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FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH
This is a terrific story of an 'aging ripper' that was told by his doctor "not to surf" as the physical condition he had would only be made worse by surfing.
He chose not to listen to his doctor, and after a couple painful go-outs, the better he felt. He ordered a new longboard from me last year, fashioned after his old magic Fowler that I had made for his son in law, Bart, that he now had.
As Gil, a retired commercial fisherman, gained more strength from his new loongboard, he decided to go for one of my "Fountain of Youth" models: FOY's are a full high performance shortboard scaled up in size for the older surfer. It cold have just as easy been named 'The Rejuvenator'.
Gil's is a red 8'6" constructed of EPS epoxy netting a light very strong fast paddling surfboard. Everyone that has gotten one of these boards has raved about the performance these boards offer them. The sizes range from Scott Beer's 7'4" to Mitch Evans' 8'8". But they all offer the same kind of ride. A full group of these are being built for stocking at Back Door Board Shop, and a demo will be available within the next week or two. Gil's board appears in "Deep" Magazine's current Board Buyers Guide available throughout the tri counties.
Read Gils story, and how he found the fabled "Fountain of Youth".
--- On Mon, 9/7/09, email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
From: email@example.com <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: fountain of youth (FOY)
To: "The_surfing_underground" <email@example.com>
Date: Monday, September 7, 2009, 10:31 PM
A horrible winter. A horrible summer. But it is over today. Labor day.
Yesterday I started out at 7PM for a late surf, and was stopped dead by traffic on the freeway 20miles from Ventura where I had a nice time last night on small waves. I turned around and headed home. I then decided to go back in traffic and stick it out, hoping it might let up. Nope. But Rincon came in view. A big orange flaming ball of a sun was about to set on two guys catching little waves in hopefully the same 72degree water as Ventura. I could have fun just sitting there with them; I am used to no surf.
Another u-turn and I was soon sans wetsuit, entering the amazingly warm evening soup. One guy was getting out. A set came and the other guy caught a thigh high wave. I was now so GO!
Unknown to me, there was a new brush fire a couple miles up the hill, accounting for the redness of the glowing sunset. I could still make out the weedy rocks on the sandy bottom in very clear water. I was getting drunk on the evening sights; a beach campfire, pelicans diving very close to my board, horses on the beach and a clam digger. (does he know about summer paralytic shellfish poisoning?) A pulse of waves showed up, and continued for the next half hour. This being only the third time I have used my Fowler "fountain of youth", I was amazed at how it handled. I got an adrenaline rush on a 30 inch wave! The other "old" guy got out, leaving me alone in the darkening surf with Venus rising over a fabulous string of slow moving taillights as far as I could see. A little skiff headed my way from La Conchita. I wondered what purpose its skipper had, and how he was going to land that thing in the dark. I would never find out either answer, as he was still drifting about as if waiting for me to leave.
I thought about whitey a bit, but don't much care anymore. I rode until I could no longer see the waves, and hauled out. How nice it would be, I thought, to join those in the driftwood shack where it appeared beers were being raised to lips of dark, murmuring shapes. Where are my old surfing friends? Actually, dead and dying. I am lucky just to have this extra time. Alone at Rincon in 2009 with my Fowler Fountain of Youth!
Well, today I decided to try again, same time same place. The freeway was worse, but as I passed Rincon this time, I saw a dozen surfers working waist high waves in the setting sun. I made my u-turn and saw fifteen cars in the lot. By the time I was paddling out, only 3 surfers remained! I noticed a pungent odor of the ocean that I had not smelled since I was 11 at our home near Topanga. I was becoming euphoric with the Rincon evening, which was flooding my brain with memories loved. Ahh, the fountain of youth felt ever so close. Then a wave happened that changed my whole outlook on life. My surfing experience would never be the same. I was stagnating, and broken in this terrible surf year, thinking I could never in my remaining few active years, quite attain nor acquire the pleasure of those youths who carve up the waves, build speed, then bolt through impossible sections. The wave was steep and long, chest high. I could already tell it would be sectiony and I could not expect to ride it through.
