Posted by: cedarsurf | May 30, 2010

Empty Net First Star

Bit of a stinker in the first game of the 2010 Stanley Cup Final. As a member of the goaltending bretheren I am reluctant to criticize the goalies but…The empty net for the Flyers at the end of the game stopped more shots then either goalie as it recorded the first shut out of the Stanley Cup.
One has to feel bad for Flyers goalie Michael Leighton who stepped up from the back up position to take oover for Brian Boucher early in the series and really helped carry the Flyers to the playoffs.Leighton had been brilliant since taking over in the second round. He entered the game with a 6-1 record, including three shutouts, after replacing an injured Boucher in the Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Boston Bruins. Leighton entered with a 1.45 goals-against average and save percentage of .948. He was pulled after giving up his fifth goal in just 20 shots. Sports Crap says that he has earned the right to start the next game for the Flyers but I would be surprised to see him there. Tough Call.
As far as Niemi goes in the Black Hawks goal he was shakey -but full marks to HNIC commentator and former goalie Kelly Hrudey, who said that the Black Hawks should keep him in net for the third. Hrudey pointed out that Niemi is a fighter and indeed in the third he played a very solid period.
Hopefully game two will look more like an NHL Stanley Cup Final as opposed to an NHL All-Star Game .
Beside the last time the Black Hawks were in Lord Stanley’s Final they won 7-5 against the black Hawks and two pretty good golies named Dryden and Esposito were between the pipes.

Posted by: cedarsurf | May 27, 2010

Surfing With the Devil

When I was  in Alexandria, Egypt recently this article appeared in the Alexandria Today (the text at the top of the page). The article states that surfing is a new sport to Egypt and that it might be too expensive for a lot of people because a surfboard costs 1,500 Egyptian pounds-about $300.

The surfer in the photos is Hazinm Hozny. He will be teaching surfing in Alexandria this year. The first person to ever offer surfing lessons in Egypt.

What I like about the whole page is Osama Bin Laden and his call to surf in the corner. Always knew he was a Dude.

Posted by: cedarsurf | May 23, 2010

Hockey = Rape?

Laura Robinson thinks that if you cherish the young boys in your life, you should keep them away from the game of hockey.

“I would never let a boy I cared about be in hockey,” Robinson told the Georgia Straight in a phone interview from Ontario.

Robinson, a freelance journalist and author of Crossing the Line: Violence and Sexual Assault in Canada’s National Sport (McLelland & Stewart, 1998), has spent the past 18 years looking at sexual-assault cases involving hockey players. She said she was horrified to discover a “subculture of rape and violence in hockey beginning at the junior level”, and she claims that nothing has changed from the time she started her research.

Check the above link and reach your own conclusions but I find that she is painting with a pretty broad brush.

So what does golf lead to?

Bad pants….

Posted by: cedarsurf | May 21, 2010

Surfing In Alexandria,Egypt

Alexandria,Egypt-Women on the beach in burqas and hijabs look out on boys on boards in Quiksilver and Reef wear as four muslim men turn their back to the waves spread a carpet on the sand and bow to Mecca in prayer. A man with a bushy beard cups his hands and calls out to the faithful. I imagine a surreal cheesy beach blanket bingo movie, the bearded man a crazy beatnik yelling Beach Party! Alas, no.

The group are gathered at Shatby beach opposite the Biblioteca Alexandria- a modern commemoration of the Library of Alexandria that was lost in antiquity- on the North coast of Egypt. Alexandria has historically been a place of learning. It’s a city that has attracted poets and writers for thousands of years. Now surfers have recently begun to discover its charms.

Around the corner from the Biblioteca young women in designer jeans, sunglasses and shoes topped with head covering hijabs (suggesting to my eye sexy discretion rather than religious oppression) talk and text into mobile phones while young men walk arm in arm (a common expression of affection here) and file into the University of Alexandria’s, Faculty of Arts.

One can’t help but notice the thongs that pop up from the back of the girl’s pants like a call to a different sort of devotion. Allah apparently does not approve of panty lines.

A royal blue VW bug that apparently died years ago sits like a mummy under a dusty car cover. It’s  license plates read Alex in english followed by Arabic numerals.

