Monday, June 20, 2011

The Return of Death Wish Dave and Mellie Mel 061911

Surf Report: 1-2 feet max
Atmosphere: Gloomy and misty
Winds:  on shore
Water: cool (too warm in my 4/3!)

Sunday mornings seem to be “stay local” day for me.  It’s a day where we just lazily surf the home break, whether it be El Porto or 26th Street.  I was prepared to surf alone today, since Nicky had texted me saying he had job training at Nijiya at 1030, and I knew Khang would be celebrating Maryann’s birthday the night before.  Dais was having breakfast with his lady, so I figure I could get a slow start in the morning. 

However, Dave had texted me to hit him up when I go surf.  Mellie Mel also hit me up saying that she wanted to surf Sunday morning, and texted me “The usual 630 paddle out?”

So I had to kind of get up early….

I got up around 610 and started to do my yoga stretches.  When it hit 630, I started to call people and find out the 411 from them.  Dave was up, and he said he would paddle out.  Mellie Mel was getting her caffeine fix and would soon be at 26th Street. 

I picked up One Wave Dave from his sister’s house.  He was waiting outside with all his gear ready to go.  Dave is a guy who is organized and prompt on any appointment.  I feel bad because I’m quite the opposite of this behavior.  I pick him up and we stuff Sherry into the car, along with my “new” longboard. 

We shoot the shit and catch up on life and school and what not.  The misty morning started to put condensation on my windows, and I grew a little concerned.  Were we really going to be surfing in this kind of weather?  Oh well, no time to be a spoiled brat right now, Dave was with me, and Mellie Mel was coming out too!

Mellie Mel is a buddy of mine that I haven’t surfed with since November 15, 2009.  I remember this date because it was a pretty awesome day of surfing, where I snaked her nicely on a left.  She was super on point with her boyfriend’s longboard, and caught a lot of waves.  I like surfing with her because she pushes herself over the ledge and loves the slide of surfing.  She’s an avid snowboarder and skates too, so I guess surfing came pretty natural to her.  Nowadays, though, she has been focusing on getting her Masters and teaching high school math in South Central Los Angeles.  She’s quite a gangster for teaching there, and the stories she tells me are truly heart-wrenching, heart-warming, and unbelievable. 

So we pull up to a parking lot pretty much empty on 26th Street.  Mellie Mel was parked up on the first lot, and drives down to the second lot to greet us.  We all get changed into our wetsuits and walk down to the beach. 

This is the first time I rode my single fin longboard that I purchased off craigslist for $180.  The list price was $325, but I think they still ripped me off.  The fin box had super glue in it to the hold the fin in place, and there was no screw to hold the fin in place.  They had some string to attach to the leash, and threw in the leash and boardbag for $180.  I should have paid $160 max, but hey, I wanted a longboard, and I got one. 

The waves looked even flatter once we got out to the line up.  Ok, it wasn’t that bad, but there was a reason why only a few locals were out in the line up and most of them just went home, including Bruce.  The sets were 2 feet max, but the current was super strong still.  I spent a good amount of time paddling back to the spot right by the parking lots, north of 26th Street. 

Dave paddled out on Sherry, my beloved 8’4” thruster that I learned to surf on.  Come to think of it, that board is probably super hard to learn on.  Mellie Mel was on her 6’10” thruster with a swallow tail and some wings on, that she bought when she first started surfing.  I was on my 9’0” San O Long-bow. 

First wave I catch with this board… and I’m sold.  I took off on a small right, and bottom turn and trim on the face.  I bank off the lip and straighten out on the flats, and I was stoked from head to toe.  I had to wait for the sets to finish coming in, but once they did, I paddled back out to the line up and sat, waiting for more waves to chomp on.

It was a mellow day, a quiet surfing Sunday.  Mellie Mel caught her first wave on a close out and went left all the way to shore on the white water.  She was a shadow of her former surfing self, and she knew it.  I think she was hardest on herself, talking to herself and me about how her arms are so weak for paddling and how she is out of shape. 