Up, drop and away! Lunging away. So fast and far with this board! I beat the first section, built up so much speed I found myself way ahead of the shoulder, cut back several times, made two more sections and soon found myself way down the beach by campfires! THE FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH, FOUND! I had never had more fun on a wave, and it would get even better in the rest of the evening. I felt eleven years old again, riding my innertube on my first beach- slamming wave. Thank you, Bruce Fowler for bringing your math, art and genius to my waves.
Excerpts of a mystery novella by Greg Goodwin
Stanley's isn't anymore. Both the seaside steak house named
Stanley's and the beach in front of it are gone. The concrete
tunnel under Highway 101 from the beach to the oilfields.is
gone. Now there is the usual eight-lane highway and a stone
seawall set out too far in the Pacific for the waves to break.
The round swells hump into the seawall, aborted, denied from
rolling into those green transparent tents that threw themselves
into themselves, to die on the sand like perfect martyrs in
the sun of the summer on the coast between Ventura and Santa
Orange groves turn into tracts of houses, green hills become
condo complexes, a row of Victorian houses by the beach becomes
a Holiday Inn, movie theaters become churches, small town downtowns
become shopping malls. And surf spots disappear. There's nothing
left, no physical evidence, only memory which says this was
not always this way, and when it was different, this happened
Stoned At Stanley's
What happened there started with Stanley's at its best--a hot,
white-bright summer day, a bitchin', out-of-sight day. Bobby
had scored a kilo of Mexican grass the day before and came to
Stanley's with the pockets of his navy blue nylon jacket full
of weed, dropping fistfuls into our hands as he cruised the
dirt parking lot like psychedelic royalty dispensing favors.
The tunnel under the highway leading from the beach to the
oil fields was the place. Crawl in from the white light of the
beach, into a world of cool, of grey damp half-light, with the
cars hissing just above your head, while you sat wrapped in
the concrete quiet, slowly getting stoned, slowly becoming aware
of everything around you, as the world moved closer to your
eyes, as your thoughts turned visible, as you looked at your
friends, smiling, falling into their eyes changing, turning
into genuine palpable stonedness, and the cars just above your
head, big American cars full of families on vacation, full of
white bread healthiness, white rice blandness, baked potato
brawn, orange juice vitality, cornfed confidence, red meat assurance,
full of post-war prosperity, while other guys sat getting stoned
in Vietnam, in the jungles, in the Saigon bars, on the white
sand beaches, before they went out to kill and be killed, while
the world turned, while the bombs fell, while the waves curled,
the fish swam, while the bullets flew, the mine sweepers swept,
the oil wells pumped, while the joint passes, shortening, burning
your fingers as you pass it, burning your throat as you smoke
it. Suddenly nothing but quiet, just heart beating, blood pumping,
the world inside running like an electric city, a universe of
skin, muscle and blood, neurons and synapses, all silently flashing
into thick halos of body revolving around something invisible,
flesh on the bone all hanging on the light behind your eyes,
all hanging on whatever it is that starts the heart, keeps it
beating and leaves when it ceases--the only true equality, the
democracy of death making us all lost children under strange
skies. Then crawling back from the tunnel, slowly, the light
getting brighter and lighter, until you crawl into the bleached
white ordinary sunlight, the carnival of voices on the beach,
the roar of the waves, the sun on your skin, the hot sand burning
your feet, the colors of bikinis, towels and trunks, the green
waves pouring in, and suddenly you were there, alive, well and
stoned at Stanley's.
Surfing At Stanley's
The day before had been unbelievable. No wind, in the 80's,
waves four to six feet, perfectly shaped, designed by the aquatic
engineers of Paradise, sent from some salt water Olympus beyond
the off-shore rigs behind them, the wells pumping on the other
side of the highway, all morning, all day, the waves pumping,
the wells pumping, nature pushing, wells pulling, we riding
into the afternoon, the sun backlighting each wave as the crowds
thinned and it was just me and Bobby having Stanley's all to
ourselves, until it was so glassy, green, gorgeous and alone
that we let beautiful, delicious waves go by, leaning back on
our boards and bowing to the sea with a "no thank you"
to waves we would have fought for in a crowd, but now let go,
like hunters sparing wild animals we had tracked for days, sitting
and watching the waves break in their exotic, transparent ritual
of sacrifice, unfolding, unmarred, pristine, throwing up steam
and spray as they collapsed into the sand, the sun setting at
our backs, the red sun dropping and cooling into the water,
while Stanley's was etching memory, changing blood.
