Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Times are a Changing

Lets just call today a "Kids Superstation Day." You see, my wife and I used to have what we called "Superstation Days" before we had kids. We'd get up early, go surf a long session, hang out for a while, stop at Los Dos for a breakfast burrito, then be home by noon. Having accomplished most of our selfish goals, and having no desire to tackle our true responsibilities, we'd call the "Superstation Day". We'd then sit on the couch and take in Movie after Movie for the rest of the day and night, usually on TBS Superstation (hence the name). Well, I am declaring today a Kids Superstation Day. It's spring break, I'm watching three kids today (2 of my own, and a friend) and I'm not at the top of my game. Still getting over a bit of sickness I had last week and spending a good percentage of time coughing. I Don't feel that bad, just alot of energy expended coughing. Luckily, at the AB3, I was post-feeling-like-shit, but pre-cough, so it kinda worked out OK. We'll get back to that later. So I figure since we are having a Kids Superstation Day, it's a good day to preview all the kids shows and Cartoons that are presently flooding, Nick, Noggin, Sprout, and PBS. So far I've found a new favorite. YO GABBA GABBA.
I think I must of lucked into this episode, but, they had Tony Hawk on it, pimping wearing pads, plus showing some skills on a fun looking 5 ft. half-pipe. They also had a nice, "CLEAN YOUR SHIT UP" (not in those words) song that was set to a nice SKA tone. Even the singer was doing a little skankin. So getting back to the title of this post, my parents wouldn't even let me have a skateboard until I was at least 12, now the kids are getting exposed at 1. Pretty cool.

The next part of the changing times, many experienced at the AB3. My family goes to that beach at least 2-3 days a week during the winter, and more frequently in the summer. Overall the event went off great. The surf could've been a little (well alot) better, but, once again the vibe was great. An incredible turnout of some of the most incredible boards around. Some of the locals, which, happen to be beach friends the rest of the year, weren't too happy. Some even had the audacity to get the State Park Rangers involved. I was pretty blown away by this petty behavior. Both by Rangers and also these so-called locals. How can you complain about people showing up on the beach on a day that you normally wouldn't have even paddled out? I know I wouldn't have paddled out, had it not been for the event and wanting to try all these great boards. These are the same locals who never complain when all the Old Woodies show up in the morning, 2-4 times a year, and take up all the parking spaces for a breakfast party. The State Beach System shouldn't complain either, I'm sure they made enough money to take care of that beach for the next month, due to day use or ticket collections. My thinking on this goes something like this. 10-15 years ago, pre-middle-age-longboard-explosion, this would have never been a problem. Now we have insta-locals that have paved thier way into the line-up by hanging out in the parking lot and drinking coffee. Many of them are my friends, as they are overall nice people. I try to be as respectful as possible. On the other hand, in my mind, you earn your status in the line-up and also on the beach. You don't go calling out others unless you've earned that status. As I've said many times before, I will never be a local at that beach, my kids will, but not me. It would never cross my mind to call out others, especially ones who have lived in the area for generations.

So getting back to the rest of the AB3 event, that went off well. It was a pleasure meeting and talking with many of you. The boards and turnout were amazing. The people great. Even surfing crappy, gutless waist high windswell, was a blast due to the attitude of the crowd.

Overall, the best thing about the day, was that my wife won "Best Art" on a surfboard for her Bamboo drawing on her 9'0 JH longboard. She is an incredible artist, and it's nice that she was recognized. I know she was truly stoked.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Anything But Three 08'

Anything But Three. This years will again be at Cardiff Reef in San Diego on Saturday, March 22, from 6:00am to who knows when. The tides are scheduled to be a zero low at 4:30am, then a 5.0 high at 10:30am, then another 0.39 low at 4:30. Last year we were blessed with a nice crossed up windswell which provided decent chest to sometime headhigh waves. This year the forecast isn't calling for anything major, but they are saying a Northwest Windswell could be starting on Friday and building in through Saturday. Lets hope they are right.

