Monday, April 23, 2012

Scoring Huntington Beach and WLA Tournament - 042212

Surf report: 3-4 feet solid
Winds: on shore
Atmosphere: gloomy
Water: Warmer

Saturday was a lackluster day for surf.  It was not a day to write home about.  I had fun, but when I heard Matt and Fransauce scored in HB, I started thinking maybe I can make the trek down to Huntington too.

Nicky calls me, saying that he got off work Saturday night, and wanted to surf Sunday morning.  Christina called me too, saying that she wanted to go down, so Nicky and I would meet her down there. 

I get up at 530 AM and snooze for about ten minutes.  I do my stretches, and call Nicky.  I wasn’t really surprised that he was up.  I felt that he wanted to surf, and so he would be up no matter what.  I swing by his house and drop off his belated birthday gift I’ve had since the end of January and we give each other deep, loving hugs.  I missed this kid! 

We make our way down to the 405, and catch up on life.  We get off Goldenwest, our old stomping grounds where we “camped” out in my van and slept over to wake up to empty surf.  We park our car in the residential area, as we always do, and get changed.  I had to pee so badly I pee’d in my wetsuit while standing on the blacktop. 

Christina was already in the water, and we were able to spot her blue OCD board.  Her board’s wax job is a direct reflection of her:  the wax job is just so calculated and precise, not a grain of wax is out of place. 

For the first hour or so, I didn’t really catch anything.  The rising tide was really making things difficult for anyone to catch a wave.  I told myself not to drift, but I saw Nicky drifting, so I said fuck it and let the current take me.  It was a Sunday morning.  Just chill and relax! 

I took a small wave for a short ride.  I look back, and these sets started to roll in.  I could see Nicky getting pummeled on the first one that rolled over me.  Then I see a second one, and a third one, and a fourth one in the horizon.   A smile runs across my face.  This is what I’ve been missing!  A good pounding on the inside.  I start to gun for the horizon, but every time I duck dive, the white water steamrolls me.  I see Nicky get further and further back.  His arms are not in surfer shape.  Christina is getting pounded like a piece of veal way on the inside.  I make it out after a few sets, but Nicky comes back a bit later, saying he took at least ten on the head.  Christina comes back waaaaaaay later, and I’m guessing she took at least ten on the head too. 

We drifted into this pack of surfers who were highly competitive and were packed into this small peak.  I tried to go for a wave, but this guy was literally right next to me, where his rail would touch my rail.  Yes, he had the inside, so I backed out, but man, I couldn’t really understand why he had to be so close the whole time!  I had enough of this drifting, so I paddled away from the pack and sat on my own peak.

And then the waves just started coming.  I lost track of Nicky and Christina.  I caught about four consecutive sets on this one peak with no one around.  It was just exhilarating to work on my cut backs and pumping.  My board felt really good under my feet.  The high tide definitely made the wave a little weaker, but it’s Huntington!  The water moves a lot faster here than it does in LA. 

Enter longboarder #3. 

This longboarder and I share a wave.  We pop up at the same time, so I decided to follow him.  He dropped in on me, but at this point, I didn’t really care.  I pumped, did a semi cutback, carved and pumped all the way to where he was.  I laughed and smiled, clapping my hands, and pointing at him.  The look of fear overtook this guy’s face.  “Dude, it’s my last wave!  I’m going in!  I’m going in!”  I was like… what?  I’m not chasing you out… I’m actually stoked that you caught a wave!! Then I realized, he probably got chased out a few times for doing what he just did, and didn’t want any “problems.”  That was definitely weird. 

Nicky paddles over, saying that Christina took off because her meter was running out.  He and I stayed out for a few more waves, and I could tell his arms were just burning from fatigue, so I said, “Last wave?”

“Yea, last wave,” he replied.

Pho Ga

Right on queue, a small wave came.  It wasn’t anything spectacular, but I rode it in, and called it a day. 

Yea, the waves were nice, but I think surfing and spending time with Nicky made it all the more better.  Not taking anything away from Christina, but Nicky is my little brother from another mother, and I haven’t spent time with him in a long time.  It’s all love. 

We decide to drive down a little further to Brookhurst and get some Pho.  From there, we ate Chicken Pho (Pho Ga) and a spring roll each, and took him six sandwiches each.  Huzzah!!  What a perfect way to start a Sunday. 

6 sammiches each
This whole weekend has been an activity-filled weekend, since our annual basketball tournament was on.  My boys’ team, the WLA Lightning, is the host of this tournament.  I have participated in this when since I was in 2nd grade, and all the way through high school.  I coached a team from 3rd grade to high school, and once they graduated, I took on this new team. 

I’ve had some kids quit already, but there are a few core kids that always come to practice, and always come to the games.  However, Friday night, I was informed that we may have to forfeit since there were only 3 kids showing up to the game at 10 AM.  I was very frustrated, and severely angry.  I sent out an angry email, which I re-wrote three or four times to tone it down (my friend Lisa told me, “That’s toned down??” haha) and hammered the parents for not committing to a tournament we were hosting.  One of the parents finally answered back, saying that they were quitting.  I couldn’t believe that they would notify us the day before a tournament that they were quitting!!  This kid, whom I love, hasn’t shown up to practice, and we were trying to get in contact with him for months.  And then, he just ups and leaves without any reason, or any heads up.  I’ve had kids quit like this before, and it always leaves a bad taste in my mouth. 

