Winds: Strong side shores
Back to Venice Beach. Back to where my wave riding all started. Back to surfing with KHANG!
Welcome home Khang, we missed you a lot. He met up with me this morning at Venice Beach and looked psyched to get into the water. He knew that he was going to get his ass kicked but that didn't really matter. He was back in LA and back to surf.
I took out my new used board that I finally finished painting with my dad. My dad helped me a lot on this:
It was a two day project, where he printed out a stencil, cut the stencil out, I prepped the surface, and we stuck the stencil on the board. We did a few coats of paint for the ALOHA (taken from the Aloha for Japan logo) and spray painted that Saturday. Then Sunday we did the MAHALO on the back. The little figure on the end of the Mahalo is my dad's trademark icon that he made for my surfing. Pretty cool! It wouldn't have turned out this great if it weren't for my dad. He is truly an artist.
|North Side of the Pier|
The north side of the pier looked jumbled up, and the south didn't look as inviting either. However, we weren't there to just watch the waves: we were there to surf! So we paddled out south of the pier.
It was only fitting that upon Khang's return that we dawn patrolled Venice beach, where we always spent time in the water. Again, this is the spot where I first learned the pure joy of "wave sliding" on a body board when I was in 7th grade and he and his twin brother Khoa were in 6th grade. It is still one of my favorite memories to relive.
The paddle out was sort of brutal. It wasn't that bad, but the first duck dive sure opened my eyes. The water was cold enough to give me an ice cream head ache. Khang was resilient, paddling up and under the white water waves that seemed to be an endless tirade of brown horses with white manes rushing at us head on. I probably did about thirty duck dives before I got out to the line up. Khang was right next to me the whole time, so it's good to see he didn't lose too much of his paddle power.
There were two guys on pink or red fishes. One of them was tearing it up. His friend wasn't really doing much. But again, this was a battle against the Elements. The drift wasn't that strong, but it sure did pull us further south. On top of that, the waves were so hard to read. You would think the wave was breaking left, but then the side shore make the left stand up and transfer the peak to a right and break as a right. For the first thirty minutes or so, I was just trying to get a feel of what the Ocean was doing and read how she was reacting. Like any woman, she was hard to read and I still haven't figured her out.
My new used board just seemed to coast under me while I paddled. Maybe it was just me, but she seemed to be "the one." Hahahaha. Duck diving, of course, was not an issue on her. Paddling seemed easier for me on this new girl. My first wave I took was a close out left, which was about waist high. I made the drop and set the rail as the white water crashed behind me.
Second wave I caught was the stand out wave for this morning's session. It was a clean right, and I actually got to my feet pretty easily. I think it was a mid-chest size wave that started to just suck up a clean wall ahead of me. Unfortunately, I didn't have the presence of mind to do any maneuvers so I ripped a bottom turn and headed straight for a backdoor exit as the wall started to close out ahead of me.
Khang scratched out on a few waves today. He had that same frustrated look I had months ago, where I KNEW I WAS BETTER THAN THIS. I was just not strong enough to paddle into the waves at the time (please read my post when Matt, Christina and I roll down to __________ to meet Rick and Gary T. Actually that one is still on facebook, so just know that I was still fresh out of rehab/physical therapy, so my paddle power wasn't there for chest high waves.)
"Hey, at least I made it out of the white water. If I didn't even get passed the white water, I would be preeeeettty disappointed," Khang said to me.
I caught a few small waves after wards, which weren't all too memorable. I think today was a "Welcome Home" session with one of our fellow DRC warriors that has come back. I was glad I got to surf with him for a good one and a half hours. He still needs to get his big sexy tricepts and rippling back and traps back, but that is just a matter of "when."
I am definitely looking forward to this weekend of surf: Francis has work off, Khang is back, Matt and I (hopefully) will have a lot of our homework done, and Dais... well he's always down to surf so that is a good thing :)... maybe we can all go down to Trestles and surf down there? Or we can just stay local.
Funny thing was that when we got out of the water, the strong side shores seemed to just stop and the Ocean seemed to have calmed the fuck down. The waves stopped being so jumbled up and the sets came in slowly instead of being an onslaught of white mountains pouring down from the heavens. I joked that it was Mother Ocean being pissed at Khang for neglecting her for so long, and it was her way of saying, "Aloha Welcome Back" to the prodigal son.
Until next time... Mahalo Mother Ocean.