S.A. 2003...

Hey Guys – Thanks to all for helping make this first Swaylock’s event such a success! I actually had much to say before the raffle but things were a little chaotic for me and when I suddenly found myself with microphone in hand in front of the group… well, let’s just say I think I know how a deer feels when it gets caught in the glare of headlights… “The first winner is HSP!”… (to myself), “HSP??? Who the hell is HSP???” “Where’s that darn cheat sheet???” “Damn! I must have left it in the car!!!” (drummer), “Ba Da BUMP!” (guitar player), “Twilight Zone Theme.” Go to car, find cheat sheet… “HSP – oh yeah, Herb Spitzer!”… “Next winner”…(checking cheat sheet, checking cheat sheet…) “Isn’t here”, etc. It was difficult to look out at all the faces and see item after item going to non-attendees. We had a huge response to mail order ticket sales and there were plenty of nonattending winners. We eventually stopped announcing the items until we knew we had a winning ticket from a person that was actually there. Sorry if it seemed unfair or anything, we tried to pull it off as best we could! Those of us who have been around awhile know that this site is comprised of a bunch of individuals with surf related fixations. Be it board design, material development, or the influx of outsourced product, any subject seems to generate some enthusiastic responses. Those of us who have been around awhile also know that it can sometimes go far beyond surf stuff and can encompass a vast array of life experience topics. Who can forget the heartfelt posts after 9/11? Or Noodle’s social and political commentary along with a bunch of great templates and epoxy info? Or the time Herb Spitzer almost lost his daughter in the raging creek? Or the hilarious comedy of “Slim Rail Pickens” (who is that guy anyway?) – the list goes on and that is why this stuff didn’t get mentioned when I had the microphone in hand - I just couldn’t remember! I do want to thank all the people who contributed raffle items. I also want to thank everybody who attended and helped make it such a great party. I had the best time of anyone. Meeting all of “my imaginary friends” (my girlfriend’s term) was a real treat! A few noteworthy long distance travelers include Paul Jensen from Washington State, Gary Geist from Portland, Oregon, and Ambrose from Hawaii :slight_smile: One notable no show, who was actually one of the first to reserve a spot, was Patrick Shannon from Vancouver Island. Patrick apparently had a surfing accident while down here and had to return home :frowning: Another no show, Tom Sterne, was stuck back in Texas cleaning up after the latest hurricaine. Paul Jensen brought his beautiful collection of hollow wooden boards and let anyone who asked ride them. He also demonstrated what it is to be self sufficient on the road. After viewing his finely tuned rig, I commented that “I could live in this!” His reply? “I do.” He also contributed some extremely fine hand made wood items for the raffle including calipers, rail marking gauge and a beautiful skate deck. Thanks Paul! Gary Geist brought a couple of kegs and a few gallon jugs of his delicious Portland microbrew. He was up, out surfing and back before I ever got a chance to surf with him but I’d like to offer a BIG THANKS to Gary for his hard work on the beer and bringing down the items from Fiberglass Supply. Ambrose brought a few friends, a truckload of firewood (thanks Ambrose!), great food (he is a fantastic chef) and a selection of his very soulful surfboards. He has some amazing life experiences and shared some of his insights with all of us. He could probably run a series of self help seminars and become a millionare! Matt Miller and Kirk Putnam came up from Ventura and brought a most eclectic collection of boards including a Paul Gross Spoon, various hulls, modified Simmons, edge boards, an end grain balsa to glass panel flex tail, El Paipo Grande, etc and an armload of bitchen fins. They also were kind enough to contact some of their industry friends and gathered a great selection of raffle items. Tom O’Keefe from RED-X brought his lovely wife, Wendy, his daughter and their dog. He also contributed some prime raffle items including 2 RED-X fin systems complete with 6 different fin sets to go with the plugs. He also brought many Red-X t-shirts. He was very helpful to all and patiently answered any and all questions regarding fins in general and the Red-X systems in particular. I’ve never seen anyone who will so honestly discuss competitors product. He knows them all and I’ve never heard one negative thing said