Archive for December, 2012

I did mention there would be an abnormal amount of monthly recaps in the coming weeks courtesy of my laziness.  So September in December?  Well its better then a Christmas blog, don’t worry there were no arrests and no stabbings in Lisanti Land this year.  (see Christmas Dread Part I, Part II and Part III for more on that) As a matter of fact I did not even make it to the bar Christmas night.  Instead I ended up just falling asleep on my couch watching Seinfeld.  Very exciting stuff I know.

September is usually one of the better months for surfing in California.  Especially up here in the Ventura/Santa Barbara area.   All bets have been off this year considering it is by far one of the worst and strangest years of surfing I have ever experienced.  September did not disappoint in disappointing everyone.  There was a total of one NW swell that was the biggest let down since cheese in a can. One South swell I missed thanks to a non-surfing trip I took to Portland, Oregon for a family wedding and subsequent Vacation.  On said trip I managed to get myself into a family squabble impart because of a blog I wrote critiquing the wedding (see Portland Blogs: Part I, Part II, Part III and Part IV) and further proved to my parents what a fuck up I am.

There was one near epic day of crazy barrels at River Mouth that as far as I am concerned was the only worthy session of the whole month.  The city of Santa Barbara decided to close the Mesa Lane steps pretty much denying access to the only really consistently short board-able wave in town.  On top of all this I had to make a week long trip New Jersey for my sister’s wedding at the end of the month where I did manage among all the drinking to sneak in a couple of average surfs.  To continue with the theme of 2012 September was just another month of let downs and screw ups.  Here is how the numbers worked out:

Number of Surf Sessions: 19
Actual Days Surfed: 18

Total Time Spent in the Water: 31.5 hrs
Number of Waves Surfed: 531
Average Waves Caught Per Hour: 17

Spots Surfed:
New Jetty: 6
Emma Wood: 3
Santa Clara River Mouth: 2
The Pipe, Spring Lake, NJ: 2
Manasquan Inlet, Manasquan, NJ: 1
Riddle Way, Manasquan,  NJ: 1
Hollywood by the Sea: 1
Little Rincon: 1
Gold Coast: 1
Gudalupe Dunes: 1

Top 3 Surf Sessions (as per Surflog)

3) 9/12/12 AM Session: 2-3+ft, New Jetty
Time in Water: 1.5 hrs
Waves Surfed: 26
New Jetty is back baby.  I had heard rumors in my long hiatus from surfing that it was the case.   Then on Tuesday my friend Lindsay confirmed it.  I decided I would wake up and see for myself if it was true.  Expecting a lie and then a subsequent terrible Emma Wood session I climbed the dunes in low spirits.  Especially since the wind was whipping out of the west.  Sure enough I saw a set of chest high waves break off the jetty and just peel.  Stoked I called my boy Ryan and it was on.  The crowd was about eight strong but everyone was taking turns.  I was surfing really well although found that my lack of surfing had left me out of shape and struggling in the paddling department. Serves me right for nearly three weeks of drinking, partying and sloth.  After the session I went to the Ventura swap meet where I scored a boss ass lamp for my living room $15, an alarm clock $3, “Breakfast and Tiffany’s” and “The Young Frankenstein” $1 and Candide and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn $1.  What a score.  Then I had my dinner party which was ten strong including myself.  I served Chicken Parm over Linguine Rigati with garlic bread and stuffed apples for desert.  It was a fine evening.

2)  9/17/12 AM Session: 2-3+ft, Gold Coast
Time in Water: 1.5 hrs
Waves Surfed: 37
What a fun ass surf courtesy of more tropical action.  Its seems like all the best swells this summer were thanks to cyclones.  I started at Ventura harbor but it was all swampy with the tide at New Jetty and I could not judge River Mouth.  I had seen some good ones at Emma and went back there.  As I was checking Emma I noticed some decent looking lines coming in at Gold Coast, which loves these short period tropical swells.   I pulled up near the concrete retainer wall in the middle of the beach and picked a really fun peak.  For a change I was surfing incredible and the crowd was easy and fun as it usually is there.  Some how I pulled a front side submersible reverse.  I think I have only stuck maybe three of those in my entire life.  Nothing like a good day of surfing even if they are few an far between these days.

1) 9/26/12 AM Session: 5-7+ft, Santa Clara River Mouth
Time in Water: 3hrs
Waves Surfed: 40
Fucking barrel fest.  By far the biggest heaviest, most hallow day at the River Mouth of the season. I was a bit slow getting down this morning and very sore from all the surfing yesterday.  When I got up on the dunes I could not believe my eyes.  All I saw everywhere was spitting huge open tubes.  I almost fainted.  I ran back to the car, tore on my suit and joined the party.  I did not even do a turn till my 7th wave.  Everything was just a take off right into the pit.  Then the wind kind of got on it and made it a bit harder to get tubed but there were still plenty of heavy double ups that would let you in even if then did not let you out.  I had three where I was in a tube so big I could have drove a Mack truck through them.  Sooo fucking good.  It will make missing a week of solid swell while I am in shitty flat New Jersey tolerable at least.