Out on the streets traditional falafel huts, ornamental rug shops and coffee shops where men sit and smoke the hubbly –bubbly mix with fast food franchises from America including KFC, Domino’s and Pizza Hut. Alexandrian’s are friendly, curious and courteous but it is much more likely you will be engaged by a man than a woman.

The shore is shadowed by a 30 kilometre seawall. The cement barricades that follow the sea wall are covered in arabic graffiti and along the wall women in hijabs and burqas and men line it. Much litter like a modern, slower decomposing midden covers the ground. Everywhere Alexandria is confronted and confounded by the archaeological remains of its remarkable past and the realities of its present.

Guarding the outer arm of Alexandria’s Eastern Harbour harbour and visible from Shatby beach is Qait Bey Citadel constructed in the late 15th Century by a Mameluk sultan. Over the years, however, the waves of the Mediterranean Sea have continually gnawed at its northeastern perimeter and erosion has become an ever-present threat to the integrity of the site.

A seemingly banal attempt to deal with coastal erosion the construction of a mere sea wall has triggered passionate debates over how best to manage Alexandria’s cultural past in the face of contemporary urban and industrial realities.

Close to 200 blocks, each weighing several tons, were deposited on the sea floor along the vulnerable northeastern perimeter of the site. These efforts to protect the Citadel an unforeseen impact upon another archaeological site of significance. Hidden beneath the waves and partly buried under bottom sediments were the ruins of the Alexandria Lighthouse Pharos, one of the seven wonders of the Ancient World. Unwittingly, the cement sea wall was being raised on the vestiges of the lighthouse.

Racing beside the Med is a seemingly mad river, the Corniche a road that runs along the eastern harbor of Alexandria and gives this area its name. It is crazy busy night and day with ubiquitous black and yellow Lada taxi cabs. Autos have customized horns that blare a musical Caraoke above the roar of the waves. Driving in Alexandria is an extreme sport.

I am here to meet Teymour Adham,35 an Egyptian Canadian who grew up in Agami Beach just 30 kilometres west of here. For decades Adham was the lone surfer in Egypt. In the last three years that has changed as Adham and the organization Surfing the Nations have worked with local Bedouin kids to teach them surfing and provide them with boards.

Adham left Agami at the age of nine to live in Montreal with his family but retuned every summer to Egypt. At Agami Adham initially surfed on a homemade boogie board that his father made for him. At the age of 14 a Lebanese-American brought a surfboard to Agimi and Adham caught the bug. “ I told him ‘you are not leaving Egypt with this board.’” The following summer an Australian professional surfer named Randy Chapman showed up . “He taught me how to surf but also how to appreciate what we have.”

At the time Adham’s first passion was tennis. He went to a tennis academy in Florida where he earned a tennis scholarship to Brigham Young University in Hawaii. “I went to Hawaii with two tennis rackets and came back with two surfboards.” The Hawaiian locals were intrigued by the idea of a kid from Egypt who actually surfed and took Adham under wing.

Just in from a session at Shatby is a young man with broad shoulders and narrow hips, the sort of boy-man who would give the homosexual poet Cavafy fits. Cafavy lived here in Alexandria in the early 20th century at the height of his legendary poetic talent above a bordello just around the corner from the Greek Orthodox Church of St. Saba. “Where could I live better?,” wrote Cavafy. “Below the brothel caters for the the flesh. And there is the church which forgives sin.” Cavafy was followed here by the writers E.M. Forster, Lawrence Durrell and Somerset Maugham all who wrote here in a wave of colonial angst.

I smile at the boy, point to the waves, my heart and make a surfing motion with my hand. The young man smiles and flashes me the universal hang loose sign. He ignores the disdainful stinkeye of the devout man on the mat.

