Friday, October 31, 2014

Carlsbad? Carlsgood 102114 Part I

Surf Report: 3-4 feet
Atmosphere: Sunny
Winds: Offshore
Water: warm

1st Sesh:

It's my day off! I convinced my boss to give me Tuesday off instead of Friday or Monday because Tuesday was supposed to be firing. Pat had a campsite down in Carlsbad so I wanted to go visit him too. I convinced Matt to come down with me, and he obliged.

We leave LA around 600 AM. I say around 600 AM because Donny Duckbutter likes to leave right on the dot, and I was (and always will be) late to the party.

We make our way down to Carlsbad, and call Patricio. He's got a camp site with a few of his buddies. We bypass the parking lady while a group of people are lined up to pay for parking. Suckers.

We veer straight and go down the lines of RV's parked on the cliffs. It's tranquil and quiet still, and most of the campsites are deserted. We admire the campsites as we look for Pat's campsite. Campsite 60... Campsite 60...?

We reach the end of the lot. Damn, we made a wrong turn from the entrance. We swing around and head back.

We drive back, and the parking lady is opening her booth. She says that we have to pay $15. We say we're just checking out the surf first, and she gives us a temporary parking permit. We drive down to Campsite 60.

Patricio welcomes us with open arms. We park right by a HUGE RV camper. Like, fucking LUXURIOUS camper. He tells us that we need to pay the $15, so we head back once again.

Back at the booth, we're waiting behind a few guys. They are surfers - we can tell from their tans and sun bleached hair. I offer to pay the $15 since DD drove us all the way down here. We pay, and a guy behind us shouts aloud: "Hey, you guys going to 60? Can I get a ride with you guys?"

His name is Yantz, and he is traveling from Germany. I was apprehensive, but DD says yes without hesitation.

Whoa, nice gesture, I thought to myself.

Yantz is traveling with his family during his 36 day vacation. Germans get 30 days of vacation guaranteed by the government each year, and 36 days if you actually work. Holy shit!! Americans work way too much.

So we drop him off at our campsite, and he walks to his campsite, #66.

"The waves look fun!" I say.

Chad, one of Pat's buddies, has been SUPping and said he got a few good ones. We take a tour of his luxurious camper, and we get dressed.

DD is all over the place. He's changing, and then he's not. He's applying sunscreen, and then fiddling with his keys. He's switching fins, and then switching boards. I watch him just run around every where in his own space. He finally locks his car, and then forgets to get something out. He lets out a loud ARRRGGHHH and unlocks the car again. I laugh, telling him to calm his ass down.

"We're here for the whole day man," I remind him.

We trek down the stairs and onto the sand. I have my Neckbeard in hand, and Matt has his fish. The waves look playful and clean this morning. Hopefully it stays good!

Matt hits the water before I do, and I see him catch a small left. Nothing special, just a warm up wave.

The morning is mellow, and we surf away from the stairs. We have our own little peak right here.

Todd is on his longboard. He's a former football player, and I've met him at Mel's house before. Pat and I yell at him to pull in, and he grabs rail and pulls in. We all cheer him.

Pete is here too! He gets some good rights, even pulling in on one. 

I meet Jamie, who was in line with us at the parking permit booth.

Matt decides to switch boards, even though he got a two turn wave on his backhand. SPLAAAASH, pump pump, SPLASH.

Pat is on his Average Joe, and keeps hitting the lip on it. Damn, he's good. Hope I'm surfing like that in my 40's.

I get my wave of the day on a right hander with my leash wrapped around my front foot. I get the drop, pump, bottom turn, and carve a cutback into the pocket. I pump more, and then do a soft finisher chip on the lip. I wish my leash hadn't wrapped around my front foot. So awkward!

The winds start blowing hard on shore. The shape is going to shit. I struggle to catch a good ride in. Matt and Jamie venture to the stairs. I can barely see them.

Finally, a good wave comes in and I'm able to pump all down the face a few times before it closes out. I do a floater and land it. The key is to throw your hands up! I learned that from YouTube. Yew! 

Not a bad way to start off the day...

Mahalos Mother Ocean!

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Training Day 101914

Surf Report: 5-6 feet +
Atmosphere: Sunny
Water: Warm
Winds: Offshore

First giant NW swell is here!! I was excited to wake up for the swell... It will be a great practice day for those big, gnarly waves we are expecting for the winter.

Bri voxes me and says that there is no shape and that she is going to PV. I had to coach a tournament, and our 3rd game was at 300 PM today in Huntington Beach. I had lots of errands to still take care of, so I was limited in my travel options.

I get to the 26th Street parking lot, and look over a familiar scene. The older locals are watching the waves, and there are only a few people out. The white wash BOOMS on the sandbar and launches water high into the air. The ideal, fun conditions of yesterday are long gone, and the Ocean looks morbidly marbled with brown and white hues. I change and head down to the sand.

"Okay KLAUDE! Make it look good!!" yells Jose.

"You can't catch barrels from the parking lot, boys!" I yell back at Robert and Jose.

They laugh, and continue looking at the Ocean in awe of her raw power.

I do my stretch, and paddle out. I duck dive once, paddle paddle. I duck dive twice, paddle paddle. I duck dive again and again, and paddle again and again. When I finally think I'm almost out there, an ugly set rears its ugly head. There's no way I can duck dive this... so I ditch my board. I get pounded inside, and surprisingly get released quickly.I resurface, scramble for my board, and paddle like shit towards the horizon. I duck dive one last wave, and make it out to the line up.

The waves are pumping!! It's the first time it's been this big in a long time. I try to stay patient for the cleaner ones, since most of them are closing out. The first wave I catch is a medium sized one, and I make the drop easily. I put too much weight on my front foot, and hit a speed bump on the wave. I get tossed forward and eat shit.

Eating shit on an easy wave.... what the fuck?

