WE NY / Winterâˆ’Spring 2013 don't buy this magazine. take one and pass it on.
Mapping the BOWERY AND BEYOND 02 / First day in New York City: KIM DIGGS 03 / Food, farming and filmmaking: THE MALLOY BROTHERS 04 / Shredding Coney Island with JOEY RAMONE 07 / Sandy from afar: MAlcolm johnson 08 / Photo portfolio: ZAK BUSH 09 / Hope and the hurricane: SANDY IN NUMBERS 10 / Grom grown up: BALARAM STACK 11 / Legendary lyricist MIKE D 13 / Eating steak with DAN ROSS 14 / History lesson: CBGB remembered 15
cut the map out and take it with you on your journey. please don’t lit ter!
Bowery: 40° 43` 11.62 N, 73° 59` 38.86 W
Take the Holland Tunnel to New Jersey:
1hr 20mins to Asbury Park 2hrs 30mins to Atlantic City 3hrs to Cape May
Take the battery Tunnel (toll) to brooklyn and all points east:
Take the A train to Far Rockaway: 1 Hour 15 Mins to Far Rockaway, 90TH St
Take the 278 (Brooklyn-queens expressway) to 495 to long island:
28mins to coney island 43mins to rockaway, 60th st
1hr 20mins (+ ferry) to fire island 2hrs 50mins to montauk
1. Patagonia, 313 Bowery Street
8. Vanessa's Dumplings, 118 Eldridge Street
9. McNally Jackson Books, 52 Prince Street
2. Rogan, 330 Bowery Street
13. Earth Matters, 177 Ludlow Street
10. New Museum, 235 Bowery Street
3. Saturdays Surf NYC, 31 Crosby Street
14. Baby Cakes, 248 Broome Street
11. Half Gallery, 208 Forsyth Street
4. Pilgrim Surf + Supply, 68 N 3 Street, BK
19. Donut Plant, 379 Grand Street
12. Partners & Spade, 40 Great Jones Street
5. Aegir Boardworks, 99 Water Street, BK
20. Fat Radish, 17 Orchard Street
18. Sunshine Cinema, 143 E Houston Street 23. Clic Bookstore and Gallery, 255 Center Street
Visiting the city?
15. Tom and Jerry's, 288 Elizabeth Street
7. Sixth Street and Avenue B Community Garden
16. Max Fish, 178 Ludlow Street
24. Bowery Hotel, 335 Bowery Street
17. Von, 3 Bleeker Street 26. Painkiller Tiki Bar, 49 Essex Street
25. Nitehawk Cinema, 136 Metropolitan Avenue, BK
Need Adjusting? 21. Chinese Massage Therapy, 41 Mott Street
Want to cruise around?
27. Dr. Lila Wolfe, Chiropractor, 99 Wall Street
6. Landmark Bike Rentals, 136 E 3 Street 22. Coleman Skate Park, under the Manhattan Bridge
The East Coast has been through a lot lately. Hurricane Sandy devastated much of the New York and New Jersey coastline, leaving us — and the amazing, dedicated, and brave many — picking up the pieces of the areas we know, love, and surf in. That's why we felt it was more important than ever to bring you Issue 4 of The Usual, our "Bowery and Beyond" edition, to highlight our humble, strong and vibrant surf scene. After the storm, watching friends, neighbors, and strangers rally to rebuild, we're more proud than ever to call New York home. And even though the debate lives on over whether New Jersey or Rockaway breeds gnarlier surfers, whether Long Beach has the best waves, or if Montauk has the cutest boys and makes the best lobster rolls; at the end of the day, we're all one united East Coast surf community. On the following pages, we start on the Bowery, where our favorite company Patagonia will take over the old CBGB gallery to open their first East Coast surf store in early 2013. Just like CBGB's nurtured New York's alternative music culture, Patagonia's shop will be a hub for surfers—the misfits of the global brand. We bring you Mike D, one third of the legendary Beastie Boys, who reached iconic Empire State status not long after playing CBGB's for the first time; and photographer Roberta Bayley who captured many a rock star at the iconic venue. She shares her day at Coney Island with Joey
Ramone, showing us his sporty side. We interview the Malloy Brothers, who epitomize Patagonia's spirit and commitment to the environment, and who all agree their wives make better farmers than the three of them combined. We ask Kim Diggs, an Outer Banks, NC surf pro, about her first time in the Big Apple; and Balaram Stack, who at last year's QuikPro in Long Beach showed the world (what we knew all along) that the Atlantic breeds dedicated, and slightly crazier groms. We check out what it looks like—both in and out of the water—to surf in New York from photographer Zak Bush, and writer Malcolm Johnson's perspectives. Dan Ross, also a Patagonia ambassador, talks about saving our oceans, one plastic bottle at a time. We hope you enjoy reading about the individuals on the Bowery and beyond as much as we enjoyed talking to them. And if not, at least you’ll have 16 pages of kindling for your fireplace this winter.
For year-round entertainment, follow us on Twitter: @theusualmtk | Instagram: @theusualmontauk Facebook: @theusualmontauk | Web: theusualmontauk.com
Kim Diggs’ First day in New york city
"I've never really been a city girl," me all the places I would have never found before. Most of the time I'd just get a coffee and cruise around." asserts Kim Diggs, a Patagonia But just because she hadn't made it to New York until ambassador who grew up surfnow, doesn't mean she's a stranger to the icy Atlantic. In ing in the Outer Banks. "Where fact, Diggs was practically raised in it. "When I was in I'm from, this time of year you middle and high school all of the younger kids made know every car you pass. We have two roads that run par- a pact that we'd surf before school no matter what. allel. So when I got to New Even during the winter…even if it was snowing…so York, I thought, 'this is really we really would. We'd egg each other on, like 'If you loud!' Diggs is describing her do it, I'll do it.'" As a result of the temperatures in her home town, Diggs honed her winter surf routine, first real visit to the Big Apple this past month, which took "When it's cold like that you just change into your wetsuit in the car with the heat blasting. I'd bring a really this small town girl from Kitty big thermos of coffee and leave it in the car, and then Hawk, NC, out of her comfort I wear a five four three, hood, gloves. Surf for as long zone. And that turned out to be as you can take it and then get in the car, turn the heat a good thing: Diggs enjoyed the city so much she extended her on, drink some coffee, and try and go back out. I have a three-day stay to a whole week. truck and that time of year you can drive on the beach so you pull right up." "I really just walked around and Her relationship with Patagonia began organically, got lost in the city. I met some when their surf team would hold retreats in North really cool people that showed
Carolina. Diggs worked at a coffee shop (have you noticed coffee as an overarching theme in Diggs' life?), where she first met the team. They took notice of her surf skills, but also the positive work that she was doing in other areas. She works with Love Light & Melody, a nonprofit that uses music and the arts to help those around the world struggling with extreme poverty, like in Managua, Nicaragua. "It's a whole community that's literally living in the trash there. We used to go on surf trips [to Nicaragua] when I was younger. When I was growing up, my dad would teach us that the first priority is helping people and building community; surfing is second. So the idea is to take surfing—which is a really selfish sport—and use it more as a tool to give back as you go to all these different countries." And while she's currently nomadic—"I've been a bit of a gypsy the last couple of years"—we have a feeling we'll be seeing her around our way again sometime soon. "I really want to go back and surf Montauk. I know New York gets good waves, so I'm going to make a point to go back." Photos: Glenn Glasser
Bowery and Beyond. Winter 2012−13
Food, farming and filmmaking
Collectively, the Malloy brothers—Chris, Keith and Dan—have traveled the world over countless times searching for great waves. Successful in the mainstream surf industry, they transitioned early on for a more holistic and purpose-driven sponsorship relationship, as Patagonia ambassadors. Also thriving movie-makers, their company Woodshed Films boasts celebrated titles, like 180° South, Come Hell or High Water, and Sliding Liberia. All their traveling may explain why we never tracked Chris down (call us!); but Keith and Dan tell us that these days, exploring locally (each live within seven miles of each other and their parents, near Ojai, CA), is where they'd rather be. We talked to the brothers about food, farming—which they grew up doing on a small scale—and filmmaking. Photo: Jeff Lipsky
Where are you, right now? In Lompoc, it's like an hour north of Santa Barbara. [My family and I] all live pretty much in a seven-mile radius of each other, but I'm actually moving a little farther away. So, you're the middle child among the boys: Did you ever have the “middle child” syndrome? I'll tell you what I have: Dan and Chris are very talkative, and I think I'm more reserved. I don't know if that has to do with being the middle child or not. But those guys will talk your ear off for hours on end and make conversation with almost anyone they can. I'm pretty much the opposite. I don't know if that has to do with being the middle child or not. Chris and Dan were born, respectively, December 21st and December 22nd, so…I think they have more similar personalities. I was born in March. I never really believed in that stuff, but if I think about it, they definitely are much more alike and they look a little more similar in ways. What did you think about California’s Prop 37 to label foods if they are genetically modified? Did you vote on that? I did. I definitely think that food should be labeled. I mean, that's just simple. Why not know what you're eating? Unfortunately, it didn't go through, but I think it would've been great; it made a lot of sense. Dan and Grace were really fighting hard on that one, and I agreed with them 100 percent. Do you think there's anything people can do at this point to try and get something like that passed? The fact that it nearly did is a good sign. I think that things will continue to move in that direction. In the meantime, you probably just want to buy your food at local places, where you know where it's coming from and what it's all about. If they would have passed 37, then it would have been touching a lot people that weren't really concerned or aware of [the issue]. Do you think there's something in particular that the surf community can focus on as far as surfing responsibly or lessening their impact on the environment?
