"Call everyone you’ve ever rocked out to Blink with and let’s do this."
I surfed Bolsa Chica with my dad today. Bolsa Chica being the much mushier and grumpier California State Park on the north end of Huntington Beach. I love it there. It is the local dive bar of beaches. It’s also where I learned to surf, but more importantly, it’s where I learned to “be a surfer.” The way you operate in that parking lot is a tell-tale sign of how you will operate in the lineup. And at one time, that was important.
It is also precisely where I was this morning when I received an email from the WSL that read (and I kid you not, this is the exact header of the email verbatim: punctuation, capitalization, hyperbole and all):
What’s my age again! All the small things! Kings of the Weekend!
Get ready for California’s own blink-182 to light up the Surf Ranch Saturday night. Epic surfing. Epic sundown show. Call everyone you’ve ever rocked out to blink with and let’s do this.
Let’s not. Well, unless Chas and I are “somewhere around Lemoore when the drugs begin to take hold.”
Let’s return to the Bolsa Chica dive bar for a second.
For me, surfing Bolsa Chica comes with memories of jumping out of my dad’s toxic fume filled Chevy Astro Van (he’s a painter) with all my other friends who’d “quit the team” to infest the lineup with our attempts at roundhouses and 360s on boards that were way too long and narrow for the waves. On the drive over, we’d play tapes of bands no one else at our school knew about — bands like Bad Religion, Offspring, AFI, Social Distortion, Minor Threat…even Blink-182.
At the time, these bands were ours. Surfing was ours. And this parking lot and lineup would be ours, but not quite yet. Not until the roundhouses had whitewater rebounds and “Archy” knew our names. And the path to achieving those ridiculous goals has been the greatest journey of my life. And I must say, introducing us to this parking lot and beach is still the greatest gift my dad has ever given me and my friends. I hope you all have a Bolsa Chica — for us, that was him handing us surfing’s launch codes. And as we grew up, surfing became the reason we had a better shot at the cheerleaders than the quarterback did. It’s why we’d see Chile before we saw college. And it’s precisely why we’re all fucking grumpy and defending our favorite dive bar from being gentrified by a surfing fraud with a Blink-182 contact.
Sorry Dirk, but you’re getting vibed.
Today as I read the email and thought about the fragments of the speech he gave at the Waterman’s Ball directed at “haters” before using Caroline Marks and Griffin Colapinto as human shields, I noticed that the Bolsa Chica parking lot looked exactly the same today as it did back when Blink was a thing we actually listened to.
I didn’t see one RinseKit. I didn’t see one Audi.
There were no surf academy bred groms whipping up to check it in a fucking golf cart. It was nice. Grumpy old guys. Soft top beginners (welcome to the journey!). A few underground and silent rippers. It was wonderful.
And while my friends now all have jobs, back injuries, girlfriends, wives, kids, financial troubles and bee hives in their eves, I’d like to think that if they saw Dirk Ziff walk into our local dive bar to order a Michelob Ultra before putting Blink-182 on the jukebox that they’d be very grumpy and would send him right back to the parking lot to try again.