Thursday, March 31, 2011

El Porto Washing Machine

Surf Report:  2-4 feet dumpers with a few shoulders
Atmosphere:  The most beautiful sunset
Water: Cold
Winds: On shore

Dais sent me a message saying that he was going to paddle out tonight.  I really felt like staying home and resting up, but man, I took one look out of my office overlooking Century City, and seeing the sun shining down warmly, I had to go too.  I was a bit hesitant because I still had some mucus stuck in my sinuses, so I wanted my sinus to dry out, but shit, Dais is going?  I gotta go too!

My boss leaves kind of early, so I left kind of early.  Good thing he doesn’t read this blog.  Or does he?  It is tax season, and I shouldn’t be leaving early, but one of the other tax partners said, “You should never work 7 days a week.  That’s just crazy.  You have to get your rest and fun time.  Your productivity will fall.”  So, this was my chance to have some fun time in order to increase productivity at work!

I get home, get changed, grab some quarters, and try to find my dad’s camera.  I knew the sunset would be amazing, and I wanted to take a picture of it.  Unfortunately, I couldn’t find it.  Oh well.  Hurry up!  Get out of your house.  Dais was already half way to Porto by the time I left my house.

I get a call saying that he’s pulling into the parking lot.  He texts me that he will be south of the bathrooms, and that Biz will be there too.  I pull into the parking lot and snag the first spot I see, in front of 45th.  I take a look around, and see close outs after close outs after close outs.  In my mind, I would see these nice small shoulders form, and the section flatten out.  Then it reforms on the inside and dumps onto the shore-pound.  I decide to take out my fish.

The sky was just enigmatically beautiful.  The sunset was a mix of purple and orange, an emotion of Mother Nature I have only seen on screensavers.  The horizon was getting dimmer and dimmer as I stretched, trying not to rush through my routine even though the sun seemed to drop lower and lower, faster as the seconds ticked by.  I took a piss in my wetsuit while stretching, trying to relax myself. 

I try to time my paddle out right, but I soon realized that maybe I should have just gone to Venice High’s swimming pool instead today.  Just one after the other, I duck dived a close out wave.  I could feel the power of the Ocean just pushing me back, every single time.  Mary Jane felt heavy under me to duck dive.  After riding my thruster, I feel this board is way too big!  That’s unfair.  So it seemed like one of those days, where all I was doing was duck diving.  Paddle twice, duck dive.  Paddle again, duck dive.  Paddle paddle paddle.  Duck dive.  Look over to another surfer, and he’s caught on the inside too.  Paddle paddle paddle.  Duck dive.  I heard a wave crashing behind the white water wall that I was able to see.  Great.  Duck dive.  Half paddle, duck dive.  I hear another one crash beyond the white water. 

This duck dive marathon happened for a good ten minutes.  I had thirty minutes in the meter, stretched for five, and duck dived for ten.  Awesome, I thought.  In between duck dives, I can see the orange purple sky get more vibrant with a swirl of colors that Vincent Van Gogh would have drawn a masterpiece to.  Every time I resurfaced, the sky would burn another mental picture in my head’s hard drive. 

I finally see a lull and gun for the horizon.  There was a beautiful psychedelic orange swirling with the purple, dark sky as some spotty clouds created shadows on the distant horizon.  The line up was calm and quiet.  It was a stark contrast from the inside turmoil of white water rushing to kick you out of the water.  If Porto had a velvet rope, then that white water was surely the velvet rope, bouncer with a clipboard with the guest list, and heavy industrial door made of steel.  I then see Dais.  I guess his name was on the guest list. 

We chit chat about the shore pound and the line up, and try to psyche ourselves up for one good wave.  We saw these guys south of us tearing up a left.  There was a right that broke to the north of us that seemed rippable but no one was on it.  The outside sets weren’t really on the outside, but kind of rolled through and cleaned up the whole line up.  It was just classic Dump Rider Crew conditions.  I tried to paddle for some waves, but I came up empty.  I tried to paddle for the right on the north of us, but came up empty.  Dais went for a few rights, but didn’t like what he saw so he pulled out too.  I don’t blame him.  It was difficult getting anything out there. 

I had to paddle in.  I didn’t want a ticket from the Meter Nazis of El Porto.  I went for an inside reform, and ate shit on six inches of water.  Oh well, I thought.  As long as I tried!  I said a big Mahalo’s to the Ocean, and said, “Man, I got ma ass KICKED today!” out loud, talking to Her as I respectfully bowed out of the stage.  I felt that the sunset was totally worth the paddle out. 

Dais pretty much had a similar experience, so I wasn’t too unhappy with the session.  Matt showed up on his way of running some errands to say what’s up.  I was telling him about the new swell coming in for this weekend. 

He asked me whether or not we should stay local.  I tell him, “You know how this place gets when its overhead….” 

We contemplate for a second.  We both raise our eyebrows in synch. 


Dais, Randall (fresh off of work), Biz and I go to Tacomiendo on Gateway afterwards.  Dais had a gargantuan burrito, Randall had two shrimp tacos, Biz got the carne asada torta with extra guacamole (that was good stuff) and I got the meat ball soup and beans.  Nothing like some Mexican food after a surf session in Porto. 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Rejuvenation Session - Churches and Outhouses

Surf Report:  2-4 Feet, Chest high max
Winds:  Slight off shore to on shore
Atmosphere:  Misty rain, and some sun!
Water:  Cold

After I got back from Saturday’s surf session, I had to go to work.  Once at work, my boss threw down a stack of work for me to finish and left one hour after I arrived (he was there since 1000.)  I worked, and I needed to take a nap so I knocked out on the floor of my room for two hours.  After that I felt rejuvenated.  I worked for another two hours, and left since I had to attend my sister’s surprise birthday party.  I ate a lot last night at my sister’s surprise birthday party.  About 11 people came out to celebrate my sister’s 28th birthday, and we ate our fill at the one and only Metro CafĂ©.  My dad took a look at my aching foot and found a few pieces of rocks still stuck inside my foot.  He patched me up and I packed up my stuff into the car and went to bed.

600 AM:  I wake up and start to get ready.  Matt texts me when I was leaving, and I told him that I was leaving now.  I head out the door, get in the car, and drive down Santa Monica Boulevard as it rained down on my car.  Then… I had to poop.  BADLY.  The poop was probably delayed a few minutes after I left the house because I didn’t do my yoga stretches before leaving.  So, I bust a 180 and head back home to annihilate the bathroom.  After feeling 10 pounds lighter, I get back into my car and make the long trek south. 

It rained in LA.  Then it cleared up.  Then it rained in Long Beach.  Then it cleared up a little.  Then it started pouring in Irvine.  It cleared up a bit again.  Matt called me to see where I was.  He told me they would wait for me.  So, I tried to gun down the 405.  The 405 changed to the 5, and it was still a bit misty from the small droplets of rain.  I bumped my Scrublife Mixtape by Wax and EOM as I trekked down past Christianitos and arrived at Basilone. 

