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Our Recent Surf Trip to California: Small Waves and Kooks.

Updated: Nov 11, 2023


As the sun broke through the evening haze, casting a golden glow on the horizon, the only thing I really wanted to do on this trip was surf and eat good Mexican food. I paddled out into the line-up at Huntington Beach Pier. The salty breeze kissed my face invigorating me for another solid session in California. Huntington Beach was renowned for it’s legendary waves, and today was no exception. Throughout the prior week, there was an awesome “Air Show” that had brought a mix of loud noises to the area. A mediocre set of swells rolled in every so often, each one with a “kook” trying to get into the source, becoming one with the rhythm of the ocean. With each stroke of my arms, I felt the anticipation building within me as surfing in a wetsuit is always different compared to our regular warm waters in the Kingdom of Hawaii. The green wall of water I was about to experience filled me with the pure exhilaration that only surfing could provide. As I positioned myself near the peak, ready to catch the first wave of the evening, I couldn't help but notice a change in the atmosphere. The lineup was crowded, more than I had ever seen before. It seemed like everyone and their grandmother had decided to take up surfing that day. Inexperienced surfers dotted the water as their lack of skill was evident in their clumsy attempts to catch waves. This is all too common now due to the WSL and brands like Inherent Bummer that make surfing look more edgy to the general public. Ruining the experience for people who are more dedicated to the lifestyle doesn’t seem fair but this is California. My heart sank a little realizing that the peaceful solitude of riding waves had been momentarily replaced by chaos. As I took off on a beautiful right-hand wave, I had to quickly navigate through a sea of flailing limbs and boards narrowly avoiding collisions. The once synchronized dance of experienced surfers had turned into a chaotic mess. Thankfully, I was able to catch a few good ones and that thrill of surfing came back to lift my spirits until I thought about my current host in Costa Mesa and the bomb she had dropped on me through a text message. I then took an invitation from another surfer offering lodging as it made sense to take their word at the time. It became a choice that would later fuck me over. Despite the frustrations that came with sharing the water with Barneys and rude surfers, I refused to let it ruin my time. I remembered why I loved surfing in the first place - the freedom, the connection to nature, and the sheer joy of riding a perfect wave. So, I adjusted my mindset and focused on finding those moments of bliss amidst the chaos. Minutes flew by as I caught wave after wave, each one a small victory in this battle against this California crowd. The sun began its descent towards the horizon, painting the sky with vibrant hues, I couldn't help but feel a sense of accomplishment. I had managed to find my own slice of paradise amid the chaos. Now all I had to do was go home and have an awkward time with my host. With a heavy heart, I bid farewell to Huntington Beach and returned to the warm embrace of Hawaii. There, in the tranquil waters and empty line-ups, I found solace. The crowded chaos of Huntington Beach was nothing compared to the serene beauty that awaited me on the shores of my island home. And as I paddled out into those crystal-clear waves, a renewed sense of gratitude washed over me. Grateful for the experiences I had, the challenges I faced, and most importantly, for the reminder that sometimes it is in the contrast of chaos and serenity that we truly appreciate the magic of riding waves.

My last trip to California was an eye opening experience on many levels. I was reminded once again on how important it is to have a back up plan when traveling. People often lie on who they claim to be, but of course, the truth is the sun is always revealing itself. I am so grateful to be back on Island.




Mahalo Nui





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