Dave just floated on his belly.  When he would sit on the board, Sherry would just throw him off.  When he would paddle for the waves, he would absolutely pearl and eat shit.  The board would fling up into the air and land peacefully on the water.  It was as though Sherry was mad at Dave for not riding her at Santa Cruz.  I joked that she was pissed off at him for neglecting her for so long, and that he has to make amends with her before catching any wave.

I took one left, and Mellie took the same left.  Technically I snaked her.  She ate it on her board as I kept going on the white water.  We both laugh about it, and see Dave paddling for the last wave in the set.  We cheer him on, but quickly say “OHHHHHHH!!” as he pearls from the pitching lip of the wave.  He was in the worst place at the worst time.  Again, he lives up to his name of Death Wish Dave.

I paddled in to a lot of small waves today and made the most out of them.  I tried to walk up to the nose and hang 5, but would get flung forward.  I would do some small off the lips and bounce back into the white water.  I attempted to do a helicopter by riding backwards, fin first, into the wave.  I don't quite get that yet. I even did a lay back on the backside to dig my heels into the board.  This board was a lot of fun.

Mellie Mel finally gave in and asked to trade boards after she threw in more quarters into the meters for us.  I swapped her board with mine, and boy, did I have an eye opener. 

Her board just coasted on the water.  It felt like a smaller board than a 6’10”.  That thing was super hard to duck dive, but I got the hang of it after two duck dives.  When I caught my first wave, that thing just took off like a bullet train.  I guess the width generated a lot of the speed as it hit flat sections and maintained its speed.  I was amazed at how well the board rode.  I even managed to bank some turns off the lip. 

As Mellie Mel paddled into more waves on the longboard, dolphins started to frolic around her and Dave.  They weren’t just swimming past Mel and Dave, they were just chilling there for a good five minutes.  It was surreal!  They dipped in and out of the water with their glistening bodies of grey and white, blowing mist up as they exhaled and dipping slowly back into the abyss. 

I called last wave, and Mellie Mel said, “I thought you don’t like to call last wave?  Isn’t it bad luck?”

“Yea, but you’re here today, and you’re my good luck charm!” I told her.

Just then, a clean right peeled right for me, and I paddled for it.  I managed to pop up smoothly, pump once, bottom turn, bank off the crumbly lip, and land back into the flats.  I saw Mellie Mel right behind me, in the white water.  So I snaked her TWICE in one session.

Last Wave Dave didn’t get his last wave.  He paddled and struggled, and paddled in without having a wave under his belt.  The sport of kings has defeated Dave… but hey, it’s a start to his come back.  He demoted himself from One Wave Dave to No Wave Dave.  SO SAD!!! Don’t do it bro!!!  You’re still Death Wish Dave to me…

All in all, it was gloomy and the water was a bit warm.  The conditions were sub-par, the current was still strong (not as HB) but it was nice to surf with some friends I haven’t seen in a while in the water.  It was also nice to change up boards and paddle into some waves on something besides my potato chip Aloha board.  And the best part were the dolphins frolicking in the water near us. 

Mahalo Mother Ocean.  See you next weekend…

Huntington Paddle Battle 061811

Surf Report: 3-5 feet and mushy
Atmosphere: Sunny
Winds: slight on shore
Water: Cool (too hot for a 4/3)


I always look forward to Saturday surf sessions… but usually get skunked.  Hahahaha

Today, I picked up Nicky, Kai, and Dais to join up Khang and DK at Porto.  When we arrived to Porto around 730, the waves looked dismal at best.  It was just another typical SoCal day, with the high tide filling in quickly.  The waves mooshed out throughout the line up, and we waited and watched for a while.  I even skated down to 26th Street (about twenty blocks) and everything looked the same.  26th Street was less crowded but it was definitely a day for a big board. 

