View sketch of a Bob White X6 dated 1-25-1969
My very first job (in late 60's) was with Bob White Surfboards.
Started as a rail grinder...some glassing...buffing.
A little bit of end stage shaping...my favorite thing to do! Years
later, upon seeing Bob surfing at first street in Va. Beach, I gave
a retrospective apology for ruining the rails on several thousand dollars
worth of surfboards.
Bob set the precedent for innovative and cutting edge board design
with both his production boards and specific models such as the Real McCoy and the X series. Matt Warshaw once contacted me
in an attempt to track down Bob for his entry in the Encyclopedia of Surfing.
(Matt was a necessary element of the epic "Riding Giants").
Bob White is surfing royalty, and stands in his individual place as part of surfn' history!
Matt Warshaw's Encyclopedia of Surfing - You'll see Matt throughout the film "Riding Giants".
In his last email, he told me that his current work is:
"...a big giant surf history book...and it will be out in late 2010".
As I type this (3-15-2011) it's been out awhile: "A History of Surfing".
I come from the coastal plain of Virginia...flat terrain...hardly ever snows...
In childhood during winter.....I would crave snow.
...finding any incline I could...just an instinct.
NOTE: I'm over the ski thang now (brrrrRr)....miss the sea / miss surfing too much.
Near age 30 or so....I began to look at skiing magazines.
Winters in coastal Virginia can get very cold....cannot enjoy myself while shivering.
I would stop surfin' in late October...some years, maybe a few days into November.
My cutoff point was H2O temp of 63 or so...that's with full wetsuit, of course.
I learned to ski at the three closest areas: Wintergreen, Va -
Massanutten, Va - Snowshoe, West Va
Traveled as far north as Mt. Tremblant, Canada (my favorite on the east coast).... as far south as Sugar Mountain, N.C.
Illustration of the human instinct for an incline & snow:
I once filled in for a vacationing employee at Bayside Hospital ER....near Mt. Trashmore in the City of Va. Beach, Va.
A rare snowstorm came....at Trashmore, Humans were using anything and everything possible for snowvehicles.
You would NOT believe the number of serious injuries that came to ER after sliding down
ole MtTrashmore into fence posts...parked cars.....logs&trees.
I remember one grinning guy came in with a flap of scalp peeled off...skull exposed.
Skiing, for me, now...is NOT a freestyle discipline.
Free skiing has it's moments, I guess.....deepfluffypowdr is fun.
Ski down...ride the lift up...up/down...up/down...Over & oVer again...it began to seriously bore me.
A view of snotboarding and "snotboarders" from a surfer (language advisory):
You'd think ...loving surfing as I do, I'd have an affinity for snoboarding....NOT true.
Both feet in a fixed position on an object that looks like a fat ski?
I prefer 2 edges in the snow and independent foot action for the speeds that entertain me, thank you.
I !LOVE! racing snotboarders on a Nastar course.
Here are snobrdrJokes from Roger Lee at Safeway in Fraser, CO:
What are the most difficult 4 years of a snowboarders life?
There are 3 snowboarders in a car....who's driving?
....just a comment on the average snobordr...
Many are stupid, mouthy, self absorbed idiots.
In Winter Park "employee housing",
I encountered one snowbOrding or skiing shithead after another.
Thankfully, I no longer live in "employee housing".
Out on the trails, snoW-bOard ratninnies like to whiz close by at high speed.
I think of bending over (like I'm adjusting bindings), and accidentally sticking my pole out...
...but I use restraint.
Observing from the NASTAR start hut,
ONE out of 200 may know how to really edge/control a board...they are ALL dangerous as hell.
...very rarely have I seen a boarder that stays on edge.
I've never seen an agile stop at speed....they weasel down to a slow speed...then stop. They dress like clowns....I don't care for the culture/clothing/dialogue.
...every 3rd or 4th word in conversation is "like"....
...many sentences begin with the word "like".
A large number of you really are shitheads.
ya know.....at that age....I guess I was, too.
A view of ski racing:
...a humbling discipline...no matter how good you may think you are,
there are thousands of people that can beat thelivinghellloutofya. Like tennis....
you do not improve unless you're competing against someone infinitely better than you.
Dual courses are great for pairing up with a competitor you KNOW will beat yoU...
I finally broke the platinum barrier with a 13.32 HCP - 2.29.2008 at Winter Park, CO.
...slipped back to gold next race day.
My lowest HCP was 8.42 at Winter Park on Jan. 10th, 2010.
