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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

July Wrap-Up

Wisconsin and Wisconsin-adjacent: 8
Oside Blvd
D Street

As promised, not much variation since I moved up to Oceanside.  Unfortunately, the waves haven't been great. In fact, except for the July 20th sesh, they've been pretty bad.

Bail of the month: The underwater pounding I got in which my surfboard was mortally wounded.

Lust of the month: I'm hoping to score a 5'7"-5'9" Firewire for under $300.  Stay tuned...

7.31.13 Empty Oside on the Big Boy Board

I wanted to give the DHD a chance to dry out before I attacked the dings, so I dusted off a board I've surfed only twice before: a thicker, wider board shaped by my neighbor in Cardiff.

The change in floatation was immediately noticeable, but my duckdiving depth didn't suffer too much.

My first wave was one on which I had trouble getting going.  I think the relative lack of nose rocker was to blame.  When I finally did descend onto the flats, I was off-balance.  My last view of the wave from this side dampened my disappointment as I watched it fold into a big closeout.

I had one more wave similar to the above, then I caught my last memorable wave.  I pumped a couple of times and did an ok hit WHICH I MADE!!!111!!

There were a few cannonballs peppered in, where I got stuck in the lip like yesterday and had to eject away from my board.

7.30.13 Tricky, Fast, and Low Percentage Corner Hunting at Wisconsin Street

The waves looked good size-wise, but the form was poor. The wind wasn't on it, the tide wasn't off; I blame the bathymetry and the swell angle.  The waves were shoulder to slightly overhead, but closing out. 

On my first wave, I paddled my ass off.  It felt as though I'd overpaddled at first, but while getting drilled underwater, I realized I'd underpaddled.  I caught the wave and stalled out, not making it over the hump at the top of the wave.  I stood up and watched as my board went over the falls. I launched myself backwards in an attempt to get away from my board.

I was successful in getting over the hump on my next wave.  I got down the face, and half bottom-turned around the initial spilling section.  As I got around the corner, I saw that the wave was closing out.  I did what I had to do and dove into the whitewash.

My next wave was the exact same as the last if you remove the opportunity to do a half-turn towards the face.  It closed out immediately.

A rare right!  Sort of.  I paddled into it and got hung up on the lip.  I had a decision to make.  I could stay the course and risk a fin, nose, tail or rail to the face or I could kick my board out and lessen my chances of trauma.

I got the drubbing I deserved and when I went to gather my surfboard and feel her curves with my hands, I felt something was wrong.  I paddled out, and when I was sure there was no cleanup set, I flipped my board over and confirmed my suspicions.  A triple crease (a personal record) met my gaze, its ugly fingers reaching around to the front of the board.  When they met the curvature of the rail, they dinged out.  There was also a ding that had reached the stringer, the spine of the surfboard. My board was taking in water with every minute.

A good-sized crease will usually turn into a buckle, which will render a board useless.  The crease divides the board into pieces, and the two opposing pieces feel detached from one another.  It lends the board and inflatable raft feel, ruining one's connection to the board.  Its structural integrity is compromised.  Any attempt at fixing it will cause the board to weigh more.

It is essentially a death sentence.

I caught a left and pumped, then stutter-pumped.  I snapped at the lip line, but was a bit late.  It turned into a floater on which I was too far behind the wave.  I bailed and went over the falls.

My next wave was another more open one.  It was racy, but I managed to keep pace with it.  I got to the lip as it closed out a bit late and got blasted off my board.

My last wave was not so open and a sign to head back and see if I could nurse my board to make it last more than one more session.

7.25.13 Lower Tide Inconsistent Wisconsin

My first wave was head-high and hollow.  True to its form as of late, the wave pinched into a barrel, rather than throwing out like most people prefer.  I got in ok, but I set up too far from the wall.  The underside of the lip hit me in the small of my back.  My stance in the barrel at that moment could be described as low intensity twerking.  Unsurprisingly based on the five-second plotline, it was a no-make.