Environmentalism has turned into a funny word. For me, it's all about just doing things that are common sense, you know? Times have changed—when our grandparents were alive you could pretty much get away with doing whatever you wanted to the environment. These days, it's changing, and everyone's got to make sensible decisions on what they're doing and what they're leaving behind, and be mindful of it. I think part of the reason I'm aware of it more is because I’m in the ocean, and the ocean is one of the first things that gets tainted when it comes to emissions—or everything winds up in the ocean. How can you not think about trying to keep the planet clean when you're actually submerged in the first thing that gets affected when there's pollution? If you're a surfer, get involved in any of your local organizations that are trying to keep the water clean and be mindful of what you're doing; make sensible decisions on what you use and where it goes. Is there any one organization in California that you're involved in? Surfrider is an obvious one, but every community has their own grassroots organizations, so I would look into your own community to see what's out there. We work with the guys from Save the Waves a lot, and they're trying to protect breaks, so that's a good one. And you’re also collaborating with Patagonia, with all of the great environmental work they do. Were you ever nervous leaving the world of more commercial surf sponsorship and going with Patagonia who wasn't necessarily proven yet in the industry?
Who out of the three brothers is the better surfer? I would say, Dan. He got into it at an early age and had a natural talent. Dan, overall, could've been a world champion, or something like that if he wanted to. Whereas Chris and I, you know that, we both did really well but I don't think we were ever quite on that level. Chris never did the contests. Dan and I did the contests and we both did well, and then we kind of got disenchanted with the whole thing and stopped doing them. I did a little better professionally than Dan, but I think if he would've put his mind to it he could've done better than me. Who do you think is the better farmer? I think Dan is. He definitely spends the most time doing it. Realistically, though, the girls are probably better than all of us. Especially Dan and Grace. Dan's wife, Grace, and Carla, Chris's wife, they're full-time. Then Chris, myself, and my wife, Lauren, work on horses with cattle. But, I mean, we all help with everything.
continued overleaf >>
Where are you living these days? I live up in Ojai, which is 50 minutes north of Santa Barbara. And you have a whole farm “situation” out there, right? Yeah, it’s definitely pretty small-scale at this point, because we’ve got a lot of other things going on; but my folks have a cattle ranch up here, and my brothers and our wives all live fairly close, enough to help out. My wife and my sister-in-law have something that’s between a garden and a farm. It’s a pretty good-sized plot where they grow organic vegetables, and we have a little farm stand on the weekends. It’s been a new project in the last few years, and it’s been really fun. I’ve been learning a lot. You grew up in this kind of lifestyle, were you able to implement what you learned as a kid, today? That kind of lifestyle—manual labor and working outside, doing exactly what my dad did—was exactly the last thing I wanted to do. As soon as I got a taste of surfing, I just wanted to do that everyday. It wasn’t until I was 25 or so, and I had been in the city and involved with the surfing industry for a while, that I started to really wake up to the fact that there’s not really a better lifestyle out there than farming and ranching and working outside. I started to take an interest in it again. How did your upbringing shape your relationship with food today? Well, we had horses and gardens, but we didn’t grow up on a full-on farm. It was a couple of acres in the country. So really what’s shaped how I look at food has come in the last 10 years. It’s really come through some of the people that I’ve met, and some of the literature I’ve read, and working with Patagonia, and Yvon Chouinard’s stance on food and how that affects us. About six years ago, I read an interview with [farmer and author] Wendell
Berry that affected me pretty heavily—every last thing in the article stuck with me. Since then, I met my wife, who’s been farming for a while. She’s been a huge influence on my involvement with farming. She’s a way better farmer than I’ll ever be, definitely, and I’m just chipping away at figuring it out. So it’s been an evolution in the last 10 years, more than something I’ve been involved with my whole life. Tell me about the amazing bike tour you did down the California coast this summer. I’ve also been fascinated by the idea of getting in that traveling state of mind, but I feel like there’s so much more to learn at home that you can apply to your life, your family. So I wanted to experiment with ways to get into that frame of mind at home. I was talking to my friend Kellen Kean over a few beers, and I was like, “Hey, how fun would it be to just get on our bikes and ride down a big chunk of the California coast, and then document the whole thing, and surf as much as we could, and stay at farms and with craftspeople, and spend a month and a half on the road?” It was one of my many pipe dreams, but Kellen was really excited about it, and before long we were packing up and taking off from about a hundred miles north of San Francisco in Point Arena. There were three of us altogether: my friend Kanoa Zimmerman, a still photographer; Kellen, a videographer and still photographer; and myself. We got a ride up there and got dropped off and spent just about two months riding down the coast and working and documenting it.
