Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Handmade: A new Sweep and an Open Ocean Racer

First of all: I need to thank everybody out there who is building this blog into a community. I really appreciate the input regarding the site and its content. I especially enjoy your submissions- the photos, ideas and suggestions that keep this blog fat and happy- Keep 'em coming!

Speaking of contributions: Check these two out. The top photo is the blade of a beautiful Koa paddle constructed by Beau Whitehead up in Bellingham, Washington. In my opinion, guys like Beau and Andy Gere in Santa Cruz are rekindling surfing's pioneer spirit. They're resurrecting surfing's ghosts (it is Halloween after all). In my eyes they're emulating surfing's forefathers, I'm talking about the guys who planed their own redwood boards and dawn patrolled it in trunks and wool sweaters. Keep it up gentlemen, you're honoring our past (and you thought you were just making a paddle).

Tim Stamps has got his own ideas: Didn't we last see him on an 8-nothing stand up biscuit? Well, here's where he went next- a big 'ol open ocean solution. We all know that fresh ideas are rare birds- time and time again the world shows us it's easier to poach from others then to walk point. Support shapers like T. Stamps who aren't afraid to risk a little- to move us forward a lot.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Two days off but plans are in the works!

So I haven't surfed in two days. I did some other things; hung the last pieces of drywall on the remodel I started five years ago, walked Lilly, took out the trash. But plans are afoot for some fun: this weekend I'll spend a day paddling the Malibu coast, hopefully pickup another custom Stamps 10'er for a good buddy up north, and begin to work out the logistics for our Northern Baja stand up surf excursion to Punta San Jose this November. Of course, I'll post it all.

Top: Justin Hugron on a Tim Stamps 10'er at the Infinity San-O contest. Stamps calls it the Commander, it's what I'm riding too- and it's working out nicely.

Middle: The mystery 12-oh offshore cruiser- it's gotta be done by now, when will we know something about this phantom board- Stamps?

Monday, October 29, 2007

A Little Contrast: Andy Gere's Hollow Wood SUB

Lot's of boards come from CAM machines mowing through foam like mutant ADD lawnmowers cranked up on speed. Some boards come from China, molded like a fortune cookie by comrade Ning Po. Very few boards, maybe five total in the United States, will be built hollow- planked entirely in wood. Andy Gere, a surfer from Santa Cruz California, is building his from redwood recycled from old water tanks- we'll keep track of his progress. Here's his first load of material- hard to believe it'll someday be sliding a NorCal point break.
If Giapetto was a surfer Pinochio would've been an oar: Gere's also making his own sweeps- initial stages of what should soon be a clean pusher. Check the workshop: a couple of fins tucked in amongst the router bits, some solid hand planes, wood shavings curling on the bench and a Pearson Arrow laminate- a place to chill out on a Friday afternoon, sip a couple of Steinlagers and spin yarns. A surfer's workshop.

Sometimes less is more.
Sometimes more is more. Walking a clean one at home.
Photo: Spidey

Sunday, October 28, 2007


Another fun morning in the water. Unfortuntately, this swell is on its way out.

Funny, I remember reading in Surfer Magazine an editorial about the maximum number of days that a person could surf good waves consecutively. I think it was Sam George who wrote the piece and I remember he asked guys like Tom Curren what the limit was for them; each of them agreed, independently, that it was somewhere between four and six days in a row.

At the time, I remember thinking that was ridiculous. Now, I 'm not so sure. We just had a nice six day swell that provided good waves on a daily basis. Each day delivered four hours of glassy morning zippers followed by an evening tube session. If you wanted it, you could put in six hours of surfing assuming you could get your arms moving again.

I'm now at day six and, guess what? I'm cooked. I almost passed it up this morning in favor of pancakes with the family. My cup of 7-11's finest and an extended conference with the boys at the end of Date street almost took away any chance of a morning surf- maybe subconsciously I wanted it that way. Finally, a clean left, peeling from pier to sand, stoked the dying surf-ember in me and I hopped in for a quick hour and a half run down to the rivermouth.