Then slipped back to silver on the following race day....ouch...
Note: These were not consecutive race days.
A Nastar handicap is a fairly exact measure of ability.
Those that race are very serious about their results.
Check it out: NASTAR
Race crew was comprised of 20-30 or 40 something shitheads....smedley...U R truly a shithead.
...plus one or two other life forms I thought needed serious anger management....
The race crew did not give daily pacesetting any priority.
They showed up to set the course, though.
Most days, I could not find a pacesetter. Patrol headquaters and ski school would help out if possible.
I had to enter approximate pace times...affecting the integrity of daily races.
I hate being forced to lie in answering the questions..."Has the pacesetter run yet?"
"What was the pacesetter's time?"
I remember one incident (12-24-2009 - Christmas Eve!) when a race crew member changed the pace time after the races were finished for the day.
This changed medals for many racers....and I heard complaints.
...hope they correct the problem.
The 2010, 2011, and coming again in 2012 NASTAR nationals are at Winter Park, CO.
The US Alpine Championships (a big / important race for aspiring Ski Team athletes) will also be at Winter Park in 2012.
During the 2010 Nationals I met Phil Mahre and Doug Lewis....it wuz coOl....I didn't have the camera.
...met NASTAR Director of Operations, Bill Madsen
I was starter for elderly and the just above toddler age groups....
..........age 65 and over, and age 1-4 and 5-6.
I thought those two age extremes were fun together.
The kidlings? right in starting order....older folks? ...a few seemed to wander out of place from time to time.
I did witness at least one berserk stressed out kidling psychotic tantrum event.
It is sad that some parents will push kidlings into something they don't want.
During the routine daily races (not Nationals) there was one child who just wandered down the course...stopping at each gate to touch it.
.............................reached my ski racing goal....this chapter is closed.
In the summer, my parents would take me to 45th St. at Virginia Beach at least once a week.
At night, Mom loved to play "Skilo" (bingo hybrid)...next door was the Surry Restaurant, a shooting gallery, and the Peppermint Beach Club...
........with the 16th St. pier just behind.........loved to see what was caught on the pier.
There was an amusement park there for the longest time...memories of the beach at night.
At age 12-13...I realized my true purpose for the sea...WAVES / SURFING!!!
....and with the onset of adolescence I became immersed in SURFING culture.
It overcame me...I couldn't think of anything else.
I remember my first look at the ocean at night as an aspiring surfer....moonlight on swells...
...the passion and the romance that surfaced in me was overwhelming.
My very first job was with Bob White Surfboards.
It was then that the now famous WaveRidingVehicles porpoise logo was created.
Now...living inland (Colorado)....I know my days away from the sea are numbered...there's nothing like surfn'.
...don't care for the inland culture...miss surfing too much.
The Atlantic ocean is a closed chapter.....the Pacific is next.
Anyone home in the olympic organizing committee(s)?!
It is an absurdity to not include surfing in the summer olympic games.
With the amount of funding that shows up for the olympics...
can you imagine the incredible size / design wave facility each hosting city will get?!
Synchronized Swimming? Water Polo? Diving? Rowing? Sailing?
Someone help me to understand.....
Why isn't the world's ultimate summer sport in the summer games?
The weather, swell, geographical location are NO longer factors
in what city hosts the summer games. RIO got it for 2016...and of course, it's a !GREAT! surfing city!
I imagine an enormous slowly turning propellor-like structure with blades slanting down with a giant curved or circular beach...
Bigger surf when the blades turn faster...it's perfect....
...in my future world....the beach would be miles in length....
Moscow Summer Games - 3280.
I'm disturbed that the real purse money doesn't exist for surfing. A.S.P. athletes are as impressive as any on eArth.
Wheretheheck is the $1.2 mil. purse? (as in tennis, golf, and certain team sports)...
Lives are on the line at Teahupoo and Pipeline.
A contest at either of these 2 places should have a $1.2 million purse.
Of course, surfing competition is ruled by the judges.
Just a thought or two on "hopping"...........
When the waves are smaller, I see many contestants hopping up and down.
This is necessary to stay in the wave...but constant hopping?
Maybe it's a nervous habit?
I think it ruins the flow....to me....Judging surfing is similar to judging dance, or gymnastics.
It really is an art form.
Of course, tube time and depth, along with radical / fluid turning and air time always get the highest scores.
I personally think they should deduct for excessive hopping.
In yet to exist Olympic surfing, the waves are ALWAYS perfect.....judging elements WILL change.
began for me in the early summer after 7th grade...I began looking at photos of surfing, album covers...wherever.....
