Reflection Session + Book Announcement!

It was the tail end of the first winter swell in Southern California. I had caught a little of the first full day, but most breaks weren't really able to handle the size, resulting in huge dumpy waves. As the swell waned, I was hoping to catch a little of the smaller stuff, but still big enough to be fun and challenging.

After a couple of failed spot checks, my good friend Russell and I landed at Dockweiler with a little desperation in our decision. You see, Dockweiler isn't what it used to be, so it's a spot I don't find myself at very often. I have memories of massive waves peeling off the main jetty at the north end of the parking lot. If it wasn't working there, we would try heading farther north about half a mile to another broken down jetty, where lefts and rights would break and even barrel at times. Couple that with ample free parking on the main road, as well as firepits right on the beach, and Dockweiler had become my favorite place to surf in Los Angeles.

The broken jetty at tower 49

But with shifting sands and probably some dredging, Dockweiler just doesn't break like it used to. Also, they nixed almost of all of the free parking, so you have to pay at least $9 just get in. On this day, however, the sun was setting and Russell and I were running out of time, so we bit the bullet and drove in.

The waves were mediocre -- dumpy and small -- and the water was really dirty for some reason, with trash floating around everywhere. We had committed though, and so we paddled out anyway, the only two heads in the water.

That's when something magical happened -- the sun began to set on a rare cloudy sky, and everything just ignited. Hues of an amazing orange and purple filled the air above us, with clouds like brush strokes wafting through from land to ocean. The water we sat in was glassy enough to reflect the sight, so every wave felt like it was bubbling up from an underwater dream world of light and color. I usually find a way to enjoy tiny surf, but this was something different; I simply felt lucky to be in the water, experiencing this session, riding these little miracle waves, small as they were. I even got smacked in the face by one as I paddled out and didn't even care; it was like an angel slapping you for saying something kind of just smiled.

On top of all of that, I turned towards the beach and noticed a full moon had risen and was casting a hazy light through some thin clouds. The sky seemed to be pivoting and we were right at its axis. The day ending as the night began, sun saying goodbye to moon and the smooth ocean a mirror for all of it, with two humble surfers caught in the middle of its reflection.

An image from Dockweiler, though not the specific day I'm mentioning. Sometimes you wish you had a photo, and other times it's nice to just have been there and experienced it in person.

It was one of the most beautiful sessions I've ever surfed, and I was happy to share it with one of my best friends of many years. I also wanted to share it with you, through written form, which is something I have done quite a bit for many years. This website has been a regular place for me to process life, parenting, spirituality, surfing, skating, playing music, getting older. It's morphed over the years, but I still love getting my thoughts and feelings out onto digital "paper" and sharing them with others.

Several years ago, I actually compiled many of the blogs from this website and others, all centered around surfing and life lessons gained from surfing, edited them and added more, resulting in a book: All Roads Lead to Dockweiler. It's about my first seven years living in Los Angeles, falling in love with surfing while also pursuing a career, getting married and becoming a father. It really turned into a portrait of what that little stretch of beach, along with all of Los Angeles surfing, was from 2009 to 2016 for me. It was a magical season and I'm happy to have captured it in my modest book. 

Unofficial cover art

I'm excited to be partnering with High Dive Publishing to get the book out there, and also excited to share that an album goes along with it that I'm currently working on with RG3, who did The Light EP. So please subscribe to stay in touch about this project!

I don't need to tell you that the ocean is inspiring, and so to the sea we must return, as often as we can. Even though I live just a handful of miles away from the beach these days, I still need to be reminded of this fact, and that day was just such an occasion to do so. I hope this blog and, soon, this book will encourage you to do the same!