Friday, December 26, 2008

Happy Holidays!

Hope everyone is enjoying their vacation. I've been out of the water for a few weeks now, and I can feel the atrophy setting in. My shoulders have lost all muscle mass and I need Joan to help me shampoo my hair even. Getting back in the water is going to be a chore. I'm counting on you guys to push me into waves next year. I'll be shopping for a knee-board and some fins too, and probably one of those nose-clips to keep the water out of my nose. If I end up crippled I guess there's always street luge, the hills in SF would be perfect for that. With my luck though I'd luge right into a Maserati...

On a more serious note, despite my debilitations I plan on getting back into the lineup again for the first time on New Year's day. Somewhere with minimal paddling, so I can take it easy on my shoulder and feel it out. If anyone wants to join me for the first session of the year, shoot me an email or comment.

The surf is massive today, but the wind is pretty bad, so I'm not sure what will look good. Despite not being able to surf, I'm about to leave the house to drive down the coast and take some pictures. Maybe Mav's? Need to get a telephoto this year for some crisper shots from the beach.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Session 115 - last dawn patrol of the year

Head high + OB and barreling. Strong current pulling south. Ended up on a crowded peak at Noriega where I caught a really nice outside set wave in front of the whole crew. Ripped a couple nice turns before it closed out on me. I kicked out, but the wave snatched my board and broke my leash. The wave spit my board out and I swam frantically after it, like a linebacker going after a fumble. I reached my board just in time to get hammered by the next set wave. I held on as tight as I could and rode the next wall of whitewater back into the beach to call it a day.

Later on that same day I bought a new scooter for Joan's bday, and only a few hours later crashed into a Maserati on Market street. The rich old guy ran a stop sign right in front of me. I grabbed the brakes but had no time, smashed right into the side of his car shoulder first. Got to my feet and tried to move the scooter, but it was totally shattered and the front wheel wouldn't roll freely. I tugged on the scooter one more time and then felt the pain in my right shoulder, my shoulder popping out funny. It felt like it might be dislocated, but not completely, maybe just mislocated. My legs were throbbing in pain too, so I staggered over to the corner to sit down and remove my gear. Cops were on the scene almost immediately, and a couple other drivers came over to help me. People were gawking, and cops stopped traffic. One station wagon rolled past slowy, rubber-necking. I looked up at them and noticed they had boards in the car, and then thought about my shoulder. Fuck. That's when it really hit me that I'm gonna be out of the water for a while. I didn't break anything, but I possibly tore some ligaments in my shoulder or just damaged my rotator cuff. Going to see a specialist this week and I'll know for sure, but I seem to be healing fast, my mobility is pretty good already.

With a slightly premature and tragic end to a wonderful year of surfing, I'm entirely content ending the year with 115 sessions since July. I consider myself lucky to be a surfer in San Francisco, and looking back on the year's worth of blog entries brings a smile to my face. I experienced a lot this year- made a lot of good friends, caught a lot of good waves, and generally had a blast. I can only hope that next year will be as epic. This might be my last session report of the year, but I'll keep up the blog with some more retrospective rambling and 2009 plans. Some random ideas include shaping boards in my garage, starting a free SF surf zine, and sewing my favorite baseball hat to my wetsuit hood...

Session 114 - stalling in Santa Cruz

Hungover and got a late start, but decided to head down to SC with Ry and Ramin to meet up with Nic and Joel. Ramin was a soldier, had already gotten up early and surfed OB, apparently got one big one and caught a beating otherwise. Anyways, I'll keep this short since it's a distant memory at this point, but 4m was fun, my first session there, although I'd been there in the past but hadn't surfed it. It was a fun wave, totally protected, with a nice barrel section on the inside. Crowded though, as most clean consistent beautiful righthand points are in these parts. We had a solid crew though, and it was fun to holler at Ramin and Joel flying down the line on set waves. After watching one of the older local guys pull in, stall, and get barreled for a few seconds I was inspired. Though stalling is relatively easy and it used to be part of my limited repertoire, I realized that lately I've been so obsessed with down the line speed and cutbacks that I forgot about the simple barrel stall. I caught a smaller wave, bottom turned into position and then did probably the most exaggerated stall ever. I sat with all of my weight on the tail and shoved my entire arm into the face of the wave. At the same time the middle part of the wave was jacking up and breaking over me. I stalled until I was covered up and couldn't see anything except for water splashing in my face, then I released. It was far from a clean barrel exit, the wave basically broke on me, but because I was planted in the right spot and driving toward the beach rather than toward the shoulder, I was able to hold on and ride out of it. Sweet. Each and every wave after that I attempted to stall into the barrel, although I soon remembered that it only works when the wave is actually barreling. In any case, I'm stoked that I surfed somewhere new and learned something new. Forget about speed runs and punts, I'm not a grom anymore, stalling is where it's at! Maybe I should listen to Mark and get a single fin.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Session 113 - Saturday at OB

Ryan and I paddled out at K street and caught a ton of really nice waves. There were some characters in the lineup, including one Japanese kid who was furiously trying to paddle around everyone and take off as deep as possible. He generally would take off deep, call you off the wave, and wipe out. Ry dropped in on him and just milked the wave. Good man. Joanie snapped a few shots from the dunes, check the slideshow for more pics:

Friday, December 5, 2008

Session 112 - Macking OB dawn patrol

It's been a slow surfing week for me, not due to lack of swell, but due to early meetings all week. However, no early meetings this Friday, and plenty of pulse in the water, and plenty of paddling and duckdiving to go with it. Took a walk to the beach around quarter to 7 to check it, and there was one guy paddling out. Big, clean double overhead sets breaking on the outer sandbars. Walked home, finished my coffee and suited up. Only one earplug in because I lost the right one at the Jetty...waxed up the 7'5" Waterworks semi-gun and headed down to Kirkham. By the time I got out, there were 3 or 4 other guys on it, catching some bombs. It took me about 10 minutes to make the paddle to the outside, and then of course a huge set rolled through and pushed me back again. I fought it and finally made it all the way out, only to realize that I was way too far out the back. I worked my way back inside, almost catching a few massive waves but not quite having the paddle speed to stroke into them. One wave I paddled further in for position but got too deep and decided to pull back at the last minute. It was scary, as I was teetering on the edge of going over the falls. It could've meant the end of my session right there, but luckily I didn't go over the falls and I paddled out to catch another. I ended up snagging a heaving left, easily 3-4 feet overhead. Once I was in the right position the semi-gun worked like a charm, it was a super stable takeoff and drop, and I raced down the line as far as I could before the wave closed out dramatically and I launched myself out the back. After that I took a set wave on the head, and then scrambled to safety. I blew so much time paddling around in circles that it was already time to head in, so I snagged the next head high wave that rolled through and rode the foam ball all the way inside. It was a great session, just too short. It wouldve been nice to be on it with a few friends too, the lonesome gladiator dawn patrols just arent as fun as being out there with some of your bros. This weekend should be good too, and I'll try and take more pictures if my camera doesnt keep freezing up on me.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving weekend - Trestles, Old Man's, Fort Point, HMB

HMB Jetty little barrel

Small one at Fort Point

Fort Point cleanup set

Sessions 107-111:

Had a good turkey day weekend and surfed a few nice spots. Camped out at San Mateo campground, just a mile hike inland from Trestles and one exit away from Old Mans. Paddled out for sunset with Gillian at Uppers, small but a few fun workable waves. The next morning I caught the glassy sunrise session at Uppers, some really nice 4 footers peeling through. Caught 25 waves in 2 hours and then headed back to the campsite for breakfast. After eating we joined the rest of the crew at Old Mans, and I had a brief session with Joanie and Gillian out on the logs. A few beers on the beach and just chilled for the rest of the day. Got back into SF around 3 am Sunday, and slept until 2pm. Woke up and checked the surf at OB from my roof. It was huge! Double to triple overhead, and just massive walls of whitewater. With only a few hours of daylight left I scrambled over to Fort Point for a really fun session with some big sets rolling through under the bridge. It was super crowded and I only caught a few rides, including one bad wipeout on a set wave right in front of the rocks. Some other dude ended his session with a bloody face, I think it was from hitting his board though, not the rocks.

