Looks like the Sea Pea buzz is going from strength to strength. ive seen a fair few bobbing around lately. Always gives me a small smile of satisfaction to see someone stoked on surfing it.
Gulfstream just got this sent in from a happy customer........
Sea pea WTF…
Hi Will and Julian
Holy mother of Poseidon!!!,having had 2 surfs on the sea pea,one at
low tide coombesgate which was somewhat ragged in the wind and just now
surfing the ‘a’ frame peaks of gwithian towans I thought I’d drop a line
to you.Having had the supreme pleasure of riding your 6’0 speed dialler
and 5’10 keel fin fish I didn’t think it would be physically possible
to travel much faster on a stick!,wrong,wrong and wrong.Along came Mr
Sea Pea.Personally Jools I feel a nomination for the Nobel peace prize
should be heading your way after this creation!, the sea pea is such an
unbelievable ride,fast,smooth and drawn out ‘buttery’ like turns abound
with a wicked little snap sensation during hard turns on steeper
sections.Talking of speed this thing generates it in the most
challenging conditions and cruises around sections with as much,if not a
little more ease than the speed dialler.I can’t wait to surf it in
slightly bigger and cleaner conditions and the thought of riding the sea
pea at Saunton on a clean 3 foot or so is just too exciting.I have one
minor issue though,it’s not doing my marriage any favours as it’s
proudly on display in the front room to be admired for the thing of
beauty that it is!,much to the wife’s annoyance!!.Massive thanks for
this board,you deserve to sell bucket loads of them.
Cheers for now
If you're not on the mini simmons program yet for average UK conditions, get with it, they're so much fun!!
I stripped all the wax off my favorite log the other day. It was about time, it pretty much looked like it had been Tarmaced! Much to my horror i noticed that the blank has twisted, pretty significantly. It wasnt entirely unexpected, i know most of the other boards shaped from that batch of blanks have a twist to some degree, an unfortunate dodgy supply i would assume.
The weird thing is that it's (still) an amazing magic board. It's always paddled slow but it has been and (since noticing the twist still ) remains one of my favorites. I'm pretty sure the twist has been there for a while which leads me to question how much difference does it actually make? In theory you are only engaging one rail at a time (the basis that asymmetric boards work on)
I mean is the twist in the rail actually part of the magic? The argument for hand over machine shaping has always been one which says that it is the inaccuracies in a handshape that make the difference between a great board and a mediocre one and the precision of the machine loses this "magic touch"
As far as i can see the only problem is that it affects the resale value.... which is fine because this log is a keeper!
So i'm trying hard to keep this all surfing related generally but as i type this i'm in france and it's raining, massive and onshore so i aint surfing today, in fact as surf trips go, this one has pretty much sucked.
As you all know, surfing and waves in general are fickle beasts. For every hour surfing we spend precious few minutes actually stood up and riding waves and countless more watching, waiting, hoping for somthing to happen. That puts surfing at odds as a "sport" with most other conventional sports. Take tennis or swimming or football (or most anything else) Once you have negotiated a window to go do them, it's pretty much just a case of turning up and playing. Even skateboarding and snowboarding, our closest cousins, are the same, theres always something to ride on the mountain and skate spots only change slowly over time.
Book a week or two at the beach though, especially if it's a european beach break and you could luck into 10 days of perfect warm swell or the hundred year storm and the ensuing fall out. This holiday has definately trended towards the latter........
Patience is key but in our ever more busy lives it's a difficult lesson to learn!
So last weekend saw the opening of the new Finisterre and Gulf stream joint venture in Braunton. It's in the original GS shop but the space is now shared so you can lust after Finisterre's high quality clothes as well as Jools finely tuned surfcraft. It looks fantastic and i think there is a real confluence between where the two brands are coming from. Hopefully its going to be really mutually beneficial.
Opening night was a real fun evening hanging out with some local friends and meeting the finisterre guys. Most of you will already be aware of their clothes but if you arent they are really worth checking out! Clothes designed for surfers by surfers and ethically made.
