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Wednesday, March 21, 2018

3.21.18 Picking off Mid-Morning corners at PC

I didn't see anything in the in the form of wave action as my walk was reaching its ending; a bad sign.  I was eventually comforted by the sight of a closeout 😏.

I put on my jacket and did some light stretching while I drank in the conditions.  The main peak seemed to be closing out, but the corners of these seemed to be holding up every so often.  The idea of veering away from the pack and picking off what was there after the unmakeable section inevitably folded over was titillating.

Well, the first and second waves were close-outs.  The second of these I got hung up on the lip and hit the eject button, breaking the water's surface with my elbow so as to sink more efficiently into it.

My third wave was a little screamer and I caught up with it.  I hadn't been presented with a forehand section in weeks and I while I did look down I didn't rotate my head and shoulders.  Granted, the section was super steep and drainy as it was pretty far on the inside. 

I had some work to do and so I bailed not long thereafter.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

3.18.18 First One Out at PC

I woke up just after 4:30 this morning but remembered my plan to paddle out as close to first light as possible.  I geared up and headed down the steps.  Before I even hit the first clearing for the golf course a truck slowed down and my new buddy Hayden gave me a ride.

I got out once at our destination and waited for him to put on his neoprene jacket.  He smiled and said I didn't have to wait for him.  So I went and checked it and lo and behold there were closeouts to be had.  But once in a while a nice A-frame would detonate.  The waves were definitely overhead and there was no one out.  I did some neck and arm stretches to take the strain out from last night's session

I made it out unscathed despite the relative bombs coming through.  The swell was seemingly still building.  It took me forever to catch my first wave and frustration set in.  Eventually, my wave came and the drop was probably the most gorgeous of any wave I've ridden since 2014.  With that good news comes the bad news: There was no wall, nothing, to follow it.  It had shot its wall wad on the initial peak.

My final two waves were similar, though the second was a really critical drop.  I got hung up on the lip as a gust of wind further levitated me.  I thought I was going down but I stuck it but unfortunately there was no reward to be had.

My teeth chattering, my paddling muscles bitching, I decided to go in.  Hopefully the water will warm up before it gets too crowded to surf comfortably...

Saturday, March 17, 2018

3.17.18 Big and Sloppy PC

I'd intended on surfing yesterday afternoon, then today around midday/mid-tide but daddy duty kept getting in the way.  I was finally granted a reprieve and so I took the long walk down to PC.

I knew it was going to be big.  I've seen PC around this size once before.  There were a lot of closeouts but every eight waves or so there would be a corner on which you could try to tuck into a no-way-out barrel or attempt a losing battle with a fast lip.

On my first wave, I experienced the latter and I kicked my board up and out.

My next wave was a right, and probably my best wave.  I half-pumped, half-bottom turned a couple of times and really close to the gaping maw of this fierce lip.  After this exchange I kicked my board up, conceding defeat.  While underwater, I wondered if I could've gotten in the barrel.  Yes, but not for long (considering I couldn't keep up with the wave with way more room than I'd have had in the pit.

I was told to go on a big meaty left which I thought was going to close out.  It was nasty looking but go means go and go I went. It opened up ever so slightly and I laid into a bottom turn but aborted and jumped over my frontside rail as the booming foam and I became one.

It seems the hopeless closeout count has remained the same.  This is the first big swell and maybe after it is done the sand will have shifted into a more amenable shape so as to provide us some nuggets.

Wednesday, March 14, 2018

3.14.18 Low Tide Pangas

After witnessing some relative bombs detonating at Outside Pangas yesterday I made plans to paddle out this morning.

It wasn't a great situation.  You could sit outside and wait for the bigger ones which had too-fat walls or you could get the inside ones which were a little bit better, but you would get cleaned up by the whitewash.

I took a right late and bit it right away, getting bounced off when my fins hit. 

The highlight of the session was a left I caught late.  I put my weight on to my fins and waited until it was safe, then sped towards the lazy wall.  I did a top turn of sorts then kicked out.

The water was noticeably warmer and I look forward to shedding my wetsuit jacket soon.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

3.10.18 Aborted No-Go at PD

The previous evening we watched the sunset from in front of Colorado and the waves were opening up, meaning less than eighty percent were hopeless closeouts/section-offs!

