31 December 2008

The Year That Was (2008)

I'm happy to see it go.

2008 kicked my ass in more ways than one.

Leave the past in the past. I know what they were and the readers of this blog know the highlights (if you can call them that).

My quiver took shape in ways I hadn't expected:
9'6" Tyler log
9'1" Chris Slick single fin
9'1" Salted performance noserider
7'3" TG bonzer speed egg
7'0" Soul Performance mid-sized beauty
6'6" Joel Tudor Good Kharma single fin
5'10" TG mini-Simmons
4th Gear Flyer Surf Mat

I quit the blog and then returned to it.

My kid is a beautiful, funny human being who makes me laugh every day.

My spouse beat cancer.

My health is excellent and I've truly enjoyed being 45 years old.

What's in store for 2009? Let's wait and see.

Everyone have a happy, productive and healthy 2009. We all deserve better days. Don't wait for them to happen. Go out and make them happen. Finally, support your local shapers. They are the backbone of our sport/pastime/hobby/passion.

Let's resolve to be good to one another, whether in the water or out, in 2009.

30 December 2008

"Next Time Wear a Dive Suit"

This is one of the retorts thrown at me when someone heard me say I was cold. Dive suit? Can you still paddle in one of those things? That's what I was thinking. I'm sure the person who made the suggestion thought he was making a funny joke. I, on the other hand, thought it a good idea!

Christian, it was nice to actually meet and surf with you, brother. I appreciate people who are genuine, mellow and generous. That's you! I'm anxious to surf with you again. That was great fun.

Yes, two members of the tribe (of surfing bloggers) finally hooked up for a session. We both paddled out on logs, mine a banged up but watertight Tyler and his that new Anderson that looks so stunning on his blog and in person. We also ran into some of the Hawaiian crew from RPB. Initially, he and I paddled out right in front of where we parked. Eventually, we were told to paddle north to the Hawaiians. That was the call! There was a nice little peak there that we all shared. We were having such a good time that someone we didn't even know paddled over to join in the fun. All in all, it was a good day in the water.

28 December 2008

One of My Favorite Shows (Reno 911!)

Of course this relates to surfing. Don't you see that they're on the beach?

23 December 2008

Something to Take the Edge Off My Scrooge-like Tendencies

Merry Christmas to me, myself and I. Clayfin worked his magic yet again. I chose the color. He did the shaping. Now if I could just get him to shape me a bigger backyard!

22 December 2008

This Surfer's Christmas Wish List

A large backyard . . .

to accommodate a decent-sized half-pipe.

A mini-Simmons.

A Dano log.

Good waves for all!

19 December 2008

Spotted on Craigslist

What's wrong with this picture?

The Trestles Battle is Over!

News Flash: Trestles Prevails with the Federal Government

Great Ready for an Early Holiday Present!

The Department of Commerce announced today that it would uphold the California Coastal Commission's decision! The egregious project to build a toll road through San Onofre State Beach is officially illegal under state and Federal law! In a release issued from the Department of Commerce, they "determined that there is at least one reasonable alternative to the project and that the project is not necessary in the interest of national security.

While the decision is a fatal blow to the project, the fight to build the toll road is not over. We still need opponents of the toll road to continue writing letters and communicating with their local elected officials to let them know we are happy with the results and we stand behind the Department of Commerce's decision. In the coming days, we will have specific action items, but in the meantime, take some time to CELEBRATE this wonderful victory! Of course, Surfrider and our Coalition members will be planning a great celebration party, so stay tuned for that.

This victory would not have been possible if it was not for the activists who showed up by the thousands at the California Coastal Commission and Secretary of Commerce hearings or wrote letters to voice their opposition to the toll road.

Without a doubt, this victory belongs to the all dedicated individuals who have followed this campaign for several years. The ruling proves decision-makers listen when thousands of people speak out against ill-conceived projects.

