The Living Curl

When I went to pick up a new wetsuit from Wave Hounds, Todd tossed in a copy of The Living Curl. "You'll like this. It's old-school." With footage from the late fifties and early sixties, strung together and nasally narrated by Jamie Budge, this film was one of the first to show what was really going on in the water, at a time when Southern California surf pioneers were quickly becoming salt in a stew. Everyone was there, though. Lance Carson, Miki Dora, Dewey Webber, Johnny Fain, Mark Martinson, Corky Carroll. And there's lots of hot dogging, nose riding and So-Cal surfing sans crowd. So if you have a soft spot for films shot before all the bullshit, when surfing and style held hands and backside bottom turns were big business, pick up a copy of The Living Curl.


Churchkey Can Co.

On her way home from work on Friday, Ms.Wood stopped by Full Throttle Bottles in Georgetown and picked up a six-pack of this stuff. Hipster beer brewed by the Churchkey Can Co. It's a 'pilsner style beer' in a flat top can that you need a church key to open. Wait, what the hell is a church key? Well, when your father's father wanted a cold can of Coors, he needed something to open it. Something other than a sharp stick. And then came the can opener, er, church key.

Named after it's likeness to the keys used to keep churches closed, a church key is what your grandfather used to crack a cold one. Okay, so what's with this throwback stuff? Well, according to their website "It’s about the joy of drinking good beer—from the people you drink it with to where you drink it and, now, how you open it." We can dig it. Which is why we snatched a six-pack. So, how'd it taste? Like a pilsner with a bit more bite. Worked well with hot dogs and hamburgers. And was it worth the effort? I'd say so. Something fun for when there weren't any waves. Beer is never bad.

Click here to learn more about the Churchkey Can Co.

Cali Haze

A beautiful bit of film featuring Troy Mothershead, Corina Barnick and Richard Balding. Filmed at San Onofre, Churches and Doheny in August of 2010. As seen on The Nineplus Group.


Watermelon Water & Milky White Mustaches

Memorial Day weekend is always a shit show. All of the inner city 'surfers' head west for the first time since Labor Day. Kook stacks and coolers. Five friends in a fully loaded Ford Fiesta. Suppose we're no different. Just the two of us this time, though. Left late on Friday and arrived to find Shawn and Quyen cornholin' at their campsite. We had a few beers and went to bed. Woke up early enough to avoid some of the onshore wind. It was waist high... maybe. I hand a handful. But a west wind came on strong, so we decided to get out of the water for a few hours. Cornhole and a couple of cold ones.

I paddled back out shortly before sunset. It was ugly out there. Grabbed a couple and came in. Sunday morning was the same story. Onshore wind and a small swell. Should have suited up at sunrise! There wasn't much to work with, so we spent the rest of the day cornholin' and killing time around the campfire. Monday morning made up for all of it, though. All of the onshore wind, the shitty swell, the rain and cloudy conditions. It was shoulder high or better when I first went out, and there wasn't any wind. Shared a peak with three other people. Had lots of lefts and a handful of rights. Even ran to the nose two or three times. It was the right way to end an otherwise ugly weekend!

Fancy Footwork

Karissa can't make up her mind. One minute she wants a Surf Thump, the next a Nathan Adams. So on Friday, when she shoulda been working, she instead sent me this - a short video featuring Cyrus Sutton surfing an Aquatic Almond. Guess I'll add another log to her ever growing list. This one's a 9'7" pintail with a step deck, and was designed by Sutton specifically for surfing Cardiff Reef. According to Almond, "The outline is extra wide for stability and planning through sections... and the pintail has a slightly tucked rail for lively turns." Click here to learn more about Cy's Aquatic Almond.


Memo from the Surf Desk: Man Make Board

A lot of ingredients go into shaping a surfboard. Wood, foam, fiberglass. But most importantly, some stoke. The soul of a surfboard. Made by the hands of a man. Scraped and shaped in some small, well lit room. Or maybe an empty trailer parked in their driveway. It takes time, you know. Deciding which way to go. You have an idea of what you want. And what you want it to do. But no matter what, not one board behaves like another. Too much tail rocker. Just the right kind of rails. Narrow towards the nose. Every little alteration effects its performance. Gives it a personality. Some of your stoke.

