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3216 Santa Monica Blvd
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August Surf Spot Photos Recap

Not as many surf spot photo galleries for this month as we had in previous months. Here's a recap and links to all the Surf Spot Photo Galleries we have for the entire month of August. From Topanga down to the Venice Pier.

Topanga - Friday Evening 8-10-2018 Gallery
Topanga - Saturday 8-18-2018 Gallery


Sunset - Saturday 8-18-2018 Gallery

Venice Pier

Venice Pier - Saturday 8-4-2018 Gallery c
Venice Pier - Sunday 8-5-2018 Gallery
Venice Pier - Saturday 8-11-2018 Gallery
Venice Pier - Sunday 8-12-2018 Gallery #1
Venice Pier - Sunday 8-12-2018 Gallery #2
Venice Pier - Sunday 8-12-2018 Gallery #3
Venice Pier - Sunday 8-19-2018 Gallery
Venice Pier - Saturday 8-25-2018 Gallery

Here's some previous month's recaps:
June Surf Spot Photos Recap
May Surf Spot Photos Recap

Wanna see photos from previous days at these and other surf spots?
Click Surf Spot Galleries for a list of past days.

Hurricane Norman

Hurricane Norman Weakens to Cat 3, Modest Swell Reaches SoCal
Norman has weakened a notch through the day, dropping to 110kts, losing some of its visually impressive structure along the way. The cyclone is now asymmetrical with a closed eyewall as shear impacts the northeastern part of the storm. A gradual but steady decrease in intensity is forecast through the period. Norman poses no threat to land at this time, tracking westward away from the mainland. Remember that Norman is a small cyclone, well over a 1000 miles from SoCal and moving in the wrong direction -- all strikes against swell reaching back into SoCal.

Latest visible satellite image of the Eastern Pacific shows Hurricane Norman in the center, Hurricane Miriam off to the west, and a low pressure system to the east of Norman that is forecast to become Olivia next week.

Latest Storm Info

Norman is now a top-end Cat 3 Hurricane with 110kt sustained winds in Friday's 2pm PDT advisory. Norman is over 750nm west-southwest of Cabo San Lucas, heading west-southwest at seven knots and is no threat to land at this time. Norman continues a gradual weakening trend as shear impacts the cyclone and it moves over cooler surface waters.

Norman is expected to remain a hurricane through the official five-day forecast period, potentially losing that status around the end of the forecast period. Expected track continues to the west-southwest before turning back west-northwest over the weekend.

Modest Swell Combo Continues

NW/S Swell Combo; Is Norman a Factor?
Surf heights for northern, central and southern California on Saturday morning.

NW windswell and South hemi swell combo lingers over weekend
Winds dicey for many areas with onshore flow, even in mornings
Hurricane Norman provides some surf for select exposed areas
South Pacific showing some activity worth watching in long range

Last Fridays Art Party

Check out some local surf & skate photography at Amiga Wild's Last Fridays Art Party.

2124 Lincoln Blvd.
Venice, CA 90291


The Volks Gallery is in Malibu, CA to meet up with Sean Colburn and his Gypsy camper bus. He is known as @MalibuVWbus on IG. Sean is a surfer and well known VW photographer in Southern California. His Bus sat in a Barn for 30 years before he rescued it from Oregon. It is 1 of 3 Gypsy camper buses known to exist..

SURFAID Cup Returns to Malibu

The SurfAid Cup returns to Malibu this year on September 8th with former Baywatch star and Malibu local David Chokachi as SurfAid Ambassador.

SurfAid is a tag-team surf competition open to long or short boarders who raise funds in order to compete. Each team is made up of four amateurs and one pro. The team that raises the most money gets the first pick from an impressive line-up of pros and local legends.

The event has been supported by some of surfing’s most iconic and recognizable legends including Tom Carroll, Shane Dorian, Mark “Occy” Occhilupo, Layne Beachley, Rob Machado, Owen Wright, Simon Anderson, Sally Fitzgibbons, Luke Egan, Laura Enever, Lisa Andersen, Joel Tudor, Strider Wasilewski, Nat Young and Taj Burrow.

Tropics Still Spinning but Any Swell?

It's looking slower this week for surf on the West Coast and in Hawaii, so you'll need to be on it to find fun surf over the next few days. The tropics are still fired up but they won't come to the rescue during the week but the extended range could be a different story. There is some Southern Hemi energy in the water and the North Pacific offers more pre-season swell.
They might not do much for swell during the week but the tropics are still very much in play. Here we see Miriam (bottom center) and the likely-to-become Norman to the east, off Mexico, with potential for more development behind these storms.

Combo Swell All Week

Modest Swell Blend; What About Tropics?
Surf heights for northern, central and southern California on Tuesday.

