Monday, January 21, 2013

Surf In Paradise, Pabs (1964 - 2013)

I got a text from Surfing Grandma that one of our fellow bloggers, Pabs, had past away.  I never met the guy in person, but I felt that I knew him through his blog.  His blog was genuine and always STOKED when he hit the water. 

A few months ago, he felt a POP in his lower left chest area.  The fellow bloggers left him encouraging comments to stay positive, and that injuries will heal. 

Fast forward to a few days ago, and his close friend posts a reply on his blog that he had past away.  I was in shock and couldn't really process the fact that Pabs had passed away.  Is it weird that I feel like I lost a friend, even if I hadn't met him once?  I suppose that is why we surfers call it a "surf community."  No matter where you come from, or no matter what you do besides surf, we are all connected by surf, by Mother Ocean, and by the overall feeling of the STOKE. 

Pabs always wrote about the stoke.  It didn't matter if it was 1 foot or 5 foot.  He surfed the icy cold waters of NorCal all the time, searching for the stoke.  Towards the end of his life, his blog was sparse and not stoked.  But from what I've read, it seems that his stoke filled up a lifetime and a half of anyone's life. 

Surfing Grandma proposed we do a small paddle out for Pabs.  I hope this becomes a reality.  We are a surfing community, and when we lose one of our comrades, it is only fitting to see them out to Sea.  We are all children of the Ocean.  The Ocean does not divide us... She unites us. 

Here's one for you, Pabs!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Small and Perfect 011313 26th Street

Surf: 2-3 feet faces
Winds: Off-shore
Atmosphere: Sunny
Water: Cold (low 50’s)

Sunday what a fun day!  I knew today was going to be smaller than Saturday, so I checked out Rosecrans first.  The lines seemed to be rolling in, but the higher tide was killing it.  I thought that I missed the window because I woke up so late… I woke up at 600 and arrived at the beach around 700.  I passed on Rosecrans and headed to 26th Street.  Old, faithful 26th Street…

There were barely any heads in the line up.  Actually, there were barely any heads in the parking lot.  Calvin was barely getting changed into his wetsuit.  Ross was already changed, and I saw Roy’s car (my old surf mobile) already parked in the first stall.  So, I figured it had to be somewhat good, since yesterday was pretty good while it lasted. 

The sand blistered my feet as I walked down to the beach.  The sun was just peaking over the million dollar houses in Manhattan Beach.  The sun did little to warm any part of the beach though.  The winds were biting at my bare face.  My feet hurt just from walking on the sand.  My fingers felt frozen from the wind chill.  It was another cold, blistering morning at the beach. 

There were only a few heads out when I paddled out.  There was Oscar, Eric, Tim, Ray, Ross, Calvin, mystery surfer #1, and myself.  The waves just peeled perfectly from the north around the shit pipes to a bowl-like shape.  Eric was the first to pick up a gem from the outside.  He was perfectly on the peak and was pumping up and down from the take off.  He took that wave passed the Mons Pubis. 

Ross was killing it as always.  He would take off deep on the rights, check pump, snap, pump, pump, snap, pump, stall, and go totally vertical for a finishing backside snap.  He repeated this a few times and called it a day by 800.  He actually meant “One more wave,” when he said it.  Usually, when he says “One more wave,” it means ten more waves.  He probably had to take his kid to a baseball or basketball game. 

Ray, Tim, and Oscar were all on bigger boards, but kept hooting us shortboarders into waves.  All of us were truly just enjoying the spot, trading waves, and not giving a damn about how we surfed.  We went left and right on all of the set waves.  It was just amazing being able to share the spot with a few guys out.  I took off on a right that had a section ahead of me.  Ray was on the other side of the section, so he took off.  I bottom turned and did a small snap on the face before the white water section broke.  Ray apologized if he snaked me.  I told him not to worry, since he was in better position for the shoulder, and that he had been waiting for a while for a good one.  The older dudes were hooting us in to waves continuously.  We were hooting them into waves too.  It was just a good energy to be in at the moment.  Not a bad vibe was felt, even with myster surfer #1.  Eventually, the cold took a toll on all of them, and so they left. 

The north spot belonged to Calvin and myself.  I can hear Roy hooting further south near the tower, no doubt scoring another good left.  Him, Davey, and Don were on that peak. 

