If you've ever gotten really into surfing, you know that after about two weeks of dry time, you start jonesing hard. I was on four weeks without any interaction with salt water. I would imagine it's a weaker cousin to what our neighbors in the Pacific Northwest tend to suffer from this time of year, Seasonal Affective Disorder. I know it seems like hyperbole if you don't surf, but I swear to you, moods dip and tensions rise.
The charts were saying the weather was going to be bad, but a closer look at the hourly breakdown revealed gentle offshores in the morning. I called Matt the previous night and he wanted to surf Ponto, a wave that is so fickle. It's usually rank, but when it gets good it's really good. And its proximity to the 101 ensures it's really crowded when it's good. The predominant swell direction was WNW and given Ponto's shores aimed WSW and lack of bathymetral (not sure if that's a word) variety, I nixed it. He proposed Grandview, with a cornucopia of underwater bathymetry scenarios. I readily agreed and we were out thar.
I got there about ten minutes early and jammed out to the GuyPod. I got a text from Matt saying "where u at. Gonna get off on la costa and check ponto". Of course our meeting time comes and goes with no sign of the guy. So I call him and he tells me he's waiting for me to meet him. I'm not sure what I was supposed to read into his text that would make him believe he'd unilaterally changed the meeting spot and I was on my way.
I told him I wasn't going to Ponto and he acquiesced and met me at our official, bilaterally agreed-upon meeting spot. I got out of my ride, ready to give him shit for being late. He looks me up and down and says, "Really? PJ pants?", and I about lost it. I told him this is a surf check, not a fashion show (for those interested, mid-thirties Matt was wearing what appeared to be the latest offerings from Tilly's).
Things calmed down after we saw a left peel down the line. It looked slow, but when it connected to the inside section, we both gushed with anticipation.
We changed into our wetsuit and I quietly admired Matt's new-looking Excel wetsuit. A real estate client of mine swears by them and I am flirting with the idea of making an Excel my next purchase, once prices go down come Spring. My journeyman Rip Curl has been squeezing me too hard in uncomfortable areas going on five years now! It's due for retirement and a fat pension (that's what I tell it anyways, it's really going to be recycled into a new wetsuit).
We paddled out and were predictably shuttled south thanks to the north angle in the swell. The waves were punchy, but extremely racy.
Matt happened upon an SDSU friend of his, Grady, and we watched as he took off on two set waves, waited out the flat spots, and admirably traversed towards the inside section.
I thought about joining him out there, but I was concerned the rocker on my board wouldn't allow me to ride out the flat spots. I continued to opt for the middle-inside, hoping to luck into a corner. I caught several waves that immediately closed out.
The one stand-out wave was a left that I pumped pretty much on the flats two or three times before realizing it too would bar me from some lip-time.
Matt had to go to work so in we went...