In the end, we got 5 kids to show up to the 10 AM game, and steam rolled the other team.  We had another game at 7 PM, and we had two more kids show up.  I grilled one of the parents about his commitment to the team, and how much of a burden he created by not communicating with us.  He was very apologetic, and I told him that all I have now is his word that he will commit to the team, and that was that. 

Sunday morning, this parent that I grilled shows up and volunteers as scorekeeper from early in the morning, making his actions speak louder than his words.  That definitely pleased me.  I’m always a believer in actions speaking louder than words. 

Sunday’s game was our “championship” game.  I took one of my big bags that I put my groceries in and told them:

“This bag right here, this is my trophy bag.  You guys won both games yesterday, so this is our championship game.  You guys are getting trophies after this game.  If you guys win, you can keep these trophies.  If you guys lose, I take your trophies into my trophy bag.”

They all looked scared to lose.  They looked fired up for the game.

Now, the game was a good game.  The parents were into it, we were into it.  The first half was all us.  We came out of the gates really strong.  But the second half belonged to the other team.  In the end, we ended up in a tie.  We don’t keep score since these are 2nd graders, but the parents kept score, and we were tied at the end of the game.  So…

The balls spin on these trophies!! how cool is that???
“I get to keep all your trophies!”  These are really nice trophies too.  Way better than the ones I used to get, or my previous team used to get too!  The look of devastation and sadness on my kids faces… PRICELESS!! 

I told the parents to please not tell them that I’m giving them back the trophies at Friday’s practice.  I am a mean coach, but not that mean.  I am giving them back.  A lot of the parents had a sinister smile on their face and agreed not to.  I think they want their kids to be winners.  I just fear that one of the parents will let the cat out of the bag.  I want the kids to get a taste of bitterness when they lose an important game.  They should learn from their loss, not be rewarded for their loss. 

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!  You made my day. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Happy Tax Day with Da Boys 041712

Surf Report: 2-3 feet, occasional 4 foot predecessors of tomorrow’s swell
Water: Cold
Atmosphere: Sunny
Winds: Calm on shore

Happy tax day!!  I hope all of you filed your taxes on time this year… what a day for me!  I thought it was going to be a day of chilling and kicking back, but noooooo, we always have work to do, even if we are done with our tax work!  My boss promised to leave by 400 PM, but we ended up leaving at 445 PM.

I planned to meet with Dais at El Porto for an afternoon session.  I wasn’t expecting anything at all, especially with the drive on Vista Del Mar being so bleak and flat.  On top of that, the smoke stacks were billowing clouds of white on shore. 

I get to the parking lot and see that 45th Street is packed.  I don’t get it, I guess that peak is working, but is it really worth being so close, nut to butt with other surfers?  I pass the bathrooms and park there to find a smaller peak with a smaller crowd.  I call Dais, and he tells me Matt was on his way too.  I get psyched.  I haven’t surfed with Da Boys in a long time, so it’s gonna be fun to see them out in the line up again.

I wanted to wait for them to get there, but I had to pee.  BADLY.  So I get on to the sand and unleash as I walk, squishing the sand with every step.  The waves look ok, nothing to write home about, but hey, it’s an afternoon sesh!  It will be fun.

I get out into the line up and immediately get swept away by the current.  It turns out I wasn’t out in the line up at all, but rather in the reform area, where the current was weird and strong.  The clean up sets pounded me on the inside, and I spent the first thirty minutes or so duck diving.  I caught a reform here and there, but it wasn’t anything memorable.

I duck dive a wave and see a black figure take off in a low crouched stance.  Immediately I knew it was Matt.  He took on a left as I duck dived, and we finally got to mingle for a bit before paddling back out to the line up.  Dais was already in the line up too! That sneaky ninja.  Didn’t even know he was out. 

After I met up with Da Boys, the waves just kept coming.  A lot of them were down the line, closing out waves, but they were still fun.  I think I took a lot of lefts today, but was unable to make it around the white water sections.  My pumping on my back side is still not where I want it to be!  Definitely something I need to work on…

My wave of the day came from an unexpected right.  It started to feather right in front of me, and no one was in position, or wanted a piece of the wave.  I paddled into it, popped up and saw I could take the high line.  So, I grabbed the wall of the wave just as I practiced before on numerous surf sessions.  Except this time… THIS TIME!! I felt the lip go over me as I crouched low.  I couldn’t see anything at all, but when I did, the lip was crashing behind me, and the section ahead of me was just breaking into a close out section.  I think I even surprised myself by getting a little shampoo action from the barrel.  The section was closing out, and so I shot my board forward, and cannon-balled onto the flats. 

