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Friday, December 23, 2016

5.31.16 Somewhat Ballsy Attempt at Punta Roca given my Saharan-Level Dry Spell


After my sorry excuse for a session (three pop-ups, no turns), I was interested to see how much I'd lost in my surfing on real waves.

I borrowed my uncle's Jeep and headed down there early.  As discussed, Chamba was at the point with his camera, shooting clients.

The wade/paddle -out wasn't too bad and I perched pretty aggressively, to the west of the decrepit rancho that's been there forever.

Over WhatsApp, I asked Chamba in the preceding year what the deal was with that property.  That would make quite the homestead.  What an amazing view of one of the world's best waves!  He told me, if I remember correctly, that some gringos owned it and had wanted to put up a condo tower on the back of the property.  That went nowhere beyond the marketing phase; the talk around town was that the government wanted a slice and it made the project unfeasible. He had also heard, if memory serves, that they were willing to let the property go for $2M. Ouch!

There is another property just to the east (for those who've been there, it's the one with the rotting pool and all of the palm trees) which is owned by people from San Salvador, but Chamba says they're not interested in selling.

It turns out one can rent a house an easy walking distance to PR for $150/night.  Conchalio is a great break and is rarely crowded. I had a great session there with Chamba in 2005 during which we pulled into some heavy not-makeable-by-us barrels and got slammed into raw logs that had washed out to the sea by a recent deluge. The linked-to house sits between both breaks.  Check out the razor wire on this house!

The session yielded me one really good turn on which I thought I was going down.  I think I caught six waves and fell on two.  I sat deeper than most and was not intimidated despite my prolonged sabbatical.  It was interesting to note muscle memory leads to my making the same mistakes of many sessions prior.  When I get back in the water much more frequently, I will work to correct these, starting with the most egregious ones.

Thursday, December 15, 2016

5.29.16 Back in the Water after almost TWO YEARS, La Bocana/ita, El Salvador

My uncle's club membership includes a membership to a beachfront club right at Sunzal and we headed down on a Sunday.  I met up with Chamba at Roca Sunzal and he lent me a pair of boardshorts and a 5'11".

Sunzal was packed thanks to it being a Sunday and Sunzal.  It didn't look very good or very big.  I decided to try my luck at La Bocana even though that place can't handle wind well.

I was really excited to see how I would fare.  The longest I'd been out of the water prior to this was around two months during a prolonged flat spell in early 2000.  I walked up the beach on a rising tide and my pale, white feet were feeling the sun and rocks bonking around.  My matching body and its resulting glare likely caused a few locals to squint.

I hit the water with no one out.  My paddling technique came right back and my first duckdive felt incredible.  It was easy to see why no one had paddled out.  It was completely blown out, though about shoulder-high on the sets.  It was still the best surf I'd been in in a long time, and my stoke level reflected that.

I caught a wave on which I pumped once and watched it crumble lazily then close out.  The current was making its presence known.  I fought back with some southbound paddles but eventually gave up when I saw something break at La Bocanita.

I caught literally nothing of note the rest of the day.  My highlight was an extremely late drop, it almost felt like an air-drop.

I was extremely surprised at how in tune I still was with surfing.


 I moved to CO in September of 2014 after having spent seventeen years surfing in CA.  A combination of things led to the move:

Surfing had become a chore, akin to sitting in a traffic jam.  You wait your turn to go and someone, too often,  would squeeze into your wave/lane.

I would be patient and surf my spot for months before it got a great day and BAM! Everyone and their cell phones reaches out and SLAM! gridlock.

My ear was a liability and surgery was at least necessary on it, though likely on both.

I had burned out in a major way on real estate.  It's a great line of work and I am thankful to have done well, thanks to my loyal clients, but there was a lot of burn-through with overhead (starting my own brokerage mitigated this somewhat) and self-employment taxes. I had a couple of incidents which sapped my mojo for the game.

We had the opportunity to join a start-up in CO, where I could use many of the skills I'd honed in real estate while getting a consistent check.  There was also the chance of much more should things go well, which could conceivably have helped us retire before turning 40.

About fourteen months ago, we made a plan to liquidate our CA holdings (condo in Cardiff where this blog was founded; Oside house where this blog was last updated) and do a tax-deferred exchange into a commercial property.  Aaron, who is featured on the first-ever post on this blog, was instrumental in helping me sell our CA properties on a major bro-basis and we are now in escrow on a commercial property which will generate income.

At some point in the near future, we will likely be moving down south.  Depending on when we go, we may have enough cash with which to buy a lot and build.  If we go early, I can use my Spanish and real estate pedigree to generate funds.

I don't have the desire to accumulate wealth.  I've long heard time is money but I think that is wrong.  You can generate more money but time is an ever-dwindling asset.  I'd like to live simply and give our girls plenty of our time rather than remain in the US and watch our income be decimated by bills, inflation, and taxes.  We are lucky to have sold both properties at a profit, especially the house, and our options have expanded as a result.

My ears have been surgically repaired (see future blog post for details) and I will be in the water again in March.  We are traveling to Nicaragua in March, this time to the far south of the country.