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Close Encounters of
Craig Kemnitz
Great Lakes Longboarder
Chicago, IL

Homepage:  Great Lakes Surfing!

click on image to see full-size - Craig @ Waikiki

"Which posters to alt.surfing have you met, surfed, or tripped with, where and when?"

Being from the Great Lakes means not having the best surfing condtions (OK, it often means having NO surfing).  But I've had the good fortune to meet lots of alt.surfers during three years of travel for work and pleasure. My current  point total is likely on hiatus, I'm raising three of my own little groms now while I finish up more grad school. So for now, I'll look at my pictures and dream a lot!

I met and surfed with Neal and Bud in paradise (Hawaii) in 1999. It was great fun to meet them! We surfed (and I got worked over the reef) at Lighthouse, close to Honolulu. Bud and Neal demonstrated their  incredible surfing talents,  and Neal joined me later for some small wave action at Queens, in front of my hotel.  Neal's description is at:  Hisurfadvisory

Christmas Eve with the Guidos. 12/23-24/1999
I know I don't get extra points for spending a lot of time with one alt.surfer, but I sure made a lot of trips down to New Jersey. On those trips I got to meet a lot of the NJ crew. Sadly, waves NEVER cooperated for me in New Jersey, I did a total of seven trips down there.  I haven't read anything from "Ludes" lately. "Ludes",  Foon and Rod are the only alt.surfers I've met on both coasts.
 A Chistmas Eve with Team Guido

My first NE alt.surfing points happened while I was on a project in Boston. Rico Bates invited me out for the weekend and I enjoyed meeting Doc and El Roca. It was during a Nor'easter that Cape Cod got some snow and we went out to see (unfortuantely not surf) some head high waves at Coast Guard Beach.  See Story on Lakesurf

I finally got to see the Rhode Island point everyone on the east coast speaks of (...sans surf :( ). Bruce and I met up and we stayed in a small motel near the Connecticut border. The next day we met up with New England Todd for some surf at Narragansett Town Beach.  I "forced" those guys to get wet, just for the principle of it all! Of all of the things that surprised me, Bruce had brought along some vintage Great Lakes Surfing Association stuff from the 1960s, and originally hails from Michigan! 
see story at Lakesurf

Bob Gleshna sighting  On a weekend break  from Boston I was back in Chicago, contemplating surfing some small two footers on Lake Michigan. My wife was with me in Evanston and we had just walked through the campus of my alma mater, Nothwestern. At Greenwood Street a lone figure was surfing the small waves in the sunshine. We watched him finish up and start packing up his gear. I noticed the board... a white home-made longboard. >From a few of his posts and descriptions,  I thought it might be Bob.  So I asked him.  I later got an email from Bob, "So how did you like my board"?

Dee Dee on World Surfing Day y2k I think Dee Dee is likely the nicest alt.surfer I've ever met. While we didn't "trip" together, we spent the better part of an afternoon driving up to "The Wall" in New Hampshire on a blustery day. I will never forget visiting the "Crow's Nest", and having a drink with Dee Dee after dinner in Gloucester, MA. The place is straight out of  "Perfect Storm"  fame.
World Surfing Day, y2k  (PS I think one of the images was over-written!)

My miserable days at IBM were  interspersed with some very fine surfing days. And, it was in beautiful Boston that I became interested in becoming a marathoner.  Since then, I'm in good enough shape to try an "ultra" this spring!  A fine individual who usually posts on alt.surfing.longboard helped keep me stoked while I was in Boston is Tony Puleo.  He showed me a few of his local spots and we enjoyed some winter ocean surfing.  Witch Burnings and Surfing at Kings

We also headed out to Cape Cod and met up with Doc a bit later in the spring. We shared a "crowded" session...with a seal!  Small surf at Coast Guard Beach

In April of 2000, my family hit the Hawaiian Islands, again. While the family was out viewing museums and touristy stuff,  I surfed as much as possible...to my wife's chagrin!  I had the opportunity to surf with Mama Sus at her secret spot on the South Shore.  The waves were (shall we say) a "bit" bigger than I was used to on the Great Lakes! Mama is one really nice person!  I attempted to meet up with Bud again, but our signals got crossed and I got help up in "town" traffic! Fortunately for Bud, he was in "surf traffic" in the lineup at Lighthouse!   Mama Sus in Honolulu with my wife and little boy

GPY2K at Cape Hatteras - Sept. 2000. I took a long weekend and rented a conversion van to hit the GPY2k with m@rk. [see the pic!]  We drove all night to get there and the waves didn't cooperate. On the way down, m@rk , Surfsarge and I surfed at Bradley Beach in the sunshine.  This topic has been covered at length elsewhere. It was a fun time!

