Board Talk…with Derek Hynd

I’ve always looked up to surfing’s more quirky characters, guys who don’t give a fuck about what’s “in”, “hip”, or “trendy”—they march to the beat of their own, at times, off tempo drums. Dora, Curren, “Barney” Barron, Tashnick…they are out there, and most don’t get the credit they deserve. Surfing is about yourself, your board, and the ocean, and whatever you decide to do from there is how you define your art style. However cliché it sounds, surfing truly is, and will always be an art form. From the way you paddle, the equipment you ride, and the lines you draw, everyone is unique. It’s no secret that surf media and the big brands try to dictate what you, as an individual should be wearing and riding, but the more you break free from this soulless homogenization, the more you can get out of your personal surfing experience.

In the

In the “Bay” Photo-Steve Sherman

Enter Derek Hynd. One time professional surfer. Ruthless, raunchy, yet brilliant surf journalist. And for over the past two decades, Hynd has been pushing the boundaries of finless surfing, without giving a fuck about what popular surf culture says he should be riding. How does someone maintain control on a twelve-foot face freight trainer at Jeffrey’s Bay without the stabilization of fins? Well, Hynd has found a way, and boy does fly! His talent on asymmetrical, finless surfboards is indisputable, as evident in surf films such as Litmus and Glass Love.   How does he do it? He’s been quoted as saying, “Finless is taking the fucking fins out of a board and spinning around aimlessly”. Sounds simple enough, but if you ask your average “Channel Islands” pro model sheep to get close to what Hynd is doing, the results would be comical.


Yet, there is a method to his madness, and lately he’s been neck deep in foam experimenting with radical board designs that will allow him to push the envelope even further. I contacted Hynd to get a brief insight into some design elements that he considers when shaping a board that will boogie. In my email I mentioned I was “just reaching out”. His reply was, “Ok, I’ll do it if you promise NEVER AGAIN to say ‘reaching out’. Put that in your blog”. Fucking all-time…

Not afraid of a bit of length...Jeffrey's Bay

Not afraid of a bit of length…Jeffrey’s Bay

Length – it all has to do with the relative straightness of rail in the middle – 3’6″ to 11’4″ – at least that’s my interpretation. I found that one out when I cupped the front and back off a board.

This is what you call

This is what you call “trim” Photo-Steve Sherman

Concave – Important to have it at a spot on the board that isn’t going to suck it onto the face. It’s got to contribute the other way to ‘lift’ when in trim.


 Symmetry – Unnecessary if the board is contoured to work based on different approached forehand to backhand. Can apply to fin sizings and positions or plain shapes or rail volumes.


Volume – Horses for courses but paddling / entry speed is key for me, so I prefer volume up front.

Playing with the rail in Chile. Photo-O'Brien

Playing with the rail in Chile. Photo-O’Brien

Rail – I think taper of rail is more important than overall shape of rail. There are two schools of thought re free friction – soft wrap rail v hard edge rail. The one sticks to the wall and is slower but holds in the pit. The other is edgy allowing release onto the flats…so that to get pitted you’ve got to come from behind the section in a drive. I’m with the edge for what it’s worth.

Maybe the main thing overall is application. None of this hipster neo soul bullshit of kiddie fiddling with a bunch of designs. Stick to the one – and work on it for as long as it takes. That’s where the evolution comes from.

Walk The Line…with James Manss

If you can't take the heat...get outta the kitchen! Manssy center

If you can’t take the heat…get outta the kitchen! Manssy center

If you’ve been surfing in and around Pleasure Point for the past 20 years, you are probably very familiar with the site of 30 year old James Manss attacking the surf with his compact and powerful style. What you might not know about the humble regular footer is that he’s an awesome cook to boot. I caught up with Mannsy recently to discuss his culinary curiosity and passion for makin’ something a dish that leaves you smiling and satisfied. Here’s what he had to say…

Power Player

Power Player

I’ll always remember being a grom at your house and your mom was always baking or cooking something—would you say she’s your primary influence?

That’s where I got it from for sure. I’d say I really started getting serious about in in High School, or thereabouts. I started by watching her and learning technique—from preparation to cooking—she lit the flame. After High School, I went to work tile with my dad, but once the economy crashed I thought about going to culinary school. So I went to Cabrillo for a few semesters. The lady there, one of the teachers, she was the head chef at the Chaminade, and she offered me a job– so I worked there for about a year. That’s where I met Pete, who’s my sous chef now at Solaire at the Paradox Hotel. He kinda took me under his wing.   He became like a coach to me—ya know? But in the beginning it was my mom who got me into it. She went to culinary school in Monterey and work in the Pebble Beach area, then places locally like Michaels on Main and Gayles Bakery. So she had a lot of knowledge and really got me psyched on pursuing it as a career.

Manssy, close to home.

Manssy, close to home….Framegrab-Skimshady

You grew up around so much cooking, did you try to get in the mix as a youngster?

I’d bake with her a little bit, and yeah she’d always show me her recipes, like the stuff she learned from her mom. I would watch her and learn from her. She basically tried to show me everything she could—she could see that I was interested.

Bali Style, whole fish

Bali Style, whole fish

Describe the environment working on “The Line”

It’s intense, it can be really stressful but at the same time it’s a full adrenaline rush—you get psyched! I’m just really stoked on making people happy, making good food, and sending out something that people will enjoy. My focus is just putting my all into any food I make, and hoping that the customers enjoy it. The environment is hectic but rad. It’s not like “Hell’s Kitchen”, where the head Chefs are screaming at you. There’s a little bit of yelling but it’s mainly positive, like “C’mon, hustle up! Let’s get this goin!”…just keeping everyone in that productive mode. But yeah, it can be gnarly, I’ve definitely burned myself a lot (points out a number of healthy looking scars on his arms and hands). It gets hot, sweaty…sometimes like 100 degrees, it’s gnarly. It’s fun though, I really enjoy it. I actually look forward to going to work, which sounds weird (laughs).