Twilight At Stanley's
Twilight, peach sky, oil-rigs black on the horizon, waves translucent,
Bobby the only one out, black shape dropping in, ripping the
wave in his busy, hyperactive style, never staying still, riding,
dominating the wave's shape and movement. He climbed up the
rocks into the dirt parking lot. He stood outside the car and
shivered. I handed him a cigarette.
"How did I look?"
"But how did I look?"
"You looked good, but not as good as the waves."
"Your "ride the wave, not the board," philosophy?"
"Yeah, you know, how can you perfect perfection?"
"I perfect it by being there, by realizing the moves in
"But they're your moves, not the wave's. The wave exists
whether you are there or not. Harmonize, don't dominate."
"Hippy surfboy talk. It doesn't matter, it's perfect right
"Then what I did is perfect too, and what I'm saying right
now is perfect, and these words, I don't know I'm going to say,
will be perfect. . .REFRIGERATOR, NORGE, POPSICLE, STICK, HAMMER
AND SICKLE, SURFERS OF THE WORLD THROW OFF YOUR CHAINS, YOU
HAVE NOTHING TO LOSE BUT YOUR MINDS!"
The sun was gone, all was dark at sea save the lights on the
oil rigs, the glowing end of Bobby's smoke and the red neon
"Stanley's" on the black sky.
Contest At Stanley's
I don't know if it was the dope, the sun, Bobby's board, the
craziness of the night before, the acid I'd been taking, or
what, but it was the worst contest of my life. It was to be
my chance--if I did well, I would get free surfboards from a
local shop and be "riding" for them. This was a singular
honor, it would elevate my status immeasurably, and probably
get me a cute girl friend. But I had gotten ripped in the tunnel,
come out just before my heat, grabbed Bobby's board instead
of mine, told myself that competition was a human disease, that
it didn't matter who was the best, that the ocean was neutral,
that fun was the answer, harmony the goal, and I fell, laughing
off the nose of Bobby's blue board into cool green waves, having
a great time, losing my chance for free surfboards, cute girl
friends and elite surfer status. It seemed like a good idea
at the time.
It's part of a little mystery novella.
freaked just sitting at my computer monitor looking at these
I am no surfer. I only did one summer on a long
board, then went back to body surfing. The biggest stuff I did
locally was at the wedge and Huntington beach but I doubt I
saw much more than 6 feet. I never seemed to get there on the
big days. I guess I just wasn't committed enough.
Anyway, it was in Rhode Island during approaching hurricane
surf that I rode my biggest waves.
First day of real hurricane surf was the most amazing day at
the beach I ever had. Clear blue sky, warm Atlantic gulf water
and beautiful sets of the most immaculate 4-6 foot waves I have
ever seen. It just seemed that every ride was better than the
last. They were so clean and rhythmic, you could catch them
without even working hard. I was a bit of a purist -- no fins,
no outstretched arm for ballast or direction, just head up,
chest out like a bullet. With these waves you could drop into
that zone arms tucked to your sides and you were airborne. And
they were long -- wave after wave.
The next day not quite as sunny, I would guess they were 6-8'
with an occasional 10+' rolling uneven, breaking rougher, more
work to catch but great rides even though I took more bangings
-- biggest ever for me but not nearly as much time in the water
as the perfect day before.
Third day, you could definitely tell it was hurricane driven,
darker skies, really rough, 10+ and breaking a mess but it still
looked tantalizing to me. I had so much fun the previous two
days, I thought I was up for it even though there was only one
other body surfer, everyone else on boards. It was a big mistake.
