Everything seemed to be lining up perfectly for a great session this morning. The swell had a dominant SSW angle and a bit of NW cross, which could mean peaky and consistent conditions. The wind was going to be calm, which at Oceanside Harbor means offshore, thanks to the funneling action of the Route 76 valley to the east.
I timed it well, arriving about twenty minutes after the bottom of the low tide. My thinking was I would be suiting up in time for the walled-up faces to be opened up by the incoming push of the eventual high tide.
I barely glanced at Pier once I dead-ended after traveling west on Mission. I knew the low tide would turn any waves into late-breaking close-outs. My presumption was correct, and I didn't give it a second glance.
Harbor didn't look great, but it had some promise, especially knowing that it would only improve with the tide push.
I parked in the free lot and suited up. I walked to the edge of the jetty and surveyed both sides, electing to take the north end as it seemed more consistent.
I paddled out and sat. Then sat some more. Twenty minutes passed before I caught my first wave. My introduction to the session wasn't great, after the right finally let me in, it let me pump once before it closed out. I did do a cool sailor dive off the back though.
My next wave took ten minutes to arrive. It was a left, but with a similar result to my last wave, this time with no pumps though. I kicked my board up and penetrated through the water.
Finally, a doozy came. I caught it and started pumping. I spied a guy on the shoulder paddling for it, oblivious to my being on it and zooming down the line towards his head. I whistled and got no reaction. I yelled and he pulled back just in time to not completely wreck the wave for me. My initial yell morphed into a hoot and I went for a sweet angled floater. Unfortunately, I lost my board in the wash.
My next wave was a very quick one, but I did a really cool-looking attempt at a layback smack. It's very fast, so if you want to see what I'm describing in the rest of this paragraph, you'll have to prime your trigger finger on the pause button. I went out a little more in the flats than I normally do, which allowed for a more vertical trajectory. I angled up the face and leaned back and absolutely SMASHED it. For some reason, I released my grip on my board with my back foot and came oh so close to pulling it, or so it felt.
The two waves gave me a much better feeling about the session's prospects. I paddled away from the crowd, a bit more towards the south jetty, but sat/paddled for thirty minutes with nothing of note coming by. My optimism slowly shriveled in the prolonged dry spell and I was over it.
I waited another ten minutes before a wave washed me in, happy to realize the air on the walk back wouldn't be nearly as cold as it was on Friday.