Grant Shilling

Posted by: cedarsurf | May 20, 2010

Surfing in Afghanistan


Location:                   Kabul Province, Kabul City, District 2, Murad Khani
Incident type:            Late Spring Tide
Date/Time:               21 May 2010, morning
Report Source:          NGO
Information:              Every seven years a combination of events leads to a surge in the Kabul River producing a well of water, which some of Afghanistan’s more intrepid surfers take advantage of. Late spring snowfalls (which Panjshir has experienced), rapidly melting snow and the lunar cycle all converge to create a once in every seven year opportunity. The 21 May, when the moon is exactly between the new and full moons, is the scheduled date when a surge of water is sent into the Kabul River from the Ghorband and Panjshir river networks. The natural occurring cycle peaks in the narrow water ways in Kabul City. In April 2003, at least 20 Afghan surfers braved the temperatures and the debris to gather in Murad Khani where the swell evolves into a wave suitable for surfing  (colloquially known as ‘Jazira Kalan’ in Dari or Long Reef in English). In the past some surfers have been able to ride the wave for several hundred metres inspiring delight from the crowds along the riverbank. This year’s event is expecting several hundred spectators as well as approximately two dozen participants or surfers. The spring tide does not present any risk for spectators except those on the edge of the riverbank who may be over zealously supporting the men in the water. Although the local carpenters do a brisk trade prior to the event, the use of wooden surfboards is usually the sole cause of any resultant casualties amongst the surfers. A panel of judges, accurately reflecting the social and political dynamics of the area, awards points for both style and longevity. Mukhtar Hussein (Kabul) was the winner of the 2003 contest followed by Farid Parwani (Kabul).
Assessment:              The event marks the unity of purpose of the Afghan government and the international community. The event, although originally a rather haphazard sort of affair, originally involving the use of slim river boats, is now endorsed by the Kabul Government. NGOs have undertaken capacity building exercises for aspiring young surfers; IOs are advising on the makeup of the judging panel; IMF is keeping an eye on the event from their balloon in the sky and foreign embassies, although unable to be present, have provided the important funding.
Advisory:                   Due to the size and power of the waves, Big Island Style Guns (a type of surfboard) are recommended as the face is expected to reach 8ft (almost three metres).

Posted by: cedarsurf | April 23, 2010

Moscow Dynamo –

The crazy, anarchical gangsta- capitalism that has defined Mother Russia since the fall of the iron curtain has now reached the rink.

As reported on TSN’s website the Moscow Dynamo’s dynasty is about to crumble.The Dynamo as far as hockey dynaties go are the equivalent of the Montreal Canadiens. Established in 1946 and the winner of nine national titles, two Spengler Cups and one IIHF European Champions Cup, Dynamo is considered as one of the truly elite hockey teams in Russia’s history.  They have produced such legends as Valeri Vasiliev and Alexsander Maltsev and more recently the likes of Alex Kovalev, Alexei Yashin and Alexander Ovechkin.

They may be a victim of the ambitions of the KHL.As in most situations of this ilk, the central issue appears to be money, but as most things are when dealing with the KHL, it may not be that simple.

“Hockey in Russia is not business but is more of a social program,” explained Dmitry Chesnokov., a longtime Dynamefan and contributoir to Yahoo’s Puck Daddy. “People pay between $5 and $20 to see a game. The bulk of the money comes from sponsorships. And Dynamo’s sponsors decided not to invest in the team anymore. Dynamo’s revenues cannot sustain the expenses the team has. As strange as it sounds, the oldest club in Russia does not even have its own arena.”

Posted by: cedarsurf | April 22, 2010

Bodysurfing, Travel, and the Dead

Tried to get up to Tofino this week, but alas-seems I’m always trying to get to Tofino.

Aaron Marshall Time Machine

This typing finds me playing The Mermen’s new cd ,In God We Trust a superb package of music and artwork-Brother Jim -D’A Bull- Thomas continues in his ocean evocative vibe, mastering dreamy guitar chords, both meditative and menacing -the man has a true gift.

Along those lines Brother Aaron Marshall, supplies the back cover art for The Mermen’s CD. Aaron (whom I got to know in Tofino) is a superb talent with a tremendous painting gift  and on the back cover he brings together a beach Jesus holding a three string longboard with his arm around a weeping Hitler who is holding a flopped over impotent red longboard with a background of waves. and sea monkey size depictions of an alien with a board, a couple of cupids on phallic longboards (are they all phalic-is it all about size?) framing a cyclops octopus with a space helmet light bulb for a head -all while a porky the pig like devil and a green Rodin thinker looK on. Great Stuff.

Th CD itself has a representation of Maverick’s Giant Grant Washburn’s wave chart. a calendar grid of waves their size and shape both circle the cd itself and  form the middle panel of the fine artwork package.A picture from a church road side announcement board declares:

Surfers,Saints and Sinners Are Always Welcome!

