Posted by lewis on January 15, 2009 at 1:14 pm.

Scheme #42.  Samoa, 2006.  Photo: Lewis Samuels

Scheme #42. Samoa, 2006. Photo: Lewis Samuels

This site is another one of my schemes.

I am a schemer.  I come up with half-scams and rely on half-truths that share a common purpose: they allow me to keep surfing.  This is not a new development.  There's historical precedent here, when it comes to both my history and surfing's.  Miklos Dora engaged in every con under the sun to keep the glide going, from credit card fraud to acting.  Pat Curren stowed away on a freighter to reach Hawaii.

I began more humbly, using all the 9-year-old charm I could muster to convince my grandfather to buy me a wetsuit.  My grandfather was an avid swimmer who logged a mile per day.  "There's no pools here!" I explained confidently. "So you should buy me a wetsuit."  I tried to emulate the facial expression of Luke Skywalker speaking to Bib Fortuna as I said this.  The Jedi Mind-Trick worked.

I caught my first wave on a "borrowed" board.  The scheme was simple:
1) Wait in  shorebreak until leashless surfer loses board
2) Grab board, run like hell, paddle it out down the beach
3) Catch a wave and ride in
4) Hand board back to older surfer, again relying on 9-year-old charm to avoid beating.

As I got older, the schemes became more intricate.  I hung out with middle-aged, dope growing surfers, because unlike groms, they had cars.   I'd ride in the back of their trucks to the reefs, trying to blend in by discussing harvests, divorces, and taxes.  I talked my high school into letting surfing count as PE, allowing me to surf till 11am on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  I did just enough while at school to earn a full-ride to UCSD, living in the dorms directly above Blacks.  The next year I used my government-granted housing cash to rent a 10' x 5' storage room near the pier for $150 a month.  I used the remaining scholarship money to pay for my first trip to Indo.  There were other schemes, too, some of them less than legal.

Now I'm older.  I have more responsibilities.  I'm too old for schemes like that.  So the schemes have gotten more intricate.  I started writing about surfing so that I could travel on the cheap.  It worked, sorta.  I started writing the Power Rankings so I could scheme my way onto better trips.  If I had to talk shit about pro surfers to get to Mundaka, so be it.  Like most of the schemes before it, this one somehow worked, too.  But like most of the schemes before it, there was a price to be paid for all those waves, no matter how I sliced it.

In the grand tradition of morally-ambiguous, surf-lust inspired schemes, I'm launching this site: PostSurf - A place for myself and other surf culture iconoclasts to mull over the act, after the act is finished.  Expect something different.


  • Jane Bethen says:

    Vote for Bolinas to be a socially acknowledged nature-loving town because to like to drink the water out of the lakes to like to eat the blueberries to like the bears is not hatred to hotels and motor boats. Dakar. Temporary and way to save life, skunks and foxes (airplanes to go over the ocean) and to make it beautiful.

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  • bukmacher says:

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