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Friday, September 28, 2012

9.26.12 La Bocana w/ Three Other Dudes, PM Session

Given our brief visit on this trip, this would turn out to be my first and final afternoon sesh.  On our perch on the cliff, I saw some tasty waves from which I could get a cool buzz.  La Bocanita looked a bit more enticing, but there were a dozen heads on it already.

I paddled out inside of the rock that looks like a pipe and paddled for a good five/six minutes before perching.  It took me a long time to catch my first wave. 

It was a screamer of a left and I never caught up to it.  I dove into the wash of the wave and got hammered, my first taste of real kiwi power meeting the cobblestones of El Salvador since July.

I caught a second wave, but for the life of me, cannot remember what happened on it.  I remember I got drilled again, so it couldn't have been incredible.

I decided to go in and caught a sweet, steep insider.  I went for an air on it and got some, but landed off the back.  I caught another little one and kicked out quickly as I was getting shallow.  I got on my board and looked in time to see water sucking off a big rock, a big boil revealing a big round beast of now above-surface rock.  Whoa.

I made it in without issue, anxious to try my luck elsewhere in the morning.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

9.26.12 Back to Medios with Chamba and Chato

I managed to catch a bug, probably because I used the keyboards on the computers at the Admirals Club in LA.  Yesterday sucked, as a result.  We barely made the connection from Miami to ES and our bag didn't make it.

I did get to have dinner with Pando and Panda (his wife of almost three months).  He handed me back my board and another cell phone for me to borrow, but hopefully not ruin this time.  I called Chamba and told him we should surf Punta Roca the next day.  I called him at 545 this morning.  He said the waves weren't very consistent and we should surf where I was staying.  My leash was at my uncle's house in Santa Tecla, so I asked Chamba to let me borrow one of his.

He came by with Chato and we got out thar.  My sunscreen was in Miami along with the rest of my clothes, but I managed to scrounge a tiny amount from a bottle that had been stored and forgotten about for several years.  Since I had so little, I focused on the left side of my back, my left arm and the left side of my face, as that was where the sun would be hitting me the hardest.

I paddled for quite a few waves, but there were a lot of closeouts to contend with.  I got a left on which I took my time popping up (hard to get re-adjusted to the board after so many sessions on the DHD back home).  I kicked out just as it was closing out on me.

My best wave of the day was my second one.  It was a screamer.  I was so behind on it at first.  I was able to pump back into the pocket.  It wasn't quite barreling, but I sat there with mad style (or so it felt) and turbo'd down the face.

Another wave came by and I knew it would be iffy.  I was really late on it and stood up.  I bounce along with the whitewash and never really made it down to the trough.

I crab-grabbed into a pretty good one, though by the time I got in the barrel, it resembled a left more than a right.

My last wave was a left and I kicked out after pumping just before it closed out.

I decided to go in so I wouldn't get roasted.

9.22.12 Gutless Wisconsin Street with Missed-It-Mike and Snips!

The swell was petering out and it was my last chance to get some before my imminent trip to El Salvador.

I met Mike at Wisconsin Street and he said he'd checked it and it was worth paddling out.  I saw one that looked fun, so I didn't question him.

We walked down the ramp to the slippery boulders and I braced myself for Mike's latest foot pain report, but he thankfully went easy on me.

We paddled out and sat.

My best wave came early, and I got some pumps in before going for a floater and fading off the back.

After that, there was a wave I switch crab-grabbed, but I was in for less than a second before it imploded.

Mike got hooted into a sick right on which he got barreled.

Those were the highlights...

Mike "Snips" Parsons was out and making quick work of the tiny rates.  The guy is tiny and he rips.  I was awestruck at how flat and small his board was.  I'd only surfed with him at Lowers before and I'm assuming he was in Oceanside to beat the crowds.

Friday, September 21, 2012

9.21.12 Smaller, but Better Oside w/ Missed-It-Mike!

I begged Mike to surf with me the previous day but he was too bottled up with work.  He promised me he'd surf with me this morning, and I must say he delivered.

