3 Best Waves I’ve Surfed

So, you may have noticed that 1/1/2019 has like — nearly a dozen posts being published. This is because I had so many ideas during 2018… but, well… life happened, lol.
I’ll share a bit about this as my “last” time stamped post for New Year’s Day 2019.
In any case, I wanted to share the top three waves I’ve ever surfed. Around 2008, dang… TEN YEARS AGO… that time marked the prime of my surfing days. I was surfing HUGE waves… I mean, the big waves that news channels and lifeguards told you to stay away from.
Honestly, it was a terrible idea. This past month or so, we had some big storm waves during December of 2018. My wife and I got coffee a few times and drove out to see the waves. Truth be told, they are absolutely enormous, many football field’s lengths out from shore… and, entirely horrifying.
I can NOT believe I used to surf waves like that.
LOL, that said… here are my top 3 waves. I look back with both horror and fondness πŸ˜‰

1.Β  Best Wave Ever: Pacific Beach Point
I actually rode two waves that day. I remember it crystal clear. I was on my long board, 9’2″ epoxy. It was low tide — about 0.5 – 1.5 ft above sea level.
I was with one of my groomsmen, Josh. And, it was a Sunday. We totally impromptu’d it out there. I saw the surf report saying it was 5-8 foot waves and thought to myself… “No problem!”
Josh and I went out. We paddled out from the stairs on the side of “The False Point” — or, what we used to call PB Point Minor (versus PB Point and Point Proper, where they now call it “Hairmo’s.”
In any case, these waves were holding form like a video game. It was monstrous and as A-Frame as I’ve ever seen. The surprising thing was they didn’t close out when you think they would. And, this caused many surfers to hesitate during critical moments where one could have made it through the breakers.
I remember just paddling and paddling and paddling into deep ocean. Josh was right behind me… until a pair of building high waves which I made over, and he didn’t quite. Josh got washed into Tourmaline. I made it to the very sparse line up. Most surfers didn’t quite get out that far that day.
And, these local reef spots weren’t so popular in the 2007/2008 era the way they are now.
I remember trying for about 3 waves, realizing I needed to be WAY further down the face of the wave as it formed to properly slide down as I paddled downwards on the face of the wave to accelerate to the needed velocity to actually ride the wave.
I finally told myself, “Screw it. I’m doing this.”
I paddled for this absolutely gigantic wave. And, I started to catch it. But, I felt the board… it didn’t have enough speed and I was too far down to give up now. I pumped up with a butterfly stroke until my chest was at the nose of my longboard and paddled DEEP for a few more strokes.
That did the trick. I started to slide down the wave of the wave and stood up. Realizing I STILL didn’t have enough speed, I started stomping on my board to continue to slide down the face of the wave to gain the velocity I needed to continue riding the thing.
It was the longest ride I’ve ever had in my life. I was in open ocean and was still going… STILL going…. and, I had to keep stomping a few more times until I got to the “usual” break by the reef point.
It was then I caught more speed and enjoyed carving up and down and just standing there and relaxing.
It was so crazy! I just stood and road the board in peace for a bit…. until I finally got to the part of the wave that pushed me into Tourmaline.
It was there that I saw Josh hanging out with a bunch of surfers, watching me come at them. They frantically paddled out of the way, under, or over the wave I was on.
I connected with Josh, who was unfortunately spent. So, I paddled out again — caught another wave, just like the first.
We went in right after.
It was the first big “big” wave I ever caught and to date, the longest ride.
I’ve tried many times since then to replicate the experience, even under very similar conditions. Sadly, it’s never been the same. The waves either moved to much towards the reef area which caused it to close out, or, the water was too turbulent and didn’t allow for that same ride pasted the point, into Tourmaline. It was probably well over a minute long ride.
2. Fastest Wave Ever: Del Mar 15th Street
Again on my trusty 9’2″ longboard. It was a heavy 6 foot day. It was well overhead. And, those of you who have surfed Del Mar know that “Del Mar waves” are consistent… until they aren’t.
Typically, they are good and stay in the same general area — that is, until that monster wave comes from the deep ocean. And, it’s FAR OUT THERE. So far out that some of the fastest paddlers on longboards have trouble getting over the top of these things and anyone in the funboard or shortboard zone… they are toast.
When these huge waves come crashing down, they have mercy on NO ONE.
All you see behind you, should you luck out and get over the top of these things — is an entire beach head of white wash, boards bobbling up and down… and frantic arms trying to find their board and/or leash to get back up again.
It was on one of these days that I caught these MASSIVE rights. They were super smooth but truly fast. Dropping in was like jumping off a 2nd story balcony. I carved up and down these waves about 3 times until they basically crested over my head about as high as a basketball hoop would be.
Both times, I pulled my board up to my knees then launched myself over the top. One time, I felt flat on my board… it hurt, haha. The other time, it was like I got thrown up in the air by a sling shot. Definitely fun πŸ™‚
3. Most Dangerous Wave: Well Overhead at Scripps on a 7’2″ board
At Scripps Beach, I decided to borrow a board, this time from another one of my groomsmen, Brian. He was riding his sister’s 7’2″ funboard that day. I think I was on my old 6’2″ fish and just wasn’t quite getting out there.
The waves were severely well overhead. Most surfers couldn’t get out.
I got lucky with a pair of epic duck dives on that 7’2″… I remember pushing down as hard as I ever could, doing frog kicks two or three times just to get under the turbulence. I want to say, the 2nd duck dive I had to ditch the board as I started to feel myself getting pulled up over the falls.
I finally made it out.
Brian was watching from the shores and I quickly saw my wave. I just went for it. I wasn’t exactly in good position and took a diagonal line to get to a better part to paddle down the face of the wave.
I caught it! And, I started to realize that I needed to, once again, stomp down the face of the wave. And, it was BUMPY. I was super freaked out that I’d hit a rough patch of water and lose balance, getting swallowed up on the way in.
I didn’t realize how much wave down I needed to ride and how much was still forming over my head. Brian told me later that I disappeared behind the wave in front of the one I was riding.
Oblivious to the danger, I rode that sucker all the way home. Epic. And… SO DANGEROUS! πŸ™
Two runners up:
    1. We used to just call it “Park” and “Pipe” for the two reef breaks down by Calumet Park. I guess now it’s called Henneman’s and … something else. In any case, I started the day at Henneman’s then went to the pipe as I saw the right forming nicely. There were maybe 4-6 surfers out there that day. I caught, I think 5 waves that morning. They were BIG and very fun / fast. Not so fast I was worried about ditching the wave in time like in Del Mar, but fast enough to enjoy carving and even hanging five. When I finally came back up, watchers and some surfers shook my hand and complimented me on the waves I caught. When I turned around to take a look at what I had just done, I saw the surfers still in the water — the size of ants amongst man eating waves. Crazy…
    2. I’ve always wanted to get good at shortboarding. The only time I was close to getting good was back in college on this 6’0″ hybrid performance fish I had no business buying nor riding, LOL. But, it looked cool. haha.. #WeHaveAllBeenThere. WELPS, this past Summer of 2018, we enjoyed some fun Baja storm waves. They made their way up to Scripps Pier, which is really nice on days around 3-5 foot waves on a high tide. And, that afternoon, it was exactly that. I was able, for the first time, to catch a fairly decent sized wave on this new 6’6″ board I bought this Summer of 2018, and rode it down with a few carves to catch speed. It was a very fun feeling. It was weird though, being on small board — it felt like I was actually going slower and appeared as if I was skimming the water’s surface. Given that Scripps is my new place, I think I’ll be using this as my main board from now on.