When I finally beat my way out there, I wasn't nearly strong
enough to catch anything except a stuffing. After a couple of
those, I thought I was over my head in every way. Never swan
harder, went slower and got mashed more coming in. It was quite
a humbler. My mile swims and life saving merit badge didn't
mean anything. Whole episode probably didn't last more than
20-30 minutes but seemed a lifetime. I can't even imagine what
it must be like swimming in that really huge stuff like last
week or the 18-20s you're talking about, even when I was young
This had to be around '68 or '69 cause it was my last family
trip back east. Next trip in '71 I hitched. Man, that was a
long time ago...
Michael A. Ragosta
fishing with Ernie in the high sierras some how inspired me.
I had a vision for surfboard design and scratched it down on
paper. Maybe it was watching my Grandma ironing while visiting
I don't know but simple appealed to me. I shaped and glassed
an experimental 6' parallel hard rail board. 1/2 moon nose,
flat bottom, 3" thick from nose to tail. Upon seeing it
Ernie said "Looks just like the wierd sketch". I tested
the design in healthy Jalama lefts. Every time I went right
I spun out. Lefts were a dream. The bite I got off my weighted
heals sunk that tail and made that thing fly, had to ease into
cutbacks. The wilderness guys were interested until they heard
I designed it myself. They mumbled, looked at me like I was
from outer space and walked off.
I reshaped the thing losing about 1' in length, pulled the tail
in, but kept the thick hard 90 degee edge. Went to 3M's in mexico,
rights, on a good 6'+ day. Same trouble. I solved it by taking
off at angle, cheater 5, no bottom turn, fly out onto flat and
cranked it over. The speed of backside bite on all that foam
and edge was unreal. The board was a popular loaner. Guys who
wanted to go to the beach with their parents could put the board
in the trunk. Called it what else "The Ironing Board".
6-3-07 Pulled up to Cojo at 9 AM & turned
on the weather radio to listen to the buoys...Cojo was flat
(a few dribblers), but not much. Just when the Santa Monica
Buoy reported 5 feet at 15 seconds, Mike remarked...."Did
that REALLY say 5' at 15...?" And no sooner did Mike say
that when a 10 wave set rolled through, with the last 4 waves
being head high & hollow.
Not another soul around...Mike & I surfed until 10 AM, when
another inflatable with 2 guys pulled up & we surfed all
day (3 PM), the 4 of us...truly remarkable for a Sunday in Southern
California. As the tide came in, the waves got mushier &
smaller...(as the photos show). After I burned out, I took the
photos...(the photos don't do justice to our morning session)...hollow
& head high!
Gypsy was in jail. The ranger at the state park
openly laughed and joked but quietly didn't take kindly to Gypsy
acting crazy waving the pistol around his camp site. It was
the beginning of the end of the free wheeling Ventura Co wild
coast days. Parking on the higway at Rincon catching some sleep
the night before a days surfing was like anywhere else along
the beaches those days uninterupted, perfectly legal and free.
The Ventura County Park head Ranger flat out said
"Kids should not have to pay to camp". No 18 yrs or
over rule, No parents permission. Free camping period. It didn't
matter if the campground was empty or full. Common sense did
tell us to park outta the way, by the dumpster, way up towards
the enterance, or tripled up with someone else. If there were
no room no big deal there was two other parks close by and plenty
of nooks and cranies out there as options not to mention Stanley's.
After being threatened with vagrancy arrest, run off from our
pre dawn warming fire at c-st by early morning city trash collectors
we were weary of the little city of "good adventure".
Smoke billowed off the campfires at hobo jungle while we doused
the flames roughly where the holliday inn is today. Other than
the Hale and Morey surf shops, thrift stores and day old bakery
the only other thing of any interest was Ventura Point. When
there were no waves anywhere else there was always something
to ride there. A word to visitors, some things never change,
"Come to Ventura on vacation, leave on probation".
Like McTavish and Greenough Gypsy had his sidekick
Eddie the kneeboarder. Eddie broke his leg in high school and
never took to stand up surfing. Leg strengthening ws accelerated
by the use of various bellyboards until a cast off Greenough
spoon found it's way to him. He thrashed about on that thing
for years only showing signs of greatness in quality powerfull
surf for which those spoons were intended. He evolved to fine
tuned bonzer kneeboards. They magiclly appeared periodically
over the years on his Capatola door step. Eddie was adept at
all things mechanical and showed up many a time in procured
vehicles of dubious origin.
