, Tyler Warren and Chris Christenson driving an old Volvo down the Baja peninsula in search of surf?! Shit, I was day dreaming about a road trip to Baja when Karissa and I had our old Volvo wagon. We were a little worried that Swedish auto parts may have been hard to come by, but were willing to take the chance. Looks like we'll just have to head south in the Subaru.

Click here to purchase a copy of Grey Whale Sessions.

Rialto

The last time I was at Rialto there were telephone poles in the water. It was November and my friend Matt and I had decided to hike into the Hoh Rainforest. It rained the entire time and we drank a lot of whiskey. Surfing, on the other hand, never came up in conversation.

Third Beach

With a promising weather report and swells that were supposed to be overhead, we loaded the car and headed for the coast first thing Saturday morning. Instead of a day trip, I decided to rent a cabin at Three Rivers, a "resort" located some six miles east of La Push that I've stayed at since I was a kid.

West Coast Road Eats

While attending community college and looking for a place to develop my writing skills, I worked as an editorial intern for Citysearch, an online resource for restaurant and retail reviews. During my six month tenure at Citysearch, I worked under a young woman by the name of Anna Ross. As it turned out, Anna had attended the same high school I did and had since received an English degree from the University of Southern California, before taking a job as the editor of Citysearch's Seattle office.

She was quick to point out grammatical mistakes, happy to help when I asked for it and encouraged me to pursue projects that I might have otherwise neglected. Anna has since left Citysearch and is now a content manager for Demand Media. She is also the author of West Coast Road Eats, "the definitive guide to the cuisine of the West Coast."

Wax Buddy

Made from 100% recycled materials, the Wax Buddy is a $3 wax remover manufactured by the Endless Wave surf shop in Newport, Rhode Island. After "years of experience using everything from credit cards, to kitchen spatulas," they believe they've developed the perfect tool for removing old wax.

Day Trip

Thankfully, after a rather eventful Saturday morning, what we needed most was only two hours away. We packed our shit in a hurry, ferried across and soon found ourselves paddling into waist high lefts. It's been a long week, with Tim in the hospital following his fight with a semi-truck, and a day trip was just what we needed. It could have been better, but it can always be better. Water was pretty cold. Little to no wind. An older gentleman on a SUP showed up with his wife and kid. He caught a few small waves on the inside, but aside from him we had the place to ourselves. Snapped this photo shortly after before I peeled off my wetsuit.

COMING OF AGELESS



COMING OF AGELESS is an "ongoing Volcom surf web series with the potential to be whatever it wants to be without a schedule." Sort of like Hi-Shredability without all the bullshit. Interesting to watch Alex Knost surf a short board, though. More videos are available here.

Back In The Water

My friend and fellow surfer, Tim Nelson, was struck by a semi-truck while running to work Monday morning. Tim resides in West Seattle and in an attempt to avoid the congestion brought on by the closure of the Viaduct, Tim decided he'd rather get a little exercise and simultaneously reduce the number of cars on the road, than drive his truck to work.

Tim is currently in intensive care at Harborview Medical Center. His back was broken, as well as his right shoulder, right arm and a few ribs. His skull is fractured, a lung punctured and his spleen lacerated. His injuries are severe, but his spirits are high.

We will be hosting an event at The Capitol Club on Friday, November 11th to raise money for Tim's financial recovery. In addition to raffle tickets and a silent auction, our friends from Stoke Harvester are working on a limited edition sticker that we will be selling in hopes of garnering additional funds. All of the proceeds from the event will go directly to Tim.

A vibrant member of our surf community, we'd like to see Tim back in the water as soon as possible.

Any support you're able to provide is greatly appreciated.

Click here for additional information.

Absent Minded

At times I feel as though I can't keep my mind from wandering. Scribbling notes, moving from subject to subject, unable to relax. It's terrible, really. That said, and without trying to sound like a some sort of neo-hippie, searching for life's meaning in ocean swells, the only time I am able to enter a meditative state, one absent of thought, or distraction, is when I am surfing. When I absent-mindedly paddle for that approaching left, move my body from prone to erect, turn my board, step toward the nose. Those are the moments that I meditate, where my mind no longer wanders.