First Father-Son Surf Session

So, this past Summer of 2018, I realized that due to family, responsibilities, time, and quite honestly — the danger of surfing winter waves… that I’ve become a fair weather surfer.

I’ve chosen Scripps Beach as my preferred surf spot. Although my “best condition” spots such a Del Mar and PB Point + associated reefs (where I caught two out of three of my best waves ever) have better waves… Scripps in the Summer — it’s just safer πŸ™‚

So, this is us.

It was a ridiculously cute and awesome afternoon. My darling of a wife, who hates the sand…

Well, not so much hates sand… just isn’t a big ocean water person — she was willing to watch Nathan play at the beach head while I spent about 20-30 minutes catching a few ankle slappers.

THEN! I took Nathan into water that was about his waist level deep.Β He paddled. Sat. Stood. I even guided him down in “riding” some white wash. All with me supporting him of course πŸ˜‰

He loved it. In fact, he loved it so much that he randomly would assume a prone position on the board to paddle — not always at the best of time, LOL. He started doing that for a week or so at home as well, just laying on the ground pretending he was paddling.

It definitely helped that we took him to swim lessons this past Summer. Hopefully, he continues to enjoy such activities. Outdoors. Active. Healthy. Fun.

Michigan: March 2018 β€” Thoughts, Musings, Reflections

Soulful thoughts in 3… 2… 1

Okay… after this paragraph.

So, in an incredible round about way, I was invited out to the Michigan Physical Therapy Association for their Student Conclave 2018 conference to speak on career development and job market readiness. It also so happens to be where I’m from (which is a hilarious gag when people ask me “Hey, where you from?” And, I say the heart of automotive America… and, they kinda go “Huh?”); and, where much of my paternal in-laws family hails from (literally, Ann Arbor, #HailToTheVictors #GoBlue #MichiganWolverines). And, if you know my academic past, you also know that I got my MBA from the University of Michigan. AND… despite the loss, I’m still proud of my team for their run in #MarchMadness2018.