Well done guys.

Next week finds me in further bodysurfing, travel and the  dead  mode with some surf  mummies, in Alexandria ,Egypt. I hope to get back to you about it.

Jinx Proof-Aaron Marshall

This ditty is from the Cedar Surf ( ) Vaults.

Bodysurfing, Travel, and the Dead

by Grant Shilling

Such a beautiful fish
Flopping in the summer sand
Looking for a wave you missed when another one is close at hand
Neil Young, Zuma

Was it mushy?
Or was it Pooey?
Or Mushy-Mushy
Talksurf Tofino

A week of sleeping under the stars sure changes the human voice. Makes it disappear… until the sound of human voices awakens me. Hope you’re outside, or under atree, or by the sea, or crawlin up into bed (ahem) with me to read this one. I’ll come up with some words and you can fill in the blanks with blanks – in silence is nature.

I write this beside a big pile of bear pooh in the stump-dump, (a swamp behind the Wickaninish Elementary School)–that is no longer a dump. Wood and rust plowed over and more or less back to swamp. At one time I’d come here for great wood scores–logging or carpenter (mainly red cedar) discards.
The school is quiet with its wooden baseball bleachers making a person-to-person call to Shoeless Joe. [Speaking of Shoeless, actually Vans shoes, there are a lot of shrubbies here. Shrubbies are urban kids come to love and live off each other and hang around the CIBC bank in th centre of town (what gives?) ‘til the weather changes in the fall and they head back to school. Predictable targets the shrubs. But hey, if you are a local-–it’s only sporting.]

When Captain Cook first met the local native population, they said “Nootka, Nootka.” (Translation: “Go around, Go around”) to which Cook responded:

“They are called the Nootka.”

And when the local go-rounders saw Cook and Clan they noticed their shoes and called them “ The men with wooden feet.”

There has been a lot of curious interactions around here lately-something both locals and those just passing through share- bears. Bears cominng into town, bears hunted by sport killers and bears protected by humans.

Sitting around the Pod coffee shop the other day somebody ventured” Bears are like bees; you don’t bother them and they don’t bother you.”

“Whoever said that about bees?,”enquired a friend.

“Yeah I saw one the other day,” says a friend. “ It was headed in the opposite direction with its paws across its gall bladder.”

There is a beautiful woodcarved bear here. Very Yogi at Yosemite–great and goofy.

Bear pooh to ground me. Sitting back here behind the school conjures Tofino, the town (as opposed to the wilds around). The day–to-day, work, not play, town. Tofino in winter. Or Tofino at the legion. Or Tofino the house party. The Tofino of Welcome to our Town Everybody Smokes. An Everclear “Real small town.”

Home of endless flirtation. What, not flirting? Are you running out of bait or do you not have any hooks?

In Tofino, we also have the wheel–there is as much angst, hustle, greed, work-damage, beauracracy (more so, Bylaw officer shuts down ice cream stand–decency prevails–I scream, you scream,we all scream for…“Go round! Go round!”)

Yet, the potential for departure, or feeling for it is infinite. Tofino is a dock and to be truly in touch with the place you have to know the water or the woods. And there are many people here who are living or re-making that story. The closest I think I will ever feel to being an astronaut was out on The Stroller going up to Nootka Sound in the middle of the wild blue yonder. And docking at a small pox dock in Yuqot (trans. “Where the four winds blow.”), where one family now lives alone, where once there was many. I saw a small child look at us from a doorway. We docked but didn’t go ashore, the pier was way too rotten.

While there is something dawn-of-the–dead about tourists, there can be something lovely and oh-so Canadian about a family on vacation for two weeks. (Especially if you’re not in that family in some cases, I suppose ). But still…

I woke up under a tree in “Ukie” (Ucluelet) the other day and beside me under the next tree was this Quebecois family speaking French, munching homemade sandwiches fresh from the car and talking about the cinq bateaus in front of us. Down at the dock there was this guy, so white, covered in unsocialized, tattoos (tattoos before you were born), with a big beard and a bigger gut, we were watching him broil like like a tube steak on the dock. A Harley–before you were born–guy roared up to him to say hello.

