Sunday, January 11, 2015

KKs Vacay - Last Day of Gratitude 010715

Surf Report: 15-20 feet and Junky
Winds: Trade winds
Water: ???
Atmosphere: Cloudy and sunny

None of us can sleep comfortably this night. It is uncomfortably hot at night, and Alex and I are sharing the bed. We all knock out at 1000 PM, but I wake up at midnight. Apparently, Francis couldn't sleep either, and neither could Alex. Alex was snoring the whole night, and I would have to slap him on the chest to stop snoring.

Nicole has to wake up to go to work, which is in Molokai. Francis has to drop her off at HNL airport, and he asks us to wait for him to come back. We're up in about, like zombies, waiting for him. We warm up some coffee and eat some fruit that I cut up yesterday.

Sunset Beach - No one out, but everyone watching
I try to call Mitsuken Okazuya to order some garlic chicken to take home, but can't get through. It's the one thing my mom and dad look forward to when I come home from Hawaii, and I can't even order this... FUUUCK. 

Francis returns with some McDonalds, and we munch on that while we check the surf reports. It's upgraded from yesterday's 8-15 feet faces to 15-20 feet+, and building.

"It looks like Victory at Sea," Francis says, as we munch on breakfast. "No one is out in the water."


Looks like it's a day of no surfing. My last day in Hawaii, on a building day of swell, and I can't surf.

We opt to hike the Sunset pillbox, which overlooks the three peaks of Sunset, Backdoor, and Pipeline. It's a nice hike, easily done with slippers. We hike and check out the scenery below. No one is out. In fact, the famed Third Reef at Pipeline is breaking, and closing out the whole line up. We see the inside white water spit out a few times, but the view from atop is deceiving.

The view from the top
We climb back down, and check out the surf from the beach. Pipeline is packed with people, but it is just un-surfable. It's too gnarly... I doubt we can even get out past the second duck dive. We watch it for a while, and go to Pupukea Grill for lunch. By this time, it is impossible to get to Town, pick up garlic chicken, and then head back to Honolulu airport.

Third Reef Pipeline
I call my mom, apologize I can't get the garlic chicken, to which she replies, "It's ok, just get back home safely."
Pupukea Grill - BBQ Pulled Pork Quesadilla
I have all my stuff packed up and ready to go by the time we get back to the house. It is a sad Aloha with da boys. It always is. But it's not Aloha, it's A Hui Hou, or till we meet again. The doggy that has been keeping us company looks sadly through the stairs, and bids us farewell.

I hug Alex and Francis tightly, and tell them see you later. We all drive off into the North Shore traffic. There are two road construction sites on our exit of the North Shore, making it damn near impossible to go shopping into Town without risking missing my flight. I already did that last time, and I won't miss my flight again.
You're leaving already..? :(
I get to the airport two hours early, hauling my surfboard bag full of stuff around. I check my bag in, and head over to the bar. I grab a beer, some sweet potato fries, and marinate in my own thoughts.

This trip was different from any other trip I had. I didn't score perfect surf like I had in my previous trips here. In fact, the weather was super shitty the whole time I was here. I partied hard with da Dojo boys, and spent a lot of time fighting off a cold brewing in my lungs. I got to spend time with Francis and Nicole, Kev, B-sauce, De Roy, Ivan, and Alex. I met some new people, and reconnected with old ones. I had times of temptations and times of solitude. I had met new surfers and old surfers from previous trips. Yes, I only surfed three days out of my nine days here, and yes, it was cold as fuck, and yes, the windows blew down on one of those nights, but I had my fun. I had my surf bug tickled. And I had my share of hold downs and gnarly paddles characteristic of the North Shore.

A Hui Hou!!
This trip made me realize how lucky I have been in the last five years, and how fortunate I have been to score great weather and great surf the whole time. Even though Hawaii is "paradise," it can be gnarly and wet and wild, far from an idealistic paradise.

So, it has been a different kine of Hawaii, indeed.

And I loved every minute of it.

Except maybe the all night ragers.... Those I could do without...

But as Kev said, "Klaudey Laudy, did you have fun?"


Mahalos Mother Ocean! And Mahalos to all of my ohana that made my stay so amazing. And Mahalos to the magical land of Hawaii. It's always a pleasure to be within your giving bosom.

KKs Vacay - VLand with Wakita-san and Her Daughter 010615

Kook of the Day - Brazo wearing a full suit

Puuuuppy dawgs

Junky Vland Surf Check
Surf Report: Junky 4 - 5 foot faces at Freddie’s
Water: Cool
Winds: Howling Trade Winds
Atmosphere: Cloudy

My last full day in Hawaii, and I am searching for surf once again. I woke up in the morning, and biked down to Vland. It’s junky as hell.

I bike down to Sunset, and it’s not even breaking. No one is out. I bike down to Pipe, and there are a few people out, but it’s junk. I can’t believe it… but then again, the winds are just not cooperating along with the swell direction, coupled with the terrible weather of winter in Hawaii.

I go back to my rental, and drive to Foodland. I shop for some fruit, and return home in hopes that by noon, the waves will be rideable, much like yesterday.

Noon hits, and the winds already seem stronger. I don’t know if I’m going to surf today… and it gets me a bit depressed. The onshore winds are stronger now, and it feels like I’ve missed my window. I bike down to Vland anyway, and confirm that it is worse now than it was in the morning.

