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Sunday, March 31, 2013

3.25.13 A No-Go Averted at SouPa

I'd spent the entirety of the dry part of my Sunday frothing over what could have been.  The waves in Oside that day showed some real promise, especially as the tide continued to drop.  Because of my appointment, the session was cut short just as it was beginning to really turn on.

Monday morning resulted in my waking up and jetting up to Oside.  Unfortunately, the surf had dropped to the point where it was being smothered by the tide.  I didn't bother checking Jetty/Harbor and looped back down onto the 101.  North north Carlsbad weakened my optimism with its usual lack of luster.  I was about to cement this day in history as a dry day when I made the fateful decision to keep on keeping on the 101.  

I spotted an oh-so-surfable set and I pulled into the just-off-the-street spot, next to an older couple solving their respective Sudoku puzzles.  I suited up and bounded down the cliff.  

I was especially excited at the prospect of surfing by myself.  I paddled out and was surprised at the froth surging through my frontal cortex.

The inside was very abrupt shorebreak on which you could maybe get a turn in if you were in the right spot and extremely efficient in your drop-turn-smack progression.  I opted for the rarer, meatier outsiders.

After paddling and missing a couple due to lack of steeps, I caught a left which had some slope to it, but fizzled quickly.  The lip slid down the face more than it crashed.  I jumped over it.

It took sixteen minutes of a lot of frustrating paddling and pulling back from lame mushburgers before I stood up again.  This time I was on a right.  I thought I'd caught it, then thought better.  I set my chest down on the deck and windmilled with both arms.  I did finally drop down the face, to be greeted by a closeout as the entire section felt bottom at the same time.

I caught a quick left not five minutes later, more towards the inside.  I pumped up and down a couple of times, then did a mid-face slash.  I felt the falling lip hit my board and it threw me off and down into the water.

During the ride, I heard a guy hoot from the cliff.  I looked up and he was wearing a road crew vest (fluorescent yellow) and gave me either thumps up or shaka.

I was so excited to see a decent left that on my next wave, I leaned too far forward and on my front foot.  The fins gave out, not in a good way, and I awkwardly shoulder-checked the wave.

My next wave was an umph-lacking left.  I pumped up, then slowly back down.  I then did a really weak fade cutty so as to stay closer to the source.  There was no pleasant surprise at the end of this one and I kicked out.

I caught a right and gingerly set my feet.  I knew any mistake would crush my chances with this relative gem. I pumped up very slightly, then rushed up to the lip.  The lip came at me sooner than I'd expected.  I elevated and leaned back and was either elevated by the lip or levitated up to it.  I hung up on the lip then managed to bring it around.  It looked like a longboard floater.  It felt a lot cooler than it looked on the GoPro.

I'd had enough letdowns for one day, so I packed it in.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

3.24.13 Rush Solo Sesh at North Wisconsin


There was still combo swell in the water.  Not only was it a Sunday, but the extreme high tide would hamper the surf so only the set waves would be rideable.  In order to maximize my chances, I'd held off on making the trek north until the high tide was on its way back down. I had only a sliver of a window, as I'd scheduled an appointment at ten and would have to beat feet out of Oside only an hour after suiting up.

I saw something decent on my way to the pier, but it wasn't so great that it got me to park and suit up.  I knew deep down that checking Jetty/Harbor would only lighten the ride of its gasoline, but I pushed on with the logic that the tide will have fallen that much more when I do paddle out.

Jetty and Harbor were worse than I expected.  These are both pretty much low tide-only spots unless it's really pumping.

My first wave was an ok left.  I pumped once, then had to deal with the lip hitting me in the knees.  I kept my speed and found a section to hit but by the time I did so, the wave had no push with which to send me on my way for another hit.

My second wave was a better left.  I pumped pretty well, though I didn't do it super quickly with the fear of passing the wave by.  Once the section I was hoping for appeared to be on its way, I cut down then back up and was immediately disappointed by its lack of push.

