Sunday, January 29, 2012

Longboarding Sessions 012912

Surf Report: 1-3 feet and mushy
Water: Clear and cool
Atmosphere: Sunny!!
Winds: calm

Hang over from the night before:

After putting in four hours of work on Saturday, I rushed home, got some food to eat, and went to a house concert at the place I house sat for.  The guitarist was a Czech guy that comes every year to this house to play for a few people close to one of my friends and mentors.  There was all you can drink wine and scotch, cheese, grapes, and great company.  I stayed away from the scotch, but I still got pretty wasted.  I ended the night at 1230, only to come home to a noisy neighbor that I had to shout at from my window to keep it down.

I awoke at 700 AM slightly hung over and with severe cottonmouth.  I gulped down water as I tried to go back to sleep, but I couldn’t.  My mind just stayed alert, telling my body to get going, the waves are going to make me feel better, and to get the day started off on the right foot.  I got up eventually and started to do my yoga routine.  By the time I finished, I was ready to go out.

Khang and Dais were going to roll out together around 900 AM.  I had to be back to coach a game, so I decided to roll separately.  Fransauce calls me as I was about to leave to tell me he’s about to head out too, and that he will see me at 26th Street. 

I pull up to a semi-full parking lot, with all the locals getting ready to leave.  Must be a really good day, since they’re here until 900 AM.  I talked to Don and Ross about the surf, and they said it was really nice earlier in the morning, and now its mushy.  I was glad that out of my drunken actions last night, all I packed was a longboard. 

Fransauce sneaks up on me from behind, telling me he got the VIP parking spot on the Strand.  He told me he’ll meet me in the water. 

Today was a rejuvenation session with my longboard.  She’s a 9’0” San Onofre shaped longboard, designed for nose riding.  She paddles like a boat, and is one of the easiest equipments to ride.  The waves were mushy and so the longboarders dominated the playing field today.  I was glad I was one of them. 

There weren’t any “drop ins” today, just sharing of waves.  Fransauce told me to go on a wave where he was on my inside.  I gladly took his invitation as I rode the beautiful face of the Ocean’s bosom. 

I tried to walk the nose on almost every wave today.  Cross stepping has never been anything I attempted until today.  Before I would just inch my way up, taking small baby steps in a wide stance to try to nose ride.  Today, I was emulating my inner Kelia Moniz by trying to walk the nose.  This proved to be hard, but it was super fun!  I actually got close to hanging five on the nose, but ate it after a split second of nose riding.  Indeed, it feels and looks like you’re just floating on the wave, with all the spray coming out from underneath your feet!  It’s a feeling unlike any other. 

Christina was out before any of us, and she said she had a lot of fun earlier but now the waves were lackluster.  She took off eventually and we never saw her again… hahahaha so dramatic.

So Fresh and So Clean
Fransauce was working the inside waves, and was catching a lot of waves on his shortboard.  Khang and Dais eventually showed up and took part in the fine conditions.  The waves just rolled in so clean, and the sun was baking our bodies in our wetsuits.  The water was still cold, but it was a refreshing feeling of rejuvenation. 

All I remember was gliding down the line on my longboard today, and having a huge smile on my face every time I paddled back out to the line up.  It’s good to change it up like this, keeping surfing fresh and exciting and different.

I eventually have to leave after an hour of surfing.  I wanted to go to the driving range with my dad, but I got home a little passed 1100 AM, so we just ate mochi for breakfast and I apologized for being late to golf. Another day, for sure.

Mahalos Mother Ocean!  What a beautiful SoCal day today was, and I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day to longboard. 

Weekend Board Meetings at Venice 012812

Surf Report: 2-3 feet and dumping
Water: Cool
Atmosphere: Sunny!
Winds: slight off shore

What a beautiful day Saturday was!  It was one of those “This is why we live in LA” days, since the day was bright and cloudless, with the Ocean just rocking us back and forth in its bosom.

I woke up late since I went to the MJ Cirque du Soleil show the prior night.  It was an amazing show, especially if you love Michael Jackson, his music, his message of Love, and his legacy.  It was definitely a different style of Cirque du Soleil, with a lot of dancing and the “mime guy” taking center stage. 

Iconic Immortality
So I wake up late because the show ran till 1100 PM.  I stayed up till 100 AM with my sister, her boyfriend and my mom, laughing and talking over a late night Chinese Chicken Salad from Feast from the East.  I saw a text from Khang that he and da boys will be surfing at Venice pier, so I told them I would meet them.  I was excited about surfing Saturday since the report called for chest high waves.  Boy, was that a forecast miss. 

I find street parking in my usual spot, and see da boys getting changed.  Surprisingly, DK and Peter were here today too, along with the usual suspects of Dais and Khang.  We all headed down the concrete pavement and saw the sand dunes that protect the million dollar beach homes on the boardwalk.  The waves were lackluster at best, but hey, the sun was shining, the winds were calm, and I was with friends!  How bad could it be?

