Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mothers Day!

Happy Mothers Day to all the mom's grandma's auntie's and single dads who have to do motherly duties.  Mom's are my favorite super hero, because only mom can fit in a 12 hour work schedule, pick up the kids from school, keep clothes on their backs, put food on the table, keep the house clean, and somehow manage to get the kids to basketball practice, all in one day.  Moms are nothing short of miracle makers. 


Friday, May 4, 2012

Sion Milosky Steep & Deep Award

Sion Milosky Steep & Deep award!!

Zak Noyle and Billy Kemper get this wonderful shot at Pipeline.  Seen here

Aloha to the Milosky family

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Uncrowded Zero's Session 042912

Surf Report: 2-3 feet
Winds:  Off shore to slight trade winds
Water:  Cold
Atmosphere:  Sunny

Roy wanted to go to Zero’s on Sunday, and said he wanted to be out in the water by 615 AM.  I didn’t know if I could make it out so early, but I tried my hardest.  I got his text he sent at 520 AM that he was leaving his house.  I woke up at 530 AM, did my usual routine of stretches to my aching body, and made my way down to Zero’s.

Zero’s is a south facing beach, nestled in the Topanga Canyon area.  It is north of Zuma Beach, but south of Ventura County Line.  The official entrance of the place would be Nicholas Canyon. 

I call Roy when I pass Sunset to tell him I’m on my way.  I keep driving, still sleepy from the night before, and finally get to Zero’s at 630 AM.  Roy was just walking up from checking out the spot.  The parking gate was just about to open as we got changed. 

We see an empty line up from atop the hill.  It seems like no one wants to paddle out today.  I was still tired, yawning as I stretched.  Roy was amped to go out, and hit the water first.

The water was definitely colder because of the location.  Anything north of the South Bay is usually a few degrees colder, and my 3/2 was feeling frigid at best.  As I always am with a new surf spot, I assessed the conditions, and didn’t push myself too much on the waves. 

My first wave I caught was a right, and I was headed straight for the rocks.  I didn’t do anything and just kicked out, still shaking the cob webs off my head.  I didn’t want to tell Roy I was sleepy, since I felt like complaining about my own lethargy would just be an excuse of me not pushing myself.  Roy kept telling me to go for the waves as he caught another left all the way to shore.  He told me that the last time he brought someone here, that guy sliced his leg and dinged his board.  The person before that, got injured by falling into a shallow area.  The person before that, broke his collar bone…  I said, “Why are you telling me these horrible stories??”

He laughed and answered, “So you push yourself!!” 

I think the stories he told me had the opposite effect.  “Don’t tell me those stories!” I told him. 

Roy just bought a new board from a 26th Street local for $250, and it seemed like a magic carpet under his feet.  He said he was still feeling it out, but he was definitely shredding on it. 

The wave here reminded me a bit of Huntington, and a bit of Diamondhead.  It reminded me of HB since the wave would jack up and sometimes get hollow, especially on the rights.  It reminded me of Diamondhead because of the serene surroundings of the green cliffs nestled between the Topanga Canyons.  The mist burned off from the sun that peered over the canyon’s shoulder.  I was still yawning in between sets though, unable to shake my hebetude. 

For the first hour or so, it was just Roy and myself at the main peak right in front of the take off spot, which I lined up with the big boulder.  There was another surfer about twenty yards north of us, but he was so far away we paid no attention to him.  Wave after wave, Roy and I would push each other into them.  I would go right, he would go left.  It was just beautiful. 

I tried to pull in to the hollow right handers, and got pinched on every one.  I did get a view of the C section as the lip threw over me, but I couldn’t make it out.  I think this wipe out started to wake me up.  I got the view of the green room, and then got pitched over and held down for a few seconds, and the shortness of breath definitely got my adrenaline pumping. 

Roy kept on taking lefts all the way to shore, getting three or four turns on each wave.

Some people started to show up, whom Roy already knew.  I guess he comes to this spot pretty often.  One of his friends, Maya, was an Italian lady that I spoke Italian to.  I pushed her into a wave that she got three turns off of, and she thanked me for letting her go in Italian. 

I finally woke up 100% when I got a decent right during this time, where I got two solid turns on the wave.  Maya complimented me on the ride, and I was just stoked from head to toe from the two turns I got on the wave. 

