Friday, December 31, 2010

Another Freshy... but not for me!

My Vietnamese friend and ripper, Tram just nabbed himself a freshy from the Stamps factory. Check it out:

9'2 x 30" x 4 1/8": Pure sickness!
 Right on Tram... rip it!

Baja stando shots

The surf has been hit and miss down here and the SUP guys have been doing their best to get in front of my camera! JA's friend CR from Point Loma has been blowing my mind. This guy just seems to find and make the best of every wave he gets. He is using every inch of that Laird Stando, the guy is a switch footer which is really cool to see. He is on the nose alot and cranking some killa turns, and when you least expect it the guy tucks into these lil barrells and gets a head dip! Now watchin this guy and John it even makes an old kneeboard guy like me wanna give it a try. Well John? Wanna give Wally a stando lesson?
CR switch footin! John's right this guy just rips no matter what the conditions!

CR gettin a classic lil Todos left!

John gettin is backside slide on!

Here is CR doin a lil nose ridin!

John pickin up a lil speed!

CR on it again, this guy is incredible and just a cool dude!

CR again charging off the bottom!

CR gettin a lil head dip in!

Cocktail hour...

What more needs to be said?

A little windy today... but sunny and beautiful. A perfect day to sit on the porch and sip a nice cocktail. I feel a nap coming on.
I made this today, you tell me what it's really called- I call it, "The Unforgiven". Because, "we all got it comin' to us":

The Unforgiven

Vodka
One whole orange squeezed into the tumber
Grapefruit soda
Grenadine

Baja rig

Check out this cool Baja rig. Notice the paddles, there must be a stando paddler in there:


This thing's kind of rad: pop up camper to keep a low center of gravity, full size bed to maximize the interior size of the camper, four wheel drive and a back porch (the camper fits inside the bed so you can retain your tailgate- this does two things: gives you the important beer-drinking porch and provides you with an additional layer of security when you close and lock your tailgate).

I'm of the light and fast frame of mind for Baja travel. I prefer to be able to move quickly on the highway and I want to keep the whole thing light for better 4x4 performance on the sand. My previous truck was a full size (8' bed) diesel F250 with the crew cab back seat- that truck was heavy and powerful. It rambled down the highway excellently but it was too heavy for easily cruising on the sand beaches- even with the tires let way down it was always just barely able to churn along.


Now, I'm in a 1/2 ton Toyota Tundra 4x4. I still have the 8' bed but the truck is much lighter and capable off road. I did lose some low end torque but was surprised by the power the 5.8L engine was able to put to the ground. The truck easily pulled my 22' travel trailer down here from San Diego a couple of years ago. I'm happy with my Baja rig but there are always improvements and modifications that can be made. My friend, Deacon, who just picked up a 4x4 Tundra has rekindled my interest in Flip-pac shells. This stuff never ends- the ultimate Baja rig has yet to be created.

Will the timing be right?

Seems like all the forecasts are now calling for back-to-back NW swells to smack us... but will the timing be right?

Like this forecast? Click here.
I hate to say it but the best of this stuff may be showing up on the day we hit the road!!!! I'm keeping my fingers crossed- I'd love to score one of these swells while I'm still here:

Another forecast from www.solspot.com

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Off to ceviche...

Remember that Sierra? Well, we rounded up a couple more of those suckers and now it's time for ceviche over at my friend's rancho. We've got our friend Israel filleting them out and turning them into ceviche. If you've never had ceviche before it's basically raw fish that's cooked in lots of lime juice.


 Ceviche is one of those pure tasting kinds of food that actually makes you feel healthier when you're finished with it (I guess, then, it's the ten cocktails I'm going to drink that will do the damage). The citric acid cooks the fish off and then you add chopped tomato, onion and cilantro- it's delicioso!

A couple more from this morning...

More southern Baja surf shots... not too windy right now, I'm off to check it! Enjoy:

Cool depth of field on this one.
P-Mac on his Stu Kenson Pleasure Pig... homey was FLYING down the line on this thing. I broke out the 6'6 loaned it out to a friend and haven't seen it in a few days... correction: I have seen it but it's been in the water being surfed by a different person each time. That's cool, I was drinking their beer.

Just a couple snaps from down south...

Check 'em:

El Rey de la playa.
Round tails are my favorite. Yours too- right?
The morning surf check.