I made plans to surf there the next morning but the swell dropped and it wasn't even worth the short wade-out.  I turned my eyes towards El Salvador and walked.  I figured there would be something more enticing at Panga Drops.

While I saw waves break they were lazy and wind-whipped. I'd made the mistake of putting on my vest jacket at Colorado so I was sweating.  I knew if I took off the jacket I wouldn't paddle out so I trudged on and looked forward to being cold.

The water was so damn cold.  I never thought the water in Central America could dip into the 60s.  But it was frigid and those who tuned into my post-sesh cam show know I am telling the truth.

I caught two waves, both drops with nowhere to go.  I got blown off the back on both of them, despite being on my practically rocker-less board.

I'm going to wait until the swell kicks back up, which should be Monday evening, before I attempt another paddle-out.  I will say I felt very refreshed after being reanimated in the shower.

Thursday, March 8, 2018

3.8.18 Dropping Swell but Rising Wave Count at Panga Drops

The girls wanted to go to the beach so I decided to surf while they did their thing.

I couldn't decide which board to grab and eventually opted for the 5'10" with more volume and nose rocker.  The swell had peaked but it would be a slow descent into its runts.

I paddled out through the sandspit, again surprised at how quickly I got out and this time with even dryer hair than last time.

The tide was dropping, probably about a third of the way down to its low.  The waves were a little bit steeper as a result.

On my first wave, I faded hard to my backside.  My leash was under my back foot but by the time I turned up the wave there was little there.

I got another wave and I should have gone for a roundhouse cutback but did just a cutback into the whitewater without facing it.

When I caught my first right I was a bit worried that the crosschop (the wind blows directly into the rights) would hamper my bottom turn and sure enough, I bobbled and couldn't recover after railing through it.

I got a second chance at a right and it was foamier due to the first wave of the set breaking before it.  I managed to bottom turn and laid into a nice turn at the top of the wave.  I know I was at the top because I got blown off the back by the wind.

I decided to make my way in as it was almost our little one's nap time.  I managed to get a look at a semi-closeout and had fun doing a pump at the top of the wave and screaming parallel to the closeout section.  I keep forgetting to try foam climbs...

3.7.18 Triple Overhead Panga Drops? (NOPE!)

The previous night, I was told to bring my biggest board for the morning sesh as it would be triple overhead.  I replied, "Guess I'll be bringing the 5'10"!".  And bring it I did!

I was the only one on the beach when I slipped on my jacket and earplugs.  I walked out to the sandspit and, if not for making it late over an inside wave (and the offshore causing the spray to needle me), I would have paddled out with completely dry hair.

There was definitely a lot of water moving around but it certainly wasn't triple overhead, not even double overhead.  I paddled towards PC to make up for my sandspit shortcut and perched.  One other dude was paddling out diagonally from that direction.

It was less than ten minutes before a set came.  The first wave obliterated me.  I gathered my thoughts and my board and pressed on. I made it over the second wave of the set and elected to whirl around and catch the third.

At first I didn't think I was going to catch it, but with a few extra paddles it did.  I semi airdropped down the right, definitely overhead but not scarily so.   I was starting the bottom turn and I hit a chop and went flying. 

I paddled back out and an endless train of waves bore down on me.  The other dude caught the right behind me and was ahead of me towards  the priority buoy.  I eventually passed him and after five minutes of the paddle-paddle-duckdive gauntlet I looked back and was disheartened to see we'd been moving backwards. 

I flailed around for maybe ten minutes total and was over it.  The incoming swell coupled with the apexing high tide combined to kill my amperage.  After not having made eye contact with the one other dude, I sat on my board, looked over at him and caught his eye.  I did a throat slit motion with my finger (in retrospect it might have looked as though I was threatening his life), he smiled, and I caught the next wall of whitewater in.

I briefly considered checking out the beachbreak but figured it would be crappy as the sand is askew.

Sunday, March 4, 2018

3.3.18 Mastering the Straight-Off Adolph at PC

The tide seemed somewhat favorable and there was swell so I decided to take the walk down to the beach.  I winced as I saw what awaited me.  Close-outs everywhere with one in every twenty waves having a corner.  This wouldn't be terrible, if the corners stayed put.

