2009 Pipeline Pro (Framegrabs)

Chris Wilson on a smoker out the back during this Round 6 heat. He went down to Max Arent and Dave Crowley in this heat.

Maximizing shade time is key for rangas. Brad Hughes locking in to a smaller shapely insider.

A big set putting an end to Joe Clarke’s 2009 Pipeline Pro campaign.

Dubb throwing down the prone skills at Backdoor in route to taking out Andre Botha.

Pipe was showing her all during the afternoon hours of Day 2. Diego Cabrera on an inside smoker.

Cabrera backing up the previous barrel with one of the best maneuvers of the contest in his Round 7 heat.

Andre Botha with the Lore support. Super techy guru shit. Wave selection haunted the South African.

Dubb’s double barrel flying-out-sideways Pipe wave from hell. This one ended Botha’s ’09 campaign.

Kainoa embracing the ’09 LMNOP DK Pro winner Bud Miyamoto. His crouching tiger skills ruined all the competition.

A west bowl goes by unridden during the afternoon of Day 2.

Finalists Winchester, Costes, and Hardy amping in anticipation on the beach pre-heat.

The missing link. Cro magnon Garth McGregor had one of the highest single heat scores of the event in Round 7.

John Showell on an inside dredger. It would not be enough as he lost out to an in form Dave Crowley and a barrel dwelling Kainoa McGee.

Oompa Loompa doompadee doo, I’ve got another puzzle for you. Grodzen stoked on making the final of the LMNOP Pro DK.

Hardy opened up his semi final heat with this super sized Backdoor vert right at the buzzer. That would be all he needed in the wave-starved heat.

Hardy celebrating properly in the shorebreak after the win and showing off his new assortment of sponsors.

Ivan Hernandez on a nice inside bowl during the last heat of Round 7. The Canary Islands representation was strong this year.

Hernandez backing it up with a sweet look back barrel to advance him into the final day of competition.

Max Arent came out smoking in Round 6 with bowls like this. His campaign ended in Round 7 against the Euro contingent.

Nitch Rawlins scrapped through a tough Round 7 heat with McGregor, edging out fellow countryman Joe Clarke and saffa Sasha Specker.

Josh Garner’s noni fruit consumption was not enough to put him past a resurgent Alistair Taylor and a semi-injured Brad Hughes.

Novy looked to follow last year’s clutch Pipe performance as he dominated this Round 7 heat. After another good showing in Round 8, he would later bow out in the quarters.

Pierre Louis Costes in the finals tossing an invert that wouldn’t even enter his final wave tally. We haven’t heard the last from him.

The post-Day 2 convergence on Pipe was a spectacle. PBen Player rotating one during the free surf.

PLC’s fearless invert at Backdoor in the finale put the pressure on Hardy and the other finalists.

Corner pocket bowl looking very enticing for the Australian upstart Joe Clarke.

Germy Wright amped on his ’09 campaign.

Empty Day 2 spitter.

Tamega invert in the semis. Should it have been BPlayer in this frame?

Al Taylor trademark roll. He has me convinced on the leg leash.

Toby Player made a valiant effort from the depths of Round 2 to a narrow loss in the quarters. He literally squeezed out of this solid barrel in Round 7.

Maximus Decimus Meridius going for a next level rollo.

You can never count out Uncle. Kainoa getting slotted on his way to the final day of competition.

Final Day whale breach out the back.

Post-whale reverse air from Winchester in the semis. Winny looked very solid in the quarters and semis on his way to a 4th place finish.

Maximus Decimus pulling into a solid closeout to close out Day 2.

Notes from the Rock ‘n Roll Expressway Volume III

Asthmatic Giant! Tour Diary
By Darren Delmore

12/31/08 – Lompoc, California

A New Year’s Eve gig in the Santa Rita Hills? We couldn’t believe it. Opening up for Oysterhead in SF, maybe, but not a gig in the high end heartland of the ripest, dankest, Pinot Noir grown in the Golden State. Shlune confirmed via fax that Asthmatic Giant! would indeed be finishing up our Year of the Giant 2008 World Tour on a Grand Cru Chardonnay and Pinot Noir site for a private party. Someone saw us at the Troubadour and the word got out. The big news to us was that our bearded, devoted manager would not be there to toast away 2008, as he was obligated to a high stakes poker tourney on a yacht deep into international waters. “The fiscal future of the band depends on it,” he warned us. “I’ve got a big night, dude.” This left the Giant, yours truly, and roadie Pat Patten to pack up two tour vehicles on the morning of the 31st and head straight for J-Lama. We’d draw a cool five grand plus some merch sales from the show. Heinous Chanus’ rider demanded barbecue and mini-verticals of heavy hitting Pinot Noirs. Mine and Pat’s merely requested easy women. We were all out of keychain inhalers after the Hot Tokyo Nights! leg of the tour and were down to posters and the crotchless Asthmatic Giant! G-strings that were designed in Hossegor. The fluorescent ones blew out all across Asia and funded a major, mutual sashimi and Riesling fetish. Women proudly wore them to the next gig, and a visibly soiled pair was flung at the Giant’s face in Singapore as he twenty minute solo’d out on “El Corazón de Pete” with his eyes closed (or more likely unconscious).