I've always thought of them as a kind of British Patagonia and like the american brand, they are moving into the wetsuit game next year. They have been prototyping some winter suits designed to be warm, durable and dry quickly at a reasonable price. All things that we need for cold water surfing that overseas brands dont always appreciate. They look great from what ive seen so far.
Probably worth making sure your young children are not in the room for the "interludes" stolen from 70's soft porn but a fine little dvd all the same. Shot in 16mm and very much on the arty side of things it's made by Tin Ojeda and features some of the usual hipster subjects as well as some lesser known faces.
Highlights for me were Devon Howard on his Tyler egg, Dane Peterson killing it in his super smooth style and the deepest reaches guys finding trim and style on very long and very short boards....
I just stole this picture of Jools from Gulftream aboard his 5'0 Seapea from their blog (pic is by Gordon from devondigitalimaging.co.uk)
Jool's post is pretty much spot on, talking about the simple joy in racing along a wave, beating sections, climbing and dropping, weighting and un-weighting to generate speed. As he says, it's a fundamental part surfing that is often overlooked in the media in favour of bigger brasher, faster, "radder" manouvers. Yet it is one of the most fun things you can do on a wave. The Seapea and it's mini simmons brethren are some of the best boards for this, taking the foundation in speed that the fish platform woke the world up to and adding afterburners.
Well after what wasnt really a banner summer for surf, autumn continues to deliver so far! Another couple of days of long distance, well organised swell with perfect winds.
I've spent my sessions on a mix of the two boards in the picture. The 5'8 Larry Mabile twin keel mentioned a couple of posts ago and the 5'2 Tyler Warren Bar of soap. It's been interesting comparing the two boards and also comparing the bar of soap to my SeaPea. The twin keel fish definately carves a turn better and takes more weight through the turn without slipping out but loses out in speed generation and section making. Definately fun though.
The bar of soap, as i've posted before, is one of the best boards i have owned. It's definately got more shortboard influence than most mini simmons, there's no stringer, the wide point is not forward and the bottom shape is roll into a deep vee'd double concave (spiral vee?!) That translates to a board that feels really alive and spritely under your feet with great down the line speed but slightly less smooth flow than the single concave of the seapea. Off the top it's looser and easier to whip through turns, feeling like it really sits up high in the water.It's not quite as good as the SeaPea in junk waves though, it definately likes just a little bit of shape.
Boards come in all shapes and sizes and colours. There are lots which are just there, but there are some that speak to you, well to me anyway. Some perfect confluence of curves and colour that draws the eye from across a crowded board room, begs to be touched, to feel the smoothness of the gloss coat and the fluid way water will run from concavity to convexity and off the rails.
I think hulls and hull derived shapes are often like this. They have such a soft, organic form with no hard edges that is always pleasing to the eye, sending you mindsurfing that perfect point with flowing high line and deep railed bottom turns.
So the "indian" summer continues with a particularly over hyped swell on the weekend. Up here it didnt really show until sunday by which time i think almost everyone that owns a surfbpoard east of exeter was in the water. Croyde would probably have allowed you to cross the bay with dry feet using peoples heads as stepping stones. Saunton meanwhile had surfers as far as the eye could see by 8am and the car park shut by midday.
In the end, the long period affected the quality and as the tide dropped it was the smaller insiders that kept their shape rather than closing out. Very much a no-cutback day.
Monday dawn patrol brought slightly smaller waves but as clean and fun as you like with a crowd of mostly locals to fight over them. I rode a twin keel fish for the first time in a while and had a ball.
My sis and her partner are coming down this weekend for a visit. "Medium G" as he will hence forth be known (he's not big enough for big G!) lives on the edge of the peak district and is probably as obssessive about mountain biking as i am about surfing. I've spent many hours trailing his wheel at slightly scary speeds around the lakes but this will be the first time i get the chance to show him my neck of the woods. Hopefully the weather will be kind enough for exmoor and some trails with a sea view. I'm looking forward to it. Exmoor might not get quite the same hype as the nearby Quantocks within the biking community but it has some fantastic riding of everything from foresty single track to exposed moorland to edge of a cliff style rocky paths.
