Sometimes the absurdity of trying to make surf videos becomes perfectly clear. This particular morning I showed up before dawn and the waves weren’t what I had hoped for.
Mini had texted me the evening before ‘JW going off’ as I was making the kids dinner, which is kinda cruel as I can’t just drop everything for a session anymore, things have to be at least somewhat planned and evenings are mostly reserved for bathing, feeding, managing conflicts and trying to get the kids to bed early enough to have a brief moment of solace. Plus, lately, the reliability of his surf reports have been greatly influenced by the potency of the weed he’s smoking. So we agreed to meet first thing in the morning.
But by morning the swell had dropped and it was foggy and cold. I still paddled out to validate the effort. Surfing at dawn is awesome when the waves are exciting enough to get your blood pumping but trying to do airs at this hour is like waking up and doing gymnastics in a cold shower. Water trickled through the seams of my suit as I waited for a shitty little refraction off the jetty to connect with a meager 2 foot swell from the South Pacific so I can catch it and stand my fossilized body up on my surfboard and hopefully do a trick that I can post on my website.
Shit wasn’t coming together so I paddled down the beach where about a dozen people had gathered and there seemed to be a little more action. The waves were a little more interesting with even a few novelty tubes.
I notice a kid paddling for straight closeouts and getting pitched then sitting in the impact zone waiting for waves.
The best wave I’d seen all morning formulates just within paddling distance so I dart off. I see him darting off in the same direction. My goal is to catch a 2 foot clean little barrel, his goal is to not get smoked by a 2 foot clean little barrel.
I get into position.
As I’m dropping in I see him in my peripheral vision still paddling his ass off hoping to not get demoed.
He just makes it out of the way of the waves devastating blow, but bails his board to ensure no physical harm. I make the barrel but have to change my line to avoid hitting his board.
“I should snap on that kid” was my first thought.
Of course I would never because I hate bumming people out more than anything but I’ve been conditioned to think this is a worthy scenario for verbal abuse.
I grumble to myself “If you can’t hold on to your board in 2 ft surf you should be at a beginner spo-“
“Bro that was a SICK barrel!” He shouts which instantly disarms my thought process.
“Ha, yeah, that was a fun little one”
“BRO are you Dane?”
“Why aren’t you on tour anymore???”
“Cause I’m old and out of shape”
“Bro, but Kelly’s like 50 and he’s still doing IT!”
“Yeah I know… he should probably give it up”
“No way bro, NEVER give up on your dreams!”
This conversation is comical, his level of enthusiasm lifts my spirits.
“But you’re still a PRO SURFER right?”
“I don’t think there’s such a thing as a pro surfer anymore”
Kid was a little confused…
“Do you ever surf Tar Pits??”
Over the course of 2 hours of surfing no clips that i would typically put in a video were recorded, I came home to chaos of fighting children. Bobbie has a knack for spite which triggers Maggie who’s usually cool but when she passes the threshold of frustration there’s no coming back. Sammy loves the chaos and contributes at will. It was more tolerable than normal after getting a few little head dips.
In 2019 I surfed the least I ever have. I was running a business out of my garage while raising 3 kids under 5. Plus the waves in California were mostly shit and the few trips I made time for we got skunked.
With all the kids going to school and Former graduating out of my garage my goal for this year was to make more time for surfing. It’s my salvation.
I got excited to start Chapter 11 TV in January when I was surfing a lot and feeling pretty good about it and getting inspired by the new generation of local surfers. I miss making surf videos despite the preposterousness of the pursuit.
Things have changed for everyone since January and for me has slowed the development of the site but i’m still excited and ambitious. I’m going to try and keep the bar low and get videos out rather than dwell on what’s worthy.
There’s no real concept or criteria for Chapter 11 TV, Surfing means different things to different people, I’m just trying to convey our version of it.
From my experience the less you expect the less you get disappointed.
Thanks for tuning in to Chapter 11 TV.