That Surfer magazine piece still haunts me though. And the question remains- if it was absolutely firing barrels all day long, how long could I last? Don't really know, but I'd love to find out. How about you?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Shaping Machines, Baja Fishermen, and a Board Test Day

Coming Up:
If you've ever wanted to know where these magic rides come from stay tuned, I've got a inside look at how it gets done. Check out this Channel Islands SUB being cut by the boys at ProCam in Huntington Beach. If you've ever had questions about the process, now's the time to send 'em to me.

Here's another photo of the mystery paddlers from Punta San Carlos. Check out that white sea bass. Now close your eyes and imagine fat fillets wrapped in bacon with some frijoles con arroz and couple of ice cold Pacificos. You've got serious orangutan arm from paddle surfing the Chili Bowl all day long- your neck's cramping up because you can't stop smiling- sounds too good to be true, but that's Baja. Sign me up!

In the water: Had a ridiculous poach-fest with Stu Kenson this morning down in IB. Paddled from the pier to the sloughs snagging the ones nobody else wanted. This series of swells must be a gift to make up for a lackluster summer. Wave of the day goes to SK for the little shoulder tube at "the spot". Couple of realizations: it is absolutely more fun to hit and run on these boards- there are plenty of waves away from the pack (Stu and I stopped at "the spot" because nobody was there- as I looked south there were wide open peaks all the way to the Rivermouth) and secondly, six days in a row of four hour sessions will wear you down but... that doesn't mean we don't want more! Wetsand's calling for another south swell around the end of the month- bring it on!

Last: Rumors in the wind of a stand up board test drive day down here in the Southbay. I'll keep you posted but it sounds like it'll be a day of board sampling for anybody interested in getting into the sport or for those old hands who are curious to try something new.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Got a little free time this week- can you tell?

Got a little gift of time this week. I've been able to tie up some loose ends including this little project I started about a month ago but never got around to finishing. This is kind of a mish/mash of bits and pieces of video that I had taken before my camera died on me (Sanyo is however honoring their warranty and repairing it). You'll see some MULE footage, some WildCoast video, KIWI is in there, Chad K. is whipping the Stamps 10'0 around, the infamous Spidey can be seen on a nice day at "the spot" and the bonus is the mysto-shaper at the end- who could it be?

By the way: Didn't that "Killing it in Baja" piece just get you amped to head south? The point that these guys surfed is one of three different spots that can be SUPed at San Carlos- tell me you wouldn't have some serious plans for that meaty section on the right the guy on the Laird is surfing. I've got an annual Baja run down to Punta San Jose coming up in the next couple of weeks- I'm keeping fingers and toes crossed that one of these late season Souths will hit while I'm down there, and- yes, I will be bringing the stand up board. Check back for the full report.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Killing it in Baja: Literally

Thanks Kiwi:
I followed a lead from my good buddy Kiwi and poached these from If you're into fishing you should check that site out- full of information from super opinionated (and funny- depending on your sense or humor) fishermen from all over the world.
Here's the backstory on these guys: A couple of friends from San
Diego headed down to Punta San Carlos (Mike and I paddled it in June- water was much colder then) to kitesurf, windsurf and paddlesurf the many waves in that area. I'm going out on a limb and guessing that they had perfected their boards for stand up fishing as well.

Seems like they knew what they were doing. Pretty good yellow tail in the middle photo and I'll post an additional photo of the beefy white sea bass they also caught.

If anybody knows these guys, shoot me an email so I can give them proper credit. I vaguely recognize one of these guys as a North County kiteboarder- let me know.

One more thing: The Laird 12'0 looks perfectly suited for this purpose- check out the milkcrate lashed to the deck. Maybe it's not such a good idea to move to the smallest board that'll float you- especially if you're headed down south and want to use the board for more then one purpose.
Another argument for holding on to a big stand up board.

Still fun this morning: Or, it's fun to burn me!

The swell that just won't die- at least for today. Here are a couple from this morning.

