Surf Stories

Ted Grambeau
Surf Ambassador Mary Osborne Lends a Hand with Free Wheelchair Mission

Patagonia surf ambassador Mary Osborne just sent word that she’s going to be helping surf legend Robert August and Free Wheelchair Mission distribute 10,000 wheelchairs in Costa Rica. The project will be documented in a series of short videos narrated by Mary, Robert and Robert’s son, Sam August. We’ll try and wrangle a firsthand report…

1 min Read
Shaun Tomson: I Will Catch a Wave Every Day, Even in My Mind

This past Monday evening surfing great Shaun Tomson gave a slideshow presentation to a packed house at our Ventura retail store, Great Pacific Iron Works. Brett from the GPIW staff sent over some pictures from the event and a short writeup (more photos after the jump). Patagonia once again outdoes itself by bringing in a…

2 min Read
Mary Osborne Shreds and Serves in Central America

A few months back we posted an update from Mary Osborne on her involvement with Robert August’s Free Wheelchair Mission down in Costa Rica. Mary put together a short video of her trip to Central America, including some sweet footage of her surfing and some pics from her time volunteering at the wheelchair event. [Music…

1 min Read
Is Global Warming Affecting the Surf?

Global warming may be a mainstream issue now, but it’s far from being cut and dry. Some people think it’s a myth (read the comments), some think it’s the end of the world and the rest see it as something in between. The scope and complexity of the problem naturally raises more questions than answers.…

Belinda Baggs
3 min Read
Gerry Lopez on the SEA Paddle Around Manhattan

By Gerry Lopez Inspired by his good friend Don King – who is making a documentary about his son who has autism – Patagonia ambassador Gerry Lopez recently participated in the Surfers’ Environmental Alliance (SEA) Paddle NYC White Water fundraiser to raise money and awareness for autism. The event consisted of the first-ever 28-mile surf…

Gerry Lopez
11 min Read
What Is Your Surf Spot Worth?

The surf’s up in Ventura today and even though surface conditions were not perfect this morning, there’s definitely a buzz around the office. If you paddle out today, consider taking part in the following survey after your session. Thanks to Patagoniac Chad Nelsen for this submission: Researchers at UCLA are studying 22 surf spots in…

3 min Read
Dan Malloy on Surfing Liberia

When Dan Malloy came back from Liberia surfers around the office were asking him how the trip was, anxiously hoping to hear about perfect waves. Dan, humble as ever, spoke well of the trip and the waves but you could hear in his voice and see in his eyes that it wasn’t a typical surf…

Dan Malloy
3 min Read
Gerry Lopez and Jock Sutherland – Talkin’ Pipe Pt. 1

On November 10, 2007, Devon Howard and the Patagonia Cardiff staff hosted a very special event at the shop. Here’s Devon to tell you more: Storytelling in any form has always fascinated me. Whether penning a tale, shooting photos, helping make a surf film or just leafing through a good read, I always become completely…

Gerry Lopez
4 min Read
Surf Their Waves—Even When They Tell You Not To

They say it’s bad to surf after a rain. I disagree. I have empirical evidence that shows they are wrong. I don’t get sick. Never have. And I used to live in Venice Beach. They never reported the water quality at my local break better than a D+. I saw it as a challenge. It…

William Kaner
4 min Read
Gerry Lopez and Jock Sutherland – Talkin’ Pipe Pt. 2

Be sure and check out Part 1 if you missed it and keep an eye on the men’s and women’s surf pages at Patagonia.com,or here at The Cleanest Line, for Part 3 coming soon. Also, stay tuned for details on Gerry’s newbook Surf is Where You Find It. If you like surfing and an intimate…

1 min Read
Gerry Lopez and Jock Sutherland – Talkin’ Pipe Pt. 3

The Talkin’ Pipe series continues with Gerry & Jock reminiscing about the ’70s. They discuss a few of the breaks that prepared them for Pipeline, the board designs from that era and some of the masters who rode them so well. If you’re new to the series, take a gander at Part 1 and Part…

