Wednesday, January 29, 2014
Finding fresh perspectives and more surf in a new way of life. (written by Napa Merlot) Old age, new groove. It's winter, offshore wind and the WNW swell is building. Forty is considered old by many but for these grey-ish hair boys means just mature teenagers. They seem to be full of bad habits including "stop at the Starbucks for a white-mocha-frappuccino". They don't get charmed easily and besides the time behind them, they feel like they have a whole life to live. On the ledge of the cliffs they stare at the sea. Even a few minutes away from home, new waves. Old age, new world. Old maneuvers, new peaks. Old school style, new reefs, traditional turns, new attitude. They make fun of every single thing that come in front of their eyes. They are 40 going on 21 year old. "Let's paddle out before the wind turns... Well I don't care, maybe it's not so crowd if gets messy". Full wetsuit on, booties, wax rubbing... He looks at an emerald split-peak and carves an "S" in the air with his fingers mind-surfing the left-hander. There is never an aerial maneuver in his mind-surfing, only cutbacks, snaps, floaters and lay-backs. It's pretty obvious for someone who instead of watching clips of John John Florence on YouTube, he searches for old footage of Nick Wood, Dada Figueiredo, Neco Padaratz... When I ask what surfer he likes to watch now days the answer is: "The most interesting surfer these days is Nathan Fletcher, but he is almost 40", he says with a confident smile in his face. And he continues: "I'm always interested in what Daryl "Flea" Virotsko is doing too, he is a pretty cool character", then he runs down the trail towards the cobblestones. They surfed 'till the sky turns fluorescent, 'till it turns bloody. He comes in walking slowly, stopping several times to look back to the waves, to the horizon, contemplating. The first thing he does when he gets to the car is turn on the system. The guy is a punk-rock addicted and his Pandora station goes from Misfits to Dead Kennedy's, from Black Flag to Motorhead, from Social Distortion to Bad Brains, from Agent Orange to Minor Threat, then to Youth Brigade, to Suicidal Tendencies, to Black Sabbath, to Pantera... Noisy and aggressive music, all the time, in opposite of his mellow and hyper-happy personality. Our stomachs are screaming so we stopped at some irish pub for food and drinks. He ordered a salad and I heckled him: "Salad?!!" He answers: "I'm trying to be healthy" with an ironic face and asked the hot-blonde bartender for a 22oz's IPA. I ordered a bacon, bleu-cheese, grilled onions and avocado burger with a side of french fries followed by a Stella Artois. You can tell he likes weird stuff while our conversation goes on: "I recently watched the documentary about pro-skater from the 80's Mark Gator. Pretty crazy shit". He wipes his mouth with a paper napkin that I wrote some notes on and keeps talking: "I tried to find a movie about Jason Jessee (titled Pray For Me), another pro-skater from the 80's but it's not available on line, he is a very interesting and strange guy. I used to skate a lot when I was a teenager so I really liked those movies. I like that one about Duane Peters (Who Cares), and I look for Punk movement documentaries, stuff about Keith Morris and Jello Biafra, they are so smart". He explains: "I always have been part of this culture since it hit me in the mid 80's. I used to hand out with these guys they had a punk-rock band, then we had our own band, then surfing was rebel at the time too, and it's natural you start skating when there is no waves... And I had this political side, I was always a thinker, but at the same time I love to be free and I don't care about shit, so this is pretty much who I am, what I learned, and who I wanna be. It probably all come from my artistic side." He orders another beer and ask me: "Have you watched the movie (Control) about Joy Division's Ian Curtis?!" My answer is negative and he goes: "It's depressive" (and laughs). Suddenly he stops talking about weird stuff and goes all serious about his clothing brand and all his projects and plans, and how he is gonna try to bring his buddy Neco Padaratz back from obscurity. He also tells me how his brother Guto is killing it in surfing and life in general and making him so proud and keeping him inspired. He couldn't stop talking for like an hour or maybe three 22oz's. Well, old age, new wanderer. Old bar, new plans. Old habits,new dreams.