I got busy immediately, but realized that I wasn’t going to get any long rides today.  It was just a playful day spent in the water.  After a while, Cheryl and Christina showed up, both on their fishes. 

Da boys all swapped boards.  I got to ride each and every one of the boards that da boys were riding today.  I personally liked DK’s board most, since his Motorboat was great for small waves, and today was a pretty small day.  I had the most difficult time on Jade for some reason.  Guess she wasn’t too happy with me riding her. 

Biggest surprises of the day: Christina catching a small handful of waves on her new Zippi fish.  I didn’t see her first ride, but da boys hooted her on it.  She must have taken it all the way to shore, because she was all the way on the inside when I looked back. 

Dais absolutely murdered it on his Zippi, Maria.  He took about three waves in the course of five minutes, and yelled out, “This board is sick!” after each wave.  It’s crazy how the right equipment could make a session so magical, especially on such a small day. 

Wipe out of the day: I was on Dais’s Don Kadowaki Rocket shaped surfboard.  It was a bigger set wave, and I had to go for it.  I think Khang was on it too.  I paddled hard for it, and I felt the wave just jack up.  I got pitched over head first, as there was no time to even cover my head with my hands.  It all happened so fast, all I remember was thinking to myself, “This is exactly what you should avoid doing KK!” as I free fell three feet into the flats.  It was pretty funny, and I was glad that the water wasn’t too shallow.  I came up laughing at myself.  Khang was a few yards away in the white water, saying “Ohh my gaaaaaawd.”

I had to leave since I had to do grocery shopping and head into work.  I would have loved to go with Matt to Huntington this day, but I had to stay local.  During the session, I was thinking to myself, “Man, all we’re missing now is Matt and Fransauce.”  But I knew Matt was in HB, and Fransauce had work.  Turns out Fransauce is now working 5 days a week, from 1245 to 845, and is a full time weekend warrior.  So, he rolled with Matt to HB and scored some fast, clean 2-3 footers over there, followed up by an ono grind at Bob’s Okazuya.  Jealous!!  But hey, we do what we have to do!

Mahalos Mother Ocean!  You always give me something to smile about, even when the waves are small. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Lay Day 012212

I sat and waited 2 hours yesterday for the rain and winds to clear up... the rains ended, but the winds were so strong it created malevolent conditions.  on top of that, we saw all the brown water flushed out into the south bay on our way home... so i knew i wasn't going to surf today.  What's a surfer to do on such a day like this?

Hit the driving range!
I hope the water cleans up and there is still surf until next weekend!

Monday, January 16, 2012

C Street Cherry Popping 011512

Surf Report: Dwindling swell, 2 footers with the occasional 3
Water: Cold
Atmosphere: Some sun piercing through the heavy clouds
Winds: On shore but glassy

Khang, DK, Fransauce and I rolled in one car to the fabled sands of C Street in Ventura County.  Fransauce and I have never been to C Street (California Street) so it was our cherry popping moment. 

The day started out very mellow.  I was the last to arrive at Khang’s as we piled into his van.  DK sat shot gun while Fransauce was in the back, and I sat in my VIP area behind Fransauce with all the boards and gear. We stopped by the bank and the gas station, and got on the 405 to the 101.  We arrived at C Street in about fifty minutes from LA. 

We file out of the van and take a look at a pretty “empty” line up.  I always pictured a point break to be crowded and over run by surfers, but here not so much.  The wave peeled perfectly from the point and sectioned off to another take off zone, which sectioned off to another take off point.  The waves looked so beautiful as they peeled right like a machine.  There was definitely some waves to be ridden, but a longboard would be the best choice of equipment today.

Khang was kind enough to lend me Jade for the session.  I knew I would catch more waves with a thicker, wider board than my standard shortboard.  Khang took out Maria, Fransauce his usual red surfboard, and DK his fatty Al Merrick Motorboat? Or Fred Rubble… I forget.

All I see in the line up was longboarders and fishes.  The longboarders definitely had priority of the waves.  There was also a contest going on further up the point, and so people would be buzzed from the beach speakers if they ventured into the contest area. 

This place had a very mellow vibe.  The people were older than us, but they acted like groms.  They weren’t rude in any sort of way, but they just had this grown up kid attitude and playful spirit. 

Fransauce got to work quickly.  He was moving in and out of the crowds getting a lot of rides.  He would get into some waves that longboarders would get stuck behind and so it looks like he’s snaking them. 

Khang caught this nice, big right.  I didn’t get to see the whole wave, but he took it pretty far, and took a long time paddling back out. 

DK was trying his best to catch some waves.  The high tide made it hard to read the waves.

I personally had a low and a high point today.  The key was to not let the valleys too low or the peaks too high.