Gerry Lopez
1 min Read
Ari Lurie in the South Pacific: Sitting on the Shoulder

This story was sent to us by Ari Lurie from Tahiti. He is an avid outrigger paddler and surfer. ‘Haole go home.’  This glaring message was scrawled across a building in the center of town.  I was visiting the port of Fare on the beautiful French Polynesian island of Huahine.  I smiled at its bluntness…

2 min Read
Gerry Lopez and Jock Sutherland – Talkin’ Pipe Pt. 4

The Talkin’ Pipe video series continues with Gerry and Jock reminiscing about the Expression Session of 1970. Definitely some classic stories in here. Part 1, Part 2 and Part 3 are available for those new to the series, and there’s more to come. Thanks again to Devon Howard and the crew at Patagonia’s Cardiff Surf…

Gerry Lopez
1 min Read
Gerry Lopez Remembers Terror at Jaws

by Gerry Lopez [Editor's note: In honor of his new book Surf Is Where You Find It, we're stoked to have Gerry Lopez sit in as guest editor. Stay tuned for seven days of stories from one of surfing's finest.] As I hurried towards the baggage claim at the airport in Kahului, Maui, I noticed…

Gerry Lopez
22 min Read
Rob Machado Is the Coolest Surfer of Modern Times

by Gerry Lopez Surf heroes become recognized for accomplishments that set them apart. Kelly Slater and Andy Irons battled fiercely for world championship titles among a field of surfers of extraordinary ability. Laird Hamilton rode bigger and more dangerous waves than anyone had before, which paved the way for others to make their own big…

Gerry Lopez
6 min Read
The Demise of the Ditch: Remembering a Top-Secret Surf Spot

by Gerry Lopez Since it’s gone, I guess there’s no reason to keep the secret any longer. What we had was a pretty neat surf spot almost 200 miles from the ocean. For the last three years, it’s been double top secret. Even so, like everything else in the surfing world, the word got out.…

Gerry Lopez
12 min Read
Gerry Lopez and Jock Sutherland – Talkin’ Pipe Pt. 5

by Gerry Lopez Jock Sutherland was my first and foremost hero at the Pipeline. It somehow seemed destined that my first time out on a small empty day as a sophomore in high school, Jock would paddle out and give me a key tip on how to surf the difficult place. It would be the…

Gerry Lopez
2 min Read
Filming “North Shore” with Randall Kleiser

by Gerry Lopez The telephone rang on a lazy day, there wasn’t any surf so I was just relaxing on the couch doing nothing. “Gerry, this is Randall Kleiser calling, I met you once with John Milius, and he suggested I call you. I’m making a movie about surfing, and I’d like you to be…

Gerry Lopez
9 min Read
What It’s Like Inside the Tube

by Gerry Lopez I have been asked many times what it’s like being inside a tube. My short answer is simple, “it’s great.” The long answer is quite a bit more involved. To get inside a tube long enough to have time to think about what it’s like requires a long list of factors. Luck…

Gerry Lopez
4 min Read
Surfing with Buddy

by Gerry Lopez Except for his rather large collection of blues records, there were not, in a material sense, a lot of other things Buddy Dumphy considered important or worthy of much thought. Even his surfboards were considered transient – tools to be used and sometimes abused – only stepping-stones to the next board. We…

Gerry Lopez
12 min Read
Anxiety and Ecstasy in the Age of Online Surf Forecasting

by Gerry Lopez Yesterday I scored big. It was one of those rare days which left me so pumped up when it was over I knew I was going to have trouble falling asleep last night. [Editor's note: This story was originally written in November 2007] I figured I better write it down before the…

Gerry Lopez
15 min Read
Gerry Lopez and Jock Sutherland – Talkin’ Pipe Pt. 6

The Talkin’ Pipe video series concludes with Gerry and Jock riffing on Kelly Slater and Backdoor. If you’re new to the series, visit the Talkin’ Pipe page at Patagonia.com to watch parts 1 – 5. And while you’re there, consider picking up a copy of Gerry’s new book Surf Is Where You Find It. Sadly,…