There's a new sheriff in town and she goes by Lead Finger (Dedo Plomo)

Everybody knows that Wally is out there rackin' frames with his killer Canon 7D- want to know who really get's the goods though? His better half, Dedo Plomo or Lead Finger. If you see this woman on the beach you better bring the A-game because she's watching:

Sandra- or Dedo Plomo going full-auto at 7 frames a second... boost it. PS: ask her about the killer breakfast burritos she makes every morning... yum!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

A nice cabernet... a fun day of surf.

I'm beat. Basically, I've been on it since sunrise. The surf was a total bonus. It's almost like it came out of nowhere- what a great way to spend my birthday. Thank you cosmic forces. 

Now I'm just winding down with a nice glass of cabernet, thinking about a hot shower and good book.  Can life really be this simple and good? I'm fired up to charge it again tomorrow- can't wait! Check out these photos from today:

Sunrise...
These fun little peaks turned into...
...this when the tide got lower. Bonus Day!
Me and my pelican friends.
C.R. posted on the tip... as usual. I should just follow this guy around- he's always working some little honey hole that nobody else has figured out. Seriously, the guy is always on a wave but never in anybody's way. If you want to know how stand up paddle surfing should be done in a crowd- watch C.R., he's got it wired.
Sunset... whew, what a day! Look at those lines- there's going to be surf tomorrow and the wind's stopped blowing. I'm on it at sunrise, thermos of coffee, one hardboiled egg and me... yeehaw!

Oh yeah, Happy Birthday to me... 42.

If I would've known 42 felt so bitchin' I would've got here sooner. Here's me about 41 years ago- ready to rock'n'roll (dude, I used to have an outy... now I've got an innie... what?)! My brother Mike (he's on the left) sent this today as a birthday gift- thanks bro!

Don't hate the player- hate the game.

More waves- let's hope it keeps coming.

On it early this morning. Things started out pretty slow but as the tide dropped it got super fun with lots of waves. Here's Jake on a fun one:

Nothing big- just fun stuff today.

Yeah, but can your shaper do this...?

Check out Tim Stamps shaping out a little shortboard... probably done a couple thousand- I think he's got it down:

Tim Stamps and Foam E-Z Shape a New Orange Foam Blank from US Blanks from grant ramey on Vimeo.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Now that's ART!

Very rarely do I find a painting that speaks to me... and this one speaks to me... kind of. It's called, "Imperial in the Desert". They call this town an "artist's colony" which just means that the paintings are overpriced and artificially important. It also means that you can be a retired-nobody with a paintbrush, move down here and rebrand yourself as an "artist". I think that label is applied a little  too liberally and if you're labeling yourself as an "artist" then you most definitely aren't. Where's the life of pain? Show me the inner struggle, I want to know about the agony inside. That, or show me the collages that you're making out of furballs and toenail clippings- that would impress me; a little.

I don't know, I just dig it. Maybe because it doesn't take itself too seriously.

Ceviche tonight...

This fish is called Sierra and if you have three or four this size you'll feed a mess of hungry surfers. These guys are like ocean trout except they have the nastiest teeth you've ever seen. Sierra are perfect for ceviche. Adam caught this one- get the limes ready:

Nice work... now get into my belly!

Hold the Press: WAVES!

Just when you least expect it... you get waves. We got to the beach expecting nothing- and check out what was there to greet us:

You see that left winding off up top? That's my spot! The guy paddling out is Jake, a local stand up paddler. I met Jake last year and he was killing it on his C4 stando... good to see him again.
I was stoked to nab a half a dozen or so waves before enjoying a refreshing Modelo and a breakfast burrito on the sand... sabor! It's looking like a day at the beach for us... load the cooler.

12/28: Looking a little Gray... Check out our digs.

Woke up to gray skies and a noticeable lack of noise from the beach. I'm predicting that our flat spell is going to carry on today. No worries with a stand up board, flat days make great coastal touring days. I'll put on my tune hat (don't worry, I'll do an in-depth post on it) and knock out four miles. Here's a couple shots of where we're staying. We rent a house each time we come down. Last year we scored a giant custom home, this year we're staying in a smaller place in a fantastically landscaped compound. It's a really killer little home. Check it out:

Here's the view from this morning. Wow, looking gray. This is the dry season down here, summer is the hurricaine/wet season. Typically, weather like this will blow right over leaving sunshine for the day.
Here's a shot looking towards the mountains. There are three little casitas available two of them are large with two bedrooms and two baths. One is small with one bedroom and one bath- I haven't been inside of it yet but I'll check it before I leave. All of them have nice little shaded verandas out in front- great spots to hang out, sip a Bloody Gary and solve the world's problems.