I was greeted by Jay as he was getting changed.  I met Boris for the first time, and Dais and Matt were already in their wetsuits, ready to go.  Jay is an El Porto regular, and I read about his adventures many times in Matt’s blog, but I never had the honor of surfing with him, let alone meet him.  The crew was assembled and ready to go.  I left MJ (my fish) in the car, and Jay left his 7S Superfish in his car and took out Boris’s potato chip thruster.  Matt took out Georgina and Dais took out his Desire`.  We are breaking Rick’s heart by going for thrusters instead of fishes.  Today was definitely a fish day though, but I felt that the thruster needed to be dusted off and taken out. 

I obtained her a long time ago as my first shortboard purchase, and haven’t really ridden it at all because my skills were lacking in surfing.  I spray painted a rising sun onto it and took it out today though, since I felt she needed to get wet.   

We walked down to Churches as Matt, Jay and Dais filled me in on their session last night and their feast that Boris had prepared.  They went from ashy to classy in about three hours, starting with hot dogs to gluten free trader joe’s foods and special German meats including beef, pork and bacon.  They also told me about the skunk that was ravaging through the garbage last night, and how Matt had to chase it away.  Also, there was a dead bird that they tried to revive by feeding it.  I think they should have fed the bird some chicken, but that would be cannibalism. 

We walk down to Lowers and take a look down to Uppers.  Outhouses and Churches looked better, so we turned around and went back to Outhouses.  Matt and Jay were the first to hit the water, and Dais went in third.  I stayed a little bit longer to stretch since I didn’t get to do that in the morning when I woke up.  So far, I’ve been able to do yoga every morning right when I woke up except for this day, so I did a longer warm up yoga session before paddling out.

The cuts on my feet weren’t healed, and I added a few more on the walk out today too.  The potato chip felt like an old girlfriend of mine as I paddled out on her.  At first we shook hands and chit chatted, catching up with each other.  I was looking at landmarks to see where the waves were breaking.  I tried to position myself in the best place possible.

Jay was the first to draw blood.  Actually, he caught three waves before any of us caught anything.  He has this super powerful paddle and he dolphin kicks into everything.  There were a lot of waves that made me doubt that he was going to get into them, but he muscles his way into them and pops up in a trademark wide stance going regular foot.  He wasn’t busting any turns, but he sure was able to catch a lot of waves on this borrowed potato chip. 

Matt paddled all the way down to the Lowers’ peak and disappeared for a good half hour.  He said he got three rides over there but it was way too crowded for his comfort. 

Dais snakes me again!  On one of my rides, I see him on my inside, and I was watching him paddle into it the whole time.  I was just about to initiate my pump when he pops up, so I straighten out.  I watch him get to his feet, speed wobble, then eat it in the white water.  I ride out straight and laugh it off.

Cheryl and her cousin Michelle came out too!  Cheryl was on her fish, and Michelle was on a 7 foot thruster.  I give Cheryl a hug in the water and exchange pleasantries with Michelle.  Matt came back from Outhouses, so we had a full DRC group hanging out in front of Churches. 

This one guy with a hat on was tearing shit up at our spot.  He had a swallow tail thruster and would pump down the line on a lot of rights, cutting back casually as he re-entered the wave. 

The sun started to show through a patch of blue in the gray skies.  The winds switched to on shores, but I felt the conditions improved. 

My thruster felt like my skateboard under my feet.  I didn’t even have to think about popping up on this board.  Paddling back to the line up seemed like a drag, but paddling into waves was really easy.  I think I was driven to succeed today since I had such a crappy session the day before.  The rejuvenation session was being fulfilled on an old rehabbed girl of mine, and she did extremely well.  I can just hear Randy in the background saying “I told you so,” about riding thrusters. 

On one particular wave, I was able to pop up on the white water and stick with the wave in a way that it pushed me back on to the face, like how you see the pro’s do it on the webcast.  I was a little surprised but realized I had a chance to do a fat bottom turn on it and go up the face on it, so I did.  I carved up, and tried to throw out my tail, but came unstuck like a barney and ate it mid face. 

Matt paddled into this set wave that came to him, and so I decided I wanted to snake him.  I saw that he wasn’t really going to make it around the white water, so I thought it would be great to do it.  He took off on the feathering peak and dropped down with a trade mark stance.  I paddled for it on the shoulder and completely dropped in on him, and made it down the line till the wave closed out.  I apologized to him later (but not really) and felt kind of bad for doing that. 

Jay kept on getting wave after wave on this potato chip.  He pops up in a super wide stance and glides down the face of the wave.  I think Dais wanted to do the same, so he paddled for a lot of waves and ended up catching a lot of waves too.  I like it how our group inspires each other to push and push and push. 

Another wave of mine, I tried to tuck myself under the lip.  The lip today was a bit pitchy, and so when I popped up, I stuck my whole hand in the wave face.  I remember it distinctly how I felt my whole board just slow down as I dragged my whole hand in the face, and then the wave just cover me up.  Then, the lip took out my head, and I was head over heels.  Not to let up, Mother Ocean took me on another ride and pitched me over the falls after I hit the flats.  I came up smiling though, since I thought that was pretty fun and harmless. 

Michelle caught a lot of waves this session.  I was impressed at her ability to go both right and left, and she has a lot of style points going down the line, even when she kicks out.  Dais and I agreed that she is kakkoii, which literally means, “looks cool” in Japanese.  There was one stand out ride that’s still imprinted in my mind for her:  I was on the inside, paddling back out.  She paddled for a rare left, and pops up.  I thought she popped up way too soon, but her board makes the drop nicely.  She grabs rail momentarily, lets go, trims down the line, sticks her hand in the face to cut back on the left, and then keeps going left.  I couldn’t believe my eyes.  It was super stylish! 

Cheryl was struggling on her fish.  She said she needed more board under her.  I told her she needed more paddle power, and to prove it I would switch boards with her and paddle into waves.  She opted not to, and instead traded boards with Michelle.  I don’t recall if she caught waves with that board either, but hey, she tried! 

Dais went for a lot of waves today, and popped up on many of them.  I think this day was the most waves he was able to pop up on.  Thankfully when he was finished with his ride and on the inside, he would cheer us on when we would take rides.  I remember hearing a few hoots from him as I pumped down the line on a wave. This one wave, I paddled at a steep angle.  It seemed more natural to do so on the thruster.  The pop up was smooth and easy, and the face of the wave just opened up.  There was a nice blue gray wall of water, feathering at the top of the lip, and just some ripples on the face.  It felt so good just pumping up and down, and I hear a "woooOOoooo~" from Dais.  The wave starts to close out, so I get one more pump in before straightening out.  The white water crashes behind me. This is exactly what I was dreaming and mind surfing Thursday night when I lost sleep.  The wave was just so beautiful and clean. 