There were so many eagles there you could almost take them for granted. (For the first time ever here I saw seagulls flying in a V-goose formation!) And, of course, I wanted one of those sandwiches the family was munching on. Egg salad, please, may I just for a short while–be part of your family.

We were all watching a fisher fix his seining net which he unspooled onto the dock at Ucluelet. (Ucluelet, by the way , is 40 km down the road from Tofino on the other side of Pacific Rim national Park. It is the Hatfield to Tofino’s McCoy.) The redneck to Tofino’s (yikes!) hippies. Which, of course, captures nothing–but is a hook nonetheless. Whatever.

I like Ukie because between its overly–um–harvested hills, its industry and greasy spoon Smiley’s Bowling Alley and Restaurant, it reminds me a bit of the East End in Vancouver.

Further notes ( connect the stars…)

I was down by the side of Departure Bay Road, by the Esso there in Nanaimo dwelling on the Miasma of Kundalini and the fuck cure, dualities and travel between Tofino and Vancouver all while I hitchiked when Father Frank Salmon,yup his real name, of Ahousat stops to pick me up.

He is going all the way to Tofino, but he has to stop at the Costco and Walmart in Nanaimo first. O.K.?

“I’ve got no appointments.”

It was my first Costco experience.Very Gulliver’s travels and I’m the small and the Life cereal is larger than…We were buying flats and flats of Pepsi for the good people of Ahousat, a native village on Flores Island (off Tofino). We also bought a lot of motor oil for boats and flour.

The Costco was big and bland and stocked like some kind of successful socialism–that weird. Since I’ve been there I’ve had this feeling that I’m a giant lemon poppyseed Costco muffin moving through it all.

I had been picked up one time before by Father Salmon. It was Christmas Eve day and it was snowing and I was outside Tim Horton’s there in Nanaimo. It didn’t look good. But the father, um..saved me. Horton was there to knock aside any rebounds .

On that trip I just had to ask Salmon why natives needed a priest. (Sort of like why a fish needs a fisherman.)

This time there was no way I was to talk about the Kundalini cure, with Salmon there. It would be like talking to a rock about basketball, or something. (At least I truly hope so.)

We had a pleasant enough ride and let the scenery do the talking for us. I guess the one philosophical question we touched on was how tourists experience place as opposed to locals–what are they getting/missing/seeing that locals do or don’t?

And, of course , we concluded thatwe are all just passing through.

My first night back in Tofino I went to a birthday party for a surfer girl. Dave brought a salmon that he caught earlier that day, Paula brought mussels fresh from the sea, and there was even hummus fresh from the chick pea. Good grub, good energy, good music and just the right amount of party favours present.

For a lot of surfers the day starts with the marine broadcast (echoing the activity of fishers). Some gale up in the Queen Charlottes becomes a mysterious force that will or won’t work its way down to us. And the surfer kids drive up and down the Pacific Rim during the day to check the surf. And the day begins to feel like this giant wave of energy building.

In the past five or six years Tofino has had a real resurgence in interest in surfing. It has brough a new crowd and a labour force for the currently mysteriously low (lack of good weather? lack of Fish? ) tourist crowds. One more change for Tofino.

With all this enthusiasm over surfing I thought it was going to be my next big career move. But I find the necessity of a board, wetsuit, car (optional) and crowd (optional) and money for these things too much – for now.

Instead I began to catch some waves in the cold, cold water here after my jogs on the beach. I’ve built upa high resistance to the cold and can stay in the water for up to 45 minutes.

Riding sets of waves, walking back and forth in the coolgreen/blue water, arms flapping in a big bird hug for stretch and heat, I wait for the wave. Then as it approaches I jack out straight and flat as if to do a racing dive riding the top of the foam- and then…Ride!

Doing this cold water surf can change my whole day. The wave and the feeling stays with you. I think that’s what I felt at that party that night.
Bodysurfing is this total body rush that seems to be a gigle that the unvierse has to offer. For me its like consciousness surfing.

After a surf I often walk up the road ( Pacific Rim Highway ) to the cemetary. I enter, gentle and true. Rest assured that if Tofino is changing the cemetary isn’t.