What is it about traveling that’s so important to you? I don’t know, exactly, it’s kind of a mystery to me, and it bugs me sometimes that hitting the road will awaken me so much. I wish I could feel that vibrant when I’m at home every day, but for whatever reason it just makes me feel really good to be on the road. To be honest, my goal is to access that frame of mind at home because there are just as many great adventures to be had right here, within 100 miles of my house or less. I’ll probably travel quite a bit for the rest of my life, but how to integrate that same kind of deal and be home more is actually my goal. You’ve done a lot of trips to remote areas. Have you ever found a way to give back to the communities you experience while traveling? I did a trip to Liberia, and I don’t know, it’s always been a bit awkward for me to show up in a really remote, poor place and feel like, “Here, we have some answers for you, and we’re gonna help you.” A lot of the trips I’ve been on have been surf trips, so we’re there doing this kind of selfish thing, and it’s always made me feel a little bit awkward to travel overseas and try to help other people. I feel much more comfortable working on things at home. I know it’s kind of strange, I’d love to just give you the answer that I’ve done a bunch of AIDS work overseas, but I’ve never felt that comfortable in that situation. I feel like there’s so much to learn in these places; but to show up with a bunch of answers has always felt awkward. Tell me about your relationship with your brothers, do you feel like you’re a collaborator with them? continued overleaf >>
Keith Malloy photos courtesy of Patagonia / Chris Burkard
Bowery and Beyond. Winter 2012−13
Yeah, we definitely collaborate a ton. We have since we were kids, and we have all stuck together with everything we’ve done. When it comes to surfing and the films and all that stuff, we spend a lot of time together, working on those projects. We bounce everything off of each other, so it really is a team effort. It’s worked out really well so far; not to say that we always get along perfectly, but in the grand scheme of things it works well. We’re pretty honest with each other: If we don’t like something or if it doesn’t feel quite right, we can tell each other. Working on the books and films together is an interesting process. I didn’t know if we’d be done with that stuff by this point, but we’re having a lot of fun with it, so I think we’ll continue to make stuff that hopefully we’re proud of. So was it always this fluid, or as the youngest, did you get bullied? I was quite a bit younger. Chris and Keith used to brawl when they were growing up—no punching in the face, that didn’t happen in our house. My brothers were both big, so I didn’t get bullied that much when I was growing up; but I definitely didn’t have too many choices, at the same time. In my family, nobody called shotgun, it was just seniority, and that’s how it’s always been. I didn’t really talk back because my brothers were way bigger. Now that we’re getting older, and all about the same size, things get questionable every once in awhile, but for the most part we all stay in line. You left more mainstream sponsorship deals to work with Patagonia. That must have been an exciting opportunity, but were you nervous at all? Yeah, that was interesting. A huge part of me wasn’t nervous at all because I was disillusioned with the industry and the way it worked. I just realized we were making kind of crappy clothes, and we were sort of glorified t-shirt salesmen; and if we’re going to be glorified t-shirt salesmen, we might as well sell some good t-shirts. I was bummed when the smoke started to clear and I realized that we were just a big part of a mess. From that aspect, when the Patagonia deal started to come together, I did not flinch for a second. There’s so much respect for what the brand was about. I really looked up to what they were doing for a long time, and even more so after my experience in the industry. Then there was a side of me that was totally nervous, as far as seeing 50 other big brands—not surf brands—in other industries try to break into surfing. They never pull it off. It’s always like a bad dream: you see the clothing, you see the
Who out of the three brothers is the better surfer? I feel like a politician every time somebody asks me that, but we’ve all done different stuff. I mean, Chris for sure has surfed the biggest waves out of all of us—he least paddling to the biggest waves— and he’s the best at big aerials. I think that I’ve got a knack for being able to ride all sorts of different boards—we all just do different things; it just depends on what skill you’re looking at. Who do you think is the better farmer? Our wives. Our wives are way better farmers than any of us together. We have a hard time sitting still, so our ADD doesn’t help us too much.
ads, and you’re just like, Oh my god—so that side of it was nerve-racking. But the other part of it was such a no-brainer, to be a part of Patagonia. There’s no second thought about the gear they make, and their ethos in general is exactly what we were looking for, and it’s been great. Have you been out to New York much to surf? I’ve surfed New York a few times, and I’ve done a couple tours with [filmmaker] Thomas Campbell when he was in New York to show his movies. I also used to pass through on my way to Europe quite a bit for competitions. Being kind of a country kid, I was fascinated by New York. The East Coast surf scene is really interesting because some of the best surfers in the world are from there. The waves aren't good quite as often, but when it is good you appreciate it so much. I like to be around people that are really enthusiastic about surfing. When the waves are good, all of my friends on the East Coast who are world-class surfers, surf all day long, and the guys from Hawaii and California will just go out and surf a few waves. If you’re a surfer out there, it’s like the real thing. I’ve heard people say that there’s no such thing as a real sports fan on the West Coast, it’s almost like that a little bit with surfing. Yeah, you have to really want to be a surfer. Whether the water is cold or whatever, the people that do surf have a real community there. They have something that they’re going out of their way to be a part of.
Yeah, we were. It was definitely a risk going with a company that was not established in surfing, and working with them to help create the surf side of things. But we were also sure at that point in our careers, or lives, that we were really excited to step away from the contest surfing and the mainstream fashion. The philosophy of Patagonia just was really attractive—everything they stand for. It is the kind of company we want to work with and be a part of. What's your relationship with Yvon Chouinard? I imagine you got to know him well after filming 180° South? Yeah. Yvon is great, and we've done some great trips together, and surfed together quite a bit in California. And Chris, Dan, and I are all good buddies with him—he's a really fun guy to be around and he still surfs a ton. He is super active. I enjoy every time I get to hang out with him. You know, it is pretty awesome that I've been able to do these trips with him, and go surfing with him. He's got a great sense of humor. I step back from it sometimes and think about who he is and I'm like, “Yeah, I'm pretty sure this guy's gonna go down in the history books,” and that's a pretty big deal. Your film, 180° South, follows the 5,000-mile path Yvon Chouinard and Doug Tompkins took surfing and climbing from California to deep Patagonia. How did the film change from its original concept to when you started filming and editing? Chris and I had a game plan to the film, but, along with other surf films, there's a lot of room for the project to take on a mind of its own. I think that's part of the beauty of doing a documentary-style film: you make a plan and then just see what happens and where—how the dice land, you know? The same year we were filming the movie, the surf was huge at Mavericks, we got a great swell for that, and then we went down to Chile and a lot of snow had melted on Corcovado, so they couldn't quite finish the climb, which was a letdown for sure; but you know, but it was one of those projects where you have to keep going. I liked that aspect of it rather than just doing a completely scripted film. It's just a true adventure, when it's like that.
Dan Malloy photos courtesy of Patagonia / Jeff Johnson
You made Come Hell or Highwater a film about the amazing bodysurfer, and a lifeguard at Pipeline for nearly 20 years—Mark Cunningham. Why do you think his story resonates with so many people? He's just got a super colorful personality, super kind, and thoughtful, and funny, and nice. So that's one end of the deal. And on the other side, he’s this incredible bodysurfer—the most renowned bodysurfer in the world, I would say. He was the awesome, nice guy in Hawaii, but he was always walking down the beach in his Speedos with his twin fins. A lot of people were like, “That's kind of dorky,” you know? “Why would he do that?” But he just continued to do it for 30-some years. Meanwhile, everyone else has figured out how cool bodysurfing really is, how pure it is, and how hard it is to do it the way he does. So he, along with some other Hawaiians, tapped into bodysurfing 30 years before it was cool. You rode a now infamous 60-foot wave at Mavericks. Have you ever experienced anything that epic since? It was definitely up there in the top three biggest days of surfing I've ever been part of. Even though my brothers and I had been surfing and living in Hawaii, and surfed a lot of big waves, it was still really intimidating how giant that day was. Dan and I were out there together, watching out for each other. It was one of those amazing days where we spent pretty much the whole day in the water, and when we got out we were thankful we were on dry land again and made it through the day because it was a really enormous swell. Tell me about your relationship with surfing in New York. Have you done it much? I have surfed in New Jersey and Maine, but I don’t think I've ever surfed in New York. My wife is from Vermont, and so we go out and see her parents and then drag her up to Maine and surf; and I've gone up to Halifax and Nova Scotia. I love the Northeast and I'm looking forward to surfing it more. Even though I haven't surfed much in New York, there's such a great surf culture on the East Coast. The tribe of surfers out there is so enthusiastic and awesome. A lot of the kids in California are too cool for anything—too cool for a surf movie—and to see the positive energy and the enthusiasm on the East Coast is refreshing for me.
by Roberta Bayley
Dispatches from Our Therapist
Joey Ramone had agreed to star in our epic fumetti (photo comic) Mutant Monster Beach Party in 1977. Joey's role was a surfer who is in love with a girl with a problem—Deborah Harry. Together they battle parents, monsters, bikers and aliens until they are finally united in marriage. The surf scenes were shot at Coney Island in the summer of '77, and we were lucky to have a real surf board to use as a prop. Joey did not surf, but thanks to PUNK's "special effects" department, Joey was portrayed as the consummate surfer. To this day, people ask me if Joey was a surfer. The photo of Joey with the surfboard did not actually appear in Mutant Monster Beach Party, but it has emerged as one of my most popular images. Perhaps it's the incongruity of the setting, or maybe just because it's such a happy photo. - Roberta Bayley As chief photographer for the legendary PUNK magazine, Roberta Bayley began photographing the pioneers of the New York punk scene in 1975, amassing what is perhaps the earliest complete archive of its formative days.