The only really worthy session of September looked something like this only bigger!

The only really worthy session of September looked something like this only bigger!

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Even in over crowded California there are empty line ups for the intrepid.

Even in over crowded California there are empty line ups for the intrepid.

This blog was originally published on November 22 2009 on myspace.com.  About a week ago or so Kooky Kyle dug it up from my archives and recommended I reblog it here on SurfingRuinedMyLife.net.  Its funny cause its only four years ago and my life has changed in so many ways, yet in other ways certain things never change.  At the time my professional surfing career (or lack there of) was teetering on the cusp of extinction being paid  more  for my life style then surfing ability.  To supplement my meager income I worked a dead end job as the night attendant at a gas station in Goleta where I pretty much got paid to sit around read books, write my blog, listen to the same 50 tired hip hop songs all day on 103.3 The Vibe and be rude to customers.  Ever see clerks?  I was that guy.

Adrienne and I were just in the honeymoon stages of our to become tragic romance.  Two years down the drain.  “Better to have loved and lost then to not have loved at all”?  You can read Bowing Out if you want to rehash my misery cause that’s the only place your going to get lamentations about her.  I’m over it and can honestly say I have completely moved on with my life.  I think a year of mental and emotional torture on the subject was enough thank you.
Garden of Eden Parody

The 2009-2010 Season was an El Nino year and some of the best surf I have ever had the privilege to surf in the 805.  It might have been the best season of surfing for me personally in my entire life.  I was in the prime of my game, had curbed my drinking  and thanks to my easy schedule was always on it.  I met this dude Mark who stowed away with three of my boys from New Jersey on a trip from San Francisco to San Diego.  My old friend Alex was in medical school up in SF and was moving to SD for his residency.  Two of my other boys Sweet Charles and Dave, the Spring Lake crew, met up with him for an adventure down the coast.  

Mark another Spring Lake kid had just recently moved to Santa Cruz to loosely attend college but mostly surf and thus ultimately stopped going to class altogether.  The boys met up with him in SC then worked their way down to Santa Barbara where all of us scored some great sessions.  I should dig up that blog too for a blast from the past at some point.  The boys hung around for a few days till the swell backed off.  Mark offered his couch to me anytime I wanted to come up and surf Santa Cruz.  

After a lack luster week of surf and bad winds I browsed the forecast for Santa Cruz and sure enough it looked like a decent run of surf.  I called my boy Malone another Jersey guy who came out for the season and was living with Cory at the Palace.  He had wanted to come on one of  my crazy surfing jaunts for a while.  Just like that the stage was set for another imbecilic Chris Lisanti endeavor.  I apologize ahead of time for all the crazy different text size and fonts.  It pasted over from myspace all fucked up and I was too lazy to deal with the coding issues.  Any notes in “red” were added as hindsight notes.
North County Santa Cruz

November 22 2009

I woke up Bundled in all the clothes I was wearing the night before under a comforter and two blankets and was absolutely freezing starring face to face with Mark’s roommate’s tiny little cat Boodle sort of thinking maybe I should have stayed in the Barb.  Mark was already up boiling some water for tea and coffee psyched to be going on a mission up north since town was still pretty small and bogged with the tide.  I had driven the PCH up that stretch between Santa Cruz and Pacifica before and knew the raw potential of that coastline, just bursting with reefs, points and beachies, not to mention plenty of sharks.

Mark and Boodle

Mark and Boodle

 We got Malone up, warmed our insides with some tea and hit the road.  As expected the Lane was super high and completely un-ride-able.  We gave a check from the road on 4-mile (another tiny reefy point outside of town).  It was better there but had a few guys on it and was nothing special.  With 50 miles plus coastline to explore it seemed a waste to go for a paddle there.  Once out of town we checked a spot just North of Davenport, which was decent but had a few long boarders on it and was a bit fat looking. On a later trip Mauriello, Mark and I would score that place pretty fun.

Past there we drove for another ten miles or so before coming to a dip in the cliffs exposing a beach break and outer reef break with a handful of guys on it. There was plenty more size there, overhead at least. We drove on another mile or so and pulled off at this look out point on top of bluffs a solid 150 feet high. Below we spied out a series of reef breaks each having something to offer. The closest one to the previous break we passed had like three or four guys on it and was a somewhat fun looking right reef that we determined was well overhead after a watching someone get a wave.

