Monday, November 21, 2011

Keep Your Stance Lower 111911

Surf report: 2-4 footers
Water: Cold
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. 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Professor Fransauce's Workshop is Now Open 111311

Surf report: 3 footers
Water: Warmer than yesterday and clear!!
Winds: non-existent
Atmosphere: Sunny and hot

Roy - Mid Cut Back Rebound
Third day in a row for surfing.  Welcome to the winter season!!  Last winter, I was out of the water because of my shoulder surgery.  This season, I’m back, stronger than ever, and my drive is fueled with diesel. 

Today was a smaller day of surf… it was at most half the size of the previous day.  I suppose it’s more manageable, but the tide definitely jumbled things up.

Roy greeted me out in the water first.  He was riding a new shortboard with neon rails.  He was fucking on point, as he always is, and hooted me and other surfers into waves.  “I’m not greedy, I’ll let you have waves… JUST DON’T WASTE THEM!” he said.

Professor Fransauce, torque power
I see Fransauce off to the north, and go greet him.  He’s been here for a while now, and says that the rights are nice, but the lefts open up cleaner.  Just on queue, he takes a nice left and hacks off the top. He says he got stung by a jelly fish or something today too.. weird. Maybe that was a good luck charm?

We greet Christina in the water, and so we have our little group going.  It was a mellow morning:  the water was crystal clear, the horizon was smog-less, and the sun was out.  It was a beautiful Sunday morning. 

The King of 26th Street - Don
Roy and Fransauce were the hands down stand outs for the day.  They both got so many waves.  Roy was killing it out there, and all the locals hooted him into the sets.  He would pass on some of them to let other people go too.  What a stand out guy.  Fransauce would catch so many waves that I wouldn’t think were catchable, and he would be able to crank out turns on them.  He is just on a different level of surf in our group. 

There was a whale out in the line up today.  I’m 99% sure it was a whale, since it was way too big for a dolphin.  Sardines were jumping out of the water, so I suppose she was having some breakfast at 26th Street.
26th Street Local Randy

Christina was having a redemption session, since she was just in survivor mode yesterday.  Before I could say “DRC” she had caught five waves.  She was smiling from ear to ear.  It was good to see her redeem herself from the previous day’s session.  I’m not sure how many waves she caught, but her wave count must have been up to the twenties.
Cheryl made it out with Silverton today too!  I was actually surprised to see Cheryl come out on another Sunday, especially after surfing on Saturday.  It’s usually one or the other day, and not both days of surf for her.  She was on her longboard today too. 

She too was having a redemption session, and was able to catch a few waves under her belt.  I got to hoot her into a few waves going right and left.  She got long rides all the way down to shore, with my dad giving her an enthusiastic thumbs up for her long waves.  She too was stung by a jelly fish.  She said she could feel the spot getting all puffy. 

Cheryl also managed to run over another surfer.  I’m not sure what happened, but the guy looked like in serious pain.  She ran him over with her fins, and his knee got bruised I think.  He fin tip broke off completely, but the fin stayed inside the plug.  Fins are supposed to break out of the plug on any kind of hard contact.  They’re a safety feature so that nothing dangerous happens.  I guess these didn’t pass the safety test.

Cheryl's butt
Christina and I got to share a wave!  I was sure that it was a close out, but I just wanted to catch one with her.  It was a short ride, but it was fun to be sharing a wave with another friend.

Did I have any stand out waves today?  I guess I did… I had a few rights on the first few minutes of the surf session, and I got to do a few cut backs but bogged out on the turns.  Professor Fransauce told me that my foot placement is probably too far up since I’m compensating for the lack of speed on the wave by keeping my feet forward, and when I turn I need to have them on the back.  This proved to be true, and I made my adjustments but another right like those first few rights never came through.

Khang and Dais made their way out too.  They snagged the parking spot right near the Strand.  VIP parking indeed!

Semi Group Photo!
One of my earlier waves - cutting back
I didn’t get to see them surf too much because by this time, I had to get going home.  I had to get my dad home and get to coaching for my little boys. 

Overall, it was a magical session.  This whole weekend threw so many different conditions at us, and I was able to experience all of them.  I was glad that I didn’t miss out on a day of surfing.

I came home to make a quick "meal" in the form of an avocado smoothie.

2 avocadoes
3 scoops of vanilla ice cream
some honey
almond milk


Mahalos Mother Ocean. 

