Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Ahoy, Hoy

I deleted that last post.

I hate when bloggers or columnists or webmasters do the whole "under construction" or "be back soon, promise!" thing and then, of course, the construction never finishes and they never do come back soon.

Which is exactly what I just did.

So, apologies for that. But the Colonel is back, so let's get back to business. So much has happened, surfing-wise, in the past 6 months that I'm not even sure where to start...

Right now there's still a solid swell pumping into Orange County. It's a little weird, little funky, little closed out, and a little bumpy, BUT...at least there are waves.

Saturday was funky and mixed up with HB's patented northbound current doing its Mississippi River impersonation. Sunday was slightly heavier - solid overhead - with more water moving around and nastier sets. Yesterday was the cleanest day so far, with clean A-frames but so much goddamn high tide water moving around that almost every set came complete with backwash speed bumps and bonus warbles.

The super warm weather and warm(er) water over the weekend also had unreal crowds at the beaches, which was actually kind of nice because the lack of parking favors the big families who show up early from Riverside. The weekend wave warriors show up, see the chaos, and splinter off in various directions. Then guys like me squeak through the crowds, park our bikes, paddle out at the pier through 50 obese teenagers in jean shorts and soaking wet size XXXL t-shirts, and then get any wave we want.

Sometimes membership, even in a concrete surf city metropolis like HB, has its privileges.

Christ, has it really been 6 months since I last posted? I can't get over that. Where did the time go?

As we all know, a few days after December 19th, 2005 (the date of the Colonel's last entry), that macking super swell slammed into the coast. On the 21st I walked out on the pier with a buddy and watched massive, glassy, double-overhead walls slam into the pilings and shake the pier like we were at Candlestick, October '89.

Which brings me to a familiar topic - the surf media. How many of you surfed that giant swell? Especially those first few days, when almost every spot from IB to OB was CLOSED THE FUCK OUT? I already know the answer. Not many of you.

I'll tell you who DID surf. Every professional surfer in Southern California showed up at Sandspit in Santa Barbara and crawled over each for photo ops in dirty, dredging, wedging tubes off the jetty. The sun hadn't even gone down and every surf media outlet in Orange County was posting that day's video of Curren and Dane Reynolds with ridiculous headlines like, "EPIC DAY OF SURF ROCKS SOCAL!"

Um, yeah. Epic day if you were Curren or Dane Reynolds at Sandspit.

Yeah, there were a few other spots happening...Black's, Swami's, and all the rest of the usual big wave winter suspects. But I mean, for the average guy, even the average guy who's a pretty good surfer, it was basically 3 weeks straight of closed out, unrideable beachbreaks.

Yes, even I eventually got off my ass and got into my car and went in search of more structured surf spots. In my case I went up to Ventura and surfed C-Street with my brother-in-law-to-be for 3 straight days. And I know that tons of people got tons of great waves at every point break you've ever heard of.

But the media...oh, the fucking surf media. Every day it was another inane headline - "Best December Ever!", "The Swell of the Decade!", "3 WEEKS OF PERFECT SURF!"

Which, I guess is all true if you're Chris Brown with a tow-board and a photographic entourage. But for the other 99% of us who surf, those 3 weeks amounted to a little bit of surfing and a lot of not surfing.

It just further illustrates how completely out of touch the former pros who run the mags are. I mean it's bad enough that they're "celebrators of the lifestyle" posing as journalists. But the "lifestyle" they celebrate isn't even in tune with the vast majority of their readers. It's really a celebration of the "surf industry lifestyle", where Sunny Garcia's white collar tax wipeout (thank you, Scotty Breauxman) is buried in a PR fluff piece, and yet another Volcom self-congratulatory circle jerk "party" warrants an entire page with photos and connect-the-bro-brah'isms. Toss in some meathead from Hawaii in linebacker pads towing in to a stunt wave and, hey bro, let's call it a great winter.

Wow. I just got pissed fast.

Guess the Colonel is back in action. Again.

At ease.