So, after a rather exhausting week, I was in desperate need of salt water. We awoke early on Sunday, caught the first ferry and headed for the straights. When we pulled up to Twin the tide was all the way in, farther than I have seen it in the past. There were two people in the water, each struggling to get into the foot high swells. We waited, watching the water, hoping that what we were looking at was only a lull. As one of the guys paddled to shore, a trio of waist high lefts appeared. That's all it took. I suited up and paddled out.

The first few were small, but fun. The swell direction was inconsistent, however as the tide receded the size increased. They were weak, though. I had to crouch, knees to chest, on nearly every wave. But I had the place to myself, so why complain. After four hours and countless waves, I was exhausted. We packed up and headed for the ferry just as gray clouds wandered from the west.

Click here for a few more photos.

Moonstone Beach

I've been away from the water for a few weeks now. Following last weekend's Shelton Valley Adventure & Dual-Sport Ride, I was asked to attend the Horizons Unlimited 'Travelers Meeting' in Cambria, California. Short notice, we packed up the van and headed south. After two days of driving, we found ourselves in sunny Santa Cruz. Stopped by Zero Motorcycles to test ride the latest electric bikes, then proceeded further south towards the small coastal town of Cambria. I won't bore you with the details, but suffice it to say we sat in a booth for three days discussing motorcycle bits and fending off beardos. No fun. We did, however, wander down to Moonstone Beach for a few minutes. And while the swells were well overhead and the rip so serious that signs were posted about the beach suggesting you not swim, let alone surf, it was nice to stand knee deep in the Pacific, if only for a moment.

RITRATTI DI SURF



Trailer for a forthcoming surf film shot in Sri Lanka.

Saltwater Buddha

I recently purchased a copy of Jaimal Yogis' Saltwater Buddha: A Surfer's Quest to Find Zen on the Sea. But before I could begin reading it, my fiance picked it up and has yet to put it down. So this isn't a book review, more of a book mention. I'd ask Karissa to write the review, but that might take a while ;) Anyhow, I promise to read and review the book at my earliest convenience. Scout's honor.

For The Win

Day trips are terrible. They leave you yearning for more, desperate for another ride, another wave, another left. Wholly satisfied yet completely disappointed upon returning to your suburban dwelling. On Saturday, after one too many cocktails the night prior, Karissa and I struggled out of bed, loaded the car and headed for the ferry. We arrived at low tide, the swells shoulder high. There were a handful of people in the water; an old dude on a SUP, our friend Gabe, a general contractor from Sequim and three kooks on the inside. Karissa had the first wave, a waist high left that brought her all the way back to the beach. I had my fair share. Most memorable of which was a head high left where I found myself crouched, knees to chest, feet firmly planted on the nose of my Becker. Made my day.

Lefts

Took off early Saturday morning headed for the straits. The weather didn’t look like it was going to accomadate our adventure, what with gray skies looming overhead. But following a ferry and a two and one half hour drive, we arrived to find sunshine and an endless supply of left-handers. On low tide this spot can look unassuming. Flat and forgetful. But as the tide pushes in, the swell picks up and you’ll find one left after another, wrapping their way around the shallow rock point. At times you can find yourself in knee deep water, while a few feet to the east you’re overhead. With a western swell the waves are typically small but shapely. My 9’6” Becker proved the perfect tool for Saturday’s swell. The hard rails allowed me to turn quickly, while the large pivot fin provided enough surface area for the waist high waves. Toes on the nose? Almost.

Josh Constable



Josh Constable, four time Noosa Festival of Surfing champion, rides a Jai Lee log on the island of Bali.

Skip Frye



Watch Skip Frye, a surfer and shaper from San Diego, California,  ride an 11 foot log at Old Man's just days before his 70th birthday. If I live that long, I hope I can surf like Skip. Video via KORDUROY.