The low point in the session was where I blew the wave of the day.  It was a sneaker set that no one saw.  We were all scrambling for the horizon, but Fransauce and I intended to catch the wave.  I was on the inside, and I just gunned for it.  The take off was steep where I was, and I wasn’t able to get on my feet.  I saw Fransauce back out of the wave, and I see Khang duck dive ahead of me.  Everyone got out of the way.  By this time, I was in the flats, body boarding my surfboard.  I tried to pop up as I was “bottom turning” on my belly, and that proved to be a mistake.  I just completely ate it after getting to my feet.  I fucking BLEW THE WAVE.

Usually, I would want to scream my head off for blowing that wave.  All my friends saw it.  All the surfers saw it.  Hell, I bet the guys in the parking lot saw it.  But I didn’t let it bother me.  I just thought to myself, “Oh well, you blew it.  Shit happens.  Don’t cry over spilled beer.”  And just like that, I felt better about the whole situation.  I don’t know, maybe it was the mellow vibe in the water. 

My high point in the session was when I got one of the longer rides of the day.  Fransauce put me in prime position, telling me to go for the wave.  There was an old longboard dude in blue with a scruffy beard and hood cap on the wave, but I just put my head down and gunned for it.  I was able to pop up cleanly, and Fransauce backed out (I had his inside again.)  I was able to maneuver through the crowd as I just pumped and pumped.  A guy in front of me took off, and I thought I could go over him by taking the high line.  However, this guy was no dunsky.  After taking off straight rather than an angle, he manages a bottom turn up the face, right where I wanted to be.  So, all I could do was chase him in his wake.  I was able to pump a few more times, but the wave died out.  And so my ride ended.  It wasn’t an epic amazing ride, but it was just a fun ride nonetheless.  I apologized to the bearded man for dropping in, and he just laughed and said not to worry about it. 

With the advice of some of the older dudes in the line up, we four ended up at the Great Central Steak and Hoagie place off Thompson.  The hoagies are made fresh, and their fries are really good too.  A regular sandwich will cost about $7, while a hoagie cost $8.08 (Hawaii’s number! Chee!!)  It was definitely great junk food for a post surf session.  You know it’s a great place when the only guys stopping in are beer-bellied white dudes with surfboards on top of their car.  In all honesty, it was way too much food.  hahahaha

Mahalos Mother Ocean for producing some fun ones for us today.  And special mahalos to all da boys today for making this cherry popping a pleasant and gentle one. 

Welcome Home and Happy New Year 011412

Surf Report: Close out three footers
Water: Cold
Atmosphere: Cloudy
Winds: Off shore

Today was my official day back from my cold.  I fell ill on the 29th of December, and wasn’t able to surf at all during the New Years.  In essence, I was and still am grateful I got sick, since I stayed home and studied my butt off for my Audit portion of the CPA exam, which was on January 9th.  So, after finishing the exam, I finally was able to paddle out on Saturday.

The day started off slow as I woke up late.  I guess I wasn’t as stoked as I thought I would be to surf this morning.  I send out my texts saying that I’m late, and get my dad to come out and snap some photos of da boys surfing today.  He’s been cooped up in the house for weeks now, so it was a nice opportunity to get him out of the house and get some footage of da boys. 

Unfortunately, none of us delivered.

Except for Khang.

Fransauce was already out in the water by 700.  He had work at 1000, so he left shortly after we arrived. 

DK, Dais, and I were just buoys in the line up.  We didn’t really catch much.  If we did catch something, they were all walls and white wash.  I couldn’t find a shoulder for the life of me.  I took two close outs, and that was it for my day. 

The Ocean definitely slapped me around a few times today.  It was her way of saying “Welcome Home.”  I guess I like being roughed up here and there, but the wipe outs weren’t that horrible.  It was actually pretty soft.  The waves would gently roll over me as I tossed and turned, curled up in a ball. 

My paddle is definitely weaker, since I found myself digging for the horizon when a thick wall approaches while waiting on the inside.  Two weeks ago, I would be making it out of harms way, but today, every close out clipped me.  I even had to ditch my board a few times, curl up in a ball, brace the lip smack, get pitched over the falls, then plunged into the sandy bottom.  I was glad I still had my breathing calm and heart rate down.  I came up with a smile for every close out I took on the head.

Back to Khang:  He just delivered today.  Or was being reckless.   Definitely reckless.  He saw the close outs, but still went for them.  He was barrel hunting the whole session.  I’m sure some of those wipe outs hurt, since he would get pummeled and clipped and thrashed around on every wave.  But he still kept charging.  I had front row seats for a left he dropped in to.  Well, it wasn’t a left, but he was going left.  It was just a fat close out, but he grabbed his rail and stuck the drop.  I think he started to slide out at the bottom because his body was hugging the face, and then the lip just crushed him into oblivion.  He dusted himself off and went straight back out to the line up, waiting for the next big wave. 

My dad later told me that Khang was the only one that he could use for photo opps, and the rest (namely Dais, DK, and myself) were kasu (trash in Japanese) with a laugh.  Indeed, we three didn’t do anything it seemed like.  Khang delivers the goods!!

Mahalos Mother Ocean.  Your benevolent ways of welcoming me back home will always be appreciated.