Surf report: 2-4 footers
Winds: off shore
Atmosphere: Cloudy to Sunny
I couldn’t sleep last night. I don’t know why, maybe I was excited about surf, maybe I was feeling anxiety from my upcoming test on the 22nd, or maybe I just took a nap that wasn’t warranted on Friday. Either way, I couldn’t sleep until 100 AM, and I still woke up around 530 AM. I woke up to a weird dream of Cosmic John, where I expressed my gratitude towards meeting him, and that it was such an honor to be in his presence again. He was just smiling like the first time we met, and I just kept thanking him in the dream. I think I finally got out of bed around 630 and left the house a little before 700 AM. I felt like I was late to an appointment, and the whole morning felt off.
I looked at the sky, and the clouds were churning weird. When I parked up the hill at 26th Street, the trees bustled in the wind, and the air smelled acrid and blew a bit wildly. Nature seemed a bit “off” today. As I walked down the hill, I see Christina and Apolla getting changed on Highland. I felt better that I wasn’t the “late one.” I waited for them to get changed, but Christina told me to just go on ahead and they will see me in the water.
I got to the sand and the waves looked really small. The sand felt weird beneath my toes, and just the whole energy of the morning was swirling in a cosmic chaos. Nothing felt right about this morning.
There was a pack of longboarders in front of the tower at 26th Street. They caught every single wave that came their way, and so I avoided that section completely. Tom was already in the water and found me as I paddled out a little north of the tower. He said the lefts were mushy, but the rights looked really nice.
Roy was out too, saying that he was out since 600 AM. He was saying that Monday will be the day, and today is kinda “eh.” The other local Randy was still tearing it up on lefts too. However, there weren’t too many rides in the early morning.
I told Roy that all I did during the week was study his and Fransauce’s photo’s my dad took. I watched all of their techniques, trying to better my own surfing. And the biggest difference I saw between myself, Roy, and Da Sauce? Low stance. They had a considerably lower stance than me, and my dad even pointed that out. So, I practice riding lower on my skateboard and get my legs stronger.
Mario and all his cousins were out too. He was on his bigger board. He looked like he’s lost some weight, no doubt from surfing all the time.
Tom took a handful of lefts this morning. He was going for the lefts that would roll through and just mush out after three pumps. He still managed to get some longer rides, but the waves just didn’t seem to cooperate. On one wave, I went right, and he went left, and he cranked out a turn so hard his board flew right at me. I had to straighten out to avoid any eye-poking.
One of my first memorable rides today was on a small right where I practiced an intentional lay back snap. I call it intentional, because whenever a surfer says, “I did something something to a layback” it means that they fell at the end of the wave. Well this one piggy didn’t fall! I popped up on the wave, stayed low the whole time while I got to a few pumps, and threw out the tail as hard as I could, with my trailing hand reaching back on to the face of the wave. As Pancho Sullivan puts it, practice these lay backs A LOT, since the first attempts will feel and look weird. Then, you’ll work out the kinks. It definitely felt weird to be turning the other way looking back at the wave on my trailing hand as opposed to a regular front side snap. I probably looked really awkward too.
On another wave, I was able to take a left down the line. I cranked low for the bottom turn, and went off the top to re-enter. Tom gave me a loud hoot, saying that was a sick turn. “A small splash of water came out the back!” he said. Honestly, that just made my morning.
Christina and Apolla came out eventually, and we introduced everyone to everyone. Not all “da boys” were out, but we had a nice little crew going. I hooted Christina into a smaller set wave. I was yelling to her, “Go Christina, go!! Put your head down!!! Pop up!!” and right on queue, she popped up, and took the wave all the way down to shore. It took her a while to get back to the line up because she took it so far.
Tom stayed out till around 830, and said his meter was out, and so he’ll have to take off. We said our good-byes.
