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Monday, March 27, 2017

3.27.17 High Tide Maderas

This time our timing coincided with the peak of the high tide which is usually a bummer.  The fat waves, and in this area of the world, the offshore winds, do their best to keep you sliding down only the backs of the waves while the wind cackles as it pelts you with stinging water needles as if to further mock you for your failure.

We got there and there were some makeable waves visible from the road.  I got a little excited but knew better than to get overamped.  The parking area was the fullest I'd seen it in my three trips there.  I paddled out and felt the gutlessness of the waves wash over me with each duckdive.

I  lost several waves to perfectly positioned locals on logs.  I let one go ahead of me even with my better positioning on a couple of waves as they were not looking/caring to see if anyone else was outside of them and just dropping in.

After a couple of almosts, it took me easily a half-hour to catch my first wave.  It was a left and shut down almost immediately.

I caught a right which had a little bit of a line to it, but it was small and fat and didn't let me go too far.

I caught an ok left and got one pump in, which upped my amp factor.  I was about halfway in and considered going in but I decided to go for one more.

About fifteen minutes later, I got my chance on a left.  I overpaddled for it, dropped in, and began swooping pumps.  My rented board, a 5'11" Pyzel, felt really loose under my feet.  The end of the wave approached after about four pumps and I swooped down and went more vertical than I've been known to.  I felt a tweak in my left hammy as I snapped.  The snap felt great other than the tweaked hamstring; I had a great angle with speed.  I found a way to flounder about two-thirds through the maneuver and I fell off my board.  I rode in on my belly and found my girls as I tried not to bend my knee too much for fear of more hammy pain. 

Here's to hoping an elusive solid night's rest is enough to make the tweak dissipate!

Sunday, March 26, 2017

3.26.17 Playa Maderas Closeouts

We're staying in San Juan del Sur.  I had done a lot of research on the potential of this area and just a couple of days ago I had the following realization:

To surf decent-to-good waves for free, you go to Playa Maderas.

Marsella doesn't break all that often.

Remanso is too fat a wave, probably doable on massive days though.

Playa Hermosa and Playa Yankee charge $3-$4 per adult.  This is a pittance if you know the surf will be good and you're in for a good session, but it is an insurmountable amount for a surf check when the amount of swell is questionable.

The offshores are here, maybe even stronger than in the Tola (Colorado, Panga Drops) area.  But there seems to be more unsurfable coastline down here.  Costa Rica's Santa Rosa National Park is a peninsula that robs this area of almost all steep south swells.  This is likely a one and done trip as a result...

I'd been told that Playa Maderas is a zoo.  As mentioned above, it is free to go here and the waves can get very good, a rare combination for the SJDS metro area.  I was out with one other shortboarder and a few loggers who were just learning.  The crowd wasn't bad by any stretch, especially considering it's a Sunday when some locals might be on it.

The waves were up from the day before, but only marginally so.  It might have been shoulder high on the best sets.  The VAST majority were closing out.  This was likely a function of paddling out 90 minutes after the valley of the low tide, but I didn't have a choice because the family was in tow and we had to maneuver around breakfast/getting ready and naptime.

My first wave didn't immediately close out.  It gave me a split second in which to ponder, "Wow, if I summon Mick Fanning speed at takeoff I might make it around the first of many closing sections".

On my second wave, I did this mini-pump up top without thinking about it.  The offshore caught me trying to re-descend and impeded my process.  It turned my chances of reaching green water from .5 to 0%.

After this one I caught a right, which immediately closed out and I jumped up and over.

I was pretty over it by this point and went back in not long thereafter.