I was really amazed at how good the conditions became as we spent more time in the water.  Matt was shivering as his rippling back and thighs shown through his wetsuit.  Dais was all smiles (as always) and Jay had this O-face going on.  Michelle was smiling in the line up as she popped up on another wave.  Cheryl might have been a bit frustrated not being able to catch too many waves.  I for one was having fun on my old girl, and felt redeemed from my debacle yesterday. 

Matt took this one right, where he walked up to the nose, and spun around as if he was on a longboard.  I think he was trying to just mess around and it brought a big laugh to my face.  He was catching a lot of waves today too, and I really can’t comprehend where he gets this energy from.  He surfed Friday twice, Saturday twice, and now he’s dawn patrolling Sunday too.  It boggles my mind. 

By this time, the winds stopped too, and the line up was getting packed to capacity towards Outhouses.  One guy took a wave all the way from Outhouses down to our peak.  He was a really skilled surfer, doing cut backs and turns and pumping down the line.  Our little peak, dominated by the DRC, was being surfed by only us.  The wait was longer, but it was just us.  Well, us and this one Asian dude.  I think he was a little pissed since we took everything and he wasn’t getting any rides.  He was probably thinking, “Hey, we’re Asians!  Let’s stick together like the rice we eat!”  Fuck that shit.  I remember I had a nice open face but he was totally on the inside in my way, so instead of risking him getting hit by me, I straightened out and let him duck dive under the wave.

“I’m so tired, but I don’t want to get out,” I told Matt.

“I know what you mean!  You just think you don’t have any energy left, and then a few sets come in and you automatically want to paddle for them,” he said to me.

And speak of the devil, the waves just kept coming in.  DRC kept trading wave after wave.  I took one last wave which wasn’t an epic wave per se, but it was good enough.  I didn’t want to risk injury from over-surfing, so I was satisfied and went in.

On my way in walking on the cobble stones, I saw and poked an orange star fish the size of my hand.  I have never seen a starfish in the wild that big!  I felt like a kid at SeaWorld again. 

We all seemed to be stoked from head to toe.  The sun came out as the winds blew on shore.  Our campfire was kept alive by Boris, and we started to prepare lunch.  We had all kinds of foods from left-overs from Boris to chili to apple pie!  What a treat, what a sight! 

So to sum it all up, this camping trip was sporadic like the rain, and quite impromptu.  It was definitely a learning experience for future camping trips with the DRC, and definitely sets the tone for any future endeavors.  It also set the bar kind of high in my opinion, seeing how many people showed up to surf and hang out.  My “surf trips” included sleeping in my van in the neighborhood of Huntington Beach, stealing water from the local neighbors’ showers and buying fast food.  I did not expect the electrical outlets or the amount of food brought and made, but I did expect the awesome vibes we all had with one another.  Mahalos to Braddah Matt for making this happen on such short notice.  This is the first of many camping trips, I am sure. 

San Onofre - The Price is Wrong, Bitch

Surf Report:  5 foot and head high
Winds: Prevalent Off shores
Atmosphere:  Sunny and rainy at the same time
Water:  Cold

I was excited about this weekend:  Matt aka Donny Duckbutter secured a spot at San Onofre state park for the weekend, so that meant the DRC had complete access to the trails leading to Uppers, Lowers, Middles, and Churches.  I was so excited that on Thursday night, I could not go to sleep because I was mind surfing those waves the whole time. 

Friday night rolls around, and I am pretty exhausted from coaching and work.  Death Wish Dave was back for spring break, so he wanted to come out and surf with us too.  We both set out to the camping grounds past 1000 PM.  Dave drove down to San O after a marathon session of snowboarding at Mountain High;  I don’t know how he stayed up while driving, but hopefully music and chit chatting kept him up. 

We arrived a little past midnight and sit around the small campfire Matt had going on.  The tent was set up, he had a propane burner with a pot on it, a chair around the fire, and an amazing view right in front of us of a black, pounding beach.  He filled us in on his arrival on Friday morning, how he ate food at San Clemente, then set up camp in the pouring rain, his first session once he got here, and how he shared a peak with a longboarding couple afterwards.  We got all of our stuff ready to go and tucked in closely in his tent, for Dave didn’t have a sleeping bag. 

The rain drops and waves crashing and the biting cold kept me up all night.  I just could not sleep on the ground inside a tent inside a sleeping bag with the sand on my back acupuncturing my sides and making me roll closer and closer to Dave.  Dave got up to go pee, and he rolled up in Matt’s spare sleeping bag, for the cold was unbearable; the night seemed to roll on continuously like the waves pounding the shore line as I dozed in and out of a comatose of sleep and bitter cold. 

I heard the pot being put on the burner, and the repetitive click click click of the fire being turned on.  I guess Matt already woke up.  The morning still blended with the night and the darkness was still confusing me if I should be waking up or not, but I was already up and so I decided to haul my ass out of the sleeping bag, tear myself open from the tent and go outside to greet Matt. 

I tried to pump myself up for the surf, but my mind was groggy.  My body still seemed too tired and rusty, as if I needed to lubricate my joints like the tin can man.  My mind was just in another area, outside of my head, and that just set me up for failure for today’s surf session.

The three of us ate some quick breakfast and got changed; we ate banana’s, had some hot cocoa, some coffee, some cutie tangerines, and beef jerky.  We set out walking down towards Churches where we decided to paddle out. 

The waves were coming in nicely with some clean rights rolling through.  The winds were off shore and the sun was starting to shine.  Matt was the first to paddle out.  Dave followed suit.  I stayed and stretched out on the beach for a while before I decided to paddle out.  As I walked across the cobble stoned shore line, I see Matt catch the first set wave that rolled through.  He bottom turned, hacked off the top, re-entered the wave, and then kicked out to paddle back out to the line up.  He was on point today, and it was definitely a premonition of how the day would be for him. 

Dave drifted as he paddled out.  He was way passed our starting point by the time I started to paddle out.  He was sore from snowboarding still, and I doubt he got much rest either.  We both were floundering in the white water as we got pushed south by the current.  I finally made it out to the line up, only to see that I was about 30 yards away from Matt, waving me down to come over to the peak.  I look back to my landmark and I see that I drifted 30 yards down south and that the current was just kicking my ass when I paddled out.  So I paddled, slowly but surely, towards Matt.  Dave was just a dot on the horizon as I paddled further and further away. 