The real reason for this post was that this trip offered me some concentrated family time and helped me recenter on this very path of working at home… creating now two businesses and supporting the vision of growth using the technological levers we now have that allow for such a lifestyle.

Was was remarkable was the amount of reflection time I had on the severely delayed flight out to Michigan… all the driving we had to do around the state… and, the joy of juggling the time change. PS… Michigan is seriously more East that West, LOL! #PSTissues…

When it all became said and done, I realized some life lessons (both core centric and just for fun’sies) I wanted to better grasp for myself and pass on to Nathan as his father. I want my son to learn:

  1. To be mentally tough.
  2. To be physically tough.
  3. To be emotionally perceptive.
  4. To learn how to cook using cast iron.
  5. To experience martial arts, team sports, and the glory of suffering a hard won task.
  6. Survival skills, urban, oceanic, bushcraft, etc…
  7. First aid, CPR, and emergency response.
  8. To find a passion he can geek out on.
  9. To fail, miserably… and, learn from that failure.
  10. To pick himself back up.
  11. To work under the authority and command of others.
  12. To sell β€” an idea, a product, a service… to learn the art of meaningful communication.

While in Michigan, it was peaceful. There was a countryside… something you don’t get in the urban environments of big cities, especially in SoCal.

  • There was open country, minutes from downtown Ann Arbor.
  • I was reminded the balance in life is dynamic β€” you have to keep moving if you are to keep up.
  • I remembered my thoughts about “Physicist” Steven Hawking’s passing… and, I thought to myself how I’d want to be remembered? And, that I must work toward that goal. Ultimately, I think it comes down to philanthropist and/or inspirationalist (regardless of what prior meaning it may have had in the past) β€” essentially, if I am to be known… I wish to be known for the positive impact I’ve had in the lives of others.
  • It was fun to be in a town where people could live off the land β€” free range chickens and all… it’s something I’ve always had an interest in.
  • Ann Arbor, being an older town… it has history, charm, personality… a romance, even.
  • Talking to some family and seeing just that different approach in life of the MidWest, one can appreciate that college grads are truly adults, ready to contribute to society… rather than what I fear more and more college graduates are becoming… over educated children still trying to find their way… a cost of a failing-phobic culture and stressed out system of education producing a generally economic welfare that has more uncertainty than it does stability. But, hey… when was human history really that stable??? LOL.. so much for ending this list on a positive note.

I was pleasantly reminded that life isn’t about the “whats”… the achievements. It’s about pursuits… HOW you live your life and WHY. And, to be honest, I was very much attracted to the possibility of living life, honestly and off the land. It’s always been a romance for me β€” the reality is probably way different πŸ˜‰

All together, I was thinking a lot on this trip… soul searching… not that I was lost or had something to find. I was merely taking the available time that I had hustled to earn to take time, appreciate, and reflect.

It’s an amazing time.

People can work for companies, miles and miles away. The need for a brick and mortar situation is become less and less a requirement of business and general commerce. Information asymmetry has become less so a thing… so much so that organizations that try to safeguard their secrets actually get punished in the marketplace for doing so… being seen as devious or maliciously trying to hide things.

I guess the other crazy thing is that we’re coming up on three years of me doing this from home. It hasn’t been easy… not in any way. But, has it been worth it? Immeasurably. I can’t even imagine giving my son or my family the type of lifestyle we’ve been having in any other way. Can it, could it, would it come crashing down… I’d still say its worth it. In these formative years, I’m seeing that my son has become a sweet, caring, positive minded kid. He’s not afraid to tussle with me and fight like a crazy person to get out of controlled Jiu Jitsu positions… or, to slam on my focus mitts as if he was training Muay Thai… all before the age of 5 πŸ˜‰

He loves music, spontaneously dances… and, regularly tells my wife and myself that he loves us β€” all without prompting and just out of the joy of his little heart.

All to say… I think we’re doing something right.

It’s easy to be in negative moments… wondering if the path you are on is any good, or perhaps was a terrible mistake. I’d advise you to take a step back and consider those who are most dear to you… how are they? And, how are they to you, and you to they? If you and yours ultimately have joy and joy abundantly… then, I’d say you’re doing pretty good. And, if there’s room for more, whether by improvement, by growing the capacity you have to love on them… anything of that nature… then chase it, pursue it, and don’t let it go until you have it!

So much for random musings, thoughts, and straight typing… Have a good one!