I return home, and start typing in blog. I finish a blog entry, but for some reason it won’t save. I refresh the page, and I’ve lost everything that I’ve just typed. I throw my hands up, almost falling out of my chair, and get frustrated even more. No surf, no blog, no nothing achieved today. I bike down again to Vland to check the surf, for a third time.

The winds are still the same - onshore and howling. There are some gross out, and a goofy-footed grom takes a wave without a turn all the way to the inside. He rides in, and paddles in to call it a session. There are moms and ke’iki’s chilling on the beach, side boob hanging out. Despite the winds, they are just lounging comfortably on the beach.

Just then, a mom and her daughter walk up to check the surf. The grom that got out walks towards us. I recognize the mom, and ask her, “You’re Wakita-san, aren’t you?”

“Yes. Oh! You’re the surfer from California!”

“Yea! We met last year in the winter. Happy New Year!” All of this is in Japanese. Wakita-san is the wife of a famous Pipeline specialist, Takayuki Wakita. They moved from their hometown in Kanagawa, Japan, to the North Shore in order to live the dream of surfing and raising their kids in Hawaii.

Last year, when I stayed on the North Shore, Wakita-san was out here every day charging the waves of Vland, and so she and I talked a lot since it is rare for a Japanese person to be able to speak Japanese in Hawaii, despite the big Japanese-American population here. I must say I am thankful for my mom to force me to Japanese school for so long during my adolescence.

“Oh, Happy New Year to you too! When did you get in? How long are you here?”

“I got in about a week ago, but I’m leaving tomorrow,” I tell her.

“Oh, did you get to surf at all? It’s been really bad this past week, probably the worst I’ve seen it in years.”

“Yea, I’ve heard this is the worst winter in about ten years. I’ve only surfed a few times during my stay.”

She and  her daughter stare off to the surf. Her daughter is on a skateboard, pivoting back and forth. The grom comes up to us, and introduces himself as her son.

We talk about the surf for a while, on how even paddling out in these conditions is practice, and that it’s good to go out even when it’s like this.

“Did you get some waves?” she asks her son.

“Yea, at Freddie’s. It’s ok,” he says.

“Well, it’s up to you,” she says, looking at her daughter. “If you want to paddle out, we should paddle out. Get your feet wet. Look, so and so is out there too.”

“Ehhh, but I’ve been sick,” her daughter says.

“Me too!” I add, smiling. “If you don’t paddle out, I’m going to make fun of you on your instagram,” I tell her. “Hope to see you out in the water!”

I turn my bike around and head back to the house. I get changed, throw on my rash guard, and walk down back to the beach. I do my light stretching, and start paddling out at Freddies. A local grom 

There are three beginners out in the water. How do I know they are beginners? Well, one is on a foamy with a GoPro, one is on an NSP, and another is on a seven footer. They are all muscular beyond surfers, and when they paddle it seems like they are uncomfortable in the water. They look like barney’s to me… And I don’t like to judge because I am a barney too, but man, I can’t believe they are in the water.

Wakita-san and her daughter make it out into the water. We share Freddies between the three of us, including two little groms about age 9 or 10, maybe younger. The groms don’t take the bigger waves, but they still catch good waves compared to the three other barney’s in the water.

I catch a wave that is about shoulder high, but wedges up perfectly in front of me. I get a wrap around cutback, and the wave mushes out. I see Wakita-san catch a left, but it doesn’t offer her up any turns. She tells her daughter to go on the next wave, pushing her to catch uncomfortable waves.

A woman paddles out in her spring suit on a fat, wide board, and she starts catching some good rides too. The three barney’s look in envy, along with me, of her long rides. She definitely knows the line up well.

The three barney’s are always out of position. They are just wide of the peak, and are scratching out on the waves. I mean, it’s not firing or anything, so it’s not that hard… but they are struggling. I smile at them every time I paddle by them, and they scowl. Sheesh, so serious. It’s just surfing, guys.

I compliment then woman on her fat, wide surfboard. She has a wedding ring on, so she is off limits. But she is super approachable, and introduces herself as Naomi. I compliment her on her smile, since there are too many “serious” faces in the water. She laughs. “Yea, c’mon, it’s Freddies! Have some fun!” she says.

I scratch into a left, and pop up. I initiate my bottom turn, and see Naomi racing towards me on the right. I jump off, and tug at my leash as hard as possible. We both resurface, and apologize to each other.

“I’m so sorry! I didn’t see you until the last moment!!” I tell her.

“I’m so sorry too! I didn’t even see you. Are you ok?” she asks me.

“Yea, I’m fine, sorry about that again,” I laugh, shaking my head.

It gets COLD. The winds seem to blow harder now, and although the water isn’t that cold, the winds make it pretty fucking cold. I keep looking across the channel to Vland to see if it’s better, but it seems like the same shitty, junky conditions over there too. I can’t believe last year I scored that place when it was firing all day, every day.

“Can we get out soon?” asks Sayuri, Wakita-san’s daughter.

“Five more minutes then,” she replies, with a stern face.

“Two minutes?”

“Three, if you catch a good wave.”

“How about ten?” Sayuri asks.


“Why are you increasing the minutes?” I ask her.