I hoped to score Fort Point again this AM, but it wasn't looking so good so I headed down the coast. Everything looked soupy and stormy, so I ended up with a brief session at the jetty to get my morning going. Maybe tomorrow I'll get up at 5 and head further south to Santa Cruz...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

106: Tunnel of Pummel - K st dawn patrol

Surf was pumping this AM, and practically no wind to mix things up. A bit smaller than yesterday, so my 7'5" was overkill, but it did make the paddle out extremely easy, relative to yesterday at least. Doing cutbacks on the 7'5" pintail is a bit of a chore, but otherwise the board is super stable and is easy to pump down the line. Hopefully I'll get some more use out of it this winter.

Headed to Orange County for Thanksgiving, camping on the beach at San Onofre. Hoping to score at Trestles, but it looks like it will be 2-4, and the real pulse will be up here in NorCal. Maybe I'll head home early for a Sunday session...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

NYC surfing roots

This is a decent little video of surfing in Rockaway Beach, NYC, where I surfed before seeking greener pastures ~10 years ago. The comments about the garbage on the beach are true, and riding the subway with a board always gets weird looks. I miss it though, especially those fall hurricane swells after the summer crowds dissipate.

Undergunned on a heavy day at OB

Session 105 - Gloomy weather this AM and big fat heavy surf on a full high tide. One other person paddling out as I arrived, and they were getting pummeled on the inside by wall after wall of relentless whitewater. I couldn't let them suffer alone, so I waded in and started duck diving. I fared a bit better than them, finally making it outside after a solid 10-15 minutes of paddling and diving, and a minute later they made it outside as well. Some big overhead+ sets were barreling through, and the waves were moving fast. It was extremely difficult to paddle into anything on my 6'3". The other person out was a girl on a fish, and we briefly commiserated over the brutal paddle out and our poor choice of equipment for the conditions. After countless attempts to catch one of the shifting beasts, I finally found myself in the right spot to snag a big set wave. I had to position myself for a late drop, so the wave was already starting to break on me as I turned and popped up. It's nerve racking turning your back to a 8-10 ft wave as it's coming down on you like that, but I made the drop and raced down the line. It was a big, fast wave and I made it pretty far down the line before it decided to shut down. Adrenaline pumping, I paddled out for another. The girl took off on a wave but never came back. I assume she just got caught on the inside and couldnt make it back out, but in big stormy conditions like this it can be a bit worrisome. Catching my next wave proved to be every bit as frustrating as the first. It's one of those days where it's really hard to be in the right place at the right time and almost guaranteed you'll be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I took a few almost double overhead waves on the head, and barely missed catching a few good ones. I eventually caught a shoulder, but then ended up back inside again getting smashed. After a good faith effort of paddling and diving for another 10 minutes, I decided to call it a day. On big and brutal days like this I'm glad to have caught even one of the big set waves. Driving down great highway to work I didn't spot anyone else out there, just big beastly waves rolling through unridden.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Session 104 - morning glass

heaving lips sink ships...

this morning's dawn patrol was sweet, barreling morning glass in the 3-5 range and only 3 other guys out within a few blocks. the winds started getting on it by like 8:30 though. hopefully we'll get some new swell as this one is fading out. and it looks like rain for Turkey day. If the waves are decent I don't mind camping in the rain to score surf, but if it just sucks all around I don't know what the plan is anymore...

Sunday, November 23, 2008

102 -103 Head high+ OB

This weekend I had big plans to head south and surf some point breaks, or at least score Fort Point if it was big enough. Friday on my way home from work I rode to Fort Point to check it, but it looked like the tide was killing it. Talked to someone in the parking lot who told me it was pretty fun at low tide. Next morning I had plans on meeting up with Nic and Joel and Ramin, but OB was looking swampy and unspectacular, and I was determined to surf somewhere else this weekend. Anyways, Fort Point wasn't breaking, too small, so I ultimately ended up surfing OB at low tide. It was good size, head high with a couple feet bigger on sets, and a lot of paddling. The onshore winds messed it up though, so I only surfed for an hour and a half before heading in. Sunday AM I woke up and it was beautiful out, head high sets stacking up and rolling through, with really light winds and clean conditions. Lots of surfers out and was a really fun session, caught a few meaty rights and worked on fine tuning my frontside cutbacks. Getting that leading arm down into the wave is really helping me I think...we'll wait to see some photo evidence though.

Gus was being bad, and totally peed on the dead sea lion while the marine biologist dude was taking samples.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

won oh won

kirkham was being all kirkhamy this dawn, as you can see in the picture. i imagine if i were much smaller this wave would be pretty good.

Monday, November 17, 2008

SESSION 100 - sunset in the outer sunset

the big just snuck up on me, and luckily happened on a beautiful glassy evening, classic fall OB. The waves were mellow, and it was just nice to watch the sunset over the water. I think tomorrow might be a longboard dawn patrol...

SESSION 99 - somewhere in norcal

Though the weather in SF was perfect and a swell was due at OB, I decided on a whim to head way north to do some hiking and catch some waves. Out of respect for the secrecy of the spot, I won't go into too many details, but it was an incredible weekend of exploration, hiking, surfing, seals, rocks, kelp, creeks, driftwood, bear tracks, dehydrated lasagna, pink marshmallows, bonfires, sand and sun. The waves weren't huge, but pretty incredible: 3-5 offshore & glassy. I had an epic session, pulling into 2 nice barrels and boosting my first air in a really long time, actually landing one back into the wave. Super consistent and just pumping all day long, with only a handful of guys on it at once. There were surfers coming in on jetskis, boats, and planes. Joanie snapped some good shots from the beach too, but promised not to post them on surfline...It was epic though, and next time I go back I'll be spending a few more days to be sure.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Session 98 - Death of a shortboard

Maybe death is a bit dramatic...the board is just severely wounded. I paddled out on my Rusty 6'1" today, with these crappy plastic skegs that I pulled off of one of the other boards I bought in Brazil years ago. The skegs are so flexy that on fast waves the board gets squirrely and it's tough to hold a line, not to mention the fact that the skegs make this loud humming noise.

In any case, I surfed terribly today. I won't place all of the blame on the board, I'm known to have my bad days regardless, but the board with the crapo skegs definitely was not helping. I couldn't stick a late drop for the life of me, and I've actually gotten pretty good at those late backside drops...I think with this board I'm just not able to set the rail correctly. In any case, I kept trying, which led to multiple nasty wipeouts in which I landed on my board and/or skegged myself. I've never tackled my board so many times in one session. This was bound to end bad. I took off deep on a left, and basically gave my board a flying elbow to the nose. As a result, I'm now missing a bite size chunk from the nose of my board, and have a bruised arm/ego. My board looks like it had an encounter with a hungry Ken Bradshaw.

After breaking my board though, I actually snapped out of it and was able to catch a few decent rides, one of which I stupidly rode too far to the inside and then got caught paddling through walls of whitewater for the next 15 minutes. My shoulders could handle it, but I was cranky nonetheless having to duckdive 15 waves in a row.

All in all, this session sucked. I hope my next 98th session is better!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Session 97 - HMB Jetty desperation

Addicted to Fort Point after 1 session, I jumped out of bed at 6:14 this morning hoping to score again. Shoved my wetsuit and booties into my wetbag, grabbed my ear plugs, camera and wax, and down to the garage to load up the bike. Decided to bring out the 6'1" Rusty, shoved it into the board bag and strapped it down to the bike. iPod pumping inside my helmet, I sped down Park Presidio and over to Fort Point. I made the left down the hill past the bridge, and as I caught my first glimpse my heart sunk. Small, choppy, and barely rideable.

At that point I had to get wet somewhere, but not there. I rode through the Marina and took Van Ness through Downtown, hopped on the freeway and headed towards Pacifica. I was hoping Rockaway or Whale Cove would be working, but no such luck. Everywhere was blown to pieces, so I kept riding. Eventually, I got to the Jetty and it was fairly clean. At least relative to everywhere else at the moment. It was tiny though, with an occasional 3 foot set wave doubling up and rolling through, usually closing out after a few feet. It was better than nothing though, and at least surfing the Jetty is a welcome break from the marathon paddle that is OB. It was already 8 by this point though, so I didn't have much time. I caught 11 tiny waves in 40 minutes, snapped 3 pics before my camera died, and then headed to the office.

