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groms * brodad, amper, barney, dude

Brodad * grom of winds

The brodad lives for surf fantasy. She is in a state of total wonderment and awe, and completely taken by our surf culture. He is a bookworm and knows the history of surfing. She knows of our roots. He is a people pleaser, she a people person. She’s our resident, boardwalk bon vivant. He’s not a bad guy at all. The brodad is everybody’s friend. He has a car, is in with the chicks, and is goin’ to the party. She is our favorite, faux bohemian surf cat. She always makes the scene. She knows the lingo and is familiar with most all of our idiosyncracies and idioms. His is an inquiring mind, and has big memory. Often opinionated, he can be expansive, and offers mind boggling commentary. She always has a different perspective and counterpoint. He has contrary medicine. She is the endless epigram, and him a regular jargon Jack, whose random ramble, may actually foretell the future. They’re always talkin’ story. She’s the spectator surfer who always wants to know what’s up. He’s Mr. Prediction, a weather addict with the perfect equipment, that ironically, doesn’t get much use. He’s cloaked as a surfer, but is more the surf bather. She is a very average surfer. She rides the shoulder and sits in the channel, and is content just daytrippin’ along. The brodad is full of zest, and yet is still the quintessential quasi surfer.

The brodad don’t surf, and hasn’t gotten wet. She is a virtual teetotaler when it comes to salt water wine. He is our surf lackey, and local toad head. The surf plebian is resigned to a peripheral caste in our surf world. Their priorities are out of order. She heads hinterland when the waves hit. When it gets big, he just goes home…. and does his laundry. His unexplained hiatus reveals a halfhearted approach that lacks commitment. He can’t keep a promise, to himself or others. He is without follow thru. His abstinence leaves him feeling impotent. She is a landlubber and tenuous pseudo surfer, and he an ersatz surfer who blows fickle with the wind. Contrived chameleon, she doesn’t take things seriously, and in turn is not taken seriously herself. Real substance is lacking. The brodad doesn’t really “know the feeling.” She never really lets go, as she’s doubtful she can really pull it off. He is legionnaire of the “unjazzed,“ and privately broods. She holds on to her point of view, or goes about face, as he goes in circles instead of down the line. On information overload, the brodad can be of overbearing intellect. She is overly curious and always has a question. He is Senor Porque. The brodad is a threat to lesser minds and feels shame when others are silent in reply. He’s too much in his head, and sometimes she’s just a little much. As surf music was reverb ridden, broadad speak is adverb ridden. She doesn’t want to hear how lame she is, but will “totally” dish it out. She abuses her charm with white lies that are near farcical, and comes on without a full understanding of things. Others can come unglued around her. He’s sensitive to criticism, but insensitive in his remarks, and limited by a false ego. She is garrulous and a gossip monger, and can even be a liar. He can be misleading. He exaggerates and is the master of oneupmanship. And hers is always the better story, despite the hollow ring. The brodad is a know it all, who’s not in the know. They’re all talk and no show. They haven’t been there yet and don’t walk their talk. The brodad is poseur and charlatan, and pretends to do or be. She hasn’t done zip, and he is an unwanted impresario. Only a fool would take their advice. Theirs is an unfulfilled fantasy.

To be a surfer, or not to be? She is the potential real deal, but wants more than she has. Her neediness stems from her envy. His arrogance is his protection. He dwells on himself as part of the food chain and dreads the wild coast as true wilderness. And yet, he still belabors his one session, and we hear about it forever. Is the brodad trying too hard? Uncharacteristic of the true surfer, he feels responsible. He has not surrendered his heart to the ocean. He’s afraid of missing life’s train. He feels pangs of guilt around work and school, afraid he’s not moving forward in his career, and losing valuable time for school work. She’s plagued by nagging feelings as well. She’s a church girl, and afraid she’ll be penalized at Heaven’s Gate. Or is she passing up an opportunity at the altar? Her fear of loss runs deep and is abiding. Has she not felt the love of our Mother Ocean? Care enough to get the whole story. Don’t settle for the obvious. If you listen well, without passing judgment, you will get past the pretense.