What really interested us was this other reef about 100 yards north from the one being surfed.  From the looks of the set up it was a perfect A-frame reef with a short slabby left that appeared from our vantage point to end in a bit of dry reef.  The right meanwhile set up a heaving thirty yard barrel section before opening up to allow some turns.  This wave looked unreal, but the real tricky problem was figuring out how to get to the thing.  After about the first forty yards or so there was nothing but sheer cliff easily 100 feet down.  We gave it about ten minutes of deliberation on ways to get to the slab before deciding it too much work. Time was wasting and Malone was getting antsy. Every time I am up there I check this wave and have never seen it as good as that day.  I still have yet to surf it.

So perfect and yet so hard to reach.

So perfect and yet so hard to reach.

The vote was to move on.  Mark claimed he knew of a pretty decent beach break a bit further north near a lumber mill that he scoped out a few weeks back on a school excursion.   It was worth a shot.  Sure enough we pulled up to this beach break that looked about head high (in reality it was solid overhead) from the cliffs and there were peaks up and down this 500 yard stretch of beach.  It was rather breath taking.  All around us were these pine tree covered hills, on top of one was this lumber mill permeating the air with that saw dusty/pine smell. The beach was surrounded by cliffs except for a small section where there was a small river mouth that forced a break in the cliffs allowing easy access.

One of the reefs near the lumber mill.

One of the reefs near the lumber mill.

 I could tell right away that this was a beach/reef break mix by the way the waves were breaking.  On the southern most corner of the beach there was this right hander that was from the cliff anyway peeling off for a solid 50 yards or so bowling around itself the whole way down the line.  It kind of looked a bit soft, but certainly the best wave with accessibility we had seen.  At this point all three of us were bugging to get some surf and the decision was made to give the reef a go.

Some of the scenery at the spot.

Some of the scenery at the spot.

We suited up and walked down the refreshingly gradual trail to the break.  As we got closer the wave just kept looking more and more fun.  There was one guy on it and he was going left most of the time.  The left although much shorter was certainly punchy, worth a turn and a rampy close out section.  I paddled out and snagged a left off the bat, went for a hit under the lip and got destroyed and then proceeded to get caught inside for an eight wave set.  This is not very fun when the water is hovering in the low 50’s. 

 I got back out there and picked off a decent right, got tubed off the drop then hit it four times before the wave petered out in the channel.  After that I had a few more decent rides.  Both Mark and Malone were getting their share as well, Malone opting for the outside bombs, while Mark hung on the inside for the racy double ups.  The reef was pretty sick.  The wave would come in and go square off the drop, then it would bowl around itself for like another 30 yards or so giving a decent section to get at least two turns in.  The bigger ones were a bit mushy off the drop but then rolled into the slab and threw out super wide.

The beach break/river mouth combo

The beach break/river mouth combo

 After about thirty minutes of having the place to ourselves five other surfers paddled out, it was no big deal , there were still plenty of waves.  I was sitting pretty deep on the reef when this sizable set, probably the biggest yet popped up in front of me.  I took off on the second one a little deep.  I got to my feet, dropped in and next thing I know Im flying through the air upside down waiting to get destroyed by the lip.  The fucking thing hit me hard and sent me real deep.  I cant remember the last time I got hit by a wave that hard and held down that long.  Turns out according to Mark who had front row seats to the whole endeavor I dropped into a lip on top of a slabby double up causing me to eat shit. Come to think of it I got worked pretty hard the entire session only ridding a 5’10 when I should have had something more substantial. This has become one of my favorite spots in Northern California and I make it a point to surf there if its fun whenever I am in the area. 

We ended up surfing the place for a solid three and a half hours till it started to turn off a little with the lower tide, although it was still pretty decent.  From there we headed further north down the windy PCH as it followed the cagily coastline.  We passed numerous setups and spots that had potential.  There were just waves everywhere.  We pulled over and checked this beach break called Gazo Creek that just looked like there were perfect right peelers breaking off this river mouth reef thing.  Still cold and tired from our last session we decided to keep on the search.

What we were greeted with in the lot at Gazo.  As we would later find out that wave was more then double overhead and heavy.

What we were greeted with in the lot at Gazo. As we would later find out that wave was more then double overhead and heavy.

The boys and I ended up going all the way up to Pacifica and at that point I found it prudent to take Malone and Mark to Mavericks, which would not be breaking but at the very least they could get a look at the famous set up.  We got to the parking lot and some dude was suiting up to charge it.  Sure enough when we got in front of the cliff it was tiny (by Mav’s standards) maybe only 15 foot or so and just barely clearing the rocks, but strong enough that one could really get an understanding of how serious of a wave it is.

Mark Foo was a world class big wave rider who lost his life at Mavericks back in the early 90's.  This rock stands at the foot of the break in his memory.

Mark Foo was a world class big wave rider who lost his life at Mavericks back in the early 90’s. This rock stands at the foot of the break in his memory.