NY Steak, grilled asparagus, roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Fingerling potatoes, Mushrooms, and Veal stock reduction

Bronzino, grilled artichoke blossoms, blistered tomato, salsifly, and citrus mousseline

Is there any ways to compare surfing with cooking?

I guess with surfing, you get to create your line on the wave. It’s an open canvas. Same with cooking. I really like creating new plates, using local and organic ingredients– good quality meats and poultry—all natural and fresh, and seeing what I can come up with. They are both really fun too, they make me happy…but I don’t get paid to surf (laughs)!

Did I mention he likes to get tubed? Framegrab: SkimShady

Did I mention he likes to get tubed? Framegrab: SkimShady

What was the hardest part of the learning curve?

The hardest things are speed and timing. I still have trouble with my speed on the line. You gotta hustle. When you have a big ticket you have to plan everything out perfect. You have the grill station, and then there’s the saute in the middle, and then the garmage, which is like salads and desserts. So your first course will be a salad and an appetizer. That goes up, but they have to go up together at the same time. But then you could have ten tickets at one time so really gotta shake a leg. Then the second course will come up, which might be salmon or roasted chicken or steak—all those items on the ticket have to go up at the same time, so timing is vital. The whole table needs to get there food at the same time– it’s tough.

Cheeseburger with turkey prosciutto, Bacon, Bacon Marbella, Mushrooms, Jalapenos, Avocado, Lettuce, Tomatoes, and Onions

Cheeseburger with turkey prosciutto, Bacon, Bacon Marbella, Mushrooms, Jalapenos, Avocado, Lettuce, Tomatoes, and Onions

Is there any particular meat, or ingredient that you like working with more?

The cuisine that we do is called “New American”, basically like California Cuisine—lots of local and fresh products. It’s also got a little Asian flare to it, French and English as well—we’ve got quite a mixture of everything. Another thing I love to do is gardening. Growing fruit and veggies, so I can cook the freshest dish possible. There’s nothing like a fresh heirloom tomato picked off the vine that you grew from start to finish.

NY Steak, grilled asparagus, roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Fingerling potatoes, Mushrooms, and Veal stock reduction

NY Steak, grilled asparagus, roasted Cherry Tomatoes, Fingerling potatoes, Mushrooms, and Veal stock reduction

What’s the signature “Manssy Dish”

I used to do a Thai Green Curry Chicken that my girlfriend’s mom and my own mom loves as well. My mom’s actually the one who taught me it. I think it’s the dish I’ve done the most for that reason (laughs) for them you know. Roasted chicken thighs, with rice and veggies…it’s pretty damn good. I also like doing the salmon dishes, or a really good ribeye or New York steak.

Verlasso Salmon, forged chanterelles, celeriac puree, mache, and chive oil

Verlasso Salmon, forged chanterelles, celeriac puree, mache, and chive oil

Do you find yourself consistently challenged with cooking?

It all just takes practice, like anything you do. The more you do it the better you get. With cooking you use all your senses- your smell, your taste. With sauces or soups in particular, you gotta taste everything before we send it out. You take a spoonful of chowder, taste it, then it’s like “oh this needs a little bit of salt”. Usually when I cook salmon, I touch it. Same with steak, it’s all by touch—you can tell how well done it is. Also just by looking at it. When a steak gets to medium rare, the juices will start coming out. When you see those juices you know it’s going right past rare to medium rare. Just like with surfing, you have to be aware all the time—is this going to be a good wave? Naw it’s got a little mush on it, I gotta wait a little longer. Cooking is just the same.

Poached Salmon

Poached Salmon

What’s your ultimate goal with your cooking? Would you ever want to open your own restaurant?

My goal is to work in a really nice restaurant first then yeah it would be rad to open my own small restaurant or have a catering business. Do my own thing eventually, but for now just learn as much as I can. Every day I go into work I learn something different, it’s pretty bitchin’.

Any last words?

I want to thank executive chef Ross McKee and sous chef Pete Martinez for their guidance, and my mom and girlfriend for all their support.



H’Dez, in White

Pikachu, aka Nic H’Dez, is on a tear right now. The lanky regularfoot scored the last cover of Santa Cruz Waves, had a two page spread/profile in Surfing Magazine, and just made his first WQS final in Argentina of all places. This is part of a reoccurring series, “The Grind”, where I follow Nic’s year chasing qualifying points in a bid to build his seed, and eventually, join his mentor Nat Young on the elite World Surf League tour. Here’s what he had to say about his trip…



What was the name of the comp, and where was it held?

It was called the Ripcurl Argentina Pro and it was held at Mar Del Plata, Buenos Aires, Argentina

How many points were on offer and how many did you make? Will that help you get into more events?

It was WQS 1500, so the winner got 1500pts, and I got 1125pts for runner-up. It will definitely help when they re-seed the ratings halfway through the year

Making it count in the small stuff

Making it count in the small stuff

How was the surf down there? How did you put it together during the small waves? Strategy, mojo, or both?

The surf was pretty bad, everyday was kind of the same. 1-3ft brown water, mushy, yet kinda closed out lefts at this beach break with a right-hander that would come up on the inside.

