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Reviews, Surf, Surf Reviews

Glove Review: Patagonia R3 Gloves

October 23, 2013

To be honest, I hate gloves. Cumbersome comes to mind. Disconnected. Uncomfortable. For years I refused. And when I did wear them, the only thing I wanted to do was shake my hands feverishly like some kind of inspired spirit fingers performance – trying desperately to free myself from them. Oh, and did I mention that getting them on was no easier than getting them off? A real pain those goddamn gloves were. But when you start surfing in the winter, or the fall for that matter, they become more important. Because unless you’re some sort of Ice Man, like Arnold in that shitty Batman movie, your fingers are gonna freeze. So I caved and bought a pair, some 3mm gloves made by Matuse, or maybe they were made by O’neil. Anyhow. They kept my fingers from freezeing. For awhile. Then everything went to shit. The seams split and I wore a hole right through the palm, and they eventually let so much water in that I may as well have not beer wearing them.

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My second set was similar. They might have lasted a little longer, or perhaps I just didn’t care about cold fingers that fall. But they fell apart, and so did my third and fourth pair of paw warmers. Disgruntled I was. “Why the hell can’t someone make a pair of mitts that won’t fall apart so fast?!” “Dude,” a friend replied, “gloves are only good for three months, tops!” Bullshit! I’ve owned wetsuits for longer than I’ve owned cars, longer than I dated my high school girlfriend. So if that shit can stick together so well, why can’t they get their glove glue together?!

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Enter the R3. Now you gotta know I was skeptical of these gloves – with that fuzzy white wool on the inside and the rubber cement covered seams. Karissa had owned an earlier iteration of the R3 and they had, like my friend suggested, lasted her just two or three months… tops. But these looked better, well built if you will. And so here I sit, some six months into ownership, wearing a pair of gloves which appear entirely unaffected by the use and abuse they’ve received. They’ve survived sunset sessions in spring, early mornings in May, evenings in August and now October, which is all kinds of cold. And the entire time these gloves have not only kept my fingers from freezing, but provided additional grabability and are easier to get on and off than anything else I’ve owned. 4/5 as far as I’m concerned. We’ll see how the work this winter!

You can pick up your own pair of Patagonia R3 Gloves, here.

Justin Coffey is known to enjoy small waves, strong drinks, motorcycles and misbehaving. He’s also the guy that runs Peanut Butter Coast.

Gear, Retro Stoke Harvester, Surf

ALMOND // Lookbook Video Fall 2013

August 13, 2013

Our friends at Almond Surfboards & Designs have been hard at work developing a new menswear line for the Fall. Handmade in sunny Southern California, this new line of apparel and accessories draws inspiration from the surfing heritage that surrounds them, while simultaneously cutting a clean line through the crowd of surf inspired stuff. So with that said, take a look at their recent lookbook video, which highlights a few things that’ll be available this fall, as well as the lifestyle they strive to support.

News, Reviews, Surf, Surf Reviews

Brick + Mortar: Almond Surfboards & Designs

July 11, 2013

Surf shops are a dime a dozen in Southern California. Everything from wholesale warehouses to small, boutique businesses. Some are soulless, others are awe inspiring. Boards being built, shorts being sewn – the essence of 1960s surf culture still alive in some. Authenticity is important, though. The big brand stores selling so much of the same shit; shirts with swirly logos and crazy color combos. Apparel and accessories not made in America. Profit margins being of the utmost importance. Almond Surfboards and Designs was a different story, though. Founded in 2008 by Dave Allee and a handful of friends, Almond is “the premier lifestyle brand of the Surfer+Craftsman… a collaborative effort of friends who enjoy making things the old fashioned way.” I can get into that. So when we were in So-Cal a few weeks ago, we took some time to visit their new store in Newport Beach.

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It sits on the side of the Pacific Coast Highway, a rather infamous stretch of pavement that has transported surf seekers since the early 1940s. It’s unassuming from the outside. A grey(ish) blue building with a small sign in the window. But when you walk in, the tall ceilings and exposed air ducting, the assorted surfing shapes on one side, clothing and accoutrements on the other, you realize this isn’t going to be an ordinary experience. And then there’s Dave. A handsome young man in his late-twenties, Dave couldn’t have been more inviting. He showed us around the shop; boards and bikes and small wooden skateboards and all kinds of clothing. He talked about crafting things in California, his passion for producing. He smiled when we explained what it’s like to be a surfer from Seattle. Genuine is what I would say. A damn fine dude.