There's a guy who works for ZJ Boardhouse out here taking late drops. I hoot him on and we talk in a friendly way. He hoots me in to one, but there are groms on the inside, so I have to back out.

I catch a smaller wave to get some momentum on my side. However, the sets start pumping and I am pummeled on the inside. I feel great though... Just to be pounded by the white water and getting my shit pushed in from Mother Ocean. It feels good to get that back instead of the summertime mush we have been dealing with.

I catch one more medium sized wave, but it closes out after one pump. I only surfed for an hour, but I don't feel like going for more. The waves are closing out and a lot of them don't have shape. Maybe if I had my DRC out there, I would have stayed longer....

I get a Voxer from Bri, and she says, "Klaude!! Guess who didn't want to catch close outs too?? Ross!"

Turns out they were both at Palos Verdes and had an empty right hand peak to themselves. Good call Bri, good call.

Well, it was training day for me.

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Reset Button 101814

Surf Report: 2-3 feet
Atmosphere: Sunny
Winds: Off shore
Water: Warm

I've been recovering from tax season and unable to wake up early. It didn't seem like a problem during tax season, but once tax season ended, my body just hit the floor and I've been sleeping for nine hours every night.

I finally get up "in time" for surf on Saturday, which is like 830 AM. I stretch and get my gear together, heading out the door super late.

As I drive down Highland and hang a right on Rosecrans, I see Matt's car being driven by Bri. Crap... she is already leaving?? How late am I????

I get a parking spot in the lot, and feed the meter. The waves look really good. I start to make my way down to the sand... It's fucking 900 AM already.

I stretch my creaking body a bit more and hit the water. At first duck dive, I feel like all the recovery is completed, and I am being washed away into the bosom of Mother Ocean.

Some of the locals are still out, including Kim, Roy, and a bunch of other people. However, I see a lot of fresh faces that I never see... I guess all the people who are fed up with El Porto found a new parking lot to park in and decided to surf here now.

"Klaude! Where ya been? Haven't seen you in a while!" Kim says.

"Yea, I've been in recovery mode after the 15th," I tell her.

Kim and I chit chat about the waves for a while. It's always nice to be able to talk to the locals here.

I feel my hip creaking and popping with every little movement. My shoulders are tight, and my neck keeps cracking when I shake it side to side.

I don't remember many of the waves ridden today, except for the fact that it was just super fun. I remember getting a ton of waves under my belt and having a blast. By the end of the session, my back was a little sore, but my hips weren't creaking so much. My neck was no longer stiff, and my shoulders slumped down, relaxed and rejuvenated.

If there is ever something called "magic" it would be the effect of Mother Ocean on my mind, body and soul. Just one two hour session allowed me to bounce back into the rhythm of my life after catching up on sleep and rest and food. I could never thank the Ocean enough for how good She makes me feel.

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Busy Bee 101214

Surf Report: 4-5 foot close outs
Water: warm
Winds: on shore
Atmosphere: Sunny

Work has been busy as fuck... I couldn't surf for a while. I swim with my dad on Thursday nights, coach on Friday, and then had a basketball early at 900 AM in Long Beach Saturday morning. We kicked butt, but didn't finish strong. I got on the kids butts about finishing strong, even if we were up by 15 points. One of the parents said, "Oh Coach, c'mon!" with a wry smile. I told her we can't finish like this.

After my post-game speech, I headed straight to work. After a solid four hours of work, I came home, and cuddled with Kitty. I closed my eyes and rested... I don't know for how long, but when I opened my eyes, I cracked open a cold beer, grabbed my ukulele, and headed outside to play. I jammed a little bit, contemplating on what to do. I was invited to go to a party for my physical therapists' ten year anniversary, which was in El Segundo. I also had been invited to go to Khang and Dais's birthday bash later that night. I sipped my beer, and played songs from memory...

I should just go, I said aloud.

I cleaned up all my stuff, took Kitty out, and threw on some clothes.

During my drive to my PT's party, my iPhone ran on random. Every other song played Hawaiian music... weird.

When I arrive, the whole party is a motherfuckin Luau. Hawaiian music playing by a tanned Hawaiian man and his wife who sang like an angel while jamming on ukulele. The therapists that take care of me all give me hugs to welcome me.

"Grab some food! Have something to drink!" said the aids. I politely obliged.

I talk to an older couple standing next to me. They're both from Kauai. I compliment the lady on her dress. She says it's from Kauai also, along with her jewelry. I tell them how my heroes, Andy Irons and Sion Milosky.

"Oh, SI?? You know about him too?" said the older man, Kenny.

"Yea, he's one of my biggest heroes," I explained.

The dancing starts, from menehune's to young adult groups, they all dance well. Patty Brown, the head hancho Physical Therapist, joins the dance group. She is Kyle's mom, and is an amazing therapist. She attracts a lot of great people around her.

I meet more locals from 26th Street that are in attendance. Kurt and his wife Lori, Uncle Miles (Patty's brother), Uncle Miles' brother, and some other faces that I always see in the water were here.  start dancing to the tunes that they are playing, and Kurt and Lori join in too.

I finally meet the guitarist, Kimo, and his wife. I've been meaning to meet him since everyone at 26th Street says I have to meet him and jam with him.

"Brah, all we do is just JAM. We just love to play," he says with a bright smile and sparkling brown eyes.

"That's all I want to do!" I tell him. We embrace in a hug only shared by my closest of friends. It's like I met an old friend whom I haven't seen in a long time.

Khang and Dais's birthday bash... I get wasted. I drive home, drunk as fuck. I promise that I will never do that again. I can't believe I allowed myself to drive home that night...

I wake up, super late and hung over. I have to go back to sleep, but it's already 800 AM. So much for dawn patrol. E had texted me last night... I text her back in the morning.