Photos: Joey Ramone standing on a surf board, Debbie Harry at Coney Island, frame from Mutant Monster Beach Party. More of her fine art punk prints can be purchased at rockpaperphoto.com and Best of PUNK Magazine the book is available on Amazon.com. Bayley is represented by Clic Gallery.
step three: surf
step four: harvest
Prepare soil at our 25-acre farm in Santa Cruz, CA
Sow seeds which include jasmine pl ants, apricot trees, raspberry bushes, and some top-secret ingredients
Go surfing until harvest (ak a let crops grow )
step five: brew
step six: mold
step seven : pack age
step eight: ship
Mix crops in a cauldron-like pot
When liquid reaches proper temperature, pour it into molds. pop out when dry
Wrap wa x bars with l abel and secure with environmentally friendly tape
Pl ace bars in recycled box. Ship to stores > HAppy Surfers > aloha!
Bowery and Beyond. Winter 2012−13
Is chatting with your neighbors in the lineup a no-no? I chat with some of my friends, but only my real close surfing friends. I’m pretty goddamned focused out there. Even when I’m talking to someone I’ve been surfing with for 30 or 40 years, I always have one eye on the horizon. If he stops to tell me how to make a million dollars and I see a wave coming, I’m going to take the wave before he gives me the answer.
We keep getting dumped by local boys, what’s going on? Count your lucky blessings. All I know is that when I was young, I never dumped any girls. There were hardly any around. Now they’re freaking everywhere. Why would you bring a sandwich to a schmorgesborg? That’s pretty chauvinistic, huh?
What exactly is surf wax and where does it come from? For most brands it means a mixture of paraffins and chemicals, but one company, Matunas, based out of California, found a way to make their product from nontoxic properties. They walked us through the eight steps it takes to cultivate an organic wax, surf sessions included.
step t wo : sow
What's the best way to get psyched again when you keep eating shit in the water? Try a new board, put a different fin on your board or try someone else’s board. Fresh foam is always exciting. To this day I ride this piece of shit board, but I have these other boards waiting in the wings for when the waves are good. Then I get super-duper excited. Surfing is the only sport I know of that you run to. You don’t run to a baseball game or to play tennis, but when there’s freaking waves I drop everything and get in my car. I never speed, but I don’t talk to anybody – don’t bother me…see ya.
Should women ever make the first move? Yes. Absolutely. What’s the difference if a guy or a girl makes the first move? Nobody wants to get shut down, but opportunity only knocks once. What’s the old saying? “You throw enough shit on the wall and some of it’s going to stick.”
From Seed to Stoke
step one: prep
When we're in Montauk, we're at Jimmy Goldberg's— the best, and only ding repair in town—more often then we're actually in the water. It was no surprise, then, that in the hours we spent watching our boards get bandaged back to life, that Jimmy— who's life experience could be measured by how many ships he's had to sink with the Coast Guard on his trail—became our default therapist. In this ongoing column, Jimmy waxes poetic on love, life, and surf etiquette while we furiously take notes.
Maybe the sandwich is better than what’s at the schmorgesborg? Could very well be. If someone has a great girlfriend that they really care for it doesn’t even matter. You still go to the schmorgesborg, but you just look at the food. Guys are always looking at that food. Is it ever OK to say “shaka”? I tend to do the opposite of what people are doing. When they start doing the shaka, I give them the peace sign. And when they do the peace sign, I give them the finger. Not the middle finger, but just a finger. I go against the grain. I was telling my friend in the water yesterday that everyone was getting lean and trim and fit. Not me: I’m getting fat and soft. What happened to the last guy that tried to start another ding repair in Montauk? I asked the guy if he was doing dings. He said, "Why?" I said because it'd be pretty difficult to surf with no hands. No, really, if people want to do it they can try, but it's hard to make money off of it and to get set up. But if someone can get set up, we'll probably join forces, and compare notes…and then I’ll cut his hands off. No big deal.
New York, New Jersey and Beyond
A broken wrist forced New York-based Zak Bush to take a hiatus from surfing. Instead, he picked up a camera and began capturing the spirit of the sport from behind his lens. For this series, he takes us around the city, through New Jersey and to the rebuilding efforts in the Rockaways.
Sandy From Afar
I was at a far remove when Sandy hit. A very far remove, in fact, separated from the storm surge by 50 degrees of longitude, watching it happen on the Weather Channel from my home in coastal British Columbia. I'm one of those people whose relationship with New York City is almost entirely second hand, shaped by books and magazine articles and stories from friends who'd moved there and would go shred Ditch Plains and Rockaway on their free days. The place I'm writing this from has a population of 2,000, a lot of tall cedar trees and not a single top light, so New York, most of the time, seems like it exists in a separate world. In a few senses, it's the antipode of where I live, different in almost every way. And New York has such a continual presence in contemporary culture that, for myself and many who don't live there, it's easy to forget that its boroughs and beaches aren't just screen sets—they're works of non-fiction, real and complex places built on the small loves and details of everyday lives. As a kid, my impressions of New York were mostly the Rangers and Saturday Night Live and Biggie and Jay. Later, as my tastes shifted, it was the Ramones and Live at the Apollo and Michael Chabon's cityscapes in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Klay. For me, the city and its shorelines existed mostly in the realm of pop and myth. It was surfing, though, that started to make New York more real—I'd pour over photo features in the surf magazines, click through galleries on Surfline, watch pretty much every clip posted on the New York surf blogs. I started seeing unexpected parallels between my own surfing life on the forested shores of Vancouver Island and the surfing life on the fringes of the great towering city—I knew what it was like to mission two hours for blownout waves, or to suffer through the long summer doldrums, or to feel the special agony of freezing water flushing into a hood and down into the small of the back. And I knew the finer things as well—shining autumn days with warm winds and rolling groundswell, or pulling into heaving, sand-brown barrels in the wan light of winter.