And then came epoxy. Pop out pieces of shit, made in a mold. Soulless sticks. Not shaped but squirted - direct injection. They're vanilla to Bing's bubble gum. White rice to Almond's joy. I understand the appeal. They're fun and affordable. But they're anything but beautiful. There's no 10oz Volan or tinted resin. No glassed-on fins or five stringers. And you can't see the shaper's signature. The mark of a craftsman. Putting his name on something he's probably proud of. No. Instead you get a hollow hunk of expanded polystyrene, covered in epoxy resin. An ugly aesthetic and a sad signature. The mark of a man who's sold his soul. Sold his shape. So that GSI can sell more shit. More soulless surfboards.


Duke Dangerpants


Lost & Found: Alex Knost

Short bit of film featuring Alex Knost and a small(er) single fin. Lots of butt down bottom turns and noserides to the right. Filmed by Tyler Manson before Al started with all that wild gesticulating and what not. Shawn hates the stuff. I'm on the fence, though. Do share your thoughts...

Surf Wagon: A Short Sprinter

Spotted this Sprinter outside of Morris' Fireside Restaurant in Cannon Beach, Oregon. Complete camper with dual sliding doors, all-terrain tires and three big boards on a tall top. That's one helluva van!


Jai Lee

This bastard could build a blanket fort on his board. So solid. Devilish and daring. All kinds of envious.


The Wrong Recipe

It was windy when we woke up. And our tent was wet. Took over an hour to get our shit together. Grabbed coffee and a crepe before scoping a couple of spots. It wasn't working. Onshore wind made waves into white wash. It was ugly out there. Todd suggested another spot, somewhere there wouldn't be much wind. It's not the friendliest place to peel. But it can work. Especially when it's windy. A small swell with a reasonable rate of return. Five, maybe six waves in a set. A few minutes apart.

There were six or seven surfers in the water when we showed up. Wasting waves. I watched as one after another peeled past. Small boards just don't work well on small waves. It's the wrong recipe. So I suited up and paddled out. Took to the outside, against the rocks. First peak I paddled into was knee high. Up and at'em. Twas a long left on my log. Given what I'd seen scouting from shore, I didn't think I'd be sharing many waves. How wrong I was. A few photos for fun.

Glen Terry Martin

"Whatever you do, grab a hold of what is real simple and easy for you, and what you like. Don’t abandon that to look for greener grass. Perfect it. You have plenty of time... that’s the pleasure of life, liking what you do every day. When you like it, you’re good at it."

- Terry Martin

Finterview: Greenough 4C

According to True Ames, George Greenough took cues from the pattern of human evolution when designing the 4C and "found it adaptive to become less wild and more upright." The 4C, a 9.5" fiberglass fin, shares the Greenough 4A's flex, but has less rake and a much smaller base. It's upright posture allows "midlength eggs and logs to make lower-radius, looser turns." I attached it to my 9'6" Harbour Banana Model, a board that came equipped with an upright-ish, 9.5" fin made by the Fibre Glas Fin Co. But for some reason, I found the 4C to feel a bit short. On an eight foot egg, or perhaps a board with a bit less tail rocker, the 4C would work well. But the Banana needed something stronger. Whiskey not wine.

Down the face the 4C felt fine, but the bottom turns were sloppy. Loose. Once I pulled into the pocket the 4C required me to stay toward the back of the board, trimming from the tail. It just seemed too short. Take a few steps forward and the Banana lost it's balance. All over the place up front. I became frustrated. Certain it was the fins fault. But alas, it was just the wrong tool attached to a long stick. I'd recommend the 4C to someone with a shorter board. Someone looking to make fast, loose turns, but maintain some stability down the line. I would not, however, suggest you affix the 4C to something you're accustom to making big, slow, calculated bottom turns on. Just wasn't what I wanted.

This Finterview originally appeared on Stoke Harvester's blog.


Seaside Swap Meet

An opportunity to buy & sell some surfy stuff, the 4th annual Seaside Surf Shop 'Swap Meet' is scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 2nd from 11am-3pm. Plate lunch is just $5 and it sounds like everything in their shop will be on sale. So if you're surfing near Seaside, stop by and score something salty!