Small/modest NW windswell and S swell early week
Fresh NW windswell and WNW swell mid-late week
New S swell also mid-late week, peaks on weekend
Some tropical swell possible in early September

Surf, Art, And Beer

13211 W Washington Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90066
310.821.SURF (7873)
877.57.SHACK (74225)

Natas X Shinola

Beyond The Borders Of Era: Natas Kaupas Designs Handcrafted Surfboards With Shinola

He is known around the world as a legendary skateboarder, but there’s nothing Natas Kaupas loves more than creating, whether it’s for wheels–or waves.

In Santa Monica, surfing has always been just as important as skateboarding. Skating and surfing are a natural way of life, and growing up in this community led Natas to the art he creates today.

“Growing up and using local shapers, you’d get custom boards. You’d always think of the designs, the airbrushes and the colors. That part is pretty natural—deciding how you want your board to look,” he says.

Santa Monica was nurturing in that way, Natas says. He began surfing and skating both at a very young age, and he loved watching the locals, skating pros like Jim Muir or Jay Adams, zoom by.

“It was almost like a bigger brother kind of feeling,” Natas says. “There was some mentoring, especially on the art side. Wes Humpston, one of the original Dogtown artists, would give me pens and little pointers.”

Despite watching the local pros skate around Dogtown, Natas developed as a skateboarder much on his own. He recalls spending time alone, experimenting and woodshedding tricks.

Nowadays, Natas finds inspiration in the community and collaborates with many artists and craftspeople on various projects.

“These sports are very expressive, and a lot of people consider it an artform. There’s a lot of creative people involved in surfing and skateboarding. And you have this perfect canvas,” Natas says. “You have this tradition of silk screening and adding graphics to skateboards and colors on surfboards. I find it inspiring.”

His latest creations, in collaboration with Shinola , are limited-edition surfboards and beach towels. The two share a similar design—two Ws that pay homage to West Washington Boulevard, the previous name of what is now Abbot Kinney Boulevard and the location of the Shinola Venice store. Natas describes the style as a bit looser, drawing inspiration from traditional 1960s boards with a resin tint and acid splashes.

“The thought was to bring a little bit of that without looking overly traditional,” Natas says. “I wanted to push that a little bit.”

Natas likes to draw from the past, often turning to hand lettering and vintage books for inspiration. He sees today’s great skateboarders—or “rippers” as the skateboard community calls them—learning tricks from history.

“I really love watching this current generation of rippers that pick and choose of era. They don’t stick to just one,” Natas says.

Curating this artform—pulling from tradition while simultaneously challenging it—is no easy task. Natas notes that crafting in traditional ways is a slow and difficult process. These surfboards require a lot of engineering, and shapers and glassers have many variables they must take into account. With hydrodynamics, every detail matters, from the contour of the bottom to the shape of the fin. Crafted by hand with a planer and a saw, these boards require the expert eyes and hands of the shaper.

“There’s a lot of craftspeople involved, people you need to trust and communicate with. Up to a fraction of an inch will make a huge difference,” Natas says.

This kind of commitment to quality drives all of his creations, and it is one of the many reasons that drew Natas to collaborate with Shinola .

“I’ve been doing projects with Shinola for a number of years now, and I really get along with the way they operate—the transparency and the honesty,” he says.

For Natas, quality hinges on reliability, especially when you’re skating the streets or surfing the ocean.

“I’m attracted to things that are of quality because of the reliability. When I go surfing or skating, I don’t want to wonder if this thing is going to break in my hands or not perform the way I want it to,” Natas says. “With quality products, you don’t get left high and dry, and you get to enjoy things to the fullest.”

Quality doesn’t come quickly, but it’s always worth the wait. Shaping can take a long time because of the many elements involved in the creation, Natas says, and shapers are notorious for taking longer than they say.

“It’s a running joke in the surf community: ‘Is my board done yet?’” Natas says.

One thing that is never done for Natas is creating. Whether it’s a new project, painting for fun, or making crafts with his toddler, Natas lives for it all. And though this leaves him with little time for waves or wheels, he still tries to sneak in a surf or a skate whenever he can. Because for Natas, life in California—surfing, skating, creating—never gets old. More at Shinola

West Adler

Banks Journal introduces their newest Comrade West Adler

Fourteen miles from the center of LA lies the famous seaside town of Venice Beach. What first started out as the 'Venice of America', a short lived residential concept by tobacco tycoon Abbott Kinney, the heavily neglected 2 mile stretch of coast quickly transgressed into the 'Slum By the Sea'. The waterways and canals that first drew so many people to the area on the Westside soon became clogged and unnavigable from local oil drilling. Corrupt politics, mismanaged money, and gang violence indirectly became a perfect melting pot for hippies, weirdos, punks and surfers alike. It was here where a homeless bum, Jim Morrison, started writing his first lyrics and booze induced poetry. Jack Kerouac called it a jungle. Andy Warhol called it plastic.

