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Road to Courage FEBRUARY 2014

Brandon DiPierri Photo Essay

Travel Russia



Saturday, August 9th, 2014 • Linden Field in Carpinteria 50+ Breweries • Surfboard Shapers • Live Music $45 General Admission • $60 VIP Early Entry Tickets on sale NOW!

photos: daniel torres

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Bill “Blinky” Hubina

Tri-County Shapers Symposium


Blinky back in the day.


The Man Bill “Blinky” Hubina is a fired up, stoked grommet residing in a veteran surfer/shaper's body. Every time I call Hubina or go by his Ventura Surf Shop, I feel like we’re just a couple of teens wandering around the shop frothing over surfboards and surf products. Supreme stoke runs through this veteran surf legend, and he shared his story with me of a young surfer turned life long surf guru and legend.

As we look back, it’s exciting to see how much a part of the surfing family tree Hubina is. In 1964, Hubina became Morey-Pope’s first employee. In 1965, he invented Slip Check, which Delaney named. It was the first wax replacement and was soon on every surfboard across the country. In 1967 Hubina started William Dennis Surfboards with Dennis Ryder. He remembers meeting Bob McTavish at Rincon and being the only ones out on shorter boards. Hubina was riding a 7’11” he had made out of a cut off blank, and McTavish was riding a 7’9” V bottom. McTavish worked with Hubina at William Dennis shaping his orders. George Greenough worked on his waterproof camera housing, kneeboard, and flex fins. Between McTavish's and Hubina’s orders, along with his Slip Check royalties, Hubina was able to buy his first 55-gallon drum of resin. As far as Hubina’s skill set in the shaping bay, he noted that he learned most of his board


Through Time The hands that shape a surfboard have been somewhere, both through time, and the eons of foam dust. For Hubina, that all started in 1959 when he got interested in surfing after helping a friend build a board from a kit in Surfer Magazine. From what he told me, that first board was pretty ugly, but the boys got a few laughs when they took it to Malibu. In 1961, he got his first board, a 9’6” Tiki. In 1962, he got his first “real board,” as he put it, a 10’3” Tom Hale.

Perry testing his craftsmanship.

Since 2009 we have profiled

Character and Life Courageous optimism and a strong belief in the big guy upstairs make up the meta-data of John Perry (JP) and his wonderful family in Goleta. Yes, JP makes highly refined, great surf sticks. Yes, JP has been shaping for over 40 years. Yes, JP can be considered a true craftsman of our sport. Yet, JP hasn’t become a well-known part of the shaping community and conversation for his shaping alone. A depth of character and life experience is poured into each hand-crafted board. The History JP got interested in surfing through his older brother, Tom, in the mid-1960s when it took two guys to carry a board. His earliest impressions of surfing and surfboards were Malibu, Stables (C-Street) and uncrowded Rincon. Surfing back then kind of reminds JP of the surfing happening right now; there are many varieties of shapes being surfed: eggs, reverse tear drops


Brian Joseph putting an Ancient Art through the paces.





and a host of down rail guns and mini guns. Each shape is just a lot more refined today. In the 1970s JP took a hiatus for several years surfing around the world. He traveled from Europe to Africa, through the Indian Ocean, then back to Mainland USA through Hawaii. Most of his best surfing and board knowledge came from South Africa at Jeffreys Bay, where surfboards are put to the test. When JP came back from his surfing travels, he started Ocean Rhythms Santa Barbara, where he entertained a host of great shapers under one roof: Matt Moore, Peter White from Australia, Joe Blair of Hawaii, Art Collier of San Diego and Steve Huerta of Ventura, just to name a few. In the 1980s JP and his wife Liz started their family with their son, Blair, and daughter, Jaclyn. In the early 1990s he changed careers to bring in a steady income for the family. Several years ago, JP returned to his passion of surfboard building and designing with



a shaper from each of the tri-counties (Ventura to San Luis Obispo) to highlight the wealth of talent and prowess that the shapers of the Central Coast bring to surfing. This year, our list includes Ventura's Bill "Blinky" Hubina, Goleta's John Perry, and San Luis Obispo's Rick Avant. They have all created their own paths into the shaping world, and all make surf crafts that accentuate the passion of their souls.

From necessity comes creativity… Such is the case for shaper Rick Avant of Ancient Art Surfboards. His fruitless search for a unique surf craftsman forced him to take on the challenge himself and set out to create the boards he was having such a difficult time finding. Avant saw a need in the surfboard market for a shaper that was willing to take a risk in his craft. “I was riding single fin surfboards that I felt needed to be pushed progressively but when I asked my shapers, they were either not sure about my requests or unwilling to take on the challenge,” he recalled. “That’s when I decided to start making boards myself. It provided me the opportunity to implement all my ideas and influences into my own creations and finally get a surfboard exactly how I wanted it.” With a background rooted in boat building and a current career as a marine surveyor, Avant relies heavily on his ocean vessel influences when it comes to his board building. Taking from the practices of Herreshoff Boat Designs, Avant builds all his boards with the thought of obtaining

the “sweet line” and creating a surfboard that is functional yet pleasing to the eye. “More often than not, if it looks good it will ride well,” said Avant.

SAN LUIS OBISPO Trial and Error Nestled deep in Chumash country, miles behind Lopez Lake, the trip out to the Ancient Art compound feels like going back in time. A place where cell phone reception is lost and horses share the road is where Rick Avant calls home. Upon arrival, one is greeted with numerous masterpieces in progress from customized Hobie Cats to a pieced together mini half-pipe, from a gutted ’49 Hudson to the blanks and boards strewn throughout the shaping bay. Avant is a man of ideas. “I’ll be the first to admit that not all my boards work; I am willing to fail. It’s all about trial and error; you don’t know what will work until you actually try it.” — continued

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Mike McCabe fins free during the 2013 Rincon Classic. McCabe was a finalist in the Pro Division.

January/February 2014 > Volume 9 > No. 1 Central California Surfing Magazine EL DIRECTOR: Andres Nuño EDITOR: Chuck Graham GRAPHIC DESIGN: Dan Levin PHOTO CORRECTION: David Levine ADVERTISING: For advertising rates email CONTRIBUTING PHOTOGRAPHERS: Branden Aroyan Andy Bowlin Chris Burkard Caterina Caligiuri Matt Coulter


Seth de Roulet Brandon DiPierri Derek Dodds Glenn Dubock Chuck Graham John Hildebrand Leslie Holtzman Terry Houston Jeff Johnson Mike Jones Michael Kew Cameron Knowlton Sean Lesh Brent Lieberman Tó Mané L. Paul Mann Colin Nearman Jeff Pfost David Pu’u Jason Rath Brian Salce Jon Shafer Scott Smith Bill Tover Shawn Tracht


Whitney Turner © ASP/ Cestari © ASP/ Kirstin © ASP/ Rowland © ASP/ Ruby © ASP/Smorigo @thesurfchannel / @shannonquirk @thesurfchannel / @speedyelk

SUPPORTING STAFF: Lea Boyd Peter Dugré Den Terry (Sales Rep) Amy Orozco Joe Rice Shawn Tracht (SLO County Rep)

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Craig Comen Derek Dodds Glenn Dubock Dave Friesen Ashten Giardine Chuck Graham Dan Hamlin Michael Kew Brent Lieberman L. Paul Mann David Pu’u Shawn Tracht Benjamin Weiland


PUBLISHER: Mike VanStry COVER SHOT BY BILL TOVER Dane Reynolds building momentum at Rincon.

General Inquires & Submissions: (805) 684-4428 Owned and Operated by RMG Ventures, LLC Carpinteria, CA 93013 Tel: 805.684.4428

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DEEP Surf Magazine



W W W. S E X WA X .C O M

12 News 14 Ocean View 16 Northern Exposure 18 Reflections 20 Ladies Room 22 Center Stage 40 Board Trachting 54 Tidelines 56 Young and Brave Foundation 58 Comen Sense 70 Shaper's Bay 72 Product Review 74 Green Room 76 Music & Entertainment 78 Finals Frames 80/82 Letter from Editor







ROAD TO COURAGE Words by David Pu'u / Photos by Pu'u, Tó Mané

Big wave surfers take their lives into their hands every time they paddle out. Some call it courage. Others call it insanity. The key ingredients to survival are knowledge of the ocean, training and, in the case of tow-ins, team camaraderie. Riding giants requires more than sheer guts.


TRAVEL: RUSSIA Words by Benjamin Weiland / Photos by Chris Burkard


From Russia with gloves (and booties and thick rubber). A crew of Central Coast surfers seek out the kind of waves that come as hard won reward for adventure of the Soviet sort. They find some peelers, and along the way they learn that expectations should be left at home when Russia beckons.



It’s true that with the Central Coast as your muse, you really can’t go wrong. But self-taught photographer Brandon DiPierri manages to do more with a lens and an afternoon of good light than most camera slingers will come up with in a lifetime. So let DEEP introduce you to some of the fine art made by DiPierri in his photo-friendly stomping grounds.


STAY-CATION: SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY Words by Shawn Tracht Skip the jetlag and layovers. Save space in your passport this winter and take a SLO ride instead. Let local author Dave Friesen present you with his favorite places to eat, sleep and play while you seek out some surf in San Luis.



DEEP Surf Magazine is your only source for the 2014 Rincon Classic Program. Inside the Channel Islands Surfboards 31st annual Rincon Classic Program presented by Hurley, is a slew of interviews, stories, photos, and schedule of events so you can keep track of all the action and drama surrounding the big weekend. The Rincon Classic is produced by Surf Happens.





You could say that WetSand started in the 1970’s as a result of the early days of surfing the coast of Santa Barbara, riding Wilderness and Yater surfboards and taking occasional beer breaks.

Bobby “Do Right”

Almost 30 years later, WetSand was born as a surf forecast and online shop and soon grew to one of the largest surf sites. Known for presenting surfing like it should be, grounded in the culture that makes sense to most of us; surf travel, creativity, experimentation and respecting the ocean experience.


Our brick and mortar store opened in 2007 in Ventura: “the largest small town in California”. Wetsand is a small business is built on family and friends who work to bring what we feel is important to surfing and the lifestyle around us. We are inspired daily by the ocean, surf and non-surf lifestyle, art, fashion and vintage culture surrounding us.

W H AT W E A R E Whiteny Turner

WSURF.COM Art, photography, video, surf culture, fashion and everyday inspiration.

LAT360.COM The new generation of our original WetSand Swellwatch surf forecast

SHOPWETSAND.COM Our online store


’m grateful I have other things to do between these extended flat spells. What happened to winter time? I’m a little embarrassed to say I’ve surfed only twice since June. That sounds like a long time ago. So when I paddled out at a certain sandbar early Thanksgiving morning, I feared I wouldn’t be able to stand up despite everything I do.  But when I pulled into a dry little tube those last seven months or so of no surf didn’t seem to matter much anymore. As I get older I’m finding out that surfing is the hardest thing for me to jump back into, for my body to adjust to if I’m not surfing regularly (several times per week). If there’s consistently good waves then I’m fine.  If not, then it becomes a struggle. Speaking of time, 30 years of Rincon Classics just went by in a blink. You’ll find our annual program to the Classic inside this issue.  Any bets on what another 30 years of Classics might look like? There’s a cool travel story on Russia photographed by Chris Burkard. There’s also an equally impressive photo essay provided by Central Coast photographer Brandon DiPierri. Then there’s an interesting piece by Daivd Pu’u on Carlos Burle and his recent big wave challenge in Portugal.  It appears there is no end to big wave riding and the athletes that continue to up the ante. As we head into our seventh year, we want to say thanks for continuing to be strong supporters of DEEP.




Chuck Graham

WHO’S ON BOARD? Brandon DiPierri

Benjamin Weiland



Benjamin is a writer and videographer living in Carlsbad, Calif. He runs Arctic Surf (, a travel and exploration blog that documents cold, remote, and unusual surf locations around the world. “I love the combination of surfing, camping, backpacking, and discovering the outdoors. I’m also interested in graphic design, illustration, and working on art projects.” One of his favorite movies is "Jurassic Park." 

Chris Burkard Photographer

Chris Burkard is a 26-year-old Surfer Magazine staff photographer, world explorer of cold/remote places, rock climbing hobbiest, and hand plane enthusiast. Check out more photos at




Brandon DiPierri is a 29-year-old Central California native. He is a proud husband and father with a passion for the sea that was cultivated during countless trips to the beach as a child. Today DiPierri aims to capture the moments that flood his mind visually through both action and lifestyle photography. When he’s not shooting you can usually find him hanging with friends and family, bodysurfing, spear fishing or playing ice hockey. 

David Pu'u

Writer + Photographer

David Pu’u is a renowned photographer and cinematographer with broad experience in editorial publication, television and feature film production. For the past 15 years he has been a leader in the imaging community through his contributions to new technology and uses of high-speed motion capture in film and digital 3D formats—featured prominently on the global stage.

14 W. Anapamu St. Santa Barbara, CA 93101 805.845.1022 //


Kelly making it look easy.

In the winner's circle again.

Pissed off Enough to Come Back






guess it depends on your point of view. Was Mick Fanning’s wave at the buzzer of his quarterfinal heat against Yadin Nichol at the 2013 Billabong Pipeline Masters enough for his third world title? Maybe … maybe not.  Fanning and Kelly Slater both came to Pipeline and accomplished what they needed to do. Fanning needed to advance to the semifinal to win the world title, and Slater needed to win the final and not have Fanning advance beyond the quarterfinal. Nichol made it difficult enough for Fanning. Their heat could’ve gone either way, but Fanning got the nod.  Slater didn’t lose a heat during the entire event. After learning Fanning advanced out of the quarterfinal, Slater looked noticeably dejected. It would’ve been understandable if he had simply gone out in his quarterfinal heat against Sebastian Zietz and surrendered the heat to

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JANUARY 2014 Tide Chart Ventura, CA



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the young Hawaiian, but being the ultimate competitor he is, Slater paddled out and put on a Pipeline clinic from the quarters through the final, surfing with reckless abandon on the lefts and the few backdoor waves on offer. Slater thrashed Joel Parkinson in the semifinal and barely nipped Hawaiian John John Florence in the final for his seventh Pipeline Masters title. It was also Slater’s 56th World Championship Tour victory. World title number 12 is proving to be elusive enough, but Slater did something he typically doesn’t do. During a post-final interview, the 11-time world champ strongly hinted at coming back in 2014. Usually he waits until the first leg in Australia before revealing his plans. Here’s hoping the drama surrounding the 2013 Billabong Pipeline Masters fuels Slater’s fire to make another run in 2014.

