Surfing is so fun. 

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Surfing is SO fun. 

You’d think for how much I surf, I would write about it so much more. But if you breeze through this blog’s past, there aren’t a ton about it. There are a handful of ones that are reposts of some of my academic work, which I leaned on surfing as the subject matter like a crutch. Sure, I had a lot of classes where surfing couldn’t fit the subject matter or examples. But any class where I could take the bulk of the writing any direction, I flung it at surfing. It’s so easy to write about what you know. And it’s easy to write about something you do so often. Like for me specifically, I could write about drinking coffee, listening to music, etc. for hours easily. Just everyday shit. 

So here I am, penning a piece about surfing because it’s just been so fun. Surfing is always fun, but sub par conditions, bad weather, or surfing solo a bunch can make it harder to have a ton of fun. But right now that definitely doesn’t apply. The water is warm, and can be enjoyed in boardies or a spring suit. This already makes the average surfer stoked. Add in nice weather, decent conditions, and a positive attitude and you can have a ball. I’m getting to surf with a ton of my friends, and getting to see stoked faces more and more. Everyone just seems happier in Newport when there’s swell around. I could be wrong, but I like to think it’s true. There’s always one or two sour apples out there, but that’s just California.  

Surfing is a ton of fun because you can ride different boards to experience a completely different ride. From as simple as coming off a log to your first shortboard or jumping from different styles of board, the difference in ride can bring a smile to your face. You can try and emulate your favorite surfer, or work on different parts of your surfing. And all this time it’s any level. I know because a ton of my friends caught the bug, and are frothing even harder than me to catch a session. Hearing their stories get me stoked and chomping at the bit to get some water time. Whether it’s them wanting to switch up the ride or me jumping from fish to shortboard to soft top, there are an array of possibilities.

A great example of using different paint brushes on a canvas.

Surfing is so fun to watch. Whether on a computer screen or in the lineup. Finding myself surfing good waves and specifically Lowers means the sideline show is almost as fun as the main event. Seeing your buddy get a sick one or cheering on a random person is another way to enjoy it. Sometimes the most fun sessions might be because of the company you are with, not so much the wave quality. In the opposite sense, sometimes there is nothing better than surfing alone. It just feels right sometimes. Surfing alone in a crowded zone sucks, but surfing with not many others around and having your own little chip peak is a sure-fire way to crack a smile. It’s when the euphoric feeling of surfing is most prevalent. Just you and the ocean, and if you manage to fit into a vortex at this moment, you might think you are dreaming. 

I think the final reason surfing is so fun is the same reason surfing can be so torturous. Torturous might be a strong word, but nothing can eat away at you (or maybe this is just me) like blowing a good one or just having a shit surf. The same way having a great surf can put you way up, this can put you way down. The learning curve is the final reason surfing is so fun. Nothing is more exciting than learning something new or performing something you are proud of. Conditions pending, you can always take a new approach or learn new techniques while you are surfing. There is an infinite learning curve, and factoring in equipment changes really makes the possibilities endless. With that being said, once you know what a good wave feels like or how a good turn feels, every time you come up short can slowly eat away at you.

In the long run, the best way to enjoy surfing is to be thankful you can do it (this is in reference to when you are having a shocker or just not surfing as good as you’d like to). Some people live in less wave-rich spots, some can only get out on the weekends, some don’t live close to the beach at all. No matter how shit of a surf you have, thinking about just getting in the water and enjoying nature in its purest form is an easy way to turn that frown upside down. Take it from me, I find myself having to do this pretty often (unfortunately). But not recently. There is a tribe of us that is only growing stronger and stronger. Surfing has reached peak popularity, and more and more people frequent the beach for a quick pre-work surf. While sometimes this drives us crazy, seeing others enjoy the fruits of the ocean and being able to share moments with them is something special. Ride something different. Draw new lines on the wave. Work on technique. Just got surf. Good waves or bad waves. Big waves or small waves. Just go have fun, because surfing is so fun. 

