The Big Book of Bing

I recently received a copy Paul Holmes' new book, Bing Surfboards: Fifty Years of Craftsmanship and Innovation, which not only highlights five decades of surfboard manufacturing, but Bing Copeland's personal and professional life, as well as his role in the evolution of surfing and surfboard design. This hardcover coffee-table style book measures 9.5" x 12.25" and features 192 pages of information and images, including a variety of vintage photographs, handwritten pages from old-school order books and every Bing advertisement ever published. Separated into sections that help tell the story of both Bing and his surfboard business, Holmes' book pays homage to the Bing brand, as well as an assortment of individuals that were involved in its evolution.

In addition to highlighting the history, the book features a complete review of all Bing Surfboards models and the contributions they made to surfboard design, as well as three pages dedicated specifically to fin design. An excellent addition to my ever growing collection of surf history schwag, Bing Surfboards: Fifty Years of Craftsmanship and Innovation is more than just a book about boards. It tells a tale. A story that starts in 1959 and continues today, with Matt Calvani building boards the same way Bing did back in the day. So buy the book and learn a little something about surfboards. Just don't let it collect dust like all those other big coffee-table books you've bought!

Frownin



What I've been listening to lately...

Sapphire



Ed Solt, Mike Siordia and JT Sabala surfing Sapphire. Produced by Perk & Pearl.

Puppy Blood & The Brahlai Lama

There's certain people that I like to surf with. Stoked people. People that don't take shit too seriously. That enjoy the bad waves as much as the good ones. People that laugh those deep, honest laughs and smile those big, stupid smiles. People that don't say it sucks, even if it does, but instead suggest you surf, because maybe it'll suck more the next morning. Jeff Abandonato is one of those people. His energy is contagious. You can't help but smile when you surf with him. He's not extremely eager, but he's not a complacent person either. He'll catch more waves than most men, all while running back and forth from the beach to check on his children. People used to say that he must drink puppy blood, because his energy seemed endless.

I remember stumbling into his surf shop as a kid - I was all sorts of overzealous and idealistic - and there'd be Jeff, sitting behind the counter, chatting with all the weekend warriors and summer surfers, seemingly unaware of their kook like condition. He was honest, but knew how to keep a secret. He never naysayed other peoples opinions, but instead offered his own. Honestly, I'm not sure he's aware of the role he's played in my life. Because he helped me stay stoked at a time in my life when surfing came second, or third. He inspired me to smile more, to not take myself so seriously and to watch Star Wars on the weekends. Which is why surfing with him last Sunday was a long awaited opportunity to share the stoke he helped cultivate. I can only hope to inspire others the way he has inspired me.

Surf Til Dark



Seventy three second film featuring Spencer Hayes surfing well past sunset. Made by John Lynch.

Purple Potatoes & Peach Pie

We ate all sorts of stuff on Saturday. Wood fired pizza cooked in a big black buoy. Purple potatoes and skirt steak, avocados and eggs. Little lingcod tacos and peach pie and some big ass breakfast burritos. But it wasn't because there weren't any waves. Oh no. Saturday saw a sizeable swell show up; albeit a little messy with intervals of no more than six or seven seconds. But there were waves. Fun ones. And Jeff and Ina were in attendance. It was the first time we had surfed with them this summer. I can't tell you how good it was to see the Brahlai Lama and his offspring. We were in the water for four or five hours, sharing short slides and a lots of laughs. Exhausted from our summer stoke harvest, we retired to the warmth of whiskey and wood. It was an excellent evening. One filled with good food, old friends and big bubbles!

T'was Tasmania Times



Matt Chojnacki and Andy Warhaurst sliding a perfect lil point near Hobart, Tasmania.

The Pleasure of Patience

I've blogged about patience previously. The waiting game and whatnot. How our anxiety can overpower other emotions. Wishing we had waited - when the wind dies down and our arms are exhausted. But we've been getting better. More willing to wait. Taking our time. It ain't easy, though. The first thing you wanna do following four hours in an automobile is anything aside from sit. So you throw on your suit and paddle out, sometimes without even looking at the ocean. And don't even try to tell me you've never done that before! I see you. Lately, though, I've had the pleasure of patience. Eating a big breakfast, drinking a cup of coffee, waiting for the waves or the wind to pick up (or die down). And when we do finally decide to don our suits and drag our surfboards down the beach, it's almost always worth the wait. Sorta like Saturday.

California Summer



The strange summer slidings of RVCA advocate, Alex Knost. Filmed and edited by James Kinnaird.

The Vixen

Last Sunday, shortly after we'd stopped surfing and were eagerly awaiting an empty outdoor shower stall, a rather interesting automobile, er, make that motorhome, pulled in and parked across from where we were camped. It was long and low and looked uniquely European. I swore I'd seen one before - in a parking lot in Port Angeles - but after Karissa and Angel did some investigating, we discovered this was not an ordinary RV (and certainly not the one I'd seen). This was a vintage Vixen 21 TD!

Thanks, Lalo



Louis White, Garrett Goodwin and Cooper J. Nielsen jazzing the glass. Brought to you by Adam Burns.

