Friday, January 30, 2009

Surf Fridays!

This is a super enjoyable vid of Rasta doing his thing. I learned about Dave Rastovich when I saw the film, Blue Horizon. The more I listened to his views on life and on surfing, the more impressed I was. I clearly got that this guy has a pure soul. Dave is a not only an amazing free surfer from Australia, he is doing his part to help save dolphins and whales from slaughter.

Rasta says, "Both humans and dolphins share the experience of surfing for the pure joy of it - so for us as humans to do this thing of sliding along the wave and loving it so much... that anytime the waves are good or there's a storm coming and it looks like there could be surf - we drop everything and go surfing. And the fact that dolphins appear to do a pretty similar thing you know - I've seen them out the back when there's fish around, and then if a set comes they'll beat it - they'll split from fishing and they'll ride the wave and they'll all surf together.

And then at the end of the line, there's no fish at the end of the wave, they basically just do it for the joy of it. There's the same sensation of tapping into a source of energy for the pure pleasure of it. As ocean people it's up to us to do something for the ocean."

Nearly five years ago, a dolphin saved his life from a potential shark attack. Dave told Cooler Mag, "I was sitting in the water, when all of a sudden I saw a dolphin next to me that was behaving unusually hectic. From the top I saw how the dolphin came flying and hit a shark hard in the side. I myself hadn’t even seen the shark before! The dolphin saved me from a most probable shark attack. Incidentally that happened a couple of days after I had founded Surfers for Cetaceans. "

Rasta also meditates and there is a nice article at SurferMag about it.

As far as how he lives his life, he told Surfer Mag, "For me the ultimate goal in surfing and in life, for me, is balance. Basically just balancing all the aspects of my life to a point where I’m at this really enjoyable and peaceful middle point that I can act from as a point of balance. So I’m conscious of every move I make, instead of acting unconsciously to people when they do something to you and you react with anger, or reacting to the ocean being ugly one day and you’re going, “Oh God, I wish it was perfect.”

So my goal is a conscious balance of everything, so in surfing my goal would be to just live that. Because I’m fortunate enough to get paid to do this whole surfing gig and have it documented, like we’re doing right now, so my goal is just to share that balance and the joy of balance. Just sharing, like I was saying before, instead of competing and that kinda thing. I really love the sharing aspect of what makes me happy. But only sharing it through either doing it or when people ask; I don’t wanna push what I’m doing on anyone. I just enjoy what I’m doing.

And with my position with Billabong and in the surfing world, that’s somehow an entertaining value in some way. I go surfing and someone takes a photo and it goes in a magazine. My only goal is really to just share the joy of balance and the joy of learning to balance, of going up and down, just the joy of being on that adventure, of finding out what it is that makes me continually helpful, happy, peaceful. A clear person and a clear mind. "

LineUp asked Dave, "I know you are really pushing, or riding twin fin fishes. Where are the shapes of surf boards going, or where should they be going?"

Dave responded, "They go where each individual wants them to go. Surfing is FUN. Do what the fuck you want on a wave. Any fool who tells you how to enjoy the ride is only doing so because they are not fulfilled with their own surfing experience, and should not be listened to."

LineUp also asked him, "Is there anything you want to try but haven't yet?"

Dave's reply, "Surfing naked at Teahupoo."

Spoken like the soul surfer that he is.

Rasta and Irons - final scene from Blue Horizon

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Brasil, Brazil

Palm Nation

Sea Floor

Tomorrow is the final day of the Santos SurfArt Festival in Brazil. I know many of us have been thinking about it all week, imagining how much fun everyone is having... some of us wishing we could be there in person, for sure. I had a brief correspondence with festival director Jair Bartoleto, who has been incredibly busy but is getting to surf with a couple of cool cats who flew in. He promises to tell us more when things cool down. I hope that guy gets to take a vacation.

I sent these two pieces and I'm so happy they are in day I too will get there! If any readers attended the festival, we'd love to hear about the great time you are having. Obrigado! xo

Friday, January 23, 2009

Surf Fridays!

I'd like to share a few images that I love... a tribute to the photographers whose eyes see amazing things and capture them for us to behold. Keep rockin' the magic. Enjoy and have a gorgeous weekend.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Surf Fridays!

This Surf Fridays is all about surf dreams. Yours and mine.