We met at the Buc Beach parking lot and that looked terrible.  We ventured north and settled on surfing in front of Junior Seau's old house, like I did two days ago.

On my first wave, I had a chest-high left arrive and I was on it. Immediately after takeoff, the lip kissed my face. I ducked in to try to get a head dip, but by that point, it had stopped barrelling. I kicked my board out in front of me and let it all wash over me.

My next wave arrived almost ten minutes later. The wave was quick and raced off without me. The wave salvaged itself in my eyes as it provided a great view for a random moustached dude to get semi-covered up on the right. I claimed it for him and gave him a guttural "YEOH!".

I paddled for a wave three minutes later, but there was someone on it. I did my classic neck-crane move and sure enough, there was another one behind it and it was a double-up! I pumped once then set up for the barrel. It's hard to tell if I really got barreled or not. I think I got covered up for a little bit. But I will count it. I am getting really close to making these. I guarantee one frontside barrel make before the end of the year. This is ambitious, as we will be experiencing fewer S swells now that we are in the fall.

Another day, another switch crab grab, another no-make... 'nuff said!

I caught a wave, swooped up, then lost my footing as I tried to pump back down. I was leaning too far forward and endo'd..

My next wave was a chest-high quick left. I caught it and was barreled within a second of standing up. It reminded me of watching surf vids of guys getting pitted in Hawaii with one noteable difference: I didn't make mine. Mike saw all two seconds of the wave and said it looked like chaos.

Mike and I switched boards and I caught a right and got barreled for a fair bit before getting trounced by the closeout.

I also caught a left on which I went for a floater but over-committed towards the horizon.

There was also one wave on which I aborted before standing up and went into my protect-the-dome stance while getting thrashed.

Mike had to go in and I beat him to the sand.  My shoulder is almost back to 100% which is good considering I am going BACK to El Salvador next week for a buddy's wedding.  It will only be a week this time, but I intend on surfing my brains out.  Of course, blog entries will follow.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

9.20.12 Jockeying for Position at Wisconsin Street

As I crossed the 101 and slowed for the stop sign in front of the movie theater, I caught a glimpse of the free parking lot.  Dammit!  Damn near capacity.  It was going to be crowded out there.

My first look down the line at Mission proved to be deflating.  Where were the waves? Why was the ocean surface so textured?  Why were there still so many heads in the water?

I initially parked near Tyson Street.  It looked pretty bad.  I sat there long enough to rock out to one song on my GuyPod and saw little of interest.

I drove down to Wisconsin Street and saw a mini-slab fold over.  Out thar!

After suiting up, I passed two parked cars full of bros.  I prayed to my God that He would send them elsewhere to surf, perhaps down by Junior Seau's old house or maybe down south of me.

Once again, Jesus smited me.  The bastards followed my path into the water less than ten minutes after I blazed it.

On my first wave, I had a look at a right on which I was extremely late on.  I thought I was going to pearl, but I managed to salvage it with some double helix backward windmills.  All that effort led to squat.  The wave closed out and I kicked out.

My first left of the day involved a quick shorebreak left.  I dropped down, then saw a section about to fold over.  I pulled through the barrel out the back.

I had to keep paddling south to battle the current and also to be in position for the bigger lefts that came every ten minutes or so.

An older guy was paddling for a wave but I thought he was too deep.  I paddled with him, but ten yards to his inside.  He yelled for me to go and I did:

I caught a big left on which I spied a big fat section heading my way about twenty yards north of me.  I pumped, then bottom turned up for an off the lip.  I made the mistake of pushing through my tail and away from my board.  The board launched out and away.  If I could have that wave back, I would have gone for a big air.  Chances are, I wouldn't have made it, but anything would have been better than what happened.

I caught a quick shorebreak left on my way back out and made up my mind to go for a switch crab grab. I was barreled for close to two second before the wave triangulated my position within its guts and unceremoniously expelled me.  One day I will make a switch crab grab and it will be GLORIOUS!

After several pull-backs from closeouts, I got antsy and went on a borderline wave.  I pearled pretty hard but surfaced without issue.

