Why Being A KOOK is Kool!!!

Hey, I’d like to be a “Kook” again…you know that term? It really has stuck around even before I got my first Surfer Mag with Rick Griffin’s Murphy on the cover. Ah The Murph!

But even Murphy had to start out with his first right (or was it left?) slide, finally learning how to escape the “soup” and free himself while trimming onto the green. I remember for me when I finally got an angle versus straight off in the bumpy bouncywhitewater. It was 1959 at ‘The Sandbar’ aka Santa Barbara Sandspit at the harbor mouth. The place just had some insane waves rifling off this swell. And if you ever saw Endless Summer you saw George Greenough get, as Bruce Brown quipped, “a very long wave on a very short board…”

There really is something great about being a beginner and learning to master the basics. That first right slide I got, I felt like I was going a million miles an hour! Forget that I was on a reshaped 8’2" Greg Noll that had previously flown off a car losing two feet of its nose and sustaining 40 dings and a torn off skeg. Yeah, believe or not, my very first board was a major reshape! Kudos to my brother who made an awesome laminated wood skeg in wood shop at his Jr. High School.

We couldn’t even find fiberglass like all you Swaylockians these days. We had to go to a fabric store and this skinny old guy dipped into the back and returned with some light brown stuff; “Yup I’m pretty sure this is fiberglass…anyway, this should work”. There were some advantages though, gas was 17 cents a gallon, unless someone started a “gas war” then prices could drop dramatically! Since we had pimped mom into driving us all over to hell and back to get materials, our next stop was Pep Boys where my brother had previously bought “Rocket Resin”. I guess Manny, Moe and Jack had the insight to carry the stuff for body work on cars. I don’t think Corvettes were fiberglass yet, maybe Pep Boys, were light years ahead of everyone. The tan colored fabric looked like sh-t on the board, so we got some Candy Apple Green enamel (who knew about pigment?) and painted the whole board, except for the bitchen wood fin of course. It turned out really cool, and I rode it for quite awhile until I sold it while raising money for my first new custom, a 9’4" three stingered Doug Roth.

I would take my skateboard and a backpack and skate along Hwy 154 which historically was named San Marcos Pass that winds thru the mountains above Santa Barbara (they just renamed it The Chumash Highway). It was a miracle I ever became a surfer as I was brought up on a ranch 13 miles from Campus Point! It probably wouldn’t have happened if it wasn’t for my brother being bitten by the bug before me. Gidget and The Beach Boys were in full swing, but my favorites were the Ventures and Surfaris…there were plenty of others like Jan and Dean, TheChantels, and on and on.

My first board sold for $9 and unfortunately I heard it simultaneously broke into 3 pieces a short time after I sold it. Sorry? Such is life when you buy someone else’s used stuff. Well, such is life when you buy new crap, these days. The Roth treated me well until I got my 2nd new board; a Hobie shaped by Dick Brewer. I found the board in Santa Cruz, and, get this, it was one of three shops that Hobie had in SC!!! I am pretty damn sure I remember this right…it seems incredible, but, yeah…3 shops!!! The board was what hey called a semi speed shape, very white foam and three 1/4" balsa stringers 6" apart with black glue. They had all these boards in there with colored foam…which was the new deal, but when it came down to it, I went with clean. The board was Very Light weighing only 23 lbs! It even had the new removable fin system, a big ass bolt that went thru the deck into the fin allowing me to fine tune it.

When I got back to SB, there was a heavy swell at Deveraux Pt. and some big, burly guy checking out my new board really freaked me out. He picked it up and said “whoa! this thing will never work out there…it’s too damn light!”

…heartbroken, I paddled out with a lump in my throat and an awful feeling in the pit of my stomach, until I caught my first wave, drop knee’d into a right and foot over footed up into a cheater five…“stupid jerk”, I thought.

Being a Kook is gratifying…even more than the humiliation you might receive from some Kahuna. When you get really good at surfing, you get more and more discerning about which waves you want to ride. There is a term we used to bandy about if someone were lucky enough to get a month’s pass to Bixby and the Hollister Ranch…the waves were so perfect you stood to get “Ranch Spoiled”. Even Rincon or El Capitan wasn’t the same after having 30 days of Cojo, Rights 'n Lefts, Lefts 'n Rights, Perkos, Government’s, Crumple Car, Little or Big Drakes, or Augie’s…oops, almost left out Razorblades!

Yeah, if you’re a kook, just about any wave will do.

Nice story! really nice. I love reading about the old times.

Great yarn…

The best thing about being a KooK is that you get more waves, anything 2 foot and under is MINE!!!

well, i’m not sure about it being ‘cool’ being a kook again …

but …

Friday was the first time i stood up on THREE waves , [and even went ACROSS them !]

this was the first time , for a LONG time !

IT sure WAS nice to have a ‘relatively pain-free’ day , when the spine , shoulders , neck , , and legs actually permitted the takeoff movements .

…if there is one thing i have been reminded of during all of 2007 year , it is this …

NEVER take your health for granted !!



challenging your sta-quo

know ship tude is primary.

why ride somthig

you know how to ride

ride somthing weird wild

wide eyed like the lens on the camera

is the ‘‘kook’’ rush

being a nostalgic ole sot is swell

Being an irritant to the flow

dropping in with impunity

out of turn,

Deluding your self into

into a bloated sense of

self esteem,jeopardizing others

well being ,

a fly in the ointment

a burr under the saddle blanket

a rotten apple in the barrel

the object of scorn

an unappreciative

greedy opinionated

intermediate enthusiast

is by no means a romantic Ideal.

being a fresh stoked enthusiastic

healthy kid at the beach is the coolest thing ever.

surfing with 30-60 year old obnoxioids

training for the surfing armegeddon on popcorn based

gold rush dixcount surfboard

is pergatory incarnate.

turn a guy on to cheap repairs and quick too

and then when you charge him like a

regular deal and fix the most abused wreck of a board

and have him complain and accuse you of overcharging

phuk kooks may he choke on his own puke.

he was so nice to help learn to surf

make his first board

fix his first ding

take him surfin at mysto spots

but now he is a hazard

and a know it all surfing wwaves

five times their actual height

dropping in on everybody

crashing in front of em.

I told him to never come back.

and refused payment

on probobly an easy

$100;00 of repairs

set myself up

for the abuse

and burn ,sure

but then I was just being a kook.

do I go in

if he paddles out where I’m surfing?

or do I do it the old way and kick him

the phuck out until I go in?

an if he doesn’t

do I drop in on him every wave?

do I block him every time he tries to take off?

where are the moustache boys?


rick chrysler at rincon

parrallel stance squat

surfer callender on q’s room wall