Saturday Down South

With foul weather forecasted for the coast, Ms.Wood and I decided to head south and surf. Somewhere in Oregon. Karissa collected me from my cage around five. Had a dinner date with a few friends from Tacoma. Consumed copious cocktails and didn't depart until after eight :( Parked and pitched our tent sometime around midnight. Maybe later. We were up early, though. Grabbed a cup of coffee and a croissant at the Sleepy Monk before driving even further south for our first session.

First spot was small, but fun. We caught a couple before Todd from Wave Hounds turned up. Packed up our boards and proceeded to another spot that Todd said was working. Sure was. A little bigger and a lot more fun. We had to hike in, between bushes and beach houses. It was worth the walk, though. Surfed until the sun started to set. Blackberry beer at Bill's, a slice or two from Pizza a'fetta and some ice cream at the other end of town. Saturday didn't suck.


Surf Wagon: The Silver Swede

Surf wagons should have soul. They take you to the sea. Surfboards and suits, camping crap and a cooler. An essential. Especially for all us city dwellers turned surfers. Coffee on the way to the coast. Breakfast behind the wheel. Lunch looking out at the ocean. A beer or two on the back bumper. If you're lucky you can camp out inside. A welcome reprieve from winter weather. A safe place to sleep in the summer.

About a year ago, while waiting in line for the ferry, the waterpump in my Jeep took a shit. Our friends at O'Reilley's were kind enough to deliver some coolant and a couple of radiator hoses, but the damn thing wouldn't stop overheating. Our day was done? I think not! Couple of calls, friends and family, and we were back in line for the ferry, this time at the wheel of the 'Silver Swede,' a 1989 Volvo 240 wagon.

Santigold - Starstruck

What I've been listening to lately...

Surf Science

A wide variety of Almond surfboards will soon been added to Stoke Harvester's online inventory. I'm all kinds of excited. So to celebrate, I thought we'd share this little surf science infographic they posted to their blog back in January. Sort of Bill Nye meets Mashable. Click here to learn more about Almond.

Canon PowerShot D20

Been in the market for an underwater image capturing device for some time now. I've used my fair share of Kodak disposable 'Sport' cameras, snapping shitty photos while floating, but I've really wanted something that could capture both photo and video. You know, for YouTube ;) So imagine how excited I was when I saw this sitting on our kitchen counter! A gift from my girlfriend. It's Canon's new PowerShot D20, a water, shock and freeze proof, point-and-shoot designed for disaster. It has a 12.1 mega-whatever sensor, three-inch LCD screen, 28-140mm image stabilized zoom lens and captures 1080p HD video at 30fps! You can get one at Glazer's. I'll post a few photos when we get back from the beach.

Jazzy Joel

Love him or loathe him, Joel Tudor is a lumberjack. Malibu full of monkeys? Joel gets waves. Cardiff crowded with Stand Up Paddle people? Joel gets waves. Not sure where he went, though. Sorta slid off the map. All eyes on Alex I guess. But damned if he don't make loggin' look easy.


Ten Foot Bing Pig

I believe it was February when my friend Derek bought a Bing. A ten foot Feral Pig to be precise. It was a custom job. Black rails with a cream and teal two-tone stripe. A big ol' D fin. Some other stuff. A real stunner. Like a sexy lady in a short dress. Anyhow. Last weekend Derek dragged his Bing to the beach, and on Saturday asked if I'd like to take'r for a slide. Hell yes I did! I paddled the Pig out around sunset. There were plenty of people in the water. Knew almost all of them, though. First wave I went for was waist high. To the left. Oh, what smooth sailing. That big bastard drove down the line. Like a Cadillac. And I love Cadillacs. Took a few trips to where there shoulda been wax ;) Had everyone looking green with envy. Really complimented my surfing style. Arms up as I threw the thing around, fast forward. Fuck. It was so much fun! I dreamed of big Pigs that night. Paddling effortlessly into every wave. It's hard to explain, really. Like nothing else. I loved it. I'm sold! Click here to learn more about Bing's Feral Pig.

Terry Martin

The late, great Glen Terry Martin talks about his first experiences with surfing and shaping.