These photos are from the April 2006 In Style magazine - a fine article about Gabrielle and Laird Hamilton and their home life in Maui. Since this article was published they had another baby girl, but I bet their lives haven't changed too drastically. I've saved this clipping for nearly three years, tucked in a surf story book at my bedside - and as you can plainly see, I've written at the top of it, "Jamie's Dream Life". If you have time to read the article, you'll get an idea that it's their overall spirited lifestyle that I am most interested in.

One of my most favorite things to do in life is dream. It is so important to me, that I love hearing about others' dreams just as much as I like to dream myself - and every inch of me wants to encourage someone when they talk of their dreams...any doubt they may express, I counter with a simple YOU CAN DO IT because I know that we can.

At the top of my goal list for 2009, I will be making time for dreaming. I'll share some with you throughout the year and I'd love to hear about yours. Big ones little ones, you name it. How can our dreams come true if we don't take the time to know what they are? Furthermore, we mustn't ever be scared of our dreams or belittle them as silly. Nothing is too big if it comes from your heart. The universe has a lot of space.

The Reece-Hamilton house, ensconced on Maui's North Shore, is all about blending in with the elements and allowing what's outside to come in.

The couple in a rare moment of repose, atop an old military weapons carrier they use to cruise through the surrounding fields.

Life's a beach - Just another day at the office: a goodbye smooch before Hamilton paddles off to work. One of Gabrielle's favorite activities is exploring the property with Reece strapped on her back.

One of Hamilton's many modes of water transport.

The water man returns from a long stand-up paddle.

left: In her father's workshop, Reece stands poised to fly in a game of "jump to Daddy."

right: She may not be as tall as her mom (yet), but even little Reece has her own king-sized bed.

"Some women have a problem with sweat - not me," says Gabrielle, going through her paces. "Exercise is a great way to get energized".

Join the Firm: A Fitness Buff's Secrets for a Great Body

Make It Official - Schedule your workout the same way you schedule everything else in your life - take the 'option' and 'emotion' out of it. Even on the days you just don't feel like going to work, you still go, right? It's the same with exercise.

Remember: Consistency Is King - Let's face it: Even working out for just 20 minutes three times a week is better than exercising for longer periods of time with larger gaps in between.

Keep It Fun - Figure out what you like - whether it's exercising with a pal or hiking a scenic trail by yourself. If you don't enjoy what you're doing, you won't hang in there.

Eat Smart - Get your relationship with food straight, and it will make the other hill a lot smaller. Eat three meals a day - don't skip breakfast! - and avoid a lot of processed foods, wheat, sugar and ingredients you can't pronounce. You'll have more energy.

"I'm not sure if it's because we're large people or because we're simply large-spirited, but Laird and I really need our space," says Gabrielle.

left: The wraparound lanai helps them stretch out.

right: the household Lilliputians, daughter Reece and Pinot, the family Chihuahua.


article written by Kate Meyers, photography by Bobby Fisher

The Haleakala volcano rests in the background. The West Maui mountains stand regally in the foreground. And the island of Molokai looms across the water. Three stunning visions of geological interest. And out here, playing barefoot on the deck of their Maui home, are three natural wonders of a different kind: Gabrielle Reece, 36; her husband Laird, 42; and their barely clad, wildly maned daughter, Reece, 2. They look like a family created by someone in advertising. Observe them as they roam the 10 acres of grounds surrounding their home and you think, This is what Adam and Eve should have looked like.

Gabrielle, former pro beach volleyball player and model, and host of the Discovery Fit TV Channel's Insider Training, is 6 feet 3 inches of feminine power. Hamilton, also 6 foot 3, has a physique that could redefine the word "chiseled." He also happens to be one of the best surfers in the world (the guy who has ridden the biggest wave). He's the subject of several surf DVDs, including the recent All Aboard the Crazy Train, and he's the new face of Davidoff's fragrance Cool Water. But even though the bodies of these two may be a tad intimidating, their hearts are welcoming. Everything about their home is down-to-earth. The dress code is T-shirts and surfer shorts, the music is reggae - and help yourself to whatever's in the fridge.

Hamilton picked this "middle of nowhere" spot, just off the Hana Highway and down a dirt road, because a short jaunt west and below some rocky cliffs is Peahi (also known as Jaws or the Wave), the best wave break in the country and to him a holy place. And everything about this house is focused on gaining access to what's out there - the wild surf (Hamilton's place of business from November through May) and the heavenly turf, a paint wheel of lush green grasses, pineapple fields, acacia trees and passion fruit that you grab off the vine and bite into for its tangy, juicy middle.