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Hopefully we will be hearing good things about Conner on his qualification quest. Parker Coffin off to a good start.


- E M O T I O N A L L Y M O V E D Dear DEEP Surf Magazine, I was emotionally moved by Crai g Comen’s, Comen Sense “Surfing the End of the Rainbow” (November/December 2013) article.   Thank you! When reading it, I had flashbacks of my past ’80s surfing lifestyle when I was grow ing up in Ventura. Those times formed my current spirituality and my character. I, too, lost some of those past circles of surfing friends to death, alcoholism, moves to inla nd states, etc. But those magi cal days will always stay with me. Your article was dead on to my current feelings about my past surfing experiences off of C-St reet and along the Rincon area . Every time I see a VW squareba ck and a twin fin board, those carefree ’80s come roaring back to my memories. I am a better husband, father and employee toda y because of my surfing past and those great friendships that were formed from that lifestyle. Thank you for your insightfulne ss, and also thank you DEEP for providing your free publicat ion in the Ojai Valley. I have framed your article and placed it in my Los Angeles office as a stress reliever.

Mark Felton Ojai

DEEP Surf Magazine loves feedback! SEND YOUR LETTERS TO: along with your address & phone.


Can Lakey rise above the fray?

Locals in the Hunt

Others to watch out for in 2014 are the Coffin brothers, Conner and Parker. Conner has set himself up nicely for a strong seeding in the Star events, and younger bro Parker will be slugging it out in the Pro Juniors.  Lakey Peterson finished again in the top 10 in seventh position on the Women’s Elite Tour. Can she make the leap into the top five or beyond in 2014? THU 16

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446 Main Street, Ventura

Not to be used for navigation. Do not rely on data for decisions that can result in harm to anyone or anything.

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JANUARY 2014 Tide Chart Ventura, CA







incon Point is a world-class wave. That is to say, surfers all over the world have heard of it, and given the chance, would board a plane with board under arm, make the long walk up the point and attempt to capture the prize: the elusive single wave that rolls from the top of the Indicator, all the way to the freeway. The big e-ticket of nuanced perfection only really works out for a few, however. This is why surfing is about fun and adventure. Both of those facets decrease in proportion to the existence of other surfers in the water. Rincon tends to see a lot of us, all in pursuit of our own wet dreams. There have been many times when I stood on the beach and looked out at the place, and it appeared uncrowded. But upon entry, my go out was one icky circumstance after another. Then there are the days when it looks like a line outside a sporting event in the lineup, and you go out to have the time of your life in spite of appearances to the contrary. I learned over the years that attitude matters. But sometimes you must get very creative when 100 of your friends and visitors all want the same wave. Zipping along through the Cove one day, I rose and fell, driving my board at top speed. Not many would think to drop in when you do that. It is like stepping onto the freeway in front of a speeding car. Not prudent. As I flew over the lip and un-weighted off the bottom of my glassy head-high dream, I nearly mowed through 10-feet of a red longboard as a pretty unaware guy took off in slow motion mid-wall and blocked my path with fiberglass. Slamming on the brakes, I found myself rail to rail and heard the guy go “whoa!”We had surprised each other. In an instant I had made my choice and simply hopped off my 5’11” tri, onto the deck of his longboard. I turned around and said, “Do you mind?” while pointing at my board being dragged along by the leash, which he reeled in, picked up and handed to me. We rode through the Cove together and ended up way inside, where as we exited the wave, he apologized for the drop in. I said, “Hey, that was probably the most fun I have had all day. Thanks for grabbing my board. I think we made the best of it.” Sometimes fun is where we make it.


Terms of Endearment





never had much success as a competitive surfer. It might have had something to do with the fact that most of my peers that I competed against were usually better than me. I like to blame it on the mental aspect of competitive surfing; it makes me feel a little better about myself. It isn’t enough to simply be the best surfer in a heat; you also have to be a savvy competitor. I was usually neither. Occasionally, I still get asked if I compete. I used to come up with long-winded answers that were full of well thought out excuses of why I don’t anymore. It seemed much easier to do than to

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Sometimes you sacrifice eating on your lunch break for something a little more memorable.

tell people I got tired of getting beat. But once I came to terms with my lack of competitive prowess, it became almost refreshing to just tell people who asked that I was not good at contests. The first contest I ever surfed in was at the Pismo Beach Pier. The Pismo Pier has seen a lot of “firsts” for me. The first wave I rode down the line was on the north side of the pier. The first time I got injured surfing was also on the north side of the pier. The first time I saw a shark while surfing was on the south side of the pier (it was just a thresher shark). The first time I tried to shoot the pier was on the south side of the pier (I lost my nerve at the last second just in time to run into a piling). The first time I did a proper cutback was at the pier, as was the first time I did a proper air. I can’t say my first barrel was at the pier, because, well try as it might, Pismo just doesn’t really barrel, ever. The first time I got hooked by a fisherman’s line was at the pier, and the first time I had a fisherman yell at me was at the pier. The first contest heat I ever lost in was at the pier, but also the first heat I ever made it through was at the pier. The first time I paddled out into waves that truly scared me was also at the pier. Pismo Beach can be one of the worst waves on the Central Coast, but I love it. It’s rumored that Kelly Slater called Pismo the worst wave he ever surfed, and considering the types of waves he gets to surf I’d imagine that the statement is likely true. But I’ve come to terms with the quality of waves on offer at Pismo. You have to if you are going to call it home. I don’t have the time or resources to chase every swell anymore, so more often than not I end up at the pier. It used to drive me crazy; I used to get so frustrated that I had to surf Pismo when I knew other spots were much better. During good swells I used to almost get embarrassed to tell friends that I “just” surfed the pier. But with so much history at one spot, it’s hard not to eventually become affectionate towards it. And just like coming to terms with the fact that I’d never be a good contest surfer, I eventually came to terms with surfing the pier. And once again, it was quite refreshing when I let go of my pride and started enjoying the spot that has watched me go from gromhood to adulthood. It might not be the best wave, but at least it’s a wave. Besides, it really isn’t that bad … just don’t ask Kelly Slater.


Long-time photographer Brent Lieberman takes a long look back at the 1960s and '70s along the Central and South Coasts during the days before leashes arrived and those dreaded cell phones too.



December 1969 This image was made during the benchmark swell and storm of December 1969. My wife and a couple of my surfing buddies had gone up to Jalama to check the massive swell. In those days you would turn left past the railroad tracks and drive down to the cracks and camp, no charge. It was raining so hard that sheets of water were coming at us parallel to the ground. The swell was so big that the spray from the waves was washing up onto the bluffs where my van was parked. I woke up the next morning and my van had sunk into the mud up to the bumpers. It took two days before the guard from the Bixby Ranch came by with a 4x4 and pulled us out.  We immediately bee lined straight down to Rincon and surfed and witnessed some of the biggest waves to ever hit that part of the coast. I parked my van on the highway and camped right there at

November 1969 the Cove for a few days. I was fortunate to still have a few rolls of film on hand and the lineup was loaded with all the greats of the day, including Miki Dora, George Greenough, David Nuuhiwa, Reno Abilerra, Mike Purpus and too many others to remember. This photo shows Margo Godfrey getting ready to jump in and tackle some monsters. If I remember right, Margo was the only woman to surf this swell.

This is a shot from the end of November 1969 showing Rincon in the days before crowds, leashes, drop-ins, parking lots, freeways, warning signs, traffic or many worries about much at all. In these days you could park right there on the highway, and many times the cars and campers would stretch half way down to La Conchita. There was also a dirt parking lot across the highway on the northbound side where you could camp or park, but then you had to run across the highway, so beachside was always better. It was a time of peace, love and brotherhood. You could always smell marijuana wafting in the air everywhere in those days. I don’t remember people fighting over waves, women or weed! A great time to live and be part of all that. I wouldn’t change a thing about that, except the time I ended up in jail during the riots in Goleta when the Bank of America got tore up, but that’s another whole story.







BY NICOLE DE LEON Mary Osborne reflected in tropical waters.


Aubrey Falk - Artist and massage therapist I would have to say dancing of any kind is my movement of choice on land. But I have always thought of surfing as a form of dance—moving the entire body to match the movement of the wave’s energy. It is a moving meditation that can uplift and transform our physical, mental and spiritual body!

Katie Anthony Cox - Photographer and mom My number two is free diving. The water is always clear after a few days without swell. Not only does it keep my lungs and swimming fitness in good shape, but it also gives me a similar feeling of contentment as a great day of surfing, similar but not the same.

Mary Osborne - Professional surfer I will have to say anything active on or near the beach. Stand up paddling for fitness seems to be a good transition to keep me fit Mary Osborne. and connected to the ocean. When it’s flat and gorgeous out nothing is better than “sweeping” the ocean’s floor and watching for sea life while breaking a sweat.

Meghan Frontino - Fine artist and mom I would have to say that attempting to make my way as a fine artist in the surf art category is my second hobby. The mental and physical challenges of surfing, the energy release and the escape from solid ground are experiences I aim to parallel through my paintings.


hether it’s running, playing music, practicing yoga or playing golf, all of us have our number two. And when I say number two, I mean our hobby that comes second to our number one: Surfing. We would never tell our number two hobby that it is inferior, because it plays a vital role in keeping us sane when ­­­­it’s flat. We wouldn’t disrespect it like that. But we secretly know that we would drop it without a moment’s notice when we get the report that it’s firing. Finding a hobby that is both meditative and physically satisfying is quite the challenge, one that helps us to wield our innate creative flow. So what is it that we do when we find ourselves in a flat spell that helps us to remain inspired and fit, mentally and physically? There is a certain satisfaction, a thirst that is quenched at the soul level, when we surf that is hard to mimic with many other endeavors. So it makes it more challenging to emulate that “magic” without the unhindered energy of the ocean to assist us when it is flat. When I was younger, my number one and number two hobby was surfing; meaning, I just surfed. Everything else seemed relatively uninteresting or uninspiring. It wasn’t until I got older that my mind was open to the likes of yoga and other non-surfing pursuits that had me starry-eyed again. Knowing how much this experience changed my life, and as a bonus side effect benefited my surfing, I couldn’t help but wonder what other surfers seek solace in when the surf report is looking grim. Here’s what some inspiring water women had to say:

Liz Clark - Captain of “Swell” Second to surf in my world right now gets shuffled between a heap of lovely things like boat maintenance, yoga and meditation, swimming/free diving, stargazing and photography ... but the one thing I’m super stoked about right now is eating consciously. I recently went vegan and have adored eating and preparing whole foods with love and creativity. I feel strong and healthy, and my surfing is only improving because of it.



Caroline Murray - Firefighter For me, swimming is my number two. After a back injury threatened to take almost everything else away, it was the one thing I was told I could do. Not only was it the best rehab, it keeps everything limber and strong and has a meditative quality for me while still giving me a killer workout. Like surfing, I get the solitude that recharges me.



Angelica Ochoa
- Pilates instructor

Backpacking Travel

Photo courtesy of Patagonia/Clark


Shannon Menzel rimming somewhere in Ventura.


Footwear Car Racks

Hobie Kayaks

Pilates is my second. Like surfing, it has become a lifestyle that has changed my life forever. Pilates improves posture, strengthens the body inside and out as well as increasing flexibility. The two hobbies compliment each other perfectly. 

 Shannon Menzel - Manager of Wetsand Surf Shop I’ve been playing disc golf a ton. During the summer it’s awesome. You get to be outside, the hike ends up being three miles and you are playing a game— being a competitive person, this is a plus! Although we may all personify the mental bumper sticker, “I’d rather be surfing,” evidently there are many hobbies that allow us to channel creative flow. And although our peripheral vision might always have one eye on the surf, each one of our hobbies play a vital role in making us who we are today. What’s your number two?


Shannon Menzel.

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to Mavericksto work as part of a

Carlos Burle on a burley one in Portugal. PHOTO: TÓ MANÉ

crew doing event water safety for the 2010 Maverick’s Challenge when I first saw this quote, which was on the back of a DEA coin-token I had fished out of the collection of stuff that sat in Shawn Alladio’s truck. It read, “No man can answer for his courage who has not been in danger.”The author was nobleman Francois de la Rochefoucald, who penned it around the turn of the 17th Century. Not many people get this as comprehensively as soldiers or big wave riders. Both by their choices, place themselves in harm’s way. Of course the job descriptions and motivations are quite different, but certain aspects of each avocation are quite similar. As I drove down coast for some time in Northern California, my wife read a headline to me off of her iPad. “Maya Gabeira drowns at Nazaré. Carlos Burle pulls her to safety.” Donna asked if I wanted to watch the video attached to the headline. “Did she live?” I asked. “Yes, she is alive; he saved her.” “No, I will look at this later.” I did not care to spectate nor speculate. My concern was only for the people in the water, who I happen to have a great deal of affection and respect for. I know Burle and Gabeira. I have filmed them separately and together, and have trained with them under K38 (a water safety training program teaching personal watercraft and rescue watercraft courses). I also knew a fair amount about Nazaré, as long time friend and colleague Garrett McNamara (who had worked with us in that prior event at Mavericks) had invited me along to work his attack on the place the year prior. After a detailed risk assessment I had been forced to decline that project. I have been involved in professional athletics and media for much of my life, and via my current professional certifications, I knew the sh*% storm that would blow through this unfortunate, albeit predictable event. Some things never change. Culture loves the legend of the hero with similar passion to witnessing the Christian be devoured by the lion. It is a nauseating paradox for soldiers and athletes both to have to experience. Media thrives on spectacle. We lend ourselves to it, frequently with little to no real understanding of what the actual participants are experiencing, much less their true intentions and level of preparation. It is why I seldom believe any headline, having been informed to do otherwise. This is where the truth lies: in understanding the layers of experiences and choices. Nazaré sits at the end of a very deep submarine canyon. In many ways the bathymetry set up there could allow for a wave to be ridden that exceeds the scale possible at other big wave spots around the globe. There are several other more complex reasons that make it desirable and dangerous as well. (But I am not going to discuss them here). I learned about much of this in the prior year’s risk study and my subject


The Road to


material expert interviews on the place. For ethical reasons, I have to keep those confidential. For those that may not know the difference, and to be clear, surfing and tow surfing are two entirely different approaches to riding waves, with some similarity and a long, clear list of differences. Really big surf at most spots around the world cannot be paddled into. It is a simple matter of physics and being able to overcome and harness the forces that make riding a wave possible. This was the primary motivation for the development of tow surfing. So that bigger and safer would be possible to experience. We all know what surfing is. I doubt there is a single person in the room who has not paddled out on a large day, looked around and said to themselves, “Uh –oh, get me out of here.”The process of challenge is how we grow as surfers and human beings and is an innate part of the human condition. In tow surfing you rely on your partner, joint and individual skills, equipment and your boat. In fact, your boat is absolutely integral to your success. Skill operating it or lack thereof may quite possibly be the main quantifier in any successful big wave attack. It is a key difference between surfing and tow surfing and a complex skill set that must

Maya Gabeira at a very crowded and fun size day at Pipeline.