Surfrider is calling upon the TCA and Orange County elected officials to embrace alternative transportation strategies that will better address the county's traffic issues without jeopardizing our environmental, recreational and economic resources.

We challenge the TCA to stop wasting money on lawyers and lobbying and to work with regional stakeholders to find better traffic solutions.

Should the TCA choose to appeal the Department of Commerce's decision, the Surfrider Foundation and its coalition partners are prepared to fight that battle as well.

On behalf of the Surfrider Foundation thank you for your continuing support! Our flagship campaign would not be possible without!

For Trestles,
Your pals at Surfrider

18 December 2008

Shiver and Bear It

. . . because there's nothing worth grinning about. I'm back in the pool in earnest now. The weather is conspiring to keep most of us, the smarter ones who want to live to see next year, out of the ocean. I for one think it's still dirty out there. There is no way I can justify paddling out yet. I'd rather wait.

In the meantime, I've spent some days in the water. This is surprising. Once I did those two oceans swims in October, I was ruined. I wanted nothing more to do with the pool and its damn lane lines, walls and gabby swimmers. I'm finally at the point where I'm happy to be back in the pool. If it's going to keep my surfing muscles in shape, I'll swim as much as I have to. The only problem is, dammit, I'm cold. Sometimes it's the pool. Other times it's the showers. The indoor pool in my neighborhood, the one I normally frequent, seems never to have any hot water in the showers. With the cold weather we're having in L.A., this is no longer amusing. This pool is also filled with folks who want to talk. They often want to talk to me. It's not that I'm anti-social. I just don't like to do too much talking when I'm working out. The other pool I visit is beautiful. It was renovated last year. The locker room always has hot water. The showers sport a dispenser with body shampoo and there's a blower for drying one's hair. Love all of it! The only problem with this pool is the whole outdoor thing it's got going on. A friend and I talked each other into meeting there today. I swear I stayed cold even when I was swimming. (I'm such a wimp. I don't deny it.)

Why do I do it if all I'm going to do is complain? Well, the pool helps. I feel good. My surf muscles won't need to be reawakened when I get back on a surfboard and the surf mat. My back muscles are all kinds of sore. It think it was from doing the breaststroke (my best stroke) and the butterfly (my worst stroke). I get bored doing only freestyle. I need to mix it up in the pool. The lifeguard at the neighborhood pool made me swim butterfly yesterday. He's the one who'd been teaching me the stroke before the summer, when I hurt my knee and when he was temporarily transferred to another pool. I hadn't even attempted it in months. For some reason, I swim it better now than I did when I was constantly working on the stroke. I don't know why that is. Anyway, all of this swimming is making my surfing muscles even stronger. I'll be able to hit the ground running when I paddle out again.

14 December 2008

Built to Shred

I love this show. I admire people who make things, whether it be art, surfboards, surf mats or anything else that requires you use both your head and your hands. My skills, if you can call them that, are primarily in my head. I'm good at thinking and then articulating that action. I'm totally incapable of thinking and creating (unless it pertains to words). When I first saw this show, I was enthralled. Several episodes have aired and I'm still in awe of this guy's talent. Jeff King is god!

11 December 2008

Let It Be

Here's what I don't like—I don't like it when a surf buddy (and I use the term "buddy" loosely) tries to make me surf her way. Case in point. I often meet this person for sessions at a particular spot. Inevitably, we will end up surfing on different peaks at this spot. She prefers to mix it up with the crowd, the more people in the water the better. She also prefers the long right that starts at the northernmost peak and sometimes takes you several yards south. I prefer that people in the water not invade my space and will usually paddle away from a crowded peak. I also tend to choose the one peak that delivers a nice little left. It's not as long as the right, but I don't care. If I wanted to spend my entire session riding a long right, I'd go to Malibu. I surf this spot, which is several miles south of Malibu, because I know I can often grab a few lefts during my session.

