No City in Sight

The road, it rules. Steering your wheels, aimed somewhere south. Searching for some kind of conclusion, an answer to that question you can’t quite ask. Fuel moves fast. The tank full and you feel free. Options are endless. You look ahead; a long stretch of pavement, at the end is another side of yourself. A new edition, modified by your experiences. You talk about The Timeline. From a distance it seems straight, but the closer you look the greater each experience, each action becomes increasingly more important.

Ups and downs. Like a heart monitor at the hospital. You push on the pedal. Time travels. The plateau passes. As the sun begins to set you see a city at some distance. Tall, dark towers. Smoke stacks and skyscrapers. Etc. An ever important part of the process. Producing. Reproducing. Consuming.

You find a place to park.

If you wondered what matters most, that thing that’ll wake you up from some kind of drug or alcohol induced delirium, you need look no further than the peeling waves of the Pacific. The sound of surf. Waves crashing over round rock. It’ll take everything in you. You’ll pull your face from that pink sparkle pillow that your mom made you. You’ll put pants on. A shirt. You’ll climb out of the van and rub your eyes, your brain trying to bang its way out the back. The sun shines. Bright, with big shadows stretched across the parking lot pavement. You’ll wear a wetsuit. You’ll stumble over the stones.

You paddle your Pig.

The first one won’t work. Tired. Alcohol still in your system. A fuzzy spot in front of your face. An hour will pass and then, like a dial turned to ten, you’ll connect. Section with section, lines across the face, trimming, tip-toeing toward the tip. Words you’ve used to describe your experiences once or twice - wasted words. As this experience, this blip on your terminal timeline, will disappear into the distance, just as the road rolls on endlessly at times. With no city in sight.

Hatzikian & Howard



The guys at IFILMSURF put together this short clip featuring Tyler Hatzikian and Devon Howard.

The Bing Surf Shop

After nearly two years of planning, Royce Cansler, in conjunction with Matt and Margaret Calvani, has opened the new Bing Surf Shop in Leucadia, CA. Located along the Pacific Coast Highway, a stone’s throw from Beacon’s, the new shop is a surfboard showroom that highlights the wide variety of shapes, shirts and other equipment that Bing has to offer. Inside the shop you'll find all kinds of eye candy, from Pucks and Ravens, to Silver Spoons and the new Mr. Rodgers Model. Clothing, eyewear and apparel is kept to a minimum, allowing the shop to focus on what Bing does best, building beautiful surfing boards. Follow the link for some more photos of their new surf shop.

On Suicide

"I do not think that life should be so sought after that it is prolonged by every possible means. Whoever you are who holds this view, death is no less certain for you, even though you may have protracted your existence through foul practices or sin. Therefore let every man remember that there is no greater comfort for the soul than this, namely that of all the bounty bestowed on man by Nature, nothing is better than a timely death; and the greatest blessing is that each man can accomplish this for himself."

- Gaius Plinius Secundus

The Lab

Passionate pursuits.... What drives a man? You might ask Mike. He seems to be fueled by fire, or perhaps Pliny the Elder. He's someone I hold in high regard, set atop some kind of surfing-meets-science pedestal floating above a slow peeling left hand point break - pig perfect. He's a math teacher, a father, a friend. He surfs pigs, shoots long riffles, enjoys an IPA and is an integral part of this project, as well as the progression of my surfing. To tell you the entire tale would take too long, and honestly, it'd be best told above a beer. But with that being said, I think it's important to shed some light on 'The Lab.'

Nestled in a Cookie Cutter, White Picket Fence, Mom Yoga type neighborhood, The Lab takes up two-thirds of what was once a two-car garage - the other third occupied by an assortment of princess paraphernalia and a fifteen foot long, eight foot tall chalk board, upon which Mike does math. And doodles. Four pigs are perched on the wall to your left as you enter; three other boards occupy the space above a small desk on the opposite wall.

Art, items, words of wisdom and an eclectic mix of things known and unknown are scattered around the room. An octopus light sits on the desk, one eye covered by a beer cap. Paintings of pigs and people surfing pigs hang in the free spaces between boards, while a meteorite that Mike found as a kid hangs from the garage door opening device. Eclectic is an understatement.

We downed a brown bottle of Ballast Point and then plotted our search for Pliny the Elder, a much sought after IPA. Tom, Mike's old mate, came through the back door with wonderful news: the pretentious pizza place down the street (no idea the name) had Pliny on tap, for a limited time. Onward!