Flash Bomb



We all hate wet wetsuits. They're cold, uncomfortable and a bitch to get back on. To remedy this issue, the guys from Rip Curl have been hard at work developing a new wetsuit, one that goes from wet and cold to warm and dry in just 30 minutes. They've dubbed their new rubber get-up the 'Flash Bomb,' and have been developing its Flash Dry lining for over two years now. Second sessions will never be the same.

You can read more about Rip Curl's Flash Bomb wetsuit here.

Epic

Spent three days at the ocean. Shoulder high swells on Friday were followed by waist high peelers both Saturday and Sunday. Surfed the north end of the beach in the morning, then moved south as the swell shifted. More rights than lefts. Should have stopped in the straits on our way out. Hiked around on Sunday with Karissa and my soon to be in-laws. Couldn't find the petroglyphs we were looking for, though. Snapped this photo on Sunday night before we left. Epic was the word of the weekend.

Surf Wagon: CJ-5

Ran to town Saturday morning to pick up some firewood. When we returned, a cow shit covered Jeep was parked at our campsite. A '72, I believe, CJ-5 with a one inch lift and 31" BFG M/T's. Turns out the Jeep belonged to an overly tan, thoroughly intoxicated young man who lives somewhere outside of Sequim. He bought the Jeep from a meth head, painted it grey in order to avoid unwanted attention from the previous owners "friends" and had driven to Hobuck with his girlfriend and two kids to camp... and drink. So why was his Jeep parked at my campsite? Well, lets just say our friend was a little confused.

Malibu Summer 1965



Silent home movie shot at Malibu in 1965. Wish I could have been there. Courtesy of Mark Velez.

The Edge

My father and his longtime friend, Terry, drove out to Hobuck Saturday afternoon and stayed through Sunday evening. Following a few cups of coffee Saturday morning, Karissa and I pitched the two extra tents we brought so we'd be ready to entertain the old farts upon their arrival. After the guys unpacked the car and sorted out their tents, we left camp and hiked down to a little known beach along the straits.

With bear poop aplenty, the Captain was inspired to arm himself with a rather long stick, Anthony Hopkins style. The surf was as flat as a pancake, but the beach is worth the walk. For dinner, Karissa sautéed chicken and broccoli, which she served over brown rice with peanut sauce, while the guys ate fried chicken they purchased at the general store. On Sunday, the four of us hiked to Cape Flattery, picked up some smoked salmon from the Take Home Fish Co. and surfed for a few hours before my father and Terry took off.

Additional images are available here.

Jai Lee Noserider



A few of the guys from Deus Bali took a trip north to test the first Deus Jai Lee Noserider. A good lookin log, incredible waves and a great soundtrack. Makes my want to move somewhere tropical, like Bali.

Poler's Two Man Tent

When Justin told me that he had a tent for me to try out this weekend, I just assumed that it was the one that he had been talking about a few weeks ago. It's this fancy thing that you just throw out and it pops together itself and becomes a tent. No poles to deal with or anything. So I picked up the tent and brought it over to my buddy's new house where we were planning on getting really drunk and sleeping in the yard.

One Summer? Day



You can now watch Vimeo videos on your Apple TV, which is very cool, assuming you have an Apple TV of course. Anyhow, since discovering this I have been wading through endless surf videos and have become particularly found of Almond Surfboards Vimeo channel. Almond, a So-Cal surf shop that is shaping some serious logs, shot the above video at Doheny State Beach roughly one year ago.

Makah Days 2011

This weekend the Makah Nation held their 87th annual Makah Days celebration. Fireworks Friday night were followed by war canoe races and a salmon bake on Saturday. Vendors lined the main road through town, and although there was a lot of bullshit for sale, there were a few vendors selling wood carving tools and traditional Makah basketry hats made of spruce root.