The San O Paloozas
Fortunately I got down to Southern California quite a few times. Sometimes I met up with A.S. people, sometimes not. The best host in Alt.Surfing has been the famous NeoN, who hosted the public "parties" we had at San Onofre, near San Clemente. 

I met lots of a.s.ers at the first San O Palooza back in 2000. Accompanying me was a friend named Dave from Milwaukee. Lost car keys and many steaks and beers later, Dave grabbed the car keys and got me back to Encinitas!

On subsequent San O paloozas, we even got the famous B_K out in the water!  On one  San O palooza, I met up with Larry "Longboard" Williams and Teek (who posts on A.S.) from Sheboygan, WI. I got to see SndBchGuy's famous Hydrofoil, met Foon for the first time, Tom Keener, surfed with John Hermesman, and Dan "Crag" King, and met Bill Andrews and Joanne Van Meter.

Last time I was out, I met Rod Rodgers and we shared a place at a vintage hotel in San Diego. Rod  had to fly out early to try to stay ahead of a massive snow storm hitting the east coast. On that trip I briefly met George Barnes, when he returned from surfing with Rod at Blacks. (and seeking a lost wallet!!)  We also shared a great Mexican lunch with Graeme Rae and NeoN and the Milleniums.
San O Paloozas versions 1.0, 2.1 and 2.2

Christmas Dinner at New York Greenwich Village 2000
It was a blustery day in Lower Manhattan when Gail and I arrived for a weekend of shopping.  I had the Pope Bisect with me and I knew  a huge low would be hitting the NJ coast.  Anyway, surf with M@rk didn't happen because the trains were "stuck" in the blizzard that happened the next day. We were stranded for three days.  I can think of worse places to be stranded...  Too bad about the surf, though.
 Chirstmas Dinner Greenwich Village 2000

Gulf Surfer hits Chicago  Andy had posted that he was hitting Milwaukee and then heading south for a convention. It was a blustery, early 2001 January.  Anyway, I have met so few Gulf surfers before and I was interested to "compare notes".  Andy is actually orginally from Chicago and he can appreciate the ambiance of this city and the ethnic neighborhoods.  Andy, his lovely wife and I  topped off the evening with drinks on top of the 100 story Hancock and we had  a massive Greek dinner in Greektown.  We toasted alt.surfing as we watched the waiter serving flaming saganaki. Oapah!

A fantastic trip that only involved one other alt.surfer was with tdsurf (Tom Duncan). We tripped down to Mainland Mexico with our families. The surf wasn't fantastic, but we had lots of fun. We even paid a fisherman to take us out to a "mysto" break that was impressive (for the setup, anyway). Tom is a great surfer and all around nice guy!  Mexico Trip 2001

As Gamivia Duke writes,

"That's all for now".


GuidoPalooza 2003.  More at the GP2K3 page. Met the Griz but we did not do a session together. Reunited with several others.

November 2009 - Sully Visits CraigK in Chicago. Read the report here.

Other Items of Interest

AS Points Log:  I have...
... met the following ASers ...surfed with these ASers ...traveled with these ASers
Andy Woodard
Bill Andrews
Bob Gleshna
Dee Dee
Doug Klee
Drew "DaGriz" Hazzlerigg
El Roca
George Barnes
Graeme Rae
Joanne VanMeter
John Singer
Lisa "Ljswahine"
Marty Pone Pesos
Michael  Lietzow 
Mike C
Mike "Sully" Sullivan
Neal Carver

Reid Kelly
Rico Bates
Son of Sunash
Tim Maddux
Tom Keener
Tom Tweed
Buddy Williams
Dan "Crag" King
John Hermesman
Mama Süs
Neal "Sponge" Miyake
Terry Hendricks (sdbchguy)
Tony Puleo
Bruce "BTW" Weaver
KC Filer
m@rk Sisom (Guido)
Nancy Schultz (1Surfergirl)
Rod Rodgers
Surf Sarge
Tom "TdSurf" Duncan


25 x 1 point = 12 x 2 points = 12 x 3 points =
26 points 24 points 36 points

Pointaltsurfing.org totals: 86

Forward your Close Encounters to the Close Encounters Points Keeper .

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Last updated on 11/10/09
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