Thursday, April 24, 2014

Catching Up With Mrs. Swell

"Tito" doing his thing on his everyday wave.
I took a solo trip across the border Sunday.  I darted to my favorite point and found only about five guys out.  Took the GoPro out with me, caught some fun, "almost" head high waves.  But some of the rides were pretty long, longer than Instagram would allow, long.  Still, a great wave to practice a little shredding.  The morning was pretty fun, looked like that sneaker NW swell didn't sneak it's way in, so a south swell dominated the early hours.  Met a couple few cool kats, including OsideJon and Tito.  I surfed with Tito a few times before.  But for a Tito (which in Pinoy means "Uncle"), he always rips, throws a bunch of buckets and has the energy of a grom (dude can paddle forever!).  The evening sesh was fun also.  That NW sneaker swell woke up Teresita's and I had some really fun rides.  That spot reminds me of the Swift Street wave when it gets wild.  Super, open ocean kind of wave.  Fun, but will buck you off if you get too cocky and send you to the bottom where you'll be greeted to some sharp ass reef.

OsideJon  showing that O-side style.  Represent!
On Monday, I caught my favorite reef breaking at about the overhead "plus" range.  Some of the waves looked double overhead, especially the second one I caught.  I looked up after I made the drop, and just saw it trying to foam me.  On one wave, I took off pretty late, which caused me to go for broke and blow through a couple sections to the open face where I caught up with this longboarder chick.  She didn't look too happy that I caught up to her.  She was just cruising along the face, smelling the flowers, and looked back in disgust that I was cruising right along with her.  I would have rode that wave with her all the way to the stairs, but she decided to kick out and get all pissy.  But hey, closest to the curl has the right of way, right? I don't blame her for dropping in on me.  I was busy busting through sections and came out of the nowhere, foamball land.  But if your reading this longboarder chick, I would have shared that wave with you all the way to the rocks, no need to kick out, just ask Papi!

Open, clean, rippable  faces.  Plus some good tacos after. 

Working this little nugget.  Gotta do what you gotta do!
On Tuesday I hit Cottons.  It was a bit windy and marine layered but the waves were pumping.  Man was it good for about two hours.  And there was only about five guys out!  Two guys in front of Nixon's, me in front of my "spot" (I ain't telling!) and a couple at that peak that breaks near Barb's.  I took my GoPro out but it crapped out on me just before I caught my best wave of the session.  Because it was getting to be high tide, all the waves were overhead, thick chunkers.  I just paddled into mine, took a straight line down the face, put my rail and fins into the water when I hit the flats, aimed for that fat chunky lip and hit that bitch with everything I had.  I didn't see what I threw, but I'm assuming it was something because I came down screaming and had to make one of those extended, overdone cutbacks.  Good fun!

An unridden, overhead right at Trestles.  Hell just froze over. 
Cotton perfection.
On Wednesday after work, I headed out to Scripp's to find it just blowing up with short period nuggets.  Had to be within the 4-7 foot range.  I didn't see much corners, so I kept walking south.  I checked Green Wall, and it was bigger, and doing much of the same thing as Scripp's.  But then I saw Shores, and it was going off!  Lefts, rights, chunky ones and even some hollow hum dingers just peeling everywhere.  That session was pretty sick.  I caught some really fun ones.  On a few I would just pop some check turns to slow down and then pick off the inside reforms that would blast me all the way to the beach.  This session was by far my best session at The Shores (I only surfed there twice before).  What had me really laughing in my head was the paddle out.  It took me three attempts to make it back out after my third wave.  "You have to be kidding me!" is what I kept telling myself.  I'm an ex-SFOB surfer.  I should be ashamed of myself!  But it's all in good fun.  And good times.  Great to see fun, head high + waves again.  And to think, we have some more swell coming... Cheeeeee!


Monday, April 21, 2014

Back into Search Mode

Lemonade from Kookingitup on Vimeo.

Finding good surf in early Spring can be difficult. But over a week of total search mode and wind checks, The Bearded Bandito and I found a few spots that were clean and fast enough to add some stoke to our winter hangover.  Don't get me wrong, these waves were no more than chest high at best, but I'll take that any Spring day as long as I can catch it. Filmed with the Bearded Bandito (Instagram @Zergghl) in three different, probably known spots in San Diego and San Clemente. 

