Rummy Nights, Groundhog Daze – Mexico 2009

The Wave by Louie Robles
Our first look at the ocean was almost hypnotic after our long travels. But that was nothing compared to what we were to wake up to the next day, “perfecto” DOH uncrowded vomiting monsters. I mean…the thickest chunkiest projectile vomits with literally not one person out. I think Wonka was the first one to get in the water. After watching him battle a furious current we knew where not to paddle out. Everyone was getting sick ones. Alex was just blasting through barrels like a camel, Wonka was dropping in to monsters like a pelican, baby seal was doing what baby seals do and suicide Joe, just…the name says it all.

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The Crew by Joe Statom
Waiting in line at LAX, I’m starting to get amped for Mexico. Not only because of the swell forecast, but also because of the crew that we had assembled for the trip. I see three guys walk into the airport with huge, overstuffed board bags on their backs. Louie, Willie, and Frankie: DKers straight from the dropknee hotbed of Pismo Beach. Yes! The time is approaching! Me and the other two brothers Camel were also in on the action. Here’s a quick rundown of the crew:

Louie “Salt-tooth” Robles was ripping the first couple days of the trip until a set wave lipped him and a knee injury forced him into permanent cameraman duties. His habit of putting salt on everything he ate was very influential upon the whole group. I now have become addicted to salt-covered ice cubes.

Willie “Perfecto” Richerson’s fluent Spanish and apt use of the word “perfecto” whenever possible saved us many times from almost certain death. His early win streak in our nightly rummy games led to marked cards and extremely high tension. He also recently earned his second straight photo atop the rookiesusa home page which is no small feat.

Frank “Down Syndrome Stretchy Pants Elephant Seal Baby” Robles is quickly earning a reputation as the newest edition to the Pismo Dropknee Parthenon. Although his Spanish skills won’t be turning any heads, his bodyboarding skills will.

Alex “Robot-Foot” Statom’s feet began amassing duct tape, puss, and pepperonis at such an alarming rate that by the end of the trip, there were many who weren’t entirely sure if he was human or a cyborg sent from the future to kill us all. He also scored more barrels than anyone not named Harry Hop-Up Henderson.

Nick “College Kid” Statom had to fly in a couple days later than the rest of us after about a month of hanging with notorious Rookie James Murdock and doing research for Scripps in Hawaii. Even though he claimed to be rusty after his surf hiatus, it was clear that he was still at the top of his game.

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The Deck by Alex Statom

Upon exiting the airplane we were blasted with a wall of tropical heat and humidity that immediately put all sweat glands on overdrive. Luckily the acclimation only took a few hours and by the time we reached our final destination we had embraced the salt and grease that would steadily accumulate throughout the trip. Soon the filth was looked upon as a badge of honor. Showers were looked at in disdain, shaving was blasphemy, and putting on a new tee was cause for insult and mockery.

Our home base was all you could ask for on a Mexico trip. All frivolous luxuries were washed away and we were left with the bare essentials of surf travel. No TV, no fridge, 3 worn mattresses, and a sketchy shower/shitter combo were all just afterthoughts to the main attraction: a big second story deck with some old lawn furniture and the best view $40 dollars a night can buy. For the second consecutive trip we had scored the best room around with a 180 degree view of the offshore spitting peaks just a hundred yards away. After finishing a surf it was the perfect place to come in and claim your best barrels, describe your worst thrashings, cackle at each others blown waves, or heckle the Stepoff Stans outrunning barrels in the distance. And once the afternoon surf session and dinner scrappage were complete, the deck transformed into the home for our evening entertainment. Frank brought a mini speaker system for his iPod and it provided a classic rock soundtrack to our increasingly intense rummy games. Corona megas were slammed into our bellies and occasionally onto the ground. Tensions mounted as Willie’s win streak continued and his inflated ego chaffed at ol’ Lou’s hide. Luckily, confrontation was avoided as Willie hit a well-timed cold streak and his relentless heckling finally came to an end.

Sure the surf was insane, the adventures into town and up into the mountains were fun, and our big night out at Club Glass was literally a blur. But for me the deck was the essence of this trip. With your cards in one hand and your Mega in the other, spitting sunflower seeds on the ground while talking trash to the other shady characters around the table as perfect beachbreak tubes crashed in the dark just a stones throw away… you can’t ask for much more from a Mex trip.