I decided to drive down to Huntington Beach so we could score some waves.  I hoped that the SW swell would be hitting HB nicely, and that we could make the window of opportunity to ride some decent waves.

When we got to HB, it was about 0900, and we stared out from our car to Goldenwest.  The peaks came in consistently, and there were a lot of surfers tearing it up on some nice 3-4 foot waves.  The winds were still slightly off shore, and the lip looked pretty mooshy.  Well, if we were going to go surf, now will be the time.  I scrambled to find parking in the residential area and scored one right by our “old house” where we spend many a nights in the car to surf HB.  We three got changed as Kai went back to sleep and be lazy.

We paddled out in front of the light blue tower, but by the time we got to the line up, we were half way over to the dark blue tower.  The current at HB is always strong… Nicky and I have drifted three towers before getting to the line up on numerous occasions when a solid SW swell was hitting HB.  Today wasn’t a solid day at HB, but the current was strong.  I kept repeating in my head that if I ever even fathom about taking my game to somewhere like Hawaii (again) or Bali like Matt, I need to get my paddling power on another level.  I am proud to say I didn’t get out of the water once to walk back and paddle out again this session.

My first wave was a small left where I grabbed my rail and dragged my butt on the face.  It wasn’t all that exciting, especially since I ate it half way down the face.  I can tell my grab rail technique has improved somewhat, but this wave should have been caught without grabbing the rail.

Dais and Nicky were bobbing up and down, waiting for the sets to come in.  I kept paddling to maintain position, and before I knew it, I lost sight of Nicky.  Dais kept up for a good half of the session, but he eventually drifted out of sight, only to reappear like a ninja in the water. 

I hear a contest horn go off and see that some small contest was going on towards Goldenwest with lifeguards on duty, using their megaphone.  I kept paddling towards the light blue tower. 

I took Pab’s advice and started to time the sets coming in, especially since these SW swells have such long lulls in between sets.  I figured that the ones that came in between the sets looked rideable but were unrideable.  They all mushed out and bogged out on us, and we left with blue balls between our legs.  And then the rogue set would appear after about five misleading waves, and clean out the whole line up.  I figured out that about every twenty minutes or so these rogue sets would come.  Not only that, the first wave was the only decent wave, and that the following two waves in the set were close outs and had questionable shape. 

So, I waited.  I waited singing to myself.  I waited controlling my breathing, and waited even more.  A lot of other surfers were scratching out on the misleading waves, and I patiently waited, paddling further south to fight the current continuously.  I think I spent about 80% of this session just paddling against the current. 

I heard in the distance, “Hey, you surfers out there, paddle south or paddle north, but get out of the contest area!” from the lifeguard truck’s megaphone.  Uh oh, better get out of the way.  I kept paddling further south to combat the current.  Other surfers followed and paddled south to get out of the way. 

I grew frustrated.  Did my judgment misguide me?  Was I not sitting in the right place?  Did we get SKUNKED, yet again??  I started to paddle a little bit in, when I see other surfers furiously paddle towards me.  What do they see? 

I look back, and there was the rogue clean up wave.  I started to gun for the shore, doing my alligator wiggle and kicking my feet as I paddled for this left.  I caught it right on the peak, unadultered and uninterrupted by anyone in the line up.  I slid down the left without grabbing rail and made the drop down a clean, azure wave face.  The face bogged out as I redirected to the white wash, but it was too late, and I fell off on the inside from losing all my speed.  I see behind me the second and third wave crashing and engulfing everything in sight with no riders on them. 

I kept paddling out, away from the contest and away from the dark blue lifeguard tower.  Just then, Dais snuck up on me and we regrouped.  He said that he’s only caught two waves this whole time, and that he was called out by the lifeguard people to get out of the contest area. 