I went into every heat just telling myself that everyone had to deal with the same conditions and I personally thought who ever got on the two best waves of the heat was gonna make it, so that’s what i focused on doing.

Argentina is known for having some of the hottest females on Earth. Poor lil Pikachu!!

Argentina is known for having some of the hottest females on Earth. Poor lil Pikachu!!

How is Argentina? Food? People? Chicks?

Argentina is pretty sick, I’m sure there was much radder spots there than where I was, so I wish I got to sample more of the good surf.  The Argentinian BBQ steak was bomb digitty. People were super friendly but there weren’t that many women around. Probably because it was cold as fuck where the comp was! Maybe even colder than home!

Is there potential for good surf down there?

I see potential for surf down there for sure, and I’ve heard of some sick point breaks north of where I was. I’d be psyched to score ‘em someday f’sure.


Who were you travelling with and how was their support helpful with your result?

I was just traveling with my mom, her support is always the best support I could ever ask for, she always dials everything in so I just have to surf, she’s the best!


Where’s the next stop? Any secret moves or magic boards you’re working on beforehand?

The next stop is QS 3000 at San Martinique in the Caribbean, so that should be an interesting one with some more points on offer! (side note: The runner-up finish I just got is equivalent to a 5th place in this next one). Got a magic 5’10.5″ Channel Islands Fred Whip right now too that I’m pretty hyped on!


caddes1Reinvention and the search for meaning at the intersection of design, technology and art–previously featured in Santa Cruz Waves magazine

Life doesn’t always proceed the way we planned it. Many of us come to some kind of roadblock or speed bump that forces us to hit the brakes, change lanes, or turn around back the way we came. But what matters isn’t the loss of time or the frustration endured in the face of such an obstacle. What matters is how we choose to keep moving forward.

Enter designer/artist Darrin Caddes, a former board sports and motorcycle junkie who awoke facedown in the Mexican desert on March 6, 2001 with a broken back. He had been motorcycling from Southern California to Los Cabos with friends, and, around 600 miles from border, he went into a corner at 60 miles an hour, lost control, and crashed on a long dirt road. The crash resulted in the loss of movement from his chest down, dramatically altering his life in a matter of seconds.



While some would understandably struggle with how to move on, Caddes managed to kick start his life. He adapted to life in a wheelchair and learned to cope with his physical and mental duress by pushing through, shifting his spiritual motor back into the high gear that helped him achieve success prior to his injury. He worked in Italy designing cars for Fiat from 1991 to 1994, and for BMW designing cars and motorcycles from ’94 to 2001.

Eye for design

Eye for design

He designed first BMW GS Adventure, which was a bike set up for long-distance travel for both on- and off-road excursions. On his design, one could literally circumnavigate the globe. (Actor Ewan McGregor and his buddy Charley Boorman did just that, then wrote a book and produced a mini series about their travels, both called the “Long Way Round.”) After leaving BMW, Caddes took a job at Indian Motorcycle as director of design from 2001 to 2004, where he learned how to get the job done with his new limitations.


When offered a job as vice president of corporate design at Santa Cruz-based tech company Plantronics in 2004, Caddes found a position that let him work on something else he was passionate about: headsets. Being in a wheelchair can stifle one’s ability to freely move about an office space fielding calls, and he found that headsets helped solve this problem. Since joining Plantronics, Caddes has managed a world-class team of industrial designers.

His noteworthy work at Plantronics led the group Santa Cruz NEXT to honor Caddes as one of their four “Nexties” recipients in 2013. This award is bestowed yearly upon individuals promoting community action, spearheading innovation, and helping to reduce inequalities along the Central Coast.

While Caddes enjoys his job, his role as an overseer means less involvement in the creative side of the design work. Eventually, he found himself itching for an artistic outlet, and was inspired to fill this creative void with another long-lost passion of his—drawing.

"Daily Doodles"

“Daily Doodles”

“One day, I told myself, ‘You know, I’m going to draw something every day in 2013,’” he recalls. “I didn’t care if it was a smiley face, I just needed to do something.” He stuck to the challenge, posting his “Daily Doodles” to his Instagram account (@unclewillard). The sketches range from simple cartoons to intricate motorcycle designs, illustrations of waves to skateboarding scenes, and paintings to tattoo-inspired designs.



The posts began to attract a following. Without promotion, he garnered about 350 Instagram followers.

“Now I have this little audience who I have to feed—that I want to feed—everyday, and that’s been my thing,” says Caddes.


He has just two simple rules for himself: he must draw and post the image on the same day, and he must post a drawing every day.

“I’m so afraid that if I miss a day, the whole thing will be broken,” he says. He hasn’t missed a day since he started the Daily Doodles on Dec. 28, 2012, sometimes posting more than one per day.


“So I constantly remind myself, ‘I’m doing it everyday, I don’t care how bad it is, or how bad I feel. If I’m sick, in pain, or traveling, it’s going to be done,’” he adds. “They don’t all have to be masterpieces. It’s more about the discipline of drawing every day. Over all, it’s been very therapeutic for me. It keeps me in touch with who I am.”

Fueled by successes at work and his artistic endeavor, Caddes has nurtured a hard-to-miss joie de vivre.


“A lot of people ask me, ‘How do you do it despite all of your limitations?’” he says. “I find myself saying, ‘Honestly, I don’t find my accident or me being in a chair that interesting. Because there are so many other things in my life that are so much more interesting and meaningful.’”



Style beyond his years --photo Paul Topp

Style beyond his years –photo Paul Topp

This piece was previously featured in Santa Cruz Waves magazine

Young Jack Conti is at one of the greatest ages one can be in life, ten years old. At ten, the world is your playground. You’re not old enough to drive, but that doesn’t matter, you’d rather skateboard anyways. Almost every wave is head high. Dietary concerns include choosing between a Pop Tart or bag of skittles.


