Sunday, August 28, 2011

Hitting the Wall Once More 082811

Surf Report: 1-3 feet and dying
Water: Colder than yesterday, but boardies did fine
Winds: On shore the whole morning
Atmosphere: Sunny once more….

I woke up early this morning.  I actually slept pretty much all day yesterday after the birthday party.  The party had all sorts of food, including fried chicken, kalbi, a huge steamed salmon, Chinese chicken salad, rice rolls, asparagus, fried dumplings, rice, three kinds of beer, cup cakes, and two kinds of cake.  We even played bingo with everyone who came to Masada-san’s 93rd birthday party.  Afterwards, I had to take a nap before making some good ol’ chili.  After that, I knocked out on the floor around 10. 

I woke up this morning a few times but finally got out of bed a little before 600.  I started doing my yoga stretches when Matt texts me that he’s already there, and so is Francis.  I wasn’t about to let these two jokesters get waves without me, so I headed out as soon as I could. 

The early bird gets the worm.  I score free parking on the corner of Highland and 26th Street.  Lucky me!  I get changed and walk down the slope.  I see Francis and Matts’ cars parked behind each other.  I walk down the sand and see a figure on the wave.  Immediately I can tell it was Matt.  I may not be able to see his face, but I can tell his style from far away. 

This girl on the beach watching the surfers turns back to look at me, then watches the waves.  I do my stretching and by the time I’m done, she walks up to me and says, “Hey, are you Clyde?”

“No, I’m Klaude.”

“Oh, my brother and Matt told me that you’re coming out, and you’re supposed to roll out with a bunch of Japanese people?  Where’s your crew?”

“Um, no crew today,” I said.  “Those fuckers…” I mumbled. 


“Oh, no nothing, they’re just joking around.  Oh so there should be a Viet Namese guy coming out, but he doesn’t look very Viet Namese… He looks…”

“Pretty dark?”

“No, he looks Mexican, or white.  So look out for him too yea?  Tell him we’re out there too.”

I paddled out to the line up to find Matt and Francis.  They were already catching their fair share of waves. 

Matt told me that he might of pushed his shoulder a little too much yesterday.  He’s trying to take it a bit easier today.  The WHC were out in full force today, with John taking some photos.  Matt said if I wanted some photos taken, then I should go surf with them.  I didn’t really feel like competing with some semi-pros while I’m still a barney, so I opted not to. 

Francis was on fire once again.  He took a right off of me as I chased him through the white water.  I was no match to his speed.  He bottom turned, and then did a layback carve to end the ride.  But, he landed on one of our friends, Orlando, aka Rastaman. 

Rastaman paddle by later chuckling, “Hey!  Como estas?  Your friend almost gave me a hair cut right there!”

Francis took this left where he was able to bottom turn deep into the face, and stuck one of his heal side fin out above the lip.  He made the turn and back out to the flats, where he belly rode back to the flats and paddled back out, only to take a left that swung his way and butt drag on the face to stall.  He had to leave early since his sister was just chilling on the beach, and he wanted to take her out to some breakfast.  

Matt and I were the barneys and were doing stupid things.  I snaked Matt on a left and fell.  Matt snaked me on a right and turned into my board.  We both laughed it off, since we were just acting like little kids in the water.

Christina made it out!  She was on her foamie again, which was the vehicle of choice.  She caught a lot of waves again.  She put her head down on a few and snaked the other foamie, but it was all good since she got on the face and was off to the races.  There was no way the other foamie was going to catch up to her. 

Dave came out too.  He caught three waves in a row, flying down the line.  He took a right where he grabbed rail, let go, and just flew down the line onto the face until he jumped off.  He took a left too, taking it all the way to shore.  I honestly have not seen Dave catch this many waves ever.  He caught more waves in the last two days than in any of the days combined that I’ve surfed with him. 

Matt introduces us to one of the Westside Hurley Crew (WHC) Chris.  We also saw Manny take off on a wave, as they were on their way out of the water. 

I didn’t really have many memorable rides today.  I seemed to have hit another wall in my surf.  Is it mental?  I feel it is mental, since I’m not reminding myself to do the things I used to remind myself to do.  I caught myself not doing the fish wiggle when paddling for a wave, not putting my head down (thanks Matt for reminding me, sorry I didn’t listen to you in the line up), not surfing off my back foot, and being distracted in the line up.  I need to somehow get my head back in the water and focus.  I’m not sure how I’m going to do that, but I have a week to do so.  Let’s try to let go of all control and Just Enjoy The Surf.  Hopefully I can break through this wall and overcome this slump.

Regardless, it was a super amazing day of surf.  I was glad I got to surf with the “soul” of the DRC, and that everyone caught a lot of waves.  It was crazy!!  I can’t believe how many waves Christina and Dave caught.  Damn longboarders…

I pushed Dave into a wave, where a guy was already smashing down the line.  Matt told Dave, “Watch out!” and Dave pulled out at the last minute.  I felt bad for pushing him into a wave where it put Dave and that other surfer into danger.  I was glad Matt was there to watch over our fellow members.

