I Am On a Surf Trip

posted by / Blogs, Editorial / January 27, 2011

Baby, Take it Off! is Chas Smith’s column. “Surfing is so totally awesome sexy!” says Chas.

Yes, sir.


I am on a surf trip with a man, a writer, named Taylor Paul. And this Taylor Paul is as tough as nails. Sturdy. Rugged. He surfs Mavericks. He has had his arm ripped clean from its socket there. He knows good shred and knows where to find it. The ocean is a friend to him and so is all life that lies therein. Brave. Like Hemingway to my Fitzgerald.

And this surf trip is up and down the coast of California because the swell forecast is for nonstop amazing. It has been firing forever already just surf surf surf after surf. Each bend in the 101 or 1 or Pecho Valley Road seems to reveal more perfection. So we surf. My shoulder becomes dislocated too, a regular and unfortunate occurrence, but it is ok because Taylor knows also where to find slabby waves that don’t need a paddle, just need a drop.


The author, in his element.


And, again, this is California, so we also go out of our way to stay in fine hotels, like the Kenwood Inn and Spa, and eat expensive meals, like filet mignon wrapped in smoked bacon. We drink expensive wine.

Sommeliers bring to us this wine and also bring to us hot surf tips. They tell us to surf super loc’d out spots and when we get to them they as well are firing. Perfection. At one of these loc’d out spots a loc boy claimed, in the lineup, that sand might be placed in our gas tank and our windows might be broken. We saw him again in the parking area. He had locked his keys in his car and we helped him break his window.


The coast, she cooperates — even if her parasites do not.


Then we drive away and smile at each other. And surf another sandbar. And stay at another fine hotel. We eat gnocchi in an apple vinegar reduction while the sun sets over rolling hills and speak of worldly things. Unrest in Yemen. Elephant seal mating rituals in Año Nuevo. All surfers should be aristocrats, or at the very least least, pretentious.

You say, “Gay.” I say, “If surfing all kinds of perfection by day, drinking expensive pinot noir by evening and sleeping in $600 beds by night is gay then, honey, I am Harvey Milk.”

Photos by Taylor Paul


Chas Smith is on Twitter @chasdoesntsurf and writes regularly for the magazine.



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  • Nick Carroll

    “All surfers should be aristocrats, or at the very least, pretentious.”

    This is why Chas is my new favorite surfing writer. My only concern is that by whipping out sentences like the above, he’s setting the bar too high.

  • Barry

    Pretentious -Etymology -From French prétentieux < prétention < Latin praetensus (“false or hypocritical profession”) – So it would seem you get some points for honesty but the paradox is self evident and moreover your intention is to hide your dishonesty in plain sight. Score 0.

    This story really is very old although now done with a liberal dose of free spirit lifestyle bling bling, Pierre de Beaumarchais already knew how to answer in back in 1784.
    "No, Monsieur le Chas, you shan't have her! You shan't have her. Because you are a great noble, you think you are a great genius! Nobility, a fortune, a rank, appointments to office: all this makes a man so proud! What did you do to earn all this? You took the trouble to get born – nothing more. Moreover, you're really a pretty ordinary fellow." – (from The Marriage of Figaro)

  • Voice of Reason

    This would be believable if Chas left out the surfing part.

  • Ben

    you like an australian metrosexual

  • Ben

    What I meant to ask was whether you shop at H&M

  • cash

    Is Barry Chas?? cuz that would be hilarious

  • loser

    Yeah Barry. You lost this war. Sorry buddy

  • yeah guy

    is that an old blackberry curve? really? price dropping as you do and your phone is that outdated? dont give us the old, i am just waiting for verizon to get the iphone line. want a tramp.

    you write like a 14 year old girl with self esteem issues. maybe if you tell enough people how cool you are, then perhaps, them and you might actually start to believe it. i wonder how many of those meals you threw up? not from drinking too much expensive wine, but rather, from sticking your finger down your throat. you do gotta what you gotta do to look the part.

    come on chas, make us eat our words, lets see some footage or at least a pic that clearly shows us that it is actually you, actually shredding.

  • Bummed

    Chas… ur tha biggest faggot i have ever seen!!! U suck and so does Taylor!!! You’re eastside fag tour sucks ballz, you will never see tha real Santa Cruz.I used to like you’re writing but I hate you now. Go to hell Kook!!!

  • Barry

    Oh no I alienated the goombas with a few cultural references and now they think I’m Chas or some kind of fruit – shock, horror :O Guess I better go cry in my beer now…

  • cash

    Don’t you mean goomba? and btw, its Mr. Goomba. Reference deez nuts bitch

  • Barry

    ok, sorry you are THE goomba 😛 surftards unite

  • Get Hip Quick

    My soul overflows with luster for life! Thank you Mr. Smith for bringing the grapes!

  • Ana

    As a reader…the writing is the same as it was 2 years ago or so. Evolution. You should try it.

  • Angie

    His writing is similar to the same juvenile crap as two years ago, actually it’s worse. I’m only reading it because I just had to search out the person who’s writing has disintegrated to 14-year-old-ish attempts at poetic descriptions. He really might have been much better back then. Hmmm, could it be because the first wife hasn’t edited his work since then? She’s the one with the real talent for writing. Not dear old bisexual Chas. Really, Chas? Charlie suits you fine. Just plain old ridiculously small Charlie.

  • Angie

    *whose, not *who’s.

  • Jon Uher

    Chas, incindiary…you are a champ.

  • Zp

    Come on we all know that surf journalism doesn’t pay for $600 hotel beds so are these guys a couple of trust fund babies or really do pretend they are aristocrats. You aren’t! Do so something valuable with the pennies you make. And nick you just plummeted on my list of surf journalists by liking this queer.