the good life

First off, I want to thank everyone who comes to visit this site and has been over the years. I don’t actually get paid to do this and I know there are hundreds of thousands of other amazing things going on in the world, so I thank you for stopping by checking things out, offering your support of my life choices and sharing your comments. So to show you my appreciation, today’s entry is a slide show, just for you, you’re in luck.

November is proving to be a beautiful month. It rains some, on and off, but every few days or so the boys get out and climb something radical and new, November is not as bad as people are always telling me it is, of course, if you came here just to climb that would be frustrating, but we locals are rather enjoying ourselves. There is an off season (and this is ours) no matter where you live in the world, except Boulder, Colorado, but that doesn’t count for much because nobody leaves the spot anyway.

I’ve been pretty busy these days, I have a lot of inspiration for many things besides climbing. I’ve been writing a fair bit, (which would explain my lack of blog entries and lack of creativity, sorry) selling some photographs I’ve taken over the years and building hangboards in my work shop from Oak and Poplar. They have been hugely effective and they look pretty bad ass. I designed them based on the floating stair concept of Japanese architecture. There is great interest in these so far, and I’m excited about the road ahead, I’ll keep you posted.

I have a few ideas for upcoming film projects I want to shoot, but they are quite involved and I’m trying to decide how much time I’m willing to invest in watching someone else climb behind the lens. It’s a balancing act. And last but not least, I’ve been nursing my infected finger, which has taken much longer than I expected to heal, it’s a dirty world people, watch your backs. About three or four days ago, I was certain the finger nail was coming off and it was, but it’s gotten stronger now and the wound is closing up, that doesn’t mean it’s good, just that it’s an improvement from last week. I wanted to take a picture and post it, but man, it looks like a fucking car wreck and I fear if I post it, then you will spit up your banana, turkey breakfast milkshake and nobody will ever come to visit my site again. EVER.

So I won’t. But I will leave you with some pictures. I hope you enjoy them.

For those of you who don’t know, Yvon Chouinards son is a born and bred surfer. Along with his legendary father and owner of the patagonia clothing company, Fletcher lives and breathes the culture, the ocean, the life. Instead of just working for his fathers empire, Fletcher realized years ago that he’s a creative soul and turned his passion for waves into a business. What he has now is called Fletcher Chouinard Design Surfboards. FCD.

I was down in the charming little town of Ventura for a design meeting last month and during my lunch break, took it upon myself to walk around the headquarters of FCD. Both Fletcher and Yvon have the spirit of true entrepreneurs, they inspire me because they are not afraid to work, they are not afraid to get their hands dirty, experiment and build a company from the ground up. That is beautiful. Here are the photo’s of Fletchers Work Shop, I hope to have a shop like this one day of my own, next to the surf, the stone and/or the mountain. Here is a slide show of sorts…let me know what you think,

Some pretty amazing talent in this room. Everyone from rock climbers, surfers, alpinists, artists, writers, photographers and designers.

Still intact and still with character. The original Chouinard Equipment tin shed. The birthplace of the piton and the patagonia movement. Notice how they constructed the new buildings around this, keeping the integrity of the dream alive. The eighth wonder of the world I might say.

The Fletcher Chouinard Design headquarters. The beginning of a new dream. Stop in and say hi.

local flora and fauna.

The office space.  No suit and tie for these lads, no plastic water coolers with crummy styrofoam cups, no fake dust collecting plants stashed in the corners, no crooked picture frames with the stock image still stuck behind the glass.  No tile ceilings, no cubicles, no traffic jams, no high heeled L.A. secretary with stuck on nails (although maybe there should be).  No stuffy meetings, no coffee and donuts, no graphs or charts, no shoes and no shirts.  Work should be fun.

The tools of the trade. Smack. I need a rack like that. My shop is still in progress.

The colorful rack of the finished product. They also carry Jerry Lopez surfboards in here. It’s a sacred space.

Zoe Hart, Kristo Torgerson and I leaving the office early for a sliding session.

OBAMA. 2008. The year of change. It’s refreshing to see this in a parking lot.

Well, that’s it for now, if you liked it, I could post the rest of the day, where we went to visit Kieth Malloy at his house, borrowed some gear then actually went surfing, before we went to the new woodshed films production and caught a glimpse of Kelly Slater (or the back of his head at least) and watched Matt Costa the young music sensation now performing with Jack Johnson, it was one hell of a day, but can’t post all pictures in one blah-g. That would be too much, besides we are BBQ ing tonight and I’m getting HUNGRY!

  • Dom

    FCS just do the fins + racks etc, Fletchers company is FCD, site is (,Patagonia wetsuits picking up a good rep as well.


  • sonnie

    Dom, thanks for the good words, you are absolutely right. I’m a dyslexic mofo when it comes to initials. I’ll make the slight changes immediately. Where you from? Those patagonia wetsuits are perfect for the waves up here in Canada, cold water + WARM ass wet suits = perfect days. Safe travels.

  • elias

    There’s nothing better than surfing and climbing,period. Nature at its best. elias

  • Suzanne

    I like that bike, very unique look to it. I’ll always prefer windsurfing over surfing, no offence 😉

  • Daniel

    pff surfing… there is nothing better than climbing and paragliding 😉 keep up the good writing sonnie, really like your blog. greetz from innsbruck

  • Richard

    Great slideshow!! It shows that there is no difference between work and life style, just pure passion!!

    It’s really good to read about passioned people. Hats of to Patagonia and the people who enjoy the outdoor life!!

    Cheers Richard
    (climber and surfer from Holland.. No mountains and poor but fun waves!)

  • right on brotha. been diggin your bloggage for a while now. keep on keepin on.

    how warmass are those new Pati 5/4’s?

  • Sonnie

    Thanks for the kind words guys, good to hear from you. Holland? Innsbruck? Whoa! Very nice.

  • Emma

    Hey Sonnie, what’s that big green plant in the picture?? We have a giant one in our new garden, and it’s growing like topsy, but I don’t know what it is and I don’t know if I can cut it back without killing it. Maybe the frost here will do the job for me. It’s been pretty chilly for Edinburgh! Hope you are all well. Emma

  • Nice post Sonnie. Thank you for sharing, I hope your finger gets better soon.

  • Trevor

    People are really enjoying your blog, as am I. I think that you should post more on what Patagonia and what the Malloy’s are doing. “180 Degrees South” comes out next year as you probably already know; the Malloys’ filmmaking and what Yvon has done are changing the way people are living through their inspiration. So, when people start the onslought of Googling for 180 Degrees South next year they will eventually find their way to your Blog. I really believe that finding their way to your Blog will increase the population of Good Stewards in this world. Good Stewards that will treat others and the world that we live in more kindly and with more respect; more of this will be a great thing. There are a ton of people in this world that are dreaming of working with their hands and challenging their minds through climbing and the pursuit of becoming more in tune with the freedom of the hills. Keep posting brother and we will keep on reading. If you are ever in Colorado Springs drop me a line and we will go attack Shelf Road and Garden of the Gods.

    Peace and love,