Surf Report: Five foot plus
Winds: Off shores
Another day… just believe.
I wake up a little late and get to 26th Street to another empty parking lot. I make a few calls in hopes of getting a battle buddy out to paddle with me. Khang was the only taker, but he wouldn’t show up until 800. I stuck around and watched the huge waves roll in to the sand bars. Some corners were there, but other corners just seemed to wall up and pinch. There were some hollow waves coming through, with a little spit spewing out at the end of the wave. However, none of the older guys wanted a piece of it.
As they walked up from the Strand, they smile at me and ask, “Hey! How are ya feeling today?”
“Good! But I don’t feel like being the test monkey two days in a row…” I tell them. They all collectively laugh as they made their ways back to their cars.
It’s bad that no one is paddling out. What’s worse is that Don isn’t even here. Usually, that means the local rippers are checking out a spot that is breaking cleanly. I fantasize about Rincon or C street.
Orlando and Jose welcome me to join their conversation on where to go. They said there’s no way that they’re paddling out in these conditions. Maybe they can head down south?
I wait for Khang, but he doesn’t show up for a while. As my patience runs out, I tell Orlando and Jose, “Fuck it, let’s go and check out the other spots. Khang’s lagging too much.”
And of course as we leave, Khang is pulling up to the lot.
Orlando and Jose wanted to grab some coffee, so we stop by the Java Man in Hermosa. It’s a cute coffee place with plenty of room to sit in the inside. I was surprised on how roomy it was, since looking from the outside, one only sees the small doorway and claustrophobic front to put your order in. There must have been at least three sofas and five lazy boys in the back area, along with tables and chairs coupled with free Wi-Fi.
We walk back to our cars, and Orlando gets a call from his buddy, Tony. Tony owns Coral Reef wetsuits, made locally in the south bay. He says the Cove is firing, and that we should come down.
Jose opts out of paddling out at the Cove since he only has a shortboard, but Orlando and I want to get our feet wet. So, we accompany Tony and Sam down the hike of PV. I haven’t surfed PV in years… the last time I came here was with Anne and her friend, Nancy.
Orlando walks down the rock cliff to avoid the long paddle out. I opt out of that and walk down the traditional path to make the long paddle out. One of the kids from 26th Street was here, and says hi to me. I told him, “You didn’t like what you saw at 26th?”
“Man, I didn’t even check it. I just came straight here.”
It’s been a while since I’ve paddled out on a rocky line up. It felt good to know that there was some consequence to this paddle out. I was in the elements of nature, and nothing could feel better.
The paddle out was long. I got caught on the inside for a good twenty minutes. This was day two of putting in work on my new shortboard. I definitely need to get my duck dive in check for this board. I’ve been spoiled on my standard shortboard and got weak with my duck dive.
After finally making it out to the line up, I see one of the groms from 26th Street take off on a head high set and walk the nose. He hangs five all the way to the end of the wave. Just then Khang calls me from behind, and we reconvene.
Let me tell you, it’s one thing to surf in a nice point break, but with friends, it just makes the surf session that much better. I was super psyched to finally see a friend’s face while I surfed.
However, the waves just wouldn’t cooperate. I really wished I had more board, a long board, under me at this spot. The waves came in, but they were uncatchable for me today. Adding insult to injury, a set wave breaks on the horizon. Every surfer has experienced that devastating, heart breaking moment when they know they’re going into the washing machine. Khang makes it over the first wave, but I get caught.
I have to duck dive about thirty times for me to just realize that was Mother Ocean’s way of saying, “Get out while I’m giving you the chance.”
Just something in my gut told me I should leave the spot without a wave under my belt. I was a bit bummed that I didn’t catch a wave, but I look up at the cliffs, and the sun, and the waves rolling in… and everything just seemed to be set in place. Even me leaving with blue balls seemed rightfully meant to be.
Two guys asked me how were the waves.
“BULLSHIT!” I told them.
“Bullshit? Really?” they asked me.
“Well, no, there were waves. Lots of waves! I just didn’t have the right board to be getting into them. It was just a longboard dominated day. But you guys will have fun. I’m sure of it. This sure beats being in the office.”
“Yea, I suppose that’s the silver lining huh?”
“Yea bro, as long as you’re in nature, it’s always a good time,” I reply. “Stay safe out there, and have fun!”
“Hahaha, yea thanks bro. Here, have a hit,” they said, offering me a pipe filled with weed.
“Oh, naw, I’m okay for today, but thanks.”
They stash their backpacks near the cliff, and make their way out.
I watch for a while as the waves kept rolling in, in hopes of seeing Khang. My blind eyes weren’t able to make out anything, so I grab my sandals and start to walk back up the hike.
The winds were still off shore, the orange hue of the clay dirt on the cliffs were beautiful, and the sun was shining. The waves broke in lines, as little black dots tried to scratch for a ride. Some were successful, others were left empty handed. Pelicans flew overhead in unison, following each other’s draft and gliding through aerial waves. Hikers smiled and said hello as I said hello back, and dogs ran free without leashes. I made my way back to my car and ate a piece of banana bread.
Yes, I didn’t catch any waves. I probably did at least 150 push ups within two days of surfing, without a ride under my belt. But for some reason, I felt happy and satisfied. Maybe I’m just crazy? I was glad I got to be in the water today and yesterday, and meet new people both days. I was the test monkey yesterday, and I got to make a name for myself. I still had all my limbs in tact, and came home safely.