I've went to Fish Fry's and other board type events in the past, but usually weren't able to hang out due to work or other obligations. Last year, the AB3 was at Cardiff, which is kind of where the family goes on the weekends, so luckily we were surrounded by it. We hung out most of the day and had a great time. There really isn't any other place or event, where you can try and look at all sorts of great boards.

So far this year I am planning on attending with the family once again. I am also planning on bringing these 7 fish for people to try out. Sean Mattison, of Hynson fame, has agreed to bring a decent array of Black Knight Quads and a couple prototypes for people to try. Should be a great get together.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Treasure in the Shorebreak

Provided something doesn't get in the way, my family has a weekend ritual. My wife gets up and heads down to the beach early. She cracks the dawn patrol with all the other pre-dawn risers. I usually get woken up by a kid about an hour later. Turn on the TV in our room, tune it to Sprout or Noggin, then try and catch a few more winks. The other kid usually shows up about 15 minutes later, then the argument starts about who gets to lay next to Daddy. So, I push over from my side of the bed and am now sandwiched by the two mongrels. Another 15-30 minutes goes by, hopefully with me sleeping, then it's time to get up. 6:45am is the latest I ever get to sleep in til. Feed the kids, pack up all the crap, wake up the baby, change her, give her a snack for the road and we are off. We usually get to the beach around 8:30. During that time, our kids makeshift Papa usually arrives at the beach. He's pretty much always thier. Meets us at the beach on Saturday morning, goes to our house that night, then back to the beach on Sunday. It's a ritual, and I would say we've got it down to a science. I usually paddle out around nine or so and surf til 11:00. Papa Eric, we'll call him, usually surfs during the late spring to mid-fall, but then stops when the water gets real cold. I don't really blame him, he's been surfing the better part of his 60 years and has probably experienced most things he's gonna experience in surfing. During the cold winter months, he usually plays on the beach, with either the kids, or his RC sand and rock crawlers. He's kind of a kid himself and our kids have grown very fond of him over the years.

So one weekend, Papa Eric didn't go to the beach. He had some things to do and took the weekend off. The kids and I showed up at the planned time and spread out. My wife got out of the water and noticed a large log floating around in the high tide shore break. I was tasked to go get it. So I waded into the water and retrieved this large square log. Needless to say, it was the hit of the weekend.

We purched it into various positions. It was a plank that the kids could walk, a teetertotter, and numerus other things that it seems, all the kids on the beach that weekend enjoyed. We left it thinking that the next weekend we be returning and our glorious log would still be right where we left it. I mean, come on, who would take an old rotting log from the beach?

Tuesday, I got the kids off to school, then returned home with our daughter. Papa Eric pulled up a few minutes later. He says, "Hey look what I found on the beach." I went into the events of our weekend and explained to him that we were hoping that log would have stiill been at the beach when we returned. His response, "You know what that thing is made of?, It's solid redwood." You see Papa Eric is a fine woodworker and uses one of our garages as a workshop. What do we get out of it, you say? Well, he makes us stuff for our house. Plus, we get to use one amazing set-up of woodworking tools whenever we please. So getting back to the story. He had just finished making us a nice booth for our kitchen.

Probably the most funcional piece of furniture we have in our house right now. At the time, we just put the booth in, but were still using our old table until a new one was built. Well, you can probably see where this story is going. He made the most amazing table.

I think the table that was made out of that old redwood log, that came washing up on the beach, the log that all the kids on the beach played on for a whole weekend, will probably be in our family for a good long time.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A Couple of Things I Learned Today