I struggled greatly today.  All the time I was trying to paddle into wave after wave, I couldn’t get in the wave and felt under-gunned.  Randy came into one of my thought bubbles and said that I needed a bigger board.  But reality set in:  It was all me.  I’ve paddled out on bigger days on my fish, and I’ve been fine.  Today, my body and my mentality was set up for defeat, all from the lack of rest.  All throughout the morning, I could hear the fail horn from the Price is Right ringing in my ears. 

There were a lot of groms and longboarders out too.  However, they didn’t want to sit on the peak, where the take off spot was.  Matt did, and he got every single wave that came in.  When I saw him paddle in to those waves, the sun shining on him, he glided through the feathering lip and popped up so quickly, I heard Bob Barker say “Come on down~ Matt! You’re on the Price is Right!  KK, get, get off the stage, you’re embarrassing yourself.  Go on, get off.  Sheesh.”  And then he would slide down gently onto the face, and smack off the top of the lip.  There were not BUCKETS of spray coming out, but there were definitely envious sprays shooting off the top. 

We waved Dave in, since he was closer to the Hawaiian Islands than he was to San Diego.  He paddled in, and waited with us.  A rogue seven wave set came in, and Matt warned me about it.  I warned Dave, and for some reason he hopped off his board when the first wave came in.  Matt and I were lucky enough to duck dive out of the way, and I think Matt went for the second wave of the set.  At this point, I was just worried about my own survival.  I had to duck under five more set waves, holding onto my board as I was put through the washing machine time and time again, and I wasn’t quite concerned about Dave until I was back out in the line up.  I had to catch my breath as I made my way back out to the line up.  Dave recalls that he got pummeled by the first wave, and the second wave crashed right on him.  The leash came loose, and so he had to swim towards it for about fifteen feet, just in time for another wave to kick his ass, and another wave raped him in the tender loins of his buttocks.  The fifth wave raped his other orifices, and finally Mother Ocean came into his throat, making him swallow her whole, ice cold being. 

Matt just had this huge grin on his face from ear to ear.  He was definitely the winner of this morning, catching almost everything that came his way, unabated by anyone in the line up. 

“Where’s Dave?” I asked.

“I don’t know, I saw him in the inside,” he replied.

“He probably got worked.  I got worked too.”

“Oh yea?  Hey did you see my wave?”

“FUCK YEA I did.”  I said jealously.

Matt offered to change spots since he saw I was so frustrated in the water.  I tried to smile a bit more, telling myself it wasn’t so bad being out here.  But it was hard to swallow when I saw my friend catching wave after wave and I just scratched out on the shoulder every single time. 

So Matt takes a wave in.  It was another exclamation point on the first session at Churches.  I tried to take a wave and I got gobbled up by the wave.  I popped up way too late and my board wasn’t even near my feet when I stood up.  I curled up into a ball and got put down like Old Yeller, getting my head wrenched back and forth between my arms like a bad rollercoaster ride.

I finally get out and see Dave with Matt.  Dave almost drowned on the set waves, and so he had to take a break.  He lost his contact lens too, so he was done for the day.  I didn’t blame him or push him; he came, he saw, he got pummeled. 

I requested that we go take a look at Uppers, since I had such a great time there.  On the way over there, Outhouses was firing a nice A Frame, and so we left that as a back up.  We saw Uppers… and it was crap.  So crazy isn’t it?  Just a handful of yards up the beach, and the wave is closing out, the crowds didn’t justify the waves, and the winds started to shift.  So we headed back to Outhouses.  Matt still was on fire, getting every wave he paddled for, and I still struggled.  I still heard the fail horn from the Price is Wrong.  Bob Barker was looking at me in disappointment like he did at Happy Gilmore.  Matt wanted me to catch a wave, so he told me we should go to the main peak, where a few guys dominated the spot.  I paddled over, hoping to get some fraction of a wave. 

The wait was long, but when the sets came, they CAME.  It was still head high sets, and these few guys just kept getting wave after wave after wave.  I said fuck it, and paddled right in the middle of the pack as Matt stayed away from the crowd, trying to get lucky on the side bowl.  We had a little chuckle with a “get lucky” story too. 

I finally paddled for a set wave.  No one was on it, and I was straight on the peak.  I thought I caught it so I stopped paddling, and the push just came to a halt, and I was left with my balls in my hands and a frown on my face.  I SHOULD HAVE COULD HAVE WOULD HAVE paddled another two strokes, but didn’t, and was left with the awful feeling of regret.  Even Matt told me that he thought I had it, until I stopped paddling for the damn wave.  I am KK’s utter and senseless feeling of defeat. 

I went for one more wave while in the pack.  I paddled for it, but this kid next to me, about two feet away, guns for it too, and I let him go on it.  He probably saw that I wasn’t paddling into any waves anyway, so he can just take it from me.  I am KK’s sore anus, being ripped apart. 

I call over Matt, and tell him I’m done.  He was already full from the wave buffet from earlier, so he was fine.  We both paddle for “one last wave,” and I didn’t get in it.  Matt got in it, all the way to shore, so I was left to paddle in from way far out with 0 waves under my belt. 

I was emotionally and mentally drained from the whole ordeal.  I questioned whether or not I should have taken out a different board, or prepped differently, or done something better.  But I knew it was just lack of rest for me.  I LOVE SLEEPING.  I knew that I had to get some rest tonight, and that this was just a small speed bump in my life as a surfer.  I was determined to re-fuel, rest up, and charge back tomorrow. 

Monday, March 14, 2011

A Reality Check

Surf Report:  2-4 feet with quick sections
Atmosphere:  A bit sunny, but cloudy for the most part
Winds:  Slight off shore to on shore
Water:  Cold

Today was a special day.  Today was the spring forward time difference so everyone, including myself, slept in.  But today was also a day where Matt and I ventured to Palos Verdes to see the disappointing waves at the Cove.  So, today we headed down to Huntington Beach, where Randy and Matt spent most of their time in the water together. 

The morning started out sluggish and slow for me.  I was trying to get Matt to go to Palos Verdes, only to be disappointed my Power of Poseidon ability had been disabled, and so the waves didn’t hit PV that well.  Manny (Rick’s brother) was surfing dockweiler I think.  Rick told us that Porto and 26th Street were all closing out with some fast sections.  I already felt that we shouldn’t be at a beach break today, but these reports confirmed my premonition:  Waves SUCK at Southern LA when it is chest high +. 

Matt had the same inclination too, so he volunteered to drive down to HB so we can take advantage of Randy’s parking pass, which is good until August.  It turns out I forgot to bring a leash for my board, so we needed to be in Matt’s car in the first place, since he has two leashes.  Actually the second leash was Randy's so thank you Randy.  PV was never meant to be.  The HB spot is sort of a secret, and I respect that.  The only information I will disclose is that it is south of the pier, and there was barely anyone out. 