about any other products. In fact, I’ve read several of his posts that freely admit to the positives of some competitors systems. I hear he can sail sailboats like a champ too. He is a real Swaylock’s asset. Thanks Tom! Herb Spitzer cruised in with his dog and proceeded to blow minds with his amazing stories. He could write a book (and probably should) – his life experiences almost seem impossible to have survived but there he was with the coolest skateboards I’ve ever seen, some extremely high quality surfboards and a big stash of raffle goodies from Brad at FoamEZ. Herb paddled out on my “Surf-O-Plane” with his fishing pole but didn’t bring in anything except a Dewey Weber t-shirt that he found at the local “Boulevard Boutique” (I think it was laying in the middle of HWY 1.) Herb, Lee Vanderhurst and I had tried to come up with a special surprise for Mike Paler which was originally going to be one of Herb’s old fishboards to be signed by everyone. Herb surprised everybody when he said, “Ahh, that fish was kind of beat up anyway so I made THIS” and pulled out a beautiful supercharged longboard which he gave to Mike. None of us remembered to sign it, but RIGHT ON HERB!!! Scott and Elizabeth Wallace (High Desert Surfboards) came in with the beautiful longboard he made for Elizabeth. Those two were as stoked as anybody there and I really enjoyed meeting them and hanging out on the beach. Dave and Elena Jorgenson from Pismo Beach dropped by with his beautiful 3 stringer longboard complete with nose and tail blocks. Dave has full on professional skills. He has vast knowledge of design and construction techniques and I came away from his shop once with a whole new bag of tricks. He also contributed from his personal stash a brand new Balin board bag and loaned us his shade structure. Thanks Dave! Jeff Chamberlain, his wife Paige and dog Salty showed up after a maniacal after work speed run from Los Osos which was to become a round trip first thing in the morning as he had to work the next day! He brought his awe inspiring 12’6” Dave Parmenter “Makaha Machine” to contrast to the Paul Gross flex spoon that Kirk and Matt brought. I was sorry that Jeff couldn’t get the next day off as he is one of my best friends and their company is always a pleasure. Michael Jones was there and impressed us all with his perfect manners and proper demeanor. He is, in my opinion, one of the real innovators – he is part of a small group experimenting with over the counter (Home Depot) materials and had a very nice board with him. I don’t know where he kept hiding but once in awhile he would show up, ask some questions and disappear again. I have a hunch he was making the rounds absorbing bits and pieces from everybody and will continue to make progress in his own designs done his own way. Gary Simin (SC Gary) and his wife were camped in the main campground and came over to party with us as did Peter Costello and his wife, Patricia (also from Santa Cruz.) Peter was out surfing very stylishly on his Michel Junod Longboard. He also brought a killer Kingfish splittail that only Herb Spitzer and I had a chance to check out about an hour before we left. I wish he would have unveiled it much sooner. Mark Scott designed and printed our S.A. 2003 t-shirts and gave us a real deal on them. He was right in front of me on the drive up and didn’t even know it. I don’t know how he missed me - I only had 6 surfboards on my car! They say that what goes around comes around… well, Mark put out for us and won the Dale Solomonson Inflatable air mat (the Grand Prize.) I hope he gets himself a good set of fins (those Professor Deets UDTs are looking awesome) and kicks himself into some great waves. Those mats are a blast! Speaking of mats, there was apparently a contingent of mat riders there including Dirk Brandts from the “Inflate-Able Dreams” website. I wanted to meet him but didn’t even know he was there until I read it on this site today! Where were you Dirk?! Susan Clifford, a friend of mine, and her daughter, Kristy came up and busted her tail doing the food prep thing. Her chili dip was a big hit and she is one camping gal! Anytime I camp with Susan, I stay out of her kitchen. When she’s in her kitchen, she’s on a mission! The band Surficide played an awesome set of surf tunes that livened up the afternoon. Paul and Michael Parkerson came up from Los Osos and brought Michael’s friend, James. James won a blank in the raffle and I’ve volunteered to try and help him with the shaping and glassing of it. Hopefully, he will find the answers to all his board building questions