Hanging at the Tide Pool by Daryn McBride

Amper * grom of waves

Our Joe Wiggle is a wagger. He rules the inside and schralps ankleslappers. As wave warrior, he is pumped and surfs everyday without fail. Flyin’ high on pure stoke, he is alive in our open air beach amphitheatre. He usually rips and is our Peter Pan of surfing. The amper is the heralding of a surf star. She is an ocean of emotion as she “wears her first board down to the beach like a sand encrusted jewel.” With wax on, she goes off. Wearing comp stripes and a “stokaboka” smile, she is surf happy “jammer.”

The amper overflows with excitement and waves of emotion. Overstoked and gungho, she exemplifies spontaneous combustion, and is en fuego. Feelgood driven and amped, she is determined to feel euphoria and experience her feelings. He is amiable and will rally. Never caught up in the mundane, his boyish appearance and sporting attitude are always on parade. Like a kid in a sandy store, she is on perpetual spring break, and always on summer vacation. It’s all about the good times. He bops and she boops. As romper in pigtails, her passionate high spirits play well, leaving her animated and ecstatic. It’s too good to be true, and too much fun. Often a character and funny, our “towhead” is virtually ageless and a lady’s man. Our ready Freddy is full of unbridled lust and joy, and is gaining health daily. Her raw

talent begets raw expression, as she is uninhibited, uncensored, and could care less. He wears his heart on his sleeve and is not analytical, nor bothered by politics nor work. Our naïve knave easily deflects antagonism and animosity, and is popular outside of the inner circle. She is externally oriented and

sociable, he an extrovert and competitive. She is ardent and magnetic, he ravenous and often insatiable. The amper is of a fanatical vigor and owner of a raw enthusiasm that never fades.

Take Off at Temple Point by Ron Croci

Unfortunately, such excess can become “animal,” and the amper scares off others by being “more than happy,” and overly honest, all the while, “unaware of the surfer code of taciturn cool.” Recalcitrance becomes his dance and he begins to overwhelm others. Ignoring beneficial advice, he is then hard pressed to be taken seriously. Easily bored, thoughtless, and not cognizant of anyone else, he can become unnerving. As surf nazi, his surf obsession and addiction, render him nothing but a trophy monger. He is too much and a bragger. His impulsive behavior leads to trouble. Foul mouthed and impudent, the “backwash kid” leaves others behind. His aura of immaturity leaves him prone to unfortunate relationships. The amper does not know herself well. She wallows in self pity as dejected lover, over her unhappy love life. Emotional issues frustrate her. Skittish and feeling easily hurt, she can’t deal and is despondent when deserted or abandoned. If ignored she is soon of impetuous display and hoyden, or hyperactive surf rat. As adrenaline junkie she overdoes her maneuvers and has no style.

“Smooth out your surfing, smooth out your life.” Answer the question: peace or aggression? Become more thoughtful. “If there is peace in your heart, you will think with your heart in your mind.” Be mindful. Accept responsibility for yourself and for your actions. Act now. Transform your excess energy into a dance. Be the first one on it.

Unbeknownst to her, the amper as surfrider can be a “gyral surge of beauty.” She eventually makes a good initiate. With no regrets, and with nothing to hide, she wears no mask and doesn’t hold onto things. A kind sort and soul, she holds no grudges. She doesn’t take herself too seriously. Our maiden is silly and a poetic daydreamer. “The speed at which you move on your pathway is not important, what is important is how much you can comprehend about it.”

Roxy Biarritz by Ron Croci

Let’s Go Surfing by Jean Marie Drouet

barney * grom of rocks

Dude’s definitely got his liquid groove on and thinks he’s a surfer. Surf shops and surfboards, hot sun and warm water, tan gents and debutantes in bikinis, our barney is nothing but “beach happy,” and in a dreamtime state. Surf junior does get wet though, and is sometimes the best of the grommets because of his slapstick surfing. With sloshy, sandy water in his booties, our rockrider helgie is usually found in the area between the breaking waves and the beach, and is the local boneyard surfer.