My next wave was a pump-fest.  I traversed, and when the time came to smack, I was zigging down when I should have been zagging up.  I let out an exasperated groan, arms in the air.

Next up was what could be called barely a wave.  I caught the wave, pumped once, then immediately faded out the back.

My fourth wave was a really fast wave.  I dropped in and almost immediately got barreled, but it passed me by as I was in it.  It felt as though I was staying still while it blasted past me.

A hybrid of my first two waves is what I experienced next.  I pumped like crazy and instead of a smackable section at the end, I pulled through the end-of-the-wave closeout barrel.

I caught a nice wave for my sixth of the day, garnering me lots of speed on the drop.  It was a waste though, as the crashing lip aerated the water around my inside rail and fins, reducing my ability to continue my quest for more speed.  I leaned a little too far onto my backside rail and that did me in.

I barely made the drop on my next wave, but I may as well have gone over the falls, as it would have saved me some paddling for my next attempt at a wave.  It unceremoniously closed out, with no regard to my feelings or my effort.

I got a little drubbed after jumping off.  When I came up, I could stand up.  I realized I was close to shore and decided to bail.

7.23.13 Low Tide and Hollow-ish Oceanside Boulevard

On this particular day, I made my usual trek down to Wisconsin Street.  The swell was coming in at an angle, so I walked south to give myself some runway with the current.  There were a couple of heads in the water on a decent peak a ways down, so I kept walking.  I continued until I didn't see waves breaking, with the intent of being swept into some open faces.

The waves were a little sectiony, but the low tide really helped the waves feel out the sandbars.  This also made the wave-catching window shorter, and my chance of catching each wave smaller.

My first dunk in the ocean revealed a temperature dropped of easily eight degrees.  For the first time since last fall, I longed for my booties.

I caught my first wave right away.  I dropped in quickly and stuck my arm in the wave, hoping to get covered up.  I eyed the lip line and realized it was going to be too small.  At the last minute, I swooped up into the wave and out the back.

Less than two minutes later, I caught my next wave.  It was the opposite of my first wave.  It fizzled out almost upon my pop-up and I faded out the back.

The next wave on which I had the pleasure of riding opened up a wee bit.  I stuck my arm in for the stall and just barely missed getting clipped in the head by the lip.  It was all for naught though as I was thoroughly thwomped in about four feet of water.

I caught a juicy left, which had the ashes of its fallen predecessor strewn across its face in the form of froth.  It opened up beautifully, or so I thought as I pulled into the almond-shaped barrel.  Eyeing my line revealed a brutal closeout in my immediate future.  I did what any coward would do, kicked my board out and sank down into the froth, away from the tumult.

My next wave was a big one.  It was also a closeout.  I jumped of my board and got pounded.

My next wave didn't close out, but the lip did smack me in the head as I attempted to get into the barrel.

I packed it in as I passed my exit on the longshore express, Wisconsin Street.

Monday, July 29, 2013

7.21.13 Missed-It-Mike Appears for a Wisconsin Sesh

M-I-M showed up at 545 to experience the trek that has become my morning commute.  He did remarkably well with his bare feet as he barely complained.

About a tenth of the way to the beach, we felt the stoke-soothing push of a south wind.  This would kill the texture and greatly lessen our chances for a fun time.

We pushed on and decided to surf when we saw it, not wanting to brave the condescending glare of motorists eyeing our dry hair on the way back of what would have been an aborted mission.

Almost all of the waves closed out right away.  I was in position for one that looked like it had a line.  Being the gracious host, I decided to bequeath it to my guest; a decision that would come back to haunt me.  He took it and hooked a sick-looking backside turn in a critical section.  He uncharacteristically emoted.

The long and short of it is I caught zero waves where I did anything but drop in and kick my board out. Mike did get another one where he did a nice lateral snap on a right.  Our teeth began to chatter after about an hour and a quarter, so we bailed, taking Mission back up to my pad.