I caught a pretty sweet right on which I got hung up on the lift, but dropped diagonally down the face and got a bunch of speed.  It was the first time I can remember air-dropping and having my fins engage immediately.  I think what happened is I landed with the board at the exact right angle.  It reminded me of going over a hip in snowboarding.  Unfortunately, that's all the wave had in store for me.

Long lulls in between sets kept me from upping my wave count.  Until tomorrow...

Sunday, March 24, 2013

3.23.13 Dodging the Weekend Warriors at Wisconsin Street

The previous session's devil wind had subsided for the day, and I was foaming at the mouth to get back up to Oceanside.

I convinced myself to wait until the high tide was on its way down to avoid the dreaded mushburgers

Buc Beach was lying dormant yet again, though I did see a couple of heads sitting low in the water.  Evidence there were some steep set waves that were breaking somewhat deep.

I parked and walked down to Wisconsin Street, as the massive, just-shy-of-the-peak high tide was smashing into the boulders. I strapped the leash on then ventured down in between the violent water-on-rock assaults. I got halfway past the boulders when a big one slammed in.  I managed to securely tripod myself (a skill honed in El Salvador) and endure the rush of water.  The water rushed back out and I took the opportunity to gain some steps before the next rush arrived.

Once it did, I jumped on my board and sprint-paddled, waiting for the backwash to blast me towards the outside.  A couple of backwashes aided me in my quest, but then I got stuck in the middle of a long set.  About five minutes of non-stop paddle-paddle-duckdive I made it under the last wave of the set.

I checked back towards shore and I'd suffered a two-block migration towards the north.  I'd anticipated more than that, so I was in good shape.

My first wave came about five minutes after perching.  It was a steep head-high left on which I was extremely late on.  It had a line, so I went for it.  Upon stomping my feet on the deck, I was treated to a blind air drop.  My board fell with my lower extremities following closely behind.  My knees extended, but I somehow buckled and ate it.

My second wave involved a left that was about shoulder-high.  It was a bit fat, so I descended at less of an angle than I normally do.  I caught up to the foaming lip with one pump, then had to hustle to keep up with it.  Exerting all of this effort rewarded me with a trip to the top of the fat lip and the sensation of choking up on the board, hoping to descend again and maybe fade back towards the energy "center" of the wave.  It was not to be.

I was in position for a meaty right.  I caught it and was taken aback by the speed.  I was even more surprised at the intensity with which the approaching section arrived.  It got there very quickly and oh so steeply.  My trajectory was more drawn-out than the section called for and I blasted out the back.

I caught another right, but the result was drastically different.  It appeared I had a bit of a beast on my hands but it chubbed out on me.

My last wave of the day was a frustrating combination of chub and raciness.  I couldn't get much speed from the wave and the thing foamed out on me.  I must have been riding over a deep spot.

The highlight of the day was when a four-pod strong of dolphins come RIGHT towards me.  I sat and watched as one of them breached and all four dove under me, re-surfacing five or six yards past me.

3.22.13 Combo Swell Solo Mish to Oside Pier

The first S swell of the season (El Salvador was PERFECT according to several friends and their Facebook pics) was upon us and with it, a cross-up/current reducer NW windswell.  Unfortunately, the forecasts spieled of a S wind that would make the water's surface less than ideal.  After clearing the cobwebs from my geriatric 4/3, I was out thar!

The tide was very high and I didn't know if anything would be breaking.  The waves at Buc Beach were forgettable.  S. Wisconsin looked ok, but the waves there were nothing to make me froth.  Then I saw a set break at the pier and I pulled into the free lot by the Dairy Queen and made my way to the sand.

The paddle-out wasn't bad, and it felt good having the warmer-than-I-remember-from-nearly-three-weeks-ago water wash over me without penalizing me with pain.

Seeing as to how it was the first booming swell in a LONG time, there was a pack out there.  One guy who was tearing the place apart reminded me of a younger version of Panamanian rap legend and godfather of Reggaeton (before it turned to muck), El General:

I was paddling with, then against the pack trying to secure a nug to call my own.  I caught a left that closed out, then when paddling back out I saw El Generalito catch a bomb on the outside and shred it.  Easily WQS talent, that guy...

