Reporter at Large: Converse Coastal Carnage 2012.
Posted By Jason – 07.08.2012
I attended Converse Coastal Carnage at the 2012 Nike US Open of Surfing in Huntington over the weekend, and, my God, it wasn’t just a mouthful– it was an eye-opener too. Picture 300-gazillion kids in bathers surging in and out and around a bunch of huge, flag-flapping pavilions on a beach, on a beautiful day, on the west coast of America. Picture it? Ok, that’s what it looked like. Now picture me: pale, out of shape, and old enough to have sired some of these little fuckers. Gross.
I flew in on Friday afternoon and checked into my hotel. Then, knowing I'd be meeting other junketeers for dinner, I went straight to the bar. It’s always good to have a beer and a shot before attempting to make a good impression, especially if you’re as socially retarded as I am. Ask around; I’m weird when I’m sober.
So had a couple of drinks and then made my way down to Main St. and the Mexican restaurant we were having dinner at. Main St. was insane. I’ve never seen so many people wearing skate/surf attire in my life. I felt embarrassed for not sporting a company logo bigger than the Levis tag on my bum. And where were the parents of all these half naked girls? Everywhere I looked I saw ample-breasted teenagers jiggling about in less fabric than it would take to construct a beret for a cat. I’m not complaining; I enjoy having a clearly visible erection in a crowded place, but I worry for the parents.
I was the first person to arrive at the Mexican restaurant, so I ordered a beer and waited for everyone else to show up. The lady next to me at the bar said Phew, for no particular reason, and I said right back to her, ‘No shit. You wouldn’t believe the week I’m having.’ In the last seven days my uncle has died of dementia, my Grandpa died of being in his 80s, and my fiancé ran off with an equestrian with a face like a crushed bucket. This is all true, and I put it down here in the hope of getting some well-deserved sympathy blowjobs. (firstname.lastname@example.org). I’m also committing this to record in a humorous way to see if it makes me feel better…Nope!
Suddenly, everyone else showed up and I began making my good impression, which, funnily enough, involved several good impressions, the best being Sale of the Century’s Tony Barber. Unfortunately, these six scribes from various magazines were American, and my T-Bone act was lost on them.
We were seated for dinner and, not wanting to appear overly greedy, I asked if they served Swan. They didn’t, so I ordered the shrimp ceviche. Dinner was great. Everyone was chatting and gagging and having a good time. I got chatting to an old lady at an adjacent table and I told her and everyone in listening distance that I would guess her name in three guesses. Brenda? No. Lorna? No. Carol? Bing! She fished her driver’s license out and indeed her name was Carol. There was some applause and then I bent some spoons.
After dinner we trudged off to a Nike SB party where I saw people I have only ever seen in the pages of skate mags. Eric Koston was there and I got my second visible erection for the day.
I was very drunk when the party ended, and it felt good, like nothing mattered anymore, so I went with everyone to a bar down the street and drank more. I’m not proud of how much I drank; it just happened. At the bar I met a bunch of industry folks from Australia and I gave them a bit of the ol’ Tony Barber. After that I don’t remember anything. Apparently, I went up a front lawn and propositioned some ladies through the window of their home. Apparently, they all pointed to their wedding rings and told me to fuck off. Apparently, I told them it was their loss because I’m hung like a Coke can.
In the morning I woke sprawled across my bed, still in my clothes, with a Converse sticker on my face. There were two little cheese graters playing tag inside my skull, so I went and vomited until I wept. Then I had a shower, got dressed, and made my way down to the beach.
Although it was barely 10AM, things were in full swing: kids everywhere, music blaring, full tilt action sports festival. It was incredible. I found the other guys from the press junket in the Converse media tent. They were all in good form, darting around taking pictures and interviewing the pros and generally doing their job. I was a mess. The week’s horrors had coasted in on my hangover and it was all I could do to not ask Kenny Anderson for a hug.
Here is the interview I did with Kenny.
So how’s Huntington so far? You want to get out of here, right?
No, no, I love it.
I am! What sucks is I just got back from Barcelona three days ago and I spent 32 hours in bed. I just got here this morning and I haven’t been able to skate.
You slept for 32 hours?
On and off, yeah.
What’s wrong with you?
I got jetlag and I’m congested.
You should go do yoga with those people in the street (there were people doing yoga in the street). Did you see that?
Yeah, it’s pretty funny.
What’s going on here? This is my first time in the OC and it’s bananas!
Ha ha ha.
These people need to chill out and have a cigarette and some heroin.
Yeah, it’s definitely a healthy lifestyle out here.
So you’re sick and you can’t skate.
I don’t want to say I’m sick. I’m gonna sweat it out.
You’re missing out, man. The bowl looks really fun.
I know. I tried to skate it just now and I was going the opposite way to the bowl. It was still fun, but…
But you’re messed up.
Yeah. But even on my best day in the bowl I couldn’t compete with these guys. They’re so fucking gnarly.
Yeah, there’re some amazing skaters here. I saw Tosh Townend in there; he’s grown into Thor but with dreadlocks. (Greyson Fletcher bent the bowl over a trashcan and fucked its ass off, by the way. I know that’s powerful and offensive language, but you should’ve seen him. Also, Corey Duffle was in attendance, but when Lemmy showed up looking for his head, he left.)
Ha ha ha (Kenny doesn’t laugh like a robot. I just don’t like to write ‘laughter’. That’s for fags.)
So what will you do, just interviews here in the tent?
