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It May Be Stormy Somewhere, but It's Been Swell Here

July 29, 1993|Rick Fignetti and David Reyes | Rockin' Fig is Rick Fignetti, a Huntington Beach surfer/shop owner. Times staff writer David Reyes has reported on U.S. surf teams competing in Bali and Brazil. and

Orange County's recent Southern Hemisphere swell was a doozy. According to Rockin' Fig, it separated the men from the novices and broke plenty of boards.

Sean Collins with Surfline/Wavetrak said that during the three-week swell, waves were up to eight feet on the face and larger. Collins said another series of storms from New Zealand could be due this week, with something big off Antarctica.

Figgy's friend, John Parmenter, 1985 U.S. surfing champion, said that so far, it was summer's best swell.

"It's been going off for three weeks here," said Parmenter, 30, of Huntington Beach. "There hasn't been a day under three feet."

Parmenter--"Parmy" to his friends--is one of surfing's more animated characters, especially after he's had some good waves and a few cold beers. Figgy sometimes just floats his eyeballs toward the back of his head when Parmenter is on.

"I like to see power turns by real strong surfers," Parmenter said. "Off the bat, I can think of Dane, Johnny Boy, B.K., Nat Young, Sarlo, Elkerton, Bud Llamas and Tom Carroll--these guys can just WRECK waves."

Parmenter's surfing style is similar to those who gouge waves for a living. In fact, he hates "slide-slippin' " surfers. Parmenter used a nasal twang as he took a shot at San Clemente's Dino Andino, who was the subject of a recent Times article.

"You guys in the media should stop writing articles about these little boys like Deeeno Andeeeno, slipping around the wave. I wanna see the guys who gouge the water. Guys who get hernias when they turn. . . .

"I don't want to see these ding-dong surfers doing their twinkie dance."

You can see why Figgy rolls his eyes sometimes, huh?

But Parmenter gives credit where it's due. Although he didn't make the finals at the recent West Coast Pro/Am surfing contest at Huntington Beach, he did describe how fellow pro surfer Richie Collins of Newport Beach went off on a 12-foot barrel.

"It was double overhead, and Richie came down the face, went up the lip and blew off 20-foot spray!" Parmenter said. "It looked like he shouldn't have gone off on the next turn, but he set it up and went way OVER VERT (vertical). I was walking down the beach, and I heard they gave him, like, a 9.8 on the wave."

He keeps slamming the waves like that and something's got to give, Figgy said. Maybe that's why Richie keeps hurting his back.

Trestles update: With onshore breezes and big walls with heavy side currents from the recent southern swell, dawn patrol folks were scoring great waves here.

Get well: Bob Bohanan, co-publisher of Longboarder magazine, is recovering from a July 1 heart transplant at UCI Medical Center in Orange.

Bohanan, 43, says he's feeling weak but OK. He said he had no prior discomfort but had scheduled a routine checkup with his doctor. They did tests and noticed the heart muscle was not 100%. Bob's doctor told him it was either a new heart or chapter eternal.

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