7.20.13 Swell Bumps up to Beachbreak Max

It being a Saturday, I got out there earlier than usual, hoping to beat the crowd.  Weekends in Oside don't really get crowded until mid-morning, and even then, it's a mellow crowd.  The weekend early morning crowd gets  slight jolt compared to its weekday brethren, so in order to lessen the waves I miss due to others' dibs, I had to do it early.

I was pleasantly surprised by what greeted me in the extreme-angled light.  Solid waves coming through and no one out!

I caught my first four waves within ten minutes of one another.  This is one of the great byproducts of a rising swell coupled with no crowds, consistent rides.

The sandbars are still a bit funky, so the form suffered, though the size was there for the most part.

The first wave was one I had to paddle quite a bit for.  The thought of a steep drop crossed my mind, having paddled for shallower water.  Once the wave and I met, I had to keep paddling, as the wave hadn't quite developed to the point of allowing me entry (man that came out dirty; that's what she said).  I pumped once, made it past a flat section, came back up and the wave shelved out on me.  I adjusted in time so as not to pitched onto my back, but with my lack of speed I awkwardly dropped down and got tousling my balance. 

The conclusion to this wave happened quickly and the surprise was apparent on my face.

My second wave swallowed me whole after I dropped in.  I made it to the whitewash and stopped, then disappeared into the water.

My third wave was a contender for the wave of the wave.  I dropped in and was thrilled it had a line.  I rose up and decisively snapped, throwing a bunch of spray.  Ultimately, it was a no-make.

My next wave was initially pump-heavy.  It then got really fat and slow.  I slashed/cutback lazily and made it past the deep spot, then was again surprised by the speed with which this wave turned inside out.  I made up to the lip, but even that was fat, and I sank down into the wave.  Oof.

Ten minutes of passionate waveriding begat ten minutes of waiting.  Then, the vehicle for the next step of my journey arrived.  I took a lateral approach on this one.  I was trying not to overshoot the section with slop, so I traversed more than pumped.  BOOM! The lip came at me and I did the best I could with my trajectory.  I was still going up when the lip and my board made contact and I endo'ed over the lip sans board.

The next set was a little bigger than sets of minutes past.  I paddled for it, then realized I was a bit inside of my preferred take-off zone on a wave like this.  I stopped paddling, then really laid into it once I was on the wave.  I was concerned with pearling, especially considering it would happen in the shallow part of the bottom.  

Here's my take of what went down:

As soon as I felt the fins engage, I stomped on the gas, putting most of my weight on my front foot.  What I didn't expect was for the lip of the wave to foam out the water.  This caused my fins to immediately release, making me instinctively put my weight back on my left leg.  I did it too quickly, though, and in essence launched myself backward.  I had a great view of the falling lip going down the line, forming a small barrel.  I don't think I would have been able to fit in it though.

This next wave was possibly my highest scoring wave of the day, according to surfing contest judges.  I pumped up, did a small snap, pumped again, then laid into a drawn-out slash.  The wave rewarded me by fattening up and not allowing me the opportunity to get back into it.  More foam may have saved the wave, but I don't think there was much left.

Continuing the steep-flat-steep pattern, my next wave involved a small bobble on takeoff, a pump, an even flatter pump and a closer-than-usual-to-making-it layback snap.

 My next wave was a smaller facsimile of the previous wave, but my trajectory was more lateral and I threw more spray.

A wave steepened to the point of raising my board and me.  I popped up and made the drop.  But it was a drop to nowhere as it quickly sectioned off/closed out.

And my last wave featured me going up for a hit just as the wave flattened out.

The day held so much promise, but it really wasn't as good as it had looked.  The upside was I caught every wave I'd wanted, giving none up to someone who had me outpositioned.  This is a rare feat on a SoCal summer weekend.