I too was only able to catch two waves today.  Apparently, Nicky caught a lot of lefts today.  Go figure.  He and his fish going left are unstoppable.  Both Dais and Nicky took the current all the way north, where they were asked politely to leave the contest area.  They then drifted even further, got out, walked up to the lifeguard tower where we started from. 

I kept paddling further south to fight the current, but I couldn’t position myself for any waves like I did before.  My patience was wearing thin, and I grew increasingly frustrated with myself.  Dais drifted again out of sight, so I was left all alone. 

I started seeing more surfers on the inside taking these short rides on the shore pound.  I decided to give it a go, and caught one or two waves that were not memorable but in fact, quite dangerous.  I decided to get out and start body surfing. 

I body surfed a lot of waves and made some crazy drops, but I drifted down north again.  So I got out, said hi to a nice bodied Asian girl with a meh face, and went out to body surf more.  I drifted north again, so I got out, said hi to her again, and body surfed some more. 

I went back to the car, but Kai was gone.  I was tired, but I couldn’t do anything about Kai not being there, so I went back to the beach to body surf some more.  As I made another round from lifeguard tower to tower, I sat on the sand and rested.  I rinsed off my board to go back to the car when ninja Dais snuck up on me again.  We both recounted our waves and fighting the current, and decided this was a better call than Porto, but we should have come here straight.  Another time. 

Kai and Nicky were already back at the car, changed and riding skateboards.  We all shot the shit and went to the Taco place right by the pier and ate some delicious tacos there.  We then drove to Lee’s to pick up some sandwiches, and headed home. 

We didn’t surf our brains out, and we weren’t stoked from head to toe, but it was a nice day to be out in the water, Just Enjoying The Surf. 

Mahalo Mother Ocean. 

Ten Minutes to Make a Session 061611

Surf Report: 1-3 feet max, clean shape
Water: Cool and a beautiful azure
Winds: Slight on shore
Atmosphere: Quite cloudy, but nice on the horizon

Khang calls me on my way home.

“Bro, what you doing?  Come to El Porto! It’s clean, and it’s firing!  I got Nicky with me too,” he said.

That is all I needed to hear.  I ditched my swimming plan and headed to grab my gear at home. 

I get to the El Porto parking lot to see lines just marching in.  Yea, it wasn’t that big, but it looked really clean.  I started to froth in my pants.  I nab a parking spot and couldn’t get changed fast enough into my wetsuit.  I threw in enough change for an hour so I don’t “overstay my welcome” with the metermaid.

Khang had texted me that Nicky and he would be out in front of 45th street, so I stretched out and paddled in front of the lifeguard tower.  There were Latino’s frolicking in the water, cringing under the cold water which was a stark contrast from the hot sun that baked our bodies on land.  The water was clean and clear, as the waves rolled in super glassy.  I couldn’t believe my eyes…

I paddled out and sat in the line up by the tanks.  I scratch out on my first two waves, and I hear Khang and Nicky calling me.  I paddle further south to greet them, and we all shoot the shit in the line up.  They tell me that it’s been really good for the last hour, and Khang told me that it was super good this morning too. 

I catch my first wave on the third try.  I was able to “snake” Khang on the shoulder (he didn’t catch that wave, so I didn’t really snake him) and I was able to get to the flats, bottom turn, and go up the lip.  I tried really hard to bust a turn but came out the back of the wave and lost all my speed.  Oh well.

Khang was a mad man on the waves.  He took every single wave.  He even took off behind a peak as it broke in front of him as I watched him, hoping he would fall.  I kept off that wave, and good thing I did since he punched through the white water section and came up the face to pump down the line, all the way to shore.  He came back saying the ride was “OK.” 

Nicky caught some nice little lefts that rolled through, but he seemed more or less frustrated that he couldn’t catch waves when I got there. 

In all honesty, the first ten minutes was totally worth all the traffic jams and meter maids and paddling.  After that, the place kind of shut down.  Khang still caught his fare share of waves, and so did this one long haired dude.  The long haired dude caught numerous waves going left from the peak, chop hop and Ollie over the flat sections, literally popping airs, and hacking on his backside creating major buckets of spray.  He put all of us in place.

