BLACK PEOPLE DON'T SURF
(Did I stutter?)
23 February 2013
I Got My Portrait Took at the Beach
At last week's Paipo Stokefest #2, there were photographers in the water and on land. Just as I was about to get dressed, photographer Jeff Bertig asked me to stand in front of camera for a couple of minutes. I'd just handed off my mat to someone who wanted to try it. I was actually focused on finding my clothes, getting dressed and attempting to warm up. He asked that I bring my mat, so I had to take it back from the person to whom I'd given it.
Contrary to popular belief, I don't like having my picture taken. I'm not very photogenic. I don't consider the camera a friend. However, there is a camera trained on me during most of my surf sessions—which is why it pays to travel with your own "personal paparazzo"—and I've grown accustomed to being in front of the lens.
Bertig took portraits of quite a few of the attendees. I like that so many of these shots are photos of us right after we'd emerged from the ocean. We were all still in wetsuits, still dripping wet, still rushing to either grab another surf craft or get out of the cold. He managed to get a few shots of the mat riding tribe amongst the photos of paipo-wielding water people.
Right after he snapped the picture, I returned to the water's edge to loan my mat to a friend. That is the beauty of an event like the Stokefest. People don't take your shit. They try it out and give it back. You need not try to keep an eye on your equipment. It is returned to the beach with a smile.
Check out Bertig's shots.
20 February 2013
18 February 2013
13 February 2013
Dodging Home Break Closeouts is My Occupation
06 February 2013
03 February 2013
It's a Hull! It's a Pig! It's the Best Board Ever!
Since it was finally nice and warm today, I got down to the business of housecleaning. Of course, I didn't mean cleaning the house where I live. I have no interest in that. I'm not that kind of woman. Domestic goddess I ain't!
I do, however, keep my boards clean. I stripped the wax off of this beauty today. I'd not given this board any serious attention in awhile. You know, that's in part because it was incredibly cold here this winter. I'm also working. I'm not full-time, but I'm there four days a week and I've been there for over a year. I don't have a lot of time to tend to my quiver (which shrank to a pitiful size in 2012—the decision between paying bills or having a bunch of surfboards was not a hard one to make). I didn't surf or do much of anything today. I got down to giving this board some TLC. I stripped the wax from the deck, removed wayward wax from the bottom, cleaned off fingerprint smudges and checked for dings that might have been hiding under the wax.
The board is still in pretty damn good shape. I'm good to my boards, but I'm hard on boards. Dings are my middle name. I surf this board quite a bit. I'm probably jinxing myself with the following statement: I've never given it a good ding. I've come close though. My Almond? It looks pristine from far away. Upon closer inspection, you would see all of the spots where the color doesn't quite match. My PG hull, the one that slays Malibu as well as point breaks near and far, has not been fondled by any hands but mine. I hope to keep it that way! The goal is to keep that "no ding" juju working!
In other news, I had two damn good days of surf last week. On Thursday, a friend and I traveled north. We wanted to A-B-C a specific break. The weather was nice. We assumed it would stay that way. The waves were alright, but nothing special. Then, the wind picked up. I was not at all happy with that. I assumed the break would get blown out. The joke was on me! The waves got even better! Sessions like that make you understand why people talk about certain breaks the way they do. It wasn't overly crowded. There were other women in the water, so we all bonded. Granted, one of them was a Facebook friend I'd never met before. I just happened to run into her while I was getting dressed. She's a 59 year old mom of three boys. Her son was out there too. Guess what? They were both killing it! Both of them! Watching her surf, as well as sharing waves with her, was truly the highlight of my session. I see my surfing future. It looks like that—almost 60 and tearing it up!
The following day, I headed to my secret spot in L.A. It started out a bit slow. The waves were small. The lulls were long. Whatever. I'm always happy to simply be in the water at that spot. Eventually, the place turned on. I'm not even a local there. Why is it that I understand this place gets better when the tide is coming up? I see so many locals swarming to that place at the lowest of tides. Wrong! The shape suffers then. You let that tide start coming up and watch what happen. The waves start finding size and shape. Of course, there were only about six people out! It never ceases to amaze me that I can get good waves in L.A. without the crowd.
As I was getting dressed after the session, I got the added bonus of seeing whales! I didn't even have to pay for a whale watching tour. The telltale signs of migrating whales were there. All I had to do was be attentive. I ended up seeing two different whales.
Most recent "black people don't surf" moment: We stopped for pizza after our session on Thursday. The pizzeria was not far from the beach. The friend with whom I surfed is Latina. She looks like she could be Hawaiian; people never do a double take when they see her. Anyway, I was telling the woman at the pizzeria that we were grabbing a couple of slices after our surf session.
"You? You were surfing?"
I laughed. She was very sweet. And very surprised. Cos in the world as she knows it, black people don't surf. Now that she's visited my world, she knows better!