Windswept Jalama Beach had provided much of the inspiration for our hit song “El Serpiente”, but after playing it 200 nights in a row around the world to full capacity crowds, we were losing focus. Widely reported in the tabloids, the band had angrily broken up in May, only to reform in August with an offer we couldn’t refuse. And now at the tail end of 2008, raw nerves were exposed once again. The Giant would only speak to me through his attorney, and I’d gotten wind of his talks with Michael Mann about producing his instrumental film score for an upcoming Al Pacino heist flick behind my back. All of this after making my life hell on our last show of our five night run in Quebec, when he fucked up mid synth solo on “The Upper Bench” and smashed the Yamaha in two, leaving me and my acoustic onstage with nothing but Neil Young’s “Rockin’ in the Free World” to cool the tempered, Canadian crowd.

We needed to get back to our roots. Back to the illicit rhythms and simple pleasures of our Irie Mondays era. Experiences. By the time our heels hit the warm rocks of Tarantulas reef and a chilled bottle of 100% Trebbiano was popped and poured into stemware on the rare 75 degree winter day, spirits were heightened and thirsts were quenched. We murmured our band’s prayer in an emotional huddle before hitting the icy waters for a surf. P. Patten conjured forth the spirit of George Greenough out there on the kelpy right hand reef pass, while H.C. kept it to the shallowest pockets. I played it cool on the shoulder and got some of the longer, lumpy ones. By sundown we were laughing at our luxury, and ready to once again bare our souls through broadcasted folktronica.

Then came the three car pile up. As my tour bus slowed to make the left hand turn across the oncoming lane on Highway 246, the stony L.E. followed suit and took a fifty degree blow from behind! The impact sent the chronic dust of P. Patten’s nearly rolled blunt to the wind. They in turn collided into the back of the tour bus, causing thousands of dollars in damage by erupting a case of 1989 Cristal and ejecting a crate of live Maine lobsters out onto the side of highway 246.

The Giant’s Ray Bans lay broken on the steering wheel. The new Yamaha mysteriously played an E minor organ note – unplugged – then caught fire. An instant Walgreens prescription for unlimited slammies materialized out of thin air in the Giant’s bloodstained palm, and he acknowledged the heaven sent miracle with a tooth cracked grin. A back injury from Pat’s days as a spandexed personal trainer in Cambria was rekindled. The man at fault’s engine spewed fluids onto the highway, flattened in half and immobile as cars roared past the scene at 65 miles per hour.

As all parties got out of their vehicles, there was a primal roar of some bull elephant seal or maybe an enraged Grizzly bear. We watched as the Giant ripped his thrashed bumper from the rear of the Element and heaved it across the highway. The family at fault cowered across the highway. I knew where this was going. I flashbacked to the fate of Tokyo Tony, the pimp and uppers dealer that failed to come through with H.C.’s Oxy purchase on our Japanese tour. We spotted him on his way into the raw bar we were chilling at after the gig, finishing a 17.1 percent alcohol Melville Viognier with blue fin and yellowtail plates. Now they call him Tony Pepperoni ’cause the Giant ripped the man’s nipples off in the back alley and they turned up crispy on a disturbed customer’s Domino’s pizza the next day. I’d never seen H.C. with the look of a lockjawed pitbull before.

As Babylon arrived on the scene of the accident, various Ziploc baggies went sailing off onto the roadsides. Even ground squirrels were chucking their shit. The reports were given. The Giant was given roadside I.V. sedation once the cops ran the check that mentioned how his fists were registered lethal weapons. Once the scene was diffused, we got word that the show would go on.

The 30 acre vineyard with its double wide trailer arena, outdoor space heaters and fire pits welcomed us with open arms. Burgundy Riedels were stuffed into our shaky hands. On the liquor table, a vertical of Clos Pepe running from 2005 to 2007 lay in waiting, as well as a vertical of Arcadian Pisoni Vineyard Pinot Noir from 2004-2005. Also represented: The La Vie 2005 Rasta Rita Pinot; three new Santa Rita Hills area releases from Loring Wine Company; the Cargasacchi wines; and Flying Goat’s “Goat Bubbles” sparkling . The vigneron himself Peter Cargasacchi was there, and he demanded that we try the bacon wrapped gopher that was on the outdoor grill. “There is no other meat that shows off terroir,” he added, and after grinding on the skewer of it, we had to agree.

Midnight. Fireside. Time to perform. We came on acoustic with “Cazadero”, then headed straight into the Dead’s “I Know You Rider” with our rhythm guitarist and guest fiddle player chiming in. The crowd went nuts for the stripped down sound. Without the usual technological luxuries at hand, the Giant’s God-given gift of percussion shined through, and for the first time in months, I noticed him smiling as he impeccably slapped on the bongos. Clos Pepe’s Wes Hagen came on as guest percussionist on “Dire Wolf”, as the audience was grooving to the Grateful. He and H.C. high-fived mid-simultaneous drum solo and then we roared back into it. By then the baked goods were well ingrained in Pat’s skull, and he went AWOL into the darkened Santa Rita Hills in search of a supernatural Ms. Right. The Giant and I shared a smiling nod as we pounded out “El Corazón de Pete” and a woman ripped her tank top off. Typical show. It was time to finish up 2008’s tour with a song that rocked the Toobs anniversary party back in March: Merle Haggard’s “Branded Man”. Absolutely killed it on that one, even without a screaming drunken Eskimo in attendance.

