Saturday, November 29, 2014

Next One 112214

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

I've been battling a small cold for the last week. It's nothing serious, but I've been coughing a lot, sleeping a lot more, and not being able to surf. I got skunked on Wednesday, November 19th. Fucking flat ass Ocean. The worst hit me on Thursday, and I drank a lot of hot tea and went swimming with  my dad. I know I squirted a lot of nose juices and lung cookies out into the swimming pool, and after an hour of swimming, I felt like myself again.

Not only that, but mom made us Oden!! It's a traditional Japanese hot pot dish suiting our very needs in order to warm up after a cold day.

OH DAYUM! It's O-den

So Friday, I stayed in to recover a bit more. I really wanted to surf since Matt is going to Japan after this weekend. His time is limited...

Saturday rolls around, and I'm determined to surf. I have to surf today... last day for Matt!!

where is my wallet?

I can't find my wallet at all. Time is running out!! Where is my wallet? I know I had it last night... Well maybe I left it at work. I'll have to search again when I get home from surfing. 

I'm late to arrive at 26th Street. And there's no parking. Of course not. There's a line to get into both lots. I can see Khang's car in the lower lot, waiting for a spot. He's the first car waiting for a spot, half way into the lot. I have to park up the hill today. Oh well.

Luckily, I find a spot right at the top of the hill on Highland. I parallel park like I've never done before: in one shot!

I can see the lines marching in, and the mushy waves coming in as they break from the top of the hill. I KNOW THIS. This is going to be an epic session. I know it. I can feel it.

I run down the hill. My feet never felt better on cement. I see Khang pop out from his ride. He's still waiting for a spot.

"Let's go brah! Hurry up and park!" I yell at him.

"Get em Klaude!" yells Bruce.

I throw a shaka at him.

I run down the hill and off to the sand. Calm yourself KK. Calmo. I paddle out. I know the waves when they do this. This is going to be an epic sesh.

First wave, I take off after Don takes the first wave of the set. I bottom turn, snap off the top, bottom turn again, and hook it off the top again.

Whoa, a TWO TURN wave?? On my first wave? What the fuck is going on.

I see Matt further down, and I paddle towards him to burn off some excess energy from the adrenaline pumping through my veins. Matt, Bri and I embrace. I told them of my first ride was a two turn right.

"What, no way. Where?"

"Over there, man. Right where Don is."

The waves would pitch up but would be very mushy once they broke. It was just perfect. The tide was high, but the swell was pushing through it. It was high tide fun - one of those days we dream about in every South Bay swell.

Matt catches a wave. He gets a few hacks off and comes back to the line up.

Bri is freezing her ass off. It's been a whole week since she has been surfing, and since the water has dropped in temperature, she is unable to tolerate it. She gets a lot of rides even in her frozen state, and keeps coming back for more. These conditions would have been a lot better if she had a proper wetsuit on.

Khang comes out to the line up, and we embrace. He is chatting up with all of us. It's been three weeks since he has gotten to surf. He's been busy with work.

"Oh yea, I'm moving to New York on Tuesday," he says to Bri.


"Oh Klaude! I'm moving to New York on Tuesday. Not this Tuesday, but next Tuesday. I'll have a good-bye party on Sunday, the 30th. Come through!"

Wow, what a surprise. First time of hearing this news...

His absence from the water shows... He's catching waves, yet getting stuck behind the sections. Hey, he's still catching waves though. It's great to see him in the water especially since we have such conflicting schedules all the time. We all trade off waves between the four of us. Matt takes one, Khang takes one, Bri takes one, I take one... It's like a broken record we never want to fix. Santa Mierda!!

I see Bri paddling for a wave. I go for it too. I pop up, and I see her pop up as I look back. Well, guess I beat her to the punch. I start to pump down the line. I see a section, and cutback. I don't see Bri in my turn, so I keep going. I cut back again. Pump pump pump. I cut back again. Pump, bottom turn, top turn. I pump one last time, bottom turn, and see the wall of water turn into sand. OH SHIT! EJECT!! EJECT!! I hop off my board and land in waist deep water. Four turns... holy shit.
An Unridden A-Frame

I apologize to Bri. Well, not really. I tell her sorry, with a big smile. She tells me that the wave looked really good... until I snaked her. HA! I told her that I got four turns on it, and that I'm glad I snaked her. I couldn't let that wave pass me by. 

Much of the morning turned out to be like this: Matt gets a wave, Khang gets a wave, Bri gets a wave, then I get a wave. It was not all in this order, but tons of waves were being shared by everyone. Everybody was SHARING. That's what I love about this place. There is no bad blood, no ego's. Just people enjoying the wave riding experience.

I remember paddling for a wave and it was a perfect A-frame. I see Matt on the inside, paddling out. As I pop up, I had enough time to think, "Should I go left? Or should I go right? I've been going right a lot.... I'll go left this time." And then I swoop into a backside beauty. I get a few carves off, and end up on the inside. How the hell is it this good today? 

Khang had to leave to conduct interviews at Quik.

Bri had to exit after a while because of her leaky wetsuit. 

Matt got a four turn right.

Matt and I battle it out in front of the Mons Pubis. "Next one, we'll go in," he says. We both smile.

He gets one, I get one. And these waves are no one shot waves. Two turns, minimum.

We both paddle back out. It's never "One more." But there will always be, "Next one."

I get a right where I take off super late. I can't see anything, but I have my eyes open. I pump around the white water section and get two turns off. One after the white water, and one as a finisher. I paddle back out.

As I paddle back out, I see Matt on a left. He lays back into the snap, and goes all the way into the inside. He paddles back out.

We trade off a few more waves. Matt catches a long left. He exits from the water from getting a great wave. His body language says it all - "I'm done."

I wait for a set. The sets are far in between, but they come. Sure enough, I get a right. I pump down, get a small carve off the top, and then bottom turn and carve again. Roy is in the inside, hooting me on my last ride. My body slumps into a state of hebetude.