It feels like yesterday when I first spotted Jacky Boy out in the water of Pleasure Point. Like most groms, when surf fever hit, it hit hard Soon enough there wasn’t a day in which I didn’t see him bobbing around in the lineup, with his cheeky, toothless grin. Then came the shredding. Jack’s progression was lightning fast, and it wasn’t long before he was laying down smooth carves and popping stylish aerials. If that wasn’t enough, the lil’ feller’s attitude is so positive and he clearly goes out of his way to show respect and stoke whenever he can.


Grom’s got Game!

Darshan Gooch, my own personal mentor, and beacon of positive vibrations and pure stoke, has been watching young Jack progress and is clearly impressed by his ability, yet it’s his attitude that stands out most in Gooch’s eyes.

Jack is a very bright young spirit, one of those rare kids who a very receptive and responsive to the community. Bright eyed, aware of his environment, always looks people in the eye when engaging in conversation, and is always smiling. The burgeoning talent pool surrounding the Point, seems to feed his hunger to catch up to the older guys, and emulate their tricks. His progress has been astounding”.

Working on his backside tube stance

Working on his backside tube stance

Shawn Dollar is another surfer who has been supporting Jack. “He’s just a gifted surfer, he’s so natural in the water, aesthetically pleasing to watch, he’s really athletic with whatever he does, but he really has this passion for surfing, it comes naturally to him. If he keeps it up, he’s already one of the best surfers in town for his age, and he will be amazing by the time he’s eighteen.”


With a great attitude and tons of support, Jack “The Ripper” has a promising career in the surf world as well as in the game of life.

contest machine

contest machine

1. Date of Birth/age?- 7/20/04 AGE 10


3. Height/weight?-4′-8″ 70 LBS


5. Years surfing?-SURFING 4 YEARS

6. Favorite Move?-AIR REVERSE

7. Best surfing buddies (who do you surf with)?-MY FAMILY AND ALL THE POINT GROMS

8. Interests outside of surfing?-. BASEBALL AND SKATEBOARDING


10. Favorite surfers in the world?-JOSH KERR, TAJ BURROW



13. If you could travel one place to surf, where would that be, and why?-JBAY, BECAUSE IT HAS PERFECT RIGHTS THAT GO FOREVER




oliFirst off, I’m gonna be that guy and gush on how honored I was to interview Nick Oliveri.  He’s been jamming and singing to me since I was nine years old, especially with Kyuss, Queens of the Stone Age, and Mondo Generator.  Being an artist can be a thankless job, but it must be pretty cool to know that you’ve influenced generations of kids like myself.  In anticipation for the show tonight, I’m releasing our chat.  The interview was taken in the middle of the night after a long day for the hard rocker, but luckily Oliveri is a super chill and down to earth guy, and he did his best answer my questions.  Enjoy.

How and when did The Uncontrollable begin?  Cuz I know you were doing some acoustic shit with Blag Dahlia from the Dwarves recently.

The Uncontrollable began as a name I used to draw on my peachie folders in sixth grade (hahaha) that I would someday turn into a band, but I didn’t. Eventually, we started using it for an acoustic tour I did with Blag Dhalia in England and it was a name for the both of us playing at the same time, like a lil duo-band.

What’s the name of your new album?  I was told that you recorded the entire thing solo–from drums, bass, guitar, to the vocals.  Did you find this experience more frustrating than liberating, or was there a combination of the two?
The name of the new album, “Leave me Alone”.  I called it that cause I did the record basically by myself with all the instruments, but I had some guest guitar solos, so yeah, that’s pretty much why. Yeah it was frustrating and also very satisfying to finish. I had a lot of things happen while making the record that set me back, like rolling my car-which made for some good lyrics for one the the tunes I didn’t have lyrics for at the time.
This question always intrigues me in a confusing way, kinda like the old “Chicken before the egg” quandary.  Do you start a song in your head with lyrics, a hook/riff or chorus, bass line, or drum line?  What’s your method on this one, especially when recording an entire album from start to finish by yourself?
It’s always different, but mainly I start with a riff, then build on it from there. With this last record I did a lot of stuff with drums then transposed it to record and transposed it to guitar (what I was humming in my head) and reversed it and demoed it a bunch of times before I went into the studio. I’m not the slickest drummer in the world but I practiced my ass off. I did record it myself but had Harper and Trevor helping me, they were behind the controls, recording me. I did some of the stuff at home on my Protools in the little apartment I had but yeah, it was the chicken before the egg, man (laughs).
Speaking of range, I’ve always admired your ability to go from the soothing sounds of songs like “Auto Pilot” and “Another Love Song”, to pissed and charged songs like “Tension Head” and “Six Shooter”.  Is this adjustment easy for you?  Are there times when going from a mellow jam to something pissed a difficult exercise and vice versa?

Right on thanks. It’s easy for me to transition from going softer vocals to harder vocals, but going hard vocals to soft vocals is not as easy I guess. I’m not very good at singing but I can scream my ass off though. So yah, that’s a tough one for me. I guess I just do the best I can do, sometimes it’s off (laughs)


It seems like you’ve had worn a hundred hats, from Kyuss, to Queens, Mondo Generator, The Dwarves, B’Last and now The Uncontrollable.  You’re a bit of a musical chameleon.  Does this flexibility give you a sense of freedom?  It must be cool to be constantly collaborating with so many great artists.

