Archive for the ‘Surfing culture’ Category


June 3, 2014

Back into the scribbling business early this month/June and with Africa in mind.

Meanwhile, a couple of music clips which I enjoy:
Tin Soldier by The Small Faces – a most under-rated group. Stevie Marriot had the voice to die for. In the charts the very month I saw them along with The Who.

A killer track by James Brown – live in Italy. Bass and drums, On the One big time.

Wanda Jackson and Jack White Shaking All Over plus that toothy old Letterman.
All the elements. Lots of glitz delivering one of my favourite tracks of all times. Razor sharp brass. Old doll Wanda reinventing her rockabilly career and good on her. Pixie from Iceland cleverly disguised as a rhythm guitarist. Brilliant steel guitar sounding very much like a theremin, and dare I say it, Jack White’s very noticeable bald spot.

Finally, performing the usual unappreciated public service.

Two new entrants in the ASP Women’s Tour to get you all hot and really bothered.

Miho Ihara

Miho Ihara – Ranked 38


Reiki Noro

Reika Noro – Ranked 41

Reika Noro

Reika Noro

Reika noro 6
Eat your heart out, aliens.

Historical Revisionism and the Surf Aesthetic: Part One

March 2, 2013

Lets begin with an IQ test.

What were the seminal events of the 1960s?

1. JFKs (aka The Haircut, 60 Second Jack for James Ellroy fans) inauguaral speech in January 20 1961:

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe, in order to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

2. The photos of US troops landing at Da Nang (shades of Mogadishu), South Vietnam in 1965, the first of (some 40 plus) imperial ventures to be reported as a visual television event.


3. The first man on the moon.

The Canned Heat version

The Canned Heat version

4 How about Charlie Manson and/or The Stones when they croaked the Sixties Dream at Altamont Speedway?

Okay, so I cheated, since the seminal event of this watershed epoch was the invention of this contraption.

Farfisa organ manufactured in Osimo, Italy.

Farfisa organ manufactured in Osimo, Italy.

Now, if you were the last member to join your local garage band and really hoped to pull hot babes after the gig, chances are that you got the following instruction: “go buy a Farfisa and perfect the two hand-two finger technique of playing a simple melody, and if you can play in time, you’ve joined the band”.
However, this wasn’t the complete story, since there were other intructions.
Your were told to be well dressed, even if the drummer looked like an escapee from a hog farm. Furthermore, there were those choreography instructions. Remain relatively immobile, no fucking jumping round, since all posturing, scowling and stage leering was the sole property of the singer and guitarist. With the exception of Sly Stone, these simple advices to organ players persist to this day.

Technology is nothing without human imput, namely Bobby, the Franks and Roberto aka Question Mark and the Mysterians.

96 Tears exemplifies my above remarks as well as being one of the seminal moments in the formation of Garage Band Culture, not to forget a royality stream to die for.
The Young Rascals were brilliant understudies with organ melody lines which set the bar, until the appearance of Prog Rock in the late Sixties, when the whole organ sound turned to shit. (See my negative views on Prog Rock via Musicology (One Of Three) – archived 19.6.2012).

There is no logical leap here, but I’m concluding with some Japanese surf tracks which recently caught my attention.
We have already noted that Japan embraced the surf band sound soon after The Ventures toured in 1962 and 1965.
Love the classic two finger melody line in this 1967 track by Takesha Teriuche and the Bunnys.

Terry meets the fan club.

Despite its industrial transformation since WW11, Japan remains very much a traditional society, so it isn’t surprising that the Japanese surf twang persists into this new century.
Chicche covering Pipeline in 2005

A few years later, Chicchi as a teenager. Note the classic organ players stance left side… neatly dressed, little body movement etc.

Now, if you’ve followed this nonsense thus far, you will also have noted that Ms Chicchi plays a Mosrite, so she is not a complete traditionalist as most surf reverb artists rely upon Fenders: Strats, Jaguars and Jazzmasters, and here I refer you to the highly specialised site and this particular post which gives you all the technical information you need to form your own band.

Look, if I continue in this vein, I’ll need counselling.

And, a warm welcome to the recent Japanese readers.