The line up was crowded once more.  It wasn’t as crowded as yesterday, but man, towards the end all I saw were faces bobbing up and down behind me.  I couldn’t get a solid ride at all. Bruce was getting wave after wave, and Uncle Miles was on a few good ones too.  All the longboarders had amazing days of surf.  I could tell by their high wave count (that includes you too, Christina and Dave.)

Dave and I hooted Damon into a few waves as he took them all the way to shore.  He said he was stiff from yesterday, but he sure was catching a lot of waves today. 

I took one last wave in.  It wasn’t a clean wave or anything, but it was a wave.  Christina was already out and soaking in some sun.  I waited for Dave, and so I started to body surf a little bit.  I caught a few nice waves getting out on the face before being gobbled up the sand washed white water. 

We all said our goodbyes and parted ways.

Matt was off to Disneyland to buy us all churros.  And spend some time with Lauren at Disneyland.

Christina stayed on the beach for a few minutes to “soak in the atmosphere.”

Dave had to go shopping for a dress shirt for a high school buddy’s wedding.

And I skated down to the pier to check out the volleyball tournament.  Nothing was going on yet.  Oh well.  At least I got a few hours of surf in and some skating too.

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!  I will try to shake this funk out of me by the time I see you again on the weekend. 

With Love, From The DRC 082711

Surf Report: 1-3 feet
Water: Warm
Atmosphere: Sunny!!
Winds: Slight off shore switched to on shore

Today was THE day to surf.  The sun was out, the winds were off shore, and there were a surprisingly great number of good rides out there. 

I picked up Cheryl in the morning.  She asked to be picked up last night, and I told her if she didn’t wake up when I called her, that was on her.  I couldn’t sleep too well that night, for the excitement to surf took over. 

I woke up a little before 500 am and went back to sleep.  I woke up again around 550, and started to do yoga.  Before I called Cheryl, she texted me saying that she was already up, so I continued on with my yoga.  I filled up a water jug and headed out the door before 610.

I picked her up, and we headed to 26th Street.  Francis and Matt were already in the water, and so I was anxious to get to the water.  I didn’t bother to find street parking since Cheryl isn’t able to skate, and has a longboard too.  That would just ruin her travelling ability, so we parked in the lot.  Surprisingly, the meters were still open, but we did arrive here by 640. 

Christina pulls up immediately, and we wait for her to get changed and ready to go.  She tells us to go ahead since she wants to put more wax onto her foamie.  We run out ahead of her. 

We three stretch as Cheryl points out Matt’s white Hurley wetsuit.  So easy to spot he is. 

The water was cool, but the atmosphere was already warming up.  The line up was friendly and warm as the Ocean.  Playful three footers came in as I paddled out.  the line up was crowded, which has been bothering me as of late.  I don’t understand how this small piece of paradise has become so crowded.  I attribute it to the summer and warmer days.  Once wetsuit season kicks in, the line up should thin out. 

Matt has been catching a few waves already, and we started to chit chat.  He asked how my jacket was feeling today.  He was telling me how I made the right call by wearing boardshorts. 

“What kind of boardshorts are those?” he asked.

“Oh, these aren’t the boardshorts I wanted to wear.  I lost my string on the ones I wanted to wear so I had to wear these…”

Just then I felt my board jolt up and down, as if I was on those big bull machines that simulate a rodeo.  I look behind me and the ninja Fransauce was behind me shaking my board. 

I just got duped by both Matt and Francis.  They both laughed at me as I splashed water at them for fooling me.  I vowed to snake them.

Cheryl and Christina made their way out, and so the DRC were on like Donkey Kong.  The rising tide produced a lot of clean rides with little texture on the water.  The water was so glassy I felt like we could cut through the water so easily. 

The waves didn’t have much oomph behind them, so we had to work for the waves.  Christina was the DRC charger, catching the most waves out of all of us.  She was on her foamie and was able to have a field day. 

Francis was on fire too, paddling into every wave that came within ten feet of him.  Not only does he paddle strong, but he positions himself right where the wave is breaking, and is able to take the shoulder before the white water crashes down. 

I found myself behind Francis on a few waves, and although he did snake me, he was positioned better on the shoulder, and was able to pump a few times and bust a big turn.   He turned up on the lip and smacked it.  Damn, fucking good turn!

Matt was back from injury, so he was super stoked to get back in the water.  He was really stoked to be back.  I told him to take it easy since he is back from injury, but he paddled hard for every wave, and his efforts were rewarded.  He had countless amounts of waves this day.  One of our first waves together was where he went right and I went left.  We both went backside splitting the peak.  I wish someone had a photo of that. 

Dave showed up soon after, and so we had six members of the DRC in the water. 

The vibe was great, for everyone was catching a lot of waves.  We hooted and whistled Cheryl into waves.  “Duck Butt!” Matt yelled out after she caught a nice wave.

Dave!  He took this nice right with his longboard, and was able to fly down the line.  He looked like he was on the face for a while, and then jumped off the back as the wave crashed ahead of him.  He also took another right while I went left.  He was watching me as I watched him, and then I bottom turned on my backside and hit the lip.  I doubt there was any spray, but I felt the rebound on the bottom of my board to redirect my board forward. 