Eyes were way bigger than the stomach...
I took a left on another set, and did a cut back right in front of Roy.  The wave mushed out, and so I had to kick out.  I felt like I could have pushed the turn a little harder, and Roy pointed out that it seemed like I was half-assing the turn.  Indeed, it was a half-ass turn, so I wanted to push myself a little harder.  Actually, Roy didn't say any words such as "half-ass" to me.  He said that I didn't "power through" the turn, and that was to me a nice way of saying "half-assing it."  Roy's been through a lot with dealing with people, and I think he has a very benevolent aura about him and wants to exert his energy by pulling people up with him.  The other way to exert one's energy would be to push them down.  But Roy always seems to find the positive words to help someone progress forward.  I feel my progression is getting faster with every session I surf with Roy, and so every piece of advice and criticism I get from him I keep in mind and try to improve.  However, I am also content with the fact that I am having sessions where I can say, “Man, I could have pushed that turn a little harder.”  I have never been able to say that in seven years of surfing.  It used to be, “Man, I wish I caught that wave.” 

I’m not quite sure how many waves I caught that day, but it was definitely more than I could count with both hands.  To me, that was a fun session.  We surfed for a solid two and a half hours, mostly having the peak to ourselves.  I had to leave, since I knew I had to handle some business for my boss, so I took one last wave in, said bye to Roy and his friends, and took off. 

I went to the Dodger game this day with my extended family, Toshi-chan and Mieko-chan, along with their two beautiful kids, Quentin and Madison.  (To all of you non-Japanese readers, putting a “chan” after a name is a way to call someone of benevolent nature.  It is usually reserved for girls, but when you’re a kid, you add a “-chan” to everyone’s name.)  Toshi-chan is like an older brother to me, since we’ve known each other since… I guess the day I was born?  I’m not even sure.  Our families have always been close since our parents knew each other.  We’ve spent pretty much every holiday together as far back as I can remember, from Mother’s day, New Years Day, Christmas, and Lakers Play-off BBQ’s.  So I consider both Q and Maddie my nephew and niece.  I actually had a chance to go to the Laker game with my boss this day, but it was last minute, and I had committed to going to the Dodger game with them so I opted out of the Laker game.  I was glad I did, since I got to spend time with my little niece and nephew, chilling back with a beer in hand with Toshi-chan, and eating garlic fries and nachos with Mieko-chan.  I actually had fish tacos and a small bite of the Doyer dog, which consists of chili, nacho cheese, salsa, and jalapenos.  After the fish taco’s, I was full, so Toshi-chan finished off the Doyer dog for me.  Both the Lakers and Dodgers won, so I was happy with both. 
Mama, Dad, and Madison

All in all, another great day!  Maybe I could have slept in an hour, but then I would have missed out on the waves in an empty line up with Roy!!  I’m glad I got myself out of bed and am thankful for all the happenings this Sunday. 

Q wants a nacho chip
Mahalos Mother Ocean!!

Surfing with the Real Locals 042812

Surf Report:  3-4 feet
Water:  Clear and cool, a bit warmer than winter!
Winds:  Slight off shore most of the day
Atmosphere:  Sunny!

I woke up early today to get to the beach.  I asked my dad at 530 AM if he was going to come down to snap some photo’s, and he said he wasn’t coming.  We needed to meet after our surf session with Roy, da local shreddah, at Roy’s body shop in Hawthorne since we needed his expertise.  My dad got side swiped by a younger girl who was stuck behind a bus and changed lanes in the middle of an intersection.  Luckily, no one was hurt in the accident, but our car needed a lot of body work, and luckily, Roy has a body shop. 

My dad told me that he might come out to snap some photos, since one of my sisters’ friend’s dad passed away, and his eulogy listed a lot of things he did, and my dad was saying, “Man, maybe I should start doing stuff…”  I laughed, telling him we’ll post his internet web browser history for his eulogy, since that’s all he does, really.  My mom told me not to be so mean to him, but someone has to press his buttons! 

So I was kinda bummed my dad wasn’t coming out to snap photos today.  I head down to my usual 26th Street, and parked in the lot.  The local guys, Big Mikey, Ross, Don, Roy and the usual crew were all out today.  The waves looked really fun from the parking lot, so I hurried to get changed.  I told myself to slow down, so I don’t over psyche myself. 

It wasn’t too crowded at first, and I knew all the guys at the peak, so I paddled into a set wave going right.  I saw the lip curl up and get hollow, but I didn’t have the presence of mind to pull in.  I just pumped a few times on the face and kicked out. 

Roy asked me how that wave was, and I said it was ok, but I wished I pulled in. 

So, the next wave… I made sure I pulled in.  The right started to throw over, and I crouched low.  I got blinded by some spray, and then I saw the C curve after the spray for a split second.  Then, I got pinched inside, and send down, then back up, then back down further.  It was a small wave, but I still got worked pulling into the barrel.  No risk, no reward indeed!  I actually hit the bottom, and had to climb my leash to get back up. 

