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Should I Stay or Should I Go…Outside

For past several months, COVID-19 has spread across the nation and the world as a serious infectious virus killing thousands in its path. The virus has caused not only an economic recession on a global scale, but also major closures of all kinds—including business, entertainment, events, restaurants and now—parks and beaches.

The adult in me agrees—but the surfer in me seethes. For the sake of public health, this is the responsible thing to do. Californians will have to sit back and either get a little pudgier or develop a workout routine that works within the confines of a six-foot bubble.

If we go outside, we risk infection—for not only ourselves, but also, and perhaps more detrimentally, another person whose immune system may be compromised. As surfers we are touted with having one, if not THE most selfish view—it’s all about me and the waves, right? What will COVID-19 bring out in each surfer?

Darling you’ve got to let me know….

Will you bring back 1970’s Trestles, say ‘fuck it’ and charter a boat to Lowers, middle finger to the law and score semi-empty A-frames when it’s firing? (Because God knows it will fire between now and June)

OR

Will you stay inside and stream those epic free workouts via YouTube? I’ll be listing a few pretty soon…just sayin’.

Or perhaps you’ll go for a run outside and base your path on avoiding all forms of human life, like me. Believe me, it makes for an interesting run.

Necessity is the mother of invention.

Who said it—I don’t know. But I do know that right now, worldwide, we are all in need of something. Whether it is a dire need for vaccines, diagnostic testing for COVID-19, down to toilet paper, tissues, groceries, companionship or just a nice hug from a friend, this event has brought out the worst or the best in humanity. It has made us realize that no matter the dire situation, we, as a family, community, population, human race will find a way. Whether it’s saying fuck it or hunkering down, it’s a way and it will be remembered.

I went for a run today at lunch and although stores and cities are ghost towns, I did see people out and about catching some much needed vitamin D. And I wondered what was next.

What will this show us as a society? What will this bring to the fold? What new inventions will this create?

The complete quarantine was next. If you are a Californian, Washingtonian, New Yorker, you are tucked away behind walls while at the same time fighting for groceries, lining up in front of firearm shops, sniffing out metal baseball bats at the local Goodwill (don’t mess with me!)…while hoping our families across the country, the sea, the world are okay, wishing we could be with them right now.

Should I cool it or should I go?

Necessity—what will you create out of this mishegas?

For now—I’m staying out of the water, respecting people’s health and am flipping on YouTube for some kind of natural endorphins. I’ll be running around outside, too, albeit avoiding folks as best as possible. Also, gardening is thing—consider it.

One thing I’ve noticed within the last two weeks: more people than ever are going outside.

Product Review: COR Surf’s Excursion Waterproof Travel Pack

If it’s not obvious already, I LOVE to surf Trestles…along with thousands of other folks from in and out of town. It’s not just about the wave, tho. I enjoy all aspects of the experience–walking there and back again, checking out the ever-evolving street art/graffiti and saying ‘hi’ to my fellow ‘Trestlers.’ While surfing Trestles for many years, I have learned that high quality equipment is essential for a top notch surf experience–and have specifically noted the evolution of my backpack.

It started with a simple drawstring sack used to carry records, which evolved into Dakine’s backpacks. At first I adored my Dakine pack, it went with me everywhere and endured all things ‘beach.’ It wasn’t until boating out to a particular break in Nicaragua that I noticed my Dakine was not 100 percent waterproof–I almost lost function of my DSLR camera because water invaded my pack. Add on my post-Trestles soggy bottom trek back to my car and you’ve got a surfer girl determined to find the perfect pack.

Enter COR Surf’s Excursion Waterproof pack.

The deets:

Designed for a two-seven day trip, this pack has removable interior laptop sleeve and pocket, a secret passport pocket, waist and chest straps, a top cinch strap for your towel. It is made of 100 percent TPU waterproof material–nothing is getting soaked unless you spill your drinks inside the pack–but of course, there’s a feature for that. Two drink holders made out of mesh material can be found on either side of the pack, although I like to keep mine on one side so it doesn’t bump into my board. Did I mention this particular pack carries 40 liters worth of stuff??