Every DRC member had a huge smile on their face from ear to ear.  It was probably the most fun surf session for the summer. 

Roy was out, Bruce, Don, Jose, Orlando aka Rastaman, Damon, his son Kyle, Chris and the other locals were all out.  The other people, I don’t really know. 

Tom calls me as I paddled back out after a wave.  We add a new member to our growing crew.  It’s better to surf within a group of friends since they can block for you. 

I had one clean wave for this session, which was a right.  Matt paddled around me to block.  He told me to go, so I went.  I was able to get on the face of the wave and pump a few times.  This wave felt…weird.  I felt like I wasn’t surfing on my board, but just carving on the water with my feet.  I garnished enough speed so I go to the flats and bottom turn.  I felt my board just go up the face so fast I had no time to react to the bottom turn.  I floated off the top and exited the wave on accident.  I was a bit bummed at that.  Roy had seen this, and told me that I should just stick with the wave and had done a floater.  I definitely would have done that if I knew I was going so fast. 

It was still weird to have caught that wave.  I really felt like I was a part of the wave.  I have never felt that before, nor have I felt that feeling ever since. 

We drift back and forth between north of the tower and the tower itself before the high tide.  After the high tide there was a thirty minute lull.  Not too many waves came through.  Then after the high tide we drifted south towards the pier.

The sun was shining through even stronger as the winds changed.  However, the waves started to pick up again.  Matt was still out here (I still think he pushed himself a little too much being back from injury) and Francis had left to go to work.  Tom had left since his meter ran out.  He told me that he didn’t expect the good conditions and didn’t even put quarters in to the meter.  The guy before him had put in two hours already, so he didn’t see a point.

So as the high tide got lower, Khang, Dais, Peter and DK made their way out where we were.  We all exchanged our what’s ups and what not, and Khang went to work right away.  He caught the two waves of the day in the first five minutes. 

The first wave he caught was a right, which I backed out of.  Christina and Matt were on my inside (I think Matt almost ran her over on the previous wave) and Khang dodged Christina cleanly.  However, he wasn’t ready for Dave the Snake to drop in on him straight out of no where.  They collide with the white water, but thankfully come out unscathed. 

The second wave Khang caught was a little bigger, and I had to duck dive out of his way.  He took a left all the way to shore.  We were all wide-eyed in amazement as he just caught two waves of the day in a row in the first five minutes. 

I paddled for a right, but saw Christina just put her head down and paddle for my inside.  I was in position, but if I had taken off I would have hit her.  I pull out at the last second and still get pulled by the curling wave.  I see Christina just pearl and her board nose dive into the clear blue green water.  I then see Christina go over the falls in the lip

Dais was working the inside, which was what I was doing before they had arrived.  I saw him paddle back out a few times, so he must have been catching a few waves already. 

DK and Peter were paddling around, getting their feet wet.  I had to leave before I saw them catch a wave.  Oh well.  I had a 93 year old lady’s birthday party to attend.  She is the oldest out of our yoga class, and is a wonderful lady.  She does yoga every day, and stays active.  Although she needs a walker to get around, I feel that she is a testament that yoga keeps a person young and active. 

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Sunset Point with the Wave Munster 080611

Surf Report:  1-3 feet
Atmosphere: Gloomy, then sunny towards the end
Water: Cold
Winds: slight off shore then to on shore.

Dais met up with me at my house on Saturday morning.  We were to set out to Malizoo and check out the waves.  We passed by Sunset and saw a few sets come through, and the place was FIRING.  The parking on the street was full, so we would have to park in the lot…

We got up to Malibu, and saw the waves.  They looked dismal.  Maybe we should have waited for the sets?  We waited and waited, but the sets never came.  So, we turned back to go to Sunset.

Dais texted Cheryl and Christina to let them know we were at Sunset instead.  We made our $7 donation to the parking lot and parked under the light where all the bird poop was. 

The guys at the point were all on longboards.  There were scattered people by the rocks where one can walk down, and then there was the usual crowd of people in front of Dos Banos.  I told Dais I would be surfing in front of the rocks where we walk down. 

We stretch at the parking lot so we could just paddle out once we got down to the rocks.  The tide was high (even though it was a low tide around 0838) and already hitting the rocks, erasing any trace of a sand bar.  We both paddled straight out into the freezing waters of Sunset…

I didn’t have many memorable rides today, at least to me.  I was able to pump down the line on two waves and made people back out of the wave.  Thank you for doing that, other surfers. 

Dais went off to Dos Banos where he caught some insiders, counting up about four memorable rides, and about seven close outs.  I was stoked for him, since he caught a lot of waves.

Cheryl and Christina showed up after the “low tide” hit.  Cheryl and Christina were talking and what not, when Cheryl just swung around for a wave.  Christina hooted her into a long right hander that peeled all the way to the inside. 

