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.