right here on Swaylock’s. Paul is one cool dude and plays a mean harmonica even if he doesn’t surf. Skippy, guitarist from Surficide stuck around, played some blues around the fire while Paul played his harp. Skippy can actually surf too! Greg, the Surficide drummer can surf but rushed home to be with his wife Mary. Hope you’re feeling better Mary! Kim and Tim McCurty, another couple from Los Osos, brought their daughter, Kelsy. Kim is a crack up and teased us mercilessly about our affliction. Tim is a real waterman from way back. I believe his preferred choice of surf toys are wind related but he brought a kayak to this event. Kim and Tim are always welcome in my book. Annette (Netty) and husband Dave dropped in and immediately hit the surf. Netty is a very proficient surfer from San Luis Obispo area and I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to surf with those guys. There are a number of proficient women surfers in the area and Netty is one of the best! Linda and Mark Steed are locals as well. Mark has been hitting the surf around here for a long time and has extensive local knowledge. I didn’t get a chance to surf with him this time around but they’re always welcome at my campsite. Darren and his friends called at the last minute and powered up from Orange County. They caught some good waves and Darren is getting into board building in a big way. The nature of his questions have me a bit worried though. He may become a full fledged Swayaholic if this keeps up! Karla and her son Kyle camped out with us. Kyle has the surfing bug but Kyle, it’s not too late for you. You might be able to stop still! Karla has thrown some great parties and is always welcome at one of mine. Lee Vanderhurst drove all the way from San Diego and has been a huge help in organizing this event. He was the guy who I could bounce ideas off and who kept me on the straight and narrow. He’s been a tremendous resource and provided ongoing stoke and moral support. He was the guy under the shade tarp helping me try to keep track of what the hell I was doing during the raffle. Little tidbits like, “John! Get a grip man!” were what kept me from losing it completely. He also shaped a very bitchen edge board that he brought along. He can even ride the thing! I think I saw him getting rides on one of Paul Jensen’s wood boards and maybe El Paipo Grande too(?) A really good surfer and again, a big help to us in all this! Thanks Lee!!! Oh yeah! Some guy named Mike Paler showed up, crashed our party and tried to act like he was invited or something. Seriously, Mike and the website he created and maintains for all of us were what it was all about. Mike’s efforts are appreciated by all and the great showing we had are proof enough for me. Proof enough for you, Mike? Mike honored me by asking to ride my new 11 footer and proceeded to blow minds with his perfectly executed “coffin” – flat on his back, hands placed in prayer position and MAKING IT through a clean little walled up left! Paul Jensen and I were standing up fists raised cheering. Then Mike paddled into a clean right hander, threw a snap turn (how the hell do you snap turn a 35 lb 11 footer?) followed by a clean 360 spinner. Oh yeah! He made that one too. Never wore a leash either. Earlier in the session, his longboarding was very slick and stylish. Snappy 180 right go left takeoffs followed by casual stance glides were his forte and it was pretty much agreed that he was one of the best guys out there. Watching Mike ride my board was one of the highlights of the weekend for me. The other was Friday night when Lee Vanderhurst pulled out the very bizarre Dale Solomonson flex tail edge board model along with his own edged creation. Matt and Kirk brought out their edge boards and Greenough dual concave chine board. I brought over my Wilderness edge board and then Ambrose brought over his dual concave soul specials. With the boards lined up on the picnic table, the Coleman camp lantern somehow provided perfect sidelighting to view the very unusual contours before us. After several of Gary’s prime microbrews, we performed thorough examinations on the boards and it was all good. When I look back, I realize that we had everything from a Paul Gross flex spoon to a Paul Jensen hollow to a 12’6” Dave Parmenter Makaha Machine and everything in between. We all had the opportunity to view (and ride) one of, if not THE most eclectic collection of surfboards ever assembled anywhere. I really felt privileged to have been a participant. THANKS MIKE! And thanks everybody! (I apologize to anybody I’ve inadvertently left out)