We are all exhausted. Everyone got rides today. It was just nuts. And barely anybody was out! Surfline apparently forecasted a shitty day. Hey, good job Surfline! That's why I never check you out for surf forecasts. It was an epic day of surf in the South Bay, and I got to share it with just my friends. And all the locals that I see every day... We were all rewarded for surfing one spot in a dedicated fashion. We were rewarded for our commitment! Two hours plus with my friends, and we are tired from catching so many waves. Rarely does it get THIS GOOD.
And the sets keep marching in...!!

We stop by at Mandy's for some late breakfast. We gorge on food. Because I had lost my wallet, Bri took care of the bill. We all talked about Japan, language barriers, our surf for today, and how it was perfect to send off Matt on his journey to Japan.

He is insecure about the trip, but I reassure him that he will be golden.

"Just be yourself, you have a lot Japanese mannerisms that they value." I tell him.

We learn "I-TA-DA-KI-MA-SU" and "GO-CHI-SOU-SA-MA-DE-SHI-TA" literally, "I will commence eating," and "thank you for the great meal." Simple and polite, yet essential to Japanese culture. I give Matt and Bri a kiss good-bye, and head back to my quiet home, stoked from head to toe. DRC had a good showing for today. Sweet!!

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!

The Right Board 111614

Surf Report: 2-3 feet with the occasional 4
Water: Cooler
Winds: Offshore (Santa Ana's!! Weee~)
Atmosphere: Sunny

Playing with my memory bank here... should have written this post a while ago. Anyways, I remember meeting up with Matt this surf sesh. He said he would be with the WHC near Rosecrans, so I was kinda bummed I wouldn't see him.

As I paddled out from 30th Street Tower, I see Gary aka Balls Deep Castro shredding a left. He takes it all the way in, and waves back to the line up.

I see Matt, and we say hi to each other.

He's on his JS today. Every board is out of commission.

"I can't believe I used to surf this thing," he motions at his board. "It's so long but skinny. It doesn't make any sense for today."

I can tell he's having difficulty with the higher tide mushing out the wave. I trade boards with him.

He catches a few waves, even getting a snap or two. He switches back for me.

Overall, I had a lot of fun surfing with Matt this day. My board was working great, which is the least I can say about Matt's JS.

Another reason we have multiple boards for different situations!

This day, we played our arch rivals, the Venice Lakers. They've beaten all but one time, but they are fearful of us. We had a great start, a mediocre end to the second half, and a so-so 2nd half. They wanted the rebound more than us, and they got the Win. Well, FAIL HARDER kids. FAIL. HARDER. 

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Open Your Eyes, KK 111514

Surf Report: 4-5 feet, Occ. 8 footers
Water: Cool
Winds: Offshore
Atmosphere: Sunny

Big, thumpy day, and of course, it's dumping. I would have suspected the weekend crowd to be thinned out today, but the line up is completely empty. Maybe a lot of people went north or south. Just not here. Here, it's closing out, it's gnarly, and it's unforgiving.

The locals are all watching it. Jose, Big Jon, Robert... They're all watching the line up. The horizon is tinged with the LA smog, while the lines from the sets march in to the shore. There is barely anyone out. I watch as the other guys ohhh and ahhh at the white wash explodes on the shore, sending up a catastrophic tower up into the air.

Well, it doesn't look that bad. Apparently, the sets were bigger earlier in the morning. The swell is diminishing quickly... maybe too quickly. I turn around and head for my car.

"You heading out, Klaude?" asks Jose.

"Yep! Can't catch barrels from the parking lot," I say.

"Show us how it's done!" Robert says. 

I paddle out, and discover my paddling muscles are a little weak. I'm not happy with that. I puff my cheeks and paddle harder, much like I did in Mexico. The paddle out wasn't so bad, and neither is the drift. I get to the outside, and start paddling towards my spot. It's pretty quiet in the line up... the lulls are long, and the atmosphere is tranquil.

First wave I grab is a right, and I pull in to the close out. I close my eyes out of fear, and hear the sounds around me... The water churning, the hollowness of the wave... and I eat it. I get sent down and tumble. It wasn't so bad. I was mad though. Mad at myself for closing my eyes. Mad at still being fearful of opening my eyes.

I tell myself, keep your eyes open KK.

Second wave I catch, I keep my eyes open. I see the crystal ceiling chandeleiring over me. The wave closes out, of course, but I keep my line and stay crouched with my eyes wide open. I can still see the sunlight piercing through the glassy room as I feel my board being taken out from under my feet. I tumble and fall into the abyss.

The sets are about 2 feet overhead when I started, but they are diminishing quickly. I have never seen wave heights diminish so quickly at Manhattan Beach. Maybe it's the tide? The swell angle? The swell period? Whatever it is, it's making the conditions less challenging, and more people start to come out.

None of my friends are out today... not even the locals. There are no more peanut gallery locals with their binoculars at the parking lot.

I go for a few more waves, but they are all closing out. I'm getting tired of getting close outs. I start talking to a guy named Ryan. He is charging hard, and I befriend him in hopes of charging hard too. We trade close outs for the next half hour.

My last wave is a right. It's about five feet on the face, and I start pumping from the lifeguard tower. I pump and pump and pump, racing each section. The face starts to get choppy and marshmallows start to spot the wave face. The marshmallows turn into marbled vanilla, and the face is no longer blue but brown. I keep pumping, trying to beat the sections. Finally, the wave closes out, and I look back to where I am. I'm in front of the dark yellow house.

I think to myself... I could paddle back out... But then again, am I getting a long ride like that? Probably not. It's best if I just cash my chips out right meow and head home.

The sets are now a generous six feet... A full two feet smaller than when I started. I only surfed an hour and a half, but I am happy to get one long ride. No turns, but I kept my eyes open in the barrel. Slowly improving...
As Patricio would tell me, "JUST GO!!"

