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2014 Harbour Surf Day

November 14, 2014

California still has beach parties. Like, real beach parties. I am not talking about you and your friends camped out in your mom’s Ford Malibu drinking Milwaukee’s Best Ice – I mean real raffle ticket, beach blanket bingo type shit. It’s true. Tomorrow is the annual Harbour Surf Day at Bolsa Chica State Beach hosted by the gang at Harbour Surfboards. The event will be held at tower 23 along the Pacific Coast Highway, and there will be food, a raffle, surfing, and I can only assume a group sing-along. Come one, come all!

Patrick

Film, Surf

Starboard Shapers

June 3, 2014

Surfboard shapers are insatiable – it is their best characteristic. No amount of  shaping and glossing, designing and calculating will ever fulfill a shaper. There is   always a blank template, always potential. And, this insatiable drive continuously   causes shapers to draw outside the lines and create radically new surfboard designs.   It keeps our sport evolving. The crew at Starboard is no different. Their foam / carbon fiber design gives the feel of classic glass and foam, as well as extreme   strength from space-age materials. These boards have the brains and the brawn.

Music

The Five Musical Stages of Grief

May 6, 2014

Music was my first love and she continues to break my heart in three-and-a-half minute increments. However, she and I have worked through so many splits and reconciliations that our relationship reads more like the five stages of grief than a loving relationship. Let me explain.

Thirteen was a punch in the gut. This was the year I began to take a serious interest in girls. Sadly, these girls didn’t take an interest in my awkward demeanor and the rejection eventually reflected in the despair bleeding out my stereo. Poor pop bands singing songs so saccharine I am embarrassed to type their names on this page. But, as I grew older my skin thickened and prepared me for what was to come – anger.

At fifteen I discover how good it feels, and how easy it is, to reroute sadness to a mosh pit of aggression. This was the stage of punk. For me bands like The Clash or The Ramones had a specific energy and sense of camaraderie that egged on my youthful pain and angst. Plus, it was amusing to watch my parents squirm in front of their friends: “oh…um…yeah Patrick is going through a phase.” But, for some punk is not just a phase. Some of my friends, whose musical opinions I highly regard, still restrict their record collection to Black Flag and Screeching Weasel. This phase was my favorite, but it couldn’t last. The girls and rejection of my teenage years were waiting.

For me, “bargaining” was my lowest point, my rock bottom… my Phish. Female companionship overthrew the allegiance to my punk comrades and I was more than willing to sell out. Willing to sell my punk CDs for whichever band the pretty girls were listening to. The music no longer mattered. It was a simple bargaining tool with which to enter the arms of the opposite sex. And to be clear: I am not proud of my musical prostitution, but women and men have done much worse for a backseat fondle.

In the next stage, my depression came full circle. My bargained relationships failed and I again tuned into the sounds of self-loathing and frustration. But the music was more intense and severe. I did not return to the sweet and simple pop songs of stage two; I wanted complexity and a lot of reverb. I began listening to new-wave and post-punk in my late teens and my love for music was instantly rekindled. I related to the depression of bands like Television and The Fall. Morrissey shared my unique emotions. This was my longest and most dramatic phase. I learned a lot about “good” music but grew intolerant and judgmental of “bad” music. And, until recently, I would have been classified as a music snob or – gasp! – “hipster”.

However, I am glad to say my relationship with music is softening with age. Like an old couple, she and I simply enjoy each other’s company. We no longer quarrel about what is on the stereo. We just play it by ear. If she feels like listening to Lester Young on a Sunday morning – that’s ok. If I feel like cleaning the apartment while listening to the Grateful Dead – that’s ok too. It’s a mature relationship of respect and acceptance. We don’t laugh if the other is in a nostalgic mood and wants to sway to Boyz II Men. Or scowl if the presidential primaries cause an afternoon of Minor Threat 45s. No judgment. I am happy to be at peace with music. Actually, I even enjoy a little silence, and am reading more too. Hey, have you read…

– Patrick

Film, Surf

Out in the Line-up

March 7, 2014

The weeds of homophobia intrude and pollute nearly every community, including surfing. It is appalling that within a culture known for its accepting and loving persona, a group of people feel unwelcomed and discriminated against. “Out in the Lineup”, a new film by Ian W. Thomson, is driving to alleviate this intolerance. Bigotry is caused by a lack of understanding and “Out in the Lineup” offers the chance to learn about and understand a group of people who share a common relationship – surfing. Although the film has not been released yet (due to release in March) we here at Stoke Harvester want to raise awareness for this important movie and encourage you to check out the film.