With waning light we decided our best bet was to truck it back to Gazo Creek and try our luck at the beach break.  We got there a little after four and by now some thick ominous gray clouds had moved in obscuring the sun set session we were hoping to relish.  The surf still looked really sick though and I had a feeling it was way bigger then the 4-6 feet we thought.  Malone opted out claiming it looked like a lot of work to put on a cold wet 4/3 to only get a few waves before dark and added he did not want to feel like fish food either.

Pacifica Peir

Pacifica Pier

 Mark and I were still up for the challenge and suited up.  Keep in mind this is a big open beach in the middle of nowhere in the wake of this old lighthouse not too far up the coast from it.  With every passing minute it was getting darker.  I handed Malone the camera so he could document our potential attack and subsequent death and we gave it a paddle.  As soon as Mark and I got down to beach level we knew we may have bit off more then we could chew (no pun intended).

Still looking somewhat inviting although a bit on the creepy side.

Still looking somewhat inviting although a bit on the creepy side.

 The shore break was solid head high and the white water on the inside was overhead.  There was a lot of water moving around and the sets were with out a doubt double overhead if not bigger.  We jumped in and immediately were fighting a current and thrashing our way out through the immense white water.  At first I was not sure if we were going to even make it to the lineup.  Finally after a few minutes of cold heavy ducking diving and paddling in place a channel opened up. Before we knew it we were out there.

Just to the north of Gazo is  Pigeon Pt and its subsequent self named light.  Pigeon Pt is also one of the biggest seal rookeries in California.

Just to the north of Gazo is Pigeon Pt and its subsequent self named light. Pigeon Pt is also one of the biggest seal rookeries in California.

 Im not going to lie at that point the surreal setting of the place began to get to me and I realized how small and insignificant I was in the food chain.  I had no way to judge the lineup not knowing if I was too far out or in.  I panicked and brought down Mark with me.  We decided to get one and go in quitting while we were ahead.  This break was in the middle of nowhere, it was sketchy as hell, we were in the heart of shark country during feeding time and the nearest hospital was easily a 45-minute drive away.  All of this was in my opinion a really bad combination for disaster.  Yeah these were all entities I should have considered before the actual paddle out, but when have I ever been one to sufficiently think anything I do through.  

There was not too much time to think about it thanks to a set that sneaked up on us out the back. To our dismay we took it on the head as a result of being out of position too far inside.  After the set passed I snagged an overhead in between wave that I got a hit and a floater out of.  Mark was right behind me on a smaller one that peeled all the way to beach giving him three solid turns.  We debating going back for more but ultimately chose to call it a day so we could live to surf tomorrow.  Both of us thought about those waves all night and the next day.  It did not help that as we walked up the beach we watched set after set of perfect double overhead rights peel down the beach.  On a pair of 5’9’s there was no way we could tackle it.  This spot would have to be conquered some other time.  We never conquered and I still have yet to surf there again.  As a matter of fact we were in a surf shop in town later in the trip and when we told the surf shop employee where we surfed he freaked “You have to be a nut to surf there.  There are more sharks then fish in the ocean at that spot.  You two were lucky to get out with your lives.”

The small non-set wave I caught to make my escape.

The small non-set wave I caught to make my escape.

That night Mark took us to this killer Mexican restaurant after which we went back to his place.  There we warmed ourselves with a cup of tea huddled around a lit stove burner. Over tea we excitingly conversed on  the day’s events and what the swell would bring in the morning. With that kind of sensory overload the three of us passed out in complete and utter exhaustion.  I cant remember the last time I slept on the floor so well.

There are nothing like little adventures like this that are relatively unplanned and enjoyed by the seat of one’s pants.  These days I am so locked in it seems I have less and less opportunity for adventure.  Every time I am in Santa Cruz I stop and eat a meal that Mexican joint.  I hope you enjoyed this reading this re-post as much as I had reliving it in my head when I edited it.

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Silver Strand

I awoke to the blaring ring of my cell phone.  It was pouring raining outside and cold as all fuck, add a hangover from the night before’s festivities and I was in no rush to get out of bed.  I looked at my clock and it was noon.  Man did I have a headache.  I picked up the phone and it was my boy and new surfing buddy Trevor.  “I definitely want to surf today” he said.  Yesterday we were suppose to surf but he bailed because he was too hung over and may actually have been slipped a ruffie.   Ah yes the things a  woman will do to a man.

Turns out this chick he was seeing broke it off with him Friday so he went out on a bender.  Had I not been so hammered myself Friday engrossed in my own party I most likely would have ran into him on the scene.  “Its pretty small I think, but I am down to grovel.  Give me a few hours and we will role.” I replied. I got on my computer to see what was in store for us.  All models and cams pointed to complete flatness.  I thought about running north and risking becoming dinner at Surf Beach or Guadeloupe then reconsidered.  That last shark attack up there was just a little to close to home for me.