Only 3 more sessions until the big centum! It looks like the swell is supposed to pick up a bit, so hopefully I'll get there by the weekend. If session 100 happens to fall on the weekend, I just might have to attempt the 100 wave day...maybe the Jetty would be a good venue for a marathon session since the paddling is minimal. But I'd feel weird not having such a momentus day in my surfing career happen at K street. We shall see!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Session 96 - Fort Point

My first time ever surfing Fort Point today, it was a blessing in disguise that OB was so blown out. Fort Point was totally pumping, and only 2 guys on it when I first got there. I was apprehensive about entry and exit, having to scramble down the rocks and time it so I didn't get smashed, but it all worked out fine. Just sitting out there under the bridge is totally sublime, not to mention stroking into head high lefts while all of the tourist watch you. Definitely an experience unlike any other, one of the most unique surf spots I've ever surfed. I caught a handful of good waves, maybe 6 or 7 waves in my 1 hour session. My best wave was a big overhead set wave that connected all the way to the inside, and I had to kick off the back at the last minute to avoid riding straight into the rocks. The adrenaline was pumping and a grin was plastered to my face for the rest of the session. I'm hooked now, and plan on checking it out for dawn patrol tomorrow AM, as I'm pretty sure OB is still a complete mess, unsurfable unless maybe you have a kite...

Session 95 - rainy but pumping OB

Saturday decided to sleep a bit later and wait for the tide to drop, since I've been surfing the fat high tide waves during my weekday dawn patrols. Plus, sometimes it's nice to sleep in on Saturdays ;)

Made it to the beach around 11 just as it started to drizzle. The tide was still dropping to a 1.7 ft low around 1:30 or so, and the swell was building. It was pretty foggy and nasty, but the surf was pumping and getting pretty steep and fast as the tide continued to drop. It was pretty crowded too, considering it was rainy and ugly out. Sets were in the head high range, building into a foot or two overhead on standout sets. I stayed out for an hour and 40 minutes, on a mission to catch 20 solid waves. Since I am still repairing my 6'5" JC, I ended up paddling out on my 5'11" Rusty swallow tail. I haven't ridden that board in a while, and it's a treat on small, fast waves because it turns on command, and cutbacks are effortless (at least going frontside for me). I had a few memorable wipeouts too. On one head high right, I totally goofed on a top turn and somehow ended up landing on top of my upside down board, bruising my left thigh on my skegs. On one of my last waves I caught a big jacking outside set wave, easily a couple feet overhead. I took the first part of the drop fine, but then the wave did this weird staircase thing and I skipped off the face of the wave and air dropped down to the flats. I tried to stick the landing, but totally ate it, bounced off of the sand and got rolled pretty good. I redeemed myself with the next wave, #20, a steep reeling left that I was able to connect pretty much all the way back into the beach.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Session 94 - broken leash rope

The conditions this AM weren't quite as good as yesterday, a little more sectiony, a little softer, but overall still fun and still really nice out. I hit the water at 6:45 and caught a handful of waves before my session was cut short by my leash failure. Turns out there is a ding on the tail of my board that the rope was rubbing against, and finally just snapped. Needless to say I'll be repairing that ding ASAP, as well as another crack up on the nose of my board. I'm really trying to take care of this JC, but I'm not the most vigilant when it comes to ding repairs...

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Session 93 - dawn patrol glass

Hit up K street again this morning with Brian, Ryan and Karl. Conditions improved since yesterday, not quite as soft and some decent rippable walls. Marathon session in mind, I made a point of catching 20 waves this morning, in about an hour and 15 minutes. I think 100 is doable if I have all day and the paddle out isn't too tough. 20 waves was pretty easy, and I was still being selective too, not just dropping into every closeout or mushy shoulder that rolled through. My best wave of the day by far was a right that barreled clean and spit me out on the shoulder, where a seagull swooped just barely out of my reach. I think Karl might have witnessed it from the shoulder, though I'm not positive it was him. So hard to tell who is who when everyone is wearing black wetsuits riding white boards...

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Session 92 - Yes we can! (surf)

Stoked on Obama getting elected, but still was able to crawl out of bed this morning to meet up with Ry for a session at K st. The conditions really cleaned up a lot, and

although the waves were on the soft side, there were some nice peaks to take off on, and it was just plain beautiful out. We saw a big pod of maybe 5 or 6 dolphins breach on a decent set wave, and then Ry and I both turned and caught the same wave. A bunch of other guys (and a girl) were out catching rides too, I got a few pics of a guy on a longboard making a decent drop. I'm hoping it stays clean for tomorrow AM and into the weekend, a little more size wouldnt hurt either.

As for last night, I'm extremely happy Obama got elected, watching his speech was probably the proudest moment as an American in my life. Aside from all of the important credentials Obama brings to the table, as a surfer I think it's awesome that he has roots in Hawaii and Indo and has actually surfed and body surfed before. When was the last time we had a president that understood the allure of surfing??

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Session 91 - K street

Another day, another foggy dawn patrol. Visibility was poor, but the conditions were a bit cleaner than yesterday AM. NW fading, S swell filling in a bit. Roughly the same size as yesterday, sets shoulder high max. One other guy out, and some seals flopping around. First wave went for a late drop and didn't make it. Next wave took off deep, then bottom turned around the section and swooped back up into the pocket. A few nice turns and kicked out. My last wave was the longest ride, a chest high left that walled up nicely and took me all the way into the beach.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Session 90 - Jerry Garcia

Dawn patrol at K street, and surfline is wayyyyyy off today. Not fair. Poor. Biggest set waves maybe shoulder high, but the incoming tide making it weak, and onshore winds turning it to sectiony junk. I was able to snag 4 waves, but found myself having to take late drops just to catch them, and focus on driving past flat spots and mushy sections. All in all it was a pretty boring session, but a good workout. One of those days where you paddle your ass off through wall after wall of whitewater just to score some dribbly 4 foot mushburger.

However, maybe it's just a perception problem, and 3 weeks in Bali plus these past few days of clean swell have spoiled me. When I paddled in, I walked up towards Judah to head home. A guy in a blue coat had been watching me, and approached me and told me that I was really ripping. He went on to tell me how he was watching me catch some good 'rips' and that the waves further up north were really 'ripping' and that he surfs and darn, he wished he had his board, and maybe he should get his buddy Leland to ship it up here from SoCal. He told me how he surfed County Line once, and he was using his buddy Leland's board, and it was his first time surfing. He was really good, and when he came back to the beach, Jerry Garcia was watching him and told him that he's the best he's ever seen and it's incredible that it was his first time and he could really read the waves and the ocean so well. Then Jerry took his board, which was actually Leland's, and said, let me do something for you, and he signed it. Leland says that board must be worth a fortune right now, but the guy told me that the Jerry Garcia signed board is worth his life, it is his life. You're 40 years old man, you gotta get out there and surf man, fuck it!

Trying to politely end the conversation so I could get to work, I suggested he should check out Mollusk and look to rent a board, and I'd see him out there. But he insisted that it would only cost maybe $20 to just have Leland ship his board and his 'skins' up from LA. He kept talking as I started walking, and then encouraged me to keep up the surfing. Interesting way to start a Tuesday morning.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Session 89 - Steamer Lane dawn patrol

Since I didn't get a session in this weekend, I was motivated to get up early and trek down to Steamer's for some post-Cold Water Classic rights. I didn't leave quite as early as I had hoped, but made good time and was still able to surf for a solid hour.

The crowd was minimal and surf was consistent, with shoulder to head high+ sets rolling through the slot and middle peak. I caught 3 good set waves, long rippable walls perfect for fine tuning my sloppy cutbacks. It's really nice to surf such organized reef breaks like Steamer's, I didn't have to duck-dive once the entire session, which would be impossible in anything over waist high at Ocean Beach.

Session 88 - K st dawn patrol

Friday AM, warbly but glassy and decent 3-5 footers. Only 2 other guys out. Paddled into some solid lefts, one of which I tried to bottom turn and then position myself in the pocket. Must've been too close to the barrel, as the lip knocked me off of my feet and I fell horizontally onto my board, bruising my arm on my board.

After that, I redeemed myself by sticking a super late drop into a pitching left. Tosh witnessed the drop from the shoulder, and after paddling back out we chatted for a bit about Indo.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Session 87 - OB dawn patrol

Rode down to Santiago to paddle out with Karl, Mark and a few other guys. Had a meeting at 9 am though, so not much time to surf. It motivated me to paddle as fast as possible and catch as many waves as possible in the short 35 minute session. The size was good, but waves were getting mushy with the tide, so I ended up catching a few on the inside to satiate myself. All in all I caught maybe 5 decent rides, not bad for a quick sesh.

Session 86 - Linda Mar

Took the motorcycle this AM down to LM to meet up with Nic and Adam. Got a lot of looks on the road and in the parking lot, and lots of people wanting to know about how it is to carry my board on the bike. One guy told me that he's taken his snowboard up to Tahoe once in similar fashion.

