American childhood .South Bay Surfing.

photo (1)The Redondo Beach sky is a slate and steel  grey as is the Pacific ocean, a stiff offshore breeze from the east grooms the peaky sandbar formed waves perfectly for wave ridding! Waiting for my buddy, suddenly I recall the mornings surfing Redondo with my younger brother.   Mom and Dad divorced early, the father I never knew went off to Vietnam and the family broke apart, fragmented much like a grenade  in the “Nam.” Mom moved to Hermosa Beach and Redondo having enough of Venice, CA. I stayed with Grandma in Venice. However I would visit with Mom and brother often. “Lil” Bro became ingrained in the South Bay surf culture, first washing dishes and then waiting tables at The Spot  cafe and surfing! Surfing all day the Redondo Breakwater, Avenues, Hermosa Pier,Rat Beach,  Lunada Bay, The PV Cove, Hagertys,  and my favorite the short but fun ride at the long gone Horseshoe at the Redondo Pier. This wave was named the Horseshoe as the wave broke in an enclosed section of the old pier surrounded on 3 sides by pier pilings. The waves approached from the west and spectators viewed from overhead. Yeah overhead. They would throw quarters if you got a good ride and diving off our boards we dove down about 20′ for our reward. Sometimes I would actually place my feet against the barnacle and muscle encrusted pilings to get a good push into a wave rather than paddling into the peak.  The hairs on my once full and brown hair are mostly grey now and my surfing has been regulated  by age and other demands. Yet I can still hear my ‘lil bro’s voice on the breeze. “Come on, it is pumping! Let’s go to the Horseshoe!” I love you lil brother.  Thanx Eric for the photos!

photo (2)


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