She laughs, as if trying to pull a fast one on her mom.

“One more good wave, and we can go,” says her mom. That’s pretty cool to have a mom that pushes her kid to surf well, even in these junky conditions.

I turn around and paddle for a wave. It’s a dumper, and I go just to make the drop and bottom turn. I take the wave in on my feet as far as I can, then get on my belly. The wave loses power, and I start paddling in to shore. The higher tide is making the shore pound gnarlier, and so I have to time my exit perfectly in order not to get hurt.

I finally get out of the shore pound, and head to the trees where my slippers are. I look back, and Wakita-san takes a wave, and her daughter takes another wave. They start paddling in. It’s a complete session.

That night, Fransauce, Nicole, and Alex come over to spend time with me. They bring over two bottles of wine, two pizzas from Papa Johns, and lots of laughs. We spend the night drinking and eating, watching Family Guy, and passing out at 10.

We plan to surf in the morning, before I leave Hawaii. The forecast is 8-12 feet on the face… Do-able, and the winds seem to be backing off a little bit. Hopefully we can dawn patrol it tomorrow….
Primo Beers!

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!

Thursday, January 8, 2015

KKs Vacay VLand Fun 010515

Surf Report: Junky 3 - 5 foot faces
Water: Warmer?
Atmosphere: Sunny
Winds: Trade winds

I didn't do much on the 4th - Met up with my homegirl Joyce and her friend Tu to have breakfast, got my rental car, ate, met up with my homegirl Emiko whom I haven't spoken to in over ten years, marinated, and packed for the North Shore.

My first day on the North Shore, I am greeted to on shores, shitty surf. Shitty, shitty surf. There are people out at Freddie's, but it's so junky I am turned off by it. I bike down to Sunset, Monster Mush, and Pipeline, and they are all the same. Blown out, junky surf.

I get into my car, and check Haleiwa at Ali'i Beach Park. Same story... shitty surf. And it's crowded.

Monster Mush
So, I go to Haleiwa Town to grab some breakfast at Lanikai Juice. Low and behold, I see the one and only John John Florence there. I contained myself from gushing out, but still snapped a pic.

JJF!! He's tall as fuck
After breakfast, I go back to my place and check the surf at Velzyland.

Puppay Dawg #1

Puppay Dawg #2

The waves at V-land look doable now. I mean, it’s not the epic, clean surf I remember from yesteryear, but there are rideable waves, unlike this morning. I go back home and grab my Fred Rubble. I screw my fins in and attach my leash to it. The doggies here are chasing after me, as if to stop me from going out. “C’mon, play with us! We’re so much more fun than waves!!”

I walk down to V-land and Freddie’s, throw my sandals under a bush, and start stretching. I haven’t eaten lunch yet, so I’m trying to keep this session short. I want to eat sometime soon, since it’s about 100 PM already.

I paddle out in an unconventional spot, south of the channel. The paddle out isn’t so bad, just had to be weary of the duck dives early on since the tide has dropped out and the inside is shallow. As I make my way to the V-land channel, I watch the long boarders paddle into waves at Freddie’s. They are getting short, sweet rides. Mushy lefts break towards me, and I am tempted to play with them, but I have my goal set - surf V-land again after a year of surfing experience and eye surgery behind me.

There is a grom who is probably 11 or 12 years old. He is sitting wide of the usual line up of V-land. There is a bald guy with a bright yellow board, and older goofy footer with a blue railed surfboard, a Mainland surfer in a short wetsuit, and two older surfers on bigger boards. The water is still cooler than I remember, but at least the sun is out today, warming up our bodies.

First wave I go for is smooth and easy, and I get a glide in take off. The speed I get from the take off is immediately fed into the cut back, and the wave turns into mush. Some sets start to roll in, and I take them on the head. I open my eyes under water, and see the reef stare back at me. It’s not so shallow after all, I think to myself. I take about three waves on the head before getting back into the channel.

I watch the others catch waves - the goofy footed surfer takes a rare left, while the grom pulls out of a late take off. The others are out of position to catch any waves. I assess the skill level of the field, and determine I am able to be on the top of the pecking order.

The bald guy goes for a wave, but he is too far out. I put my head down and paddle for the wave, and I can see him back out by not paddling anymore. I catch the wave, and do a cutback. I slide so hard out of my cutback that I am laying back into it now. My body is falling, and I am desperately trying to hold on to my board with my feet. I can feel the wave try to push me back to my board, and my heels are digging into the wax. However, I can’t get back to my board.

I watch the grom take an air drop on a set wave. He sticks it, draws out a long bottom turn and gets around the section. He goes completely vertical on the section, sticks it, and continues his ride to the inside. This kid can surf!!

There is a stocky surfer that joins us now, and he gets a wave on his backside. He cutbacks twice before kicking out on the inside.

The winds have calmed down a little more, and it feels like the waves are a little more clean than before. I get a bit more aggressive on my take off spot by sitting deeper. I paddle for a wave that no one wants, since they are out of position. I am way too late for this wave, and it’s hollow from the take off. I can’t make it. I fall head first into the flats, and keep my eyes open. I can see the hollow face of the wave just take me under water. The reef tumbles over my head, and I am in the washing machine. Well, this isn’t that bad, I think to myself. It’s not even that shallow today. I feel like a Humuhumunukunukupua’a under water, just going with the flow of the current. I get released early, and come up for air. There are a few more coming at me, but it ain’t no thang like a chicken wang.