Surfers are back in Town: Part 3

February 26, 2013

Some weeks ago during the ill-fated Beijing Cream experiment, some commenting worm – obviously an individual with libido issues and fear of a healthy lifestyle – wrote that my sole purpose in life was to indulge a fetishist ie use the column to propagate photos of Japanese surfer girls wearing bikinis.

Well, I ask, what does one wear when cutting the waves apart? Wetsuits in cold water, bikinis or board shorts in warmer water. Obviously, this creature is an aficionado of the facekini or something equally silly.

Time to go on the public record. The Japanese surfer girl file is a public service, a bit like the weather report or Beijing’s daily pollution reading.

The Association of Surfing Professionals ASP World Tour for 2013 site HERE.

ASP Women’s World Ranking 59 – superhot Nao Omura.

Nao Omura

Nao Omura

ASP Junior Women’s World Ranking 9 – Minato Takahashi.
Minato Takahashi


ASP Women’s Longboard World Ranking 5 – Hiroka Yoshikawa.

Hiroka Yoshikawa

Hiroka Yoshikawa


ASP Women’s Longboard World Ranking 9 – Yuko Shimajiru

ASP Women’s Longboard World Ranking 25 – Hatsumi Ui

Hasumi Ui

Hasumi Ui

Finally, highly rated bodysurfer Minami Hatekayama.
Minami Hatekayama


Surfers are back in Town: Part 2

February 26, 2013

I was going to report on the Hainan Surfing Festival held January 23-30 this year, but decided it was just too Mickey Mouse with lousy wavelets and, to make matters worse, a male member of the Australian team wore a really fucking stupid bush hat during team photo ops. Anyway, you could see the pollution in the salt.

Whatever, I’m quite sure all participants trousered their appearance and prize money and said, ‘Lets get this gig out of the way, so we can return to (……) and get normal again”.

Hainan is is little more than a Sino-greedheads wet dream. Pity whats left of its old farming communities. Golf courses, a massive sex industry, high rise developments that would give Donald Trump multiple organisms, plus a submarine base disretely tucked away. You can explore Hainan’s coastline, plus wave and wind info etc using the Magic Sea Weed link HERE.

Two neat news reports today on the financial collapse of its Dubai copycat development Phoenix Island situated near its second city Sanya. Lets look at this eco-friendly monstrosity.
Sino architectural good taste

Tom Hancock of AFP reports that:

Chinese manufacturers once snapped up its luxury apartments, but with profits falling as a result of the global downturn many owners need to offload properties urgently and raise cash to repay business loans, estate agents said.

Now apartments on Phoenix Island which reached the dizzying heights of 150,000 yuan ($23,356) per square metre in 2010 are on offer for just 70,000 yuan ($10,899), said Sun Zhe, a local estate agent.

“I just got a call from a businessman desperate to sell,” Sun told AFP, brandishing his mobile phone as he whizzed over a bridge to the futuristic development on a electric golf cart.

“Whether it’s toys or clothes, the export market is bad… property owners need capital quickly, and want to sell their apartments right away,” he said. “They are really feeling the effect of the financial crisis.”
On the other side of Hainan, the Seaview Auspicious Gardens, boasts beachside villas accessed by artificial rivers and a private library containing 100,000 books, prices have fallen by a third from a high of 12,000 yuan per square metre in the last year, and a third of the flats remain unsold.

So much for a balanced economy, and I’m sure the library will get a real workout.

Max Fisher of The Washington Post asks Is This How The Collapse of The Chinese Property Market Begins?

Phoenix Island is an extreme case, but it’s in many ways symptomatic of China’s skyrocketing real estate market, which is both a blessing and a curse for China. A blessing because it helps to drive economic growth and domestic consumption, which the country’s economy needs more of to be healthy. It’s a curse because, as Americans are well aware, it can burst, pulling down much of the national economy with it.
In some ways (but not all), China is even more exposed to the dangers of a real estate collapse than America was.

Washington Post business reporter Jia Lynn Yang pointed out last fall that urban housing stock constituted 41 percent of Chinese household wealth of 2011. The number was 26 percent in the U.S. In other words, Chinese families tend to invest almost twice as much of their money in urban real estate than do American families. So, if you thought Americans were hit hard when that real estate suddenly lost value, it could be even worse for Chinese, who also tend to put much more of their earnings into long-term investments than do Americans.

