Sea Notes

Surf family opens new surf shop

In 1974, the winter waves were small and inconsistent. As happens during such times, the crowds suffocated every ripple that came through. Longboards were making a modest comeback and I bought a Bing Donald Takayama Model for $10 that I rode until it finally died from sun exposure. Longboards were too long and short boards […]

The power of life and death

Dr. Udo Wahn is an Ob-Gyn doctor that lives in Del Mar. He is also a surfer that loves the ocean and works to pass that love on to his son Paolo “Cabo” and any other kids that read one or more of his “Cabo and Coral” series. Written by Dr. Wahn and illustrated by […]

Small waves, big minds, bigger dreams

Today the ocean once again looked like the Daytona Salt Flats. There were three desperate riders out, picking off the scraps of a dying swell. And I will soon make it four. Why not? I’m done with work, it’s a beautiful afternoon and even if all I get is a good workout and a trip […]

Another Easter Sunday

We had been up early for a sunrise Easter morning service. I’m not certain of the year, but it was sometime in the early 1970s and the entire coast was flat. I always carried a board with me and now I had a 6-foot-10-inch egg shaped by Rusty Prisendorfer, several years before he rocketed to […]

Revisiting 40-plus years of surfing in 20 minutes

The stairs were closed for repair and my friend Dave Gladstone served as my Sherpa, guiding me down the slippery dirt trail to the base of the cliff at Swami’s. Not much surf and not many people on water or sand. Nice afternoon though and I desperately needed to dust off the stress of the […]

Cardiff cold snap and other gifts

It was already cold as the wind gusted from the north and I pulled on winter clothes and decided to walk. Only one place would be offshore today and I didn’t want to make the drive. Cardiff Reef heaved a surprisingly thick slab as an unknown rider took off late, got barreled for seconds and […]

What about a ‘Don’t visit California’ commercial?

Have you seen that “visit California” commercial where they show a variety of people telling you why you should come here? Made me want to do a commercial of my own, to tell people to save fuel and stay home. The original commercial features a bunch of people who are meant to represent California, even […]

A short history of women’s surfing

The oldest known story of surfing concerns the mythical Kelea. Born of royalty in Maui, it is said she out-surfed riders of both genders. A few hundred years pass until the mid-late 1800s, when Thrum’s Hawaiian Annual reports that women in ancient Hawaii surfed in equal numbers and often better than the men. When surfing […]

Public art in aquatic places

Last weekend I took a stroll through Ducky Waddles, that cool little art nook in Leucadia on Coast Highway near Lou’s Records. There, I found a million inexpensive pieces for sale, walking away with only one, a unique vase by a local artist that covered the smudge on my wall and the minor ding I […]

Teaching kids to surf all about timing

For reasons only they know, parents are putting their kids on surfboards at younger and younger ages. Some even wear kid-carrying devices, paddling junior out with them at around 2 years old. Tosh Tudor, Joel and Maya’s firstborn, rode some well-overheard (for him) waves before his 3rd birthday. The waves were mushy little outside high […]