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Thursday, March 15, 2012

3.15.2012 Oceanside, Tyson to Pier: Waves are UP!

This morning I woke up at 5:10 and couldn't go back to sleep. I decided to start my routine early. I grabbed my gear, but before I went out the door, I chugged down some orange juice. My hope was the Vitamin C would help cut down on my post-session nasal drip I seem to suffer through after surfing.

I grabbed my pick-me-up, a sparkling water bottle (as good as caffeine, at least for me), loaded up, and hit the freeway. The zip loc bag of almonds I keep in The Rad was violated, as I scarfed down a couple of handfuls as I sped up to keep up with the flow of pre-dawn traffic.

I downed my water, the faster I do it, the harder the CO2 hits me and wakes me up. I was there before first light. While driving I felt minor pangs that warned me a bowel movement would need to happen within a few hours. I made a mental note, if only to appease my innards.

I'd told my cousin Tom I'd call him today and so, taking advantage of his being on the east coast, did so. I drove from Pier to Harbor. The swell was too big for the Harbor's tide. I saw a barely-make-outable guy catch a bomb right, but he couldn't really do anything with it and felt I'd be mired in the same situation if I followed him out there. I weaved back south, found a free parking spot where I could check the waves and slowed. I parked once I saw some nice ones at Tyson Street. We kept chatting and I engaged inner-call-waiting, tuning my cousin out to assess the imminence of giving birth to last night's dinner/this morning's snack. I decided I had the equivalent of bowel contractions and hopped out of The Rad.

I made my way to Tyson Street, and hoped that the bathrooms were open (I'd subconsciously noted the Wisconsin Street bathrooms were closed). I got to the top of the stairs when I came across an unmistakeable scent: Bum Piss! Th prime suspect was on the top landing of the stairs and he turned around and said something I couldn't quite make out. I said, "Huh?" and he hit me back with a short phrase, equally unintelligible. I just said "Yeaeaeah!" and kept walking, my cousin Tommy still blaring on speaker phone the whole time.

The bathroom was open, YES! I sashayed around the corner and to my great dismay, I realized these were metal, prison-issue toilets with short walls and NO DOORS! Luckily, I had my cousin on loud speakerphone and he unknowingly ran interference for me while I stood and delivered (with apologies to my main man, Edward James Olmos).

It was only when he heard the universally recognizable, super powerful public toilet flushing sound that he knew what I was up to.

We hung up after I told him I had to go as enough light was up in which to surf.

I changed into my suit and booties. As I was jogging to the stairs I hooted as a set wave with a near-perfect A-frame detonated. A guy who was suiting up out of the back of his Prius saw my enthusiasm and said, "Did you see that?". I replied, "Yeah, I'm out thar!"

I made the mental error of not thinking about the swell direction. It's been so long since we've had a solid south, my mind assumed it was another Aleutian swell and I ran north to compensate for the inevitable longshore current. I paid for this mistake by paddling quite a ways against the current. My traps are still sore as I type this.

On to the surf...

My first wave was a quick right that closed out on me after allowing me space to do a tiny pump. Luckily, it made its intentions known quickly and I didn't have to pay too dear a positioning penalty.

The next wave was nice, and I want for my typical slash/snap. My ass dragged in the water and I recovered, but the wave had pretty much passed me by and I went off the back ever so slightly.

I watched as Prius guy caught a sick left and smacked it twice about as perfectly as possible. Right on the lip and vertically, making the spray fly up and over, aided by the offshores.

It took some time for my next wave to arrive and it wasn't much of anything. I thought I might find a corner of it but it turned into a closeout. I kicked my board up to avoid losing unnecessary ground.

I then caught a right that looked like it would be a good one. I pumped into a nice drawn-out bottom turn but the frame grabs reveal me compressing my body and my Joe Cool facial expression swiftly evolving into a grimace. I tried to jump through the wave, but I was too late. The lip smacked me HARD in the back of the head. It felt as though I'd been punched. I came up and paddled back out, not too stoked on life at the moment.

A guy in a Quiksilver wetsuit who'd been complaining about how cold he was to his buddy tried to intimidate me by back-paddling me, but I ignored him and kept paddling. He pulled back and I went...over the falls. He shot me a disgusted look and I smiled at him until he looked away.

I gave up and let the current have its way with me. Within ten minutes I was within spitting distance of the pier and I was getting over it.

I caught another right, this one an almost immediate closeout with no associated trauma.

My last wave was a right that I happened to snag due to the end of a steep corner. I did a nice turn and felt a little weightless, then went into my too-much-pressure-on-the-rail-for-the-speed cutty attempt, which failed.

I went in on my belly and managed to eat ish when the wave I was on doubled up. I didn't want to risk the board buckling or hitting bottom so I took the hit.

3.14.2012 Oceanside Harbor: One Good Sesh Deserves Another?

Given the best session I've had since January the previous day, I decided to not gamble on any other spots and shoot straight up to Harbor. I did do a cursory check of Pier, only to get a feel for the swell. It looked a little bigger than yesterday. PUMPED!

I parked in the free lot, suited up to the sweet sweet sounds of David Lee Roth courtesy of my GuyPod.

I ran down to the sand, then north towards my spot from yesterday. I saw a sick A-Frame during my three minute or so run, but other than that, nothing amazing. Hmm...

I caught a right and did really fast "shimmy" pumps, but it was for naught, as there was nothing for me around the corner.

I then caught a right that seemed to be hollow. I set up in an actual pigdog, no crab grab, but gave up after about a second. The too-quick act of righting myself made me plop over on my back.