It's On Like Donkey Khang 111211

Surf Report: Solid 5 foot faces
Water: Cold
Winds: Strong off shores throughout the day
Atmosphere: Gloomy

My dad volunteered to come out and film today.  He wanted to get some pictures of everyone that he’s missed getting pictures of so far this year.  I didn’t know who or what to expect, or even if I was going out today.  I was still a bit “hung over” from surfing Friday morning:  I wasn’t too stoked on surfing Saturday morning.  I surfed a solid two hours on Friday, so I figured, Saturday, it’s raining, I should just stay in and study my butt off to make use of my time.

I woke up at 530, and went back to sleep.  I woke up again at 600, and went back to sleep.  I was determined not to go out today. 

“KK, are you coming out?” asked Christina.  “I’m already on my way to Bundy!!”

Wait for the 2nd Wave of the Set... and be rewarded
The time was 650 AM.  Shit, if Christina is heading out, I need to head out.  I can’t just leave her hanging like that.  So, just like that, I set aside my questions and concerns and started to pack up.  My dad got ready in a flash, and we were off to the beach.

Tom calls me while I’m on the road.  He says he will meet me at 26th Street.  Cool, another person to surf with!

I parked in a rather empty parking lot for pre-8 o’clock 26th Street.   I guess the size was a bit intimidating.  I could see the sets were coming in at a solid five foot on the face, and the howling off shores were holding the face up. 

I got changed in anticipation of the surf.  I was stoked, but at the same time, I wasn’t really prepared for the surf.  I wasn’t planning to surf in the first place, so I was all jumbled up inside my head. 

Cheryl arrives to the scene of the crime, debating whether or not to take her longboard or her fish out.  I told her to take her longboard out, and I’ll ride her fish.  I was really stoked to take her fish out up to the point where I paddled out.

When I paddled out to the line up on Cheryl’s Pinky, I completely felt under-gunned.  I paddled straight back in to switch to my thruster.  The waves were just too big for such a small vehicle.  It felt like I was on a penny skateboard bombing the hill on Grandview Avenue. 

Paddling Out?
I see Christina and Cheryl on the shore. Christina was stoked to see us, but she was definitely in “survival” mode.  The waves were way out of her comfort zone.  Cheryl was debating whether or not to paddle out.  Tom was still on shore, saying that he lost his contact lens on his first wave.  I convinced him to paddle out again with me.

My first wave was a small left that I couldn’t really do any bottom turns on.  I just made the drop, and that was that.  My second wave was probably the cleanest, but I ate it on the right.  I felt my board getting lifted as I popped up on the wave, and I lost my balance and fell on my wallet as I tried to make the drop.

Tom eventually left after a few more minutes.  I guess surfing blindly isn’t for everyone.

Cheryl and Christina made their way to the line up.  They both echoed the fact that they got stuck on the inside, but a lull allowed them to get to the line up.  They hung out on the outside to avoid any sneaker sets to crush them.

Collectively known as "Those Guys"
There was a group of guys I’ve noticed from the summer crowd that have been coming here pretty consistently, even in the start of winter.  I commend them to making this spot their “home break” but they definitely weren’t in their comfort zone.  One guy had  a GoPro on his shortboard, another guy was on his yellow longboard, and another guy had a wood-colored brown surfboard, probably made out of epoxy. 

Bald man, tearing it up
This bald guy was on point today.  He took a lot of the set waves and made them look really fun.  He hacked off the top at least twice on every wave, and took them all the way to shore.

Glenn says hi to me in the line up.  He said he was struggling to get out into the line up for a good fifteen to twenty minutes today.  He laughed it off though, noting that if he catches just one good wave, it will all be worth it.  I was still struggling to find my one good wave. 

Soon enough, Dave, Dais, and Khang showed up. 

Death Wish Dave, living up to his name
Dave was easy to spot in the line up.  I didn’t even have to see his sexy figure in the horizon; his bright wetsuit was enough.  He sat on the outside, avoiding the clean up sets.  I didn’t blame him, since he hasn’t been spending time in the water.  He paddled for a wave and almost ran into the aforementioned guys that have been coming to 26th Street consistently.  They all laughed it off and apologized to each other. 

Dave also went for this gnarly right, where he slipped, regained his composure, got to his feet, and then slipped again.  He said he got “bitch slapped” by Mother Nature. 

Dais had some difficulty paddling into some of these waves today.  I would think he caught the wave, but then he would back out on the last second to let the wave pass him by.  Oh well.  In due time.