Christina and I went for a set wave, but I saw out of the corner of my eye as I swung around to paddle for it the monk-looking dark Asian dude on his blue board paddling for it.  This guy tears Sunset up.  He is a local for sure.  I've seen him here every time I've come here.  So, I kept him in the back of my mind until I garnished some speed and heard his board cutting through the chop.  I pulled the emergency brake by putting my legs back into the water and pulling my surfboard back up towards me as I see his blue board shoot across my plane of vision.  Christina wasn’t so lucky.  She went straight over the surfboard as she kept paddling for the wave, and crashed into the guy. 

Both of them were not hurt.  But that is what Sunset is all about:  dropping in, and apologizing.

There was a group of about five people just learning to surf.  This one guy was giving them pointers and tips on how to sit, where to sit, how to do the “egg beater” to turn the surf board, how to paddle, on and on and on.  I was wondering, how could this be a good spot to learn?  Yes, the waves are good, but it’s probably one of the worst places to learn to surf.  The girl of the group heard that the instructor surfed around Bay Street and she asked if that was a beach break.  He replied that it was, and that there was a lot of white wash. 

“Oh, I should be learning there then,” she replied.  Well, at least someone is using their head.  Sunset, to me, isn’t a beginner’s spot.  It may be “beginner friendly” because of the wave, but the crowds and the rocks will intimidate anyone who is starting to surf. 

The longboarders had a field day it looked like.  I know Cheryl was having a crazy day of surfing.  She got a high wave count.  She definitely got the highest wave count out of all of us.  We shall call her the Wave Munster because “monster” just sounds too vicious. 

We stayed in the water for a good three hours, but the high tide was killing the spot.  Anything above 3 foot in the tide refracts on the rocks and makes the waves really mushy and unrideable. 

There was a short boarder riding from the point.  He was pumping up and down the line super fast.  We were all watching, including the people from the peanut gallery.  We then see a red foamie just put his head down and paddle for the wave.  He catches the wave but couldn’t pop up.  The short boarder straightens out as the foamie is going straight into the rocks, not down the line.  The foamie tries to get to his feet in a tripod dog stance, but then completely eats it. 

We all give out a collective “OH!” as he ate it.  I clapped and laughed, and the peanut gallery was laughing too.  Usually when you fuck up, you THINK everyone saw it, and that everyone is laughing at you behind your back.  This was a rare moment in which everyone DID see your screw up, and was laughing at you. 

It got sunny!
I took a “last wave” but the wave was so nice that I had to get one more.  Greed played a role in this decision.  I tried really hard to catch two waves, but both were ended by the red foamie who made his way down the peak where I was sitting.  I deserved that much for being greedy.  I screamed on the second wave under water as to muffle my cursing directed towards him, and paddled peacefully passed him.  I wanted to tell him to look both ways and to watch out where he’s going, but I felt like it was child abuse.  He’s still learning, and we’ve all been at his level.  I didn’t want to shun another surfer’s stoke. 

I did my paddle of shame because I felt I was being too greedy after my “last wave” three waves ago.  The water was completely covering the rocks so I had to be cautious on my way out.  This walk out wasn’t so bad actually, compared to Trestles or Malibu, or any other place I’ve been with reef. 

Dais was waiting for me at the top, and told me he just got out too.  We got changed and carved up the concrete wave on our skateboards. 
Wave Munster aka Cherelita

Cheryl made her way out with all smiles, glowing from her stoke.  She caught a lot of waves that day, and so she deserves the title of DRC’s Stand Out of the Day.  

Christina said that she caught a lot of waves today.  Sorry I didn't get to see them!! Remember, patience young grass hopper... you CAN go for the small ones, but you waste your energy that way!  Anyways, she caught a lot of waves on the inside and ran over a guy.  Kudos!!

Mahalos Mother Ocean.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

A Rare Sunday Wave Fest at 26th Street 073111

Surf report: 1-2 feet, the occasional 3 footer
Water: Warm
Winds: Strong trade winds to nil towards the end
Atmosphere: Gloomy with some sun

Home is wherever your heart is, and my heart lies in 26th Street.  I just love this place. 

I had a text war going on between the DRC last night.  We didn’t know where to paddle out tomorrow.  Sunset? Malibu? HB?  Trestles again?  Or just stay local?  I went to sleep eerily dreaming and drowning in the cold waters of a flat lake, suffocating from the stagnant pools of darkness.

I woke up at 0600, without my alarm.  As I started to stretch my alarm went off, so I turned it off and made a few phone calls.  Francis didn’t pick up, but Matt did.  It sounded like he had “slept in” for a change.  Sleeping in for Matt is waking up past 0500.  So it must have been nice for him to sleep a little longer, I’m sure. 

Christina had texted me if we had decided where to paddle out.  Since Fransauce wasn’t answering his phone, I made the executive decision of paddling out at our local break – 26th Street.  We three are to meet there. 

I left my house by 0630, and headed to Costco to fill up on gas.  The morning was still waking up as I drove down the sleepy streets of Culver City.  My eyes were wide open, and I could feel the cold nip of the air as I cracked my window open.  I fill up on gas, and take off to Manhattan Beach.