I could not stop smiling after that!  It was just my wave of the day. I was satisfied.  I was content.  Done for the day.  Man, it might not be a legit, hallow, spitting barrel, but it was a barrel that I made it out of, and it’s still so memorable.  I didn’t have that view of the C section, but still… MAN!! That one wave made my whole session.

I kept that to myself though.  I wanted to see my friends catch some waves.  Rick was out too, on his yellow fish, and was catching some nice reforms.  Dais was in the reform section, going for some steep reforms that seemed like he could make it, but he would slip and plunge into the flats.  I saw him paddling back a lot of times, so either he was caught on the inside, or he was getting his.  I’m guessing the ladder rather than the former.  Matt just kept going left. LEFT LEFT LEFT.  That’s all he goes for now.  I’m glad though, since now I can go right!! 

Matt took a late drop on a left, and basically did the splits as he dropped in.  He ate it pretty bad, and so I laughed loudly.  He smiled and laughed too.  I know he’s probably killing himself inside, but hey, at least he’s laughing at the wipe out. 

On one of my last waves, it was a bigger set wave that I took off late on.  I had switched my board to a quad fin, hoping that it was going to stick to the face of the wave and not slide out like I did on Sunday.  Surprisingly, the board stuck the landing, and I started to pump back side, but the section got way ahead of me.  I should have called it a day right then and there, but I wanted to be with Da Boys for a while longer, and watch the sunset with them. 
Photo Courtesy of Donny Duckbutter

I took a close out in, and finally called it a day.  Dais came in about ten minutes afterwards, with a huge smile on his face.  That smiley face summed up our whole session.  The waves were a far cry from epic, but surfing with our buddies just made them a million times more fun. 

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!!  An unforgettable session on such a nonchalant quality wave.  It just goes to show, sometimes, it’s the people you surf with that make the session. 

Sunday Morning is All I Need 041512

Surf Report: Fun 2-3 footers
Water: Cold
Atmosphere: Sunny
Winds: Off shore

I woke up from a bad dream at 345 AM, with the stupid bird chirping in my dream.  I had a 3 part series of bad dreams, concluding with the stupid bird just chirping his little beak off, and when I wake up, it turned out to be real life.  I thought it was time to surf, but when I looked at the clock, it was 345 AM, so I tried to go back to sleep.  Stupid bird won’t shut up!  So I put ear plugs in and slept till 600 AM. 

Unexpected session today!  I didn’t believe my eyes when I got to the line up, since the surf looked shitty from the lot.  I showed up yesterday and the surf was so blown out and looked so brown from the run-off, I watched our local shaper Don Kadowaki paddle out on his own and I just went home.  However, today was super clean and super fun. 

The peak right in front of the 26th Street tower was working.  Well, that was pretty much the only peak that was working.  Almost everyone sat there, but only the locals were getting the waves. 

Ross today was on fire.  I couldn’t believe how many waves he caught.  He was just a wave magnet.  He’s usually one of the “older dudes” that shred, but today he was really on point.  He caught every single good wave that came to this peak, getting three turns on almost every wave.  He would push me into waves too, but the waves were probably wasted in his eyes, since I could only muster a few pumps from the wave. 

Ross caught this one left right in front of me.  He did a few set up carves and then just pulled in to the barrel.  He pumped through the section and flew inside, his black figure just shooting across my eye frame.  He travelled at least ten feet inside the barrel before getting pinched at the end.  He came up, and the hugest of smiles on his face. 

“That was sick!!!” I told him.

“Man, I thought I was coming out of there!” he said, still smiling. 

I had a lot of fun today, catching a lot of waves in between the local rippers.  I got a lot of chances to practice my floaters and front side hacks, and felt very content with the session.  It was just another wave buffet at 26th Street.  A small reward for waking up early on a Sunday morning. 

One of my disappointing moments was when there was an outside set approaching.  The wave broke waaaaay far out on the horizon, and then started to roll through to double up on the line up.  I turned around, and started to gun for the wave to match the speed.  The locals were all hooting for me, and I felt my board pick up speed, so I popped up.  I got to my feet, and felt the board sliding… slipping…!  My fins just slid out as I made the drop, and I completely ate it on the wave of the day.

I came up, disappointed, but laughed at myself.  I know I had to laugh at myself, because if I didn’t laugh at myself, then I am taking this surfing thing way to seriously.  One of the local guys turned around and said, “What happened?”

“Oh, I felt my fins slip out as I dropped in…” I told him, still chuckling.

“Aw man, yea, that take off was pretty late.”

“At least I went for it, right??” I said, to get some validation.

“Yea!!  You went for it, that’s what really matters.”

So all in all, this session was a fun one.  I just wished I had a friend to share it with.  Yes, those locals are my friends, but they aren’t Da Boys.  Right now, they are all spread out over their own schedules.  No worries, we will have our time together soon enough. 

A little foodie blog for Sunday night:  Makino in Irvine. 
My second helping of sushi.. Yes, I finished each piece!

