dude are you surfing today nah brah ordering a new board! going to see the shaper what are you getting new fish! fuck sounds sick can’t wait to see it

Surfline Man orders a surfboard (part II): “He needs to find Mike the shaper and order his new board. He can’t really think straight. All his hopes rest on Mike!”

Surfline Man is so stoked right now. He is getting a new custom fish and Mike is going to make it right there with the tools Surfline Man saw hanging on the wall. It’s going to be the most perfect board ever!

The sun is not even up yet, and Surfline Man springs out of bed. Today’s the big day!

He is going to visit the surfboard shaper he found on Instagram to buy his new surfboard that’s going to be a fish.

Surfline Man has never talked to an actual shaper before now. This is so exciting! Surfline Man is going to learn all about where surfboards come from. He can’t even wait!

Surfline Man heads to the kitchen and fires up his espresso machine. He bought himself one of those killer all-in-one deals for Christmas and he’s pretty sure it’s the best thing ever. He pours a bowl of cereal before realizing that he’s almost totally out of milk. He used it all up practicing his latte art.

Surfline Man splashes the last few drops of milk in the carton over his cereal and eats it anyway. At least the espresso turns out alright.

His phone buzzes.

dude are you surfing today
nah brah ordering a new board! going to see the shaper
what are you getting
new fish!
fuck sounds sick can’t wait to see it

In the best mood, Surfline Man hops into his Sprinter. Singing along to Vampire Weekend, his new favorite band, he merges smoothly onto the freeway. Love that video they made, just cruising around Palm Springs. I should totally go there, Surfline Man thinks. I should go to Palm Springs and cruise around like Vampire Weekend.

But first, a new surfboard. Focus, dude.

Pulling into the driveway, Surfline Man gazes around the industrial park, dazed. A series of roll-up doors run down one wall. Otherwise, it’s beige cinderblock walls as far as he can see. Surfline Man wonders if he’s come to the right place, but his Garmin claims that he has. And in fact, once he looks more closely, he can see the address numbers on the side of the building.

The tang of resin hangs in the air. And as Surfline Man approaches, he sees a cluster of bearded dudes gathered around a surfboard, positioning a fin in the box. The sun bounces off the mirror shine of the board’s gloss coat.

Surfline Man is momentarily spellbound. The board is beautiful. He has definitely come to the right place.

“Is Mike here?” Surfline Man asks. He feels suddenly shy.

The nearest bearded man looks up from the surfboard and gestures toward the open roll-up.

“He’s in there.”

The interior of the shop is dark against the bright sun of the outdoors. Once his eyes adjust, Surfline Man takes it all in. Surfboards of every imaginable size and color lean against every available wall. A series of floor to ceiling shelves hold still more surfboards. He longs to riffle through the stacks.

Something confusing and vintage hangs high on the wall. Surfline Man has no idea what it is, but it looks important.

In the the back corner, Surfline Man catches a glimpse of a small room. Through the doorway, he can see a handsaw hanging on the wall and some other interesting tools that he can’t identify. The fluorescent tubes glare bright white against the dark blue walls. This is where the magic happens!

Surfline Man wishes he could look inside, but he’s not sure that’s allowed and he needs to find Mike the shaper and order his new board. He can’t really think straight. All his hopes rest on Mike.

Surfline Man finds his new surfboard’s shaper in a small, hallwaylike room. Shaped blanks march down one wall, carefully stacked, and a battered couch sits against the opposite wall. A cardboard box of odd fins lounges in the corner, and a thin layer of foam dust coats every exposed surface. Surfline Man feels super stupid for wearing a black t-shirt today.

“Hi, I’m Trent, I emailed about getting a board?”

“Oh yah, here, let’s sit outside and you can tell me what you have in mind.”

Surfline Man still feels nervous as fuck, but the shaper’s low-key, mellow vibe is amazingly reassuring. Surfline Man trusts this man with his surfboard already, and he hasn’t even started talking about dims are anything.