The Tofino cemetary is a small patch cut into the forest surrounded by a picket fence.The cemetary gives you easy access to the “inside”( the inlet of the ocean is calm and lake like. At low tide the inlet is a mud flat, which offers up critters and creatures and green islands and green hills in the distance.)
The snowcapped peaks of Strahcona Park (between Campbell River and Gold River) are clear and predominate from here. You can hear the echo of the “outside” surf from here.

I came to the cemetary for the same reasons I surf, I suppose, the silence and the nature. The peace. They say the sea is like a womb.

I set up at the back of the cemetary outside of the perimeter of the fence. I get naked in the hot sun and move between shade and silence, reading and walking amongst the naked and the dead.

Some visitors to a grave marking an early death leave some fresh flowers. A couple of tourists pull up, don’t get out of their car, turn around, and drive away. Maybe I should’ve waved them in.

I feel myself walking up the pathway of the cemetery looking at simple wood or stone markers considering history as I look up over the white picket fence in the dense forest.

Terminal City July 18-24,1996

Magic Bunny Aaron Marshall

Rock & Roll Road Kill, Kill, Kill!

by Grant Shilling

“Most people our age are taking their kids to Disneyland,” says Ralph. “We are driving 1,000 miles to see a rock band from Sweden. Weird.”

Weirder yet we’ve rented a Buick Regal – the type of car you drive the kids to Disneyland in. Ralph is used to his chopper or pick up and I’m used to my thumb.

“We’re going all the way till the wheels fall off and burn,” I say to the Don Knotts looking car rental agent after he gives us the keys. “You did say unlimited mileage didn’t you?”

Twisting in our seats as we approach the border we try to look Citizen Sane, little did we know the Buick would take care of this for us. A Buick Regal makes border crossings for big bearded guys easier ( trust us ).

We eat junk; our hormones have been released from Main St., Tofino. Every car offers possibility. We know about appearance, we comb our beards.

The band from Stockholm is The Nomads. They are playing in Sacramento and San Francisco on the last two nights of their American tour. The last time The Nomads played North America they didn’t even have work visas – they left their guitars at home and borrowed the instruments of their opening acts. This time they brought their own guitars and equipment.

Ralph’s brother Jack just put out the latest Nomads CD on his Lance Rock Records out of Nanaimo. Ralph put up the bucks for them to record. This is not the sort of thing that makes money.
The other band we are going to see is The Mermen. It is a trio of virtuoso players who play surf music that sounds like it crawled out of the sea like the rest of us.

Like the Nomads, The Mermen are in their late thirties and early 40s. Ralph saw them play, bought a couple hundred dollars worth of their CDs and began to sell them or give them away in Tofino, sent CDs to radio stations and the newspapers. The Mermen are huge in San Francisco and Tofino – and few other places. They have five phenomenal CDs out on Mesa.

Ralph got to know Jim, the lead guitarist of The Mermen, through letters, phone calls and faxes. He does this with rock bands, women and friends. Jim and he talk about surfing longboards on the phone.

Ralph, 38 spent much of his life crab fishing in Tofino, and is totally up on the ‘alternative’ music scene. One of the things Ralph likes about the alternative scene is its access. The people are friendly. For Ralph, alternative rock is like being a part of a community of people – not unlike the community of Tofino. Currently Ralph is running for Mayor of Tofino.

You can’t hear The Mermen or The Nomads on the radio. On the radio on our drive it’s either classic rock (lots), country ( or not-country, country as I call it ) or grunge noise Soundgarden and Pearl Jam mixed with Aerosmith and Ozzy Osborne. My favourite radio ad on the way down suggests: “Take the kids bowling, it’s the only place you can smoke and drink in front of them.”

Ralph and I talk about being stuck in time and how rock and roll can do that. I play devil’s advocate to whether that is our case. I don’t really think so, I don’t need to hear the old stuff that much and the new stuff gives me joy.

I like the way Ralph differentiates between garage rock and punk rock. The Nomads – all of whom have day jobs – play garage rock. Garage rock, suggests Ralph, is a primal sound that through its noise celebrates love, women and cars – it’s noisy and user friendly. The music is not particularly punk in that it’s not angry about anything.

Along the road we pass a sign that has an image of Bill Clinton as Uncle Sam offering to make a ‘two for one deal’:’My lies and promises for your votes.’ I suggest to Ralph that he makes this part of his platform.