Gerry Lopez
2 min Read
Lakey Peterson Reports From Australia

It’s never too soon to learn the tradition of story telling. Today we bring you the words of Santa Barbara super-grom, and FCD Surfboards team rider, 13-year-old Lakey Peterson.  Right now I’m traveling through Australia, surfing with my mom and dad. We started in Noosa, where there was a worldwide surf festival going on. It…

3 min Read
Beach of the King: A Personal History of Playa Del Rey

DJ Dukesherer’s path to becoming an author was less direct than the one that led him to surfing. Paddling the deep blue waters off the coast of Playa Del Rey with his father were a defining element of his childhood. Mr. Dukesherer’s ocean roots sunk deep into the sands of Playa Del Rey. Through his…

localcrew
5 min Read
Sliding Liberia Being Shown & Introduced by the Directors Tomorrow at Patagonia Palo Alto

The Patagoonies in Palo Alto are getting revved up for an extra-special event this weekend. We are proud to announce that directors, Stanford University students, and friends of Patagonia, Nicholai Lidow and Britt Caillouette, will be introducing the surf documentary Sliding Liberia at 7 pm on Saturday, June 7, in our shop on Alma Street.…

2 min Read
Gerry Lopez Shares the History Behind our Cotton Boardshorts

Our board shorts line has a new addition with a long history. The Patagonia Organic Cotton Canvas Boardshorts, or Palaka shorts as they were originally known, come with a special heritage in not only the surf world but old Hawaii as well. When I started surfing in the late 1950s, Palaka shorts were one of…

Gerry Lopez
2 min Read
Sliding Liberia DVD Now Available; Release Party Tomorrow in Santa Monica

If you’re a regular reader of The Cleanest Line you’re no doubt familiar with this unique surf movie featuring Patagonia ambassadors Crystal Thornburg and Dan Malloy. We’ve shared stories from the trip, told you about various screenings and shared a picture of one of Dan’s FCD boards that he left behind being used by a…

1 min Read
LIVE: A Music and Surfing Experience

Patagonia ambassador Mary Osborne sends word about the premiere of Live: A Music and Surfing Experience, a new surf film by David Parsa. From Mary, "It’s a killer movie about surfing and music from the ’50s to the present." Surfing Magazine says of the film, "Live: A Music and Surfing Experience dances through each decade…

2 min Read
Surf Imagery at the Cardiff Store

Surf stoke is such a positive feeling. It enriches our lives and makes us better people. Surf art has a way of rekindling the stoke when we’re not in the water — it transports us back to the ocean in our minds and hearts. The crew at Patagonia’s Cardiff surf shop have just such a…

2 min Read
Trestle Toll Road vs. World-Class Surf Breaks in Cardiff

On September 22, thousands of citizens attended yet another hearing on the proposed "Trestles" toll road. The hearing was held by the U.S. Secretary of Commerce, who promised to make his decision between October 24, 2008 and January 7, 2009. As we begin the official waiting period for the verdict, let’s get a recap of…

4 min Read
Wood is Good (Pt. 1) – Tom Wegener’s Alaia Surfboards Video Series

Devon Howard, manager of Patagonia’s Cardiff Surf Shop, has put together another stellar event for his customers – and recorded it for all of us who couldn’t be there in person. Tune in each day, from now until Monday, as we bring you Tom Wegener’s talk at Patagonia Cardiff. The first video of the four-part…

3 min Read
Wood is Good (Pt. 2) – Tom Wegener’s Alaia Surfboards

YouTube version: Wood is Good Pt. 2 See Part One of the series for an introduction to Tom by Devon Howard and to watch the first chapter of the video. Visit Patagonia Cardiff or Tom Wegener Surfboards to see the boards.

1 min Read
Wood is Good (Pt. 3) – Tom Wegener’s Alaia Surfboards

YouTube version: Wood is Good Pt. 3 Previously: Part 1 and Part 2. We’ll conclude the series tomorrow. Visit Patagonia Cardiff or Tom Wegener Surfboards to see the boards. With thanks to Devon Howard. 

