Comparing surfers to climbers


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Jeffrey VanMiddlebrook

Boulder climber
Mountain View, CA
Topic Author's Original Post - Mar 17, 2013 - 03:07pm PT
Just got an e-mail and FB from an old Pagrovian friend I haven't seen since our respective daughters who are now 28 were little girls. He's an accomplished artist of some repute and a well-known underwater cinematographer living in Maui. He found me on FB via a mutual friend of ours from Big Sur.

So I'm going to Maui in June with the hope of finding some waves to ride, and my old pal plans to meet up with me to share some waves.

So we chatted about what the vibe is at the surf spots over there and I'm disappointed to learn that it's as juvenile as it was when I was still a surfer in the 60s/70s. One of the main reasons I abandoned the waves for the mountains was that prevailing Mickey "Da Cat" Dora punk-ass mentality that dominated the surf scene: "Off my wave, kook, coming down, I'll kick out on your head!"

Who needs that childishness?

I cannot say that no climber(s) has/have never shouted "Off my rock, gremmie, coming up, I'll cut your rope!" but my guess is that the xenophobic insanity that rules surfing is totally devoid among climbers. It's been my pleasurable experience over the decades to find 98% of climbers to be friendly, engaging, helpful, encouraging, and eager to exchange ideas instead of fists.
Steve Grossman

Trad climber
Seattle, WA
Mar 17, 2013 - 03:13pm PT
Good idea to see what is already under discussion...

Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
Mar 17, 2013 - 03:29pm PT
Dude, it's in every sport!

Last weekend I'm entering the MX course on my CRF450 and some kid (20's?)
that was just sitting there jumps in front of me and sends me a huge gravel blast from his rear tire. Obviously he wanted to show what a badass he was. I chased him at speed for a couple of turns and passed him 2 turns before a huge mud hole. I made sure he was just left and back of me when I landed in the deepest nastiest part of the swamp. As I exited the next turn I looked back to see him wombling around at 5 mph trying to figure out where he was.
He looked like a bronze statue dipped in tar.

He had the 'tude so yeah brah, I "kicked out on his head"
Childishness has it's place :)
BTW I'm 52


Boulder, CO
Mar 17, 2013 - 04:21pm PT
six out of 30 of the topics on the first page are yours.

ponder that fact before it becomes seven.... maybe?

Edit: was surfing in costa rica yesterday morning. Now back in the Peoples Republic psyched for climbing season. that relates to something....

Sportbikeville & Yucca brevifolia
Mar 17, 2013 - 04:42pm PT
pay no attention to the peanut gallery.
Cut loose man!
This is a playground. Play.
Only rule here is: don't show your tits!
Spray brother spray!

Trad climber
The pitch of Bagalaar above you
Mar 17, 2013 - 05:31pm PT
At least there is the word "climbing" in this title.
Ryan Tetz

Trad climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 17, 2013 - 05:32pm PT
Try Kitesurfing. Kitesurfers are friendly across the board. There is plenty of resource to go around. Go out for an hour then come in and hang an hour on the beach and make friends then go back out! Lots of old guys doing it now days. Windsurfing is going out of style as more get into kiting!

Mar 17, 2013 - 05:33pm PT
Oh, I thought it said comparing surfers to clammers!
mouse from merced

Trad climber
The finger of fate, my friends, is fickle.
Mar 17, 2013 - 05:52pm PT
Hey, stay there, JVM.
Comparing almonds to peanuts.
Tires to skateboard wheels.
Virgins to nuns.
Peanut butter to Nutella.
Nascar to the abandoned outhouse in your uncle's field,
it's all good. Nobody worh knowing cares anyway.
We're all dots on a blank page anyway.
You can't see the differences from where you are anyway.
You must rely on others to describe it anyway.
But you will be lied to, and cheated on no matter what.

That you may be cheating us of important schizz otherwise topical is a load of schizz in itself...

I gotta go locate my popcorn and kandy korn.

Thanks for joining the party/campfire.
Which way to the coffee shop?
Jeffrey VanMiddlebrook

Boulder climber
Mountain View, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 17, 2013 - 07:47pm PT
Don't know squat about Maui breaks. This old geezer ain't a-been on a board since 2004 when I tried to get my then twin 14-year-old sons interested in surfing in Santa Cruz. I found that I can no longer take that F-ing cold water on my head and ears, so I quit "again". But now my Maui artist pal wants to link up in June over there and go riding.