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Veterans Day Anger 111114

Surf Report: 2-3 feet
Atmosphere: Cloudy
Water: Cool
Winds: Minimal

I've been dealing with parental stress from the kids I coach. I didn't want to get involved with their bickering, but they wanted me to, so I dealt with it the way I knew how: talking it out and bringing it out into the open. We had a parent meeting, with me leading it. The parents talked over what has been going on between the volunteering of Parent Representatives, and how they needed to switch out the Parent Reps, since the same Parent Reps have been volunteering for over two years now. Two parents volunteered. I brought up one of our kids showing up to practice late because he has joined a club team, and how I wouldn't feel it is fair to have him play starters' minutes, regardless of skill level. The parents didn't say anything, except that maybe he can come late to every other practice instead of missing every practice. However, the parent of said child wasn't present to hear this, so it was up to me to communicate it. Furthermore, I explained how the social aspect of the team is vital - playing basketball on the court is only a minute portion of the team spending time together. The post-game tag that they all play, the team dinners, the ice cream get together, the possible Disneyland trip, are all part of what makes our team so special. We reiterated how much time off the court is important as on the court. We also discussed how there should be monthly meetings like this to discuss what's been going on at meetings and to essentially clear the air. A ho'oponopono, as the Hawaiians called it.

I put what we discussed into a pdf, and sent it out to the team. I ruffled some feathers, naturally, and had been getting e-mails after e-mails after e-mails.

Some are in support of me. Others are firing back at other parents. And others respond late in saying, "You shouldn't put that in the e-mail, even though we talked about it at the meeting."

My boy B-sauce is also in town for his cousin's wedding. Since he is on vacation, I am on "vacation" too. Whenever I am in Hawaii, he takes time to hang out with me and parties it up. So, when he is in town, I do the same. I've been staying up late with him, getting tacos, playing dominoes, ping pong, or whatever.

In essence, the highs and lows continue.

I stayed up till 200 AM last night, thinking about what all the parents were saying in their e-mails. I just wanted to coach, and then had to get involved with the parents, and now, the parents are all rambling on about what needs to get done. I need to surf, but shit, it's Veterans Day, and I have to be on it early or else the crowd will be on it. Plus, I still have to go to work.

When I awake, it was already 700 AM. I do my morning routine, and head out to my local spot. Before I leave, Mel asks how I am, and I vent out what's been going on. She reassures me that I am doing the right thing, and that parents take things too personally. I said what had to be said, what everyone was thinking, and now parents are going into their own passive aggressiveness.

"Just tell them what needs to be said," she said. "You're doing the right thing, KK."

Once I arrive, the parking lot is packed. Of course it is.

I paddle out, with an angry atmosphere about me.

I see Matt and Bri, and smile. However, I quickly turn my smile into a scowl. They ask me how I am doing. I vent out my anger.

In between my venting, I paddle for waves. I get snaked by a blue long boarder who sees  me, but still drops in on me. I fucking shake my head as I paddle back out.

It's not that big today, just too crowded. I take out my anger on the Ocean. I paddle like I'm angry at the Ocean, and the Ocean receives my anger. She lets me splash around and do my venting with my body.

No notable rides today... just blowing off the steam.

By the end of the session, I had enough. The waves helped out a lot. I felt a bit more calm and level headed. I felt like a better person. I felt less angry. I felt like I was ready to take on the days events, however bad they may be.

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Another Small Day 110914

Surf Report: Dismal 1-2 feet
Water: Cool
Winds: Offshore
Atmosphere: Patchy clouds

Another small day... Matt and Bri are camping with Rick during his birthday weekend. I really wanted to go, but I had too many obligations including coaching a basketball game that I did not want to miss. Not that we have an important match up this week, but the upcoming week is against our cross town rivals.

So, in essence, this weekend's game is a "building up" to the important game.

Anyways, the waves were super small and mushy. There was no room for turns, no room to really pump too much. The waves crashed on the shore pound a lot too. Maybe a day to body surf was better? Who knows.

All I know is that I got rid of a lot of nervous energy once I was out in the water.

Mahalos Mother Ocean!! You always seem to wash away every thing for us.

Small Daze 110814

Surf Report: 1-2 feet
Water: Cool
Atmosphere: Patchy clouds
Winds: Offshore

A small, small day in the South Bay. Couldn't travel since I had a lunch date with an old friend of mine, Susan.

Surf wasn't memorable at all, but it was nice to be out.

After our lunch, I headed out to The Getty Center to gain some inspiration.

The Sunset at The Getty
I started painting a few weeks ago, and wanted to see how the Masters really did it. There is a Peter Paul Rubens exhibit going on, and that was cool. But my main focus was on one of my favorite artists, Vincent Van Gogh. Just see his technique using a palette knife on canvas is amazing.

Usually, you start with light colors and then apply darker colors. However, he did the opposite on many paintings. Just goes to show that you have to break convention when expressing yourself.

So, here is something I painted. Still working on it as we speak. 

The Green Room I
Mahalos Mother Ocean!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Right Right Right Right 110314

Surf Report: 1-2 feet with the occasional 3
Water: Warm
Winds: Offshore
Atmosphere: Sunny

"Hope you're taking advantage of the daylight savings time," said Matt, in the last part of his Voxer message. He's right, I need to take advantage. I think it's late... but it's still 700 AM. Technically, it's 800 AM. But hey, daylight savings time baby!!

I get to the beach, and see Bri is getting changed in the parking lot. Matt is in HB, gambling to get more barrels. The line up is surprisingly empty - not even the groms are out. Weird.

Ross screeches to a stop in the parking lot. "Hey, at least I beat Ross!" I yell.

"Hey, I have kids to drop off!" he defends.

Bri has to take off, so we say our good-byes, and she takes off. The winds are offshore.... it looks really clean... why isn't anybody out?

