Wednesday, April 15, 2015

The Double

Peaky from Kookingitup on Vimeo.

Got to Mission Beach early on Tax Day 2015 and paddled out with Steve and Cynthia into overhead, steep waves.  After the session, the buoy was still rocking Home Depots favorite swell period, so I booked it back to La Jolla and was greeted with some pretty choice surf with the local second shift posse at the pier. One of many, nice rides at the local. 

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Morning Gem

This Morning's Gem. from Kookingitup on Vimeo.

I didn't think there would be any waves this morning. But then this gem came along...

Friday, April 10, 2015

Spring Surprise

Spring Surprise from Kookingitup on Vimeo.

I feel like the magazine "Surfer" on this post because I am so late on reporting the recent swell that blessed Southern California (and hopefully Central and Northern California as well) a few weeks back.  The run of waves lasted for a good two weeks at the end of March, first starting with some good wind swell and short period WNW (which is normal for this time of year), but then the following days we received a pretty healthy dose of South that lit up some of the summer reefs.  It was great to see the summer crew out there in the lineup.  Not much has changed about that, and I'm pretty happy.  The first and second shifts are primarily the greatest bunch of guys to surf with, all full of stoke and life. 

Trevor catching a good one.
As for the swells, The Bearded Bandito and I, along with his younger brother decided to drive 45 minutes north for the biggest swell.  On Sunday, March 29th, or what some are calling "Super Sunday", we traveled to Trestles and this is what we walked up to:

Pure excitement ran through our veins as we high-fived each other as we setup camp.  It was a pretty killer session with a lot of duck dives, lots of waves on the head and a lot of rewards.  The lefts at this particular spot was where it was at, but the pit was full of people dropping in on each other, and also a lot of people that shouldn't have been out on such a day (letting go of boards, out of control drops, deer in the head light looks).  We stuck to the rights and got our fair share.  I heard rumors that people were calling this south better then the hurricane waves last September.  Though this run of south swell waves was great, last hurricane season was the most epic summer run of surf that I have ever experienced.  Period.

The waves just stayed consistent for a solid two weeks.  I was able to get into the flow and the rhythm of feeling confident and comfortable with my abilities.  There were a couple "oh shit" moments when I was caught inside on some pretty heavy peaks, but I was able to keep my composure pretty well, popping out the back and catching some pretty meaty waves.  When bigger sets rolled in, I was pretty amazed at the older guys and how they compose themselves.  At times, their experience appears to provide them with this look of fearlessness. I'm hoping I can find some of that down the line, because when a macker is coming for my head, all of that experience and wisdom I've gained over the last four years evades me. 

Half the time when something 7+ and over is screaming towards my head, those butterflies start to go nuts in my stomach and relocate to my shoulders, arms, and legs.  I'm pretty much telling myself, "F-ck, this sucks!" while waiting for the right moment to put my board as far under as I can before Armageddon hits.  This swell had so much juice at times that no matter how far under I ducked dived, a second cloud of 'hello' would hit me straight in the face, wanting to rip my board from my hands while trying to roll me like a cheap trick.

This spring season has been far different then a year before.  Here is a link to an entry that I wrote at about the same time last year.  Last year we had a lot of great wind swell that lit up Home Depot and his sister, The Shores, along with decent south swells that were graced with warm Santa Anas.  This year, the last two weeks of March felt more like summer, giving us those waves I just talked about with pretty calm, eighty degree days.  It seems like spring took a while to wake up from hibernation, because she's back blowing the late day surf to shreds.  But she isn't giving us those choice wind swells that light up our beach breaks with great early morning surf as she did last spring.  Surf presently is pretty much hit or miss, knee to waist high stuff, and I'm pretty content with that right now (aka surfed out).