I caught another one, this time a double-up.  I got a good amount of speed, b-turned and snapped, my ass cheeks grazing the water's surface.  I kept my board under my feet and rode away clean, then kicked out.

My next wave was a left on which I got hung up on the lip.  I hung on and managed to stick the landing.  It was akin to doing an off-balance floater.  I stomped down, albeit awkwardly, then kicked my board in front of me to let the wave wash over me.

I caught another left, but this one closed out on me.  I jumped over the wash.

I was over the constant jockeying and still wanted to take it somewhat easy on my still-aching, but ever-improving shoulder.  In I went.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

9.19.12 Testing the Shoulder at Head-High Oside

This morning I was in my no-surf frame of mind.  I knew there was swell, but I was a bit tentative because I had what is probably my worst-ever ocean injury.

On September 8th, I was having quite possibly the best skimboarding session of my life.  I was riding wave after wave back to shore with the least amount of difficulty.  I was throwing ridiculous amounts of spray with every turn.

Then, disaster struck.  I sprinted to the water, slammed the board down and hopped on.  I had less than a second on my board to set my feet for the upcoming launch.  I reached the wave a bit off-balance, but ollied anyway.  My speed and the wave's face catapulted me at least six feet above the water.  For some reason (style points?), I decided not to put my arms out to break my fall and slammed down with the back of my left shoulder and part of the side of my neck.

I was in immediate pain and knelt down in the water after rolling myself over.   I felt big shooting pains, but I'd been having so much fun, I decided to skim it off.

The pain was excruciating that night.  The next day, I could barely move it.  Since then, it's gotten a lot better, but it still whines in pain when I venture to an angle it doesn't like.   

I was nervous  to get out there and test my shoulder.  I knew I would have some pain when I did my windmill warm-ups.  My hope was that my transfer from vertical to horizontal would affect the traveling plane enough so as to limit or altogether eliminate it.  I knew the chances were slim, but I was optimistic.

I put off paddling for as long as possible.  Upon jumping on my board, my shoulder was not cooperating as much as I would have liked, but it wasn't excruciating.  The more I threw my shoulder forward, the more it stung.  I made a deal with myself to just paddle through it and ignore the pain, but I caught myself pulling back oh-so-slightly on my left side.

The waves were going off, but there were a lot of closeouts to work through before getting to the goodness.

My first wave was a quick left that shut down on me pretty quickly.

On my second wave, I took off on a right late and off balance.  After hanging up near the lip for way too long, I descended and the lip hit me in the temple.  I took it like a champ but surfed the rest of the wave blind.  The sound made it feel like I was in the barrel, but I didn't have enough time to press the record button on my camera, so I guess we'll never know.

My third wave.  Ooh, baby.  I'd just missed a pretty sick one (too inside), and I craned my neck to see if its twin was following behind.  Sure enough, there he was!  He was a big set wave that looked like it was going to section off.  I spotted a chance at an outside corner and took it.  I set up for the barrel and watched in awe as the longest barrel since Panama spun around me, amazed at how dark the froth made it.  Check out the footy:

On my next wave, I had less than a second between setting my feet and the lip barreling over me.  Unfortunately, I set my line too parallel to the wave and lurched forward, the lip and I consummating our brief relationship and becoming one.  We were hot and heavy for less than two seconds before she let me know this was a one-time deal, by slamming me into the depths and holding me down for an uncomfortably long time.

On my next left, I committed to my bottom turn too hard for how gradual the slope of the wave was.  I can't remember exactly what happened, but the lip hit the camera and knocked it down into the stringer, so there was some lip-induced trauma.

My next wave was a mellow drop, relative to the others of the day. I pumped around the initial spilling section, then snap-stalled for the barrel.  My snap-stalling timing needs work.  I'm either too late or too early.  This time I did it too far away from the wave and the lip clocked me on the side of the head.  Granted, it was a smaller wave...

All of these waves and I'd done nary a turn.  My last wave, I pumped deep and long on, I cut down and met the weaker oncoming lip of the right.  I hit it well, but once again, didn't keep my weight over my board.