The Brick House is working well, so I start there. The wave is fast from the peak, but the shoulder is too weak to let you in. I mentally note that I need to pump immediately when I get to my feet.

I get a quick right but the wave sections ahead of me. I hear Mr. Mike, the Vietnam Vet, in the line-up with his trademark laugh. I see Ray, and Ross, and Kurt. There are only locals out today, with the odd new face. It is "crowded" in a sense, but we all know each other, more or less.

I get a right where I pump, bottom turn, carve, bottom turn, and snap off the top. The wave mushes out, and I am stoked from head to toe.

The paddle back is long as hell!! I see Ross catch a long right, and he is getting held up on the inside too. I wonder what is going on. We both look at each other from a distance, and communicate non-verbally: This paddle back out sucks for a small day.

I get another right, and immediately bottom turn to a snap. However, I dig a rail with too much weight on my front foot. I think I didn't bottom turn hard enough for the turn that I was trying to do, and so I lost it. I make a mental note to myself: set yourself up for a long, hard carve by compressing your bottom turn.

Ray snakes one of the other locals. They playful jeer at each other. Ray is notorious for telling people to go, and then snaking them on waves that he tells them to go on. This day was no different. 

I get yet another right, and bottom turn, snap. Then I bottom turn, snap. And then another bottom turn, snap. I get three turns back to back to back, flowing through each one, staying in the pocket. I didn't have to think about it at all. I just did it because the wave allowed me to. I am so stoked, you can call me John Stoketon.

There are two girls out today... Never seen them, but they aren't really going for the right waves. They go for the smaller waves and don't catch them. Then, they get caught inside on a set wave and eat it. One of them, Rhea, catches a small wave, but gets to take it all the way. Her pop up is good, and she is able to stay with the wave. I compliment her on the wave. 

The next wave is, you guessed it, another right. I get two cutbacks on it just trying to stay in the pocket. My body finally understand why these moves are done - to stay in the pocket. I know my head always told me to do it, but my body is finally doing it without my head thinking about it.

Ross is catching a lot of waves from the Brick House too. He is keeping his arms in the water because the air temperature is too cold compared to the water. He catches a final right and runs up the beach to head for work.

The last wave I catch is a right. I bottom turn hard and get a floater. I stick it, and try to do a cutback. I dig a rail, much like I did earlier, because I have too much weight on my front foot. I blow the wave, right in front of Bruce as he is leashing up.

He throws me a shaka, and asks where it's good.

"Right over there," I point.

"I see that, but why is everyone out of position and paddling towards that spot all the time? Current?"

"Long rides, maybe?" I say, laughing "I was there the whole time, and it was super fun!"

"Cool! Have a good day Klaude!" he says.

I remember when I was first starting to surf, Bruce was an intimidating person. Not only that, he had chewed my ear off for doing some kooky shit in the water. But now, after years of surfing here, he is one of the coolest people ever.

As I walk back, I see Mr. Mike getting changed from his VIP spot.

"Fun day huh?" I say.

"Yea!! Super fun! You know, it was a bit crowded, but good thing we all knew everybody out there huh?"

"Yea, that definitely made it a lot more fun," I add.

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!!

Raw Commitment 110214

Surf Report: 3-5 feet and peaky
Water: Warm and gross
Winds: Offshore
Atmosphere: Sunny

Missing a day of surf.... is like missing a day of masturbation. You know you could have squeezed a session in sometime during the day, but you just never did it. And then it feels like something is missing from your whole day...

Well, I missed Saturday. It's fine, I drank a lot Friday night, entertained guests, and stayed up till 200 AM. I found my boxer briefs in our bathroom, several belongings scattered across our house, and myriads cups and bottles half full of adult beverages.

Anyway, I felt fine that Saturday was a lay day... but still, something was missing.

November 2nd is always a special day for me. I have two birthdays to celebrate: my sister from another mister, Kiyo-chan, and my boy Sasha. I also celebrate the death of my hero, Andy Irons. I always draw inspiration from all of these people in many aspects of my life, and so I always hold a special place for the 2nd of November.

Today was no different - the surf was pumping too!! I was excited, but not excited about the Hepatitis water. I can see the trail of motor oil, soot, dirt, dog shit, and whatever the fuck else was on the streets of Manhattan Beach that got washed through to our local spot.

I know DD is already out... he has taken full advantage of the daylight savings time, and is out extra early. From the shore, I can see Tom Y is out. He takes a left that is building up to a nice left, and smacks the top. He doesn't seem as snappy as he used to be... perhaps still shaking off the cobwebs.

I silently paddle out to the line up. It takes me a good few times, but I get out pretty much unscathed. I spot a good peak, and paddle hard for it. I catch the right, and take it for a one turn close out.

I see Matt, and paddle up to him quietly. He doesn't hear me since he has his ear plugs in. I creep up behind him and he smiles as he turns around.

Matt's on his Lost Mini Driver today. He is utilizing the fins I loaned him. His board looks good under him, especially in today's punchy conditions.

I remember just trying to go for a lot of committed turns and barrels, a la Andy Irons. I just wanted to approach the waves today with the rawness and emotion of AI today. I remember going for a few waves that hung me up with the offshore winds, and I couldn't stick the drop. I get pulled down, free-falling with the lip, and then SMACK right into the flats. I pray my board doesn't hit me. I come up, laugh it off, and paddle back out. Tom and Matt look back at me, and compliment me on my commitment and spectacular wipe out.

I take another right, and bottom turn hard into the lip. My board goes vertical, and the lip is hitting the bottom of the board. Unfortunately, I can feel my body come unbalanced, and now I'm falling five feet with my back towards the flats, looking at the lip falling down on me. BOOM and I get the wind knocked out of me. I get pushed down to the sand bottom, and just close my eyes. I let the brown water wash over me, and calm myself. I kick up, and finally get a gasp of air. I grab my board, and paddle right back out.