Devon Howard x Tyler Hatzikian



Devon Howard riding a custom 9'6" Tyler surfboard at Old Man's. The board was shaped by Tyler Hatzikian in El Segundo, CA. The fin is a 10" Flex Greenough template made of Volan cloth by Larry Allison. Video courtesy of The Wave Journal.

Surfside Sushi

Karissa and I spent another weekend away from the city. Tide was out until 2pm on Saturday, so we had plenty of time to cook breakfast, drink coffee and enjoy the sunshine. Surfed for a few hours. Perfect size for my father's recently repaired 10' log. Wind picked up late in the afternoon and things got ugly.

Manufacturing Stoke



Manufacturing Stoke is "an introspective look into the surfing culture’s struggle to be beneficial unto itself." Highlighting a handful of grassroots shapers who are redefining what a surfer is supposed to ride, this film looks to shed light on the future of surfing and it's impact on the environment.

Hōkūle‘a

After reading Thor Heyerdahl's Kon-Tiki and feeling convinced that the Polynesian islands had been settled by seagoing South Americans who crossed the Pacific aboard balsa rafts, my father reminded me that the Hōkūle‘a, a full-scale replica of a waʻa kaulua, had sailed from Hawaii to Tahiti in 1976, essentially disproving Heyerdahl's migration theory.

To further prove his point, my father dug out an old VHS tape on which he had recorded a National Geographic special highlighting the Hōkūle‘a and its 1976 voyage. Funded by the Polynesian Voyaging Society and led by Mau Piailug, the 35 day trip was completed using traditional Polynesian navigation techniques, without the use of modern instruments.

Since the 1976 voyage to Tahiti and back, the Hōkūle‘a has completed nine more voyages to destinations in Micronesia, Polynesia, Japan, Canada, and the United States, all using ancient wayfinding techniques of celestial navigation. Her last completed voyage, a five month trip through Micronesia and ports in southern Japan, was completed in 2007.

For additional information on the Hōkūle‘a and the Polynesian Voyaging Society, click here.

Iron & Resin



Motorcycles and surfboards. Everything else is just noise. Been a fan of Deus Ex Machina for quite some time now, but it's good to see a stateside brand with similar style. According to their website Iron & Resin is "a product of “one-off” culture. Where men still build, by their own hands, the craft they ride, be it water or land." My kind of mission statement. No word on what they'll be selling, but based on this short video that Scott Toepfer produced, I'd expect a few custom bikes and boards, in addition to apparel.

Ten Piggies Over



Ten Piggies Over is a So-Cal surf blog run by Alex Swanson, " just a lousy kid trying to make it in the lineup." With inspiring images and short films featuring longboards and even longer rides, TPO is a great mid-morning getaway for those of us forced to ride a desk all week.

Shoulder High Swells

Celebrated Karissa's birthday on the Oregon coast. Drove down Friday after work, camped at the Sea Ranch, drank Blackberry Beauty at Bill's, overindulged at Pizza a'fetta and surfed shoulder high swells at Ecola. And even though Ms.Wood's Stewart was damaged by a kook with a short stick, I can't think of a better way to spend a weekend in Oregon.

The Harrow & The Harvest

Never been a fan of female vocalists, but Gillian Welch does it for me. The Harrow & The Harvest is Welch's first album in eight years, as she and Dave Rawlings were having trouble laying down anything they were proud of. Glad they got their shit together. Think you'll enjoy this song.

Poler Stuff

Poler is a Portland based company who, in my opinion, is redefining the camping category. From sleeping bags and tents, to rucksacks and trucker caps, Poler is producing some interesting gear with a great deal of consideration for both form and function. I am particularly fond of The Man Tent, which seems like a solid solution for those of us looking to travel light and fast, either on foot or by motorcycle.

The Making of Grain Surfboards



Remember Grain Surfboards? Well I just came across this video which highlights the birth of their company, the handmade wooden surfboards they produce and the DIY classes they offer.