As I drove down Vista Del Mar, Matt pulls up next to me and I follow him down Highland.  We pull up into a rather empty parking lot of 26th Street.  I see Don’s car, and think to myself, “Well, if he’s surfing, we have to surf too.”

Matt and I take a look at the waves, and we see a guy pumping down the line.  On queue, I say BAM! and he blasts off a mean hack.

“That’s all I need to see.  Let’s surf!  It’s a small window, you know…” Matt said.

So we proceeded to get changed. 

We went through a list of “who to call” today.  We called or texted whoever needed to be called or texted, and it was totally up to them to show up or not. 

We got to the water by 0710, and Matt was the first to paddle out.  I took my time stretching out my aching muscles, and to take a slow Sunday morning start.  The water was warm and inviting, and I felt like I was back at home. 

The wind was up and howling, but I liked it this way.  The chop created more waves because it would break up the waves and make them wall up more.  Matt and I had a buffet for the first hour. 

“Damn, that first hour just flew by!” he said to me.

We tried not to drift as far, and I maintained my position just north of 26th Street.  Matt was off to the south at times, or right in front of 26th Street.  I saw him from the inside going for a backside snap, but the lip projected his surfboard up, up, and awaaaaay as he came crashing down with the lip.  Heck, you gotta go for those!

He also had a nice one turn wave where he was able to hack off the top.  Man, if only the waves were longer!  We could have more practice for our turns… but man, was it fun today! 

I formally introduced Matt to Don.  I’d say that introduction was way over due.  They chatted it up while we all traded waves.  It was such a mellow morning, but the waves just kept coming in.  I couldn’t believe that no one else paddled out today.

After the first hour, we both got out to feed the meters.  Christina was out on the sand, stretching.  She told me that she put an hour into my meter, but she failed to do so for Matt.  No love for Matt!!  So I walked back with Matt to put more money in his and mine. 

We walked back to the sand to see Christina still stretching next to these three jail bait.  We tried to avert our eyes away from the potential law suit, and just focus on the surf. 

“Did the wind just die?” Matt asked me.

“Yea, I think it did… weird.”

The current was still there, and we lost sight of Christina in the first five minutes.  I think she drifted down towards 33rd Street.  

Matt and I just traded waves all morning today.  Our high wave count was unexpected for a Sunday morning, especially after being skunked at Trestles the day before. 

There weren’t too many stand out waves this day, but I did have one confidence booster, if it means anything.  There was a guy on the peak of a breaking wave.  The wave was maybe three feet, and I was sure he was going to get it.  I hooted him into the wave, but he looked like he just FROZE.  Shit, what a waste!! Or is it an opportunity for me?

I turned around, grabbed the nose of my board with my left, tucked the board under me, paddled once with my right hand, and popped up.  The wave wasn’t that long since I caught it off the shoulder, but it was fun knowing that I took advantage of a wave that someone passed up.

I guess this just shows my comfort level here at 26th Street.  I really felt one with the water today, even while standing up and pumping on the wave.  I just knew where my board had to be, and my board listened to me.  “Oh I wanna be there.”  “Ok, let’s go there.”

I even went for a no-hope close out with Matt.  We both knew we weren't going to make the wave, but we just had to go for it.  The wave was a modest three feet and closing out.  I paddled, popped up, knowing that I wasn't going to stick the landing, and felt the free fall of the wave.  I saw my board under me, and I just thought to myself, "Don't land on the fins, don't land on the fins!"  and my heel hit the rail of the board.  No dings, no cuts, no bruises, we are all ok.  I saw Matt in the white water about ten yards away, and we laughed about going for such a hopeless wave. 

I’ve been changing my paddle again lately.  I’ve been watching Don and the local guys paddle into waves at the peak, and I observed that they paddle with their elbows out of the water.  I remembered in Matt’s Bali chronicles that his brother Randy criticized his paddling, saying that Matt paddles like he is swimming.   I thought to myself, “What, that’s the wrong way?”  So I’ve been picking and analyzing how the locals paddle into the waves, and mimicking them.  I realized that when I paddle into waves with my longboard, I only submerge my hands.  So, I try that with my shortboard now.  My triceps, deltoids, and traps definitely feel the pull, but that’s because I’m not used to it yet. 

So I asked Matt what Randy meant exactly by his criticism on his paddle.  He explains to me his evolution of paddling, first from swimming, then the s-turn under the board from Rick (which I employed from a surfline article), then to the exposing of the arms and only using your hands to paddle into waves.  I had a small sense of accomplishment to have figured this out myself, and was glad that I could take someone’s experience and make it my own. 

Combined with my “fish wiggle” I’ve come to the conclusion that my paddle is better when I don’t submerge my whole arm into the wave while paddling.  I’ve tried to paddle without my arms being submerged even when I’m not paddling for a wave, but it’s kind of tiring.  We’ll see if I can keep that up. 