A few blocks inland and the scene transforms to a burgeoning mixture of foodies, socialites and techies. Locals know it as Abbot Kinney Boulevard where more often than not, money is no object. But there's still pockets of the ol' Venice stretch, just visit the boardwalk on any given day or night and you'll be bombarded by the sights, sounds, and yeah, smells. For some, it's a bit easier to navigate than the clogged canals and selfie taking influencers.

We meet West out front of his house. He's 18 and just graduated high school, drives an old Benz and has a couple small dogs that bravely try to chase us away until we bribe them with belly rubs. As the newest comrade to our Banks Journal team, we saw it only fitting to spend some time with the Venice local and (admittedly) make him remind us of what it's like being fresh out of school with nothing but surf on the agenda.

BANKS: Hey West! So tell me about yourself, were you born and raised in Venice?

Yeah, not always in the same spot but yeah, Venice it is. I actually was in Topanga for a few years, but came back for my last year of school.

BANKS: How is it up in Topanga?

It's cool man, just really far from basically everything. You're close to the valley I guess, but nobody wants to be close to the valley, it's hot and boring. Having to navigate traffic around that area is a nightmare. Surfing Topanga, was just as hard to get to as any of the other local breaks, and if you don't leave before the sun comes up you'll be stuck for hours. Both ways, even though I lived right there. I love surfing Topanga though, I like the left better than the right... if you know, than you know.

BANKS: Bit of localism there, huh...

Oh yeah, it's always been like that, such a protected beach even though everyone surfs there. Everyone surfs there and everyone gets yelled at, but it still doesn't deter anyone from going out. It's kinda weird, kinda funny. I've seen people snap fins out of other boards there... Stuff like that isn't even a big deal anymore. I mean it used to be more when I was younger, but it's kinda phased out now, almost. Localism in general, how fast it phased out, was kinda crazy. I remember seeing people get their ass beat in the parking lot with lead pipes and that wouldn't fly anymore. BANKS: I wonder if it's because people film everything these days... WEST: Yeah, and just the volume of people that have moved to Venice or vacation here, is so insane. There's no way you could stop it all, even with heavy localism. It's like a horde of locusts. You can try to catch 'em all but you'll never be able to. It sucks haha. But hey, at least Venice has good food now! LA food used to be such trash. Now it's kinda become a mecca. I like that part about it, there's a few businesses that I appreciate being here that have added some value.

BANKS: What's your go-to spot to surf around here?

The Pier. Although I've been finding these fun little novelty waves in, uhh, we'll say in Dockweiler. And yeah, more recently I've been surfing those but most often you can find me at the pier. Always the pier. There's always gonna be something I can stand up on there cuz the waves are usually shit around here. So at least I know it'll be working. It's close to my house, I know where to park, and I don't have to give a shit, I can just do whatever. It's Venice, it's a little fun, piece of shit wave.

BANKS: Welcome to LA.... What are you usually surfing on?

It depends. Usually in the summer, there's a super fun peak that forms off the north side, so I'll surf a shortboard or something. I've been having a ton of fun on this Rabbit's Foot that I have, it's amazing. It's a Lovelace board that I actually got to shape with him back in 2014, but I just glassed it. It's been wrapped in plastic for like 4 years haha. That thing goes great around here actually, I was surprised. It's an asymmetrical finless, it relies more on channels with a bit of hull influence. There's a lot of different edges and concaves on the board, it's a trip, something you need to see and feel. I love finless boards, I've been surfing them since I was thirteen, I actually bought an alaia for my birthday that year. Like a 6'2" Wegener. It happened to be too big, pretty funny actually, because I traded that in for my first longboard! So that's when I picked up longboarding, kinda random haha.

BANKS: What's your quiver like now?

West: My favorite boards at the moment are:

9’4” Thomas Surfboards Harry model
7’0” 88 Surfboard (always finless)
5’8” Dead Kooks 80s has sick green airbrushed flames.
5’3” Ryan Lovelace Rabbits Foot
5’1” Thomas Surfboards Fish

See more of West in action on his Comrade Page here .

Malibu Jet Ski Tow In Surf

Drone aerial view of a surfer being pulled by a jet ski to catch some waves in Malibu.

Venice Pier - Saturday 8-25-2018

Saturday at the Venice Pier. These photos were shot by Six12 Media .

You can find a few more photos from this session, all full size and in high-resolution, in this photo gallery:

Venice Pier - Saturday 8-25-2018 Gallery

If you were out there, we probably got some cool surfing shots of you, go check them out!