Waves were good, but the uber high tide was making it really soft. I saw one dolphin swimming around on the outside, right before the cleanup set of the day rolled in and cleared everyone out.

Overall, it was a nice feeling to be able to surf somewhere other than OB on the way to work, and still be able to lanesplit and save money on gas. Now that I have the bike rigged up proper, i'll be expanding my surfing horizons.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Motorcycle surf rack success!

I finally got a surf rack installed on my bike. I was able to buy a Carver moped rack for $120 and mount it underneath my Givi rack. It took some trial and error to get it mounted properly, but it's really solid. I test rode it this AM from SF down to Half Moon Bay, then to Mountain View. It did fine going down the coast, and I'm impressed with how stable it is at freeway speeds. 80 mph sustained, no problem. Touched 90, and could've stayed there all day if not for CHP. Lane splitting was fine too, although I was extra careful not to take off anyone's mirror with the tail of my board. The winds today seem average, and you can definitely feel the crosswinds buffeting you, but it's not nearly as bad as I'd imagined. We'll see how it does in more extreme conditions, but I'm extremely happy with the setup. Looking forward to some sport touring/surfing trips, definitely a Baja trip in the near future.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Back 2 Cali - Sessions 83-85

Sessioned twice on Friday, fun and clean, but weak.

Saturday AM, couldnt crawl out of bed for Saturday dawn patrol, still jetlagged, slept till noon. Paddled out around 5:30, mostly frigid and junky, but one really nice left, actually landed a little backside floater, gained more speed and hit the lip on the closeout. Maybe spotted Ryan, but I'm blind so we'll never know. This AM paddled out for dawn patrol, but should've stayed in bed. Freezing and blown out. Caught a few random sloppy shoulders and headed to work. I miss Bali...

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Indo Surf pics

I'll post more commentary on the individual spots later, but for now here are some quick pics:

Session 72: Playgrounds
After snorkeling, Jon and I took the boat over to Playgrounds, which was a small and mellow left breaking relatively close to shore. Beautiful clear water and live coral, tropical fish swimming around. Small waves though, and oddly chilly water.

Session 73: Lacerations
Session 74: Sanur
Session 75: Sanur dawn patrol
Session 76-78: Gili Trawangan
Session 79: Balangan
Session 80: Padang Padang
Session 81: Bingin
Session 82: Dreamland

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Bali! Kuta & Uluwatu- Sessions 70-71

Kuta beach with teh gang, rented some logs and played in the shorebreak. South end of the beach under construction, so not typical Bali beauty, but fun waves nonetheless. Most of the waves outside would jack up and close out, but it was fun pulling in and punching through the back.

The next day was my first time at Uluwatu. Lots of fun, a little scary, but overall similar to Steamer Lane in a way....shooting back into the cave was the trickiest part. Check the slideshow for shots of me paddling through the cave, catching some rides. Stoked that it was manageable and not triple overhead!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Session 69 - Kirkham Crew

This AM we had the whole crew out- me, Ryan, Gillian, Karl, Nic & Brian. Waves were small, but rideable and entertaining enough. Took a bunch of photos, a few good ones of Gillian, Karl, and Nic. It was a perfect last session in SF before heading out to Bali today. I'm at the airport right now, and so far the trip is going well. They didn't charge me for my board bag, and are sending it straight to Bali, rather than making me schlep it around Hong Kong for a night. I arrive in Bali on Friday around 3:30 in the afternoon. Hope I'll have time to check into the hotel and sneak in a sunset session before dinner. The waves right now are slightly overhead, but this weekend a big groundswell is rolling in and it's supposed to jack up again to triple overhead plus. If all goes well I'll get shacked out of my mind without any visits to the emergency room...I have reef booties and a neoprene shirt as my only defense right now. Gilbo was suggesting a helmet, but we'll see, hopefully I won't need one in the deeper water breaks and surfing the higher tides. OK, boarding soon, my next update will hopefully include pristine water shots from the island of the Gods!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Session 68

Another fine day at OB. Took Gus for a walk to check the surf at Judah at 6:20. Looking decent, glassy, slightly bigger than yesterday. Went home, suited up and headed to K street. Not much time to surf, 9 am meetings eating my soul, but glad I was on it early. One other guy out, this dude Tosh, nice guy, we chatted for a bit and shared a peak. The waves were mostly slow, workable walls, making it really easy to link together cutbacks and long carves. My best wave was a late takeoff that walled up, and then had a second drop, so I was able to really build speed down the line and bash the lip when it finally closed out. Too bad I couldn't stay out longer, it seemed to be improving with the outgoing tide. Only a couple more neoprene-clad sessions before Bali! And it looks like it's going to be pumping, the triple overhead swell is now dropping to slightly overhead, but then by this weekend another big swell is moving in. I think I'm going to bring 2 boards now, my 6'5" JC squash tail and my 7'5" semi-gun. Wouldn't want to be undergunned on the surf trip of a lifetime...If I wimp out I'd rather only have myself to blame, not my equipment!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Session 67

K street dawn patrol was beautiful today, I was expecting more wind and chop like yesterday, but it was sunny and glassy and just all around pleasant. The waves were waist to shoulder high and mostly weak, but on occasion a workable wave would roll through. It looked to be picking up, as I drove down great highway on my way to work there were a bunch of guys out near Noriega. Hoping for more of the same tomorrow, a little more size wouldn't hurt ;)

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Session 66

Paddled out around 8:45 am with Ryan V into some pretty clean head high surf. Planned on meeting up with Ramin too, but we drifted pretty far north so by the time he hit the water we were probably somewhere around Lincoln...It was a good session though, some occasional outside sets were a few feet overhead, but elusive. Both of us caught a lot of fun waves, one wave I did a really nice cutback right in the pocket, threw some pretty good spray out the back. The most memorable wave of the day by far though was one where I went for a late drop only to find Ryan sitting right in front of me at the bottom of the wave. At the last second I dove headfirst off my board, and Ryan went under and ditched his board. The wave mowed both of us down, and when we surfaced Ryan and I were right on top of each other, with our boards and leashes all crossed up. Nobody got hurt and no boards dinged, and we were hysterical laughing about it.

Session 65

Friday evening session, swell really picked up some size, and sets were overhead plus. Tide super low, you could see all the sand getting sucked up as the waves crashed. My first wave was a solid overhead right, and I took off kindof late. Got hung up on the top of the wave and didn't make the air drop. Got slammed right on my ass in the sand, the water was only a couple of feet deep. Ouch. Caught a few more to redeem myself, but I was freezing, as I was stupidly wearing a size 12 women's wetsuit, and I fortunately don't actually have the physique of a size 12 woman...I promised myself I'd never wear that thing again. If you know any size 12 chicks looking for suits, let me know!

Session 64

Evening session with Nic, Ramin, and Bryan. A lot choppier since the morning, but still some fun ones. Nic caught a little barrel, and my best wave was a left that I pigdogged into late and kicked out of right on top of Nic. After surfing Joan and Gus were on the beach and we all headed over to the Pizza Place on Noriega for some beers, wings, and pizza. Healthy end to a fun session.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Session 63

Chilly SF summer dawn patrol at OB, report says fair, but poor more often than fair. A few fun shoulder high waves for the taking though. Had the camera on 'take a photo every 5 seconds' mode, which means I had a ton of really bad photos to delete now. A few nice shots though, the function will come in handy in better conditions.

Sessions 61 & 62

Paddled out last night with Joanie, Gilbo & Cory for the sunset session. Tide was low and it was a bit crossed up, but caught some decent rides. It's fun to have a crew on it. After it got dark we headed over to Noriega for some burritos at La Playa and a pint at Sea Biscuit. Not a bad way to end a Tuesday...

Monday, September 15, 2008

Sessions 59 & 60

Sunday OB, small but fun surf. Slept in today, made some eggs. House is a mess. Dog toys everywhere, Lady takes them all out. Ry came over, and we took Gus for a walk down to the surf shop. Checked out some long sleeve wetsuit shirts, perfect for bouncing off of shallow reefs, but way too $$. Went with Mark over to beach burrito for some grub, even though I just had eggs. Paddled out after that, first time with the Doc' Pro Plugs. The left one came out twice, good thing I left the leash thing in. Caught some fun ones, but I should've listened to Mark and brought the log. Went in after about an hour and a half. Joan still getting her haircut.