I get pounded on the paddle back out. I guess I took the first wave of the set, and there are numerous waves in the set. I see Davey just eat shit on a left, going head first down with the falls, long hair being whipped up in the air as he fell. Well, if he's eating shit... I guess I'm doing something right then.

I take off at angle for a right, and I see my board taking off sideways. "Oh shit," was the last thought in my head as I still tried to pop up. I feel the board slip out from under me, and I'm free-falling once again. I take a good wipe out and get tossed and turned a few times. 

Matt, Tom and I drift. The current isn't too strong, but it's strong enough to keep us fighting for position. Matt goes for a left, and I can tell he is just eye-balling the barrel. I'm sure he could have done some turns, but after Friday's experience, he is only going for barrels. He catches numerous lefts, getting lots of distance on them, and punching out the back or eating shit.

He gets hooted into a big left, where he just charges for it. He paddles back saying, "No where to go but straight! It's good to just get the drop."

The guy who hoots him compliments him on the wave.

The lower tide makes the wave even shittier. So weird.

Well, we had our fun. Got a busy day ahead of me with coaching, cleaning the house further, and taking a nap.

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Wake Up KK 103014

Surf Report: ??
Water: Warm
Atmosphere: Sunny
Winds: ??

Don't remember much, except that I was on the late train for this one too... What is wrong with me??

I've been waking up super late, because I've been staying up super late, because I've been hanging with my roomies more often.

Actually, I remember that Alia, a friend of Mel's came over and stayed until midnight... What the fuck? Hope this doesn't happen again. I'm not getting laid from her or anything...

Go home people!

I had back pain all morning, because I lifted one of the older ladies from my yoga class to her car. I lifted her in an awkward way, and tweaked my back. It was bothering me all night and all morning, and so I stretched and twisted around to get it out.

The pain didn't go away, but I still decided to go surf. I figured if I can move, I can go surf, and if I can go surf, I'll get the blood moving and it will heal my back.

I paddled for a few waves and felt a lot better. It just goes to prove that when in pain, you should still be active enough to get the blood flowing. I don't think my back would have felt the same if I hadn't gone surfing this day... It definitely would have felt worse. 

Mahalos Mother Ocean.

Keeping Promises 102714

Surf Report: 4-5 feet
Atmosphere: Sunny
Winds: Minimal
Water: Warm

I drank heavily Sunday night. Well, not heavily in a bad way, just continuously drinking Scotch with Jeff, the insurance guy we split the office with. I've house-sat for him and his dog, Jack. We conversed on life, love, losing someone we care about, careers, music, speech, connections, religion, and sports. It was a super fun night.

I ubered home, and then ubered back to Jeff's house to pick up my car. I promised myself not to drive home drunk, and so I did. In hindsight, I should have just stayed at Jeff's house and drove back home in the morning. I think I felt like I had to take care of my laundry and Kitty once I got home.

I get my car, share a cup of coffee with Jeff, and drive back home to go surf.

My roomies, Kitty and Nosa, have had a rough morning...
Down and out for the count...

Anyways, I don't remember much about this surf session, except that I came late, I surfed, and then I went to work and goofed off for a few hours. Then I came home.

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Highs and Lows 102614

Surf Report: Solid 5 feet
Water: Warm
Winds: Offshore
Atmosphere: Sunny

I woke up super early, not by choice. Kitty was running laps around my room at 500 AM. I can hear his footsteps just sprinting continuously. I gave him food. He won't stop. I cuddle with him. He springs out of my grip and sprints more. I finally get up and open the front door for him. He gleefully leaves. So that's what you wanted? Why didn't you just say so??

I can hear our neighbors' dogs we are house sitting howling. They are howling continuously. It's still dark, but I know it's them. I can tell it's Benji's voice. I wish I could sleep more, but I cannot let the dogs just howl the whole time. They must be lonely. So, I get out of bed, stretch, and drink some hot water. I take my mug to the neighbors house, and the dogs are delighted to see me. Benji... is a troublesome dog. Tess on the other hand is an obedient and quiet dog. I try to take them both out for a morning walk as I have before, but Benji is not cooperating. He just won't sit on command. So, I lead him out on his leash to the backyard, shut the door, and take Tess out without him. We go for a long walk, and return to Benji, who is looking at me as if to say, "Wait, why did you do that? Am I going too?"

I ask him to sit. He obliges. I ask him to lay down. He does so. So, I put the muzzle and leash on, and we're off. Usually this takes only 45 minutes, but it takes over an hour and a half today... fuck, I'm late for surf.

I didn't plan to be early for surf, but I wanted to surf early enough. I had a game to coach in Long Beach at 1100 AM, so I had a truncated time schedule. I knew there were waves, but I wanted to be on it early!! Oh well. God damn Kitty, and god damn dogs. I was frustrated, a little bit angry, and bit tired from the lack of sleep.

I get to the beach, and it's crowded. There are a lot of people in the water already... I only have about an hour to surf. I hit the water, and spot Matt.

"It's just getting good," says Matt. "It was just dumpy and no shape earlier."

It was a classic Dump Rider day. It didn't matter if it was closing out. We had to go. Matt and I definitely push each other. Maybe we're competitive. Maybe we just bring that out in each other. Whatever it is, the feeling between us has been keeping us surfing together for years.

I remember that Matt was charging while I was there. He took this no-hope close out and still tried to pull in. I saw that, and wanted to match it, so I took a right. I tried to do a turn, but got hit by the lip and sent falling back to the flats.

I snake Matt on a right. He said he didn't see me until he popped up, and had to go straight. I punched through the back of the wave and apologized for him, smiling. Who needs enemies when you have friends?

I think we were the only ones having fun during this time. We were laughing and smiling at each other while everyone scrambled to get under the sets. We just were having fun getting blasted from the white water and duck diving under mounds of white wash. It was a fun time surfing together because we have surfed together in these conditions so many times before. If I was alone, I wouldn't be having as much fun as I was today.