…Well I made it home! It was a blast,wish more could have made it.It reminded me of a mini Woodstock…like the first one, that is…really grassroots…Too many names to mention right now in my veggie state but,THANKYOU!!!Hey Ambrose your a funny guy,glad you won the Foam EZ blank(7-3 becker).When I get more usable brain cells firing,I’ll post something less feeble.Herb

I, out in here in NJ, was envious of the event taking place because I couldn’t be a part of it. I would have loved to just be a fly on a tree and listen to all the great passing of information and story telling going on, let alone surf with all you guys. After reading this post, I am convinced that there is an overwhelming display of sincerity each and everyday on this board, and it is evident that it made a smooth transition offline as well. Thanks to the post, I was at least able to have a small experience through words of the event, and can’t wait to view the photos. I also can’t wait till we have the East Coast event sometime soon. I love this place, I really do. http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=2345472361&category=42283

Hulls, hulls, hulls, Dos Caballeros, Parmenter’s green machine at one end of the scale and El Paipo Grande at the other (Proneman has one sweet ride), Herb’s very VERY clean shapes. SC Gary’s new part in his hair as I rode over him going backside on a hull. Sheading light on the edges. Paul’s woodys and a very clean camping machine. Paul Jensen’s linearity vs Ambrose’s sprirals. Very patient women and kids. Gin-clear water, lip shadows from the back, chasing sections with El Paipo Grande and Paul Jensen’s longwoody, John’s maiden voyage on the 11-footer (he made a cutback and the wave!). More people riding Neumatics on one beach than the entire west coast. Swapping boards in the lineup. Kirk and Matt stylin’. Alex finally got a edge turn (very, very good surfer). Lyrical Ambrose, hysterical/historical Putt Man, thoughful, worried John, not enough time to talk to everyone, humble Mike, patient audience, raccoons and stars, atmosphere thick with Stoke-Pura Vida, Alex vs Kirk in the mullet naming contest, Matt’s fin bag, fins, fins, fins, flex-fins, wood fins, fish fins, tri-fins, Tom’s fins, Herb’s finlets, paddle fins, and the fin in question. Matt’s tri-tip, Vaqueros de las Olas, repro Velo, don’t let John see the book, minime edge, blues and surfabilly, finally meeting John and Mike. And finally, the true meaning of the Swaylock’s vibe… Darren finally dragged his 6’ something second shape/first glass board out to show. Kirk jumps on it, “Man, is this not Michael Peterson or what? Look at this template!” Darren asked Kirk, “It doesn’t seem to work right, what do you think?” Kirk looked at the huge longboard fin in the box and said, “One of these” and he handed Darren a nice green flex fin (to be sure, it was one of Matt’s). After a go-out, Darren returned shaking his head, “That was it! It rips now!” The next day, as we all are packing to leave, Darren walks up to Matt and hands him the fin…“No, you keep it.”

Some of the images I’ll hold onto were seeing the beautiful fin on Paul Jensen’s 10-4 go sparkling by through the back of a wave; watching Ambose take off on the right in the center of the bay, follow it around the bend in the sandbar then ride the once-right-now-left further up the beach than the spot he took off at; clean lefts that would have multiple bowls and reforms and Mike? maybe John? say one could right a short story about a ride; Proneman looking so happy that everyone who rode El Paipo Grande were so jazzed; Patricia - just out for a swim - having Ambrose give her his matt and her stoke at the waves she got on it; John and his quiet dedication, and finding out what “Swaylocks” means.

sounds truly wonderful. I wish I could have been there. I’m really stoked to hear how well it came off.

i tend to be a loner, but i must say i am reeling from this past weekend-just jazzed on how cool everyone was.when’s the next one???everyone in their own way contributed to the event which is what this forum is about.tons of bitchin stuff to look at from the makaha machine, Dale’s mini-me model, Lee’s, John’s , Ambrose,Herb’s boards and Paul’s beautiful wood boards.( sorry if i left out anyone).Thanks to all who cooked, the band(they rocked),and of course Mike and John.Too fun!!