One thing that I have started to do lately is bring a bigger board out to the reefs.  A lot of the older guys gave me this advice, and being stubborn, I decided to do otherwise.  But over the winter, I bought a pretty big board for myself (6'6 x 20") and decided to use it for reefs or point breaks that had a lot more fatter and chunkier waves.  With this board, I'm catching a lot more waves, getting into them earlier, but even though my performance on this bigger board is not as sharp, I'm still able to make the necessary turns to keep in the curl.  I still take out my smallest board (6'0 x 19") when the tides are lower and it works fine, but when I'm going up against bigger boards in the lineup and fatter waves, the bigger board does the trick. 

As for how I'm doing these days, I have managed to crawl out of that dark hole left by Dad's passing a few months back.  That was an unavoidable hole that I do not wish on anyone, but will be there when a parent is lost, no matter how close or how far you are from them in regards to your heart.  My advice is to wake up each morning and promise yourself that you will do something you love.  You can't loose touch with that when your going through the loss of a loved one.  It keeps you alive.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015


(HEADSPACE): Shaun Tomson from The Inertia on Vimeo.

A few blogs prior, I talked about the thirteen codes that I created for myself almost two years ago. They were inspired by the man above, after I was lucky enough to attend his presentation over at Bird's. I got a couple emails asking if I could share my codes. I shared my codes with these readers, but they in turn had to create their own codes and share their codes with me. With that, I'm going to go back on my word and share the thirteen codes that helped me get a grip on my life. Your probably saying to yourself, 'this guy is full of shit!' But it has.  In many ways, these codes brought me back from drowning in my own self pity and my own demises.  Yeah, life throws curve balls, but when I stick to my codes, I stick true to myself.  And these codes have especially helped me over the last few months after my father past on.  They have kept me a float, just above the darkness.  And they have inspired the few people that I have shared with them to create their own codes, helping them take that one step in the better direction.

Here are BD's 13 codes:

1.  Don't copy anyone's style.
2.  Laugh at haters, but don't be one.
3.  Take care of those who take care of you.
4.  No shortcuts.
5.  It's ok not to take the drop.
6.  But take it anyway.
7.  Fuck the Joneses.
8.  Say less.  Do more.
9.  Let it go.
10.  Fear will not rule over you.
11.  Cheer lead one random stranger everyday.  
12.  Be the greater fool.
13.  Let it be yours.

Some of these things don't make sense to others, but as long as it makes sense to me, that's all that matters.  And it will be the same with your codes.  

Friday, February 20, 2015

Fruits Of Being Sick

I had the nastiest flu hit me in 10 years this week that put me out for the count.  I feel a bit better, but not a 100%, so I decided to sit at my computer in a warm room and finally edit some of the stuff I shot this winter.  Enjoy, and please pass be the B-12 on the way out. O.J. too if you don't mind.  Thanks.

Should have been here... from Kookingitup on Vimeo.

Thursday, January 29, 2015


I am not going to beat around the bush, January 2015 has been a pretty rough one for your boy.  First off, the first two weeks of January felt like June and July, maybe even flatter.  No waves to be found anywhere.  Then as the waves started to pick up, something else happened.  On January 13th, after my wife and I came home from our weekly Taco Tuesday date,  I got this odd call around 8p from my brother who lives up north.  He usually texts, so this call was a surprise, and when surprises as these occur, it's usually not good news on the other side of the line.  I let the call go to voicemail because I was just about to jump in the shower, acknowledging that probably there was going be bad news.  I just wanted to get myself comfortable and in the right head space to receive it.  Half an hour later, after I was washed up, had some comfortable clothes on and my head was right, I called my brother and braced myself.  The news:  My father had past.

I sat at my computer for what felt like an eternity, just scrolling, not reading, not doing anything, just remaining in shock.  I have great memories with my father.  He taught me all about nature, camping, fishing, and offered me the love of the outdoors which opened my world.  But over the years, as fathers and sons do, we were at odds.  I haven't spoken to him in three years, and I know that he wanted to talk and work things out, but he just didn't know how.  He always wanted me to make the first move, and I didn't want to give it to him.  Like most stories of Fathers and Sons, I did everything in my power to not be like him, but in the end, I'm almost a mirror image, stubborn like a mule, not wanting to give an inch.  Which probably cost both of us three years of memories.