And here’s the really scary number: 13 percent of Chinese GDP in 2011 came from real estate investment. 13 percent! If that investment stalls abruptly, as it did in Phoenix Island, the rest of the Chinese economy could follow.

There are are lot more nuances in the article, and it’s a recommended read since Patrick Chovanec provides that nuance.
Chovanec’s blog can be found HERE.

Okay, now its time to update my Japanese Surfer girl file next post.

Surfers are back in Town: Part One.

February 25, 2013

After a long hiatus and a bruising, rancorous month of posting on BeijingCream before being “holidayed”, time to return to my natural habitat.

New Year. New vistas. And definitely time to update our Japanese surfer girl file. However, before doing so, a quick peruse of a list of the 100 greatest surf songs is in order. While this is a musical genre (along with hotrod tunes) not exactly noted for originality or sonic excellence, it does celebrate a recreational activity to die for. Hot bodies, the right type of drugs and the capacity to ingest large quantities of sea water.

The list is linked HERE, and the closest I could get to a Japanese surfing theme was Mr Moto by the Belairs (1961).****

And, as all are aware, Mr Moto was the Japanese counterpart to Charlie Chan who was located across from the Senkaku Islands during the 1930s, both creatures drawn from the golden age of the pulps.

**** Get serious KT. That’s hogswash.

Fact. Japanese youth culture was first exposed to surf music in 1965 when The Ventures toured Japan, and like every innovative culture, this event spawned numerous local surf bands. For a taste of contemporary Jap surf sound try the first video in this LINK. Daikaiju (Green Monster in English). Crank up the volume and imagine Dick Dale if he was born in the Orient.

And, this reverb/fuzz thing isn’t just the preserve of the boys.

Try the 5 6 7 8s who definitely role modelled The Ronettes.


These grrls spell danger.

And, a dab hand at cribbing The Cramps: I Walk Like Jane Mansfield

That’s enough for today. (200 plus mls of rain in the last six hours.) The surfer girls on the current ASP 2013 table tomorrow.

More Japanese Grrrl Power

October 10, 2012

As I’ve just had a senior internet blog moment (cf. above post), it is time to return to our most recent theme.

Okay, okay, I will talk to my analyst about this fixation, but not today.

Body Surfer Minami Hatakeyama.

Video HERE at Pipeline.

International Body Board Assoc: 2012 Women’s World Tour rankings.

No. 7 – as above.

No.17 – Sari Ohhara

No. 19 – Mayumi Tone

And Japan is extremely well represented in the top 100.

Sari Ohhara

Finally, the Wedge at Newport Beach because it is a far out photo, thanks to

Now, before I sign off I think we should address a major issue confronted by male readers. I know all this luscious eye candy I have been providing is bringing to the fore your residues of Western christian guilt. The children and their mother are now noticing your continuous use of the minimize button.

“I think Dad is developing a major case of yellow fever”.
“No, he is turning into a fucking perverted Japanese salaryman”

So I am going to help you deal with those uncomfortable but nonetheless exciting feelings of guilt you are experiencing.

You can read Chapter One of Beauty Up: Exploring Contemporary Japanese Body Aesthetics HERE by Laura Miller @ UC Regents Press 2006. It must be academic since Miller quotes cultural and sub-cultural theorists Stuart Hall and Dick Hebdige, respectively.

Finally, if you have really descended into the depths of salaryman total depravity,

Sukeban lite

the e-journal Neojaponisme (quite a find) provides a long, referenced three part series on Gyaru teen girl culture.

Crikey KT. I waded through the whole three parts and I must be normal after all.

Sunday Photos

October 6, 2012

Belly Boarding: True. Hard to find any additional information on this photo, but I would wager that there is a Honolulu connection given long-standing Japanese migration to the former.

Akiko Kiyonaga. Photo: Rommel Gonzales. Nicagarua[/caption]
Two from Jeju Island where the locals talk funny.
Jeju Island where they talk funny.

Snowman. Hokkaido

Japanese surfer. Teahupoo. Total Death Wish

Sri Lanka

Typhoon surfing: Like being followed by an atomic bomb.

Same day photo.



Shonan Central Japan. Imamura Brothers

Miku Uemura. Ranking JSPA

Finally, and give it time to download – you will be rewarded – brilliant photos by Pedro Gomes on his Big Wave Report.