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We spent three or four hours inside their shop. Karissa found a few things she couldn’t live without, including a Pepto-Bismol pink Lumberjack that was hiding in the corner (unfortunately she couldn’t afford to keep it). We walked out with that warm fuzzy feeling you can acquire only when you surround yourself with the stoked. People that honestly appreciate our salty lifestyle. So-Cal or anywhere else. We seek the same thing. And the guys at Almond Surfboards and Designs are doing their part to keep people interested in our ideals.

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Justin Coffey is known to enjoy small waves, strong drinks, motorcycles and misbehaving. He’s also the guy that runs Peanut Butter Coast.

Reviews, Surf, Surf Reviews

Book Review: The Plight of the Torpedo People

May 27, 2013

I buy a lot of books. My wife would tell you too many. A nasty habit I acquired from my old man. Buy three, read one. But coffee table books don’t count. Because you can’t really “read” them. You pick it up on occasion, peel through a few pages, ogle some images and then return it to its home on the hardwood (cause glass coffee tables should have stayed in the 80s). This book, however, is an exception, as it accompanies Come Hell or High Water, a body surfing film made by Keith Malloy. Now, to be completely honest, I didn’t watch the movie until after I’d already browsed through the book. Maybe a mistake. But the images inside The Plight of the Torpedo People are incredible, and as far as I’m concerned, they can be appreciated with or without an introduction to their importance. There are also screen grabs from the film, which offer the “reader” a window into the world of a surfer sans stuff. A poem by Mark Cunningham captures their connection – Torpedo People pulling to big peelers, falling down the face, escaping underwater. A connection us above water wave riders can’t have. It’s a beautiful book. One that’ll make you wanna pick up a pair of fins and swim out when it’s shitty. Or when it isn’t.

 

J.W.

Pick up your own copy of Plight of the Torpedo People

Justin Coffey is known to enjoy small waves, strong drinks, motorcycles and misbehaving. He’s also the guy that runs Peanut Butter Coast.

Gear, Reviews

Review: Topo Designs Daypack

May 11, 2013

Over the years, I’ve bought a lot of backpacks. Everything from full-frame mountaineering packs to overly complicated carryalls. Some of them have had sternum straps and hydration hoses and stretchy side compartments where you’re supposed to put a water bottle – among other accouterments. Honestly, though, I like the simple shit. Something that’s comfortable to carry, easy to access and made in America. I suppose that’s why I’m so taken with the Topo Designs Daypack; a 22-liter backpack made in Colorado from 1000d Cordura. Lined with a coated pack cloth, Topo’s Daypack features natural leather lash tabs, YKK zippers and shoulder straps reinforced with seatbelt webbing.

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I’ve been using this bag for more than six months now. Along with my Topo Designs Duffel, I took it with me to Mexico, Israel and Amsterdam. I’ve packed it full of camera equipment, a 5mm Matuse wetsuit, my MacBook and all kinds of other stuff. The YKK zippers and paracord pulls keep things secure, and the shoulder straps are strong enough I’ve carried shit I probably shouldn’t have. Damn thing has never let me down. It’s at home underneath an airplane seat, or bouncing around in the bed of a pickup truck. It’s the perfect pack. And for just $144, it’s better than anything you’ll buy at REI.

 

Buy your own Topo Daypack.

This review originally appeared on The Peanut Butter Coast

Reviews, Surf, Surf Reviews

Glove Review: Patagonia R5 Lobster Claws

April 2, 2013

Here in the Pacific Northwest, a good set of gloves is essential to your survival. With water temperatures barely above fifty degrees farenheit, keeping your fingers from freezing is an important part of surfing successfully. I’ve tried all types, everything from 5mm five-fingers to 7mm lobster claws with a spot to wipe your snot. But it wasn’t until I picked up these Patagonia R5 gloves that I found something which was both warm and and easy to wear. Boom!

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I suppose they’re a little snug, but they won’t stop the red stuff from finding your fingers. Made from 7mm neoprene and lined with merino wool, the Gucci gloves feel like they’re half as thick and twice as warm as anything else I’ve worn. A lot like my old lobster claws – three plus one and a thumb – Patagonia’s R5 gloves will make you look like Oswald Cobblepot. But I’ll be damned if my digits don’t stay warm in the winter! Yes, they are expensive, but like most everything, you get what you pay for. Because a good pair of gloves won’t just keep you warm, they’ll let you surf till sunset. So if you’re in the market for a proper pair, pick up some of these here Patagonia gloves.

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J.W.

Justin Coffey is known to enjoy small waves, strong drinks, motorcycles and misbehaving. He’s also the guy that runs Peanut Butter Coast.

