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Sunday, June 30, 2013

June Wrap-Up

Wisconsin Street 2
D Street 2

Wisconsin and D Street end up in a dead heat this month.

This marks the last month of variety in surf spots.  Once we move to Oceanside, I will be surfing almost exclusively there.

6.20.13 Back to D Street w/ Ali PM SESSION

Ali texted me earlier in the day that she wanted to surf D Street.  I didn't hear back from her after responding, so I left her a text saying I'd be out at D at seven.  She rolled up about ten minutes after I'd perched.

I caught a right and cut down the face, as the lip had crashed over prematurely.  I was able to get some speed, then bottom-turn.  Unfortunately, I attempted an off-the-top too laterally, and I faded off the back.

I caught a left and spent the majority of my ride struggling to stay on.  Then, the last bit was on the inside, where the wave turned inside out.  It ledged out, and I was able to keep going onto the flats.  I bottom-turned up for couple of pumps, then gave in as the wave exploded.

I caught a right and had to hustle on it immediately.  Just as I was setting my rail for the bottom turn, I got snapped in the back by the lip.  I lurched forward and recovered, then jumped off my board.

My next wave was a left.  I had to step lightly to stay on it, but I'm pretty happy with the end result, even if it is a no-make.  I bailed on it after realizing my speed was fading and my angle of choice was wrong.  There was very little chance of me making it and probably an equal chance of rolling an ankle or wrenching my knee.

Back to the rights I went.  I paddled hard for one and spent more time focusing my body weight towards the front of the board then standing on it.  By the time I'd popped up, the wave was all but over.

And right back to the lefts!  Although does it really count if I faded almost immediately after popping up?

I let my enthusiasm get the best of me on my next wave and flamingo'd upon first ascent.

I settled down a bit on my next shot at a left and got an opportunity to do a slash with speed for my efforts.  I kicked out immediately thereafter.

6.18.13 Solo Mish to Seemingly Crappy Tyson Street

I made the trek up after having been dry for nearly a week.  The tide was right, the conditions were good, but in typical Pacific tease fashion, there wasn't much of anything out there.

I went against my instincts and paddled out anyway.

I paddled out quickly, thanks to the lack of wave action pushing against me.

My first wave had an ok drop, but the deep spot in the sand chubbed it up and slowed my progress to the point of sinking down into the water.

My second wave, if you can call it that, involved a delayed pop-up.  This was a way to let the wave develop and steepen so as to give myself the best chance to make the wave.  I dropped down and the shoulder I'd anticipated failed to materialize.

My third wave amounted to my third fade in a row.  I was beginning to second-guess second-guessing myself.

My fourth wave, and my fourth left, allowed for a couple of ginger pumps.  An incorrect weighting would lead to being left behind and have zero chance of connecting with the inside section.  I took the conservative route, but the wave reformed, leaving me behind.

I caught yet another left, which IMMEDIATELY faded on me.

Apparently my paddle-paddle-pop-fade style had caught the eyes of a couple of loggers.  They decided to join me.  Luckily, their decision to paddle twenty yards to my north allowed me a glimmer of hope.  Perhaps this session could still be salvaged.

I caught a right and decisively bottom-turned, whacked it well, then kicked out.  Nice!

I saw something my eyes had a hard time believing, a decent left!  I feverishly paddled for it and thanked my personal savior when I felt the familiar push of having caught a wave.  I swooped up and down, then back up and couldn't make up my mind.  I half-turned/half-flamingo'd and somehow managed to save it.  I couldn't believe it.  I gathered my wits and was able to turn the end into what felt like a layback snap, but turned out looking a lot less sick.  The result was true to memory though...

I caught a right and did the best I could on it.  I bottom-turned well and hit it in the right spot.  I rose back up with a little more speed than with which I entered the turn, but there was not much shoulder to bank off of.  I attempted a cutback and got about three-quarters of the way around before I turned hard into the wave, having realized there was no recovering.

My wave count was huge, but there were even more waves I'd paddled for but didn't catch.  I felt a burn in my arms I usually feel on bigger days.  I bailed after the consistency waned.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

6.12.13 Solo Mish to Avalanches

The Wisconsin to Pier check revealed nothing promising, so I checked Harbor and found what I was looking for.  The Rad was parked and my wetsuit was filled.

I walked out to the sand and was greeted by an elderly couple, possibly homeless on a picnic bench.  The man said, "Gon' get a couple out there?", to which I replied affirmatively, "That's the plan!".

