Sea Notes

Modern surf-sounds bring back memories of the ‘60s

In 1962 my sister came home from college with an album that would forever change my life. It was called “Surfer’s Choice,” the musician was Dick Dale, and we turned up our parent’s gigantic wooden hi-fi all the way. The enduring hit from that album, “Miserlou” provided a soundtrack to accompany a rush that only […]

The surf was good, but the industry was calling

Scott Bass got it right. Again. If you were at the Del Mar Fairgrounds on Oct. 8 and Oct. 9, you know that this year’s Sacred Craft was the best surf show since the 1964 Surf-O-Rama. If you weren’t there, you were probably doing what we should have all been doing, surfing the first good […]

I’d rather surf cold water than a red tide, that’s no joke

Red tide occurs when algae rapidly divide and release toxins into the water and air. The Fish and Wildlife Research Institute states that red tide is a natural phenomenon. Others don’t agree, believing it’s caused by polluted runoff. For sure, when local marine life ingests the toxin they can die off in great numbers. People […]

Please, do support your local surf shop

When I was a kid in the early ‘60s, surf shops smelled like resin and rang with the sounds of power tools. Surfboards were often the only item featured in the showroom. In the back room, you could watch as your blank and resin were transformed into a dream machine. These were not department stores, […]

All that was left was dust: a surfing tribute to firefighters who fell on 9/11

On the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, firefighter Brennan Savage had finished his shift at Ladder 137 in Southern Queens, the firehouse where he worked as a New York firefighter. He was thinking about the waves he would ride that day when suddenly he looked up across the bay to see one of the Twin […]

Hawk or Hosoi: you choose

Like chocolate or vanilla ice cream in the 1950s, the choices of favorite skaters in the ‘80s were basically limited to two — it was Tony Hawk’s rapid-fire technical tricks or Christian Hosoi’s stylish air show. As a follower of either Hawk or Hosoi you may have once lined the stands at the legendary Del […]

A good conservation is never flat, even when the surf is

Last weekend, the beaches were beautiful, warm and packed; the surf nearly flat. That’s no surprise for North County in the summertime, but it did spark some good conversations on the beach. Steve Clark was hanging out with his family, including his grandson who is just starting to ride Swami’s recently. Steve has been surfing […]

Remembering 100 years of Cardiff surfing

There are stacks of discount soft surfboards on mini vans — each driver, it seems, headed to Cardiff. Kids pour out into the water, laughing and screaming their way into summer. It’s nice to see that “stoke” still lives in this town. The only things I don’t like are the divers who just brought in […]

Give a wave, and get one for a peaceful lineup

My first surfboard was a 9 foot 6 inch Wardy that I bought used for $45 in 1961. Seven years later I would strip the glass from that and all the other long boards stacked in my parent’s garage to make for short boards. They called it the “Short board Revolution,” and like most revolutions, […]

Health gurus help keep surfers riding the waves

Rob Machado told me a while back that he could tell when the local waters were affected by red tide, even without looking at the ocean. He, like many of us, including me, is allergic to the phytoplankton bloom commonly called Red Tide and scientifically known as Harmful Algal Blooms. The blooms are toxic and […]