My mom’s friend from the same yoga class that I frequent opened an all you can eat buffet style sushi restaurant.  They took over an old Todai that was dilapidated and outdated, and turned it into Makino.  The fish was great, the rice was delicious, and the other food they had was pretty good too.  FYI, they serve uni (sea urchin) there on the all you can eat menu, you just have to ask.  They had a chocolate fondu machine where you can dip things such as banana’s, marshmallows, and strawberries to make your own dessert.  The price is $27 for dinner, and $17 for lunch.  Definitely a great deal.  I hope this place stays open!  Great to know another all you can eat sushi place near the beach.

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!! 

Monday, April 9, 2012

Sharing is Caring - 040812

Surf Report: 1 – 3 foot max and still clean
Winds: light
Atmosphere: Sunny but cool
Water: cold

I was at my first Passover dinner last night.  My good friend Sasha invited me to his house where his mom Stella cooked a feast for us.  I’ve been over for Shabbat dinner a few times, but Passover was a first, so the whole family and others went through the formalities of Passover dinner, with the explanations of symbols on the Hellel centerpiece.  They went through the stories, the songs, and the prayers for me.  Man, was the food good!  And oh yea, lots of vino.  I brought a bottle of kosher wine for the occasion, and that went away in a puff of smoke.  Luckily there was about 8 bottles of wine for us… and the celebration continued until 1130.

I got home, packed up my stuff in anticipation for a Sunday morning surf session. 

I woke up at 530, exhausted, and aching all over my shoulders. 

I tried to go back to sleep, but after 10 minutes of closing my eyes, my body yearned for some salt water.  Cmon weekend warrior!  Get up!!

I did my usual stretches as that bastard of a bird kept chirping his ass off.  He was loud as ever, but I can hear my mom snoring in the next room.  She too had a long night with her ballroom dancing group, and came home later than me!  

I packed up my stuff and headed out the door.  I wasn’t expecting much today.  Just some cold water and smaller waves than yesterday.

When I arrived to the empty parking lot, I was right.  The waves were smaller than yesterday, but I could see Roy tearing it up in the same spot.  The concrete was cold as I got changed, and my wetsuit wasn’t cooperating when I was putting it on.  I grab my twin fin fish, Mary Jane, and head out.

The low tide made the paddle out a non-paddle out.  It was more like a walk out to the line up.  The water was still freezing, and I can feel my muscles aching still.  Once I started to paddle, my muscles started to warm up and get loose. 

Roy was doing his thing, and the other locals were all congregated in this one spot.  The other sand bars weren’t working, so everyone was just sitting here.  Still, there were only about fifteen, twenty guys out. 

The longboarders had first pick of the waves.  We shortboarders had to get the scraps really.  However, the shape was still clean, and there were some fun ones coming through the line up today too. 

At first my pop up was way off.  I couldn’t get to my feet!  My pop up felt weak and unstable, like my shoulders were about to pop out, and so I would get to my feet in almost a standing stance, feet side to side, and just eat it on the wave.  I did a few cobra stances on my board, pushing up on my board and arching my back, to get the muscle memory back. 

It was a fun, mellow morning today.  The longboarders didn’t take ALL the waves, just most of them.  A pack of four dudes that I see frequently were just sitting outside of everyone, getting into the waves before they broke, and taking them all the way to shore.  We picked off a few good rides in between.  The shape was clean still, and the waves were just so glassy all morning long. 

Roy asked where all my friends were today.  “Snoozing,” I replied, laughing. 

“They’re not as dedicated as you are,” he said.

“No, they’re not as crazy as I am,” I told him.  We both chuckled at this.  Seriously, who gets up slightly hung over with sore shoulders on a Sunday morning at 530 AM to go surf 1-3 foot waves when the water is freezing cold?  I have to surf, or else I’ll go crazy.  Krazy KK is not a good sight.  Ever. 

So after those longboarders left, we finally had the peak to ourselves. 

On a right, I pumped down the face, bottom turned up and hit the lip, with the nose flying off the lip.  I couldn’t stick the landing though, and fell onto shallow water. 

On a left, I pumped on my board to get down the line.  My board carried me too far away from the curl of the wave, so I cut back and heard some ssssss-splash from behind.  I rebounded on the white water and continued back down the line on the left.  Finally studying Roy’s cutbacks has paid off. 

Roy was killing it as usual, taking lefts and rights all the way to shore.  He did a tail slide today, and was super stoked on it.  He was describing how the fins slid out from under him as he top turned on a left, and that he felt the fins catch after a few moments of sliding.  He even hit the lip so hard it looked like he got some air on a left.

Bruce was out on his foamie, and he got a lot of waves too.  But, he pushed me into waves too.  He told me to go on this one set right that I completely ate it on because the wave just pitched and I was trying to get barreled.  I dragged my right hand on the face as I dropped in, but I felt my nose dive in before I made it to the bottom of the wave.  He smiled at me though, which made me feel better. 

That’s what I love about 26th Street.  They make sure everyone gets a wave, even if they can catch all the waves to themselves.  They aren’t greedy, and if you show up enough, they will let you have some waves to yourself.

I took a right towards the end of my session.  I pumped up and down the wave, and bottom turned up the closing section, floated over the closing section, but couldn’t stick the landing.  Roy saw the whole thing, and said that I should have stuck that landing.  He wasn’t aggro about pushing my buttons, but just told me to stick the floater next time. 