Wanna see photos from previous days at this and otherlocal surf spots?
Click Surf Spot Galleries and look for the spot and then the date.

Weekend To Offer Fun Mix Of Swells

Modest NW/WNW Swell and South Swell Mix
Surf heights for northern, central and southern California for next few days.

Modest South swell, showing largest through SoCal
Lightest winds early, although onshore flow mostly
SPAC and tropics looking active in the longer range

Down at the Bu - a film by Jack Coleman

Big city, bright lights: everybody we know can be found here. Jack Coleman and a full cast of characters descended upon the 'bu for a lengthy board meeting on this most recent south swell. Palms were greased, deals were made, and the majority shareholders were pleased with their return on investment. Enjoy this edit of the multi-shredder conglomerate of Southern California.

Jared Mell

Join Crap surf fam Jared Mell in Malibu for a classic summer day of beach and beers and south swell.

Fresh Swells Move In

WNW/NW and S Swell Mix; Winds An issue
Surf heights for northern, central and southern California on Tuesday.

NW windswell and old S swell easing out into mid week
New out of season WNW/NW swell for mid-late week
Fresh South swell also moves in, modest in size
Onshore winds an issue with S winds/eddy for SoCal

California's Official State Sport Is Surfing

On Monday, surfing became the official sport of California; Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill making it so.

"I am stoked that surfing is now California's official sport," declared Al Muratsuchi, state assemblyman and a dedicated surfer dude himself, after Brown put his signature to the new law Muratsuchi wrote and shepherded through the Legislature.

"No other sport represents the California Dream better than surfing — riding the waves of opportunity and living in harmony with nature," added Muratsuchi, a surfer since high school who represents the city of Torrance, a place not far from the heralded California surf break called Haggerty's. (Yes, the one mentioned in the Beach Boys' song "Surfin' USA.")

While the law acknowledges that surfing, like so much other California stuff, actually came from somewhere else — in this case Hawaii — it also makes the case that California revolutionized the art of shooting the curl and hanging 10.

The Golden State is the heart of the surfboard building industry and the place where the wetsuit was invented, state officials say, and with 1,100 miles (1,770 kilometers) of coastline, it provides a surfer's paradise that Muratsuchi estimates generates more than $6 billion in annual retail sales.

Michael Scott Moore, author of the acclaimed 2010 surfing history "Sweetness and Blood," agrees that although Hawaii is the cradle of surfing, California did play a key role in revolutionizing the sport.

"Modern surfing was born in Huntington Beach, Malibu, the South Bay, Manhattan, Redondo," Moore said, referencing many of the beachfront cities the Beach Boys call out in "Surfin USA."

"That's where new technologies in surf design got developed," continued Moore, an avid surfer himself. "We had a lot of aerospace technicians who were into surfing, and they developed new shapes for surfboards that turned the sport into something of a pop cultural phenomenon."

Basically, California builders began making boards safer, lighter, easier to stand on and easier to maneuver through the water than the ones the Hawaiians had used for centuries, Moore said. They also added a key feature, the skeg or bottom-of-the-board rudder and, yes, they invented the wetsuit.

Meanwhile, popular "Beach Party" movies of the 1960s that starred teen heartthrobs Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon made it look to the rest of the country like one big surf party was going on nonstop in California. The Beach Boys, Dick Dale, Jan and Dean and other popular musicians of the time provided the soundtrack.

"It's part of the California mythology," University of Southern California pop culture historian Leo Braudy said. "The idea of someone becoming Californianized, and if you become Californianized then surfing is part of the deal."

Indeed, Huntington Beach now calls itself Surf City and is home to the Surfers' Hall of Fame and the International Surfing Museum. Oceanside has the California Surf Museum. In Redondo Beach, there is a bust of George Freeth, hailed as California's first surfer after he began dazzling local crowds with his wave-riding skills in 1907.

(Freeth actually learned to surf in his native Hawaii, where it's been the official sport since 1998.)

But no matter. Which state lays claims to surfing as its sport doesn't bother surfers all that much, said Moore, who has surfed all over the world.

"As long as the waves are good, we don't care," he said laughing.

Venice Pier - Sunday 8-19-2018

Another Sunday at the Venice Pier. These photos were shot by Six12 Media from around 6:30 A.M. till about 2:30 P.M. These are just some of the photos. If you were out there, you probably got some surfing shots in the complete photo galleries, check them out, the links are down below.

You can find more photos from this session, all full size and in high-resolution, in this photo gallery:

Venice Pier - Sunday 8-19-2018 Gallery

If you were out there, we probably got some cool surfing shots of you, go check them out!

Wanna see photos from previous days at this and otherlocal surf spots?
Click Surf Spot Galleries and look for the spot and then the date.