I walked almost all the way to the north Jetty, the breakwater for the Harbor entrance, and paddled out.

I immediately caught a healthy amount of waves.

My first left started with a stomp and a quick check to make sure I wasn't burning anybody.  I then dueled with the whitewash, attempting to secure some greenwater on which to generate speed for my journey towards what would likely be my latest aquatic disappointment.  This time it was the ocean who disappointed me, by leaving me with nothing to push off of once I had proven victorious over the wash.  I faded off the back.

My second wave was another left, with another lip duel for supremacy.  This lip had apparently vowed to exact revenge on its recently befallen older brother.  It hit me with a one-two combination of lip smacks, but the wax on my board held strong on my foot callouses.  I eventually found daylight and in a promising move for future smacks, put more weight than usual on my front foot.  So much so, in fact, that my back foot slid off the tail pad and there was no recovery.

The next wave was another South Swell Special: a left.  This one was chubby from the get-go.  I shifted my weight towards my front foot, but the wave didn't open up for me.  It steepened abruptly and I kicked out over the close-out.

These three waves were all caught within my first twelve minutes.  I had high hopes for this session.  But it turned out the session was cut short thanks to a combination of an increase in crowd and almost no waves.  It was as though the storm that had generated this swell had taken a prolonged smoke break.  After about forty minutes of waiting, paddling, jockeying, and sighing, I decided to call it a sesh.

On my long walk back to my car, I spotted a black plastic bag on the beach.  I picked it up, I found a Wal-Mart bag and picked that up too.  I filled the Wal-Mart bag with garbage, made up mostly of water bottles.  I began to think that if the City of Oceanside would enforce their anti-littering rules (I believe it's a $1000 fine) they could easily double whatever they make off parking violations.

Maybe I'll run on this platform when I run for citycouncildude...

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

6.10.13 Impromptu D St Sesh w/ Ali PM Session

Ali contacted me about surfing with her this afternoon.  My wetsuit was still very wet from the morning sesh so I was heavily leaning towards trunking it.

I met her there.  It looked really bad.  We walked down the beach towards Trees towards what appeared to be a mysto peak.  As we got closer, we became aware of its deceit.  Ali suggested jogging back and we did so, but she quit on me.  We ended up paddling out just south of the D St stairs.

My first wave was the wave of the day.  I caught it as it ran into a smaller wave in front.  The slope was perfect for launching me into it with speed.  I rose up, then back down.  I did another pump, found a mini-section and snapped, sending a thin rooster tail of spray up in the air.  I then bonked the whitewash, descended and kicked out.

Jumping back on my board, I realized I'd ridden this wave almost to the sand.  It was the only wave I saw do that during the entire session.

A second wave arrived and it didn't have the push.  I got up on it slowly and gained a little speed.  The fatness of the wave overpowered my surf talent, so I faded.

Ali was commenting on how she wanted to try a bigger board than her 5'11", as she was having trouble catching waves.  I offered to switch boards with her and she accepted.  I then paddled on the most feminine board I'd ever ridden.  Pink streaks near the rails and flowers on the underside would make any passers-by assume I led an alternative lifestyle.  I was secure in my sexuality, having recently taken an internet test revealing I was only 49% gay.

I caught a right on the 5'11" and got speed only when I went up for a hit.  I liked the drive this had up the face, but not much else about the board.

Ali and I caught one in.  She went right and I went left.  I was right in the pocket of this semi-fatty (wow, I haven't uttered that statement since my single days!), but couldn't descend to generate speed.  It felt like I was hanging ten, moving forward, yet staying still position-wise on the wave.

We were both getting chilly, so we bailed.

6.10.13 Payback on the Pacific at Ponto?

After the previous day's "session", I was aching for revenge.

I'd checked Oceanside again, like an abused lover unable to break away from its tormentor's grip, but this time it wasn't surfable.

I decided to take the coast in the off chance another spot was working.  The swell direction screamed Oside, but the tide and size weren't cutting it.  It was unlikely any other spot would be worth surfing.  The farther you go south, the more the coast bends to the west, and away from the south.  This means the swell refracts toward shore, sapping its strength, shrinking its size and slackening its pace.

North Carlsbad had nothing to show.  It wasn't until I got to Ponto that I saw something curious.  Waves! And they were decent.  I pulled over and watched it for five minutes.  Another set rolled through.  I got out of The Rad and opened up the back, still not believing my eyes.  Eventually, I convinced myself to paddle out.

