Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Breakout the Aquasocks

Three days in Norcal, stuck in the office in Sunnyvale. Was actually in a conference room until midnight last night. Fuck. I thought I was over that.

On a positive note, I rolled down to my old man's house in Pacific Grove on Monday night to go through some old boxes of stuff recently retrieved from my Mom. And there, mixed in amongst yearbooks, 3rd place AYSO trophies, and about a half dozen trees worth of Sears portraits, was a whole big honkin STACK of old surf mags - Surfer and Surfing dating back to the mid-80's, plus a whole bunch of Breakouts and a handful of ill-fated "Local" surf magazine/newspaper thingies from Santa Cruz.

Okay, fine, there were some Body Boarder mags, too, which I can't really deny, but let me at least defend myself by saying that there were NO HOLES in any of the pages. And considering my room used to be literally wallpapered with cutout surf shots, and that most of the surf mags I looked through resembled Swiss cheese, that has to tell you something.

So who remembers Breakout? "California's Surf Magazine?" C'mon, ring a bell? Well, if you don't remember, it was a shortlived surf magazine from the mid-late 80's that focused primarily on California. It did run photos and stories from Hawaii and Baja and elsewhere, but those usually featured California boys or somehow tied it all back into the West Coast motif. I'm not sure if it was actually started and/or published by Chris Ahrens, but he wrote the lion's share of the some issues he appeared to write ALL the content.

Like I said, most of the mags were full of cutouts, but I did manage to glean a few observations on Breakout that might jog some bong and surfboard resin-clogged brain cells.

- The 1988 "Swimsuit Issue" had the most ass-faced chicks I've ever seen in print. There was actually a chick that looked like a 40 year-old waitress named Thelma. Apparently Mr. Ahrens pinched pennies not only in the editorial "department", but he obviously wasn't calling up Aaron Chang in the photo department either. "California Girls?" More like "Fugly Girls from Hemet and their Semi-Hot Cousin from Chula Vista".

- There was a two-page Nike ad featuring Colin Smith pulling into a Baja tube wearing turquoise Nike Aqua Socks. For some reason I mentioned these hideous things in an earlier post. And as if that ad wasn't bad enough, there was a whole photo section featuring Baja with two or three additional shots of Colin from the SAME SESSION. Those ridiculous neon bootie-substitutes were so bad that they almost offset his white, pink, yellow and black Body Glove wetsuit. Don't mean to get Queer Eye on you here, but just envision that for a minute. Then stop.

Oh, remember any of these surf brands from the past?

- BA Surf Stuff (featuring little Killroy type dude surfing with his butt sticking out.)

- Surfer's Alliance (featuring various colored aliens aboard a large Star Trek-esque space ship, all checking live surf cams from different planets, and all wearing the latest in geometric shape patterned surf know, "Jamz" style.)

- Instinct ("Only a Surfer Knows the Feeling", right, mate?)

- Beach Towne (a staple of Hans "Logo Whore" Hedeman's Nascar-inspired surfboards...proudly featuring, among many others, the now sadly defunct Primo Beer. Eh? No can hear. Got beer in my ear.)

- Marui (okay, I have no idea if Marui is still around or not. Hell, I have no idea if Marui was even a surf brand...or what on Earth they sold, processed or bought. All I know is that year after year it was the Marui Pipeline Masters. Good enough for me.)

And while we're on it, how about some of these pro surfers. Where are they now? Feel free to post comments if you know...or have dirt (even better)...

- Ted Robinson (mostly what I remember about this dude was that he kicked some ass in the NSSA and then got booted when they found out he and his buddy, Kelly Gibson, forged their transcripts and had been flunking their way through school for years. Epic. Well done, lads.)

- Richard Schmidt (the Steve Martin of the surf world, this guy always looked about 45, with white, receding hair...but for a long time he was the ONLY Santa Cruz guy who got any national or international coverage, with Anthony Ruffo, Marcel Soros, and Kevin Reed bringing up a very distant rear.)

- Jim Hogan (another name I mentioned in a past post. Has anyone ever met him in person? He's like 4'11". Talk about a seabiscuit.)

- Chris Menzie (I remember this dude showing up at my house in OB about 10+ years ago and trying to sell me and my roommates some of his old wetsuits and clothes. All I could think at the time was, 1. "Hey, it's Chris!" and 2. "I bet this guy has a drug!")

- Chris Frohoff (Not only was this guy the only Californian capable of occasionally joining Tom Curren in the Top 16 at the time, but more importantly, he had the all-time greatest 80's surfer dude hair. 100% pure money.)

- Scott Farsnworth (Scott was sort of like Fro's blonde counterpart in the O'neill ads, but he could never match's Fro's hair, forgoing the bleached hair helmet and opting instead for the parted butt cut.)

- Scott Daley (okay, so this guy was from Florida and an astonishingly  forgettable semi-competent pro surfer on top of that. However, I'll never forget his amazing line from The North Shore, following his early round loss to hot shot up and comer, Rick Kane - "I heard Mr. 'Nose for Waves' comes from a wave tank in Arizona!" What a sourpuss.)

Okay, that's enough reminiscing for one night. On top of this large serving of 80's cheese, I also packed on a corn dog, some fried zucchini, and an Orange Julius from the OC County Fair, and right now I need to go see a man about a horse.

Speaking of horses, go to the fair and pay $2 to see the giant horse and the giant cow. Fucking worth every penny. Probably worth ten times that. That cow will seriously blow your mind (oh, and if you see Ted Robinson, tell him "hi" and make sure he gives you a fresh corn dog - not the one sitting under the heat lamp for 20 minutes.)

As for me, I'll be back in the water tomorrow, even with the US Open in full swing. Don't know about you, but I've got my money on Bud Llamas .

The Colonel says, "At ease."