I took a weird wave that doubled up on me after riding the face.  I had to step forward towards the nose of my board to not pearl, then step back to my tail pad so I wouldn’t eat it once again.  I made the wave but I couldn’t do anything else.  It felt good to know I could think on my feet like that with the changing conditions. 

Eventually, the time ran out on us, and I grew desperate for my last wave.  I paddled for a rogue right, and took it on my belly for a second.  I then felt the bump of speed go two fold, and wanted to pop up, but I couldn’t see from the burst of white water.  I should have just popped up… but my body wouldn’t listen to my head.  In the end, I took the wave on my belly all the way to the inside.  My last wave made me flaccid out of disappointment. 

But, the first ten minutes was definitely worth it.  Mahalo Mother Ocean. 

Monday, June 13, 2011

My Place of Worship - The Ocean 061211

Surf Report: 1-3 feet and clean until the tidal swings
Water: Cool and refreshing
Winds: Next to nil until high tide kicked in
Atmosphere: Gloomy

I slept relatively early last night after a night of eating some pasta con vonguole and baked fresh trout, all made by me for the family.  I was pretty satisfied, but still kind of angry about the surf session earlier on Saturday morning.  I felt groggy from my nap, and studying wasn’t helping me at all either.

I woke up around 600 AM and rolled around my bed for another twenty minutes.  I got out and started to do my yoga stretches and breathing exercises.  Come to think of it, I didn’t do my usual yoga and breathing exercises Saturday morning… all I did was stress out about getting Nicky and meeting up Mikey and getting to Malibu in hopes of surfing some nice waves and then getting skunked.  I felt rushed that morning, and should have taken a slower approach to my day.  So Sunday, I made sure to take my time doing some stretches and breathing.  I did some poses I usually wouldn’t do, and I called the usual suspects for the Sunday morning.

Nicky woke up to my phone call, and told me that he just woke up.  I told him I’d be there in a few minutes.  Khang woke up to my phone call too, and I told him I would be there in twenty minutes because I had to pick up Nicky. 

I stretched for another ten minutes, and made my way downstairs.  I filled up water jugs as I munched on some almonds, slowly chewing them forty times until they became buttery mush inside my mouth.  I washed each mouthful of munched almonds with almond milk, and headed out with the water jugs. 

Bryan was to come meet us today at Venice today, and he texts me a little before 0700 saying that he was late, but heading over.  I text him back to tell him not to rush, for I have yet to leave the house.

I only packed one board today: my Aloha thruster.  I had a feeling I should pack my longboard, but I opted not to, for I didn’t want to burden the car of the boards loggy, bulky, space-taking self.  I headed out to pick up Nick the Quick.

Bryan texts me that it was too late to tell him to rush, for he was rushing already.  He then texts me that Venice was closing out, and that he would head to Sunset.  I had told him the night before about our debacle at Malibu, and that Sunset would probably be the same today, if not worse, but I guess he thought he was making a good call.  I told him “Good Ruck,” and didn’t hear back from him for the rest of the morning. 

I pull up to Nicky’s house, and he doesn’t answer his phone.  I walk into his house, and luckily it’s unlocked.  I tug at his foot as he pulls away quickly, as if to say Don’t Bother Me.  I tap him and wake him up, and we get his stuff in my van.  Then, we headed to Khangs. 