Yes and no. Yah it’s good to play in bands that you like, its great– I’ve been very fortunate on that. But I’ve been home for a bit, haven’t been working or touring for some time, a few months now. So I’m getting ready to get back going and start back up with this new tour. I guess theres some sense of freedom to that and it’s a lot of fun to collaborate with some of my favorite musicians. Fortunately I’ve been able to play with a lot of really cool bands. So yah there’s a sense of freedom but at the same time theres a lot of free time-you’d think that there’d be every minute would be taken up, but everybody’s got their lives as they get older, lives that they’re tending to.  You know when you live at mom’s house you have that all for one, one for all band thing going when you’re a kid, and lots of my friends are parents now, like Mark (Lewis from Doors to Knowhere). It makes things a little more difficult to go down and jam on a nightly basis, plus I’ve got my band in the Desert and now I’m in LA.

Oliveri and BL'AST

Oliveri and BL’AST

 On the topic of BL’AST…how did you hook up with those guys?  Cliffords a great friend of mine, and growing up surfing and skating in Santa Cruz, that band is engrained in my musical DNA. 

I’d known Clifford for a long time and he’s come to see some of the first Queens shows that were in Santa Cruz, and I’m sure he was at some of the Kyuss stuff too.  Anyways, he was at the Catalyst and we (Mondo Generator) played on a tour with Wino and The Saviors and it was the last night of our tour. He asked me and my drummer Hoss if we would do this BL’AST thing they were doing, the remix of Blood. They were at Dave Grohls place and he was remixing it. He asked if I would do it and I said, “yeah sure, I’d love to do it” and same with Hoss, he was down with it too. So we did that for awhile and it was great, had a lot of fun. Now we have Joey Castillo and it’s even better, you know. I mean, nothing against Hoss, Hoss is a great drummer, but I think Joey comes from that hardcore school of drumming and he really just fit the bill better—he plays his ass off and I think he understands the music more, he understands BL’AST more. That’s pretty much all it comes down to. Hoss grew up up with some Skynard, which is great, but Joey was in some really hard core bands so it makes sense to him—he’s seen blast in the old days and Hoss was like, “BL’AST Who?” So that was the difference.

Nick's down with the Murderers.  Oh yeah, Gi Gi too

Nick’s down with the Murderers. Oh yeah, Gi Gi too

What do you think about the current crop of bands in Santa Cruz?  Obviously you are fans of Doors to Nowhere and B’Last, but what do you think about other cats like The Highway Murderers?

Of course I’m fans of Doors to Nowhere and BL’AST. Yeah, the Highway Murderers. Those guys are great. They are a fantastic band. I played with them last time I played at the Catalyst and it was rad, totally, totally rad. Those are the bands I like from Santa Cruz, but I’m sure that there are some others that will come to mind after this interview (laughs).


What are some of your best and worst experiences in Santa Cruz?
Everything’s been good there, for the most part. Anytime we’ve had a bad time, good people such as the Lewis’s household, they always took care of us up there. Having the BL’AST guys from up there has been good, places to stay and shit like that, so that’s cool. I don’t know about any seriously bad experiences up there. So far so good.
.Everyone is super psyched about your show on March 27th…what is it about Doors to Nowhere and You Know Who that inspired you to tour with those guys?

What inspired me to go on tour with You Know Who, is that they kick ass. It’s also Mike Pygmie’s band who also plays in The Uncontrollable and Mondo Generator as well, and he’s a fucking ripping guitar player, and he writes some cool stuff. Doors to Nowhere, they’re my friends and they kick major ass, just a group of great guys. That’s why I was inspired to do it- my friend Mark (Lewis of Doors to Nowhere) called me up and said, “Hey, you wanna do this tour, and these shows?” I was like, “I dunno if I can” cause I had some overlapping stuff going on with the Dwarves, but that fell through till April so it just so happened I had the time off and the time to rock with the Uncontrollable and my friends. So Mark set it up. It’s his fault that we are going to have a good time. So I’m really looking forward to seeing all those guys. Sorry my interview is so jumbled…I’m pretty thrashed.  Thanks, see you at the show!

Stoner rock show

Andre Giorenelli…Um Brasileiro Muito Bom (A very nice Brazilian)



With Gabriel Medina’s dominant World Title campaign last year, and the strong performances of his countrymen in the opening event of the World Surf League earlier this month at Snapper Rocks, it’s clear that the Brazilian Storm has arrived, and boy is it strong.  In the past, Brazilians have gotten a bad rap, but every one I’ve come to know personally have been solid cats.  The perfect example is my good friend Andre Giorenelli.  Andre moved to Santa Cruz a number of years ago and earned respect and friendships with his positivity and kindness.  Not only is he a great surfer, he’s an excellent representative of his Nation and exemplifies this in his role as Portuguese webcast announcer for the WSL.  I recently chatted with Andre about his life and work, and about how he’s adjusted to being an outsider in a very localized town.  Listen well, this man has a great deal of wisdom…

Setting up for the tube-photo: Nick Borelli

Setting up for the tube-photo: Nick Borelli

Where were you born?

Rio  De Janeiro Brasil


Power Play

Power Play

At what age did you start surfing and at what beach? 

At 9 years old at Postinho, Barra Da Tijuca


How were the waves in your local area?

Sand bar with fast barreling waves and two slabs on the outside. When it’s over 5ft the waves connects to the inside where the is a big barrel, and on the south swell the rights are very fast and on the east swell the lefts are pretty sick, shallow, fast and hollow.

Doin thangz in Brazil

Doin thangz in Brazil

I know you did some surfing professionally in Brasil. Describe to me the atmosphere around surfing competitively in Brasil. I’ve heard that it’s very hard to make a name for yourself over there?