I caught two mirror image rights, made the drops and cut the bottom turns short after seeing what awaited me at their resulting trajectories.  I realized as I remembered the waves I could have gone for foam climbs at least... Maybe next session!

I eventually got swept past Wyoming into the rip and caught one in on which I almost pearled.

Thursday, March 1, 2018

3.1.18 A Session to Forget at Busy PC

My wife wanted to watch the sun set from the beach and I took my board.  I knew it wasn't going to be big and it appeared that it was going to be more of the same (close-outs).

I was surprised to see a few corners at Wyoming, though they were few and far between.  I paddled out there after hauling my daughter and our newest neighbors from Canada's son in the wagon, which was a great workout.

In all I caught five waves.  The one left I caught was a questionable go and I was immediately blinded by the sun and its glare.  I navigated by feel and got semi-covered but nowhere near being encased in a barrel.

The rights were all borderline pearls with almost enough room on which to go for a hit but natch.

I can't believe how cold the water is this time of year.  My ear plugs were being bitches and being uncomfortable the whole time.

Man, I sound like an old man!

Sunday, February 25, 2018

2.25.18 Morning PC Strike at Higher Tide than Yesterday

I'd been rolling around the idea of paddling out since I woke up at 3:30 this morning.  I wasn't feeling great, but could definitely muster up the strength to surf.  I found my Surf Ears and was pleased they wrapped around my neck, allowing me to salvage them from the next depth charge.

I mentioned to my wife I thought it'd be crowded as people at the beachfront party last night were speaking in hushed tones about high tide today being the call.   Surely, they'd tell their surf buddies and there would be a pack.

I grabbed my water jacket, board, and took the walk down to the beach.  My first glance of the ocean revealed a pretty big closeout and I got excited, given what might await me at the section of beach that closes out a little more slowly. 😏

The water was completely devoid of surfers.  I celebrated by stretching really well (for me).  I noticed during last night's go-out that as the session wore on I got slower on my pop-ups and I would drag my legs up.

Just as I finished my routine, another guy rocked up and began his.  I paddled out and perched and waited.  On my first wave I got hung up on the lip and I thought I was going down, given my experience the previous evening.  I pearled slightly but managed to make it.

All in I probably caught six waves.  I initiated one bottom turn on my backhand but aborted when the wave raced on.  I made all of my waves but if you count making unmakeable sections makes, then my success rate drops by an infinite amount.

My teeth were chattering and there wasn't anything worthwhile coming so I went in after about an hour, this time with ear plugs in hand!

Saturday, February 24, 2018

2.24.18 Surprise Surge in Swell

We were invited to a kid's party at a beachfront house.  I saw pictures on FB of just how good it had been a couple of hours before and I decided to walk down to PC to see it for myself. 

I didn't see anything at first.  There was no one out at Colorado proper.  I checked Wyoming and a really nice set broke.  The tide was still dropping as I put on my wetsuit jacket and secured my earplugs.

My first wave was an easy enough drop.  I swooped down and snap-stalled.  I got covered up but was on the outer edge and the lip was dousing me.  I kept resisting until eventually I was pushed face down into the water, like a dog getting its rub nosed in its excrement.

The next wave was too quick for me to get around.

My ear plugs popped out and I caught them.  I paddled with the plug string in my mouth and two duckdives later they were gone...

Then came the lull of all lulls.  I saw some nice ones, not too steep but bigger than I've seen all year, breaking back at Colorado so I paddled against the current up that way. 

Long story short, nothing broke over there and I soon found myself drifting back.

The tide was really low at this point.  I took off on two more waves.  On both, I paddled, popped up and felt the wrath of the wind.  I stomped down to compensate and by the time gravity gradually began winning my nose was pointed too far down.  I was catapulted into the water and in I went.

While at the party I watched the waves and saw a couple of spitters. Both were at the end of a big closing section where a corner opened up but one could sneak in if they were lucky and get barreled and spat out. 

I'm hoping to surf the higher tide tomorrow morning though I'm sure it will be more crowded because of the coconut wireless...