Reviews, Surf, Surf Reviews

Wetsuit Review: Patagonia Men’s Hooded R4 Full Suit

December 10, 2012

I was many things that morning – hungover, half awake and hungry – but what I wasn’t, not even little bit, was cold. It was the second Saturday in October, and the first weekend I felt like it really started to get cold on the coast. There was a northwest wind kicking over the ocean, leaving us with nothing but white capped waves. Shoulda brought some soap and washed my whites ;) But that’s beside the point. This is about staying warm when it’s windy and well below 40 degrees. When a warm shower and a cold beer go hand in hand. And I’ll be damned if my new Patagonia R4, a gift from my ever wonderful wife, didn’t keep me nice and cozy that cold morning on the coast.

The R4 is Patagonia’s warmest wetsuit. Lined with merino wool, it is admittedly cumbersome, but I’ll exert a little extra effort if it means surfing for four hours instead of forty-five minutes. At first glance, the R4 might look a lot like other 5/4 wetsuits you’ve owned over the years. But then you begin to see the subtleties. The front-zip function is unlike others, with the flap folding flat across your chest – letting little to no water in – assuming you have your hood on. And then there’s the single, albeit small, neck opening, into which one must squeeze themselves. But once you’ve learned to drag one side of the suit down around your elbow, to shrug your shoulders and shake that shit off, the in-and-out stuff becomes simple. Sorta.

At the ankles and wrists you’ll notice a thick, tear-resistant material made to withstand the up-and-down action that comes with wearing both boots and gloves in the winter. And then there’s the wool – a white fuzzy lining that leaves a waffle pattern on your extremities after a few hours. It might itch a little, or maybe it just feels like a classic Christmas sweater, but again, I’ll take patterned imprints and a lil’ itch over ice cold arms any day. I’ll be damned if the wool ain’t warm!

And now I’ll talk about the price. Because it’s more than most – but not by much. A hundred dollars? One-fifty? But if that’s what it takes to stay warm in the winter, you can collect my coin. Spent four or maybe five hours surfing that Saturday. In water that won’t get any warmer till June or maybe July. And once you’re passed the price and you’ve sorted out how to slide your self in and out of the suit, you’ll never look back. You’ll wonder why you owned anything else, why you surfed so many short sessions, why you didn’t just spend a little more scratch so you could stay warm.

– Justin Coffey

You can pick up your own Men’s Patagonia R4 Wetsuit, here.

Justin Coffey is known to enjoy small waves, strong drinks, motorcycles and misbehaving. He’s also the guy that runs Peanut Butter Coast.

Retro Stoke Harvester

Stimulate

October 19, 2012


Looks like there’s all kinds of new stuff on Stoke Harvester.

Topo Designs, Almond Surfboards, Patagonia apparel and a few new fins.

Anyhow, after browsing around a bit I put together this lil’ collection of some of my favorite stuff.

Products:

– Justin Coffey

Justin Coffey is known to enjoy small waves, strong drinks, motorcycles and misbehaving. He’s also the guy that runs Peanut Butter Coast.
 

Reviews

Skateboard Review: Punked City Cruiser

October 11, 2012

I like all sorts of skateboards. Long ones, short ones, old ones, weird ones. Anything really. Unfortunately, however, I’m not very good at this activity. I mean, I can push my self along pretty alright, carve down a hill in the dark, or negotiate the shit show that is Alki on a sunny summer day, but I can’t kick-flip the fucking thing, or skate a bowl, or slide down something steep. When I was younger, maybe middle school, I was all about skateboarding. World Industries, Independent, all of that. I had decks and trucks and shoes and Jenco jeans big silly pockets and stickers – so many stickers – but I couldn’t skate. At least not the way I wanted to.

I’ve always been interested in it’s origins, though. Skateboarding that is. Old school shit. Tony Alva. Roller skate stuff. I think I’ve seen ‘Dogtown and Z-Boys’ a dozen times. So when Shawn told me he was going to start selling some 70’s style skateboards on Stoke Harvester – molded plastic planks with big polyurethane wheels – I was all over it.

It’s called the Punked City Cruiser and it’s made by Yocaher Skateboards, a company that’s been in business since 1975. It’s plastic, with a patterned top, kick tail, aluminum trucks and 60mm wheels. It’s 22.5 inches long and roughly six inches wide. As I pushed up and down Alki, my maiden voyage aboard this bitchin 70’s skatecraft, I noticed one thing – how smooth she sails. Maybe it’s them big red rubber wheels. Or maybe it’s that plastic deck that doesn’t send a shock wave back to your bones. I don’t know. It was all kinds of fun, though. And for $80, you can’t beat it.

– Justin Coffey

Justin Coffey is known to enjoy small waves, strong drinks, motorcycles and misbehaving. He’s also the guy that runs Peanut Butter Coast.

You can pick up your own Punked City Cruiser here