30 March 2009

Ain't Nothin' But a Party, Y'all

There must be something wrong with me as I no longer suffer party wave fools lightly. I mean, damn, can a sista (or brotha or bro or broham or whatever) get a wave without 10 of my new best friends? I take my waves and then I politely sit to let others take theirs, even if their wave is coming right at me and the little devil on my shoulder is shouting at me to "Go!". Then my wave comes. I know I've got it. Everyone knows I've got it. What do you think happens? There she is. The person I surf with the most. Why should my waves be an exception to her practice of dropping in on anyone with priority? Why should I be exempt from her bad behavior? At least I know she's an equal opportunity snake. Therefore, I don't take offense . . . much.

My question for the day: Given the number of people who now surf, is it realistic to expect people to wait their turn? When you see film of Malibu or Swamis, I would think not. The crowds are such that it's literally catch as catch can when you're out in the water. Then does that mean that surf etiquette is an ideal rather than a possibility on a crowded day at a popular break?

I have no answers. I'm one of those people who philosophizes about almost everything. My session today was fine. I'm still on a mission to surf as much as I can until I go in for surgery, which has yet to be scheduled. There was some snaking going on today. I especially hate that when it's not crowded. However, I'm not putting up with a lot of stupid bullshit in the water right now since my days are numbered. I'm going to get my waves. I'd prefer not to drop in on people and try not to do it to those who are being polite. My patience for snakes, even those whom I consider friends, is waning. Perhaps no one told them that patience is a virtue. There will always be another wave.

27 March 2009

The Realization

I have been in pain—no, I didn't say I have been a pain—for a very long time. I've spent decades ignoring pain, knowing it would always be with me, especially if I moved the wrong way or did something the knee didn't like. The doctor asked if I'd had any noticeable pain of late. I said no. Now that I've seen the awful truth in black and white, now that I've felt bone rubbing on bone, I realize there was an escalation in pain over the last year. The knee would sometimes catch and then stick. The pain was intense, but I'd learned to shift the joint back into place . . . even in the water. I guess I thought this was normal for someone with a bum knee. It never occurred to me that this was the beginning of the end of the joint.

And so I wonder: what is it like to live without pain? I have no concept of a life without leg pain. I was of the belief that having reached a certain age, pain was to be expected, especially after a lifetime of athletics. I think perhaps I was mistaken in that assumption. If you're relatively young, fit and stoked, your body easily adapts to the physical stresses you put on it while at play.

Now I'm giving into the pain. That does not mean I'm suffering every day. I'm simply listening to the pain now. This is as good a time as any for us to say our good-byes.

Oh Yes, Bionic I Will Be

I'm going to continue surfing unless and until the pain is so great that I'm forced to stop. The day after I saw the orthopedist, the cortisone injection was working like a charm. I say this in all honesty: Drugs are a wonderful thing.

I surfed yesterday at an uncrowded, virtually empty break that delivered small, playful waves. Not my best day on a board, but it was good enough for me. My mind was racing the entire session.

Will the new knee be a decent facsimile of the old knee? How much will this all hurt (given the fact that they will be cutting into and removing part of the bone)? Will the surgery kill me (and I normally wouldn't worry about that but Matt's death makes this a realistic concern)? How long will I be out of the water? How will the new knee effect my ability to pop-up quickly in bigger waves?

As far as I'm concerned, this is a done deal. It must be done. Let's do it now and get it over with. I'll see the doctor in a couple of weeks and break it down. My goal is to have the surgery done by the end of April. I will miss the summer months of surfing in L.A. That is more than fine. It's much too crowded here during the summer. Perhaps, if all goes well, I can begin to make forays into the water by the fall.

25 March 2009

Is There Surfing After Knee Replacement?

That's now the $64,000 question. Given our current status with medical insurance and soon-to-be exorbitant COBRA payments, I will probably go ahead and do the deed. I'm not happy by any means. I've been in a race against time since I started surfing. I'd told friends this for years. I wanted to surf as hard as I could and get as good as I could in the limited time I had before the knee gave out. I'd hoped to have a few more years, but it doesn't look like that will be the case. What does all of this mean? Well, it's likely we will be uninsured as of June. I would need to get the surgery done soon. It's not that I can't wait. The doctor did not suggest that it should be done immediately (although he was a bit shocked to hear that I hadn't had much pain until last week). Since I don't know when we will be gainfully employed or when we might have decent medical coverage, I feel I've got no choice but to give serious thought to having the knee replaced within the next few months.

