Off shore winds
Roy has been touting about SW swells hitting Zero’s for a while. I’ve been here with him once before when it was crappy, and I had a lot of fun. So, knowing that there was some swell in the water, I was excited to try out the spot.
Roy and I were texting back and forth on Friday. We had talked earlier in the week to go to Zero’s, and so he and I were just hammering out details on when to meet at Zero’s. He texted me that he will be there early, so I said I’ll be there.
How early was early? I was out the door before 600 AM, and I was passing by Sunset point by 610 AM. I called him, and there was no answer. I hope he just didn’t want to pick up his phone because he was driving. I pass by Topanga, where small, perfect two footers were rolling through unridden. I pass by Malibu, and there was a pack of surfers in the water, waiting for ankle slappers rolling through.
I call Roy again, and there was no answer. Fuck, did he flake? Am I making a solo mission all the way to Zero’s, and not going to see anyone I know? Well whatever, no turning back now. I go one way and its always straight forward. I continue along my journey, past Zuma, past El Matador beach, and finally to Zero’s.
I get out of my car, walk to the overlook, and expect nothing but two foot ankle slappers. A five foot set booms on the shore, and rattles my senses awake. I run back, as a body boarder who was parked behind me is walking towards me.
“Looks fun!” I say to him.
“Yea! See you out there!” he tells me.
I walk down, and see Roy’s car. Well, at least I have one guy I know in the water.
I get to the beach, and the line up is crowded. I’m not turned off by that, but I am turned off by the fact that the five footer that I just saw when I arrived was almost a mirage. The ocean was dead flat, and everyone just seemed to be shooting the shit. I take my time stretching before paddling out.
I see Roy in the line up, and we exchange pleasantries. He tells me to watch out for the boil, but that the waves are fun. Hopefully when the tide fills in, it will be more fun.
There is a rock that creates a boil in the middle of the line up. I saw a guy standing on it while I was sitting in the line up. It’s the first time I’ve seen Zero’s crowded, so I’m trying to read everyone’s ability and priority, along with the waves coming in.
There was a 30 minute wait for the sets today. The lulls lulled us to sleep. I found myself yawning in between the waves.
I go for a warm up wave, where the body boarder I met earlier told me to go for it. He was on my inside, but he gave it up and let me go. The section runs out ahead of me and another surfer takes off about ten feet away from me. If I was only faster…
I was looking for some of the rights, but they would just fold over and wedge up too much for me. I ate it on every attempt going right.
A surfer in blue and grey, whom I later learned is named Matt (we called him Matty) was sitting wide out of all of us. He’s a goofy footer that attends the University of Hawaii as a junior, and is studying Marine Biology. He takes off on a right that swings way wide of us, and a SUP snakes him. He hoots him off, and pumps a beautiful line on the face. He gets to the inside section and does a check turn before ripping a bottom turn and busting the fins out on his backside on the inside. The whole line up blew up with hoots on that move.
I get to talk to another local who grew up in Hawaii too. He was really friendly, loud, and big. He was a happy camper though, and commanded respect from the line up. However, he wasn’t arrogant about it, and was joking around with everyone, even with me, whom he just met.
“Oh shit, here comes Stevie! Can’t wait for him to get in the line up…” he said sarcastically. It seems everyone knows everyone here, but unlike other “local heavy” spots, these guys are welcoming of any new guys with good vibes.
I also get to talk to another guy in blue, who is a lifeguard around here. He said July 4th was a crazy day for him to work, since everyone and their mama came out to the beach. He wished he was able to surf, but he was out saving lives the whole day.
Roy was catching a lot of waves as always, and so was Matty. They were both pushing me into waves, but my ability backside wasn’t on par with them, and I would get dropped in on by others since they could see I couldn’t make the sections on my backside. Time after time, they would ask if I caught a good one, and I would have to be honest and reply, “My backside isn’t where I want it to be, so I got dropped in on and couldn’t make the section.” If I was just faster, I would make other surfers back out of the waves I’m on.
Roy went back and forth from our spot near the boil in front of the stairs, to the south in front of the rocks, then back to the spot near the stairs. He was catching a lot of waves all to himself. Every time he would have a huge smile on his face. He is definitely my surf guru.
Maya, whom I met last time, came out too. She is a beautiful Italian lady who owns a few restaurants. We catch up a little bit, and I try to push her into some waves. The crowd was getting to her, and she disappeared after a frustrating one and a half hours of sitting and waiting and wishing. Un altra volta (another time.)
While I was on the inside, I get to see Matty’s ability up front. He was going on a left, maneuvering through crowds, threading the needle. He drew beautiful lines that permeated with me throughout the whole day. He carves and pumps with ease. The lines he drew on the big canvas at Zero’s was so beautiful, I wished I could draw those too.
I’m in a great position for a left that passes up everyone. Or maybe everyone passed up for me. I paddle with intent, with passion, and catch speed. Right at the moment when I feel the slide, I see two surfers right in front of me. One was a girl, another was a guy. They probably just got out of the water. I had to bail on my board and tug on my leash as to not hit them. I resurface with a disappointed look on my face, and the girl and the guy both look unbothered, as if they had done nothing wrong. Perhaps they didn’t do anything wrong.
Roy asks, “Why didn’t you go? Matty went right, you were in the perfect position for that left! It opened up so nicely man…”
“There were two people right in front of me, if I had gone I would have ran them over.”
“You still should have gone,” he says.
Damn, I guess so.
I surfed a total of 4 hours, but really, it was a lot of sitting and waiting and talking. I see a text from Matt, which read “Skunked.” He went to HB this morning, while I went to Zero’s. He went south, I went north. We both drove the same amount I fancy, but one of us got skunked, and one of us scored.
I would have stayed longer, but I had to meet my friend Lydia and her fiancé Dan for lunch in Korea Town. We went to Yu Chun Naeng Myun in Korea Town. It was definitely some of the best Korean noodles I’ve ever had. The spicy wasn’t that spicy because I poured all the broth into the noodles bowl. But I think that was just perfectly refreshing. On top of that, we got an order of Kimchee Mandoo (kimchee dumplings) to go with it. So good! A starving surfer like myself could get his fill on about $13.
|Naeng Myun with Kimchee Mandoo <3|
Lydia then treated us both to some boba as we caught up a little bit more on life and plans for our near future travels.
Mahalos Mother Ocean!! Zero’s is a great place to get my backside game going.