Khang was the man today.  He took two memorable lefts before I had to leave the beach.  The first one was an outside set that rolled in to our spot, where it kind of mushed out right where he took off.  Then, the wave jacked up again as he got to his feet, and he was able to crack the whip off the top on that wave.  He then made another backside hack on the same wave.

First Wave Crack of the Whip
His second wave was about a foot smaller, but he was able to do an off the top crank going backside, and took the wave all the way to shore.  We all cheered and hooted him on both waves, even the other guys in the line up were hooting for him. He was hands down, the obvious stand out in our group. 

The high tide mushed out the whole line up.  I had to switch back to Pinky to at least catch one more wave for the day.  I caught a small inside wave and called it a day.  I was just out of synch this whole day.  It was wipe out after wipe out after wipe out.  But, I was glad that I paddled out today.  I got to see a lot of my friends out in the line up, and I got to see Donkey Khang tear shit up.  None of this would have been possible without that one phone call from Christina in the morning. 

Mahalos Mother Ocean, and Mahalos to my friends who make surfing even more fun.  

Dawn Patrol on a Veteran's Day 111111

Surf Report: 3 feet
Winds: Off shore, then trade winds, then on shore
Atmosphere: Gloomy
Water: Cold, welcome to winter!

Matt told me he was going to the beach at first light.  It was Veteran’s Day, and he had the day off, so it was only natural for him to hit the water by first light.  I was determined to match his enthusiasm.  I was going to go into work late since my boss is in Maui right now, and so I could do whatever the hell I wanted anyways.

Khang said he would head out around 630 AM.  I missed his calls, and he missed mine, but I told him I would have to be out of the water by 1000 AM in order to be at work at a reasonable time.  Even if my boss is out of town, I try to hold down the fort at a reasonable time. 

I woke up at 530 AM, and got ready to go.  The morning was still dark, but I could see the light starting to pierce the dark, heavy clouds.  The night before, I packed all my gear up and looked forward to riding the fish again.  I soon find out that the fish is water-logged, evidenced by the salty patches on the rail and water gushing out when I pressed the rail hard with my fingers.  I left that board to dry out for now, and took my thrusters. 

I got to the beach by 600 AM, and was getting changed when Khang called. 

“Yo, you heading out today?” he asked me.

“Bro, I’m already here, changed and ready to go,” I told him.

“Shit, I’ll be there in a few!”

I head down to the beach from my parking spot and was at the sand by 620 AM.  I saw that there were only a few heads out in the water.  The size was small, but the winds were off shore.  I hear, “Klaude!” and when I turn around, I see a metal detector guy searching for hidden treasures. 

“KLAUDE! KLAUDE!!” It was Matt, calling me.

We hug and say our good mornings.  He shows me his torn Hurley wetsuit at the neck, saying that it just tore as he put on his wetsuit.  He comments that I was here early.  What he meant to say was earlier than him, which never happens.  Matt is the punctual one out of all of us.  He’s up and about before any of us.  So, it was nice to know I beat him for once! 

However this triumph was short-lived.  As we paddle out, I see a guy paddle for a right, slot himself in the pocket, and get barreled.  The wave closes on him, but he punches out the lip and stands tall.  I hoot him.  Turns out this guy was the one, the only, FRANSAUCE.

Fuck, he beat us both??  How early did he come out?

“Klaude!” called another voice.  It was Roy.  “Yo, did you see that nice right Francis just caught??”  Indeed, I did!!  

"Haha, its so rare to see you out on a weekday... you got no work today?" Roy asked.

"Naw, I still have to work, but I figured I should get some surf in at least," I replied. 

So, it was just us for the first thirty minutes.  No one was really paddling out, or the gates weren’t fully open yet, so it took the other locals some time to get out to the line up. 

As the minutes ticked by, the size grew and grew.  Then, the winds just switched to trade winds.  It was really tough just looking out to the horizon because of the winds howling passed us.  My board would flip over on every wipe out that I had.

Roy definitely seized the conditions best.  He would crank out two solid turns on his backhand, and go all the way to the beach on his front hand. 

Fransauce had a good time too, but said he had to leave soon because he had to get to work.  He vowed to take a nap today, since he woke up really early to go surf this morning.  He snaked me on a wave that I tried to catch up to him by pumping through the white water.  He was way ahead of me after he pumped twice, and I saw him do a nice cutback and a close out snap at the end. 

Matt and I had similar rides today: nothing epic or spectacular, and stuck behind the white foam ball.  It was kind of hectic out there, but it was still manageable fun.