Calvin and I traded waves for a good half hour.  Small to medium waves rolled our way, pealing perfectly.  Calvin was on his blue bonzer board, and was super stylish pumping down the line.  His board was super responsive and he was able to bottom turn to the lip with ease on his bonzer. 

I was able to squeeze some of the cleanest rides out of the smallest waves.  The waves were peeling that perfectly this day.  I just couldn’t believe how good it was. 

“Oh, here we go!” Calvin said.

A set detonated on the outside, and started to bend and peel towards us.  I paddled furiously to meet the peak.  I swung around and started to kick and scratch.  I felt the wave lift me up as I took off on an angle.  I stood up, and instinctively stiffened up and put all my weight on my back foot.  I was on one foot for a split second, then fell off the wave of the day.  Un-fucking-believable.  I blew it. 

Oh well.

I caught more rights with Calvin as the spot grew crowded with the second shift.  They were the same dudes that “didn’t belong” that one day with the draining low tide.  They were having trouble catching the waves, especially since the high tide was now making the waves more mushy.  Calvin and I made our way towards the 26th Street tower.

Roy was on the tail end of the surf session, and so was I.  For some reason, the waves just south of the tower jacked up and made a difficult take off on this small day.  Roy caught a “last wave in” and headed back to the lot. 

Glen saw me and shouted my name to say hi.  I waved back in acknowledgement, asking how he was.  “COLD!” he said.  We both laughed. 

My last wave was a left where I tried to drag my leading arm into the face of the wave.  The little wave wedged up and created a nice face to caress.  The wave broke on the shore, and I was done.  My feet and hands were frozen cold, but my spirits were high. 

Although I blew the wave of the day, I didn’t really care about any of that, since I had a lot of waves under my belt.  There were just waves galore with only a few heads out.  Yes, it was small, and yes it was inconsequential surf, but man, how good is it when everyone is trading waves for a good hour and a half?  I don’t really recall a lot of the waves for the day because each wave was a carbon copy of the wave before: peeling, perfectly-shaped rights.  You just had to get up early and hit the water while it was still freezing cold. 

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!  Mahalos for rewarding the dawn patrollers. 

Monday, January 7, 2013

Cold Winters and Close Outs 010513

Wave Height: 2-4 feet
Atmosphere: Sunny with patchy clouds
Winds: Off shore
Water: Cold

I woke up late today... super late!! At about 6:30 AM, I got out of bed, and started doing my morning routine.  It's been a while since I woke up this late, but I was in the study zone last night, and needed a bit more rest for my weary head.

I really wanted to travel too, but I didn't muster up enough reasons to go north by myself.  I knew Dais and Tom would be out at 26th, and then my friend Mellie Mel texted me asking if I was surfing 26th.  I texted her back "Yea."

Matt was saying that he couldn't surf too long since he had to drop his brother off at the airport by 8:30 AM, and so he could only surf until 8:00.  He was already on the road and looking at Porto. 

"The winds are stroooong off shores... but there's no shape," he said.

Well, if I see ya at 26th, I'll see ya there, I told him. 

I got to 26th around 730, and saw that the lot was pretty empty for my late arrival.  None of the locals' cars were there.  Only a few scattered faces like Bruce were perched on the parking lot.  The winds were still off shore, but the waves were dumping. 

I couldn't quite catch any good waves this day.  The rip current was so strong that I was pulled out of the impact zone on my initial paddle out in record time.  I was actually amazed that I was able to read that while other surfers struggled to make it out. 

There was a left peak right in front of the brick house north of the Mons Pubis, and Davey was tearing it up.  Davey always rides thick, wide boards, and is probably the most skilled surfer out of all the locals.  He knows how to do it all: carves, floaters, and airs. 

He kept blasting the lip off of these lefts that would warp and wedge in front of us.  They were like small slabs where the Ocean just seemed to fold under and explode in a curtain of white water twice the size of the wave face. 

There were a lot of people that didn't belong in the line up out today.  There were a lot of surfers that didn't know how to paddle, or those who had a weak duck dive, or would wipe out on the worst choice of waves.  I wasn't fearful of their safety, I was more fearful of my own.  They could really hurt someone out here, but they probably don't notice that.  They are fully enthralled in their own struggles as they get pounded by the Ocean. 

Tom came out and I was super stoked to see him.  Up to that point, I was bickering to myself if I had made the right call to stay local.  I was questioning and doubting my choices, and wasn't having a fun time.  But, since a friend of mine showed up, the mood lightened up.