Carlos Burle negotiating Jaws.

Morro Bay Harbor mouth just after dawn.

be learned and trained into the operators. Modern surfing has little to do with boating safety and skill. But historically almost all great watermen were superior sailors, boat operators and skilled navigators. It cedes back to the sport’s Polynesian heritage. Tom Blake himself actually worked in the United States Coast Guard in a training capacity. But today we have severed a part of that and an attendant level of respect and knowledge of the ocean is washed away with it. That needs to be addressed and is, among many of the world’s elite big wave riders. Many do not know the process. Indeed they do not need to. How would they? In an online discussion after the incident at Nazaré, I read something that really struck me, written by Pake Ahmow. Ahmow is an ocean safety officer on Oahu. I have trained with him, worked with him and been on expedition with the man. He holds what is quite likely

the record for most assists and rescues in a single day, over 200, and he accomplished most of them via PWC. This is what he said. “I have seen people at the edge of losing their life. It is not a pretty sight.” A film by local filmmaker Josh Pomer titled “Discovering Mavericks,” Pomer is dedicated to a list of drowned big wave riders. I realizedin watching the film that I knew most of the deceased personally and/or professionally. What each had in common was a series of choices made with the specific intent to grow in experience and the understanding of what was possible for them. I saw, heard and listened to tales of their adventures, struggles and aspirations. So I have deep respect for that. None of the deceased had died while tow surfing. Each person had paddled themselves


This was not long after Mark Foo drowned at Mavericks. I think it was pretty much just Jeff Clark and I out this day. Jeff provides a generational sense of scale in managing the wave he pioneered. Shawn Alladio driving Carlos Burle back outside after a wash through and recovery.

The Mavericks Challenge in 2010. What many consider to be the largest surf ever paddled into for an event. I got to have cameras everywhere thanks to GoPro. All K38 event staff had a minimum of one camera on them at all times. Unidentified surfer bottoming out.

The dream lineup, which is a super clean day at Cortes Bank, and teams accurately managing the space.



Partway through the K38 training course operators are required to work night ops. This is the course where I got to team up with Burle and Gabeira. It was very, very cold. I am behind the camera, obviously.

into position. I had close and detailed conversations about the ramifications of that with a couple of them in years prior to their deaths. As I watched Maya in one of the Nazaré videos, I saw that she was non responsive as Carlos repeatedly attempted to recover her. She was either unable to or just not fighting for her life. But Carlos was. There are a large number of reasons that this can occur. There is no conscience to the ocean. The only right or wrong is what works, and allows for all of us to come home at the end of the day. In the realm of extreme big wave riding, there exists a community that has a personality among the better participants that pushes for knowledge, protocol and preparation. My hope is that good PWC operation and boating safety becomes a regular part of it all again in surfing. I never want to watch someone I love die for a lack of that. A few years back, I was in a K38 training course at Morro Bay. Shawn Alladio, owner of K38, had put Carlos, Maya and I together. The idea was for us to learn each other’s strengths and weaknesses and train out those weaknesses.

I think it was around 10 p.m., and it was my turn in the water. We were doing body recovery drills. Maya was at the helm and I watched her deftly swing the Kawasaki up to my dead ass in the water, grab me and pull me straight up onto the boat where I did a face plant into her crotch. I stopped playing dead for a moment. Looked up, grinning and quipped, “Hey I am not that kind of guy.” She looked at me, and snapped, “Shut up!”Then Maya stuck my body in the port side tray, pinned my right arm expertly under her knee, and throttled away. For good measure, she dunked me a couple times, and watered me a bit, showing me she had control. It was all I could do to not breathe water, I was laughing so hard. When things go south in the ocean, we get to choose a new path, one of retreat or conquest. Maya and Carlos have earned the right to make their own choices as a team and individuals. I owe them that respect. This is what makes us a community and like family. It is our hedge on safety. There is nothing else that matters, not when the ocean roars, and we determine to march to the beat of her drum.


TR AVEL : Russia


fter a year of planning and preparation we arrived on the shores of Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, the planet’s most volcanic region. The peninsula is a neighbor to Siberia—but more remote, with worse weather, and with more bears. Our team included Keith Malloy, Trevor Gordon, Cyrus Sutton, Dane Gudauskas, Foster Huntington, Ben Weiland and Chris Burkard. Two Russians also joined us: Lena, a cook and translator, and Sergei, a truck driver and navigator. Between the nine of us we comprised a full-fledged surf expedition. Our arrival in early September broke all our expectations. Warm winds swept down from the mountains and out to sea. A heat wave. Not the first thing that comes to mind when thinking of northern Russia. It was ideal for camping and exploration. We had a military transport vehicle, a Soviet helicopter, and fourteen days at our disposal to access distant wave setups. Back in Soviet days, Russians built out a volcanoringed bay in Kamchatka to hide a secret nuclear submarine base. We found that even now the peninsula holds its secrets tightly. No one had any idea what we would uncover. The truck crawled along the beach. Keith studied the sea from the roof. His skin was burnt, his beard crisp, his eyes thin slits shielding glare. A set approached. He knocked on the driver’s cab and the truck stopped. He squinted through binoculars. A few miles away where a berm of sand met the sky, along the top edge, air trembled in the heat. Beyond it, an offshore wind blew white plumes from wave tops. But it was an empty promise. The break sat on a restricted military base. We weren’t surprised. Russia’s military permeated the entire region—politically, economically and culturally. Twenty years ago Kamchatka was restricted to all outsiders— even Russian civilians. The Soviets had built a top-secret submarine base in a deep blue glassy bay tucked between steaming mountains. To navigate the peninsula’s twisted terrain, soldiers drove armored 6-wheel trucks. The trucks could also access geothermal research facilities scattered throughout the interior. Each of the vehicles had design variations, but they all shared the same basic concept: a driver cab up front and an eight-person cabin on the back that looked like a portable






One of the most insane sunsets I have ever witnessed. The crew had to get on top of our truck and watch as the clouds above the distant volcanoes lit up the sky.

It’s always good to watch your buddy get barreled.  Dane Gudauskas paddles past as Cyrus Sutton scores one.  

Russia requires a lot of planning and logistics to find the right surf.  Searching for open coastline on a map.  

TR AVEL : R u ssia

bomb shelter. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Kamchatka opened to the world. The military budget atrophied and many of the trucks were sold to civilians. Twenty years later they were still the best way to get around. Sergei’s Scoping the waves from the air. truck had enough space for our boards, food supply, fishing stuff, and camping gear. Still, despite Kamchatka’s 20 years of being open, the military held a stiff grip on all its territories. Even in our roaming bomb shelter we couldn’t get anywhere we wanted to. e set up camp before dark. Keith trod down a square of grass, clicked together tent poles and draped his rain fly. He opened his board bag and hung his wetsuit— still damp from a previous surf. He had brought multiple suits: thin, thick, with hood, without hood, booties, gloves—all of it. And good thing, because despite the heat on land, the water temperature hovered around 42°F. A few feet away, Trevor pulled out a fly fishing rod and attached a nylon pouch to the end of it and fixed it to the side of his tent— a wind sock. Cyrus turned his boards over to see whether any of them had been hurt by the truck’s forest rampage. He had packed a wide range of shapes to anticipate any sort of conditions, whether point break, beach break or shore break. Everything looked ok. Dane set up his tent, and then found a rotting tree stump in the middle of the campsite. He grabbed a hatchet from the truck and chopped the wood into kindling. Trevor stacked it into a teepee and together they constructed a fire just as the sun went down and the air became chill. Camping wasn’t recreational; it was work. We woke up with stiff necks, became acquainted with cold river baths, and trailed the aroma of burnt brush wherever we went. Our hair mutated into something that looked like a rodent’s nest. The sheen of civilization slid off of us, a layer of dirt replaced it, and we adapted. We streamlined. Essentials and inessentials became clear. A few of us began to wear the same clothes every day. We called it The Uniform and it became a part of us. It saved the excess time and energy required to be concerned about appearance, and we reveled in the freedom. Swell from almost any direction could make it in here. East swells arrived in

Keith Malloy amidst a beautiful volcano.  


The only footprints on the beach were from us in and out of the water. Occasionally though we would find some from animals much larger than us. 

A curtain peeling over Keith Malloy

The weather was constantly changing.  Some days it would be sunny and 80 degrees, others the rain came out of nowhere.  Here the boys stand waiting out the weather.  

Keith Malloy taking in the vast beauty of Kamchatka.


TR AVEL : R ussia

ian coastline. 

Wave hunting on the outskirts of the Russ

short pulses that lasted only a few hours. We kept a steady watch. Small lefts and rights formed on the sand bars. Intervals were short. Sets practically climbed on top of each other. But we waited for the south swell. It was due to arrive any time now. South swells had a more robust period. And when it finally arrived it was all rights—long, racing and accompanied by a running current. The sandbar was shallow like a shelf, and waves sucked out along its edge. They detonated in a foot of water, onto hot black sand, head-high, hollow and crystal clear. The water temperature was frigid. Getting in was painful. Dane and Trevor were already in the water wearing booties and gloves. I ran to join them, but without gloves. The air had been warm, and I had completely forgotten to put them on. The instant my hands hit the water, pain shot through them. Within seconds I found myself turning around and riding whitewash back. eanwhile, Dane fought his way to the peak. He found a set wave and sped through a series of bottom turns and top turns, snapping tight arcs and sending spray far into the air. Trevor dropped into the next one and traveled through a racing barrel section, finishing the wave with a wrapping roundhouse. Farther down the beach, Keith pulled into a hollow wall backside and launched off the inside section. Cyrus waited outside for the next wave. He paddled in early and drew a speed line across the face on his asymmetrical board. He grabbed rail and pulled in. At the very end the barrel pinched. He bailed his board and bodysurfed the rest of the wave onto the sand. As the tide came up, the wave began to lose its shape. On the other side of the river a new wave appeared, breaking shallower and hollower. We forded the river and marched down. The noise of the weekend beach scene disappeared behind us. Suddenly a military guard came up from behind. From a few feet away he studied us as we studied the surf. He didn’t say anything. I walked over and introduced myself. I asked if he would allow us to check the waves farther down the beach. He shook his head. We continued to watch the waves. I tried again. I asked if he would come with us, escort us. Again he declined. But this time he didn’t seem as confident. I could tell he needed to be persuaded. We eagerly explained that the waves were better farther down. Still he looked unconvinced. “Smaller there,” he countered. “Barreling,” Chris replied. He made a circular motion with his hand. The guard could barely understand English, much less surf-speak, but he understood our enthusiasm. Finally he obliged. He led us to a place where the sand jutted out to sea. At first the surf looked flat, but every so often an overhead wedge formed over a sand shelf that looked like the contour of a slab. The wave sucked out and folded over it, almost as thick as it was tall. Dane dropped in on the first set wave and got gulped by a closed out. The lip detonated in a foot of water. Trevor joined him in the lineup. A few waves stood up and hit the sand bar perfectly. They stayed open just long enough to sneak out before the whole thing exploded onto dry sand. It was getting late and the guard indicated that it was time to leave. “I love the challenge of surfing these kinds of places,” Dane explained as we walked back. “It doesn’t come easy. But when it all comes together, it makes it that much more worth it.” The guard followed us to the river and waited as we crossed over. He watched us with folded arms, making sure we didn’t come back.

M The local fishermen were so excited to see us surfing that day that they began pouring us all vodka after we got out of the water. Trevor Gordon "all smiles" was not about to turn the offer down.   The culture is rich in Russia. Teeth are a luxury. 

Armed with a cafeteria tray hand plane, Keith Malloy enjoys some quality bodysurfing in Russia. 

Cyrus Sutton poised underneath the curl. 

Downtime from surfing turned into world class fishing. 

Sutton stylishly gliding a midday peeler. 

Keith Malloy, Trevor Gordon, and Dane Gudauskas pack in the helicopter ready to check the surf.  

Midway into the session Malloy split Cyrus’ alaia in half. Standing on the beach he watches Gudauskas pump through a perfectly lit peak. Needless to say he immediately ditched the now piece of scrapwood for another surf craft.


dane happens.

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he cobblestones at Rincon Point have had the feet of many great men and women walk upon them over the years. Each has their own unique story as they follow their path as a surfer in search of destiny, the perfect wave, adventure, love, and the next step in the journey of life. Over time, little feet grow into big feet, while the big feet that came before them leave imprints in the sand to follow and learn from. When we are young it seems like tomorrow will never come, but that’s when we are young. As we grow older we realize the importance of family, friends, faith, the circle of life, and honoring one another.



avey Smith is a living legend whose contributions to our sport and local community span over 35 years. As a professional surfer in the late ’70s and ’80s, Smith was accredited with being one of the great innovators of both the floater and the modern aerial, which are commonplace today. His powerful compact style, punctuated by explosive airs and never-before-seen moves, was showcased on an international level in surf movies and magazines. Although his surfing gathered the attention of the media, he was more interested in pushing the limits of the sport than competing in contests. Working closely with Al Merrick, he became a test pilot in the early years, helping to develop board designs that are still used today. As his professional surfing career wound down, he founded Davey Smith’s Surf Academy as a local surf school where he shared his depth of knowledge and life experiences for over 20 years. As mentor and coach, he guided such prominent local surfers as Christian Enns, Bobby Martinez, Tarik Khashoggi, Aaron Ernst, myself and many more. Always the consummate role model, Smith also shared his faith in Jesus and beliefs in living a clean life while hosting Bible studies and being active member of the Christian Surfers. He transitioned to full-time shaper at Channel Islands surfboards from his academy role in 1998 and continues to push the envelope of modern design today. The eternal grommet, Smith claims he is still “16, stuck in perpetual adolescence,” and continues to pursue advancing the sport through tow-in big wave surfing and being a dominant force as a kingpin at local spots.