Dude is having a blast! She can’t believe it! Young and frivolous, she is a natural and without decorum or direction. Everything is new and life is a vacation. It’s her first time touched by nature and she’s deep into the discovery channel. She is in a world of her own, and we’re just living in it. Life is a beach ball fantasyland! Our greenhorn newcomer is adored and regaled, which fits in well with her need for affiliation. She has a dopey smile and is the first to say, “duh.” She just doesn’t know any better. Like a newborn that’s flown the nest, she’s swept up in the folly of youth. Always observant, she is immersed in learning. Lighthearted and in childlike awe, she’s big on imagination and won’t hesitate to turn others on. She initiates things because she’s stoked! A fledgling rookie, she is spirited, pure and innocent. Whimsical to a fault, she just wants to be your buddy.

A barney revels in a natural state of longing. Impulsive and a virgin nemesis, he either over does it or misses everything. He spends the vast bulk of his time floating, waiting, or driving around, just checkin’ it. Somewhere between clever and idiotic, he is a hit or miss, soggy cartoon. His misdemeanors are many and leave him the unsafe surfer. A self parody, the barney has forgotten his wax and is either pearling and going over the falls, with the wrong board for the wrong conditions, and with a wetsuit that doesn’t fit, or with a two bit chick that doesn’t get it either. He’s always messing up and gaining your disapproval. He’s usually on the rocks, or on the beach, with hot sand melted into his wax, with board left sunnyside up.

Whether it’s broken boards or snapped leashes, cuts, punctures, stitches, or just sunburn lips, he is always on the wrong end of unfavorable rulings. He doesn’t hesitate to violate propriety and can’t keep a secret. Not trustworthy and unreliable, his antics backfire. With confidences broken and secrets broadcast, the barney is shunned, shot down, and brings out the worst in others. He gives little, and gets little. Naïve, gullible and feeling inadequate, he’s not popular. Beach besotted with hair falling down in his face, the barney is emotionally immature and unthinking. On the outs, he lacks courage, and a real relationship with the ocean.

The barney is but a perpetual beginner, and knows that practice makes perfect. She doesn’t know she’s on stage. She’s just havin’ fun. He ain’t consumed with being cool, cause he ain’t. The barney protects others by his folly. It all falls together. She has found her bliss. Surfing is her life. Enjoy your surfing. Get off the rocks and get wet. Take responsibility for your life, and your equipment. Learn more before you make your big move. Learn from other’s experiences. It’s there for the taking. Listen more, and longer. Learn rhythm. See with wonder. Go for it. Be like Barney. Everybody’s been one. The beginner can bring magnanimous smiles to the most hardened of salts. It can be refreshing. He is only defining his self and his identity. Let others be who they are and you will find yourself free from them.

Contemplation on a Jumping Anchovy by Ron Croci

Fishing by Daryn McBride

dude * grom of rays

Best of the gremmies, the dude surfs hard and is the ever ready surfer. Whether ankleslappers or monster surf, he’s out there. “To surf or not to surf,” is numero uno, unto our surf aficionado. Our apprentice surf rat treats surf lingo and esoterica as sacred. She presides over surfing as ritual. She combs her wax and wets sand onto her board before paddling out. She is dedicated to the sport and just now good enough to get good equipment. He’s not smooth yet, but he does perform aerials, and is developing an innate sense of wave knowledge. As Shakti surfer, she is in “fluid drive,” and riding on pure stoke. “Expression sessions” are the spawning grounds for his emerging style. His style is full tilt and at full blast, one of an all out surfing. She’s got jams, boardshorts, baggies and a good wetsuit and is on a surf odyssey. Surf prodigy and waterman or waterwoman to be, our surfernatural is learning about Ma Ocean and is startin’ to “know the feelin’.”