Nicky tells me that Sundays are reserved for those of us who choose the Ocean as our place of worship.  The Ocean, to us, is our church, our temple, and our synagogue.  The Ocean is where we find peace, servitude, solitude, and freedom.  We surfers congregate in the Ocean and share this wonderful place with other mammals and humans.  To me, surfing has become extremely spiritual to me, and I feel empty without surf.  I used to go to Buddhist Temple every Sunday, at times even being a Sunday school teacher to elementary kids there.  But I grew increasingly disgruntled with the structure of the Temple.  I would ask, why do I have to go THERE to practice Buddhism?  Buddhism should be practiced outside of the Temple, and I have felt that I have been taught enough Buddhist idioms and fables to know the principles of the Teachings.  I don’t claim I know all of them, but I know well enough how to treat a human being and the environment around me.  So, I grew detached to the place of worship as I continued on with my life, and discovered that I get the same, if not greater, satisfaction from the Ocean while surfing.  I feel connected with nature and the universe when I surf, and I learn great lessons in both human interaction and natural environment interaction as I surf and make mistakes or achieve a goal.  To me, and to a lot of my surf buddies, the Ocean is our place of worship, and Surf is our religion. 

The morning was still gloomy, but pretty warm.  Well, warm for SoCal June gloom status.  There was a slight nip to the morning, but it wasn’t enough to call for a sweatshirt. 

We pull in to Khang’s place and give him a call.  As we waited, we rode our skateboards up and down the parking lot.  Nicky practiced his ollies and I did my carves.  Khang comes out and we exchange good mornings.  We pack up all our stuff and head to El Porto.  Since Venice didn’t seem like a good choice from Bryan’s perspective, we decided that we might as well go surf El Porto and enjoy ourselves in the spot where we all learned how to surf. 

We got to El Porto’s parking lot a little before 0800.  There was one parking spot open on the left, right when we entered, and we snagged it.  For some reason, there were a lot of surfers already out.  The waves looked surfable, but the crowd didn’t justify the small conditions.  There were some mushy peaks out front of 45th Street, and a peaky A frame rolling through in front of Shitters.  We three debated where to paddle out.  We got changed as some other surfers parked in front of us debated on whether or not to paddle out here.  One was an Asian girl and another one was white.  The Asian girl flashed a big smile to me when I smiled at her.  They were both going to be surfing on longboards, which seemed to be the good call today.

Nicky of course would be on his fish, Lucy.  Khang opted to take Dais’s fish, Maria.  And I had no other board except my Aloha board.  Khang threw in three hours of quarters for us, and we all headed down the sandy steps to El Porto. 

As we walked down the beach, we couldn’t decide where to paddle out.  Should we move down to Shitters?  Or was 45th Street breaking?  Well, we decided to go out to 45th Street since it was less crowded, and seemed to be breaking, albeit with less consistency.  We said we could change spots after an hour and a half if we didn’t like it here. 

Khang, as always, was the first to hit the water.  Nicky and I stretched out on the beach as we watched the waves roll in slowly.  There was little to no wind still, but we could feel the on shores approaching.  We started to paddle out soon after.

As I paddled out, I saw Khang catch a nice little right.  He made it through the flat section and kept going, high in the curl, until the wave bogged out on the inside.  I thought to myself, “Sick! Well, maybe it’s the right board choice.”

I felt the conversation I had with Nicky earlier reverberate in my mind.  This is my Temple.  I should relax and enjoy it.  As the waves rolled in, I caught a few small rides that put a smile to my face.  Another surfer would smile back at me as I paddled back to the line up while I smiled from my last wave.  It wasn’t epic conditions or anything, but the waves looked glassy, and the water was clear.  The gloomy sky seemed fitting to the oceanscape, while the horizon touched the vast ocean far, far away. 

Nicky caught a nice left in the first ten minutes too.  He pumped down the line and disappeared on the inside before re-emerging with a huge grin on his face.  Then, a miracle happened:  Nick the Quick caught a right!  He took a wave that was right behind another wave, which usually is a dangerous thing because of the back wash created, but this one was clean and had a feathery peak right by where he sat.  He grabbed his rail to direct his board down the right, let go, and made it down the line in speedy fashion.

“See, miracles do happen here too!  You went RIGHT!” I joked at him. 