My life is finally picking up for me, the last thing I want to do is go out by a shark.   Also I really want to make it to the 21st.  I mean if the world is going to end I really want to be there for it.  I hope its not lame.  I don’t care how it goes down as long as it is really cool.  Maybe no zombies.  I don’t want to have to deal with that mess.  Truthfully I am kind of hoping for a biblical judgement day apocolysp like in “Little Nicky”.   I don’t think Ozzie will be able to  save us this time though.

I figured we could just cruise to Ventura Harbor.  In the winter there is always something to surf there.  I got out of bed all dizzy and dehydrated.  Went in my bathroom and was greeted with the remnants of coke all over the counter top.  Last night at my after party some black chick locked herself in the bathroom and proceeded to blow like a gram in there. It took us a half hour to get her out.  Other then that I would say the party was pretty decent.  Everyone brought booze, Griff and Bizarro brought a Pizza. It was a good time.  Upon leaving at the end of the night this dude who had come with some other guests shook my hand and said “I really want to thank you for having us over we had really fun time”.  I though how nice and well mannered.

In all the years and all the parties I have thrown I don’t think anyone said thank you upon leaving.  Its good to know there are still some decent people out there.  I mean sure that guy is probably a serial killer or pedophile rapist, but hey at least he is well mannered.  “Please sir forgive me, I must kill you now, sorry”.  Everyone even pitched in gathering all the glasses and trash so that when I woke up my apartment looked pretty good.

I downed my usual 9000 milligrams of ibuprofen for the headache, ate a meager breakfast, did my regular internet routine of surfline, facebook, surfingruinedmylife (yes I am that vain, like you other wordpress bloggers don’t check your blog every time you log onto the net) and my email.  I looked at the cam for C Street one more time and it looked pathetic.  Over it I decided to curl up on the couch with Alfie and a good book. Then I got a text from Trevor that he wanted to hit it.  I had nothing better to do and he really wanted to surf.  I am not one to rob someone of a therapeutic surf session.

We cruised down south toward Ventura and it was literally flat every where on the way down.  Even all the indicator spots that allow one to make an inference on what the surf will be like were completely flat.  Most times when I see that I just turn around to save the gas.  We were on a mission, a retard mission to surf knee high junk in the cold and rain (ok, by Jersey standards it was not that cold at all considering the air was still in the mid fifties and the water in the high fifties, but at this point I am a spoiled Californian.).  Even C Street was flat and there is a ride-able wave there nearly 365 days a year. It maybe a bad wave but surf-able.

Trevor kept saying he needed to surf so on we went.  At the harbor the wind was at least straight offshore.  It may be small but at least it would be clean.  Upon checking it there were about a dozen other intrepid souls out there and the surf  was solid chest to head high with clean peaky little tubes every where.  It was another New Jetty miracle.  Astounded, we were on it and out there like a bat out of hell.  From there it was barrel after barrel.  The crowd was mellow and most were sitting on the middle peak leaving the jetty peak for us.

I was on too.  Stuck a huge clean full rotation back side air reverse, a full rotation frontside ally-oop and the barrels, fuck, the barrels.  Trevor actually opened up with the first tube of the session then we were just trading pits.  I even managed a double barrel on one.  Everyone out was hooting.  I had one left where I was standing there in the pit looking out watching this guy on the same wave about 100 yards from me going right standing in the tube.  We looked at each other and started hooting.  He pulled out and I boosted the end section.  On the way back out we slapped each other five.  There was so much stoke out there.

The clouds and lighting as the sun was going down was amazing.  The mountains were all green with an eerie front light from the setting sun refracting off the grey clouds and some had there tops hugged by these strange wispy clouds.  It looked like something out of a fantasy movie.  If it was not for the town of Ventura in the foreground I would have thought I was back in New Zealand.  Then the moon popped out of the clouds and was just this perfect little sliver sliver of light.

I looked at Trevor who was on his way back out from a sick little right hand tube and said “We certainly could have a worse lot in life”.  He looked a me and smiled then told me about how in church this morning Al Merrick’s son Britt Merrick announced that his 9 year old daughter was dying with very little time left from cancer.  He said the whole church was just crying.  Its a real shame.  I too had recently gotten similar news about someone close to me in my own life.  Then I thought of all those poor people in Connecticut both those killed in the shootings and their surviving families.

Life is so short and precious.  Here we were two young healthy men drinking ourselves to death for no good reason.  For that moment in the ocean surrounded by all the beauty and power of the world around us we could not ask for anything more.  “Everyone dies. Not everyone truly lives”.  All we can ask of ourselves is to use the time we are given here on Earth in the best manner possible.   I know for me personally I have made many changes to my life over the past few years to do just that.  I still have a long way to go.  Rome was not built in a day after all.