Illustration Leisa O’Brien

With an emergent sense of wonder and sanguine curiosity, she is beginning to ask the questions.

“Who am I? Why am I here? Where have I come from? Where am I going?” He is emerging from a “clumsy ignorance” and is now developing an unconscious understanding of things. She will not be discouraged and is wise beyond her years. He has learned and listened, and is a loyal supporter of the scene. He can be counted on. As is the tribal custom in our coastal subculture, he has risen within the rank and file. She can feel awkward with her newfound social acceptance, or even notoriety, and her heart beats with her chi on fire. As tomboy she is fully immersed and ingrained within her “roots” experience, with laid back body language and casual tone of voice giving way to an ease of manner. He’s uncontrived, happy and hopeful, and on a natural high. As endearing cherub, her subtle effervescence and sparkle give way to an innocence of youth, aglow in ecstatic bliss. He is exhilarated and exuberant, with a vitality that leaves him uninhibited and free flowing. There is a freshness to the dude. He’s “gotta have it,” day in, and day out. Adventurous when opportunity knocks, she is no longer knave when venturing “into the wild” unknown. The dude is full of potential and has good mana. He is accumulating skills and is a budding star, ready to be fitted for a leisure suit. She is impressionable and has developed a knack for having fun. In good shape, his newfound sense of identity builds character and self esteem. Our “little soul brother” has emancipated himself.

The dude must learn self reliance. “Indecision brings misfortune,” and missed fortunes. Missed opportunities teach her she shouldn’t bite off more than she can chew. She is a little bit racy and pays for her impatience. Too much too soon leads to injuries and a “harder she falls.”

Overenthusiastic and driven, she creates dicey situations for herself. People handle her with caution. The dude shows flashes, but is of dashed potential. He’s never hit it big, but has a strong desire to become the top dog. He needs to bring balance into things and real eyes he’s not just a total surf rat. The dude doesn’t want to be an “old guy” just living on life’s treadmill, just treading the water of life. With truncated English, the dude has to be cool and in with the in crowd. But people keep their distance. They see a lack of trust in himself.

Carving by Remi Bertoche

Surfing is the drive of your spirit to know your self. Surf and you will find yourself in the process. Begin to trust in life. Follow the sun. Be in awe at the wonder of it all. Shed the material and create a new way in the world that reflects your unfolding spiritual development and journey. You’ve come a long way. Free yourself from mental slavery. You have the “unequivocal right to enjoy your life” as a dude. You’ve gained our respect. Listen to advice and suggestions. Surfing as a spiritual discipline or meditation requires daily maintenance and practice. You will make steady progress, all in due time. “Surfing is good direction,” as “subtle adopted ritual.” In our Mother Ocean we trust. Surfing becomes our way of being on our water planet. The dude has found his way. Surfing is life, and “it’s all about the ride.” Move swiftly with small ego, shining heart, and of great spirit. You have to “chance ‘um.” The path is not necessarily one of propriety. As “free spirits and independent thinkers,” we give thanks for our “wild and untamed sensual freedoms.” Be true to life. Share of yourself. Exercise free will and you will fall in love with life. “Truth and soul correlate to love and joy.” You are a universal lover, and know truth as “univisceral.” There is strength in community. You have arrived. Settle into that place of peace, “of total absorption,” which begets a “lifelong sense of joy and enthusiasm,” and of which keeps us young. Retrace your steps. Recover loves lost. Keep it simple. “Promise yourself to be yourself”.

Find what feels natural. Trust in your own “good vibrations.” Self discovery restores faith. Know yourself and then wear what you want. Dudes are cool. The surfcat lives nine lives in one. She has found her rhythm and is on a different wavelength. As an initiate unto the surf esotericism, she has an undiluted love for our Mother Ocean, and for herself.

illustration Gomez Bueno

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