I am covered in very sticky fin rope and kicking resin and loving every itch and burn. I thought that after the weekend of camping i would actually get some sleep. Now i am so hooked i am shaping day and night. You guys were all so helpfully and knowledgable. Derek, Ryan and myself learned so much. I still cant believe the fin the vaqueros gave me it rocks. The camp out was for sure the highlight of my summer. And i am working on getting a camera so i can add to the resources. The only problem is that at this rate i may need a u haul to bring my new shapes to the next S.A. Thanks and see you all soon. DARREN

Darn Lee, I thought you were just being friendly and showing me the hull up close. Great meeting you and thanks for a terrific time. See you next year.

If any of you riff raff from the S.A. 2003 do NOT want their names associated with the photo essay I’m doing please email me personally. You never know – some of these guys might be in trouble with the LAW. S.

What a great weekend! Tons of cool boards and the Sway’s community is a very friendly and generous group of people. It was nice to put faces to so many of the names here on Swaylocks. John, you are the MAN for putting this together, Lee too. You guys ROCK! Herb, thanks for the chargers. I dig your boards (skate and surf). Ambrose, Beth wanted me to give you a huge thank you for spending so much time coaching her in the water. you and your Buddy really helped her out a lot and gave her a ton of confidence and new stoke. Thank you! We brought some friends and their daughter along with us and they were flat blown away with the cool vibe and good folks they met. They didn’t know anything about Swaylocks before last weekend and didn’t know what to expect, but they came away from the event saying “that was the best vacation we have ever had” I think that about says it all. Thanks all and God bless. Scott W.

Wed. 9-10-03 11:45 AM…Just got in…SLO to Olympia on 2 hours sleep thatI grabbed at a rest stop on Oregon… I’m rummy and un-balanced, but re-vitalized in desigh thought…There are multiple future projects competing for priority in my brain…Right now I’m leaning towards a 7’4" displacement hull flextail, of course in hollow wood…or, a thin flexible wood “Velo” is in also preoccupying my thoughts…The long drive back afforded me the oppertunity to figure out the design and construction process, so now it’s a matter of time, and energy… The entire trip was cleansing for my spirit and allowed me a deeper reflection into what surfing / boardbulding / camarederie is to me…The Big Sur location was perfect setting…The people (YOU) were as an ecclectic group as it gets…I doubt that few of us would typically share a line-up with each other,let alone swap boards…The Swaylocks factor changed all that…I was inspired riding the balsa hull, and “El Paipo Grande”…I now wish that I would have somehow got the “Makaka Machine” down there, but I’m such a small man for such a big board…And John, I also wish that I would have had a few waves on your new beauty… Back at the campsite,I SINCERLY enjoyed ALL the conversations and laughs shared this past weekend…You ALL were very kind in your appreciation for what I’m doing, and that means a lot to me…Thank you ALL…And you ALL have impacted me on the way I look at surfboards and design, and I’m grateful for that…And I’ll just echo the kudos to John and Lee for their organization of this long talked about event…It might have remained only a conversation thread, had it not been for John to be the man of action…And the shirts are too cool, too… After most of you left on Sunday, I got to talk and get to know Herb on a much deeper level…Now I can truly appreciate what an incredible person that he is…One of a kind…Inspiring…Crazy…???.. Monday, I went to Los Osos and hung with Jeff Chamberlain…One of the things we did was see “Step Into Liquid”…What a nice way to complete the Swaylocks Clambake…I liked the non-pro stuff the most…See it…I also had a chance to see Jeff’s next board…Nice… I breezed into Santa Cruz on the drive back…Went into the O’Neil shop and had to search the shop to find the boards…???..They were not visable when you walk in…???..They were way in the back around the corner, beyond the body boards and clothes…???..Is that what surfing has become to the “Corporates”…???..What have they done to our sport…???..It seems the antithesis of what Swaylocks represent… …Long Live The Underground… Herb and Kirk…Please e-mail me your mailing address’, I have things to send you… PaulJensen

i hope that fin provides you with a foundation on which you can build upon.i designed it for a board that was similar to you “MP” model so it doesn’t surprise me that it works.perhaps it will inspire you to start making your own fins too!!! Matt