I repeated to myself, stick the landing KK, stick the landing…

Then, a left rolled through the line up.  No one was in position for the waves, and the first set rolled through unridden.  I paddled hard to meet the wave, flipped around, and caught the second set.  I can hear Fransauce in the back of my head, “Meet and greet, ride and slide.”  I got to my feet, and started pumping backside.  I saw the lip curl, and instinctively floated over the section.  I didn’t really think about it, I just did it.  I kept all my weight on my back leg, and the wave just pushed my board forward, back to where the white water was breaking.  I landed the floater, and ditched my board in ankle deep white water, landing on my butt.  A small improvement for me today!  This one wave definitely made my morning. 

Calvin, another local/regular that surfed this morning, was freezing his ass off, and just wanted “one more.”  Roy took a long left right when Calvin said this, and I teased him, “Just one more?  Man, now the waves go flat for you.”  He grimaced at this, and a right came my way.  I took this one to shore, and paddled back out, watching Calvin pulling out of a no hope close out.  I wanted him to catch his “last one” so I backed off a few waves for him and hooted him into some, hoping he would catch them.  The first one he blew because of bad positioning.  But the second one was a right I hooted him into and he was able to take all the way to shore, banking a turn off the top.  He threw a shaka at all of us back in the line up.  Sharing waves makes everyone feel better. 

And then this shaper named Eric came out on his quad fin.  He shapes for a lot of the groms that surf the South Bay.  He reminded me of Rick, since he was an older dude that ripped on a quad fin.  But man, he just tried to catch every single fucking wave.  Even when Roy or Bruce was going for a wave, he would try to go for the waves.  I get it, you’re a shredder.  I even told him that he shreds.  But would it kill you to share some waves?  Seriously, share some waves. 

The place started to go flat, and I told Roy I was taking the next one in.  I caught a close out and took that as far as I could. 

Back in the parking lot, I saw a familiar car, along with a familiar face.  Ann was there with Nancy, and so we chit chatted for a bit.  It was nice seeing her this morning, especially since I was thinking of stopping by to say hi to her and Robbie and Fred and Wilma (their two dogs.)  Roy and Bruce came back shortly thereafter, and we talked for a few minutes in the parking lot.

“Man, that guy Eric, he’s a good surfer, but he doesn’t know how to share,” said Bruce.  “I mean, I could catch every wave out there with this Costco board, but I don’t, because everyone will hate me out there.”

“Yea, I had to paddle away from him, cuz he’s so competitive at paddling for waves!” Roy said.

“Yea, real competitive.  I had to paddle away from him too!”  Bruce reiterated.

I think this is why I love surfing at 26th Street so much.  Everyone looks out for each other.  If your meter is empty and parking enforcement is here, they throw in quarters for you.  They bring snacks occasionally.  And, they share waves with everyone.  They know how fickle it is here. 

“Look, Miles won’t even let his girl get any waves!” Bruce said. 

Ok, so maybe not everyone.  Uncle Miles just took wave #4 of his session by burning his girlfriend/wife.  Nice one… 

So, it was another beautiful morning in Manhattan Beach.  The swell is supposed to pick up tomorrow, while I type away on the keyboard.  I am thankful I got a lot of waves this whole weekend.  I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect weekend. 

Mahalos Mother Ocean!! 

Dawn Patrol Diamantes 040712

Surf Report: 2-3 feet, with the occasional 4 footer
Water: Freezing cold
Winds: light, then off shore
Atmosphere: Sunny (precursor to summer)

I woke up from multiple bad dreams during the night.  On top of not being able to sleep despite going to bed early, I wake up from multiple bad dreams, hitting me like marbles dropping from a table top.  Adding insult to injury, there is this bird that comes back every spring around our house and has this loud ass chirp.  It’s not your average chirp.  This thing echoes around our complex.  I want to shoot it down as I try to close my eyes at 400 AM.  But, I try to appreciate the calls of nature. 

Fuck that.

I closed my eyes for another one and a half hours, listening to that damn bird.  He continuously chirps and cries.  I give up on sleep and I start my yoga exercises at 530 and he’s still fucking chirping.  He doesn’t stop at all.  I leave my house around 600 AM.

I give Nicky a call since he is back in town and said he will be up to surf.  He moved back from Valencia for the summer and is holding down a job while commuting from his parent’s house in Mar Vista.  I call him twice, but no answer.  I could go by his house like I used to… but he’s a grown adult now, and if you snooze, you lose.  I opt to go straight to the beach. 

I’m getting on to the El Segundo freeway when I get a call from Nicky.

“Awwww shit, I fucked up huh?” he said.

“Yea, you did!  I’m already getting off El Segundo bro,” I tell him.

I tell him to text Dais since Dais was heading out later in the day. 

I get to an empty parking lot of 26th Street.  I see the usual dedicated locals, including Ross, getting changed.  I don’t see Roy’s car, so I figure he’s surfing somewhere better.