Will I stop surfing as a result? Never. I'll be the best surfer with a fake knee that you've ever seen. That I promise. I will, however, be off of a surfboard for a long time. That sucks in ways I don't have to explain to people who read this blog.

I got a cortisone shot today too. The doctor wasn't sure it would help. I figure it couldn't hurt to try it. I got it a couple of hours ago. My knee doesn't feel any different.

And don't ask about buying any of my boards. I'm not going to stop surfing. My pop-ups may be a lot slower. That's fine. I can surf with a slower pop-up. I already use all of my shoulder strength to get myself up. I don't use my legs much for the pop-ups. So the new knee may not be much of a hindrance. The doctor said I may have some limited flexion in that joint. I've got that anyway and pop-up just fine now.

I guess I've come to terms with the inevitable. This joint has served me well over the last 28 years. My quality of life since the injury has been amazing. So I suppose I'm ready to move on to a new phase of my life as an athlete.

24 March 2009

The Money Shots

For the first time since I started riding a mat, I actually rode a wave, as opposed to thinking I was riding a wave until I saw the pictures of me flailing in the whitewater. As soon as I was in it, I knew I'd done it right. Granted, I didn't do it right for long. I stalled and then had no idea what to do. Nevertheless, I got myself on the shoulder of this wave. I saw that it was a right and, lo and behold, went right.

I'd love to say it was easy. It wasn't. I'd love to say that my subsequent waves were a testament to my newfound abilities. They weren't. My newfound abilities quickly got themselves lost once that ride was over. I was right back where I'd started. Or was I?

I learned a lot during this session. After receiving quite a bit of internet coaching from other mat riders, I had much less trouble today navigating the paddle out. I even managed to duck dive a few of the waves.

I wanted to surf today, however I'm nursing my knee through a recent rough patch of arthritis. I'm feeling better than I did over most of the last week, but I'm not 100%. Still, I wanted to be in the water. Today, my surfboard stayed in the car chillin' while the mat and fins were called into action. Tomorrow I go to the orthopedist to find out how bad the joint has degenerated since my last complaint about horrendous pain almost six years ago. I'm not prepared to give up on this joint yet and I refuse to take knee replacement for an answer. All I want to know is whether there is any cartilage left. I'm not a betting woman, but if this were Vegas, I'd say the odds are that there isn't.

20 March 2009

Summer is Coming!

This is my "Blackball Beater". I'll probably spend as much of the summer on it as I will any of my boards. Why? Because summer is the time when I enjoy being outside the most. And on the days when I don't want to surf or get chased out of perfectly good waves by that irritating blackball flag, I'm going to put my mat to good use. I will probably be on it on days when I do a double session. If I'm still woefully unemployed, I'll be doing morning sessions on a board and afternoon sessions on a mat. Or vice versa. I just like having options. A mat is still a surf-related craft. And once you get it going, it's better than any rollercoaster ride. You should get you one.

19 March 2009

Matt's First Post

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

No More Bullshit

As a way to give myself the freedom to write what the fuck I really feel without having to get a bunch of crap about people's feelings or that they are insulted by something I have written I will now be posting on this site, my own personal blog. Please check in often as I plan on TRYING to write every day.

To give you the full rundown on what started this, yesterday I wrote a Top Ten list on what Al Sharpton would do if he found out he really was related to Strom Thurmond, whose greatgrand-daddy apparently owned Shrpton's great-granddaddy back in the days of slavery. The point was that Al would all of a sudden start doing white, redneck things like fire the "darky" that worked in his kitchen. Maybe not the funniest thing in the world but hey, I was trying to give the Swellmagnet readers something for their $$$ on a day when surf was questionable.

Anywho, some dude named Shane ( who apparently does the silkscreening for the Swellmagnet t-shirts ) writes this rambling letter telling me I am going to ruin the site cause people will be offended and his future ( is silk screening a future? Sounds more like a lack of one to me) is in the site and blah blah blah. So, I post his email on the site and my response calling him an illiterate retard. Oh, he did go out of his way to call Sharpton and Jesse Jackson "bags of shit" but apparently my racism was just so much more blatant.