“So I want a fish? And I kinda want it to be super short? And like, fast.” Surfline Man stumbles through his explanation, flapping his hands around vaguely.

“What are you riding now?”

“Well, like, I have a midlength, but I don’t really like it. And I also dropped it, so I can’t ride it now.”

Surfline Man feels kinda stupid now, but there’s something about Mike that makes it impossible to lie to him.

“What don’t you like it about it?”

“It feels really big and I can’t really turn it. And also, I got caught inside and it sucked. It gives me nightmares, actually.”

Talking to a shaper is almost exactly like talking to his therapist. It’s so awesome and Surfline Man feels better already.

“Ever had a fish before?”

“Yah, bought like a 6’0” on sale. I don’t know, it was fine, I guess? But not like, fast or anything. Maybe kinda wide. Or too long. Maybe if it were like, 5’2” or something.”

“How tall are you?”

“Like, around six feet.”

“What if we went 5’6”? You’d get something a bit faster than the 6’0” you have, without things getting too crazy.”

“That’d be alright, I think? I just want it to be like, fast and turn really good. Like, I was watching that Ryan Burch segment in Psychic Migrations, and that fish, it’s so fast.”

Mike the shaper mentally rolls his eyes. You are not Ryan Burch. An experienced professional, Mike does not say this out loud.

“Oh yah, Burch is great in that film. I think you’d feel a big difference, stepping down to a 5’6”. Or we could go 5’5” if you like.”

“Okay, 5’5” sounds so good. Can you make it blue?”

“Yah, sure.”

Mike tosses some paint swatches on the table.

“Pick a color you like. What kind of fins are we doing?”

“Glass-on keels look so cool but I don’t know, maybe I should get boxes? Like, if I traveled or something. Or like, wanted to change my fins, I don’t know.”

“I recommend Futures.”

“Okay, that’s sounds super good! I’m sure I’ll like it.”

Surfline Man really wanted some sweet-looking wood keels. They look so handmade and craftsmenlike and stuff. But Mike inspires so much trust. He knows so much!

If Mike the shaper says Futures, Surfline Man is going to ride Futures.

Surfline Man hands over a pile of cash as a deposit.

“If I pay extra will it be done sooner?”

Mike laughs.

“Nah, bro, sorry. But I’ll get to you as soon as I can, promise!”

“Okay man, thanks so much! So stoked! Can’t wait!”

Surfline Man bounds over to his Sprinter. He cues up his favorite Imagine Dragons song and pulls out of the parking lot.

As he looks back, he sees the bearded dudes are clustered around a different board now. They’re clearly checking out the bottom contours or something important like that.

Surfline Man is so stoked right now. He is getting a new custom fish and Mike is going to make it right there with the tools Surfline Man saw hanging on the wall. It’s going to be the most perfect board ever!

Driving down the freeway, Surfline Man has second thoughts.

He pulls over and as the semi-trucks rush by, rocking his Sprinter, he pulls out his phone and sends a text to his new bestie, Mike, his surfboard shaper.

hey man good to meet you
i changed my mind
can you make it red instead?
thanks so stoked!!!

Thin Blue Line: Police throw stun grenades at two surfers enjoying a small, windswept day at famed Cape St. Francis!

Strange days.

But could it be possible that the World Surf League bungling of its Pipe Masters, wherein the CEO and four staffers brought the dreaded Coronavirus to the show shuttering competition for days and making Hawaii look foolish, has reverberated across continents and hemispheres to South Africa?

It is one of many theories, for a report has just emerged from the famed Cape St. Francis, a wave Robert August and Mike Hynson punched into surfer hearts around the world as they traveled on their endless summer.

Yesterday, the great South African surf journalist Craig Jarvis reported that police threw stun grenades at an older and a younger surfer to get them out of the water. Per the Daily Maverick:

Yesterday, (5 January) at around noon, a local surfer Misha G went to the beach to look. It was pretty quiet and seemed relatively empty, so our friend Misha decided to go and mind-surf a few waves from the safety of his bakkie.