I get out of bed around 900 AM and start getting ready. Mel is home, and I can hear unfamiliar footsteps in the house. Must be Ken.

Mel invites me to a quick breakfast at Superba down the street. I say let's go, and on the way out, I see Ken's car being towed.

"Ken, your car's being towed. KEN! YOUR CAR! IS BEING TOWED!!!"

Mel and I rush outside.

Turns out his bank hasn't been getting payments and so the Repossession guys are legally towing his car. Ken is obviously perturbed and disturbed. We make phone calls, but our hands are tied. Mel has lost her keys to her car, so I drive them to the nearest rent-a-car spot.

As devil's advocate, I say to myself, "Wow, glad I drove home drunk! Or else those two would have been really fucked."

Just kidding. Uber it next time, KK. Or else you're gonna do some real damage.

I get home to an empty house still reminiscing what's happened in the last 24 hours... I have a game to coach again... I haven't eaten anything yet... I should go eat... surf for thirty minutes, and then go to the game.

I stop by Metro and eat a light breakfast with some coffee. I meet a friend, Ricky, from my childhood and we chat for about an hour. I bid him farewell after some good conversation over some good coffee, and head out to the beach.

The waves... SUCK. They are closing out. I can see the whole coastline is closing out. Must have been good earlier... Oh well. It's sunny, let's go.

I find a free parking spot and get changed quickly. Thirty minute heat starts now! I paddle out after some light stretching and see a pair of guys paddle out too. One of them is on a fat NSP. Another is on a green single fin fun board.

The guy on the NSP is struggling to get out. The inside is gnarly, but not a problem if you know how to duck-dive. I get pounded a few times but make it out with ease.

I go for one wave, which pitches me and sends me to the bottom.

I go for another wave, which knocks my feet off my board as I pop up. I see the guy on the NSP on the shoulder, sitting. I get gobbled up by the wave, and just hold my breath until the wave lets me go.

When I resurface, I see NSP guy next to me.

"What happened?" I ask.

"I got pulled in by the wave," he replies.

I paddle away since there are more sets approaching.

"Your friend shouldn't be out here," I tell single fin funboard guy. "He can get hurt, or he might hurt someone else too."

"Yea, well, he'll figure it out."

That's not the fucking point, dumbass.

I take another wave, which gobbles me up. Time's up. Paddle back in, and head to the game.

I get changed and a girl in Volkswagen with Minnesota plates pulls up next to me.

"Are you leaving?" she asks.

"Yea, as soon as I get changed, I'm outta here."

She pulls over and starts texting furiously. Her boytoy pulls up and she says that he should meet her down over here. He obliges.

I get to the game on time, and we kick ass again. I'm proud of my boys. But, they finish weak once again... I pull the two starters out of the line up with one minute to go and lecture them about finishing strong on any game. I hope it strikes a chord with them....

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!!

Fish Days 100814

Surf Report: Mushy 1-3 feet
Atmosphere: Sunny and hot
Water: Warm
Winds: Minimal

I've been stressed out from work and my personal life... I had to paddle out today.

I think from all the stress my body told me to get the fuck up out of bed immediately and not snooze. Luckily, I got to see an amazing sun rise on my drive over to Manhattan Beach.

Drive-By Photo from my iPhone
The grom patrol was still out, but I had my red fish. I can see Bri in the pack catching waves. How does she do it? I'm not sure, but I paddle up to her and give her a big hug.

"Where's Matt?" I ask.

"He's somewhere, I don't know where though," she says. "Probably over there, away from this pack." She points further north.

Bri and I catch some waves, and she leaves for work. The groms leave soon afterwards, and Matt comes paddling over on his CC Peniston blue fish. We both shoot the shit while catching waves. It's nothing significant today, just a good day to be in the water on fish boards with your friends.

We leave the beach around 900 AM. I head to work feeling like I'm in a good headspace for the day.

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Visitin Bub 100514

Surf: 1-3 feet
Water: Warm
Atmosphere: Overcast
Winds: Marginal

The wedding was amazing. The vows that were exchanged were beautiful. The food was awesome, and I met a lot of people I haven't seen in a long while. I danced my ass off. I danced, while Elyce mended her sprained ankle. She had gone out Friday night and sprained it. I warned her that I would be dancing the whole time, to which she replied, "Don't worry about me, I'm gonna be dancing too!"

Well, she didn't.

I danced the night away with the whole party. I twerked for the groom. I battled some people. I danced the way I wanted to dance! Dance like no one is watching, sing like no one is listening, and love like you will never get hurt! 

She drove us home to our Air BnB and we slept in the same bed. It was a happy occasion I was attending, but I was sad most of the time being with Elyce. I no longer held her hand in mine, our fingers interwoven together like a wool sweater. I no longer was able to kiss her goodnight, like how the sun does to the horizon as it set. I had to accept that, and feel the pain. I needed to feel the pain in order to heal.

I woke up, and looked at my clock. 655 AM.... I should go back to sleep... But the sun was already out, and I am sharing a bed with someone that broke my heart. I got up and started doing my yoga stretches.

Should have brought the yoga mat, I thought.

I take a walk outside and take a deep breath on the balcony. The balcony leads down a path nestled between trees of plumeria and fruit, with lavender bushes attracting hummingbirds. There is a pool at the very bottom of this estate, and a hammock lies right next to it. The panoramic view is stunning from the balcony giving the viewer a clear sight of the Ocean and the boats that wade through its still surface. The hummingbirds flutter and buzz their wings as I make my way down to the hammock.

Originally, I was supposed to lay here with E. But plans never go as planned. I lay their by myself, as always. My comfortable zone, if you may. 

Rich, our host, walks out to the balcony as I lay in the hammock. I greet him a good morning, and we chat. He asks for me to move the car since he has to go buy croissants for our breakfast. Originally, he was supposed to defrost some last night and bake them today. But plans never go as planned.