Terminal City
October 18 – 24, 1996

ps-my son Levon has not asked to go to Disneyland yet……Ralph diligently keeps a look out for the lies and promiese at Tofino News

Posted by: cedarsurf | April 15, 2010

Gene Kiniski R.I.P

We love you Gene -one of the best -gave the audience his all and left his opponent with their dignity even after kicking their butt!

Gene Kiniski, 81, a former CFL player with the Edmonton Eskimos, and member of the Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame, rose to fame in the 1960s wrestling in Vancouver with NWA All Star Wrestling and ultimately won numerous world championship titles with several wrestling organizations. At a time when it was considered the top honour in pro wrestling, Kiniski held the National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) world title from Jan. 7, 1966 to Feb. 11, 1969.

Kiniski continued wrestling into the 1980s, appearing in the WWF legends battle royal in 1987. He finished wrestling professionally in 1992 at age 66, wrestling in a handful of matches for Winnipeg’s West Four Wrestling Alliance, stretching his career across five decades.

Born Eugene Nicholas Kiniski in Edmonton November 23, 1928, “Big Thunder,” as he was known, grew to legendary status for giving fans “$5 entertainment value for every $1 they spend,” as he told The Province in 1968.

He was a “heel,” or villain in the ring, and he played the role with relish. In his heyday, Kiniski was earning $100,000 a year wrestling in front of fans around the world — equal to more than $600,000 today. He wrestled at least 250 times a year in far-flung places like Japan and Hawaii, packing stadiums with tens of thousands of fans.

When Kiniski was challenged that the Edmonton Oilers’ Wayne Gretzky was more deserving of his “Greatest Canadian Athlete” title, he would say, “Get him to rassle me first, then we’ll play hockey and we’ll see how he does. The same with swimming, skiing, any $%& thing!”

Kiniski was predeceased by his wife Marian, and has two sons, Kelly, and Nick.

“Dad lived a great life,” Nick, 49, said. “His only regret would be that he wished he could do it again. He used to tell me that life wasn’t a rehearsal, it was a one-time take.”

“Some people just have that charisma where they can go anywhere and take over the room,” Nick said of his father. “People across Canada loved him and he loved them back.”

Posted by: cedarsurf | April 9, 2010

Hold the Tiger!

Parodies of the new Nike ad featuring Tiger Woods have begun trickling in to Youtube.

If you haven’t seen the commercial yet, it’s a black and white spot featuring Woods staring in to the camera as a voiceover from the golfer’s late father, Earl, in the role of a Zombie apparently- asks Tiger to explain his choices and his thinking.Ah, if the dead could talk we’d all have a lot to answer for.

Given the simplicity of the ad, it’s about as perfect a template for parody as it gets. All a jokester needs to do is replace the audio.

One parody features a voicemail Tiger left with one of his mistresses asking her to take her name off her phone in case his wife calls. Another features a Tom Cruise speech he gives to men in the movie Magnolia. has a roundup of some of the best parodies from around the internet.

Posted by: cedarsurf | March 27, 2010

On the Beach

My son Levon and I just returned from a great surfing/camping trip in Tofino sleeping in the Van Halen on the beach and enjoying March sunshine -and even better Levon missed a couple of days of school to pursue Surf Bum 101 – a fully accredited course here.

In any case it put me in mind of this piece I wrote for SBC Surf Magazine.

Park my van on the Pacific shore
we got the wax and we got our boards…

Get up,
With the ventures sweet sound
Get down it’s always an adventure
I’M gonna surfin’ in Tofino
I’M gonna surfin’ in Tofino
I’M gonna surfin’ in Tofino
And I’M never coming back

The Planet Smashers, Surfin in Tofino

By Grant Shilling SBC Surf Magazine

Road trips are a surfing ritual. For many of us who don’t live near the waves getting ‘there’ and getting together just doubles the pleasure. In the late 70s and 80s ‘Surf Stomps’ held at Long Beach Airport and at Jordan River were a type of social for the small but stoked group of north and south coast Vancouver Island surfers who got together to party, surf, play music and watch future surf film classics including Free Ride and A Winter’s Tale.

