Sean checks in from California to give you an inside view on how he spent his day.
Okay, so I just got back from CA and did a little surfing and spent some time in the water waiting for waves and thinking about stuff and I reminisced about the beaches I’ve been to and I’ve been to many: I traveled a lot during and just after college and I’ve been to some cool and strange locales and I thought I’d share…so, not in any particular order here are some of the coolest beaches I’ve surfed at, drank beer, got some color at, etc…
1. Ios, Greece. Greece has a ton of islands surrounding it’s mainland (if you didn’t know) and I’ve been to a bunch of them and when you’re 20 (years old) Ios is about the baddest spring break beach on the planet. Neighboring Paros is a bit more my speed now…I rented a motorcycle there and got lost—very lost—on purpose, years ago. I’d love to do that again.
2. Penticton, British Columbia, Canada. Most folks I know in the south where I live would probably never think of Canada as beach country. I was in Penticton BC in Late August years ago. Coming down from the mountains where it was snowing I was surprised to find the temp in Penticton to hit a solid 80 degrees Fahrenheit and the scenery and climate had me thinking I was in central CA.. In fact. Penticton is Canada’s version of Napa Valley. I’d go back there too.
3. Primorsko, Bulgaria. Primorsko is a beach resort on the Black Sea. I remember the weather being great, the pizza had ham and eggs on it, the beer was very good and there were more beautiful girls with long legs, olive skin and blue eyes than anywhere else I’ve ever been (that’s right, in Bulgaria) Beware of the local version of moonshine called “Rakia.” It will put a serious hurt on ya.
4. Presque Isle, PA. Another place that the rest of the U.S. forgets about when it comes to beaches is the Great Lakes. I’ve driven along the shores of the U.P. in early winter and I bet theirs are nice to, but so far as Lake Erie beaches, Presque Isle is the nicest I’ve been to. Sunset bay in NY is cool as well, but if you just want to chill (and maybe even surf..you can do that here to believe it or not) Presque Isle has great sand, nice scenery, it’s clean and it’s just about the closest thing you’ll get to being at the ocean with going to the ocean.
5. El Pescador, Malibu, CA. A nice state park beach north of L.A. Surfing conditions usually so-so, but I think I caught one of the waves of my life here. Comparably much quieter than the majority of the public beaches in L.A. Great place for a picnic basket and a boom box.
6. Fort Zachary Taylor Beach, Key West. Because Key West doesn’t have a lot of beach (that’s accessible)…when isn’t the weather nice here? A great place to sleep off a Key West hangover (not that I have…)
7. Biarritz, France. I went to Biarritz for the sole reason of surfing. I found an awesome hotel right on the beach that was dirt cheep and cool as hell (okay it was the off season) Biarritz has scenery (castles) History (German gunnery’s from WW!!), great waves ( it was well over head high when I was there) and good vibes amongst the tribes ( I remember holding conversations in the water that had to be translated from Spanish to French to Japanese and every body knew the hand sign for “hang loose”). Must go there again someday.
8. Folly Beach, SC. I love the low country. Locked my keys in my truck the first time I surfed Folly and the local sheriff spent an hour getting my door open; said he appreciated the opportunity to learn how to pick the lock on my make/model. Great people, good vibes, decent waves, miss the place.
9. Hopetown Beach, Abacos Islands, Bahamas. Went there on my honey moon. Yeah, I surfed too. Clear warm water. Empty Beaches. Kalik beer. Awesome.
10. Gulf Shores AL. I’ve only been here in November, but what a great time to go. Laid back, inexpensive…I’ve had awesome times at the Florabama Lounge I just wish I remembered….
Once upon a very long time ago I used to live in California, and when I used to live there I lived in Santa Monica in this little duplex guest house that Renee (then girlfriend, now wife) and I shared with this dude named Bobby and Bobby was kind of a burnout but according to Bobby’s brother Tony, Bobby had once been a really good surfer and Bobby had all these surfboards and after I’d lived in the duplex a little while I bought a board and a wet suit from the guy and I spent about a month of going down to the beach at El Porto and getting pummeled before finally standing up one day and I only figured out later how hard I’d made it on myself trying to learn on the small board I’d learned on and I found out later that Bobby had not only been a good surfer he’d been a pro and had not only won some contests he’d been on the cover of some magazines and had been kind of famous-–I only ever saw Bobby surf once back then and at the time he had about the best aerials on a short board I’d ever seen and I saw him in the water at Topanga last year and before I recognized him (it had been many, many years) I said to myself “shit, that old guy shreds..” And he still surfed a short board and I’m guessing he’s pushing mid-fifties now and had put on thirty pounds but the dude can still rip.