I decided my shoulder'd had enough wear and tear for the day.  I didn't want to risk repetitive stress damage and went in.

Friday, September 7, 2012

9.4.12 Another Shot at N. Carlsbad w/ Missed-It-Mike

Because of the higher tide, the waves weren't visible from the 101.  I could either surf here with just Mike and probably have at least a decent session (if the previous day's was any indication) or venture up to Oside and surf with a bunch of random dudes.  I chose the former.  In a rare instance, Mike and I suited up without checking the surf.

When we finally pulled up within eye shot of the waves, our hopes were deflated.  It was TINY.  The good news is there was a pulse coming through on a sandbar south of Maple Street where we could possibly get some.

It took me a good ten minutes to get my hair wet. A lot of paddling around, but nothing doing.

Finally, my first wave arrived.  I was looking to get barreled since it was so hollow.  In the footy, you see me not breaking eye contact with the lip line.  Because so much of my RAM was dedicated to reading what the lip's intentions with me were, I neglected to pay attention to the nose of my board when BAM! I pearled.

The second wave was more open.  I got a couple of pumps in before the wave inexplicably slowed way down.  I tried to hang tough for a shot at the oncoming section but the wave had turned gutless to the point of having nothing for me to push against.

Mike was in position for a wave and I managed to catch his bottom turn on video.  Notice how hard I am cheering him on.  I was very happy for him having caught this wave and I wasn't shy about it, enhancing his experience on the wave.  Some would argue I made him surf it better.

Oh and if my PO is reading this, I said, "FUDGE!" at the thirteen second mark.

After such a triumph, my next wave was that much more of a disappointment, I pearled AGAIN!  The waves were an interesting and frustrating combination of small and hollow and my results were showing my lack of prowess in these conditions.

I had the opposite thing happen on the following wave.  I paddled, felt the push of having caught the wave, and popped up.  Nothing doing, I faded off the back.

A "juicy" one rolled though.  I popped up, pumped, then set up for the impossibly tight barrel.  The wave slapped me in the face as if to say, "No you diaaaaaaaaaaaaaant!"

My next wave I descended well, then popped hard into a pump.  I covered a lot of water, but the wave was over me.

Mike had to go to work and I was done.  In we went...

9.3.12 Pine Ave Shorebreak w/ Missed-It Mike PM Session!

Mike has a tendency to create swell with his absence.  January 2003 is probably the best month of surf San Diego County has seen in the last decade.  Mike was in Kauai and, a move that still puzzles me, DIDN'T SURF.

Mike came home Saturday and the swell arrived that morning.  It was in its waning moments during this session.  We were going to go up to Oceanside but it's been so crowded lately...  Apparently the secret is out that south-facing beaches favor south swells.

In an effort to minimize the competition for waves while still getting a good angle on the swell, we decided on north Carlsbad.  We saw some empty peaks that were savory, but I was almost positive they were blackballed.  Parking was a nightmare, but Mike acted as my spot scout and I slipped into a sweet one.  I lathered on some sunscreen, walked a fair amount to the edge of the blackball, and paddled out.

The waves were breaking close to shore and they were extremely punchy.  There was no room for hesitation, no time for changing your footing if you popped up askew.  The drops were steep and the waves were on the hollower side.

My first wave was one on which I got in late and PEARLED hard.  Oof, not a great start

On my next wave, I descended successfully, but only got a pump in before the wave shut down on me.

I got another wave and went for a crab grab.  The wave threw out and I was in there for less than a second before I got decimated. 

Yep, another left!  I pumped like a muphugga and eventually realized my fate was sealed.  I cut my losses and pulled through the wave.

I caught another one steep and I almost pearled, but held on.  I had to roll up the windows once to pull the drop, so hopefully the judges will be gentle.  There was no juice for all that squeeze and I pulled up and over.

On my next left, I dropped in smoothly.  My camera couldn't handle the G's of that drop and readjusted downward (not really, I think the housing mount is showing its age).  I went for an unsuccessful bonk.