well i just read all those up there’s an here goes…from the book…O.K. Im sitting on this plane listening to channel 4 on the headphones on the third day after leaving The swaylocks Encampment…Truckoslovakia Dennisio the music is this Violini New AgeStuff with door bell chimes and marimbas and psycho space keyboard synthesyzer stuff like volinweider’s space ship. The camp experience has brought these emotions to the surface…last night my 80 year old mom, who is at " that " age where my sister is convinced she’s losing it ,gives me the explaination of the “Grandfather Spirit” story …(oral transmission of stuff is a traditional method] she taught me what she learned in college this way )…which breaks down to; finding the “love bubble” within yourself and making it big enough to climb into and then expanding the sucker out more and more so you can share it with others climbing in like a life raft…She talked about giving a buck to a homeless guy selling papers downtown SanFrancisco "that’ s St. Patricks over there that’s where your great grandparents were married"thats on mission street accross from Yerba Buena Center visually framed as we walk accross the grass she’s telling it and I’m hearing it…its a crier Im tellin’ you So any way " Grandfather Spirit " I took him with me to Swaylocks’ …Oliver Hackler was Quiet and he made Bitchin stuff and he worked out by the beach as a gardener for the city of San Francisco out at the beach by the great highway…he brought home broken birds to be healed and later let free… ( My mom took swimming at Fleischakers. pool at the bottom of sloat blvd . old timers don’t always call it sloat… Fleischaker ‘s is the name of the worlds largest out door salt water pool wpa built? 1/4 mile long pivot point for SF aquatics…old timers call the surf spot fleischackers) O.C.Doc Hackler was the first up in the morning to tend the fire…he built his own house in the country…tauht me the whistle call to attract quail…it works…I found the Blue Jay call while walking The Highway One on sunday morning while you all were asleep…an I lit up a whole cypress stand of Blue Jays and once they went off the rest of the morning birds went to work bringing up the sun…so any way this Grand father spirit…Its like trim or calling Blue Jays …once you set it loose you Know its there and you want to see …feel it run free .so I brought it with me to Plaskett creek but I came away with MORE and riding on this plane writing this I only stopped once to dry my eyes and face and the rest of the time I just let it drip.I felt very deeply the Spanish Grand father. theamerican Indian Grandfather and othersThey were tenacious ,creative,resourceful, and inspired.My blood runs only with spanish blood from osmosis exposure to the spanish californian culture(culture of course we know is grown sometimes in a petri dish)My Welch great grandfather was a credible fix it man in his old age before the freeway put his fixit shop out of existance he was 92his name was Charles " Dad " Blake I hope you could feel the presence of my grandfathers at the swaylocks Encampment I was repping for them. I went on a quest to this swaylocks gig It was an unbridled success.I’m on a runaway horse…on an Inspired run back to my barn to recover and produce some inspired stuff .Although I have to finish 2 11’ers a 10’7"3stringer 4 7’2single fin doodle boards A single fin round pin repro a 5’4hyperchild board and 3 12’gliders before I dive on that 7’3"sway lock raffle red-X trans scholastic fleegle banger … please stop by well go surfin’ behind my house In this glorious Year2003 A.S.E. (after swaylocks encampment) the water’s not cold…ambrose p.s. say hello to your grandfather he’ll hear you in this world or beyond… ship is this what its like to be 55 years old? they never told me this

welcome to our lifeboat who else is out there floating…that needs a set wave…go compy go hasta !hasta! ariba Y los dios tambien! ambrose

I’m in communicado with my grandfather’s spirit all the time-the spirit runs deep…

…there goes a golden ship passing my way…and it really didn’t have to stop…it just kept on going…Jimi Hendrix/Castles made of sand.

ambrose, man, i got chills… “once you set it loose, you KNOW it’s there…” what a site this is! i’m gonna bring gramps out w/ me more often mahalo

Hey Paul, Hazel and I really enjoyed your CD on the way home. Kept my mind of my smoking wheelbearing. See ya’ next time. P.S -Keep me posted if you do the “velo”. That would be so kool.