I lived in CA long enough and surfed enough to feel that I was pretty good by the time I moved to TN and I remember how I went through withdrawal over surfing for the first year I lived in Nashville. A swell would hit the east coast and I’d think nothing of driving 9 hours to catch some waves. The chop would kick up on lake Erie when I was visiting my folks in the summer and I’d stay in the water all day. I took my board on my honeymoon in the Bahamas, surfed in France, VA Beach..for someone who lived so far away from water I was still pretty hard core.
In the last few years I’ve kept up a tour schedule that has kept me away from home most of the time and out of the water and out of shape. I caught a few waves on Lake Erie last fall, caught a few in LA when we filmed my first video there last spring and other than that surfing has not been on my plate or in my mind much.
So it was a pretty cool to come out to LA last week and find that I had a surf session all set up for me. Thanks to Julian at nextmusic I had a board waiting for me at a friend of his house, and a bunch of Australians ready to take me around to some secret spots they knew of in the south bay. Julian had it all arranged: directions to the friends house, directions to the Aussies apartment, phone numbers, time to be there etc…and I got up early Friday and drove down to Manhattan Beach and followed the direction s to Alains house (the dude with the board(s) and woke up a bunch of very hungover Aussies and got a board to ride–- a smallish epoxy longboard– and I went on down the road to Hermosa and introduced my self to Julian’s friends Adam and Aiden and Glenn and these guys live in this awesome pad right on the strand and there’s some decent enough waves peeling right in front of us and it’s “why drive?” and so we suit up and paddle out and I learn that you can’t duck dive with an epoxy long board and that these waves that don’t look so big when your on the beach can really work you over when your trying to get beyond them and my shoulders start burning from the paddle in about a minute or two. I’m out of shape and I’m getting the shit kicked out of me by the ocean. After ten minutes I get past the breakers finally and I’ve already gone over the falls twice and I’m totally out of steam and I’m trying not to look like a total Barney to the Aussie’s. Adam is on a boogie board and pulling into some nice little barrels and Glen is riding a small thruster and shredding and I’m there too worn out to pull into anything and when I do the wave jack’s up so fast that I can’t get to my feet and then I’m back in the impact zone again and I’m getting worked again and the shoulders are killing me and I’m about as Barney as they come and it’s twenty minutes before I’m past the breakers again and the guys are offering to paddle my board out for me and I’m feeling like a total choad and I pull into another wave and it’s me on my knees again and back in the impact zone again and me getting clobbered and I ride the shore break in and try and suss out the best way to get around the break and there really isn’t one and Adam suggests I try Eskimo-rolling if I can’t duck dive and I have been trying to get this move down but it was never really apart of my repertoire back in the day but I get the board over my head and flip over and start to get kind of good at it and I get past the break and catch my breath and wait for the wave I want and pull into it and again it jacks so fast I get to my knees and then I’m back in the slam-zone again and I’m like “fuck it, this is not fun.” And I ride the shore break in and we all call it a morning.
I had some eggs and coffee with the boys down by the pier and they’re all good dudes and have that Aussie sense of humor and that Aussie love of beer…
”shall we go to the pub?”
Thanks guys, I think I’m going home…
And on the drive back to Inglewood I got to thinking that I regret not surfing more the last year I lived in LA and that I really had nothing that needed doing so urgently today and I thought I might as well drive right past my sisters house and see what the waves were doing at some of the point breaks north of town and If you don’t know this about surfing I’ll explain that typically a point break wave jacks up a little slower than a beach break and when you’re feeling old and out of shape that’s a good thing cause it means you get a little more time to hit your feet and the other thing about a point break is that the way the wave peels at a point allows you to paddle around the impact zone which means you don’t have to be able duck dive or Eskimo roll and I drove all the way up to County line and there were some nice small peaks peeling around the point and I remembered why I always liked this spot back in the day and I suited up and paddled out and this time the paddle out was a piece of cake and I was out for less than five minutes before I scratched after a wave and got the board moving down the face and sprung to my feet and made the drop and made the turn and came up the face and turned and repeated that a couple times before the wave closed out and remembered “yeah, that’s how it’s done” And I paddled out past the kelp to the first break and caught some nice long rides and the sun was shining and the surf was clean and consistent-–if not very big–-and it was good for my soul.
Thought I’d share.
Peace and good vibes
Sean’s trying to do his part with the flood relief by offering one hundred percent of merchandise sales.
Visit Sean’s store online HERE to help out a great cause.
Have you ever dreamed of being in a music video? Now is your chance to shine!
Sean Patrick McGraw is looking for some of you for his upcoming music video. If you’re going to be in the Blue Lake, CA area on May 15th, we’re interested in having you come be a part of the video.
Sean is performing at the Sapphire Palace Event Center at the Blue Lake Casino on May 15th at 8 p.m. The music video will be shot during Sean’s performance. If you want to be apart of the music video and see a great show then get your tickets now. Tickets are $15 in advance and $20 the day of the show.
Get your ticket & venue information HERE