Long and the short was the comments got pulled so I am now saying fuck it. The Swellmagnet reports will be JUST THAT from now on, so if you would like more entertainment or would like to read what I am writing the link will be on the Swellmagnet page but I would also encourage you to share it around the office, school, whatever. I will try to keep it edgy and funny and all comments are welcome. Unless, of course, you disagree with me, in which case I shall be forced to flame you in public. :)

Here's to new ventures and welcome aboard.

Surf in Peace, Matt

17 March 2009

R.I.P. Matt Camp

I wrote this last year and put it on the blog last year. I'm posting it again because I learned that Matt, who was the subject of this piece, has died. Alright, I'm about to have yet another "What the Fuck?" moment.

If you read his reports on Swellmagnet and later on his blog, you would have sworn that he was a racist, sexist piece of work. Perhaps he was. However, the Matt who corresponded with me as I was writing this and the Matt who took me to a secret spot later in the year was actually a big old teddy bear of a guy.

Surf Reporting At Its Finest

A surf report is a surf report is a surf report. Los Angeles, like so many other coastal cities and towns all over the country, boasts numerous websites that provide a once or twice daily description of the waves at the more notable breaks. The typical surf report usually sounds something like this, “1 to 2 foot with poor shape but expect it to clean up a little with the tide change.” Such information is helpful to surfers, albeit for a small window of time since the tide, wind and current often change quickly. A report given at 6:30 a.m. is of little or no use to someone sneaking out of work for a 10:00 a.m. session. As a result, surf reporting is a thankless task. Surfers are more likely to curse surf reporters than to praise them.

Surf reporters remain a faceless group—devoid of personality or any traits that distinguish one surf reporter from another—that provides a cut and dried service for which surfers pay a monthly fee. In the world of Los Angeles surf reporting, there is one face in that crowd, one who uses his surf blog as an outlet for his musings on surfing, Venice and the world at large. He bikes down to the beach every morning at dawn, takes pictures of the ocean, makes note of the conditions and then returns home to head out to his real world job working for a Registered Investment Advisor. Those who subscribe to SwellMagnet know him as “MC,” the surf reporter for the Venice area. The blog world knows him as “Dogtownsurfer,” the writer of Random Thoughts of a Surf Reporter (www.venicesurfreport.com), a blog that is part surf report, part hobo soap opera and part daily rant.

Hobo soap opera? In a word, yes. Early last year, Dogtownsurfer decided it was time to get to know the homeless men who lived by the Venice Pier. These are guys who local surfers and people in the neighborhood see and ignore on a regular basis. In his March 8 post, Dogtownsurfer wrote that he was going to make an effort to meet these men he later nicknamed “The Boyos”. When asked about it recently, he explained further.

“I always found it fascinating that as I was getting ready to head for work, freshly shaved and showered, there was a group of guys who lived on the beach and were looking for their next beer at 6:30 in the morning,” he mused. “While I think, for the most part, I was seen as a source of beer money in the beginning, a real friendship was established with most of the guys along the way.”

For a time, The Boyos were the focus of the blog, their relationship with Dogtownsurfer a curious one. The rule they all understood was that any money Dogtownsurfer gave them was to be spent on booze, not food. Many readers surely thought Dogtownsurfer’s attitude toward these men was one of condescension. He supplied them with alcohol, took pictures of them when they were often at their worst and seemingly used them for his own amusement. Any regular reader of the blog knows The Boyos were more than blog fodder. Dogtownsurfer, unlike the average reader of his blog, does not judge them. He accepts that their lives revolve around alcohol. When one of them, Dave, returned from 90 days of rehab only to discover he could not find a sober living facility to which to transition, Dogtownsurfer was clearly disturbed about the probable outcome of the situation:

“Dave is a likeable guy and I think it would be a shame if, after staying sober for 90 days, he falls back into the life simply because he doesn't have a place to stay that gets him away from the constant drink-pass out-drink-pass out-drink-go to bed-wake up with the shakes-drink-pass out lifestyle that is The Boyos.”