Loggin' The Buck - Part Deux

It couldn't have been better. An afternoon of aloha. Friends and fellow loggers. Soulful surfers. You see, surfing can be serious business here in the Pacific Northwest. Damned if you don't stink eye someone! So when I suggested we host an impromptu celebration of big boards, an excuse to share some stoke and show off your stick, I expected some, but not that many people to appear. And boom!

Friends, friends of friends, Facebook friends. I guess I was just excited to see so many logs in the lineup. Everything from old school single fins, to pigs and performance boards. More than twenty people paddled out. An evening session as the sun set. Jazzing the Glass. Loggin' the Buck. Oh, and when he wasn't in the water, Derek Sparks snapped some fantastic photos. Follow the link and have a look.

The Gordon's

An evening at 'The Queen of the Coast' with Trevor and Spencer Gordon. As seen on Future Enigma.


Loggin' The Buck

Spent the weekend with a great group of people. People that believe in big boards. People all about the aloha. We arrived around eight on Friday. Surfed for an hour as the sun set. Built a fire. Shot the shit. Put up our tent and passed out. Saturday morning we went out early. Wind was offshore. Waves were waist high. Stayed out until it got ugly. Ate a late lunch. Yogurt and granola. Back in the water before four.

Everyone found a few waves that evening. Without any wind. Twenty plus people. Sharing surf. Singing Happy Birthday. Couldn't have asked for anything else. Swapped sticks and surfed a pig. So much fun. Words just won't work. Had a handful as the sun sank and the ocean turned orange. Decided to bring "Cowabunga!" back. So I screamed as Shawn scored a solid right. Stoke Harvester!

We all went in around eight. Built a big fire and watched as Karissa cooked hot dogs and jalapeno burgers. A couple of cold ones and lots of laughs. It's hard to explain how I feel. Elated. Amazed. Appreciative. All kinds of words. What a wonderful weekend. What wonderful people. Follow the link for a few photos.

Black & White

Super 8 short documenting the sliding style of Mark Matisons, a logger and Luddite from Down Under.


Emily Ballard

Emily Ballard grew up on the east coast of Vancouver Island. At seventeen, inspired by a song she heard while working at a skate shop in her hometown of Nanaimo, Emily ventured across the island to the town of Tofino. She took her first trip solo, driving a shitty Chevette four hours from one coast to the other. She bought a board, donned a wetsuit and fell in love. She never went back to Nanaimo.

I found Emily on the internet. No, not on some sketchy dating site for surfers, but on the entry list for the Australian leg of the ASP Longboard World Tour. She was the only Northwest Native on the list, and seemed eager to show the world that 'cold waves are cool.' After a few weeks in Australia, Emily has since returned home to Tofino and was kind enough to answer a couple of questions.

Cloud Walking

Mick Hughes enjoying some long slides and noserides at Noosa Heads. Seen on The Boda Surfamily.


The Wave Catcher's Companion

Earlier this week I picked up a copy of Gavin Pretor-Pinney's new book, The Wave Catcher's Companion. Gavin is the author of The Cloud Collector's Handbook, "a whimsical guide to the wonders of the sky." Gavin is from England. He grew up in West London and now lives in Somerset. He is also the founder of The Idler, a yearly publication intended to "return dignity to the art of loafing." His latest book is a "discursive and entertaining guide to entities that control our lives in ways we rarely appreciate." I haven't read but a few pages, still trying to finish Orwell's Homage to Catalonia, but as soon as I have some time, I'll be sure to post my impressions. Click here to learn more about Gavin's new book.


What I've been listening to lately...


Cape Kiwanda Longboard Classic

The 14th Annual Cape Kiwanda Longboard Classic will take place September 21st-23rd in Pacific City. The event, which is sponsored by Moment Surf Company, will play host to more than 100 longboarders competing in 20 minute heats, for two consecutive days. A small surf town some thirty miles south of Tillamook, Pacific City makes for a great getaway come September. So if you're into that kind of thing, drive down, sign up and show us your stuff. Follow the link for a bit of film from last year's event.


Matix & Mexico

Baja. The final frontier. Where freedom and fun, motorcycles and misbehaving make love. Sweet love. Enter Matix. Founded in 1998 by pro skateboarders Daewon Song and Tim Gavin, Matix makes clothing for those who do the daring. Like So-Cal surfers, Turkey Stopnik and J.J. Wessels. So with out further adieu, check out this short bit of film shot south of the border. Courtesy of 1000 Savage Comforts.