I set up on the outside of three older bro-brahs who knew one another.  Because I hate it when someone paddles out straight into priority, I gave them first crack at the first set wave, yelling GO! as I paddled over it and hoped another one was behind it.

There was, and I went on it, but it was too racy.

I caught another one and this one was also racy.  The barrel hit me in the lower stomach.  I was able to make it to the fatter part of the wave. It was difficult generating speed on it.  I paid my dues and got through it, avoiding what seemed like an inevitable fade off the back.  There was no power section off which to bank, so I did a weak top turn, descended and soul arched into the wave.

My next wave was fat from the get-go.  It also ended fat.  I tried to pump through it once again, but this time I faded.

I caught a left which had some foam to it already.  The foam hit me and blinded me.  By the time I had my vision back, I realized the wave had shut down completely.

My next wave seemed like a quick one, but I was in position for an open corner.  I stalled slightly with my arm and the wave enveloped me.  I was in there maybe a second before it pinched me and walloped me.

Less than ten minutes later, I got another barrel.  This time it was on a smaller, even racier wave.  As I was catching it, I eyed its line and made the call to get into a switch crab grab stance.  It was the right call.  I went into the barrel and was in there just over a second when my nose pearled in the barrel, a symptom of too much weight too far forward.

The barrel feast ended with my next wave.  It opened up and I got a couple of pumps in.  I was then met with the section of doom which ended my time on this wave by creating a dead end.

I was beat from all of the paddling, so I packed it in.

6.9.13 Wisconsin Street Whispers my Name into the Wind; I Answer

I almost didn't make the trek up north today.

When I read the forecast last night, I saw the wind would be blowing lightly onshore all night, then gradually increasing its torment on this swell in proportion to the amount of light provided by the rising sun.

I checked the cams and decided I would be burning a gallon of gas for trying to surf, all while being blessed by the sweet jams of the GuyPod.

There were some racy barrels out there.  I paddled out, hoping for just a second or two inside these spinning cylinders.

I paddled out south of the Wisconsin ramp.  The water felt unusually cold and I soon found out why.  In my haste, I'd neglected to zip up my wetsuit, using only the velcro strap at the nape of my neck to keep it shut.  My wetsuit arms filled with water, adding more resistance to a pretty grueling paddle-out.  After a brief respite from the onslaught, I zipped up my wetsuit, redid my nape neoprene strap, and was about to rid my arms of the heavy water sapping their longevity when another set came.  I made it under those, then peeled the tapered sleeves of my wetsuit arms back and let the water out.

I looked back towards shore and realized I'd drifted quite a ways north, on the very northern edge of the vacant lot right by Junior Seau's old house.

It was frustrating out there.  Waves would break and zip away into uncatchable lines, or they'd just close out.

I'd see waves barrel, seemingly makeable ones too, but once I paddled against the current to their foam trails and awaited their siblings, there would be nothing.  And a torturous look back at where I'd been sitting not three minutes ago revealed a makeable one. Madness.

Thankfully, the forty-minute monotony of paddling was intermittently broken up by a duckdive or two.

A bomb reared its head.  I thought about ditching my board as I was right in the center of its target zone, but I kept it.  I felt the explosion on my feet and it was a dooz.  It felt as though the wave's power propelled me through it.  I surfaced and paddled my ass off when I saw its bigger brother.  I, emboldened by humiliating its smaller counterpart, again went for a duckdive.  This time, I got caught in the mayhem.  I held a death grip on my board, determined not to let go and did a full somersault, board and all, underwater.  After surfacing on my board and checking for another beast, I felt for pressure dings and I'd added eight new ones to the underside of my board, one for each non-thumb finger.

I'd drifted past the two twinhomes for sale when I caught my first wave. I was way too late on it, but I went just because I was tired of not catching anything.  I rose up with it, got caught in the lip, and aborted about halfway down.

Immediately after gathering my board and my wits, I caught another wave on which I was also very late and had the same thing happened. 

It's a bummer when the most exciting thing about a session is a duckdive... I bailed.

Sunday, June 9, 2013

6.7.13 Missed-It-Mike Rallies, Appears for a Session at Turtles

After ninety-nine days of not surfing with him, M-I-M bucked his nature and his moniker by meeting me at Grandview.  After suffering years of ribbing due to his minor tardiness, I was pleased to see he'd taken my constructive criticism to heart and taken the initiative of showing up early.

