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Posts Tagged ‘Rincon’

The-Wedge

I have had many request from all of my of my friends that I get off my lazy ass and do a bit more writing.  Some wanted horrific tales from the vault of the Lisanti Past, others were looking for recipes, and then some just wanted some new adventure tales.  I hope over the coming weeks to make everyone happy and a bit disturbed by the content as usual.  I thought I would start with the tale of a recent Lisanti adventure, a common California adventure at that; Chasing a solid south swell.

Summertime in coastal California is not quite what all the songs, pictures, media, movies and television would have you believe. Most of the time the weather is foggy, damp and cold. The ocean cold and windy.   The surf, unless you live in San Diego or Orange county is less then amiable.  Up here in Santa Barbara unless you have a boat, access to the ranch or a plane ticket to Indo you might as well put your surf board away and take up lawn bowling.  Unfortunately for me I have none of the above and left my bocce set at home when I moved from NJ.

If one of you readers wants to send me a bocce kit I promise to drink one for you at the Wild Cat!

If one of you readers wants to send me a bocce kit I promise to drink one for you at the Wild Cat!

What do I do?  I fucking get in my car and I drive at least 45 miles a day to surf sub par surf in a frustrating crowd.  Wait, isn’t that what the California dream is?   Shit folks the California dream ceased to be a dream 60 years ago if it ever really existed.  Its more like the California nightmare now.  We all know I love to suffer.  Actually this season has not been as bad as usual.  We had a month of NW wind swell that gave consistent surf and even a few epic days with some south swell thrown in for good measure. Check out the May edition of the Surflog for more on that.  In my book there are few things sweeter then a late season NW.

When the Queen looks like this you would have to be crazy to go anyplace else...or would you?

When the Queen looks like this you would have to be crazy to go anyplace else…or would you?

This story begins on May 28th 2013 down near Antarctica.  Antarctica?!? WTF! Truth be told that is where most south swells that grace California with their loveliness begin.  Of course on the 28th a south swell was the last thing on my mind.   I was too busy capitalizing on local wind swell to even notice any action in the south pacific.  Then a few days later Surfline.com had a feature on this crazy swell that rocked Tahiti.  At that point my attention was grabbed and I knew it was only a matter of time before it would show here.  From Tahiti the swell traveled to Hawaii giving the boys on the South Shore some fun ones.  Once in Hawaii it was only a couple of days.

By June 6th front runners began to show up.  The morning was still a bit down thus I decided to sleep in hoping for some action in the afternoon.  Solimar Beach was the spot for me after a great deal of deliberation.  This time of year surf is hard to come by and the wrong decision is a fate worse then death.  Every wave squandered is a flat day you will be kicking yourself in the near future.  I really wanted to utilize this swell to its fullest extent.  The reef had some solid rights to be had with a very light crowd.  I always seem to surf Solimar on the beginning of  large south swell.  It is a cool wave that bends around a horse shoe cobble stone reef usually covered by sand.  From the beach it always looks pretty mushy which keeps the crowd down. Actually its a pretty fast bowly wave when your on it.  It sort of reminds me of Noosa a little bit.

I got a solid session in and felt although deeming it “the best of the worst” a rather fun session.  The next morning things really began to get big.  Unfortunately for me too big for my usual south swell jaunts in the area.  When I went to bed I was dreaming of all time Santa Clara.  Instead I was faced with walled close outs and strange wind.  I wanted to go to Malibu and most likely should have.  I let the fact that it was a Friday and the immense crowds that goes with it keep me at home.  Later I would find out that even though the crowd sucked there were still plenty of waves.  Once again after lots and lots of checking  I found myself settling for the “best of the worst” at Pitas Point.  Through my binoculars down the beach it looked like it was firing.  After paddling my boy Ryan and I would soon find things to be a bit more sectiony then we would have liked, not to mention very inconsistent.

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

This the sort of Santa Clara I was dreaming of…

I had always heard these rumors up here that El Capitan, one my favorite right hand point breaks actually will see surf on a large south swell.  Apparently it sneaks through the gap between the Santa Cruz and San Miguel Islands.   I needed to see if the rumors were true and this swell seemed perfect for that.  I got up there a little later then I should have thanks to some chores that needed doing.  Afraid I had missed my window I was walking  to check it when a stoked older dude parked in front of me yelled “get your board and go dude, its on”.  Like that I found myself trotting down the trail.  When I emerged from the woods sure enough there were waves!  An older guy from Santa Barbara told me once while hanging out in the car park at Manu Bay in Raglan, New Zealand that one can tell a good point from a great point by how it holds its shape no matter what the swell angle.

