Speaking of its 1973 premiere, “The Innermost Limits of Pure Fun”… “It wasn’t in a theatre where you show movies, it was like a playhouse, one in Santa Barbera that was quite old and they’d been restoring it. We showed it in there and when the whitwater tube came on, I mean it’s just a cloesout wave, the whole thing just turns brown with sand and you eat shit - people were trying to get under the seats, we had a P.A. system turned up to about full power and people got so amped up they drowned out the P.A. system they got so excited.” George Greenough
s mostly an illusion propagated by the surf media and their advertisers. Anyone answering in the opposite would have to be like some innocent little kid who hasnt been exposed to surf videos, magazines, contest bullshit, etc. The simple joy of riding a wave is being raped from every angle (more than ever before) and most surfers don`t even seem to care.
I think that we all forget (and I am as or more guilty than anyone of doing this) that we can get the stoke back simply by going surfing. Where the hype and BS all seems to get in is when we stray from this concept and get wrapped up in the hyperbole of the surf mags, ads, marketing, etc. I know at least for myself that one good wipeout will quickly clear the head of any pretensions built up by countless hours of exposure to the surf media. Keep in mind that since the target of the surf biz is folks who really don’t surf (the “wannabe” demographic is way bigger than that of folks who really do surf, which is why the surf clothing biz is so much bigger than the actual surfboard biz) and that the biz is actually counting on the fact that most of their customers “don’t know the feeling” to coin a misused phrase. Don’t fall victim to this. As for kooks who spoil your session because they don’t know any better and pretend that they are the latest and greatest, shine 'em, as my theory is that they will be enlightened by the humbling experience of the almighty cleanup set all too soon enough…
Why should we care what the media is saying at all? If they control our joy in surfing, then it’s time to get some perspective. I once read an eye-opening little book that was a compilation of some of the things that Francis of Assisi said as recorded by one of his fellow monks, brother Leo. In one story, the two of them were traveling by foot to another town, when Francis asked if Leo knew where to find perfect joy in life. Leo answered, “No”. So Francis said, “If we get to our destination tonight and it’s raining, and we knock on the door of the inn where we are staying, and the innkeeper comes out and calls us names and shuts the door in our faces. Then we knock again, and he comes out an beats us with a stick, and pushes us into the mud, and slams the door in our faces again, and we realize that we will be sleeping in the rain and the cold. If we can accept our lot at that moment, and have love for that innkeeper, then we will have found perfect joy.” So, to rachet that down a little bit: If our joy in surfing depends on the rest of the world being perfect, (including the media and the kooks, etc…etc.)then we won’t ever have the fun we look for in the water. It’s up to us to bring it with us when we paddle out, and hang onto it when things get tough. Doug
I took my daughter to “Step into Liquid” a few days ago. I told her that this was a surf movie and that she should hoot when someone did something really radical. She rolled her eyes and gave me that “Oh God Daddy, don’t do anything embarassing. Puleeeeeze”. A few minutes into the movie there was a hootable moment so I let out a little “oooooo”. The next time I was joined by someone else…By the end of the flick, it sounded like the Civic Auditorium in Santa Cruz in 1968. (Innermost Limits…remember craning your neck at the end of the movie so the lip wouldn’t clip you?) The next day, my daughter caught her first greenwater wall and made it all the way to the beach. The look on her face was pure STOKE and I nearly sprained my face grinning. Doug’s got it right…Jonesin’ for stoke? GET WET!
Friend, Find your own stoke. The ocean and waves are still there. Do you find yourself pissed at what’s around you? Crowds? Vibe? Feel pressured to conform to what others say is right? Time to break away and rethink why you surf and what’s really important to you. For me, it’s being out in the waves and feeling the freedom and escape from the nuthouse culture we live in. I get that feeling whether I go out in 2 foot slop on my mat at some remote beachbreak or O/H glass on my board in a mellow line-up. I refuse to let a shitty vibe in the line-up ruin my day. Let the dog’s chew on each other I’ll go find my wave somewhere else. Thank you.