If this were a big budget Hollywood movie, Dogtownsurfer (as played by Matthew McConaughey, who in real life fancies himself a soul surfer) would work hard to help The Boyos get clean and sober. One of them would fall off the wagon and die, thus serving as a reminder to the others of the life they no longer want to lead. Well, this is not a movie. The Boyos are perfectly happy drinking their lives away. This is probably the reason why they developed a liking for their benefactor. Dogtownsurfer accepts these men for who they are. They are homeless. They are drunks. They are still people (who happen to be homeless and drunk). Tommy, the one who claims to hold a post-graduate degree, reads the newspaper religiously. Christian was once a Marine. Victor is a cancer survivor who recently disappeared from Venice because he was at the VA receiving chemotherapy for a recently discovered cancer. Dogtownsurfer’s blog reminds us that these men have stories to tell, even when we want to turn a deaf ear to them.

Random Thoughts of a Surf Reporter is not a blog for the faint of heart. When Dogtownsurfer is on a tear, no group is safe from one of his rants. Some have accused him of racisim. Others believe him to be sexist. What is clear from reading the blog is that Dogtownsurfer never hesitates to say what he thinks, regardless of whether he is being politically correct or careful not to offend. Okay, he is rarely politically correct and is often offensive. His August 13 entry, entitled “Why I Love My Blog,” answers a reader who accused him of racism for saying a burned beyond recognition grilled cheese sandwich looked like Wesley Snipes:

“It's the fact that I own it, I can say what I want, and when a fucking gutless punk named D**** B*****, or B***** D****, writes in to say that I am both fat and a racist because he didn't like my Wesley Snipes grilled cheese post yesterday, I can go ahead and tell the whole world exactly what I think of this loser dipshit cumstain asswipe fuckwad pussy assed loser of a fucking spastic coward and I don't have to worry about offending him or a boss when I do it.”

Traffic on Random Thoughts of a Surf Reporter is up to 600 to 800 hits a day. Google Analytics leads Dogtownsurfer to believe three groups of people read his blog: those who read it for the surf report, those who read it for the content related to Venice and those who enjoy the humor.

When asked what he finds most rewarding about the blog, Dogtownsurfer expressed an appreciation “for the positive feedback” he receives. “Knowing that my 20 minutes of work each day gives someone a laugh, or helps one of The Boyos get some stuff they need or someone buys them a beer because of the reports, or even just makes the day a little bit more bearable for one person, is really very rewarding.”

All photos by Dogtownsurfer

14 March 2009


I agree with everything Greenough posits about crowds. Although I did not surf this break today, I was at one that was, it seemed, almost as crowded. When it's like that, surfing becomes a free-for-all devoid of freedom, enjoyment and self-expression. There's nothing party-like about a party wave . . . unless it's a party where people throw up in your closet and think the floor is a good substitute for the toilet.



13 March 2009

Food for Thought

Then I remembered the crowds. Every year they get worse. A wave only has room for one surfer to express himself freely, and this becomes impossible when there is a pack. Breaks I used to surf alone a few years ago now have dozens of surfers there. Surfing is my main satisfaction in life and I get little pleasure from it when the surf is crowded. My temperament is wrong for crowded surfing conditions; I just can't handle it.

George Greenough

09 March 2009

What the Fuck?

I try not to swear in my post titles. No, I take that back. I usually try to watch my language in the titles. Part of it is out of respect for the sensibilities of those who read this blog. Part of it, a major part of it, is that my damn child reads better than I thought he would at this age; he happened upon me at the computer a few weeks ago watching a Surfy Surfy post on a hysterical video about Hitler's ruined surf trip. (Yeah, I know Hitler isn't funny but if you're a surfer you would have chuckled at this video . . . until your child read the subtitles, saw the word "fuck" and then happily shared the fact that he knew that word). Obviously, I'm typing this while he is still at school, probably spreading the f-bomb hither and yon to the kids in his first grade class who were not told the word by his best friend, the Harry Potter look-alike. And, as usual, I digress.

Things are bad right now. And it seems that people are attacking each other about the way they live, the way they surf, the houses they bought, the houses they lost, living above their means, and on and on. You know what? Eyes on your own paper!! What the fuck is wrong with everyone these days? Stop the finger pointing. Whatever troubles people are having as a result of this huge financial meltdown all over the world, your holier than fucking thou attitude is not helping. It's not helping in the surf world either. Things are bad enough without everyone feeling free to be a critic. Accept where YOU are and be humble. So you don't like Al Knost's tight pants and interesting hair. What the fuck? He still surfs better than you and is apparently a nice guy. So you have a house and a job while someone else lost it all. Don't you dare feel smug about that shit. You could be next.