We surfed a total of 2.5 hours.  The sun was starting to shine through, and the winds were completely dead.  We both felt the stoke, and our bodies felt like we actually surfed today.  It’s kind of crazy how we get skunked all the way down at Trestles, come back home to our local beach break, and score.  I was glad that I didn’t have to surf solo today, since it wouldn’t have been as much fun if I didn’t have my paddle buddy out with me.  The last wave for both of us was an A-Frame wave where we split the peak.  I went right, and Matt went left.  We took the wave as far as we could, and paddled in the shore pound.  It was only fitting that we split the peak to end the session. 

Mahalos Mother Ocean, and 26th Street!  Home is wherever your heart is, and my heart belongs to 26th Street. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

Cheryl's Wave of the Day 073011 Part 2

Surf Report:  Cleaning up, mushy 3 footers
Water: Unknown
Winds: Trade winds
Atmosphere: Sunny

I didn’t feel like surfing for the rest of the day.  I was bummed that I got skunked.  I reflected on the whole morning for the rest of the day.

Matt, Lauren, Cheryl, and Christina were all sitting on the picnic bench when I walked towards the car.  They too were skunked, and didn’t seem to be too stoked either.  We talked about our experiences this morning, and Matt was set on just “fucking around” later at Churches.  I told him I was finished for the day.  Usually, it’s the other way around, where I would be going out for an afternoon session, and he would be finished. 

Lauren, Christina, and Cheryl decided to lay out.  Matt set up an umbrella for Lauren, and all was well under the hot, blazing sun.
Matt pitching a tent.. err umbrella

Dais and Khang were doing a marathon session.  I didn’t see them come out until Matt started to get back in his wetsuit.  They drifted all the way down towards the entrance of the parking lot, and walked back to our spot.  Cheryl and Christina were giving it another go with Matt, and paddled out soon after Khang and Dais came back in. 

“I was a flea amongst the top dawgs,” I told Dais and Khang.

Usually, it’s the Ocean that puts me in place.  She chops down my ego before you can say, “Oh shit.”  But today, it was the other surfers who put me in place.  They weren’t aggro or mean or surf nazi’s.  They were just that much better.  They knew where to sit, where to paddle, where to take off, and hack the shit out of the lip.  It was a huge slice of humble pie dealt to my face from all the surfers from here.  It wasn’t that my skills were lacking, for if that was an empty line up, I would have had a wave buffet. 

Khang and Dais
Matt reiterated that it was our mentality.  We surf mellow spots, where we get our fair share of waves.  Even the locals would give us waves at most spots we surf.  Trestles, was another matter in itself.  We just had to put our heads down and gun for the wave.  If we snaked them, oh well.  Kick out of the wave.  It is a spot unlike any other place I have surfed, and I checked myself.  Chiggity check yourself before you reck yourself. 

Khang, Dais and I joked that Matt was going to paddle all the way to Lowers because he kept paddling further and further north as he grew disgruntled by the wave choice at Churches.  It was easy to spot him with the white wetsuit, but his body language read FRUSTRATION all over it.  I put my hat over my face and tried to sleep under the tree. 

The Sun, doing his job
I tried to sleep under the blazing sun.  I just wanted to rest a little bit. 

“Oh shit! Cheryl!!!!” said Khang.

I got up and looked out.  Cheryl took off on a two foot right that was peeling perfectly.  She was looking down the line with a huge smile on her face, and sliding down the face of the wave.  The wave seemed endless until the inside, where it closed out and she jumped off.  We all whistled and hooted her for that ride.  It was probably the longest ride out of all of us that whole day. 

Lauren and I talked about crows feet and laugh lines (or frown lines, if you're a pessimist.)  I told her that people get crows feet when they smile too much.  She added that wrinkles appear around your mouth, creating laugh lines too.

"I'll trade smiles for wrinkles any day!" she said. 

SOOOO CHEEEESEY.  If I was lactose intolerant, I would have diarrhea and farts from that line.  LOL!!

So all in all, we did get skunked going to Trestles.  This is by far, the first time we’ve been skunked.  Even when we knew it was only 1 foot and terrible, we still got waves.  But today, it was supposedly a good swell, and it was, but only for Lowers.  Lowers is a magnet for a south swell.  Any little push out of the southern hemisphere will produce waves.  But, the surfers put me in check.  I was humbled by this experience today.  I vow to appreciate Trestles more than ever, since we’ve always scored going there, except for today.  And god damn it, bring your damn wetsuit next time. 

Mahalos Mother Ocean.

A Flea Amongst the Top Dawgs of Lowers 073011

Surf Report:  2-4 feet, with the occasional 5 footer
Water: Cold
Wind: Trade winds blowing side to side
Atmosphere: Gloomy

The DRC planned a Trestles trip from a week ago.  This Saturday was supposed to see some swell hit SoCal and so we were all pretty excited about going to Trestles.  The plan was to be on the road by 0515 and get to San Onofre by 0630.
4:00 AM

I woke up at 0400 to get ready.  Christina had called me in the morning when she woke up, and so I did my usual twenty minute yoga routine to get my body going and headed out.  All my stuff was packed up and ready to go.  I figured since we’re going south towards San Diego that I wouldn’t need a wetsuit, and that would just be extra baggage that was unnecessary for the trip.

