This ain't no Party, this ain't no Baywatch, this ain't no Foolin' around!
29 May 1996
Memorial Day weekend was a stone cold washout for much of
Mid-Atlantic with 58 degree water temps at our beach and a
NorEasterly flow that would just not calm down. With temps
in the 40s at
night we actually had to crank up the long dormant
fireplace. Out the
window I could see 5-6 foot victory at sea peaks with side
rips in the
4-5 mph range.
Saturday marked the last day of testing of lifeguard
trainees in our
town. Twenty-three applicants had been checked and schooled
in the proper
techniques over the last weeks and now it was time to put
to the test.
Last year I wrote a letter to the local paper praising the
courageous efforts of the lifeguard service who performed
in a very difficult hurricane season. The head of the
called to thank me and he mentioned how instrumental surfers
in helping his crew cover the 10 miles of beaches they were
for. He flat out stated if it hadn't been for rescues
surfers, there would have been far more fatalities last
season (we had
only nine out hundreds of reported rescues). Carl invited
me to watch
how the new guards were tested and even suggested I
participate as a
drowning victim. So with my wetsuit and fins I showed up on
dreary, rainy Saturday to be, as one guard trainee phrased
drowning test dummy".
I was told to swim out into the 4 foot surf about 100 yards
and wait for
the person being tested to come drag me back in. The drill
required the guard to sprint a quarter mile along the beach
swim out and drag with a float, or using a rescue hold,
bring me back in.
The rigorous early testing had weeded out what Carl called
Wannabes". These were the one's who imagined themselves
chicks and doing those quick splish splash rescues you see
The field had been cut to 12 and you could tell from their
they were dead serious (and cold).
The first few guys who "saved" me dragged me in using a
float. I splayed
my fins out to create more drag, but most of them were
helped by the
floatation of my wetsuit. All of them drag/pulled me up the
sand to the
designated finish line. Carl told me I was being too passive
present the next few candidates with a panic situation, but
not enough to
endanger the person. My next trainee was Tim, and he got
spooked when I
refused the float and continued to tie up his arms in a
death grip. I
outweighed him by 50 lbs. He finally gave up.
My next trainee was a 21 year old female named Pam, (NO! Not
who at 5'8" and 165 with legs toned by months of running on
and weight training, seemed to be up to the challenge. As
she swam out I
splashed and yelled. She gave me the float but I only used
it to drag her
toward me. I quickly grabbed her around the waist and headed
bottom. The move caught her by surprise, but instantly her
found my forearm and she pressed with both thumbs on a
just below the elbow. I felt very intense pain, then my arm
went numb. In
a flash she moved out of my grasp as she spun around and had
me under the
arms. She yelled quite loudly with not a shred of fear or
still, I have you!" She towed me into the shorebreak with
the rescue hold
then said, "If you promise to behave yourself, I'll carry
you out." Sure
enough, using a classic fireman's carry, Pam hoisted all 210
lbs of me
and walked me up the beach to the hoots and applause of
Later, after she passed the rest of the testing she came up
to me and
thanked me for the challenge. I asked her where she learned
point grip and she said her brother, a policeman, taught a
course. I congratulated her and said I'd be looking for her
on the beach
and in the water this summer.
I admire the courage and skill of everyone on the lifeguard
Carl said it's not always the stereotype athletic kind who
are the best
guards. He looks for someone who is smart, fit, responsible,
and observant. But the most important quality is desire,
never willing to
give up. He wants someone who will go 200% on every rescue.
Carl knows as well as he has trained his crew, he will never
be able to
be everywhere. He recently asked in the paper that all
surfers be his
backup guards and to watch others in the water. If someone
trouble, they should just paddle over to that person and let
them rest or
hold onto their board until a lifeguard came to get them.
watch out for others in the water would be a big help. I
helped a guy
last year by letting him rest on my board so he could swim
back in. And
just this last week 2 kids were swept out over 200 yards in
current. Guards were not on duty yet and surfers brought
them back in.