And for the next thirty minutes or so, we drifted. Randy and I were just sitting, staring out to the ocean. We realized we got sucked into a rip current, and started to paddle back. The waves would roll through and never break. The longboarders that weren’t that advanced didn’t realize this, and kept on drifting further and further. The thirty minutes just ticked so slowly… it felt like we were in a time warp. Mario wondered if Roy had gone home already. I wondered where Christina and Apolla had gone.
And then once we got out of the rip current, out of the time warp, the Ocean just turned ON. Waves started to pump through the line up. Mario got this long left, going front side and pumping down the line. He was FLYING. And this guy is a big dude. So he was just hauling ass on this wave.
I took a lot of rides too. The waves just kept coming and pumping, and I went vroom vroom like a cherry M3. On one wave, I went completely vertical up the face, banked off the lip, and re-entered into white wash. Just me keeping my stance low made this all possible.
I eventually ended up back where I started, a little north of the tower. Roy laughed at me. “Yo, where did you guys go? Did you drift all the way down there?” pointing at the next lifeguard tower.
“Yea, I think we did… but the waves started pumping and I ended up back here!” I told him.
Roy put on another clinic for the next hour and a half. He didn’t take waves… the waves just came to him, and he made the most out of them. Just front side and back side hacks, carves, and cut backs. A whole repertoire. He even busted an air in front of me as I paddled back out. He couldn’t stick it, but man… a 42 year old surfer, busting airs? Cmon man! How could you NOT be stoked?
Cheryl calls my name out, and we reconvene on how the morning was. She just got out, and she hadn’t fixed her broken fin from last week yet. She couldn’t pull the fin out and so sanded it down to get rid of the sharp edge, and was riding it. She drifted down the shore where I ended up, and she came back eventually.
Bruce was out too, and he was taking some sneaker waves that came through that no body was positioned for. He would go right and fly down the line on his foamie. He would go left and switch stance the whole wave and kick out.
This other white dude on a longboard that I’ve always seen took a lot of waves too. He is a bit greedy, but there were so many waves that came through, it really didn’t matter.
Perhaps I was being greedy too, because I got so many waves in this hour and a half, I don’t really remember what happened. All I know is that waves just came, I paddled for them, and that was all she wrote. There was one memorable wave for me, where Bruce had taken the first wave of the set, and I took the second. Back track a few years ago, where Bruce and I had a small confrontation because I couldn’t go down the line, and I hit him. I didn’t hit him hard, I probably bonked him on the head. He was visually agitated, and let me know verbally how dangerous what I had done was, and what serious harm it could have caused. So fast forward back to now, and I’m going for a nice right. Bruce and a few other longboarders are caught on the inside. I see them, but I’m going for this wave. It came my way, and it would be a shame not to go for it. I hear him yell, “KLAUDE!! KLAUDE!!!” to make sure I know I’m headed that way… but I’m not the same surfer I was years ago when I hit him. I pumped down the line, and made a clean exit.
The waves just kept coming, and while the line up was crowded, I got my fair share of waves. After a while, though, my arms started to tighten up, and I got that same feeling I did at Churches that one time with Matt, where my triceps burned so much they cramped up from all the duck diving and paddling.
I decided to quit while I was ahead, and take one last wave in. Cheryl was on the inside, and we hugged each other as we said our good-byes. It was hard to leave the Ocean, but she gave me so much today. I looked back to Her as Cheryl paddled out, and the winds started to switch, and I decided it was the perfect time to leave the beach. I turned back one last time and gave a gracious bow to Mother Ocean and headed back to my car.
Although the morning energy was all off, and there weren’t too many rides to be had, that hour and a half just lifted my spirits and completely changed the morning. It was probably one of the most fun mornings this winter season so far. The session was a sense of achievement, from keeping my stance lower, to calling people off my waves, dealing with crowds, waiting my turn, hooting my friends into waves, not hurting anybody as I flew down the line on a wave, and finally calling it quits when it was time.
Mahalos Mother Ocean.