I have to leave after, and take my last wave. Like Davey once said, "You can't catch barrels from the parking lot!!"

Our team gets destroyed in the first half of the game. One of our best players, Bryan, was in a sour mood since the beginning of warm-ups, and carried that energy through the game. This of course effected the whole team, and we started out 16-1. We eventually cut it close, but that deficit was too much to overcome.

Our assistant coach, Coach Monroe, gave a speech at the end of the game. "How were you guys feeling at the beginning of the game?"



"Not having fun."

"Okay, how do you guys feel now? All I see is laughing and joking, you guys got your trophies, you guys look relaxed." Monroe said. "If we took you guys now, turn the clock back and put you guys back in the game, would you win? I have NO DOUBT that we would win. Easily."

"We would have killed them," I add.

"Without a doubt. So that's the thing, guys," Monroe said. "You can't let your highs get too high, and your lows get too low. You can't let emotions dictate your game. You have to stay calm and play calm."

It was a great speech. I thanked him later for the speech. It was relevant for both the kids and myself. It's always great to surround yourself with good people. It helps to keep your eyes, ears, and heart open. I was frustrated in the morning, then super happy in the water. I was frustrated during the game, and happy afterwards.

Some of the kids, their respective families, and I had lunch afterwards. Since we were in Long Beach, there aren't a lot of eating options besides Mexican food. So, good ol' yelp came in and helped. I found a Hawaiian spot that was close by and right off the 405.

What a gem!! Island Eats Hale Aina. They are located in a business complex and look disguised. But everything is hand made, and they do not skimp out on portions. Highly recommended!! I had the Lau Lau and Uncle's Fried Chicken. Both were fucking good.The kicker was definitely the Ohana vibe they sent out. Not just in when taking your order, but this wasn't a fancy place and they still came out to see if the food was good. They genuinely cared if we were enjoying the food. On a side note, I loved the fact that they sell Kala ukuleles in the restaurant. I got to jam on a few!!

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Friends We Call Family 102514

Surf Report: 2-3 foot mush, occ. 4
Water: Warm
Winds: On shore
Atmosphere: cloudy patches but overall sunny

This day was a day to forget.

Only that I surfed with my friends.

Because of the contest, 26th Street was packed. I didn't even look past as I drove by. I told Matt about a parking spot I always parked at, and that we should meet there instead of fighting for parking at El Porto.

He politely obliges.

I see him in the parking lot, and we both hug. Bri and I hug too, exchanging our good mornings. A girl next to us pulls up in a Jeep tattered with surf stickers. Matt and I are riding our respective fish boards today, while Bri is on her NSP.

Seriously, it's a shitty day. It's completely average day of shitty surf in the South Bay. But, it's not as crowded, and I got my friends with me! That is all that matters to me. Me and my friends, and some shitty ass waves.

I see South African goofy foot in the water too. He's ripping apart the place on his forehand. He must weight 120 lbs in his small frame, but he can sure whip the surfboard around with ease. He's with another guy, and a girl. Two dicks and a bitch, just like us. Except we're much better looking.

Matt is first to draw blood. He gets a long ride on his fish... Damn, probably the best ride of the day.

I catch a left that opens up for me. I cutback, pump, pump, and cutback once more. I get the wave almost all the way to shore. I've been getting better at my backside pumps and my backside carves are still more powerful than my frontside carves.

Matt snakes Bri and catches a two turn right. I laugh.

Then, Bri snakes Matt and catches a loooooong right to shore. Payback!!

I laugh out loud even more.

We have a small space carved out for ourselves.

Down further south, the other pack's girl catches a long right. She pumps smoothly and does some turns.

"Damn she makes me look like shit!" says Bri.

"She does! Step yo game up!" I tell her. 

We see Don walk past us and paddle out further south, towards 26th Street.

"Maybe I can convince Matt to go to Mandy's for breakfast today..." says Bri, with a conniving smile.

The high tide really starts to fill in, and all the waves are mushing up to nothing. As I put it, "There's more tide than a laundry mat."

A girl paddles out on an Iranian flag surfboard. Her boyfriend is a good surfer, but she is just floundering around. She has a nice Rip Curl booty shortie, and so I compliment her. It helps to have Bri in the water as your crew so I'm not just creepy guy #1348790 complimenting a girl on her sexy wetsuit. More girls start to paddle out in our spot, including a girl wearing a blue bikini bottom.

Unfortunately, the surf has already gone to shit, and we are looking for our "next one." We all catch our respective next ones, and head back to the parking lot.

We end up at Mandy's for a breakfast pow wow. We are all happy we got to surf together. Our DRC may just be us three at the moment, but hey, it's enough sometimes. I don't need a lot of friends, just a few close ones that I can call family.

I look good in a tux if I didn't make a face
This day was also my boss's daughter's wedding. My boss, if you don't know by now, is my Egyptian father. He has had my back since day one, and I have his back until one of us dies. There isn't anything he wouldn't do for me, and vice versa. I love him, and I am eternally grateful to have ever met him. So when his daughter was going to get married, I made sure that he didn't have to worry much about work and could focus on the wedding. He had guests from Dubai, Turkey, Germany, Egypt, Canada, and even as far as Malibu coming in for the wedding.

The Cathedral - I swear, this is in DTLA!!

The Bride and Groom ride in a Rolls while everyone else is in a limo

The Wedding Cake - WOW


Belly Dancers. meh. jk

Camelia and me

The wedding was gorgeous, with a beautiful ceremony and a breath-taking reception. It will be the fanciest and classiest wedding I have ever attended. It wasn't ostentatious or obnoxious at all. It was just perfect.

And yes, I tore up the dance floor. 

Mahalos Mother Ocean!