I grab my fish, and head down the hill.  But then I see free parking down the hill!  I gotta grab it.  This is my first Saturday off in a long time, and I should take advantage of a free parking space.  It seems no one wants to go surfing today.  The line up is empty, the parking lot is empty, and the waves are small.

So I move my car, lock up, and head down to the beach.  The waves look really clean, and they aren’t as mushy as I expected.  As I stretch, there is a wave that is a “spitter.”  The wave is slightly hollow, but breaks so clean that it spews a bit of spit when it climaxes.  Kind of like a girl who squirts.  My favorite kind.  I suppose they were remnants from the swell yesterday and the day before.  I paddle out without getting my hair wet, so I duck dive on purpose to get my body covered in the Ocean’s glistening juices. 

Then, I get an instant ice cream headache.  What the fuck??

It’s so cold, I can’t believe it.  My legs and hands are starting to freeze over.  Luckily, the sun is starting to shine, so that helps with coping with the cold. 

First wave, and I knew I was in for a treat today.  My fish, Mary Jane, just flies down the line, and the sections get hollow from the take off.  There are the local guys and some longboarders north of me working this right.  I stay away from them so I can get my share, but their peak is cranking out waves like a machine. 

I take a belly ride barrel on a left.  I didn’t really think popping up was necessarily the best thing to do on such a small wave.  I love seeing that lip just start to feather while looking up and curl over you.  Of course, the thing just clamps shut on me and I feel my board slip from under my belly. 

Time to change boards! 

I see Lori stretching on the sand, and she asks how it was.  I tell her it’s good, but I want to switch boards.  Yes, MJ was working for me, but I felt that I needed to ride my other board. 

Enter board #2.  I haven’t given her a name yet though…

Lori is hanging with this other local guy who takes three waves in a row.  I kinda stink eye him as I smile, so he probably thinks I’m a bit weird.  I was stoked for him, but man, will it kill you to let some of the waves go?  Really.  Let some of them go.  He even took off on a left that I was going on!  He didn’t snake me since I was not able to make the section, but still… I had to show this guy what’s up. 

A set breaks out far on the horizon.  So, he takes the first wave of the set, and the first wave runs out ahead of him.  The second wave is coming, and I take it.  I pop up right in front of him but get down the line to avoid any collisions.  That broke the ice between him and me, and he gave me my space and didn’t go for everything while he was around me. 

Orlando, aka Rastamon, paddled by us to the main peak to the north of us.  I can see that peak was still cranking out lots of rides, but the right seemed to just mush out, and didn’t offer much of a ride after the first few pumps.  So I stayed where I was.  I could see Ross over there with another long haired dude that I assumed was Randy. 

A few minutes pass by as my fingers grew cold.  I had to slap them together to wake them up and loosen up the cramp in my fingers.  I had enough of sitting around, so I started to go for some lefts.  The lefts today were actually better.  They walled up nicely that allowed for a turn or two, if you had the ability.  I miss-timed my turn and got smacked by the lip as I climbed up the face.  Definitely still a lot for me to learn. 

Then I see Roy.  He takes a long ride down a left, and calls me out.

“Klaude!!  I’ve been calling you to come over here for the longest time!!  I thought you were pissed or something!”

“Oh, no way?  Man, you know I’m legally blind in the water right?  I didn’t even know you were here.  What car are you driving?”

“Oh the Chevy Trailblazer.  You know me, I’m changing cars like underwear,” he tells me.

He tells me that he’s been scoring the left here for the last two days, and that it’s still cranking out lefts.  He even got an in and out barrel yesterday, and that he was so stoked about it.  The size has dropped off since yesterday, but the left is still going on.  Just no one wants to drop in on the left for some reason. 

As a matter of fact, everyone was going for the right.  The left offered up more of a face for carves or maneuvers, but for some reason people went to the mushy right.  Even I went for the mushy rights.

For the next thirty or forty five minutes, I just had a wave buffet with Roy.  I went right, he went left.  He went left, I went left.  He was always sitting in the right place, and I sat next to him, while the other guys sat on our inside, or wider.  He would hoot me into waves, and I would hoot him on his long rides to shore.  Within that short span of time, we caught our fair share of waves for the day. 

Uncle Miles showed up and took some long rides to shore, as he always does. 

“Yo Roy, let’s go get some Pho,” I tell him.

“OoooOOooo, Pho… if we leave now, I can,” he replies.

“Ok, let’s take one in then.”

So, despite having the day off from work, and scoring free parking, I leave at 900 AM.  I guess I was still tired from the lack of sleep.  But, I was more than content with what I got. 

The only bummer was that no one showed up!!  Fransauce was up north, surfing back home.  Nicky was snoozing and missed out.  Cheryl looked at the cams and decided not to paddle out.  Dais actually did the same, looked at the cameras.  Matt was… I don’t know.  He concerns me the most.  I guess I worry too much sometimes?  When I called him this morning, he said, “I surfed yesterday.”  I wanted to yell at him, “That was YESTERDAY!  What about today?  Didn’t that guy from your surf club from school say those exact words to you, and didn’t we clown on him about that?”  but I refrained.  But I’m saying it now, here, on this blog, so I guess this is still kind of a fucked up way to push his buttons?  I don’t know.  He sounded very down and not stoked about surfing when I called him in the morning.  He is going through a tough time in his life, and I want to be there for him.