I get back into the channel, and wait for my turn to paddle for a wave again. The older guys with bigger boards are on the outside, and are out of position for the mid-sized waves. The bigger waves are all closing out from the outside, and they have to duck dive or turtle the wave. Today’s swell has a lot of west in it, and so the waves are breaking wider than what I recall. I remember last year I would line up myself a little further north of the wall, in between the two palm trees that are bunched up together, where the two palm trees line up into one palm tree. But today, I am lined up with the wall itself.

I catch another right, and do a wrapping cutback. V-land really allows me to practice my cutbacks, and I feel more and more confident putting oomph into them. My right foot starts to ache from the bottom turn + cutback combination, and then my left toes start to cramp up. It’s probably all the biking and walking I did all day today that finally caught up with me.

I try to massage it out, running my fingers through my toes, massaging my calf muscle, but nothing works. I catch another wave, and my cramp is temporarily gone while I ride the wave. However, once I kick out the toes curl up into a ball once again.

C’mon, just a few more waves, I tell myself.

Nope, says my toes. You’re done, dude.

I see the sets roll through again, and I give in to my body saying “No mas.” I paddle back in, and get washed onto shore right over the reef. I walk on the reef as carefully as I can with my cramped up toes. I finally get out and look back at the line up. It’s still looking like shit, but the winds are still light compared to the morning. More people are making their way out through the woodwork, surfboards in tow. Guess it was a good time for me to exit.

As I walk back to my place, the two dogs that belong to the owner of the house greet me. They are barking loudly at me, and then run up to be petted. The Chihuahua actually comes into my room and watches me shower. He is sniffing around my whole room to figure out who I am, and what I’m doing here.

I heat up left over chicken as he runs around the room with the other dog. I eat left over fried chicken for lunch, and take a nap. This is the life, I think to myself. North Shore, biking to check the surf, surfing, grinding on some fried chicken, napping… this is the life. This is my vacay.

I head to Town that night since Justin wants to take me to a new spot in Town. He swears it is an impressive place to eat Chinese food, and that I will absolutely fall in love with the place. However, turns out he has to stay later than usual for work, and so I can’t grab any dinner with him. So, I go to one of my favorite ramen noodle places, Yottekoya, and eat ramen. I should have ordered the large instead of the regular.

Yottekoya's Paitan Ramen - da beeeest
I drive back to the Country in the dark, satisfied and tired from the days’ events.

Mahalos Mother Ocean!! 

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

KKs Vacay - Drag Me Outta Bed 010315

Surf Report: 1-3 feet
Water: Cool
Winds: Trade winds
Atmosphere: Sunny

The night of the 2nd of January will forever be embedded in my head as the day the Dojo almost went down. De Roy and I were cruising, watching television and shooting the shit. There was a storm passing through, so the winds were howling, and rain was pouring down sideways.

"Man, the windows are gonna blow down," De Roy said to me, laughingly.

He got up to go to his room, when BOOOOOM and a loud CRACK rang through my ears. The windows right in front of me blew in, and there was wind and water just drenching our carpet.


I got to my feet, held the plastic covering of the windows. De Roy ran in, and we started to hatch out solutions to stopping the rain from coming into the house.

"I think this is where the Dojo goes down!" De Roy says to me.

"Not without a fight!" I reply back. So dramatic, I know. 

I grabbed some towels to wipe down all the water coming in. De Roy grabbed duct tape and started taping down the plastic covering to no avail. We tried duct taping the borders, but the tape wouldn't stick. We taped the whole thing across, and the winds kept blowing it off. The water seeping through didn't help the adhesive sticking together. I started to unplug the cords of all the electronics with one hand as I held down the plastic covering of the window. I broke off the remaining wood pieces that remained of the window.

"Maybe we can duct tape body boards onto this?" De Roy exclaimed.

"How about we get those doors and put them up against it?" I said.

Dojo ain't goin down without a fight!!
"Hold up, I got an idea." He runs into his room, and runs back with his closet doors. "Here, let's put this up."

We prop up the door, and we push the couch to hold up the door. For now, that will do.

We wipe down the windows and the surrounding carpet. The electrical equipment around the television was all wet, so we wiped those down too. Still, felt unsafe to plug anything back in, so we kept the television and wifi off.

So, what to do? No TV, no internet makes Jack a dull boy.
Jammin with De Roy

Bust out the ukulele's!

We jam for about an hour or so, and the winds kept howling. The rain stopped eventually, but the winds wouldn't. It's a noisy, turbulent night, but we manage to have our fun. We knock back a few beers in the process of jamming, and I learn some new skills from De Roy. He fucking shreds the uke.

I am dead tired by this point, and ready to go to bed. I've had a long day, and it's already 930 PM.

"What? Klaude's not going out?" exclaims Justin, from his room. I'm in the living room.

"I know right? Isn't he on vacay?" shouts Kev.

"What the shit is that?? He's on vacay, and he doesn't want to go out?" replies Justin, loudly.

Yes, I can hear you two motherfuckers, okay?