That Day I Showed Up To Work at 11:30 102314

Surf Report: 3-5 feet
Water: Warm
Winds: Offshore
Atmosphere: Sunny

On Wednesday morning, I give E a call. I had to consult with my confidant, Mel, and she said I don't have to say anything, or I could just get it off my chest. I had to get the things off my chest on how I didn't want E contacting me until my heart heals. I wrote down all the points I want to tell her, and we talk. I lay down how I feel, on how that I'm still hurting over my broken heart, and that I need time to heal. She's silent.

"Well, that's all your fault," she says.

I listen.

"I was very clear that I didn't want a relationship, but you pursued it. You're responsible for the way you feel right now."

"So, you're not responsible at all? Leading me on was none of your responsibility?"

"No, you said that you're okay with this. You said we can still be friends. YOU said it, didn't you? You decided on this. Or, were you lying? Is that it, you were lying the whole time?"

I was in shock. I was flabbergasted. I couldn't say anything.

"Tell me, what exactly did you mean when you're okay with us being that way? I WANT to learn from this."

"Well, next time you hug, kiss and shower with someone, make sure that you actually like them," I told her.

Then she started to rant on how that none of that was her fault, and that I was responsible for those actions. I couldn't respond.

"Well, if YOU need time then YOU should take time. I'm here for you whenever YOU are ready, Klaude."

"Ok, bye," I say.


I was still in awe of how she vilified me. So, this was all my fault. Everything was my fault. I was kinda angry, but just in shock, because she is supposed to be someone very spiritual, and then she says that she has nothing to do with how I felt, and that it is my own doing.

In a sense, yes, I am responsible for my own heart being broken. I let myself be exposed, and this is part of love. People get hurt. But sometimes, it works out and it's a beautiful thing.

Just. Shocked.

And at the same time... I felt liberated. I felt free.

Yoga on Wednesday night was amazing. I felt all my hips and shoulders open up and breathe. Wow, was E causing all of this? Or was I allowing her to cause me to feel this way? Either way, she's out of my life now!!

The next morning, I wake up for the surf. I completely forget that there is a contest on at 26th Street.

My drive-by shooting skills were a little off today

I get to the parking and it's absolutely PACKED. There are two cars waiting ahead of me. Well, I did come late....

One car leaves. I get out of my car as the first car is parking. There are two cars getting ready to leave. Score!

I get parking and walk down my favorite way - between the greenery of succulents growing on the Strand. I walk down to the brick house and watch the waves. They look big, but are breaking perfectly. As perfect as I have seen it break in a long time.

There are packs of groms where I am about to paddle out from. They surfed their heats and are congregated to the next spot over.

"How did you do in your heat? I heard you ripped!"

"What? No. I skunked it. I didn't get two scorable rides. Just close outs man," a grom says.

"Dude, I think I've gotten so much better just surfing today! The waves are so good!" says another.

I maintain my spot in front of the Brick House. For the first hour or so, I don't catch too many rides.. Just a right here and a left there.

Once 900 AM hit, the water cleared out. The canopies were taken down. The groms were gone, and no one seemed to be in the water.

I started to get some more waves. Got a right, pumped, turned, pumped again, finishing carve.

Got a left, pumped, carved, didn't like the carve so pumped more, and put everything in the last carve.

Got another right, pumped, and carved all the way around. Stayed with the white wash, pumped one more time and cut back again.


It was firing. In a half hour span, I caught so many waves that I couldn't believe myself.  I went right a lot of the times, but I seriously only picked going right because they were A Framing the whole way on most of the main peaks at 26th Street.

Well, it's time to go to work now... At least I had some fun.

I see Mike the Vet getting changed. "Fun, huh Klaude?"

"Yea! Super fun. Bummed I have to go to work," I reply.

I see Ross running down.

"Ross! You're late!!" I tease him. "Getting out now?"

"NawKlaude!! Going back out again!"

"He called in sick," says Geller, the surf team coach.

I am wide-eyed with amazement... Calling in sick. For surf.


I go to my car, watch the waves, and make the decision. I am going to be fucking late to work today.

I throw in an hour and drink some coconut water. I head back down, and see Geller stretching.

"You made the call!!" he yells at me.

"It's rare to have it this good this empty!!" I yell back at him.

I paddle out, and I see the South African goofie foot that rips bust an air. He doesn't stick it, but he paddles out and catches another left. He blows the tail, and gets unstuck.

I was just amazed. The waves were still pumping, and it was just perfect. The waves were steep enough for maneuvers, but so forgiving and mushy that it was just amazing.

I get some rights, but they're not great in front of the tower now. Plus, it's crowded here, meaning there are five guys on this peak. I go towards Don and Ross by the Brick House.

Once I get there, it was just a wave buffet for the three of us. We each take turns getting rights. We catch one after the other after the other. I can't even count how many waves I caught during this span of time. It was just so perfectly rippable. I felt my surfing improved greatly from this one session. I surf over my time limit, but don't care. The waves were just so good!! I couldn't believe myself.

I catch a left much like my left earlier. I carve back to the white wash, unsatisfied. I pump for more speed, lay into the bottom turn, and carve everything into my last turn. My legs are tired. I must be done. I look back and see Ross and Don catching more waves. I wave at them, and they wave back.

Perfect A-Frame, All Time 26th Street

Back at the car, I can't help but smile and laugh at the luck we all had this day. It was indeed a perfect South Bay day. I call Matt, and I can't stop laughing while talking to him. I am indeed, STOKED.

This is what I needed. This feeling, this emotional down then picking myself up, this is what I live for. Life is full of peaks and valleys, and you can't let the peaks get too high, nor the valleys too low. But when they do, the surf always seems to be the perfect response to what I need in my life. I felt liberated, I felt like I could do anything I wanted without limitations. I felt like myself.

I am forever grateful for meeting E. I miss her, of course, much like I miss many of the girls that I have "loved." That word should never be in past tense, but it does happen. That's life. You gotta love like you will never get hurt. And if you do get hurt, you gotta keep moving forward. The sun will rise and the New Moon will rise (which, it did this night) and life moves forward. The next wave will always come, and it might be shitty, or it might be perfect. But, you gotta be ready for it whenever it comes!