There are two other couples staying at Rich's house. A couple from LA that are just getting away from the buzzing city life, and a couple from South Africa that are traveling through California. Rich talks to all of us, getting to know us individually, and is a great host. He genuinely enjoys having other people stay at his house.

We decide to take a walk on the beach for the morning. It's a beautiful coastline, but there are no waves. Dogs run up and down in this beach, from small, little ones to gigantic, dopey ones. We walk along the shore line. I close myself off. I contemplate and sit in the sadness. She can feel my closed heart. She and I walk separately at the same pace. When we walk alongside each other, I feel the most distance between us. The water splashes and cools down my legs.

During our walk, E kneels down and gives a prayer to the Ocean. She lets the water splash all over her as the water crashes on her and then recedes. Why wouldn't anyone fall in love with her when she does amazingly weird things like this?

We decide to head out of Santa Barbara. I wanted to eat, and found a place about ten minutes away that has good fish tacos. Upon exiting the freeway, we are hit with traffic.

"There's an avocado festival going on... I forgot," I say. "Let's get out of here. I don't want to be around so many people right now."

"Sounds good," she replies.

"Could you text Pat and let him know we are on the way?"

Onwards we went to visit Patricio!!

We jam to a local station jamming to Reggae sounds. The drive is nice along the water, but there are no waves... Tide is too high, I think. As we approach Oxnard, I can see the foggy area hovering over Oxnard.

"That's weird, everywhere else is sunny as hell, why is it so foggy over there?" I wonder out loud.

We arrive at Pat's neighborhood in Silver Strand and see him talking to his fishermen neighbors. They are all drinking beers over a bounty of Yellowfin. We park, and I get a big hug from Pat. He gives E a big hug and a kiss.

"Burn that shirt, Klado!" he tells me.

I was wearing a Gem shirt that Mel works for now. He hates that company. I wasn't sure exactly why, but it was reminding him of Mel and that made him a little sour.

I give him his birthday gifts, some Clay Marzo Future Fins, and a bottle of red wine. We walk in to his house and are greeted by Lacey and Tolula, her little puppy dawg.

"Wanna see if I can get some fish for us?" says Pat.

"Yea! That would be sick!"

We walk outside. "Ey! How much for a sliver of fish for the two of us? Six beers?" Pat yells.

"Naw, just one beer each. That will be cool!" says one of the fishermen neighbor.

Sick, four beers, and we are in business!! As he walks away to make the barter complete, I take off my shirt and throw on my other shirt that I wore yesterday.

We take the day slow, catching up, lolly gagging around, and just shooting the shit. I update Pat on my life, and he tells me what's going on in his. He's lost some weight, and had to buy a new wardrobe. Some of the stuff he bought won't fit, so he hands them to me. Score two new pairs of pants, and some tuna!! I dry hump his new boards, an Average Joe and a Nezzy shaped for the winter. They are way too big for me, but they look really fun.
Patricio takes a selfie on my phone <3

"You didn't have to change shirts, I was just kidding," Pat says. "But, thanks bro." 

We walk to the beach to check out the waves. The overcast is still coming on strong, and there are no signs of letting up. There are small groups of people hanging on the beach, and a bunch of kids in the water. The waves aren't great, but there are waves. Pat says hi to the crews of people. This place is such a small community. No one lives here, really. Most of the houses are vacation homes for people who don't stay here.

We head back to the house, pack some drinks and chips, get all of our surfboards, and head down to the beach.

At first, Pat and I body surf. There are some nice sets rolling through, and we paddle like crazy for them. We kick and scratch and laugh as we catch waves.

Pat goes over to get the surfboards and waves me to come in. He is grabbing the foamie, and I grab the Sushi, the foamie equal of a shortboard.

Lacey and E come out too, along with Greg. We all trade boards and surf for about an hour.

There weren't any memorable waves this session. It was just fun to surf with Pat and his buddy. Greg goes into the beach with the girls, and Pat and I are waiting on the outside.

Pat divulges why he and Mel broke up.

I got angry.

I can't say why they broke up, since it does not concern me, but just know, I am angry. I paddle with anger. I take off with anger. I eat shit with anger. I resurface.

With anger.

I slam the Sushi. Pat sees this.

"Ey, I'm sorry man, I shouldn't have told you," he tells me.

I stare at him, trying to maintain my composure. "Naw, it's better you told me now than to not know. Innocence is bliss, but man... FUCK!" I splash water around me.

"Naw, I shouldn't have told you. Forget that I said it."

"I can't anymore. It all makes sense now."

The whole afternoon, I phase in and out of thinking of why they broke up, how much I love both of them, how much I love Elyce, and enjoying the moment.

E buys tacos for all of us. We grub on the beach and drink more brews. We all laugh and have a good time on the beach. We surf more, and hang out more. It's a complete beach day with the overcast looming over our heads the whole time. The sun tries to shine through, but the glum overcast is too strong.

We pack our stuff and go back to the house. We chill more and wait for the sun to set.

"Maybe one more sesh?" Pat asks.

"Let's go check it out!"

Lacey, E, Pat and I walk down to the beach. We watch the waves together, and decide it's now or never. The tide is picking up more and more. 

We put boardshorts back on and grab our boards. Pat screws on his new fins on to his Average Joe and waxes it up. I grab the Sushi and we both trot to the beach.

The overcast is finally gone. The sky is clear, and is a bright orange. The sunsets are gorgeous here in Oxnard.

"Everyone loves that," Pat says, pointing at the sun setting. "But I think this is more beautiful." He points back towards the shore line and the sky is a royal blue melding with a deep purple. The waxing moon shone bright while the bright stars twinkle in the back. "That is the money shot," he says.

We trade boards and we catch waves in. Our last wave, Pat drops in on me, looks back, pulls his pants down, and shows me his full moon.

I laugh so hard that I keel over. I jump off the board because we are in the shore break.