4-0.

If a magician were a surfer, this would be his dream pack.

What I love:

The depth…not like “letstalkaboutthemeaningoflife” depth…I mean, I can literally fit my entire head and shoulders inside (I’m also 5’3”), but the point is the pack is deep deep deep. I fit my wetsuit, towel, small stuff, change of clothes, and water with plenty of room to spare.

How I’ll use it:

Trestles and travel–seriously, this pack makes me want to travel (*cough* wheremysurfergirlsat *coughcough*)

I wish:

There was a separate area for my soggy wetsuit

Price:

On sale for $79.99

Trestles Walk

Don’t ya wish the walk was actually this fast sometimes? ;)

9 Simple Rules for Dating a Surfer

When it comes to the dating world, surfers can be a “special” bunch. One minute you think you’re going for a nice romantic walk on the beach, the next thing you know, you’ve got a DSLR in tow, no idea how to use it and your guy (or gal) is saying “Ok, babe! Just remember to hold down the button when you see me on a wave!”

Good thing for that  tan chiseled bod, right?

Sure.

If feelings progress from “eye candy” status and you do not partake in the salty agua pleasures, here are some pointers you might consider while dating your little surfer girl or boy. RESULTS MAY VARY.

How many fins do you think he's got on the face?   Always a crowd pleaser, Wedge can produce one heart-stopping drop after the next.

How many fins do you think he’s got on the face? Always a crowd pleaser, Wedge can produce one heart-stopping drop after the next.

    1.) Waves, baby…

It’s all about those bumps in the ocean. And he or she will probably want you to watch them surf, too. Don’t try to understand the obsession, just go with it. The more your significant other tries to explain their love for surfing, the crazier they might sound. Just keep in mind this is a part of their life that keeps them connected/sane/calm, so don’t try to take it away—or consider your relationship done-zo.

   2.) Expect global maps and charts to be part of your internet browser favorites/wall decor.

Don’t be surprised if  your browser’s homepage is NOAA, Surfline, The Inertia…A typical surfer loves to travel in search of the endless break, the endless summer, the endless beer bottle/coconut farm/smoothie…whatever “endless” journey they have in mind, know that there will be a map or chart on the wall depicting this journey…or a dream scene from it.

"Look at that huge trench off the coast of..." (expect that to be your next vacay spot.

“Look at that huge trench off the coast of…” (expect that to be your next vacay spot.)

3.) You will always know what the weather’s doing

You’re the first one who knew it was going to be 85 degrees in the middle of February and you dressed approps…that’s a plus, right? You’ve got your surfer to thank for that.

4.) Your dates will be based around the tide schedule

Let’s just hope your surfer significant other understands that meeting the parents is not as “tide-friendly.”

5.) Expect sand in the bed

Unless your surfer significant other is OCD, know that your bed sheets will inherit the beach. If sand critters are beginning to establish colonies and form hierarchies under the sheets, that’s when you might want to establish boundaries…and a terrific outside shower system.

Clearly you do not want this in your bed...unless you like overnight exfoliation.

Clearly you do not want this in your bed…unless you like overnight exfoliation.

 6.) You may travel to locales you didn’t know existed. Bring a hat, sunscreen and distractions.

Where the heck is Lombok? Don’t see a Groupon travel special for that one. FYI: Most surfers base their travel  around maps, charts (see ‘Wall Decor’), last minute web rates and friends with standby hook ups… The words “all-inclusive” don’t register to the briny haired.

7.) You like talking on the phone or texting for long periods of time?

TOO BAD. Those charted journeys often require several days with no cell service or if your surfer is still local, they might just be in the water–of course: the day I see someone chatting away on their phone in the lineup is the day I quit– This is a reality you will have to face. If your surfer has a travel bug, investigate your phone’s international coverage and remember apps like “What’s App,” “Viber” and Skype. It’s important to chime in while they’re submerged in a foreign country and possibly surrounded by dangerous happenings…like other half-naked, tanned and chiseled bods.