As the trade winds died down, the on shores settled in.  Christina showed up with a big smile on her face, greeting us all.  I told her she was late, since she usually beats me to arrive at surf.  She had a few questionable take offs where her board tomb-stoned, but she did have a good wave she took straight and rode it out. 

After the on shores started to knock off the top of waves, the shape just went to shit.  I didn’t find it worth it to be out there anymore, since there was nothing to ride.  Matt said he would paddle in too, since he had to get ready for his SF trip.  We bid Christina farewell, and she said that she would head up with us to give Matt a Veteran’s Day card.  She had her students write small letters to Matt for Veteran’s Day!  How cool and thoughtful is that? 

Just another day, surfing in the South Bay.  I had to take a nap at work too.  Yay for the cat being away!! 

Mahalos Mother Ocean. 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Electric Morning of the DRC 110611

Surf Report: 2-4 feet
Water: Cold
Winds: Howling off shore
Atmosphere: Pelting rain

Khang called me on the way home from San Onofre yesterday. 

“Yo, you surfing tomorrow?”

“Yea man, you know I am.  It’s day light savings time!  So one extra hour to dawn patrol… or one extra hour for you to drink!” I joked.

“Nawwwwwww maaaaaaan, I’m trying to surf!  Can you pick me up tomorrow?” Khang asked.

That caught me off guard.  He wanted to surf instead of go out drinking?  Ok, so it’s on like Donkey Kong.

I woke up sore as hell.  I had a few texts, including one from Christina saying that Matt said it was not raining on his side of town, so she’s heading out.  I called her.

“Yea, I’m just getting in my car right now.  Matt says it’s not raining there, so I’m going! See you there, KK!”

Ok, so I had to make haste.  I tried not to rush through my stretches, but I had to get out.  I didn’t want to let anyone down, especially myself.  Something told me I had to surf 26th Street today. 

I get my water jugs filled, get out of the house, fill up gas at Costco, and pick up Khang. 

Khang, in his fucking U$C sweatshirt.  I told him to take it off, and to not come into my car ever again with that disgusting sweatshirt. 

We get to 26th Street, and the rain is starting to pour.  I question whether or not we should surf right now.  It’s cold, it’s wet, and it’s raining.  Why the hell are we gonna surf??  We should go back home and stay in bed.  Somehow, we pull on our wetsuits and head down to the sand.

For some reason… I couldn’t wait to get to the sand.

The energy was buzzing all around us. 

Waves just pounded the shore as people got long rides. 

The winds howled and blew the top off the waves for every wave. 

All the locals and regulars were out. 

My heart skipped and pounded. 

We see Christina and Matt from shore, and paddle out where they were.  The waves just pumped, and churned, and dumped.  The spray off the top of the lip of waves was blinding.  The rain pelting our faces was amazing.

The energy was ELECTRIC.  It was crazy, almost chaotic, to be surfing right now.  But it was a controlled chaos.  The waves pumped, the crowds hooted, and the waves were ridden. 

Christina paddles for a nice, solid three footer.  She cranks and musters and digs and scratches on the face.  She arches her back in cobra position.  She disappears behind the wave’s back as I see her pop up half way.  Khang and I stare at her backside.  We then see her, crouched and low and on her feet and on the face.  She screams and howls down the line.  We hoot for her, and she just goes and runs and slides down the line.  She takes the wave all the way to shore.

Glen was also there too.  We joke on how his board is so huge they can catch Himalayas or Waimea Bay.  He paddled and dolphin kicked into waves that took him all the way to shore. 

Matt takes off on all the lefts.  He powers his way through the pitchy face and the foam ball and the white water and pumps up and down and delivers kisses to the feathering lips on the lefts.  On more than one occasion I wanted to snake him, but I didn’t want to get in the way of a goofy man and his lefts.  The waves just come and come and come, and Matt catches and charges through each wave, bettering his last. 

Rick was there too, doing his thing.  He pumped and carved and took off on everything that would come his way.  He went both right and left.  He surfed both rights and lefts equally well, but cranked out more turns on his front side. 

Khang took off on a wave in front of me as I made my way back into the line up.  He busted a cut back that I’ve never seen before.  I hooted him for that as I duck dived and the water gushed into my mouth.  The spray would shower me as I emerged from my duck dive, almost blinding me from the spray. He took this gnarly left right off the peak.  The howling winds blinded his take off and slotted him right on the face of the wave.  He made his way fast and far and down the line.  He kissed the lip on his back hand to create a small spray at the end of the ride.  I hooted him. 