Why am I so mad? Well, I sit here reading and listening. (There was nothing to surf today and the pool wasn't calling to me.) I'm fine with where we as a family are right now. As far as I'm concerned, it could be worse, much worse. I walk the dog around a neighborhood where houses used to get snapped up days after the "For Sale" signs went up. Now, the signs stay on the lawns for months. Now, I watch the weeds on those lawns, and the lawns of the quietly abandoned houses, get taller and taller. All I can do is wonder what happened to the people who ran off or those whose "For Sale" signs are accompanied by the words "Bank Owned". I worry about them. It's not like they are criminals. These were people who lived here for years. All it takes is a lost job or a fucked over retirement to make everything fall apart.

How does this relate to surfing? I don't know, really. I'm just sensing this collective anger. People are slinging mud, hoping it sticks so they can be even more critical of those who don't fit their idea of a surfer (or a homeowner or an American). And the point of that is what? Go drop some LSD if that's what you need to expand your mind. Stop worrying about what everyone else does, what everyone else rides or how everyone else surfs. Do your own thing and don't be afraid to celebrate those who are doing the same.

Wrote This One Too!

Outdoor Exercise: Go Outside and Play!!!

April 22nd, 2008

Even though Los Angeles boasts some of the most temperate weather in the country, many people still insist on doing their workouts within the confines of an indoor space where the recycled air mixes with the scent of many perspiring bodies. Why spend an hour on the treadmill looking at a wall or a television when you can find more invigorating workouts in the great outdoors?

Tucked away in a quiet residential neighborhood in Manhattan Beach is God's (and the Devil's) gift to those who believe a workout is pointless unless it causes a near-death experience. The 100-foot sand dune at Sand Dune Park looks innocent enough from afar. You think, It's just a big sand hill. What's the big deal? Then you begin your ascent.

The pain is almost immediate. It starts at the bottom (of your body, not the dune) and works its way up. Most people go barefoot when working out on the sand dune. Your feet do much of the hard work. With each step you take, the sand gives way a little. Your toes unsuccessfully try to maintain their grip on the terra that's not so firma. Your calves join in to help stabilize your steps. The quads then start burning; they do the majority of the work when each foot is lifted off the ground.

Your lower body is screaming and you're only one-quarter of the way up the hill. That's when you realize your heart is going to explode, you can't catch your breath and you'll probably die before you reach the top. But, as they say, onward and upward. While you probably won't die while doing the dune, you may be reduced to tears. Tears. Sweat. It all looks the same when you're suffering through a workout.
Once you reach the top of the dune, you think about throwing your arms up and singing the theme to Rocky. It's a fleeting thought since you're much too tired to lift one arm, let alone sing. You do, however, feel a sense of accomplishment. Cursing yourself for not immediately giving in to your dreams of a Double Double with fries and a shake, you go back to the bottom, take a deep breath and climb the dune once again.

05 March 2009

Written Last Year for That Stupid Webzine (Which Has Since Died)

Surf Report: What Would Your Candidate Ride?

It's going to be a long seven months until the general election. The two Democratic contenders are in it for the long haul while the presumptive Republican nominee rests up for what promises to be one of the best cage matches of the decade. The old guy versus who? The black guy? The white chick? Only time will tell. As we await the outcome of the Democratic race, Americans grow wearier every day. He said that. She said this. Squabble, squabble, squabble.

Can't we all just get along?

In a twisted attempt to find light where there is darkness, to find joy in the midst of misery, I devised a way to remain upbeat throughout the remainder of this election season. It's all about make-believe, baby. I don't think McCain, Obama or Clinton is a surfer, but what if he (or she) was? What would each one of them surf?

A 71 year old dude is limited in his choice of weaponry. At this point in his life, McCain would have no option but to surf a longboard, a long longboard given his medical issues. He'd fit right in at any break where the older surfers hang out and talk story while embracing the spirit of the "Old Guys Rule" t-shirts on their backs.

In his youth, McCain would certainly have been the Alpha Male in the lineup. Look at his stance on the Iraq war. Ain't no half-steppin' in John McCain's world. He's got what I call the "bleed until we succeed" approach to the war. As far as he's concerned, we can't leave and we won't leave . . . until we win. Sounds like the attitude of a big wave surfer to me. They like to say "Eddie Would Go". Well, if Eddie would, so would John. He don't need no stinkin' Jet Ski. McCain would be one of those guys who charged Waimea Bay or Mavericks under his own power. McCain makes Laird look like a sissy (albeit a thick-necked, barrel-chested, married to a gorgeous woman sissy, but a sissy nonetheless). Can't you just hear it? Had they been surfing contemporaries, Laird would have bragged about paddling 30 miles in the morning before surfing for six hours later the same day. "Oh yeah?" McCain would say. "I spent six years as a POW in 'Nam. Now who's your daddy?"