El Capitan did just that.  It was only around chest to head high with a light crowd of local vets and very inconsistent, but my friends it was perfect.  I only caught 9 waves that session.  6 out of the 9 were wonderful keepers.  I can surf El Cap so well, I guess anyone can cause it is so perfect.  It is just one of those waves that makes anyone feel like Kelly Slater on it.  That is until you see Kelly Slater surf it…  Anyhow it was just one of those magical sessions that make you remember why it was you started surfing in the first place.  Later I would hear that the session of the day went down at C street that evening.  Fuck it, I hate that wave anyway.

God damn, why do all these swells have to fall on the weekend and a weekend where I had at least two party obligations to fill. A boys night on Friday with Bizarro and my boy Daniel’s going away party, which I was throwing for him at the Wild Cat.  As a result morning sessions were completely out of the question.  I know some surfers are reading this right now thinking “I can’t believe Lisanti is blowing it like that”, while I see it as a balance between the two worlds I exist in.  Balance my friends is everything in life.  It only took me 32 years to realize that.  Man cannot live by surfing alone.

Saturday I found myself a bit more hung over then I would have liked (still have not figured out that balance thing when it comes to alcohol consumption) causing a very late start.  I was still a bit sick to my stomach as I climbed the dunes at New Jetty where I heard the morning was near to all time.  There were long lines coming through, but overall things looked a bit soft and still very inconsistent.  My boy Pat hit me up that he was in Malibu all morning and was about to go back to surf Leo Carrillo.

I don’t go to Malibu on the weekend, ever!  He claimed the crowd was not bad and given I didn’t really have a better option I jumped in the car with him.  You know what it was a great call.  I got to surf the best Leo I have ever surfed.  By Leo standards and a weekend the crowd was not bad at all.  It was tough to get a set wave off the old guys and long boarders.  That was fine cause I enjoy the inside double ups better anyway, plus the sets were too big and most closing out.  I managed to put on a very strong backside performance holding it down for the goofy foot contingent.  Fuck, give me a wally lined up right any day.  That shit is my bread and butter.  Later Pat and I had a look at Hueneme Pier and he was frothing.  It looked decent enough.  I had to get back to the Barb for Daniel’s party.  It went down without a hitch.

By this point I was dead set on a Lower Trestles mission.  I had not been there since ’11 and I was thinking Monday would be the day.  I texted Trevor and planted the seed in his head.  My tires are bald on my car at the moment so the only way I was going to be able to partake in such an ordeal was if I had a driver.  Sunday I was in bad shape.   I cut down on the party and my body has totally lost its tolerance to take a beating and keep on.  I heard New Jetty was on again that morning.  I headed there for low tide.  Although very inconsistent there were a handful of decent lefts coming in.  I paddled it.   There were a few fun ones to be had among the lulls.  Later that night I returned home to a text from Trevor that he was in for Lowers.

The reality of surfing Lowers.

This is what a Lowers crowd looks like

Monday morning we made  the three hour drive south in high spirits.  We got there and it was way more crowded then I had hoped for.  As a matter of fact I can’t remember ever seeing that many cars parked on the San Clemente side.  It was decent Lowers in its own right.  The crowd was miserable and sets inconsistent.  That is a very bad combination.  My stoke was gone and part of me wanted to jump back in the car and just drive another 45 minutes south to Blacks Beach.  It was Trevor’s first time and who am I to rob him of a bad surf experience.  We paddled.  Despite a pack of annoying groms training for nationals next weekend we both found a few keepers.

Who can really hate on an entire day spend on the beach with your bud?  I fucking can.  I got sun burned.  My eyes hurt from all the sun and as of press time my back is sore from carrying all my shit down there, my neck stiff and my fucking knees hurt from too many really bad frontside air reverse attempts cause I suck at surfing.  In all seriousness it was a fun day and I am glad I went to remind me why I never go there.   At the moment it is flat with not much happening for at least a week.  Fiji just got some sick waves for the contest (congrats Kelly on another mind blowing victory) so its only a matter of days before we see the remnants of that swell. For more details on the surf sessions, party or swell visit the June Surflog.

Here's to the next good South swell and Go Slater for number 12!

Here’s to the next good South swell and Go Slater for number 12!