I thank all of you in advance for watching your brothers
back. Let's make
this a safe and sane summer, and
BRING ON THOSE FRIGGIN HURRICANES!!!!!
-Foondoggy (Our guys don't wear speedos either).
Alt.Surfing - The Final Exam Spring Semester
04 June 1996
Testing time: 45 minutes (with apologies for wasted
Multiple choice - each question worth 4 points:
- What is "the Wedge"?
a. What you ask your caddie for when you intend to
two-putt for par but
wind up in a bunker.
b. The prank that strikes terror into the hearts of
every freshman who
ever took a gym class with all seniors.
c. For Orthopedic Surgeons specializing in spinal
injury, in a word,
d. Rick Ciaccio's personal surf zone.
- What is Fang?
a. A new breakfast cereal shaped like sharp teeth,
from the makers of
Count Chocula and aimed at readers of Anne Rice novels.
b. A Blood Flavored, Red energy drink for very
c. A welcome presence on the Testosterone Zone called
- Who is Tom Necfy?
a. A Malibu Surfer.
b. A Good Malibu Surfer.
c. A stupendously talented and likable Malibu Surfer.
d. None of the above.
- What is Coastal Carolina?
a. Home of the best pulled pork barbecue in the World.
b. Birthplace of the prettiest girls on the Right
Coast (But their
Daddys all have GUNS!!)
c. Site of the future oceanfront retirement home of
arguably some of the best surf on the Right Coast.
- Who is "the Sandman"?
a. An incredibly talented but overtly arrogant,
egotistical scribe who's
self promotion is exceeded only by his genuine
b. Alt.surfing's own inventor of the FlameForm, and a
useful tool, (No
not him! The Form.)
c. The next president of his own tortured World
(Remember Sandman in
- A Soul Surfer is?
a. A person who surfs alone.
b. A surfer who is unblemished by the crass commercial
aspects of the
sport and who prefers to contemplate the gestalt of
primary man in
essential concert with his oceanic environment.
c. James Brown going backside at the Pipe! Watch Me
- What is Malibu?
a. The weekend home of 10,000 valley cowboys.
b. The weekday home of 10,000 Malibu "locals".
c. A beach Mickey Dora invented.
d. The best model Chevy Super Sport during the Muscle
- What is "the Endless Summer"?
a. The summer that exists for anyone who flunked high
school Latin and
must make it up before the Fall semester.
b. Will likely be judged as the most seminal movie in
the history of
c. The most fervent wish of every surfer.
- What is Surfer Magazine?
a. The most informative, sophisticated and influential
the sport of Surfing.
b. Birdcage liner.
c. All of the above.
- What is the perfect Wave?
a. Every surfer's dream.
b. Every hair stylists dream.
c. What Miss America contestants practice hours to
- What are Short Boarders?
a. The evolutionary triumph of the Sport of Kings.
b. A festering pustule on the ass of the Sport of
c. The family of midgets who are renting the basement
apartment at your
- What is Australia?
a. A country down under known for its natural beauty,
strong individual character, independent spirit,
gorgeous women, rich
anthropological history, incredible surf conditions and
b. Is populated by beer swilling, boastful, pugnacious
descended from murderers, rapists, thieves, and who
under a rock on the shores of the cesspool of
c. My kind of place!
- Kooks are?
a. A hazard to every dedicated surfer.
b. Always sitting next to me in the line up.
c. All likely to resemble "Pete Amschel".(Since he
refuses to wear any
thing rubber, do you think he is the Father of them
all?) Extra Credit.
- What is "Getting Air"?
a. Anytime someone drives away from Los Angeles or
Elizabeth, New Jersey
b. What your average shortboarder calls a wipeout.
c. When a bloke from the UK gets transplants from the
back of his neck
to the top of his head.
- Do you remember CORTICAL, aka Roger R, aka Roger
c. Hell no!!