Twelve More Months

Karissa and I celebrated our very first wedding anniversary this weekend. Having driven all the way out following work on Friday, we were able to spend two whole days in the same place we did the deed. There was champagne and cake, campfires and clean waves. We camped amongst a crowd of summer surfers, dodging dummies on the inside and thanking everything that's holy when the power went out entirely. There was fog the same as the Friday we were wed - lying low over the ocean, covering all of the clean little lefts and rights that arrived at (relatively) relaxed intervals. The sun showed up on Sunday, but so did the wind. We surfed for six hours on Saturday, four or five the following day. Arms exhausted and tummies eager for something a little more serious than the yogurt and granola we'd been eating all weekend, we decided to stop at The Bushwhacker for a burger - our first in many months. I could say all sorts of stuff about our anniversary, but sometimes I think its best if certain things go unsaid.

Iration



What I've been listening to lately...

Sunny Slides



Short bit of film featuring some early a.m. slide sessions on the Sunshine Coast. Done by De'fer Media.

The Obsession Progression

It's taken a lot of time, this surfing shit. From common kook to confident cross steps. I mean, it sure as hell didn't happen over night. It wasn't that long ago I couldn't even kick out, or control my trim. I was, like a lot of people, a passive participant. Surfing the occasional Saturday, when the sun showed up. The idea of looking for waves in the winter seemed like a dark and dreary impossibility. No way was I willing to withstand the wind and the cold and the uncertainty that comes with surfing the Straits after summer. A pompous asshole? Perhaps. Only wanting what could come easily. But was I getting better? Was I surfing like I should have been, given the number of years since I had started? Certainly not.

I suppose it was that first winter we decided to surf that I began to improve, ever so slowly. Trimming was my first trick. Finding some sort of rhythm - shuffling my feet forward to increase acceleration. It worked well, however I was still somewhat of a one-trick-pony when the swell stacked up: big bottom turn, toward the top, then pull out like I misplaced my prophylactic as soon as the water turned white. Amateur hour. All winter. Slowly, though, things started to come together. One leading into another. My shuffle for speed soon became a single step. My bottom turns no longer took a lot of time, and my ability to make a white washed section of a wave improved immensely. Progress. Finally.

Finding Time



Fantastic bit of film featuring Tom and Matt Schuler surfing the Sunshine Coast in Australia.

Buncha Bologna

Someone once said that surfing is the only activity where the participants stare at the playing field before they begin. Which is to say that baseball players don't actively observe the diamond, nor do hockey players evaluate the ice ahead of a game. And while I don't agree with this opinion entirely, it is odd to see people staring at the sea, throwing handfuls of grass in the air or pointing at what some would see as nothing other than the ocean itself. That being said, I am as guilty as the next guy, having spent this past Saturday sitting in the sand waiting for the wind to die down and the waves to pick up.

We had arrived early, pulling out of Port Angeles around eight a.m., stopping quickly for coffee and eating shitty cereal and soy milk as we went west. Our excitement faded fast when we found ourselves nut-to-butt with a half billion car campers. Where in the fuck did everyone come from?! More to the point, how the fuck did they hear about this particular place?! It seemed odd, honestly, as most of these people seemed more interested in drinking than any sort of outdoor activity... you know, like surfing. So I really shouldn't complain. They can have the campground, and I'll take the ocean!

The wind didn't die down, in case you were wondering. It was full of fuck all afternoon. But you gotta go, because there isn't anything else to do besides drink and eat. There were a few fun ones, though. Some long, lumpy lefts. The occasional closeout. And all sorts of short right shoulders. It could have been better. But shitty surf beats just about anything. And we ended the evening with a bottle of wine and birthday cake. I really can't complain. Follow the link for a few more photos courtesy of Karissa.

Basque Holiday



Cyrus Sutton and Ryan Burch surfing the north coast of Spain last winter. Courtesy of Korduroy.TV

Getting More Waves

"Most of the time you’re paddling or sitting, not surfing. Your skill and your wave knowledge is more important in getting into the waves and negotiating the crowds. It’s almost more important than how the board performs. If you can get into the wave, you’re going to have more fun because you’re getting more waves. But it’s not about catching as many waves as possible. It’s about progressing while being efficient at the same time. That’s my job. Get you on the board that will get you the most waves and help you have the most fun. Don’t be scared to be who you want to be as a surfer. Don’t let others push you in a direction that you don’t want to go in. Really go with what you believe in. Go with what in your heart you feel is right."

- Matt Calvani

Click here to read the SurfScience interview in its entirety.

Mobile Surf Movies - Vol.1

Bring a blanket or a cozy camp chair and park it in front of Fargo the Cargo Van for an evening of sixties stoke! We'll be showing Blue Surfari on the smooth side of our creepy cargo carrier, Saturday, August 31st and Sunday, September 1st shortly after sunset. This is the first of three 'Mobile Surf Movies,' sponsored by Stoke Harvester, that we'll be showing this September! Click here for additional info.