Christina was ready to go in the morning with her three bags of “stuff.”  I told her she over-packed for a half a day trip to San O, but she said that she needed ALL OF HER STUFF.  Go figure.

Khang calls us while we pull up to Matt’s place.  0500 and he’s already up and ready.  We told him we’ll meet him up at San O.  Christina and I pull up to Matt’s and start loading up all our stuff.  Matt and I strap on the boards to the car, and the four of us, Matt, Lauren, Christina, and myself, set out to San Onofre by 0515.  Right on time.

Don't fly away, boards!!
The drive down was a serene one, busting jokes and the occasional fart from Matt.  We were all pretty excited about the surf trip today, but I tried not to psyche myself out this whole week since I tend to underperform and get screwed over when I do psyche myself up for surf.

When we arrive at San Onofre, Old Man’s wasn’t even breaking.  Churches right in front of us looked dismal, but the occasional pulse would send a nice three wave set and make us froth in our pants. 

Sunrises are always so beautiful
I was the only one to wear boardshorts out of the whole crew.  Ok, let’s be fair.  Christina also was crazy enough to wear some boardshort looking thing too.  We were the most exposed surfers.  Khang, Dais and Cheryl arrived shortly thereafter, and we all took pictures in front of the tree to commemorate our little trip. 

The winds were pretty strong as they blew from the north to the south.  The wind created some chop on the water as we walked down towards Middles and Battle Positions.  We decided to paddle out towards BP’s since it seemed the least crowded out of all the spots…

The water itself wasn’t TOO COLD.  I think the wind chill factor and the lulls in between were killer to me.   Everybody in the line up had a full suit on, and even they were complaining about how cold the water was.  I tried to stay busy and paddle around to keep myself warm.  I caught maybe a wave or two in the first hour, but that was it.  Matt, Dais, and Khang were in the same boat, catching a wave or two in that one hour time frame.  More people filled in the line up, and the lulls made everyone hungry for a wave.
Low Tide at Churches

The longboarders kept going for these mushy, slow rolling waves and couldn’t even catch them.  People hung out on the inside trying to catch the boggers, but that didn’t seem like a working plan either.  All I could see is the greener grass towards Lowers.  My hands started to feel numb and tingly from the cold, and I wasn’t really that stoked at this moment. 

A nice wave perked up on the horizon.  I saw Khang trying to go for it, but he was too outside.  There was another dude going for it, and he did a double paddle, signaling to me that he was determined to catch it.  I let up my paddling just a bit, and that small hesitation cost me.  The dude couldn’t get into it for whatever reason, the wave would have been mine for the taking.  But, I scratched out on it, for I let up just for that split second.  I hesitated, and I lost out.  Matt said that could have been the wave of the day. 

I felt my right foot about to cramp.  Taking a page from Dais’s book, I told myself to not thing about it, and just keep paddling and moving.  I tried to get my heart rate down while pumping my arms and kicking my feet:  an oxymoron, I know.  But it did get the cramp out of my right leg.  I kept paddling further and further north, for the wind was pushing us further south.  That wind was just killer… it reminded me of Diamondhead and how the wind would just push surfers out of position. 

We sensed Matt’s frustration.  He had his grimace/smile that we know is just a cover up for his frustration of lackluster surf.  We could feel it from his aura or mana, or whatever you might want to call it.  I shared in that energy too.  Did we really wake up at 0400 and drive all the way down here to get skunked?  It sure felt like we were getting skunked. 

Earlier, I told Matt that I was going to paddle to Lowers, but I didn’t want to go at it alone.  However, at this point, I had to go.  There was no way in hell am I going to let this swell just pass us up like this.  The opportunity is there, right before my eyes.  I had to get a wave over at Lowers.  I could see from my blindness that the waves were pumping there, and that every surfer on it was cranking out at least two or three turns.  I had to go there.

I paddled and paddled and paddled.  I paddled passed Dais, passed Khang, and passed Matt.  I told Matt I was going to Lowers.  He wished me luck.

I get to the shoulder of the Lowers peak.  Every surfer shredded the shit out of the wave.  A guy would cut back casually into the white foam, pump, and then do a large hack off the top.  Another surfer behind him on the next wave would pump a few times, and pull off a massive hack on the lip. 

I tried not to get too nervous around these guys.  I wanted to pretend like I belonged there, but it was clear that I didn’t.  I got psyched out in the first twenty minutes.  I tried to keep my heart rate down and not get too nervous, but it was too late.  Matt came to the peak too, to keep me company (I think) but by that time, my heart rate had gone way up, and my knee started to cramp.  I tried to shake it off doing the Michael Jackson kick, but then my groin started to cramp.  I had to get out. 

I paddled back out and walked out in pain.  I calmed myself down, and thought about my own behavior on the sand.  All the groms had sponsored boards, and the ones that didn’t were at least 30 or 40 years of age and packed the tight take off zone on the outside.  These were the top dawgs, and the groms were the little pups.  Me?  I felt like a flea amongst the top dawgs.  I wanted to show them that fleas can bite too. 

