Annika in Costa Rica

June 30, 2007

I just got an email from my friend, Annika, who is currently in Costa Rica for ten days. I told her about my new video posting hobby and she wants me to fly down to C.R. this weekend to video tape her and post it to YouTube. Yeah. I’ll do that. Can’t surf but why wouldn’t I want to spend all that time and money on a trip down there just to shoot video of her? Sounds great. I’ve become really cranky these past few days about not being able to surf. For the first three weeks, I felt ok about it, but this week has been hard – not so much because the surf has been great, but mostly because the weather has been great and it just looks fun out in the water. I watched my buddy, Marc, surf this morning and he was having a ball on fun, sloppy 1 – 3 footers. He’s busted out his longboard and was catching wave after wave running over all of the summer newbies on their foam boards. That is another topic unto itself – the summer surf lesson madness. As a former surf instructor, I know it’s a way for “experienced” surfers to make some money, but it is just out of control the amount of new surfers flocking to the shores every summer. Fortunately, most of these people don’t stick with it and the line-up thins out again when the water gets cold and the waves get bigger.

As for me, I know I have to stay out of the water because I do feel the difference in my shoulder and know it’s the only way it’s going to get better. So I’ll be back at the beach soon to shoot some more video and post it to YouTube because that’s all I can do right now. And I’ll just keep my eye on the ball – surf trip with Annika in September…


Money Matters?

June 29, 2007

There is a very interesting post over at Confessions of a Novice Surfer about Surfline buying out a surf spot in Puerto Escondido for an elite group of “VIP” surfers at the exclusion of the locals. I’m sure there are gaps in the details of this story, but it is true that as the sport of surfing grows and the business of surfing matures, money matters. For decades, surfing, both as a sport and an industry, were underground and out-of-the-mainstream for a relatively few obsessed (and yes, those surfing “first point” at Malibu in the 60’s will argue it went mainstream 40 years ago with Gidget). In the past decade, however, the world over has discovered surfing: the media has embraced it (commercials ranging from Amex to Toyota and beyond), the malls have usurped it (Pac Sun and Quicksilver at Walmart) and as every surfer knows, the line-ups are near unbearable.

So like so many things in life, money will now buy you an empty line-up at the exclusion of “the others.” The irony is that many surfers, by choice, elect to work very little so that they can surf. Does this mean that in order to get access to an empty line-up, you have to go corporate (or pro) in order to afford to surf? Hmmm…

Today I wanted to surf!

June 28, 2007

I have to stay out of the water for 8 – 12 weeks because of a chronic shoulder injury that won’t heal. I’ve been out of the water for about three weeks and up until this morning, wasn’t really missing it too much. But today was so beautiful and the water so warm and clear looking, I wanted to paddle out so bad. The surf wasn’t that great: 1 – 3 ft. with ok shape, but with the right board (say a fatty old school fish), it would have been soooo fun.

Check out the pictures and full report at Venice Surf Report

When the surf goes flat, skate.

June 27, 2007

Summer Solstice in Venice

June 27, 2007

There was a really great street fair in Santa Monica/Venice this past week which happened to be right outside of my apartment window. There was a stage set up with bands playing all day. I felt like I was back in the dorms at college with kind of amateur but not terrible bands playing cover songs all afternoon – one band did covers of Heart, the other of the Beatles, and the third of Neil Young songs. I was a bit hung over from a party I went to on Saturday night and really wanted to nap in the afternoon, but that wasn’t really possible. Again, kinda like college. Thankfully, they wrapped up the stage activities at about 6pm, so then I only had the noise from the crowded bar to filter out.

I love living in Venice!

Erin Surfing Venice Pier

June 26, 2007

Here is some footage from this morning of Erin surfing small, closed out, Venice pier. Unfortunately, there wasn’t much for her to surf.

Erin is the star of a new “reality” tv show called Curl Girls. Now I will say that I think it’s great there is a show about lesbian surfers, however, from what I’ve seen, the show has very little to do with surfing and much more to do with the “drama” between these women out of the water. I don’t know why, but the powers that be (producers/network execs) believe it makes for much better tv to show the women involved in fabricated conflict rather than what it’s like to be a surfer in L.A. I can think of about a dozen more interesting story lines to follow, but then again, I’m not a network exec. I guess there is no reason to ever, ever stray from the tried and true formula of the Real World?

The reviews and critics have labeled Erin aggressive, competitive and very “serious about her surfing”. Hello? She’s a surfer. The majority of real surfers take their surfing quite serious. From what I can tell, three of the six girls on the show can’t surf. I’m sorry, but standing up and falling down in white water just does not constitute surfing. Then again, this show has very little to do with reality and everything to do with reality tv.

Like I said, though, still good to see the gays on tv. We’ll take it.

Skating and video taping

June 26, 2007

I finally had to resign myself to the fact that as long as I continue to surf, my shoulder will never heal. So I’ve pulled myself out of the water for about eight weeks to see if I can get the spasms to calm down and then strengthen it back to where it once was. I’m supposed to go to Samoa on a surf trip in September, but I told Annika (with whom I’m traveling) that I’m not gonna throw down over $3000 bones for this trip if my shoulder is still f’d up. We’ll see. In the meantime, I’m skating a bunch on the boardwalk and one of the local homeless dudes that hangs out near my apartment recently called out, “still drop-dead gorgeous, just don’t drop dead.” That made my day.

And I just figured out how to download footage to my laptop, edit the footaga in iMovie, and then upload it to youtube, so I’m heading to the pier tomorrow to shoot some footage and post it to youtube. Kinda cool. THEN, I can copy the html code to this blog and show the video on my blog. So 2005 but I’m catching up!