The reports were adamant that today would have potential. I loaded up The Rad and swung onto the freeway towards the south-facing beaches.
Pier didn't have all that much to offer. I headed south a bit and found what I was looking for just north of Wisconsin Street, smack dab in front of Junior Seau's house (it's for sale for $2.3M, let me know if you're interested).
Every five minutes or so, a two-wave set would roll through and wedge up beautifully, albeit a bit quickly. No one was on it, so I was especially happy to be its first customer.
My first wave was a steep left that involved a pretty heavy drop. It ended abruptly when the lip tried to take my head off.
My second wave was a right. I pumped hard off the bottom, then watched in sadness as a long section folded over in front of me. I Fosbury-flopped over it, but was not successful. The draining water slammed me down onto the sand. Oof.
A left arrived, but it didn't have much to offer. I floated with it for some time before deciding to pull out, for there wasn't any reason to continue.
An iffy left came, and I took off. It closed out almost immediately.
A more open left arrived, but it lacked in the juice department. I was about to b-turn for a hit, but I aborted and, naturally, faded off the back.
Yet another left came (S Swell Specials!), but it was racy, yet had no end section off which to do anything. I pulled through the trough/wall section.
Two spongers paddled out. One was talking about heading up to Salt Creek (sick right that is overrun with spongers) later. His buddy told him it would be good today.
Not too long thereafter, I was an another left. One of the spongers took off on me, but the good news is I wouldn't have made the wave anyway. I just couldn't keep up with its horizontal lip velocity. I pulled through at my first opportunity.
I found a quick hollow left and I switch crab-grabbed into the barrel. I got in but got humbled fairly quickly by the foam ball.
The sponger paddled out, asked if he'd burned me. I said yes, but told him I wouldn't have made it anyways. He said the next couple of waves were mine.
A bigger wave came. I dropped down, a little too much weight on my back foot and then lurched forward with a pump. The lip threw out hard and its trajectory led me to believe it was heading straight for my board. I kicked my board in and it managed to land itself in the barrel (footy was interesting). I got hung up in the lip and SLAMMED into the water. As soon as my head hit the water, my tinnitus, first activated more than sixteen years ago due to an unexpected firing of a gun, flared up in my left ear. Luckily it went away a couple of minutes later.
The other sponger was involved in one of my pet peeves: directing traffic. If someone was in position for a wave, he would tell them to go (even if he was nowhere near the wave), almost as though people needed his blessing to go. A true wave Pope.
Nearly fifteen minutes passed before my next wave. The spongers were ravaging the selection of waves. I'm not sure why I went on this wave, perhaps I was bored, as it closed out as I was releasing my board with my hands.
I caught a small left and did a little smack on it. My weighting vacillated quickly between my front and back foot on the smack. Not stable, not SICK, but a make nonetheless...
Finally, something nice to report on the wave front! A GORGEOUS wave arrived and wave Pope told me to go (he was way inside of it). I excitedly paddled out and south, being careful not to screw up my positioning. I flipped around and went. I mini-pumped and went for a steep hit. I managed to not flip my leading arm back (it went more up than back) but couldn't hang on.
My last wave was a quick right. I started to bottom turn, but realized it was a closeout. I straightened out and headed for shore.