I was born in Surf City, North Carolina, in a car, in a hurricane, delivered with assistance from my father. He sold his (our) house on the beach when we moved to Southern California. The house was later washed away in another hurricane.
Fallbrook, where I was raised, was twenty miles and some coastal hills away from the ocean. Still, with both parents loving the water… We went to Oceanside Pier, later to Tamarack in Carlsbad. I body surfed, rode styrofoam surfies, later a legitimate surf mat, canvas, five chambers, tow rope, rips up your stomach and tits. My sister bought a surfboard, stock Hobie 9’4″, on the day I graduated from junior high school, June of 1965. I’ve been a surfer ever since.
All I wanted to be was a real surfer. Okay, a ‘local’ somewhere magical. At some point in time I realized how many remarkable real surfers, famous and not famous, I’ve had sessions with, traveled with, fought for waves with, hung out in front of fires and in parking lots with, or, maybe I just watched them ride a few waves.
I started this blog because, already having written a (so far, failed) screenplay, I’ve been working on a novel paralleling my own coming of age in what I still believe was a magical (again, magical) time and place, I wanted some ownership of the name, real surfers; and, once I got started, each story led to another. And, since I’m still seeking the magic in another place and another time, I keep running into remarkable (and) real surfers.
Here are some older posts you may want to check out. If I knew how to link to them I would.
January, 2113- Raphael Reda- “You Gotta Meet This Guy.”
Al Perlee- “You’re too fat, too old, and you don’t surf enough.’
February- Darryl Wood- Can’t hide the Stoke.
Tim Nolan and the Wave of the Day.
Who Told You I Was Naked?
Tom Decker and Jeff Parrish.
March- Hippie, Blueballs, Glueballs, and Me (aka, Asshole)
Corky Carroll, Billy Hamilton and a Rising Swell
“‘Nose, Talking Story” by guest writer Stephen Davis
Surfing With Donald Takayama
Joyce Hoffman’s Bra
April- Phillip and I Surf Grandview With Bucky Davis
John Amsterdam May Still Hate Me (Part Two)
John Amsterdam May Still Hate Me (Part One)
Bill Irwin Called Out Butch Van Artsdalen
May- Trish, 1969 (photo with my old Morris Minor)
John Amsterdam May Still Hate Me (Final? Chapter)
John Amsterdam May Still Hate Me (Chapter 5)
John Amsterdam May Still Hate Me (Part 4)
John Amsterdam May Still Hate Me (continued)
June- Bob Townsend- Same World, Different Era
Windansea, Chris O’Rourke, and the Neanderthal
Speech 101 With Cheer Critchlow
Not Nearly Enough on Ray Hicks
O’side Memories and the End of (the Real) Grandview
July- Cheater 5 (illustration)
My Wave… Mine, Mine, Mine!
Inside Break (illustration, original song lyrics)
Joe Roper Surfed Crystal Pier Like Pipeline
August- Ragged Line (short short story with original illustration by Melissa Lynch)
Wally Blodgett and the Spinning Glass
Wally Blodgett photo, email from his son, Buzz Blodgett
Glass Art by Buzz Blodgett
Wally Blodgett Photo (from Buzz Blodgett’s Photography class)
Classic Arch Pose during 1972 Blackball Session
Great to meet ya today!
Good day Mate, found your blog today, after looking at property in the Lower Elwha Valley. I surfed the river mouth 35 years ago and it was epic. Does it still fire since the damn came down? Love your memories from days gone by. Growing up in La Jolla, I’m sure we surfed some of the same spots.
Nice to meet you yesterday (1/4) at CB sir. Did anything ever come in for you?
Yeah, I was pimping my site. And Archie and I checked out the Elwha moonscape; thinking about buying some of the new real estate. Actually, I’m not sure we talked to you before or after we went there. Unable to wait for the appropriately high tide, we surfed CB (aka SC). There were waves, still closing out; then three SUPers came out, a couple of longboarders; then it went almost flat. Still, we managed to stay out three hours (standard for Archie). I left my wet wetsuits in my car overnight, where they froze. Thanks for dropping in; see you again.
Hi Erwin…I’m a fan and a follower. I posted a bit on your blog and included one of your images, then linked to others. I’m in SF Bay Area, used to Surf, and now SUP Surf. Look forward to your posts. If you have an issue with me using your image in the post please holler.
After a quick browse of your writing and website, it is pretty apparent that you just don’t ‘get it’. I don’t live in the Washington Straits area, but if I did, I would not appreciate you. In fact, I have always wanted to explore up there and just knowing that someone like you is writing about the waves up there in such distastfull detail bums me out.
Notta, it’s kind of odd that you think I write about surfing on the Strait in ‘such distasteful detail’ when, if you did more than a ‘quick browse’ you would find I do not. Maybe Westport. It’s great. Go there. Still, I’m sure, if you do ‘explore up there,’ you’ll first check the internet to see which spots you should bother with, when (as in swell angle, wind, tide, local attitudes, crowds, access) you should attempt your exploration. And, really, Mr. Tafan, there are never any good waves on the Strait. Never ever. Sorry you’re bummed-out; up your dosage, maybe?
Hey this is pretty cool! My name is Honey I spoke with u this morning at CentruyLink, I really like ur blog!
Hi Erwin, I just saw a link Steve posted on fb and started reading your blog. I’m enjoying your insights on the aggression and localism thing. I ponder it almost every day.
Hey man. Nice to meet you at Costco yesterday. Great site brother. Excellent designs.
Hi, Please take down your posts about the surfing in the pacific northwest, purely out of respect for people who live here. We only get to surf good waves a few times a year, so if we have to deal with people coming up from California or elsewhere to get our waves that we only get a few times a year. first off, it makes no sense that they would want to come on a surf trip to a colder place, but also it is a fickle place and risk that chance of wasting their plane ticket doesn’t make sense to me. Why go to surf someone’s home that only breaks a few times a year when you could go to other more consistent surf breaks and not ruin someone’s life? This is just not okay from a moral standpoint. Please consider peoples’ lives and stop colonizing places.
I really enjoyed reading this “epic” blog, and think you are a great writer – a true writer that actually sits down and writes more than they talk about writing. While I do not think your political rants are very original (everyone is bickering about right vs. left these days), nonetheless they round out your story and give the reader a deeper insight into your worldview. Finally, I know someone with a house down river from PA and was wondering if it was legal to hoof the beach up from the south, or if the rez fully controls the high tide line, too. Cheers.