I just want a mellow experience without having to deal with adolescent testosterone junkies acting like displaying male baboons, if you get my drift. Been there, did that decades ago, surf clubs and surf-outs and all that childish bullshit we young bucks went through so long ago. I'm 63 and not interested in anyone's macho trip.

Back in the mid-1960s the surf club I was in went to an LA break called Lunada Bay for a laid-back day of brotherly intra-club competition when the Wind-n-Sea club showed up and a melee almost ensued simply because of that insipid territorial crap. A W&S hot-shot of that era by the name of Mike Purpus kicked out on me and our club's enforcer dude had to be stopped from trying to kill Purpus. That was the defining day for me when I decided I had had enough of that scene, and I quit the club and became a lone surfer.
Jeffrey VanMiddlebrook

Boulder climber
Mountain View, CA
Topic Author's Reply - Mar 17, 2013 - 08:14pm PT
Don't worry, Pud, I'm never phased by the "peanut gallery". I've been a public writer/figure for decades very accustomed to people not agreeing with me and attempting to make me feel hesitant to be who I am. I chalk it up (no pun intended, but I'll take credit anyway) to the desire for others to control, and nobody controls me.

Best way to deal with the peanut gallery is to ignore them. Best strategy because they can't stand being ignored. But they joke back and forth between themselves just to make themselves feel important. I get it and it's pretty funny, very transparent.

Social climber
humboldt nation
Mar 17, 2013 - 09:47pm PT
when climbin' i'm surfin the stone, find the true line and link the sections, fluidity rules we all know,
so let go of this is that and that is this, it's all surfin man, ask jimmy he'll tell ya so
Captain...or Skully

Mar 18, 2013 - 12:17am PT
Anybody compares me to a surfer gets kicked in the nuts.

Social climber
Mar 18, 2013 - 12:36am PT
Comparing surfers to climbers

STFU, N00b!

Mar 18, 2013 - 01:03am PT
climbers climb more than surfers surf.

Trad climber
lost, far away from Poland
Mar 18, 2013 - 01:53am PT
Life is suffering.

Climbing is my life.

Climbing is suffering.

Climbing hurt my foot.

Surfing hurt by back.

Dancing hurt my pride.

Swimming hurt my feelings.

Shooting hurt my eyes.

I'm gunna die...
Ward Trotter

Trad climber
Mar 18, 2013 - 02:14am PT
Are sharks the rockfall of surfing?

Women surfers dress better than women climbers.

Trad climber
Cali Hodad, surfing the galactic plane ~:~
Mar 18, 2013 - 02:23am PT
Dood, I'm a surfer and a climber. Sounds like I grew up around the same time period as you. Personally, I can fully relate to the Dora "mentality" regarding waves. The man paid his dues, surfed Malibu, Trestles, Saltcreek & Rincon during the late 40's & 50's when there were zero crowds. Then was hit with the "Gidgit" era. Must have been very demoralizing. He definitely had an attitude, and I would prollie would have kicked his ass (or he mine) if we had crossed paths, but i definitely respected the dood.

But, I can understand where he was coming from. Look at all the videos where these lame jerks are simply dropping in on him at Malibu, bitd ... zero respect. There is nothing worse than having some goon from who-knows-where show up at a surf break that you have paid your dues at by working/fighting yer way till yer top dawg, which can take years (out surfing, paddling & manuevering) your way up through the fearcly competitive crowd (hey, that is the way surfing is, there are only so many waves per set, 3-5) and then having some goon (or simply & totally disrespectful individual / disrespectful of someone already on the wave is what I am talking about, b'cuz them's the rulz, bro) dropping in on you during one of the premier days of the season. It's all about respect, always has been & hopefully always will be.

I grew up here in San Diego, paid my dues during the 60's & early 70's at a place called Nubreak at Sunset Cliffs. FWIW, I was there when Jeff Ching asked Steve Lis if he could take out his 5'2" Fish kneeboard (Steve was taking off/dropping in deeper in the barrel than any of us standup surfer's at that time) and he (Jeff) 1st stood up on the thing and surfed it. It statted a whole new era in surfing. I got my first Fish very shortly after that. Billy Caster (Challenger/Caster Sufboards) shaped me and Larry "Geppie" Gephardt (Geppie Keel Fins) Challenger Fish's, since we got free boards from him (BC was the primier shaper on the West Coast & in the whole world, imo). He shaped me a 5'7" Fish & Stevie Lis shaped my second Fish, which was a 5'6".

