Weblog for the employees, friends and customers of the outdoor clothing company Patagonia. Visit Patagonia.com to see what we do.
by Dr. Tony Butt
We are constantly reminded that our oil-based consumer society, with our excessive use of plastics, obsession with air travel and inefficient ways of heating and lighting our homes, will eventually lead to environmental suicide in the form of global warming and resource depletion. But for many people, including surfers, global warming and resource depletion are a little hard to grasp; because they are difficult to actually see happening. However, our addiction to oil is one of the ultimate causes of another, much more tangible effect: when oil that is being transported spills into the sea and arrives on the coastline.
Almost exactly ten years ago, the Prestige oil spill occurred off the coast of Galicia, in Spain, very close to where I live at the moment. It was the worst environmental catastrophe in the history of Spain and Europe, and I don’t think it should be forgotten. So I apologize in advance if you find this article a little gloomy.
[Photo: Stéphane M. Grueso]
by Dan Malloy
In the last month I have learned more about the people and places along the California coast than I had in 34 years and a thousand trips by car.
Maybe slow is fast.
We have been on the road for five weeks now and we are thoroughly convinced that we have found the fabled confluence of old California and new California.
The bummer is, it’s not a physical place and the only way we seem to be able to track it down is by bike. I don’t really understand why. Every time we hit the road pedaling good things just start happening, strange coincidences, random happenings, happy accidents and all-around ridiculous stuff. If I tried to explain it you might think I was on something. So, I’ll save the explanation of this epiphany and post a few photos from the most recent leg of our trip, San Francisco to San Luis Obispo. [Editor's note: Get caught up with Slow is Fast, part 1.]
[Above: This one is for the FCD crew, who after the first post asked me to stop barrel dodging. A warm and friendly day at the great white petting zoo. Photo: Kanoa Zimmerman]
by Dan Malloy
After being on the road for a good part of the last 15 years, I have a lot of catching up to do at home. The truth is, for about ten of those years I didn't think twice about California, never felt home sick or that I was missing a thing. Well, that time has passed. I am not sure if I'm just getting older or whether I've figured out that there are a 100 lifetimes worth of adventure here at home.
A while back I had an idea that seemed like a really fun way to see our coastline – like I do the far away coastlines that I have visited over the years. I mentioned it to two friends and they were all in, planning and packing, and all of the sudden the trip was on.
So, three weeks ago, Kanoa Zimmerman, Kellen Keene and myself jumped on a train headed north with bicycles, a surfboard, wetsuits, flippers, a microphone and a couple cameras. The idea was to surf down the coast by bike, staying with friends, family and acquaintances, poaching camps when we had to, doing our best to earn our keep and to learn from folks that are doing good work and getting by along the California coast.
Here are a few photos from the trip so far.
[Above: Dan Malloy and his rig. All photos by Kanoa, Kellen and Dan]
by Jason Slezak
There is something I love about recording a voicemail greeting that says I will be out of the country, with no cell phone access, for a few weeks. Usually included is the customary, “You can try to reach me by email…” but even that was questionable. This time, I’d be traveling somewhere so remote it’s basically be off the grid. And that “something” I love about the voicemail? It actually has more to do with everything that leads up to the point of making the recording.
The weeks of pre-planning and packing were over. The hours and hours of watching swell charts on the Internet, hoping to see a solid blob of swell pop up in the proper direction, and the incessant studying of wind graphs and forecast sites to determine what size kites and boards to take had all passed. The stresses of showing up late (as always) for the airline check-in, the roulette wheel of excess baggage fees and the long security lines had faded into faint memories. I sent my last farewell texts to family and friends, and finally, switched my phone and my contact with the everyday world… OFF.
[Jello-blue lagoon, Ninamu. Photo: Jason Slezak, GoPro]
Hopefully, you've been keeping up with the Kamchatka surf crew during their travels through remote eastern Russia. We just received a new sat-phone call from Patagonia ambassador Keith Malloy and our on-the-scene reporter Foster Huntington describing the latest leg of their journey.
Listen to "Kamchatka Surf Trip 2"
(mp3 - right-click to download)
[Above: Made to order fun. Keith Malloy deploys the tray for a body surfing session on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia. Photo: Foster Huntington]
Hit the jump for a fresh batch of Instagram photos from the trip.
by Foster Huntington
On August 30th, surf ambassadors Keith Malloy and Trevor Gordon, along with Chris Burkard, Cyrus Sutton, Dane Gudauskas and myself set out on an exploratory surf trip to the Kamchatka Peninsula in eastern Russia. For two weeks we'll be camping out, looking for waves and doing some fly fishing.
[Above: Preparing To Surf In Russia. Video by Arctic Surf]
After the second World War, the Russian Government limited all travel, including Russian citizens, to this remote area, making the Peninsula one of the most remote and undeveloped places in the world. Since opening up in 1990, limited development has affected the area, but swell forecasting cannot dictate a trip to Kamchatka – like most surf trips these days – because of the difficult travel plans required to visit.
Patagonia ambassadors Kohl Christnesen, Jason Slezak and Fletcher Chouinard are down in Chile right now hoping to score south swell and good wind for kiteboarding. Kohl just called in with a surf report:
Listen to Kohl Christensen Chile Phone Report
(mp3 - right-click to download)
We're hoping to hear back from the boys as the swell fills in. If you're a regular reader, you'll remember what happened the last time Kohl lured Fletch down to Chile.
Update: Already received a new photo of Kohl getting ready to go kite. Follow @fcdsurfboards on Twitter and Instagram for more pics as they come in.
[Photos by Rodrigo Farias Moreno (@fariasmoreno)]