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

2.20.18 Pangas: Possibly the Windiest Sesh in my Surf Career

I went to Rivas and had to abort my mission to get something notarized as I'd neglected to remember to bring my passport.  I dutifully went to the grocery store and came back.  When I dropped off an item our neighbors needed, I was propositioned for a session by the NSR photog.  He said he really needed someone to shoot and there wasn't anyone out.

It was midday, the surf sucked, but I acquiesced.  I lathered on sunscreen and we pedaled down to Colorado, which looked absolutely abysmal.  A bicycling groove of grommets, coming from Panga Drops, gave us the report: "It sucked".

I had still not done a turn on the Tomo since Oceanside.  I forgot how nicely it goes on the flat spots, perfect for a day like today.

My first wave was a pumpathon to oblivion.  My board went really well and did great paddling into the waves despite the 40+mph gusts.

My second wave was a pumpfest, and I got a nice squirt through the tail (heterosexually speaking) and found something to bounce off of.  Unfortunately, I didn't rotate my head and shoulders and I bailed.

My next wave of note was a sick one.  I dropped in late, and as a result, blind.  The breaking wave around me was throwing water that the wind was accelerating into my face.  Once I opened my eyes, I was shocked at the section presented to me.

I went for a hit/floater and was abruptly shoved off the back by the wind.

I sat for what seemed like forever.  I was getting cold and my teeth began to chatter.  I didn't know how many more shots Brian needed and so when a biggish wave came I went.  The section was one I probably couldn't have made if I'd managed to not get hung up on the lip.  It looked like this:

Spoiler alert I got thwomped on to my back and the rest of the wave ate me up!

I know, it looks like I was killing it out there.  It just shows you the power of the still frame in an action setting!

Happy Birthday to my uncle Brad, who is celebrating fifty years of being an adult today, at least chronologically speaking! 😂

Monday, February 19, 2018

2.19.18 F-it PM Session at PC

I'd spent most of the time between today and my last session back in San Diego.  I went up there to take my mortgage loan origination license test.  I thankfully passed and am now here waiting for it to become active so I can pad our income a bit.

During my time in SD, I went to my in-laws' storage unit and got my Tomo Vanguard, my last bosom board.  Up until today, it hadn't seen the water in nearly three-and-a-half years and had been languishing in its windowless cell.  I bought a used travel bag and paid an ass-puckering $200 to get it down here and luckily it did so in one piece.

After nearly three weeks of not surfing, I decided to paddle out no matter how bad it looked.

And bad it looked!  This was most evident by there being nary a head in the water.

I caught six or seven  waves and the only quasi-turn was on my first, I launched off the lip after having zero set-up time and flew into oblivion.

It felt great to be on this board, despite it only being a 5'4" and the volume being around 26.  It paddles well and catches waves well despite the offshore.

Saturday, February 3, 2018

2.1.18 Unexpected PM Session at PC

My aforementioned neighbor came to my door while I was studying for my MLO test and said he was going to go check it.  He came back and said his contact at the beach reported chest-plus-high waves.  I grabbed my board and Chucho (Raquel and the girls were at the beach for a girls-only get-together) and we walked down.

The wind was pretty strong offshore, though not gusting and howling like it has been for the past couple of days.  I put in my go-plugs (ear plugs) and waded out.

I violated one of my surfing tenets on this day, for I fraternized with a sponger.  Brian revealed his true self and while I'm proud of him for the courage that took, I couldn't shake the piercing glares from other stand-up surfers.

I'm taking a little bit longer to get up on my board, definitely something I need to work on, though I did nail every drop.  They were all late due to the wind.

I blew one wave by trying to mini-pump upon take off.  The wind snagged my board and I couldn't descend again.

I had a nice, long left but I was off-balance for most of it.  I managed to hit it but was too off-kilter to have a shot.

I got teeth-chattering cold.  I know, I know, it's not cold here but the relative wind chill was nasty as the sun was going down.

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

1.16.18 Back to Playa Colorado with First Hint of Swell

I had to abort my first attempt at leaving the house with my board.  My eldest decided she does in fact like me and started crying, begging me not to go.  I solemnly put my board back.  I ate my Frosted Flakes and figured that was it.  My wife got up and then she told me to go.