I don’t the answers to life’s big questions. All I know is that we must live and for me life has always been surfing.  As of late that is where I have been focusing my time and energy.  I have also been focusing more on my music again cause that has been a source for me for as long as I can remember as well.  My number could be up at any moment and all I know is that I want to have as many moments like the one I had this evening as I possibly can.

Frame grab from some really terrible Silver Strand this past Tuesday.  Read more in the Surflog.

Frame grab from some really terrible Silver Strand this past Tuesday. Read more in the Surflog.

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I am rather behind on my monthly surf reviews and with the end of the year coming I need to get them finished so I can compile my yearly stats. Wait, come to think of it I never actually compiled stats from Last year.  Maybe I will get around to it in 2013.  October held true to our current “Fall of My Malcontent” theme.  The waves for the most part were rather lack luster as was my motivation to surf it.  Couple that with a trip back to New Jersey where it was flat as usual, my Wild Cat party program, work, laziness, a small cash flow problem and an injury at the end of the month marked another all time low in my surfing participation.   I think in the stats I am going to factor in the number of nights I wasted at the Wild Cat as well. As usual here are the numbers.  And did I mention some jack ass threw BBQ sauce all over my car at Silver strand?  Go to love localism.

Number of Surf Sessions: 18
Actual Days Surfed: 16

Total Time Spent in the Water: 27 hours
Number of Waves Surfed: 454
Average Waves Caught Per Hour: 17

Spots Surfed:
Emma Wood: 9
New Jetty: 3
Santa Clara River Mouth:2
Rincon: 1
Silver Strand: 1
C Street: 1
Oxnard Shores: 1

Top 3 Surf Sessions (as per the Surflog)

3)10/12/12 AM Session: 2-3ft, Emma Wood
Time in Water: 1.5 hrs
Waves surfed: 33
I had a later then usual start this morning after a fun night of mild party at the Wild Cat with my boy Tim.  I heard the harbor was crowded and a bit walled plus there were two contests at C-street.  A stand up paddle contest and a kayak event!   Are you serious how absurd is that?  I cruised sea cliffs and ended up at Emma Wood.  At first it looked kind of meager, but it was not like I had any other option.  Turns out there were some really fun albeit inconsistent sets.  The conditions were perfect.  It was a splendid sunny day with visibility as far as the eyes could see.  I could see the islands with crystal clear opaqueness.  The water was Caribbean blue and it was so glassy that not a drop of water was out of place.  I ended up with a few tiny shacks, stuck a really nice ally-oop and was just surfing pretty decent over all.  What fun morning to make up for the terrible session I had yesterday courtesy of the crowd.

2)10/17/12 AM Session: 2-4ft, Emma Wood
Time in Water: 2hrs
Waves Surfed: 37
What started out as an average over crowded high tide session at Emma turned into a full on froth fest for me.  My boy Pat met me up in order to buy my 5’11 Simon off me.   Its a great board and did me well.  It was my second most profitable board in contest winnings I ever owned.  Now its time with me has past and I could keep it around for nostalgia but I needed money so bye bye.  Of course I forgot the board at home showing up at Emma all empty handed.  To make up for my absentmindedness I decided to throw in one of my 4/3′s to sweeten the deal.  Plus the poor guy is wearing Swiss cheese at the moment and the suit was just collecting dust in my closet anyhow.  We paddled and it was glassy, fun and the crowd died off after the first hour.  Then I kept getting these sick little tubes and stuck a really gnarly backside air all tweaked.  There must have been a total of 9 cameras on the beach through out the entire session. Ridiculous, but I guess if a pro catches a wave and it was not on film it must not have happened.  Good times either way.

3)10/16/12 PM Session: 2-4+ft, Rincon
Time in Water: 2hrs 15mins
Waves surfed: 17
Its officially point break season and that means its all about quality, not quantity.  Besides I may have only caught 17 waves but I probably did about 50 turns.  This was opening day for me although not for Rincon.  It was pretty flawless with a light crowd of just around 100.  Amazing session.  Read “Thank you Rincon” blog for more on the sess.

The face says it all about my feelings toward surfing in October

The face says it all about my feelings toward surfing in October

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Surfers Waving

It has come to my attention that with the increasing numbers of beginner surfers who have recently graduated to the intermediate level, many have learned how to stand up and ride waves, but the majority have missed out on the unwritten laws of the hard core surfing devote.  There was time years ago back when I learned how to surf when these laws were bestowed upon ever novice surfer early on by “law of the club and the fang”.   What this means is that when a beginner, usually under the age of 15 (adult learners just did not happen back then) caused an infraction of one of said laws he/she was ridiculed, kicked out of the water, beaten, thrown in a garbage can, dunked in the water or subject to numerous other forms of punishment.