One friend I spoke to about the topic of this column said, "Hillary would be a tourist on a soft top funboard, too much of a policy wonk to ever really surf." He may be correct. However, I must remind one and all that the rule of this mind game is to assume the candidates can surf, then decide what each one would ride and why. Are you still with me?

I see Clinton first on a shortboard and later on an SUP (stand up paddle surfboard). Remember, she's no shrinking violet. Clinton is not afraid to mix it up with the big boys. She doesn't seem to be afraid of much of anything. That's the kind of woman (or girl) you find riding shortboards. It's not uncommon, when looking at the mainstream surf magazines, to see a picture of a woman tearing it up on a shortboard and the caption will say, "She surfs better than you." Clinton went to Wellesley for her undergraduate degree and then moved on to Yale Law School. She's served in the U.S. Senate for seven years.

When she paddles out, whether it is literally in the lineup or figuratively on the floor of the Senate, she's prepared to throw some stinkeye. Get out of her way and get off her wave! She's not going to back down . . . ever! That's the kind of tenacity you need to ride a potato chip.

The SUP is a perfect wave-riding vehicle for her because the SUP surfers are such an irritation to everyone else in the lineup. The irritation stems, in large part, from jealousy. The SUP surfers catch everything long before the rest of the lineup can see it coming. When surfers on traditional boards see the SUP surfers on those gigantic boards coming down the line, they (the surfers on traditional boards) get out of the way. All Clinton wants, it seems, is for that damn Obama to get out of the way. See the connection?

This one was relatively easy. A hybrid person is bound to ride a hybrid board of some sort. (Was that a politically incorrect assumption? My bad.) The friend mentioned earlier suggested that "Obama would be on a quad because he's slippery!"

Obama is the type that everyone in the lineup likes. He has a good attitude and seems above the normal confrontations that take place in a lineup. However, Obama has a dark side. (That was a terrible pun, wasn't it? I'd love to say I did it on purpose. I didn't.) If you attempt to drop in on him, he'll spray you. No stinkeye. No angry words. Just spray. And he'll spray you every time he surfs by, smiling the entire time.

Now that I've seen Obama play basketball on this week's Real Sports on HBO, it's obvious he wouldn't be caught dead on either a shortboard or a longboard. I see him on a single fin egg or a retro single fin, boards neither McCain nor Clinton can handle.

What do you think the candidates would surf?

02 March 2009

I'll Fight the Law

I'd been waiting for this day. I knew it was coming sooner rather than later.

In a nutshell, when I emerged from my mat session (at my homebreak in closeouts that weren't worth surfing on a board), I was met by the lifeguard. He was very nice. As a result, so was I. He told me that he had no problem with me matting, but that it was against the law since the mat doesn't have handles, or a string to hold onto or something equally unimportant. This lifeguard told me that he had no problem with me since I was obviously competent in the water and had fins. However, his boss would be the problem. Then he went on to relate that another lifeguard had been written up by said boss for allowing someone in some kind of kayak to go into the water. I guess what he was trying to say was, "I'm cool with it, but others won't be."

Well, I'm not cool with this law. As I walked back to the car, I was met by the crew. They didn't understand how the mats could be illegal for the reason he stated since there are so many surfers, especially in our crew, who surf without leashes. They wondered how that is any different from being out on a mat without being tethered to it.

I knew this was coming. This will not keep me off the mat. My attitude is: If you want me out of the water, you're going to have to come and get me out. Granted, at some point that's not going to end well. In the meantime, I'm willing to take my chances. The problem I foresee will come when I try to take the mat to a local point break. I've already been told that Malibu is out. I may try Sunset at some point. I'm not keen to mat there because of all of the rocks. I'm not sure what my options are for another point.

For those of you in L.A., Orange County or other parts of California, what is the status of this law? Is it a state law or is it local? I know someone commented that mats aren't illegal. I need that information.

(This is a post I've also made on the matting blog.)