The Aquatic Almond



I was recently introduced to Almond Surfboards, "a collaborative effort of friends who enjoy making things the old fashioned way." In addition to their (relatively) small shop in So-Cal, the guys at Almond shape a variety of surfboards, to include the one featured in this film, the Aquatic Almond.

In this video you'll see Cyrus Sutton take his Aquatic Almond to Malibu to test the log on some backside peelers. According to their website, "this is the board we developed with Cyrus Sutton for surfing Cardiff Reef. The outline is extra wide for stability and planning through sections. This pintail has a slightly tucked rail for lively turns. Step in the deck to keep it lean and mean on the nose."

Along with a website, Almond Surfboards maintains a lively blog and online store.

Bible School



Short video featuring So-Cal native Jared Mell that was filmed and focused by Nat Lanyon.

Rez Dogs & Razor Fins

Rough weekend. Picked up Karissa's 9' Stewart from The Stoke Mender on Friday and headed west. Weather report looked ominous. Rolled into the 'Buck around 11pm, pitched our tent and passed out. Our friend Tim had driven out to join us and we found him sleeping in the bed of his truck the following morning. Coffee from the Cedar Shack before our first session. Rain clouds looming in the distance. By noon the sky was dark gray and the rain was coming down steadily. Swells were pushing in from the NW, with little to no wind. Ugly weather, beautiful surf.

Come Hell or High Water



Come Hell of High Water is Patagonia surf ambassador Keith Malloy's forthcoming film about bodysurfing. The film is being produced by Woodshed Films, the same people responsible for 180˚ South and Thomas Campbell's infamous flick, Sprout.

"It's about taking a breath, and kicking your feet, in the big blue sea, come hell or high water."

Mustache Man & The Stoke Douches

Say hello to Mustache Man & The Stoke Douches. It's a long story, but suffice it to say these five friends were more interested in looking the part than actually participating. "You ready to get wet!"

On that note, while browsing the internet last night my girlfriend came across a rather interesting article written by a gentleman named Thomas Mitchell.

The Seven Levels of Surfers is "a spiritual and satirical guide adopted to surfing," in which Mitchell describes, in detail, seven very different surfing personalities, from the "Soul Surfer" to the soulless "QuiverBaiter." An enjoyable read for anyone familiar with the tribe.

Young Men Dead



What I've been listening to lately.

Grain Surfboards

Grain Surfboards began in the basement of a home just minutes from York Beach, Maine. Combining his love of board sports with a passion for traditional boat-building techniques, Mike LaVecchia began creating one-off wooden surfboards and has since turned Grain Surfboards into a full-fledged board maker, "known for innovative techniques, classic designs and ground-breaking products."

I am particularly fond of their 10' Waterlog, a traditional squash tail noserider that weighs only 23lbs.

Click here for additional information.

Rogue Gathering


The 9th annual Rogue Gathering, a longboard surf contest sponsored by Rogue Ales, will take place September 10th & 11th in Newport, OR. The contest begins at 8am on both Saturday and Sunday. Check-in will held at the Rogue Brewery (below the Yaquina Bay Bridge at the Port of Newport’s South Beach Marina) from 6-8 pm on Friday evening, September 10th. Deadline for registration is August 31st.

Click here for additional info and registration details.

Subway Surfers



Produced by Chris Shashaty, Subway Surfers looks at those who are bound to the coast by trains, tunnels and other underground tubes. "Because we can't all walk to the beach."

It's crazy, the things we'll do in order to go surfing...

For better, for worse



Our friend William Cameron just posted this video to our Facebook page. Produced by Romain Juchereau and filmed in both France and Cornwall, For better, for worse tells the story of three couples who have changed their lives in order to pursue their passion for surfing.

To purchase a copy of the film, click here.

Seventeen Seconds

When I checked the report before leaving town on Friday, a few of the sites were reporting one foot swells with seventeen second intervals. But when we woke up on Saturday morning, the waves were well overhead, aided by offshore winds. Build it did. Seventeen seconds and a sandbar. We paddled out for an awesome little left that was breaking at the north end of the beach, while a few of our friends with short boards took advantage of the bigger swells to the south.

