Category: Surfing

Surfing Bali in the 1970s

Bali, 1978. A distant memory, more like a dream. In my mind a mystical blend of a stunningly beautiful island, my youth, an exotic culture, and the most awesome waves in the world, all in a haze of magic mushrooms. I was 20 and visiting my parents stationed in the Philippines, Subic Bay. My older brother Craig told me…

Aiming for the Ultimate: Riding the Tube

The first thing that got my attention was how the noise of the crashing wave suddenly went silent. … Another interesting aspect was how everything seemed to slow down. This slow motion sensation, combined with the silence, had me wondering whether I had entered a different world from the one outside the tube. The most…

What Lies Beneath: the Waves, Reef and Marine Life of Maverick’s

The wave at Maverick’s is unique in many ways: its location, the geology and geomorphology of the reef, and the massive swells that surfers ride. In many ways Maverick’s allure is the story of its reef, which is legendary for creating both a perfect large wave and a reef seemingly designed to punish those attempting to ride it . As if the reef and wave weren’t enough you can add the fact that great white sharks frequent the area and occasionally clear the lineup with their presence. In the early days, before it became popular, surfers knew it would eventually kill people with its strong currents, long period swells, 10-15 wave sets and multi-layered inner reef full of valleys, holes and crevasses leading into a boneyard of exposed, jagged rocks. And it has.

Best Years of Our Life: Pacific Beach 1971

It was the best years of our life When we were children remember what it’s like To bring back memories of the good things we once knew To be right, there’s so much we gotta do. — Iron Butterfly, Best Years of Our Life, Metamorphosis ▲ click to hear the music ▲ Listening to Iron Butterfly transports me…

Deep Impact: Five Reasons Why Surfers Should Care About Global Warming

As a marine biologist I am often asked what is the greatest threat to the oceans. It’s a easy answer: global warming. As a surfer I am surprised how few surfers seem to know, or care, about our assault on the oceans. I am often met with “why should I care” or worse “the surf will get better, so what?”  I feel compelled to speak up as a surfer and a scientist, and the discuss the most recent scientific evidence of what global warming, and more broadly, global climate change, means to surfers and the ocean.

Coming Home

Born on the Navy circuit, moving every 2 years. Home was an elusive concept at best. As life would have it we occasionally doubled back and that place was San Diego. Living there in the’ 60s and ’70s  was a magical experience. Simple, clean, fun, and just right for starting my love affair with the ocean.…