“Yeeaaa for our temple!! Miracles do happen!” he told me. 

I saw Khang catch another right a little further down from us.  I hooted and whistled for him.

He said, “I’m really glad we came to El Porto.”

Just then, a wave broke right behind a mushy wave, and gave me some face to work with.  I paddled for it, going at an angle.  The wave didn’t quite break so I belly flopped on my board.  I tried to maintain speed as I dropped in on my belly, and finally when the wave started to wall up with a nice face, I pop up to my feet.  I do a few pumps, bottom turn, and hit the lip.  I come unstuck after this maneuver.

I wanted to make sure to catch a lot of waves today.  I didn't want Khang and Nicky to have all the fun on their fishes.  I wanted to make sure to hear Randy's words inside my head, that you don't need a fish to surf waves in Cali.  Yes, it does help, but it shouldn't really matter.  I wanted to prove to myself that I don't need the fish even in lackluster surf today.  

Khang took another right as he got to the open face and did a cut back to get back to the white water.  He redirected his board back to the face, getting out to the open face again, and then did another cut back before getting unstuck from losing speed. 

“It’s so clean and glassy!” he said.  “I can’t believe it’s like this today.”

I couldn’t believe it either.  It was a small day, but for the size, it was just perfect.  The Ocean was doing nothing too crazy, nothing too gnarly, just really mellow and easy going.   Even the outside sets were soft and mushy and would roll over you when you duck dived deep. 

Nicky caught another right, right in front of Khang and I.  Khang was paddling back out and Nicky stalled just a little bit to avoid running over Khang. 

I took a few lefts but I was really working on my rights today.  I belly flopped again on a wave and waited to pop up until the wave face walled up on the inside for me.  I got to my feet, and bottom turned up the face to hit the lip again.  This time, I lost all my speed (probably from putting too much weight on my front foot) and the wave bogs out on me.

Khang took a left out of no where.  I thought he was going to go right, but the left opened up nicely for him.  He goes down the line and at the end hacks a small cup of water off the top.  I show him the amount of spray he got out of that turn by cupping my hand in the water and splashing, and he laughed. 

Nicky went for a left where he snapped two quick turns.  These turns came with some spray too, equal in amount to Khang’s sprays.  We are all still noob status.  Well, I guess we are in the highest of noob status.  We need to break out of this ceiling. 

I catch another right, and this time I pop up while dropping down mid face.  My right hand starts to grab the rail of my board and I feel the water gushing through my hand and the board starts to jostle around, as if my hand was another fin directing the board.  I tightly clench the board rail and feel the board stabilize.  I then pop up and pump down the line.  I bottom turn, and try a floater.  I on the lip, but I was in a lay back position as I tried to redirect my board down the wave face.  I fall down in the lay back snap position like a barney. 

There was a bald dude in the water with a blue funboard.  Man oh man, was it his day.  He caught almost every set wave, making it down the face and pumping his board down the line.  He looked so graceful, I hooted him on every wave as he smiled going down the line.  Give Aloha, and receive Aloha back.

The waves started to shut down as the high tide started to become even higher.  The back wash created some weird warbles in the waves as they undulated up and down.  Some of the waves would break, but most of them didn’t.  I sat outside of every one in order to get the set waves and have first peck at the wave.  I figured, if I see the wave first, paddle for it first, and get onto the shoulder, I should have the wave to myself.  Well, that plan finally worked today, when I saw a right pop up.  I actually thought it was a left, and was paddling left until I saw the lip start to crash on the left as I geared up for my pop up.  I then leaned more on my right shoulder as I popped up in order to head down the right.  I love surfing because everything can change in a second, and one must adjust to the conditions.  I was able to swing into the wave on a clean right, and made it down the line.  I bottom turned, and then hit the lip again, this time trying to expose the big red O on my board above the lip.  I become unstuck, but I felt great for trying to even attempt these maneuvers. 