I caught a couple of other waves whose rides escape me.  The last wave was a right I caught near the pier.  It sectioned off, then opened up, but its shoulder was slouched by the still-fat tide.

Friday, March 8, 2013

3.4.13 Solo Mish to Disheveled D Street

I'd made plans to surf with someone this morning and received a text saying they weren't feeling well.  Mike was on his way to Mountain View for some work stuff, and Forrest isn't a fan of surfing early, especially when it's cold.

I pulled up to D and checked it.  I immediately saw a set break and realized I needn't check it any longer.  I walked down the stairs and marveled at there being nary a surfer in the water. It would've made for a really boring Twilight Zone episode.

I paddled out with no issue, except for the slightest twinge of an ice cream headache.

Since I was all alone, I would have my pick of the waves.  Where were GMIMITW and Incomplete Neoprene Puzzle Guy?

My first two waves had nice steep drops followed by too racy shoulders.  I pulled through on both.

I caught a nice left on which I pumped. I was racing the curl the whole first two-thirds of the wave when I finally saw my opportunity to smack it.   By the time I got there, the cascading lip grabbed a hold of my fins and it turned from a snap into a floater of sorts.  I had no speed and fell pretty much straight down, thanks to my inertia. Had I had some speed I could have used that to project onto the flats.

A macker of a left came and I had to hustle.  I superpumped a couple of times and spotted what appeared to be a bowly inside section.  I tucked in as much as I could given where I was on the wave and received a lip to the head.  Taylor Knox would have claimed this as a barrel, but I know better.  This was maybe a head dip.  The chandeliering lip drove into my head and I did my best to disperse the energy evenly onto my board.  It finally released me from its grasp.

It was at this point that the aforementioned Gentile Most Interesting Man in the World blessed me with his presence, but he appeared to be alone.  He of course paddled right to me.  This is extremely annoying when the whole beach is available to him and he could find his own peak.  Thankfully, he thought better of it and bailed.

I caught a right on which I got one off-balance smack.  I got hung up on the lip and made it.  It felt pretty good but the footage was bollocks.

GMIMITW hadn't caught squat fifteen minutes into his session, which is rare for him.  He's usually frothing and going on just about everything.  The waves were turning a mean shade of ugly, thanks to the dropping tide and the kicked-up wind.

I was sitting pretty deep when a bomb came through.  There was a slightly smaller wave in front of it.  I seized the opportunity at a chance for glory or a massive tumble.  I paddled for it and just as I popped up felt the thing turn inside out.  I somehow managed to drop in and I got a great view of the mackers combining forces and throwing out behind me.  It was probably a 7'.

I paddled out yet again but the waves got worse and worse.  I rode one in on my belly and called it a session.

Monday, March 4, 2013

3.1.13 M-I-M and I hit up Lower Tide D Street

I arrived at 6:58 and saw Mike standing by the bench, checking it.  The fact that he wasn't scampering back to change into his wetsuit was a bad sign.  He told me it was about as good as yesterday, but less consistent and smaller.

We walked a little south of the stairs towards a really fun-looking peak, then doubled back towards the stairs after seeing a couple of rights reel and with the philosophy that we wouldn't fight a crowd there, unlike the south peak.

We paddled out and sat for about an hour (!) before either of us caught our first wave.  The waves that would come through were closeouts or in rare instances had someone on them.  Both Incomplete Neoprene Puzzle Man (hood, gloves, missing only booties) and his bro Gentile Most Interesting Man in the World were out along with other guys and they were catching some bombs.  I finally convinced Mike to paddle a ways south and eventually we caught some.

The only memorable wave for me was a left I caught that seemed as though it would not let me in at first.  I dueled with the lip and eventually got to do surfing's version of an uppercut on its exposed jaw.  Unfortunately, I hit it with my weight too far back and ended up splayed.

The tide ruined things and we were over it, pleased that we didn't get cold for nothing.  We should have fought the pack and picked off a few...