Gypsy and Eddie had the compound overlooking the
fabled reef. Tear drop trailer, van, tents, cars. It always
looked like a large group lived there. Most of the time it was
just them. On weekends or special occasions the camp site teemed
with visitors, travelers, La Conchita crew etc. The state limit
of days you could camp was 30. After 30 days you had to vacate
the site. 24 hours later you could return to the site, reestablish
the camp and were good for another 30 days.
Gypsy and Eddie basically had run of the place,
friendly Rangers, it was their spot. Gypsy and the transient
clan laid claim to the unique surf set up of heaving insiders
and the ever present outer reef that A framed epic beauties
thrust forth from the Alutians. On one such day I pulled into
the park solo, the caravan of circus tents and trailers were
parked at the seawall just north of the entrance. The dreaded
30 day 24hr vacate rule. The waves were perfect glassy 10',
not a soul around this weekday, no Gypsy or Ernie.
I hung around long enough to psych myself out.
The thought of making the quarter mile paddle didn't sit well.
The thought of loosing my board forced me to say fuck it and
move onto Rincon where there would be people to surf with, maybe
some of the La Conchita tribe. Sharing the long running walls
was a breeze. A nicely lopsided wave to rider ratio dream day.
Crawling up the rocks to the car I spotted another familiar
face. It was Wild Jenny the big breasted blond who was a cross
between Janis Joplin and Marylin Munroe. She was swearing like
a truck driver in her high pitched cackle. "Johnny, Johnny
they got Gypsy"!
Jenny turned heads anywhere she went with her breasts protruding
out the sides of her overalls more often than not. Her cackling
laugh in the back of rocking panel trucks at Stanley's always
gave her away. The sight of her changing into a bikini caused
many traffic accidents on old PCH. She was introduced originally
as one of the crews girlfriend. After her boyfriend took off
for Europe she evolved into something else.
to be continued
Winter of 69'
The winter of 68' 69' was a winter like no other.
I raced through the SAT test at Canoga High School on Topanga
Blvd.marking any question that seemed even remotely correct.
I couldn't care less about the stone fox public school chickss
that surrounded me. My pals were waiting in the car oustide
the door. Our northern brothers informed us it was on and get
up there asap. All I could think about was my Yater 7'6"
x 19" wide pocket rocket strapped to the roof of my Rambler.
Will it be enough?
We knew full well this was the largest swell we'd
ever seen. Back in the mid sixties we'd seen days at the Strand
that made us turn green seeing the heaving peaks 1/2 mile out
beyond the breakwalled harbour with no takers, we'd retreat
to the managable 10ft + walls of Rincon. If nothing else at
least have someone else around to witness our drowning. This
day was different. Instead of sneaking down the treelined 118
at 55 mph puffing reefer we jumped the 101 and I soberly opened
the rambler up, boards flapping on the roof. at 75 mph with
a full load. Cresting the Conejo Grade we swore we saw white
water. Barreling through the oxnard plain the Ventura pier was
being pounded by whitewater farther out than the eye could see,
mist and the taste of salt filled the air. Our vision of Overhead
was a blur of whitewater. Going on instinct and addrenilin we
rounded the Musell Shoul curve straining for a look. Pulling
off at bates we drove immediately to the top of the mountain
where all the fine Rincon vista photos have been taken. Wow.
Gypsy arrived telling us guy's were calling it a staggering
20+ft at 10:00 am. The high tide prevented riders as much smaller
days than this meant boards broken in half if you lost yours.
Not to mention bodily injury scaling the seawall. No one realized
leashes whould change everthing within the next year or so.
As is the case on such days the inside waves were too large
to get a look at what was happening farther outside. The tide
had dropped, Gypsy and I decided it was now or never. Our pals
fell silent and refused to go. We understood.
The water pouring down the point was like none
I'd ever experienced. Carefully making our way through the rolling
water swept rocks north of the river, standing in thigh deep
water waiting for a lull that didn't come. The sets were non
stop. Huge wall after wall pouring through. Small inside waves
were in the 8-10ft range. We launched using every ounce of muscle.