....I've found a purpose for the beach my parents have been taking me to since age 4.
It all began at age 12 or so....then, freshman year of high school....a handful of grommets at Churchland High (Class of '66)
would embrace the sport as nothing else before.
My very first board was a "Malibu"...foam, but not fiberglassed...with aluminum tubes inside as support.
It had a removable plastic fin you hammered on from the rear.
Dad got it from Harrell's Sport Shop on High St. in Portsmouth, Virginia.
I'll never forget my very first trip to the beach in my '55 Chevy with board tied onto the roof.
...first sensations.....oooOo da coolness of riding in car w/board on roof.....
......this sensation may have spawned a small population of gortnutNinnyrats that actually spent time highway surfing....
I was with Randy Carter......I can't remember....was it his car on that first trip?
We went to 45th St at Virginia Beach...it was April...warm day....freezing water.
....old cutoff jeans.......paddled for a wave....nose pearled...board hit bottom and the nose cracked.
I took it back to Harrell's for a refund....If I remember.....it was about $55.
Then, got a Greg Noll "California Custom"...black rails with curved redwood inlays...my first real surfboard!
CalCustom was Noll's early production board for the masses....but it was beautiful.
It came from Red's Marine on High St......if I remember.....surf co-hort Wayne Clark was working there....
....and certainly had something to do with those first boards coming from the west coast.
A pattern formed....every Spring my grades would drop...Surfing had an effect on my academic
discipline. Wayne Clark, Les Brinkley, Lynn Usher, Randy Carter, myself...
Rob Beedie (Global Surf Network) and his bunch were just across the Elizabeth River at Woodrow
Wilson High doing the same thing.
Note: m51.com digital media supplied 120+ minutes of Oahu footage without soundtrack
as a backdrop for Rob Beedie's GSN Surf Film Festival at Old Dominion U.'s University Theatre in Norfolk, Va. on July 14th, 2007.
We emulated the guys at the coastline who could get more time in the water.
Bruce Brown's Epic, "The Endless
Summer", was a major influence to say the least...
I lived 26 miles inland from the Atlantic....just far enough from the coast to really enjoy the thrill of approaching hurricanes.
Late August, September, October, and early Nov.....change of seasons...water still warm...what a wonderful time of year at the coastline.
I'd follow the storms on TV, and zip to the coast when Virginia was in the "wave window".
Hurricanes are like celebrations...holidays....when a storm was coming, it was time to celebrate this wonderful force of nature.
Note: I was arrested on October 5th, 1993 for "celebrating" hurricane Emily as she passed by offshore Va.
A teen drowned, and the idiot VaB 2nd precinct police CLOSED the SEA to humans.....
....and guess who was out riding waves......
I finally came in......police bullhorns and whistles...could barely hear them being 300+ meters offshore....sound of the wind and surf muted sounds from the shore.
When the surf is good, things like that on the beach are very easy to ignore.
I remember walking up the beach to the police jeeps...why I didn't try to paddle down the coast and escape...I don't know...
they put all the boards in a pile as the "arrests" proceeded and the number of spectators and surfing criminals on the beach grew.....
Plenty of news cameras from all over the country...anchor persons sticking microphones up to my face.....
Questions like "Is it dangerous out there?" or "Do you know someone drowned?"
About 30 or so were arrested that day.
I'm sorry the little guy drowned....but, you know....it's that kind of sport.
If you're in surf beyond your ability....what in the hell are you doing out there?...
If you don't have stamina to get through the impact zone, you don't ride waves that day....period.
If you make it out by luck, not stamina...and you only have a couple years (or less) experience...you can get in trouble.
In Hawaii, and many tropical locales....the deeper water in the coral channels allow almost anyone to paddle out....
...paddle out in 15 ft surf and not get your hair wet.
Of course, I appealed the court case, and it wound up costing $100. They deemed it illegal to surf that day and I was guilty.
The Virginia Beach city legislature does not behave as if there is a body of water
several thousand miles wide and a few miles deep in their back yard....
....they just think of it as a tourist attraction....they didn't even have a longboard at each lifeguard stand in and before 1993.......
Is it still like that?!
.......don't care for this inland culture (Colorado - 'color red' in Spainish).
....see a fair number of surfing related t-shirts here...many here don't know the history
of the companies represented on their clothing....worked for a year or so at Blockbuster,
and tried to divert those wearing surfing logos to "Riding Giants", "Step into Liquid", and "the Endless Summer 2".