Mike's a smart guy.  He knows I have plenty of surf bro options from which to choose.  He has made some life changes for the better including appearing to have fixed his aforementioned chronic lateness issue as well as not bitching about his feet hurting nearly as much.  Should his progress and discipline continue, I have little doubt he will make the podium at the Surf Bro Olympics.  If only he could convince his wife to let him go to Indo...

Grandview was no good.  I made Mike make the call and he said Pipes.  I instantly rolled my eyes, picturing the massive crowds you can see from atop the 101.  I mentioned this and Mike responded there were several peaks from which to choose.

The parking gods allowed us parking only at the very south end of the Pipes strip, pretty close to Cardiff Kook.

We checked it and were pleased with what we saw. Out thar!

The paddle-out was nasty.  We made it through the shorebreak and middle waves without issue, but we got pounded the rest of the way.  When I finally perched, I breathed a sigh of relief.  It was kind of crowded out, possibly fifteen heads total.

The waves were pretty good.  Nice and bowly on the sets, if you could snag one of these waves and navigate a steep drop you would be rewarded with a workable wall with lots of power.

I caught a left that was on the smaller side and pumped away at it, but still could not catch up.  My last glimpse of it before I aborted was what appeared to be a fattening section, so I wasn't too bummed.

I heard someone call my name and it turned out Aaron was out there too.  I didn't get a chance to talk to him the whole sesh though, as he was on the hunt for rights.

About ten minutes later, I had a look at a bigger wave.  The drop was nice and steep, but it sectioned off almost immediately, I bottom turned up, hoping to make it around the foam, then drop down in time to make it around the sure-to-be-cascading-by-then second section.  I clipped the foam ever so slightly, which robbed me of my speed and my fins' hold in the water.  I was bummed about this one, as the next part of the wave looked steep, workable, and lined up.

It was at about this point at time I had to say goodbye to Mike.  He had just caught a wave and was voicing his disappointment in the amount of wax on his board.  He was scratching at it furiously with his nails, trying to rough it up to achieve some semblance of traction.  A macker set came, and I sprint-paddled while Mike was a little delayed by his distraction.

I barely made it under the wave, while Mike got smacked by it.  I didn't see him again for about a half-hour, though I did catch glimpses of him looking like he was paddling but not moving WAY on the inside.  His posture indicated he was bummed.

My last wave was a right.  I compressed well into a roundhouse cutty and smacked it, but couldn't bring it around...

Mike gave me the "one more" finger and we went in at our next opportunity.

6.6.13 Solo Mish to Hollow/Crumbly Wisconsin Street

The south winds were doing their thing again.  I hesitantly ventured up to Oceanside hoping for maybe a few makeable, not too crumbly waves.  There was a new swell in the water and I had a feeling the crowds would be small.

I parked at Wisconsin and surveyed the wavescape.  It didn't look great.  I decided to suit up after seeing an ok set break.  It was hollow out there and I was hoping for some ramps or barrels.

I paddled out, nary a soul in sight, and this song crept into my head.  I dedicated it to my surfboard:

I caught a left on which I was a bit behind the section almost immediately.  I was able to catch up to it, then generate a bit more speed before it laid a big fat section to me, on which I drained my speed.  Bummer.

I paddled back out, still in awe of my solitude.  Not five minutes later, with every other peak completely empty as far as my eyes could see, another dude paddles out and posts up within fifteen feet of me. Then this song crept into my head:

I paddled and missed a couple of somewhat desirable waves.  My new buddy caught one and was paddling back out when a big hollow one came.  I was really late and thought about pulling back, but the only other guy out was right in the photog zone, and I couldn't help myself.

I threw myself over the ledge in a switch crab-grab and was rewarded with a gorgeous view of the spinning cylinder through which I was threading.  I kept my eyes open and on the most vertical part of the wave, trying to read it so as to adjust my position to increase my likelihood of sheer ecstacy: making it out.

I'm not sure why I didn't.  I think I was too far in the less sloping part of the wave and my speed ran out.  I got thoroughly pummeled, but was amped at my two seconds of glory (note to self: submit "Two Seconds of Glory" to my publisher as contender for title of my kiss-and-tell memoirs).

I paddled back out, but nothing much came and I had work to do so I went back to The Rad and GuyPod.