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The Culture by Willie Richerson

The Drunken Troubadour
Everyone on the bus sat silent, waiting for him to get up or at least move. Louie, Frank and I wondered if the drunken old man had died as he fell into the aisle, his head contacting metal with a loud crack. He had sung a heartfelt song at our breakfast table just minutes before. We had tipped him enough to get a bottle of coke to accompany his tequila. Did we really hear his final song?

Slowly his legs stretched out and two men helped him to his feet. He mumbled something as thanks and immediately he began strumming his guitar and belting out the same song he had played for us earlier. A great recovery, but not a single person tipped him and he stumbled off the bus into the scorching mid-day sun.

The Biting Fish
The local bus station dumps you straight into the central market where you can get an epic meal for under two bucks, some sweet new clothes, or a big raw chunk of beef or pork, unrefrigerated.

One afternoon we took three separate buses, past the giant cement factory, to a natural spring called Los Amiales. The water was clean and clear, and felt great in the mid-afternoon heat. All of the sudden Alex let out a girly shriek when something began biting at his ankles. The round wounds from his fins looked like small pepperoni, an inviting snack for the small hungry fish.

Besides the surf, riding the public buses, windows wide open, catching glimpses of the simple lifestyle enjoyed by these smiling people, makes any trip to Mexico feel like a true vacation.

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The Nightlife by Nick Statom
Well, there was the weekly Tuesday techno bizarro bonfire with the world’s best vegan ski teams getting extra enthused about their tow partners just a stones throw from our suite balcony. But we resisted the urge to partake despite persistent growls from the Gremlin. Instead we opted for plan B: surf our brains out all week while keeping it mellow during after hours in hopes of an XXL night on the town come Friday.

That’s not to say that the simple pleasuries of dinner at Tsunami followed by Corona Megas, fistfuls of sunflower seeds, and roust-fueled rummy games was a depriving affair in the interim. In fact, this option became a rather welcome routine throughout our stay and five simple ground rules became readily apparent after the first night: (1) DO NOT drop your Mega, (2) DO NOT leave an oversized discard pile for Willie to pick up, (3) Roust the fuck out of Willie if he picks up said pile, (4) Wear bug spray – lots of it, and (5) Keep the iPod jams rolling at all times. Such refreshingly simple forms of entertainment were not a bad way to break up the long, humid nights and relax while recounting another days’ pumping surf with five of your closest amigos.

When Friday did finally come we did not forget. Transportation plans to our nighttime destination of Glass were made days in advance. Megas and bottles of Jimador were purchased. Appropriate clothing for the club was tracked down. Local girls were enlisted. Pepperonis were concealed. We were ready, Freddy Got Fingered style.

The two hour transit huddled in the bed of Edgar’s truck wouldn’t kill our buzz. Neither would the tropical deluge that struck around the halfway point. Nope, a week’s worth of buildup and a potent Squirt/Jimador combo carried us onward, and carried us directly to the doorstep of Glass in a drenched, dazed Pismo heap.

Unfortunately the insides of Glass didn’t quite live up to our collective hype. There was no dancefloor, a crowd that was a little too posh for our filthy third world expectations, a cover and pricey bottle service. But we had turned that corner long ago and went right to work nonetheless.

Alex peaked way too early and we propped him up on various pieces of lounge furniture a la Weekend at Bernie’s to avoid getting 86’d. Joe didn’t need any propping to find himself double fisting local scenery with his suicidal tendencies. Louie wasted no time in establishing a pseudo dance floor within our own growing entourage with some spectacularly unexpected Grover City house party moves. Willie delighted and charmed the locals with his perfecto Spanish; Frank’s lack thereof made for some classic one liners. Frothing in unbeknown territory, the Pismo sum outweighed the individuals on hand as we fed off the distinct personalities of our posse and let loose until the wee hours.

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The Food by Frank Robles
The grub in Mexico was too legit to quit to say the least. Eggs and bacon for breakfast, tortas for lunch, then topping it off with chicken tacos for dinner I meeeean fuuuck it was heaven. There would be multiple smoothies taken down each day by the crew which now have taken a special place in my heart.