1 min Read
Wood is Good (Pt. 4) – Tom Wegener’s Alaia Surfboards

YouTube version: Wood is Good Pt. 4 Here it is, the final installment of Tom Wegener’s "Wood is Good" talk at Patagonia Cardiff and what a treat this series has been (see parts 1, 2 & 3). The footage of Dave Rastovich in today’s chapter is mind blowing. Though far from mainstream, Alaias are here…

1 min Read
Backyard Adventures: A Mid-Atlantic Surf Hunt in DelMarVa

From the frosty summits of Rocky Mountain National Park, to the sultry sea of the eastern shore, our Backyard Adventurers are taking us on a grand tour of some of some true surprises. Grab a brew, pull up a chair, and enjoy as Mark Carter takes us along on his hunt for secret mid-Atlantic surf:…

8 min Read
A Conversation with Ben Keller, Director of “BlueGreen” Surf Film

As The Present prepares to head east, we'd like to share news about a different kind of surf film. Ben Keller of Dubious Honor Productions, and friend of Patagonia's El Pescador, is about to take his award-winning film BlueGreen on a 14-show west-coast tour starting this Friday, April 10, in Seattle, Washington. A new surfboard…

3 min Read
Sliding Liberia Update

Hopefully you've all seen the surf movie Sliding Liberia by now. We covered it a while back with the help of featured surfers Dan Malloy and Crystal Thornburg. The film's director, Britton Caillouette, wrote us with an update on the situation in Liberia since the film was released. Nicholai returned to Liberia last year to…

2 min Read
International Surfing Day, Surfboard Swap in Cardiff, Summer Solstice & Father’s Day

There are a couple surf-related events taking place this weekend we'd like to share with you. First up is the 5th Annual International Surfing Day (ISD) on Saturday, June 20. ISD has events scheduled across the country, many of which include beach clean-ups, paddle-outs and fund-raising efforts for local Surfrider Foundation chapters. Here in Ventura,…

2 min Read
Patagonia Athletes Score Big Over the Weekend in Surfing

Two big contests took place over the weekend and Patagonia athletes shone brightly on both the trail and the ocean. Also taking place this weekend, the National Scholastic Surfing Association (NSSA) hosted their annual National Championships which is considered the highest profile youth surfing event in America. Taking first place in the Open Women's division…

2 min Read
Dear & Yonder – Daring Stories of Ladies United by the Sea

Coming off two premiere screenings in Florida and Texas, a new all-female surf film, Dear & Yonder, will make its Southern California debut tonight at the La Paloma Theater in Encinitas — site of The Present premiere not long ago. Directed by Tiffany Campbell and Andria Lessler, the film features a dynamic cast of ladies…

2 min Read
TSJ | POV – Dan Malloy & Dane Reynolds Board Swap

It’s the first day back after a long weekend and I’m on about pitch four of the email mountain. With that in mind, I’ll keep today’s post short and let our friends at The Surfer’s Journal take the lead. I like this vid because it highlights two professional surfers from two generations, both of whom…

Patagonia
1 min Read
Dear & Yonder and Liz Clark at Great Pacific Ironworks Tomorrow for an Evening of Women’s Surfing

If you live in the Ventura or Santa Barbara areas, join us at GPIW tomorrow for an evening of women’s surfing. Patagonia surf ambassador Liz Clark leads things off with a slide show about the makingof Tiffany Campbell and Andria Lessler’s film Dear & Yonder. You’llget a behind-the-scenes look at some of the challenges theyencountered,…

2 min Read
Backyard Adventures: Surfing and Hiking Lone Cone in Tofino

A few weeks ago some of the folks from the California office cruised up to our part of the coast. Glen Morden, one of Patagonia’s product designers, is a transplanted Canadian, so he was piloting the minivan as they rolled across the Island and into town. They showed up on a typical Tofino day—thick cloud,…

