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.