It goes without saying that there are some fairly big hills involved but having recently done a few rides in the vendee which is pretty much pan flat, i can happily say (in a peverse way) that i actually like cycling up hill. I enjoy the challenge and the reward of it. you would think that bashing out the miles on well surfaced flat roads is easy and therefore more enjoyable but weirdly it's actually a bit dull, even when the sun is shining! Of course climbing up something big always means you have to lose all that height somehow, and thats really where the smiles are!
You will have to excuse the slightly drunk horizon, i couldnt risk hanging any further out of the window. I'm a sucker for a good sunset. On a good summers day you know the embers are there, hidden but still hot ready to burn when the time is right.
Annual trip to France starts tomorrow, van is packed with a log and the seapea, keep your fingers crossed for waves!
Dunno if any of you made it to the Somersault festival a couple of weeks ago. It was really good and much less "devon" than we might have expected. Big enough to be "proper" but still small enough to enjoy and not fel like you were endlessly walking from place to place through massive crowds. Well organised and really good clear sound from the stages.
Ben Howard and Jack Johnson were both superb. It's funny, ive hardly listened to Jack Johnson over the last few years. I loved his first couple of albums but then i think he was just everywhere and i got bored.
A a result i wasnt super excited about seeing him, less excited than other people but do youn know, he fully rocked. i kinda remembered why i enjoyed him inthe first place. Tight sounding band and mellow tunes as the sun set behind the stage. He genuinely seemed to be enjoying himself too.
Somersult is definately on for next year already.Reccomended.
I wrote this piece a couple of years ago but for a variety of reasons it didnt get published on Drift straight away, mainly to do with getting some decent pictures for it what with Drift being a very picture heavy format. Drift the went into hibernation and Howard has just sold it to the french guys behind extreme video so that chapter of my surf musing is well and truly shut now.
I kinda feel bad for Rudy that it never made it out there. We worked hard on it and Rudy is a really creative nice guy. His dvd is worth searching out if you can find it now and he still posts stuff on the web from time to time. I have a suspiscion that there will be another chapter in the avthentic story.
Anyway, heres the original un-edited text. Hope it reads ok!!!
A Story of Avthenticism
The surf media in general portray south west france as a
place of topless bathing, sunshine, parties and thumping beachbreak
barrels and it's true that parts of it are inextricably linked with the
American corporate surfing dream and the selling thereof. It's not the
whole story though.
from the ASP circus that descends every autumn and the corporate
headquarters of quikcurlbong, there are grass roots, sunk deep and
growing for years. There is a heartfelt and genuine, "authentic" surf
culture filled with gallic flair every bit as valid as anything you're
likely to see pushed in magazines from around the world.
Jacques is a frenchman with saltwater in his veins and a heart
captivated by surfing. A man who has revelled in this unique culture and
felt compelled to record it as he sees, lives and breathes it. His work
is a window on french surfing in it's most authentic homegrown sense.
Building on the success of his art and photography shows, this Autumn
sees the release of his film "the avthentic story"
What's your surfing history, how did you get into it?
grew up in Ile d’Oleron, a small island on the Atlantic Coast of
France. I was surrounded by the sea so it was inevitable i developed a
relationship with the ocean, whether it was surfing or swimming or
gathering seashells with my grandparents. I started bodyboarding because
it was cheap and so much fun and I spent several summers standing up on
it and trimming. My parents were not into surfing but they bought me a
very thick red-green-yellow fluo 6”2 thruster that my friends were happy
to laugh about. That's pretty much how I got into surfing.
What drew you to the more alternative side of surfing, away from thrusters and the world tour?
used to surf thrusters all the time but I was not very good at it. A
friend of mine let me try his longboard during a summer, it was in 2002
or 2003 I guess and I found it simple, elegant and way funnier. Most of
the waves on Ile d’Oleron are perfectly shaped for longboarding. So I
finally got my hands on a Jed Noll 9’0 a year later and used to ride it
all the time. My dreams were made of 2-3ft left-waves, and they still
are. I love riding logs, i've been caught since the first ride.
What was the idea behind avthentic originally?
been into punk music since my teenage years when i discovered bands
like Minor Threat and Fugazi. They were doing their own things, creating
their independent label and refusing to do gigs if the entrance ticket
was too expensive. I thought it was the way it should be done. Do it
yourself and accessible. So making clips or taking photographs or doing
fanzines sounded like the real deal while creating Avthentic. I just
wanted to document what we were doing in Oleron, bringing these values
of integrity and dedication.