Only after being punished was one informed about the rule he had broken.  This was the way of things since surfing had come to the modern world.  In earlier days surfing was a bit more rough then it is now.  The boards were not as beginner friendly.  Wetsuit technology was primitive at best, as was surf forecasting.  Do you believe there was a time when we did not have the internet, cell phones or web cams?!!!?  If a surfer wanted to know how the surf was he had to actually get in his car and check it himself. (to my female surfers I am not being sexist, I am just using the figurative he for this narrative.  I actually have no problem with the sex of another surfer, or what they ride for that matter as long as they follow the rules and are respectful) Before the internet the only surf forecasting was the weather channel and NOAA radio alerts.  From these two entities one would have to make his own inferences on what the waves might be like.

Things have changed.  Now if you disciplined another surfer in the above manner for getting out of line you could be thrown in prison.  I believe I penned it before that we are now in the Era of Kook running things as oppose to the elite.  There are more of them and they spend more money.  Lets face it kooks hold down decent jobs and surf when they have time.  Us hardcore guys surf all the time, have no money and can barely hold down a job unless we found one that easily catered to our addiction.  What I would like to do here on SurfingRuinedMyLife.net is every so often pick one or two of these unwritten rules of surfing and explain it so that maybe just one novice or graduate may get a glimpse into why many of us guru’s always seem so salty these days.

The Rule of Two

My car only has two seats in it when I go surfing, Mine and one for a passenger.  The back seat is always down and is for storing my boards.  Most days it only has one seat for me.  For myself usually I am surfing well known, heavily surfed lineups that are already pretty busy by the time I get there.  At these locales I like to go alone.  I am not worried about the buddy system because there will be plenty of buddies to share with at the break.  Just come surf Rincon on a Saturday when its decent to understand what I mean.

You know when you are in a public space and on the wall there is a sign that says “Maximum Occupancy” and then there is a certain number.  Those signs are put up to inform users that if that number is exceeded it can be really dangerous.  At surf spots there are no such signs.  Contrary to popular belief these spots have a maximum occupancy, which is defined by the number of people that can logically catch and ride waves for the conditions and size of the break.  For example a wave like Rincon is a very large point break with anywhere from three to twelve distinct take off zones and many other minor ones on any given swell.   If its eight foot with six to eight waves in a set every fifteen minutes with smaller ones in between the spot could easily hold 150 surfers safely.

If it is only six foot on a dropping swell with only one or two waves in a set and those sets are 20-30 minutes apart 150 guys is going to be a shit fight out there.  Lets take a spot like Hammonds, its a reef break with a small take off zone.  Even at its most consistent it can only comfortably handle around thirty guys.  When one checks a spot besides just considering the surf one must also consider the crowd.  I always ask myself when checking a spot “is there room for me”.  The best way of answering this question is to see how many waves have went unridden in the interim you are watching it.  I know if I see one wave go by that no one is on then there is room for me.  On the other hand if I see six guys fighting for every wave coming in then I know I should go someplace else.

If I had brought a friend with me, then I would need to see two waves go unridden.  If I brought three friends then three waves and so on and so forth.  For this reason I usually go surf alone.  Not everyone is a social recluse thus I will allow bringing a buddy along.  When I do roll with more then one other person I try and go to spots that I know are going to be less crowded.  Never bring a crew to a some what secret spot, or localized spot.  By yourself you may be able to sneak in and get some fun waves.  With a crew its not going to happen.

I can always tell the days Rincon is going to be too crowded when all I see are SUV’s and Vans in the parking lot each one chuck full of eager surfers.   If I see the majority is cars then I know its mostly ones and twos getting out there.  I am an advocate for car pooling as much as the next guy, but if we all took our own cars down to surf then the lot would always be full thus deterring other surfers purely cause there is no place to park.  Next time you decide to go for a surf and have an itch to call all your buddies and load up your Nissan Pathfinder, maybe think again and just call your one bud who owns a Honda Civic and roll with him.

Tune in Next Time for Lesson two: Surfing and Cell Phones

Surfers watching sunset

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Aboo Seinfeld


What can I say for myself in reference to my lack of surfing integrity for the duration of the month of November?  I think my friend Babu Bhatt has summed up my discontent above.  Then again it is still the “Fall of my Malcontent” till December 21st so fuck it.  There are a lot of factors I would like to help share the blame with me this month.  I am not passing the buck for I have always lived under the guise that we create our own destiny.  First I would like to thank Bacardi for coming out with Oakhurst their amazing version of spiced dark rum.  Nothing gets the night started like a rum and coke or two Lisanti style. 