One Day Many Waves

Skip Cinco de Mayo. Saturday was Derby Day! And I could have been rich. Picked the right horse, failed to place the bet. Sonofabitch. Sort of like buying a bottle of wine in a foreign country - just pick the one with the coolest looking label. "I'll Have Another." That bastard was born to win. Anyhow, after a couple of cocktails with Curbsyde, we headed north for Kristin's wedding. Simple ceremony, lots of people. I played photographer. After a bottle of wine and another Gin & Tonic, I was feeling mighty fine. In bed after midnight. Thankfully I woke up to the sound of my cell phone, shortly before six. Threw a few things in Subaru. Two big boards. Two suits. Some day old waffles. First in line for the ferry.


Cadillac Chronicles

Josh Gilberts & Mike Siordia surfing small waves in Southern California. As seen on Stoke Harvester.

The Bushwhacker

Our friend Erik, barkeeper at the infamous Zig Zag Café, once 'checked-in' at The Bushwhacker. We'd driven by it a dozen times, even cracked a couple of jokes about the name of this seemingly shady establishment. But we never considered stopping. Even if Erik ate there. Then, sometime this past winter, following a few hours in freezing cold water, Mark and Derek suggested we stop there for dinner. "You mean that place in Port Angeles, the one that looks like an Elks Lodge?" Yes indeed. And to our surprise, it didn't suck. An 'award winning' salad bar, ten-plus beers on tap (of which most are sourced locally), Whacker Bugers and a not-so-friendly waiter dude. What more could one ask for?!

Mele Saili

The Seea is a small women's surf suit company based in So-Cal. Committed to domestic production and sustainable design, Seea suits feature an elegant mix of retro-modern shapes and contemporary colors and prints. Mele Saili, an Artistic Director and Salty Sister, is the newest member of Seea's surf team. In this video, watch Mele surf her own "Mele" model G&S single fin somewhere down south.


Surf Wagon: Sexy Chinook

The first time I saw this old Dodge it was parked on the side of the highway somewhere along the strait. It looked a little rough, as most Chinooks built in the 1970's (?) should. Fast forward a few months and it's sitting outside of Todd Fischer's studio near Squamish Harbor, ready to be repainted. Turns out it belongs to a gentleman named Jeff, who commissioned Todd to do something amazing with an otherwise ugly automobile. Fast forward a few more months and Jeff's Chinook is now sporting a fresh livery, with waves and wild colors. Now that's one sexy Chinook! Follow the link for a few more photos.


Wild & Wandering

Take a ten minute break and check out this short bit of film featuring Cloudy Rhodes & Matt Chojnacki.


The GoofBoard

Designed to "bring home the surf riding experience and return to waves the better for it," the GoofBoard simulates trimming down the face of a small wave and allows you to practice both your cross-stepping skills and gnarly nose rides. Made from 15mm birch plywood with a pipe made of recycled high density fiber, the GoofBoard will "advance your surfing skills and bring greater style fluidity with better strength, balance, and control." Looks like a lot of fun! Follow the link for additional info and short bit of film.


Cy's Midday Slides

Our friend Cyrus surfing a 9'7" Aquatic Almond somewhere down south. Courtesy of Korduroy.TV

Sticky Bumps - Classic Wax

A few months ago I received a care package courtesy of Wax Research Inc. In the box was everything from Basecoat and 'I Love Boobies' wax to some extra sticky stuff and a couple bars of this stuff. They call it 'longboard wax for the mal-adjusted,' and it's an 85 gram stick of cool-cold water wax that worked well on my Blue Banana this past weekend. Application was rather intense. Board was wet so it required a bit more elbow grease than I expected. But once it was on, nose to tail, it felt like 1000 grit sandpaper. Sticky, but not something that'll leave white streaks on your wetsuit. In the water the 'Classic Wax' kept me firmly affixed. On my feet it felt, well, I don't know. With 7mm boots it's hard to tell. I didn't slip or slide, though. A thin layer was all that was required for four hours in forty-nine degree water. Perfect? Pretty much. Click here to learn more about Wax Research Inc.