Sunday, April 19, 2015

Star Wars Celebration VII in Anaheim

The first and last time they'll ever hand me the keys to an X-wing.

As you may well know, I'm a pretty big fan of Star Wars.  Well, the Star Wars Celebration came to Anaheim this year.  This is the seventh "Celebration" in the span of almost 40 years, so it's a pretty special event.  Lucky enough, it was just an hour away from home, but next year it was announced that it will be held in London ("Booo!!!" from California and "Cheerio!!!" from the English).  Thousands of Star Wars fans from around the globe came to the Celebration.  I met families from Ireland, Japan, Russia, Korea, Spain, Turkey, Kentucky, Virginia, Kansas and more.  I only had a Saturday pass, and was it awesome.  I regret not getting the four day pass, which was available to me.  But nonetheless, I was able to watch the live stream from home (yes I am a nerd like that when it comes to Star Wars), which was great!  Here are some new things I learned from the Celebration.  

#1  Not only does China make everything else in the galaxy, but they also make Stormtroopers on the cheap. 

#2 Darth Vader has a sexy sister. 

#3 The Bacta Tank is not a phone booth.  But the reception is pretty good...

#4 If your going to beat B.D. at poker while on the Millennium Falcon, make sure your cards are facing the right way. 

#5  We need more Cos Play Lando Calrissian's.  

#6:  There will never be enough Princess Leia's in slave dress.

#7:  There will always be more hard core fans than me (or you). 

#8:  The best things come in small packages.

#9:  Everybody is falling in love with "Chopper", but there will never be another R2.

#10:  Stormtroopers can Surf.  But there fashion for shoe wear can be a bit iffy.

#11:  You meet the best homey's at anything Star Wars. 

#12:  Black stormtroopers are down.

#13  Not even Qui Gon or Obi Wan want to know what's on the B.D.'s mind.

 #14 Ewoks will never be cool. 

 #15  And niether will Star War Fans ;)

One for my fellow nerds:  The live stream forum.  Hilarious!!!

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.