A NEW OUTLET II

 

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MY LAPTOP FULLY ENGAGED IN BEAT MODE: MANY USB PORTS AND ALWAYS ON THE CHARGE.

I’ve been grinding and trying to fine tune the craft. Much like everything in life, nothing comes easy. Some are born with natural talent, others work quite hard towards their goal. Even if you are the most naturally talented person in your field, you are still going to have to pay your dues. This is what separates good from great. From average to excellent. You get the point. To get good at something, it’s going to take some time. And in all my experience, most learning curves only get harder and harder. To really achieve the goal you have in your head, it’s going to get harder and harder. As you excel, it becomes more of a perfectionist mindset and little errors can cripple your hardest work.

I’ve had these types of evolutions happen right in front of me. The easiest example that would explain it would be looking at my surfing journey. As a grom and even through college, I was overloaded with froth for just about any session. I was constantly learning and was pretty much stoked on every session. Fast forward and sometimes it’s pretty hard to get myself out there. Some probably will read that and laugh, because I typically find myself jonesing for a paddle out when the waves are awful. I still love to get wet but I know that I either need to try pretty hard to forge a good wave out of terrible conditions or just take the L and know I’ll just be going straight and doing floaters for an hour or two. I try and stay positive unless something negative has happened, but if you know me you know not to poke me after a shit surf. That can damper any good mood I was previously in. But like I said above, even just getting in the water is better than not going at all. Even sometimes driving to check it and not paddling out makes me feel a little better. Some of it’s FOMO, some of it’s laziness during the work week. But most would agree that it only gets harder to score a fun session as you progress your surfing. 

Most of my recent posts have been going down this similar path of me ranting, and at this point you are probably asking yourself “where is he taking this.” Like in the last post (nowadays I almost always refer to something in a recent post), I have picked up new hobbies to take space in my life. And most of them I really have taken a liking too. This one might be a little bit surprising to some, but this article is revolving around my career as a music producer. Take this statement lightly, as I do not plan on terminating my current career or even trying to make a single cent off making beats. 

Yes, get the laughs out of the way. I am a Soundcloud producer (different from a rapper). Here’s the long story short: my brother used to make music (electronic) and I always thought that was pretty cool.This was when I was younger and just entering the void of music. Throughout the years I have learned to love many genres and carve out playlists that really make me happy. I’ve also became friends with a handful people who make really great tunes. If you also know me you know I am a music fiend. Infatuated with new releases, current trends, and just an overall sound hound. I hear weird shit in songs, even before I started playing around with one-shots. While most know me as a hip-hop head, I like to think I have a wide pallet for tune taste. On a drive with some friends from Palm Springs we went from DJ Snake to Migos to Thin Lizzy to A$AP Rocky to Red Hot Chilli Peppers to The Weeknd. I always have loved music, and I figured I’d give it a stab during quarantine. 

In 2020, music is easier to make than ever. Sure, effort is required. My first 20 beats were trash. Some were bearable, but none were very complex and featured too dumbed down of samples and drum patterns. But in the moment, I always would have the biggest shit-eating grin as I was blasting them for my roommates or whoever happened to be over the house on that day. I am nowhere near as musically talented as others who have tried to make sounds. But if you try for long enough, something will start to click. Now I think I make halfway decent beats.

It is a new and different way to practice artistry for me. And has been taking over previous time I would use for writing. Channeling how you are feeling into a piece of art that someone can listen to and feel something completely different is an exciting and new feeling. Sure with writing, you can interpret words, sentences, and structure in different ways. But overall, the meaning and make-up is concrete. This is a whole new way to complete something and look back on it and smile. I will always continue to write and express my thoughts from pen to paper or keys to keyboard. But I honestly can say I might also continue the beat making even after quarantine. Music has always held a soft spot in my heart, and now I can not only associate songs with certain times/feelings, but also the sounds I made in those same periods. 