I thought I saw a bigger wave and paddled out and south to meet it.  My closest competition was a sponger and I stood up a little too early on it.  For a split second, I thought I was going to fade off the back.  Luckily, I wouldn't have to apologize as the wave let me in.  I really like my bottom turn on this wave.  My hit is ok, still doing the weird shoulder movement that makes everything look wack.

You can see how hollow the wave is as the board gets away from me.  I got thwomped and smacked into the sand in about a foot of water.  No harm, no foul.  I paddled back out for more.

I caught a quick left on which I aborted almost immediately, froggy-style (my legs looked like that of a frog primed for a big stroke).

Another wave, another late drop, though this one wasn't too bad.  The wave showed some open face and I slashed it gingerly, because previous waves' hollowness had hurt me before.  I found a speed pocket and used it to get going, then bonk off the whitewater.

My next wave arrived quickly, and it seemed to have a more open face.  I pumped up and down smoothly, but there was nothing at the end of the wave.  The thing just folded over.

I was still a bit on the inside when my next wave arrived.  I immediately went for a barrel but my top half got pinched in and I couldn't see through the froth.  I doubt I would have made it as these were extremely tricky and shallow, the vast majority of the closeouts.

Next wave I leaned back on the drop, but the wave wasn't as steep as I'd anticipated and I had overcommitted my weight to my back leg.  It caused me to launch off the back.

On my last wave, I leaned back again, but made the drop.  The wave shut down and I jumped off.

Mike had one of the sickest backside barrels I've ever seen him in.  I yelled him into it and I don't know how he found the time to blast over the ledge and tuck in.  He didn't make it, but not too many barrels were made in Carlsbad on a swell this steep on this day.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

9.3.12 WHOA! Critical Mass at S. Jetty

On my literally littoral drive, I saw signs of surf, but nothing that called out to me.  On my drive over the bridge.  I saw a big close-out detonate.  Oof.

At the stop sign facing the jetty, I saw a sick A-frame fold over, barrels in both directions.  Time to park!

I walked WAY south, past the condos, and paddled out without issue.  I did see two guys get successful barrels and I began lusting for some cylinders to call my own.

The crowd wasn't too bad, but there were enough people that it was difficult to catch waves.  Couple this with the waves being shifty and mostly on the verge of closing out and it was going to be a challenging session.  The S swell express (longshore current) was in full effect and many people north of me were paddling toward me, further concentrating the crowd.

My first wave finally arrived about twenty minutes of perching.  It was a big 'un.  There was A LOT of water on this beast of a wave and I paddled my ass off to get into it.  I made it down about halfway before deciding getting barreled would be a one-way trip to being gobbled up by a big close-out and a speedy descent to the sand.  I pumped up just as the lip detonated just inside of my board, making it catapult me backwards onto my back. I SKIPPED off the water, that's how fast I was moving, before hitting the water again and having the wave smash me.  I was underwater just under twelve seconds and came up gasping.  BAIL OF THE MONTH FRONTRUNNER!

I hopped onto my board and noticed my wetsuit leg had been rolled up halfway up my calf.  This is a rare occurrence and requires the right impact angle combined with quite a bit of aqua-trauma to occur.

My underwater escapade had made me lag in the prime current zone for too long and I noticed quite the change in latitude upon my first glance toward shore.

I spent the next ten minutes fighting the current and paddling for some waves to get away from the jetty before succumbing  to my fate and paddling past the jetty for only my second time ever. 

My next wave was a much less threatening left that had hardly any juice to it.  I got two pumps in before realizing any turn in my arsenal would be unsuccessful due to lack of push from the wave.

I went in and walked more than halfway to the pier to give it another shot.  There were barrels to be had, and dagnabbit, I wanted one.

OOOOOHHHHH! I had a good look at one and as I was about to snap-stall for an attempt a tube, a guy in a multi-colored rash guard decided he was too good to duckdive out of my way and blew my chance at glory.  What a dick!

On my last wave, I pumped up and down a few times before bailing through the wave.

