Wednesday, January 30, 2008

On Tour #3- Santa Cruz

Seriously, this was our van- Richard was in the swivel chair blasting the tunes and doing some editing on the video suite. Andrew had the solar powered blender going making us smoothies from mother earth's bounty, and I drove. The entire thing was organic and we recycled it after the last show.

At this point we're at the Sunday after the Mav's contest and scattered- Andrew over at the Hess surfboard batcave checking it all out, RK having some exotic breakfast with underground OB big wave guys and me doing the show cleanup with Aleks and enjoying a beautiful sunny morning enhanced by fine San Fran coffee- it's a very civilized town. We reconvened at Ocean Beach which was about as uncivilized as it gets- huge, blown about and terrifying. I've paddled out there on a maybe head high day and it took a solid 45 minutes for me to figure away through, so on a double overhead day like this I was staying well clear. Awesome to watch though and the occasional cloud break sets a mile or so out were amazing. There were a few takers that morning, Danny Hess among them, but fog rolled in and we rolled out for more functional waves. The coast was truly lit up, nearly every glimpse of ocean we had coming down to Santa Cruz showed waves, many big. Pigeon Point was worth a stop and cameras out- huge, hollow rights cranking down the line from the point and to the south there was an equally monumental left cranking up the beach, and all in the most stunning setting imaginable. Santa Cruz was still going off and the Casper's worked their magic until dark and our late arrival at the Mill Gallery for our last minute show. Top german photographer Patrick Trefz had set this one up for us and was pretty done in himself having arrived back from Hawaii at 6 that morning, so it luckily stayed low key. The by now standard array of great characters showed up, Sway's legend Steiny was in full force and a genuine Viking in the form of one Kirkaby turned up too. This guy freedives all over NorCal and has kneeboarded at Mavericks, so he's not fooling about. He was rocking a slew of gold rings and a seal skin vest and is currently my style hero. A fine night followed by one of the coldest attempts at sleeping I've ever had, and off to Rincon we went, as per the Skip post. I'm getting tired just remembering this.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

On Tour #2- Aqua

Central Cal Kneelo goes hard

More of our mishaps- we bailed Buellton early as we knew there was swell in the water up north, and there was a chance the legendary Squirrel would ride the balsa Simmons at Mavericks or Ocean Beach. Bypassing the epic but long Big Sur drive we hauled up the 101. Even the sight of about 100 army guys in full camo shooting targets not 50 yards from the side of the freeway just north of Paso Robles didn't slow us down. We hit the coast at the spot above and were greeted by crystalline blue water, double overhead sets and a reeling, spitting right just south of where this kneelo was at work (this is one of the smaller waves but the guy was flying) with a small pack on it. Out back of this guy the set lefts were pretty damn huge, but we bailed on it- Andrew's call 'Small takeoff zone, big pack and a couple of guys dominating it- not worth the hassle' On to Santa Cruz and the Lane in full Saturday madness= a few monsters breaking at middles and the lane was headhigh and amazing. Way more of a pack, but way more room. The boys headed out on the Caspers and any qualms I had at giving up my surf to Richard were snuffed as he was heckled all the way into the water, then put on a show of how to go fast and turn hard. Phenomenal to watch and the guy is undoubtedly Curren's only equal in California. Santa Cruz has probably more great surfers than anywhere else in Cal, but this was a notch up. Back on the road after a couple of hours and we dodged the Mavericks traffic by heading up through La Honda and some gorgeous scenery, making it to Aqua about 10 mins before the show was meant to roll. Again a fantastic time with really cool people showing up- Danny Hess, the Surferbrat, some nutty Kiwi- I was thrashed and entertained by the time Aleks cleared them out. Aqua is another little, indie owned and family run surfery, and the place rules. Aleks (the co-owner) is a mad genius- amiable surfshop guy most of the time, surf-horror autuer when he gets the chance We sat up til 3am watching his new unfinished works and I was drunk on 9% stout and aching from laughing so hard when I passed out, leaving Andrew and Aleks riding the Indo board and watching 'My Eyes Won' t Dry'. If you go to and click on the media gallery you'll find a couple of the works of genius he and his buddy Brian have made. Retarded, brilliant and he has a surf/Bigfoot movie on the way that will redefine how we think of surf film. And gingerbread men.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Unalloyed Capitalism #1

Actually, I'm the conduit only for a fine deal. That's a 6'2" EPS Bauguess shaped Simfish, and a guy called Tim decided he doesn't need it. It's in basically mint condition, ridden once and is only $550. Insane good deal. His email is 49bluenote at and someone should jump on it.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

On Tour #1- Wetsand

Richard Kenvin paddling out at Ventura 1/11/08. Photo by me which is why it blows. (But Andrew says the horizon's straight so I'm on my way.)

This will be a hazy series of tour stories and updates. 11th was our first day out on the NorCal leg, and we were only a few hours late. The rented minivan was bulging- books, t-shirts, DVDs, clothes, wetsuits and 4 boards (including the 9' Simmons balsa) but we hit Ventura in time for a mellow sunset go-out to wash the past week's chaos off. Except for me- electronic key = no surf for one of us and the boys needed the water more than I at this point. The first batch of many tacos & rellenos were consumed and we hit Wetsand for the show. Absolutely epic shop, probably the best range of boards I've ever seen in a surf shop- biofoam, EPS, wood, long, short, knee, paddle- go to their site and drool. Great folks running the place and a fun, mellow night to start the ball rolling. The one constant with these tours is the people who show up- always stoked, normal folks who surf because they love it and who, like us, are fully in love with surfboards. It's a trip- pros, legends, teenagers, beginners, the guy down the street- all have something going on and it's great. We then drove to a Motel 6 in Buellton to get a jump on the next day's driving. That was not so great.

