On this morning, I woke up early to take my wife to the airport. The plan was to surf Del Mar, where the swell should be hitting well. Unfortunately, the plan didn't come to fruition so I was left to drive north and hope to score surf at a random spot that looked good from the road.
Time was tight because of the weather conditions. A dark storm was coming in from the NW and though we were enjoying offshore winds at the moment, once the storm moved in, they would most likely turn onshore.
Dog Beach Del Mar presented a view of a spinning right which made me want to park and surf. However, I thought about all of the runoff from the recent rain and it made me reconsider.
I called Forrest and he was into surfing. I suited up at his place and off we went.
We checked Cherry Street which was ok, then Tamarack which was not working. Terramar looked ok, but we wanted to get some juice out of this swell! We decided we didn't have much time before the winds would kill the conditions.
Cassidy and Buc Beach weren't getting much of this swell. Wisconsin looked rideable but the Pier showed a guy on a big left do a slash at the top of the wave. From our vantage point looking north, it looked like he was within a couple of feet of it. We were out THAR!
It took us a good fifteen minutes before we caught our first waves. Forrest was first. He caught a medium wave and exaggerated his Forrest flop out the back (I'd been talking to him that his best maneuver is his flop off the board when he kicks out). I felt a pang of jealousy, but it didn't last long. A nice-sized right came. I pumped down the face, but it closed out on me so I Fosbury flopped over it very smoothly. Not my favorite way to break my waveless cherry, but at least I had a wave under my belt.
The previous wave began my best run of waves in a short spurt of time in quite some time.
A left came, I caught it and popped up quickly. I did my patented pop-up/immediate pump. The section threatened to outrun me, but I made it around the corner. I was slowed down a bit by the wave's foam slapping my lower body; the result of the wave breaking a little faster than is ideal. I spotted the incoming right and set my line. I hit the wave, probably too late, and did my usual bail off the back rail. I think what I'm failing to do is keep my weight over the board. I was happy with my read on the wave and being able to make it around the section, though.
Three minutes later, my next wave arrived! It was a nice right. I turned hard off the bottom and managed to make what I am dubbing my best turn of the year. I went more vertical than I've gone backside in some time and I hit it late enough so that I got hung up on the lip. Unfortunately, I put too much weight on my next turn and my rail didn't have enough volume to accommodate the torque. If you pause the video at the right time, you will see I overburied the rail...
Two minutes later, I caught a left an did some pumps. The wave went flat as I was about to hit it, and my trajectory and result reflected that.
Six minutes after my last wave, I caught a right. I wanted to get vertical on it and I did so. I dropped all the way to the bottom, climbed to the top and as I was pivoting to snap, the wave flattened out. The high tide was making it difficult for the wave to feel the sand bottom's contour. There was just too much water and it was only going to get fatter as we neared the height of the high tide. I kicked out and waited for the next one.
Just two minutes after that disappointment, a left came. It was steep, but sectioned off so much it was unmakeable. I put all my weight on my back foot's toes and made the board squirrel out on the fins, but they didn't slide out all the way. I got under the lip and avoided the explosion.
And thus ended my four-wave run in an eleven minute span.
I caught a right that looked steeper than it was. I did a turn and the section flattened out. Looking for greener pastures, I decided to cut all the way back around to try to surf the wave as a left. I got all the way around, but the wave had shut down by the time I got there.
Another right came within five minutes and I was on it. I wanted to do pull out through the wave from the get-go, but I took my time in doing so and was punished by the wave's lip. The thing DETONATED on my board and smashed me off my board. I came up hurting and my back was sore for a few minutes thereafter.
After this wave, still stinging from the lip smash, I paddled for a wave. The stiff offshore blinded me and I got disoriented. I didn't realize how late it was until I was going over the falls with the lip. I managed to slow myself down a bit while getting the board out from in between my legs to avoid another, probably more painful, episode. I hadn't done THAT in a while! The good news is my face was now sore and it made me forget about my back.
Yet another right came and I did some flat turns. The waves were getting fatter and fatter, so when I saw Forrest walking up the beach, I waved him in from paddling back out.
We walked down to the pier to try our luck there. While walking, the rain started coming down. The wind was still mostly offshore, but now swirling a bit more. Conditions were slowly deteriorating and our time was running out.
I told Forrest I couldn't remember the last time I surfed in the rain in California and he couldn't remember the last time he did either.
I caught a left and did a nice smack/foam climb on it. I think it may be only the second frontside top turn I've pulled since I started filming with the Go Pro... Yikes.
I caught one last right and did my standard turn. I pumped around the section hoping for some goodness but there was none to be had.
I paddled back out and was having a hard time turning the camera off with my increasingly cold stiff fingers. This worked out as I was able to capture a bit of a beating my board and I took during a close-out clean-up set, the biggest wave I saw break out there in the 2+ hours we were out. The camera, which I'd worked so hard to tighten with a screwdriver at home, got readjusted in the tumult. The footage isn't too interesting, so I'll spare you, dear readers.
The conditions continued to deteriorate, so we went in.