Once we got to the parking lot after getting “lost” (the main entrance was locked up, so we had to go a round-about way to the parking lot) we parked to a near empty parking lot.  One of the guys who pulled up, Wendell, knew Matt and Randy, so we exchanged pleasantries. 

I was still sore and stoked from the session at Trestles, and so I was trying to take what I learned from there to HB’s canvas.  Today the waves were pitching over quickly, and the sections ran fast.  The waves seemed a bit hollow, so I was targeting some tube time.

Matt walked out into the line up first.  He kept warning me about the current and the shallow bottom here, so I was trying to prep myself for the session.  The current wasn’t that bad actually.  I’ve been to Huntington up towards Goldenwest where the paddle out took 30 minutes and the drift was super powerful.  I remember on the paddle out, Nicky and I would drift all the way down 3 lifeguard towers before reaching the line up.  But today… it was mellow, almost non-existent!!  However, the waves at HB tend to pitch on the lip, so you have to have a quick pop up in order to make the wave, and on top of that today the sections ran super fast so you had to be able to pump up and down to make it out onto the face. 

I heard the birds chirping, and the sun started to shine through the AM fog.  As if hung over from last night, I took deep breathes slowly as I watched the horizon.  There were birds feeding out in the distance, and dolphins that swam passed us.  It was a quiet Sunday morning, and once again, I felt at peace with myself and the world.  It reminded me of the Tao of Pooh section, where Pooh listens to the birds, and he hears them say that it is a beautiful day.  And when he hears the wind blow, Pooh hears that the wind is telling him it’s a nice day.  So today was just a nice day. 

As Matt put it, today was a reality check session.  I tried really hard to angle myself and pump down the line, but I only got onto the face of the wave about twice.  The other times, I would get in too late, get pitched over, or end up straight on a close out section, while the wave outran me by a few yards. 

For most of the waves, I tried to slot myself into the barrel.  After the Trestles experience, I really wanted to get slotted into the barrel and be able to come out again.  I failed on all attempts of getting slotted.  But hey, I tried.

I watched these other guys pull in to the barrel, so I knew it was possible.  It was just up to me.  I also watched these guys rip the shit out of the wave face.  They seemed to find the shoulder fine and pump down the line, only to disappear behind the wave for a bottom turn and eviscerate the lip.  So, it really goes to show that the waves were actually rippable.  It was just our skills that needed to be polished.  It was a reality check. 

Matt got some decent rides, but he wasn’t going off the top like he would normally.  Or maybe I’m just glorifying his image?  I think the sections were running off way too fast for him to get around the white water.  He would paddle for lefts and rights, and pull off the drop, but was racing against the white water section to get around. 

I would like to give myself the wipe out of the day.  We both ate a plate full of poop on more than one occasion because our lapse in judgment and bad pop ups, but I wiped out on a critical wave, right in front of Matt.  I paddled for a wave, and before I knew it, the wave was already breaking.  I could feel the wave lip just pitch me forward, but my board stayed with the wave.  So, I got flung to the front, and luckily I had a smooth penetration into the water in front of me that was pretty deep.  I tumbled across the bottom of the shore, and when I got up, Matt was smiling at me.  I had to laugh. 

I felt tired yet energetic.  I felt happy to be in the water again, just with my friend.  I felt the numbness of my fingers regain a tingling sensation every time I paddled into a wave and popped up.  I felt completely and undeniably free while surfing.  I felt like a newb, a kook, unable to do what these other high performance surfers around me were doing.

At the end, we were still stoked out of our minds.  Our bodies were exhausted, and in need of some fuel.  Matt drove us back in his trusty wagon, and I read him the comments Randy put up for him on his Trestles entry from Saturday’s session. 

“Man, your brother really pushes you huh?”  I told him.  As a coach, I know that this pushing, especially from an older brother, is because Randy wants Matt to get better at surfing. 

“Yea, the truth hurts, doesn’t it?” he replied.  Indeed, the truth hurts when told so bluntly.  We are still mediocre surfers at best.  But like everything in life, if you try and try and try again, you’re bound to get better. 

It was another notch under our salty surf belt. 

Saturday, March 12, 2011

One Surf Spot Off the Bucket List

Surf Report:  3-5 feet, waist to chest high with some head high + sets coming through
Winds:  Light off shore to side shore to on shore
Atmosphere: Sunny!!!
Water: Cold

“Tomorrow.  I got an open seat in my car, and a wave down south with your name on it.  GOLD RATINGS.” – Matt the Sly Cat. 

That was the text message that started it all.  Matt left me a phone message similar to that last night too.  I was all for going south… but I had an obligation.  I already committed to surf with Dais, and I did not want to go back on my commitment.  So, I called Matt.  Nothing.  He texts back, saying he was watching Rango.  I was like shit… I hope he gets out soon so we can touch base on what was going to happen. 

11:24 PM.  I’m already in bed, and Matt gets out of the theater. 

“Guy, I don’t want to put pressure on you, but I’m heading down to San Onofre, and I’m gonna go solo if you don’t come.”

Ok, that’s great.  I explained to him how I told Dais I would be surfing with him already.  He kind of faded off saying “Oh, it’s ok then… we can do it next…”

Before he could finish, I cut him off and asked him, “Can Dais come too?”

“OF COURSE!” he said, emphatically. 

Done deal.  See you at 545 AM. 

I call Dais.  He said he was down.  Ok, see you at 515 AM. 

I go to sleep. 

Wake up at 200 AM, thinking it was 500 AM.  Still tired and lethargic, I crawl to my phone, only to collapse back onto my bed once I knew what time it was.

456 AM.  I wake up.  I do a little bit of yoga, and call Dais.  He’s up.  He’s ready.  Ok, let’s go. 

I call Matt before I leave the house to tell him we’re on our way.  No pick up.  A bit of my nerves get unsettled; please don’t leave without us! 

We get to Matt’s place around 545 AM.  He see’s my bang van bus, and he looks delighted.  We all pack up our stuff and head out before the sun is up.  5 surfboards, 3 wetsuits, 3 back packs full of goodies (actually just 2 full of goodies, for I didn’t bring anything), and 3 surf nuts, all in one car. 

We get a call from Rick, and he says that __________ was unorganized and a few feet overhead (yes, that place is still a secret spot.)  Dais and I look at each other.  We didn’t exchange words, but we both said to each other:  “Fuck, are you serious?  A FEW feet overhead??  Are we going to be ok?”  Matt tells Rick that we will check out Old Man’s and Churches first. 

