Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Stolen Boards -- HELP FIND THEM PLEASE!!!!

Hi Fellow Bloggers:

Over this past weekend, Matt aka Donny Duckbutter organized another trip to San Onofre.  It was a great weekend of surfing with friends and spending time with friends away from the hustle and bustle of LA, except that on Sunday, we had a rude awakening while packing up.. FIVE boards were stolen from us, right on the military base of Camp Pendleton.  Here is a list of the boards stolen:

1.  A 5'10" Yellow Zamora Quad Fish 

2. Brand new 6'0" DEV motor boad round pin tail. The 6'0" DEV was a custom epoxy board shape for "Ricky."

3.  Brand new 8'0" Becker with some red on the rails

4. 6'2" Channel Islands Flyer

5. 5'10" Quad Entrophy Fish W/bambo deck & a light green bottom. 

We have put an RSS feed up on craigslist to track any of the above key words.  If any of you bloggers have found anything in your local surf shop, please let us know!!  

We will never make the mistake of having our boards out, unattended, even on the military base.  It's a horrible thorn on our sides to know that someone that was on the military base would do such a heartless and shameful act, but it is what it is.  


Thursday, March 7, 2013

Surgical Strike - Hazey Afternoon 030213

Surf: 3-5 feet faces, occasional 6 footer
Water: Cold
Atmosphere: Sunny!
Winds: On shore

I took out my Ukulele and jammed on it while we watched the waves crash on the sand.  We brought out our little snacks and shared with everyone.  We started to kill beers in order to reduce the amount we take back home.  One of the worst things to do at a camp is to bring too much food and bring it back.  So, we did our best to eat all of our snacks and beers that we brought.

Rick and Jimmy B came back, saying their secret spot wasn’t so secret, and that it was mad crowded.  We told them that although it was crowded we were, we got ours.  I kept jamming on the Uke as we passed the time….

We had to clear out of camp by 12 noon since there was another camping party coming.  We showed the meaning of haste and cleaned up everything.  The non-military personnel parked up on the bluffs near the office and Matt walked up to help with any loose luggage.  We reconvened at Matt’s favorite Chruches Tree that he parks at every single time he is staycationing down at San Onofre.  Matt said to just chill and relax until we feel like surfing again. 

I watched the waves at Churches, and people were getting long rides!!  There were definite stand outs, but it didn’t take much skill to catch the waves.  And this was Churches!!  I couldn’t imagine what Middles was doing….

Bri was in and out of naps on the sand, reading the surf magazine Rick brought for us.  “You guys can just chill, and we can paddle out whenever,” Matt said. 

I couldn’t wait.  I said, “I’m not waiting, I have to paddle out now.”  GO FOR IT.  The light clouds made a grey haze on the horizon, but the sun still blazed through and baked us on the sand. 

Matt and Khang said they were going to have a beer as Dais and I stretched out for our next session.  However, there weren’t any more cups and on base, you can’t have an open container unless it is aluminum.  “Well, surf it is then!” Matt said.  “That was easy,” he added.  Indeed, it seemed like everything just fell into place this whole day. 

We took a group picture before we headed off.  Bri stayed behind to tan and rest and keep our smaller camping space hospitable. 

“Brah, imagine, it might be one of those sessions…!” I told Matt.  One of my best sessions here still was that day Dais, Matt and I went to a secret spot and got skunked, then came here, and absolutely scored uncrowded, pumping surf.  And the conditions at Churches resembled that one faithful day.  The clouds were rolling through, but the breeze was light.  I could only be patient as we walked down in anticipation to the Mons Pubis.

I always love the smell of Trestles.  Its unadulterated smell of nature fills my lungs and heart.  The faint hint of seaweed melds with the golden Ocean breeze.  Occasionally the sounds of waves crashing would be interrupted by the honk of the train. 

There was a group of surfers in the same spot as this morning, working a peak that broke both left and right.  The left seemed to be working nicer, but the lulls were long.  We would see the sun glistening on the Ocean surface as the surfers bobbed up and down.  Then, a set would break and surfers were getting some nice rides.  We opted to surf a bit north of them, just like the morning session.  There was no need to be packed up like sardines in a box. 

I think deep down, I knew it was going to be one of those memorable sessions.  But I kept my mouth shut so I wouldn’t jinx it.  I could feel it inside though… this was going to be a magical session. 

