Last Wednesday, I brought my board when I met Jackie at the beach–mostly because I could; not necessarily because I expected the surf to be any good. The Park has decided to let us surf anywhere that is not a designated swimming area. Finally. This means that if you happen to have a day free of work or other obligations, you don’t have to rise with the sun to get in a decent session before the lifeguards kick your ass down to the ever-migrating surf beach. Since the regulation relaxation, I’ve noticed a lot more surfers in the water. Lured out by facility, I guess. Getting up super early/dropping by post-work does require some additional effort, which I can see being a deterrent–especially when the afternoon swell is often killed by the wind and the tides only occasionally ally themselves with your free time.
Okay, so here’s a random hodge podge (I said it) of thoughts I didn’t include in the SURFER story:
Also, I learned the following lessons… Continue reading
The idea behind Philip Boston’s film Billabong Odyssey is really cool: assemble the world’s most notable big wave riders, dispatch them to exotic locations in search of enormous swells, and hopefully, that elusive 100-foot monster. The documentary is a little bit choppy, but there are lots of compelling moments, like the end: Mike Parsons suffers an insane wipeout at Jaws. A few minutes later, he catches the colossus that ends up as the film’s opening sequence.
The footage from Teahupo’o was actually one of my favorite parts; those wipeouts and over-the-falls clips are agonizing.
In related news, Billabong held its 10th Annual XXL Awards at the end of April. The Biggest Wave Award went to Sebastian Steudtner for his ride at Jaws on December 7th, 2009. Check it out:
Even more related news: Read Zach Weisberg’s blog post on big wave surfing and the industry.
There are certain situational phrases we have come to expect that my dad will unfailingly utter. For example, every single one of his sneezes is immediately followed by an expletory exclamation. Whenever he spies a warning sign, he says, “Danger, danger, when you taste brown sugar!” (Ridiculous, I know.) And every time we go skiing, he reminds us, in a theatrically ominous tone, that the mountain is “as cold and lonely tonight…” as it was 300 years ago, or whatever.
Yesterday, it was this very admonition that prompted my brother to say that there’s a movie coming out about being stuck on a mountain- cold and lonely. Frozen is, apparently, this movie. I’m not sure if it looks like Oscar material but it looks interesting, and it inspired a debate over the proper course of action one should take if stranded on a chair lift for (potentially) 5 arctic days:
1. Jump: either land with broken limbs and wait for cougars and wolves, or land successfully and ski on down the mountain
2. Wait out the cold: possibly become a skicicle
It’s a tough choice… I think I would jump, but who can be sure? What would you do?
Kyle Pahlow and Nick Zegel are not only two awesome guys who happen to have a knack for finding the most delicious, underground fried noodles in New York’s Chinatown at 3 a.m. They are also superbly talented filmmakers who have put together a beautiful homage to surfing the mixed conditions and sometimes frigid waters of Jersey.
I saw A Pleasant Surprise back in September at the New York Surf Film Festival and fell completely in love with it. Being from New Jersey, I know that our surf culture is unique, and it’s so nice to see that captured in this finely visualized tribute to the most scoffed-at state in the nation.
My favorite part is when the guys are talking about their high-tech winter gear.
The DVD is available today (Dec. 16th) – do yourself a favor and buy it.