Yes, I competed for many years and I was top 30 in Brasil and runner up in 2004. I also did some WQS events and my best result was a second place in Panama. Competing in Brasil is very different. You have to constantly fight in and outside the water– there was no priority in my day and no man on man heats. It was literally a war. Here in America is a little different most of the time. I did have some very heated heats– at one occasion a guy splashed water right in my face while I was trying to catch a wave. I understand this is part of the game, we’re not competing to lose, and sometimes the blood boils in the water. It’s nothing personal. After this incident we even apologized to one another and everything was fine. Another fact the is very different is that that in Brasil you need contest results to get a sponsorship and here you can get a sponsorship based on photos and videos. There is a lot of talent in Brasil that are unsponsored for that reason. Not everyone can win a contest but that doesn’t mean they are not good surfers.

What made you decide to move to the United States?

I lost my sponsorships and I was 30 years olden I knew it was going to be very hard from that moment on to get a new one. At the same time my wife Daniella got pregnant with my first son Zack. I have already visited Santa Cruz and I really liked the waves and the town, so in 2006 I decided to move.

Andre--loving the Santa Cruz surf

Andre–loving the Santa Cruz surf

Were you surprised at the difference in the lineup compared to Brasil? Or were things very similar?

Of course. In Brasil it could get really ugly if you don’t respect the rules in the water. I have seen many fights in and out of the water. And in most of the spots are full of Jiu-Jitsu fighters, but for my luck I have always trained Jiu-Jitsu and knew most of them. In Santa Cruz there are spots that the locals are more protective of, and some other spots not so much– just like everywhere else in the world.

He's got game. Photo-Fabio Minduin

He’s got game. Photo-Fabio Minduin

Santa Cruz surfers are very protective of their spots and territorial. Was this a difficult thing for you to navigate as you began surfing here? How did you break through to earn the respect of the locals?

I think Santa Cruz for being a small town there are people with a protective attitude of their spot, but at the same time there are a lot of surfers that if you respect them they will respect you back regardless of you being a local or not. I think I earned the respect little by little and also knowing how to surf helped me out. But just knowing how to surf is not enough you also need to be respectful. In the beginning it was really hard because I was competing against the best surfers in town and the reputation of Brazilian surfers are not the best. But I think with respect and dignity I conquered my space. I don’t consider myself a local but I think people respect me enough so I can surf in peace.

On duty in Hawaii

On duty in Hawaii

So now you are working as a Portuguese web caster for the WSL. How did you get this job, and how has it been so far?

Yes! This will be my 6th year, I’ve always had a good relationship with all the people involved in the surf industry in Brasil. When I used to compete I always used to go to the web cast booth to talk about the surfers and the contest and with that I got the opportunity to work at the Hurley Pro 2010.

slotted. photo-alexander Genari

slotted. photo-alexander Genari

Is it pretty unreal to get to interview some of the best surfers in the world?

Of course! It’s a pleasure and an honor.

Andre and Slater

Andre and Slater

Any memorable interviews and/or free surfs with WSL competitors?

It was cool to have Kelly Slater a couple times with us and the free surfs are insane!

Andre, Gabby, and the Brazilian Storm

Andre, Gabby, and the Brazilian Storm

Now Brasil finally has a world champ. How well do you know Gabby?

Finally! Yes I know Gabriel and his family. They are great people.

His surfing last year was flawless. Some accuse him of having too much focus, and not connecting with his fellow world tour surfers on a personal level. Do you pick up that vibe from him, or if that just he he feels he needs to do to win, in other words, he’s not there to make friends?

I think if you want to be #1 you have to be a little bit egocentric. It’s easy to judge but he had to sacrifice a lot of things to get to be the world champion. If he wasn’t focused I don’t think he would support so much pressure for a 20 year old. Let’s be honest, it’s not that he doesn’t like his fellow competitors, it’s because he’s there to win. Kelly, Andy and Mick did the same. Gabriel has a great relationship with all the competitors.

Andre, an Awesome ambassador of stoke for Brasil

Andre, an Awesome ambassador of stoke for Brasil

You must be very proud of the rising Brazilian contingent coming up as of late. With their performance and styles matching there other counterparts, Why do you feel like the internet message boards are full of anti Brasil sentiment, which a lot of the times boarders on out right xenophobia and racism?

To be honest, we’ve already had plenty of good surfers in the past, but this new generation is the best one so far I’d say, without disrespecting any other generation. But the fact is the majority of surfers from generations past didn’t speak english and that created a big cultural barrier and this new generation most of them speak english so they can express themselves more politely in and out of the water. About xenophobia and racism unfortunately this happens in every culture, in surfing was dominated by Americans and Australians for a long time. So there is some prejudice against Brazilian surfers because there are many of them coming up at the same time. But I think with time this will change independently of your nationality.

Did you know Ricardo Dos Santos? How has his death affected the Brazilian surfing community?

Yes I knew him since he was a kid. He was a great guy and a really good friend. I
 think it had a very negative impact but unfortunately this happens daily in Brasil.

Family Man

Family Man

Besides your web casting job how do you speak your time when you are not surfing?

My life is not only surf… I love to be in contact with nature, hanging out with my friends and family. For me friends and family are the most important things!


A Young Man and the Sea…FJ Anderson









Previously featured in Santa Cruz Waves magazine

The Santa Cruz coastline is at times an oily canvas of seaside serenity without a cloud in sight. At others, it’s a violent maelstrom of colors, both bright and brooding—an evolving pallet of textures you can almost taste. These are the visions that artist FJ Anderson lives for and strives to recreate with his hyper realistic, ocean-centric artwork.