Fortunately no sorry soul was struck with the crypto creep on the trip, just some pretty heavy morning tequila shits after a couple long nights of getting weird. There was one particular night that the crew took a big roll of the dice by taking down some pretty sketchy tacos on the way back from Colima. I thought for sure one of us was going to be wounded in the morning after those tacos but our shit stayed solid. Mexico was insane so many memories and good times, I am sure we will all be going back soon for round two.

* * * * * * * Mas Fotos * * * * * * *

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An Australian Postcard

Hey Rookiesusa.com,

So I just got back about a week ago from an amazing 18 day trip to Australia and I already can’t wait to go back. About 3 months ago my friend David Schaub and I decided to go to Australia. We made the 14 hour journey over on the 22nd of May with no directions and no idea of where to find spots or what kind of swell to look for. We landed on the 24th and picked up our horrid, purple-flowered, thief magnet of a van after being told by the company owner that there was a 70% chance of break-in or collision. We took our chances anyway and headed straight away southbound from Sydney in search of waves. After two days of searching and driving we found boogie heaven. Nobody out and 4-6 foot. We surfed the spot for three days straight after randomly meeting up with fellow mainlanders Matt Meyer, Nick Ostrovsky, and Randy Holzmann. We also met some local groms named Riley Conlon, age 20, and Ryan Sewell, age 15. They were just two of the many rippers around the area.

After three days the swell started dying and the rain set in so we headed back north. We checked around three other cities but didn’t find much of anything, the swell just wasn’t big enough. For the next few days we surfed a mellow beach break, went wine tasting, attended a Riptide video premiere, bargain hunted and found shelter from the rain. We finally had enough of the town life and headed back south to our original stomping grounds. For the next two days we surfed perfect waves, 4-7 foot and light crowds. If California ever looked like a typical day here there would be 500 guys on it. We spent all day surfing about a mile away from the nearest car, building fires, crapping in the woods and staving off the incessant rain. David, Matt, Nick and Randy all scored a super session in the late afternoon with nobody out. Probably saw more airs that one day than I have all of my life back in California. The next few days just poured down rain all day, so we headed back to the nearest town. We all split up and David and I were really blessed when a random family took us in for two days while it pissed down rain. They took us out to dinner for pizza, made us beds in a fire heated room and cooked us meals. They also took us out to pet wild kangaroos.

Eventually the skies finally parted and somehow we all met back up again and headed back to the same spot as before. We got back to find it smaller than it had been with Dave Winchester and Spencer Skipper riding it. All I can really say is Dave Winchester is insane in person; he was boosting the biggest and most perfect airs on every wave. It was amazing, simply amazing. We ended up staying there until our last two days of the trip before heading back to Sydney. Overall we had an epic adventure, although we didn’t surf many different waves and continuously got rained out. In fact our only two days of nothing but sun were in Sydney, but in the end it was completely worth all the hassle. I highly recommend that all bodyboarders make the trek over at least once in their life as it is nothing but a boogie paradise. So now I am back in California, back to my 60 hour week and already planning my next trip. Until next time be sure to check out Allen-Photos.com for all the goods.

Cheers,

Chris Allen

Allen-Photos.com

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David 30 minutes into his first session.

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Ryan Sewel age 15.

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Matt going huge in the early morning light.

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Randy nailed about three of these back to back to back.

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Ostrovsky striking the Iron Man pose.

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Taming the local wildlife.

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Dave Winchester full rotation. Nuts.

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End bowl forward by Spencer Skipper.

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.

Spain 2008: Terpening

By Adam Terpening

I’m not quite exactly sure what lured me to Spain, but my little knowledge of its mysto waves, beautiful women and Spanish language was enough for me to embark on my first trip to the Kingdom of Spain. From reading up on the country before leaving, I knew I was going to get a helping of some of the world’s most delicious ham, wine and coffee along with experiencing some of the Spanish quality of life. Arriving in the state of Asturias brought me to mountain engulfed villages, small town atmosphere and remarkable coastal cities. Meeting with some locals allowed me to sample Sidra, Northern Spain’s most renowned fermented beverage. Finishing off a little more than 2 dozen bottles between the locals and myself, led to one Spanish night that I barely remember but will never forget. With just one week spent over there, I encountered more culture than ever expected, saw waves with tons potential and never felt so close to home from so far away. With all this, I’ll definitely be making the move to the K of S some time this fall for school.

