Friday, May 29, 2015

The Perfect Day after the Storm 051615

Surf Report: 3-4 feet and solid
Winds: Offshore
Atmosphere: Gloomy
Water: Cool/Cold

It rained like crazy Thursday. My dad and I swim on Thursday nights, and once we finished swimming in the indoor heated pool, we were greeted by a storm of water marbles falling from the sky. We ran to the car, with our damp towels being drenched by the rain. We rush into the car, laughing about how much down pour we tried to avoid.

"Maybe you should have kept your wetsuit on from this morning?" he asks me, chuckling.

These moments with my dad, running in the rain after our swim, I will cherish forever.

Friday rolls along, with another windy, rainy day. Bri voxes me to tell me that she is paddling out after work. I decline, saying that I have to coach.

However, turns out my kids were all sick that day, and I had to cancel practice. I called the two kids who were planning to come, and one of them said he still wanted to practice. So, we had practice with two kids and myself for a full hour and a half.

Saturday morning... Kitty wakes me up at 620 AM. I didn't plan to wake up this early, especially since the morning is glum outside my window, and it feels like it is cold.

Nevertheless, I get out of the house at 700 AM. I drive by Dockweiler and see that the winds are offshore. The water looks gray and murky, but hey, it rained last week, so how bad can it be? One week of sludge and run off ain't gonna stop me!

I score free parking in the neighborhood, and hit the sand by 730 AM. I can tell... my heart is beating faster... It is going to be a really good session.

First wave is a left. I pump the high line, tag a bit off the top, pump again and try to stick a backside floater. I fall. But man!!! The waves are so clean!!

The gray skies and murky water definitely looks bad, but the shape is good. No, the shape is great! And the craziest thing is that no one is out. Not Don Kadowaki, no Bruce, no Roy, no Ross... No Mr. Mike the Vietnam Vet, no Oscar, no Robert.

Orlando is out though. "Bratha! You should have been out here earlier! It was firing man!" he says.

"What are you talking about, it's still firing!" I tell him.

Today was just a day where all the factors leading up to the day, including the heavy rain, the windy days from before, the cloudy sky, the cold May weather, signaled NOT to go out, but we still did. Two turns on a wave was pretty much guaranteed.

Maddie and her dad Chad paddle out, and a foamie guy wearing a hat is pushing Maddie into waves. He is giving her pointers on how to surf. He is giving her lessons! Damn. I want lessons too. Or, to be pushed into waves. Maddie gets a nice left and does a small cut back. We all cheer her on it.

I kinda think I see Bri in the distance, from the way she is paddling, but she is riding a tiny board. I didn't think that was her until I saw her pop up. I paddle over to her and we both hug in the water.

"Dude, Matt's gonna go nuts when he hears 'bout today," I tell her.

"Ohhhh I KNOOOOOW. He's gonna be so mad, but psyched we scored," she says.

"And then mad again," I laugh.

The crowd never thickens for the whole session. It's really mellow and there are only locals out. Only the people who know each other are out here today. We all share waves and cheer people on nice rides.

I am paying more attention to the lines I draw from the moment I pop up. Not just to pay attention on taking the high line, but also to utilize my speed pumping up and down on the speedy steep sections. I have to trust my board to "stick" on the face of the wave even when it is steep, and believe that the vehicle I am riding will conform to the shape of the wave.

Honestly, it was like a skate park here today. I took a right, pumped, hit the first section, pumped more until I got to the inside, then tried to hit the oncoming white water section. I got to practice this same move three times in a row, in repetition. I messed up the finishing move the first time, but stuck it the next two times. The best part? Maddie saw my second attempt!

"Hey remember that time I snaked you?" she asks me in the line up.

"You mean the TWO times you snaked me, and then fell right in front of me?" I inquire.

"YES! That time, when I fell in front of you." We both laugh.

I start making mistakes towards the three hour mark of surf. The wind is slightly on the wave face now, but the waves are still good. I tell Bri that I'll be heading out soon, and she catches her last wave. I catch my last wave and look back at Mother Ocean. So beautiful, so clean today. I couldn't believe how perfect it was. 

Bri and I grab brunch at Good Stuff. We are seated at the table right in front of the entrance. We order our food, and when the food arrives, we get an extra side of fruit. Score!

However, our water only gets refilled once while we are there. They also forget to bring us our toast. Only once did they check if "every thing is ok" after we say that our toast did not arrive, which was actually towards our last bites of our meal.

"I'm not going back there for a long time," says Bri. I concur. We both hate leaving skimpy tips, but we leave $2 each off of our bill which was around $20 each. 10% tip. Fuck em.

Mahalos Mother Ocean!!

Monday, May 18, 2015

Venice Shitty Surf 051415

Surf Report: 3-4 feet
Winds: Onshore
Atmosphere: Bit cloudy and ominous
Water: Cool/Cold

I haven't been writing a while because surf has been shitty. Today was no different.

I pulled out of bed, late, and did my morning routine. I threw my gear into my car, and headed to Venice beach for a pre-work surf.

I didn't even look at the waves and got dressed in my wetsuit. I knew the wind and rain was coming, so I better get on the surf while it wasn't so bad. To much of my dismay, the surf was jumbled up and the line up was empty.

I paddled out, and I'm getting worked on the inside. First time in a long time since I get worked by Venice Beach. The current is pulling me north because of the incoming south swell. I can see that the sets are closing out, while the inside offers reforms.

I sit in the line up and wait with another dude. He has a rubber hood on, and his paddle doesn't seem too experienced. Here I am, judging again. I should stop. But, I try to assess other surfers' skill level in the line up as to not drop in on the "wrong person," especially at a localized spot such as Venice.

I catch a close out left, and hop off.

I duck dive several double up drainers that dump on the shallow sand. The waves are breaking further out than normal, but without any shape... Is this dismal enough for you, KK?

I catch another close out and hop off.

I watch the sets march in, and shake my head. I'm ok on that. It is not fun.

I belly ride into shore.

Now, from the tone of this, readers may think I am disgruntled, unsatisfied, and maybe a bit pissed. But I was not.

On the contrary, I was happy I paddled out, caught two close outs, and got a belly ride in during my 30 minute surf session.

I woke up late, showed up to the beach late, but still got to surf.

Surfing is a privilege, no matter the conditions. If I was injured, or hung-over, or land-locked, I wouldn't be able to surf. I was stressed before surfing, and now I wasn't. I have surfing to thank for the switch in mood. Even if it was a shitty surf sesh, I got to jump in the water, get salt and sand shot up my nostrils and ears, and come back smiling to my car.

So Mahalos Mother Ocean.