Surfing Rincon on a good day always seems to embody that journey, putting life back into a state of slow motion where friends connect like the lines of the Indicator to the bottom of the Cove. There will always be the locals that call the curves of the Queen home, waiting to greet her and one another year after year when the water comes to play. From the elders who sit out the back selecting only the best set waves, to the groms who search for anything on the inside, to the hipsters that can ride on anything, the mom’s who surf in the morning, and everyone else, in between sets is the time we catch up. What a blessing it is to have this community as our home.


DEEP: Describe your first surf session at Rincon. DS: Can’t really remember the first session. There have been some memorable sessions out there though. Rennie Yater paddling out at indicator without getting his hair wet catching a wave to the freeway stepping off on the sand and walking to his car with you guessed it, dry hair. Hanko’s blistering backhand at the Rincon Classic … “mental.” Of course, Brando and his speedo. I haven’t seen him that purple since he was born, and he still killed it! Oh, I do remember one day it was too big for me, when I was about 10. I was sitting on the beach humiliated, because I was scared. I felt something warm on my back and turned around and this dog was taking a leak on me. Surfing it on a full moon, and there were 30 guys out! PHOTO: JOSH GILL




DEEP: Best memory of the Rincon Classic? DS: That’s easy. Brando in a Speedo! DEEP: What is it about the Rincon Classic that makes it so special?

DS: It’s the best non-contest contest around. It’s great to see all the generations of amazing surfers that show up. The sense that everybody is doing what they love to do, hanging out with family and friends and their dogs while surfing all day long; that’s what makes it great. DEEP: Words to live by? DS: John 3:16. DEEP: Career highlights? DS: Never really thought about it that way. Always considered surfing as an adventure, a way of pioneering new things like surf spots, surfboard design, drawing different lines on a wave, and so on. DEEP:Best professional result? DS: When I lost my trunks in the semis of the Pipe Masters. Nothing like swimming around naked in front of 5,000 people.






hat’s right, 30 years worth of Rincon Classics just blew by like a Killian Garland floater between the river mouth and the top of the cove. I can remember my first Classic in 1981 and the last one in 2012, but not much in between accept the epic Classic of 2004 in perfect 6-to 10-foot surf. What competitors would have done 1. I hope the transition from septic to sewer will be finished. 2. Garland will win another Pro Division title. 3. A Coffin brother, regular, goofy or both will win their fair share of Classics. 4. I won’t be surfing in the Classic 30 years from now. 5. There will be a new division on tap for those surfers that have moved away from the 805 region that used to surf Rincon regularly. 6. An Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) event will be held at the Queen. 7. It’s going to get more crowded. 8. Cell phones, surf reports and leashes will be banned forever. 9. It’s going to get less crowded. 10. There’s going to be more girls in the lineup. 11. Someone will spot a white shark.

for crowd control during that Classic. So what will the next 30 years look like at the Rincon Classic? Well, here is a peek into the future, a sort of prediction of things to come good or bad, for better or for worse. It would be a lot easier to take it one Classic at a time, but that wouldn’t be any fun either.

12. The Queen will deliver killer waves like it did in 2004. 13. I’m going to surf in the Legends division so I can be a legend. 14. Demi Bolesteri will win another Women’s title. 15. Someone will win two divisions during the same Classic. Has that happened already? 16. In one Classic within the next 30 years all competitors will be required to surf on a single fin with no leashes. 17. In one Classic within the next 30 years all competitors will be required to surf on a longboard with no leashes. 18. I won’t be surfing in that one. 19. In one Classic within the next 30 years all competitors won’t be allowed to wear a wetsuit. 20. I won’t be surfing in the Classic 25 years from now. 21. The ASP will try to get a pile of permits to put on a Star event at Rincon and fail.

22. The surf at the 31st Rincon Classic will be small and the waiting period will go into the spring. 23. Contest director Chris Keet will need to ask Santa Barbara County for an extension of his permit just like in 2012. 24. Keet will be the director of the Rincon Classic 30 years from now bouncing off the crispy. 25. DEEP Surf Magazine will be a sponsor of the Rincon Classic 30 years from now. 26. Quiksilver will once again be a sponsor of the Rincon Classic. 27. Rincon will go down as the best spot in the world never to host an ASP event. 28. The surf at the 32nd Rincon Classic will be epic and Keet will run the event on the first waiting weekend. 29. I have no idea what I’m talking about. 30. I won’t be surfing in the Rincon Classic 20 years from now.



center stage

This shot was taken from the parking lot on the northbound side of Highway 1 in late November 1969. Looks like less than 20 surfers out in the water, and maybe a few more on the beach. What a sight! Very clean swell and some lucky souls out there enjoying the beauty that is Rincon. I believe I took this shot while I was on my way up to El Capitan Ranch. In those days my friend Barry Berman’s father owned El Cap Ranch, and we would camp out in one of those four beach houses. Barry knew this kid whose father was an executive on the Macco Co., so Barry had a

pass for Hollister Ranch. We would get up at about 4 a.m. and drive his two-seater sports car up to the gate, lift up the lock set that was there and push our cars past the guard’s trailer near the side of the road to surf. First time in, we pulled up to 4-to-6 foot perfect Rights and Lefts. There were about three other cars already there, but no one in the water. We came running down the trail with our Nuuhiwa, Corky Carroll Mini Model and one Yater Spoon, and who do we run into? Rennie Yater and some of his boys, but that’s another whole story! - Brent LIeberman


CHANNEL ISLANDS SURFBOARDS KEEPS IT LOCAL AT THE RINCON CLASSIC -BY GLENN DUBOCKConner Coffin, a longtime Channel Islands team rider, won the Pro Division title last year .

ay back in 1968, a young man with a dream named Al Merrick borrowed $50 bucks for a foam blank, a drum of resin and a bolt of cloth. From those humble beginnings the landmark surfboard manufacturing dynasty of Channel Islands Surfboards has grown to be a giant wave of design, innovation and quality production unmatched in the surfcraft industry.


While their products have had international distribution and influence, their core mission remains true to their local roots. To keep those roots nurtured and growing, Channel Isalnds (CI) is proud to be the lead sponsor for the only contest at Rincon that serves the locals first and foremost. I caught up with Scott Anderson, the general manager, to get his take on why CI likes to keep it local.

DEEP: How has your proximity to Rincon affected the surfboard shapes that come out of CI? Scott Anderson: Being less than a mile from Rincon really does make it feel like we have a lab in the building. We can build in the morning and be testing in the afternoon. As Rincon can be machine-like, it gives a great baseline to test the designs.

DEEP: How has CI changed with the times—computer shapes, new materials, and new designs? SA: The biggest evolution with CI is we went from Al originally having to sub-contract everything out besides his shaping, to being able to do everything under one roof. CAD design, CNC milling, shaping and glassing are all done here. The resulting quality and consistency of boards is phenomenal.

DEEP: There are some great surfers in your building—Aaron Smith won the Masters Division in 2013. Are employees encouraged to get to know the products by using them? SA: Yes, we have a long roster of good surfers here. Not too much encouragement needed for that. Aside from testing with the pros we have the prototype designs make the rounds through the factory crew for feedback. DEEP: Al is widely regarded as a Master Shaper. Does he gather input from employees as well as team members? SA: Absolutely, the boards need to work for others besides Kelly and Dane.



DEEP: Will there be any demo boards at the Rincon Classic to try out? SA: Yes. Please come by and give one a spin. DEEP: Why does CI continue to support the Rincon Classic? What do you see as important about that relationship? SA: As long as the contest supports the community and the local surfers, CI will support the Rincon Classic. We are an international brand, but our community is first and foremost. Rincon is still a unique venue when you can see the world’s elite compete alongside the area’s best locals.








t the young age of 12, Tommy McKeown has a lot of fans in the area of all ages. Surfing a total of seven years, four of them at Rincon, Tommy took home the Gremlins Division trophy at the 2013 Rincon Classic on his trademark orange Roberts board. We caught up with Tommy at his Oxnard home and tossed some questions his way.

DEEP: What did you think about Rincon after your first ride? Tommy McKeown: It was really fun and a long wave. DEEP: What is your favorite board now and what did you ride to victory last year? TM: I ride a Roberts 4’9” short board and that is what I will ride in this year's contest. In the 2012 contest, I rode a 4’7”. DEEP: What is your favorite type of Rincon wave? TM: I like it glassy, barreling and 8-foot. DEEP: How did you win last year, and how does one win against you? TM: I tried to get the best waves and hit the lip. To win against me, you have to get better waves than me. DEEP:Tell us your thoughts on the Rincon Classic. TM: The Rincon Classic is my favorite contest of the year! I love surfing there, and it’s my third year in the contest. The tradition is great because all the kids get to surf. Former champs plus pros like Dane Reynolds, Conner Coffin, and Bobby Martinez are there too. My favorite memory is winning the contest in my division and my dad making it into the finals of his division.






aron Smith has been on this earth for 36 years, 34 of them in close proximity to Rincon. As Engineer Manager at Channel Islands Surfboards, his duties include running many operations plus surfboard product development. That keeps him in the water a lot, and that keeps him ripping Rincon with the best of them, which he has done for about 26 years now. Aaron won the Men’s Division at the 2013 Rincon Classic, so we asked him a few questions about the Queen of the Coast.

DEEP: What did you think of your first ride at Rincon? Aaron Smith: My first surf at Rincon was with Eric Dugan. He lived on the point and was in my fourth-grade class. I was a bit scared because I always envisioned this giant scary wave. It was small and perfect. All that stands out was how long it was—this thing just kept going and going. DEEP: What is your favorite board to ride at Rincon? AS: It’s hard to say because I ride so many boards. I rode a 5’8” New Flyer in the contest last year, and I actually rode that board all year no matter how big the waves got. and it worked in all conditions. DEEP: What is your favorite part of the Rincon wave? AS: Low tide Cove is hard to beat but I also like the big stormy days when you find a diamond in the rough and get the wave of your winter. DEEP: How did you win last year, and how does someone win against you? AS: I started off with a mid-range score, got two junk waves and decided to sit and wait for a set. My opponent, Gabe Venturelli, was sitting up top at the point and caught the first wave of a set. I was praying that there was one more, and sure enough, there was a swinger behind Gabe’s wave. I had to drop the hammer past a section and just pulled it off. To beat me, you would have to get a better wave. DEEP: Any thoughts on the Rincon Classic? AS: I think the pro division has been a great addition to the contest. It is always fun to watch the world’s best light up the Con! It is good for the aspiring local rippers to get in a heat with their heroes.







ach year hundreds of local surfers, friends, family members, and spectators flock to the Rincon Classic to enjoy all the blessings of the Queen. Our mission is to help spread environmental awareness and promote individual responsibility, while properly managing all waste from the event. We will have conveniently located waste and recycling containers courtesy of Marborg Industries spread throughout the contest site that are clearly marked for waste and recycling.


•W  avehunters Dream Surf Trip Raffle: OVER $15,000 IN PRIZES IN THE RAFFLE! All proceeds go towards hosting free Grom Surf League, youth surfing contests.



2013 longboard champion Cole Robbins.

• Live Commentating & Computerized scoring • ASP Certified Judging Panel • Expression Session featuring area Pro surfers, past champions and legends. • Scosche In-Rhythm Award • Pro Division


Highlight Packages and Finals Heats On Demand


GREEN TIPS: • Bring your reusable mug for coffee, and drink tin for water. • Dispose of waste and recyclables in proper containers. • Carpool to the contest. • Ride your bike to the contest. • Look up schedule of events on, allow


enough time to get to contest site, plan to stay all day. • Participate in daily beach clean ups noon and 3:30 p.m. both days. • Use designated restrooms only. • Stay off natural foliage. • Keep dogs on leashes and clean up after your pet.

Alki Wellness Center – Massage, Chiropractic, Warm Up.

WATER STATION & FOOD: Fresh cold water, plus food from Whole Foods, Mad Dogs, Frooty Acai, Caribbean Coffee, and Lucky Llama.