Sattelite map of Japans surf spots.


Feeding this vanity press is time consuming. Should there be a reader who would like to make a one-or-two-off post on this site, please mail:

Any piece which fits in with the overall world-view of this site is most welcome.

Time to feed the parrot.

Eat Your Heart Out China.

September 20, 2012

Its time for a surfing interlude featuring superhot Nao Omura, who is presently ranked 39 in the ASP World Womens Rankings.

Just a great image.

Nao’s girl file HERE.

And if you get the urge, Magicseaweed provides serious global surf forecasts.

And being an equal opportunity blogger, here are some great videos of Hiroto Arai – who I have already posted on – aged all of 18 and winning major competitions all over tubbyland.

HERE and hit videos.

The internet just keeps giving and giving.

Surf Art: Club of the Waves has to be the most exciting site I’ve discovered. Comprehensive and easy to navigate.

Check out the Japanese surf art (1-44 slides) by Mayumi Tsubokura, who has just about meet everybody in the pantheom. Judging by his interview, he has led a life most of us can only dream about.

Also a tremendous button opening onto the world of women surf artists here/a>.

Let’s pinch a preview example.

Colleen Malia Wilcox

A Free Kick, Surfing Update and a Sabbatical

February 18, 2012

Sometimes one has to cast diplomacy aside and exorcise the demons. And I will no doubt get flamed but who cares, and this brings me to the website Seeing Red in China and the gormless piece titled I Love China

As my wife, whom I love very much, reminds me from time to time, I assume too often that the readers of the blog actually know me. I hope this post helps you better understand where I am coming from as you read about the China that I know.

We then get the weblord’s whole (and insigificant) academic cv and history of self-sacrifice bringing ESL to the downtrodden in the Sino-back blocks. This, like many other entries, reads like the memoirs of a 19th US missionary in China grappling with strange customs, dysfunctional institutions, etc. Also, something of a renaissance man: book editor, sino sociologist, HR advocate etc, all enveloped within a liberal dose of good old Yankee self-promotion. And lets not even mention the mostly adulatory Greek chorus occupying the comments section. Now that I have this unpleasant task out of the way….


In the last Surf Report we trekked into very isolated south-east Tasmania, braved white pointers – a particularly vicious Noah – and surfed Shipstern Bluff.

Major league predator -the White Pointer cruises the Southern Oceans

Dr Phil Chapman surfer and medical emergency dude: Shipstern Bluff in background

Nice interview with Chapman in Zigzag.

But here is the news.

Kelly Nordstrom: 14 year old Tasmanian high school student.

The Tasmanian Mercury reports that 14 year old Kelly Nordstrom successfully surfed this humungous break. Could you imagine a power tiger mum in Shanghai or Beijing having a son like this? Nah. Myopic human calculators who have problems tying their shoe laces.

And while testing the limits, we should visit Pedra Blanca also located in south-east Tasmania and home to some interesting bird life. Not to be mistaken for Pedra Blanca off Brazil and another off Singapore.

Read about the wildlife HERE thanks to Simon Mustoe, and experience some mf… big waves with this 60 minute video The Storm Riders HERE. Link lazy. This is your mission.

Thanks to Storm Riders for this image of Pedra Branca

I was going to enter into the inane debate as to whether surfing should be included in the Olympics (alongside kiddie porn events such as gymnastics and synchronised swimming), but decided to continue with this visual essay.

The Telegraph hosts the 2012 Nikon Surf Photo of the Year.
Of the twenty entries, I went with this one in the above gallery of 20 images.

Photog: Ray Collins. The Sweet Spot

And a similar gallery – Australian Open of Surfing Women’s open event at Manly beachHERE. While Hawaiian Alana Blanchard in this set will give you heart palpitations, the rest of the entrants at this event will also sort out your yellow fever issues.

Rising female surfing stars (l-r), Dimity Stoyle, Ellie-Jean Coffey, Laura Enever, Sally Fitzgibbons, Tyler Wright, Nikki Van Dijk and Phillippa Anderson. Picture: Mark Evans

This is my 47th post on the new site, and since I am heading for a blog sabbatical for a few weeks, lets close with La Gondalrina by Jerry Fielding from Peckinpah’s Old Testament ode The Wild Bunch

Link didn’t take, but a cut and youtube paste is recommended.

