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FINLESS IN SAN O WITH YANN AND JOEY

Photography & Words By: Mike Townsend 

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“Yann, what’re the directions again? Oh shit, I know the place, I’ll be there in 20.”

“OK fantastic, see you then.”

I pull up to see barefooted Yann in front of his house waving me in. I’m pretty sure I’ve never seen this man wearing anything that would resemble shoes, and I met him in Manhattan.

“Hello, Yann, how’s the new apartment going for you?”

“It’s great, man, come check out my garden. Do you want some tea?”

“Sure, thank you.”

He puts on an Archy video from the 90’s, just in time for Joey to join us. I find it interesting that these two kids, both 20 years younger than I, who love to longboard and surf finless, are also into Archy ripping on a oversized potato chip from the 90’s. As Archy gets us fired up to surf off the wall, the boys say let’s head to San O.

I’m game–it’s what I had intended to do in the first place. Plus, I like these two young eccentrics. Joey reminds me of my childhood friend Sal. Has a similar demeanor.

“Hey Yann, fuck the racks, let’s just toss the boards in the back.”

For some reason I despise racks. I have no idea why, but I do.

“Ok, might be a bit tight back there.”

“Don’t worry, Joey will fit.”

Yann grabs his three quarters of a now finless yellow softtop and stuffs it in the backseat.

“How’s that board, Yann?”

“Ha, I love that board, it works so good! You have to try it!”

“Of course, Yann, I’m down,” I say.  I’ve always been curious as to why Jack Coleman loves those slabs.

So we pull up to your typical shitty San O wave, but it’s not shitty to Yann and Joey’s trained eyes. They absolutely do not hesitate getting out there.

“Come on, Mike, let’s surf!”

Suddenly they’re ripping, spinning, and trimming with tons of speed. Yes, I said spinning.

After watching them make burgers of waves look inviting, I run out to join them. A month or so later, I’m completely hooked on this finless bullshit. I took the fins off my 6’9″, and it works like a charm. Well, at least until another overhead swell.

So thank you, Yann and Joey (and Jack C), for the wonderful afternoon, plus the new finless addiction.

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