Sunset Rekindled

I used to really love surfing where Sunset Blvd and the Pacific Coast Highway meet. It's a great spot with easy breaking waves, free parking and is easily accessible from town (just a mile or two past Santa Monica). You can get that marvelous Malibu rock break without driving an hour to the pier, or beyond, making it one of my favorites in years past.

Though I have often championed the spot, until yesterday, I hadn't surfed there in about five years! The last time I was there was for a failed "sunrise at sunset" surf session we attempted. On that fateful morning, the waves lapped against the rocks at the monstrous height of about twelve inches, so we headed to Dockweiler instead. (I actually wrote about the whole thing in a book chronicling my seven years of falling in love with surfing in Los Angeles. I'm seeking representation/publishing, if you know anyone...wink, wink.) Yesterday I had a couple hours to try and catch a short-term Malibu swell we were getting from Hurricane Rosa, and so I stopped at the first place it looked good, which was Sunset & PCH.

It was like a romance rekindled. The waves were steadily climbing to head-high, and though there were about fifty people in the water, this spot breaks at roughly three locations, so folks can spread out. I guess a lot of beginners surf here too (as I did years ago), because I noticed several surfers weren't catching waves that they probably could have, which left plenty for me! The rides here are long and mellow; because of it, this is the break I learned how to pump a wave, as well as fell in love with the Wavestorm (there were a ton of these boards out yesterday, by the way). I caught several long rides and worked the waves a little, as well as my shoulders, as the paddle-out can tend to be far. It was quite fun, and a nice contrast to my recent hour-long drives up to north Malibu, where I usually come home with only a few waves under my belt (and sometimes fewer).

The whole thing was so wonderful that I felt a sudden urge to thank the ocean as I was navigating the rocky beach back to my car. I prayed a little prayer to God and watched the sunset plummet towards the horizon, casting a golden glow on the breaking waves. It was all very beautiful. But then I almost stepped on a few condom wrappers, some broken glass and several cigarette butts, which brought the whole reality of surfing in the big city back into its proper view. Even that was redeemed on the ride home, however, as I watched the city lights wake up while the sun set, tossing the last beams of the day high upon the mountains that backdrop Los Angeles in that orange-purple that only the West can provide. While driving, I dreamt of creative endeavors, writing this blog post, the future. I guess surfing really is inspiring, but that's for another blog post...