Note: Being a publicity hound like most bloggers, another 24 posts can be found on my superceded site Garage Land:


A total of 71 entries since March 2011.

See you soon and take care.

Shipstern Bluff and Digital Technologies

February 13, 2012

Prologue. I was going to do a follow-up on the Bo-Wang power dance, but decided it was a pure waste of keyboard energy, since every Sino-expert and a few besides have waded into the speculation-reading of the tea leaves. Your guess as to what took place behind the Chinese curtain is as good as mine, and at least it does not assume any secret knowledge by an another academically tenured China expert, to wit Joseph Fewsmith.

You’re really talking, I think, about development models, where China goes from here,” says Joseph Fewsmith, an expert on Chinese elite politics at Boston University. “This takes on much broader ideological dimensions than anything we have seen in 20 years.” WSJ

As if domestic uber politics in China was/is so easily explained away with such a comprehensive all-knowing text bite.

And a holiday in the Caribbean for the reader who takes me to task for an absolute factual howler.

Now to the main course and a further supplement to my Surfing File, which is certainly the sport of kings after the horsies. After all, surfing was introduced to tubbyland in 1915 by the legendary Hawaiian waterman (which is the correct term) Duke Kahanamoku. Okay, lets not quibble. A Duke is a sort of King in training.

Now, lets look for some pre- and post-modern contrasts ushered in by the digital age. In a pre-post-modernist history, board riders adopted the Captain Goodvides approach to professionalism and built their courage on the big waves with a mix of chicks, booze and drugs.

Captain Goodvibes: sexist, disgusting and excessive

At a more professional level, we have this b/w photograph by Alby Falzon capturing Gregg Noll descending into the biggest wave ever at Makaha, North Shore on Dec 4, 1969, and the excellent supporting read is found HERE.

Greg Noll: the surfer who broke through the fear at Makaha

Only thing is there were multiple cameras at Makaha in 1969. Tracks cofounder and surf filmmaker, Alby Falzon had several. Falzon hawk-eyed the action all day from an apartment overlooking the point. He watched the swell build, the first guys paddle out and the last guys get washed in. When he wasn’t looking directly at the ocean, he was squinting through his 500mm lens or making adjustments to his 16mm film rig. Falzon shot rolls of film that day including, he maintains, a three shot sequence of Noll’s famous wave.

Water-proofed film and digital cameras amped up the possibilities of getting right into the wave action, as evidenced by these truly magnificent images: HERE.

And being a pirate, here is a sample.

Mark Healey, Backdoor Pipeline, Hawaii. April issue, 2009. Photo: Pat Stacy

To date, the State of Tasmania has been noted for possibly the most vicious penal system run by the British Foreign Office in the heyday of Empire. Try reading For the Term of his Natural Life by Marcus Clark. Within the pantheon of national humour, it is also noted for its mullet haircuts, plaid shirts and isolated, inbred Deliverance-type communities.

Thanks to DW TV, or at least the very non-teutonic, drop-dead- gorgeous anchor person, channel surfing abruptly halted, and Shipsterm Bluff came into view. Just so we are on the same page, here is the location.

Shipstern Bluff: South East Tasmania cold as hell and in the middle of nowhere

As most surf broadcasting sites delight in telling us, Shipstern Bluff is rarely crowded and beware of rips, rocks, isolation and sharks. Not surprising, given its location in an equally forgotten past appendage of Empire. Nonetheless, this is the spot for you if you have organised your affairs (ie prepared a will and kissed your loved ones). Google images HERE.

Returning to the technology thread, it occurred to this scribbler that we have now crossed over into a post-modernist phase in surfing history. Take Jeff Rowley big wave surfer from Victoria. Big wave stuff is truly a team and corporate sponsorship effort these days. You need the board dude who knows no fear, a highly experienced wave rider team for tow-ins and rescues, plus your own dedicated videographer, in Rowley’s case his gf Minnie Voung. And the final ingredient, some basic keyboard skills and your own website.

I fail to understand people who focus on the dystopian aspects of the digital world at the expense of outcomes such as this which give autonomy and control over their surfing lifestyle. To be sure, this autonomy is strewn with sponsorship deals, but hey, the clothing, logos etc are also pretty cool.