Sat around and procrastinated more, then Gilbo called and wanted to paddle out at 6:30. I was hungry and knew Joanie wanted to eat too, but I caved and agreed to go again. Can't get enough. Gilbo is getting good, she caught maybe 5 waves, popping up and making the drop on all of them, starting to learn how to turn and go down the line. I'll have to take her to Santa Cruz one of these days so she can get some longer rides to experiment with turns. Proud of her though.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Session 57 & 58

Thursday evening & Friday AM. Swell has dropped significantly, and although it's still rideable, I'm yearning for the speed and power of last week's swell. This morning there were a lot of dungeness crabs scurrying around, I stepped on one by mistake. Also a family of seals, a few huge ones too.

As for waves, I caught one memorable left this Am, other than that most waves were fairly weak. These 2 sessions I was the only one on the beach, so I took it as an opportunity to try to teach myself layback snaps. However, I think it's really hard to perform a layback in terribly weak surf with barely any speed. I'm gonna keep working at it though, what's the point of surfing every day if I'm not learning anything new, right?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Session 56 - OB

3-5 and fair this AM. Some steep, powerful set waves, though usually closing out. A few waves that would've had nice backdoor sections if the wind was a little more offshore. Wiped out hard once, need to get that out of my system before surfing shallow reef breaks in Indo. Saw 1 dolphin and 1 seal. Couldn't stay out too long, duty calls.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Session 55 - Montara dawn patrol

This AM Ramin scooped me at 5:45 with intentions to catch the south swell down at Princeton Jetty in Half Moon Bay. Unfortunately the tide was a bit high and it didn't look to be working very well at the jetty, so we headed back up north a few miles to Montara. Nobody was on it yet, but it looked decent, fairly smooth and some solid shoulder high waves. We each caught plenty of waves, and Ramin took off pretty deep on a few and made them all, with the exception of one wave that I shouted him into. A few real fast fun rides, but the highlight of my session was my last ride into the beach where I literally rode into dry sand, bailing at the last minute and landing on my back. I was completely flushed with sand, and still have a ton of sand in my hair right was worth it though. Fun session, definitely will be back to Montara sometime soon.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Sessions 53 -54 - Scuba & Surfing Monterey

From Scuba Cert & Surfing 9/8/08 8:21 AM

This weekend we did our open water scuba certification in Monterey Bay. We camped out Friday night at Fremont Peak, which has really beautiful views of the bay, although it's a little remote and run down. We dove by the breakwater in Monterey, just north of Cannery Row. There was a lot of wildlife, dolphins jumping and playing, sea lions, seals, fish, starfish, and lots of kelp. We dove as deep as 33 feet and got to navigate with a compass through the kelp forest. Visibility was only maybe 10 feet, and my underwater camera didn't pick up much unless it was really close-up. Hopefully I'll get better scuba pics in Bali.

After diving on Saturday we drove to Asilomar beach in Monterey. The waves were 2-4 and it was crowded, but nice. The beach there is pretty, white sand and clear water. There was a wedding going on while we were surfing too.

Next day we dove in the AM, and finished up before noon. We headed to the bar to fill out our dive logs and receive our temporary certification cards. After that, we headed up the coast in search of waves. Stopped at Steamers, but the tide was high and not much to work with. Checked a few more spots, ending up at Waddell Beach. The wind was on it a bit, but there were a few solid head high sets rolling through and it was fun. I was riding my 5'10" Rusty, which took some getting used to after surfing so consistently on my 6'5". Eventually the wind picked up, and the conditions became more favorable for the kit surfers. Headed home to hop in the shower before the charity dinner at Prestino's, which was delicious. Crab ravioli, steak, homemade bread....that boy is talented in the kitchen.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sessions 51 & 52 - dare I say epic OB?

From OB sessions 9/5/8

Indian summer is upon us, and the last few days at OB have been beautiful. Thursday night I paddled out with Ramin, Gillian and Jon. Sets were head high and the waves were really clean and fun. I couldnt stop giggling...Ramin and I caught a ton of waves, and stayed in the water well after sunset. It set around 7:30, and we stayed out until about 8:20. Ramin caught a little barrel after dark too, although it mustve been hard to see in there...This was definitely one of my best OB sessions since maybe January or February, although this time I didnt even need to wear booties, let alone gloves.

The surf was so good that I was amped to hit it again at 6am. Ended up meeting Karl and Mark at Irving and hit the water by 6:30. Low tide wasn't very low, and it was a little washed out, but still pretty clean and an awesome day, especially by OB standards. Caught a few nice ones, got covered up a little on my first wave. Mark and Karl caught a lot of waves, I got a few shots of them. After a while I paddled in to meet up with Ryan and his friend Julie on the beach. Paddled back out and surfed my brains out, got out of the water at 8:30, realizing that everyone else had already left. Still managed to get to work by 10 too. Tonight on the way down to Monterey I'm looking forward to scoring some waves at the Hook, I hear it's pretty good and low tide isn't until like 9:30.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Session 50 - way ahead of schedule

I guess I need to raise the bar, this AM was my 50th surf session, and I still have ~3 weeks until leaving for indo. So now I'm shooting for 75, although it will be tough logistically with scuba cert weekends and weddings, etc. I'll just need to have more multi-session days to keep on track.

This morning was beautiful again, the swell dropped slightly but plenty of shoulders for the taking and nice and smooth surface. Low tide was around 7:45, and after that it started filling in and getting funkier. Gonna try and hit it again tonight with Gilbo and whoever else I can get to come out.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Session 49 - 'Another day in paradise'

Dawn patrol at OB, swell still hanging around, sets in the shoulder high range, smooth, sunny and fun. A few other guys out at Kirkham, and I drifted down to Lawton where there was one other guy on the peak. Caught a lot of fun ones, and after an hour got out to head to work. Passed another surfer walking down the beach, and he says 'another day in paradise...' Although OB is rarely referred to as paradise, I couldn't agree more this morning, I would've stayed out all day if I could.

Session 47 & 48 - dolphin playtime

Yesterday I snuck in an AM & PM session, because the weather was nice and waves were fun. In my AM session there were at least 3 dolphins swimming around, getting pretty close to me. At one point all 3 of them simultaneously breached through a nice set wave directly in front of me. I blame the dolphins for making me miss at least 3 really nice waves. Even snagged a pic of one, thanks to the hero cam. The waves were fun and fast, changing a lot with the tide. I'm hoping these conditions stick around all week.

Session 46

OB dusk, head high, caught a few nice reeling lefts...

Session 45 - sshhhhhh

In search of a protected break that wasn't as blown out as everywhere else, I drove down to the secret spot with my cousin Ryan. The waves were mostly closeouts, jacking up about shoulder high and then crashing down in foot deep water. There were a few guys out and a handful of groms, so it was pretty crowded considering the small takeoff zone. One of the older guys wiped out pretty bad and landed on his head, straining his neck. Everyone got out of the water and made sure he was OK. After that 3 of the groms paddled back out, and I went out too. After about half an hour everyone else cleared out and I had the entire beach to myself. Surfed until sunset and then drove into Pescadero for a gas station Taqueria burrito...

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Session 44 - early morning beat down

Yesterday AM I was tired, sleep deprived, and not in the mood to wake up. But it was sunny out, and the waves actually looked decent, the swell had picked up a bit, sets looked to be head high. To make a long story short, the current was really strong pulling south, and I basically paddled for 30 minutes straight. I finally made it out, and then wiped out pretty hard on a jacking right. I tried surfing the middle bar instead, where the reforms would wedge up and break. Caught a crappy takeoff, but pretty much just got knocked around a bunch and did a lot of duckdiving. It wasn't any fun, or maybe I just wasn't feeling up to the punishment, so I cut my session short and went to work. Yay!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Session 43 - Monday AM fog

Today visibility is pretty bad, but the waves are fun and sets are shoulder high. Captain Kirk and I were the only ones in the lineup, I guess people couldn't really see what they were missing. I got a lot of waves in a short 40 minute session, they were pretty workable, most set waves allowing 2-3 solid turns before closing out. My last wave was a nice left that walled up and I bashed the lip repeatedly, rode it all the way to the beach. Wish I could've stayed out longer, maybe tomorrow I'll get out of bed earlier...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Session 42- head high OB

This AM I woke up and took Gus for a walk to check the surf. It looked about head high, pretty mixed up, and the inside section slamming pretty hard. Nobody out, just some fishermen on the beach. I decided it would be a good day to jump in the car and check out whale cove or somewhere more protected. I got home, started getting ready, then felt lazy, changed, my mind, and suited up for a punishing OB session.