No, we got a demo tomorrow, and I’ll help commentate today with the qualifiers for the bowl, and also the Dam Am street course.
Who do you like here today? This is my first ‘interview’ question.
Tom (Remillard) is killing it. He won last year, so we’ll see what he’s got this year. (This year Tom came in 11th. Ben Raybourn took the big bucks.) Um, who else…Robbie Russo, I love watching him, he’s one of my favorites. Everyone, everyone is destroying this thing.
How badly do you want a beer right now, Kenny?
Man, I’m good with water.
I recommend you have a beer. I feel bad for you, dude.
I know, thanks.
You gotta sit here and do toxic fucking interviews like this one and…
Dude, to tell the truth I woke up and was like, (sigh)‘Gosh,’ but I’m here now and there’s a breeze, and I’m on the beach, I’m outdoors, y’know? It’s so much better than being in bed.
You should take a dip in the ocean and clear all the boogers out of your head.
Yeah, I’ll probably do that.
I got another interviewy question: what were you gonna be when you grew up?
I wanted to be an architect!
Yeah. I started going to college doing liberal arts, just to get in there. I also nearly joined the military. I was sponsored at the time, but I never thought about skateboarding (for a living).
You grew up in Vegas, right?
How was that?
It was cool.
Was it weird?
Well, I didn’t know any different so it wasn’t weird. But now when I go back…
You go there for Christmas?
Yeah. And you know what’s good? I get to see all my friends and family who I grew up with there, so I love Vegas for that.
Cool. Do you gamble?
Rarely. I gamble if friends want to go and gamble. I’m not like a ‘Gambler’ though. I saw too much of it as a kid.
You know the dangers of it.
When you were a kid in Vegas did you ever see dudes wandering around with their pants around their ankles, all fucked up and covered in shit because they lost everything?
Yeah, you see lives lost, man. You see friends in Gamblers Anonymous, you see people living cheque-to-cheque, families falling apart, and then you see drugs…
It’s your own fault, you know? You think the jackpot is so close, and then…
It’s so, so sad. Jesus. Can I get a hug, man?
Nothing. Ok thanks for talking to me.
That’s cool. Thanks for doing that Amazon trip (MC #...), that was one of my favorite times ever.
No problem. Take it easy. Feel better, dude.
Yeah, thanks. Nice to meet you, Jason.
After that, I drank some Redbull and watched the comps and then went back to my hotel to feel sorry for myself and finish off the onion rings, buffalo wings, and pizza I don’t remember ordering to my room the night before. Here are the results of the event.
Converse Coastal Carnage Results: 1. Ben Raybourn ($20,000) 2. Ben Hatchell ($15,000) 3. Curren Caples ($10,000) 4. Pedro Barros 5. Ben Raemers 6. Greyson Fletcher 7. Aaron “Jaws” Homoke 8. Ronnie Sandoval 9. Kevin Kowalski 10. Charlie Blair 11. Tom Remillard 12. Raney Beres 13. Robby Russo 14. Riley Stevens 15. Lance Mountain.
Check out video foo-tage HERE!
Knock Knock is a free online arts publication featuring interviews from artists from the street and graffiti scene. Issue 4 ‘Travel’ features some household names and some great emerging talent including Ben Quilty, Mark Drew, Geoffrey Lillemon, Dave Cragg, Sobekcis, Sheryo & The Yok, Onur Gulfidan, Rosek, Haribow, Maaden, Beatrix Curran, Kate Florence Knowlden, Val Kelmer, Jess Howell, Robyn Aubrey, Arman Nobari, Embassy, Spoonty and DoubleTrouble.
Coming this November, The Wolf of Wall Street is Martin Scorsese’s latest film depicting the true story of Jordan Belfort’s high profile lifestyle including women, drugs, partying, fast cars and more money than he knew what to do with. “The year I turned 26, I made $49 million, which really pissed me off because it was three shy of $1 million a week”.
Today I made a list of awesome things that happened last week. In backwards order, it reads:
4. Got a sink-sized tub of blueberries from Costco
3. Got a two-pack of Nutella from Costco
2. Got a new TV from Costco
1. Surfer Blood's new album Pythons came out.
Pythons is a great album. I've been told by numerous friends that it sounds like Weezer, so if you're a Weezer fan, you'll love this! Except, I never got into Weezer and I still love it, so you're kind of covered either way. I actually think this album sounds how Blink 182 could have sounded like if they had more musical talent and sang through their mouths instead of nostrils.
I'll let you decide for yourself, but the best tracks here are album opener 'Demon Dance' and 'Squeezing Blood', though the whole album is packed with catchy hooks and super meaty badass guitar riffs. If the uncontested greatest Nintendo game of all time, California Games, was re-released, I think this would be the soundtrack. I could jump the shit out of banana skins while rollerskating to this album.
What is really clear throughout Pythons is the Florida four-piece's profound understanding and precise execution of 'the chorus'. Surfer Blood masters the art of the chorus - everything leads to there, and when it arrives, you know it. And once you get a taste, you know you'll be back for more. After 9 solid tracks of head nodding, shoulder popping, surface tapping and weird behind closed doors neck jerking, 'Prom Song' sends you off on a more refined note before letting it all hang out at the end. Kind of like how a shark quietly approaches a surfer, then locks it's jaws around them, then really lets loose. Also, blood.
Thanks for making a week of stellar Costco purchases even better, Surfer Blood! (sick name, by the way.)