This is the final morning of my week long So CAL surf vacation, and when we are in LA, we stay at Sea View Inn in Manhattan Beach. Technically, it is at El Porto. Several blocks down from the Chevron oil refinery in El Segundo. We have a mixed view of nice beach front homes, then a huge power plant of the refinery with buildings with plumbing and smoke stacks going every direction. You would put together graffiti art short boards, and the fast beach breaks, and you have the Industrial urban surf scene that is unlike any others. Surfing here does also require industrial strength skill set to survive.
First you try to get out, and you have to negotiate shifty shore breaks. You think you have gotten far out then another shore break dumps in front of you. Then you are in the outside and what happens, well, the waves jack up quickly and dumps you. Going over the falls is almost like a routine and just about everyone in the line up gets creamed one time or another.
Then you will see some hot shot short boarders, both men and women do take these waves at ease and ride them, often doing some air etc.
This is the second time I hit this location, and again with my 6'6 board. Last time here was May of 2004 (See WavLog sessions 4074 though 4076 http://surfinghmb.blogspot.com/2004_05_01_surfinghmb_archive.html)
The condition was similar to one of more gnarly (for me) days (session 4076). In terms of surfing these waves, I did not do much better than May time frame, but the confidence level has increased dramatically for me. Last year, I was much more nervous of just being there, but this year, I am just paddling up and down without having any feeling of being nervous. In fact this morning, I probably paddled about 20 city blocks from the 34th to 24th and back. It is even funny that I can count how far I paddled in terms of city blocks! It was rather foggy and could not see very well far out that was a bit of a drawback today.
I did score one fast take off, and man I was flying. Controlling the board even at 6'6 will require quite a bit of muscles and more distinct force. Definitely, if my knees are strong enough and my board is not up to the strength, it would snap it in half in no time.
Well, so the quest for short board ripping will continue for some more time.
There is a good breakfast place called Local Yokes next to the inn, and I had omelets with a side of pancake and started to head back home.