TOUR CHANGE- We will be at the Pod Room in Oceanside on Weds 23rd. Maybe some music from Andrew, definitely some fun.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Be Like Skip Frye

Skip Frye in Scotland

After a grueling, sleepless Sunday night in a very cold Santa Cruz garage, we drove like the proverbial rocketship all the way to Rincon for the simple reason that Skip Frye was there celebrating his 50th year of surfing. We rolled into the lot exhausted, and there unloading his truck was the man himself with a huge grin and a loud coach's whistle. Sometimes things just work out right. I really can't explain how awesome Skip is, he just radiates goodwill and had as all laughing and struggling into damp, stinky wetsuits for the go-out. (Except Richard, who struggled with his camera.) The waves were chest high or so, the weather beautiful and Skip was rolling with two great Japanese girls, Riiko and Nalu, that he's been guiding into the world of California surf. Crowds, tiredness, my brutally cramped leg- it all evaporated as I got to watch Skip on his 11' Simmons Fish swoop and glide through a little cove wave from the shoulder. He had brought 7 beautiful boards and has been dragging them down to the beach to let all comers have a ride if they so desired. It's really hard to explain just what mana this man has, but needless to say having him give me a big smile and an 'Alright Man!' after a nice little speed run on the 5'5" Casper was undoubtedly the high point of my surfing life so far. He's one of nature's noblemen.
The Norcal leg of the tour is done, we had great shows, some good waves and a suitably surreal time. I'll post a tour log over the next few days as I find time, and thanks to all those who showed up. Met some great people and had some fun is the brief summary. Santa Barbara at the A Frame gallery on State St. happens tomorrow night (Thurs 17th, 7pm) Come on by.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

and another...

Here's one swiped from the Nine Lights surfboards site, built by the aforementioned Jeff Beck. No idea how big, but I love them starfins and this looks fun. He offered us a shop tour so hopefully we'll get a chance to visit him

As always, 70percent is on it and got a cool slide show up before I was even close to posting, so go there and look. Kills my stealth blogger deal, but at least I don't look as scary as Andrew. We have managed to add yet another show- this time in Santa Barbara at the Dan Merkel Gallery, 632 State St, SB CA93101. Signing, some art and hopefully room to play the film stuff. Friday is Ventura at the Wetsand store on Main St (7pm or thereabouts) where I will undoubtedly lose it over some of those boards they have. Richard Kenvin is making some 'Untrustworthy' tour shirts so we'll have those on sale, and we have copies of 'Believe' that just arrived from Australia. It's a great film from the small chunk I got to watch today. I've even had some sleep so life is good.

Sunday, January 06, 2008


8'10" Larry Mabile mega-twinzer

My thanks to the fine folks at Shelter for throwing a hell of an opener for the book tour. It's a great surfshop and couldn't be cooler- family run, full of goodies (like the freshly dropped 8'10" Swift LaMo above) and willing to let us lower the tone of the neighborhood. I had a fine time and saw some very entertaining people- Rob & Maggie from 70% who are great about showing up and supporting these kinds of things, Josh Hall, Eric from Axxxe wetsuits- a whole crew of people who have been cool about backing our half assed projects in all forms. I was stoked to meet Ryan from Warbles in person, and Jeff Beck from NineLights surfboards as well. For a wet Saturday night in Long Beach, it was a stylin' time. High point of the night probably had to be selling a book to Gnar Gnar of 'Invasion...' fame. Epic stuff. And we get to go to Ventura this Friday and do it all again. Makes the past week of book signing and organizational hell well worth it for me. Extra fun is we've added a night at the Pod Room in Oceanside on the 24th of Jan. Andrew will play music it seems, and I will gladly peddle more merch. It's dawning on me that part of the payoff for all this work is I get to spend a month hanging out in some cool surfshops and that it's really not a bad thing. If I can factor in some surf time it's going to be a very tiring and entertaining month.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

Goes Excellent In Any Conditions

Happy New Year.

It's all on here, we have books all over the house and they're being signed hours at a stretch. Andrew has been here through a nice little swell and sunny weather and hasn't been even near a beach yet as this is more of a procedure than we ever thought it would be. Beer, good music and lots of talking story are getting us through. First show this Saturday at Shelter and I'm stoked. On a very mercenary note we have plenty of really cool stuff to peddle. Andrew made a run of t-shirts using the screens which he does his art with, and they look pretty amazing. We have movies too: new versions of Glass Love and Litmus with bonus action (Glass Love has the soundtrack CD and Litmus has a short film that we'll be playing at the shows), Patrick Trefz's 'Thread' with the Brown Birds CD and hopefully copies of 'Believe' and 'The Hot Buttered Story' are on the way up from Australia. We'll also have all my regular stuff like 'Way Of The Bird' books and Swift Movement t-shirts. Should you want any of this and are not able to hit a show, please email me at consafos at and I'll happily set you up. Nicely enough I started doing this blog the very night Andrew and I decided to go for it with this book, and here we are actually boxing the damn things up. It took that long to get both book and blog organized right. Hopefully this will keep going as a way to diseminate our little pocket of surf culture to any of you who are interested. I'm hoping to see a 'Thread' book and the 'Hydrodynamica' movie and book happen this year. My thanks to the other bloggers, especially Rob at 70%, JP at Surfy and those on the blogroll for being unwitting inspiration to all this, and my thanks to you for taking the time to look at this.