A few days before Sandy, a 7.7-earthquake struck off the coast of British Columbia, and not long after the tsunami sirens were sounding in our town. Not much happened, thank the Gods, but everyone was on edge as the aftershocks rumbled, wondering if the rest of the Cascadia fault was going to let go. The thought of water rushing over the beaches and turning houses to matchsticks, in other words, was pretty real. So as the reports from the hurricane came in that night, I was well aware of the tension and fear that the beach communities were feeling. Most of us who live by (and for) the ocean can't imagine living anywhere else—but there's always that sober knowledge that its waters can turn on us in an instant, and that we're helpless before them. In the next few days, it was hard to get any news of what had actually happened—there was lots on the news about Manhattan and the subways, but not much about the beaches. A Skype call with my friend Zak Bush, who'd weathered the storm in Williamsburg but had been going out to the Rockaways to help out, made it clear that things were pretty bad: "My first reaction," he said, "was shock." After we talked, Zak sent me some of his shots—splintered boardwalks and trashed cars and totaled beachfront houses. Those shots were heartbreaking to look at, but I knew I was seeing New York in a truer way—no longer a place of myth and idealized surf media, but a place just like my own, filled with real people and real lives, all of us holding on at the edge of an indescribably powerful sea. - Malcolm Johnson
Bowery and Beyond. Winter 2012−13
42 New York 12 New Jersey
ONE President elected during the aftermath
amount raised by Occupy Sandy for victims as of December 5
Flights canceled worldwide due to the storm
De ath Toll
rock away plate lunch truck
Animals rescued by the ASPCA in New York City and on Long Island
Record surge of seawater that crashed into lower Manhattan, a combination of a full-moon high tide and 9.23 ft of storm surge
Hurricane Sandy swell October 25, 2012 Montauk, NY
• Organized by Robert McKinley and Mike D
• Currently (as of December 15) serving 500 meals a day, 7 days a week
Red Cross workers have been deployed from all 50 states to operations from North Carolina to Rhode Island, with the majority still in Greater New York and throughout New Jersey.
• The “healthy hearty” menu designed by Top Chef alumn Sam Talbot
• Raised $181K on WavesforWater.org to support the truck
Disaster workers and hundreds of Red Cross vehicles deployed to help
Subway tunnels flooded under the East River
• Truck came all the way from Tennessee (lost for a while in Syracuse, but we won’t talk about that)
• Mentoring program launching to teach local teens about working with food: health cooking and how to run a business
Animals along with their families taken in by city shelters
Animals rescued by the Humane Society by boats on the barrier islands in New Jersey
w w w.rock awayplatelunch.com
Photo: © Nolan Hall/Massif
Style Icon and Fashion Authority
Chair, Surfrider Foundation, NYC Chapter
It’s hard to put into words the feelings Hurricane Sandy stirred up. It’s also hard to write about anything I have done or didn’t do in regards to Sandy relief. Maybe that’s the lesson. A disaster happens, people need others to help them, so one needs to do something however big or small. Feel free to talk about it or don’t. It doesn’t matter except that you do something. Everyone has something to contribute. And one more thing: there isn’t a soul on the Earth that can tell me this is true or not, but I have this innate feeling Mother Nature is pissed. We need to start treating her better, now. Replace old ways with newer and better ways. Get your friends and community to participate with you. Do it now and do it for the future of our children and for others that have lost so much.
Just after the disaster hit I reached out to Surfrider leadership about ways to help. We’re not technically a disaster relief organization. That said, in my mind, we needed to be. It’s just what you do when your backyard, and the lives of people you care about have been decimated. It feels good, and helping builds bonds among us all—those who will be there after the dust settles. New incarnations of these beaches and communities are coming, with infrastructure planning, and the like. I want future surfers to know that those who came before them gave a damn about the beach, and being active in those plans is what Surfrider is all about.
Share your story: www.sandystoryline.com everywhere: www.lavagirlsurf.com www.robinhood.org/rhsandy www.interoccupy.net/occupysandy www.architectureforhumanity.org New Jersey: www.sandynjrelieffund.org Staten Island: statenisland.recovers.org ROCKAWAY: www.smallwater.org
Trying to wrap my head around what happened here in the Northeast is such a difficult thing. It’s nothing like I’ve ever experienced, or think I will ever experience. We were hit with a once-in-a-lifetime storm, and it wasn’t something I was going to watch from the sidelines. This area has been my home my entire life. It contains my childhood memories. It’s where I caught my first wave, where my mother and father met surfing and where my career was born. It’s more than sentimental to me and to see the struggles of all those affected in the coastal communities is more than heartbreaking. People have lost everything. As a community who thrives on ocean’s energy, we have come together to help. It’s been an amazing experience to see the outpouring of volunteers helping strangers, the donations and positive vibes throughout. If you can help, get out there. If a monetary donation is what you would like to do, I recommend www.wavesforwater.org. 100% of the proceeds are going to the victims of Hurricane Sandy and the communities they live in.
Ten minutes into my first day out [volunteering], I was bagging up a seemingly endless pile of someone’s belongings when I realized I had tears streaming down my face. The experience was absolutely overwhelming. A week later I was called to [work with] Waves for Water along with a group from the New York surf community. Maybe disaster recovery is a natural talent for surfers, I don’t know. I tend to think its passion paired with reach and resources that has made our efforts effective. Most inspiring to me has been watching the surf community come together and forge relationships that will extend beyond Sandy. I’m proud to be a part of it. To donate money, resources, or time contact Waves for Water or us directly (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram).
jon rose founder, waves for water
www.interoccupy.net/occupysandy The Occupy Sandy Wedding Registries are a way that you can help donate supplies to the victims of Hurricane Sandy by sending them the exact items that they most need.
I’ve had a vision for our efforts here and we plan to focus even more as the days and weeks go by. I believe that Waves for Water can serve as a vehicle for the surf industry to rally behind and channel it’s support through, offering a strong and relentless mission targeting specifically the surf/beach communities that lost everything. My hope is that we, as a collective, will all look back in a few years and know that we came together for the greater good, and that we made a REAL measurable impact in the recovery. My goal with our relief initiative here is to help facilitate all the great grass roots efforts that are already happening—to amplify the positive effects of local efforts— to build and coordinate a coalition of efforts that can all work side-byside in helping to get Hurricane Sandy victims what they need.
ask a local
Growing up grom
At age 11 and just a few years after his family relocated to New York from Sebastian, Florida, Balaram Stack was sponsored by Long Beach surf shop unsOund. Today he is regarded as one of the biggest East Coast surf heroes since Rick Rasmussen in the 1970s. However, it was at the 2011 QuikPro contest in Long Beach—literally in Stack’s backyard—that really introduced the world to the 21-year-old with a pentient for aerials. And even though Kelly Slater defeated him (and everyone else), the contest finally gave Stack, and the Empire State, the attention they deserved in the industry. Balaram was on a boat when we reached him over the phone, at 7 a.m., in Oahu, Hawaii, where he’d be for another month, taking a break from New York and pursuing another of his other favorite water sports: tuna fishing.