Surf auteurs like Bruce Brown, John Severson and Bob Evans–who brought us his memorable Midget Goes Hawaiian–were getting their chops and looking for venues to play their films in a pre-digital world. A group of BC bush apes and cold-water warriors were eager to watch them.

In November of ’76 Dave ‘Hump’ Hadden rented the classic California surf movie Free Ride from Bill Delaney, the producer of the film. “There were all these ads in surfer magazines about the movie coming out in January ‘77. So I phoned him. And I said ‘Hey we’re a bunch of Canadian Surfers up here and there is no venue where we’ll be able to see your movie and I could show it to our little group.’ Well he thought that was pretty cool.” Delaney rented it to Hadden for a nominal sum of money.

Free Ride had its world premiere in a barn lacking power near Jordan River.

A gas power generator was rented and a film projector borrowed. “I made a bit of a mistake with the generator. I only got a 3,000 watt generator and the hall had all kinds of 200-watt light bulbs in it. It doesn’t take many 200-watt light bulbs to use up 3,000 watts. So we had to unscrew all the bulbs in the whole hall. Except the one by the door and the one by the ladies washroom.”

All the local surfers from the South Coast were there, and some came down from Tofino and Ucluelet. Musician, carpenter and master shaper Wayne Vliet played some music and sang as did surfer /musician Kent Fiddy who more recently played the Pacific Rim Whale Festival .

Filmed by Dan Merkel, Free Ride features stunning slow motion sequences of Shaun Tomson surfing at Off-The-Wall and Backdoor, and a wacked soundtrack mix of Joan Armatrading, Pablo Cruise, and Billy Preston. Free Ride-according to those who watched it- marked Tomson as the most advanced surfer of the period overtaking the Hawaiian surfers on Oahu’s North Shore. Surf audiences were now curious about worldwide waves and those who rode them.

Getting the film to run at JR was its own adventure.

To avoid paying an expensive duty on the film Hadden brought the film up as a surf -rescue training film.

Power was another concern.

“We had enough power to run the projector and keep a couple of lights on,” recalls Hadden. “Of course the generator ran out of gas half way through the movie so I had to run out there and pour some more gas in her and get her flashed up again.”

Who knows showing the flick that featured the South African Tomson may have been a portent of the late ‘70s influx of a half dozen South African surfers to JR. Maxie Wetteland a South African surf pioneer came to JR after reading a pamphlet on BC Ferries that said there was surfing to be had in the company town logged down to dirt with a perfect mechanical speed wave beside it. Wetteland would later work carpentry with Jim Sadler in Tofino – while building surfboards and developing snowboards.

For a number of years from about ’75 till the early eighties, Doug Palfrey,Ted Goodspeed and Jeff Reves would get together rent a surf movie, such as Five Summer Stories and A Winter’s Tale, and put on a dance. Reves rememebers it as an attempt to consolidate what then was a very small surf community “where everybody knew everybody.” The first couple of Surf Stomps were at the hall in the airport in Tofino and in later years at the Legion hall in Tofino. “There’d be a dance afterwards and there were some good times had by all,” says Reves.

Harold Sadler remembers his father Jim bringing his churchgoing family to the Long Beach Airport hangar for the Stomps. “He’d bring these very religious, very conservative cousins of ours from the prairies to these get-togethers,” chuckled Harold recently. “I wonder what they were thinking.”

One night John Milius’ Big Wednesday was playing to a packed house at the Airport. Jim glided through the mountain of smoke and rock with a big smile for everyone and yelped with the crew while watching Gerry Lopez riding a bomb at Pipeline on the big screen set up for the occasion.

Fast forward to today in Tofino where you can no longer make a fire or drive your car on the beach and have to pay to park your surf chariot – and you may have to fight for your right to party.

Fortunately the good old Royal Canadian legion No.65 in Tofino has served as the party palace for Surf Jam parties beginning in 1999 as it did for the Stomps before it. Also, Tofino’s Community Theatre has hosted premieres of Jeremy Koreski’s Shrink and Numb as well as 49 Degrees by Susanne Tabata that features Aaron Jackson’s (maker of the fine 5MM) outstanding footage of the late great Jesse Oke ripping.

Today you can make you own surf film with just a cam and a laptop. One lonely panel van parked by the beach- curled up with your favourite neoprene marine could be a screening room for your own special stomp.

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