In conclusion, the cams didn’t show the wave quality, but that’s why I don’t check cams anymore.  Waves look better in real life.  They look way better in real life than in HD, that’s for sure.  Yea, I’ve gotten skunked, but hey, that’s just what surfers have to deal with.  If you don’t go, you’ll never know, right?  What’s the fun in knowing what you’re getting ahead of time?  No one wants to open a Christmas present they already know what is inside. 

Mahalos Mother Ocean.  You always give me something to venture and look forward to.  The journey is more fun than the destination, and today was no exception.  Those waves were a small gem that you gave me as a reward for dawn patrolling.  So, Mahalos!!! 

Monday, April 2, 2012

Beach You to It - @ Sunset Point 040112

Surf Report: 5 feet and listless power
Water: Cold
Atmosphere: Sunny
Winds: slight on shore to strong on shore

It rained Saturday night.  Not too much though!!  I was tired from the whole day, from going surfing, to watching a historical Laker game in which Kobe shot 0/15 until he made his first basket in the fourth quarter, to working for a few hours, then spending some time at the Metro CafĂ© for dinner with Simon (a local at the Metro also.)  Fransauce told me that he will be surfing Sunday morning instead of training for his Fireman test.  He’s been training every Sunday for at least a month and a half now.  I was glad that he was going to surf tomorrow, since no one was coming out, and it was supposed to be BIG. 

We planned to hit up Sunset point around 630 so we can catch it when the crowd was thin.  I slept around 1030. 

I woke up at 730 AM, and called Francis. 

“Yo! It’s 730 bro, what are you doing?”

“Ummm, just woke up…”

“Let’s go!” I told him.

He was a bit hesitant, but then said ok. 

He picked me up and we were in the water by 830 at Sunset. 

We both took out boards we haven’t ridden.  Both were mine, but the one I rode was a board Roy gave me for free.  It was a 6’5” step up board for bigger waves.  I had to repair a lot of it and it is 99% done.  I have to still fix a few more things, but I wanted to take that board out since it was supposed to be BIG.  Fransauce rode my other thruster, my first shortboard I ever bought.  It’s a 6’4” Rising Sun that has the nose chopped off because of many accidents, but it’s still in great shape. 

Sunset was actually not crowded at all.  In fact, it wasn’t even that big.  Yes, the big sets were bigger, but we were both expecting 5 foot faces, Hawaiian scale.  However, we were let down (sort of) by the size.  Regardless, we were stoked to be surfing. 

The paddle out was super long!!  The waves broke out far from the rocks, and the Point was lined up almost to the Unocal 76 ball.  But the waves weren’t that strong.  They were actually kind of weak and slow, more suited for a longboard. 

As we paddled out, I flipped around to catch an inside roller.  The board felt good under my feet.  Maybe it’s because I spent so much time on repairing this baby that I am already accustomed to her. 

Today was definitely just a day for down the line surf.  There was no room for turns. 

I saw Francis take off on an insider that doubled up.  He was playing dodgeball with the other surfers and disappeared.  I thought he ate it.  The two surfers that he dodged were all laughing at each other, saying, “Oh man, I was just trying to get out of his way!”  Turns out Fransauce laid back down on the board, paddled a bit more, and got an inside reform.  Man, he’s so good.

This one longboarder just took every single fucking wave.  He was on every set, and paddled for each one.  Yes, he was good, but man, he should learn to share, or let some of them go.  He was definitely getting a bit tired towards the end of his session, but shit, just because you can catch all the waves, doesn’t mean you should. 

It was a mellow morning, just looking out at the horizon.  We didn’t really care what time it was, or when we were getting out.  It was an uncrowded Sunday morning at Sunset beach with waves.  Dolphins swam near us, and frolicked in the line up for a while.  There wasn’t a cloud in sight. 

Then I heard, “Fuck you you douche bag!  You’re fucking shit!  Fuck you faggot!”

I guess someone was in the way of another surfer who was being dropped in on. 

“I was just watching the guy who was dropping in on you,” the guy said, chuckling at him.

The other guy didn’t find it so comedic.

“Fuck you asshole!  Get the FUCK out!  You’re a douche bag, asshole!”

Man, really? 

I just smiled at the people around me.  I got dropped in on too, but man, it wasn’t anything to get your panties bunched up about.  Surfer’s are sometimes so unreasonably angry. 

I tried to catch those set waves, but was tricked by the fools gold.  There was no way I could catch them from the Point.  So, I decided to join Fransauce on the inside.  He told me he caught a few good ones already. 

I ended up catching only a few more rides down the line on the inside, and spent the rest of the time paddling and duck diving the sets that broke on the outside.  The SUPers and longboarders kept catching everything. 

And then the winds switched to strong off shores, and there was no shape to the wave.  I’ve had enough, and decided to get out. 