Some Thursday morning fun on the Southside. Chad in full alpha male posture.
Photo: Spidey

Bagby version 1: "I thought you said Go, not No'"
Bagby version 2: "I thought you were going right"
Bagby version 3: "I'm actually blind in my right eye"
Bagby version 4: "Its just fun to burn you"

The truth is undoubtedly somewhere in between.

Photo: Spidey

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

A California Surf Day: Three Photos

Here's a couple of submitted photos for you guys to check out while you're resting your arms, backs and legs from multi-hour surf sessions (at least I am- surf is still cranking down here).

Mash riding with his wrong foot forward at Privates- looks like it's working out going switchfoot in a land of rights.
Photo: Mash's friend in Santa Cruz

Looking fun down here in the ghetto.
Photo: Spiderman

Paddling the path less traveled.
Photo: Unknown

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sacred Craft: Some Stand Up Boards to Check Out

Take a look at the little video I slammed together for the Sacred Craft Surfboard Show in Del Mar. There are a few stand up boards to check out in addition to some cool regular boards in there as well. My better half says the music doesn't match the content- I don't know, its kind of grown on me.

In the Water? Hope everyone is getting some of the surf that we've been soaking up this last weekend. I lucked out and just got back from four days down at the tip where I scored six foot, roping lefts at Punta Conejo- nobody out but my friend and me. Wasn't able to paddlesurf it- rode it on a seven-oh thruster I've got stashed in a buddies garage outside of La Paz. I just didn't have the heart to deal with the airport hassles. I may have to look into leaving a board and paddle down there. If you haven't been to Conejo- you owe it to yourself to swing in on your way to Cabo. With a little luck (or a lot of persistence), the wind will be down and the south swell will be up- what you'll end up with is a racy little left handed number that'll wear out your legs from pumping and your arms from paddling. Mike and I paddled it this summer but it was super bumpy and messy- nothing like this last session.

Mule Questions: Got a couple of questions about the MULE trailer. Specifically, will a regular longboard, or a pintail longboard work with the MULE system? I'm going to surf my brains out tomorrow and then I'll try and snap some photos and post the answers to your questions. I have to say, I really like this trailer- the design is good and I like how small it packs down. Check back for more photos.

Stand Up Boards: It's sounding like Emerald City in Coronado will be retailing a couple of Stu Kenson paddleboards- this is the first shop to sell Stu's boards so if you're interested in what Stu's got going on this will be the one place to check them out. Kelly also said he's going to have a few more C4 boards and a couple of the Bonga Perkins models in the shop in about two weeks. If you're a board junky swing on by and check 'em out- if you're going to buy one- you better run because word on the street is that they'll go fast.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Product Review: The MULE surf transport system

The guy just wanted to get his board to the beach without throwing out his back. At least that's what it sounded like to me when James Wilnau, inventor of the MULE, told me how his unique surfboard carrier came to life.

This thing will put a smile on your face. The design is brilliant in its simplicity- the only moving parts are the wheels. The ultra-important universal joint (traditionally the weak link in bike trailers) is virtually indestructible, it's made of Special Forces-grade, ballistic webbing. If the SEALS can hang blocks of C4 off the stuff, I think it'll handle your stand up board. There is nothing to bolt to your bike, no tools are required for assembly and the carrier can handle boards from under six feet to over twelve feet (there's even a model that will transport kayaks).

I first saw the MULE at my friend MOFO's house. MOFO's the most prolific Sunset Cliffs paddle surfer in San Diego- the fact that MOFO lives two blocks from Luscombe Point really works in his favor. All he needed was an easy way to get his 11' Walden down to the Cliffs. Enter the MULE.

MOFO's MULE was an older version of my MULE. James was gracious enough to send me a demo unit that featured all the latest upgrades. The unit came equipped with an axle extension to accommodate the wider tails of our stand up boards, the MULE also featured the lace up nose piece that can expand or contract to fit surfboard noses of various widths. The whole thing breaks down and stows in a pack that would easily stow in an airplane carry on bag (bring it with you on vacation for hauling around that big boy).

