Forrest called and asked if I wanted to surf. I asked where and he said, "Somewhere you don't want to". I quickly realized he meant Cardiff Reef and said I'd pass. He said he'd be willing to surf Turtles or Pipes. I told him Pipes was out because of the massive crowd I'd spied while driving south on the 101 earlier that day.
He asked if I'd rather go mountain-biking and I thought about that, but realized it's rare we get swells like this, so let's SURF! I packed my board and tub into his car, this time loaded with my 3/2 with the philosophy that this wetsuit, with its different points of friction, may not rub me the same way.
I didn't want to be a bum-out, so I told him we could go to Cardiff if he wanted. We lucked into one of the first spots south of the restaurants, suited up, slapped on some sunscreen and walked to the sand. George's looked downright nasty, but the left in front of the newly-christened Pacific Coast Grill looked tasty. I paddled out and immediately got bashed in the head over and over again. I couldn't find any open faces and didn't even get a chance to paddle for waves because of the constant paddling and dunking. I looked back and saw I was north of where we'd parked and I decided I was over it. I went in and walked north.
I was not going to let Cardiff defeat me. I walked all the way down to where the lagoon meets the ocean and paddled out. I duckdived. Constantly. For fifteen minutes. Then, I had the sad realization that all my paddling had been futile when I duckdived and the nose of my board hit sand. DAMN IT! I stood up, waded, then waited as each roll of foam assailed me. I marveled at how hard the water pushed me back, now having a point of reference in the sand.
Eventually, I was able to power through and ended up JUST north of Suckouts, perhaps the closest thing North County has to a mutant wave. There was a pack of about eight heads sitting there. I drifted south after not much was coming through and I saw a bearded guy get positioned perfectly, dropping in with his arm shoulder-deep in the wall, but get nothing for his efforts as the wave just stopped barreling before it went over him. It still looked sick though!
I was in the main takeoff zone of Cardiff Reef now, and the head count reflected that. It's very possible that I was on the least amount of foam out there. It wasn't huge, but it was still overhead on the sets. I paddled half-heartedly for waves, knowing that my chances of a logger falling off on the outside and it being me who was in position to pick up his sloppy seconds were miniscule.
I looked for Forrest but could not spot him.
I floated to the inside a bit, hoping for some 'tweeners. I saw a wave that missed everyone on the outside and was absolutely shocked I was in position for it. I was a bit deep, and the waves were a bit fat, so I had to paddle my ass off. I descended and smacked it, then went for a roundhouse cutty but I faded. I'd wandered too far onto the shoulder.
After all that work, I had one wave to show for it. I wasn't about to paddle out and risk a decapitation from a guy on a big board who isn't used to all that speed. I bailed and Forrest pulled up shortly thereafter.