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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.

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.

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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

Surf

COMPASSING

September 8, 2013

A short film in search of freedom. Written and Directed by Cyruss Sutton. A KORDUROY Production

Reviews, Surf, Surf Reviews

Film Review: Singlefin Yellow

August 23, 2013

Every surfboard has a story. I bought my first surfboard for $10 from a teenager on my block who my friends and I thought was the second coming of Kelly Slater, but more than likely he was a punk kid who dealt shit weed to middle schoolers. Anyway, the board was twelve inches thick, every neon color the 80s SoCal trend could conjure and sank even before it got into the water, but I cherished the thing. I rode it every weekend. Around thirteen or fourteen years old, I pestered my mom into buying me a new 5’8” …Lost and I never looked back.

After watching Singlefin Yellow by Jason Baffa I began to wonder who owned that $10 board before my gnarly neighbor. Secondly, what became of it after it was so quickly discarded? Is it in pieces scattered amongst garbage in a landfill or is it propped up in the “used” section of Dockside Surf Shop (my favorite surf shop growing up) awaiting another novice? Though I will never be able to answer these questions about my old friend, watching Baffa’s 2005 film allows me some closure by seeing the life of a Tyler made 9’6” yellow single fin as it passes beneath the feet of six surfers and then into the wild.

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Shot in 16mm film, Singlefin Yellow is sincere in its goal to follow the life and journey of a surfboard that was shaped in El Segundo, CA. The film shows a 1960s style yellow single fin longboard as it jet sets across the world and acquires stoke. Each surfer personally, and with warmth, narrates his or her portion of the film giving the entire movie an intimate feel. Singlefin Yellow gives insight to the connection between surfers but more importantly illustrates how surfboards are necessary conduits between riders.

Accepting the chain letter of dings and wax, each surfer in Singlefin Yellow slightly alters the board by surfing a certain break, trimming a certain way, or, like Bonga Perkins, thrashing the poor thing at the North Shore. Passed on, the longboard gives the next rider a sense of authenticity and soul that acts as a tie to the previous riders, the previous countries and the previous waves. None of us can deny that surfing is a sport of emotional connections and that these emotional connections change the feel of our tool – the surfboard. Changing hands over time the aura, for lack of a better word, of these boards shifts in small, minute ways. Singlefin Yellow is a 110-minute snapshot of this process.

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Lastly, I want to stress how much these simple planks of foam and fiberglass are similar to tools with which we create and Singlefin Yellow makes this apparent. Many will liken surfboards to art, but beneath the pretty, glassy exterior they are utensils and objects – tools with which we work. Even the surfing vernacular reflects our subconscious utilitarian perspective of the surfboard: we carve a wave and we trim a wave. Therefore, working with these tools in our salty mitts makes us the craftsman, the artisan working in conjunction with the surfboard. These tools are in our presence the very moment we are in the act of an extremely human process – creation. Later, as workers do, we exchange these tools; pass them amongst ourselves possibly because we need a new tool that will suit our current project. But, undoubtedly, impressions of ourselves remain with our past chisels and then are passed along to a new surfsmith – and this process, my friends, is the art and the beauty.

– Patrick

Pick up your own copy of Singlefin: Yellow

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.

Surf

Compassing | Trailer

July 29, 2013

Cyrus Sutton is making waves with his new film, Compassing. This 25 minute movie is about his two month long search for surf and all the adventures encountered within.

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Watch the complete film here.

Film, Reviews, Surf, Surf Reviews

Film Review: WAR(d) STORIES

July 12, 2013

In the digital age of information it is difficult to track every movie release, every album “drop”, every Buzzfeed list and every Onion article – or at least this is my excuse for sleeping on …Lost.tv’s web series: Ward Stories.

I have followed and admired Chris Ward’s career since I was a kid surfing Bob Hall Pier in Corpus Christi, TX. Even in my first review for Stoke Harvester I reference how What’s Really Goin’ Wrong, a …Lost film featuring Ward, was my absolute favorite surf flick as a grom. Even though I was a little late, I was stoked to learn about …lost.tv’s web series focusing on the outlandish life of “Wardo”. I was even more stoked to learn that …Lost had compiled these episodes and placed all four hours and twenty minutes onto a DVD. AND I was doubly stoked when that DVD arrived at my doorstep care of Stoke Harvester!

More of a quasi-documentary, Ward Stories tracks Wardo’s wake from young, aggressive Texas surfer to World Tour competitor. Comprehensive and organized …Lost does a terrific job of injecting Ward stories – both positive and negative – into blistering surf segments that reflect Ward’s aggressive surf style. Told by family and friends, the film shares tales from Ward’s past as a father, a surfer and a lunatic.

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Ward Stories reminded me of the sometimes forgotten teenage-like fun side of surfing. The side of surfing that doesn’t mingle art and surfing, environmental conservation and surfing or fashion and surfing. Though all these elements are aesthetically good and important to surfing culture, it is like a diet – let me digress. I am nearly 30. I am trying to watch what I eat, I try to hit the gym a couple of times a week and I try to cut back on my whisky intake. But every once in a while I pass a burger joint and I just can’t help myself. As I cram a double bacon cheeseburger into my greasy face my taste buds, which have survived the past month on all things green, scream: WHAT THE FUCK! I FORGOT ABOUT THIS SHIT! THIS IS AMAZING!!!! Ward Stories is kinda like that. It represents the unabashed and angsty kid who loves airs and who shotguns beers. Moreover, Ward Stories, and Wardo himself, is unpretentious. In one scene Chris is asked why he chose a specific board to take out that session to which he responds, “It is the only board I have fins for.” There is no worry about which board is right for that spot or what is the best fin placement for that day – it is only about getting into the water and shredding the fucking gnar.

– Patrick

Pick yourself up a copy of WAR(d) STORIES