One dog, one daughter, four dudes... eager for an IPA, and some tiny corndogs. We ate cumquats from a tall tree in the parking lot before taking the first table within our reach. An odd bunch, undoubtedly. The little lady took photos with her toy ATM while Tom ordered a round (unfortunately our hostess felled the first four). One turned to three. Conversation ensued. By the time we paid for our Pliny, all three of us were feeling the effect. We wandered back to the The Lab.

Here's where things got good...

There was this game - I can't remember the name - it involved a metal loop attached to some string that hung from the ceiling, a hook in the tool closet across the room, and a long sheet of paper upon which Mike had written the rules. Something about a pirate, or a man who'd lost three fingers? I can't be certain. We swung the circle. "MISSFIRE!" must be called before the pendulum swings past half. Ten tries. An abacus at either end to keep track of how many times you've looped the hook, or whatever.

Tom cooked chicken. Which we ate. Stuffing our faces and licking our fingers. We sat in a circle and consumed a custom Rice Krispie, after which we all lost our minds. Or so it seemed. Then Mike took down a well read copy of Natural History written by our famous beer brother, Gaius Plinius Secundus. He read from within; ideas, inspiration, the seemingly obvious, something about suicide and then, after a few hours, and perhaps additional IPAs (?), the part which Mike felt was most important: "God is man helping men. This is the way to everything glory."

JJAZZ



JJ Wessels surfing somewhere in Southern California. Shot and edited by Michael Kew.

The Peelgrimage: Part Five

We been parked at Camp Pendelton for more than a week now. A stones throw from Churches. The weather, as with so much of Southern California, has been wonderful. Good and glassy when you get up, windy in the afternoon, alright in the evening. We've had decent days, riding waves that wrap their way around, trimming, tip toeing, twinkling. We've had early evenings; nights spent sitting at Starbucks, working on all sorts of shit. We've also had the pleasure of harvesting stoke with the likes of Alex Swanson, Joel Tudor (!) Erin Ashley and a handful of high school kids that were laying down some serious log-sense. It's been interesting, to say the least. Here's a few photos.

Margaux + Merced River



Beautiful bit of film featuring Margaux Arramon-Tucoo surfing Biarritz sometime last spring.

The Peelgrimage: Part Four

Internet friends are funny. Because of a common connection, you know almost everything about them - from where they work and what they do for fun, to where they've traveled, the friends they keep close and more often than not, what they eat everyday. So when you sit down for dinner with a table full of internet friends you've never met, not in person anyways, it's interesting how easy it can be. Conversations come naturally, as you already know what sort stuff they're into. You ask a couple of questions, and then fill in the gaps that Facebook or Instagram haven't been able to harvest.

You drink wine and beer and eat potato tacos and explain Elephant Ears to the uninitiated. You laugh. You tell surfing stories. And then, at the end of the night, you part ways better friends than you were before. Because the internet, in all its glory, cannot replace a dinner served on a long wood table outside someone's house in Ojai, a stones throw from the Los Padres National Forest. And those experiences, those people, are what make a trip like this worth while.

The next chapter, however, involves a top secret surprise, surfing a cove in a rather upscale community, excessive whiskey consumption, a place called Beverlywood, a pit bull puppy named Kurt, a BBQ with the Eastside Moto Babes, Venice Beach and our eventual escape from the shit show that is Los Angeles. Stay tuned. The Peelgrimage continues.

Cats In Oz


Enjoy forty-two minutes of slip sliding, nose riding nonsense, shot in Australia by SEAKONG.

Ryan Lovelace Surfcraft

Santa Barbara is an interesting area. Rocky, right hand point breaks dot the coast, from Refugio to Rincon. The waves are a bit better than what you'll find down south - faster, bigger and considerably more consistent. Which is why Ryan Lovelace, a Seattle born, Southern California shaper settled in this area. Ryan shapes in a small shed, nestled between flower farms and other organic growing operations. His boards are built by hand, from beginning to end. He scrapes, shapes, color coats and glasses each one himself. Watching him work was like standing behind someone performing complicated calculations on a TI-84; quite confusing to the uninitiated. But we stayed for a few hours, chatting with Ryan about his boards, the process and his interest in shaping everything by hand. We even locked ourselves inside his shed while he glassed a board. Ryan is a self-taught shaper. He never apprenticed under anyone, or worked his way from factory floor to an air tight shaping space. Instead, Ryan learned the hard way - trial and error. And now, some ten years later, his boards are being sold on both sides of the states, and in countless countries. Hat's off, amigo.