Does it have a message you trying to communicate to your audience?
Try to make the most out of what makes you feel alive.
what inspired you to start making a film?
I was 16, I worked during the summer and ended up buying my first
camera. It was in 2003. I started making short movies with my friends,
writing scripts or doing introspective stuff. I spent hours doing the
edit. It was terrible (literally very bad) but very entertaining!. I
also did surf clips but it was nonsense. I reckon Thomas Campbell opened
the path and his work helped me to focus on the right thing. I can
easily say that I watched The Seedling and Sprout thousands and
thousands of times. It sounds such a cliché but it is how it really
I questioned myself a
lot. Is what I am doing right? I became aware that it was time to do my
own thing. The best way to show my gratitude to people who influenced
me was just to be honest. I worked a lot NOT to get rid of my influences
but to use them appropriately. So I started filming for The Avthentic
Story because I had something to share and something to say with my own
words, with the same low-price camera I bought in 2003 until it fell in
It has been tough
to see this project through to completion. I have been in Paris since
2007 and have gone back to the coast only during holidays. That is why
it took me so long to film, from 2007 to 2011 actually. I went through
different states of mind. I was about to stop everything because I
became disgusted by the neo-retro-classic hipster stuff. People were
arriving and calling themselves artists and neglecting the legacy of the
people who were there before. I was afraid of Avthentic being
assimilated to that. I wanted it to be humble and simple and made with
nothing else than passion, paying attention and expressing gratitude to
What is your vision for avthentic now, is it a brand, an art collective, a hobby or a career?
is a pure hobby. I don't want it to be called a brand because it would
mean objectives and financial expectations. I do not want that, I do not
want to take a picture and to feel the pressure. Maybe it will change
when I lose my real job or when I have mouths to feed but as for now, it
is all about having fun in doing what I love.
you work in several media, film, analog camera's, spray paint, all "basic" or "old" technologies, why choose them?
everything is mechanical and built to stand the test of time. I use a
point and shoot Minolta camera for lifestyle scenes and a Canon
AE1-Program with a 400mm lens for surfing. The Canon body was the first
gift my parents bought themselves together after they got married. It's
not disposable, it is a piece I am proud to have in my hands. To go a
bit further, more and more people are riding plastic boards with no
history, like something you buy when you need it, something you throw
away as soon as you used it. Some people are happy to call that
has it been a struggle to get help to bring your work to a wider audience?
not been a “struggle”, I mean I don't have targets in mind. Of course I
would be glad to know that a lot of people are interested but I'm at a
point that I need to do this firstly because it is visceral. It's
something I need to do for myself not for other people. There are no
compromises. Avthentic would rather be dead than sold out. If other
people connect with that then that's great.
where do you find inspiration?
friends Clovis Donizetti and Steven Dunn Videau. I would have done
nothing without them. They just surf the way I would like to be able to,
with style and simplicity. We recently had a session in South West
France with guys from England, James Parry, Michael Lay and Matthew
Jackson-Travis. They were ripping and having so much fun, sharing waves
and doing high fives. That encounter was an inspiration.
is also one person and his family that I would like to thank more
particularly for his influence, filmmaker and humble father Nathan
Oldfield. He welcomed me at his place while I was in Australia and I was
blessed to discover the other side of the picture. I remember being so
moved when he showed me the room where he edited Lines From A Poem and
Seaworthy. His upcoming movie The Heart & The Sea is coming out this
year I guess, and yes this is what is exciting in surfing at the
Who are your favorite surfers?
now, I am into Matt Howard’s stuff, both surfing and filmmaking. My
friend Clovis gave me Let It Flow and The Embryo of Fineflow, two
logging movies from the late nineties with Joel Tudor, Jimmy Gamboa,
Brittany Leonard and Tyler Hatzikian to name a few. They are genuine
without this recent classic-retro vibe, they were just living the
what's it like surfing in france compared to other places you have traveled?