I've been using the MULE here in Imperial Beach for about two weeks now. I've beat on it- riding with it in today's light rain, throwing it on the sand at the beach, locking it to my bike (all you do is feed your cable through the spokes of the two wheels) for days on end, hauling around stand up boards from 10' to 12'. This MULE shows no sign of wearing out. A real plus of this design is once you take it off your bike it can be stored in it's carrier on a book shelf; people who live in small homes, where space is limited will really appreciate the compactness of this design.

Probably the biggest testament to its worthiness is the attention it's received from other surfers around town- I've already got five guys who want one! Be talking to you soon James!

How to get one: or call James Wilnau at (757) 491-7805

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Tim Stamps 8'er in Action and Somethin' New

Doesn't this thing look cool? Tim Stamps told me he's been surfing this around Huntington Beach and he's digging it. You've got to admit it; you want to try it. I do.

Here's another photo of the pug (that's what I call it) in action at the San-O contest this last weekend. Tim says it's pretty easy to get five over on it but it really likes to be on a rail, wrappin' cutties and floating over foamballs.

Last, the fertile fields of the Stamps' cerebellum never stop producing- I don't really know what you'd call this but Tim's all messed up about it. I do know it's big and it's meant to cover open water quickly.

Coming Up: More San-O contest photos and watch out it's... the MULE!

Monday, October 8, 2007

WildCoast Dempsey: Check it out

Got a chance to put together a video of stand up paddle surf competition at the Dempsey, October 7th. As you can see the conditions deteriorated for the finals- about two feet and really mushy. Tough conditions to put together any kind of ride- but still super fun to get out there and goof around.

Thanks to Kevin Ferris for water videography.

Coming Soon: Save the Earth, Go Green, Don't be an Ass... get the MULE! Full report on the coolest stand up paddle board transporter I've seen.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

WildCoast Dempsey Surf Contest: A great day in the sun!

The Dempsey just wrapped up down here in Imperial Beach- if you're done with the big time club meets and want some homegrown soul, you've got to do this contest next year.

And if you support clean water for all surfers, a Baja free of mega salt factories and million dollar phantom ports destroying classic Baja point breaks- then you owe it to yourself to support WildCoast. These folks are doing good work and they really deserve the support of all surfers.

Above: Early morning in IB- tide filling in and the day's starting to come together. Bring on the colored jerseys!

More Dempsey news to come!

Friday, October 5, 2007

October Treats: New Stu Kenson Paddleboards

It's a sickness.

You think you're going to get away with just one board, or you bought your first one thinking, "This should cover me for a few years...".

Next thing you know, your buddy, the shaper, shows up at the beach with a shiny new custom board.

"Hey just take it for a little spin, catch a couple of waves", he says so nonchalantly, all the while knowing exactly what he's doing; he's setting the hook, sinking the barb.

You haven't got a chance. You're preoccupied with owning one of these boards, soon you're running perverse calculations in your head: "If I skip that latte three times a week, and cancel the kid's dance lessons and speaking of the kid, teeth like that build character and being able to focus on things far away is way over rated".

Somehow, you find a way to make enough sacrifices to save up enough scratch to grab that next magic ride. Like I said, it's a sickness.

So here's my latest contribution to your "problem". Some new Stu Kenson paddleboards. Check 'em out- I think these are looking really, really good. I'm a big fan of the yellow and black 10'6" Stu's shaped out (top picture)- it's 10'6" by 29", just a nice clean shape. I've surfed the larger version of this board in a quad fin and I have to say these fin set ups just have speed built in to them. Sweet boards worth checking out.

Contact Stu Kenson at

Want to see one? Come to the WildCoast event on October 7th, I'll have the Alligator on the beach, check it out, give it a spin- after my heat of course. Stand Up heat is at 9am.

Need Stand Up Gear: Just had a chat with Kelly, owner of Emerald City (619 435-6677 this guy's really got a terminal case of stand-up-itis) seems like they'll be getting in a new shipment of C4 boards any day now- and check out their other paddle specific supplies- Kelly's legit, he surfs stand up everyday, lives it and knows what works, give him a call or come meet him at the Wildcoast Dempsey on Sunday.