Zen and the Art of Longboarding

I was browsing my now old and almost defunct web page, documenting surfing in Fernandina Beach, FL, and Avellanas, Costa Rica and a few other spots, as well.

As long ago, as it was, that I took this photo, I remember it. As I do every shot, that I take and keep.

I ride a longboard and if I could go back, I would have never switched. I would have NEVER let the local surf shapers, at the time, in 1970, cut down my Rick Noserider. It just feels like a sin, forever on my soul.

Yes, Kevin McCarthy and Al Bennet had a shop, that was on the corner, across from the Karibo, on Third St. It was a simple box like concrete, bare building. I felt so progressive.

Now I know, all waves are longboard waves. If you don’t believe it, watch when they clear out the line up, at Puerto Escondido, for the Annual Longboard Competition. OMG – and we have a local in Fernandina, that I know could hold his own there, for sure ~ His name is Chuda. But bare in mind, there are women that ride those massive waves, like they were born for it. One day, I’ll go witness it in person, and have my camera with me. The Rosanno Groms might be dominating, but Mikela might have her chance as well, if she wanted it. The possibilities are limitless.

Travel has been as much a part of surfing, for me, as riding waves. The waves in Fernandina can be brutal. When I found West Coast Waves, well, I moved.

The island has great surfers! But it has never had a surf culture. like I witness in other areas. Now, thanks to David Montgomery, Betsy Harris, Bobby McElhenny and others, that’s changing. They have started a group, Fernandina Beach Board Riders Club.

The island has a surf culture now. It’s been happening little by little. It’s been significant, in my life, to watch. There has been tremendous commitment involved. I am super proud, of the island, and it’s surfers. And I know em back to 1966, even though they don’t know me. I surfed with Mark Mertz, a kid named Alvarez and Jerry Kirby, who we called Farkle, almost every day one summer (1968) and Mark doesn’t even remember it, like I do. That’s because I was twelve, and everything was magic back then. Surfing retains magic, for me. ~ It’s the reason I won’t give it up.

A charge and that kid’s stance, in the image above, could put him on ANY wave. I don’t give a damn how big it is.

Everybody eats it. Believe me, I’m behind the camera and I know.

And on the other hand, people make waves you would think are just impossible.

That’s surfing!

I love the Zen and I love a Longboard.

And like I was reminded by Mike Leary – there was a time when there was no such thing as a longboard. Because they were surfboards ~

Cheers, congratulations and happy surfing ~

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