Those were exciting, and for the most part, laid back times. I really didn't give anyone sh#t, unless they gave me sh#t. But, like I said, whenever a big NW swell would roll through, the place would get hundreds of "surfers" from up north coming down. We were there every day. Rain or shine, shitty swell or whatever. We respected eachother, even the kooks from the colege (now called PT Loma Nazerene) on the hill above that came down and happened to get a good wave in front of us every now and then (we never cut nobody off) just as long as they abided by the same rules.

But these guys would come down in droves (mainly from Newport & vicinity) and shoulder hop you. Do you have any clue what that would be like at 8'-12'+ Nubes? Let me tell ya, in the very least, it would mean a long swim in and a gnarly rock dance over the jagged reef, which would take a good half hour or more when there was a big winter swell. BTW, there were no goon cords (leashes) then, and they still are not allowed/highly frowned upon at Nubes today (if yer entertaining thoughts of surfing there).

Back then, I personally would give somebody a not-so-polite warning when I eventually paddled back out. I could pretty much tell how it was gonna go from the response I got. I would have preferred a, "Sorry, won't happen again." or "Sorry didn't see ya.", and i would give him the benefit of the doubt. But things could get real nasty real quick.

Let me explain sumpthin. Nubreak is probably the very best (is in my opinion and i have surfed everything from San Miguel/Baja to Rincon and the Lane up north) reef break, or surf break period on the Mainland. But it is also one of the most dangerous at low tide (which happens to be when it is best). We were the very first crew to take off on the far backside of the second peak as the swell rolls in and therefore get covered up/barreled and come out and pump down the line and come in the backdoor of the second/inside barrel. That would require manuevering through/across some very sketchy boils & riffle areas where it is sucking up sand (inside the barrel) and you can see the reef, you eat it there, your gonna make contact (hard & very sudden) contact with the reef. That could have some very serious consequences, especielly on a double overhead and minus tide day.

So, like I said, you get somebody who shows up only a couple times a year (or less) and all they do is sit on the inside of the pack and shoulder hop people, well they are gonna get a major ass wipping sooner or later.

That was the very beginning (more or less). And it just got worse. I still have full status (for lack of a better definition) at Nubreak, because I am still recognized there by the guys I surfed with back in the day. Many have never left (other than to go to the Islands, etc). They still rule the area to this day. It is just the way it is, has become over the years.

Just go down to the Cliffs (Sunset Cliffs) during one of the pre-forcasted big winter swells and count the cars (let alone the surfers). You will see as many as 100 guys out at one f*#kin' lame ass (as far as the Cliffs go/there are a lot of so-so breaks at the cliffs, imo), and just as many or more scraping for a wave on a 3-5 wave set at such classic Sunset Cliff breaks as Ab's (Abalonie's), Subs, and Chasem's, etc! Something had to be done about Nubes. There has always been a crew there, even when i started, and I paid my dues the hard way from '65-'72, and therafter have represented/stood up for the place. It's just the way it is.

I go into surf shops in OB (Point Loma/San Diego) and young surfer's, ones that are well sponsored and on there way to being well known in the surfing industry (or already are/don't want to mention names) and they tell me they will go no where Nube's, even though they grew up just down the street (Ocean Beach) and have surfed other breaks, even the adjacent breaks (Abs & Chasims) at the cliffs all their lives. When I ask them why, they just say, "It ain't worth it, ain't worth the hassel." Like I saw/read somewhere on Surfline, it is known as being, "HEAVILY guarded". It is just the way it is.

So, if yer thinking of visiting the Cliffs, surf wherever you want and you will probably have a pretty good time (with the 100 or so other peeps out on the prollie stellar day ya chose to make the pligrimage) but there are LOT'S of regular days that you ill find great surf with practically no one out at many of the breaks. Just stay away from Nubes, particularly if ya don't have excellent manners, lol!

It was'nt like that initially, just grew steadily worse. People came down with their Malibu way of surfing (take turns dropping in on whomever was on the wave). I mean, go up to Malibu and watch them surf it. You get to ride the frickin wave for 20-30 yards and then somebody shoulder hops ya and its there turn. What a joke.