“Peace is a daily, a weekly, a monthly process, gradually changing opinions, slowly eroding old barriers, quietly building new structures.” – John F. Kennedy

 

– Patrick

Surf

The South Texas Surf Perspective

February 15, 2014

It is no surprise – the café au lait colored waters running along the coast of Texas have a reserved space in my heart. I spent my youth paddling into sloshy, foamy, and confused waves that most Californians would undoubtedly ridicule. So, when I stumbled across the blog “The Unusual Chronicles of a Texan Surfer” by south Texan Tegan Gainan, I wanted to share it. Using the popular GoPro camera, Gainan posts stylish and smart surf videos and photos of my much-missed “Third Coast”.

Enjoy ya’ll.

http://swelldweller.blogspot.com/

Almanac, Surf

The Encyclopedia of Surfing

December 3, 2013

The past hundred years has seen the surfer as the craftsman, the waterman, the burnout, the artist, the activist, and the philosopher – all of which were aiding in the development of a wonderfully nuanced history of wave riders. Birthed by plank-carving Polynesians and popularized by harmonizing beach boys, surfing is undeniably a cultural entity of depth and complexity. The Encyclopedia of Surfing, the most recent project of surf writer Matt Warshaw, is a platform from which to view surfing’s mosaic history and culture – surfer by surfer, surf term by surf term. The site is a compilation of vignettes giving descriptive accounts of individual topics logging surfing history and culture. The concept is exactly the same as an encyclopedia: if you are interested in Reno Abellira, simply search. Warshaw’s project is inventive and vital, providing a space where surfing culture and history can be recorded and remembered.

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Stoke Harvester is currently sponsoring two pages on EOS; Kassia Meador and David Carson.

– Patrick

Surf

Fantasea

November 7, 2013

Are you a young Adonis who sleeps in the jungle adjacent to a beach with perfectly peeling waves? Or do you have a 70s stash and drive a van with purple shag carpet? Do you ditch first period to burn one at the beach because biology is for dweebs? If so then Fantesea is for you – an authentically grainy film in which only a few survive and only a few keep it alive. Enjoy.

Reviews, Surf, Surf Reviews

Film Review: Surprise Excitement Party

September 13, 2013

“What the fuck are you watching? Surf porn?” That is what my wife asked after discovering me on the couch in boxers and 3D glasses watching our T.V. screen flash between boobs and breaks. This sounds, and to my wife looked, perversely incriminating but I had a good explanation for my compromising situation: I was watching and reviewing Transworld Surf’s “Surprise Excitement Party”. Though, I can’t understand why she was concerned, it isn’t that different from my normal boxers, Star Wars-watching position.

Possibly the reason she used the term “surf porn” (trademark pending) is because Surprise Excitement Party is the DVD equivalent of a man cave. While producing this film the folks at Transworld were obviously trying to appeal to the manly sentimentalities of their, sadly, predominately male audience: girls in bikinis, 3D footage, skydiving shots using GoPro cams, etc. But this hyper-manly, overtly sexual footage isn’t the main course.

3D

Surprise Excitement Party has some absolutely amazing and jaw dropping surfing. Deep barrels and acrobatic airs, normally absent from fashionable contemporary surf films, permeate Transworld’s film illustrating competition surf style rather than the current trend of “soul surfing”. Sorry, no longboards here folks. Regardless of style, all films should follow Surprise Excitement Party’s lead by filming in HD. The stunning HD footage is vivid and crisp; one can almost feel the wind blowing through Slater’s locks. Ironically, contrary to the vogue of current surf films, Transworld Surf is being more pure in its footage by actually 86ing the filters and projecting the most accurate vision, via HD footage, of what it is like to be in the water, on a surfboard.

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Surprise Excitement Party is Surf Porn indeed – it is pleasurable and easy. The film may not be a work of artistic visionary, which has to be analyzed and scrupulously picked apart, but it is entertaining. Surprise Excitement Party houses all the elements of a simple good time. The 3D scenes are childishly fun, the wipe out sequence is painfully hilarious and the GoPro shots are easy summed up as, “gnarly bro” (I can hear Jeff A. saying it now). The whole film is light. I mean, who wants Martin Scorsese directing their porno? If so, you may be at the wrong site.

So, for a good time grab a bottle of suntan lotion, lock the door and pop in a little surf porn.

– Patrick

Pick up your own copy of Surprise Excitement Party