Great response! Well put…
was the little engine that could…stoked and by whom…casy jones?I kinda like being Jazzed Will the patent for being stoked now be litigated …Stoked brand under wear ? perhaps Stoked Bikinis…or Stoked van camp pinapples ,pork and beans…I have yet to succumb to the W a i l of the moorlock siren , descend below ground eat from their provided feed lot and be checked for body fat to determine if I am to be consumed … the ultimate end of the individual in a consumer culture is to be consumed?the topic is afoot my dear watson…my first question was …did bruce brown’s face lift look any good? knowing full well his face was lifted not…we are a strange and verigated lot we AMericans what a study we make …If only more people were interested for honorable reasons …we who surf are making a difference…each and every one of us because of our enthusiasm we will change the world…ambrose
I lived in Atlanta for nine years (nine prime years, I might add) from 24 to 33. I should have been here in San Diego (where I now live again, thank God). But, I was there. I used to drive 4.5 hours, surf for two and then 4.5 hours back, all in one day. And this was for 3-4 foot windblown slop. Nine out of ten waves were mushy, closed out, and always shark infested (by the way, on the East Coast, sharks swim in and out of the impact zone as fast as birds swoop in and out of trees. I’m not kidding about that). So, it’s all perspective. I moved back here in May of 2001 and bought one of those 200 dollar CosCo boards (before I knew what was going on with those things). It actually rode well, a 6,9 egg thingy, but fell apart in one year. When I left California in 92, I was fit and could surf in large waves for hours (large meaning ten to twelve foot faces). No fear, just fun. Then I moved back. I was so out of shape (I guess golf ISN’T exercise afterall) that I would make myself get three waves before I gave up exhausted. Then I went to five, then ten, and within less than a year, I was back to par and even surfed North Shore by February). I love all waves, no matter how small. If it isn’t a total closeout, I like it. I have many different boards and that helps a lot. The kids only want to ride their sleek shortboards, never longboards. It’s kind of silly really. I’m more stoked than I ever was as a kid. God, I hope I always surf. As soon as I am no longer able, I’ll sell everything and buy a cattle ranch in Arizona, smoke a lot of something, and drink a lot too. And I’ll have the perspective to be happy doing that too. Someone out there is stuck in a wheelchair, and he would trade his life for your life of crowded surf. By the way, there are still tons of uncrowded surf spots right here in CA. Just drive north of Point Conception or north of Point Reyes. Miles of empty waves, and it’s a fun trip. But don’t swim with the sea lions. As soon as they all disappear like they are all late for school, then it’s time to get nervous.
It’s kind of ironic to read this post after the weekend I just had. First swell in weeks and of course everyone and their brother is out and hanging out inside. Out here on the east coast beach communities are incredibly expensive to live in compared to the rest of the state (NJ) and are more often than not occupied by people who’ve got no respect for the ocean, environment or even others. Their kids are raised with every want satisfied to no end and absolutely no respect for others, let alone elders. Now I’m only 23 but I can see the generation gap in the water already. A friend was surfing a local break that has a very very local vibe and when he complimented a young up and coming grom, approximately 14, this 50 year old minister and charitable member of socieity was then returned the comment “Fk you old man". This weekend I myself had a young hot shot paddle horizontally as I’m heading back out to the line up, look and me and smile as he turned and dropped in late on a wave and nearly took my head off. Note he had about 30ft of space to catch the shoulder had he just turned and went. When I asked if he was ok just hoping no one was hurt, I was asked "What the Fk are you doing”. I had a few choice words for the young arrogant kid. There was also another incident the same which follows the same suit. The point being that the overwhelming increase in sport popularity has lately been ruining my stoke to no end. If I hear, “It looks easy” one more time, I’m gonna hit someone, it’s annoying and completely unfounded. I am not fortunate to live close to the water and drive about 1hr each way about 4 times a week, 2 of which are after a 1 1/2 hr each way commute to NYC for work all for the purpose of getting out in the water. I dont’ care what the surf is, I’ll paddle around for 2 hours if it means forgetting about the BS of the day. As a person who would give his left arm (I still need one to push up and stand) to live near the beach and surf everyday it’s depressing and frustrating to have these summer surfers crowd our breaks and disrespect everyone who crosses their path. I think that is the main problem with the media and surfing as we know it. We live in an age of six figure salaries where personal satisfaction comes from obtaining elite material items, beit the v12 ozone killing school bus of an SUV or the latest yater spoon simple because it was the most expensive board on the rack. This lost perspective of life has now made it’s way out into the water thanks to the increase in media coverage within the sport. I found myself loosing perspective with the aforementioned incidents this weekend and vow to never do that again. There is a bond that surfers have world wide because of the shared mentality that makes the sport what it is. If we loose this as a group then we loose the sport. To call it a sport is almost kind of the problem, it’s a lifestyle a mentality that has it’s core values in supporting, cheering and welcoming your bretheren. This is why true surfers go out in 2ft mush like mentioned above and can still yell, hoot and scream with their friends. That’s why I vowed to never loose again after this weekend. To never loose the reason for being in the water in the first place. Escape, peace and experience. That’s what surfing is to me, what is it to you?
sorry for the rant, been waying on my mind for days now so i’ve got a lot of ammo.