The house, built over the course of eight months in 2004, is also all about function. The massive single-pitch roof protects the interior from the northeast trade winds. You can actually leave all the windows open during a storm and no water will come in. The lanai (or porch) that runs the length of the main floor is perfect for cheering on the guys as they race ATVs on the property's homemade outdoor track - or for watching sunsets with the girls: Gabby, Reece and Hamilton's 10-year-old daughter, Bella. "This house complements Gabby and me," Hamilton says. "The function is me. The style is her".

"I really wanted one big room upstairs so the three of us can be separate and together," Gabrielle says of the main floor living area, which includes not only the large space but three bedrooms toward the back of the house. "It's also about bringing the outside in. Sometimes if you block it with too much stuff, you can't receive the outside so well."

The absence of clutter and the 14-to-16-foot ceilings in the living area contribute to an overall feeling of airiness. Leather couches sit on one end and soft suede ones on the other. The dining table is made from a single slab of wood, a gift from a neighbor. And the kitchen rests smack-dab in the middle of it all. "It's up and out and open, and I think that helps keep your perspective up and out and open," Gabrielle says.

What else does the couple need to make a house a home? Their list includes love, health, physical challenges, harmony..."and two heads in the shower," says Hamilton, smiling. "All of our showers are two-headed because we always converse in there." Gabby adds a few more things. "Laird needs his coffee," she says, so he has an espresso maker in the workshop.

She needs chocolate, so there's a "fun drawer" containing a varied collection. There's a large supply of flip-flops for everyone. And, at the top of the list, both require a lot of motion.

To answer this need, Hamilton's workshop houses a bunch of 12-foot boards for stand-up paddling. (He often does 8 to 11-mile trips - standing on the surfboard and paddling through the waves - on days when the waves aren't big enough to surf.) There are other sea toys and bikes, and some beautiful paintings of waves done by local artist Dave Dickey, a friend who happens to drop by. Lots of people happen to drop by, because that's how Gabrielle and Hamilton like it. Gabby's downstairs gym has machines, free weights, a Pilates reformer, medicine balls and several spinning bikes so she can have her girlfriends over for some sweat time.

This overall feeling of welcoming is also evident in all the extra beds in unexpected places (the workshop and the gym, for example). Today a couple of Hamilton's surf buddies have come by. They'll stay for dinner and crash here. Many nights are spent, just like this one, drinking, eating (tonight's catch: a seven-pound Mahimahi) and laughing with friends around the weathered wooden picnic table in the workshop downstairs.

At the Hamilton-Reece household, the rule is that everyone must look everyone else in the eye when a toast is made. Not hard to do, as the two hosts have beautiful ones. Their eyes change with the light and defy description, except to say the Gabrielle's are an Easter-egg blue with green shards and a touch of fairy dust, and Laird's are brown, gold and green with a speck of the sun. Strong feelings of love flow under this massive roof, and if you stay long enough, it's a sure thing you too will be offered a bed. By all means, accept.


Most Romantic Spot - Hanalei River/Bay in Kauai is gorgeous. The river has bushes with yellow flowers that grow out of the water. The flowers drop off and the current carries them into the bay, so they float around you when you swim. Laird and I got married on the river. There were maybe eight guests. I wore a white bikini underneath a sheer white dress; Laird wore surf shorts underneath a sarong. At the end of the ceremony, he carried me over his shoulder, and we jumped into the river. Then the whole crew went surfing on the bay and caught a wave together.

Best Sushi
- Definitely the Sansei Seafood Restaurant & Sushi Bar in Maui. They've got karaoke too.

To-Die-For Pampering
- When you're muddy and wanna get shiny and feel like a girl again, the Grand Wailea Resort Hotel & Spa at Grand Wailea, Maui, is the place to freshen up. Plus they have some badass salt scrub.

Adventure-Lover's Dream - At 10,000 feet, Maui's Haleakala volcano is the largest in the world. Laird rides his bike up to the peak. You know it's tall when you've been speeding downhill for an hour and still haven't reached the bottom.

