Monday, August 29, 2011

pleasure and pain surfing bali

3 weeks in, we continue to be amazed by the warm spirit of the indonesian people. from taxi drivers, restaurant owners to guys in the line-up, there is a unique love of life here in indonesia.

we spent a few days near uluwatu. the swell was pumping and i did my best to take on "impossibles" with my 9'2" single fin. truly a leg-burning left, i got some of the longest and fastest backs-side waves of my life. the photos are from our perch at Rock N Reef hotel, check it out if you want a VIP view of this stretch of reef.

Backside on a traditional single fin in this kind of surf is pretty tricky, but nothing about Tyler Surfboards is truly traditional. The double concave vee and knifey rails really worked well on the speed sections - the board took a fast, high line. As surfing goes, right when i started feeling a bit confident, i got caught up with my board in the white water and re-arranged my schnozola via board smack.

I've been meaning to get in and fix my deviated septum and i think i may have accomplished it minus the costly US medical bills. we'll see how it heals up.

looking to find a right that offers up a nose-ride section, so my nose, can ride a little more safely!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

the hills of ubud, bali

i guess i'm on a roll of staying high above see level. that said, this spiritual, ubud region is truly rejuvenating. i arrived with my wife for her yoga retreat (she is teaching) with a sinus/ear infection from my body-surf session in rio and a pretty flared up lower-back from all my travels- that said, i've enjoyed 5 relaxing days in the hills. running, stretching, connecting with the locals- the balinese are truly a warm and generous people. i can feel my body getting stronger each day.

the one thing i've noticed, in what is a tourist region, is that the craftsmanship of the locals is unreal; sculpters, woodworkers, artists -- i am so impressed. i've tried to snap a few portraits of local faces along the way.

o a surf note: i did sneak down to echo beach near canggu for a surf - the tide was too low on the reef and the swell had dropped, so the bali-bobby-dazzler did not get wet but i did find a corner dumping onto a shallow sand-bar; so i grabbed the fins and body-surfed into my first bali shacks. i look forward to finding some more views in the near future.

via the Drifter surf shop in seminyak- i got word that chris del moro is nearby and i look forward to hooking up with a friendly face to take on some unfamiliar reef breaks. chris rides for bing and my old friend and long time shaper matt calvani makes his boards - so it will be pretty classic to have two haoles rolling around on tylers and bings in bali high. hana hou.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

tyler's bali-bob-dazzler

i've been talking to tyler hatzikian for a while about creating a pulled in longboard gun that would be a bit scaled down from what he charges hammerland on. this conversation has evolved ever since the el nino winter of 2009 and finally, we found the right inspiration to get this vehicle made.

after my non-stop run of work travel i've happily booked a month long trip to bali with my wife who will be there teaching a yoga training. this is my first trip to bali and i knew i would need some pretty tuned equipment for the quality and level of surf i'm going to find myself in.

i hooked up with tyler earlier this summer and discussed the possibility of crafting a longboard-gun for the trip. zeke, the good friend he is, put aside his 80 hour-a-week work load, smiled, and said, "yah, we'll figure out a way to get you on that board." in zeke we trust... the mustache rides again.

i just stopped by the factory for a day- my head somewhere between South Africa, Rio, El Porto and Bali -- tyler pulled a gorgeous, 9'2" 60's inspired gun off the laminate rack. i can't tell you how exciting it is to see such a well crafted piece of equipment, custom made for a surf trip. most of my surf trips entail renting camera lenses, packing bags of gear, listing expensive equipment with customs -- this is the first trip to begin with picking up a hot-rod.

zeke has coined the new ride, the Bali-Bob-Dazzler - an off beat reference to a tee-shirt he bought years ago on a tube-riding jaunt through the region. i will check in periodically with up-dates, so that my good friend burning the mid-night oil to finish boards for friends, can mind-surf along with me. thanks zeke - let the adventure begin.

note: the bali-bob is the middle board with pale-green color. waiting finish sand and a fin - about 20hrs pre-flight to kuta.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

film IS NOT dead

fewer people are shooting it - even fewer are processing it. but DAMNIT there is no replacement for the organic feel and beauty of something shot on film. i can't and don't want to tell you why i feel this way. i just like looking at images and letting the feeling explain itself.

canon AE-1 used by my parents and still working great.

Fuji 400 superia and Kodak 400 T-max

process from Neg to Disk by Rose Photo - Venice, Ca.

you can see more shots here.

high above rio in rocinha

while shooting for our environmental documentary in Rio, i was lucky enough to meet a couple local surfers who grew up in the favelas (slums) on the hills above Rio. Their area in particular is called Rocinha and is the largest slum in the city. their story is unbelievable and the subject of a documentary worth checking out called, Surfing Favela. having come from broken homes and poverty, the ocean has given them a place of refuge, inspiration and meaning. the bigger story is that they have established a surfing school and spend their time teaching youth surfing and a respect for the environment they love to play in.

the beaches of Rio are loved by all- young, old, wealthy and financially challenged. it is inspiring to see all these people come together through organizations like surfrider to take care of the beaches as a collective of like-minded people. A special tip-of-the-cap to a local surfer, named Bocao, who has put together the Rocinha Surf School - a project focused on giving kids a positive outlet for their energy, focused on surfing, community and environmental awareness.

the guys took us up into Rocinha, an experience which is hard to put in words. I just got back my 35mm film and can only share a few images. a special thanks to surfrider brazil for making this day possible.