Malcolm Johnson
5 min Read
Nose Riding with Fletcher Chouinard Designs Surfboards

Great things are happening over at our sibling surf site Fletcher Chouinard Designs (FCD). Besides hand-shaping some of the lightest and strongest surfboards in the water, they're blogging on their homepage, sharing photos at Flickr and publicly answering customer questions about all the boards in the FCD quiver. While not quite as intimate as working…

3 min Read
FREE SWIM Wins Patagonia-Sponsored Film Award

We received this update from Dr. Jennifer Galvin, a filmmaker and environmental health expert whose work recently received a Patagonia-sponsored award for its focus on Ocean Sports. Congratulations to Dr. Galvin, reelblue and Swim to Empower.___________________________________ The world’s leaders in environmental conservation, ocean filmmaking and wildlife photography came together for the Blue Ocean Film Festival…

2 min Read
Photos from the DIY Alaia Class at Patagonia Cardiff

Last week we mentioned an alaia shaping class at Patagonia Cardiff. Store manager Devon Howard sent some photos from the event and a brief recap for those of us who couldn’t make the trek down south. Thanks to Cyrus Sutton of Korduroy.tv for getting us stoked on providing free alaia shaping classes with Jon Wegener…

4 min Read
Surfer Brittany Anne Griffith on Independent International Travel

As the speeding and swaying double-decker bus hurtled head-on toward us in our lane, forcing us onto the shoulder of the Pan American Norte highway, I began to rethink our decision to rent a car in Lima and make the two-day drive up the coast to Chicama and Pacasmayo, two of Peru’s most famous and…

3 min Read
And the Winner of “Chasing Waves” is …

A couple weeks back we shared an excerpt from Amy Waeschle's new book Chasing Waves: A Surfer's Tale of Obsessive Wandering. Amy kindly donated a copy of her book for one lucky Cleanest Line commenter. And that person is … Long Story Longer! The random time generator selected 22:09 and Long Story Longer said, "Very…

1 min Read
Farewell to Summer: Mary Osborne Slides a Few Near Pat. HQ

We've had a great run of high-pressure and warm water this past month in Ventura. Patagonia ambassador and FCD team rider Mary Osborne captured one such day at the point while testing out a GoPro waterproof video camera. [Video: Patagonia Ambassador Mary Osborne Surfing with Water Cam by Mary Osborne] The music in today's video…

1 min Read
An Earthquake Hits the Mentawai Islands

Indonesia is a favorite destination of surfers from all over the world, including Patagonia employees, who have visited the islands many times over the years to surf and explore. A group from our company was on Sumatra just last month. They flew into Padang, the island’s largest city (pop. 900,000), where they hopped a charter…

Jim Little
3 min Read
“Padang Is Crying” (West Sumatra Earthquake 2009)

Today we’re following-up on Friday’s post “Great Waves, Bad Earthquakes, an Island in Need” with a firsthand account of the recent earthquake in Sumatra. Patagonia surf ambassador Belinda Peterson-Baggs was on a boat trip with our friends at Sumatran Surfariis when the 7.6 quake hit. All photos by Adam Kobayashi. Here’s Belinda: In the last…

Belinda Baggs
5 min Read
Action Alert: Help Prevent Pollution at Malibu’s Surfrider Beach

Up the road from Patagonia HQ, the fight to ban septic tanks at Rincon is making good progress. A similar shift is now being proposed for Rincon's southerly sister, Surfrider Beach in Malibu. The Malibu Surfing Association is one of many groups working on this issue and they're asking for your help. Take action: Help…

2 min Read
Christian Beamish’s Sailing Adventure with the Stormfront Pack: Part 1

When you build your own sailboat in Southern California and attempt to sail it the length of the Baja peninsula you don't come back with just one story, you come back with many. Today, we're stoked to have Christian Beamish join us again with another high-seas tale to complement his Dirtbag Diaries episode "Three Eighths…

2 min Read
Christian Beamish’s Sailing Adventure with the Stormfront Pack: Part 2

