March 4th, 2007
And then...there was surf. After the Fog cleared that is. Was it Epic?
No. Was it Great? No. Was it Good? Hell yes it was. After the drought
we've all had, you bet yer ass it was good. Anybody complaining about
the surf yesterday should get bitched slapped. I mean it. In fact, Slap
yourselves across the lips that speak that trash, and save us all the
aggravation of having to do it.
We had surf. And we had it during the daylight hours. Instead of in the
middle of the night, like the infamous Valentine's Day Swell. Granted,
we got socked in with a dense fog, but once that shit burned off, we had
ourselves a fun Spring/Winter bump.
And here's the best part. It was NOT that crowded.
Depending on where, and when you hit it. I personally surfed with one
other guy for over an hour and a half in perfect head high peaks.
It's true. Me and Corey Roy surfed together for well over and hour
and a half. Just he and I. Before that, we shared this peak with another
friend, Paul Cissel and his two kids Woody and Carolyn.
Plenty of waves to go around. After the Cissel family split, Corey
and I shared these fun peaks, until I couldn't paddle anymore.
I swear I went through a case of WD-40... I was that rusty. Dam.
I'm sore today.
Corey on the other hand, must of gotten barreled a dozen times in
front of me. I wish I had my housing with me. He's a big boy, but he was
pulling in behind the peak, and just getting shacked on wave, after wave.
I wanted 10 years back of my youth. I would of joined him on some
of those tubes. But alas, I was happy to just make the steep drops and
carve. I'm not complaining, but, just in case you think I might be....SLAP!
I just slapped myself.
I realized, during the course of the day yesterday, that surfing, is more
than just paddling out and getting a few waves with friends. It's way
more than that.
It's the whole social scene that happens at each break. The camaraderie
that we all share with each other. Standing around the vehicles, shooting
the breeze with friends that you haven't seen since the last swell.
For instance. I ran into several friends I have not seen in some time.
Billy Ritchie and I spoke at length about everything from surfing,
to work. I saw Steve Baily, Tobey, Staneck and Sashi. I
saw Dougie Fresh's first session since late Fall of last year.
I ran into people who read this column, and whom I've never met, like
Matt Walker. I saw Groms Nick Miller and Jared Velstos
in Tee shirts skateboarding on Top Of The Wall. I saw ex- Groms,
who are now young men, and are as tall and taller than me. Kyle Linseman,
and Tom Hay. I already mentioned the Cissels and Corey.
And I saw friends who I see on a regular basis as well. Lenny, Kevin,
Tim Polychronis and Dave "Crop" Cropper.
Even JT himself muttered a few nice words.
And unfortunately, I saw some of that 10% that exists in our little
surf world, who don't seem to 'get it.' Like the guy who decided to urinate,
a few feet from the side of a major road, that we all use to park and
check the surf. I could not help myself, so I said something. "That's
the kind of Bull Shit That gets us all in trouble."
He said he was sorry and I believed him, I was pissed (pun intended) and
had to stop myself from saying, or doing more. I just wished he had used
some common sense in the first place. The last thing any of us, wants
our wives, girlfriends and daughters to see is, some swinging dick, on
the side of the road pissing, because he couldn't go in his wetsuit, or
walk the extra 100 feet to a more secluded area to relieve himself.
That's total BS.
His embarrassment was enough to stop him in the future. But to those of
you, who might think it's cool, to use our beaches as a Restroom...beforewarned.
We will call you out, and make a spectacle of your action.
Hold your water and Keep it in your pants.
So, some of you might be thinking about what I said last week about
heading down to the Caribbean and surfing some warm waves. Well,
suffice to say, I had a change of heart. Three things occurred
that changed my mind.
First. Snowboarding. We (my family) had not been boarding all
winter. It was school vacation and we thought what the hell, so we went.
And much to our surprise. It was good. Not Epic. Not Great. But clearly
fun. And again, it was NOT crowded. I mean it was EMPTY. How empty was
it? Well Max and I NEVER waited in a lift line all day. Top to
Bottom on every run. No one in front of us, and no one behind us. No
sharing the high speed quad with total strangers. In fact, we could
of stretched out in our own personal quad chairs, had we desired. Max
hates it when we share the chairs with strangers. He claims I talk too
much to them and it's embarrassing. He never should of told me that
last year. Once I knew it got to him, I did it more. "My son
Max here just got out of prison, this is his first time on a chair lift
since he threw that kid off three years ago. He's pretty heavily medicated,
so we should be safe. Just don't touch him if you can help it"
Seriously, the snowboarding was fun and sunny. We even saw our Snowboarding
guru, Stevie O'Hara on the mountain with his wife and family.
Stevie snowboards just like he surfs. He's fluid and he carves
deep turns. It really looks like he's surfing. For us, that's what snowboarding
is. A total extension of surfing. I know lots of snowboarders who've
never surfed, and you can clearly see the lack of style in their boarding.
We like to surf down the mountain.
The second thing, was I saw the potential of an actual swell,
the latter part of last week. I already wrote about it, so I won't go
into detail. But rather, I'll pose this question. Was it better, to
surf at home with a couple of friends, in head high, to slightly overhead
surf, in winter conditions, or surf the same, in a tropical setting,
with a few hundred close friends? Well? I obliviously chose to stay
home. I saved both money and it was good for my soul. Not that I'm against
Which brings me to my last point.
Hawaii. Last week I mentioned going to Hawaii as a must
see for most surfers. Well, I thought about that, so I've decided to
take Max to Hawaii so he could experience what I wrote
about last week. I'm taking the boy to the North Shore at the
end of the month, to get his fill of Oahu's culture and waves.
Now I know, the timing is sketchy as far as Big Surf is concerned, but
I I think, getting him into some spring/late winter clean swells
would be better for a 15 yr. old's first time, than throwing
him out there in the dead of winter, with all the heroes and would be
heroes, who make the trip every winter.
The Hawaiian Islands can still provide a thrill or two in March/April.
After speaking with Lenny Nichols and other friends about it,
we all agreed, the transition would be easier for Mackey in the
spring. I remember a few years ago, the Evans family went to
Oahu and they scored unreal conditions during the spring break.
They lucked into a powerful South Shore storm that gave them
clean and overhead waves for a week. And, that same swell wrapped around
the Island and produced even better surf on the North Shore.
That's what I'm hoping for.
Please Remember The Danny Miller Foundation.
Donations for Late Surfer Danny Miller's young son can be made to
The Landon Miller Fund through ANY Citizen Bank.
Or send your donation to:
The Landon Miller Foundation
83 South Road
North Hampton, NH 03862
below to see Danny Tribute or see Danny Surfing
Tribute to Danny.
North By Northeast
my friends...Surfing heals all wounds....
Pray for Surf. Pray for Peace. Surf For Fun.