 

Blame It on Fishing

IMG_2699Hey. It’s been a little while. I’ve missed youuuuuuu. And by you I am speaking to a (very) small, select group of people that might find themselves on this site more than once. How’s it going? OK, so I know the next post was supposed to expand around a project in the works. It is very much still in the works. I have gotten the bare bones of it dialed, but it still needs some work. Well it still needs a lot of work. I want it to be pleasing to the eye and expertly (lol) done, This is just a quick interjection to hold you over. I accomplished my goal of posting once a week and then went cruise control. I knew I’d write again (obviously) but I honestly started a lot of side projects at once. And didn’t know what I wanted to write about. The inspo was waning. 

Blame it on fishing. Obviously I am not going to blame my lack of motivation all on becoming a semi-avid angler, but the problem does reside in this partially. Basically, with quarantine still hanging around and having plenty of time on my hands, I have taken up many new activities and re-kindled old habits during my free time. Don’t worry, the habits are not bad habits. Things like working diligently during my work hours, unwinding with some reading, and making sure to eat good and drink plenty of water (and coffee) are daily activities I’ve been grinding. So already, reading will take about 30mins to an hour out of my day. The waves have been fun, so pre work sessions have been on the menu as well as typically a workout after work. Time is running out.

After I’ve done all these, we get into the “free time” in which I give myself the reins on what I will do. Lately, my roommate and I will go fish for a couple hours. It’s a nice way to unwind and just take in the outdoors. After fishing, dinner gets made and then it’s already nine o clock. We watch a TV show as a house and then it’s 10/10:15, in which I crawl back to bed for the early wakeup to score some waves. If I choose not to fish, I might go for a skate or bike ride. I might make music. There are plenty of options on how to burn an hour or two. And lately writing has been at the bottom of the list. 

But there are things on the horizon. Summer is around the corner, days are getting longer, and the inspiration is slowly getting funneled into my brain for future writings and endeavors. Lots of outside ideas are slowly trickling in, and my mind has constantly been turning. Everything is a hard WIP, but you have to start somewhere. Taking on a lot of things at once can split up the attention and dedication a little bit, but when you start to get closer to the end of all of them at once, you feel an intense shimmer of pride. I want to keep this one short, as there is time needed for a more thoughtful post next week and other things to check off the list.

Sensory overload

Last week I compiled 16 sporadic tracks meant to get the creative juices squeezed out of my dormant brain and to try and give something new to the blog. New as in a different piece of writing. As of late, it’s been a lot of lists or reviews or opinions. While I feel as though this sits as some of my strong suits, it doesn’t hurt to go rogue and think outside the box. In a last ditch effort to get it going, I flipped on the playlist and hit play. I tried to sequence the songs a little bit. But I feel as though the first song needed to be there. I don’t want to tell you the song, as it would be cool if you either read the post last week or clicked the link I tagged it in above. Anyway, this song really is wild and thought provoking. It is way out of left field for it’s genre, and also features hard hitting sounds and beat switches that really show true artistry. Lots could try this, and lots would fail to put together 4 minutes and 16 seconds of tolerable music from it. This song and the album it is from are the catalyst for this post, and truly shows how one could go from a masterpiece of classic and regular-ish sound to something so out in left field and still keep it authentic and excellent all with no other works in between. The rest of the playlist features songs and vibes that evoke emotion and thought process outside regular songs. Much like a song with multiple beat switches, this post will jump around and be choppy on purpose. All touching upon things that can evoke emotion and certain feelings.

“break”

Smoky aroma fills the air and is the first scent to touch your nostrils. Half-asleep, you start to perk up a little bit. Everyday, this same scent touches your nostrils. But it never gets old. You have it down to a science, the same steps over and over again with very little variation. The end goal is always the same, no matter if you do the steps out of order or substitute certain instruments or ingredients in the middle of it. It is fully freestyle-able, and almost always results in the same product. The product is that first scent that touched your nostrils. If you could snort this stuff, I’m sure some would try. Even for those that dislike the taste, the aroma is ever so delicious. That first sip is always going to make you happy even if it is 3000th morning in a row. Even if it burns your tongue.