Dais showed up too, adding to my better mood.  He was saying that CC and Mellie Mel were in the lot, changing.  Another plus too!

It took CC and Mellie Mel twenty minutes to make it out into the line up.  They got caught on the inside shore pound, which wasn't really a shore pound, since the waves were just folding over themselves.  They were more like dangerous guillotines.

I remember having to keep paddling in because of the rip current.  But oh no, how the Ocean just punishes us for reading her incorrectly.  Out of no where a three wave set would show up, and just destroy us.

I suppose the one memorable ride for today was Dais, Tom, and me sharing a single wave.  We only went straight, but it was very fun just to catch it with the three stooges on it.

My legs were starting to cramp up.... no doubt because I didn't hydrate enough before coming in to the arena.  I massaged it out, and tried to catch that last wave that was never coming.

I saw Christina get pounded on the inside, and she finally made it over the last breaking wave.  But, I saw from the corner of my eyes that there was another rogue set approaching.  I signaled to CC of another wave, and started to paddle out.  Little did I know that I was going to get pounded by this one.

I was in the worst position ever.  I was right where the lip was going to land, and so I ditched my board (sorry, Randy.  I know this is a big no no) and dove under the wave.  I felt the wave pull me up and shoot me down.  I felt my leg being tugged by my leash, and then a sudden jolt and release.

There goes my board, I thought.

I resurface, and luckily no one was around me.  My board was no where in sight.  Another wave pounded my head, and I dove down once more.  I looked around to see if CC was ok, and she was paddling back out with a look of exhaustion.  She must have gotten pounded like fresh veal.

I started to paddle in, and my right leg cramps.  I stop paddling, and look around if I could hitch a ride from anyone.  No one in sight.  Fuck.  So, I started to paddle again, without kicking my right foot.  My paddling power felt weak without one foot, but I kept trucking through the waves, looking back occasionally to see if there was a wave breaking near me.  I had to roll under a few times from waves breaking on my head, and eventually made it to the shore.  A guy was nice enough to lay my board down on the sand as he exited the arena.

There were some guys on the beach, board to their side, with a look of defeat on their face.  They probably couldn't make it out.  There were some groms that were wet but were disinterested in the surf.  They probably got pounded too.

We were all victims today of the Ocean.  I hobbled up the beach with CC.  My cramp had lasted a good minute or two while swimming, and so it was going to last me a few days to recover from it.  I probably paddled a good thirty yards in the impact zone since it took me so long to get to shore.  Not even a cramped leg could slow me down that significantly.  Luckily, the leash of my board didn't break, but rather the little string that connects the leash to my board.

CC, Mellie Mel, and I went to Pho afterwards.  It was a warming experience, and a cherry popper for CC.  She had never had pho before.  We parted ways and headed to our individual destinations for the rest of our Saturday morning.

Mahalos Mother Ocean! 

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Happy New Year at 26th Street - 01012013

Surf Report: 2-4 feet with the occasional 5 footer
Water: Cold
Winds: Off shore
Atmosphere: Some patchy clouds, but sunny

HAPPY NEW YEAR!  Dawn patrol today!  I slept at 11:00 PM in order to be able to watch the sun rise and surf some waves on the first day of 2013… and I was successful!

Matt tagging the top off of a left
My dad came out to shoot some photo’s of us today, and Christina was riding in my car today since her car was still MIA.  Matt and Randy showed up, and so did Chris.  The usual local crew of surfers were out this morning, but the crowd was thinner than usual.  That’s what I love about surfing on holidays such as New Years where heavy drinking is involved:  not a lot of people make it out! 

I for one was still drunk when I woke up early in the morning… I honestly remember shooting a text to photographer Ruben Pina and putting my iphone down… and that’s it.  I don’t remember going to bed at all.  I must have been drunk and tired from the day. 

CC back in action... kinda. 
Anyways, the air was extremely chilly, but the water was even colder.  Apparently it was 54 degrees in the water today.  The waves were mushy and started out slow, but occasionally there were some draining set waves that rolled through the line up.  Christina and I caught up on how her trip back to the East coast was, but she was definitely out of synch with the Ocean.  She was on her Aussie board and seemed to have difficultly paddling in to waves today.  She did catch one nice right, taking off right at the peak.  I saw her go straight, so I decided to snake her, and I ate shit.  I came up from the white water, and saw Christina further inside, saying that she had a thick take off, and that satisfied her surf bug. 

