After witnessing the lame offerings at G-View (not once in its history has it been confused with G-Land), George's, Seaside, and 20th St, I settled on an old favorite: Pillbox.
My limited exposure to this spot has yielded me these nuggets: The north peak tends to work better on a N swell, while the south peak prefers a S. Not realizing this as my toes hit the water, I paddled out at the southern peak after having been entranced by a reeling, somewhat hollow left's siren song.
I suffered handsomely for having witnessed that once-a-day wave. The paddle-out was nasty, but what awaited me was perhaps more cruel. I sat there not catching a thing for over half an hour, a waste of about half a session.
Three guys who'd paddled out to the north peak were having better luck. I lusted after their conquests and decided I no longer wanted to be a witness to their ways, but a partner in them.
I went in on the first wave that let me on. At first it looked like a closeout, on my last check before popping up, it appeared to have mellowed, but the steepness of the wave absolutely shocked me, which left me audibly shrieking in excitement/agony at the thought of being tousled in the 2/3 water, 1/6 sand, 1/6 air concoction its younger twin had left in its wake. I felt my nose dig, but managed to not endo.
I walked north with my leash still strapped to my ankle, knowing full well that taking the leash off my ankle may serve as tiebreaker and lead me back to The Rad.
I paddled out north of the previously referenced three guys, hoping the current would put me right in the sweet spot. After about ten minutes of sitting, I caught my first wave. I arced up from the bottom and demolished the lip. My momentum carried me out a bit onto the shoulder so I laid into a roundhouse cutty and pulled it smoothly. I tried to pump in the froth that had broken just in front of where I'd reset my fins to try to keep going, but it was not to be as the section just in front of that cavitated as it filled with froth.
This wave by itself had made all of the paddling, waiting, and walking worth it.
I caught another one and in my ebullience managed to travel too far onto the fatter section of shoulder. I realized this at the last second and really laid into my back foot. I sent a lot of spray flying, killing all of the speed I would have otherwise wasted because of not being able to get back into the wave.
Having only a limited time to surf meant it was time to go in.