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What can I say about the month of April for surfing other then it was yet another month full of let down and frustration.  After a terrible winter I still had a shred of hope that it might be a good wind swell season.  Sometimes I get my best waves in the hard gail force north westerlies.  Wind swell with its shorter period allows certain mysto or novelty spots to come alive for a brief moment.  There are literally dozens of spots up here that only break once or twice a year if at all.  When they do break it is always a treat to surf them.  Of course this year with the exception of one very weak ass surf at Summerland Beach there were none of the above mentioned sessions.

I did my best to stay wet sandwiching in surf time between my work and hectic party schedule.  Here is the month of April by the numbers.  Enjoy my very sick OCD.  As always visit the Surf Log daily for the full scoop on my surfing, party and life in general.

Surf Sessions: 17
Days Surfed: 16

Total Time Spent in Water: 27.5hrs
Waves Surfed: 474
Average Waves Caught Per Hour: 17

Spots Surfed:
Rincon: 4
Santa Clara River Mouth: 4
New Jetty: 3
Emma Wood: 3
Summerland: 1
Cstreet: 1
Pitas: 1

Top 3 Surf Sessions:

3) 4-18-13 AM Session: 2-4+ft, Santa Clara River Mouth
Time in Water: 1.5hrs
Waves Surfed: 24
River Mouth fucking delivered!  What a barrel fest.  I got the call from my boy Ryan at around 7:30 that the wind was off shore down south.  With some small south and fading NW in the water the combo action was just screaming beach breaks. Throw in a lower tide and things were finally looking up.  I got to River Mouth and it looked a little smaller then I was hoping. The sand bars were as I had expected a bit torn up from all the wind the past week.  Still there were some solid chest to head high pits to be had.  There were plenty of guys out, but plenty of peaks spread up and down the beach.  I suited up and was stoked for some fun waves.  I started at the north end of the reeds where I found a sick little left sand bar that was hallow as hell.   I picked off three really fun ones there before running further down the beach where conditions seemed a bit larger and more heavy.  My boy Ryan was sitting on a suck up little A-frame all to himself and I joined.  We traded some good ones although the current was a bit tricky with strange rips and it was a bit lully. None the less I went to work super pumped that morning.

2) 4-12-13 AM Session: 2-4+ft, Rincon
Time in Water: 1hr 45 mins
Waves Surfed: 23
I don’t know what came over me that got me out of bed before 9am but somehow I was up and ready to surf.  I had checked the buoys the night before and noticed a real jump in the swell.  As I was cruising down south I saw that Santa Claus had some waves indicating a possible wave at Rincon.  I pulled off and sure enough the Cove was going off with a very light crowd.  I ran back up to the lot, texted Trevor that he was blowing it and paddled.  What a session.  I can’t remember the last time I had that much fun.  There were at least a handful that went to the high way.  My legs were killing me by the end of the session.

3) 4-30-13 AM Session: 4-6+ft, Santa Clara River Mouth
Time in Water: 3hrs
Waves Surfed: 53
What a fucking session.  Man I am so glad it is finally south swell season and I have a feeling the summer may just make up for the dismal winter we got stuck with.  I slept in a little bit being still a tired from the weekend festivities.  Trevor and I met up in Carp and rolled south with the intentions of checking the River Mouth and if that was sub par possibly running to Malibu.  On first inspection although plenty of size things looked a bit walled with the occasional scattered corner.  We gave The Shores a look over at Fifth St, that was looking more organized but a bit on the weak side.  The debate was then River Mouth or the ‘Bu. I hate driving away from potential thus we suited and charged the Mouth.  As it turned out it was a very good decision with tons of really good left and right corners.  I had some cherry ones and I stuck  the biggest full rotation ally oop of my life.  What a session.

Since the surf sucked and I spent more time at the club then in the ocean here is a picture of my crew and I traveling down the road to Fancy Town.
Cat Party

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Loaded up and ready to go on a miraculous journey to find two foot slop.

Loaded up and ready to go on a miraculous journey to find two foot slop.

Do you want to know how long I surfed for today?  If you check the surflog it says one hour and a half.   In reality I surfed for almost five hours today.  The bulk of my session was not spent in the water, but in my car burning gas, adding to the size of my already huge carbon foot print.  What am I talking about?  Car surfing the most annoying repulsive ugly side of surfing there is.

In a perfect world the waves would be all time down the street from your house where with in a mile stretch you would some how have a right and left point, a slab reef, and a sick ass beachie.  I have yet to find such a place and if it does exist you can bet your ass no one is talking about it and are definitely not drawing you and I a map to it.  Instead of this fantastical situation surfers are stuck having to make do with what their backyard has to offer.