Gypsy took off like a fish, me being 30 or so pounds heavier
than the boney Gypsy, was quickly loosing ground. Within a few
minutes he was gone and I was being sucked into the bay.
I swung my paddle out wide, sprinting south at
angle turning back west when clear of the insiders. The current
was wicked. Paddling at 3/4 speed constantly was greuling. As
I approached the river mouth a rider appeared, it was Gypsy
on a smaller 10-12ftr, he quickly kicked out disapearing back
up toward indicators. I continued toward indicator. Another
rider appeared it was Reno Abillara riding a full Hawaiian Gun,
his wave was 15-18ft it dwarfed his 9'6".
Exhausted I took the first ridable looking wave
I saw just at the north side of the river. Totally undergunned
on the 7'6" 2.5" thick pocket rocket I got it late.
I got 1/2 way down the face and pearled. I was relieved really,
I could relax, swim with the surge. The tide had receded off
the seawall, no board damage thankfully. I continued this insane
merry go round two more times until I got into some good ones.
I think I loosened up to the whole thing. I saw another rider
that day it was David Nuuhiwa on a full Hawaiian Gun. Knowng
now what I didn't know then I should have drove directly to
Greg Noll's and said "gimmie the biggest you got"!
I think Greg was busy those days too.
Felix and Gypsy's
What a wild winter raining 24+ inches in just
few days. We approached the 118 bridge at Vineyard ave. A few
baricades blocked our path across the Santa Clara River to Saticoy.
Stopping the car we checked it out. Gone, the whole span of
concrete bridge washed away, our access to the 126 west cut
off. Shit hopefully the 101 bridge is still passable as we shoot
west on Vineyard. We merge onto 101 observing the water licking
the bottom of the 101 Santa Clara River Span.
The waves were a storm torn muddy mess. The campgrounds
were flooded but we hung out anyway hoping for a break in the
weather. We spend two days linking up camp tables to walk elevated
above the water. Van's and cars all linked for a wet night of
partying. We'd try to awake beore the arrival of Felix the Danish
ranger who idiotically insisted we pay camp fees under these
ridiculous conditions. His irritating banging on the Van screaming
gypsys! gypsys! pay!, pay! always yielded the same results,
Fuck You! we'd reply in unison. Gypsy would take a collection
and thrust out a hand with change in it. While Felix counted
the coins he'd fire up the Van and make our get away. Making
our way south we headed down Harbor Blvd. The Santa Clara River
jumped it's banks flooding Olivas Golf Course filling up a good
portion of the Ventura Harbor and boats in their slips with
Swinging into empty chatsworth park in the rain
we must have looked suspicious. Bored by no surf we took the
fins out of our shortboards dragging them up the rain soaked
hill of grass. Our attempt at shooting the hill was immediately
curtailed by the arrival of LA's finest. "OK what goes
on HERE"! they squealed. "Just a little hill surfin"
didn't sound kosher so the cops decide to search us and the
Van. Hmm where did that bag o weed go? Not mine anyway, oh well!
The Vans a mess of blankets, wetsuits, sleeping bags and camp
gear. The rain turns to misty as the Van is searched the last
towel is grabbed by the man in blue lifted skyward... nothing.
We all look at each other as we're instructed
to leave and not come back. Driving out of the lot the towel
is shaken and holy Mc Puff there it is. When the cop grabbed
the towel he got the baggie with it! We all howl. As we make
a rapid left hand turn the Van's side doors fly open spilling
1/2 we own out onto the boulevard. We paused only long enough
to gather it up glancing up the street hoping the cops wern't
on our tail.
This time last year, Ron Dorn took me to a left
point break ( Rio Nexpa) that he said would "blow my mind"...the
pictures I saw of the place alone on the internet, blew my mind!
Ron, his girlfriend Janet & I boarded a flight to Zihuatanejo
& after landing & grabbing our rental car, we headed
norte' to a tiny town that escapes my memory right now...long
drive, so we decided to spend a night relaxing "in style"
& jumped into the crystal clear pool. Later that night,
we walked into town & found a tiny aquaria & ordered
up some tasty "monkey meat"...nah, it was cow, (but
in the Philippines your never quite sure what you got on a stick!).