“It was small and onshore, and it looked quite good, so I thought I’d just go and have a look at what I was missing,” said Misha of his mission.

When the wind goes onshore, the waves get ruffled and affected by the wind. It’s not ideal for surfing, but one can still surf.

When he got there, he found the main surfer’s car park cordoned off by a police van. “It was a bigger van, like a 10-12 seater, and there were a few cars blocked off in the car park,” recalls Misha.

“About five or six cops were sitting on the beach by the surfer showers,” said Misha, and there were two standing in the car park. I saw one of the guys throw something that looked like a rock at the surfers, and I thought, ‘what are they doing? Why would a cop throw rocks at the surfers? That’s not going to work.’ ”

The “rock” landed about five metres shy of the water’s edge, with plenty of exposed rock due to the low tide. “It landed on the rocks, in line with the police sitting on the bench,” recalls Misha.

The first stun-grenade explosion shook his car. The second one which followed immediately afterwards he could feel in his chest.

“It was this loud, booming explosion,” said Misha, “and it was pretty intimidating. It gave me a shock because I wasn’t expecting it; it was just such a surprise. I could feel the shock wave.”

With smoke in the air and with cops waving, the two surfers, an older guy and a younger guy started moving.

Incredible and such an odd use of force against two surfers. So asymmetrical but it must be assumed, due the mainstream media picking up the World Surf League shenanigans on the North Shore, that the South African police believe all surfers to be Trojan horses for Covid-19 exactly like CEO Erik Logan for everyone knows the best way to get surfers out of the water is to shame them on social media.

But can you still surf on your beaches? Do police look at you more suspiciously now?

Strange days.

Listen: “I once helped make a Make-A-Wish Foundation kid’s wish come true by tomahawking down a mountain following the world’s greatest snowboarder Travis Rice!”

Then I got an Orca.

I am currently in Jackson, Wyoming and it is snowing. It has snowed much over the past week, many powders, with a crowd that has thinned incredibly since the last dump. Today, for example, it snowed and Jackson Hole Mountain Resort was basically empty and I tucked into the trees finding those powdery stashes, weightless and fast.

Snowboarding good powder is better than the best surfing, though it wasn’t always for me.

Many years ago, I had never snowboarded powder, much less good powder, but was also in Jackson, Wyoming staying with the world’s greatest snowboarder Travis Rice. You are certainly aware of him from his best-in-class films etc. and there I was because my wife is his longtime agent and friend.

In any case, a Make-A-Wish Foundation kid was coming into town. His dream was to snowboard with Travis and it was agreed upon that the two would take some runs at the resort. Travis being Travis, however, decided to up the fun and surprise the kid with a backcountry helicopter mission.

For some reason there was an extra seat and I was invited too.

Having never snowboarded powder.

The helicopter touched down after a thrilling flight, we all disembarked, Make-A-Wish kid eyes as wide as saucers, Travis benevolent, my wife itching to track the untracked. Travis went first, ripping. Make-A-Wish kid second, living a fantasy and performing remarkably. Wife next, graceful and fluid.

Then me.

Having never snowboarded powder.

Leaning forward, excited, then sinking my nose deep into that powder and tomahawking head over heels down the entire run, reaching the bottom dazed and confused with Travis laughing, Make-A-Wish kid smirking, wife frowning.

The helicopter picked us up and we did it all again on a fresh patch with the same results.

And again.

And again.

The Make-A-Wish kid now beaming.

Eventually Travis grabbed my board and said, “What are you riding?” Then blamed the board and the setup for my utterly embarrassing performance, one ending with me also dislocating my shoulder, wife now itching to get a divorce, but was still ashamed and only soothed myself knowing that I made that Make-A-Wish kid’s wish actually come true.

Imagine snowboarding with Travis Rice. No matter how good you are, you would feel like a kook. Like an abject perpetual beginner. I was able to make the Make-A-Wish kid feel basically professional or at least professional-adjacent.

Something only I could do.

Fast forward many years and, until three days ago, could only snowboard power barely below average. Travis once again grabbed my board and said, “What are you riding?”