Photos from top: Mike Nelson (UnsOund Surf)/Quiksilver, Pat Myers/Quiksilver, Michael Crawley/Quiksilver, Bernard Testemale/Quiksilver
Bowery and Beyond. Winter 2012−13
You went pro at a very young age, with Quicksilver discovering you at a surf camp in Montauk when you were 13. How did that change things for you? It was kind of a lot more of what I was already doing. I was surfing all the time, but I slowly started doing trips, and then contests here and there, and then more trips, and the on-the-road lifestyle just grew on me. I was surfing all these different waves and seeing all these different places. I liked it a lot. Did you go to a traditional high school? I did. I went to a public school until I was in 10th grade, and then for 11th and 12th grades I did homeschooling. I was just missing too much [during] the last couple of years, so I didn’t really have a choice but to be homeschooled. I’m really happy that I got to go to school for a while, because all these kids [I’ve met] who didn’t go to school aren’t the best socially. And the last two years that I didn’t go I was missing it the whole time. Even though I was definitely having a good time with what I was doing. But I still graduated with a lot of people and went to prom and stuff. Who was your prom date? A friend in a grade below me. It was fun. You have brothers that surf as well, is that how you learned? Yeah, I have two older brothers. They took me surfing when I was younger. New York hasn’t always been a place people think about when they think of surfing. Was it hard for you to get the same kind of attention and exposure in the surf media living here? New York gets really good waves. It’s not surprising that people surf in New York. Once people get that the waves are good here, they kind of understand; but for them to realize that can take a minute and some convincing. Was the Quiksilver Pro in Long Beach a positive thing for New York surfing? Overall it’s good because it brought business. The summertime has definitely been more crowded, but overall it was good for the whole industry in that area. How was it for you personally? I mean, that week was crazy. It was a lot of fun. I was posted up in a hotel a mile down from my house, treated like a king. Everyone was rooting for me. I didn’t do too well, but it was a lot of fun having everyone behind me. Did you ever feel like you had an advantage knowing the wave? I mean, I guess not, seeing that I didn’t do well, but I felt like it helped a little bit. What was it like surfing against Kelly Slater? It was a good time, and really nerve-wracking. Where’s your favorite spot in New York? I love surfing at home in Long Beach. Getting good waves with all my friends is probably the best thing. Where’s the best place to eat in Long Beach? Gino’s is always really good. It’s an Italian place across from the train station. If I’m not eating there I’m eating at a deli, like Zamboni’s or Brand’s deli. Is it hard for you going back to the East Coast to surf in the winter after being in places like Hawaii? Not at all. There’s really nothing like the good waves at home. I love going home in the wintertime or the summer time, getting waves. In the winter are you one of the few people out in the water? Now that the wetsuits are getting better there are more and more people. I have a pretty tight crew that I surf with in the winter when it’s snowing and freezing and going off. What’s your advice to someone that wants to take up cold-water surfing? Make sure you have a good wetsuit, that’s the main thing. If you have a wetsuit with holes in it, it’s not going to be fun. What’s your ritual when you get out of the water in winter? If I’m near a shower, I’ll head straight to the shower. If not, you’ve just got to turn the heat on and change as fast as you can outside and then jump in the heat and thaw out.
frigid water Iceland Canada Norway
No icy region is off limits for photographer Chris Burkard. While he frequents the East Coast, he's also traveled to the world's most remote areas, bringing us these chillingly beautiful images of his adventures.
Clockwise from top right: Norway, Iceland, Russia (A very smiley Trevor Gordon), Norway, Russia, New Zealand, Iceland, Canada (Keith Malloy's close encounters)
Coney Island Polar Bear Plunge
The advent of better wetsuits has made winter surfing more enjoyable for those what members of the Coney Island Polar Bear Club do every Sunday, November charging the icy Atlantic. But what about those ballsy enough to dive into frigid through April. On New Year's Day, the public joins in. So instead of wallowing in temperatures for a swim with nothing but a little bit of Lycra® on? That's exactly your hungover self this January 1, freeze your ass off with Coney Island's craziest. 10 FACTS: 1. A Polar Bear “Swim” or “Plunge” is a tradition that goes back more than 100 years; originated from the Scandinavian sauna tradition as a way to rapidly cool off after the heat of a sauna. 2. Founded by Bernarr Macfadden, the "Father of Physical Culture." 3. The Coney Island Polar Bear Club is the oldest winter bathing organization in the United States. 4. Coney Island's waters can get as low as 33°F, not including wind chill. 5. Thousands of dollars are raised for charity each year. 6. In Russia, ice-swimmers are referred to as ‘Walruses.’ In North America it’s ‘Polar Bears’. 7. Full submersion is the objective. 8. Costumes are optional, though encouraged. 9. It’s popular in the Netherlands: January 1, 2012, saw a record 36,000 Polar Bear swimmers in various locations. 10. Cold-water swimming has health benefits that include boosting the immune system, acting as a natural high, burning calories, and improving sex life and libido.
CATCHING UP WITH THE BEASTIE BOYS' LEGENDARY LYRICIST
The Beastie Boys’ Michael Diamond, AKA Mike D, needs no introduction. The New York icon, musician, father, surfer, curator, coffee-connoisseur and creator of all things awesome, splits his time between Montauk, New York City and Malibu, CA, where he lives with his wife and two young sons. But just because the legendary lyricist is now a proud family man, doesn’t mean he’s slowed down—he’s been busy dishing out hot meals in the Rockaways, curating exhibitions and searching for the sweetest swell. How did a kid from the Upper West Side get involved in surfing? I was traveling around and getting to be in places where there’s beautiful water and waves. Not taking advantage of that seemed like a shame. That coupled with the fact that my older son is ocean obsessed. He’s nine years old and about to do his first surf competition. So if I wanted to spend anytime with him then I had to learn how to surf. So your son basically taught you how to surf? Well, I don’t want that to get back to him. There are all kinds of egos involved. But I would say he’s more of the inspiration. I can still handle him in the line-up. Let the record state: I can still hold my own against him in a heat. That will not last that much longer. When did you start going out to Montauk and why? It was kind of from coming to Malibu that we ended up in Montauk. We spend our summers in Malibu in Point Dune and there are nature reserves. You would never know you’re in a city next to 11 million people. Then we’d come back to New York in September and the kids would be in school after surfing all summer, and we’d kind of be in culture shock. The only thing that we found that was comprable to Point Dune was Montauk. Grand Royal is still one of my favorite magazines of all time. If you ever started another publication, who would be on your dream list of editorial subjects? That’s a tough one. Maybe it’s because of the time that we’re talking right now—it’s 4 p.m. and I really need an espresso—but I would love to do an in-depth espresso article. I want it on all levels. I want to go traditional Italian. I want to hit the things that are happening with coffee in the U.S., I want to get down to the science and neurology, and what happens when people drink coffee. So, if you have an editor that’s willing to give me ridiculous amounts of expenses to achieve this—I’m going to need a worldwide travel budget to make it happen—I’m willing to do it. Would you ever encourage your sons to pursue a career in music? I have to admit I cringe a little bit at that thought. I just feel like music is a tricky thing. It’s like a last resort. You should only do it if you’re so obsessed with it you couldn’t possibly do anything else. But I guess you could say that about anything creative and in the end I would totally encourage them to do anything and everything in the creative realm. It’s difficult to make it and it takes a toll in terms of doing it and putting yourself out there. It can be a path hard forged, but it can be very rewarding. What was it like playing CBGB's for the first time in the '80s? It was kind of a big deal for us as hardcore kids from NYC. I mean CB's was legendary. We were too young to have gone to any of the first wave of infamous punk shows there: Ramones, Television, Patti Smith, Blondie, Suicide, Talking Heads, etc. But that was the legend that was woven into the stinky, stale-beer-and-cigarette-air of that spot. Plus we were huge Bad Brains fans, and there we were, all of the sudden, opening shows for them there. Do you ever get writers/creators block and if so how do you alleviate that? As a band we spent a vast amount of our career in the studio with writer’s block. The only sure fire thing is that you just have to keep showing up. There are moments in your work where things came together really quickly or really seamlessly, where it took no effort at all, then there’s moments where there are things that you’ve trashed time and time again, started something and picked it back up two years later because you couldn’t figure it out, but then somehow it comes together in the end. That’s just as good as those quickly inspired moments—it’s just a lot less fun along the way.
Who has better Jewish delis: New York or LA? I will get a lot of flack for this, but New York is an innately Jewish place, and LA is not. There are parts of LA that are, but in terms of the overall pervasive culture at large, New York has always had this innate Jewish element that’s not related to any religious association, it’s just part of the cultural fabric and language. I know that’s going to let some people down, but my time in LA was later in life and I was fading on the deli scene by then. I spend all my time at Naturally Good in Montauk— that’s the scene I could tell you about.