I saw Kyle pump up and down and do a fins-free reverse.  It wasn’t quite an air reverse, but he is getting damn close. 

Jordan was also there too, ripping and tearing and lacerating the waves that would come her way.  She had her hoots and hollers for the outside waves too.  We all let out at least one energetic hoot today. 

Roy calls me out and we greet each other.  He hoots me into a few waves.  I hoot him into a few waves.  Roy kept blowing my mind with his inside game, sitting and waiting and listening to the waves.  He did his stylish, polished, groovy, goofy foot style surfing.  But mostly, he would hoot me into waves, and I would try my best to live up to his expectations. 

Ross was also out there throwing me a shaka as I paddle back out.  He pops an air on a rampy left and sticks it. I let out a hoot for him. 

The horizon churns into a dark gray, and it was almost impossible to see for a good twenty minutes.  The rain starts to thunder down on us, as most people left the line up. 

The rain drops pelted us on our heads and shoulders and hands.  The rain hit the water so hard, it looked like it was raining upwards.  The off shore spray showered us on every angle, and the waves just came and came and came.  My heart just pumped and pumped and pumped.  The energy was electric. 

Matt was a man on a mission going left.  He took off on all the critical waves at the critical moments and muscled through every section as far as he could. 

I told Matt, “I couldn’t ask for a better day to be surfing with all my friends today.” 

The only thing that was missing would be Dais and Francis to share in this moment.

The energy was just electric and chaotic and churning. 

I caught a lot of significant waves today, but that wasn’t what was important to me at all.  It was the fact that my friends were all out on this crazy, rainy day.  If it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be surfing on a day like this, and if it weren’t for them, I wouldn’t be so energized and pumped up for these waves.

And just like that, the rain stopped, and the sun shown through.  Just like that, Mother Ocean closed the window on the beautiful moment, and gave us sun shine.  Just like that, for the first time in my life, I felt that sun shine was a damper on my bright day. 

Christina took a wave in, I took a wipe out wave in, and Khang made his way in too.  Matt stayed out for a few more, but I could see all the debris lining the shore, and the drainage pipe gushing out all the shit washed away from the hills.  The sun shine brought the shit, the crap, the ugly, the gross, disgusting, disturbing, urban run off.  It was just polar opposites of what is expected, that the juxtaposition was amazing.  The sun shine was a total flip of the switch, and it was a reality check:  the party is over, the lights are on, and you have to face that enigmatic figure you were making out with in the dark room at the party.  The yin and yang were completely flipped over, and I was glad to have experienced it with my friends. 

Mahalos Mother Ocean.

I couldn’t have asked for a better time in the water surfing with my friends. This is a surf session for the memory bank, forever immortalized in our heads. 

A Bromantic Saturday Part 2 - 110511

Surf Report:  3 – 5 foot
Water: Cool
Winds: Strong off shores
Atmosphere: Sunny and clear skies

We actually got to park one spot over once we returned to Churches after eating.  We looked at Churches while talking to Rick on speakerphone, and he was filling us in on the report at El Porto: clean, epic, off shore, and super fun.  Damn, did we make the wrong call AGAIN??

Just then, we see a four wave set pump through Churches, with the off shore waves just blowing the face to stand up for a long ride into shore.  The tide was lower, with the rocks finally exposed to show us why the waves here are groomed and clean. 

We get out and discuss the plan.  Matt didn’t want to surf Churches again, especially with the crowd.  So, we decide on BP’s.  We hoped to score there earlier in the day, but it wasn’t doing it’s thing at all. 
Churches, Firing and Perfect but Crowded

A girl named Sam and I talk for a bit.  She was telling us how she is from LA and drove all the way down here to surf.  She hated the crowds at Porto and the overall wave quality up in LA, so she comes down here to surf as much as possible.  We give her props for coming down all by herself to surf down here.  The only person crazy enough to come down here by themselves is probably Matt and Francis.  We exchange numbers and hope to surf together back in LA when it gets good.

Matt and I go down to BP’s and watch the waves as we digested our food.  Surprisingly, no one was out at BP’s.  Maybe a longboarder would take a ride all the way to our position, but he would paddle straight back to his spot, and keep BP’s open.  The sun was baking us, and the winds were still howling off shore. 

The food in our stomachs couldn’t digest quickly enough. 

I said fuck it, and started to warm up to paddle out.  Matt and I walked out to the cobblestones and made our way out to the line up.