Then handed me his new Orca.

I felt something when I caressed its rails, rubbed my hand across its waxed bottom. That sensation of understanding. The one that once, twice, maybe three times comes into every surfer’s life when touching a magic board.

The next morning, and I kid you not, I went out and performed remarkably, maybe even better than the Make-A-Wish kid, and it is all thanks to the Orca. It is wild magic and the cure for every Covid-choked lineup in every coastal town. Let them have it, for now. Get yourself and Orca* and head to the mountains where the wide open spaces are still wide open (buy here).

David Lee Scales and I discussed snowboarding today, the State of the Union and also the near-end of our World Surf League.

What replaces it?

Let’s all make a wish.

Listen here.

*I know this reads like pure advertorial but you know me better than that. I am doing you a straight favor. If you snowboard, get one. It’ll change your life. Also, a percentage of Orca sales go to the Orca Conservancy and, as you know, Orcas eat sharks.

Bon appetit.

Not actual fire etc.

Love gone wrong: Boozed New Zealand man burns ex-girlfriend’s boat, steals surfboard

It’s the ageless story of boy loves girl, girl cheats on boy, boy finds paramour’s boat, burns it, takes surfboard. 

New Zealander Daniel Wafer was charged this week with arson and theft. It’s the ageless story of boy loves girl, girl cheats on boy, boy finds paramour’s boat, burns it, takes surfboard.

According to police records, a very drunk Daniel, who is thirty-seven, set his ex’s boat The Wairangi on fire after a late-night argument, but not before tenderly removing a surfboard from its cabin and putting it in his car.

According to police,

At 1.38am, Wafer and an associate headed down to F pier at Nelson Marina where the ex-partner’s vessel, The Wairangi, was moored. Numerous other vessels were moored nearby, some of which had people living on board. The pair boarded The Wairangi and Wafer’s associate took a surfboard off the vessel, believing it belonged to a friend of Wafer’s. Wafer then set fire to the main wheelhouse area before leaving the boat at 1.41am, picking up the surfboard and putting it in his vehicle.The pair then left the scene and went to another car park, where Wafer covertly recorded the boat as it was on fire. Firefighters were called out to the scene about 2.15am and while they were able to prevent the 7-metre-long vessel from sinking, the boat was almost destroyed.When spoken to by police, Wafer initially claimed he never went on the boat or even the pier it was moored on. After being challenged with a statement made by his associate, Wafer admitted he stole the surfboard but vehemently denied starting the fire. When challenged with surveillance footage, he admitted returning to the area to watch the fire but continued to deny he started the fire.

The Wairangi, gutted.

Daniel now owes $17,500 in damages and is awaiting further sentencing.

Hey, there’s no moral here but a couple of questions do pop up:

Was this a case of temporary insanity?

Was he thinking a little bit about that free board?

And is it fair trade to take a surfboard in exchange for a lover?

What has the greater worth?

"I'm getting a fish!"

Surfline Man orders a custom surfboard: “He is going to get a new fish that’s way better than his old fish, which he bought off the rack on sale, and definitely better than the dumb mid-length that’s giving him so many nightmares!”

Surfline Man has never owned a custom surfboard before, but he is pretty sure it’s going to be the best thing ever.

He’s lying in bed, sweating, sheets hopelessly tangled around his legs. He’s had that dream again. Surfline Man wishes he could dream about sex like a normal man.

But no, not him.

The only dreams Surfline Man ever has involve surfing.

And lately, it’s the same one, over and over.

There he is, standing on his surfboard on the most beautiful set wave he’s ever seen. It’s Rincon, his newfound nemesis. In his mind, he sees a dreamified version of the real thing, more perfect than life. He’s stands there so tall, up there on top of the world, the king of all he surveys.

Surfline Man has waited his whole life for this moment.

He pauses right there at the top, and savors it all, the infinite blue sky, the glowing green ocean, the white foam crashing behind him. It’s weirdly loud, actually. Then he swoops down the face, and leans into a perfect arcing bottom turn.

