Adventure of the Weeks, Chayed Out, D-Man, Mixed Bag, Writing

Something for Me

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As is often the case, the obvious choice was clear. It was safe. Reliable. Less likely we’d botch a Saturday.

Ocean Beach has a direct line to the Pacific. Highly exposed to South Swells, it picks up the smallest traces of energy. And with its impressive sandbars (two), it amplifies that oceanic power, sometimes opening up passageways for surfers to slip through to some other-worldly place.

OB was the call. It had to be.

At least that’s what the app said. Like most things these days, Surfline’s forecasting tools use data to predict the future. An equation is created, fine-tuned, greased and oiled, until a desired success rate is achieved. The hypothesis matches the outcome. A science teacher shakes with satisfaction.

Screw romantic waxing, adventure ain’t the same! Increased accessibility means more people. More people mean more crowds. And more crowds mean statistically there’s a higher chance of surfing next to an asshole.

So, we went against reason and drove to China Beach, a small sliver of sand East of the Golden Gate Bridge, known more for the elderly Eastern European swimmers that inhabit its frigid waters, than for its surf.

Quietly we slipped into neoprene suits and paddled a hundred feet down the coast. Just out of sight, past black swatches of seaweed, recoiling, swirling, Medusa-like, long and monstrous, was a tiny wave.

It’s a weird wave – the takeoff spot fingertips from the point. You paddle towards barnacles and seaweed, harnessing the tidal energy just before it breaks, swerving left to avoid boils in the water.

At first I was afraid. It didn’t make sense. I was used to the one-dimensional approach of Ocean Beach. I pictured rocks raking out the bottom of my surfboard. But after a few lefts, I began to ease into the routine, moving closer and closer to the point, where the wave first started to break.

Not once did I think about Ocean Beach, which was probably firing amid hoots and hollers from a jacked-up lineup. I’d discovered something far more interesting. Something that was tangibly my own.

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Chayed Out, D-Man

Seoul – Stay With Us

Today is a normal day. Woke up. Dusted off a work shirt. Biked through a misty San Francisco morning. Cup of joe to the face. Fired up my computer to answer a tireless flow of emails. Another day of coggin’ it at the wheel. I ain’t chirpin’. There’s definitely a certain satisfaction in embracing a daily 9-5. Predictable can be good. But sometimes this industrious mindset sets in so deep that I forget to look outside of the confines of my daily routine.

Then along came Stay With Us by Seoul. A tune that jolted me out of my robotic efficiency. Suddenly it’s Friday and Surfline says Santa Cruz is gonna be 4-5 ft. with some breezy SW winds and on the backs of my eyes all I can see is waves marching towards the beach in flawless, glassy lines. Stay With Us just fuel the fire – giving my day dreams a soundtrack.

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D-Man, Deep Cuts

Bonobo – Flashlight

“He sounds so different live.”

My buddy Sam was dead on. The guy at the turntables did not sound like Bonobo. Before arriving at 60th 6th street, I had always thought of Bonobo’s albums as background noise when studying for finals. His music was slow and meditative. The perfect soundtrack for deep contemplation and an anecdote for too much coffee.

But the guy standing in front of the black and white knobs, beneath a light that looked like an open tanning booth, didn’t sound like slow, contemplative Bonobo. Instead, his beats were electric, sound waves bouncing off the concrete walls like sonar.

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The crowd responded with its own electric energy. Probably because the dank basement felt less like a SF bar and more like a scene out of Fight Club – sweaty t-shirts flailed and heaters lit up the crowd.

I had planned on taking videos at the show, but it became clear from the start that my phone belonged in my pocket.

Play this one loud.

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