We get to Old Man’s, and it’s not that big.  The shape is so-so.  Not that epic, really.  We drive down to the end of the camping grounds, and we start to get changed into our wetsuits.  The sun is shining hot on us now, and the wind chill is minimal.  Dais got a new board on Wednesday!  A 6’4” x 19” x 2 ½” beauty by J7, a Santa Barbara shaper.  That board looks sexay!  Matt got his JS board back from Rick, and had to re-wax his stick.  In the meantime, I did my stretching and breathing exercises.  The sea water tickled my nose as I breathed in, and warm air came out of my mouth.  The sun baked my back in my wetsuit as I stretched and prepped for our session. 

We walk down to Churches.  It looks good, but not all too great.  We keep walking, as I take a piss in my wetsuit that I was holding in.  We decide to look at Middles, Lowers, then Uppers.  I took another piss in my wetsuit.  “What’s that rancid smell?  Is something dead?”  I thought aloud. 

It looks just like the scene from the webcast!  I was sweating beads already from hiking in the hot sun with my full suit on, and my body was pretty warmed up.  Just then, we hear the loud siren sound of the train passing through Trestles.  Wow, we were really at Trestles. 

We paddle out at Uppers.  There were some rocks to step on, but once the water got deep enough, I started to paddle out.  The paddle out was smooth and casual, and the water was still ice cold.  Well it was better than baking in my wetsuit on shore.  I get to the line up, and Matt and Dais followed right behind me. 

First wave I paddled for at Uppers, I stroke into a nice right hander.  The wave was mushy at the critical point, and I was a bit surprised at how easy it was to pop up.  It seemed like I had a lot of time to pop up.  I was able to make the drop, pump up then back down, bottom turn, go up the lip, and come back down.  I was in love. 

The water was clear, and the breeze was light off shore.  There was a crowd in the water, but not as bad as Porto by any means.  This was an “average” day at Trestles.  I was surprised that there weren’t as many people out.  Another wave comes, and so I gun for it.  I pop up, and I see Dais pop up on his brand new board.  I watch his every move as he has his knee bent, stabilize himself, then get to his feet.  He was snaking me, as I always told him to just take off on waves that I’m on.  Then he eats it!  The wave died by that time, so I fall too.  I point at him to give him props and laugh. 

Then, Matt looked hungry for a wave.  We got ours, where was his?  Well, he paddled for an outside set that came out of no where.  The wave stacked up on the inside as it rolled through, and was a good head high plus wave.  The peak was right next to him, and the white water started to break on him.  I started to hoot him, and then he popped up, made the drop to escape the white water lip, and bottom turned.  I was like “ohhh shit here comes the whack off the top!” but he just kicked out.  I think it was just a warm up wave for him. 

He paddles for a left.  He muscles his way in to the wave and catches it on the inside, but slides quickly down the face as it slowly pitched out its popcorn white lip.  He reappears on the shoulder and smacks the lip off for a handful of spray.  Going down again, he guns down the line to beat the white water all the way to shore.  Damn goofy footers.  It seems to me a lot of goofy footers are stylish with their surfing.  Great thing I'm surrounded by them.  Not only can I learn from them, I can split the peak and take the rights.  Actually the same goofy footers snake me on rights too.  

Immediately after he caught the wave, fifteen surfers paddled to hassle for the peak.  I was like shit, I’m not competing in that.  It’s not that important.

The horizon was a clear blue azure, and the waves came and went.  Every little piece of work stress and family issues and thoughts and insecurities about everything in life just seemed to disappear.  I’ve been going through some rough work schedules and tough times dealing with the Japan earthquake situation, but once I got into the water, all my problems seem to have melted in the horizon afar.  I felt free and liberated from the grips of the work desk grabbing hold of my life, and the worries of the world swirling around like a tornado.  There were a lot of rights coming through, and I was having a lot of fun.  There was a smile from ear to ear on my face the whole time. 

The winds changed to a side shore, and we started getting pushed north into Cottons.  I kept paddling and paddling to maintain my position on peaks, and swam until I got to Lowers.  I lost sight of Dais and Matt from there.   I would occasionally see Matt catch some rights where he dropped in and hack off the top.  Maybe he's actually a natural footer?  haha Well I guess he dusted off the cob webs after the first wave. 

I tried not to get in people’s ways, and I stacked up a few waves under my belt.  I had difficulty going left, but hey, I’m still dusting off some cob webs too.  On one particular set wave, I saw a longboarder go, but he always went straight, and usually fell, so I gunned for it.  I paddled for the left, popped up, and… free fell a few feet in the air.  I saw my board flip upside down as I free fell, and I landed on my fins.  My left calf was the first to get hit, and then my head got hit.  I kept my eyes open, and saw my board get really close, but luckily I didn’t lose an eye.  At this point, I was in a lot of pain.  I thought I cut my calf muscles with my fin.  I thought I was bleeding, but I had to paddle back out.  Something inside of me didn’t let me quit just because of some pain coming from a laceration.  I checked my left calf, and my wetsuit protected my body.  I just had a small flesh wound and a huge bump on my leg.  ::Phew::  I was so thankful and relieved that I hadn’t cut anything or broken anything.  This was a turning point in today’s surf session.

I get back out into the line up, glad that I’m still in one piece/peace.  I start smiling again, thinking how lucky I am.  I was thankful for this injury not to be serious, and thankful that I was able to part take in harnessing the universe’s energy.  Some of these waves came from the Aleutian islands off of Alaska, and some of these came all the way from Japan.  I felt so interconnected at this moment, and this epiphany made me feel in-tune with the whole Pacific Ocean. 

“Oh, what’s this?” I said out loud.  The Asian surfer chick next to me probably thought I was crazy, smiling the whole time and talking to myself. 

I paddled for the right.  Actually, I gunned for it.  I popped up smoothly, and dropped in.  I pumped hard, and saw the wave hollow out.  I squatted down low and get really close to the face, and before I knew it, the wave caved over me, and I was standing in a mini barrel.  My surroundings got black and dark, and I couldn’t tell where the wave went, or where I was, or if I had fallen off my board again.  It must have been just for a split second, not even a full second, but I am replaying it in my mind over and over and over again, stopping time while replaying this moment.  The wave lip crashed on my head, but it didn’t knock me over.  My first barrel that I made, ever!!!  Smile from ear to ear, baby.

I stay in the line up again, on the inside bowl of Lowers.  The waves would roll in slowly and gradually, and jack up right where I was sitting.  The low tide was kind of killing the whole place, but I was still having fun. 

Another right came through, and I paddled for it.  I popped up on a smooth drop, where the white water hung up on the lip and allowed me to enter her beautiful face.  I pumped and pumped, then bottom turned.  I went up the face at my best attempt at a top turn with all my weight on my back foot, completed it, and then realized I was still standing.  So I put more weight on my front foot to re-enter the wave.  I pumped some more and tried to bottom turn up into the close out section.  Fail.  But I still felt like I had just won a great victory. 

I paddled back out, and saw Matt.  “How are the waves?” he asked. 