This session reminded me of a combination of a few sessions:  that one day that Dais, Matt and I went to the secret spot, got skunked, and came back to San Onofre to score an empty line up, all to ourselves.  That one day that we had our last camping trip, and the surf was unruly and pumping, with the water swirling around us entailed with the constant paddling just to maintain position.

Today combined an empty line up with some gnarly, five footers rolling through the line up.  To catch the waves was a lot of work, and the waves would be so clean, we would get nice, long rides.  Then the paddle back out was a lot of work too. 

First ride of our afternoon session, I see Matt take off on a left.  I am right in front of him as he drops in on the cloud breaking section.  His stance is compressed, and the sun gleams through the green wall of water.  He has his trailing left hand on the face of the wave, then lets go of her beautiful façade.  The wave takes off with him as he flies down the line, pumping and carving.  He goes and goes and goes.  My heart pumps and beats and thuds.  He comes back with a huge grin on face.  I make two L’s with my right and left hands, connect the thumb to the index fingers, and make a camera frame.  It was a photogenic scene from catching the wave to coming back to the line up.

For the next… however many minutes, we have this place to ourselves.  I was going right, Matt was going left.  We both trade waves like there is no tomorrow.  I’m not sure how many waves we caught during this time, but it sure was fun.  The waves were definitely bigger than what they looked like from shore, and they were powerful.  They weren’t the usual casual, slow rolling waves of Trestles.  They were pitchy, punchy, and at times pretty darn critical. 

We must have sold the spot to spectators.  A few surfers showed up in the line up and started to surf with us.  Out of these few surfers, I have to spit a verse of woe to the blue longboard dude, and the old balding guy.

The blue longboard dude wasn’t a bad surfer, but he was definitely a guy that didn’t look both ways.  I saw Matt paddle for another clean left.  He was right on the peak, and I hooted and whistled him into the wave.  He takes off perfectly, and then I see the blue board dude just take off right in front of him.  I had to duck dive the wave, but once I resurfaced and looked back at the wave, I saw the blue board guy exiting the wave, and Matt somewhere behind him.  He got burned on that wave so badly, and the blue board guy ruined the whole wave.  I make believed throwing purple fire urchins at his face for doing that.

The old balding dude reminded me of Rick.  However, he was someone that I couldn’t cheer on while surfing.  He just caught every single fucking wave.  He would paddle for them and pop up like nothing, and tear the shit out of the waves.  However, the overall vibe changed after his fourth consecutive wave.  The grom in a green wetsuit and I looked at each other with raised eye brows, signaling the universal, “REALLY?” look. 

I really wanted to drop in on him.  But man he fucking rips.  I didn’t want to upset “the establishment.”  So, I did what I did best: surf.  I sat deeper than him, fought for position, and got to hoot him off two of my waves.  Yes, that means he dropped in on me on two waves, but I still was able to make him notice me.  After that, he gave me my space and surfed a little further down the line.

Still Firing, But On Shore Winds
Matt made his way further up towards Middles and Lowers, trying to find peaks to himself.  I saw him take off on a few rights and threw him double shakas for the turns he did.  He was hunting down the lefts that would roll through there.  It was definitely less crowded, but the peak where I was at was working better.

Eventually, all the paddling and duck diving the thick Zippi fish would take it’s toll on my arms.  My left and right triceps above my elbows started to cramp on each paddle.  My duck dive cramped up both my triceps too.  And when I popped up, I wouldn’t get a full pop up and just eat it.  It was a sign for me to get out after the third time I messed up on popping up.  My arms were dead tired, and I was making mistakes that I shouldn’t have been making, and I was exposing myself to harms way by staying out more and more. 

It was just so hard to leave, but I had to get out.  The winds were still off shore, the waves were still pumping through and the sun was still shining. 

I had a lot of memorable waves today, but I think the best one was where Matt paddled over me to get to the left and told me to go right.  The take off was so smooth, but the wave just jacked up as I made my bottom turn.  I laid down a cut back, re-entered the wave, then made another cut back.  I finally bogged out on the inside, and saw Matt had taken the wave pretty damn far too.  I was so stoked to be able to share that wave with him.  It was a wave that made my day because I got to split it with Matt.  I couldn’t have asked a better day to have a bromantic broment with him. 

We got changed and sat in the car for a moment to take the whole moment in.  We made the gamble to come down to San Onofre, and we scored.  We just got so many waves, and so many poundings, it was amazing.  My arms, chest, and back burned from over-working them, but I was glad I gave 110% of my energy.  It sure paid off. 

