Surf Report: 2-3 feet close outs, with a workable inside reform section
Winds: On shore but not too strong
Atmosphere: One of the most beautiful sunsets without a cloud obstructing my view
I found myself going mad in front of my computer screen at work. I hadn’t surfed in over a week, and the last surf session I had I was freezing cold to the bone and didn’t have quite a fun session.
The tax returns were laughing in my face, and my dull pencils grinded at my eraser burns still raw from the daily abuse. My homey Dais had been surfing afternoons since the daylight savings switch, but I have been putting in so much OT that I would watch the sun set from my 9th floor office window overlooking Beverly Hills in anguish, knowing my childhood friend was getting his feet wet. Furthermore, Matt aka Donny Duckbutter had put together a small getaway for this coming weekend at San Onofre, and of course I was invited, but I couldn’t make it because I had work and my sister’s birthday on Saturday. The day I would make it, Sunday, is scheduled for some heavy rainfall. This added to my angst for the upcoming weekend: all my surf buddies were going to be surfing San Onofre while I was stuck in LA, working, working, working. And when I do make it down there, I might not even be able to surf because of the storm!
Fuck. Your. Life. KK.
So I told Dais over GChat: “Yo, I’m surfing with you today. I think I can get out early because my boss had physical therapy and he might go home early because he’s tired.”
“Say whhaaaa? J” he replied.
“Say whhaaaa? J” he replied.
The plans were set in my mind. I would leave work by 530 PM and get in the water for at least thirty minutes of freedom! Freedom from my computer screen… freedom from tax returns… freedom from my desk!
Then Dais informs me his girlfriend got the night off, and so he’s going to take advantage by spending some quality time with her.
“I’ll let you know if anything changes bro,” he said.
Shit, a lonely surf session? All by myself? I was used to this, but I always love surfing with my friends, so I was a bit bummed on this.
Who could I surf with at this hour? Fransauce had work. Khang was out of commission… Matt! Text Matt…
He didn’t answer.
My boss left a bit after 500PM, and I was about to start a new tax return, when I realized that I was not getting any work done now. I was just too unhappy at my desk. More OT means a bigger pay check, but less happiness. I had to go surf.
I grab all my stuff, shut down my computer, and locked up the office. The parking guy, Guillermo, said, “Klaudino! Why are you leaving so early??”
“I’m outttaaaaa heeere!! Adios Guillermo!!” I told him.
He smiled and gave me a big wave good-bye.
Surprisingly, the drive home was super smooth. The sun was still high, and I could tell I had at least two hours before sun down.
I grabbed all my gear and headed out, telling my mom I didn’t need dinner tonite, since I’ll be eating out.
“Oh, right, now you’re able to surf after work since it’s still light outside when you come home,” she said.
I drove down my usual route to get to Centinela, avoiding the 10 freeway traffic, and started to contemplate, “Porto? Venice? Porto is better. Venice is closer. Porto is further. Venice is crappy. Porto has better waves. Venice has free parking. Porto? Venice?”
By the time I hit Washington Boulevard, I could see the sun setting quickly, and I knew I wanted to be in the water more than anything. I didn’t care if it was crappy. I needed to be in salt water. Cold, refreshing salt water. NOW!!!
I cruised down Washington Boulevard and parked along Kentwood Avenue near the beach. I got changed without even checking the waves. A guy with a goatee and a near 7 foot Al Merrick comes up to me and asks for some wax. I throw him half a bar and he thanks me.
“Did you check the waves?”
“Naw brah. I’m just psyched to get out right now. I’ve been sitting in front of desk for too long.”
“Right on,” he said, passing me back the bar of wax.
Turns out this guy’s name is Mike, and he’s a Venice local. We don’t really chat too much except for a few funny “Oh no!” and frothy cheers as waves roll in.
I remember the instant I put my wetsuit on, I was just so undeniably, genuinely happy from head to toe. My body just knew I was getting in the water, and my mood was just amped and psyched but mellow at the same time. I grabbed my fish and headed down to the water.
Little pebbles poke
I cry out like a pussy
Soft feet of dress shoes
My little haiku for my moment of letting out a little yelp over some pebbles as I walked to the Venice sand.
The waves were decent. They were closed out, but there were some shoulders. And there was an inside reform. I could smell the weed smoke in the arid air, and the smell of the Ocean breeze blowing with it. I kept my stretching to a minimum, and headed out to the line up.
The paddle out was easy, probably because the waves weren’t too gnarly. Mike paddled out behind me, but stayed a bit south from me. There was one other surfer that sat way on the outside. I’m guessing he was a bit newer, even though he was able to pop up on some waves, because he sat where the waves mooshed out, while Mike and I sat in the reform zone.
I had two memorable waves this session.
First memorable wave was my first wave I took, a left. I was able to check a bottom turn going left, then really dig my heels into the back and shoot up the face. The fish just squirted up the face as I looked back to my right and pushed the tail out as much as I could. I could feel the board just snap and rebound back, and I landed the turn. I didn’t see it, but it sure felt good.
Second wave was towards the end, where I was sitting on the inside bowl. A reform came, and I popped up. The white water was still rolling, so I had to pump my board up and down until the reform started to clean up and create a wall. Then I had a few clean pumps, bottom turned, and hit the lip front side. I actually got a little scared because I was coming down fast, and the water looked shallow on the inside. That small moment of fear caused me to lose my balance and I ate it as I finished the turn. The water wasn’t too shallow, but obviously my instincts told me otherwise.
It didn’t really matter though. I had a smile from ear to ear. The sun was setting over the Venice pier, and the line up was empty. The water was cold, but I welcomed the cold. It felt a million times better than a warmed pool that I “train” in when I can’t surf during the week. The smell was way better. The air was way better. Nature is just way better.
I took a close out wave in, and headed out. The sun had completely gone down, but there was still a bit of luminous orange tickling the horizon. I gazed drunkenly at the horizon before heading back to my car.
I stepped on the same pebbled road on the way back, but those little rocks didn’t hurt at all. My body just tuned out every sort of “pain” and “stress” and “bad thing” in my life from about forty-five minutes of surfing.
Mahalos for the free therapy, Mother Ocean.
That night I went to Metro Café to meet up my long time friend Meagan from college. She (finally) got engaged!! I was super stoked to hear that and hear how her boyfriend proposed. Super cute, and super happy to hear that they are finally going to tie the knot!! Make one man happy, and make a few million unhappy. Haha only kidding (not)
And finally, Matt has been accepted to the Masters program for writing at his school!! Go Matt!!
Mahalos Mother Ocean. You always seem to know how I feel and have the best treatment for every mood.