I got my board under my arm and started to walk back out to Lowers.  The water was still cold, but I tuned it out for now.  I wasn’t going to let the cold water bother me this way.  I paddle out and see Matt catch a long right.  He didn’t do any spectacular turns, but he took the wave all the way to shore.  At least he caught a wave. 

We paddled out together and I went straight for the peak.  I analyzed who was catching the best waves, and where they sat.  There was this guy with orange markings on the shoulders of his black wetsuit.  He obviously wanted to be seen, and he was the stand out local guy.  He almost ran me over on the take off, but he was never in any aggro state.  He almost hit Matt too. 

The mood was super mellow, but you could feel the snickering and the growls under everyone’s breath here at Lowers.  It was a dog eat dog world.  Just a small let up while one sat, and he was out of position from the take off zone.  I stayed on the outside, mimicking the paddle of all the “local guys.”  Most of these guys are probably not “local” but have been surfing this spot for decades, I’m sure.  They had this place dialed in.  They would greet each other with “Hey, long time no see~!” and “How was that one?  Sick turn!”

I complimented a guy on his ride, and he gave me a huge smile and said, “Yea, it’s pretty fun.  Have you gotten one yet?”

“Naw, I haven’t gotten one here.  I paddled from Middles because it wasn’t even breaking over there.”

“Was it better earlier?”

“Yea, it might have been, the tide’s kinda killing it right now.  I’ve been here since about 700” I told him.

“Wow, yea, I couldn’t wake up today… I just got here.”

“Yea, my friends and I woke up at 400 and got here so we could surf some waves, but we kinda got skunked.”

“DAMN!  Where did you come from?”


“That’s dedication, man,”  he told me.

Sure is…

I watched and observed the top dawgs and their mannerisms.  I paddled behind them, and waited for the set.  I would paddle for the first set, but this old balding guy would take off on the outside of me.  Even though I knew I would have been able to out run him, I didn’t want to upset the hierarchy, so I pulled out as I garnished speed on my paddle.  Of course, I was out of position for the next three waves and paddled towards the shoulder to avoid being run over by the other locals. 

I figured that I needed to position myself just north of the four bathrooms.  I sat, and waited, and paddled, and waited, and paddled more to keep my position. 

Just then, a magical left appeared.  I don’t know what was going on in my mind, but I sure wasn’t focused on catching the wave any more.  I just let the wave pass me up.  This guy on the inside looked surprised that I let that one up, and did a Turn & Go.  He got a few hacks off before the wave closed out. 

I was pissed at myself.

What the fuck am I doing?  Didn’t I come here to surf?  And now, your body is shivering, your hands are numb, your balls are blue, and you passed up a set wave that was just for you.  Mother Ocean was like “Here, show them that a flea can bite the top dawgs” and you basically shit on her gift.  FUCK.  YOUR.  LIFE.

I went for a close out.  I had to.  It was my punishment for passing up a great wave.  I knew it was a close out, but I had to go for it.  It was a left and I air dropped on the mushy white water as it broke.  I felt the white water gobble at my feet and throw me off, then just take me under her large bosom.  I let her take me down, roll me up and spit me out.  I was on the inside now, where all the sets were breaking on top of my head.  I paddled hard to the left so I could get out of the impact zone, and finally made it back out to the line up.  Again, I was south of the porter potties.  I had to paddle back north.

I didn’t do a paddle of shame in from Lowers.  I was determined enough at this point to not do that, although my sense of defeat was overshadowing any feeling of exhilaration or stoke that would be able to pry its way into my head.  If stoke was a key, then the door was a nuclear power plant’s retna and finger scanning touch screen with a fifteen digit pass code only accessible by the White House. 

I hung out on the inside where waves started to pump.  More and more surfers started to come out of the wood works, and this one guy yelled MINE! As he paddled into a wave next to me.  He still got snaked, not by me, and wasn’t all too happy about it.  Every wave was taken by someone other than myself.  When I got a solitary moment alone with the Ocean, I finally got to my feet on a wave and rode it out to the inside.  I had had enough.

I walked back with my head hung low.  I put my chest out and keep my chin up as I walked further away from Lowers.  This flea will be back, for sure. 

Khang whistled me in near Churches.  I paddle out and he and Dais joke that they saw me busting airs and 360’s out in the Lowers line up.  They brought light to the situation, and I was okay with my surf session.  I was still hungry as hell and cold as fuck though.  I didn’t really want to be surfing anymore with just boardshorts.  My whole arm was freezing and I couldn’t even tell if my penis was still there or if it had broken off like an icicle. 

Fuck the Japanese guys:  There were two Japanese surfers in the line up at Churches, and they had the WORST surf etiquette.  They almost ran over me, and Khang, and a few groms.  They had absolutely no regard for other surfers, and were selfishly going for waves without looking around them.  I couldn’t believe that of all people, Japanese surfers would be doing this.  The society of Japan usually frowns upon actions such as this, so it took me by surprise.  Well, I guess every culture has its rotten apples.

I was finished for the day.