Anderson, a humble 29 year old, grew up in a picturesque A-Frame home overlooking Sunny Cove. From his bedroom window, Anderson awoke every morning to postcard views of the Pacific Ocean and the gorgeous cliffs that line Santa Cruz’s Eastside. Living a stone’s throw from this natural splendor, Anderson developed an early appreciation of the beauty of the temperamental sea. After some encouragement and art supplies courtesy of his grandmother, a talented painter in her own right, Anderson began his love affair with creating art, a passion that was intrinsically tied to his love for the ocean.


“I feel extremely fortunate to have grown up by the ocean,” reflects Anderson. “As a kid, it’s great because there’s always something to do—surfing, fishing, tromping around in the tide pools or just hanging out at the beach. As an artist, it’s a blessing to be privy to the ever-changing conditions of the coast. For example, lighting is a huge part of my work, and it’s always different and in flux, depending on the time of year, time of day, and weather conditions.”


Anderson began to hone his artistic talents in Mark Marengo’s art classes at Shoreline Middle School, and continued his tutelage under Michael Emery at Soquel High. At this point, Anderson was beginning to move from realistic portraits and illustrations into his obsession with painting waves and ocean scenes. In the meantime, he furthered his repertoire by earning a degree in Scientific Illustration from UC Santa Cruz in 2007.


It was from this point forward that Anderson began to focus his creative crosshairs on painting the sea and skies above them. Other than the occasional coastal landscape piece (such as his Black’s Point series, which depicts the iconic point at three different times of day, presented with painstaking photo realism), Anderson jumped head first into a concerted effort to produce series of sky and ocean paintings.

“I basically have two different, ongoing oil series—one of the skies, and one of seas,” he explains. “The ocean ones are more first-person perspectives, from inside the water, whereas the sky series are pulled back images from the shoreline.”


It’s fair to say that the results are mind blowing. At first glance, it seems as though you are looking at a photo—his attention to detail and presentation are that convincing. The closer you inspect the image, the more you can discern that it’s actually artwork, and that revelation borders on startling.


His wave paintings take you up close and personal with pitching lips, undulating swells, and deep inside the barrel, with reflections of light and water droplets furthering this sense of actually being there. His cloud pieces are equally impressive, elegantly encompassing the emotions of nebulous formations—from the wispy, swirling haze to the thick and twisted storm cloud.

“Clouds and waves are essentially just energy moving through water, so I try to capture that moment in time, but also try to show the energy and movement through my painting,” he says.


Anderson uses all mediums, but has recently been painting primarily with oils, which he says are ideal for his preferred subject matter. In order to achieve his desired effects, he opts to work in multiple thin layers, or “glazes.” The oils allow him to stack many layers of paint on top of one another. He also utilizes gouache, a thicker, opaque water color that provides additional versatility, as he can use it either thick like acrylic, or watered down like a water color. This proves effective when working on smaller, more detailed illustration.

All of Anderson’s images are based on photographs that he personally captured with his camera. Some of the factors he considers when choosing which photos to paint include interesting color combinations, the amount of movement, composition of the overall painting, and how well it fits within a series.


“Instead of a picture, it becomes an experience, and the finished product brings me back [to when I took it],” says Anderson.

People are catching on to Anderson’s personal portrayals of our beloved coastline, There is something about the ocean and the sky, and especially the combination of the two, that is incredibly visually arresting, and Anderson’s skill in capturing this essence is gaining a reputation as nothing short of remarkable.


Whatever his craft may lead him in the future, this young ocean lover is content with creatively expressing his gratitude for living in an area with such natural beauty.

“Almost every day I find myself staring deeply into the ocean and clouds and getting lost in the movement and majesty,” he says. “It’s a great feeling.”

The Legend himself, Fruit Juice!!

The Legend himself, Fruit Juice!!


 Brief description of the show–  Its at Sawyer Land and Sea Supply on westside Santa Cruz. It will be up through March. I have about 25 oil paintings that range from really detailed and clean to more abstract and loose. All different sizes and shapes
 What your featuring/ what makes them appealing-  I have a new series I’m working on, continuing the ocean theme but a bit more abstract.  In these I’m trying to simplify the colors of the ocean during different lighting conditions. I took the reference photos with a longer shutter speed so they have a softer dreamlike feeling.
 One piece in particular–  One piece I’ve had a good response with is called “The Point”. Its a view of pleasure point looking towards the shore from the ocean during a sunset.  I’ve been doing some commission work painting peoples costal homes and I thought this one shows a cool perspective that people wouldn’t see unless they were on the ocean. It seems to really appeal to people who fish, surf, sail or paddle and see this view often. Its really detailed so you can see all the houses along the point as well.

Visit for further examples of his artwork.



Mike Pygmie is one talented dude. He’s a guitar player for Mondo Generator, guitar and vocalist in You Know Who, and did a stint drumming for Waxy. Ex-bands and projects include: Invitro, the Whizards, Melodious Pygmies, Brant Bjork and the Operators/Bros, the Agents and the Pedestrians. It’s clear that Pygmie doesn’t have a hard time adapting to new projects, and he brings decades of talent to everything he chooses to involve himself in. On March 27th, at the Catalyst, he’ll be doing double duty, performing with both You Know Who, and Uncontrollable with Nick Oliveri. Split Peak Soup recently caught up with the shredding guitarist to pick his brain.



How long have you been playing guitar?