Tell me about the work you've been doing down at the Rockaways. What do you think those in New York and elsewhere can do now to help those still affected by Sandy? It's interesting. For me personally, I have never been in a situation that demanded such immediate action. There was no time to think, or take meetings, or plot out. There were real, basic human needs that had to be met. So it was heart first, dive in, start doing, get warm food to people and figure it out as we go. Rob McKinley and I went out to Rockaway a few days after Sandy. We brought a car full of supplies: batteries, cleaning stuff, boots, etc. It was heartening to see the effective grassroots distribution networks that arose, taking place at the Rockaway Surf Club, Veggie Island, etc. It was good hearted and right-minded people handling business among displaced sand, pieces of boardwalk, and cars strewn about. People’s ruined appliances and lives were literally kicked to the curb. There was no power, no businesses open, and no hot food for people. [The latter] was one basic need where we felt we could have some impact. So immediately we contacted restaurant friends: The Fat Radish, The Breslin, Back 40, Sam Talbot, etc., and started bringing hot meals out from the city. Quickly we realized that by the time we were getting meals to people in high-rises, community centers, and churches, it was not so hot. A food truck was needed to provide this rapidly changing landscape with hot meals. All the restaurant people and our friends on the ground helping us out were so amazing, enabling us to feed 500 people, daily. So I guess my take away is: go in first hand. See what is there, and where there are needs, then focus intensely and specifically on what you can do. Don't be hasty, but do not deliberate at all.
Editors note: Read more about the rock away pl ate lunch truck on page 10
Photo: Ian Edwards via Flickr; Rockaway Plate Lunch Truck photos by James Katsipis
Bowery and Beyond. Winter 2012−13
Patagonia ambassador Dan Ross on saving the planet, one water bottle at a time
1. Call our grandmothers more
2. Stop saying
—unless we really are
3. Use all our vacation days
4. Cook with more greens (or rather, learn to cook) 5. Read all those books that are still sitting at our bedside tables
6. Stargaze more 7. Improve posture
8. Bike to work and take a different route home every day to see more of our city 9. Say
to people whom we do (unless we started dating them last week)
10. Stop blacking out regularly
We caught up with Dan Ross at home in Venice, CA, high off a Hawaiian big-wave riding trip. He passionately recounted his experience plunging into Jaws' wall of water, a feat the Aussie native was still catching his breath from. A Patagonia ambassador, Ross is also passionate about the environment: when he signed with the company, he asked for his incentives to be paid for by solar-paneling his house. He further champions causes like One Bottle for Life— a reusable water bottle initiative he co-founded last year—and is an ambassador for 1% for the Planet, donating one percent of his annual income to nonprofit, grassroots conservation organizations. You started surfing really young. When did you know that that was something that you wanted to do? I started following in my brother’s footsteps. He’s seven years older than me, and we lived right on the beach, and he and Dad were always surfing. As soon as I was old enough to get in the water, I was surfing. Eventually, my friends and I started pushing each other. I had fun with it for a lot of years, and then started to do little events. We moved to Yamba [New South Wales, Australia] and there’s a really good surf community there, which means a lot of good surfers have come out of that area, like my stepdad, David Treloar, who is one of the surfers in Morning of the Earth. Do you have a favorite memory of going out with your stepdad? We surfed together for almost 10 years. I have so many good memories of taking trips up and down the coast in that part of the world. We’d drive up to Lennox Head [Australia], really early in the morning, to catch big swells and I’d skip a few days of school here and there to get the swells at home. He’s also a really good fisherman, so I have a bunch of memories of fishing in that area. You just got back from a trip to Hawaii. How was it? I’ve done so many trips to Hawaii surrounding the Triple Crown, but this summer was so unique. I flew in, Kohl [Christensen] picked me up from the airport, and we went straight to his farm and to one of his favorite waves, a heavy outer-reef left. I’ve been to Hawaii around 17 times, but this was a really unique spot, with just a few locals. It was an entirely different vibe, away from that stretch along the North Shore. I got there as the swell was hitting, and then overnight it picked up a lot more. That evening we saw the footage of Dorian and the guys that had surfed Peahi (Jaws) that day, it was crazy! So we booked flights to Maui for the next morning at 3 a.m. The intensity of the trip progressed from there. It was such an eye-opener: just the rawness of that place, how powerful the waves are, and how fast they move. It’s just a huge wall of water. I’ve been in the ocean my whole life, and I’ve been pretty confident in bigger waves, but this was a whole other level.
In water like that, do you still get nervous? Oh, guaranteed. I was nervous from the moment we booked our flight. You get this sort of feeling, like, "Yeah, okay, we’re doing it now, we’re heading over there." From that moment, you’re kind of battling with nerves, and focusing on your breathing to adjust. I was so thirsty from being nervous when we arrived, I'd used up all of the water in my body just from that [laughs]. There’s no easy way to paddle out there either, its the heaviest jump off I've done. Then when you’re out there, it’s almost like you’re in survival mode the whole surf. We surfed for about three and a half hours. After doing that, do you feel hooked on going out in more waves like that? Yeah, to a certain extent. I mean, even after you get a wave like that, there’s a feeling of, “Oh, I want to get another one” or “I’ll do better on that.” The guys that do it year-round have a lot of training for those specific waves. Kohl and the boys just attack it out there. I was a little more cautious, because I haven’t been doing nearly enough on that level. In these situations, you don’t even know if those guys who can pick you up on a jet ski and get you out of trouble are there. Anytime that happens, you’re putting someone else’s life at risk as well, so you really want to be on top of your own game, and be fit enough to do that all the time. But for sure, with proper training and preparation, it’d be something that I’d love to have more of.
What training do you do to keep in shape? The key things are corrective body strengthening, so it doesn’t get ripped apart when you get hit by one of the waves; breath-enhancement training; and the mental side, so you can handle it. On top of that, it’s a lot of underwater drills, and things to bring the heart rate up while you’re holding your breath, trying to simulate what your body does when you’re in those situations, caught up in a wave or a
fall; teaching your body to react in those situations so it doesn’t chew through as much oxygen as it normally would. If you’re consistently doing that training, you’re strengthening your mind and your physical attributes, so you feel more confident in that situation. You’ve been involved in a couple of environmental initiatives. As a Patagonia ambassador, have you worked with them on anything directly? At the moment, two really good mates from home, Stu Bowen, Navrin Fox and I are working on a campaign, called “One Bottle for Life.” It stems from our passion for the ocean and that we spend most of our lives in it. With all the traveling I was doing, I would see the huge amounts of plastic pollution and realized I was contributing by drinking so much water from single-use plastic bottles. Stu and myself are ambassadors for 1% for the Planet and we really wanted to align and collaborate with other members on a solution for this plastic problem. We’re speaking with Klean Kanteen about making it easy to use reusable bottles. Along with that, we have an idea for a new way for people to instantly be part of the solution. We’re looking to kick it off at Patagonia’s New York store opening. Its exciting and we cant wait to share it with everyone. Do you think that Patagonia opening up another store in New York is a good indicator that surfing has reached an all-time high in popularity? I think so, for sure. There are a lot of surfers that come out of [the New York area], and there’s a bunch of people that just love to get in the water. Even in New York City, you can walk down the street and see a bunch of surfers. More and more people are doing it; it’s a great thing to start your day off with. Being in the ocean is so grounding. You’re also really interested in nutrition. What do you have for breakfast? Lately, I’ve been trying to change it up, having steak for breakfast. Sometimes it feels really good to eat meat in the mornings. Sometimes I’ll have a smoothie or some fruit and maybe go train after that. A lot of the stuff I’ve learned is based on how you feel after eating certain things and listening to how your body reacts to that. A lot of the time I won’t have much food during the day and don’t eat such a heavy meal at night, and I usually sleep better. Do you consider yourself competitive? I do, yeah, for sure. It’s in my nature as a professional surfer to be that way, the same way I’ve been driven with other goals that I’ve wanted to achieve. Even now in Hawaii, I was competitive. I just see it in a little bit of a different way now and enjoy each of these moments as they come. It’s not so much to compete with someone, it’s to push oneself and achieve the things I want to achieve for myself. Photos courtesy of Patagonia / Ted Grambeau and Chris Burkard
