07 January 2009

I Nominate Cyrus Sutton for Secretary of the Surf

Phoresia recently interviewed Cyrus Sutton. Damn if one thing Cyrus said didn't impress the hell out of me. Mind you, Cyrus is extremely talented, both in the water and behind the camera. What I like most about him is his attitude.

PHORESIA: I was thinking about my quiver the other day and it dawned on me that I have the hipster quiver. I mostly ride my little quad fish or my single fin log – both with resin tints and gloss finishes. What’s your take on board styles and board fashion? Does it matter?

Cyrus: If you’re feeling good about what you’re riding and that helps you paddle out more often then that’s what it’s all about. Surfing is so over-exposed and we’re all so jaded that little things like resin tints and certain board shapes can often make the difference in whether or not we paddle out. We’re all kooks really. I mean right now I’m dividing my surfs between a fucked piece of wood that I sink up to my eyeballs on and an ass-dragging log, but that’s what’s keeping me in the water everyday. As far as I’m concerned the less we need to travel to compete over the same “world-class” breaks and the more stoke we can learn to squeeze out of our local surf, the better off we’ll all be.


At 1/7/09, 7:36 PM, Anonymous PG said...

This is an important perspective to embrace.

The whole surf travel fantasy thing started in earnest in the early 80's, although it's been there since the earliest California surfers rode the SS Lurline from San Fransisco to Honolulu in the 30's.

The problem I've always had with "travel oriented surfing" was practical. Surfers persist in riding boards best suited to imaginary waves.

I was walking down the beach at Lowers one evening many years a ago -- the surf was 2-3 feet at best -- and some guy stopped me and started shouting that my boad would never cut it in Indo. I explained that we were here, not "Indo," and I wanted to surf an approporiate board.

Then he said, "I know about a place that your board would NEVER work!" So I guess I was supposed to ride a board for a spot I didn't even know about.

Riding locally and tuning your mind, body, and board for that area is the best experience a surfer can have, in my opinion.

Great find, SS.

At 1/8/09, 12:23 PM, Blogger Jamie Watson said...

I really like his attitude, too. It's inspiring. I like the author's description of him, "He also lives a natural lifestyle and seems to focus on progressing in his art and his surfing rather than worry about the trivial aspects of life."

At 1/8/09, 1:05 PM, Blogger The Colonel said...

It's funny how the backlash to the retro movement has really picked up steam recently. And, if you're talking about that kid I saw in Huntington a few years ago with the rocket fish, the high'n'tight Katins, and the frickin' BEAVERTAIL WETSUIT (I kid you not), then some of the complaints are legit.

But at the end of the day, any board that helps you catch more waves and helps you have more fun - even if part of the fun is staring at your dope daddy burgundy resin tint job in the lineup - is the right board.

Water magazine did this whole editorial last Fall about how retro boards were keeping intermediate surfers out of the tube, and to illustrate this, made fun of some guy who brought a bunch of retro fish boards to Indo. Which, yes, was totally stupid. But MOST of the article was making fun of the guy's tight jeans, his long bangs, his taste in music, his Mac laptop, his collection of Thomas Campbell movies, etc.

Easy prey for stickered up rippers.

But we all know those same retro fishes are a lot more fun at 3-foot Trestles than a Taj model potato chip. Unless, of course, you're Taj. Who none of us are.

Long live the hipster quiver.

At 1/9/09, 1:03 AM, Anonymous PG said...

When the clothing companies took over the surfing print media in the late 70's, they were pretty cock-sure that once they got their hooks into the next generation of surfers, nothing would ever knock them off their pedestal.

And, for at least 10 years, they were right. But as the "standard" leading edge contest board became less and less ridable for the average surfer in their home surf, something was bound to change.

The fact that pro contest surfing evolved away from "local" beaches and into more and more exotic locations was a key reason why whatever the world champ was riding became less and less relevant for huge numbers of surfers.

Then the 90's boom of returning older surfers brought back the longboard not as a novelty item, but as a legitimate, day in and day out go-to board.

The surf media's reluctance to acknowledge "alternative" surf craft, followed by their stumbling attempts to glorify it, are a delight to behold for anyone with a smidgin of objectivity.

I love the story about the guy rocking a beaver tail! This cat's on my trip!!!

At 1/9/09, 10:14 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wasn't there so this is second hand. My wife was in yoga yesterday and the teacher is an old surfer, and he said he is regaining some lost stoke recently. He told of his friend who went to Indo literally decades ago, and got really good waves. He came back to CA and was really let down, and to this day, is still pissed he's not in Indo. Doesn't seem to enjoy surfing at all, and the lesson to the yoga class was to be, as PG will tell you, happy where you are.

At 1/9/09, 10:20 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

A friend once asked me if I'd ever surfed in Hawaii. I said no (cos I've never surfed anywhere other than L.A. County and Orange County). He said, and I quote, "It'll fuck with your head." He went on to explain that the waves he got were so good and so long that it was hard to come back and surf here. I get it. We never go anywhere and now we have no money to go anywhere, so I don't have to worry about being spoiled by foreign waves. As much as I complain about the crowds here, I still have a ball when I surf. My stoke is as strong as ever.

At 1/9/09, 11:29 PM, Anonymous PG said...

It seems like most foriegn surf travel ends up in destinations with a local surfing population made up of "natives" and ex-pat American and Australian Surfers. The vibe, invariably, is pretty negative, even if you don't bring any friction with you.

A friend of mine once said the rejects from California are the guys who end up in these "perfect" places...and bring all their "loser" baggage with them.

If you can find a far away place with good waves -- and be in the first wave of surf immigrants -- then fine. But you have to give up everything here to live there, regardless. It's a trade-off I was never was willing to make...and I tried on several occasions!

My word verification is "odimuffs." Write your own joke and insert it here...

At 1/13/09, 9:00 AM, Blogger The Colonel said...

I can't believe I'm actually going to quote the Eagles (sorry, Lebowski), but they wrote a great song called the Last Resort, which is essentially about people like us seeking out unspoiled frontiers, bringing our loser baggage with us, attracting more people to follow us, fucking up the new places, and then moving on.

The line I remember is, "Call someplace Paradise, and kiss it goodbye."

I would say that applies to Hawaii, Bali, and probably a lot of other places.

PG is dead on. I've surfed all over the world and the worst people at every spot are the ex-pats who were grumpy back home and thought that leaving California would take away their grumpiness. But it turns out that crowded Malibu isn't really what soured them in the first place. The shitty attitude was inside them like a virus and, like any unknowing carrier, they snuck it through customs and infested their new homes with it.

Wayan is never going to vibe you at Uluwatu. It'll be Shane from Carlsbad.


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