My Father thought he could live until a hundred.  He was the guy who flew by the seat of his chair, only knowing what he was going to do a few hours from the present.  He didn't leave much, just three sons to sort out whatever trinkets he left behind.  But each of those trinkets had lasting memories for each of us.  My Father and I disagreed on a lot of things.  But one thing we didn't disagree on was our love for Star Wars.  As I walked into his room, on top of his DVD player were Episodes 1-6. My Step Mom totally obliged and gave me all six.  This was all I wanted, and I left everybody else to sort out whatever broken empire he left behind.

The thing about having a parent die is that you are constantly reminded of them.  You look at their old pictures and you look exactly like them when they were your age.  When I looked in the mirror, I saw my father.  And everybody wanted to console me, so they asked me how I was doing, how was the funeral, how did he die?  Which was a very nice and appropriate thing to do.  But I had to repeatedly tell the story over and over.  Each time it got better, and each time it would become something other then real, somewhat surreal.  But it always reminded me of what had just happened.  And it cut deeper each time.  The only time I really had to grieve was during our drive up north and back, when all I had in front of me was road and thoughts.

After taking care of his funeral and what comes with a parent's death, I headed back to San Diego.  The surf was good and it was forecasted to get better.  I just wanted to surf.  I wanted to get in the water as fast as I could.  I didn't want to do anything else.  My buddy Steve was in town from up north and we surfed Trestles.  Steve and I talked, he always has a really positive yet realistic outlook on things, which helped a lot.  

Steve on one of many bombs.
The surf was alright at Trestles.  This swell was pretty selective on the places it hit.  Trestles wasn't one of them in my opinion.  I ended up leaving around noon and went straight to one of the reefs by my home, and boy, was it firing on all cylinders.  Even the outer break they call "Little Makaha" was going off.  A lot of people were telling me that spot doesn't go off but once in a while and I was lucky to see it.  I paddled out to the major left at this spot and I used Little Makaha as my indicator.  It didn't matter.  When the big sets came, no matter how far you paddled out, you were going to get drilled.  I got drilled a dozen times over.  I didn't catch but one wave in two hours.  I just sat in that same spot and kept taking it on the head.  And I enjoyed it.  It got my mind off of the really painful stuff.  It got me present.

The next day I headed down to Baja to one of my favorite winter spots.  It was a solid 6 to 8 feet with a couple +'ers coming through every hour.  Perfect size for this spot.  It was also a bit crowded and the locals appeared pretty irritated.  But I was able to mind my own business, surf with respect and get waves when I had a chance.  I caught some really great waves during that session.  One thing that I was perplexed about was whether to keep my starting line high or go straight down for the bottom turn.  This wave is pretty fast when it's going, and a lot of guys were keeping their lines high to beat sections and then go low when the wave slowed down.  But I was surfing with a lot of emotion that day and I just wanted to blow the lip up when I had a chance.  But I missed a couple sections due to mindset which I was bummed about after seeing some of the pictures.  My wife came along and took all of the pictures.  She gave me some pointers, but she also knew that I was surfing with a purpose that day.

I'm not going to be all cliche and say that surfing healed all my wounds.  Nothing can heal the loss of a parent but time.  And that clock just keeps ticking and ticking.  We have such a short time on this planet to experience life, and then we go back to where we came, where ever that place maybe, where ever you think it is.  My father was a big believer in The Force, in part by how Star Wars defined it, but more central to the idea that we are part of a whole, and when we pass, we just transform and form another piece while another piece takes the place we left.  I just hope that he is in peace, watching us on his flat screen TV, hopefully smiling and bull shitting with all his buddies.  I hope he has his tent up and fire going, that he has his cargo pants on, his favorite tee-shirt with his silly Teevas on his feet as they are propped up by an old log that fell a millenniums ago.  I hope he is sipping on cup of Joe watching time pass. 

Photo taken by Chris Corona