Justin comes into the living room. "What's this that you're tired? I ride back in this shitty weather, after a hard day at work, and you don't wanna party? Didn't you party with Da Boys on your first night when I wasn't here? And you're not gonna party with me??"
Shot of Jameson, chased with apples - The Russian Way

"Fuck you guys, I'll get changed," I say, pointing two middle fingers at Kev and Justin.

And so, we party that night with Justin and his first college roommate, Sam. We start the night off with three Jameson shots each, and from there... things are a blur.

[Scenes Missing]

We go to a bar, and have more shots of Jameson. I talk to a girl who is with her family, and her dad calls me over.

"Hey, what you do?" he inquires.

"I'm an accountant, I do taxes," I reply.

"Ok, what you doin talkin to my daughtah?" he asks.

"I'm just saying hi, happy new year, how are you. Nothing malicious," I reply.

"Ok brah."

"Don't worry Uncle, I got nothing but respect for you and your family. I'm nothing to worry bout," I tell him.

[Scenes Missing - Sorry again]

Anything tastes good at 3AM, but the gyoza's were bomb as hell
After a night of drinking, we somehow end up at Sonoya, an udon spot open late night. It's 330 AM by the time we get our uber, and get to the house.

Three missed calls from Francis. It's 930 AM. He texts me. "Let me know if you want to surf dh. U can use Alex's board. Around 10"

"I just woke up," I reply.

"All good. On our way," he replies.

Shit. Well, here we go. I am not hung over, but just exhausted. Exhausted from saving the Dojo from the storm. Exhausted from partying. Exhausted from staying up so late. But here is Francis, with Nicole, picking me up to go surf Diamondhead.

"You can stretch on the beach," he says to me as I do a downwards dog. Fuck.

"Ok, let's go," I say to him.

We arrive at Diamondhead, and it's packed. Seems like everyone knew that there is a wrap from the swell and that surf is good here. Nick and his sister, Kristen, meet us at the hillside parking. We carry down longboards down the side of the cliff. This is actually the first time I go to Diamondhead from the side instead of the donkey trail.

I am tired, but once I get out into the water, I feel rejuvenated. The water feels great. There are all kinds of people out today - rippers, chicks, groms and ke'iki's, tourists alike. I find myself to the side of the main pack, in hopes that one wedges up for me.

Francis paddles towards the pack. The waves look steep on the take off but mush out immediately. There are people getting some short rides on shortboards and long rides on longboards. Hopefully Alex's red board will be the right choice for me today.

A peak wedges up for me, and I paddle for it. The wave mushes out before I can even pop up. Wait for a bigger one, KK.

A bigger wave appears, and I paddle for it. I have to go straight in order to avoid the people on my inside. I try to muster a bottom turn, and just fall off. I forget that I am on a longboard instead of a shortboard. I can't just turn this thing on a dime.

I try for another wave, but the take off is too steep. I bail out, and get dragged by the board and the wave.

I go for another right, and get a longer than normal ride. I see Nicole and Francis on the inside, and try to continue the ride, but I lose balance trying to steer the board into the pocket and eat shit. It's too bad... that was probably the longest ride of the day for me.

I tell Francis that I am going to lay out on the beach, and he asks if we can switch boards. I unstrap Alex's board from my ankle and receive the foamie from Francis.

Nicole says," Catch a wave in with me, Klaude!" I try, but the waves aren't breaking where we are sitting.

I see Francis catch a wave on the red board. He takes it as far as he can until the wave mushes out. "It's so hard to turn!" he says.

I paddle back in and make a makeshift shade by propping up the board against the rocks. I rest on the sand as the sounds of waves crashing ten feet away from me rock me to sleep.

I hear Nicole's voice in the distance. She purposely flicks water at me to wake me up. I throw sand back at her butt in retaliation. We all call it a day and head back to the showers.

People are just chilling on the beach in their bikinis and boardshorts. It is truly a beach day after the storm. Who would have imagined that after a huge storm like that the sun will be out and the day would be so gorgeous? We shower, and start to head back to the parking lot.

"FUCK! OUCH OUCH OUCH!" I yell. I stepped on some thorns that Francis warned me about in the beginning. One is stuck in my foot.

"That's why you wear slippers, brah!" yells Nick.

"Fuck that shit," I tell him.

We get back to the car, and decide to go to Health Bar to eat some food. We are all exhausted, and after we part ways, I take a nap.

Francis, Nicole and I agree to meet up later tonight for dinner at the Olive Tree Cafe, where one of their roomies, Seva, works as a chef. This place is right next to a wine store, which has limited selections, but since the restaurant is BYOB, it is doing very well. The restaurant itself is great, using only locally sourced ingredients. We order oysters, hummus, babaganoush, tabbouleh, crab ceviche, and a main dish. Francis and I get the fish souvlaki, while Nicole got the lamb souvlaki. Every thing tastes fresh and made with tender love and care. The only downside was that the coffee machine was broken so we couldn't enjoy the baklava with some coffee. All in all, five out five stars. This place might be my new favorite place to eat in Hawaii. Definitely top three restaurants.

Mahalos Mother Ocean! And Mahalos to Fransauce and Nicole for dragging me out of bed, even though I wanted to just sleep in. Hahaha. I would have been much less productive fosho.