Best Place For a Kiss - Makena Beach in Maui is a beautiful beach. I got my first kiss from Laird there. I always remember how big the moon was.

Best Breakfast - The people who own Anthony's Coffee Co. in Maui are wonderful. It has this great family atmosphere. They cook giant steak breakfasts with poached eggs for Laird and me. I love their smoothies made with mango, bananas, peanut butter, rice milk and protein powder. They also roast the best espresso beans - we send them to friends around the country.

Lumahai Beach, Kauai - The ocean here is powerful, and there never seems to be anyone around. The sand is olive-green and has such amazing texture. It moves back and forth, up and down the shore, so the beach has a different personality every time you go there.


More reading: Laird's Laws & Gabby's site


You've seen it before...Laird riding Teahupoo.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Beach game

Happy day to you!

Our fun cousins came to visit us from Lake Tahoe and my Mom and I took them for a girls day at the beach. They went from 12 degree weather to 65 degrees within a matter of a few hours. We stopped at Jeff Clark's shop and he was in San Diego shaping boards until the next big swell comes in. They say the Mavericks contest just might be this week.

Down the road, Miramar is a nice beach to set your sights on for awhile and we did just that.
We noticed a man using a large stick to draw a design in the sand. There was a little boy waiting at the top of the design and when the man completed his drawing at the water, he yelled for the little boy to "GO!" The boy then proceeded to run and follow every inch of the curvy lines until he got to the end, where there was a small welcoming committee to cheer hoorays for him.

Isn't that the coolest?


Holy cajoles - thank you Joseph!!

Friday, January 09, 2009

Surf Fridays!

What you are about to read is an
awesome review by Balsa Bill, of Jamie Budge's 1965 film, The Living Curl.

The first time I ever met Jamie Budge was in 1965. I was working in Keller’s Surf Shop in Lavallette, N. J. It was just a couple of days before the Atlantic States Surfing Contest in Seaside Heights. Jamie wanted to enter the contest but I was given strict orders. The contest was full. The closing date had passed. No more entries.

Jamie pleaded. He had just come in from California. Couldn’t I make an exception? Well, I figured, what’s one more entry? I took his fee, and snuck his entry form into the stack back in the office. No one would know.

A couple of days later, Jamie won the contest. First place. Besides being an excellent surfer, we found out the following week, that he was a very talented filmmaker when he showed The Living Curl at the Seaside Heights American Legion Hall.

We all agreed that night, my friends and I, that The Living Curl may have been the best surf film that we’d seen up ’til then.

Of course we’d seen Bruce Brown’s soundtracked versions of Surfing Hollow Days, Barefoot Adventure and Waterlogged. We’d even seen The Endless Summer narrated in person by the man himself. It’s a classic of course with some great travel scenes.

But for hard core surfing, we were more into Grant Rholoff , Dale Davis, Walt Phillips or Jim Freeman’s films.

Jamie, though had made a film that concentrated on the small glassy waves of California with the hottest of the hotdoggers. No Hawaii. No big waves. No survival stances. No travelogues. Just mostly small California point waves with the best performance surfing we’d seen up until then.

Miki at Malibu
photo: Pat Darrin

The film is heavy on Malibu, Jamie’s home break. What a great setting for a surf film in the early sixties. The perfect California point wave and the guys who invented hot dogging. All of the Malibu regulars are featured: Mickey (Miki) Chapin Dora (Mr Malibu, the Cat, Da Cat), Lance Carson, Johnny Fain, Dewey Weber, Bob “Porkchop” Baron, Dave Rochlen…in wave after wave of nose rides, cut backs, fives, tens and island pull outs.

The pan shot down the beach, at the opposite angle of what you normally see featuring the classic early sixties boards with laminated wood fin after laminated wood fin will make the collectors go absolutely crazy.

We get to meet young up and coming contest winners Corky Carroll, David Nuuiwa and Mark Martinson while they were still juniors and surfing the contest circuit: The Oceanside Invitational, The Laguna Masters (at Redondo Breakwater, named after the swimwear company not the beach town).

We also get to see the legends of the day including Mike Hynson and Robert August battling it out at the Malibu Invitational.