WHAT YOU GET: • O fficial 2014 Channel Islands Surfboards



1. Park in marked stalls only (Violators will be towed). 2. Follow directions of parking guards (Will be wearing green shirts). 3. Do not cut thorough the gated homeowners property on way to beach, or back to car, and stay off



All contestants receive an official 2014 Rincon Classic organic re-usable bag courtesy of Surf Happens, and fresh cool water will be served from large ice-filled containers at the clearly marked water stations. Join our daily beach clean ups at noon and 3:30 p.m. or join our High Five program by picking up five pieces of trash and bringing it to the announcers stand for prizes all weekend long. Check out booths from environmental stewards from our area including; Save The Mermaids, Surfers Without Borders, and The Surfrider Foundation.

entry into the SIMA classic Sunday Awards Rincon Classic T-shirt presented by Hurley ceremony at the Santa Barbara Maritime • 2 014 Rincon Classic re-usable bag Museum, complete with catering and drinks. • Two raffle tickets and free entry into the by Surf Happens Wave Hunters Grand Prize drawing for a • Hurley Beanie dream surf trip for two to Las Flores Resort in • VIP access to all of the contest festivities • C ompetitor bracelet that provides lunch and El Salvador. (The beach raffle will be going on beverages for both days of the event, and all weekend tickets are available for $5 each.)


of the ice plant, natural foliage, and private property. 4. Free surf in designated areas only. 5. Check in with the Shore Sheriff 15 minutes before your heat. 6. No alcohol allowed on beach.





orn in Michigan and raised in Southern California, Branden Aroyan has traveled extensively to photograph and film nature, wildlife, people and the great outdoors. After graduating from Brooks Institute in Santa Barbara, his passion for photography has carried him regularly from the beaten path to many exotic locations and helped foster an appreciation for Earth and its inhabitants. In addition to group and solo art exhibitions; Aroyan’s work includes advertising and editorial work for environmentally minded companies and projects. The driving force behind his own organic clothing line, Low Tide Rising, is founded in his appreciation and desire to preserve the flow and beauty of nature. “I like to give a realistic impression of a place, person and activity so the viewer has a sense of being there,” said Aroyan. A talented surfer in his own right, Aroyan can regularly be seen surfing Rincon flying down the line with a spark in his eyes and a huge grin on his face. In the spring of 2013 his infectious positive attitude, career as a water photographer and natural athletic abilities, landed him a role on the ABC television show “Wipe Out,” where he went on to win the grand prize. DEEP: First session at Rincon? Branden Aroyan My first session at Rincon happened while I was in sixth grade visiting a friend who lived in Carpinteria. We saw the film “Big Wednesday” on a local television channel and then went down to the beach. It was a small session starting out at the backside beach break when I paddled down around the corner and saw the river mouth and top of the cove in the distance and was in awe of the magnitude of the infamous point. Years later, many other first surfs at Rincon included being swept across the point on a big day while trying to get out. First time I flooded my water housing. First time I night surfed and saw the moonlight shining bright through the top of the barrel. My first real quiver of many various types of boards was created for the many moods of Rincon.

BRANDEN AROYAN HAS TRAVELED EXTENSIVELY TO PHOTOGRAPH AND FILM NATURE, DEEP: Tell us about the image you captured of Conner Coffin WILDLIFE, that is the iconic image for the 2014 Rincon Classic. BA: The poster shot of Conner was shot with a long lens from the water to stay out PEOPLE AND of his way during the contest. His style and power carving fits the wave, like other great surfers to emerge from the area. Conner has precise speed control and carries THE GREAT it through each turn for a seamless connection of sections throughout the point. OUTDOORS. DEEP: Best memory of the Rincon Classic? BA: Best memory of the Classic is listening to Chris Brown’s play-by-play commentary of the action. His perspective and positive attitude cuts through crowd and keeps everyone grateful and stoked to surf.


DEEP: What do you love about the Rincon Classic? BA: Rincon Classic is great in the way it brings all the local shredders with all their different styles to one place to show the many different ways to enjoy it. DEEP: Favorite subjects to shoot? BA: Favorite subjects to shoot start with clean ocean conditions and crisp power surfing. When a surfer is flowing with the wave, it’s a graceful experience and a synchronized addition to nature’s elements working together. DEEP: What is it about our region that produces such great surfers? BA: I think Santa Barbara produces world class surfers because it’s a world class place. It’s a humble town with high quality ingredients, the food the weather and the people. We don’t have waves all the time and for us to score really good ones requires a unique understanding of what it takes, and that makes us patient and hungry and wise. DEEP: Words to live by? BA: Keep it clean, positive and grateful.



Andy Neumann.


SCHEDULE AND HIGHLIGHTS Donnie Headen and Travers Adler:...................................... 6:30-7:15 p.m. Dinner:........................................................................................ 6:30-7:30 p.m. Slideshow & Video Highlights:............................................. 6:30-7:00 p.m. Silent Auction & Raffle:.......................................................... 6:30-8:30 p.m. Camp Hana Hou & Grom Surf League Video:.................... 7:00-7:10 p.m. Video Contest Winners & Awards:....................................... 7:15-7:30 p.m. 2014 Rincon Classic Awards Ceremony:............................. 7:30-8:45 p.m. Grand Prize Raffle Prize Giveaways:................................... 8:45-9:00 p.m. Donnie Headen and Travers Adler:...................................... 9:00-9:30 p.m.

WHEN: Sunday, January 19*, 2014, 6:30-9:30 p.m.

(*Date depends on Classic weekend. Will take place the Sunday of Classic weekend.)

WHERE: S anta Barbara Maritime Museum, 113 Harbor Way, Santa Barbara Harbor DETAILS: The 31st annual Rincon Classic Sima Classic Sunday awards ceremony is an all ages event for Rincon Classic participants, their families, friends, and the community at large. In addition to honoring competitors and special award recipients, Classic Sunday proceeds from entry funds, raffle tickets, and auctions serve as a fundraiser for the Surf Happens Foundation to support local causes. TICKETS: Contestants get in free. $10 for all others (includes raffle ticket and meal bracelet). Buy tickets in advance at, at the contest site, or at the door.


ARBOR COLLECTION TROPHIES: This is the Rincon Classic, not the Rincon average so it was a natural evolution to drift away from standard plastic trophies in replacement for organic trophies that may be used as part of the surfing lifestyle. For the seventh year we have teamed up with local artists to provide trophies fit for the winners of the Queen.

1ST PLACE TROPHIES: We have partnered with Arbor Collective to design one-of-a-kind 2014 Rincon Classic skateboard trophies for all divisional winners.

2ND PLACE TROPHIES: Lanikai Ukuleles has also teamed up with us for the second year to provide amazing ukuleles for all second place finishers.

FINALISTS TROPHIES: For the fourth year all finalists will receive gold, silver, and bronze belt buckle trophies.

31ST ANNUAL RINCON CLASSIC JEFF WHITE ALOHA AWARD / LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT: Created by legendary wood worker Skip Saenger. The Jeff White Aloha Award (JWAA) recognizes an individual whose community spirit and life path have shared aloha within our community. Saenger’s concept for the JWAA is one of a perpetual trophy where honorees’ names are added annually.


2014: Davey Smith

2012: Jed White • 2013: Roger Nance and Tom Curren Come out and enjoy the weeken

d with us.

J.P. Garcia.

9x women's champ, Demi Boelsterli.





Brandon DiPierri The

Visual Story



hat’s what photographers present when they’re putting together a diverse body of work to show to an editor who’s looking to splash their images across the pages of a publication. It’s nice to see that balance while pouring over images on the screen. It makes the job enjoyable. At 29, the self-taught Central Coast surf photographer Brandon DiPierri’s photos caught my eye a while ago, but I gave it some more time and as his images kept coming in we tucked them away in a folder until there was more than enough to display his work. Accumulating a body of work began at an early age for DiPierri, who was firing away with disposable cameras until his dad bought him an old Nikon at a garage sale. “I wanted to start documenting the events in my life in a creative format,” said DiPierri. “Like most kids, I had pictures on my bedroom

walls growing up. Those pictures served as constant inspiration and came from people like Bruce Weber, Flame, Ron Stoner, David Pu’u and Aaron Chang, along with many others.” There are a lot of lenses on the beaches these days, so how does one separate himself from the rest of the pack? It’s not easy to do, but the most creative photographers are finding a way. DiPierri seems to have a knack for that in and out of the water. “It’s hard to stand out with so much talent around these days, but it starts with respecting your own work and the work of others,” continued DiPierri. “I believe each photographer has a voice and should stand for something. Personally, I try to have my voice stand for something or someone I believe in by showcasing that talent through my imagery.”   To see more of DiPierri’s images visit - Chuck Graham

Power, precision and poise are just a few words to describe Kelly Slater’s approach on surfing. Dusk swell lines roll into the night.

The bay area is very diverse, both in the water and in culture. The lineup at Fort Point is a perfect example of both.


Brandon DiPierri

Dillon Perillo, fins free in Ventura County.

Trevor Gordon flowing through the Cove on a brisk winter evening.

Morro Bay sunset colors.

Bobby Martinez backside attack at Rincon.

Sandbars work in mysterious ways.

Look but don’t touch. If the wind chill, frigid water and sharks don’t get to you, the locals surely will. Just kidding … sorta.



Brandon DiPierri

Kelly Slater in perfect form through the Cove.

A stray piece of kelp hitches a ride with a fresh new swell. Shaper Ryan Lovelace working into the night.

A moment of clarity on the Gaviota Coast.

Kilian Garland letting his surfing do the talking.

The lineup at Rincon is a unique and special place. On the better or more crowded days, DiPierri likes to be more of a fly on the wall and see what unfolds through the madness.

Kilian Garland pulling a flawless ally oop on his final wave of the session.




BY SHAWN TRACHT Shawn Tracht on the Stoker V Machine, aka "the barrel board."


xactly one year ago, surfing an epic Santa Barbara County beach break, I saw a young 20-yearold surfing fast and smooth. Because of his glide, I thought he was on a single fin: fluid, graceful and effortlessly fast. About 75 yards from the overhead peak, he took off, the wave started to horseshoe and bend through the inside sandbar. Looking like he was going to be tucking into a big closeout barrel, I watched, paddling out in the channel, in disbelief, as he shot through the barrel and blew by me to the sand! “Yewww!” I screeched in stoke and disbelief. “I am so getting one of those boards!” I told myself. I looked up at the next wave peeling through, and this time it was an older surfer, 50-ish, who calls himself “Snowman,” taking off on a bomber, fading his bottom turn on a solid 8-foot face, then swooping high up onto the face, while blowing down the line like the young guy before him. If surfing is about upping the stoke meter no matter what the surf is like, then choosing a board that is suited for one main ingredient is essential: SPEED. The “Stoker V Machine” (SVM) shaped by Bruce Fowler, does one successful thing for all levels of surfers no matter what; it makes you surf fast. You just don’t have a choice in the matter.

Shaper’s Take – Bruce Fowler: The design got its name from Randall Rostoker, a.k.a. “The Stoker.” Randy—as I still call him— was born and raised in California and has been surfing most of his 55 years on the planet. Randy was having me shape similar boards as early as 1970 as I developed my craft as a shaper. Those boards were not as wide and refined as the design is today. I was making kneeboards that were inspired by legendary Santa Barbaran George Greenough. These were modified versions of George’s



radical glass spoon kneeboards. Randy liked their look, and wanted a big “knee machine” that he could stand up on. He was influenced by Greenough and the boards being ridden by Aussie surfers in Paul Witzig’s trilogy of films, “The Hot Generation,”“Evolution” and “Sea of Joy.”  Another film that had impact was “Morning of the Earth.”   I offer The Stokers in three different foils: standard, winter foil and extreme winter foil. The winter versions have less deck and rail volume fore and aft of the rider’s stance, allowing the rider to hold higher, tighter lines on the wave face. The overall foil and bottom curve combine to produce stability, turning ease and trim speed. These combinations make for a very user-friendly surfboard that carries its speed through turns and cutbacks. These features help beginner and intermediate surfers to improve rapidly. The boards paddle well and get into waves very early. They excel in softer, everyday conditions and become an extraordinary tool offering new approaches to wave riding under the feet of a pro.

Surfer’s Take:    The winter foil SVM I rode delivered high-lining fluid speed with a smooth, tightly held-in rail line and high-planing surface area for catching waves and long, drawn-out bottom turns. This board also has a knifey thin tail that pierces through the water like a butter knife—soft sharpness. The turning radius is smooth, long and fluid, yet you can push very hard into turns, generating momentum and speed through the arch of the turn. Roundhouse cutbacks? Oh yeah. But it’s a fluid long railer until you hit the diamond tail in the turn, where the board pivots and slips around the flagpole sharply in the pocket for full rebounds off the white wash.  



Just a typical layback lip bash on the SVM by the author.

Bruce Fowler holding the Winter Foil Model of the SVM. PHOTO: LIEBERMAN

Classic, long rail swooping turns.


Fowler getting it right. SUBMITTED PHOTO

The full outline of the SVM on display.

Up in the lip, the board prefers these wicked layback slashes over a typical off the lip. This is because the rail line is long, which is why the board is so fast. Yet to break the fluid motion of the long, straighter rail line, the board likes a continuous motion layback, pivoting off the V bottom contour and the diamond tail. This board is a speed machine; however, it’s not, and never will be, for contest surfers who surf top to bottom, top to bottom, top to bottom, three to the beach. You can go to the bottom and then toward the top, but the board, because it’s so flat, doesn’t want to pivot at the bottom of the trough and catapult vertically to the lip. Rather, this board wants to draw a smooth continuous line from the bottom towards the lip, at about 75 degrees, instead of 90 degrees straight up. At the lip, as I said above, a surfer will use the heavy V bottom in the tail to tilt from the toe-side rail, which is engaged going up to the lip, to the heel-side rail, carving a layback smasher slash to transfer directions back down the wave. Some people will also call SVMs a “barrel board.” Again, when a board paddles very well and gets into waves early, a surfer can charge harder and with less fear. Fowler, a prolific surfboard designer, continues to evolve the design into what he calls “The Family of Stoke,” including a “Tri Plane Hull” version, “The Chubby Stubby,”“MiniMAX,” a refined Aussie V Bottom named “V8,” and other surprises to come. Overall, this board, which is the design of two hometown locals, Rostoker and Fowler, is surfed and celebrated around the world. From Santa Barbra to Japan, and over to Europe and Australia, the stoke for the Stoker V Machine resonates with everyone from 6-year-olds just learning to surf to the best surfers in the water and the older veterans who aren’t looking to slow down, but rather, speed up. As Fowler ends all his emails, “Enjoy the S-T-O-K-E!"