The Infamous Austin Vince



If you're not already familiar with this fellow, allow me to introduce you to the infamous Austin Vince. Englishman. Explorer. Filmmaker. Friend. Austin is exceptional in almost every way. I met him a few years ago, shortly after I took a job at Touratech. We had sponsored his presentation at The Georgetown Stables - the same small space where my wedding reception took place. To say that what we saw was inappropriate would be an understatement. There were giant black dildos and all sorts of strap on sexual devices. Fucks flew. It was awesome. After the event, Austin and I shot the shit for awhile. He talked about all the excuses people use, the reasons they say something can't happen or why it never will. He seemed determined to tell people they should give less fucks and just go for it. It was inspiring. And we've been friends ever since. So when I saw this short bit of film featuring my foul mouthed friend, I figured I should share some of his wisdom with the world. Click here to learn more about Austin Vince.

Cheese Cake Fog Face

I love fog in the fall. Those early mornings without wind, when you can't see the shore, and glassy little peelers appear outta nowhere. Those grey colored clouds enveloping everything. It's awesome. And eerie. A lot of people sleep in on Sundays, though, maybe cause they drank one too many Mai Tais the night before ;) Which means the earlier I can get my ass out of the van, the more waves I can have without anyone else. Not that I don't care for the company, but it is nice to surf solo on Sundays. A good time to think about everything that went on that week. Reflect or whatever.

So when I paddled out last Sunday, with a heavy fog sitting a few feet above the water, it appeared that I was the only one out there. I caught a couple clean ones - waist high waves without wind - then waited for the wife. I'd spent the last few days surfing Jeff's old Jacobs, but finally found a bit of basecoat (thanks Derek!) and re-waxed my Feral Pig for a Sunday session. She felt fantastic under my feet. It had been so long since I'd surfed my swine. Forgot how well she works. When the fog finally lifted - the sun turning grey water to bright blue - I realized there were six or seven other surfers who weren't afraid of the fog. I caught one in, showered and then wandered back to take a few photos.

By the time I made it back to the beach, a fresh batch of fog had settled on the sand. I waited for the wind, taking photos when I could see clearly. Karissa stayed out for a few fun ones, but the conditions weren't getting any better so she came in rather quickly. After cleaning up our camp, we filled Fargo and headed for Angel's house, where we surprised Karissa with a strawberry chocolate cheesecake. Her birthday being the following Tuesday, and Angel wanting to cook something incredible, it was an excellent excuse to eat something awesome. We didn't get home till ten, but that goddamn cake was worth the wait.

Salinas International



Short bit of film from the 2013 Salinas International Longboard Festival in Asturias, Spain.

Pig Pork Bacon Butt

My family hails from Hawaii. Portuguese people transported to the land of Aloha long before I was born. So as you might imagine, I ate a lot of poi, SPAM sushi, kalua pork, rice and macaroni salad when I was a kid. Pig roasts were saved for special occasions, though. Wedding anniversaries, big birthdays, etc. So when our friend Dino suggested we roast some swine this summer, we jumped at the opportunity to eat.

The first weekend in August is always interesting. Summer surfers, car campers and kids are everywhere. The weather, however, is almost always excellent - a fantastic mix of summer sun and that early fall fog. We arrived late Friday night after eating dinner with Karissa's mother and youngest sister, Courtney. I woke up early the next morning and found myself sitting on a surfboard with nothing but coffee and a brown banana in my belly. Surfed for six hours, stopping only to eat some dried mango slices covered in dark chocolate (yea, you read that right). And while I was waiting for waves, Dino was busy putting the pig in his La Caja China roasting box - what is essentially a wood crate lined in aluminum.

Fast forward a few hours and everyone was up to their elbows in pig parts. A potluck style setting meant mashed sweet potatoes, macaroni salad, coconut cake and freshly caught lingcod fought for space on our plates and in our bellies. Pig was the priority, though, and most people piled it high. Everything from skin to shoulder. It was incredible, as was everything that accompanied it. Dino even talked us into eating a bit of the brain! But after two plates of pork and one mean Mai Tai, I had met my match. For whatever reason, though, a few of us decided to surf post pig - watching the sun set as our stomachs stretched. Not my finest moment. It was a wonderful weekend, however, filled with friends and family and lots of food.

Fat Cat de Crème



Clovis Donizetti jazzing some glass aboard Gato Heroi's new Fat Cat de Crème.

For Fall

Fall is right in front of us, and honestly I'm looking forward to it. Cold mornings mean warm cups of coffee, and early evenings are an excuse to light a log in our mid-century Malm fireplace. Maybe we'll watch more movies, and there will certainly be more soup consumed. But I'm alright with that. We'll dress in dark denim, rubber boots and an assortment of sweaters. We'll sip on strong drinks around small campfires. Because you find real friends in the fall. When the summer surfers stay in the city and you start seeing the same six people every weekend. The damned and the dedicated. Swell direction and tidal pushes of the utmost importance. And while fall will eventually turn to winter, it is an incredible time of year. One filled with friends and food and plenty of time spent waiting for waves. Follow the link to see a few of my favorite things this fall.

Little People



What I've been listening to lately...

Bing-O



The boys from Bing surfing San Onofre sometime last Summer. Created by Kyle Chambers.