I wanted to play music as long as I can remember. when I turned 13 I got my first descent guitar and started taking lessons and that same year I started a band. What did you start out playing, and who were your early influences? I started out with a fender strat, Hendrix was my biggest early influence.

                                          This place has bred some fantastic musicians

How influential was the desert scene to your music?

When I was a freshman in High School Mario lalli opened up an all ages club right down the street from my house and everyone used to play there. It was a really big deal to me and shaped not only how I play music, but also who I am as a person.

How do you think it shaped the type of musician you are?

It’s a tight-knit musical community. Not saying that everyone always gets along, but definitely a lot of life long friends that are into the same kind of sound. We are constantly challenging each other to be better musicians.

A man and his Axe

A man and his Axe

What kind of gear do you use? Do you have a trusty, go-to axe of choice?

I play a Marshall super lead 100 watt head and my guitar is a Gibson sg with a bigsby.

You Know Who?

You Know Who?

You are currently wrapping up a full length album with You Know Who…  Can you tell us a little bit about the album, and what we can expect to hear when it drops?

We’re mixing it right now it will be done real soon. I’m very proud of how it’s turning out. We did it at Dead End studios in palm desert. Brad Garrow is producing it. It will be released this Summer on Vinyl by Self Destructo records.

John Garcia, of Kyuss fame.  Not a bad cat to collaborate with

John Garcia, of Kyuss fame. Not a bad cat to collaborate with

Word is that John Garcia is going to make an appearance on the record.  Man, that guy’s got some pipes.  How long have you known John and how was it collaborating with him?

John is singing with me on a song, Sean Wheeler is on one and Nick Oliveri sings on two of them. It’s a big deal to us that our bros back us and want to be a part of it and it was a pleasure working with all those guys. I’ve known John for many years but last year I started playing bass for his solo band so we’ve gotten much closer. Same thing with Nick. I’ve been playing guitar for Mondo Generator and now Nick Oliveri’s Uncontrollable and he’s like family. I have a lot of respect for all those guys.


Have you played shows in Santa Cruz before?

Yes, I’ve played there a couple of times with Mondo Generator. Also with my old bands the Whizards and Invitro. Always a great time.

Aptos Club, RIP. Legendary joint

Aptos Club, RIP. Legendary joint

Any favorite “touristy” attractions you’ve enjoyed in your downtime there?

The first time I played in Santa Cruz was back when I played guitar for Brant Bjork and we played the Aptos club. That was a super cool spot.

On March 27th, you’ll be doing double duty, playing with You Know Who and Uncontrollable.  How do you find the stamina and drive to put on a good performance when you’re up there for so long?

Time flies when your performing and having fun. To be honest I think it goes by too quick, and wish I could play longer.


Mr. Pygmie

Finally, are there any new bands out that are getting you amped and inspired?

I’m looking forward to seeing Doors To Nowhere again. They aren’t new, but Trash Talk, Baroness, Dillinger Escape Plan and Graveyard are in rotation a lot lately along with Mahuvishnu Orchestra and Captain Beyond– which is not new at all but still refreshing.


Come On and Take a Free RIde

Come On and Take a Free Ride

 When I first met Noah “Waggy” Wegrich, he was a tiny little tadpole with a bald head ruling the inside bowl at Manresa.  Nowadays, he’s sporting a magnificent mane and is turning heads with his stylish and progressive surfing.  He’s super fun to surf with and is humble and respectful to boot.  His energy and humor is infectious, so I decided to divulge a recent discussion we had….

Hurry up and come in from getting tubed Noah...

Hurry up and come in from getting tubed Noah…

What makes Waggy wag his tail?
Ice cream, girls and tubes
I can see it now

I can see it now

If you were to star alongside one actor in a movie who would it be, what kind of movie, and how would it end?
It would be Will Farrell and it would end with us being best buddies and building a tree fort and getting crossbows and Hustler magazines!
Would you rather do three kickflips on one wave or 10 chop hops?
Three kickflips FOSHO everyone can do chop hops nobody can do a kickflip though….
Locks of Love

Locks of Love

Your mane is rather luxurious. I bet all the chicks dig it. Any hair care tips or favorite products?
Hahahaha I don’t know if chicks like it…. I hope they do (laughs). Most people think my hair is a wig and ask to touch it. It’s kind of weird
I'm waiting for you Noah...

I’m waiting for you Noah…

 If you had a gun to your head which would you choose….go left at Mav’s on a 35 footer or go left into the cliff at the Slot at the Lane on a 4 footer?
Left at Mavericks for sure! Better chance of getting tubed!
The resemblance is uncanny

The resemblance is uncanny

Beavis or Butthead.  And why?
This ones difficult (sigh)…I’ve always liked Butthead more– but I have blonde curly hair so I’m kind of automatically Beavis, I also get really excited about things like Beavis does hahaha so I guess my hair and attitude are Beavis– but my heart is all Butthead!


Everyone’s got a secret talent.  I can wiggle my ears and talk like Pee Wee Herman and Kermit the Frog.  What’s yours?
My secret talents….. Awwww I’m not sure I have any maybe kissing heard I’m a good kisser (laughs)
Waggy get's me amped, personally photo-Joe Foster

Waggy get’s me amped, personally photo-Joe Foster

Who’s your favorite person to watch surf in person and why?
Ohhhh this ones tough Id probably say anyone who’s going for it! Like if your going fast and doing anything radical it’s going to get me fired up to try something crazy. Ya dig?
Waggy, weightless

Waggy, weightless

If you could name your style of surfing what would it be?  Mine’s Brokeback Bucking Bronco.
Hahahaha that’s a intense name, but solid. My style’s name would be Butterfly Euphoria.