Dais, Khang, Hideki, Matt and I paddled out in the same spot and waited for the waves.  There were some longboarders waiting out the back, but we had our space.  Matt drew first blood again.  He got this nice left that swung wide from the pack, and he was able to take the wave far to shore. 

I caught a left that lined up perfectly for me.  However, after bottom turning, I blew the turn and got unstuck.  I should have cranked my whole body on the wave instead of just my lower body.  I got unstuck and flew out the back of the wave.  Although I was mad at myself about blowing the wave, I laughed it off.  The sun was out, the sky was blue, and it was beautiful out here. 

However once I was paddling back out on this wave, the ten wave set came out of no where.  Khang kept trucking through, and got out further quicker than me.  On about the fourth wave of the set, a nice right rolled by, right where he was.  He flipped around, and paddled for an empty gem.  It was probably the best ride that he got at Trestles in his whole life.  I didn’t get to see the whole wave since I had to duck dive a lot more waves after that, but he came back after a long time, and said “That was such a sick right!”

Hideki’s wave of the day came from this session.  He was on the inside, but he muscled his way in on a wave.  He snaked a guy, but the guy simply pumped around Hideki.  Hideki took off on the left and got a long ride to shore.  He came back with that ear-to-ear smile only surfers know.  

Khang paddled up to the peak where the longboarders were.  I lost sight of him for a while, but saw him catching some nice waves from the peak.  Matt was with him for a bit too, battling it out with the pack of longboarders. 

I sat on the inside, minding my own business.  Dais and I would hoot people into waves, and throw shakas to surfers if they got nice rides.  They would flash a huge smile back at us.  We brought the good Aloha energy to the line up.  Even the old salty dudes were super stoked when they got hooted in by two young guys. 

I dropped in on a guy by accident.  Well, it wasn’t on accident.  I wasn’t going to back down on the set.  But the guy was super fast, and by the time I got to my feet, I saw him pumping down the line from the corner of my eyes.  I thought to myself, “I have to kick out!” but when I thought that, I fell on my ass.  In a last attempt to save myself, I pulled on my leash so the board wouldn’t shoot out into his line.  Khang said that EVERYONE saw me snake that guy.  I felt horrible for snaking him, but I never saw him after that.  I’m sure he was in the water, and I wanted to apologize to him, but oh well.

I wanted to get the sets, but the peak was infested with longboarders.  So, I sat on the Mons Pubis, and I kept my eyes on the horizon.  I would see these two longboarders bob up and down, and used them as buoys to indicate when a wave would come.  The sky turned to a grey haze, and the blinding reflection on the water made it hard to tell which waves were sets and which waves were duds.  The grey line up melded with the sky, and the only indicators of waves were the bobbing surfers on the horizon.  I had to let go of all my thoughts and just let the waves speak to me. 

The session seemed to just go by in a drunken haze.  I remember that I was surfing, trying to correct my stance, my positioning, and my turns.  I’m not sure how many waves I caught this session, but it was one of my highest wave counts.  I would catch a wave, and feel I was surfing too much on my front foot.  So, I would correct that on the next wave.  Then, I would feel that I wasn’t carving deep enough, so I would draw out longer lines on the next wave.  I kept trying to improve on each wave, and went for each set wave that swung my way.  The Mons Pubis was pumping!!!! 

“Man, you’re a machine!” Hideki said.  His arms were treading water, while I paddled back from another wave. 

“Just keep laughing, and you’ll get more energy,” I told him.  “Right Dais?”

Dais smiled back.

My new remedy for muscle cramps or overall lethargy is to laugh.  Just laugh out loud.  No matter what.  You might sound psychotic, but hey, if you’re not laughing, then you’re taking surfing way too seriously.  And strangely enough, when you laugh, you feel energized.  Just try it. 

More outside sets would break, cleaning up the line up.  “Small price to pay for these conditions,” I thought to myself.  Just a few duck dives and I was back in a peaceful state. 

Matt and Khang got tired of battling it out with longboarders, and started sticking to the inside.  That proved successful since they got a lot of rides on the inside.  I saw Matt and Khang going for lefts.  Matt and Khang were both killing it again on their shred sticks.  It really made me think that I want a board just like theirs.  They are taking their game to a whole ‘nother level. 

Another outside set would break and clean up the line up.  Some lucky longboarder would get the outside sets all the time.  The lulls were long, but the sets lined up perfectly. We all hooted them onto the sets as we duck-dived out of their way.  It was a line-up full of aloha spirit.