I was off today. Well, not really off, but off of work. It's kinda funny that I/We think that way. To someone without kids, being off simply means being off. Once you throw young kids into the equation, being off is something of a rarity. Getting back to my original lessons. I decided to go meet up with a friend in Oceanside for a little exercise. I brought my work with me. Well, she's not really my work, but, well you know what I mean. My 16 month old actually likes these little exercise walks that we do. She get to check out all the available 16 month old dudes along the strand. These walks aren't really a lesson, but more of a reinforcement. You see, the reinforcement is that when your walking along the beach with your youngin, and the surf is going off, well, you know, you can't just drop everything and paddle out. I reckon it's a good time to do some mental surfing, which in the long run, may just help when she's in school and I'm pigdogging that left out front. After our walk, we said our goodbyes to our friend and headed up the street. We stopped into Real Surf, where Mr. Ambrose was manning the floor. Bought about 10 bars of wax, then Shawn went into the back and brought out a planer that he'd been saving for me. This is one of the lessons of the day. Shawn Ambrose is nicer than you. Yea, his "Rough around the edges" image might scare off a few, but he's one of the most down to earth guys you will ever meet. He put the planer on permanent loan to me, I only have to return it when he needs it for special projects. That's pretty incredible if you ask me. It saved me a lot of money, which is I'm super stoked about.

So, I pick up my daughter, who, by the way absolutely loves the ramp at Shawn's shop, and head out the door and back to the hood. I'VE GOT A NEW POWER TOOL and I'm excited to give it a go. We stop by school and pick up my 5 y/o son and his buddy, then head for home. Make some PB&J's for the boys, make sure they've got plenty to entertain themselves with (which they always do), put my daughter down for nap, then I've got 2 hours that I'm truly off. Yes, OFF. So I Break out one of the blanks I've got stored for this very day and set up the shaping stands in the back driveway. Plug in the planer and fire her up. It's pretty amazing how quiet a planer is when you turn it on, then how much noise it makes when you put it to foam. You see, I've never actually used a planer, the two boards up to now have pretty much been shaped all by hand. So my second lesson of the day, I learned how to rip and tear foam.

Yea, I've heard others talking about foam tearing, but never quite understood it until I did it repeatedly myself. Another lesson, no matter how much noise that thing is making, and no matter how much your worried about it waking up your daughter from her nap, it's kinda important to go slow, or not too fast. My goal for the day was to skin both sides of a blank. Well, I think I did a pretty decent job. Sure I've got some pretty deep divots. They should sand out as I widdle the board down to my desired thickness.

I'm just stoked that I finally used a planer and did a reasonable job. This without any true guidance or supervision. Who knows how this one will turn out. I still haven't even drawn out the outline, and I'm not sure which outline or type of board I'm going to shape. The neat thing is that it will be a true shape, using most of the important tools that have been improvised for shaping by the masters of the trade. No more skipping steps or tools cause I'm afraid.

Oh yea, as you can see from the pictures above, the last lesson is, planers make a big mess. Even the plants didn't feel left out on this one.

Monday, March 3, 2008

I Love the Geoprene

Matuse 4/3/2. I lagged on getting one of the new Matuse fullsuits the first time around. I bought a Matuse Hoplite 2mm Short Sleve Full (see review Nov. 2007), at the end of last summer, and just loved it. When it came time to transition into long sleeves, I had some other things going on and put it off for a bit. Well they sold out faster than anyone would have imagined. A new shipment of Matuse 4/3/2's hit the shops a few weeks ago, and this time I wasn't gonna be left wanting. I endured using last years suit through probably the coldest this year had to offer. Sure I coulda went with one of the other brands, but after what I experienced with the Short sleeve full, I didn't want to wait until next year, and buying 2 suits this year just wouldn't be prudent with 3 groms to feed. Well the waiting was definately worth it. It is by far the most flexible, warm suit I have ever experienced in my life. I was out today with howling offshore winds, and never even thought about being cold. The other day, I hate to say it, I think I was sweating. Now, that was with the sun out, but regardless, there have been many sunny days in the past where an hour after paddling out I'd be shivering. Much as my SS full, this thing takes in hardly any water and dries in a very short period of time out of the sun. Today I felt like I was surfing too my full, fat, potential, for the whole session, vs. just the first half hour in the past. Word on the street is that the 2mm SS full will be glued and taped for this coming spring and fall. Plus, a glued and taped 3/2 Full is supposed to hit the streets for next winter. I think that should make a perfect addition to my wetsuit family. Thanks to the guys at Matuse for designing such a great product.