Most didn't have a clue.....there were wisecracks from resenting parents or young twerps
trying to be cool and impress grrlfriends, etc.
......have lived for too long... away from the romance, freedom, danger, mystery of the sea... and it's cultures.
....heard the Front Range described as "a shelter from the intellectual storm at the coast".
from 1966 Churchland High yearbook "The Trucker".
On the left is Dewey Weber Team
member - Wayne Clark.
my tri-stringer Hobie on the roof.
I spent several seasons, and many shorter visits, in Cocoa Beach, Florida...the 7 mile stretch of beach south of Cape Kennedy....the Space Coast.
...a wonderful, carefree time with warm water and great waves...great friends....soOOo many great, sad, dramatic, and romantic memories of Cocoa.
It is the home beach of Kelly Slater....my old friend Roger said his daughter went to the same high school as Kelly.
From Cocoa Pier to Sebastion Inlet...I rode waves at so many great surf spots.
I remember the ONLY time in my life I was actually unable to paddle out...
giAnt waves at Shark Pit...just couldn't make it out to those big perfect waves that day.
...and such are the characteristics of beach breaks when the waves get big.
I saw my share of Space Shuttle launchings from Cape Kennedy....3 miles away at Canaveral Jetty...and the ground shook.
I was not there when the Challenger exploded....what a day that was....if anyone picked ANYTHING up on the beach, they were arrested.
...my first surftrunks were Birdies.
I took the liberty of posting this photo of Tom,
in memory of my time with him.
The photo came from the Surfer's
Journal article by Glenn Hening
on the founding of the Surfrider Foundation.
The Journal is our sport's grandest showcase
of global surfing culture and history.
This was the beginning of the Surfrider Foundation on the east coast.
M51.com Digital Media developed the first website for the Virginia chapter.
Server space was donated by iTribe, one of the first big Internet companies in Norfolk, Virginia.
is completely a "freestyle" discipline...the exactness of winning
(as in Ski Racing, Sailboard
Racing, or Motorsports) doesn't
They just don't race surfboards, though some may choose to differ
with that. To judge surfing is to judge an artform. The top 2 in a contest can be very close in points.
It really is one hell of an athletic discipline.
The scoring system used today seems to work perfectly.
My best result was a 2nd in the East
Coast Surfing Championships - 1973. It was/is too much fun just being
a threat for the top 3 places.... ...haven't been in a competition since 1988.
...and I remember that so well....no sleep the night before....got there too early and waited around many hours for my first heat.
paddled out...smoothly turned and took off on my first wave....laid over for a great bottom turn and fell flat on maFace.
Did that a few times....heat over.
I think about the competition these days in the over 60 age group.
I haven't seen first hand yet...
Oahu must have hundreds(?) of over 60's that are on fire.
Hawaii visit - 5.2004:
On Oahu's North Shore in springtime to find out if I can improve my surfing
while living in Colorado. This visit I had chest to waayy overhead surf...perfect
to take it up a notch. It took just an hour or 2 to warm up. It was my
second surfing in about 9 months. Not too bad...felt like I was maintaining
Surfed at Ehukai Beach Park
just a couple hundred meters north of Pipeline. Also surfed Laniakea, Kammy's, paddled
out at Sunset a few times and was blown away watching triple overhead
sets. Laniakea is always a good bet for surf in the "off season"....I love Chun's, but didn't make the stop there this visit.
I ride a prototype 8' Tim Nolte epoXy hYbrid board that is the best in
all these years. The shape/weight distribution enable it to turn almost
too easily. The latest refinement is still not perfect, but it's very
close. The Merrick Epoxies I saw at the North Shore Surf.n.Sea
are my first choice for lightness construction, though I didn't like the
Talk this spring out in the water and in shops: Epoxy yes/no? It's been
yes for me for last 20 yrs....but that was on the east coast. Evaluation:
the board rocks.
surf culture acknowledgement:
For us, Surfing is Earth's most fun / most intense mating display.
Just a few notes on entering the food chain in the sea as a surfer...I
do not ride waves alone... sometimes even if 2 others are out, I won't
go surfing at that spot. Call me a whimp, whatever... I want several more
buffet items on the menu for predators, thank you.
