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Saturday, August 27th, 2016

Back! (Tentatively) + a Surf Matt

2016-08-27 11.18.46-1

2016-08-27 13.40.59-1

Surf: 4.6 ft at 10.0 s from the NW at 319°. Outgoing side. Light+ S/SW Wind.

Back in July I totally put my neck and shoulder out again. This time I decided to listen to my doctor and stay out of the water until it was better. Unfortunately, when you’re dealing with chronic pain, deciding what “better” is can be a challenge. I got my neck and shoulder to the point it wasn’t locked up, but it still hurt. I kept working on it, but it still hurt.

The surf has been really small and the doc said it was okay to give it a shot with a few rules.

  1. Don’t go out if it’s rough or big or anything crazy
  2. Warm up and stretch beforehand
  3. Don’t stay out too long
  4. Stretch after

Looking at the forecast I found plenty of small, not crazy surf. I did my stretches. I didn’t stay out too long. BUT, and here’s where things probably went wrong, I decided to wait till I got home to stretch. My stretches include a foam roller and I didn’t think I could do what I needed to do at the beach so I put it off. We got lunch, we hit traffic, the surfmobile broke down, we got it towed, we got my car and went and unloaded the surfmobile into my car, then we unleaded my car into the house. At this point it’s maybe 3-4 hours after surfing and my shoulders were getting really tight and sore. I stretched, but it was too late.

By Sunday morning both shoulders were locked up and I was so so bummed. This injury has been one of those things where it’s both “not that bad” because I can still go about most of my daily life, but also so depressing because the things I do must (work, sleep, surf, draw, read) are all impacted and when it’s acting up, I start feeling like this is something I’ll never be able to fix.

So, here I am. I had a great session. I remembered how to surf, I got some fun waves, but I’m worried about surfing again and aggravating it more. We’ll see what happens.

In other news, I picked up a cheap surf mat thinking maybe not paddling with my arms might help keep the shoulders from getting sore. It definitely is not shoulder friendly. It’s a crazy, hysterical ride, but it’s not gentle for sure. Not being able to dive makes getting out a little challenging, plus the bouncing and spinning around in circles while on the ride might be a little more than my shoulder needs. It’s slippery as hell and maybe not meants for use with a wetsuit.

That said, it was really fun. Closeouts? No problem, you fly right over them. Steering? Who needs steering? Someone drops in on you? Good thing you have an airbag.

I’ll try it again another time and I’ll definitely bring it out on the grom beach days,

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Sunday, August 21st, 2016

Body boarding at the Lake

2016-08-21 11.39.03

Surf: 0.3 ft at 14.8 s from the NNE. Windy.

While I’m still not surfing because of my hurt shoulder, I did get a little body boarding time in on my trip home. There were small waves and it was shallow enough that I didn’t have to wear the fins or get jostled around too much.

Wes and I didn’t stay out long, but had plenty of fun.

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Saturday, August 6th, 2016

Painting at the Beach

Surf:4.6 ft at 8.3 s from the WNW at 306°

My shoulder was out most of July. I listened to my doc this time and stopped surfing but it still hasn’t gotten back to normal. 

But as a good surf buddy does, I went down to the beach to watch Chris surf so at least one of us would get wet. I passed the time painting some. The waves looked terrible. I was glad not to be paddling out. Chris, as always, made the best of it. 

Stoked for him. 

Fogust is in full swing. Brr. 

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Saturday, July 9th, 2016

Sunset slop


Surf: 3.0 ft at 10.0 s from the WNW at 288°. Breezy. Incoming.

Snuck in a late sunset session after little Leo’s birthday party. The surf was junky, small, with lots of wind on it, but it wasn’t all that bad. I haven’t surfed since our trip but manages to get in a little cross stepping and overall felt pretty good on my board, making my way around some sections to get the most out of the waves that occasionally rolled through.

Couple of whales and dolphins out there. Lovely weather.

Dowside, my neck is really hurting. Going to stay out of the water a bit longer till I can get it sorted out. Oww.

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Monday, June 27th, 2016

Monday morning at San Onofre


Surf: 3.0 ft at 15.4 s from the SW at 212°. Low tide.

Now THIS was the Old Man’s surf I’d been hoping for. Clean, warm, great shape and not too big. I was really stoked we got these weves before we headed back. I got some long rides, I cross stepped up and back, and got a cheating cheater 5 (not all 5 were there yet), and all around had a blast. The Sunset Shapers folks were out getting lots of great rides. I was very stoked on this morning.

I’d expected this trip to be hanging out on the beach at the bluffs surfing my arms off with the whole pig crew. It didn’t quite turn out that way, but it was still an awesome time. Can’t wait till next year.

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Sunday, June 26th, 2016

Sunday Evening: San Onofre


Surf: 3.3 ft at 16.7 s from the SW at 216°. High tide.

The swell has come down a bit, but it’s still a little lumpy. The rides were longer and I spent less time dodging waves so that was a relief. What I was hoping for was some rides where I could reliably work on my steps and these bumps were making it hard.

Still, it’s a lovely spot and, if you can’t get the good rides yourself, there’s plenty of people you can watch turn a crumbly, bumpy wave into a ride worthy of a magazine cover. I love watching people surf down here. What style!