If you pulled up to this wave there would be no need to car surf any farther.

If you pulled up to this wave there would be no need to car surf any farther.

How do we define the word backyard?  In the the very beginning in ancient Hawaiian times I assume it would have been the break directly in front of your village.   Considering how primitive surfboards were back then I am sure just about any easy riding wave would suffice.  Then again they say the Polynesians traveled great lengths over many years in their out riggers.  Could it be they were just cruising around the south pacific trying to find a wave that was not closed out or too windy, small etc.?

When I was under the age of sixteen my backyard was the few miles I could access on my bike.  Back then after riding three miles to get to the beach in the dead of winter I was pretty much going to just jump in at first spot that was ride-able.  Then I got a car and everything changed.  Now my backyard was only limited to the amount of time available to me, the distance I was willing to drive and the amount of money in my pocket.  It was at that moment I became a car surfer.

Car surfing for those of you who are of the non-surfing variety or novice level is the act of a surfer driving around looking for waves to surf.   This can happen in a span of distance of ten miles or 150 miles or more depending.  Take where I live here in Santa Barbara for example.  Everyone here is a car surfer.  Our coastline is very dynamic and very spread out.  Add in the fact that we have a very small and selective swell window for most if not all of our spots and you will find that the amount of time and distance you will travel in your car to be astounding.  I can’t even imagine my numbers here.  Take this into account.  I bought my car in March of 2011 and it only had around 12,000 miles on it.  Since then the odometer reads 52,000 miles.  That is 40,00 miles in just under two years.  All put on with the sole purpose of scoring waves.

My asphalt surf board of choice.  At 38 miles per gallon and the rising price for gas you better believe I love this car.

My asphalt surf board of choice. At 38 miles per gallon and the rising price for gas you better believe I love this car.

I think I can safely say I fall into the category of hardcore car surfer.  Most times when I car surf, eight out of ten times to be precise,  I still paddle out and surf.  Just because you car surf does not guarantee you are going to find good surf conditions.  On the contrary most times the reason you are driving around in the first place is because the waves absolutely suck and you are trying to find the best bad waves on offer that day.  Lets face it when the surf is good at the first spot you check how likely are you to move on to another, very rarely.  When I pull up to Rincon and its on I am out there, no questions asked.

Since the waves suck and that is the reason you are car surfing to begin with there is always the chance of spending all that time and not actually surfing at all.  When that becomes a habit you are a car surfing champion.  I have sadly known plenty of surfers in my life who spend all day driving around everyday and never actually surfing.  Its terrible I know.  It is for that reason I created the rule “If I drive then I surf”.  What happens is your motivation is low to begin with because of the sub par conditions and every stop you make with more sub par surf wears you down till finally you just paddle out at some random terrible spot just to get a wave, or drive back to the first place you checked (usually the case in my experience) or not surf at all.

Isn’t surfing an amazing sport.  This is why I write these little insider blogs.  Some one has to tell it like it is.  The surfing world is not all sunny beaches,  girls in bikinis and perfect crystal clear water barrels.  Ninety percent of the time it is nothing but frustration, heart ache and let down.  Can’t wait for my next car surf session tomorrow.  With bad winds and small conditions predicted it should be an epic drive!

When you find those terrible waves the least you can do is make the most of them.

When you find those terrible waves the least you can do is make the most of them.

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December has with absolutely no contest become my favorite month of the year.  As a surfer one would consider such a comment rather absurd.  The days are the shortest of the year, air and water some of the coldest.  Here in Santa Barbara it is one of the more consistent months with usually good conditions, even in this the shittiest of winters ever.  For me it means over half the month not having to work allowing me to remember what it was like back in the old days when there was always time to find the best possible spot with the best possible conditions any day any time.

The smash and grab short sessions I am usually afforded courtesy of the rat race, although nourishing barely fulfill the daily/weekly does of stoke it takes me to get through this drudgery that is life.  It is very refreshing to have that luxury for over 15 days ever December to be able to just kick back and surf.  There were some key days this months.  Rincon dished up over a week of epic conditions mid month that left my legs hurting so bad by the end of it I was walking cowboy style.  The beach breaks decided to remind me just how deep I could ride the tube thanks to hard offshore winds and some really good sand bars. Even town managed to serve up a day or two.  Here are how the numbers panned out.