KKs Vacay - Chun's Reef and Puaena Point 010215

Surf Report: 5 - 10 foot faces
Water: Sorta warm?
Winds: Howling
Atmosphere: Cloudy as fuck

Fransauce was adamant about surfing today, and I could not agree more - I haven't surfed at all since I arrived in Hawaii, and it's been killing me. We agreed to dawn patrol the North Shore this day, and he said he will pick me up at 600 AM.

I was up by 530 AM.

It felt good to be back in my routine in the morning again. Warming up some water, stretching, breathing, all of that. What a turn around from partying all night in the last two days. I see Francis pull up into our driveway, and he gives me a call. My board has the fins already in them, and I gather my backpack and water and head down stairs.

We make our drive up to the fabled North Shore in the darkness. It seems like forever and a day since I've made this trek, but it also feels very familiar and nostalgic. We plan to meet his friends Brenton and Nick at Chun's Reef.

Chun's is a memorable place for me. On my first trip to the North Shore in 2008, I stayed here by myself and surfed the spot when it was 8-10 feet, Hawaiian scale, which meant 15-20 foot faces. I had no idea the difference between Hawaiian scale and normal scale. I was there by myself because I had broken up with my girlfriend at the time right before departing for Hawaii. Friends close to me know the reason why of our break up, so I will keep it at that. The reason for our break up was great enough for me to ask the person I loved to stay in LA and not come with me to Hawaii. So anyways, surfing, or rather, shitting my pants, out there at Chun's reef in 2008 has been a memorable experience for me. It was a humbling experience, scary experience, and also a moment of triumph for me too. I have never seen waves that big in my whole life, and was able to ride a 10 footer on the days when the swell dropped to half the size.

So, back at Chun's reef we were, and the waves looked okay. Nothing epic, really. Barely anyone was out. The waves looked mushy almost... which is fine, but for a 5-10 foot day, this was unexpected. Not only that, but the weather was not cooperating at all! Oh well... we're here, might as well get going.

The water felt warm, but it was definitely the coldest Hawaiian water I have ever experienced. The paddle out wasn't so bad, it was pretty smooth. A few duck dives on the inside, a few more on the outside, and we were all out in the line up. There was barely anyone out today. I guess it wasn't such a good day after all.

My first wave, I catch a small insider to warm up. I look back, and hear a big BOOOOM.


A wall of white water is heading towards me. I start to paddle out, but to no avail. I take the white water on the head.

From here on, I am trying to get to the channel, and with absolutely NO FUCKING LUCK. I duck dive, and get dragged. I paddle for my life, and can't get to the channel. As a matter of fact, I'm getting pulled to the next break. I put on my Mexico paddle, and still get no where. I'm stuck in a rip tide. I keep paddling, strong, hard, and persistently. I just can't get out of the rip tide!! I can't see any of the boys, and I hope I'm not making them worry. I'm ok! I'm just stuck on the inside, floundering around in the rip current.

I look back to triangulate my position. I'm still in front of the big brown house. I need to get to the lifeguard tower, just a mere thirty yards away. But Mother Ocean just won't let me go. I keep paddling parallel to the shore, trying to penetrate the rip.

Well, after about half an hour of battling the rip, I finally get out to the channel. I suppose my paddling muscles haven't been lost from all the partying - they are working just fine. However, I am pretty tired.

"Dude, you disappeared for so long, I was getting worried!" says Francis.

"I know, I got caught in the rip," I tell him.

"You were gone for like half an hour," he says.

"Well, my paddling muscles are working! Good thing to know," I laugh.

Brenton and Nick have taken off to Puaena Point now, and are no where to be found.

I scratch into a right, and take the drop super late. I am crouched so low that I am stiff. My body naturally starts to go into a bottom turn. Thank you training on land! I don't even have to think about it now. I make my way up the face of the wave, and do a top turn. Surprisingly, I stick it, but the bottom drops out and I eat shit. Not too shabby, I think to myself.

I see Francis take a right, and he looks back at the next wave coming. I see what he see's, and start to scratch for the horizon. It's too late, we are going to be caught inside. We take a few on the head, and make our way back to the line up.

Some Uncles are in the line up now. They take big waves like they are nothing, and are way more experienced than I in these waters. It's pretty nuts to see them charge on bigger waves than me when they are probably twice my age.

An Uncle paddles for a wave, but pulls out from it. I'm in position, so I start scratching for it. I'm in the critical spot... and I regretfully pull out on the set wave, and watch it peel across the reef cleanly. Something told me to pull out, and I feel like a little bitch doing so. Stupid head, always getting in the way. I gotta stop listening to my head while I surf.

I'm looking at the line up and don't see Francis. I wonder if he had gone to Pidley's, the reef further north. I catch a small wave, and look for him.

I finally spot a person on the beach, with his surfboard in the sand with the tail pad up. The green tail pad is indistinguishably Francis. I hear the sets break on the outside again, and say FUUUUCK THAT SHIT, and take the white wash in. We smile at each other for surviving some junky conditions.


We pack our stuff, and head to Puaena Point, since Nick and Brenton are over there. PP is a place I last surfed with Alex and his then girlfriend Cassandra on my last visit to Hawaii in 2013. It was big, gnarly, and crowded as hell. Alex, then known as the Soft Top Bandit, was killing it the whole session.

So, when arriving to the point, it was surprising to see the waves were a third of the size compared to Chun's. Not only that, but it was junky as hell too. The crowd was mellow too, but there was still a  crowd.