STOKER V MACHINE Shaper: Bruce Fowler Board Shape/Design: Stoker V Machine How to Order: This board can be ordered in a variety of ways. Order smaller for summer surf, and order the exact same length as your normal shortboard for adding more classic speed and glide. Fins: Thruster optional 3-4-5 fin configurations. Boards Specialty: Hi-lining long rail speed. Classic '70s speed cutbacks. Massive modern day layback hacks. Barrels. This Board is Perfect For: All levels of surfers who want the board to do all the work as far as speed is concerned. I’ve seen Fowler's testimonials list range from 6-year-old beginners, to the best surfers in the world, to 60-year-old +. Surfboard Tester/Shawn Tracht’s Normal Shortboard: 5’10" x 18" x 2" Tracht Ordered This Board: 5’10”x 20 1/2”x 2 9/16” with winter fFoil Shaper’s Contact: Email: • Facebook: Stoker V Machine Available at: Wavefront Surf Shop in Ventura, Mollusk Surf Shop Venice Beach / SF, Saturday's NYC / Japan, Zakes in Melbourne, Australia Surfer's Blog:



Getting Deep with Kyle Albers WORDS + PHOTO BY MICHAEL KEW Kyle Albers with one of his works of art.


eer first brought Kyle Albers and I together. A few years ago, at a house party in Gobernador Canyon, I handed the lanky lad a cold bottle of Sierra Nevada Torpedo IPA, and we fell into a lively conversation about surfboards and the philosophy of shaping. Later, after a sublime session on one of his Megafish, plus several others on his mid-lengths and keel fish, it grew clear that Albers, 29, is tripping on a next-level plane…or planer. You choose. DEEP: What does Deepest Reaches mean? KYLE ALBERS: Deepest Reaches are the shapes that exist in the deepest reaches of my mind. I try to draw them out and manifest them into physical foam forms, which allow surfers to get deepest, which is the place to be, as you guys obviously know. DEEP: Tell us about your past, present, and future relationship with the 805 and its waves.

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KA: Many years ago, our relationship started out as purely physical, but a deeper love connection has developed over time. When I’m shaping a board, I imagine it slipping into a tube at Da Con and coming out. This helps the board get tubed in The Reality, and it makes me feel good even if I can’t be in there with it. DEEP: Talk about your shaping history, how/when/where, plus why you started. KA: Growing up, I was always drawing pictures of surfboards when I was in class, and I would custom-order all these weird boards from shapers, but they wouldn’t really come out how I’d imagined them. In 2008, I shaped my first board, a 10’0” D-fin pig that I named “D~Bowls.” It was very crude and had reverse rocker, but it actually worked well and was pretty much the only board I rode for about a year. My friend, Ryan Lovelace, was really nice about letting me use his shop and tools for my first few boards. Eventually, some people wanted boards from me, and I really loved shaping, so I decided to try and make it my job. Plus, my career in substitute teaching wasn’t really going anywhere. DEEP: What are your signature shapes, and what makes them sing? KA: My main model is the MEGAfish, which is what I rode the most this past summer. A MEGAfish is made to make waves, meaning it can turn a near non-wave into a lot of fun, but it’s also great for connecting sections on fast, down-the-line waves. On a slopey wave with an open face, it’s friendly and forgiving enough for some long, drawn-out turns. I’ve also got the KOZMK~KRUZR, a single-fin midlength, which is the board you would want if you were surfing through space. Of course I still make the OG D~BOWLS, and there’s the PIZZABOXXX, a really short and square board that’s just fast and fun. And I also make a lot of keel fish. These are all shapes that have been rigorously tested and fine-tuned by myself and the elite Deepest Reaches team—guys like Rossman, Landoman, BlakeyBoi and others too numerous to list. DEEP: What lies in the future for Deepest Reaches? KA: The future? Oh man, I wish I could tell you, but I’ve been sworn to secrecy. I will say this, though: buy as many Deepest Reaches boards as you can now, because they are going be worth a lot one day. Check out Alber’s website,

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Nathaniel Curran and Matt Coulter, the founders of The Young and Brave Foundation.


hen hanging out with your best friend, a typical Tuesday night probably includes dinner, some drinks and maybe dessert if you’re lucky. But for surfers Nathaniel Curran and Matt Coulter, it means serving dinner to the children in the cancer wing at the Mattel Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, on behalf of their non-profit The Young and Brave Foundation. Starting the foundation came naturally to Curran and Coulter. The best friends turned business partners met surfing in their hometown of Ventura. Their friendship grew in the water, and in their hometown surfing community, they learned the importance of friendship, family, and a good day of surf. Hard working, young, successful and passionate about their cause, Curran and Coulter work tirelessly to raise awareness, to raise money and create community in the wake of the devastating disease called cancer. When a good friend was diagnosed with cancer in 2010, they leapt into action raising money to help cover medical bills, offering support and creating community awareness. From this came the realization that 1-in-4 people will be affected by cancer in their lifetime, whether from a personal diagnosis or the diagnosis of a friend or family member. A passion was ignited in Curran and Coulter to help others the same way they helped their friend. Today, The Young and Brave Foundation helps

children, teens and young adults affected by cancer and shows us the true meaning of giving back. “We wanted to give back. We are privileged people who had great lives and we always felt blessed,” said Coulter, “We knew it was our responsibility to do something. We were always looking for the right cause, and this was it.” It made sense for the guys to start The Young and Brave together; their longtime friendship partnered with their passion for creating a community in the face of cancer and has only strengthened their bond. “Everything is better when you’re hanging out with your friends. I have something I can do day in and day out with my friends, and that makes it more fun,” says Curran. At the heart of the foundation are the Warriors—those who battle cancer every day and are profiled on The Young and Brave Foundation website (www. Here family members, friends and community supporters can stay informed, offer words of encouragement and help raise funds and awareness via social media. Profiles are created free of charge and proceeds donated on each profile go towards helping each specific Warrior. Recently, The Young and Brave Foundation partnered with the Malibu Invitational surf contest as the official nonprofit organization and raised $21,000. Every single penny was donated directly to

The Young and Brave Foundation: Community in the Face of Cancer — BY





Friends, family and ambassador Nathaniel Curran (center) come out for an afternoon in Hollywood in support of The Young and Brave WARRIOR Travis Taylor. The Young and Brave ambassador Jake Kelley getting ready for a heat at the Malibu Invitational.


their Warriors for their fight against cancer. The Young and Brave Foundation’s future is as bright as the careers as the guys who created it. Their passion is contagious and inspirational, and their brand keeps growing. As they further their reach and build their support system, Curran and Coulter strive to act as a resource to help those being affected by any life-threatening disease. “I’m excited because it’s taken me a long time to find something that I really LOVE to do,” said Coulter. Their hope is to make The Young and Brave Foundation a community where patients can interact, share experiences, and know they aren’t alone as they battle for their lives. The guys also hope the foundation can be an example to kids to show them positive ways to give back to their community and the importance of helping others. The Young and Brave Foundation shows us that even in the face of illness, uncertainty and fear can come something good. It teaches us that life isn’t about what car you drive, what house you live in or the money you have in the bank; life is about doing good for someone else, simply because you can. On January 26th, The Young and Brave Foundation will be a part of the CycleHouseLA Ride Against Cancer event in Brentwood. For information on this and all upcoming events, visit


San Luis Obispo County B Y D AV E F R I E S E N


urfers will drag their families all over the globe in search of surf. From Hawaii to Australia, Iceland to France, San Diego to the Central Coast, riding a variety of waves is something every surfer searches for. It’s a great thing for getting away from the mundane everyday. The main thing is that we travel respectfully and delicately in another surfer’s home waters. A Stay-Cation to the Central Coast gives you a multitude of options if you’re an outdoor person between surfs. Though the surf can get big here from fall through spring, the area’s raw natural

beauty and open outdoor activities, besides surfing, are what make this area so special: hiking, mountain and road biking, kayaking, wine tasting, and vista-filled golf courses are all at your fingertips. “My great-grandfather built our family home in Cayucos in 1934 as a vacation house for fishing and to get out of the Valley. Surfing on the Central Coast requires dedication beyond most places; there are certain breaks I personally pioneered that took a decade to get a handful of good days at,” said Gabriel Gazzola, a San Luis Obispo county pioneer and standout. “You have to have the stars literally

Walt Cerney may still be one of the best surfers in South County SLO. PHOTO: BRENT LIEBERMAN


Take an evening stroll.

The morning hike is half the adventure. PHOTO: ANDY BOWLIN




150 miles from anywhere.


Local big wave charger Van Curaza.



1. Moondoogies Surf Shop

A local staple, with a mix of sandy feet culture, and modern approach. Encompasses pros like Dave Parmenter, Eric Soderquist, Nate Tyler, Shane Stoneman, and more. Top brands, accessories, and wetsuits.

837 Monterey St., SLO • (805) 541-1995 781 Dolliver St., Pismo Beach • (805) 773-1995

2. Shell Beach Surf Shop

Pure authentic surf culture. Carrying surfboards from local and top surfboard builders. An eclectic mix of clothing brands that represent the heart of the surf industry. Surf lessons, board/wetsuit rentals, and bike rentals.

2665 Shell Beach Rd. Ste. K, Pismo Beach (805) 773-1855m •

3. Russell Hoyte Surfboards

Foam is key in these waters. Try one of these: Mini Simmons inspired Daily Dose. Paddles great, fast, and hits the lip. The mod-fish Mush Buster. Width for paddle power, and drive with a pulled in design for performance. Performance Longboard. Ride the nose, or throw down a carve.

4. Hyperflex Wetsuits

Hyperflex wetsuits make a super warm suit for SLO County because of its full inside lining. Perfect for the water temps in SLO. Most surfers in SLO wear a 4/3mm but some wear a 5/4/3mm suit with a built in hood for total warmth year round.



align perfectly in order for all of the elements to come together long enough to get a few hours in at some of the more elusive gems of this area.” Yes, the water is colder here, and the waves call for different equipment than what's ridden down south. A 4/3 wetsuit and booties are standard gear summer through winter; a 5/4/3 hooded suit is recommended during the spring, when the cold northwest wind makes the temperatures drop further. Cold can be good, however, as it keeps waters less crowded. As for bringing the right surfboards, more foam is key on the Central Coast. You don’t need a big long surfboard (though you could), just more foam in the boards you ride. A thin, potato chip shortboard from Southern California is old news in San Luis Obispo (SLO) County. At many of the main beach breaks, surfers here are shifting to shorter boards with more width and thickness. Finding waves all to yourself is why you come. Crowds are few and far between in SLO County and easy to avoid by walking PHOTO: SCOTT SMITH


San Luis Obispo County

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San Luis Obispo County



5. Morro Bay Golf Course & Dairy Creek Golf Course


The Morro Bay Golf Course sits on the hills of Morro Bay overlooking the ocean. It’s a beautiful course and just 12 minutes from SLO. Dairy Creek, 5 minutes from SLO, is a local favorite. Amazing views of the hills and mountains.  

201 State Park Rd., Morro Bay • (805) 772-8751

6. Hiking and Bike Riding

The Central Coast hills host some beautiful hiking and bike riding. In town, try Bishop’s Peak, off Foothill Road, or Madonna Mountain, off Marsh Street, for views of the ocean. There are miles of tracks in the county for mountain biking. The same goes for road riding, from the hills of Arroyo Grande to the wine countries of SLO and Paso Robles.

1. Check the waves, 2. Get a cup of coffee, 3. SURF! South County sunrise.

7. Avila Beach Paddle Sports

Kayak around Avila Beach or around the cliffs in Shell Beach on an all day tour. SUP around the Avila Harbor, which has good weather year round. Learn to surf with Central Cal legend Van Curaza at Van Curaza’s Surf School.

down the beach a little to have some solitude. People have been coming to surf in SLO county for years. While some spots are off limits, much of the coastline allows for surfers of any level. “When you get here, watch for a while, and see who is who; this is a tight knit group of surfers who stick together. Also being humble like Matt Wahl (son of legendary shaper/ surfer PJ Wahl) goes a long way. He’s blowing doors on everybody, but never says a word,” said Kelly Christensen, another Central Coast legend and pioneer of many surf spots in the SLO area. As for the surf scene on the Central Coast, it’s like an




3915 Avila Beach Dr., Avila Beach • (805) 704-6902

San Luis Obispo

Pismo Beach

Shell Beach Surf Shop Shell Beach, CA

2665 Shell Beach Road, Suite K • (805) 773-1855

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eclectic mix of blue grass, classic rock, reggae and modern pop. The surfers follow suit as well. They range from young groms, middle-aged rippers, and senior cruisers. The local surfers in SLO County are a mix of people who have grown up together and those who have moved to this area to make the countryside their home. These surfers look at themselves as a 150 miles of one big family, and take pride in passing on their love of the area to their kids. Tony Foster, another respected local, added, “Back in 1976, my family moved from San Luis Obispo to Cayucos. I’ve surfed every nook and cranny from Pismo Beach to Big Sur, so I feel I’ve put in my time over the past 37 years. I always try to give the local guys respect wherever I surf on this planet. Over the



San Luis Obispo County


Empty rolling hills and an evening on the Central Coast.

8. SeaCrest Oceanfront Hotel

2241 Price St., Pismo Beach • (805)773-1785 • 

9. Hostel Obispo

Set in a unique Victorian house just blocks from downtown SLO. Spend hours laughing and learning about the world through broken conversations of various languages. Clean, safe, and perfect for budget traveling while alone or with the family. Free breakfast. Private & dorms.

1617 Santa Rosa St., San Luis Obispo • (805)544-4678 •

10. Madonna Inn

Like staying in a theme park ... kind of. The Madonna Inn adds extra pizzaz that screams vacation and freedom from the dull work world. Madonna Inn creates an experience that will leave you captivated and excited. Great for the family, or a honeymoon get-a-way!

100 Madonna Rd., San Luis Obispo • (805) 543-3000 •

11. Granada Hotel and Bistro

A chic, classy hotel right in the heart of downtown SLO. Perfect for a romantic get-a-way. Start the afternoon at the bistro, dance all night a block away, and walk home safely. The hotel is a mix of historic red brick juxtaposed with modernity; it’s like a hotel that you’d find in a big, hip city.

1126 Morro St., San Luis Obispo • (805) 544-9100



Road bike trails and beautiful drives for miles through the rolling hills. PHOTO: JASON RATH

180 degree views right on the bluff in Pismo Beach. Remolded recently. Perfect for a couple, or the whole family. Great service, and free breakfast. Three spas and one pool overlook the ocean. A seemingly-private beach with big caves to wander around. Stairs lead right to the beach.

LUNA RED      Take a global journey of exquisite flavors in the heart of downtown San Luis Obispo

Hostel Obispo Affordable Loding for Travelers of All Ages

Open Daily 11:00am Weekend Brunch 9:30am $5 Happy Hour Sunday-Thursday Live Music KAORI PHOTO

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805.540.5243 | | 1023 Chorro Street, San Luis Obispo

Mon Ami The taste of France in downtown Pismo Beach Savory & Dessert Crepes

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(805) 709-2780 •

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Veggies & Meats 690 Dolliver St. Pismo Beach (805) 773-4447

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601 Price St., Pismo Beach • 805.773.6162 •


San Luis Obispo County


Winter Pismo Pier.