I met up Fransauce at the parking lot as we recalled our session that we spent apart most of the part.  We went to his house to have some left over Chinese food and Acai smoothies and watched the Oklahoma City Thunder trounce the Chicago Bulls. 

And it turns out that Fransauce called me the night before around 1130 to tell me that we were changing plans:  We were to surf at noon instead of early, since he was not planning on waking up early.  The funny thing was that I answered the phone and had the conversation with him.  No wonder he was hesitant in the morning at 730 to go out!  I’ve done this before, this sleep talking on the phone.  Bad habit I guess.  Either way, we didn’t regret surfing earlier rather than later, since the winds got really strong by noon. 

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!!  What a beautiful Sunday. 

Trying to Meet Up @ 26th Street 033112

Surf Report: 3-5 feet and funky
Winds: Off shore
Water: Cold
Atmosphere: Gloomy

I was stoked to go surfing today since I didn’t have to go to work so early.  We are pretty much caught up with all of our April 17th deadline, and my boss gave me the tickets to see the Lakers play the New Orleans Hornets at 12:30.  The only trade off was that I had to show up to work after the game.

I woke up at 530 AM and started my stretches.  I was trying to meet up Dave for a surf session since it was one of his last mornings back from UC Santa Cruz, and we really haven’t been able to kick it at all since he’s been back for spring break.  I call him in the morning and he said that he will meet me at 26th Street. 

I get to 26th Street around 630 AM, and the place is pretty packed already.  There is a surf contest here, hosted by the South Bay Boardriders Club.  I send out a text to Dave and Dais, since they said they will be coming. 

“Ugh.  I passed out lol sorry.  Going to get gear now,” texted Dave.  He was sleeping in OC, and had to get his stuff from Garden Grove, then had to head to 26th Street.  This guy is a great guy, but he stretches himself a bit too thin.  I laughed at his text and told him the situation, and told him I would paddle out north of 26th Street, around 30th or so. 

There were the usual guys out:  Ross and Don, the Philipino dude I always see, and a handful of other people I don’t know the names of.   Roy wasn’t here since he was surfing Zeroes today.  He texted me in the morning to come with him, but since I had to meet up with Dave, I opted to stay in the South Bay.

The paddle out today was hard.  I got stuck on the inside on my first paddle out.  I had to ditch my board on the shore pound a few times to actually get under the waves pounding the inside.  The waves broke further out than normal, and it looked much better from shore than it actually was in the line up. 

I told Don about San Onofre and how the board worked there, and he smiled at me for the positive feedback.  He caught a lot of waves, but cranked out only one turn here and there on a lot of the waves.  He would usually crank out three turns or more on a wave, so it must have been everyone that was feeling the funk from the waves. 

There was a wonky shape to the waves today.  They would shift and morph as they approached.  Some of them broke, most of them passed us by.  On top of that, the current pulled north and out.  So, if you weren’t careful, you would be pulled all the way outside and further from the point you started from. 

There was an in between wave that jacked up right next to me.  Ross told me, “GO KLAUDE!” so I paddled my hardest, caught it, and started to go down the line.  The wave wouldn’t let me get onto the face though.  I had to pump and weave through the boils on the face, while the white water kept crumbling ahead of me.  Finally, the wave doubled up on the inside and my ride was over. 

I kept looking back at shore, trying to maintain my position in front of the lifeguard tower and look out for Dave. 

I didn’t catch much of a memorable wave this whole session.  I was spreading my attention towards the horizon and back to the beach than actually trying to catch waves.

I went back to put quarters in the meter, but I only found two quarters.  Bummer.  I got out to put in twenty minutes in the meter?? Man, I hope this is worth the risk of playing parking ticket roulette… 

I went back to the same spot, and the tide was even lower when I paddled back out.  This paddle out was easier than the first paddle out. 

I only caught one good wave today, which was a left.  I was glad it was in front of Don and Ross, since it was a set wave that swung a bit wide towards me, and they were on the shoulder.  I paddled for it and popped up smoothly for the left.  I heard Don go “Whoo hooo~” for me as he paddled over the shoulder.  I did a check pump up the face and slid down the face.  I jammed on my heels and eyed the shoulder.  I felt the nose go above the lip and redirected it down the face.  I didn’t hear any spray, but hey, it’s an improvement!  The wave crumbled like feta cheese after that turn, and that was my wave of the day.

I got out by 900 AM and wondered where Dave and Dais were.  I’m pretty sure they were in the water, but I just didn’t see them.  Turns out Dave was around 36th Street after his paddle out, and got pummeled a few times during his session.  Dais was towards El Porto, and was surfing with DK and Kotaro.  So we were all in the same vicinity of each other, just didn’t see each other. 

Dave and I met up for a little breakfast at Rutt’s where we shared a King sized Fried Royale and Portuguese breakfast burrito.  We caught up on each other’s life for the short moment we were together.  We will catch each other again when he’s back in LA, or when I make my trek up to Santa Cruz, which I plan on doing sometime before he leaves school.  The only unfortunate thing is that it might be during finals week for him. 

Mahalos Mother Ocean!