Surf Wagon: 4x4 Toyota Van


Spotted this thing at First Beach. Had more character than I could count. Four-wheel drive, knobby tires, shag carpet, "two-tone" paint job and plenty of rust. A perfect surf wagon.

MSR Holler 3-Person Tent


Picked up a MSR Holler three-person tent and a couple of Therm-a-Rest Base Camp sleeping pads before we left for La Push this weekend. We'd previously been sleeping in the back of our Volvo, but after it's untimely death decided it was time to start tent camp.

The Holler is MSR's roomiest three-person tent and even with two large Therm-a-Rest pads inside, there was still plenty of room for myself, my lady and all of our gear. Setup couldn't be easier, either. With MSR's two pole design we were able to pitch the tent in no more than 30 minutes (around midnight with one flashlight I might add).

I also bought a handful of MSR Ground Hog Stakes, which proved useful when pitching a tent on the beach at La Push.

Overall, we were very impressed with the fit and finish of the Holler and would recommend it to anyone interested in tent camping in the Northwest.

The Pickle

On my way back from the beach I stopped by North by Northwest and picked up The Pickle. "A unique tool used to remove the surf wax from any surfboard," The Pickle is a chemical-free dry wax remover that "cleans any type of surf wax off any type of surfboard." I bought The Pickle in order to remove the wax from my father's 10' Robert August. I've been surfing the board, with brown wax, for more than a few months. That being the case, I dragged the log out of our apartment, down the stairs and into the courtyard, where my girlfriend and I took to scraping off the old wax.

A Handmade Pig


Derek works for an ad agency downtown. He's from the Midwest and since moving to Seattle has taken up surfing. In the six years he's been out here, Derek has developed quite the quiver, to include this 10' pig he shaped himself.

Made from dovetail pine, Derek glued, shaped and glassed the board at his house in Edmonds. It is a retro pig shape, and weighs nearly 70lbs. It has a rather large rear, a deep-v hull, a huge single fin and a narrow nose. According to Derek, riding it is a lot like standing up in a canoe.

I was thoroughly impressed with his craftsmanship and would love an opportunity to ride the pig.

The Stoke Mender

My friend Jeff Abandonato, the former owner and creator of Cheka Looka Surf Shop in Seattle, has since been dubbed the Stoke Mender by our mutual friend Shawn Jennings. Since leaving the retail surf industry, Jeff has taken up ding repair and is now mending stoke in a gutted camper outside of his house in Edmonds. Jeff will repair traditional polyester as well as epoxy boards and can even assist with custom enhancements.

A few weeks ago I left my 7'10" Becker at Jeff's house for a bit of work. With more than a dozen dings, both big and small, Jeff had to cut and re-glass a great deal of the board. I got a call from Jeff on Friday saying the board was ready, so I stopped by his house on my way out of town and picked up the board. Watertight and ready to ride. I can't tell you how impressed I am with Jeff's work. If your stick is in need of repair, I highly recommend you call the Stoke Mender!

Surf Wagon: Mark's '75 Volvo 245

Among those camping at Neah Bay this weekend was Mark, an auto-shop instructor at Shoreline Community College and the proud owner of this very cool 1975 Volvo 245 DL.

Three Days @ The Ocean

After work on Friday, Ms.Wood and I headed north out of the city, picked up my 7'10" Becker from the Stoke Mender (more on that later), rolled onto the 7:40 ferry and were sound asleep in our new surf wagon by midnight. The following morning we awoke to on-shore winds and five-ish foot swells. By mid-day the tide had rolled in, the wind had died down and the swells had dropped to maybe three feet. Perfect for the 10' log I dragged out there.

It rained Saturday night, giving way to clear skies by noon on Sunday. Again, on-shore winds in the morning followed by a mellow four foot swell all afternoon. I spent eight hours in the water on Sunday. Broke camp Monday morning and were back in time for dinner.