Then, I caught an ok left which allowed me to do my wayback snap. In other words, a layback snap in which I splayed onto my back but didn't recover.

The wind came up, not in a good way, and the water surface started texturing. Word must've gotten out from yesterday's quality, as there were at least twice as many people.

I caught a left and pumped my brains out ( I was going to write 'ass off' there, but it just didn't seem right). There was no payoff, as the lip shut down. I managed to get most of my body underneath it, avoiding the penalty for my misplaced loyalty in sticking with this wave for this long.

My next wave was a nice one. Steep drop, followed by a long line. I pumped, then pumped. I pumped again. Finally, the section I'd salivated over approached and I smacked it hard. But I wasn't even close to making it.

My last wave was a left that was racier, and ended with me smashing through the wave to get away from the lip.

3.13.2012 FUN Solo Mission to Oceanside Harbor

After several no-go's last week, I was jonesing HARD. I made the decision the night before to get up early and suit up at home. I also took a water with me. Combining the two pretty much commits me to surf as I will have my suit on AND I'll have to pee.

I did so, and shot up the 5. I figured Wisconsin, Tyson and Pier wouldn't be all that great due to the low and still dropping tide. I was right, but there were some signs of life. I hit the gas with a smile on my face and the knowledge that Harbor loves a low tide.

I scanned S. Jetty and saw a little bit of a crowd, but more importantly, some swell. I drove down to the boat ramp and spotted some bangers. YES!

I parked, finished suiting up and walked to the beach. There was a bit of a crowd north of the jetty too, including a couple of rippers. Rather than compete with them and getting vibed (Harbor is notorious for localism, probably the most localized spot in N. County), I opted for an empty peak in the middle of the beach, parallel to the big condo complex building.

I didn't put on my booties as I didn't think I'd be out for very long.

I wasn't finished paddling out all the way when I caught my first wave. It was a very racy left whose lip hit me in the shoulder. I made it around a section only to be rewarded with closeout.

Three minutes later, I caught my second left of the day. I pumped hard a few times found a section and managed to turn a standard snap into an unplanned layback. I didn't make it.

My next wave was a right. I was having a hard time catching it and once I did it closed. I got half-covered up and pulled out the back.

Another right came and I got up slowly. I pumped quickly around the first section but there wasn't anything there.

Yet another right came. I had to lean hard on the front of my board to combat the offshores. I caught it and bottom-turned on a fat-ish face. I did a nice cutback, made it, but the wave was done.

C-C-COMBO BREAKER! A left came. I caught it, but was off-balance. I recovered and pumped like a madman, dueling with the lip the whole time until, at last, I was defeated...

I caught a decent left and I did my usual smack to bog to on-my-back, though I did get hung up on the lip. I like my bottom turn trajectory and the spot I picked, I think I'm just leaning too hard on my back foot for too long. If anyone has some tips for me I would appreciate it...!

I was getting really cold and my toes were going numb. It was time to wrap things up.

I caught a right and did an ok smack on it, the wave surprised me by quickly steepening upon my descent from the smack. I rushed another smack into it but was overcome by the crashing lip while up high on it.

I caught a left, pumped, then went into my typical smack, which turned into a layback. My ass dragged in the water, but thanks to my overtime glute work in the gym, I managed to muscle it out and stand back up. FINALLY! I think this counts as a layback snap!

After I came up after ditching my board, I got hooted by a random dude. YESS!

I rode in on my belly after this wave, and admired the various shades of purple in my toes.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

3.2.2012 Big and Shifty 15th Street w/ Forrest

I met Forrest at his place around 6:10 in the morning and was surprised (perhaps by design?) by a companion of the opposite-gendered variety (!). I changed into my wetsuit in silence and we sneaked out his door.

Because of the combo swell, we thought Oside would be the call. We drove north from F's Tamarack pad and were shocked at how lame the surf looked. We forewent checking Harbor and headed south.

We took the 101 and the surf started getting bigger, the NW swell showing its dominance over the heavily-decayed SW.

As we came down the road from Powerhouse Park and passed the railroad tracks, I saw two solid looking lefts with no one on them. There was ONE guy out at 15th Street on a FRIDAY. There were waves, but we both predicted a current was making staying on one peak difficult.

I'd managed to forget my booties at Forrest's and the air was cold.

The paddle-out was nasty. I suffered through several ice cream headaches and one crocodile wrestle (where I'm fighting the board underwater, all the way to the surface) before making it out.

I paddled for a few but was too deep on several. A big set came, but I managed to make it under unscathed.

Finally, I caught a nice-sized, probably about head-high wave. It was a little late and the second wave of the set, so steep and frothy! I hooted, then did an initial pump that was only somewhat effective due to the aerated water. I pumped twice before frontside whirly-birding. Forrest claims I almost hit my head with my board but the footage seems to disprove this. I won't put the footage up as I'm making an effort to have relative bangers on here.

About twenty minutes later, I caught another left, slightly smaller, but more lined up. I did a mid-faced slash on the deep part of the wave, spun it all the way around and did a back-foot-heavy backside floater. I can't remember making it, and since falling seems to be my baseline these days, I'll assume I ate it. Unfortunately, I didn't push the record button hard/long enough. Only Jesus Himself has footage of it.

I also caught a right which I caught extremely late. I thought I was going to pearl, but I made it. I didn't let my detractors down, though, as I had my rolling-up-the-windows (doble-helice in Spanish) motion going in double-speed. I was about to harness the speed into a nice one-fin out bottom turn but all I had in front of me was a detonating close-out.

Forrest and I agreed that it sucked and we bailed.