"Did you see something, Klaudo?" Pat asks.

"Yea, this!!" I pull my pants down and show him my bare ass.

We both laugh our asses off.

Back at Pat's house, we shower in his outdoor shower and eat some of his tomato chicken stew with the wine I got him. We fill up and get ready to depart.

We say our good-byes to Pat, Lacey, and Tolula. We drive down the PCH in silence.

E asks me what the best part of the trip was. I stay quiet, contemplating of what has transpired this whole weekend. I tell her hanging out with her, dancing, waking up to that beautiful scenery, surfing with Pat and hanging at the beach all day were all part of it.

I stay alone with my thoughts, contemplating more about my relationship with E, my relationship with Pat, my relationship with Mel... It's all love, right? It should be...

No, it's not ALL love. It's respect. It's responsibility. It's laughter. It's tears. It's anger and it's timing. It's sunshine and it's overcast. It's surfing and eating shit. It's dancing. It's sleeping. It's playing with dogs that aren't yours. It's laying in the hammock. It's remembering birthdays. It's bartering for freshly caught yellowfin tuna. It's EVERYTHING.

Everything has to mesh. Everything has a factor in a relationship, especially if it's deep and meaningful. It can't just be one thing. It's everything.

Mahalos Mother Ocean.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Time 100414

No Filter? or

Surf Report: 2-3 feet
Water: Warm
Atmosphere: somewhat sunny
Winds: Minimal

Bri... how is she on the beach before me, every time?

As I watched the only girl who can surf in the line up take a left, I see her do a solid cut back, re-entry, and ride out the white wash.

I whistle and wave.

It's super crowded today... Weekend warriors are out this time. The days have been blurring and I forget at what day is what. I have no sense of the date - just the time. And right now, it's time to surf.

The crowd is mellow. The waves aren't as gnarly as the past two days, but there are still some rides to have. I'm wondering about the day's events lined up for the weekend.

I am supposed to go to my friend Meagan and Brian's wedding in Santa Barbara. I had invited Elyce to it a while back. I asked her to still join me because.... well I don't know. I know Meagan doesn't want to have less people than expected to show up to the wedding, but of all people, she would understand. I've known Meagan since we were in orientation at UCLA. She just so happened to be next door to me at orientation, and my friend and I were talking "loudly" at night. So, she came outside to join us. She and I have been friends since that time.

Anyway, Elyce was coming. I figured that this will be healing time for me. This weekend together with a girl who shattered my heart will force me to deal with uneasy and uncomfortable feelings. It will help ease the pain in quicker. I will be free.

Also, I had planned to visit Patricio, my ex-roommate, at his house in Oxnard. He was stoked to hear that I would visit. Little did he know that I remembered it was his birthday on the 6th of October. I bought him Clay Marzo Future Fins set for his new board. I didn't know for sure if he had Future Fins on the Average Joe he bought, but I just had a feeling....

I have been working extra hard to make this weekend trip happen by busting my ass off to finish clients' returns. However, our most complicated clients sent in all of their information on Friday, and I felt terrible not putting in time this weekend. So, I took work home so I could put in work Friday night in an effort to mitigate my bosses' worries of not finishing on time. I hope that this extra work feeds into something positive this weekend.

I catch myself and try not to think about the future too much. I have to be in the moment. That is my strength! I have to just enjoy the moment. I focus on the surf, not on the work that has to be done, or the wedding, or the person accompanying me on this journey. I focus on catching the waves. I focus on what makes me happy - spending time in the water with my friends that I call family.

Bri, as always, is killing it. I don't know what it is, but her surf improves so quickly. I guess when you surf with Matt all the time, dawn-patrolling, and putting the time in to surf different spots, you're bound to get good. She gets long rides on her board, all the way to the beach. Maybe a smaller board soon? She can definitely handle it in time.

Tom paddles out. He's been MIA as always, so he is out of shape. He is still getting good rides today, and drifts with the current.

Calvin was out today too! Wow, how crazy is that? I haven't seen him in months time. We catch up somewhat, since I get to see his facebook feed with his new girlfriend and their travels.

"What are you gonna do about your job?" I ask. He works at Toyota, and Toyota is moving their headquarters to Texas now.

"I don't know man, I was going to move, but now I don't. I mean, I have a girl over here now..." he says.

I didn't get any turns this day, but the waves were playful. I remember just getting a lot of fun rides and being surrounded by good vibes. This surf session set me up for a great day ahead for me.

"I surf because, I'm always a better person when I come in." - Andy Irons

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!

Laugh Off 100314

Surf Report: 3-4 feet and closing out on the bigger sets
Water: Warm
Atmosphere: Sunny
Winds: Slight offshore

I arrive at the beach late. I'm looking for Matt. Where could he be?

Oh right... he said he's meeting up with the Westside Hurley Crew (WHC) at Rosecrans this day.

The waves are still throwing over, but they aren't as gaping open as they were yesterday. I'm in a different zone today... it doesn't seem so fun today.


I catch some rights but don't get too much distance. The bigger ones close out and aren't offering the peaky ledges that was on offer yesterday. I look back, and the current has carried me further north. I start to paddle back.

Ross and I are in the same area, and I can see surfers do the merry-go-round walk back to where they started. More surfers are drifting towards us. We fight the current more.

Ross is frustrated. I'm frustrated. Mother Ocean isn't offering any clean rides today. She is just churning and swirling in a brown, marbleized swill chaotically. Just one ride, please?

I go for a wave, and the wave sucks down and bottoms out. I watch my board get taken as I fall with the lip. The wipe out wasn't as violent, but I touch bottom. So, it's one of those days ey?

Ross gets a sort-of one shot turn wave. He leaves after that, cashing in his chips and heading off to work.