Surf Sessions: 27
Days Surfed: 25

Total Time Spent in the Water: 48.5 hrs
Waves Surfed: 740
Average Waves per Hour: 15

Spots Surfed:
Rincon: 7
New Jetty: 6
Emma Wood: 6
Mesa Lane: 3
Hollywood by the Sea: 2
Hammonds: 2
Silver Strand: 1

Top 3 Sessions (as per the Surflog)

3)12/22/12 PM Session: 3-5+ft, Rincon
Time in Water: 2hrs
Waves Surfed: 16
Wow I went to fucking fancy town last night.  Too much booze, too much party and a bit too much gnar for one night if you ask me.  Pat and I woke up at around 1pm all fucked up and hung over with little if any recollection of what happened. We got some breaky at Garrett’s since neither of us were in any condition to surf at that moment. Also it was cold, rainy and there appeared to be a SE wind plaguing things anyhow.  After a fine repast we got our act together and cruised to Rincon where it was mother fucking firing.  Things had glassed off.  The lines were perfect and there were barrels everywhere.  I had about six waves through the cove that could have been the waves of other’s lives, as for me it was just another perfect day at Rincon.  I got one in the cove where I was in the barrel for nearly the entire ride.  Had to easily be a ten second plus tube.  Sooooooooooooooooooo Goooooooooooooooooooooooood.   Now its time for Round three at the Wild Cat.

2)12/16/12 PM Session: 2-3+ft, New Jetty
Time in Water: 2hrs
Waves Surfed: 54
What a surf…See blog “We Certainly Could Have a Worse Lot in Life

1)12/29/12 PM Session: 5-7+ft, Hollywood by the Sea
Time in Water: 2hrs 15mins
Waves Surfed: 25
I woke up on my couch yet again with a pile of crumpled up tortilla chips all over me around 8am.  Another failed night at the Cat.  Failure?  I think not. All my friends were there, my favorite bar tenders were working.  I had a hell of a time.  I looked out my window and the wind was onshore and the tide super high.  Awesome I could sleep in.  By noon a slew of calls started coming in about how the wind was off shore in Oxnard.  Hollywood had some good sand the previous day so I figured I would just go there.  Trevor and I rolled down there and it was fucking firing although a bit inconsistent.  Just head high plus barrels every where with virtually no crowd.  My boy Ryan was surfing at Orange House and we joined him.  From there it was on.  I got a triple barrel on one wave and had some crazy deep ones.  Then this freak set of like 15 10 foot waves came in and cleaned us all up.  I was pushed all the way back to the beach then the reverse rip was so bad I almost thought I was not going to make it back to the line up.  Besides that it was a pretty unreal session.  I told my boys “now if I can only get laid at the bar tonight this may be one of the best days of my life”.

December was one big speed blur of surfing, kind of like this frame grab from Silver Strand.

December was one big speed blur of surfing, kind of like this frame grab from Silver Strand.

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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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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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I got overzealous on the size of the Turkey I was going to cook and it just barely fit in my oven. Some how I managed to get yams and the stuffing in there. To make the Pumpkin pies I had to drive them to my boy Tim’s house to cook them there. I had already filled the pies when I realized they would not fit in the oven and had to drive to his house both up and down steep hills. I ended up driving while holding two pies on what ever angle was opposite the slop. I somehow managed to spill very little.

“A trip here (Lisanti Land) really is an escape from reality, and I love how time or even loose conception of such doesn’t even exist.  Things just happen between day and night and it all sorts itself out in the morning”.  These were the words of my friend West, a relatively new member to the court at the Palace.  I was very surprised when I got a call from him back in September asking if he was welcome to come stay with me for Thanksgiving.  The first time I met West was when he innocently accepted an invitation from Kooky Kyle to come up here from San Diego and spend Christmas with him here in Santa Barbara.

I was suppose to go back to New Jersey to see my folks for the holiday and being that the two Jersey kids, West and Kooky were spending their first Christmas away from home I was glad they would find a comfort in one another.  By early December I had decided that I was just not in the right frame of mind to go home and deal with all the family stuff.  2011 was a really tough year for me and at the time I was not ready to answer all the redundant questions that follow.  “What happened?” “How did you blow it this tme?” “Whats your plan now?” And my favorite “You should have never let Sindia go”.

I was not nearly in the mind set for any of that.  I changed my plans, cashed in my ticket and hunkered down for a Holiday in the Barb.   What should have been a fun week vacation for West with an old friend turned into an experience of gnarl he would never forget that involved binge drinking, amazing waves, epic Rincon, good food, a healthy black out, a stabbing and an arrest.  Business as usual in Lisanti Land.  For the scoop on what happened read blogs: Christmas Dread Part I, Part II and Part III.  Most of my regular readers deemed it the most epic saga ever written here.

