Author Archive for Chris Ahrens

‘A Paradigm Shift’ hits La Paloma

‘A Paradigm Shift’ hits La Paloma

I’ve known Steve Cleveland for so long now that I’m not even sure where I first met him. 

Treasures from the sea

Treasures from the sea

There’s nothing like a walk by the sea at dawn. 

‘Bird’ house is place for surf wonders

‘Bird’ house is place for surf wonders

It’s just occurred to me that I don’t know Bird Huffman’s real first name. I have no idea what his parents called him, but I’ve always known him as “Bird” and that’s what everyone I know has called him for more than 30 years now.I first met him either at Windansea through some of the […]

Rediscovering kneeboarder George Greenough

I had been surfing for a while in the mid-60s when Bruce Brown’s classic surf movie, “The Endless Summer” premiered. The entire movie was such a revelation for a land-locked gremmie that I barely noticed the kneeboarder flying across the screen. The wave peeled at Santa Barbara’s Sand Spit as the rider flew off into […]

Saying ‘Aloha’ to a waterman

Saying ‘Aloha’ to a waterman

I first became aware of Howard Benedict in the mid 1970s. He was a dentist and I heard that he surfed a little. Later I found that he surfed more than a little and was a phenomenal big-wave rider that would fly to Puerto Escondido during the summer’s biggest swells to ride the famed Mexican […]

Celebrating 50 years in the surf

On Feb. 2 I celebrated a golden anniversary as 50 years of surfing passed beneath my feet. It started with a borrowed board until I bought one of my own, a used 9-foot-6-inch Wardy with two wedged redwood stringers encasing a swatch of condensed tinted yellow foam. I was too stoked to notice that my […]

Waves of love on Valentine’s Day

Perfect weather and good surf have blessed our coast for the past few months. No matter what you ride, it’s a great time to be a surfer, watching rippers on boards from five to 10 feet. Five fins on one. Our beaches provide quite a show of talent. And while we often praise the artist […]

Branches on the Burch family tree

Branches on the Burch family tree

My dad surfed a little in the early ‘40s. He mostly bodysurfed, however, and played around occasionally on wooden planks at Santa Monica Pier.  Nonetheless, his stories and his encouragement in my early years were the primary stimulus in getting me to ride waves.