12. Mon Ami Creperie

Tucked away like a hidden gem, and just steps from the Pismo Pier. Locals call Mon Ami “The Taste of France set in the heart Pismo Beach.” The sweet crepe smells and aromatic coffee ruminate inside this coffee house breakfast nook. A perfect before and after surf destination.

230 Pomeroy Ave., Pismo Beach • (805) 773-1458

13. Sabor a Mexico

Authentic Mexican food one block from the Pismo Pier. Daily, fresh vegetables, meats, and great salsa. Try the fajitas, tacos, enchiladas, huevos rancheros, or the carne asada burrito with guacamole.

690 Dolliver St., Pismo Beach • (805) 773-4447

14. Luna Red

Tapas and great drinks. Great date restaurant, right in the heart of SLO next to the Mission. The calamari is to die for. Favorites are the Farm Lettuce salad, 24-hr. Brined chicken, and the flourless chocolate cake for desert.

1023 Chorro St., San Luis Obispo • (805) 540-5243

15. Thai Talay

Thai style barbecue and seafood. Locally owned for over 10 years. Quaint, with a peek of the ocean. Favorite appetizers are the hot and sour soup and Fresh Spring Rolls. The Pad Thai is a staple. Also try the pineapple curry and the cashew nut dishes with rice.

601 Price St., Pismo Beach • (805) 773-6162



years, I’ve always tried to keep the local surfing folklore alive by passing the stories of local surf legends and surf spots on to the groms.” A stay-cation to find waves is not a want, it’s a need. When you come to San Luis Obispo, whether you’re staying right downtown in the heart of SLO so that you are centrally located to surf multiple spots and can enjoy many outdoor adventures in all directions, or if you’re staying right on the bluff in Pismo Beach, support our efforts to preserve this special rural town by supporting our local businesses and the surfing culture in the area. Footprints from a south country stroll.







Moondoggies Surf Shop




Shell Beach Surf Shop



Russell Hoyte Surfboards



Hyperflex Wetsuits



San Luis Obispo County AUTHOR’S PICKS



Morro Bay Golf Course / Dairy Creek Golf Course (SLO Golf courses)


Surf.................. PAGE 62 Play................ PAGE 64 # 7 Stay................. PAGE 66 Eat................... PAGE 68


Avila Beach Paddle Sports



Madonna Inn



Luna Red



Hiking and Bike Riding (bike riding) PHOTO: KAORI PHOTOS



Hostel Obispo


Sabor a Mexico

Seacrest Oceanfront Hotel


Granada Hotel & Bistro




Thai Talay



Mon Ami Creperie




Endless adventures just around the corner. Discover one of San Luis Obispo’s amazing hotels, when you stay right here on the central coast.




Change BY CRAIG COMEN Revisiting the old neighborhood.

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o matter where we go in life, there is only one thing that is constant. Change! Currents, sandbars, buildings, people, lifestyles, you name it, it all changes. Some is for the better, and some is for the worse. Maybe middle age brings it to the forefront faster, as things slow down and life’s lessons bring new meaning. There is no better way to witness change than to go back somewhere after 10-plus years. My God, how the place I first went in Chile has changed! But it’s really still dirty and dusty, with the same current and rock formations, same smell, feels and sounds. But my beloved Chilean mom Luchita is no longer at the Pin Pon Restaurant with open arms and a Buddha smile. No more morning coffees with her in the stinky kitchen, and no more huge piles of cooked-with-love food coming out to greet a surfed out surfer. Maybe it’s just fine, because I am no longer on the surf-eat-sleep plan, no longer on the get-in-shape-in-10-days paddlefest, no longer on the me-myself-and-I trip. But by God I miss that sweet greeting and just the fact that she was there on that corner doing her thing, watching out for thousands of hungry and lonely surfers all those years. She has moved on in a similar fashion to me, riding a different wave, one called Santiago, a huge city and big change. Now what we do with all those memories and shared times is up to us, but the passing years have transformed our lives and taken us on separate paths. But I will take her out to dinner in the city for all of you who had the privilege to sit at her tables and see her bigger-than-life personality for serving you. It is the least I can do. Now what you can all do for me is go get a few waves, take care of your bodies and minds and stay young at heart. Keep surfing!

SURF SHOP & SURFBOARDS 43 S. Olive Street :: Ventura (805) 641-9428 mon-fri 10am-5pm sat 10am-6pm :: sun 11am-5pm (hours subject to change depending on swell)

W W W. F C D S U R F B O A R D S . C O M

PHOTO: Juan Luis De Heeckeren Š 2013 Fletcher Chouinard Designs, Inc.


PROCTOR SURFBOARDS Shaped by Todd Proctor Titanium II Monsta / MonstaChief 5’8” x 19 1/4” x 2 5/16” (n:13” t:14 7/8”)

The “One-board-quiver.” It goes like gangbusters in anything from 2-foot sludge to overhead throaters. The most versatile board in the line with a wide-open sweet spot which caters to the full range of surfers’ styles. Ride this board 2” shorter and 3/4” wider than your "good waves" shortie. “MonstaChief” designed for surfers in the 200+ pounds range that want a versatile all-around board. Carbon/ kevler mesh technology, proprietary composite stringer technology and custom engineered epoxies for a board that is ultralight, 3-5x stronger than a poly and yields a higher flex/rebound characteristic.

JVP SURFBOARDS Shaped by John Perry Big Dog Noserider 8’ 6” - 9’ 6”

Wider outline, thinner profile volume, tail lift, chamfered rails, single to double barrels all on a super light blank make for a very sensitive high performer. Optional Spoon with 2 + 1 fin set up. (805) 637-5100

All boards handcrafted in Ventura from custom concept to completion.  Any and all custom dimensions available. Available at: Proctor Surfboards 920 Goodyear Ave. #A, Ventura

CITO SLEDS Shaped by Tyler Malta Double Ender Quad 5’4” x 21 3/4 x 2 7/8”

Best at knee- to head-high. This board for demo, and any custom hand shaped order. Available at WetSand Surf Shop (Ventura) (805) 448-7606. See current models on Instagram @tyler_citosleds

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Email andres@deepzin or call (805) 684-4428


DIDN'T GET WHAT YOU WANTED FOR CHRISTMAS? Treat yourself to one of these hot items for the New Year! WETSUITS

Rip Curl Flash Bomb



Culprit Pro Performance Leash

Flash Bomb is the Bomb Once I slipped on Rip Curl’s Flash Bomb Plus chest zip full suit, I knew I was wearing a winner.  Easy to put on and super comfortable, the Flash Bomb was water tight and really flexible.  I loved the front chest zip, making it easier to get into. The Hydro-loc collar doesn’t allow for any take-your-breath-away water flushes, and the three-hole drainage system lets excess water escape freely. After a recent two-hour surf I came away knowing this suit won’t let me down through the winter. - Chuck Graham

$17.38 Available at

$419.99 Available at Rip Curl Ventura

The first thing I noticed about the Culprit Pro Performance Leash is that it’s light. The next thing I noticed about the 6-foot leash was the fit around my ankle. It was comfortable and it has additional Velcro length added for use with wetsuits. To prevent tangling, common with some cords, Culprit has constructed the cuff with carefully molded ridges, which grip to the ankle and prevent those always annoying leash tangles. Culprit leashes come in 6 to 10 foot lengths. - Chuck Graham


Scosche lobeDOPE (with remote & mic) Get ready for a session with the new lobeDOPE’s from Scosche, or just wear them while you are at the house lounging. They have solid sound, the bass is deep, and they are lightweight. Add that to the tapIT remote and microphone installed so you can take a handsfree call, control your music (play, pause, change tracks, answer calls, etc.) this is the perfect after-Christmas gift to yourself. Available in black, surf blue, grey, bubble gum pink and brush fire red.- DEEP Staff

$34.99 Available at

Newf Surfboard Net

SNOWBOARD Burton Restricted Custom Flying V Snowboard

When you head up the mountain, the twinned out, more aggressive alter-ego of the most iconic board ever is the one your should choose. Whether you go with the ultra-snappy and stable camber or more relaxed Flying V, dreamy float in deep snow, and delightful playfulness are yours. All that gets snapped back to high-performance reality with the second-nature steering, substantial weight-savings of carbon highlights, increased stomp and pop of squeezebox, and a team-designed shape that’s slightly narrower for quicker response.- DEEP Staff

What got my attention about the Newf board bag were its many diverse qualities. The net-like material that can be washed off easily make it easy to clean. The two carrying straps make it so Dad isn’t carrying everything down to the beach. Now your kids have a strap to easily hang over their shoulder to help share the load. The straps also make things much more convenient to hang the longboard in the garage. It’s a great day bag that suits many needs. Longboard and SUP bags also available up to 11’6”. Shortboard bags up to 6’3”. - Shawn Tracht

$69.00 - $145.00 Available at, Blueline Paddle Surf (Santa Barbara), A-Frame Surf Shop (Carpinteria), Rincon Designs (Carpinteria), Homegrown Surf Shop (Ventura), Ventura Surf Shop, Revolution Surf Co. (Camarillo)

$549.95  Available at Mountain Air Sports Santa Barbara STORAGE / SAFE BIKE





Trek Slash 650b

(Mountain + Technical Trail riding) During lulls it can be time to hit the mountain on the Trek Slash 650b. The Slash has been redesigned from the ground up to conquer the nastiest trails and enduros. This bike is built to dominate the mountain, gravity, and your limits. Throw Slash down the most technical descent, and fly back up. - DEEP Staff

Now you don’t have to worry about leaving valuables and gear unprotected. The Trunq is equipped for keeping keys, wallets, phones, and jewelry safe anywhere the Trunq can be locked up with its efficient cable and combo lock.  And after you’re finished surfing or paddling you can place your sandy wetsuit in the easy to wash out Trunq.  – Chuck Graham

$5,769.99 Available at Trek Bikes of Ventura

$59.99 Available at Beach House Surf Shop (S.B.), Wetsand Surf Shop (Ventura), Revolution Surf Co. (Camarillo), Val Surf Shops. 


Custom Shape. Custom Fins. Custom Glassing.


Personalize your board.


with mentioning of ad

2705 Saddle Ave., Oxnard • (805) 485-0700 •







lmost half the world—over three billion people— live on less than $2.50 a day. Wait, you thought that sucked? At least 80 percent of humanity lives on less than $10 a day. f you are reading this article, it’s likely that you are not part of the aforementioned statistic, and if you keep reading, you’ll learn about some surfers that are working to inspire kids to surf, which is no doubt having a huge impact on their lives. Surfing changed my life—and it probably changed yours—and sometimes all someone needs is a little inspiration to help them get on the other side of a statistic.

Where do good intentions start? Well, in this story those intensions started with a group of old time friends—who happen to be pro surfers—joined together for a better cause. These bros created a non-profit called Granito de Arena (Grain of Sand) to inspire kids to surf.

SAC R ED s u r f h i . c o m



Carissa Moore poses with Granito de Arena's surf students.

Founded two years ago by life-long surfers Andres Fernandez from Ecuador, Gary Saavedra (Panama), Magnum Martinez (Venezuela), Martin Passeri (Argentina), Otto Flores (Puerto Rico) and joining the group recently is Carissa Moore from Hawaii. Every year, these six Latin American pro surfers pack their Edgar Saavedra, bags and travel along the Central co-founder, teaching and South American coasts in local kids how to surf during the Costa Rica search of young minds to inspire. Granito de Arena camp. Most of the surf spots they visit are small coastal communities with families living under harsh conditions with scarce financial resources. These surfers aim to empower the younger generations living in these coastal communities by teaching them to surf. Granito de Arena believes exposing surfing to underprivileged kids helps build confidence, endurance, strength and determination—sound familiar? Through learning to surf these children are exposed to life tools that could become the building blocks for a better life. The moment the kids stand on a surfboard and ride a wave for the very first time they fall in love with the ocean’s all-embracing power and harmony, and in most cases, they are never the same again. 
 Granito de Arena’s second purpose for inspiring these young surfers is rooted in educational talks focused on respect for the ocean and planet and aiming to help expose the link between the young surfers’ stoked surfing feeling and the sea. If this connection is made, there is a chance that these kids will look at Mother Earth differently and begin to care for her health with respect and gratitude. Granito de Arena also organizes surf camps and trash clean-ups for the local coastal communities. Plastic bottles are a major problem on most of the local beaches they visit, and in a world where on average 15,000 pieces of plastic are dumped into the ocean every day, we sure need the next generation to understand the reality of how plastic is influencing our oceans. Kids attending the surf camp are asked to collect 20 plastic bottles every day as a symbolic exchange for the surfing lessons and to pass along a great first lesson which empowers the children of the community

to get involved in cleaning up their environment. After having fun in the water, instructors sit down with the kids and talk with them about the ocean and its magic. They show them through images and video presentations how plastic has negatively impacted our oceans and wildlife. In fact, it’s estimated that 100,000 marine creatures a year die from plastic and at least two-thirds of the world’s fish suffer from plastic ingestion. The members of Granito de Arena explain that there are ways to help reduce the devastation caused of plastic and trash. They discuss ways to live responsibly and help the kids to understand how their actions matter. This eye-opening lesson is then followed by creative workshops for the kids and their families. They show them fun ways of making something useful and functional reusing plastic bottles: pieces of furniture, walls for houses, mosquito traps (very essential for most tropical areas), among other brilliant ideas.

How do these guys ride the WAVE OF INSPIRATION? Granito de Arena member Andrés Fernandez understands the importance of addressing these issues, and he feels that through surfing networks, problems can more easily be addressed. Granito’s mission is to uplift children while helping to shine a light on the environmental issues facing many coastal communities. Audience buildup keeps the wheels turning for Granito de Arena’s movement and helps them reach out to more communities each year. Their goal is to carry this message to all the countries of the world, one grain of sand at a time. Visit to learn more about Grainto de Arena, or write to, unless you catch him surfing the beaches around Ventura, Calif.