Anyway, this person called tonight. She went on and on about how I should join her at the peak she likes. What is that about? Why can't some people leave well enough alone? It's as if she's putting a value on our separate, yet shared, surf experiences. Obviously, my choices are to be frowned upon in her mind. She revels in the fact that she's often the only woman on the peak she likes. Good for her. She's also the person who's told me she can't go to certain breaks because guys there want to kick her ass; she always wants me to surf those breaks with her. (No, thank you. I'm neither a bodyguard nor a menacing black person nor a person who wants have to watch her own back because of associating with you!) She's also someone who gets run into a lot. This, as most of us know, is what occurs when you're constantly dropping in on people.

What's my point? I don't have one. This was simply a vent.

Oh! That's How You Get it Started!!

KenDog rips! I see, now, that one—namely, me—might try paddling and kicking into a wave.

And see, mats aren't for the faint of heart! I'm sorry but this is serious waterman/waterwoman stuff.

09 December 2008

Mat Session #1 - A Pictorial Post

STEP 1: Fill the mat with air. (You don't need no stinkin' pump.)

STEP 2: Plug the air filler upper thing.

STEP 3: Admire your mat and wonder to yourself, "What the hell do I do now?"

STEP 4: Make your way out to the lineup. Thank the stars above that there is no one close enough to laugh out loud as you shuffle, kick, try to mount the mat and kick, try to kick and pull the mat, etc.

STEP 5: Flail around trying to figure out where you should be positioned on the mat. Suppress the urge to sit on the mat (even if you've just finished a surf session).

STEP 6: Try for a wave, having no idea how to catch a wave, and laugh hysterically while you're doing it.

STEP 7: Catch what you think is a wave (until you see the pictures). As you ride it you wonder what that odd noise is. Realize that is you laughing, hooting and cackling all at the same time. Ponder the genesis of such a noise, one you've never heard from yourself before in your 45 years on this Earth.

STEP 8: Emerge from the water and pull yourself together.

STEP 9: Wonder if your parents bought enough E Tickets for you to go on this ride again!

08 December 2008

Not One But Two Forgotten Wetsuits

This was not one of my better days. Being the "epitome of efficiency" that I am (as I mentioned a few posts ago), I efficiently forgot to put my wetsuit in the car. Imagine my horror when I arrived at the break, took down my board, opened the back of the car, saw my surf bag, fins and surf mat, and my bottle of hot water, but did not see anything resembling a bodysuit made out of neoprene. The horror, the horror. That's when the stupid stuff starts. You start looking at the water and wondering how long you can last without a wetsuit. Why was that so stupid? Don't I always talk about being cold, even in the summer? Why would I hazard a delusion about paddling out in my swimsuit in winter (if you can call it that)? Part of me wanted to go home and stew. I was looking at waves that weren't closing out. The wind seemed to have bypassed this break. What I was seeing was as good as I was going to get today. Suffice it to say, I was pissed. If I'd forgotten my board, which is something I have nightmares about and yet have never done, I probably could have found someone I knew and borrowed a board. A forgotten wetsuit? Kiss your session goodbye. Soul Brother #1 and I drove home, got two wetsuits (my 3/2 and my 4/3) and came right back to the break.

It's been such an odd fall weatherwise that I had not yet followed my normal practice of leaving an extra wetsuit in the car "just in case". I don't like to leave wetsuits in a hot car. And you have to admit we've had a lot of warm to hot weather this year. Anyway, I threw two wetsuits in the car and drove back to the break. On the way there, a friend called to check in. She mentioned she was about to stop for a session. It turned out we were both headed to the same spot and were both about 15 minutes away from said spot (but coming from opposite directions).

Guess what we discovered when we met? She'd forgotten her wetsuit! Even though I probably outweigh her by 20 pounds, she was more than happy to borrow one of my wetsuits. I'm happy to report it wasn't hanging off of her; it was simply a little big.

My plans for a one hour surf session followed by a first date with my mat never materialized. My mat time was spent driving home and back for the wetsuits. I managed to surf for about an hour and a half before the wind killed everything. The mat never made it out of the car. I will try again later in the week.