These are truly Earth's wildest creatures. Keeping a fleet of helicopters
in the air, or implementing shark nets may help a bit. Overfishing offshore
could be a factor. My old friend Les
at Sunset Beach, Oahu states that when there is an attack/death, the community
comes out with a barrage of hundreds of baited hooks, and they usually
always come up with something. Wvec's footage of a shark from the chopper
was impressive....as was the family home video footage of the dorsal fin
approaching the young grrrls frolicking in the shorebreak! This
home video footage does not exist on the wvec.tv website today - these extinct
links may indicate it is in their archives. Theatrics from the media/city
legislatures does help ease the stress a bit, I guess.
One last comment on these creepy cartilaginous cruisers....there are NO rules...
The ONLY thing you can "assume" about them is.....they may, or may not, be hungry....
Many will tell you that when you see dolphins, then there aren't sharks.
NOT true....there are NO standards of behavior....they wander anywhere...there are sharks in Washington DC in the Potomac River.
Any body of water attached to the sea will have sharks.
Hawaii 04 visit (con't):
Takes so long to navigate through the Honolulu traffic to get to the
surf...always fun to seedasights in Waikiki...parking?...it's difficult
in Waikiki area.......easy public parking around the marina at Ala Moana...long
paddle out....making sure I didn't get hit while paddling out, or take
off in front of anyone..... Ettiquette is important....they will paddle
over and punch you out / drown you. This is a state saturated in surfing culture.
You can go into a barber shop, a hardware store...somewhere on the wall surfing is depicted.
You must be respectful to those already riding a wave.....if you're cocky.....pissy....arrogant...you're in for a
very rude awakening.
Such a thrill to see that coast line and impressive grouping of hotels...surfin'
Back in the country:
A ten minute walk from oldfriend Les/Debbie's home and I'm at one of my favorite funwaves on the N.Shore.
- Kammieland....just across the bay from Sunset Beach...but totally
different wave shape and size....peaky / rolling / smaller fun waves
I'm told the old men on the North Shore like Kammie's.
After hearing about the movie and website on a local news broadcast,
I e.Mailed thesurferking.com in hopes of getting an opportunity to work
with a movie production company.
The release of the DVD was August 21, 2007 (US and Canada).
The International title is "Summer Dreams".
It was weird fun riding waves in a wave park in Federal Heights, CO.
There was a parasitic policeOfficer near WaterWorld nabbing movie crew
with speeding tickets at 5am every morning....of course, I was no exception.
Post DVD release note:
oK.....surfers say the moOvie sucked.....which I expected to hear.
It was hard work with very long hours.
The film was meant to be light fare for teens and young adults....not a real surfin' moOvie.
Though filmed in Colorado, the workflow was exactly like any feature production.
It was a great, high stress, learning experience.
Cerina's latest film: Everybody Wants to Be Italian
Mellott Custom Surfboards
As I reminisce about learning to ride waves at the Virginia Beach Steel Pier
in the early/mid 60's...I was a 16 yr old gromdork... emulating, observing, imitating....
Jimmy Parnell, Fred Grosskreitz, Bill Frierson, the Hollands, etc., etc, were Ron's competition in the ECSC.
These, among others, were the guys I observed and learned from....
I can't remember if all these surfers were in the same age group in the contests.
Those were great days/great times (still are!).
I remember Ron sitting in or on his car next to the boardwalk
...horn beeping at EVERY grrrl that walked by.....not one sexy one was missed.
He always had amazing dogs through the years.......all of them had the same characteristic:
....the instant the car door was opened...
the dog would take off at high speed, rampaging every beach blanket possible...
covering all with sand....screaming and chaos...it was great.
Above is a photo of a whale skeleton at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
This is a chance to present a theory on why whales strand themselves from time to time.
Notice the pectoral fins....you'll see phalanges (fingers)....I think cetaceans are trying to walk.
Possibly an ancient instinct within them still surfaces with some frequency.
All cetaceans have this skeletal structure in their pectorals.
......don't "believe" in evolution?...aside from being an idiot, you are on the wrong network of web pages.
The director of the Virginia Marine Science Museum,
(now known as the Virginia Aquarium & Marine Science Center),
told me he has believed this "migration to land" theory for many years.
I truly love these mammals. I have vivid memories of paddling over a wave and seeing a fleet of young
Atlantic Bottlenose Dolphins in the face of the next wave...there must have been close to twenty of them.
I knew they were going to hit me....but they all darted around me...it was semi-scary.
One of my favorite semi-scary things to do is...when I see their dorsals,
I put my head completely under water and make a squeaking sound....
within seconds...they appear right there near me...having a look both above water and beneath....
...wondering what I'm up to.
As curious, friendly, and intelligent as cetaceans appear to be...
...anything that big in the water near me is spooky.