was my very first trip, my real travelling experience so I don't have
enough detachment and background to compare many places. I can just say
that I digged the energy at Byron Bay.
want a funny anecdote? I arrived alone at 6 in the morning after 13
hours of train and bus from Sydney. It was raining heavily and I had no
place to go. I walked to The Pass with my backpack and my fins. It was
beautiful but dramatic. The point seemed far but I caught sight of
surfers. When I got closer, I saw a young guy doing 360s with his
finless board. He was so smooth and stylished he was flowing as Derek
Hynd does in this Youtube video. I finally arrived at The Pass. It was
still raining. I grabbed my fins to go for a swim, took a wave and hit
the sand with my nose. I just got my head out of the water and saw the
young guy, who actually was Derek Hynd. Despite my bloody noise and
seeing bush turkeys eating my bag, the session suddenly became
where are your favorite places in the world?
place feels better than home to me. I left Oleron a few years ago in
order to go to Paris to finish school and to find a job. I just hope to
end my days on the island, with my sweet love Aline, my family and my
friends. When I am there, I need nothing else.
Any people to thank for help along the way?
I want to thank you Drift a lot for giving me a say. And all my thanks
to Dunn, Clovis, Cyril from Tamarindo Surf Shop and Jibi from Wallako,
my family, my friends in Oleron and the ones who will stay authentic.
Rudy's new film, The avthentic Story is available now through www.avthentic.com. It's really rather good!
In this case it's film processed outside its normal environment causing good things to happen.
What an amazing little run of summer swell last week! Too many fun logging waves to count, bare arm paddling, salty smiles and sunburnt shoulders. I try to be all grown up and mature about going surfing but man i LOVE it!
Completely random song posting, havent heard it foryears, it just popped into my head in the line up the other day
Yet another SeaPea shot. It's been getting a lot of water time recently. It's amazing how much fun a little board can make a 2 foot windswell day. My shortboarding still lags behind my logging ability-wise but it's a blast all the same. It's definately going to be in the van for our annual trip to france in a few weeks
Another SEAPEA convert, they're addictive things to ride although I guess surfing itself is pretty addictive.
There's a massive wave in front of me, awesome in its beauty, terrifying in its power. It's been out there for miles, a pure visceral force of nature, driven by gravity. It fills my vision, my blood pounds in my ears as my breathing shallows. I should be scratching for safety but it's so perfect I'm caught, a rabbit in the headlights, mesmerised. I know what's coming yet am helpless before it, just a tiny speck in a raging sea, stomach in free fall as it feathers and breaks over me. Plunging me down, disorientating yet all encompassing, my heart straining so much it hurts. I'm fighting to breathe but there's no more air down here. Rag-dolling out of control at the mercy of a power bigger than me, bigger than any of us, there's no fight just acceptance.
I surface feeling more alive than before, searching the horizon, craving that feeling again. I know it's there.
What with all the SeaPea related excitement, i hadn't ridden a keel fish for ages until the other day. Pretty much on a whim i paddled my 5'8 mabile out on a tiny day, really way too small for anything but a log. It felt tiny and thin compared to a mini simmons despite being half a foot longer. I'd be lying if i said it was an epic session but there was a lot of satisfaction from generating speed and getting a couple of turns in on a tiny gutless wave. In summer everything is fun right?
I've been slowly getting more egg curious over the last few months. Inspired by Devon Howards instagram feed and a conversation i had with him a few years ago, back when Loose fit surfshop first opened. I've never owned a proper californian style egg and there's a hole in my quiver between 5'8 and 9'4 that some kind of midlength would happily fill. Part of the fun in ordering a board is agonising over the who's and the how's and the exactly whats. I think i've got my decision made but it's one thats likely to require some patience.
Somewhat macabre title to this post, for no reason other than it's the name of a band (heavily influenced by my bloody valentine) and they just popped up on my shuffle!
Obviously i took this a couple of months ago (in Norway), it's the cabin we stayed in. It's a shot from the first roll of film through my Lomo Konstructor camera. The roll came out pretty well for a first try and i'm happy to have another plastic beauty to add to my camera quiver!