Tracking



Tracking is a new surf flick being produced by Australian filmaker Jimmy James Kinnaird and the guys at Deus Ex Machina. Heavily influenced by the "transitional period" in surfing, specifically 1969-1971, watch as Ellis Ericson and Jason Salisbury hand-shape single fin trackers and surf them at a number of locations throughout Indonesia. Did I mention my two favorite things are motorcycles and surfboards?

You Can Make Them Out of Wood



Tyler Hatzikian is shaping traditional single fins, "as if the modern shortboard was never invented." He starred in Jason Baffa's film, Singlefin: Yellow and is prominently featured in the current issue of Surfer's Journal. Now watch Tyler ride a balsa board in some proper surf. Less noes, more goes.

"Sometimes Shit Doesn't Happen"

Late last week, my girlfriend and I had the pleasure of testing the safety features of our 1989 Volvo wagon. My girlfriend had a childhood friend in town who was supposed to photograph her sister's wedding. After a full day of sightseeing around Seattle, the three of us were headed back to our place on Alki when a young lady in a BMW failed to yield to oncoming traffic. With no room to react, we collided with her crappy Bavarian coupe. The young lady was both uninsured and driving without a license.

The result? One broken arm, one broken nose, a "fat lip" and one fucked up Volvo.

Deus Bali's '9ft & Single' Longboard Competition



Last weekend the guys from Deus Bali held a longboard competition at Tugu Beach, just down the road from their 'Temple of Enthusiasm' in Canggu. The event was sponsored by Red Bull, Bintang, The Critical Slide Society, Journey, The Yak and Raen Optics, and brought a number of talented noseriders from around the region to the southwestern shores of Bali. Like most of their events, it looks like everyone had one hell of a good time.

Tyler Hatzikian



This is Tyler Hatzikian of Tyler Surfboards. He was featured in Jason Baffa's film, Singlefin: Yellow, which follows a 9'6" singlefin pintail around the world, from So-Cal to Australia, Japan, Hawaii and finally back to Tyler's shop in El Segundo. He clearly knows how to ride a longboard.

Knee High

Spent last weekend surfing my father's 10' Robert August. Waves were roughly three feet tall, with little to no wind in the morning. Perfect conditions for that big log. More photos available here.

Toes Nose

When I was in junior high, my father's good friend Terry got stoked on riding longboards. Terry had bought himself a Gordon & Smith, as well as a couple of Sector 9s for his kids, Tyler and Carly. After test riding Terry's board, my father stopped by Marley's in Ballard and picked up a Powell with extra wide trucks (he's a big fella) and a Sector 9 pintail for me.

Terry, who worked for a hauling company, lived in a small house on the outer edge of an industrial complex that he was helping to develop. He had access to the entire complex, including the freshly paved roads that ran from building to building. On the weekends, my father and I would ride the ferry from Seattle to Bremerton, drive out to his place near Silverdale, ride our longboards all afternoon, grab dinner and then head back to the city. It was a good time. Albeit short lived. The board I am riding in the photo belongs to my father.

Thomas Bexon



Thomas Bexon is an Australian shaper who is producing some really interesting longboards.

I'm particularly fond of Old Faithful and the Sod Model. Super wide. Single fin.

Bexon is currently headed to Indo for Deus Bali's 9ft & Single long board festival.

Crazy for the Storm

On my way back from Westport a few weeks ago, I picked up a copy of Crazy for the Storm: A Memoir of Survival by Norman Ollestad. The book chronicles Ollestad's decent of an 8,000ft mountain after the plane his father had chartered crashed, killing both the pilot and his father. Ollestad was only 11 years old. Additionally, the book highlights Ollestad's formative years living in the counterculture paradise of Topanga Canyon, and his "larger-than-life" father who pushed him to excel in a number of athletic endeavors, including surfing and competitive downhill skiing. Written more than 30 years after the fact, Ollestad's memoir is a stark reminder that anything can happen and that mental toughness is essential to survival.