07 December 2008

Inaugural Mat Session Coming to a Break Near You

No, I'm not using the word "inaugural" because of our new president. Why doesn't anyone ever use that word in instances when they're not discussing the new guy in the White House?

Inaugural = marking a beginning: first in a projected series.

I'm feeling that the time is right for the mat. The lineups, especially during the week, are hardly crowded. The direction of the recent swells is giving a little juice to the point breaks. Finally, the lifeguards aren't there to kick me out of the water. (If you're going to kick me out of the water, dudes, you're going to have to jump in and get me. I'm not dumb enough to fall for the rope-a-dope of orders barked through a bullhorn.)

I think the surfmobile will be carrying a mat and fins in addition to all of my other surf gear.

No cameras, please. I truly have no idea what I'm supposed to do. I've read the mat forums, lurked on the mat blogs and watched mat riding on YouTube. I'm a bit confused by all of the kicking vs. paddling and kicking, more air vs. less air stuff. I'll go out there, flail around, take mental notes and then start asking PG, Kendog, pranaglider and 23 breaths for tips.

06 December 2008

Tony Orlando and

I will do what's necessary to avoid a crowded lineup. I don't care how good (or bad) the swell is. I was forced into dawn patrol this morning. Soul Brother #1 needed me back home by 8:30. If I was going to surf, I was going to have to be quick about it.

I was there at 6:30, watching Lake PCH. I could have stayed in bed. I should have stayed in bed. There is nothing out there! Well, there was one person bobbing solitarily. I was in no rush to join him and get laughed at by the onlookers who generally gather on the bluff as the day progresses. It was barely light. It was cold. And I sat there wondering what had happened to the waves. When I surfed this break the previous day, I went home happy. I was already envisioning the conversation I'd have with my spouse today about my obvious inability to read the ocean and properly interpret the surf reports. I sat there thinking a lot of things. I did not, as usual, want to go home unsurfed. Just show me something, anything, and I'll get in.

Well, not long after that the one person in the water took a set wave. It wasn't huge. It was, however, followed by several other UNRIDDEN waves. Long lulls? Don't care. Empty waves? I'm all over that. Since it was barely light and somewhat empty at the break, I got suited up in the car. Yep, I sat behind the wheel and somehow shimmied into my damp wetsuit. It didn't take me long to get it together. I am the epitome of efficiency when it's time to surf. Other people stand around talking or getting their gear set up. Being the regimented person that I am, I can get myself out in the water in a matter of minutes after parking the car. Wetsuit, contacts, wax. The end. I was the second one out.


I think I got about six waves within the first 20 minutes of paddling out. I shared them with no one. That's just the way I like my surfing these days. If I want a party, I'll throw on some James Brown and invite my friends over. I'm not feeling the party wave thing at all. It's totally overrated.

By the time I got out at about 7:45, they were coming. The waves were no longer cooperating. I guess the tide was straightening itself out. My last wave was a set wave I rode alone. I'm certain the waves got better as the day progressed. The crowd, I'm also certain, did not.

I like winter.

04 December 2008

The Brotha From Another Planet

Blogging is difficult these days. My regularly scheduled stoke has been preempted by real life. This, too, shall pass. In the meantime, I stand up straight and do my best to walk with my eyes looking ahead, hoping my peripheral vision doesn't catch sight of something disturbing.

I felt a dance party coming on tonight. While I don't yet feel like doing any of the dancing, I'm more than happy to let James Brown be my proxy.

Did you know that I've had the same James Brown CD in my car for probably months? I listen to it before and after each surf session. What's that about? I mean, how many times can a girl listen to "Let Yourself Go" before she's tired of it? I wouldn't know.

Surf's up tomorrow. I'll be there!

03 December 2008

What Was I Thinking . . .

as I hit the water for my first session since Soul Brother #1's surgery?

"Cancer can kiss my ass."