Board- The McPig: A high performance 9'10" very wide and fat McTavish Ray Gleaves model with a trifin setup and a short center fin (6.5"). I started surfing on (and hope to readd to my quiver) Becker Speed Shapes from 7'3" to 7'10".
What got you started surfing- I've always been a beach brat, but got heavily into windsurfing, and they closed the local high wind windsurfing spot for 9 months during a paid 11 month vacation (layoff) from work - so I had a 7'3" Becker Speed Shape I had bought years ago and started surfing for my Yaku-doshi (age of foolishness - 42 years old). Besides that, surfing is so much cheaper than windsurfing (you have multiple boards, sails, masts, booms, universals, a full sized van to carry your gear in, one or two expensive windsurfing vacations per year, ...). When I was young, $100 for a surfboard was just too expensive for me to
keeps you surfing- As I said, I'm a beach brat, and will always be at the beach for some excuse (swimming, body surfing, surfing, windsurfing, tide pool observation, grunion runs, fishing, diving, etc.)...
Most memorable surf- Probably 1.5X to 2.5X overhead Sunset on a great winter swell. The wind generated by the wave faces would blow as you made it over the outside sets, and when you caught a wave you were standing next to an overhead high mirrored face that you could watch yourself surfing the wall in! Actually, I would have called it 10 feet, but the kids next to me were convinced it was double overhead plus (15 feet).
Dream surf trip, whether you've already taken it, or dream
of going- Pile the camping gear into my E250 van when there's a severe gasoline price drop and drive all the way to the tip of Baja and back - surfing, windsurfing, diving and fishing all the way!
Maybe second to that, improving my surfing enough to handle a great south swell on Maui during the summer solstice when I'm windsurfing in the afternoons and surfing in the morning - I've been there under such circumstances, except that my surfing wasn't up to snuff (big overhead left hand tubes being surfed by a long boarder out front and a short boarder in the curl!)...
I've already enjoyed surfing the beautiful little and picturesque (at the time) town of Todos Santos 90 miles up from the southern tip of Baja. It took swells from North, West and South simultaneously! This was on our annual winter sojourn to Los Barrilles on the eastern side to windsurf in January...
Favorite break- I think the beach break section (way inside) at Leo Carillo / Point Sequit due to the beauty of the location. Also, the beach breaks along the coast from San Simeon to the start of the Big Sur coastline - outrageously beautiful!
How has surfing changed you- Not in all that many ways in that I'm still a beach kid. My dad used to take us to the beach, sometimes 5 times a week during the summer as he loved to fish! We were the luckiest kids in the world!
I don't worry about being a (beach) bum anymore, and in fact kind of enjoy it! I'm in a business (at an age) when there are often long breaks in employment, so loving being at the beach when it's empty and everyone else is scrambling to make a living is quite nice!
I've grown overly fond of dolphins. I'm not an anthropomorphic type with respect to animals, but paddling with the dolphins and surfing waves with them in the wave have engendered an unnatural feeling of kinship with them...
It's sadly made me realize that you have to be ready to fight at anytime if you want to preserve your right to just live and exist. Posers who intentionally run you down or damage your equipment while you're minding your own business on the beach are going to get their due many times over in return.
Surfing is the most social thing I do, as I have surf buds, and one tends to shoot the breeze with other folks in between sets. Although I prefer to surf alone, I find that it can be kind of nice to share a bit of camaraderie. Everything else I'm involved in tends to be asocial or even antisocial (e.g. music which has evolved to the point that I rarely share with others, much preferring to just play for the ocean or forests).
What do you do when there are no waves- I help run one of the oldest martial arts schools in Los Angeles (and this country) and that involves huge amounts of time and energy. I'm also heavily into advanced step aerobics. I'm a gym rat. I play a lot of folk blues fusion music. I do a lot of computer work (my paying gig), and am heavily into that, having been a member and manager of the Rand Corporation systems team and a New Technologist for Citicorp amongst many gigs in medicine (UCLA/VAH), research (Rand), aerospace (JPL), banking (Citicorp), Internet (Geocities and Launch Media) and entertainment (Sony) amongst other gigs.
I have a tiny cave (aka house) on the westside, so it's an endless struggle to keep that from falling over.
There's so much to do in this universe, and so little life to do it in. I hope to achieve a dust speck's worth of fun stuff in this life!
What are you trying to do or learn to raise your level of surfing- I dropped 25 pounds, have learned to do fiberglass repairs on my own boards, and am mostly SURFING MY BRAINS OUT! I make sure my center fin is short so my board surfs much like a short board, and can be slid sideways down a wave face or whipped into position for lining up the wall. I plan to reintegrate shorter Speed Shapes back into my quiver (7-8 foot boards).
I have to learn to go left - I'm a regular footer, and don't practice backside enough!
surfers- None. Favorite windsurfer: Laird Hamilton in the tube at double overhead plus Jaws!
Surfing pet peeve- Aggro Topanga (et al) types.
Ideal surf conditions- Short suit weather dawn patrol with a good swell and noone else out for an hour at the start of a session! We've had a few days like that this summer!
Anything to add- This web site and doodahsurf.com are the bomb!
I run a Yahoo! group called SunsetKooks for SoCal surfers.