I saw Dais catching a lot of waves working the inside next to me.  I’m not sure how many waves he caught, but they were more than I could count on two hands.  He sat further down towards Churches away from the crowds, and scored a lot of waves on his own. 

My session culminated in this one insider.  I saw the three longboarders out on the peak bob up, and knew that the wave was going to break for me.  I paddled, thinking to myself, “Meet and greet, ride and slide.” – it was a lesson Fransauce taught me.  If you want the wave, you’ve got to meet and greet it.  Then you can ride and slide on her.  The peak was all mine, and I paddled hard for it.  I’m not sure what I did on the wave.  I wish I did.  All da boys called it “The Right.”  They said I did two turns on it, but I barely remember that.  I was caught up in the moment so much that by the time the wave was done, I was pumping on the flats, and looking back at the wave, thinking to myself, “Was I just riding that thing?”  I knew it was a good ride because of how I felt but I didn’t remember anything that happened. 

Hideki paddles back and yells, “Masanobu!  That was a nice ride!!” 

Khang, Dais and Matt give me props too.  Getting a great wave is great, but getting a great wave and having all da boys see it?  Just PERFECT. 

I definitely burned out all of my dopamine and serotonin in this whole day.  I couldn’t believe how my body was operating after four hours of sleep still.  I took a close out to end the session.  This day will forever be in our memories as the best day we’ve had at Trestles.  Despite the crowds, everyone got theirs.  The waves just kept coming… and coming… and coming. 

And to think, I was going to drive down here by myself and leave early!  What a bad decision that would have been.  None of these memories filled with happiness would have been possible without da boys.  I am forever grateful to be surrounded with such great people with so much aloha spirit. 

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!!  Mahalos to all da boys who made this trip possible, and oh-so-memorable.  I wish I had better memory to recall everything, but you know what?  It’s all about the feeling that we shared that day.  And this one day… has got to be the best!  It will be hard to top this surgical strike.  We were efficient.  We came, we saw, we conquered.  Vini vidi vici. 

Just GO FOR IT!!!!

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Surgical Strike - Morning at Trestles 030213

Surf Report: 2-4 foot with the occasional 5
Water: Cold
Atmosphere: Sunny!
Winds: Off shore

If you haven’t heard yet, I didn’t pass my CPA exam on Audit that I took at the end of January.  I found out Monday morning and I felt pretty devastated.  I received a 72, and I needed a 75 to pass.  The test is based on a nation-wide curve, so I was right under the curve of “pass.”  Basically, it was a “Fuck You” from the CPA profession.  When I checked my score that morning, I saw a “NO CREDIT” on my summary, and saw my score after clicking the link.  I was upset.  I sat on my floor, Indian style, and closed my eyes… I thought about what I just saw, and comprehended that I haven’t passed yet.  I’m not gonna lie, my closed eyes were getting ready to gush some waterworks.  I was upset for a bit, closing my eyes, imagining all the things I had wanted to do when I passed, such as texting my friends that I finally did it, telling my parents I’ve achieved my goal (for the time being), or hugging my boss and telling him “Thank you” a million times and telling him that I passed, and then I let it go.  I had to get over it.  I’m not going to have that same reaction I did last time in November.  I had to dress right to make me feel better.  I wore one of my favorite blue pin stripe shirts with the white collars and my favorite blue tie that I bought in Venezia, Italy.  I always believe that if you look good, you feel good.

When I told my boss that I didn’t pass, he told me to not worry about it for a week.  Just focus on working, relaxing, and enjoying myself.  After one week, I should start studying hardcore again.  It was just three fucking points after all.  I’ll pass next time.  Half an hour later, he calls me into his office and tells me that I should research more classes I could take, more study material I could utilize, and contacting more people in order to pass.

“Start looking for them NOW,” he said.

“Wait, didn’t you just say to take a week off?” I thought in my head.  I know why he was saying two different things to me; he just wanted me to pass.  He just wants me to be a friggin CPA.  So I nodded and said, “Yes, I’ll do that.”

I didn’t feel any worse than I did that morning when I closed my eyes and meditated.  I was glad that was the “low” point for this test.  As always, I had my close friends and family send me texts or calls for support, saying that I’ll get it next time and other positive messages.  The upset feeling wasn’t so bad!  Seriously, I felt like last time’s pain was much worse than what I experienced that morning.  I was upset, and then I wasn’t.  Plain and simple. 