Outside Lands 2013


y all accounts, this years Outside Lands music festival was the most successful in the event’s six-year history. Statistically, it was the largest audience yet, with over 200,000 people in attendance during the three days of the festival. Augmented by Paul McCartney’s massive stage production, the Main Lands End stage was the largest ever assembled in Golden Gate Park. This year saw the expansion of the carefully selected concessions, representing more than 70 of the finest local restaurants, over 35 of the nearby wineries, and no less than 16 craft breweries. The festival featured over 80 of the top touring performers in music today, including representatives of nearly every pop music genre, on four main stages. Just like the 2013 Bonnaroo festival in Tennessee, the highlight of this years’ Outside Lands Festival had to be the day one headline performance of monumental proportions by former Beatle Paul McCartney. A concert is all about the performance and music, and there couldn’t be a bigger or better performance than the 39-or-so-song set list that the legendary musician offers up. This is especially true since most of the songs are culled from the Beatles extensive catalog of classics for Outside Lands. He added a special cover of the Jesse Fuller tune “San Francisco Bay Blues” and had the Kronos Quartet join him during the encore to play backing strings for “Yesterday.” Day one of the festival was full of surprises. The National played a determined set filled with the first big surprises of the day. Early on the band brought out the Kronos, and they were joined by perhaps the most famous San Francisco pop icon, Bob Weir, to jam on their final song “Terrible Love.”The Grateful Dead’s founding guitarist played and sang backing vocals with the band to

Willie Nelson.

Paul McCartney.

the delight of generations of San Francisco jam band fans. The festival surprises continued with a last-minute fill in at the Sutro stage for ailing singer D’Angelo. The slot was filled by the disco-era band Chic. Led by genius guitarist Nile Rodgers, Chic is not just a retro dance novelty act. Rodgers has penned and played music for some of pop music’s biggest stars across the decades and currently is the signature performer on Daft Punk’s single “Get Lucky.” Day three of the festival offered up the most diverse lineup of the festivals three days. Ivan Neville and his group Dumpstaphunk offered up New Orleans-style funky jam music on the main stage. Hall and Oates played the Main Lands End stage to an exhilarated crowd, coming right out of the gates with an awesome guitar jam before sinking into a set of their biggest pop hits. Willie Nelson seemed to have brought his own separate crowd assembled en masse at his closing set on the Sutro stage. Back over on the main stage, the campy Vampire Weekend was a big hit with the young San Francisco crowd. The Red Hot Chili Peppers played a 100-minute set of their biggest hits to close out the festival.

New Noise Music Festival

Alana. The young femme fatales captured a huge crowd on opening day of this year's Bonnaroo music festival in Tennessee. Their music is reminiscent of a young Joan Jett when she was still with The Runaways, but with a more sophisticated and modern sound. The band played an impressive percussion-laden version of the original Fleetwood Mac song “Wired.” uring the four-day New Noise Music Festival from Oct. 16 to 19, some of Indie Friday, Oct. 18 saw an all-day street festival added to the mix. Favorites at the daylong street music’s best acts joined local artists to swarm Santa Barbara’s club scene. party in the heart of Santa Barbara’s newly invigorated Funk Zone included Isla Vista’s own Although officially only a three-day event, the festival kicked off a day early on FMLYBND, and Cayucos, from the Central Coast. Wednesday, Oct. 16, with an opening night preview show at Velvet Jones in Santa Saturday night also featured a whole host of well-known bands, including California reggae Barbara. The event featured a special showing of the movie, “Filmage,” a documentary on the band Dirty Rice, and Indie favorites Gardens & Villa. legendary punk band the Descendents. A live set by alternative country rock band The festival takes place annually in October, and New Drag The River, from Colorado, followed. The Haim Sisters. Noise hosts Indie music events throughout the year. For more The festival moved into full swing on Thursday, Oct. 17, with dozens of bands playing information visit at five different venues throughout downtown Santa Barbara. It featured a full day of music industry related lectures and another night of music. The Soft White Sixties, a soulful rock band, performed to a packed crowd at the Muddy Waters Café. The Bay area band plays its own unique style of classic R&B rock, reminiscent of the Black Crowes, but with a new and more youthful approach to the music. Holy Ghost, one of the most innovative new synth bands, filled Velvet Jones with enthusiastic music fans, while Indie sensation He’s My Brother She’s My Sister, closed Soho. On Saturday, Oct. 19, an all-ages block party featured a diverse lineup of great music, headlined by Haim. The female-led band rocked a large crowd until nightfall. The group is composed of three sisters, bassist Este Haim, lead guitarist Danielle, and rhythm guitarist PHOTOS: L. PAUL MANN




Erin Nicole Smith and Todd Dakin Making Musical Waves


Xit 86 Release Debut Album Hit Da Road


here aren’t many pop musicians that fit the classic California surfer girl persona more closely than Erin Nicole Smith. The smiling, sun-bleached blonde, 21-year-old Santa Barbara native grew up immersed in California surf culture. Her father, Davey Smith, is credited with performing the first surfing 360-degree aerial ever captured on film in the 1980s. He was also a revered surfboard sharper, sought after by some of contemporary surfing’s most legendary professional athletes. It was Erin’s father who was also instrumental in instilling a love of music in the innovative new songwriter. When Erin met musician Todd Dakin, her music took an evolutionary leap forward. Dakin, a singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Sacramento, Calif., became the perfect partner to pair up with for a copacetic duo with a fresh new sound. I asked Erin to fill me in on her latest musical collaboration. DEEP: Can you tell me about your new recording and your collaboration with Todd Dakin? Erin Smith: Little did I know that trusting my intuition and dropping a note I had written on the back of a receipt into Todd Dakin’s tip jar at one of his gigs would change everything. Long story short, he got my note and texted me. We met a week or two later and played a show at House of Blues in Hollywood. About two weeks and a few meetings after that, “Todd and Erin” was officially formed as a duo, and within three weeks we wrote, recorded and released our e.p. “Save it for the Remix,” which is available on iTunes. It’s pretty cool when you have somebody else to chase your dreams with. DEEP: How did you guys get started in music? ES: I point-blank searched for it. I was determined to find my passion in life, and sure enough it was sitting in my hallway for 17 years waiting to be picked up … That being my dad’s guitar. Todd Dakin: I started piano lessons when I was 3, and haven’t really had a desire to do anything but play music since. I got my first guitar at the age of 12 and started my first band very shortly after that. DEEP: What kind of music do you like to listen to? Who are some of the biggest influences on your music? TD: I really like to listen to pop, because I like the escapism aspect of it. Specifically I like ’80s and ’90s pop ... I have a Peter Cetera station on Pandora if that answers the question. I grew up listening to the Beach Boys, Huey Lewis and the News and James Taylor. But I’m also a huge Elliott Smith fan. 


Todd Dakin and Erin Nicole Smith.


here are few bands more closely linked to the Rincon surf scene than Xit 86, named after the main Carpinteria exit off Highway 101. The band, which has been together since 2007, flirted with the name Xit 83—the The debut album cover was done by longtime surf artist Robert Heeley. Rincon off ramp—but, being born and bred right out of Carpinteria High School, it decided Xit 86 was more appropriate. The band plays classic beach music with influences from local bands like The Upbeat and Cornerstone and national bands like Sublime and Slightly Stoopid. Still, the Carpinteria trio’s debut album “Hit Da Road” encompasses a broader range of musical genres than its influences. The group switches effortlessly from reggae and ska beats to funk, rock and punk rhythms. Lead guitarist and singer David Morgan and bass player Todd “T-Roll” Roll both shaped, glassed and sanded boards for Channel Islands Surfboards and are longtime Carpinteria locals. They’re joined by 25-year-old drummer Nancy Dowdall, who also played with the Rat Pack, Bad Neighbor and RKL. Whether the trio is offering up melodic reggae tunes or abruptly changing into heavy metal or mosh pit modes, the songs on the new album are full of high energy perfect for the California beach culture from which it sprang. Check out the new album and upcoming dates to see the band live. Xit 86 will head out on a CD release tour starting on Friday, January 24 at Velvet Jones in Santa Barbara; Friday, February 7 at Whiskey Richards in Santa Barbara; and Saturday, February 8th at San Souci in Ventura. Follow them on Facebook (Exit 86) for more dates. CD is available at

DEEP: What is your songwriting process, and what inspires you guys to write? ES: If we didn’t have songwriting, we would probably be miserable sick people! Being a “duo,” it’s obviously a team effort to write our songs. Typically Todd will come up with something during the week, record it and email it over to me, and then I’ll record some vocals and email it back. Then on the weekend we’ll get together and let our ideas take shape! DEEP: Do you have any live shows planned? ES: Right now we are in the middle of recording a new album for a release in February, so that’s been our main focus, but there will be shows added soon. You can check our website www. or Facebook page and Erin to be kept up to date!


Ventura’s Nick Rosza at Rocky Point. PHOTO BY TERRY HOUSTON

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Parker Coffin climbing the ladder in the Cove. PHOTO BY DUBOCK.COM

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Bill “Blinky” Hubina

Tri-County Shapers Symposium


Blinky back in the day.


The Man Bill “Blinky” Hubina is a fired up, stoked grommet residing in a veteran surfer/shaper's body. Every time I call Hubina or go by his Ventura Surf Shop, I feel like we’re just a couple of teens wandering around the shop frothing over surfboards and surf products. Supreme stoke runs through this veteran surf legend, and he shared his story with me of a young surfer turned life long surf guru and legend.

As we look back, it’s exciting to see how much a part of the surfing family tree Hubina is. In 1964, Hubina became Morey-Pope’s first employee. In 1965, he invented Slip Check, which Delaney named. It was the first wax replacement and was soon on every surfboard across the country. In 1967 Hubina started William Dennis Surfboards with Dennis Ryder. He remembers meeting Bob McTavish at Rincon and being the only ones out on shorter boards. Hubina was riding a 7’11” he had made out of a cut off blank, and McTavish was riding a 7’9” V bottom. McTavish worked with Hubina at William Dennis shaping his orders. George Greenough worked on his waterproof camera housing, kneeboard, and flex fins. Between McTavish's and Hubina’s orders, along with his Slip Check royalties, Hubina was able to buy his first 55-gallon drum of resin. As far as Hubina’s skill set in the shaping bay, he noted that he learned most of his board


Through Time The hands that shape a surfboard have been somewhere, both through time, and the eons of foam dust. For Hubina, that all started in 1959 when he got interested in surfing after helping a friend build a board from a kit in Surfer Magazine. From what he told me, that first board was pretty ugly, but the boys got a few laughs when they took it to Malibu. In 1961, he got his first board, a 9’6” Tiki. In 1962, he got his first “real board,” as he put it, a 10’3” Tom Hale.

Perry testing his craftsmanship.

Since 2009 we have profiled

Character and Life Courageous optimism and a strong belief in the big guy upstairs make up the meta-data of John Perry (JP) and his wonderful family in Goleta. Yes, JP makes highly refined, great surf sticks. Yes, JP has been shaping for over 40 years. Yes, JP can be considered a true craftsman of our sport. Yet, JP hasn’t become a well-known part of the shaping community and conversation for his shaping alone. A depth of character and life experience is poured into each hand-crafted board. The History JP got interested in surfing through his older brother, Tom, in the mid-1960s when it took two guys to carry a board. His earliest impressions of surfing and surfboards were Malibu, Stables (C-Street) and uncrowded Rincon. Surfing back then kind of reminds JP of the surfing happening right now; there are many varieties of shapes being surfed: eggs, reverse tear drops


Brian Joseph putting an Ancient Art through the paces.





and a host of down rail guns and mini guns. Each shape is just a lot more refined today. In the 1970s JP took a hiatus for several years surfing around the world. He traveled from Europe to Africa, through the Indian Ocean, then back to Mainland USA through Hawaii. Most of his best surfing and board knowledge came from South Africa at Jeffreys Bay, where surfboards are put to the test. When JP came back from his surfing travels, he started Ocean Rhythms Santa Barbara, where he entertained a host of great shapers under one roof: Matt Moore, Peter White from Australia, Joe Blair of Hawaii, Art Collier of San Diego and Steve Huerta of Ventura, just to name a few. In the 1980s JP and his wife Liz started their family with their son, Blair, and daughter, Jaclyn. In the early 1990s he changed careers to bring in a steady income for the family. Several years ago, JP returned to his passion of surfboard building and designing with



a shaper from each of the tri-counties (Ventura to San Luis Obispo) to highlight the wealth of talent and prowess that the shapers of the Central Coast bring to surfing. This year, our list includes Ventura's Bill "Blinky" Hubina, Goleta's John Perry, and San Luis Obispo's Rick Avant. They have all created their own paths into the shaping world, and all make surf crafts that accentuate the passion of their souls.

From necessity comes creativity… Such is the case for shaper Rick Avant of Ancient Art Surfboards. His fruitless search for a unique surf craftsman forced him to take on the challenge himself and set out to create the boards he was having such a difficult time finding. Avant saw a need in the surfboard market for a shaper that was willing to take a risk in his craft. “I was riding single fin surfboards that I felt needed to be pushed progressively but when I asked my shapers, they were either not sure about my requests or unwilling to take on the challenge,” he recalled. “That’s when I decided to start making boards myself. It provided me the opportunity to implement all my ideas and influences into my own creations and finally get a surfboard exactly how I wanted it.” With a background rooted in boat building and a current career as a marine surveyor, Avant relies heavily on his ocean vessel influences when it comes to his board building. Taking from the practices of Herreshoff Boat Designs, Avant builds all his boards with the thought of obtaining

the “sweet line” and creating a surfboard that is functional yet pleasing to the eye. “More often than not, if it looks good it will ride well,” said Avant.

SAN LUIS OBISPO Trial and Error Nestled deep in Chumash country, miles behind Lopez Lake, the trip out to the Ancient Art compound feels like going back in time. A place where cell phone reception is lost and horses share the road is where Rick Avant calls home. Upon arrival, one is greeted with numerous masterpieces in progress from customized Hobie Cats to a pieced together mini half-pipe, from a gutted ’49 Hudson to the blanks and boards strewn throughout the shaping bay. Avant is a man of ideas. “I’ll be the first to admit that not all my boards work; I am willing to fail. It’s all about trial and error; you don’t know what will work until you actually try it.” — continued

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DEEP Surf Magazine January / February 2014