Base Camp Brewing's S'more Stout

Since that first foamy sip accosted my upper lip and left me with a stout 'stache, I've been hooked. In one way or another. My veracity for this malty, dark drink grew with age. The lust becoming far more diverse. And yet in all this time, I hadn't actually found a favorite. Porters for a lighter, effervescent, yet firm punch to the mouth. Stouts to quench my thirst for adult-grade chocolate milkshakes and affogatos. To say I've had them all isn't a huge overstatement. I've sampled many. But, sadly, remembered few.

This was my conundrum for many arduous, beer-tasting years - cue 'eye roll.' Then enters Base Camp Brewing. Thanks Portland for taking yet another classic treat (from a campsite perhaps?) and adding alcohol. Like a good amount of it (7.7% ABV). The S'more Stout is a force to be reckoned with. Its noir-ish black chocolate taste and sweet notes float around the mouth like marshmallow angels. A thing of kings! I'm taken beachside as its aftertaste "burns" of campfire ash. And I mean this in the best of ways. No. Better than best.

Alex Knost | Duct Tape Invitational



Alex Knost took second place at the 2015 Duct Tape Invitational in Noosa. Here's highlights via RVCA.

Calypso



I don't know, I guess I just love the color grading in this short bit of film from Trey Edwards...

DORA LIVES: The Authorized Story of Miki Dora

While dog sitting for my friend Derek a few weeks ago, I spotted a copy of DORA LIVES: The Authorized Story of Miki Dora in the bathroom while I was, well, you know... Now I know my fair share about Miki Dora, a gentleman also known as "Da Cat," or the guy that made Malibu (in)famous. But this book shed a whole new light on one of the most iconic surfers... ever. "When he didn't like the commercial direction of the sport he helped define, he turned his back on the beach, wandered the world, served time in jail, and, finally in 2002, suffering from pancreatic cancer returned to his father's house in Montecito to die at age 67."

To define Dora is to define sand slipping through your fingers. Something that seemed so solid, so real, and yet can quickly escape to where it originated. With a healthy disdain for "modern" surf culture, Miki Dora was, in my opinion, one of the few that escaped The Great Sellout of the 1970's. This book, albeit read briefly while using Derek's well-equipped Water Closet, helped me better understand someone I've known only through images. "Transcribed interviews with Dora and texts by former Surfer magazine editor Drew Kampion... are combined with nearly 100 photos and stills from photographers, filmmakers, and Dora's personal albums." Does this book do Dora justice? No, I don't think anything could. But it certainly allows us to see another side, one that wasn't commercialized, cut, pasted and promoted.

Classic CJ Nelson



CJ Nelson surfing a ten-foot South Coast log dubbed the 'Classic,'which was shaped by Ian Chisholm.

Georgetown Art Attack

A selection of 35mm photographs from our month long motorcycle trip to Mexico will be on display in All City Coffee during next month's Georgetown Art Attack! So if you're in Seattle, stop by the coffee shop and say hello, check out a dozen of the images from our adventure, and then join us for a couple cold ones afterwards. The art walk runs from 6-9pm on Saturday, April 11th. More info is available HERE.

AlunaGeorge



What I've been listening to lately...

Ballast Point's Sculpin IPA

You'd like to think that all IPA's are sorta the same. An India Pale Ale, as described to me years ago, was developed as a means to preserve beer as it traveled aboard ships from England to India. The added hops allowed it to still be beer when they arrived. And so on. What one expects when pouring the contents of an IPA into their snout is a strong, sometimes bitter, beer that'll "make you chew your face," wondering why you hadn't purchased a Pilsner. And then, you want another... An addiction perhaps? The IPA, though, is not created equal. I've been on a mission these last few years to find one that is delicious, strong and can be consumed more than once, er, thrice. An example: Russian River's ever popular, almost infamous, 'Pliny the Elder.' This is a beer that registers on the schnocker'd scale at around 8%. It goes down all too easy, and after three or four, leaves you feeling like fuck. Another example: HUB's Abominable Winter Ale, which until recently was one of my favorite beers. It, however, tastes like shit as soon as it gets warm and, unless it's cold outside, seems like overkill. Enter Ballast Point's Sculpin IPA. At a hearty 7% ABV, Sculpin is nobody's bitch. But at the same time, she goes down smooth - almost easy - and can be consumed during all four of the seasons. I don't want to get into all the nuances. It's just beer after all. But I can say that of all the IPA's I've been drinking these last few years, it is by far my favorite.