“AMAZING!  I love it here.  No one hassles you, no one drops in on you.  It’s great.” I replied. 

Just then, the devil appeared.  A guy who was on my left, paddles around me for a right, pops up and I had to back out of the wave in a critical spot.  I saw him take the wave kind of far.  I wasn’t too impressed by him. 

I told him, “Hey, did I drop in on you?” 

“WHAT?!?! WHAT DID YOU SAY?” he said, in his best aggro local voice.

“Did I drop in on you?  If so, I’m sorry man,” I said, very calmly.

“Oh, naw man, you didn’t… naw, it’s chill man don’t worry,” he replied, completely changing his tone and mellowing out. 

I think that was a great way to end the session.  Matt took a right with his trademark wide Hawaiian stance, leaning on his back heel and taking the wave all the way to shore.  I just paddled for a close out onto my belly and met Dais and Matt there.  The train honked its horn again as it raced across the tracks, and the foul stench from the dead, fat dolphin left a pungent scent on our noses.  I told them about my wipe out and then my eventual triumph.  Dais was stoked from head to toe about his new board and his experience here, and Matt grinned from ear to ear as he dug out his camera from the sand. 

Well, Lowers is one spot that I can check off my bucket list of surf spots.  What an amazing experience!  Mahalo again, Mother Nature. 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tsunami Warning

My heart felt condolences to our brothers and sisters across the pacific ocean who are affected by this devastating earthquake.

A tsunami warning has been issued in Hawaii and California, but it seems that the tsunami is a minimal warning at worst case scenario.

I can't watch the scenes from CNN and Al Jazeera anymore, where the black wave of death seems to slowly and powerfully sweep over the beautiful country side of Japan.  I can see repeatedly the black wave devour houses and bob cars and ocean liners like it was a bath tub full of toys.  The devastation seen from above in a helicopter is nothing compared to the pain and suffering the people are going through. 

I am just glad that most people are safe in Japan for now.  It will be a trying time for the Japanese government, along with the UN and United States, to get through this natural disaster.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

26th Street Blues - Another Wave Buffet

Surf Report:  1-3 foot crumblers and close outs
Atmosphere:  Gloomy and cold! What a difference a day makes…
Water: Ice cold and blue
Winds: On shore creating some chop

I thought I was going to go to Huntington, but I opted to stay local since the minimal swell was hitting Southern LA better than Huntington Beach.  I woke up a bit late around 610, and started to do my yoga.  I arranged to pick up Christina and Cheryl this morning, and I woke my dad up so he could come out too.  Dais was passed out, Francis has to study all day today for a test Monday, and Ko was knocked the fuck out. 

The sun struggled to pierce through the grey clouds, which seemed to set the tone in the water.  I picked up Christina and Cheryl, and we all headed to 26th Street.  I saw a new dead bird on the road, which means that there will be some good waves in my superstitions. 

When we got to 26th Street, no one was out again.  However, it wasn’t where the groms were going to show up like yesterday.  It seemed that the grey clouds kept people away from the surf today.  No worries, we had our little crew to go out to enjoy surf. 

Shan showed up and parked quickly and quietly in an empty parking space.  He got changed and threw some money in the meter and took off ahead of us.  We four took our time as we made our way down the cold, wet concrete steps to the almond brown sand.  Yesterday the sand looked golden, but today it was a bland brown.  Cmon Mr. Sun~ get out from behind those clouds!!

The waves looked mushy but rideable, and there were only about fifteen heads out today.  I saw Rastaman aka Orlando, and Roy who was on his fish.  Uncle Miles came out too.

Shan stretched for a small bit, and hit the water fast.  He was out of our sight in seconds.  I tried to stretch extra well today since my traps started hurting in the morning and I was still sore from yesterday’s two and a half hour magical session.  I paddled out before the two girls hit the water. 

The paddle out was smooth on the first run.  It was easy to get out to the line up, which only required a few duck dives and turtles.  The waves seemed soft today, but the shape wasn’t all that clean because of the on shore winds.  I paddle up next to Rastaman as we exchange pleasantries, and he eggs me on into the first wave.  I swing around, paddle for the left, and take off.  I just glide down the face, keeping weight on my heels.  I try to switch stance, and eat it.  Oh well.

Rastaman compliments me on the ride, and I said the next wave is his.  He really doesn’t have a problem getting waves since he even drops in on people.  Those Brazilians really know what a party wave is.  Hahaha

Cheryl was super on point today!  I was pleasantly surprised and stoked to see her get so many waves.  She didn’t look intimidated by the waves today, which I felt was the difference.  She was on her longboard too, and she paddled into so many waves, I lost count at five.  She definitely got a big boost in her confidence, which was apparent in her swagger in the water.  She took off on lefts, rights, and made more waves than I have ever seen her get.

“Is that your frrrriend?” (rolling r’s) Rastaman asked.

“Yea, that’s my friend!” I told him.

“Man, she’s getting a lot of waves.  She’s with you guys huh?  Is she just a friend?” 

“Yea, she’s with us, but she is just a friend.  Why, do you want her number?”

He chuckled.  “Nah man, I’m married!” he said.  He paddles into a left where he snakes his friend, and kicks out.  I guess when he knows the guy, he won’t snake them.

Shan caught a lot of waves today too.  He took off on lefts, going left.  He took off on rights, going left.  I complimented him on a ride, but he only grunted in acknowledgement and kept paddling back out. 

I for one had a field day on my longboard.  It really felt like a buffet style feeding frenzy of waves today, minus the crowd and sun from yesterday.  I kept going for lefts and rights, and I can just hear the water being trimmed up and down from my rails.  It felt good to be able to pump slowly on my longboard.  I was able to take off on some high tide mush burgers and get out on the face.  I didn’t have to really paddle for a lot of the waves as I took off and trimmed down the line, only to have the wave reform on the inside and bring me to the shore pound.  I felt really in tune with the Ocean today, but the blue grey energy of the Ocean made me weary.  I think it made us all feel a heavy mood on our shoulders. 

One thing that I learned today:  “Don’t be such a Negative Nancy.”  - Christina.  She told me that as we unloaded our stuff.  I think she got the feeling I was a bit pessimistic and not feeling all stoked about the day.  I got upset over nothing and she quickly snapped at me with that line, and I was set back on the ground.  Hell, there are people right now unable to surf (hint hint: Matt) and I should be thankful I got to surf today.  So I tried to enjoy every moment I had in the water with my friends. 

Christina always seems to be stoked when surfing.  She’s like a grom, always frothing when she hits the water.  We both got worked on the inside shore pound trying to get out, but she still persisted and made it out.  Every other minute or so, I could hear her go “Whoo~” as she took off on a wave, or when Cheryl or Shan took off on a wave. 