After all of that ridiculousness the idea that West would even entertain a trip back to the scene of the crime sounded preposterous to me.  When he actually booked his train ticket and was set to come I was flabbergasted.  It seemed round two was inevitable.  Then I was woken up a week before Thanksgiving very hungover, maybe even still drunk a little by a phone call from my friend Dave from Florida, another guy who spent about a month sleeping on my couch last season.  Turns out he just got into town a day or so before.  The stage was being set and the plot thickening for yet another adventure.

The usual turkey day plan for me the past four years was to go over my boy Ryan’s house and enjoy dinner with his lovely family and friends.  This year however his wife went back to work and was not feeling a big event.  Last year Ryan invited Dave, myself and Kooky Kyle and I do believe we all got a bit too inebriated at the table for his quaint mid-western wife.  With no place to go I needed to think fast.

It hit me like a ton of bricks.  I am a chef, why not cook a feast for my usual Wednesday night dinner crew and all of our closest friends.  As I was mulling this idea over in my head I had a conversation with my new roommate JP and as it turns out being from Belgium he had never experienced a true American Thanksgiving.  That was all the motivation I needed.  I ordered a 22 lb turkey from one of our distributors at work and began promoting.

Rather then compete with the dinners of others I decided to do mine on Wednesday, the day before Thanksgiving, which was more appropriate since my dinners are always on Wednesdays anyhow.  I added my boy Pat another recent NJ transplant to the group rounding it out to a basically entire east coast crew considering my usual Californian invites all stood me up.  Two days out I began getting the menu together.

I decided to brine the turkey for twenty four hours to allow it to be both moist and flavorful. Learn how to do this yourself here.  I made two pumpkin pies from an actual pumpkin another recipe I have featured here on this site click here for that one. Then I did a meat lasagna because I am Italian and in my family there has never been an occasion where there was not some type of substantial pasta dish.  On Thanksgiving someone always made at least one lasagna when I was growing up.  I just had to keep with tradition, not to mention I make a dank ass lasagna, sorry no recipe for this one yet.  I am still at ends with whether or not to post my family’s Italian recipes that have been passed down orally for over a 100 years.  I will tell you what if you want to come visit me here at the Lisanti Palace with the sole purpose of learning I will teach it to you hands on just as it was taught to me by my grandmother, mother and so on and so forth. Of course after such you will have to come get shitty with me at the Wild Cat.

My co-worker Chantelle made a zucchini  potato casserole, cranberry chutney, and a pear upside down cake.  I also did my families Italian bread stuffing, a basic garden salad and roasted yams.  Of course there was plenty of good wine on hand as always.  Like I said it was a veritable feast.  I had expected 11 people, ended up with only nine.  They were nine of my closest friends and in my book if you are a close friend you are family.  Everyone pretty much gorged themselves with food and all were pleased.  As far as I was concerned the dinner was a success.

Even Alfie chowed down on some Turkey. What part of the turkey could that be??? Hmmm I wonder…..

After eating Mark, West, Pat, Dave and I rolled to the Wild Cat, but when we got there we found ourselves way too full to even try and consume anymore alcohol.   Minus watching Pat strike out with two decent looking chicks in town for the night and witnessing some poor schmuck get arrested for blowing coke in the bathroom, it was a pretty uneventful night at the club.

As per every Thanksgiving since I have lived out in Santa Barbara there were waves.  The boys and I woke up and cruised down to Rincon.  The crowd was its usual holiday circus.  I was in decent spirits and did not want a session there to ruin that for me.  Dave and Pat went for it while West and I cruised to Pitas and although not as good had almost 75% less crowd.  You can read the surf log for the details on my Thanksgiving weekend surfs.   I must say it was not the best I have ever seen it for the duration but it was fun.  West and I scored a bonus glassy Jalama session on Saturday the 24th that was about as good a surfing experience one could get after which we went for a fun romp through the valley that West considered a perfect end to a perfect trip.

Overall I found it to be a better then usual Thanksgiving holiday.  I had five solid days off from work.  The company of some really good friends.  I cooked and hosted my first ever Thanksgiving dinner that went down with out a hitch.  We all scored some good waves.  Despite a solid amount of drinking and partying no one got sick, blacked out, got injured, died, had regrettable sex with a mutant (thank you West) and West did not get arrested.  Thanksgiving 2012 may just have to go down as the best ever!  All that in the midst of the “Fall of My Malcontent”.

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