Feeling a little lost in translation? Don't fret.

Feeling a little lost in translation? Don’t fret.

8.) Do not attempt to decode surfer jargon.

Whenever he or she is around fellow surfers, it’s as if they speak another language, right? Don’t stress. This is what surfers like to refer to as “frothing” and it’s completely normal. Surfer Today has a decent basic surf speak guide.

Your first test: “Bro, did you see that perfect A-frame peak I scored on the outside?! Dude, that set was macking!! My alaia launched an air on the inside right over the kook chillin’ on that airplane wing!”

Tales can become as tall as the barrel they chat about...unless the have a camera.

Tales can become as tall as the barrel they chat about…unless they have a camera.

9.) Listen to their stories

So you’ve heard about how a shark fin surfaced three feet in front of them after their skag gashed their leg open for the ten millionth time… or that time they caught a “30 second barrel” at Huntington Pier…or the double over head wave they scored at Trestles with no one out. It’s always good to just smile and listen, even if the tales grow taller by the day.

Disclaimer: This is based on no sociological or anthropological research other being a surfer girl for the past 11 years. There are many surfers out there who do not adhere to the stereotype, these are known as your “gems.” GO FOR IT…dude.

The ‘Oh Shit’ Files

It’s great to see photos of perfectly shaped waves that make you salivate and re-think jobs, relationships and other potential long-term life investments. This is not the case…just big, not-so-gnarly walls of water mowing over some brave weekend warriors at Trestles last weekend.  I just happen to have my camera, albeit not the right lens, however, I caught some closeout fun at Upper Trestles on this last swell. Jobs, relationships and long-term life investments saved.

Enjoy the sorta-carnage. For real carnage, get your butt to The Wedge on the next south swell.

2013 Hurley Pro at Lower Trestles

When it comes to wave quality, Lower Trestles has been the SoCal benchmark for decades. Photo:  Jackie Connor

When it comes to wave quality, Lower Trestles has been the SoCal benchmark for decades.
Photo: Jackie Connor

It’s that time of year, again!

The 2013 Hurley Pro will showcase 34 of the world’s top surfers plus wildcards Dane Reynolds and Mitch Crews at California’s most coveted peak, Lower Trestles. From September 15 through the 21, The Hurley Pro is stop number seven on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Tour. These surfers will carve, boost and annihilate their way to the top for a chance to win prize money, a bad ass trophy and valuable ASP points. The overall small surf that has prevailed for the past three weeks might make the beginning of this comp interesting, however a bit of south swell is forecasted for the final days…for now, it’s about gettin’ creative out there!

Who’s in-it-to-win-it this year? Who’s on your Fantasy Surfer team?? :)
11-Time World Champion, Kelly Slater. Photo: Jackie Connor

11-Time World Champion, Kelly Slater.
Photo: Jackie Connor

I’ve got my eye on San Clemente local all-star and comeback-kid Kolohe Andino. Ever since Andino was a grom, I watched him sky-rocket to the top of NSSA, onto the world tour and then disappear out of the lime light as quickly as he came. But after days of YouTube video clips and watching him tear up the pitiful peaks at crowded Lowers in-person, I think he’s just getting warmed up. Stretch your knuckles, journalism peeps, it’s gonna be a bumpy write.
And of course there is the 11-time world champ, Kelly Slater, who’s dominated this event for the past three consecutive years, one of which was his 50th win of his professional career…will Kelly make 2013 his fourth in-a-row? He certainly can pull out all the stops, especially in those final minutes. As for Sunday, Sept. 15th, we will see Kelly paired with Brett Simpson in heat six, said an ASP article.
Kelly Slater throws some spray at the 2012 Hurley Pro at Lower Trestles. Photo: Jackie Connor

Kelly Slater throws some spray at the 2012 Hurley Pro at Lower Trestles.
Photo: Jackie Connor

