As of April 11, 2013 I have been officially surfing for two years. It seems like it was yesterday I pulled up to this garage sale in the East Bay, saw this funky looking nine foot NSP board with racing stripes starting on the tail and ending at the nose. I asked the old man how much for the board, "Eighty dollars," Replied the old man. "I got fifty on me?" Hoping he would bite. "It's yours!" Said the old man with a look in his eye's as if he knew this would be a life altering event. "Suuu-weeet! Now, how do I put this in my car?"
I didn't get to surf on the April 11th to commemorate my anniversary with the sea, but according to my meticulous, at times O.C.D. like records I did surf on Wednesday April 10th. What I have written down reads "Surfed three hours (underlined). Surfed w/ Manav, Amal, Tanji & Johnny @ Linda Mar. It was good for an hour". I think I wrote about this day previously, which means it was a memorable session. As for my very first board that I bought at that life changing garage sale, I gave it to Swayze who just started surfing. Swayze lives in San Diego and claims that his home break is "Hillcrest". When he's not surfing Hillcrest he has been snaking the young and old at Tormaline and La Jolla Shores.
|Swayze sent me this after a session at Tormaline.|
Earlier this week, I decided to take a "Mental Health Day". I don't know how it works in other industries, but in my line of work, we are pretty much pressed to practice what is called "Self Care". The thing about it is that a lot of us are so devoted to our work and the communities that we work in, that we usually say the hell with ourselves and keep pushing onward. My boss has been pushing me to take a "Mental Health Day" for the last few weeks, and finally told me, "If you come in tomorrow, I'm writing you up."
|Mental Health Daze on Noriega.|
It wasn't a bad day to take off. It had to be seventy plus degrees out, blue skies and the surf was clean. Amal and I rolled down to Ocean Beach, parked, ran up the hill and found that The Great Highway was closed. Usually when the Great Highway is closed, you can bet the surf is chopped up to shit. They close the Great Highway due to sand being blown by onshore winds from the dunes and the beach on to the Highway. All that equals out to crappy surf. But as we crossed the now pedestrian only Highway, we got a quick glimpse of the surf, and by God, it was clean, peaky and uncrowded. Within two seconds, we ran back to the car, suited up and jumped in (yeah, it was that fast). Since it was uncrowded, bright and clean, I decided to take out the GoPro. Here is a video of our session:
Mental Health Daze from Kookingitup on Vimeo.
I been going for broke lately on every wave that I get. I been working on isolating two moves, making a clean bottom turn and hitting the lip. I say "hitting the lip" because once I get up to the top of the wave, I don't know what's going to happen usually. Sometimes I'll be able to snap off the top and come steaming down for another drop and bottom turn, other times I just shoot down sideways on the face. But on this day, I almost pulled off a clean floater. I actually landed the damn thing, but couldn't hold it as the lip hit my board on the flats and forced me to lose my balance. Amal saw it and told me that I should have pushed my tail to turn my nose down the face for another drop. But after watching a bunch of Andy Iron videos, I want to complete a floater. I was so in the right place, but I should have put more pressure on my tail to lift my nose. My nose got stuck under the lip, which made it hard for me to land it. Next time...
|The one and only pedestrian only Highway in the United States of America... but don't quote me.|
|Caught this on with the GoPro.|
|Amal and Joe sharing a wave.|
|Amal going left.|
I know I complain a lot about spring. But spring came through for us. Maybe she's taking a deep breath or something, or maybe she is taking lunch break. I don't know. But she lent us some pretty good waves that day. I have to say, for being a smallish day, those peaks were pretty beautiful. In between getting some tasty burritos at La Playa Taqueria, we tried to pull a second session, which was a bad decision. The magic window had ceased and high tide was building making those small waves all mushy. Everybody complains about the paddle out at Ocean Beach, but as high tide rises and all that water fills back into the bay and the current gets all confused, paddling back in can take the longest! I think it took me about twenty minutes to paddle back in. "Catch some white wash," you might say, but it was too small for even whitewater to happen. But you know what, I'm gonna stop complaining. O.B. and spring came together to provide us with a fun day of surf. And a well needed mental health day.