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…