Dale: Yeah, it’s me. Still doing the Brewer/Plumeria thing. RB keeps a fairly low profile these days and shapes for Laird, Garrett McNamara, etc., he’s at a point where he has all the orders he can personally fill, and he is not interested in having a clothing empire, so we don’t have ads with guys that look like they had their hair cut with a weed whacker, just photos of guys riding huge macking waves. We use Epoxy Pro’s XTR blanks and epoxy sytems on our epoxy line, Javier’s got some solid experience in the field, and several famous names (that can’t be named here)are about to adopt the XTR/Epoxy system. I’ve relocated further South, not yet landed as far as e-mail addresses, etc. Keep In touch
This is an interesting thread considering we are two days away from the Swaylock’s camp out. I’d have to say that getting together a group of people who dedicate a large percentage of their lives to improving surfboards and surfing equipment in a beautiful remote area, is the epitomy of surf stoke. We are all coming together to share our ideas and our stoke. So, yeah I’d say we are still stoked in 2003.
s the last time you went to a real surf movie in public? Watched a film that changed the entire way the world (and you) thought about surfing? The last time you actually tried to duck under the theaters seat while screaming with excitement? The last flick that inspired so much that you ran out and immediately shaped a radically new board design? Or caused you to cut up (and maybe burn) your fav old ones? Yeah- STILL stoked. But miles from being AS stoked. Those were great times.
When I was younger I thought I probably wouldnt be surfing at my age, 48, but the fact of the matter is that Im just as stoked, maybe even more stoked now than ever. Part of it has to do with being able to design and shape my own boards. Another factor is having a bit more free time since my daughter is a bit older now and into her own thing. Ive slowed down a bit on the shaping side, but have two blanks in my shaping room that I plan on shaping for a surf trip somewhere next year. Stoked? for sure…Keep surfing!!!
As Tom mentioned, with the campout thing so close, it’s hard not to be stoked. I’m so stoked, I think I may have reached Nirvana… Or maybe it’s just the blithering idiot stage.
I started surfing in 1966 at age 14. I’am the only one from my origional group that still surfs. I’am not as aggressive, nor do I catch as many waves as I once did, but if you have the spirit and the soul it just dosen’t matter. Yeah, I’d say that I’m still stoked!
Hey Dale greg Webber here. Left your number back home… still super keen for the matt! Leaving on the 15th, but AOK to send back at my cost. ps I saw Innermostlimits at an art house in Sydney in probably 1970, my older brother john just grabbed me from the crazy installations and said look at this. At ten years of age I remembered comparing it to Endless summer which we had seen on the gold coast at a drive-in. All I remembered of endless summer was the surfers brown skin with water droplets, whereas for innermost limits, it was the brown water of a sandy tube throwing over, and the surface of the water as much as the tube shape itself. Between the two films I had started shaping boards (just reshapes of coolites to copy HB’s and McCoys). Maybe these last two things (shaping so young and innermost limits) helped turn me into the curve addict I am today. Somewhere between the matt and todays board is the future(maybe)…fullon nose flex from almost no rocker, to bottom out at the maximum curve for the tightest arc???
“Somewhere between the mat and today’s board is the future (maybe)…full-on nose flex from almost no rocker, to bottom out at the maximum curve for the tightest arc???” I agree… and for sure, somewhere between the mat and today’s boards are YOUR shapes and ideas! Ha ha! I believe a significant chapter in the future of surfing will be the use of materials and concepts specifically aimed at minimizing design compromises which have always existed in surfcraft, i.e. the inefficiencies/imbalance between contours sculpted for control, and those made for speed. Wavecraft which offer quick and intimate response to both the precise curves of the wave, as well as the dictates of the rider… having the ability to change their own forms, literally being shaped by the power and curve of water, moreso than by human hands… just the successful introduction of active, variable rocker will be revolutionary… the freedom to explore new levels of sensation and performance. In an era yet to come, the exploitation of such dramatic changes in design will eventually demand creative solutions: high quality, uncrowded waves, safe clean water, accessable to everyone. It
s entirely possible that surfings greatest craftsmen of the future will not be as concerned about shaping the perfect board as they will be about sculpting a new fluid medium… the perfect wave. Welcome to Swaylocks, Greg! (email@example.com) 1-541-265-8176