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Wednesday, April 18, 2018

4.18.18 Downright Nasty Playa Idaho

After enviously feasting upon the pics of yesterday's session around this time, I downright powerwalked the .8 or so miles.

It looked gross out there, but I figured that was from me trying to time it so it would improve as I waited.

The tide was coming off the low for the day, approximately two hours prior to my having paddled out, and man could you feel it.

Everywhere was racing off, but I was able to take advantage of the rip which helped delay the inevitable for a section, MAYBE two.

I had a wave that opened up a little.  I can honestly say I have never bogged so hard on a wave.  I zigged when I should have zagged and had my weight on the wrong foot every step of the way.  When the end section came I comically had no speed but still tried to do something. My board lazily met the section with nothing behind it.

I did better on another wave, pumping well and rising up as it threw over.  I luckily got to it before it threw but when I did my top turn, the bottom fell out of the lip and I was left squatting and planning my path towards not taking a fin to the rectum.  From both of us, I'm happy to report I was successful.

The last "high"light was a left I snagged.  As I popped up I saw a guy way down the line surfing the right.  I figured what's the best risk/reward ratio in this situation?  I tucked into the barrel and got maybe a tenth of a second of tunnel vision before I view was impeded by wayward water and way too soon, the lip itself.

I'm very close to catching it excellent out there.  Yesterday I apparently surfed in between two golden windows.  This just means I'll have to froth that much harder when I do catch it 8+/10.

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

4.17.18 A Little Late at Playa Colorado

I made the fateful decision to go to Rivas (90 minute round trip) to stock up on milk, Fanta, and other goodies for my family and when I got back I checked the pics of what I missed and seemed pretty close to epic.  There were still plenty of closeouts but the swell direction was a little more southern, which apparently seems to help open up some sections.

By the time I made it out there, the backwash was in play and it pretty much ruined the session.

I had a bitch of a time catching my first wave.  But before I did so I saw one of the sickest barrel rides I've ever seen in person.  He caught it, swooped down, snapstalled then pumped as the lip went over him, and he pumped a couple more times until I lost sight of him.  I craned my neck and saw him kick out.

So of course I had to go over there and try to get mine.  I spoke to him about it later and he couldn't believe he threaded the backwash window.  He also told me it had been amazing right around noon.

My first wave was smaller than his.  I also swooped and snapstalled, though I had to crouch more to get into the barrel.  Just as everything was lining up and I was admiring what was imminently to be a barrel view (as well as the view down the line of the wave lining up seemingly perfectly) the backwash hit and the lip hit me right in the head.  Gone.

A lot of paddling back and forth and I got into my second wave.  It was a really late drop and I barely got to my feet in time. Unfortunately, an older guy on a bigger board dropped in on me.  Luckily he ate it on the takeoff so there was no collision of bodies.  I was pretty pissed and remember thinking, "Bitch move" as I watched his board waggle towards me in the whitewash.

I kicked my board in front of me and went under.  He gave me the wave, then again as I got closer.  He apologized sincerely and I was proud of how well I handled it.  I said, "Don't worry about it man".  He said, "I'm really really sorry".  I replied, "It's all good, no worries!".

I would have been right to let him have it and I sure felt like it when still on the wave (especially considering how long I'd waited for it).

I'm going to take a break from typing this as I may have sprained my wrist patting myself on the shoulder.

I got back to the main peak and happened to spot a big wave.  The backwash hit it and I thought that would cause it to eviscerate me.  I stared at it as it came down and happened to get J U S T under it.  The guy eight or so feet behind me who was also sprint-paddling got mauled.

I caught another late one on which I thought about pulling back but I went for glory with no payoff.  I unfortunately had too much weight on my back foot and paid the price for this mistake by getting clobbered above and under the water.

 On my next one, a left, I put my weight way forward but there was no golden section at the end of the ride, just exploding whitewater which took me down and out.

My last wave was another closeout and this time I put too much weight on my heels and ate it, so at least I'm varying my mistakes.

Sunday, April 15, 2018

4.15.18 Swampy on a Flaking Swell at Playa Wyoming

The tide was at its apex at about 2:30.  I left the condo around three thinking with a slow-ish walk I'd get to enjoy it a little bit more hollow with a little less backwash.

My new neighbor offered me a ride in his SUV.  I grabbed on to his roof rack and stepped on to his runner.  I got there the fastest I ever have from my place.  He has never surfed so I offered to teach him if he gets a board in exchange for his kindness.

Unfortunately, battling the wind's effect on my board at high speed was the most excitement I would experience during this session.

Every wave of mine was a closeout except for a couple.

I had another right which closed out right away.  I went for an immediate floater so as to make something of it.  I either put too much weight on my heels or my trajectory was bad from the get-go.  I was riding on top of the back of the wave although I did feel my fins catch and I began turning with them.  Had I been three inches closer to the beach I would have been able to say I successfully botched a backside taildrop 360 floater!

I pumped on a left and unfortunately didn't unweight my front foot when going for a lip tap (in preparation for gathering more speed for the upcoming section).  I bogged hard and ended my ride prematurely.

My last wave was a left and I was able to pump and do a pretty good cutback/slash on it as it fizzled.

There was no magical ride on a wave today.  And there was no magical ride back home.

Thursday, April 12, 2018

4.12.18 Ugly Sideshore Playa Wyoming

Oof it looked bad out there.  The wind was whipping it and the surface of the sea reflected that.

I hemmed and hawed as to whether to paddle out at Wyoming.  I once again, like yesterday, started walking towards Panga Drops, having written off the beachbreak.