Christian Beamish is back with his hand-built sailboat, Cormorant, and the conclusion to his story from Baja. Please read part 1 first if you missed it yesterday. This was bad, but in the realm of wilderness breakdowns, not so bad really. I was not injured, I would not go hypothermic – worst case scenario I…

2 min Read
Surfboard Dispatch from Fletcher Chouinard Designs

Editor's note: With the Pacific Ocean starting to wake up, now's a nice time to hear from our friends at Fletcher Chouinard Designs (FCD) surfboards. From the FCD inbox – I bought a 6'10" Octo model from you guys a year or so ago, and thought you'd like an update…I spent a few months this…

2 min Read
Sounding Off for Ocean Activism

Josh Berry, environmental director for Save the Waves Coalition and the man behind All Points South, just released a new video with Captain Paul Watson (Sea Shepherd) and Dave Rastovich (Surfers for Cetaceans) sounding off on the continued need for ocean activism. The video also features surfing from Timmy Turner, Ramón Navarro, Brett Schwartz and…

2 min Read
A Queen and a King: The Story Behind the Most Famous Santa Barbara Surf Shot Ever

One very fine day in 1973, Gary Ward and I were surfing Rincon and it was just perfect. We both had to leave around 1 p.m. to get back to work, but the look and feel of the Rincon on that day was more alluring than silver or gold. She was alive and dancing before…

Steve Bissell
5 min Read
Keeping the Edge – Night Paddleboarding with Jeff Denholm

It's the cocoon of night that brings total escape. Escape from all that my eyes can be distracted by. Because after all, I do this for its simplicity: to surround myself with only the sea, a craft and my heartbeat. It's not that paddleboarding by day is so bad it just seems to reach a…

4 min Read
The Plane Can Wait – Keith Malloy at Pipeline

On his final day in Hawaiʻi, after competing in the Pipeline Bodysurfing Classic earlier in the week, Patagonia surf ambassador Keith Malloy scored some glorious conditions at the famous reef break. “Spring Pipeline is my favorite time of year,” says Keith. “My 7’4” FCD was the perfect board for this day. I surfed for two…

2 min Read
Save The Waves Coalition Chile Earthquake Relief Update

As Rios Libres sets off to help keep Chile's rivers wild and free from dams, Save The Waves Coalition is working hard to bring much needed relief to the residents of Chile who were hardest hit by the recent earthquake. Here's the latest word from Save The Waves on their relief efforts. Donations are still…

4 min Read
Chile Earthquake / Tsunami Video and Thank You from Save The Waves Coalition

[Video: "STANDING – Chile Tsunami Relief Film" by SaveTheWaves via YouTube] "This tsunami was the biggest wave we've ever surfed but we surfed it together." –Sergio “Pocha” Salas: surfer, earthquake & tsunami survivor and relief activist, Constitución, Chile. In a sense, all of us did surf this earthquake and tsunami together. While Pocha and others…

5 min Read
Man-Made Multi-Purpose Reef Produces Great Surf, Reduces Coastal Erosion in Southern India

We just launched our new Spring 2010 Surf Online Catalog with the theme "Protect Your Break." Inside you'll find articles highlighting threatened surf breaks around the world and links to the good work our friends at Save The Waves Coalition are doing to protect those spots, including their exciting new initiative, World Surfing Reserves. The…

6 min Read
Stanley’s: A Lost Treasure for California Surfers

Stanley's was a surf break in Ventura County that was destroyed in the 1970s to make way for a highway. Listen to Yvon Chouinard describe what Stanley's used to be like and check out some great archival footage of this spot, courtesy of The Living Curl. This video and other stories like it can be…

1 min Read
Up North: A Dispatch from Keith Malloy

Today's post comes from Patagonia surf ambassador Keith Malloy. Hopefully it'll inspire you to seek out some waves and wildlife over the long weekend. [Photo: www.burkardphoto.com] "We had a great trip up to the northwest this spring," said Keith. "Good weather and consistent swell gave us fun waves everyday. We were blown away at how…

4 min Read
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