If you didnt click the link yet, the Konstructor is a plastic SLR 35mm camera that comes in a kit of plastic bits with a screw driver and some instructions. It's actually fairly easy to build and with the exception of the film counter it pretty straight forward.
It's probably a bit less robust than a holga because of the folding hood thing for the view finder and it takes a little more care and effort to frame and focus up a shot. That said, because it's a reflex camera, what you see through the viewfinder is actually what you get, in contrast to the somewhat random relationship between exposure and viewfinder on a holga or diana.
It's a cool looking little object and there is a definate warm and fuzzy feeling to building it up and using it. A good one to add to your birthday list!
When Thomas Cambell set out to make his hugely influential "seedling" film, he was documenting a scene that already existed in Southern California. His film didn't start things, just introduced it to a wider audience.
Matt Howard and is girlfriend Courteney Leonard were heavily involved in the resurgence of heavy logs and, amongst many other creative outlets, had begun to document themselves and their friends. The embryo of fine flow was filmed around 97 and contains much of the DNA the seedling in a less polished form. The continued influence of Matt Howard is often overlooked but he deserves more recognition.
I moved house a few months ago, not far, just an extra five or ten minutes to the beach, but far enough. It's a testament to the beauty of devon that a few miles makes such a difference to your feeling of space. As i drive home i feel lucky to see the stars shine, uninhibited by light pollution, to wake up to this view every morning and hear only sheep and the occasional tractor. Country soul indeed...................
Please note, this doesnt mean i've gone all "good life" and started rearing chickens, there are limits!
So i was killing time on the internet the other day during the inevitable downtime at work and i came across a thread on magic seaweed's forum asking about noseriding fins. It got me thinking a little bit.
There's a lot of time and marketing BS put into the idea of making a board noseride easily, fins, tail shapes, nose widths, concaves or no concaves, square noses, pointy noses etc etc. In reality everything really comes down to rider skill and wave positioning. A good longboarder can make pretty much any longboard noseride and most people who are on a quest for things to make it easier in reality just need more time in the right waves or a better idea of the mechanics behind it. Thats probablynot what you want to hear but it is true in my opinion!
A few years ago i would have probably told you that your fin was really important but these days i'm less sure. I think you're fin choice has far more influence on the way and feel of your board in turns than it does on noseriding. The classic position is that you need a big fin to noseride, the bigger the better - reference the dewey webber hatchet fin for example. But the truth is that as long as you have good soft rails and some tail kick, you dont need a big fin like that to hold the tail in or lift the nose. Likewise with nosewidth, it's less important thatn the rail and tail shape.
Case in point: I've spent a lot of time on logs with some kind of pivot fin. They have seemed to suit the stop/go nature of my tradtional style surfing but.....
I've done almost all my noseriding over the last year on the If6was9 log i've posted photos of before. It's foiled out, the nose is only 17 3/4 wide and the fin is a greenough 4a, which has a wide base but a narrow tip and some flex. It turns beautifully with more flow than a pivot and loosens the board up nicely, especially in faster waves. The board noserides really well and i've never had the tail skip out while hanging up front, even on a wave as fast as croyde! If there is a disadvantage it is just that the board is perhaps a little more sensitive and a little less stable - thats the trade off better turning that a smaller fin area gives, but that doesn't compromise it's noseriding, perhaps just demands a little more skill.
My feelings are in line with a global move away from big fins on logs, led by tudor and his duct tape crew. Cruise the net and they are all pretty much riding greenough derived templates. I'll leave you musing with jack lynch. The 4a isnt holding him back!
Call me a grumpy old man (i'm nearly 40 now so i'm entitled to be) but along with a proliferation of semi controlled SUP's at saunton this summer there are an ever icreasing number of surfers with go pro's attached to their boards. I'm all for a bit of self produced surf movie making but you tube is filled with clips of mediocre surfers surfing mediocre waves not very well while gurning at their camera.
I've never been a fan of watching footage with the camera facing back towards the rider, it just ends up being a lot of wobbly horizon without conveying much about the ride, and thats when we are talking about impressive waves and great surfers.
I'm ever so slightly confused about these people, i mean do they watch the endless shots of themselves? It's not even a really great angle for improving your surfing.