Friday, April 18, 2014


I thought this video was pretty useful.  I've been paying a lot more attention in detail to my paddling technique since watching it and I have to say, I've been catching more waves!  Hope it's of use to you.

Monday, April 14, 2014


It seemed like Winter ran into the dark woods the day it became spring.  Even the last big winter swell looked like one big ugly spring day.  Don't get me wrong.  I love spring and all.  But living in an area where it feels like summer 300 days out of the year, spring isn't a big thing.  I do miss the changing of seasons in NorCal.  But like NorCal, spring surf sucks in SoCal too.

Maybe one of the reasons why spring has sucked so far is that I haven't been looking for waves like I usually do.  I just drive out to my everyday break, put on the wetsuit and run out to the surf no matter what.  I've been getting word from friends that some of the usual summer spots in the O.C. and really down south breaks have been fun.  Chest high, sometime head high south swell stuff.  But that's a big risk for the probable lemon, with the drive and all, especially when I can walk down to my regular break and catch the same lemon, with no hassle. 

A friend of mine in the O.C. texted me that Lowers and Uppers offered up a next to empty lineup on Saturday with a few head high sets rolling in.  "The south wind acted like it wanted to come up, but it never did.  I think that's what kept everybody away".  I saw the "3's @ 14's" south swell read on the Dana Point Buoy but ignored it because I looked out my window and saw the south wind blowing as did everybody else.  My buddy scored.  I didn't.  I needed waves.  So I drove North to Trestles on Sunday, bringing my wife along who wanted a long beach to run and sun to enjoy her Nora Robert's book.

I've been coming to Trestles for three years now.  It's just a lot closer than it used to be.  My wife has never came with me, opting to use her vacation time in countries 10 hours away.  She doesn't surf, so I don't blame her.  I told her beforehand that the walk down the trail was going to be about two miles down and back.  She didn't mind.  She wanted the exercise.  She didn't even let me carry her bag or her chair, opting to burn more calories.  She's such a trooper, especially on my hunt for any type of surfable lemon. 

My wife getting some sun at our "camp". 

The waves were knee to chest high.  But there was enough power to paddle into them, especially with my "big ass board" aka The Webber.  And they were clean and the rides were longer than expected.  The water was a bit cold but super clear.  On one wave, I just stared at the coral below my surfboard.  I opted not to wear the gopro because of how small the waves were.  I figured out that small waves don't look very good on a gopro no matter how you position it.  But I should have.  It would have been great to just squat really low on my board and stick the gopro in the face of the wave and catch all the pebbles and rocks as I glided across some of the chest high waves that I rode.  But it's all good.  My wife had the camera.  When she needed a break from reading, she picked up the camera and took shots.

Me on one of the long, clear & glassy chest high waves at Uppers, compliments of my wife. 
I stayed in the water for about three hours until it got crowded.  I must say, it did get funner with the tide draining and all.  Like on most days, a lot of people were sitting on the main peak, but like always, I was a vulture picking off a lot of the better rides farther south near the bay.  I guess some others caught on to my spot, so I just shifted to their spot and took waves that they would have caught.  But then it started to get more crowded and this is what happens when it gets crowded at Uppers...

My first cutter-off'r of the day as it got crowded...

And 10 minutes later this happened...

The guy in front of me above opted to kick out... after the best part of the wave was over.  Thanks bro!!!  I decided that I had a enough fun for the day.  I  rarely get pissed about getting cut off now days, but after watching five to a wave as the tide dropped, I opted to keep my stoke alive and ride in.  As I was drying off I witnessed this go down...

Pretty funny stuff if you ask me.  My wife had a laugh at it too.  She has become quiet the surf fan as of late.  She really enjoyed the Margaret River Pro and was totally pissed when Bourez scored that 9 point something in the dying minutes against Slater in the Semi's (which I told her he deserved).  She is a pretty quick study at any sport.  After I dried off a bit I asked her, like I always do, "Do I still look like a kook out there?"  Most of the time, she says "Yeah, your still a kook." Which is cool because she always keeps it honest with me, and that makes me work harder.  But this time she replied, "No, not anymore, but when are you going to start pulling airs?"  I just smiled and said "Babe, when pigs fly".

Those aren't pigs.