Tag: Surfing

California Lost: Time Was…

As I have written, moving as a surfer was a bummer, especially when I left California for the east coast in 1974. In this case, we moved near the end of my junior year to northern Virginia where I finished high school.  What I didn’t appreciate was how my mind would respond to the change in scenery. Although…

Unbounded Courage: the First Surfers to Ride Waimea Bay

When I was a young surfer I read about the first surfers to ride Waimea Bay in 1957. Surfers at that time were too afraid to surf Waimea, and for good reason.From the beach Waimea appeared too big, too fast, too steep and just generally too treacherous to ride. Add to that a raging rip current, sharky waters, and the presence of a church on the point and a Hawaiian heiau in the valley and it all added up to a scary, forbidden place.

SmartFin: Environmental Wave of the Future

As the world’s environmental problems expand the challenge is to keep up with the increasingly larger scale of the issues. Decades ago we worried about individual beaches, now we are focused on whole coastlines, and indeed entire oceans are at risk.  To keep pace marine biologists and oceanographers have deployed huge arrays of sensors across the…

Crush Depth: Adventures with Scientific Submersibles

“What’s your depth?” echoed down from the surface radio, unanswered for the third time in a row and sounding increasingly desperate. It was 2002 and I was riding inside the scientific submersible Delta, heading towards the seafloor off Anacapa island in an area known simply as the “footprint,” a deep-water fish, coral and sponge hot spot…

Surfing Crystal Pier: Life as a Grommet

Crystal Pier, 1966 In the long arc of my surfing life my early years remain indelibly etched on my psyche, as is true of most surfers. Why is simple: we are pulled in by the ocean’s allure, rapidly learn her inner-most secrets, measure our courage against her power, but are ultimately humbled by fear. It is the beginning of…

Eight Experiences that Honor the Forces of the Ocean

  Today is Earth Day, 2016: a moment when we should do something to honor the importance of the earth in our lives. Here is my contribution. While watching the new version of Point Break I was fascinated with the concept of the Ozaki Eight: eight ordeals that honors the forces of nature. According to…

Cortes Bank: the Largest Wave on the Planet

…Dawn’s early light revealed a shimmering plume of spray. A Himalayan peak rose to life far off the bow. It was shaped like a great, volcanic cone– 43 million pounds of water, terrible and unrideable. Its foam exploding an unknowable number of feet into the air and churned the surrounding water into a 360-degree maelstrom…