Stanley's Surf Gear


Surf Stories

UPDATED 09/08/2009

Submit your original drafts to stanley's

Wild West

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

Johnny Rigo
Copyright © 1994-2009 [Stanley's]. All rights reserved

view cart