I keep eating shit the whole time. Every single wave was a wipe out. What a contrast from yesterday. Yesterday was a little smaller, but the current wasn't there, and peaks were playful. Today... they are just unmakeable.

I'm not happy with the conditions, but I choose to be happy. I laugh off the shitty waves. I laugh off the times I touched bottom. I laugh off the waves that dropped straight down into a sandy pit of shallow salt water. I laugh my ass off all the way to work.

It's hard to be angry at Mother Ocean when she annihilates you so easily. And it could have been worse! She could have been silent and not even break. I will take a beat down from Mother Ocean over sitting in an office any day.

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Frustrations and Sadness and Anger and Insecurities 100214

Surf Report: Building 2-3 feet+
Water: Warm
Atmosphere: Sunny
Winds: Offshore

I meditated on the talk Elyce and I had. I was angry. I was frustrated. I wasn't in a good headspace. I stretched. I breathed. I contemplated. What was I grateful for in our interactions?

And then it hit me: I was grateful for everything in our interactions. The patience we exhibited for each other, the laughter we shared, the pains we endured, the ideas we bounced off of each other, the time we spent together, the lessons we learned.... everything. Everything just made sense for me to be grateful for what I had, instead of what I didn't.

I said a great thank you to her and fell asleep Wednesday night.

Thursday, I woke up with a slightly depressed (understandably so) outlook but gratefulness in my heart for the day. It was going to be a day full of ups and downs, I know, but I gotta get through it. The sun is out. There are waves. Matt will be there.

 I get to the beach and the groms are still out. I guess when it's good, the parents are ok with them being a little late to school. What can't they learn at the beach that they can't at school? Cooperation, teamwork, happiness... all of that could be learned at the beach. But ask them to compose a derivative for a multi-variable equation and they throw their hands up.

It's throwing over today, I thought. There is potential for barrel rides... Am I going to be able to surf these waves? My insecurities run through my veins like ice cold beer.

I see Matt south of me, struggling. We meet up, manhug, and I vent out what has happened in the last two days. He reassures me that I am doing the right thing and further perpetuates my belief of not giving any discounts to others of my self-worth. If they can't appreciate you for who you are, then they're not worth your time.

I see that the Brick House is firing, and people are getting barrels. They aren't making them all the time, but people are pulling in and getting gobbled up. And then, there are the ones that all drop in on them as they get gobbled up... it looks FUN.

I start clenching my teeth and breathing through my tightly gritted jaw, reminiscing of my day in Mexico when I found my cajones on the 5th day. I started telling myself, JUST THROW YOURSELF OVER THE FALLS, IT'S NOT THAT BAD.

So, I did.

From the first wave I caught, my game was on. I took out all my frustrations and sadness and anger and insecurities on each wave that came my way. There was no way I was backing out. NO FUCKING WAY. This is my way of dealing with my problems, and no one was getting in the way of it. You don't want that wave? Good, because I want it. You want that wave? Even better, because I know how to paddle harder with my head down. On more than one occasion, I wouldn't even make the drop because I was too late and too deep. But that didn't mater - what mattered was that I got pitched and tumbled and held down and dragged on the sand and come up smiling from the wave. To me, that's all that mattered this day.

I kept trying to pull in on every wave. There was no way I was making it, but I wanted to start pumping and then stall, or just stall from the start to get that vision, that sound of the hollow wave, crashing over me like an envelope of beautiful water speckles. I pulled in so deep on one that I got pitched over, slammed on the inside, then pitched again, and then slammed on my right hip from the impact.

I came up, smiling.

Matt came over, and told me that I was going for it. I didn't feel like it was enough by just "going for them" but his words fed me more encouragement to just paddle for everything.

There was a guy who I had never seen before surfing well. He had almost a unibrow and was wearing a Rip Curl wetsuit. He didn't concede too many waves, so I wasn't digging his vibe too much, but on a left, he tried to paddle, failed, and told me to go. I two-paddled into the wave, and got in. I started to high-line pump on my backside, and I saw a grom on the inside without his board. I mustered my all of my strength that my reaction timing would allow and did a backside carve in front of him. He hooted a loud "WOOOOOOOO~" and ducked beneath the wave, a few feet ahead of me. I redirected my board, and grabbed the rail. I put my left arm forward towards the curling lip, and started to pump with my right arm grabbing the rail. My board sped up, and after a two pumps with my right hand, I was out in the open face again. I did one more cutback and straightened out. That one wave just made my day.

I saw Toru on the inside, paddling out. He didn't see the wave, but was all smiles as always.

The locals are standing out as always. Davey is killing it on his short fat board. The pecking order is in full force, and it is clear that those who come here the most often, are getting the most waves. I'm glad Matt and I are here all the time. 

I see Matt just charging for the lefts south of the tower. He is deeper than anyone, and is committing to being obliterated from the waves. He is, in my mind, clenching his teeth and smoothing out the grit of his barrel riding technique. I am thankful that he is my battle buddy and that we WILL score barrels this winter. I know we are. We will split a peak during the winter and both get barreled out of our minds at our local spot, here at 26th Street. We have the mindset. We just need the waves.

I signal to him for "Next One." Never the ever-so-taboo "One more," but the "Next One."

I catch a close out, and throw a shaka at him. It's almost 1000 AM. I am completely late for work.

Well fucking worth it, in my books.

Sorry I'm not sorry.

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Tell Me Who Your Friends Are 093014

Surf: 1-3 feet, rolling waves
Water: Colder
Winds: Offshore
Atmosphere: Sunny

Monday night... Mel invited Ken over for a cheese night dinner. I did my best to be a good host and let him feel welcomed in the house. I know he and Mel are "together" and it feels too soon, especially since Pat and her just broke up.... I love both Mel and Pat, and care for both of them greatly. I want to see Mel happy of course, and Ken makes her happy, so I did my best to let Ken feel at home. But, it still hurt.