It was 7:30 by the time I got in the water, and it took me 7 minutes to make the paddle to the outside. That inside section was just dredging and pounding, so it took some patience and timing to navigate through. I saw a few seals and dolphins swimming around while I waited for the sets to roll through, and this one seal kept stopping and staring at me. I didn't mind, since I was the only one out and could use the company, so I named him Captain Kirk, for Kirkham. Unfortunately Captain Kirk was catching more waves than me, and I ended up drifting too far outside to catch anything. I worked my way back inside, catching a weak one that didn't fully break before getting frustrated and paddling even further inside. It was getting late and I need to get to work, so I went for the first juicy wave that jacked up behind me. I took off on a ledgy righthander and practically made the drop before it sucked out at the bottom and dropped me really hard onto the side of my face. It was my best faceflop in a while...I surfaced, gulped a mouthful of seawater, and rode some whitewater to the beach. Ahh, what a way to start a Friday, a classic OB dawn patrol.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Session 40 & 41 - OB & the Hook

Wednesday evening at OB was SUPER foggy, it was so dense that even standing with your feet in the water, you still couldn't see if there were any waves or anyone else surfing. Visibility was limited to ~15 yards, and the sun wasn't even setting yet, it was 6:30. Paddling out I was greeted with nice 3-4 footers breaking over the middle sandbar, mostly walling up and closing out, but a few corners to snag here and there. There were 4 other guys out at Judah/Kirkham, and as the sun began to set the visibility actually got a little better, and the waves were backlit through the fog, which added a nice effect to the hazy conditions. I caught a few fun drops, mostly into closeouts, with a couple lefts that gave me a shoulder to work with. Paddled back in around 8 and found Joanie doing some yardwork.

Yesterday was a unique Thursday in that I had a work offsite in Santa Cruz. I picked Cristelle & Caitlin up around 8am, and we planned to go surfing at Cowell's by the boardwalk before joining the rest of the team going on the rides, etc. We took the scenic route, stopping at 4 corners for a bagel and coffee, then making Caitlin carsick by bombing down Hwy 9 all the way into SC. Unfortunately, Cowells wasn't breaking at all, so we decided to go on rides, have lunch, and try surfing Pleasure Point on the way home.

We got to Pleasures and the tide was still pretty high, with the waves crashing into the rocks and cliff. Cait and Cristelle being the troopers that they are, and me being the reckless and negligent instructor that I am, we rented them boards and wetsuits and hit the surf. Getting in was pretty sketchy for them, having to jump off of the slippery rocks into the surf and paddle out before another wave came crashing in. It was exciting, but they both made it out into the lineup with minimal drama. Actually catching waves proved to be tough too, not ideal for learning, but they both managed to catch a few and have some decent wipeouts and collisions. Too bad we had only an hour in the water due to my scuba class in the city, or else I'm sure they would've gotten some rides as the tide dropped.

I was hoping that the tide would drop enough to make getting out of the water not so sketchy, but that wasn't really the case...the girls had to do the best they could timing in between sets and washing into the rocks to scramble up to the stairs and out of harms way. Cait got a little cut on her foot and struggled with the board a bit, as did Cristelle, but I kept a close eye on them from the water and they both made it out practically unscathed. Practically. Before getting out of the water I caught one really nice little pup-tent sized barrel, which just left me drooling for more, and regretting having to drive back to SF so soon.

I love the Hook, it's my favorite wave when it's working, and it was a treat to be able to surf it on a weekday in the early afternoon with a relatively light crowd. Hopefully next time I take Cait & Cristelle it will be a bit more beginner friendly and manageable for them. I did take a few pics too, I'll upload those this weekend.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Session 39 - sunset at OB

Yesterday evening it was beautiful out, the sun was shining, the surf was clean and fun, seals were jumping around in the water. Joanie and Gus and I all went down to the beach for a little while after scarfing some food that Joanie brought home from work. It was a great session, but I didn't stay out for too long, had to get home to finish my anniversary gift for Joan! Happy anniversary to us! It's been such a wonderful first year, so many adventures, so many good beach days...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Session 38 - Sunday afternoon Linda Mar

After a spectacular anniversary weekend backpacking trip though Castle Rock, Joanie and I headed west on Hwy 9, hoping for some surf at Waddell Beach or somewhere in the vicinity. Waddell was small and the weather sucked, so we decided to work our way north and check spots, maybe we'd get lucky somewhere. Nothing was working and it was cloudly almost all the way up the coast. The best spot was Linda Mar, the waves were clean, although small and weak. We surfed for about an hour, Joanie caught a lot of boogieboard rides into the sand. I caught a few waves but all pretty weak and bleh. In any case, OB looked promising this weekend, hopefully we'll see some more swell throughout the week.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sesssion 37 -dawn patrol

I was up late last night doing some trip planning, and this morning I didn't want to wake up. I think my eyes were closed while I was paddling. That's ok because the waves werent anything special. The tide was filling in really quickly, and I felt more like I was navigating river rapids than surfing in the ocean. I caught 3 waves and called it a day, hopefully tomorrow AM will be better.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Session 36 - dawn patrol

This morning the swell has faded slightly, and the waves were a bit peakier and weaker than yesterday. Managed to catch one solid left, and aside from a handful of short frontside waves, nothing much to speak of. Blah.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Session 35 - OB dawn patrol

At OB, poor-fair = epic

Hahah jk, but seriously, poor? I paddled out at 7:15 this morning and it was foggy, glassy, and wonderful. There were a lot of closeouts, but plenty of shoulders for the taking, and some really fast and fun rides. I was the only one out at Kirkham, save for a curious seal who swam about 10 feet from me and just stared at me for 10 seconds. I was a bit delirious this morning, so I started talking to him, making friends, ya know? I guess that's what happens when you're the only one out and the adrenaline is pumping, you start talking to seals.

My first wave I actually got pounded, I popped up too early and got taken over the falls. OB never fails to humble, even on 3-5 ft days. I caught a few nice rides, including a really fast walled up left that I was able to work pretty far inside. I then wiped out hard again, trying to pull into a frontside barrel and getting denied. I surfed for about an hour, and towards the end of the session the wind starting picking up and the tide was changing, so it got more choppy and crossed up. Just in time for me to hit the shower and head to work. Another lonely and beautiful morning out at Kirkham...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Session 34 -dusk barrel at OB

Holy crap I actually got barreled tonight at OB...the conditions were poor, it was definitely better down at Sloat, but out of convenience I paddled out at Kirkham. There were 2 other guys out, and it was a bit choppy but definitely some pulse in the water. Head high sets were rolling through on occasion, usually breaking 15 yards further out, so I sat and waited for mine. Caught a few little drops and decent rides before they closed out, and then one meaty wave jacked up and i was in the perfect spot. Took a few paddles, popped up, and pulled right into where the wave was pitching hard. The green curtain splashing next to my face I'll never forget, and driving forward out of the barrel section, where the rest of the wave closed out and I steered toward the beach to avoid the closeout. It was amazing, to get barreled on such an unassuming and inhospitable day at OB. My first barrel on my new board, I'll never forget it. Too bad I didn't get a pic or video of it...Hopefully there will be a lot more where that came from in Bali, I'm banking on it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sessions 32 & 33 - OB dawn & dusk

Got out twice today. Some more pulse in the water, but both sessions suffering from wasdhed out waves. Tide was super high today, but got a handful of good rides and ended the night landing a decent little floater. Paddling out tomorrow, hopefully the wind isn't too strong.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Session 31- Swami's & San Elijo

This weekend we went down to Orange County to attend the Indonesian wedding celebration held for Brian & Cintya at the Lakeview Senior Center. It was a good time, lots of chicken dancing and hokey pokeying the night away. We even made a concerted effort to recycle all of the plastic and glass bottles after the party, since the cleaning crew was just going to throw them in the regular trash. The next morning, we took the train down to Solana Beach, to visit Darrius, Shannon, & baby Emilia who live in Cardiff by the Sea. The weather was beautiful, and we spend our Saturday at the zoo.