I came up with zero rides this session. It was just that bad, for me at least. And it was cold as fuck. I couldn't believe I was shivering in the line up. I had to keep paddling to keep my body warm, but even then the water just sent chills down my whole body.

We four end up going to Storto's for lunch, and order some sandwiches. We also grab a smoothie from Lanikai Juice next door. That was probably a bad idea, because we are now cold from head to toe. Francis and I blast the heater on the way back to town because it was so cold.

Again, a different kine of Hawaii experience this trip. You gotta take the good, the bad, and the ugly, all the same to appreciate a place like Hawaii, or any place for that matter. I have been so fortunate to score great surf in the times I've been here during the different seasons, that I am grateful and humbled by experience this kine of Hawaii.

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!

KKs Vacay Makapuu Hike 010115

Surf Report: ???
Water: Didn't go in
Atmosphere: Cloudy
Winds: Howling trade winds

So the plan was to wake up at 300 AM and go to Makapuu, hike up the mountain, and check out the sunrise. Apparently this has been going on for about four years, and so it's pretty popular. Surprisingly, I wake up at 300 AM and so Nicole, her friend Karen, and I pile into Karen's car head to Makapuu.

They want breakfast, so we try McDonalds. Closed.

We try Taco Bell. Closed

We go to a Chevron station, and they are open, but the lady is on her "break" for another five minutes. We wait in the car.

We rush in to grab water and snacks for the hike, and head to Makapuu, a little past Sandy's. There is no one here, and the gate is closed... Gate only opens at 530 AM. Greeeaaaat

We head back home, and knock out for another hour and a half.

Round Two - Makapuu hike

 I hear my alarm go off, and then some car start up and leave. I snooze for another fifteen minutes, and get awaken by Nicole and Karen.
Too dark
We make our way to Makapuu to a crowded parking lot. Luckily, we find street parking right away, and start making our way to the trail. I am wearing Francis's fleece lined sweater, jeans, and socks. But I only have some flimsy slippers on.... Not the best, but better than nothing.

The 1.6 mile hike up hill isn't that steep. There are elderly, youngins, people in wheelchairs, babies in strollers, tourists, and locals alike. They are making the hike to watch the sun rise with everyone. I keep my eye on the big dipper as it shines over our head.

We make it to the top of the peak, and start looking for Jeff and Malia. They were the ones that left earlier than us, while I was still sleeping. My feet are killing me, but my high from the hike and anticipation of seeing the sunrise kept me going forward. We finally find the two, right by the Light Tower.

A guy is passed out, sitting down on the floor. His bike is on his side as he cradles it for safety. Turns out he biked from Waikiki at 300 AM and was the first to arrive here. He had no idea that there was an event going on.

Almost there...!
We five crack jokes and shoot the shit while we await for the sun to rise. I watch the Ocean as lines slowly walk in to the shore line. It's pretty dark out, but we can still see the waves crash on the cliff. The highlight of the morning was Nicole farting, and blaming it on me.
The sun trying its best to peak through
The sun tries to peek through the clouds... but it's too cloudy. The television crew from the Hawaii State TV call the sunrise officially started, and so they get Gabe the conch blower to blow his conch.
Gabe the Conch Blower
A taiko performance starts once Gabe blows his conch four times in the four directions of the earth. The taiko performance is sub par at best. They are a little bit off beat, but bring it together towards the end. They must be tired from staying up all morning.

We make our way down the 1.6 mile hike again. The descent seems longer than the ascent. Usually, it's the other way around.
Handsome Gabe the Conch Blower
We get back home, and I prepare breakfast for everyone - turkey bacon, over-easy eggs, and home-made toasted pita breads. Nicole and Karen pass out after eating, taken over by the exhaustion of the morning.
Nicole's "silly face" - not so silly after all

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!

Saturday, January 3, 2015

KKs Vacay - A Different Kine Hawaii Shelling at Sandy's 123114

Surf Report: Flat
Winds: Howling trade winds
Atmosphere: Cloudy
Water: Warm

Da Dojo Boys apparently came home at 500 AM and raged on until the early morning. By the time I awoke, most of them had to go to work. New Years Eve Eve has been another successful night of debauchery!

Maya is being kicked out of the Dojo. She is trying to get sympathy from us, but she has overstayed her welcome. She started bringing random guys to the Dojo, treating Alex's room as her own, and not really respecting the rules of the Dojo. She ate cookies in the bedroom, laying her dirty ass underwear everywhere, and never cleaned.

"Are you the one that's going to be staying in Alex's room?" she asks me.

"Yea, that's me."

"He's kicking me out by January 1st... I don't have a place to stay, really..."

"Thank you," I tell her politely. She scrunches her face as if to say, "Why you gotta ruin my living situation?" Naw girl, you did that to yourself.

Francis invites me to go shelling at Sandy's. He picks me up from the Dojo and we go to his house. Nicole, Francis and I sit down and have beers and high balls (Canadian Dry and whiskey.) We talk for a while, enjoying the good weather, playing with the house dog, Cloud, and looking at the bonsai trees.

We head to Sandy's, a mere ten minutes away from where they live. Francis and I put our snorkel masks and fins on, and start diving for shells. We can hear the shells and rocks dance with each other under water. It's a symphony of tiny sounds all in harmony with each other.