wetsuit guide colophon Patagonia is a relative newcomer to making wetsuits, having produced their first model in 2004. But since the beginning they’ve been pushing the industry to be more sustainable. “Back in the day we were smoking through wetsuits,” recalls Jason McCaffrey, Patagonia’s surf director, invoking a time before the brand developed their long-lasting wool wetsuits. In 2008, they began researching an alternative to traditional neoprene, a synthetic material from which the majority of wetsuits are made, and which is harmful to the earth, leads to “dirty water” through manufacturing, according to McCaffrey takes “literally forever” to biodegrade, and can irritate skin. “We didn’t know if we could, but we figured, why not give it a shot? “We just started working on trial after trial, trying to make a rubber that has the elasticity, the thermal durability, the UV protection— basically a rubber that could take the abuse of sun and salt water, the way traditional neoprene does.” What they found as a source was an unlikely solution—a fragrant plant called guayule—that smells like pine or eucalyptus trees. Produced in collaboration with Yulex—primarily a medical manufacturer—Patagonia found this natural latex was even more effective for warmth, durability and flexibility when used in combination with neoprene. “The original goal was to get 100 percent Yulex,” says McCaffrey, “but we couldn’t get the performance that we needed, so we started playing around with hybrid blends: the current blend is 60 percent Yulex, 40 percent neoprene.” Testing this hybrid blend against their best-selling R2 front-zip suit as the benchmark, they found the suits to have 30 percent more stretch than their current R2 suit. Plus, with a new hollow-fiber polyester material, they dry instantly. Currently the guayule-based wetsuits are being custom-crafted in Japan. Come spring, however, Patagonia will turn part of their R&D lab in Ventura, CA, into a “wetsuit shack.” McCaffrey also hopes to raise awareness in the industry by getting the other surf lines together
Publisher: The Usual × Patagonia Editor: Yasha Wallin Creative Director / Designer: Emily Anderson Contributors: Roberta Bayley, Chris Burkard, Zak Bush, Glenn Glasser, Jimmy Goldberg, Nolan Hall, Malcolm Johnson, Jeff Lipsky Copy Editor/Proofreader: Theodore Bouloukos Front-cover image: Lauren Malloy, Chris Burkard Back-cover image: Chris Burkard
with Yulex, and manufacturers from Asia, to “connect the dots.” He explains: “If I do my job right, and people know there’s the option that they’re down with, and they demand it, industry will deliver; the idea being, a year from now, there’s less neoprene scraps going in the landfills.” With this plant-based innovation, the possibilities could be endless, and lead to this perfect, eucalyptus-scented world McCaffrey hints at. “There’s possibly more alternatives coming, this is just our version,” he says. “This isn’t the end all be all, this is just step one.”
Extra Special Thanks: Shelby Meade and the team at Fresh and Clean Media, Vickie Achee, Jason McCaffrey Special Thanks: Meredith Bagerski, Chris Burkard, Jonathan Feldman at Massif Management, Alex Fisk, Carolina Gonzalez, Stefan Knecht, Jahil Maplestone, Jennifer Piejko, Abe Wallin, Summer Walsh The Usual Issue No. 4 Winter 2012/13 Manhattan / Montauk, NY firstname.lastname@example.org
Photo: Belinda Baggs by Chris Burkard
When historians, musicians, locals and regulars describe the legendary music venue CBGB (Country, BlueGrass, and Blues), which closed in 2006, they all start with one thing: it smelled like shit. The spilled beer, cigarette butts, sweat, vomit, and everything in between was a result of night after long night of shows and fans coming together
because of a passion for music, in particular, punk rock. It was a place where angst was celebrated, screaming encouraged, originality explored. It's where Iggy Pop went shirtless, where Blondie rapped, and where the Police debuted to a nearempty room in 1977. It was where the Beastie Boys played, before Ad Rock was even in the group, where the Ramones got their start. In the words of Richard Hell, also a mainstay there, CBGB "housed the most influential cluster of bands ever to have grown up—or to implicitly reject the concept of growing up—under one roof." Founded by Hilly Kristal in 1973, over the decades the venue came to reflect the Bowery and the neighborhood itself: a hotbed for creativity, experimentation, DIY, anything goes. Continuing with these ethos, it's new tenants, Patagonia, will open its first East Coast surf store in what was CB's 313 Gallery. Opening in winter, 2013, this new space will build on the spirit of community and innovation that CB's fostered long ago, moshing optional.
contributors Chasing the American Dream, Emily Anderson emigrated to America from the U.K., a decade ago and is now New York City and Montauk-based art director. Recent projects include designing a cookbook for Rodale; branding Heidi Klum's personal trainer; creating restaurant La Bodega's identity; illustrating a cocktail book; and making the magazine for Mike D's curated show at LA MOCA. Littleenglishgenius.com Yasha Wallin is a New York City-based writer and editor, and GOOD Magazine's creativity curator (www.good.is). She’s written about art, fashion, travel, bagels and young Hollywood for numerous publications, including Art in America, Flaunt, Guardian UK, Heeb, Interview Magazine, Paper Magazine, Style.com and Surface. Twitter @ywallin.
As chief photographer for the legendary Punk magazine, Roberta Bayley began capturing the progenitors of punk in 1975, amassing perhaps the earliest complete archive of New York punk’s formative days. She shot album covers for the Ramones, Richard Hell and Johnny Thunders Heartbreakers, and documented the rise of Debbie Harry and Blondie in her book, “Blondie Unseen” (Plexus). She also photographed the British punk invasion, including everyone from the Sex Pistols to Billy Idol. Robertabayley.com
Bowery and Beyond. Winter 2012−13
Printed at Linco Printing, New York © 2012 The Usual The entire contents of The Usual are © copyrighted and may not be reproduced, either in whole or in part, without written permission from the publisher. For year-round entertainment, follow us on Twitter: @theusualmtk Instagram: @theusualmontauk Facebook: @theusualmontauk Check out our site for interviews and images new and old: theusualmontauk.com.
Chris Burkard is currently staff photographer for Surfer Magazine. Along with his editorial contributions, Chris has created a coffee table book, The California Surf Project, and continues to travel the world seeking to experience the most remote, rugged and untouched destinations that exist. Chris lives in Arroyo Grande, CA with his wife Breanne, and new baby. Burkardphoto.com
Nearly five years ago Zak Bush's photographic career began with a broken wrist. Still wanting to participate in the sport and search for waves with friends, he found himself behind a borrowed SLR, with a new passion. Soon after, Zak became one of the key contributors to SBC surf magazine, capturing the soul at the heart of surfing. Now based in New York and working at Saturdays NYC in creative, Zak continues to pursue his photography in-and outside-of the water. Zakbush.com Glenn Glasser was on his sixth-grade field trip when he was suspended for documenting the truth or dare game being held in the back of the bus. He's now a professional, which legitimizes his childish antics. Glenn divides his time between Williamsburg and Montauk with his dog, Yogi. Glennglasser.com
Malcolm Johnson lives in Canada, most of the time, and writes about surfing, travel and coastal culture. His work has appeared in The Surfer's Journal, The Surfer's Path, and a range of other publications in the States and overseas. He still thinks "Live at the Apollo," by James Brown, is the best album ever. Follow him on Instagram and Twitter @Malcolmrjohnson.
The Usual is a seasonal “love letter to Montauk”, focusing on the people and places that make the easternmost tip of Long Island so special.