Excerpt from the second email ever received after launching this site:
"Your thoughts on the state of mind entered into whilst downwind paddling are spot-on — that is something non-paddlers just don't understand and is also seemingly impossible to explain to friends and acquaintances that surf but whom haven't made the jump to hyperspace yet. I try in vain to get them to see that a smokin' downwind run on an OC1 or standup raceboard occupies every part of your brain in a way that splashing around in the shorebreak on a Merrick no longer can. On my OC1 when it's 25 kts plus it actually feels like flying, at least in a sailplane. Sailing and flying and surfing all in one vessel — and you can certainly groundloop the thing.... And there is a mental state that I call being 'bump drunk," when one is in really complex seas, moving fast, for an extended time, and things start to become surreal or a blur, almost hallucinatory."
...Anyhow, thanks for sharing your trip there...
Best Wishes, and hope you paddle and fly Eternal, Shiny and Chrome.
For those readers unfamiliar with Parmenter's renaisance-esque course through life: Dave was a California surfing standout who competed successfully on the world tour throughout the midd eighties. In 88 he left the circuit to go on to shape (Aleutian Juice surfboards) and write for the surf media.
During the 90's, I was a rabid consumer of surf magazines. A frustrated Northeastern surfer riding wafer thin thrusters (badly), I was the son of a craftsmen father and an English professor mother. Parmenter's precise voice in both his writing and his shaping always carried for me a certain dissidence that I found extremely compelling during a era of massive commercial growth for pro surfing.
Recently I was drawn back into the surf zone by a tight group of stand up paddlers and subsequently discovered the stoke of SUP surfing and rekindled my passion for conventional prone surfing. I again began to consume surf media and once again here was Dave's assuring voice in pod casts, blogs and print – his description of the evolution of the ocean athlete and the design of the craft they use. The push from the surf zone out into the sea to chase downwind runners and surf in solitude absolutely jibes with my experience paddling surf ski and again completely underpins my feeling that I would always prefer to surf alone or with my friends then chase better waves at an even marginally crowded break.
More on “the ground loop” and going hallucinatory “bump drunk” in the next song.
Check out Dave's beautiful website NOWTRO full of inspiring writing of the surf zone and beyond, gorgeous shapes and probably one of the most holistic and down to earth step by step guides to shaping your own surfboard in the ether.