We packed up amid wails for “One more!”, and “Hot Tokyo Nights!” and decided to join the crowd for a 2003 Vintage Port before the new frosty blackness of 2009 set in.

13 Days of Christmas

With a work conference along the Central Coast slated for January 6th, I convinced my boss that he should give me an extended 13 day holiday away from San Diego to “work” from home until the nearby conference began. He surprisingly agreed. While I didn’t gather quite as much documentation as I would have liked, below is a little sprinkle of what life is like in the heart of the 805 during the height of winter.

12/26/08 – Framegrabs from a beachbreak just north of Pismo

Louie came out of the Grover City woodwork for this session and showed off his backside steez.

A perfect left and a perfect right both squandered by a young Baby Seal Pup.

Baby Seal Pup redeeming himself shortly after (left). Willie Richerson withstood the frigid water temps long enough to sample a few backlit bowls as well (right).

The swell was initially thought to be a little too small, a little too short period, and a little too north for this particular spot. Mr. Robles begged to differ.

12/31/08 – New Years Eve, Shell Beach

Don’t do drugs kids. Willie, Roldy, Briggidy (left). The morning after (right).

1/2/09 – Framegrabs from a beachbreak just south of Pismo

Roldan showed he still had a little Shaolin ninja in him on his return to the Central Coast.

It wasn’t epic but the conditions were right and Ryan Moore took full advantage.

“William, Bill for short.” Willie takes Brett’s incessant badgering to heart and gives a little extra push on this turn.

Red Dog drew out of this stylish snap directly into an inside bowl in what turned out to be the wave of the day.

Black Joe Buckets. Ryan Moore’s got some serious power on the knee.

Willie impressed me with his belly style antics on this trip. Riding the foamball.

Ryan Moore taking out Los Osos sewage controversy aggression on this little insider.

Snap. Carve. Tail. Roldie can juggle his entire repertoire on a single wave. Click for full size.

1/3/09 – Asthmatic Giant show, San Luis Obispo

Wine and music. Great minds think alike along the Central Coast.

Manager Schloonis showed up with the 2-for-1 double pack of Planters Peanuts and a quarter pound of Spicy Peppered Oberto Beef Jerky to accentuate the sugary residuals of Hellmore’s Home Blend. Buy this shirt now.

While the naysaying connoisseurs in attendance scoffed at the idea of blended guac, Delmore whipped up a masterpiece before our very eyes and won over our hearts and our stomachs. (Recipe withheld at Darren’s request.)

The lineup for the evening. Estery orgasm.

The Giant must stand! Years of waterpolo have reduced the Giant to standing-only performances.

The eerie film that seemed to loop on the inlaid tv set in the background coupled with Hellmore’s deep submergence into otherworldly distorter melodies was oddly surreal. Some audience members (back right) had to take a break from this reality with a little help from the vaporizer.

We thought the show had ended when in fact it had really just begun. Delmore’s switch to the keyboard led to an intoxicating finale that brought out a greater depth of AG than I had ever seen before.


Light Santa Anas and a west swell familiarizing themselves with a remote Central Coast beachie.

Lost in transition. 2007 Pipeline Pro heat ‘tweener.

Post-rain shrapnel at the river bar.

Staring into the glare of Mighty Mouse before the PWC days.

Keiki Green Light Special.

Black sand, blue skies, and green barrels. Not your typical Mexican flag.

All the leaves are brown and the sky is grey. Mexican fire drill.

Doesn’t take much fishing in Oz to catch a quality wave.

Two crispy babies chewing on down the line.

California dreamin’.

Rampas Españolas

Rode on a 18 speed huffy, that I was 8 years to big for, up and down the northern Spanish country side, in the small towns of Llanes. With strong and at times fierce offshores and my boogie on my back, heading north was nuts, literally sailing by old cottages on a cobble stone road with dylans line of “Spanish boots of Spanish leather” repeating itself it my head, haha. Arrived at La Playa only to find a deserted beach, engulfed in hillside and cliff, feathering sizey offshore peaks and snow topped picos de europa behind to my back. I was freaking out, had the whole beach to myself but really wish I had a boogie mate there, waves were so sick. Pretty much raped my wetsuit on, barely stretched and paddled out. Was kinda trippin’ at first, not just cause there was more size than i thought, but the combination of waves and where I was. Got some sick ramps and midway thru the session the sun breached for a bit and The One came, sick sizey wedge peak que me dio una vista de española esmerlada que nunca olvidaré. After, snacked on some bread, chorizo, apples and olives. Topped the night off with a few bottles of Asturian Sidra at the sideria with some of the towns’ locals. Good times in Asturias.