Two weeks ago, my friend Sasha called me during work. His sister-in-law, Rachel, past away from lymphoma. She was 18. We both burst into tears over the phone. I still cry over her sudden death. I texted all my sisters that I love them and that I missed them right then and there.

On the day of her funeral, Sasha called me. "Rach didn't have too many friends... but you know, when the four of us hung out, she considered you to be someone really close to her. We want you to be here..." he told me, as we both cried over the phone. "It's a Jewish funeral, so her mom only wanted Jews to be here, but we want you to be here," he told me.

This was the fifth death in my inner circle of friends, and it hurt. It still hurts.  Life is too short.

I also called my brother from another mother, Nicky. He has run astray, doing his own journey. He had given out my name and contact information as a reference, and I didn't appreciate that. I had to tell him that I couldn't vouch for him anymore since I didn't know what he was doing. "But I'm happy Klaude, why can't you be happy for me?" Not when your mom cries over you in front of me... I can't support that. "I just had a loving conversation with my mama, what are you talking about?" he asks. He's oblivious. I couldn't tell him "I love you" when we hung up. It just wasn't in my heart. It hurt to hear my brother deteriorate.

So, I had to do some soul searching for myself. Mel and Pat... Rachel... Nicky... and then this girl, Elyce. Someone I fell head over heals for. She's a yogi, a beautiful person inside and out, and someone I felt a deep connection with the moment I met. I looked into her eyes and thought, "We've met before. I know it. We know we both met each other before." Lately, she and I have been segregating ourselves from each other. She had broken her phone, and so we didn't have many ways to communicate. To me, that was the universe just saying stop contacting each other.

Through my trips down south by myself, I discovered that my work with her is done. She doesn't need me to inspire her. She's got her own thing going on, whether I'm included or not. So, as much as I was hurt at the idea, I phased myself out of our lives.

I get a long text message from her Monday saying we need to talk, since we are going to my friend Meagan and Brian's wedding together in Santa Barbara on the weekend. "I just want to make sure we are on the same page regarding honoring, respecting and caring for one another. It is important for me to make sure love and kindness are the foundations of my relationships, so I just want to touch base," she wrote.

Here we go. Now she wants to talk.

I go out to surf Tuesday morning, hoping that the surf will keep me level headed. The Grom Patrol has already left, and that there will be some nice waves.

The air is acrid and dry, and I can see the dense smog hovering on the horizon. I can smell the smog and dry air. It's no longer Summer. It's Autumn.

I'm wearing my springsuit, and it's too cold for it. However, I have to paddle out. I can't turn back now! Ross, Roy, and Don are out. There are a few more people speckled in the line up, but we are on the peak right in front of the parking lot.

The four of us trade waves one after another. It was small and gutless, but we caught tons of waves in a short amount of time. It felt good to surf with just the locals out.

That night, E and I talk. She tells me what I already know - that I'm an amazing person and that every thing is black and white with me. She tells me that she had no intention of misleading me into thinking we could be a couple, even though she kisses me and we hold hands. She felt our energies not meshing like it used to, and felt my frustrations towards her. She said that I wanted to mold her into my own world full of boundaries.

I was about to snap.

I wanted to just walk out of her car, and walk home. 

But, I didn't.

I kept my patience.

I kept my silence.

I listened to her.

At last, I told her that I didn't want to bound her, just to build upon the connection that we had. That connection, almost like telepathy, where we don't have to even talk, but we knew how each other felt. It's an energizing, indescribable, addicting feeling to have, and that's all I wanted - for us to build upon that.

In the end, she friend zoned me. WE both agreed that WE were going to be respectful of one another. WE were going to the wedding together still, but it was obvious that WE were no longer WE. At the end of the night, she held me hand, gently caressing it, saying how much she had missed hanging out with me. Mixed signals much?

After being angry and frustrated at the situation, I meditated. I let go of my anger... I let go of all of my presumptions and thoughts, and started to think about what I was grateful for. I started to be grateful for my own development personally as a human being. How my patience was tested. How I opened myself up to heartbreak once again. How I expressed my love to my sisters in my life. How I treated some stranger that was replacing my brother and roommate. How I learned. 

So, generally when I meet new people, I ask them what three qualities they value in their friends most. The Italians say, "Tell me who your friends are, and I'll tell you who you are." So, with Elyce, I feel like I have to modify my previous values of passion, compassion, and empathy. Now, it will be passion, compassion, and responsibility for one's own actions. 

I want to keep developing myself more. Keep pursuing my passions, carry out my life with compassion, and being responsible for my own actions. I have to keep living the way I feel develops my character and changes my weaknesses into strengths.

Life is too short!! Ain't no one got time to wait around for shit to come around. We can all be dead the next day, you never know!! So go out there. Live your life, and live passionately, compassionately, and responsibly. Sooner or later, we will perish, and all that is left of us are the memories that our friends and families will tell their loved ones.

Mahalos Mother Ocean

Heat Winner: Bri 092714

Surf: 2-3 feet
Atmosphere: Overcast
Water: Warm
Winds: Slight on shore

Matt's on NG Duty this weekend... two weekends in a row to be exact. So, Bri paddles out with me to fill the void.

For the first hour, I can't catch a wave. I'm watching other people surf. I'm watching Bri catch wave after wave, and heads snapping back and forth watching her stylish figure take waves all the way to shore.

The CROWDS. What the hell happened to 26th Street? I swear, everyone that is fed up with El Porto is starting to come down here, and they are carrying the El Porto habits with them! Dropping in on people, back-paddling... this is not that kind of place! The weekend is just way out of control.

Tom shows up, and we catch up. He has been sporadically in and out of surf. He points towards the brick house. "Man, those look like something you should be on!"

He's right. The rights are rolling in over there, and it seems like the crowd has thinned out. I make my way over there without Bri. I just move in silence, edging closer and closer.