Matt, aka Donny Duckbutter, posts on our facebook page that he’s organizing a surgical strike to Trestles.  It’s our first trip to Trestles in 2013.  I personally haven’t gone to Trestles since 2011.  Hard to believe… the crown jewel of Southern California, and I haven’t been back in over a year. 

At the time Matt posted this on facebook, I had been working 55+ hours per week, and I already hit my quota for the week before Wednesday.  My head was spinning with everything, and at first I thought I shouldn’t go.  No, I shouldn’t go since I need to work.  But then I thought, no, I should just go… at least for the morning.  Maybe you can drive yourself in the morning and head back so you can work in the afternoon.  No, you should head over Friday night, so you can surf early in the morning and then head to work.  Yea, that’s kinda tough, but I’ll do that…

So, I RSVP’d saying that I will head out.  No MAYBE’s, just a firm YES, I WILL FUCKING BE THERE.  I needed to get away for a bit. 

Then, Dais messaged me that Khang and him were getting off work around 10 PM, so they can swoop me up after work and we could head out straight from my house.  I told him I was planning on driving out by myself, and he simply replied, “Why?” 

So I asked myself, yes, why?  Why drive by yourself, and head back to LA yourself?  What is the fucking rush?  Why can’t you wait thirty minutes for them to get off work, and then head out with them?  You know what, just don’t go to work.  That way, you don’t have to go back to LA so early.  Just unplug yourself, and GO FOR IT.  And so I took their carpool. 

Friday night, we stop by Little Saigon and eat some bomb ass Pork Chops with steamed rice and pickles with fish sauce.  Fuck, it must have been one of the best pork chops I’ve had.  On top of that, they had a cup of Pho broth on the side, and that tasted amazing too.  If the Pho broth itself is amazing, that means the Pho must be fucking astronomically amazing. 

After filling up on that, we kept driving down South.  Khang didn’t have his license because he lost his wallet, had me drive into Camp Pendleton.  I, being the genius, drove to the stop sign, and asked, “Straight?”

“Uhh, yea, straight,” said Khang.  And by straight, he meant straight to the left.

I went straight, and went right back onto the 5 freeway. 

After a good 15 minute drive on the 5-freeway-which-has-no-exits, we made a U-Turn, and headed back to base.  Finally, at 1:00 AM, we were at the campsite.  We slept in the van, in anticipation of the next day.  It took me until 2:00 AM to fall asleep, but alas, we were camping.  I just wish I had brought a blanket. 

6:00 AM, I was wide awake. The sun was up and it was cold on my face.  I saw Matt scurry around our van, and I tapped the window for him to open the door (Khang’s sliding doors don’t open from the inside.)  I greeted Matt with a hug and greeted Rick also.  Jimmy B was on deck for this surgical strike too, and Hideki was still knocked out in his car. 

The morning seemed to pass slowly, but perhaps it was because I was taking in everything moment by moment.  Rick would take the pot of boiled eggs off the burner and put on a teapot.  Matt was light on his feet opening bags of food and fresh fruits and preparing hot water for us.  We slowly got assimilated around the camp site, watching more and more people fill into the parking lot and walk off to Trestles and Old Man’s. 

Rick and Jimmy B would opt to surf a secret spot further south, but we six, Matt, Brianna, Dais, Hideki, Khang, and I, stayed here.  The waves looked good from where we were, and we definitely knew that it would be good here no matter what.  The only factor: Crowds

"Dude, I think we're gonna have one of those sessions," I told Matt.  I didn't want to psyche us out, but I felt that it was going to be a classic Trestles day.  The kind of day you write home to your parents, saying how you scored, and boast to all your peers on what great waves you had, and how you spend the whole day at the beach because it's just that good.  

We all walked down to Middles near Battle Positions.  It didn’t seem like it was breaking towards BP’s but where we were near the Mons Pubis, it seemed like there were waves coming through, and there wasn’t a surfer in the area.  There were surfers south of us, but they were working a left that filtered through that spot.  We all stretched, some more than others, and hit the water. 

I think Matt drew first blood this morning session.  However, the waves were working so well at our spot that soon, everyone had a wave under their belt. 

Brianna caught two good rights (I think.)  One was easily four foot on the face, and she was in perfect position.  There was a guy on her inside, but he backed out for her.  I was on the outside of him, and I backed out too.  Brianna took off in all our envy as I hooted.  She probably had a good ride on the face, trimming down the line.  I couldn’t watch since there was another set wave on the horizon.

