Category Archives: Surfing

Some New Things

Issue 2 of my terrible online magazine (with amazing contributors) is finally live. If you missed issue 1, worry not…simply keep on scrolling sideways.


And I wrote a little something about my surfing life for a collaboration between Trop and Underwater New York.

Sand in My Joints

I’ve tried to write surf stories many times before, and it’s never felt right. This one finally started to feel right.

The title comes from this Wire song.


My friend Colin’s piece on migraines and the artwork of Renee French contains a reference to duck diving, along with a helpful link to this here blog.

So for those of you who clicked on the link, and for the rest of you, too, duck diving is a technique surfers use to get their shortboards under a breaking (or more likely already broken) wave. (Longboarders have to figure out another way.)

Anyhow, it works like this:

1. Paddle toward the broken wave, speed is your friend.
2. When you’re a few feet away, about to be run over by the whitewash, push down firmly on the front 1/3 of your board, so it’s now pointing down, headed underwater.
3. Push down on the tail of the board with your knee or foot. So the board is flat, and then pointing up again.
4. While this is happening, calmly let the wave pass over you.
5. Let the board’s flotation bring you to the surface again.

Seems easy enough, right? It takes a lot of practice. And timing, timing, timing.

There’s nothing quite as satisfying as thinking you’re about to get crushed by a wave breaking just outside of where you are and then exiting out the back with a clean duck dive, especially if surfers to the right and left are spinning in circles or trying to retrieve bailed boards.

Back to Colin’s article. In his metaphor, the wave is a migraine, and he duck dives it.

Not bad for a non-surfer.

Except that I associate duck diving (in, say, 53 degree water) with some of the worst headaches I’ve ever had the displeasure of experiencing.

SL9R takes Billabong Pro J Bay

Details and pics.

Um, what? The guy is 36 years old and has won 4 of 5 events this year. The one event he did not win was won by a wildcard, so technically Slates is the only one of the top 44 to have won an event thus far, and we’re almost halfway through the season.

Did I mention he is 36?

I’m 36.

I can barely touch my toes.

Fatal Socal Shark Attack

A 66-year-old man was killed by a shark while swimming off the coast of Solana Beach this morning, authorities said. The attack happened at 7:20 a.m. near Fletcher Cove in an area known as Table Tops, said Lt. Phil Brust, a spokesman for San Diego County Sheriff’s Department.

Apparently helicopters were flying up and down the coast announcing “FATAL SHARK ATTACK, LEAVE THE WATER NOW.”

Sometimes people ask me whether I’ve ever seen a shark while surfing, or whether I worry about sharks out there. I always shrug it off. This kind of attack is exceedingly rare. And yet, it will make me think twice next time I’m in the water.

Our thoughts go out to his family & friends.