Monday, December 27, 2010

You never know what you're going to see on the way home...

Driving home from the beach today and saw these guys go walking by- safe to say we're not in San Diego anymore:

What are you looking at?
Love those hindquarters!

Surf has gone to zero- but Wally's here... with his camera.

Today was a down day. I did get in a nice four mile paddle, claimed a high quality nap and downed a bunch of cocktails... so all-in-all it was a good day. Wally showed up a couple of days ago. Here's a snap he grabbed:

There were waves. Now? Not so much... fingers crossed.

I am really good at this... The Bloody Gary

I make great Bloody Marys. I know, I know, I just said that I'm a wino- that's only because my mind ain't necessarily a steel trap and I can only focus as far as the next glass of hooch in front of me (not to take away from The Barrel Blend... that stuff really is excellent). But as far as Bloody Marys go I might as well be the Mozart of the Bloody Mary symphony. Credit is due to my good buddy Gary Trieschman who showed me the ropes on our last Punta San Jose camping trip... the secret is in the celery salt- and the Kermato. This is a special south of the border version of the Bloody Mary- es caliente! Kermato is the Mexican version of tomato juice, just a thousand times better. I don't know why- possibly a secret ingredient, like MSG or something. Here's two that I whipped up this morning.

Love these very much.
Here's how you do it. First of all, don't overthink this thing, after the first one they all taste great. Never measure anything- you will never impress the girls if you're breaking out a measuring cup.  I call this one the, "Bloody Gary" after my mentor Gary Trieschman- here's to you old boy:

The Bloody Gary

1 tumbler full of ice.

Cheap vodka (preferably in a plastic bottle so you know it's cheap): fill the tumbler 1/3 full.

Kermato, if you can find it- try your local Mexican grocery store. V8 will work... poorly. Fill the glass to about a quarter inch below the rim.

Worcestshire, worchestichire, worchest.... whatever, you know what I'm talking about. Five big shakes into the glass.

Celery salt, a couple of good shakes into the glass.

Ground black pepper- a couple of solid twists.

One big green, jalapeno stuffed olive.

Enjoy!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Go Buy This: The Barrel Blend, 2007 Napa Blend

I'm a wino. Really, I much prefer wine over just about any other booze. My good buddy and ex-student Kyle Knox, who is, by the way, a pro-surfer has put together a bottle that has just blown my mind. Go find this: The Barrel Blend. It's Napa juice from the stellar 2007 vintage... and it's only 16 bucks. I just drank a bottle while enjoying another sublime Baja sunset (green flash? check.). The stuff is good; smooth as a salamander's ass and full like a handful of J-Lo. I'm stoked I brought another bottle and am wondering if hiding it from everyone else makes me a bad person. 

Here's how much I like this wine: Kiwi or Para... if you're reading this would you go to Wally's and pick up five bottles of this stuff for me? Pay you back when I get home. Thanks!

My favorite house in Baja...

Check it out:

This place has so much going for it... There's a bunch of really cool, old buildings around here. I just pulled over and snapped this photo on the way to my afternoon surf.

Here are the positives: 

1. Walking distance from the point.
2. Unlimited soul.
3. Hand built out of local brick and adobe (just watch the Jones' turn green with envy about that one).
4. Did I already say, "Walking distance to the point"?

I don't know, I just like it.

Here's a cool board: Jess's PauHana Gun

Here's a shot of a cool looking, gunny board. It was super cool to see this board because PauHana is an advertiser here on paddlesurf.net and I have been wanting to check out their boards. This one's 9'10 and about 28" wide. Jess was surfing this really well - the board could probably use more substantial waves than what we were on but it was fun to test ride:

Jess and his PauHana

CR Video Clip... Just a Teaser Shot!

Here's a little, unedited clip of CR (who surfs switchfoot, by the way) and on the Big Red you'll see Matt Wilson:

video

BajaBound Insurance: Baja 1000 video

BajaBound has been a sponsor of paddlesurf.net since we started writing about Baja surf travel. Geoff Hill, my BajaBound contact is also a rabid Baja racing fan and the guy puts together a new, killer, Baja 1000 video every year. I'm stoked to be on his mailing list because I dig watching these expensive machines tearing through the desert, shaking filings loose and breaking titanium struts and other expensive suspension parts. Cool stuff- check it out:

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas Day Session II: CR out ripping...