We ended up sitting down at the table next to Mike Doyle who
said he had driven south with his buddy, as the surf was too
big up north! Needless to say, Ron & I were wondering what
we were going to see the next morning...
After a small mix-up with our rental car, we finally got to
Rio Nexpa & rented our "bungalow on the beach".
The waves looked good, a bit of a lull between sets, but "do-able".
The only thing that had me concerned (besides the fact that
the paddle out to the point was a good 1/4 mile), but the water
on the shoreline was this mixture of white & brown foam...now
the white foam I can attribute to how salty the water is, plus
the "shore pound" was kicking up a lot of backwash...
I started counting bungalows on the beach, 20 maybe 30 + the
restaurants. Than I added up the toilets that each bungalow
had & of course the "septic symbiosis" of all
of this played a part in the brown, brackish color of the water...
Ron, being a fireman in Los Angeles has had all his shots...all
I've had is a tetanus booster about 2 years ago...no hepatitis
It was a bummer, but I just couldn't force myself to paddle
out the whole 5 days we were there...I had just survived a "near-death"
illness the year before & I wasn't going to take any chances
with getting sick, especially since I have no medical insurance.
There also was the "Sneaker Clean-up Sets" that were
closing out the entire bay every 45 minutes or so...the south
swell was working just fine, but there was a WEST component
that was frightening! The last day we were there, a set that
(without exaggeration) was fully 20' face came through &
cleaned 23 of the 25 surfers that were out there into shore.
Luckily, Ron managed to paddle over both waves, but it was heavy.
I needed binoculars to see him & the other guy they had
paddled out so far!
Anyway, Timmy Turner a local California surfer who contracted
a mean Staph infection in Mexico...& you thought Hepatitis
was all you needed to worry about! Bring on the Avian Flu!
My name is Andy Harley. I'm 28 years-old and live
in Frederick, MD.
As my tiny tribute to surfing and also a small
dedication to your fantastic site, I would like to share with
you a poem that I've written entitled, "Rag-Dolled By A Wave".
BY A WAVE
These wind-capped waves
are bone-crushing monsters,
And I'm pickin' up bad vibrations.
With white plumes of spray all over the place,
There are some serious limitations.
In the one brief moment
that I turn,
With my back facing towards the beating sun;
I faintly hear someone shout out to me,
"Hey now, watch out, run!"
As I spin around to see
what I'm in for,
I'm stuck standing there all alone;
At the mercy of the ocean I now find myself,
Smack in the middle of impact zone.
A gargantuan, dark green
wall of water,
That in a way, was somewhat unforeseen;
Has now swallowed me up inside of it,
And it's like being in a washing machine.
Not a single sense of
direction do I have?
Tossing and tumbling in the salty black;
Dragging the bottom of the coarse ocean floor,
It feels like sandpaper's being rubbed down my back.
Hurling me all the way
A circle of beach bunnies has witnessed the whole thing.
Sitting on some crushed coral and sea foam,
The saltwater's made my clouded eyes sting.
Getting up now, I'm just
a little bit embarrassed,
As wet sand falls off me in chunks;
Very tactfully, I pick the tiny shards of shells,
Out of my crumpled up baggie trunks.
As my bright board slithers
down the shore
It's a bummer that I have to go chase it again.
Next time though, I shall shoot the pier,
And hopefully be able to Hang Ten?
I was given the wonderful opportunity of having
my book of 62 poems, Till The Dreaming's Done: "Poems Crafted
For Thinking People" (ISBN 1-4137-8232-9) published this year,
and this is actually one of the poems that can be found in my
I was wondering if you would ever maybe consider
posting my poem somewhere......anywhere...on www.surfcrazy.com?
It would be an absolute honor for me to share just this 1 thing
of mine, with a whole plethora of surfers strewn throughout
this great big world of ours. If you would possibly consider
doing this for me, I would be forever grateful.
I very much appreciate you taking the time though
in reading this message and also sincerely hope that you enjoyed
my poem. I look forward to your response and wish you a wonderful
PS - When emailing me back, would you please Cc.
the AOL address above? Thanks a lot!