The next morning Darrius was generous enough to lend me his surfboard, a 5'10" twin fin retro fish. I took a nice 15 minute walk from the house down to Sawmi's. The waves were small, but the shape was good, weather nice, and water was warm. I caught a few fun rides there, took some pics and video, and then rode one to the beach after 40 minutes. I walked a but further south to San Elijo, where the waves were a bit steeper and more spread out. There were a few little groms out there ripping, and a lot of people just enjoying the mellow surf and beautiful day. I got one pretty fun little beachbreak barrel that I couldnt resist dunking my head into before kicking out of. After that, I left the board on the beach and swam around a bit, snapping a few more photos before heading back to the house. It was a lot of fun, and I could totally see Joanie and I living by the beach in San Diego someday. It was a good weekend and it was nice to get to know Shannon & Darrius better, I'm looking forward to hanging out with them more in the future. I'll upload some pics as soon as I get home...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Session 30 - Thursday @ dusk

It was really overcast tonight, with the waves staying small and weak, but still rideable and and worth a paddle, in my opinion. The more regularly I surf OB the more I'm amazed at how picky SF surfers are. The waves are crummy, yeah, but there's rideable waves almost every day, and I'm usually one of the only guys out there. Good for me I guess, at Kirkham these days three's a crowd.

I picked up some rechargeable batteries for the camera, and took ~30 photos. A few of them came out well despite the poor lighting. I even shot some videos of riding little waist high waves. Gotta post em on YT later and I'll throw some links.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Session 29 - OB dawn patrol

This morning the wind was calmer, surf in the 2-3 range and weak but at least a bit more organized than last night. I caught a few decent rights, pumping for speed down the line and doing the best I know how with the mushy closeout section. Also, I did some troubleshooting with the GoPro camera and figured out that the batteries are dead already. Only 3 sessions and they're dead! These are the AAA lithium batteries that came with the camera, but in the manual it says the nickel cadmium batteries will last 4-5 times longer, especially when exposed to cold temperatures. Der. Gotta go and buy some rechargeable batteries, I don't feel like buying new ones every 3 sessions.

After surfing for 45 minutes I decided to head home in time to shower, hop on my bike, and catch the shuttle from Lake Merced to work. On my way up Sloat towards the lake, I noticed that Java Beach is opening a new location, right where the Doggy Diner used to be. I had just been telling Joanie that Sloat would be a good location for the surfer cafe that I've always wanted to open! Bastards beat me to it...but best of luck to em, I'm a fan of Java Beach (although Trouble Coffee is where it's at on Judah).

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Session 28 - OB sunset with Cory & Joan

Cory drove over to paddle out with Joanie and I after work today. The waves were small and the onshore wind was blowing, mixing the surf up pretty good. I took the camera out for a test run, and snapped a few nice photos of the sunset over the water. There's still something wrong with the camera though, the last 13 pictures that I took didn't come out for some reason and got corrupted. I really hope this camera doesn't turn out to be a waste of $140...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Session 27 - Sunday @ Secret Spot Shhh

Packed the car and scooped Ryan from 19th ave around 9:45 AM. Drove down the coast, and all the spots from OB down to Waddell Creek appeared to be windswept and junky. Most of Santa Cruz was flat. The day was not boding well...anyways, met up with Nic, Ramin and Taylor at Waddell Creek, which was not even surfable without a kite. We all drove a bit north to check SS, and although I couldnt really see what was going on down in the cove, the rest of the guys said it looked decent. Nic forgot his wetsuit so had to run home for it. The rest of us made the hike down the trail and to the end of the cove. There was one guy on it, and some clean rights breaking off of the cliff. The water is freezing at SS, thanks to upwelling according to Ryan.
I tested out my new wrist-cam, but I maybe should've read the manual, since I ended up deleting most of the good photos that I took by mistake. In any case, after catching a few on her boogie board, Joanie snapped a bunch of good shots from the beach. Check out the slideshow, there are some shots of everyone in there. Everyone got a bunch of good, fast little nuggets, and it was fun to speed down the line and try to tuck into the tiny barrels. At a few points during the day it got a bit crowded, but for the most part we had the place to ourselves. Ramin is fanatical about SS, and it seems like he has good reason to be. If it was this good on a junky day with barely any swell in the water, I can imagine the spitting barrels it would throw with some real pulse in the water. All in all it was a beautiful day at a secluded beach with a tight crew, couldn't have asked for more. We'll definitely be back - big up to Nic and Ramin for introducing me to a new spot.

Session 26 - Saturday @ OB w/Ryan

Bought a new board today, one that I'm taking to Bali. It's a 6'5" JC Shane Dorian model, in almost new condition, for only $300 with a board bag. Score! The waves were choppy and disorganized, but the weather was beautiful, and Ryan was already out at Kirkham. Ran down to meet him, and surfed for a couple of hours. Ended up sitting inside for the most part and riding some of the shorebreak, some fun fast drops, but it was pretty peaky. Got to sneak in a few turns here and there, and definitely pleased with the new board. It's got more float, more drive, but turns just as quickly and intuitively as my 5'10" Rusty. Happy.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Session 25- testing the GoPro camera

Before settling on that 6'7" JC I decided it would be prudent to check the local shops for used boards and see what was out there. Joanie and I went over to the SF Surf shop on Noriega first, next to the taqueria. They had some decent used boards in the size range I was looking for, but the cheaper ones were all severely damaged and since repaired. I'm on a budget, but it still doesnt make sense to me to spend $175 on a board that has been snapped in half and patched together, especially for a Bali trip. After that, we stopped at Mollusk. I love the shop, love the artsy boards, but just can't afford any of them. One day when I get a bonus or a raise maybe I'll drop $750 on a beautiful little fishie, but today is not that day...Finally, we headed over to Wise, the biggest shop with the biggest selection and the best view. I generally like to support the small guys, but Wise is still a god shop with a much better selection and the staff there has always been good to me. They had a lot of really nice used boards, but none that I'd consider for $450, if I can get this JC for $300.

Even though I didn't find a board, I realized there was a bunch of other crap I needed/wanted, all of which they had in stock at Wise. I picked up a tail pad for my 6'1" rusty, a noseguard for my semi-gun, and a digital GoPro water camera. Attached are some pics from my first session with the camera. The waves sucked but it was nice out and the lighting was decent, so check it out. I look forward to taking lots and lots more photos, especially after I get a 2 gig SD card in this thing.

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Session 24 -OB

Rode the 7'5" again today. Surf was messy, but bigger, so actually got a bit of a workout paddling and after a few waves got stuck inside. Caught a few and used the speed of the gun to make it past some closeout sections and flats, but overall it was pretty worthless. Looking at a 6'7" JC tonight, for Bali and bigger Cali surf. Figure it would fill a big gap in my current quiver.

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Session 23 - semi-gun slop

Waves sucked today, totally blown out and small, but I got home at 6 and decided to take my practically unused 7'5" semigun out for a paddle. I am impressed how easy it is to turn on the board, despite the length and weight. it actually feels faster and more intuitive than my 6'3". maybe my 6'3" is just a piece of crap...i think i'm going to try going back to my 6'1" rusty. still shopping for a fish though.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Session 22- Linda Mar dawn patrol

Foggy and crappy out, strong winds, and tiny warbly surf. Man, I miss SoCal! Today was one of those days where I tried to stand up on tiny weak waves, wishing I had a fish. I'll be perusing CL for a fish later on today I think...

Session 21 -Huntington Dog beach 2

Paddled out with joanie's friend Ryan. Waves were a bit smaller and closing out, but it was nice in the water and fun to pull into closeouts. Some good pigdog practice for Indo...

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Session 20- Huntington Dog Beach

Went with the whole fam and all the dogs. Caught some nice beefy beachbreak waves, though it was a bit lumpy and warbly. Drifted far north, caught a fun left before getting out. A photog on the beach came up and said she caught a nice shot of me, posted it on

Friday, July 25, 2008

Session 19 - Upper Trestles

Today we drove to SoCal for Eric and Denae's wedding. We left the house at 1am and went straight to Trestles to meet with Eric and his buddies Nick and Matt. Waves were fair-good and waist to head high, and so much less paddling work than OB! It felt great to not wear a wetsuit, although it was overcast and everyone else had at least a shorty on. Oh well, I was chilly but still managed an almost 2 hour session, and caught my fair share. Joanie snapped some pictures, I'll upload them later. I'm looking forward to paddling out tomorrow at Huntington Beach. And going to the wedding too yah. But now I need a nap.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Session 18 - OB dolphin patrol

This morning I rolled over in bed and checked the surfline report on my ipod touch. 3-5 poor-fair. Nice. Snoozed a few times, and finally got out of bed and wrestled my way into my still-damp wetsuit. Ran down to Kirkham, and it looked decent, if a bit soft, definitely more organized and an easier paddle than yesterday. There was a team of high school kids running and training on the beach, and a seal playing around in the water, but other than that nobody else out. Getting out took a bit of duck diving and strategizing, as the sets were actually a little overhead and the waves were pretty relentless. All in all it only took me 5 minutes to make the paddle, much easier than yesterday. Since I had to get to work for a meeting, I didn;t have much time to surf, so I made a point of paddling for anything rideable that came my way. Unfortunately most of the larger waves were closing out. I pulled into a few, kicked out before the closeout, and on a few occasions just pulled into the barrel and punched my way through the back of the wave.