“Was it like a thick cock?” I asked her.

“Way better than any thick cock,” she replied.  “I’ll take that feeling of the drop over a thick cock any day.”

Love her. 

Chris showed up unexpectedly, and we chatted up on how surf has been.  I swing around to take a left and he snakes me.  Well, I owe him a few waves since I snaked him before, so we can call it even now. 

Go Chris!  I mean, WTF man?!?! Well, i owed him a few
Chris went for a lot of rights today.  He got a clean right where he turned really hard on the cut back, and came unstuck.  He also took a crazy set wave close out towards the end of the session.  He took off pretty late, tried to make it, but free-fell and went over the falls.  It was probably one of the gnarliest wipe outs I’ve seen Chris take.  Happy new year to him!!  Gotta pay to play…
One of Chris's better moments today :P hahaha

Matt and Randy show up, and I give Matt some lovin in the water.  Matt and I catch up on the antics of last night, and reflect on his brand, spanking new board.  Randy occupied his usual spot at 33rd, barrel hunting the whole time.  Actually, my dad got a shot of him making a fat turn, so he wasn’t barrel hunting the WHOLE time, but barrel hunting the majority of this surf session. 

Matt seems pretty stoked on his new board.  Not only is he stoked, he is surfing really well on it.  I think the board suits his power style and he seems lighter on his feet.  We surfed together, separately and then together towards the end.  He got some nice rides in going backside, but I’m sure he wanted to go left a lot more. 

Roy was doing his thing as always.  He was catching set wave after set wave, taking them all the way to shore, cranking out two or three turns almost every time.  “Just surf every day, Klaude, you’ll get better,” he says to me.  He has only missed about ten days out of 2012.  I suppose if you do something every day, you’re bound to get better at it. 

I asked Christina if she had any New Years Resolutions.  She told me how when she went back to the East Coast, she noticed that all her High School friends all either had a family of their own, were engaged or getting married, or owned a house.  She explained how she has none of those currently, and that she wants to be ok with that.  She wants to establish her own roots this year, she said.  “And the first step in establishing those roots is through surfing,” she said. 
BAM!! and the lip had no chance of survival when Randy attacked

Christina got out of the water first, since she was tired, and was freezing cold.  I don’t blame her.  She has been out of the water for over a week, and so her paddling muscles must be worn out.  On top of that, the wind chill and water were downright cold for Southern California standards. 

Chris took his last wave, which was a right, to shore, and exited the water. 

I had a small turn on a right, and waited for the “last wave.”  Waited and waited and waited.  The second shift came out and made the Ocean a little bit more crowded.  I waited even more for the “last wave.”  It never came.  I took a close out and paddled in.

My dad asked, “What, you’re done already?  Why did you give up?” 

“I thought you’d be cold and wanted to go home already,” I told him.

“No, I’m fine, go surf more.  Go catch a good wave,” he said to me.

Well shit, I have to go back out now.  I strapped on my leash and headed back out. 

Davey, local rippah, on the second shift
Randy, barrel hunting all day
Matt was sitting with his brother, and I sat next to Roy.  Roy was egging me into some waves, but they weren’t breaking because of the higher tide.  The sets were big close outs, and the inside seemed like they were working better.  The inside seemed too drained out and dangerous though, so I opted to stay on the outside.  Don was on the inside, catching wave after wave. 

A small peak came my way, and I had the left all to myself.  I paddled for it, popped up, and saw Don in my line.  I stalled for him so he could duck dive under the wave.  I kept going down the line casually, not really pumping for speed.  My board just carried me through all the way to the inside where the wave sectioned off and closed out.  I was happy with that last wave, and came in. 
That would be Roy, in da barrel

I came in and saw Christina talking with the locals.  Chris was getting changed, since he had to go to his wife’s uncle’s place (?) in Pasadena and go see the Rose Parade.  He told me that he started a blog, found here at

He said that he started a blog because I had one too.  And that prompted me to write today’s blog, since I haven’t spent time writing at all.  Writing was my passion, but it took a back seat to the CPA exam.  I figure I could use the few hours I put in to the blogging sphere back to the CPA exam… and now that I have, I find my creative side dead like road kill.  So, I’m going to write more in my blog so I could consistently recount all the times I surfed, whether they be good, bad, or ugly. 

My New Years Resolution: "Go for it" - it being the barrel
Mahalos Mother Ocean!!  Happy New Year everybody!!!