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North Shore 2008: Pismo Groms

By James Murdock

The North Shore was about to be invaded by 100% scum! I had received word from Franky Robles, a dedicated Pismo grom and cousin of dk ripper Louie Robles, that he and a handful of groms were in route to Hawaii. The crew included no other than Sandy Sphincter, Giraffe Kid, Marky Mark and Hoover aka “Sweet Tooth”. These kids were set up with a pad in Haleiwa and a rental car. Hoover’s mother Brenda, who
would be the official chaperon of the trip, made all this possible. I was stoked to have some Pismo filth coming to assist me in my daily lurk sessions.

After some major airport altercations the groms made it safe and sound to the North Shore. They wasted no time picking me up from my house and beginning the hunt for some waves. The swell was building fast and options were limited but we managed to scrap some waves. I took them to the harbormouth in Haleiwa where we decided to paddle out at the right, which gets pretty sick from what I heard. There was quite a bit of swell in the water and guys were towing into Himalayas, which is an outer reef that breaks about a half mile out directly in front of the harbor. The inside right looked fun and nobody was out which I thought was kind of odd. As we were walking down the beach the lifeguard on duty whistled at us. I ran down to his tower to see what was up. He was stressing on us paddling out and, looking at the groms little white bodies walking down the beach, I could understand his concern. I assured him that all the groms could swim and he wouldn’t have to rescue anybody. He was cool with my reassuring words and we hit the water. There was a large channel and as soon as we hit the channel I noticed there was an intense current! I also noticed that it was like twice as big as I thought it was. I watched three of the groms get sucked into the zone and instantly lit up. They handled the beating but I immediately knew this wave was fucking gnarly. Franky managed to scrap an inside ramp before he received a solid beating. I caught a few waves and was tripping on how gnarly the current was. It seemed like the sets were getting bigger by the minute. I ended up dodging sets for a half hour and managed to catch a wave in before I drowned. All the groms were on the beach when I went in and we were all tripping out on how fucking intense the wave was. Solid fifteen foot faces with a deadly current, which sucked you into the impact zone. I was just amped that nobody drowned. It was a solid eye opener for the groms and myself about how gnarly and unpredictable the North Shore can be!

In between surfing and lurking at Rockpiles we hit up Foodland about five times a day where Sandy Sphincter took the scrapping to a whole new level. The kid was taking down tall cans in the bathroom like the world was coming to an end and that was his last opportunity to get booze! Aside from the tall can consumption there was a solid sushi/potato wedge consumption along with whatever snack was in reaching distance. By the end of the trip I thought for sure they were going to have our faces on a wanted list in the entrance of the store.

The peak days of the swell we posted up at pipe and watched the Backdoor Shootout, which seemed more like all the boys free surfing the best Pipe of the season! I swear that contest is a crock of shit and the only good thing about it was the high percentage of nasty packs that it attracted. It was shitty because Pipe was like the only wave for a few days and those fuckers horded it while we consumed Steinys on the beach and made fun of as many people as possible. I was able to scrap a couple of sessions in the evening after the contest was finished but it was a little too big for first reef to be cracking!

We only went big one night due to the fact the groms had a rental car and had to be home at a reasonable hour. That night pretty much consisted of lurking at Rockpiles for five hours, mass consumption of Steinys, Jim Beam, and a fatty blunt. We actually had some ladies that we met up with but we scared them off quickly with our foul Pismo ways. Sandy Sphincter definitely was the standout that night getting so fucked up that he was collapsing in the middle of the street at like eight o’clock! I guess later when the groms got home they lit Sandy up and gave him the standard sharpie treatment!

With the swell maxing pretty hard we decided to make a few missions to the west side of the island where the groms got to see “ice central”, which is home to about ten thousand ice heads living in colonies on the beach. There was some major potential over there but every one including myself was too scared to park our rental car in the middle of a colony and go surf with five really white kids! West side is intense and even though we didn’t surf it was quite interesting to check out the most ice-infested area of the island.

The groms’ trip was coming to an end so we took a little tour around the island checking out the hot spots like the Pali Lookout and downtown Honolulu. Brenda and myself were able to enjoy a few cocktails at the famous bar and restaurant called “Dukes” while the groms lurked around trying to get there hands on booze any possible way!

I had an epic time hanging out and showing the Pismo groms the North Shore. Being as young as they are and having an opportunity to come to the North Shore is pretty sick and I’m sure none of them will ever forget it just like Foodland will never forget them!

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