Got a chance to come back for the afternoon session at a lower tide. The surf was super fun, I've seen this guy down here before, always ripping on his Plus-One longboard and styling on his fish. Today, he was out on his 10' Laird stando... killing it. I shot a bunch of video of him and grabbed a couple of stills. I also let him try out the 8'6... I dig watching my board being surfed well. CR was flying down the line, hitting the lip and just flowing... Super cool.

CR from Point Loma.

Christmas Day surf session

It's been pretty standard in my life to participate in the time honored tradition of the Christmas morning surf... Here's what I found under the tree this morning: 

Today it was best to get out early... the tide came up an hour later and swamped this little wave out.
And on the other side of the truck...  a right hander for Art Curtis.

Merry Christmas!

I hope there's an 8'6" long box under that tree with one pointy end and fins sticking out the other...

Santa's Little Helper Part II: Hopefully she brought you your gift. BTW: I don't know if it's too cool for the lifeguard to be texting when she should be watching her water... anybody?

Another Reason to Love Short Standos... they fit inside!

Nothing like being able to lock your brand new love child up safe and sound inside your vehicle. Here's how much room I have when I've got my 8'6 and my 9'1 inside the bed of my truck:

This board is going to change my whole quiver... 8'6 for ripping good waves, 9'0 long board style stando for mushier days- and they'd both fit in the bed of the truck. Wow- that's cool!

Friday, December 24, 2010

You guys are killing me! 109!!!

Update: Wow, we're now up to 109 Followers... ! Great job guys and thanks for the nice notes of support- I think I'm driving everybody around here crazy with all my picture snapping and then jumping onto the computer to post this stuff up. But I feel it's my duty... check back for more stuff!

Filling in the Blanks: Your Tourist Card and you...

Remember that tourist card that you took the trouble to get stamped at the border in Tijuana? Well, if Emigration is ever going to check it, it will be here in Guerrero Negro:

Guerrero Negro is the town on the border between the states of Baja Norte and Baja Sur. This checkpoint serves two purposes: First the Agricultural Dept. guy will ask you if you have any fruits or veggies- if you do, they'll be confiscated. Second, sometimes there will be an Emigration guy there and he'll ask to see your passport and stamped tourist card. If you've got it he'll swipe your passport and wave you through. If you don't, well then you'll have to deal with the consequences.
There's all kinds of misinformation floating out there about the tourist card. Here's what I know: If you're going to be in Baja longer than 72 hours or if you're crossing over into Baja Sur you'll need to get a stamped tourist card. In all the years I've been coming down here, I've only ever been checked for it three times. So, if you were a gambling man and you decided not to bother with the card- odds are that you'd have no problem.

Once, I didn't have the tourist card stamped (you can pick up the tourist card in the U.S. but you can only get it stamped at the border in TJ or in Ensenada). I was told that I had a week to go to a bank, pay the fee and get my card stamped. That was it. On another occasion a young friend of mine flew into the U.S. without a stamped tourist card. In the airport, at the emigration check, he was pulled out of the line, escorted all the way past everybody to the bank in the airport and required to pay for the fee (I think he had to pay a small penalty as well). I think he may have done okay- he had to pay the tourist card fee but he got to bypass the long line.

Baja Tip: Just take the time, pull over at the border and get the paperwork squared away. If you do that, you'll have no worries. If you don't, in my experience, not much will happen to you... but why risk it?

Lots going on around here..

Check out the Osprey that I saw this morning- checking the surf, just like us:

There are tons of these around here, you see there giant nests on power poles as you drive down the road. There's a couple that live in Coronado on the bay side- I've seen them eating sushi. Cool birds.

Happy Christmas Eve...

One shot of Don Julio Blanco, one Bohemia Negro, a hour and a half of surfing the beach break with Santa's helper (check the photo). Life is good:

Today, again, the beach break was the call. Believe it or not, the water is warmer up here and clearer... I put on my waterproof Ipod cap and pulled out the 10'6 Ninja Bump... so killer cruising up and down the beach poaching little corners.
They've put a lifeguard tower on the beach... and Santa's little helper was there keeping us all safe. Yummy.

I go away for an afternoon... and look what happens!

106! What are you guys? Overachievers? Really, I'm touched- thanks all of you out there in reader-land this is an excellent and awesome and heartfelt gift. I'm fired up! Let's see how I do now.

The Big Question: Who is number 100? I don't think I have a method of figuring it out... so let me know, if you know.

Yesterday morning... let's hope we got an early Christmas Eve gift... off to check it!