- What is the Windansea Surf Club?
a. A group of responsible and social-minded surfing
recognizing that good, safe, surfing environments are
promoting the most efficient and practical use of a
public beach to
benefit the interests of properly skilled and safety
who ride hard surfaced surfcraft.
b. A self-serving elitist clique of mean-spirited
fascists so motivated
by territorial imperative, they seek to establish and
own private effete surfing enclave and exclude anyone
who does not
satisfy their narrow and discriminatory definition of a
c. My kind of club, where do I join!
- Essay Question: 35 points 15 minutes.
In 257 words or less, trace the sport of surfing from
Polynesian origins to it's impact on todays modern culture.
Be sure to
document the evolution of every model of surfcraft and cite
influences of such people as, "the Duke", George Freeth, Tom
Preston Peterson, Bob Simmons, Joe Quigg, Ron Stoner, Buzzy
Weber, Hap Jacobs, Hobie Alter, Greg Noll, Mickey Dora,
Lance Carson, but
NOT Corky Carroll (any mention of him - points off).
Remember, be specific but do not exceed the word or time
This test is self administered and graded. If you think
reward yourself with the surf trip of your choice. If you
again next year or you might want to switch to another
Have a good summer.
Professor Foondoggy, bfd.
The Thrill is Gone!
No, Not Surfing, you Bozo! The Net!
Just recently there have been a flood of articles whining
unfulfilled promise of the internet. One Op-Ed piece in the
Post stated that half as many homepages are shut down each
week as are
started up including some biggies, Web Review and N.Y.Times.
bemoan the commercial failure of the net to rake in the big
parents increasingly fear and monitor their children's use.
stories are rampant, every day brings a new and terrible
episode in the
wanton abuse of this magnificent tool.
I have seen things I never wanted to see - autopsy photos
site pictures including dismemberment and decapitation. And
things I could live without - 60% of all men over the age of
50 have some
form of Prostatic cancer. (I get checkups, so should you).
I have wasted many hours of my own time (not my employers)
things I thought I'd be interested in, and was not. But also
I found some
very cool stuff I did not expect to find. I've bookmarked
never gone back to see (the Cigar Page, the Jack Daniels
cursed when I did go back to some and found they were gone
Through this newsgroup and many surfing pages I have
joyfully renewed my
interest in our favorite sport, met some nice people, and
self with some old surf bras from years gone by. When we get
always seem to reminisce (like geezers do) about surf
sessions years ago.
They always seem better than they actually were, yet we
never tire of
talking about them. I know it's not the conditions that were
it's the camaraderie and friendships that have lasted all
these years due
to a shared and wonderful experience. Surfing with friends
is one of the
best and most long-lasting of life's joys. (old man talkin'
Something you won't find on the Net!
My net cruisin has gone way down. I check here once a day,
and maybe a
few weather sites to learn about hurricane producing
(none yet, damn it!). But between my old tech reading
books) the bombardment of radio and TV and the few cool
things I see on
the Web, I'm starting to feel a sensory overload.
During my weeklong surfari to the Carolinas I was very
insulated from the
normal excesses of information, and I did not once miss it
because what I
was doing was experiencing something so much more important
and real. I
realize now it is much better to do and experience things in
sense, limiting as that may be, than in a "Virtual" sense,
unreality that it gives. I do not want to become one of
those fat, pasty
white, introverted netdrones who's every waking moment is
zombie-like into the flickering images of a computer screen.
I know two people receiving counseling for net addiction.
Get up, turn off your computer, call your best friends and
Don't check the conditions on the net, don't look for a
picture from some
remote camera taking shots at 30 minute intervals, don't
puzzling over the swell potential profile, and don't tell
you'll be home for dinner. You'll get home when your done
(remember the thread on Surfer's time vs. real time),
hopefully with your
best friends, and hopefully in good waves. But who Cares,
you're doing it
for real and not in a virtual sense.
(But it's ok to come back and tell us all what a good time
you had. I
mean we all live a little vicariously.)
-Foondoggy (Got so excited here I just spilled a very real
and hot cup
of coffee into my lap! Is this an omen? Call my lawyer, I'm
Da Gahd Fadda of Waves
12 June 1996
When I was in college I met and fell in love (lust?) with a beautiful
Italian girl from Brooklyn. Little did I know that Denise came from a
family that made the Corleone family look like the Brady Bunch.