Good Bye San O - A Hui Hou
We made our way back home and arrived back in El Segundo at 1830 PM.  We’ve been together for over 13 hours.  Now, if that ain’t bromantic, I don’t know what is. 

Mahalos to Mother Ocean for pumping some surf our way, and of course to Matt for always charging.  If he didn’t make that drive, I would have never felt as accomplished on a Saturday as I did that day. 

A Bromantic Saturday Part 1 - 110511

Surf Report:  2-4 foot faces
Water: Cold
Winds: off shore to heavy on shore
Atmosphere:  Sunny, but so friggin cold!!!

I took my CPA test’s Business Economics and Cycles (BEC) section on Tuesday, and my body completely broke down.  I lost my voice on Wednesday, and Thursday and Friday I passed the days by like a skeleton trying to breathe.  My joints ached, and my whole upper body was struggling to relax after so much time and energy put into this one test, and my body just begged for me to take it easy. 

Friday night I get a call from Matt, saying that he wanted to go down south.  He wanted to score the secret spot where the run off isn’t so bad, and our back up would be San Onofre.  I obliged.  We would meet at 530 AM.

In the back of my mind, I hoped that I wouldn’t flake out because of my sickness.

I got up at 430 AM and did my light stretches.  I didn’t do my whole routine, for I didn’t want to be late and let Matt down.  He is a very punctual person, and I am very loose on time.  And since he is driving us down there, I don’t want to be “that guy” that makes people wait on a day full of anticipation. 

I dressed heavily to combat the cold, freezing morning.  It was 46 degrees when I woke up, and I dawned a sweatshirt, towel around my neck, a Down jacket, jeans, toe socks, and sandals.  I got to Matt’s house by 515 AM.

We cross loaded our cars, and we were on the road at 536 AM.  I was glad that I made it out, and didn’t flake out instead.  However, my shoulders and joints were still aching, and my body reverberated what my mother told me the night before:  “You’re still not 100%, it rained, there’s run off, it’s cold, and you STILL WANT TO GO SURF?”  No, I needed to go surf.

On the way over, we talk what’s been going on with our lives, and end up conversing on our favorite movies.  Matt wants me to watch Warriors, a film about a gang meeting gone wrong where the boss is ambushed, and the blame is put on a rival gang.  The rival gang has to travel through other gang related areas to get to their home turf and so it’s a fight for survival trying to get through each respective rival gang’s turf to finally arrive at their own turf.  Sounds like a lay day movie night for us! 

I made Matt turn away this spot
We get to our secret spot just north of San Diego and get out to howling off shore winds.  The parking lot was empty, and we could hear the white water explosions before arriving to the beach.  Three other surfers pulled up to check out the surf.  There was an eerie vibe to the place, as the waves churned and washed away in the shore pound.  There were nice four footers rolling through quickly, and then collapsing on itself to a white water wonderland.  There was one surfer out towards the jetty, but he couldn’t make it past the white water. 

Matt was stoked.

He wanted to surf here.

I did not.

I didn’t feel that my body was 100%, and that this spot was a place that required my 110%.  And even if I give my 110%, I doubted that I could get a ride beyond three seconds.  It was not what I came for. 

Matt didn’t feel that way. 

However, he turned and looked at me and said, “Look, last time I made the call to surf County Line, so you make the call this time.”

I told him, “Let’s go to 26th Street then.”  Jokingly, of course.

We got back in the car and I could feel the disappointment looming over his head in the car.  His tone was that he wanted to test himself in those challenging waters.  To see if he could surf those fast waves.  I didn’t want to be surfing that spot, not that day, not in my condition. 

I held his hand out of consolation as we pulled out of the parking lot, telling him that we could surf there if he really wanted to, and he said it’s ok.  It broke his heart to leave the spot, but it’s ok, he’ll get over it. 

So, we headed to our “throw away” spot, San Onofre.
Our "Throw Away" Spot

We pull up quietly to a parking spot right in front of Churches, and see firing peaks.  The winds were still off shore, and the line up was pretty thin.  Maybe a good twenty or thirty surfers on the peak.  To me, it wasn’t that crowded. 

And the peaks just rolled, and rolled, and rolled.  People were getting long rides and a couple of turns on their rides.  This is where I wanted to be.

Getting changed was a challenge, for the air temperature was still in the mid 50’s.  The sun shined brightly through the cloudless sky, but there was no warmth in the day yet.  It was just so cold! 

Once we hit the water, I realized that there was a lot of water moving around.  Matt was about twenty yards ahead of me when he stopped paddling and sat on the shoulder.  I for one kept paddling and paddling to the main peak, where the main pack was. 

