Seekers of aquatic joy:
What a wonderful 2015 it has been! And as the year winds down it's gearing up to get even better for 2016. I'm writing to you from PG Juice n' Java in Pacific Grove, CA where I've come to visit my family for a week before heading off to run our first retreat in Costa Rica at Rancho Diandrew. The waves are small here today, but there's a building NW swell in the water. The Surfline camera in Ocean Beach, San Francisco is showing some nice 3-5 foot peaks, which means mostly flat conditions for us in the Monterey Bay unless we seek out the most exposed of spots. If it was not for family obligations I might have mind to drive the two hours north, but sometimes, even for the most surf frothy (like me), you have to put your surf plans on the back burner to be with those who you love. In this case, I'm really here to visit my grandmother, Joanne Mattison. My grandma is still alive and kicking but life is not getting easier for her. She can no longer dive to great depths and take underwater photographs or kayak miles down the Elkhorn Slough or go on photo expeditions to Africa or the Galapagos. But she can share her many brilliant memories and that's what I'm here for.
Of course I've been able to get some surf. It was really great two days ago! Here's an example of the wave that really groomed my surfing:
I shot this with CSC's new Sony a6000 camera. This kind of high quality surf image is a sign of things to come for CSC in 2016! This year we were super fortunate to have a ton of dedicated people come to us for mentorship and now we have a healthy membership base of people advancing their surfing to the level where it is now possible for us to take still and moving images of CSC members as they move forward in their surfing journey. Even though seeing oneself surfing can be painful, ultimately it is the best way to improve timing, style, and positioning. It is all about facing oneself and one's weaknesses with humility and honesty. And believe me when you use all of the technical resources at your disposal to find that perfect peak it will have all been worth it.
What else? Well I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who made 2015 an awesome year. Thanks to my fiancé, Sophia, for putting up with all of the sand. Thanks to Chris Blotiau who came on board to teach lessons for CSC in Montauk. I am really looking forward to planning awesome stuff with Chris for this coming summer season. Thanks to my brother Andrew Mattison for coming on board with CSC to make these camps in Costa Rica a reality. Thanks to Doug Hwang at Tygershark NYC (a rad new coffee shop/fish restaurant/surf shop on Vanderbilt and Dean in Brooklyn) for hosting our holiday party and being a rad dude in general. Thanks Joe Falcone, Rick Malwitz, and Mark Petrocelli for shaping awesome surfboards. Thanks also to the guys glassing these boards and Greenlight Surf Supply for supplying the blanks. Thanks to all the surfshops in Long Beach, Rockaway, Brooklyn, and Manhattan for keeping all the frothy people stocked and stoked with wax and suits and boards and books and all things surf. Thanks to Johnny, Sam, JP, Juan, Bennet, Gus, Heath, Luke, and Andrew and all the shredders who keep me amped and push me to surf smoother and more radically. Thanks to Julien Roubinet and Manny Angelakis for taking photos. Thanks to Bryan Döring for being a complete frother. And to Kyungmi for videoing us when the surf is too big for her. And most of all thanks to everyone who believes in the CSC vision and who has come to us for mentorship and guidance in their quest to find joy in the surf. Without you none of this is possible. From the bottom of my heart I want to express how happy it makes me when I see your shining faces paddling out, catching waves, getting your first boards and suits, and just generally becoming indoctrinated to the wonderful world of surf. Here's to so much more froth and joy in 2016! Yew!!!!!