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Saturday, March 31, 2018

3.31.18 Backwash Blitzkrieg at Wyoming

Yesterday evening we met some friends at the beachfront house they manage.  The surf looked abysmal.  I had low hopes for this swell.

This morning while walking to the beach we happened upon a guy I've surfed with and he said it was fun yesterday around noon.

I decided to paddle out at a similar tide to try my luck today.

I slathered on the 50spf sunscreen because I would be out in the dreaded 10-2 baking window and took the walk.

I saw a party of three in the parking lot and asked them their thoughts on the conditions.  They said it was fine, but a little backwashy.

Sure enough, I walk out and there is the backwash along with no one out at Colorado proper.  I paddle out there with the understanding I'd be getting swept out towards Wyoming.

I reminded myself to try a foam climb when waves would inevitably close out on me.

My first wave of note was a fast left.  I got enough of an angle on it that I could pump.  I came down off that and came up for a risky second pump.  I was flying down the line aching to blow any section that had the guts to present itself to me but nothing came and I got batted off my board.

I had a similar wave but this one had a nice steep section for an off-the-lip. I rose up and smacked it well and while completing the turn  the backwash hit and down I went.

I caught a right and smacked it nicely, but got hung up on the lip.  For whatever reason I jumped off after about a second-and-a-half when I probably would've made albeit for not much of a reward.

I then caught my best wave of the day.  It was another right.  I made it down, bottom turned, then averted course for a quick pump.  I bottom turned again then saw a section and I immediately recalled one of my first waves from July of 2012  There was a small section in front of the wave and just at the right time I obliterated it in a really tight arc as its big brother pushed from behind. I had so much speed and the wave closed out.  I went for a foam climb and got really high but with no plan and fins releasing into the drink I went.

This was definitely the best turn I've done since 2014 (but then I took two long breaks between then and 2017)!

I was over getting baked in the sun and when the waves went quiet for twenty minutes I bailed.

Friday, March 30, 2018

3.29.18 Understandably All Alone at PC

Welp, looks like more of the same!  I spotted some corners that at least gave the illusion of opening up.  Once out there, though, it was tough to even get a pump in at the top of the wave.

I caught about five waves.  All of my drops felt critical.  My one mistake was on a right where I thought about going for the barrel and bailed on the idea as I wouldn't have made it.  It would have been nice to get barreled going backside though for the first time in nearly four years.

I'm still having issues shutting down when the wave closes out and/or leaves me behind.  I need to start harnessing these opportunities for foam climbs.

I walked on the beach to Panga Drops but that wasn't worth the paddle

Saturday, March 24, 2018

3.23.18 Double Dipping from PC to PD

The waves had dropped and I considered taking my Tomo out for a spin.  A gust of wind convinced me otherwise.  Stringerless boards are in general less flexible and forgiving in chop, and there was a fair chance I'd be dealing with a fair amount of this today.

I walked all the way down to Playa Colorado.  There wasn't much out there, but there was something.  I paddled a little bit away from the crowd and within ten minutes I was rewarded with my best wave there in a while.  It was m a y b e chest high.  I managed to catch up to it with some deft pumping and harnessing all the speed pockets I could.  I did a mini top-turn and then went for a floater but I didn't rotate my shoulders enough and I splayed back.

After a few closeouts I was over the worsening conditions and increasing chop.  I hadn't put sunscreen on much of my body as I had my jacket.  I didn't want to take it off halfway back and get roasted, so I decided to walk up the beach to Panga.   There, I thought I would at least paddle out and re-wet the jacket so I wouldn't roast in that on the shorter walk back.

It was an eventful walk.  The high tide had left some sand-encompassed pools of salt water.  I was nonchalantly walking through them and I sank so fast on one step; it's the closest I've come to cartoon-style quicksand.

Then I spotted a dead fish.  It wasn't small, but it wasn't big enough for a meal either.  I figured there was a chance it would reanimate if placed back in the water but it was definitely dead.  I wanted to give it a proper send-off in the ocean and maybe feed an ocean creature.  This solidified my resolve to paddle out at Panga.  As I waded out, I balanced it on the deck of my board.  Once I was ready to start paddling I grabbed it by the tail and as I wound up and just started my throwing motion it slipped out of my hand.  So fishy if your spirit is reading this, I'm sorry I didn't give you a good send-off into deepwater.  May your purgatory at inside Panga be short  and may you be consumed by a worthy being through which you will continue to live.

There were two dudes out in the now wind-whipped conditions.  I paddled inside of them and stayed there for a few minutes, giving them a chance to snag waves before I got priority in the rotation.  I then spotted a peak to the south.  The paddle was rough, as many times I was paddling through rough troughs (did anyone catch the same word three times in a row?), rendering my efficiency terrible. 

About ten minutes later, I paddled my ass off.  I caught a wave and made it down, then had a quick panic that the wave was going to pass me by.  I was able to squirt enough water through the tail and the wave linked up with the next peak down the line.  It developed a wall and I gained speed.  I nice foam coping formed and I went up and did a floater/rock-and-roll completing half the maneuver before the wind snatched the board away from me.  If I'd kept more of my weight on my heels I would have been golden. 

No other noteworthy waves came and I went in in my refreshingly wet jacket.

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!