While I am on that subject let me commend Albertson’s cause for whatever reason a handle of Bacardi is always at the affordable price of $18.99.  Fuck it has been on sale at that price for the last five years!!  I am glad that inflation has yet to turn its grubby paws on to alcohol.   When the world goes to shit and whether it happens on the 21st or not life as we know it is a very limited prospect, let there be plenty of booze to get us all through it.

Let me also bestow the bulk of my salutations on the Wild Cat.  Thanks for all the ridiculous nights of party, even the ones I can’t remember cause in all likely hood those were the best or worst depending on who I talk to.  Its funny how a pint glass or two full of rum and fire ball shots or two can do to change a person’s judgement.  I have an idea lets create a whiskey that tasks like candy.  Yeah that’s not going to cause any black outs.  My new friend Chris for always being as drunk or worse off then myself and my neighbor Griffen for not drinking allowing always for there to be a DD. Both these fun characters have helped up the ante.

All the party aside, which I believe it or not have gotten under control.  I choose whether or not I want to get fucked up and am completely cognizant of what I am doing.  At the moment that scene has filled a certain hole in my life and compared to last year at this time I must say things are much better and improving.

Early in the month I sustained a rather painful injury when I broke my pinky toe on my left foot while landing a frontside air reverse in the flats at Silver Strand.  To make matters worse some drunk bitch stepped on that same toe by mistake in high heels at the bar as I was trying to leave at last call.  The heel ended up ripping all the skin off the upper portion of the toe along with most of the nail.  As a result I was out of the water for a solid seven days of which there happened to be a small but adequate NW swell.

Finally mother nature decided to give up on us for the latter portion of November here in the 805.  If it wasn’t near flat conditions then it was crazy high tides, bad winds, cold mornings, fog and rain.  With my motivation to surf waning at the moment all that adversity did not help things any.  I must say as of press time I have been surfing a bunch more and am super stoked about it.  Here are the numbers for November and yes they are some of the poorest I have ever come across since I moved out of New Jersey.

Number Surf Sessions: 15
Actual Days Surfed: 14
Total Time Spend in the Water: 26hrs
Number of Waves Surfed: 348
Average Waves Caught Per Hour: 14

Spots Surfed:
Rincon: 5
Mesa Lane: 3
Emma Wood: 3
New Jetty: 1
Jalama: 1
Pitas: 1
Hammonds: 1

Top 3 Sessions (as per the surflog)

3) 11/21/12 AM Session: 2-4ft, Rincon
Time in Water: 2.5hrs
Waves Surfed: 26
My boy Trevor hit me up this am and wanted to car pool to New Jetty.  I hate showing up with another person, but it does fit into the rule of two and he is a carp-o local so I figured why not.  On the way we noticed there was way more west swell in the water then yesterday and checked Rincon. Turns out it was pretty solid although a bit wonky, with more bump and crumble then I would have liked.  We started in the cove where I banged out three solid ones.  I had one where I opened with a three foot gap air, landed cleanly on the other side of the peak then hit it top to bottom six times before sticking an air reverse to end it.  Then I went up top where it was bigger but way shifter, more sectiony and hard to line up.  Still I got a handful of gems before taking my last wave from low Indicator all the way to the highway.   My legs hurt so bad I could barely complete an end section floater.  There is more swell on the way!!! RINCON!

2) 11/24/12 AM Session: 2-4+ft, Jalama
Time in Water: 2hrs
Waves Surfed:23
Reports all looked rather small for the 805.  My boy Dave confirmed some poor looking New Jetty.  Conditions for Jalama looked decent and there was just enough SW and NW on the buoy to entice me.  Also I thought it would be a treat to take West up for a north county adventure.  Sure enough it turned out to be one of those beautiful days up there.  The air had to be 80, the water high 50′s and crystal clear azure, oil glass and some fun albeit drained out chest plus lefts and rights.  The crowd was super light.  In California to have decent waves to yourself on a nice Saturday during a holiday weekend is absurd.  It was a bit inconsistent but if you waited there were some good ones.  If I was solo I would have stuck around for an incoming session, but I figured I should take West into the Valley and show him some of the other treats SB has to offer.  Surprisingly he like Solvang which I think is the most tacky tourist trap in the area.  Then it was home where I served up some tasty egg plant parmigiana. All and all I must say it has bee a nice little “staycation” as a friend put it.

3) 11/22/12 PM Session: 3-4+ft, Mesa Lane
Time in Water: 1hr
Waves Surfed: 19
Wanting to get another surf in West and I cruised to Mesa and sure enough there were some really fun looking glassy bowls coming in all over the place.  Stoked we jumped in for the last hour of light.  I ended up frothing on it and got some really fun ones including a frontside tube that stoked me out.  After that it was Thanksgiving left overs for dinner followed by way to much booze and the Wild Cat.

With the WNW season in full force Rincon is finally starting to heat up.

With the WNW season in full force Rincon is finally starting to heat up.

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