And of course, miss work when it's totally pumping at your local spot. Because that's what I struggled so hard to get my CPA for!!!

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!!

Carlsbad? Carlsgood 102114 Part III

Surf: 3-4 feet
Water: Warm
Atmosphere: Beautiful sunset
Winds: Onshore

The sun is coming down fast, and we decide to paddle out for one last session. I am destined to redeem myself from the noon session, so I am stoked to be paddling out one last time before we leave.

The winds tapered down a bit, and there was better shape. The water was still warm, and the vibe was still good.

We start out by the stairs. I see Pat catch a wave and attack the lip.

I try to match by attempting to hit the lip. Instead, the lip hits me and I'm sent down over the falls.

Pat does a backhand cutback, and rebounds off the water.

I try to hit the lip again on a right, and get smacked in the stomach.

"Hit the lip!! Not the other way around!" says Pat.

"I'm trying! I just don't have the timing," I yell back at him.

I have to attack the lip better...

I see DD get a nice right in the distance. I hoot him. And then I think, "Why am I so far away from him?"

Then I realize I have drifted way far.

I try to paddle back, but the current is whisking me away like flour in a cake bowl. So, I just sit where I am and go for my last wave.

I see Pat pull in to a close out and disappear under the curtain, and then engulfed completely. He emerges, grabs his board, and belly rides in.

Next one, KK. Next one.

I take off on a right, and get my first pump in before it closes out. Well, at least you got that in!

Back at camp, a fire is getting started. Pizzas have been delivered by the guys who went off to Blacks earlier. More beers are being passed around.

Matt and I agree to leave now, and say our farewells to everyone. On our way out, I look at my phone for the first time. Twenty something e-mails and twenty something texts. And one Voxer!! It's from Fransauce.

"Klaude, been reading your blog. I'm living vicariously through you. Hope you're surfing lots and miss you guys!"

We send him a bromantic response together. It was just perfect.

We head to San Clemente and grab some Taco Tuesday and watch the Laker game as everyone is fixated on the Giants vs Royals game. We cheer and oohh and awww at the TV in our own little booth.

On the way home, I get a call from Don't Respond. I renamed E this because I didn't want to respond to her anymore. She leaves a voicemail.

Matt and I are talking to the radio the whole way home, listening to the Laker game.

We get home to his house, and Bri welcomes with a huge. I ask her if she would like to listen to the voicemail E sent me, and perhaps I can get some feminine insight. She agrees to listen:
"Klaude, it's me Elyce, hope you're doing well. I sent you a couple texts yesterday, and I don't know if you got them, but I'm giving you a call to see how you were because I haven't talked to you in a while... and wanted to see how life's been treating you and what you've been up to. Maybe we can paint sometime soon? Give me a call or text me, whenever you get a chance to... if you will like to. Take care, bye."

"This is just like my sister, Klaude, and she's crazy," Bri says. "She obviously misses you and is desperate to see you."

"Well, that's not gonna happen," I say.

I give them both a big hug and say good night.

I drive home from the exhaustion of the whole day. What a fun day... but that voicemail. Kinda dampers the sweet end to the day.

Well, deal with it tomorrow, KK. For now...

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!

Carlsbad? Carslgood 102114 Part II

Surf: 3-4 feet
Atmosphere: Sunny
Winds: Onshore and howling
Water: super warm

We're back at the campsite, and DD tells me about his last ride. He finally got a good one and called it a morning. It wasn't a marathon sesh, but it was a good two hours and some change.

We crack open beers and eat chips with guacamole and salsa. We see the conditions just go from bad to worse. But, that's not important really. We're here, chilling on the cliff, and not a worry in sight.

I promised myself to unplug for the day - no looking at my phone at all!! Except for... one time, to call my boss, Nabil, and to thank him for the day off. I unlock my phone to call him, and I see a few e-mail notifications and a few texts. I ignore them. I call my boss, thank him, see how he is doing, and throw my phone back into Matt's car. No more phone for the rest of the day.

We drink beer, eat chips, and shoot the shit. There's a good vibe going on, and we are all feeling it. The winds blow harder as we wait around the campsite. The lifeguard looking dude who rips decides to take off to Blacks. He recruits Todd to go with him. We all say fuck that shit and crack open more beers.

Pat and I hang out in the luxurious RV. This RV is decked out to the max - full bedroom with a fold out flat screen, beautiful bathroom and shower, a huge flat screen in the main area, and a small one in the cooking area, and seating for at least eight.

After pounding a few beers, we decide to head out for a noon sesh. It's blown out, and no one is out, so why the fuck not?

We all head out in boardshorts, except me. I'm wearing my springsuit. I didn't bring a second pair of boardshorts, so I change back into my springsuit.

The paddle out was... not fun. It sobered me up for sure!! The waves were crumbly, closing out, and had a lot of water moving. Every duck dive took some extra effort during our noon sesh... By the time I got out, Matt had gotten a warm up wave, but that was probably the best wave for the sesh.

I didn't catch SHIT this session. I could not find a shoulder at all.

Usually, I'd be frustrated. But today... today was different. I didn't feel as frustrated as I usually be. I watched some rides from Pat and Pete, but that was about it. I took a close out and walked out.

Yantz, his wife, and his daughter were on the sand. He kept on trying to catch Matt and my eyes. We learned from the lifeguard friend of Pat to keep looking straight forward, as if you're not looking at him, even though we are looking at him. We are both checking out his hot German daughter... and of course him in his Speedo. We finally make eye contact and he waves. We wave back as we climb the stairs.

Back at camp, one of the guys has bought tacos for all of us and delivered them. He had to go pick up his kids from school, so on the way back he picked up tacos. What a sweet deal!

We drink more beers and talk shit over food. Pete busts out his tequila, and the conversations get more lively.

Mahalos Mother Ocean!