“break”

This moment in time is unpatrolled to any other moment for most in life. This only pertains to the select percent of the total population, and even a select percent of that percent. A moment so awe filled people give up on relationships, obligations, and even drive themselves crazy in search for it. Countless hours on the road, glued to a computer screen, lots of letdowns, and a lot of almosts. For a moment in time that for most lasts no longer than a handful of seconds. The time and population of people are like a ratio: the longer time spent in this place, the more and more you cut out the amount of people in this group. It is true nirvana. And can’t be replicated by anything else in the world. If you are lucky enough to have one ingrained in your mind, even going back and envision the moment of milliseconds can bring a smile to your face. I spoke of a song in the intro paragraph. Skip to the timestamp of 2:50, and this is what the moment sounds like. In this moment you are high. You can’t lose.

“break”

In this moment you are selectively deaf. You can be in so many places that might warrant you to want to hear everything. But in this moment, you hear only one thing. Whether it is for inspiration, concentration, or procrastination, it fits in all these categories and more. With the many different ways to listen, you have chosen the one that limits most distractions. For some reason or another, you want to only be consumed by one thing. Whether it is a medley of different styles or a very specific style, it all is the same in this moment. The only way you can get out of this consumption is if you chose to or someone literally takes you out. In this moment you can get lost for hours. Or hone in on something for hours. Even when you aren’t in this moment, sometimes it still is dancing in your head. Sometimes you can go days without it. Other times you are begging to get back in the zone.

“break”

Confidence oozes. You hate having an ego, but sometimes it is evitable. An ego can destroy you, but when used right can chair you up the highest mountain as you sit on the top and stare down to where you were or horizontal to other on the top with you. Feeling good comes at no cost, but sometimes requires a catalyst to start the roller coaster climb. Even something familiar or frequently seen can get you right back up to where it last got you. Sometimes it can be infectious, but it usually belongs to you. When you walk out, there is different swagger to your walk.

“break”

The alarm blasts in your ear. Now a days, it seems like everyone sleeps with their phone in their bed, so you are going to take this one point blank. A half-volume phone sounds like a megaphone siren this morning. Snooze. Again it blasts in your ear. Snooze. One last time, and this one hurt the most. Why did I even set this alarm? Even though you slept a decent amount of time, this alarm is a rude awakening. Water is quickly required to wet your whistle. You get up and do your morning routine, but instead of feeling free you feel as though instead of sleeping you sprinted a marathon and cramped on mile 4. Just defeated. Make the coffee quickly and sprint to the ocean or the couch. Or back to bed.

For now, this is all I’ve got. I could probably go on for a couple other instances, but I feel as though then the general (very small, select) audience would not make it to the end. So IF you have made it this far, thank you! This was a fun post.

Finding the Juice

Sometimes the juice just ain’t there. No matter how long I look at a blank word doc, the idea of something good to write still tends to elude me. Like I’ve talked about in previous posts, there are certain ways to get around this. One is the writers block, something which I have posted about a couple of times now. Sometimes a large amount of coffee will do it. A lot of times this backfires and I end up cleaning my room or doing another task that isn’t putting fingers to keys. Other times all that is needed is some physical activity to help settle down and get in the right headspace. 

I keep coming back to influence and inspiration a lot these past couple weeks. I don’t believe it is for a lack of, as a ton is going on around me and writing has been getting more and more fun. But like every well, eventually you might run dry. You might have exhausted all your usual creative muses, and need something new and exciting to help you get back into the zone. Looking outside your usual inspiration buckets and drawing from a different genre might get the gears turning. To support this theory, I have compiled this list of experimental songs to help get the good stuff going. Whether it is a crazy song composition or just a beat that puts you in a trance, these tracks are going to be playing when I am tapping my fingers. Enjoy these sounds, and come back Sunday (I swear I’ll post it on time) to see what has come from these beats.