Here For Now



Short bit of film shot by Dustin Miller for Jack Spade, featuring Mikey DeTemple and Kassia Meador.

Danner's 2015 Stumptown Collection

Our friends and Danner just unveiled their 2015 Stumptown Collection, an assortment of shoes and boots inspired by the Pacific Northwest and the companies roots in Portland, OR. Having worn a pair of Danner Lights during our latest motorcycle adventures in Mexico, I am more than convinced they make the best boots, period. Whether I was sliding - on my ass - across the highway two hours south of Ensenada, hiking over sand dunes near San Quintin, or descending into a dried up river bed to watch Trophy Trucks blast their way out down the Baja peninsula, my Danner Lights survived all the shit I threw at them, and then some. Their new collection includes some handsome looking moccasins, chukka boots and a lightweight iteration of their classic template, the Mountain Light. Oh, and our friends James and Jordan from West America are responsible for their latest lookbook!

Sea State



Jack Martin and Luke Allee surfing Newport and Huntington. Shot and edited by Thomas Green.

"Mondays ain't so bad... It's your job that sucks!"

When I had a desk job, I would daydream about surfing on Monday morning, when the weekend warrior crowd - myself included - had returned to their shitty urban existences. I would look at weather reports, surf forecasts and the few cams along the coast. Photos from friends that lived out west would make their way onto the internet, highlighting a swell I could not surf. Sad. When the weekend would roll around, I was all too eager to escape. Sometimes we'd head west without looking at what lay ahead. Foolish. Now that I am an independent contractor, working from wherever I want - and whenever I want for that matter - the ability to surf during the week has become a reality. Whether it's a Monday morning, Thursday evening, or shortly before sunset on Sunday, I can now surf when I want, not when I am allowed.

An example... We've been dog sitting for friends these last few days. Double wiener dogs: Maggie and Millie. Wrapping up a bit of work over the weekend, and allowing the rain and foul weather to make its way inland, we skipped town on Sunday afternoon following a late breakfast. After burgers at The Bushwhacker, we parked in front of a friends place and called it an evening. The sun was what woke us on Monday morning, peeking through the back curtain of our cargo van. We ate a quick breakfast before heading west in search of surf. On our way out I noticed my friend Cash's van parked just outside of town - my guess was that he'd caught a ride all the way out, having seen the same forecast as myself: offshore winds, waves about waist high, clear skies, the works. And that is exactly what awaited us. Cash and Nick were already in the water. I snapped a few photos through the trees and then slipped into my suit and began the great stoke harvest.

Forecast



The all too familiar sounds of NOAA's weather band broadcast. Shot and edited by Mikey DeTemple.

Six Reasons Wetsuits Don't Suck

As much as I might complain about wearing one, wetsuits are really quite incredible. Within my lifetime they've gone from bulky, expensive ocean activity outfits, to thin, flexible, affordable and extremely warm outerwear. Jack O'Neil really does deserve an award or something. Because without his innovation, all of us cold water surf seekers would go without waves - surfing only in the summer months, when the sun shines high in the sky. This realization really resonated with me these last few months, as the weather turned from fall to freezing. And albeit a bit colder, my ability to surf was all but unimpeded. Yes, gloves and booties are no longer optional accessories, but at least I'm able to spend three or four hours in the ocean, seemingly unaffected by the rain and the wind and forty-five degree water. So that got me thinking; what are some of the other advantages that come with wearing a wetsuit?