Some of these sets were just massive close outs.  There was no where to go but straight down if you were to ride them.  These sets would clear up the line up from time to time.

We must have sold the spot since more people started to paddle out where we were.  At first, I was like, “Oh, ok coo, just one other dude.” But that quickly changed when there were ten other dudes. 

Hideki got a left where he took off on the inside where the wave became steep, and made it to the face.  He took too much of a high line and accidently kicked out though.  He said he was bottom turning and then just lost all his speed at the top. 

Khang was killing it on the lefts!  His backside definitely has more oomph on the turns.  I remember seeing a wave from the inside where he got a solid turn off, then went down the line.  On another left, Dais and I saw him pump down the line, then initiate his cut back from behind, complete it, then pump down the line and bank off the close out section.  We both threw him double shaka’s and splashed the water to show him how much spray we saw. 

Seeing Dais at this spot is surreal.  I’ve had all of my best sessions at Trestles with Dais and Matt.  So, to see him surfing here and see his evolution makes me speechless.  But hey, I’m a blogger, so let’s put it in words!  Dais stuck to his guns, playing the inside game.  I remember seeing this one right where he just casually paddled into it, popped up, and took off down the face.  I could see him go up and down the face from behind.  I was just like WHOA, and had to laugh.  He’s improved so much so quickly, it’s kinda scary. 

Dais took off on a close out wave with me, and we got pretty close.  It was a near collision, but Dais stayed cool, calm, and collected, and steered his board away in the white water.  If this was a year ago, he would have panicked, fell off his board, and I would have to either dodge his board with Ninja awesomeness or catch his board with even greater Ninja awesomeness.  But he didn’t, and that was impressive to me.

Matt was the heat winner today.  From the get go, he was just unleashing his Motor Boat Too on these waves.  As Dais put it, “Matt really upped his game on that board.”  He had a lot of stand out waves for the day, going front side and backside, but to me the best wave he had was mid-way through our session.  He caught this one left behind the peak and started pumping on the wave.  He made two guys back out, and climbed the face for a quick check turn.  Then he pumped further down, and then fucking unleashed a nasty roundhouse cutback on his front side.  Then he just kept pumping down the line until the wave closed out. 

I remember a gnarly outside set peaking its ugly head out of no where approaching us.  Bri and I were on the outside, but we were in trouble nevertheless.  I saw Bri go over the first wave, and I had to duck dive.  Then, I saw a second set, and Bri was in bad position.  If she was able to duck dive her tanker, she would have been ok, but that board is too thick.  I hoped that she would just make it over, but she didn’t.  I was right behind her, so I took an early duck dive.  She started about ten yards ahead of me, but ended up fifteen yards behind me.  She said she passed over me and got dragged in the white water. 

There was a longboarder taking off on a set that swung wide of Lowers and was tearing it apart.  But, there was also another dude in front of him who snaked who was tearing it up too.  They were both pumping up and down continuously, synchronizing, doing pumps and carves like a DNA double helix.  Finally, the guy who got snaked got off towards shore, and the snake got off eventually.  I thought they were both friends, but they weren’t.  The guy who got snaked waited for the other surfer to paddle back, and I pointed him to get out of the water. 

“Hey, it’s 9:08, and I think I’m gonna head out at 9:30.  But you guys take your time,” Matt said.

What, already?  I can’t believe it’s been two hours surfing already.  I felt like the time just flew by.  I was in the moment so much that I lost track of time.  There were a lot of waves I caught despite the crowds, and so I didn’t mind getting out at this time.  On top of that, I felt my legs starting to cramp up.  Ok, next wave I see, I’m GOING FOR IT, and I’m gonna put everything I have in it.  All my energy is going to this one last wave. 

I see a set swinging wide right, and there are two guys going for it.  One is way behind the peak, and the second guy is sorta behind the peak.  But I wasn’t going to just let his opportunity.  Dais was next to me, but he backed out as I popped up. I pumped and carved, and did a small check turn.  I kept pumping and finished with a semi-hack off the top, and stuck the maneuver on the white water.  I hopped off and felt my shin muscle on my left leg cramp up. Well, what a great way to get out.

I left the water and stretched on the sand.  Hideki rode in and we talked over the morning on how fun it was.  Matt was south of us and watched Khang and Dais ride in eventually.  We all congregated together, giving props to Matt for his heat-winning day.  That second turn on that wave!! So sick. 

We took a hot shower with a cold beer in hand and just chilled out for the morning. 

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!!  Can’t wait to write part two of this…