Roy was shredding it as usual.  Oscar, the guy on the MR twin fin colored with blue and red, was catching a lot of waves.  Mikey, our mayor, was catching some good ones too!  I was stoked to see all the older dudes catching some waves. 

Mikey and I get into a conversation about being old and feeling young.  I joked with him saying that he may be 60+ but he surfs like a 20 year old.  He said he wished he had arms like a 20 year old, but that was the important thing:  To feel young and have fun while surfing. 

Large Chicken Pho that warms the body and soul
He got into talking about Wounded Warriors, where he volunteered a few times and has met Kelly Slater.  Wounded Warriors is a program set up by the military (or army?) that takes wounded vets out into the ocean to surf.  Our friend Matt has volunteered for this too.  He said that Kelly Slater said, “The best surfer is the one who is having the most fun.” 

And then he elaborated on how one of the local guys, a knee boarder on a foamie, is probably one of the best surfers because he’s always having fun.  I’ve always seen him in the water and in the parking lot, and wondered why he never stood up but just knee boarded.  Well, turns out he had liver transplant, kidney transplant, and something with his lymph node, and so he’s unable to stand up so quickly.  But, he still comes to surf all the time, because he loves surfing!  I was awe struck by that, and had a new found respect for these older dudes out in the water.  They all look out for each other to make sure everyone gets waves, and are genuinely stoked to see one of their Ohana catch a wave.

My wave of the day came early in the session, where an outside set peaked up right in front of me.  There were three dudes next to me, and we all paddled to get out of the way of the first set.  The first set was being ridden by three dolphins, the real locals of this surf spot.  The second set was just as clean, but we were all out of position again.  Another blue green wave came towards us, and the three other dudes paddled over it, but I thought to myself, I think I can make this one!  So, I flip around and start paddling and digging my arms into the wave.  I feel the speed pick up, and pop up.  I can hear the local dudes going “WhoooooOOOOooooo!!!”  and “GO GO GO GO!!” so I tell myself to just stick the drop and ride it through.  The wave was just a massive emerald wall that cleanly peeled down the line.  I made it to the end of the wave and fall on the white water chop, and make my way back to the line up. 

“Oh man, that was a good one!” Mikey tells me.

“Yea, it was ok,” I said.

“Did you see the dolphins riding with you??” said another local

“Yea, those dolphins caught some air behind you as you rode that thing!”

And so, collectively, the local dudes acknowledged my ride, saying that dolphins were surfing behind me, went under me, then came back behind me and jumped out of the wave.  I had no idea.  But I was stoked to hear that I had that wave of the day, where everyone was hooting me and I actually made it.  I just wished my dad was out photographing this session. 
Cherylita getting ready to paddle out~!

The rest of the session was mellow, and I caught a few good ones.  Tom Yamamoto was out there too, and he actually snaked me on a right.  But, he did this nice top turn going back side, so it was all good. 

I caught one right where Roy was on the left heading towards me.  He was telling me to cut back earlier, but I cut back a bit later.  I was stoked with the cut back, and he gave me props for it, but said I should have cut back earlier to keep the section going.  Looking back, I should have cut back earlier.  Oh well, another lesson learned. 

So, I take a wave in since the lulls got a little longer.  I caught a lot of waves today, and shared a lot of waves too.  It was a great session. 

Back at the parking lot, my dad pokes his head out over the ledge.  I asked him when he got here, and he said around 700 AM.  I asked if he was snapping photo’s, and he said he did!  I asked him if he got the one with the dolphins, but he said he didn’t see any dolphins.  Turns out, he got the last part of the wave where I fall off my board from the chop.  NICE! Hahahaha  but he did get the shot with the cut back.  I was stoked he came out, since he has been stuck in the house for many weekends. 

Cheryl showed up when I was getting changed!! Yay~ she was a bit late, but hey, at least she came to the beach!!  The waves were still good, but I had to leave because we had some business to handle. 

Roy's body shop
My dad and I drive to Roy’s body shop, and we drop off the car and grab some pho for breakfast/lunch. 

What a great day!  I spent the rest of the day studying, and then off to Metro CafĂ© with my family to meet up my aunt who flew in from Japan two nights before.  We grab a hefty dinner, and watched the Oklahoma City Thunder’s Kevin Durant hit the game winning shot once we got home.  All in all, a wonderful, beautiful day, and it all started by me waking up at 530 AM.

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!!!