Kentucky



There's lots of loggin' in the video for Billie Joe Armstrong and Norah Jones' new song, Kentucky.

The Peelgrimage: Part Two

I'd seen people surf it in short videos shot by guys like Michael Kew. I heard them call it The Queen; a rocky point break just south of Santa Barbara. Rincon goes right. On a good day, forever. One section connecting to the next. A fast wave by comparison. And while I had heard and seen so many things about this break, as with a lot of stuff in life, it's not the same until you've seen it yourself.

I paddled out on my Pig. Not the best board for that particular place, but it's what I brought, and what I'm most comfortable on. We paddled past people's homes on the point. Empty, with shades and curtains across their windows - hiding from the sea shredders stumbling past. Ten or twelve people were also in the water. Friendly faces. A few frumpy ones.

That evening, shortly before sunset, we drove back to see what she looked like. Lines followed by lines. Rolling right across the rocks. Ryan Lovelace and a few friends were in the water, taking full advantage of the swell. We had our turn with The Queen, although it seemed we should have waited. Oh well.

Cobbles Classic



Short bit of film from this year's RVCA Cobbles Classic. Filmed and edited by Grant Beck.

The Peelgrimage: Part One

In an effort to avoid over analyzing our experience, I'd like to look at the idea as opposed to the activities. Two guys, travelling in a mildly modified cargo van, sleeping on the side of the road, searching for surf, eating, drinking, and working when we have to. I'm aware this is something most people can't accomplish. Tied down to a desk, a dog, an apartment or an idea. So when Chris came to me, willing to split the cost of gas and sleep in a small space while we wandered from Washington to somewhere south of San Diego, I agreed before he finished his first sentence.

As long as I have access to the internet, I can, hypothetically, be just about anywhere. So we settled on the month of March. Chris would fly into Seattle on the 2nd, load his shit into the van, and head south as soon as possible. Logistics were our only issue. When and where to surf, etc. A problem that would be remedied following a few phone calls.

Three logs lay atop our cargo van as we pulled onto I-5, with the front end pointed due south. The bed Karissa and I built the year prior would serve as both sleeping and storage space. Chris brought quite a few cameras, an assortment of wetsuits and a duffle bag with all sorts of other stuff. I packed equally as light. We had arranged to stay at Point Mugu, a military base on the coast of California, just south of Ventura. Ten days in that area, and then south toward San Diego.

It was almost midnight by the time we pulled into our friend Angel's driveway just north of Portland. She fed us roasted chicken and peach pie. The next morning we ate a late breakfast before getting on the road around noon. The second day of our trip would take us all the way to Williams, CA, where we would sleep in a truck stop parking lot. On the the third day we went to see my friend Steve, who was visiting his mother's vineyard, somewhere to the west of Cazadero.

Rough roads turned to gravel. Our cargo van creeping through the corners. The vineyard sits on something like forty acres, seven of which have been planted with grapes for syrah and pinot. That afternoon, after exploring a small piece of the property, we drank wine and watched the sun set through a clearing in the trees. Set on Santa Cruz, we said our goodbyes and then wound our way through the woods, arriving at New Brighton State Beach shortly before 3am.

Dos Amigos



Here's the third episode of Justin Quintal's four part Peru series. Filmed and edited by Drew Miller.

Wide Awake

"Over and over again I have said that there is no way out of the present impasse. If we were wide awake we would be instantly struck by the horrors which surround us... We would drop our tools, quit our jobs, deny our obligations, pay no taxes, observe no laws, and so on. Could the man or woman who is thoroughly awakened possibly do the crazy things which are now expected of him or her every moment of the day?"

- Henry Miller

HANDCRAFTED: Thomas Bexon



A look at the life of surfer and shaper, Thomas Bexon. Filmed and edited by Mick Soiza.

Searching for Something

Chris and I have loaded our logs atop Fargo the Cargo Van and are headed south in search of surf, sun and something else. We've just crossed the border into California, and will be spending the first ten-to-twelve days at Point Magu. If you wanna buy us a beer, or know a good place that we can park, email me. Otherwise, follow our #peelgrimage on Instagram, Facebook, etc.