Around 830, the line up just emptied out.  there were about three people on the south peak, and three people on the north peak.  Miles, Roy, Roy’s friend, and I stayed on the south side.  Roy was tearing it up on his fish so much that he inspired me to go get my shortboard out.  I rushed back to my car to switch boards. 

I didn’t tie a leash to my fish; actually I didn’t even bring the leash today.  It felt strangely liberating to surf leashless.  I just couldn’t fall off or let go of the board.  The fish proved to be a winner today, and I was catching some waves in no time.  The waves had a little bit of chop on it, but remained glassy for the most part, and opened up on the inside many times.

I will have to give rides of the day to Roy and Cheryl.  Roy was absolutely tearing it up on his fish.  His performance was awe-inspiring and graceful.  He pumped up and down the wave and cut back both ways, spraying the glassy face with white water, only to pump passed it and do another hack.  Cheryl just seemed like the surfer having the most fun today, and she caught a lot of waves today going both ways.  I think it is a well-deserved ride of the day honor for both of them. 

The clouds remained heavy as we headed back to the car.  The sun never shown through the gray veil, but the waves were smooth and casual, and I felt we all had fun.  This whole weekend felt like a dream weekend:  lots of waves, surfing with my friends, and just seeing us all smile in the line up made my whole weekend.  I guess the only thing missing would have been Matt and Nicky, but they had their obligations, and there will be waves for them once they handle their business. 

I finally got to see all the pictures from yesterday and today.  Holy crap, I am such a noob still.  I’m still taking off straight on the wave instead of at an angle, my bottom turns aren’t powerful, and my top turns are all front footed and weak.  Hopefully I can make my adjustments by this weekend. 

Mahalo Mother Ocean.  You always seem to give and give and give to us.  I feel that we just take and take and take.  I hope I am giving back something to you every time I surf. 

A Green Jewel in Manhattan Beach

Surf Report: 1-3 feet and clean!
Water: Ice cold, but bearable
Atmosphere: Sunny
Winds: Off shore

It was one of those perfect, magical days at Manhattan Beach.  Besides the crowd factor, we couldn’t have asked for more perfect conditions. 

Kotaro called me at 530.  “Yo, I’m heading over right now,” he said. 

I rolled out of bed and looked for my glasses but couldn’t find them.  I started doing some yoga, and looked around for my glasses.  No dice. 

Kotaro came to my house, and started eating some breakfast.  I warmed up some soup as I woke up my dad.  Francis was coming to my house too, and we were all going to shoot down to 26th Street by 700. 

We strap up a board on top, and set off.  The sun was up, nice and bright.  The air was warm for a change, and we all quietly rode down Culver Drive to Del Mar en route to our destination.  Christina and Cheryl were car pooling, not far behind us. 

Once we got to 26th Street, the line up looked empty.  The waves looked perfect from the parking lot.  They looked small but crumbly, and totally rippable.  Dais shows up super early and we all get changed.  We bust jokes and laugh the morning away as we headed down to the sand…

We four started to stretch as my dad got the camera ready.  Another dad got his camera ready.  As we stretched, wave after wave of groms started to fill up the line up, and before we were done stretching, the line up was filled to capacity. 

Francis was the first to hit the water.  I don’t think he even stretched.  Oh, those young kids.  Ko, Dais and I stayed to stretch, for we were all old robots in need of some lubricating oil in our joints.  Francis was on his potato chip which was 2 ¼ thick, Ko was on a borrowed foamie, Dais on Maria, and I on Mary Jane. 

The water was a clear greenish blue color, one of my favorite shades of Southern California.  The wind was sweet smelling with the air brushing off the tops of the waves.  The golden sun shown through the clear blue sky warmed our frigid bodies as we duck dived wave after wave that rolled in. 

I think Kotaro drew first blood.  He started surfing in August of last year, but he seems to be a natural at surfing.  He continuously popped up and dragged his arm in the face of the wave.  It was pretty nice to see a homey catch so many waves.  However, he did snake a lot of the groms.  On one particular wave, he completely snaked two guys, looked back, and saw that he had the green light, and so kept on going down the line, taking the wave all the way to shore.  He had the “I DON’T GIVE A FUCK” look, and the grom looked like he really wanted to chew Ko’s ear off, but he was completely out-matched.  Plus today there were enough waves for everyone to f ill up on. 

Dais seemed to be enjoying the nice conditions too.  The sun was shining brightly and hot, and made us forget how cold the water was.  The clear green water just rolled through with sets after sets after sets.  It was absolutely a magical day.

Christina and Cheryl paddled out shortly after.  Christina was on her NSP Quinn, and Cheryl was on her fish.  Christina was hanging on the inside doing her thing, but Cheryl seemed to have struggled this day.  There were a lot of pictures Christina catching some inside waves, but I don’t think Cheryl was able to catch much on her fish. 

Francis was the stand out for our group.  I don’t know how he does it, but he’s able to go from 0-60 mph with two strokes on his potato chip.  On one wave, he actually slid through Dais and I before popping up.  He two stroked into this wave, and seemed to have slowed down time around him.  He had a huge smile from ear to ear as he slid passed us, and then popped up in an instant and took a wave to shore.  He’s definitely an Ali’i transplanted to LA.

Dais had to leave around 900 because he had an oil change appointment.  The waves were getting harder to paddle into, since the high tide was filling in.  The groms on longboards seemed to be having a ball out there, as we shortboarders floundered. 

I had a lot of waves, and a few stand out in my head.  First one was when Christina and Cheryl came out to the line up, Cheryl gave me a big hug to greet me.  I say hi to Christina, and asked her for a hug.  She said no.  I was like WHY?  She said she wasn’t getting off her board to give me a hug.  WHAT?? Cmon Christina, give me a hug.  NO.  Here, take this wave. 

Out of no where, this wave came through, and I stroked into it.  It was the biggest wave for the day, and I was able to get in it, thanks to Christina denying me a hug.  I started pumping down the line, and I saw Francis going for the wave.  But, he saw me, and pulled out.  the wave just kept building and building, and I kept going down the line, pumping and carving.  I didn’t do any turns on this wave, but it reformed all the way into shore.  I was orgasm-faced by then. 

Another wave I remember was one where I snaked Ko.  It was memorable to me because I saw him going for the wave and pop up, and watch me the whole time.  I was thinking to myself, “Should I go? Should I go? I should go,”  and popped up.  I almost ate it but kept my balance, and made the close out drop.  I think Ko was a little pissed at that, but he laughed it off. 

There were a lot more waves to be had, but they are all a big blur to me.  After two and a half hours, we were all dehydrated and tired.  Francis and I body surfed for a few waves, and Ko took some rest.  Cheryl and Christina switched boards to see how each others board felt.  All of us were tired and so we got changed and hung around the parking lot, basking in the sun’s glory.