I saw 3 dolphins playing in the surf, diving into waves and gliding down the faces. It's hard not to just sit and watch them, but I made a point of still riding waves, despite the dolphins playing in the vicinity. A nice shoulder high right hander lined up, and I took off. I was pumping down the face of the wave when out on the shoulder a dolphin was doing his/her thing. I rode a wave with a dolphin! We're like a tandem team. Awesome. After that the dolphins seemed to continue south down the beach with the current. I caught a few more closeouts, and my last wave was a decent walled up one where I actually made it past one of the sections before it closed on me. Rode it to the beach and still made it to work by 9:25.

Session 17 - Wednesday evening floater

Surf was chest high to a few feet overhead on sets, and onshore winds blowing at ~17knots. I got a new shark watch for the bali trip, and paddled out with it for the first time. Paddling against the constant walls of whitewater was a good workout, had me huffing and puffing at points. It took 11 minutes of constant paddling and duck diving before I finally made it all the way outside. I sat out on the outer bar and waited for some set waves. First wave was just a drop and shoulder, so I kicked out right away to avoid getting stuck inside and having to fight to get back out. I caught a few more, and my last wave was an overhead closeout where I pumped down the line and pulled a really long floater over the closeout section, only to get greedy and try to hold it too long, the wave eventually sucking my board from under me and wiping out. Even though I didn't land it, it was a sick floater for my standards. Now I just have to work on getting my timing down and actually riding out!

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Session 16 - Tuesday DP OB

Glass! This morning I woke up and checked the surfline report. 2-3 and poor-fair. At OB that means it's pretty good! Suited up, kissed Joan goodbye and ran down to the beach. Was greeted with some really clean but weakish lines. There was one guy already out at Kirkham sitting on a good peak, so I paddled out in his direction. The waves were a bit weak, there was hardly any wind at all, but the shape was good and finding shoulders was easy. Started out with some decent little rides, and chatted a bit with the only other surfer out there. It was nice to have the entire beach to ourselves. Everyone else was missing out. The waves picked up a bit throughout the session, and sets were solid shoulder high peaks with fast drops and gentle walls. I surfed for an hour and a half, rushed home and now I'm chillin on the shuttle. Perfect way to start a Tuesday if you ask me.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Session 15 - Dawn patrol OB

2-4 foot, low tide and soft waves with a gentle onshore. caught a good left and ripped some turns, but all of my other rides were pretty weak. blah.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

session 14- Saturday dawn patrol ob

Waist to head high swell but choppy and onshore. Went out with Ryan for first time. Caught some fun drops and a few long ones too. Lots of dolphins jumping and surfacing right next to us it was amazing. Definitely plan on taking Ryan to Santa cruz one weekend

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

session 13 - Ride to work day dawn patrol

This morning I met up with Clay, a coworker who also lives in the outer sunset, surfs, and rides motorcycles. We checked Sloat, but nothing looked like it would work, so drove back up the beach and ended up paddling out at Noriega. It was small, mixed up, and crappy, but still some rides here and there. We caught more waves than I thought would be possible, and surfed for an hour and a half. Nothing really noteworthy, but it was great to meet someone who shares two of my main passions. After our session we both went home, changed and got ready for work, and then met up at Sloat again to ride out motorcycles to work. Happy ride to work day!

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Session 12 - Tuesday dawn patrol

Super small, mushy and weak shoulders. Got lucky a couple times and actually caught some fast sections, but hoping the conditions improve for tomorrow.

Session 11- Monday OB dusk

Small junky windswell, paddled out on Ruben's 8' funboard. The waves were doubling up and actually steep in a mushy weird way, which resulted in a lot of pearl diving and sloppy wipeouts. Definitely will give Rube's board another go on a more longboard friendly day.

Session 10 - Sunday @ Waddell Creek

After some huevos rancheros at Whale City Bakery in Davenport, Jon and I paddled out for the first time ever at Waddell Creek, just north of Davenport. The spot picks up more windswell than most other spots, so the surf was fun and consistent 2-3 with an occasional 4 footer rolling through. The waves were slow and friendly, breaking over a rock reef with sand, a few boulders, and a lot of sea grass. Joan and Ryan took some good pics, once they're uploaded I'll post a couple. Had a lot of fun at Waddell, I'll definitely be back on a bigger day.

Session 9 - Saturday @ the Hook

Fun day, tiny beginner waves with a camping crew. Cory, Jon, Joan, Ryan all out there catching waves. Even Gus got on the board for a second before freaking out. Otters playing, followed by belly busting burritos at Taqueria Vallarta.

Session 8 - Thursday evening

crappy windswell, basically paddled in place for exercise. fun!

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Session 7 - Wednesday evening

Swell fading a bit, and tide going out. Sean came over and we all paddled out around 7pm. The waves were waist high, with an occasional chest high set rolling through. Joanie caught a bunch of waves within the first 15 minutes, but then decided to paddle in. Sean and I continued to drift south down the beach with the outgoing tide, and caught some decent rides. The tide shifted and wind calmed, and eventually the waves were breaking more steeply over a sandbar by Noriega. My best wave was a right that walled up nicely and I was in the perfect spot. Unfortunately someone was in the way, and I had to turn to avoid hitting him, missing my best opportunity of the day to pull into a clean little barrel. Oh well, I probably would've botched it somehow anyway. Sean caught a few clean ones, and we eventually had to paddle to the outer sandbar to catch waves. We surfed until sunset, and by the time we got out we had drifted all the way to Pacheco. It was a good long session, and it was fun to surf with Sean again. Next time I'll make sure Joanie stays out longer too...

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

OB surfing (not me, some dudes way more talented)

Session 6 - Tuesday AM

I was hoping to score some surf on my visit home to NY, but it was all ankle to knee high slop, so I never made it to the beach. Fortunately, I came home to a building swell, a few feet overhead at OB. Wind conditions looked promising for the dawn patrol on Tuesday, so I tore myself out of bed. Hit the water a little before 7, and we rewarded with 5-7ft glassy surf, with a few shoulders here and there for the taking. Lots of closeouts, and not barreling clean, but nice fast drops and walls before the usual closeout. There were a handful of guys on it, but not so many that you actually have to wait your turn for a wave. I surfed for about an hour, and towards the end of my session got caught inside of a big set and was punished for it. I was already getting a bit noodle armed, but tried to power through the set, duck diving wall after wall of white water. I was actually making good progress, but just as I was almost to the outside, a wave doubled up and I was too late for a clean duck dive. I made a last second attempt to shove my board through this 6 ft wave, only to have the lip come smashing down on the back of my head, slamming my chin into my board and taking me over the falls. It was a humbling experience, and as good a time as any to head back in and get ready for work.

Sessions 4 & 5

Already neglecting this blog....but still trying to keep on track with my sessions. Sessions 4 and 5 were at OB again. Third session was after work, foggy and drippy, 7:30 pm. Joan was a trooper and came out with her bodyboard and fins. The waves were 3-4 and sloppy, with a strong onshore wind. Caught a few decent little rides though, and the highlight of the evening was definitely the ride that Joanie and I caught together and rode to the beach. Joan turned and started kicking for a wave, and I paddled alongside her. She didn't even realize that I was on the same wave, but I turned and started riding towards her with my hand outstretched. Squinting from the spray, she saw me coming towards her and reached out for my hand. We held on to one another and had a pretty long proned out ride all the way to the sand. Definitely a memorable session, if only for that one husband and wife ride ;)

Session 5 was the next morning. The swell picked up a bit, and was consistently pushing chest to shoulder high waves through. Only 2 other guys were out, and the weather was actually really nice. Suddenly I didn't feel well and had to call in sick. I surfed for a solid 2 hours, and caught a lot of fun rides. The waves were deceivingly good, and I was able to connect sections together for some pretty long rides, especially for OB standards. Lots of opportunities to practice my cutbacks, floaters, and snaps. Maybe I'll actually have improved by the time I get to Bali? We'll see...