At the end of the school year we both went home but promised to call and
write everyday. Soon we were so lonely for one another she invited me
down to her family's summer compound in Long Beach, NY to meet her
The day I arrived I was cleared at the gate of a gorgeous oceanfront
group of homes by a thugish looking fellow named, what else, Tony. Soon I
was being introduced to all manner of cousins, Uncles, Aunts, siblings
and parents. I felt very welcome. There was a huge party going on that
day with tons of food and drink. I took one look at their private beach
and knew I was really in love. Off a long rock jetty, perfectly clean,
and tissue thin waves were peeling, untouched by anyone.
After an hour I begged Denise to let me get my board to try them out. She
agreed but first she said some of her Uncles wanted to talk to me in the
kitchen. The little meeting consisted of me, Uncles Tony, Guido,
Salvatore, and Louis sitting around a table drinking beer and asking
questions about my intentions.
Guido started. "Ah you Catlick?"
"No, I'm Presbyterian."
"Would ya convert?"
"So whadiya gonna be wen ya grow up?"
"I thought I'd try teaching for awhile."
"How's dat gonna help da Family?"
I wanted to say, "Maybe I could teach you all to speak English," but what
I said was, "What does what I do with my life have to do with helping the
Family?" There were significant stares all around the table, meeting
Soon I was stroking into some excellent chesthigh peelers, working them
over with my McTavish deep V. After every wave I'd looked in and waved at
Denise who was sitting on a blanket on the beach. I was in
Luuuuuuuvvvvve. These waves were the "you could make any mistake" kind.
Big and juicy enough for a lot of fun, but if you slipped up, they
wouldn't kick your ass too bad. I was swooning with pleasure.
After an hour or so I looked in and didn't see Denise. I took my last
wave and started walking toward the compound and was met by Uncle Guido.
"Where's Denise?" I said. "She hadda go." "What? Why?" Guido looked at
me, "Look kid, her Gahd Fadda, has decided dat for reasons of your healt,
you shudn't see Denise anymore." I countered, "There's nothing wrong with
my health." Guido continued to stare at me until I could contemplate
what I had just said. Then he took me gently by the shoulder and ushered
me toward my car saying, "Yeah, it's good now, and we wanna to keep it
dat way don't we?"
I was crushed. I had lost what I thought was the love of my life, AND
access to a private break that pumped perfect lefts! I called Denise
several times after that but she never returned my calls. She transferred
from my school and went to a private college upstate New York.
Years later from friends I found out that the family was a major spoke in
the New York City crime wheel, that many of the members were under
investigation, and several had gone to jail, one for murder (Guido). I
learned also that Denise had met a young Italian med student who attended
med school in Italy at the family's expense. I guess the family needed
doctors to fix those bullet holes. Also, after Denise married this guy
she became a babymaking machine and had ballooned into a big Italian
momma. Sometimes life takes weird turns. In retrospect, failures are
sometimes lucky breaks.
I met a new girl at school who owned a 427, red Firebird, convertible,
who loved to let me stick that bright green McTavish behind the seat, and
race to the beach. But her family didn't have a private beach with great
waves. Such is life.
"Life can only be understood backwards; but must be lived forwards."
26 Jun 1996
In High School five of my best surfing buddies were in my own homeroom.
Each morning we were to spend 15 quiet minutes of the day listening to
announcements and getting ready for classes. Our homeroom teacher was a
huge man named Mr.Williamson. He was an athlete (swimming coach) a
summertime lifeguard, and a well respected waterman in the community. He
was also strict as hell and frequently assigned detention to anyone who
screwed with the rules.
One day Mr.Williamson intercepted a note going around among us which
spoke of the 5 of use cutting school the next day to go surfing in what
was guaranteed to be great waves. He never mentioned he had gotten hold
of the note. The next day we all dutifully left our homes for school,
then met in a parking lot and bolted for the beach.