Plus, Nubes is a reef break with, like I said, two sections you have to make it through to get into perfect barrels. It is not a boring/monotinous (comparitively speaking) forever curling point break like Malibu where the most exciting thing that can happen is a nose ride or whatever. It (Nubes) is the closest thing that comes to the North Shore on the West Coast/Mainland.

I can only speak for Nubes/the Cliffs, my local territory. I rarely go/surf there anymore (since i screwed up my knee in '01) but could without any hassle. Not spraying, just the way it is. But that took a lot of time and hard work, and I still respect and understand why it is what it has become today. The world ain't a perfect place. And I got plenty of crap whenever I went to various other spots around San Diego, but I LIKED to kick ass (in regards to someone who first picked a fight with me, and particularly if they were bully's) so it didn't slow me down. I simply hate bully's and can understand how many people feel about the situation. And many of these guys are simply bully's (that i have seen on Youtube vids).

Like I said, it aint a perfect world. It's tuff out there. Sonny Garcia got his ass kicked here in San Diego a couple years ago for coming and thinking he could snake his way into the lineup and hog all the waves at one particular break. And Sonny is no stranger to fisticuffs, he protects his local NS breaks with a vengeance. And even Nat Young got a beat down in Aussie land for being an azzhole a while back. That is just the way it has gotten.

There are still plenty of places to surf without any hassle, all over San Diego. Pick just about any beach break from IB (Imperial Beach) to La Jolla, or Oceanside for that matter = No Problemo. You will be out there with every other kook and gremmie in San Diego (and during the summer, vactioner's from Arizona/Zonies & elsewhere) and their mothers & grandmothers who wanna try surfing fer a day. And there are some excellent beach breaks, btw. But there are places, not all the time but some time, where yer gonna get hassled, just the way life is. I personally never let it stop me, and I surfed pretty much regularly up until the early 00's!

I mean, there are places in the inner-city that are much more dangerous that i have entered time and time again handing out Gospel tracks, etc, for crying out loud. Think about it, handing out 'God Love's You' tracks and Christian rap tapes in "Gangland". Have known of young teens, etc, do the same, risked life and limb. Had, personally, 'Dirty harry' magnums (big mothers) stuck in my face by crack dealer's and told to haul ass or else. Probably shoould have, but I was there first. Some things are worth fighting for.

So, wudevah!

BTW, if ya think that the Valley etc., were a whole lot diferent, bitd (and currently for that matter) then ya never heard of Wings of Steel!

edit: Some of these guys these days are simply bully's and pricks and I am tempted, even at the age I currently am, to show up and tell them off, regardless of the outcome. You have probably heard about the, "Bird Rock Bandits" who all ended up in prison (the leader for 25 years to life) for ganging up on a world class surfer (& Christian, btw) and local from a break just down the street from theirs ( Wind & Sea) outside his mothers house (at W&S) and he ended up dying from a head injury as a result.

But hey, for the most part bitd, that is they way it was on the North Shore of Ohau decades ago tell now. When i was in High School and all my friends were coming back with these horror stories about how all the Mokes (local Hawaiins/BIG doods, btw) would single out Haolies (mainland white boy surfers/particularly blond haired ones) and kick their ass real good. It sent chills down our spines. We didn't have any nightmares about getting swept out to sea during huge surf or drowning during a double hold down,+ or getting sucked into one of the notorious underwater coral reef caves and not getting out in time. We had nightmares of getting a Royal Hawaiin Asskicking. Like they say, "Life's a beach, then you die." End of rant! lol

EDIT: I just wanted to add, we had one of our very best friends and Cliffs/Nubes local, die as a result of a surfing accident at Nubreak during the winter of '76, he bleed out right there on the beach in front of our eyes. His name was Bruce "Cornie" Cornwall (RIP). I went to High School with him (clas of '68) and surfed with him practically everyday for years on end. Like I said, conditions can get extremely dangerous at Nubes (and surfing in general)!
Ryan Tetz

Trad climber
Flagstaff, AZ
Mar 18, 2013 - 08:22am PT
Like I said. Kitesurfers way cooler way more friendly every day is a huge social party on the beach the more the merrier. Surfing is way too much BS.

El Presidio San Augustin del Tucson
Mar 18, 2013 - 10:33am PT
Embrace your kookdom.
Stick to a spot that matches your ability.
Respect the other kooks.
Have fun.
Simple as that.

You got hassled by Mike Purpus?

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