Saturday, November 27, 2010

Today I watched the online premier of Cyrus Sutton's Stoked and Broke, a little movie about as lo-fi a surf trip as you can possibly get. Just a walk along the San Diego Coast, towing home made bamboo rickshaws laden with boards, wetsuits and the the very meagre necessities of living they granted themselves, Cyrus and young Ryan Burch have a fine, and ultimately, wise old time.

As we all know, doing a surf trip gets you to places you'd never otherwise go, exotic places, strange and sometimes dangerous places that take you away from that comfortable bubble the familiar gives us.

It's part of the fun.

What these guys have managed to do is look at home in a far different light. By placing themselves on the outer, busking, making, bartering, selling for a little extra cash or a dog biscuit (true) they find a new So Cal and do a little self discovery in the process.

Sure, there is a safety net. Never probably more than an hour from home, nevertheless the sleeping rough, and placing themselves in places where they meet those they might not otherwise meet, they connect and now will know more of the realities of where they live.

So what did they learn?

It's clear they already know how lucky they are.

A bit like being born in Australia, to be living near the beach in Southern California is ahead of most of the pack for a start. They realise that surfing is not the be all and end all, and that sooner or later the stark realities of living will loom, and hopefully not devour.

Of course I could go into more detail, but that would spoil the journey.

The surfing is eclectic to say the least, and both surfers are fine examples of open minded water play. Longboards, handplanes, planing hulls and blocks of foam, they rip in a different way, and sometimes just choose to feel the glide and read what's going on ahead of them. There is a lot of good surfing, some quite incredible, but it is surfing that doesn't take itself too seriously.

Which is as it should be.

Did I like it?

Well, it ended with me wanting to go for a surf, and wishing I could travel again, both looking distant options at present as I pass up glassy four foot Bells while I sit on the couch and cough my lungs out.

Go online and have a look. Nine bucks won't leave you broke, and broke or not you will be Stoked.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

While out at lunch I picked up a copy of Surfing World, the issue a bookend of Kelly and Andy, with all that entails, given events of the last few weeks. It contains one the most heart wrenching things I've ever read. The parents out there will get it most, especially those who have lost a child, but it would be a stony cold heart not to be affected.

A quote from Phil Irons, Andy's Dad, on his last chance to hold his son.

"Held my son, kissed him, heaven almighty, he could've got up and left with us if he was there, he was so perfect"

Nearly a month.

Never before have the wheels fallen off like they have, in one way or another, over the past few weeks. The lesson I've learned is that looking after yourself, at every level, is the only way you can look after those that mean the most to you. A psycho/physiological feedback loop can kick in that does its best to do its worst, as I have only too well discovered.

That pesky shoulder stopped surfing, then stopped exercise. A virus stepped up to the plate with a very big bat and proceeded to slug me left and right... joints, chest infection... get rid of that, conjunctivitis in a, forgive me, blink. That goes, tonsillitis. Go to the Docs. Lose weight, let's take your blood pressure.

The cuff popped off!!!

Naturally the fear mechanism kicks in, I began to worry as bullet proof me suddenly doesn't seem so, blood pressure was something old people have but when the contemplation of Bells over six foot has me concerned for my well being I know another game is afoot.

The shake up has been accepted and a goal is set.

Now to get back into the water, strong and lighter... my saying I was back earlier was so premature as only the last day or so has this minor injury begun to be pain free... sort of.

Enough of that.

Today I got an email from blog brother Ed Lewis of the Daily Shaka. He has informed me that Cyrus Sutton's Stoked and Broke is going live for an Online Premier this Friday 26th to Sunday 28th only.

A whole bunch of very cool (at over 50 am I allowed to say cool?) prizes are up for ticket holders as part of a raffle, so it behooves you to skoot online and align yourself for a Mega Hoot Fest Toot Sweet.

Image today, a fast and loose rocket I'd be on in a flash to see the whole shebang live, and to shake Cyrus's hand as he seems to me to be doing things right.

Monday, November 08, 2010

This past weekend Beelzebub and I lit off to the coast for some time together, hang out a bit and play with my mate Marky and his kids.. and his lovely wife Ginny. It was pretty epic, though the surf was as flat as it can possibly get.

Of course you can still have a good time without waves. Talking, having a laugh and hanging out at the skatepark did the trick, plus an evening of fish and chips at the local chippery, watching the sunset and then a late skate to top it off. I even had a go. (Cue laughter).

Naturally, Tom copped a little derision because his vehicles of choice are blades. Once he rolls the detractors shut up as he does light up a park. I shot a little bit of lo-fi on the iPhone and have cobbled this over the past hour. This is by no means a highlights, just two runs, one on blades, and the other...

I love this kid.

(Double click on the frame to get the uncropped version via you tube)

Thursday, November 04, 2010

Much has been written in a very short time about the profoundly sad loss of Andy Irons.

Just as the world needs its bright stars of the intellect, so it does those gifted to show us what our physical selves might be. Andy was an athletic nova in the infinity sandwich.

Trust Pete Bowes of Kurungabaa to find this quote from e.e.cummings.

It got me.

Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Good god I got a surf in yesterday but boy oh boy is the time out of the water showing. As my mate Rod said this morning, if I leave it much longer I might as well hang up the board. Some would argue I should have a while back.

So it was pretty weak Bells, very inconsistent,the old arm was very stiff but, for the first time, I know it is pulling up ok. For want of a better term, I'm back. Stop Laughing.

One fun one and a couple of moments on others so now it is working on the fitness and getting some stretching as I did notice certain parts groining under the strain if you get what I mean. Today it's Melbourne Cup Day, the only public holiday in the world put on for a horse race. I could be chasing onshore waves but decided to hang back for the family and watch this race the whole country stops for. I will not be betting.. never win at that stuff so I'll just enjoy the relax.

Today's pic. Sloppy Bells, and I do promise the guy did a very nice snap that followed a well placed bottom turn, neither of which was captured due to shutter lag.

I must apologise too for the previous post.. unsure where I was going with that one and the Fish Man disturbs me.