Closest Sea



Not to crack an egg before buying a frying pan... I can say that Kyra and I might be headed west in something like six weeks. WAY west... To a place I've always dreamed of visiting. Where we'll surf, ride motorcycles, drink whiskey and eat EVERYTHING! Stoked? You bet. Been browsing the intersphere for surf shit from that side of the sea. Found this fun little video shot by Tsukasa Tsujishima. Stay tuned!

Finterview: The Phi-n and The Flowthru

Many months ago, while visiting my infamous friend Mike - math teach, father, friend and fellow swine slider - I asked him about a board I'd seen on his blog, something he called Blackstoke II. It was a pig shaped by Marc Andreini with a traditional style skeg affixed to the far end. Only this skeg was hollow in the center - a "flothru" fin Mike informed me. Obviously interested, Mike explained its origins, described how it surfed to the best of his abilities, etc. The next time I was in town, Mike laid a blue folder on his kitchen counter - inside was roughly 1,500 words regarding 'The Science of Surfing.' I won't divulge too many details, as I believe this story will find its way into a surf publication sometime soon, but what I can tell you is that tucked into the back of the folder was a sketch of a skeg, affectionately named 'The Phi-n.'

Math equations danced around the drawing. Mike had even cut one out of graph paper, and placed it atop a tracing of another skeg, so that he could describe the differences more effectively. And so that I could see. His 'Phi-n' was shaped using science, er, math - whichever. The conversation took a turn, and then Mike disappeared into another room to nap with his daughter and three of his five dogs. I was intrigued. A few weeks later Mike sent me a message: "Matt is making me another Feral Pig! It'll be white, with a big yellow cigar stripe and a fin-box." Wait... "A fin-box? What the fuck for?" I asked. To which Mike replied, "You'll see." And then came an image on Instagram. A snap shot of David and Mike's collaboration - two fins, each extraordinarily unique. I've asked Mike to give us a bit more info about both. Follow the link to learn more.

Log Riding in Barbados



Cyrus Sutton shot this beautiful short film while logging in Barbados (via Korduroy.TV)

"You've Gotta Be Good Before You Can Be Great."

I'm struggling with the words. This place, how beautiful it can be. Isolated from all the nonsense, all the noise. September was the last time. We had ridden our motorcycles from Seattle to the sea, camped on the coast, and then headed north toward Lummi Island - what would be the end of our month motorcycle long trip around the Pacific Northwest. I didn't surf in September. Instead, I jumped the little dirt "road" that cuts across the campground, hiked into hidden spots, found a few new ones, spent time at our favorite coffee shack and then turned and rode back on the same highway that carried us in. During our stay last summer, onshore winds blew a light mist across the beach one evening. Blocked only by the tall trees that separate you from the sand, you would be misted like an unsuspecting shopper in the produce section of PCC when you walked past any one of the beach entrances. It was wonderful. As was our entire experience that week.

This time, however, we arrived with the van and some surfing boards. It was a last minute decision. With our list of obligations growing ever shorter in Seattle, Kyra and I decided that an old fashioned 'get the fuck outta town' was in order. So we loaded my logs into the van, found our warm wetsuits and headed west. I haven't surfed since October, when we had stopped at San Onofre before crossing the border into Baja. And while it's a lot like riding a bike, the longer you stay away the more you'll suck - as far as I'm concerned. My four month absence was felt immediately. The first few were weird. Balance a bit off. But like any good addict, old habits die hard, and within an hour a great deal of stoke was being harvested. Winds blew offshore all day... for two days. The sun, it was there also. Something like sixty degrees. Friends we hadn't seen in forever arrived in the afternoon one day. Campfires, cold beers, hot dogs in brown buns, and some of those epic fucking sunsets you only see on our side.

Skipping Breakfast



Beutiful bit of film featuring an assortment of Aussies surfing Noosa (?) before breakfast.