Magic Hour in Los Angeles

December 14, 2012 in Uncategorized

When it comes to surf quality, Los Angeles is often pushed aside by its little brothers. Orange County, San Diego, Ventura, and Santa Barbara – they all get the spotlight when the waves come in. But for surfers such as myself in Los Angeles, we know that on the right days, the city can be as magical a place as any along the California coast.

This past Friday afternoon was a warm day thanks to the Santa Ana weather conditions, and I could see from my office window that the trees were still and the wind was down. I brought up the buoy readings on my computer, saw the Harvest Buoy peaking at twelve feet with fourteen second intervals at 280 degrees, and knew right then and there that despite the millions of things to do in Los Angeles, at that moment, there was only one that mattered.

I had that extra incentive to finish my work early, and while the rest of my co-workers discussed which bars in Los Angeles to hit for Happy Hour, I snuck out the back, my suit and board waiting for me in my trunk, and I booked through traffic towards the ocean.

I arrived at the beach to find it firing, and while the rest of the city took its break for the weekend, my work was just getting started. I sprinted through the sand towards the dredging barrels that were reeling off the jetty.

It was a mean paddle-out through the overhead surf, and just as I was making it outside, a bomb wedged off of the rocks, a black figure paddled hard, and I finally recognized that it was my friend Blake dropping into the square barrel. I hooted at him as he pulled under the green curtain, disappeared, and spat back out with ten feet of spray from the force of the wave.

We paddled back out to the lineup together, and for the next two hours shared the kinds of waves I would draw on my notebook in high school when daydreaming of surfing. The sun was beginning to set, the bloom of oranges and yellows and purples igniting the sky ahead of us, the lights of the city twinkling behind us, and we shared a moment of nirvana that can only be experienced by an urban surfer.

Daylight disappeared so Blake and I called it a day and headed over to Duke’s Malibu to enjoy some cold beers and warm food. We entered the crowded scene, hair still wet, sand between our toes, and ordered a pitcher; it turned out we still made it in time for happy hour.

Daniel Hogan is a writer at Party Earth – a global media and entertainment company that publishes reviews and listings of the best social experiences around the world including: bars in Paris, pubs in London, beaches in Ibiza, plazas in Rome, parks in New York, festivals and concerts everywhere, and more.

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