Over the course of this session, I heard THREE separate guys complain independently of one another of how uncrowded it'd been a half-hour ago.

9.2.12 Trunk-It Session at Loopholes w/ MC Gorgeous G

I had a long appointment Sunday morning and I couldn't hit it.  My loins longed for some salt water goodness, and I was fortunate enough to enlist the bro-dom of MC Gorgeous G.  MCGG is my rap protegĂ©.  I inspired him to get into the rap game and I like to think I will be the first one thanked when he picks up his first Grammy.

Here is a clip of his debut single.  We're currently embroiled in some intense songwriting sessions.  The real wait, of course, will come when it's time to clear samples...

After almost pussing out, I opted to trunk it.  It was about two in the afternoon and I figured it may be my last chance to trunk it this year (in the US).

As we cruised past a blackballed (!) Buc Beach, I saw a parking spot with an excellent view of the surf.  I spied a pretty sick and consistent left peeling down the line with barely anyone on it. Out thar!

Upon paddling out, I saw a big rock in the surf line of the inside.  Whoa.  I'm not used to seeing dry reef in the US.    I told MCGG about it and his eyes bugged out.

My first wave was a quick right that lacked the juice to support the roundhouse cutty I was going for.  I faded off the back.

Less than a minute later, I caught a left that I jousted with and lost.  It outraced me and I jumped over the back.

My next wave was the wave of the day.  I did a weak top turn, then pumped, then decided to go for a roundhouse cutty.  I decided to cut it short and tried to get the fins free.  I felt them destabilize, but alas, they stayed put.  The wave shut down and I kicked out.

The next wave was also a good one, but a bit smaller. I did a weak turn, a slightly stronger turn, and then my strongest turn of the day.

Mark and I were super-amped at the peaky and extremely fun conditions.  I felt like I was surfing a cold water La Bocana with fewer people.  I was catching a lot of left, and I believe it was because I was willing to set up in a spot where I could pretty easily surf into the big dry rock.  It reminded me a bit of the Monuments session I had in Baja four years earlier.

I had a good look at a third good left.  I pumped a few times before going for a snap.  I miscalculated how soft the section of choice would be and flopped onto my back.  Bummer.

The waves shut down and the onshore wind kicked up.  On top of that, the clouds began blocking the sun and my teeth started chattering uncontrollably.  We went in not long thereafter.

9.1.12 Swell Finally Arrives; Crowds Swarm In

After one of the more dismal summers in San Diego County in recent memory, relief arrived in the form of a combo SSW (groundswell) and SSE (hurricane) swell.  I knew I was in for a treat when I parked on Wisconsin Street and ran down towards the surf.  But first, I had some business I desperately had to attend to.

After a few minutes in the no doors, no seat and no privacy City of Oceanside restroom, I was rejuvenated!  I ran back up to The Rad and suited up after briefly considering trunking it.

I jogged down to about twenty yards south of what appeared to be the best crowd-to-quality ratio peak and paddled out.

My first wave was a meaty left on which I had to drop in straight and stay that way for longer than I would have liked.  A big bottom turn was faded back east due to a paddler who refused to duckdive.  I jumped into the water to let the wave wash over me.

I waited close to ten minutes for my next wave and the wait seemed to have paid off.  I was in a great spot when another good left came through.  About five yards to my inside, a guy on a thicker Rusty decided to take off on me.  He was unsuccessful in his attempt, but in order to avoid a big foam missile to the face, I was in a less-than-ideal spot on the wave.  I pulled though the wave.

On my way back out, he apologized and said he thought I was going right.  Notice in the video that not once did I look right...

I caught a right which was slow to develop.  Once it did, I pumped a couple of times and bonked it, but lost my footing in the wash.

Many waves passed on which I had a good look, but someone was a bit deeper than me. 

A quick left popped up, and I got six pumps in on it.  I was racing this thing to the sand!  There was no payoff to be had, but I had a great time jousting with this head-high screamer.

I stayed out another half-hour.  The waves became inconsistent as the high tide had drowned the sandbars in water too deep for them to mold their magic.