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Sunday, June 26th, 2016

Sunday Morning: Doheny


Surf: 3.3 ft at 16.7 s from the SW at 215°. Incoming.

Last night we got home from surfing Old Man’s and I went to reach for something in the van…pop! I put my neck right out. Oww. I figured if anything would do it it would be sleeping on a foam matress in the car, but no, it was reaching for something. I’m sure it was me being tense surfing Old Man’s that really did it but sheesh. Still, I made it 5 days in before hurting myself where the last two trips I started out hurt!

In order to go a little easier on myself, I suggested we try Doheny instead of going back to Old Man’s. I’m so glad we did. It was warm, friendly chest high waves, medium+ crowd, but still plenty of surf to go around.

I got one pretty long set wave and Chris got an amazing long long long ride from the first peak all the way past the jetty nearly to the campgrounds. Wow!

I’d love to come back and camp here sometime. I imagine it’s usually smaller waves, but it still seems like a fun spot. With all the beach amenities, I bet it’d be a great place to drag some kids along to.

Only bummer of the day, we neglected to bring Chris’s Bing back from the luau pile and wasn’t there when we got back from our surf. I’m hoping someone else from the luau saw it all alone after the camp packed up and took it for safekeeping, but I imagine someone thought it was abandoned and claimed it for their own. If you happen to spot this board, please get in touch:

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Missing Board: 1963 Bing
I lost track of my board this weekend (Sunday 6/26) at the top of Trail 5 in the SanO Bluffs campground and it seems to have walked off. If you see this thing please let me know. I’d like to get her back.
Tail block
Terrible patch job on the deck
Leash loop drilled into the fin
2″ balsa stringer

Thank you!

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Saturday, June 25th, 2016

Saturday Evening: San Onofre


Surf: 3.9 ft at 18.2 s from the SW at 221°. High tide.

Friday night we rolled in on the late side. The surf was looking smooth, but large and closed out. I will admit the size was the biggest thing I was nervous about on the whole trip. The San Onofre bluffs remind me of Montara. Sure it’s a gentler, warmer Montara, but I didn’t want to see what her bad side looked like. I’d been out there at just about head high and it was intimidating looking but gentle. At double over head, I was thinking gentle might no longer be an option. In my mind I kept seeing double overhead ocean beach or double overhead pleasure point and all the carnage that comes with. I spent most of the time leading up to the trip worrying about just this thing. I wanted to participate in the Miscreant Melee, but I did not want to get thrashed about just to say I did it.

Saturday morning we walked down the trail to see if there was anything rideable. From the cliffs it was beautiful. Lines to the horizon and it looked pretty glassy. The only problem? They were mile-2 mile long closeouts. Ouch. Some of the Miscreants were still out, hurling themselves into closeouts. They were all smiling when they got out, but I passed and opted to catch up with folks on land instead.

By the time Saturday evening came around, I said I’d be willing to go look at Old Man’s. I was still not sold on this whole big swell idea, but some campmates near us asked to join so I figured I’d wind up in the water anyway.

On positive note, we can convert the van back to passenger mode super fast! Since the seats are under the bed, we just rolled up the bed and poof, seats!

The surf however, was bumpy and still pretty large. I got a couple waves, but spent a lot of the session dodging well overhead waves I did not want any part of. Chris got a few good ones, but we cut the session short when his leash rope snapped.

It was nice to watch the sunset from Old Man’s. What a beautiful spot. The surf culture, the waves, the cliffs, it’s all pretty magical. Hoping it’s smaller tomorrow so I can get a longer, less stressed out session in.


Friday evening, when the buoys were 4.6 ft at 20.0 s from the SW at 218°


Saturda morning: 4.6 ft at 18.2 s from the SW at 222° on the low tide. Lots of surf fishermen out.

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Friday, June 24th, 2016

Friday Morning: C Street


Surf: 2.6 ft at 16.7 s at 179°. Low tide and incoming. Glassy.

Oh man, this morning was SO FUN. Derek was already waiting for us. The size was up a little but things were still looking fun and clean. This is the kind of summer surf I’ve been wanting all spring: super smooth, grey, nice shape, long rides. It was a blast.

Derek brought his gopro and got a few shots of us out in the water. All of us got some great rides and again, people were really friendly and stoked. I say people getting awesome rides up and down the beach.

What a great way to start our trip. I can’t wait to come back.





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Thursday, June 23rd, 2016

Thursday Evening: C Street


Surf: 2.3 ft at 16.7 s from the S at 184°. Breezy.

After a nap back at the campsite, we headed back to C street where the wind was up again. With the wind up, I’ve been wearing my hood to keep my ears dry. I look like a dork, but better than making my surfer’s ear worse.

People at C street were really friendly. No weird looks paddling out all bundled up and everyone was cheering each other on. I think part of it has to do with all the people standing on the shore grumbling about how they thought it’d be better rather than paddline out, but the rest was genuine stoke.

I got a couple bigger waves and a guy was clapping and cheering. I was howling for a couple kids on shortboards who were killing it. Oh man it was fun. I almost don’t want to keep on driving south.

Hit up Lure for dinner and demolished another large delicious meal. We haven’t bought provisions yet so we’re hitting up some great restaurants until we hit the final camping spot. So far this trip’s had good waves, good camping, good food, and good company. Super stoked.

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