We dive, stay under water as long as possible, and then come up with some small treasures. Sometimes, the current takes you back and forth so much that you lose track of where you spotted a piece of shell. Francis anchors his muscular arms into the sand and holds his position. I go with the flow and adjust my body to the current. The shells are in piles on the bottom, but to find a pristine one that isn't cracked or has a good color to it is hard. It is highly addicting to hold your breath for so long and then seeing a shell, reach for it while the current sways you back and forth, and then have a cloud of sand just burst up from no where and make visibility terrible. You feel like you have one last chance to get the shell, but you're out of breath, so you go back up to the surface.

We have our post Sandy's meal at Asuka's. It is a hot pot spot that is BYOB. The cold weather has been very un-Hawaii, but then again, I consider myself spoiled to call it cold during the freezing temperatures in Los Angeles. I get the dango plate, with extra dumplings. I finish the whole thing off and drink the soup. Our bellies are full with wine and warm goodness.

We get to Francis's house, and I knock out on the couch. I knock out before 1000 PM, so I missed New York's ball drop, Los Angeles, and even Hawaii's count down. I must have been very, very tired....

Mahalos Mother Ocean!

Friday, January 2, 2015

KKs Vacay - A Different Kine Hawaii 123014

Surf Report:???
Water: Warm
Atmosphere: Cloudy
Winds: Offshore

I've visited Hawaii many times in the last five or six years... and I've scored on surf every single time, pretty much every single day. This trip, however, has been far from that...

I arrived on Tuesday, December 30th, 2014. The trip itself was pretty last minute, so I didn't have anything really planned. I always say, the best plan is no plan at all. Well, perhaps I should have planned some stuff.

First of all, when I arrived, it was raining. Upon arrival, I started smiling though. I was in Hawaii. I was here, finally, on my vacation, to hang out, chill, and have a good surf.

My car rental.... I didn't make the effort to make a reservation this time, and it proved to be detrimental. "It works out to be about.. $100 a day," said the girl at Enterprise.


"$100." She flips the screen towards me. "That's the best deal we have right now. It's the holidays, and everyone is traveling here."

"I'm good on that," I told her. "I'll call my boys, and they'll pick me up."

Francis, who had finished a great session at Chun's on the North Shore, offered to pick me up once I landed. I called him, and within twenty minutes, he arrived to pick me up. By then, it was pouring cats and dogs. I ran to his truck, threw in my backpack, ukulele, and cronuts. I get my surfboards hoisted into his truck, and off we went.

"Here," says Francis. "Eat this, I just got it."

It's star fruit. I bite into it, and juices gush all over my face like a black man with a ten inch cock. I panic, wiping down Francis's car interior, laughing with him.

We catch up in the pouring rain, down the H1 highway, all the way through to Diamondhead. The Dojo... getting closer to it makes me smile. We arrive, and my surfboard bag is drenched. Luckily, it is water proof.

So, I unpack some of my stuff, and get settled in. Kev, one of the other Dojo members, and Francis munch on the cronuts. We shoot the shit, and knock back some beers. The rain continues to pour down, and surfing is the last thing on my mind.

There's a girl, Maya, who is staying in Alex's room. Truthfully, it's MY ROOM, but Alex let her stay in it temporarily. She has all of her stuff sprawled out, and it sure feels like she is making herself at home.

Shizzles has moved out since last year, and Dee Roy has taken over his room.

Kev, Francis and I go to Alicia's in Town, and pick up some "snacks." Kev buys two pounds of roasted pork with rice, I pick up one and a half pounds of poke, and Francis picks up a case of Bud Light.

The Roasted Pork!! Holy shit... That is the best roasted pork I have ever had. Crispy, great chinese spices on the skin, juicy as hell meat, and good fat content on the pig. I can't believe how good it is.

The poke was phenomenal, just as I remember from my past trip.

That night, the Dojo boys convince me to go out to a club. "Cmon, you're on VACAY!! It's your first night in Hawaii. Come out with us," Dee Roy implores

"If you don't wear your beanie and sweatshirt, I'll go out," I tell Dee Roy.

"Fine," he says and throws his beanie off. Mind you, it's 60 something over here in Hawaii. Pretty much record lows for the year.

"Shit, ok, I'll go out with you guys," I say. We start taking some shot of Kirkland Tequila, hail a cab, and head out. It is Dee Roy, Kev, Ivan, Leo, and myself. 

We dance the night away, drinking and spitting game at girls. It was an interesting dynamic at the club... every girl and boy was looking to hook up. There were tons of drunk people making out, and on one occasion, there was a girl I danced with that made out with every boy she danced with, not including me though. Something told me to stay away from this slut. She made out with at least five guys while she was on the dance floor. During dancing, a girl tells me, "I want you to stab me from behind." I tell her lets get out of here, and as I lead her through the crowd, I reach for her hand, and look back, and she has vanished into thin air... Oh well.

I continue dancing the night away, until 230 AM. I have been up since 230 AM Hawaii Time (430 AM PST) and so I've been up for 24 hours. I am dead tired. We are outside the club, and the boys want to go back in. By this time, a lot of girls have left, and I don't think there is much more potential to have fun. I say fuck that, see y'all later, and hail a cab. I head home, I knock the fuck out and end my first day of Hawaii.