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Saturday, November 30, 2013

11.29.13 Thanksgiving Swell 2013

When the swell reports become mainstream non ocean-going people chatter, you know you're going to be extremely disappointed.  By this I mean the crowds will be all over it.  Any time something is hyped, your chances for a letdown are greatly increased.

With a low floor, every ceiling seems higher...

After hearing reports of what we had in store, my enthusiasm was dampened by the deep morning high tide.  This would slow the waves down and make them work through more water, diluting their magnificence.

I rolled through what was once my morning commute.  My first glimpse of energy moving through water was about as early as it had ever been and I relished having decided to bring my step-up board, a thick 6'1" I've surfed maybe twice before.

I got to the water. To say what the ocean showed me was underwhelming would be being too kind...

There were lazy, can't-be-bothered-to-break, peaks scattered throughout.  Their faces would likely be unable or unwilling to allow me passage back towards shore.  The crowd count reflected that as there was nary a soul out between Wisconsin Street and Junior Seau's old house.

I trudged north and paddled out into  the south end of a blob of heads, hoping the current would redirect me to the north end of the next blob, right in position for the rights that gave you two seconds of glory before they jacked up and shut down.

It worked.  Within fifteen minutes, I caught my wave of the day, a solid and steep overhead right.  I had a scare on the takeoff as my front foot slipped off for a half-second before I was able to replant.  I compressed off the bottom and absolutely smashed the top off the wave.   I kicked out right after this and took  the next ones of the set on the head.

I was paddling with someone who had position and they were going.  I was beginning to back off and he pussed out and told me to go.  I slammed my chest toward my nose and stood up WAY too late.  The offshore took advantage of the aerodynamics offered by the wave and held my nose in place as my tail was running out of water.  I eventually stomped down but the shock of the air drop sent me tumbling backward.

Nothing else of note came.  I caught one left but my fins gave out on the bottom turn, a sure sign I'd put too much weight on my front foot, a no-no for b-turns.  I recovered, but the weight wobble had readjusted my trajectory to up and over, unfortunately.

11.4.13 Tip-Toeing back into the Lineup at NotSures

My daughter having dropped nearly three weeks prior, I was ready to see what my new relationship with surfing would be.  At times, we were acquaintances; at others, twice or thrice daily lovers. 

The new little woman in my life stood in the way of the seventeen year love affair that had been surfing.  Luckily for me the ocean, she had decided to go mostly flat, alleviating any yearning for years past.

I noticed an uptick in the buoy readings on the night of the second, and let my wife know about my intentions to revisit her partner in timeshare, the ocean.  She was supportive.

The ocean was supposed to be 3-4', but to call it 2-3' would have been generous.  It was a solid 2' with some power, but a 2' nonetheless.

As I was walking north on The Strand, I started talking to Bernie, a guy in his mid-40s on his way to surf for his second time ever.  He mentioned being frustrated on yesterday's attempt and after glancing at his board, I told him the trick with logs is to catch the wave early, paddling as efficiently as possible, and take off diagonally so as to minimize the slope. 

His eyes lit up with my gem of information and I wished him well.  I saw him about ten minutes later as I drifted south towards him and I hooted him onto a wave.  I didn't see what happened, but he didn't get far.

A left came and I was on it. It quickly shut down.

Another left came within five minutes and I was aggressive in my pumps.  I finally caught up to the juicy steep section on the inside and thrashed it, sliding my tail around nicely but with no shot of making it unfortunately...

Bernie bailed after having been out there for less than fifteen minutes.  The guy had either a sliver of a surf window or was getting super frustrated.

I should have joined him for the walk back, as no other memorable waves came...