It doesn’t work out perfectly at all. Instead, Surfline Man faceplants with a giant splash, arms windmilling, board flying. And it all happens in front of everyone! Everyone on the beach is watching him, laughing at the kook who can’t even bottom turn on the best set wave in the world.

He wakes up flustered and unhappy, cringing at an embarrassment that isn’t even real but feels so real omg. This is the worst dream he’s ever had.

Surfline Man wishes he could dream about bad sex. It couldn’t possibly feel this terrible.

Surfline Man is cursed. And he’s pretty sure the only thing that will cure him is a new surfboard. He just has to decide which surfboard out of all the surfboards in the world he should get. This is not easy at all. Surfline Man would never underestimate such a task.

The other night he was watching Psychic Migrations before bed. Surfline Man never saw the film when it came out. His ex hated surf movies and would never let him watch them, no matter how awesome.

Now he’s single and it’s pretty great, really. Surfline Man cracks a beer, lounges back on his couch, and watches surfing. There’s no one to tell him to stop.

Idyllic, that’s what it is.

Surfline Man remembers hearing all about the Ryan Burch segment when the film came out, but now he’s watching and he really can’t believe it’s for real. That tiny fish under that very tall human, it all seems so improbable. Maybe it’s like CGI or something, Surfline Man thinks, laughing at his own dumb joke.

That’s another thing about being single, he can laugh at all his own jokes and there’s no one to tell him to shutup. Surfline Man is totally living his best life right now.

A fish.

Surfline Man wants a fish.

He can feel this deep down in the place where he feels things. Important things. Like which surfboard to buy.

He is going to get a new fish, that’s way better than his old fish, which he bought off the rack on sale, and definitely better than the dumb mid-length that’s giving him so many nightmares.

Anyway, he dropped his precious turquoise mid-length on its tail. This did not go well. Lucky for him, Surfline Man found a ding repair guy on Craigslist, who promised to match the resin tint perfectly. No one will even know! This is such a huge relief, because Surfline Man dreaded the inevitable explanations.

dude what happened to your board
um i dropped it i am so stupid

In truth, all Surfline Man’s hopes rest on the Craigslist ding repair guy. Sure, it felt a little sketchy dropping off his board in the back end of an industrial park in Oceanside. It felt like a drug deal, but it was surfboards, so it was all totally legit. Surfline Man is convinced it will be completely fine. His board is going to be so perfect again!

But in the meantime, he is totally going to order a new surfboard. Custom! Surfline Man has never owned a custom surfboard before, but he is pretty sure it’s going to be the best thing ever.

A new custom surfboard is a surefire way to end his terrible nightmares. He is just as certain of this as he is of all the other things. Like, how the tides swing and how his favorite surf forecasts and charts and stuff are always totally accurate.

Surfline Man goes to the internet, his very favorite place, and begins looking for the right shaper to make his new surfboard. There are so many. He can’t believe how many people make surfboards.

How in the world will he ever decide?

dude do you have any custom boards?
nah, just buy off the rack, it’s easier

Surfline Man refuses to give up. He is getting a custom surfboard, for sure.

He read on Surfline that he should find someone near the places he likes to surf. This seems helpful, but Surfline Man pretty much surfs everywhere, so it doesn’t really narrow things down at all.

In frustration, Surfline Man throws himself on the couch and begins scrolling through Instagram. Surely, Instagram can help. Surely, Instagram understands how desperately he needs to find a shaper to make his new custom surfboard that’s going to be a fish.

Then his finger stops.

That’s it! He’s found it! He’s found the perfect fish right here on Instagram. Look at that glorious fishy tail! And the color! So super awesome!

Surfline Man is feeling lightheaded. It’s a good thing he’s sitting safely on his couch, not like, standing up somewhere like on a ladder or something. That would be so dumb and dangerous.

Surfline Man can’t die a stupid death falling off a ladder right now! He has a surfboard to buy!

And he’s found the perfect shaper, right here on Instagram.

It’s all going to be so easy now.