As a set swings wide, I catch it. I start pumping, doing two speed checks and then kicking out. I paddle back out to the same spot, and the same thing happens. Pump, pump, pump, speed check, pump, kick out.

There's a red head who's watching me, but he's new here. He doesn't know how the brick house works. I keep catching waves under him, while he paddles for the close outs. I'm gaining my Local Card notches.

Tom calls me into a wave. It's a dream of a right, and I get to pump it from the brick house all the way to the Mons. 

Bri sees that I'm catching more waves, so she sits next to me too. We share waves the rest of the session till we are both tired.

I had to run after my surf session. I had to rush to work, get some shit done, drive to Long Beach, coach a basketball game, then drive back here to attend my nephew's birthday party. At the end of the day, I was four beers deep and ready to sleep. It's ok if I don't surf tomorrow... I've had my fill.

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!!

I Knew You'd Show Up 092614

Surf: 3-4 feet
Atmosphere: Sunny
Water: Warm
Winds: light onshore winds

"I knew you'd show up, even if you didn't answer my text," says Matt, smiling at me in the water. We paddle for an outside set.

I had a long day Thursday. I get home late... and Mel invites me to join our other roommate, Eric, for a drink at Wurstkuche. Her boss/co-worker Ken meets us up while we are having drinks. Watching their interaction, especially when they hug to say good-bye, I can tell that they have feelings for each other....

Matt sends a group text: "Khang, we missed your smooth buttocks this morning. Any of you lovebirds paddling out tomorrow?" I don't reply. 

I wake up in a haze of beer. Crap. I'm late. It's the first swell of the Autumn season. I gotta get out.

I throw my stuff into my car and head to the beach. I can't miss this. Not the first swell of the season. Not when Matt, my goofy-footed counterpart, is out there.

Did I bring a towel? I don't remember...

I look back at my gear... no towel. Well, I can't turn back now. I don't like turning back on the path that I've already tread on, because to me, it symbolizes the inability to let go of the past. So, I trek forward, towel-less.

I look at my springsuit, and throw it to the side. OH WELL. Can't wear this today. How am I going to change? I will have to figure that out later.

"Trunkin it!" says Randy to me, smiling.

"Haha yea, I don't have a choice today. I don't have a towel," I tell him. He smiles at me and I smile back. It feels like Randy has changed since the last time I met him. He seems more... mellow? Happy? Perhaps grounded? I don't know. I always got the impression from Matt that Randy was an uptight control freak, but ever since their mother passing, his demeanor has changed.

"Going for it!" says Matt. He's wearing his holy wetsuit.

"Naw, I don't have a choice. I forgot my towel. I'm gonna have to change later. Haven't figured that one out yet." We both laugh.

Matt and I manhug in the water. He's riding the Becker. It looks HUGE under him. But hey, he's catching tons of waves. However, he stalls on the top turns.

"That boards waaaay too big for you bro!" I tell him.

It's a good sized day, and I get pounded a lot. I get some good rides, look back, and see sets rolling in still. It finally feels like Autumn!! Except the water. Water still feels like summer.

Matt says he's going to change boards right when I was about to leave, so I wait for him to come back. We catch a few more waves before I leave for work. I can't believe how many waves we caught between the two of us.

Work work. It's been super hectic lately. I'm surfing lots more in order to keep myself sane. However, I'm trying not to push myself too much either. Last time I pushed myself too much, I ended surfing sloppy and getting injured. So, stay smart KK. Learn from your past mistakes.

I'm standing in the lot. There are two "groms" that just arrived. They must have graduated high school already, but aren't in college. They talk about how one of their mom is communicating well with him, and how he really appreciates that. I decide to just get naked by the meter, behind the car, and wipe myself down with my t-shirt. I throw on my underwear, and get changed quickly. Hopefully people saw.

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!

Never a Bad Day 092514

Surf Report: 2-3 feet and building
Water: Warm
Winds: Light offshore
Atmosphere: Sunny

I received a group text about paddling out tomorrow. I was still sore from my first Jiu-Jitsu class on Tuesday, so I was thinking of not going. However, Dais answered and so did Khang, so I was like what the hell... let's paddle out.

I woke up nice and early, still sore. However, I can't back out now... the boys are gonna be out! I have to paddle out. So, I load up my car and take off.

The parking lot is starting to empty out from the Grom Patrol. I can see there are small waves rolling in from the parking lot. I only bring one board now... the Neck Beard. I know it's small, so I only bring my "under five foot" board. The waves look playful and fun, so I'm looking forward to this session with da boys.

I finally get to see Matt! It feels like forever and a day since I've seen his face. I give him a big man hug.

Waves just seem to come my way today... I'm not sure if Matt's out of rhythm or anything, but he is struggling to catch waves. The Neck Beard feels good under my feet as I pump down rights, connecting the dots on mushy waves.

"There's Dais!" says Matt.

I look around and see an attractive man with his long hair waving us down. I can see from this distance.... the Average Joe.

Matt continues to struggle, and I continue to catch waves. Dais starts catching waves right off the bat. It's pretty amazing how many waves he catches during the session.

Still, where is Khang?

Dais and I swap boards. I've always wanted to try the Average Joe. She's my unicorn for the moment. Immediately after switching boards, I paddle for a wave, and get in early. The board just glides over the sections, and I'm pumping on the open face. I catch the wave all the way to shore, and look back. Wow. Just.


I catch three more waves, all the same way. Paddle, drop in, pump early, ride over the flat section, get to the open face, and keep pumping your heart out.

"Never a bad day on the Joe!" Dais says.

It's so good, I don't want to leave. Plus, where the fuck is Khang?? Is he going to come?

I ask a guy what it is. "It's about 9:30," he tells me.

Holy crap, late for work. I gotta go. I get my last wave in, wave good-bye to da boys, and head for the parking lots.

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!!