Or what about wonder-boy Gabriel Medina? Every time I’ve seen him on a wave on Lowers, he destroys the left with airs and combos that make my eyeballs spin in their sockets.
Who will meet in the final? Parko/Kelly? Andino/Florence?
Time, waves and skills will tell.
These stipulations about the 2013 Hurley Pro are based on no inherent facts about these athletes other than what I’ve observed. Call it what you will, but I’d really love to hear YOUR opinion more than mine! Rep it in the comments!
2012 Hurley Pro runner-up Joel Parkinson may not have won the final heat, however he went on to become the 2012 World Champion. Here, he shows why he's World Champ. Photo by: Jackie Connor

2012 Hurley Pro runner-up Joel Parkinson may not have won the final heat, however he went on to become the 2012 World Champion. Here, he shows why he’s World Champ.
Photo by: Jackie Connor

See you peeps on the opening and final day! I will be covering this for San Clemente’s Patch.com, so for opening and final day tweets, you can follow me!
Instagram: @jackiecmonkeee
Can’t make it down to Trestles? Watch the live webcast here!

The Return of the Evening Session

Strands Point evening session.

Strands Point evening session.

Evening surf sessions are back and in full-throttle for this surfer girl and I couldn’t be more stoked. However, I still wait for the day when I can sprint to Trestles and surf my beloved points and walls and catch up with my local friends.

But I’ve realized: Sometimes you don’t need to sprint to the good times and good friends. Sometimes the good times, waves and friends come to directly to you.

Random surfer goes a sweet evening cruise.

Random surfer goes for a sweet evening cruise.

I CONFESS: I’ve been scoring at this pictured spot lately. It challenges me while allotting a certain amount of forgiveness, albeit not much, but a little slack is there. Before I know it, I’ll be back to parts unknown again and as masochistic as this may sound, I want a good ass-whopping. I need to be freaked out, kept in check because I’ve been getting a lot of fun days. And if you believe in that whole ‘checks and balances’ system, I’m over-due for a checkmate.

There was a nice south swell in the water and most of the big sets were walled with a few smaller corners to pick off on the inside. Aside from spying Humpback Whales peaking their humongous heads and spouting outside the kelp beds, I wasn’t too impressed with the conditions. After a few waves, I decided to go in. While walking down the beach contemplating dinner, I spied two of my best surf buds strolling the opposite direction in seach for a better peak. A Grinch smile spread ear-to-ear across my face, as the last time I saw these guys was almost a year ago.

Three amigos: Dave, Jackie and Chav share good times, good drinks and good waves.

Three amigos: Dave, Jackie and Chav share good times, good drinks and good waves.

Dave and Brian (a.k.a. ‘Chav’) have traveled all over the world in search of good waves and good times and they are, by far, some of the most fun guys to surf, drink and have a good laugh with. Whenever either one of these travel junkies bounce to parts unknown, they always come back with tales of epic proportions. They inspire me to travel and have fun, to let go of inhibitions and just go.

The two did not hesitate to convince me to get back in the nippy water and catch a few. But I really didn’t need too much coaxing. Suddenly, the conditions weren’t so bad with my good amigos around. We shared wedgey peaks off the point, dropped in on eachother and hopped from peak-to-peak laughing and playing catch-up.

Chav is off to the Philippines and Cloud 9 and who knows where Dave’s next stop will be, although there were talks of mainland Mexico and the infamous Mexican Pipeline Puerto Escondido floated throughout our convos. Dave seems to emobdy a vagabond spirit with Hunter S. Thompson’s post-hangover perspective. With his crazy wit, salty humor and knack for dropping in on his best pals, I’ve often though he is secretly an Aussie and won’t come out of the closet…just yet.

Sandpipers hunt for dinner.

Sandpipers hunt for dinner.

So here’s to random awesome sea creatures, much needed checkmates and serendipitous run-ins with old friends!

The Cars have an excellent song that is so often imitated but not too often duplicated: Let the Good Times Roll!