I saw this one longboard girl on a nice yellow longboard drop down and slide all the way towards me.  I hooted her, and duck dived out of her way.  The water felt comparatively warm to the concrete, the sand, and the wind.  I was back on my ALOHA board that buckled and was professionally repaired by our one and only Rick who used some secret aviation fiber glass to repair the board. 

My second wave was the stand out wave of the day for the morning session.  I was able to paddle in to a wave that just happened to come right at me.  No one was in position on the outside, and no one next to me even saw it coming.  By the time I was paddling for it, everyone had gone over the wave and I just had the whole canvas to myself.  I popped up, got to my feet, and just took off.  I made a deep bottom turn, as I do on my skateboard, and carved off the top of the wave.  I dropped down on the green canvas, redirected my paintbrush back up with another deep bottom turn and carved off the top again.  I couldn’t believe it.  I went for another stroke of a bottom turn and an off the top, but the wave seemed to have lost power, or I was probably way too ahead of the wave by this time, and I bogged out on the third top turn. 

Did anyone see that?  Nope.

I paddled and paddled and paddled.

The water churned and churned and churned.

My heart pumped and heaved and breathed.

My body ached.

I couldn’t spot Matt, but I knew he was still in the water.  So I kept going about my business trying to pick off the in-betweeners that the longboarders on the outside didn’t take and the shortboarders missed.  The whole time, Bruddah Iz’s Somewhere Over the Rainbow/What a Wonderful World was playing in my mind.  My sinuses cleared up, and my throat felt that it was 100%.  Of course, I knew I wasn’t 100%, and that I was probably making it worse on myself by surfing, but heck, I need to surf. 

I almost get run over by a longboard dude as I hoot him in a wave.  Granted, I was in control of the whole situation, that guy had a sinister look on his smirk as he flew down the high line.  I had to duck dive with my fingers still in shaka’s to avoid any collision. 

The tide was falling when we got there, but it sure felt like the tide was still rising.  We didn’t see any of the rocks on the paddle out.  And the paddle out itself was very easy with no rocks to step on.  The water was just moving around weird.  A surfer next to me, Garret, and I commented on it.  He didn’t like what was going on really, and said, “If only these were going left!”

I’m sure Matt felt the same way. 

Matt switched boards from his DMS to the JS.  I finally saw him in the line up, and he swore he almost ran me over a few waves ago, and that he was positive we made eye contact.  I didn’t recall such actions.  Haha

On one wave, he took this right, and threw the tail out so hard that he came unstuck.  It created buckets of spray, so I was super stoked to see that.  He wasn’t looking too happy about it.  I was probably more happy about that wave than he was. 

I also snaked him on a right.  The crazy thing was, when I snaked him, I got to my feet and stayed close to the curl.  I knew Matt was right behind me, but I still took the wave… because it was a right.  However, I felt my fins just slide out and my tail lose traction on the wave.  I ate it on the most critical part of the wave.  The white water foam dragged me across the surface of the wave.  I could see the light of the sun piercing the white water, but the foam wasn’t letting me go.  I told myself to just relax, hold your breath, and everything will be alright.  The wave eventually let me go after a few yards, and I was back up on the surface.  Not too shabby for a week where I missed both yoga and swimming during the week.

One of my last waves was where I got snaked by a chick and another guy.  I actually couldn’t pop up because they were in my way, and ate it at the bottom.  This wipe out was so fast as I hit the trough of the wave head first that my velcro latch on my wetsuit got torn off and water gushed into my wetsuit. 

That was my queue to go back in.  My arms were super tired, the waves were getting bumpy and the winds switched to on shore.  The crowd was starting to fill up to capacity at Churches, and I didn’t want anymore waves.  This was the extent of my stamina for the morning. 

Cheese, Chicken and Avocado Quesadilla
Matt came out shortly after, and told me how he saw me eat it on the last one.  We laughed about it, and we got changed.  It wasn’t an overall “score” for the morning, but I was super stoked to get that one wave in the beginning and get two solid top turns. 

Turkey Sandwich with Avocado
We drove down to Pipes café on the fabled Christianitos drive, and filled up on some fuel.  The food was ok, nothing worth to go posting rave reviews about on yelp, but the ambiance and the waitresses made the place glow.  The service was excellent, and the girls were cute with a warm, heart-felt smile on their faces every time you looked at them.  On top of that, Innersections was playing the whole time.  How can you beat that?