A surfari up the coast features Secos (Arroyo Sequit) before it was Leo Carrillo State Park, California Street, Rincon, Santa Cruz, and for a break from all the perfect point breaks the Hollywood by the Sea sequence is a nice change of pace: bigger lefts in fast closing beach breaks.

photo: Bill Delaney

The Stanley’s Diner sequence features filmmaker Jamie himself surfing the glassiest waves ever. The spot no longer exists of course. Now it’s a freeway ramp. Too bad we didn’t have The Surfrider Foundation back in the Sixties.

For those of us that grew up surfing in the sixties, The Living Curl is like having Surfer Magazine circa 1961-1964 come alive.

All in all, more good rides than you will find in any three films total from the era.

Another Top Surfer Representing Dave Sweet Surfboards
Jamie Budge - Ventura Rivermouth - 1964

Jamie Budge, with the help of Scott Starr (surf historian extraordinaire), has recently made The Living Curl available on DVD.

"Bodysurfing was something you did before you could afford your first surfboard".

"The shortest board found in the water was 7 feet 11 inches".

"You could still take an all night drive and find a secret surf spot all to yourself".

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Visions of Johanna

photos by
Jay "Juice" Watson

Have you listened to it recently?

Introducing The Mattson 2

Available January 20

*For more info and to purchase, go to Galaxy records.

*Produced by the ubiquitous Thomas Campbell and guest starring Ray Barbee.

*To listen to sweet sounds, visit The Mattson 2 blog.

*See them live in Encinitas January 16 and in Brazil January 20-26.

*For interviews with Jonathan Mattson see here and here.

Enjoy a sublime, Mattson 2 stylin' rendition of The Smiths - Ask...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

And now for something completely different...

This is making me feel so good right now. It is literally soothing my soul. Like if my soul was feeling irritated, this song and video has just smoothed it right over. I'd really love to be Olivia Newton John for a day. I'd love to float back in time and look just like this and wear these pink satin pants, and sing like an angel and shake my shiny hair around. Would I know how happy I was making everyone? I don't know.

We've always wanted to fly

Click here to watch it in full screen, which makes it even more incredible.

Is it just me or do you feel electrified?

Saturday, January 03, 2009

Chicken Lime Soup

Chicken Lime Soup

Serves 6.

4 chicken breasts, boned and skinned
8 limes
2 quarts (2 boxes) chicken stock
6 cloves of garlic, chopped
1/2 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
8 fresh mushrooms, sliced
1 1/2 cups diced zucchini
1 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup fresh cilantro, minced
1/2 cup medium salsa (I love Casa Sanchez - hot)
salt & pepper
1 package tortilla chips (I love Casa Sanchez - Thick & Crispy)
2 cups cooked white long-grain rice

Cut any fat off of the chicken breasts and place the breasts in a glass casserole dish. Squeeze the juice of 3 limes over them. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes or so. Grill 5 minutes to a side, or until done. Allow to cool. Shred and reserve.

Bring broth to a simmer. Add garlic, celery and carrots, and simmer 15 minutes. Add zucchini and mushrooms and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the chicken, juice of remaining limes, tomatoes and simmer a few minutes. Remove from heat and stir in salsa and cilantro (save a little for garnish). Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Spoon into soup bowls. Pass rice and tortilla chips in separate bowls. Garnish with a touch of cilantro. We discovered tonight that Tecate goes really well with this meal.

*We've made this soup for 4 years now. It is a true winner. The secret is the fresh lime.
*If you prefer, you can add rice to your soup bowl, instead of serving it on the side.
*The easiest way to shred chicken is by placing the chicken on a cutting board and using two forks. Start with the forks close together and pull away in a sort of a criss-cross method.
*I recommend getting a lime squeezer.
*I may hesitate adding salsa at all if it's from a jar. Fresh is always best.

Bon app├ętit!

Short Stuff

Friday, January 02, 2009

Surf Fridays!

Hopefully today is a rather quiet one for you, a smooth and mellow start to the new year. Thinking that might be the case, I chose a longer clip, from 1965's surf documentary, Stop the Wave, I Want to Get Off . It's definitely an entertaining one with some pretty big waves.

"Surfers purchase these custom-built island rovers, stall at the surfing beach of their choice and then wait for King Neptune to kick up a few waves."

I hope you are all having a great day. It's raining here where I live and I'm going to jot down my goals for 2009 and make some Chicken Lime Soup. It's such good stuff, I'll share the recipe with you, and my goals too - see you soon.

Oh, and here's to King Neptune kicking up some great waves for us all throughout the year.