Thursday, July 25, 2013

7.19.13 Hoping for the Swell Kick at Wisconsin Street

The waves were a little bigger this day, and I was pushing it on this rising swell on the baby board. 

Unfortunately, the waves were still somewhat inconsistent and shifty.  I had plenty of get up, then jump off waves I couldn't catch up to.

Finally, about an hour into the session, I spotted a steep peak headed towards me.  I didn't have to paddle laterally, I was in a great spot.  In fact, I would classify my paddling as slovenly, up until the last couple of paddles before I stood up. 

I descended down a beautiful steep chest-high section, pumped, super-pumped, then pumped halfway down the face and then BOOSTED off the oncoming section.  I felt the board detach slightly from my feet, despite the wind's efforts to keep my board and me together.

It was the most air I'd caught since a sunset session in El Salvador last year, but with a similar result, unfortunately.

7.18.13 Wisconsin Street, Because it HAS to be Better than Yesterday!

I began my outing by counting the 1517 steps it took for me to get from the front gate of the new pad to the sand.  The ocean was battered by the mostly onshore wind.  The slight kick in swell was being torn up, but not to the point where it wasn't rideable.

My DHD is still at my in-laws at this point, so I'm riding my 5'10" epoxy Merrick.

I spent the first half hour of my session going for waves and either missing them or catching them and having them close out on me.

The wind was keeping out any potential bro-brahs out of the water, and my lackluster results probably caused them to step on the gas and towards their responsibilities for the day even harder.

A little peak came up and was pushed from behind by another one.  I whirled around, caught it and popped up.  I swung around the section on this 3' beast, did a small but efficient snap, then pumped twice before laying into a rail-burying, speed-burning cutback.  It's my signature move, several notaries have approved it as being specific to only me.  The most telltale sign it's me is how I burn all of my speed so I have zero hope of recovering, unless the wave kicks back in with a steep section in the critical half-second of flotation I have.

I called it a day after feeling the wind gust up.

7.17.13 Oceanside Chronicles, Chapter One

This was my first-ever session walking to my favorite stretch of beach in the county.  I like the waves here because it can get really good on a combo swell or on a solid sandbar, and the head count in the water NEVER reflects it.  It's as though there is an invisible line at the north end of Carlsbad that few surfers dare cross.

I made a point to count my steps to see how long it would be from our property to the sand (and I was up to 850) but lost track when I had to beat feet across the 101.

Undaunted I trudged on.  My first view of the water revealed lake-like conditions.  Only upon getting towards the sea cliff did I see just how little the surf was.

The new pad is almost exactly .7 miles from the sand.  I was not going to walk almost a mile-and-a-half and not surf.  But not surf I pretty much did...

Every wave I caught was a weak mushball.  I got close on one where I almost caught up to a sectioning 1.8 ft bomb of a speed section, but it was not to be.

I exited the water and made my way back to the pad, content in building up my once-callous calluses.

7.2.13 D St Sesh w/ Ali

The waves were supposed to be pretty small today, but we were pleasantly surprised by what greeted us.  They looked to be chest-high on the sets. Out thar!

I caught a left almost immediately, and got a couple of pumps in before it shut down on me.  I kicked my board out and sank into the water.

My next wave had a critical take-off and I responding by tucking into a switch crab grab.  The footy captured a lot of water moving around.  Since it's been so long since I experienced the ride, I will assume it was a quick fall.

After a long lull, I finally got a look at my next wave, which was yet another left.  I had a slight look at a corner, but it turned out to be a mirage.  The wave exploded all at once when I was halfway down the wave.

Eight minutes later I caught a wave that was neither a left nor a right, as I just went straight.  Another closeout...

The swell appeared to be dwindling, as my next wave, although not a closeout, mushed out almost immediately.

Ali had to go in to get to work.  I had no reason to stay, thanks to the poor showing by the surf and went back up the cliff with her.