Browsing Tag

Mike Black

Retro Stoke Harvester

Stoke Harvester Holiday Guide

December 6, 2012

I know the holidays haven’t been the same since Sears stopped production of their Christmas Catalog. You’ve been longing for dog eared pages, filled with perfectly curated collections of your favorite toys. Fear not! I’m here to help. Behold the Stoke Harvester Holiday Guide. I mixed things up a bit, to ensure holiday cheer regardless of budget. There’s items for the wall-street wallet, broke-brah wallet, and every billfold in-between. There’s some inside stuff, outside stuff, and sideways stuff.

In no specific order… let’s begin.

 



Invasion From Planet C – Special Edition DVD
Mike Black’s masterpiece, brings GnarGnar and Casanova to Earth in search of waves. Planet C has run dry, and Galaxy 5723’s governing forces suspect Santa Barbara has stoke to be mined. Don’t buy this movie if you want thrusters, Slater, or Pipeline. You won’t find any of those. What you will find is the best damn sci-fi surf movie ever made… with logs, chest-high peelers, and a van that runs on farts. Trailer here.

 

Patagonia R3 Hooded Wetsuit
I know I’m going to catch some flack for picking the R3 over the R4, but this is my list… so deal with it. I’ve worn my fair share of suits. When I was working at Cheka-Looka, I was rocking one of the rental Hyper-flex suits. When I finally saved up enough cash, I bought an Xcel Drylock. A few years later when Stoke Harvester became a Patagonia dealer, I tried out one of their suits. I’ve never been so friggin warm.

You can find pros and cons in pretty much every suit on the market. Here are the most common ones when it comes to Patagonia.

1.) They are pricey. Patagonia’s hooded R3 suit is $575. That’s a nice chunk of change, but in my opinion worth every dollar. I don’t want to get out of the water because I’m cold. I want to get out because I’m tired, and I’ve met my quota for the day. The R3 keeps me warm, it’s flexible, and it comes with Patagonia’s warranty & customer service. Sold.?

2.) They are a pain in the ass to get out of. ?This is 100% true. My suit is a total pain in the ass to get out of. I deal with it. If a suit keeps be warm for 3 1/2 hours in 50 degree water, I am fine with it being a pain in the ass for 5 minutes. Would you trade your glass board in for a tuff-lite, just because it’s easier to carry from your car to the beach?

3.) They are too warm.?Yes, I’ve actually heard this complaint. In fact, a bunch of the guys who bought the R4 right when it launched, came back later and bought the R3 because they wanted something cooler. Note, they didn’t come back and buy a different company’s suit. They bought a thinner suit, by the same company! I wear the the R3 as a winter suit. I feel the R4 is overkill. I also have some extra meat on my bones. If you’re lean, you might be happier with the R4. Either way, Patagonia suits are the best on the market.


Almond 9.75″ Dee Fin

Before Greenough transitioned everyone to the dolphin, the D-fin was the standard. Here is your modified 60’s throwback fin. The Almond Dee is great for
Surf Thumps, and other swine shaped lumber.

 


Parafina – El Capitan T-shirt

My friend Carlos has a killer tumblr.?Stoke Harvester re-posts his stuff on?Pinterest?often. He recently used the images from his blog, as inspiration for a line of t-shirts. I like them. So does Thalia. Go buy one.

 

Dewey Weber – 9’0″ Performer
Dewey’s Performer is the most popular longboard of all time. He designed the board to meet the needs of every surfer, in all surf conditions. Its easy to paddle, impossible not to catch waves on, and it turns on a dime. Although it wasn’t originally designed to be a nose-rider, it does a pretty damn good job at it. The Performer comes standard with a Dewey Weber Hatchet fin.


The Surfer’s Journal
Twenty years in publication. Six times a year, for six bucks a piece. It’s the best surf publication out there. You won’t find endless board-short advertisements, in TSJ. You will find amazing stories, and beautiful photographs. Yvon Chouinard said “Let’s put it this way…my house is on fire, my wife runs in and grabs all the photo albums…I grab my collection of Surfer’s Journals.”


Stoke Harvester – PNW Blend Cold Water Wax
Here’s your stocking stuffer. Six bars of extra sticky goodness, to keep your booties glued to your board. Made in collaboration with The Peanut Butter Coast. 6 bars. 85 grams. 1 Stoke Harvester sticker with each order. If you’re a Seattle local you can save on shipping, and just swing by to pick up your sticky.

Topo Designs – Duffel Bag
You’re gonna need a bag to put all your new goodies in. Go Topo. Made in Colorado. Great quality. Good color options. It’s lined with nylon cloth to keep everything dry, and if you happen to be in Washington, it comes with inside pockets to store your I-502 snack packs. The duffel was recently reviewed by Justin Coffey, on PBC.


Shwood – Haystack Select Sunglasses
Alright… you’re not going to get much use out of these in the Pacific Northwest for a little while. That being said, when the sun does shine again, you’re going to look badass wearing these sun-goggles. Shwood is handcrafting wooden sunglasses out of Portland, Oregon . The Haystack Select ships with a wool pouch and a walnut / maple hard case.


Stoke Harvester – Gift Certificate
Not sure what to give your friend/family for Christmas ?Give them the gift of choice. Stoke Harvester gift certificates never expire, can be used with other discounts, and are way cooler than a one year membership to the Jelly of the Month Club. Both digital and snail-mail versions available.