By the time I got down there it was well past first light.  There was one guy checking it but no one in the water.  It looked pretty bleak out there with some almost-skimmable waves breaking a little too fast.  I headed towards Wyoming, the break north of Colorado.

A couple of guys in wetsuit tops paddled out into the nothingness at Colorado, in what I assume is a faith play.  A rideable set finally broke at Wyoming and I went out to my very own peak!

It was not to last, as one, then another, logger paddled out.  Sets were inconsistent, but chest-high and they had more than a drop!  I caught a racy left on which I bottom-turned and was too late to do much, but watched a foot from the barrel to see if I could have made it.  The answer is yes, for about two seconds before the section in front collapsed.

I caught another left and tried to get in the barrel but couldn't fit.

I tried my luck on my backhand.  I was really late on my first, made even later by the  gusting winds.  I descended and swung around, I poked my board up at it and was able to come around but I for whatever reason aborted even though it felt as though I'd made it with my noise pointed in the right direction.

A second right and I tried really hard to pump, I got one in and on my second I was hung up on the blazing lip.  I was catapulted face first into the trough and was really lucky not to have hit bottom considering once I stood up I was in hip-deep water.

My final right: redemption!  I pumped once and hit it as the wave sped off.

I caught a final closeout in.

Sunday, January 14, 2018

1.14.18 Forgettable Pangas Slumpbuster

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I had to really convince myself to surf this afternoon.  I walked the long way to Panga Drops and walked out to the sand, then back towards the break.  A place I'd never seen break before looked really good considering the lack of swell in the water.  I checked that for fifteen minutes and no other waves like that one magic set came.  The absolutely howling offshore winds were hammering me and coating my lower body in sand.

One of my neighbors is a photographer for NSR, a company that has a surf shop/vacation rentals/real estate business, among other things.  I talked to him for a while as he shot pics for the surf report.  He said it looked pretty good all things considered.  We watched the set of the day not quite detonate and I figured that was as amped as I would get, so I should harness it and get out there.

The vast majority of waves were strictly drops.  There was a sweeper out there who was having trouble catching waves, although there was a logger who was snagging quite a few.

While talking to the photog, I compared this spot to monogamy.  You're sitting on your peak and you will see other, pretty waves break and you will be tempted.  But you know as soon as you paddle over to your new crush you will regret it as you will miss your old one.

As a result of this reinforcing conversation,  I sat in the same spot.  The stakes were a little higher today, for if you missed a wave you paddled for, you were punished by myriad needles in the form of salt water projectile launched by the offshores.

I will describe all the waves worth the effort in the below area.

Friday, January 5, 2018

1.4.18 WAY Bigger than I Expected at Inside Pangas

It was pretty warm this afternoon and the swell was tiny and only going to get smaller.  I figured I should go paddle around if only to cool off.

I walked to the spot and was surprised to see it sporting a semblance of rideability.  The tide was coming up, almost to its apex, so it was the shorebreak show.

I paddled out and was shocked when I caught my first wave, as it was nearly head-high.  I caught another, then the pack enveloped me.  I paddled south to emptier pastures, to a peak which had looked rideable from shore and no one on it.

I sat there for ten minutes and then was shuttled back to my original spot by the current.  I caught one more wave, another too-quick virtual closeout and was again surprised at the power.  Another thing that struck me was the rushing foamy water made it feel as though I was moving in slow motion; it was really freaky.

I paddled, then perched once more and while looking towards shore I saw something I hadn't seen at the beach since 2002...

A woman's top third had the same color as her middle third.  Could it be? Could it be I had snapped my tittyless-at-the-beach streak?  I strained to confirm my hypothesis but couldn't make out nipples, let alone areoli.

The shortest ten seconds of my life and then that's when it happened, she put a black bikini top over them. YES! It HAD happened after all.

I spent the rest of my time in the water changing the lyrics of popular songs to strictly 'titties'.  My favorite was the synth part of the Ghostbusters theme song.

I caught another wave and went in.  As if to put the cherry on top of the titty sundae, a local in a golf cart offered me a ride back to my condo building!