Mexican Sharks and Bandits

Looks like traveling down below the border has gotten more dangerous on the land, and in the sea. The Baja crime situation is pretty well known by now, but a recent spate of shark attacks down on mainland Mexico is making authorities scratch their heads.

First they set baited hooks to catch the beast(s) responsible, but d’oh… it happened again. Of course, Mexican tourist officials are probably sweating this one big time, since the occurrences are all at the popular and widely used surf spots outside Acapulco.

Hey Mexico, need a shark solution? Consider Durban’s shark nets (fine, if you must, drumlines too). Now everyone remember, Mexico is a dangerous, dangerous place, where you will be lightened of your wallet by thieving banditos, then lose a much needed limb while in the water*.

*This last point has nothing in it trying to lure anyone away from going just because I’m trying to plan a trip there, sharks be damned!

Session Fuel- Music Review- ASG

Long Beach, NY. Photo c. Jeff Schad
Long Beach, NY. Photo c. Jeff Schad

Ever gotten that feeling, pre surf, where you know that what lies out there, what you will be taking on that day, is just a notch, or several, above your every day comfort zone? Maybe it was that solid hurricane swell that sent roaming double overhead bombs to your beach, turning it into Puerto Escondido for a day or two. Maybe it was that ledging reef dishing up quick, sketchy barrels, or even that trip to the islands where it felt like the whole North Atlantic was swinging right at you.

In those cases, there’s not much choice but to choose your music to match the mood. Enter ASG. Entrenched in the metal that they have developed into a precise and savage sound, they have improved their game over the last few years, leading up to the release of Win Us Over. This album is pure fuel for the adrenaline sessions. The kind you don’t really ever forget. Here’s to more of those sessions…

Pick up Win Us Over, these smart, dirt metal devils surf too, so they know what they’re doing.

Have We Finally Gotten True Dora Insight with “All for a Few Perfect Waves”?

The recently released work by David Rensin is perhaps the closest the general public, or anyone for that matter will ever get to the “real” Miki Dora. The surf world at large has maintained a decades-long fascination, and has been waiting to read, to feel, to know just what, and just who this man was. Larger than life in both a public sense and narcissistic/sociopathic self-importance sense, he singlehandedly defined so many things that still resonate within real surfers and their general approach to life and the World today.

“All for a Few Perfect Waves” doesn’t strive to actually get us inside Miki’s head to gain clarity on his true self. Rensin knew better than to try for that, since it isn’t possible. Miki’s essence has always been, and will forever remain well protected. His ever-present approach to living the way he felt comfortable, which was to say with a high degree of privacy and privilege, kept him moving forward searching for his blissful surfing home, something he lost in Malibu many moons ago.

Never having written an oft talked about autobiography, Dora and the company he kept were put in the hands of Rensin, with the approval of Dora’s father. Rensin had written an article on Dora in the eighties for California Magazine, and although the piece was directly criticized by Dora himself, Rensin became the natural choice to compile the final closure on the man that in no small part defined surf culture, but will never be known. Dora’s father, Miklos Sr. gave Rensin approval since he felt that the California Magazine piece chronicled Miki fairly, so Rensin was again entrusted to be fair, thorough and as objective as possible.

This work does a terrific job of sorting out the players and themes in Dora’s life, but alas, readers get no closer to Miki than they were before. Isn’t that just the way he would want it? After all “The story on Miki Dora is getting the story on Miki Dora.” All for a Few Perfect Waves is very evocative and well written; nearly compulsory reading for real surfers.

AFAFPW

All for a Few Perfect Waves: The Audacious Life and Legend of Rebel Surfer Miki Dora

-Jeff Schad

First Picture Show

I’ve enjoyed photography since I picked up a camera sometime in my early teens. My attention to it would arrive in stretches where I would immerse myself in capturing something I had in my head. It wasn’t until my early twenties where I really put myself to the test of taking the best photos I could.

Inheriting my Dad’s camera helped a lot. It didn’t leave my side for about four years, during a time when I was a dedicated surf journalist. Here’s a brief collection of shots from that time period, and also some much more recent work. Although I’m back to shooting in fits, I find that when I see what I’m looking for I can still catch it in a shot.