We'd been out about an hour when we looked in and to our horror saw
Mr.Williamson paddling out on a big rescue board. We were shittin'! He
calmly paddled over to us and thanked us for tipping him off to the great
waves, then proceeded to ride rings around us. Who knew Mr.Williamson
could plant a cheater five at will and punch through some tough sections
on a rescue board!? Soon we were lending him our boards and then he
really put on a clinic. We surfed all day and had a great time.
The next morning, as always, he asked everyone who'd been absent the day
before, to bring up their excuse notes from their parents. Each of us
slowly walked up and gave him what he knew was a totally counterfeit
note, but he never said a word until he got to me. As I placed my bogus
excuse on his desk he said softly. "Nice Sunburn, Foonboy." Terrified, I
looked up at him and said. "If you'll remember Sir, I never once took off
on you." He laughed and said, "I'll remember that."
Foondoggy (Swear to God, ask Bob, Tommy, Phil, Steve and John)
"The wit makes fun of other persons; the satirist makes fun of the world; the humorist makes fun of himself."
"I generally avoid temptation, unless I can't resist it."
How do You Pray for Surf?
27 June 1996
By this time last year the Right Coast was well on it's way
to an Epic
Season. To date, we've had one Tropical Storm which left us
What I need to know is what are your local customs or
rituals for "Makin
it Happen!?" I don't care if they work or not, we'll try
following worked fairly well last year:
- Late night at the Foondoggy Surf Shrine.
- Paraffin is bubbling on a sterno burner.
- Original dayglo version of the Endless Summer poster
Blacklit and framed by seashells. Post-it notes with the
names of former
great Hurricanes are placed on the poster.
- Cheesy little surfboard clock from Mrs.Foondoggy's
trip to Manila marks
the time (incorrectly).
- In the background plays a pre-recorded tape of yours
the drum part to "Wipeout" in one quarter time on the big
- Ritual Dress: Original Katins, 10 yr old Reefs, a
Mrs.Foon made Hawaiian
shirt with print that shows breaking waves and erupting
volcanoes, and the
newly acquired "Surf Free or Die" baseball cap. (Shades
- I sit in a 15 yr old canvas sling back beach chair and
from a tepid glass of "Cujo Mescal", the worm is still
The Prayer begins:
"All powerful and divine Ocean Spirit of indeterminent
persuasion, I, Foondoggy, your most humble and half-bagged
beseech thee to hear my plea. By this time last year, you
had blessed us
with an abundance of rideable waves. We worship and praise
power to bring us such wonderful conditions and pray take
pity on us once
more. Your humble servant (me) will be on vacation next week
and face the
bleak prospect of sitting on the shore while thousands of
urinate in your sacred waters. I pray you will provide
turbulence which will cleanse and purify your holy waters
and give me an
opportunity to cut up the mob one more time. It would also
be nice if it
was big and glassy in the morning so that we dedicated dawn
worshipers were rewarded for getting up so early to sing
your praises and
ride your waves. I do not ask for much, but if you could
make it gnarly
enough so the tourists think twice about going out, I'd
"Please, oh omniscient one, I beg thee to grant this
request. In return I
will never ever watch an episode or rerun of "Baywatch" or
unauthorized Pamela Anderson Homepage (the good one with
pichers!). Also, I'll take back every nasty comment I've
ever written on
alt.surfing (except about Corky Carroll and Pete Amschel)
and send an
apology to Laird Hamilton for my "Pretty Boy Laird" post of
a few months
"These things I do solemnly swear, Big Kahuna"
"Cowabunga and Amen".
Ritual Ends: Bite the Lemon, shoot the Mescal, bow three
times to the
Endless Summer Poster, change the tape to the ES 2
soundtrack by the
Sandals and stare, zombie-like, at endless replays of Gerry
Lopez at the
So how do you guys do it?
"The worst moment for an atheist is when he is really
thankful, and has
nobody to thank."
Dante Gabriel Rossetti
"If there were real justice in the world, people would be
able to fly
over seagulls for a change."