After yet another wetsuit half-on abortion of a paddle-out attempt the previous day, I was salivating over the reports. They claimed 5-7' surf from the NW. Well, with this in mind, I made MD's my first check. It revealed surf so bad it made me want to drive up to Huntington and take it up with Surfline personally.
By the way, did you know Surfline claims 95% accuracy in forecasting the surf conditions "within one foot" of actual surf heights? I'm guessing they're not including when they "update" the forecasts. Also, I'm guessing they further pad their figure by saying it will be 5-7' when the surf is actually 2-4' is within one foot. Unconscionable...
Since MD's was terrible, I didn't bother checking NoTePads due to my experience making those rounds yesterday.
I headed for points further north. Dog Beach was slightly bigger but slow. Seaside looked ok but had a pack. George's was way too racy and Cardiff was Cardiff. Pipes was packed as usual so I hung a right towards the freeway and pretty much committed myself to surf by taking the time and using the gas to get The Rad up to Oceanside. Buc Beach was laughably small and the Wisconsin-Pier corridor had not much more. NSide Pier had maybe a half-foot or so on its southern contingent, but still not worth paddling out.
I crossed the waterway to officially enter Oside Harbor and I saw S. Jetty's small and in direct line of fire of the topographical offshore funnel surf. Good luck catching those waves, pack of eight! I drove further north, past the boat ramp and N. Avalanche looked ok. I also a semi-decent wave break at Condors. Fug the cold, I'm out thar!
All I had to do was slip my wetsuit on over my shoulders, I kept telling myself. That was a struggle in itself, the gusting offshore wind lapping away at my will to surf.
I powered through, grabbed my board and headed to the sand. I didn't bother taking a second glance at S. Jetty as the memories of frustrating blown-out-the-back (not quite as good as it sounds) waves from sessions past kept flashbacking through my mind. I thought about paddling out just north of the jetty, but there were two dudes already there. N. Avalanche seemed a mile away and I wasn't looking forward to trudging back with purple hands upon going in.
I settled on the compromise that is Condors, though I didn't notice the dude already out there until just before going prone. I gave him his space and settled on inside and north of him, but not before experiencing is the empirical overload that is duckdiving in ~60 degree water with ~40 degree air to greet you upon you surfacing. I immediately felt the overpowering sting of ice cream headache. Two more dips further enhanced the sensation. I tried out a trick that I use to see as very informal thermometer. I use my lips to make a horse lip fart sound and felt the numbness in my cheeks. Oof.
My first wave was a racy left on which I got a solid pump before the wave collapsed upon itself. It was good to see there was some juice out there.
My second wave was better, if you exclusively use raciness as your sole barometer. I got hung up towards the top and tumbled.
I'd made one of my New Year's Resolutions to not crab-grab anymore, and I must give myself credit. I made it to my third wave of the year before breaking it. It was a small barrel and I was too high on it. I'm not sure it was makeable, but I didn't do myself any favors by picking such a high line.
The only other guy out there wasn't doing a good job functioning as my buoy. He would paddle whenever he saw the slightest bump on the horizon. I made a mental note to not trust his gut and got paid off for my instinct when the wave of the session came through. He had over-paddled for it and was way too deep.
I somewhat made up for my self-treason by doing a proper pig dog pivot on it. I got in it very well and even took my hand out of the wall and leaned forward to give myself a shot at making it. This low percentile wave didn't care for my trying to up my chances of blowing through it and punished me by shutting down, but not before allowing me to be dazzled by the risen sun's light dance on the ceiling.
After this wave, there was nothing special. I was tempted to go in about twenty minutes later but convinced myself to stay out another ten. When I finally got back to The Rad I came to the grave realization that I'd forgotten pants for my journey. I'd also neglected to bring a towel or changing robe, so I rode home tucked tightly into my 4/3, heater blasting.
The shower was awesome. I uploaded footage of it, but YouTube disallowed it because it "violated YouTube terms of service"?