Nicky ended up drifting all the way down towards the Jetty, and walked all the way back.  I don’t know how that happens, since there was not too much of a current.  He must have taken left after left after left, heading further and further and further north towards the Jetty.  He said he got stuck in some weird rip tide and had to get out and walked to where we were, which was in front of the rusty tank. 

Khang was a little further north of me, where he was taking some nice rights all by himself.  I was sitting in some weird bowl where the waves didn’t roll through, so I paddled towards him and rejoined the group. 

I took a wave that I was pumping down the line for.  This girl surfer started to paddle for it, and stops halfway after trying really hard.  I was a little disappointed she just QUIT after trying so hard.  I had to straighten out for her because of that, and by the time she backed out of the wave, my bottom turn was weak and slow.  I lost all of my speed and bogged out at the lip.  I later find her name was Catherine.  I told her to go next time and commit to the wave.  I made her laugh by saying that if she doesn’t go on the next “big” wave, I would be really sad.

Out of no where, a set wave lurches its closed out face at us.  But hey, we were all in position for it.  Nicky, Catherine and I paddle for this no hope close out.  Before I knew it, I was head over heals getting shot over the falls and free falling about three feet. 


I resurface, and look around.  Catherine was wipe out, and so was Nicky.  I give Catherine props for going for that one, and I was happy that Nicky was pushing himself over the ledge too. 

The waves continued to shut down.  Khang decides to take the last wave in. 

I told him I would take the last wave in too.  Just then, I hear a voice calling. 


“Who dat?” I asked.

“Hey, it’s me!”

“Jay? Jay Guerrero?”

“YEA! How’s it going man?”

Jay was our battle buddy on our first Trestles camping trip.  He is the one that popped Matt’s cherry to going to San Onofre, and that is where Matt fell in love with the spot.  So, thanks to Jay, we in the DRC all surf the waves of San Onofre. 

We catch up as he talks about how he was in Alabama for the last month or so for his job.  Pretty crazy stuff if you ask me.

Also, he shows me his new board that he bought at a yard sale.  It was a stubby 5 foot twin fin fish.  The board looked like it had some history on it, with little or no rocker on it.  The twin keel fins were glassed on, as he gleamed with pride on his purchase.  That shit looked fun!!  I wanted to ride it too, but I didn’t ask him, for this was his first day back in the water for over a month. 

He introduces me to his friend Hiana and James.  He informs me that he is with his “group” of twenty plus people.  Holy shit, twenty surfers?  Man, that is nuts. 

I take a few waves with him, and then tell him I would go for the last wave.  I realized that I had Khang’s car key, and that he was probably waiting at the car for a while.  The waves weren’t that great this morning, so I didn’t want to press my luck or seem too desperate to catch another wave. 

I paddled for one last right, and start to pump down the line.  Jay was going for it too until he spots me and pulls out.  I laugh at him, and then say good bye. 

There seemed to be more and more people filing in to the parking lot as I came back to a waiting Khang.  The waves seemed to have shut down thirty minutes ago, but more people were coming… These people missed the sermon, the singing, and the after service snack.  All they got were crumbs and left-overs from the Ocean. 

So today’s session was pretty fun.  At least I had a lot of fun, most notably thanks to my mind state.  I was in a better place, mentally and spiritually.  We hoped to spend some time in our place of worship, and we enjoyed ourselves. 

We waited for NostraDaisus to show up, and watched the waves from the parking lot.  But, as time ticked by, the waves seemed to have gotten worse and worse, until there were only shore pound rides and a makeable set wave every thirty minutes.  The El Porto wave machine had shut down.  By the time Dais got here, there were really no waves to ride.  He decided not to go out, and we all headed back to congregate at DK’s house and watch some surf porn, Stoked and Broke.  Highly recommended, and a fun adventure DVD that makes you wonder why the hell do we surf?  It’s all because we are STOKED.

Mahalos Mother Ocean, it was another fun day spending time with you.