Cheers,
– Shawn

Interviews, Surf, Surf Interviews

Mike Black: Mining the Stoke

May 29, 2012


Back in 2006, tired of my corporate career and carpeted cubicle, I decided to pursue a more enjoyable means of earning a living. I found myself at Cheka-Looka Surf Shop…scraping the wax off rental boards, trying to convince the guys I was slightly more than a kook. After a brief hazing from Jeff and Bubba, I was told I had the job…under one condition…I needed to go home that night and watch the greatest surf movie of all time: Invasion From Planet C.

Since then, we’ve shown the film at numerous surf movie nights and birthday parties. If you haven’t seen Invasion From Planet C, you need to… but first read our interview with the brainchild behind it, Mike Black.

Mike Black: Surfer, Interplanetary traveler, Math teacher

How long have you been surfing?
25 years.

Any favorite surf spots?
any clean empty point.

Ever surfed in the Pacific Northwest?
I have had the pleasure. My buddy lived in Cannon Beach. We scored some beautiful little peelers in some amazing settings around there.

How did the Bing Feral Pig, come to be?
I have ridden and owned many pigs in my life. Reynolds Yater, Hap Jacobs, and Dale Velzy are a few of the craftsmen that come to mind when I reflect on who shaped some of them. I run Surf-A-Pig, a website devoted to pig surfboards. I constantly receive many emails from all around the world that contain stories and photos of people making and riding pig surfboards.

I love the way a pig rides. In the beginning of 2009 I sold my quiver of “nose rider” logs in an effort to fund a new quiver of pigs. I wanted to see what was currently being made in the swine family. With the proceeds from this sell I went straight to Matt. At the time, I didn’t know that much about pigs, but I knew Matt was the go to guy. Matt shaped me a beautiful board that treated me well. So well, I will not sell it. Ever. Although this BING Matt shaped me was an AMAZING board, I started poking around to see who else was doing what.

Enter August 2011. I have been exclusively riding pig boards for over 3 years. I approach Matt again. I ask him if we can put some kind of collaboration together. I feel like I have significant experiences that might be able to contribute to designing the ideal pig board, I feel like he has the skill and the foundation to execute what I am thinking about. I bring over many pigs from my herd. I tell him what experiences I had on the boards. Additionally I show him video and photos of how the boards preformed and in what conditions the preformed in. He takes it all in. We pass some numbers back and forth, and some ideas for the aesthetic of the finish.

Matt gets after it. He shapes it. I am there and observe it all. I am so stoked and full of anticipation.

Finally the board is finished. When I go to grab it from the shop… as soon as my hands touch it, I know it is perfectly balanced. Sometimes you know a board is perfect just by feeling the rail. This was that. I get it in the water. My first session was in thigh high pier dumpers. Even in these meager conditions, I knew this board was AMAZING. The next morning I get it on some clean waves. Immediately I felt this board was the single best board I had ever rode. By my third session I was beside myself with the board’s functionality. This is the one board quiver. Matt is a magician.

How long have you been teaching, and what turned you on to that profession?
I’ve been teaching for 15 years. I never thought “when I grow up, I want to be a teacher!” Rather, after I received my M.A. in Pure Math from UCSB, I suffered a head injury while surfing some AMAZING glassy walls at Rincon. Simultaneously during this time of life…the time right after I graduated, as I was trying to find out what to do with my theoretical math degree, I was working at Clyde Beatty’s glass shop in Santa Barbara. The head injury made me realize life is short, and I should do more than “huff resin”. I heard Long Beach was hiring un credentialed teachers, I got a job with them, and have since learned teaching is my calling.

Can you please define the quadratic formula?
The quadratic formula is a collection of symbols humans use to model objects subject to gravity.

How did you meet your partner in Stoke Films, David Potter?
I befriended his brother in college. His brother was friends with my friends neighbors.

When did you first get involved with film?
David Potter had me acting in some of his adult humor projects. From being around David, I started to think about stories and writing. David is an amazing artist, a technical wizard.

In your interview with Liquid Salt, you mentioned a “Bollywood-style motorcycle bounty hunter surf story project”…anything come of that?
Not yet. We have some amazing scripts floating around. David and I are great friends and enjoy working with each other, but both of us are more focused on other projects right now.
The logistics of filming , editing, marketing, and distributing your own product are painful to say the least. I am very proud we pulled off the projects we have, and I hope to have more collaborative work with David in the future.

Any favorite surf flicks?
You know , I really don’t watch surf flicks. I really enjoy watching empty waves break. I swear if someone made a flick full of empty point surf from all around the planet, that shit would be on all the time. Like a video of logs burning.

I understand you’re currently working on a sequel to Invasion From Planet C
Ok, I made that up…but now the seed has been planted. ;) What’s on the schedule for you and/or Stoke Films in 2012?
Currently David and I are laying low. David has a super crazy project that I acted in being finished. Hopefully that will be out soon. We’ll see!

Mike was nice enough to send us over a few copies of Invasion From Planet C. You can pick one up for yourself, here. When Gnar-Gnars not in the water or manning the classroom, he maintains a pretty killer blog…dedicated to boards with meat & D-fins. Check out Surf a Pig.

Blast it!
– Shawn

Film

Hi Shredability

May 25, 2012

Justin from Peanut Butter Coast, introduced me to these videos earlier this week. Hi Shredability was a VICE show about surfers who are doing things that VICE likes. “It isn’t a day-in-the-life of pro surfers deal or some Cribs-type shit…really we just wanted to make a surfing show other surfers would like.”

Here’s three of the surfers we like…

Mike Black:

Kassia Meador:

Thomas Campbell:

You can check out more of Hi Shredability here.

Cheers,
-Shawn