A few corners came through.  They weren't anything remotely special, but compared to the barrage of constant closeouts their siren song was strong.

I had five or six pump-to-oblivion waves sprinkled throughout the following more noteworthy waves:

I caught a left and it had the slightest of corners.  I pumped once, then rose off the bottom and smacked the lip decisively and stomped it.

 My favorite wave of the day was a right.  I thought it was going to close out because that seemed to be today's wave m.o.  It did, but I rose up right out of my drop and levitated onto the lip.  I was pretty behind the lip itself and I felt my tail dragging turning my nose slightly to the open ocean.  I threw my weight over my frontside rail and stomped that, absolutely shocked I'd pulled it.

I saw a local pro drop in late on a right that just started barreling.  I duckdove out of his way and two seconds later I saw him do an aborted alley-oop.  He was the most amped I'd ever seen anyone down here and for good reason.

I thought I had to try to score one of those.  I paddled to where he'd caught it, hoping for another pulse from the same swell direction.  Twenty minutes later, still nothing.  I eventually caught one half the size of the one he'd caught and tucked into my first pigdog stance in forty-four months.  I got more foam on the head than lip, and I eventually gave up.

I was amped on the way I'd surfed considering the conditions and am enjoying the confidence boost.  I feel as though I'm surfing better than when I stopped in August of 2014.

4.11.18 PM Dropping Tide Playa Idaho

I calculated that at fifteen steps every ten seconds, and at ninety steps a minute, it takes me about twenty minutes to walk 1800 steps to Playa Colorado.  At 2.33' a stride extrapolated out to sixty minutes, I'm walking at about 2.38 miles per hour. 

You see, it's this bitchin content which keeps the hits coming to!

As is tradition, I slightly got my hopes up when seeing and hearing the closeouts past the estuary (and an estuary it will stay until the rains make the rivers break out).  Playa Colorado itself was EMPTY.  This would have been unsurprising if you'd been there looking at it with me.  The best sets were racy to the point of being unmakeable and the average ones were close-outs.  I overcame my temptation to try to find a golden corner where conceivably none existed.

Playa Wyoming looked better, though still very racy.  After watching it for a couple of minutes and seeing dudes getting gobbled up by the whitewater, I resigned myself to having to resort to Panga Drops to get my surf jollies.  I walked slowly, eyes on the ocean.  I saw a guy take off on what looked like a disaster northwest of Playa Wyoming.  I muttered to myself, "Why even bother?".  He hung on, pigdogged and got a slight cover-up. 

That's it, I had to surf here.  It was the first made barrel, albeit slight, I'd seen in months.

The tide was dropping though the backwash was still hitting some of the waves.

A lot of paddling around and jockeying for position later, I was in position for an overhead banger.  I made the drop with no issue, and felt my face contort into panic as I pumped up hard, then down.  I tucked down slightly and I was enveloped in the squarish barrel (likely a product of the tide and the angle of the wave hitting the bottom in a weird way).  I did another pump in the tube, this one less ambitious.  It felt like I'd backdoored the section that initially enveloped me, then I made it through another section before the foamball worked me.  I surfaced energized.

I went on another wave after a guy farther up the line couldn't catch it.  I tucked in and this one didn't benefit from bathymetry/swell angle synergy.  I barely fit inside it and it tunneled off without me.

Little by little, guys started filing in to the beach much to my delight.  Then a panga showed up.  Guys in the panga were wearing t-shirts and there were fishing poles visible so I hoped they were fishermen.  But the fact that they were anchored off one of the premier waves of the area didn't bode well for my optimism. 

Sure enough one, then five boards were thrown overboard followed by their riders.  It got semi-crowded again.  It wasn't bad at all with them in the water, but the further dropping tide meant there would be fewer rideable waves from which to choose.

I caught a right and did a drawn-out bottom turn, smashed it in a tight arc but turned into the whitewash and lost stability with no fin bite in the water.  I also managed to punch myself in the side of the head with my thumb knuckle somehow as I was underwater.

The first wave described was a doozy and one that will get me amping for my next go-out.

Tuesday, April 10, 2018

4.10.18 SlumpBustin' at Panga Drops

Before this last sabbatical I was averaging a session per day for the month.  Then I got busy, the surf shrank, and I got sick (again).

Today the stars aligned and I paddled out.  I spent ten minutes or so this morning bodysurfing and getting thwomped in unmakeable barrels.

I really thought with the swell filling in there would be some decent ones at Playa Colorado but when I walked over there it was laughably unmakeable.  I solemnly turned right and walked to Panga Drops, thinking of all of the money these poor souls spent on likely their only surf vacation of the year.  They could have waited a few months and gotten better waves at Zuma than today 😔.

I eventually made it over to the sandspit and paddled out.  Surprisingly, there was no one out and it was overhead.  The tide was almost at its abyss, but the sets were rolling in somewhat.

I pretty quickly caught a left and did a styley-feeling cutty after a late drop.  I ended the cutty halfway up the face to give myself some slope and mitigate my chances of getting blown off the back of the wave.  I semi-succeeded, for about five seconds.

I took a beating from about five waves then made it back out.  I decided to try the rights as they seemed a lot better so I paddled towards them.

Within ten minutes, I had a look at a good-sized right.  My body was saying let's go, but my heart was saying no.  It looked unmakeable as there was a big section in front that was threatening to fold over.  I felt the wave lift me up and I hooted myself into jumping up.

Another late drop and sure enough, the section imploded.  There was no way out and I was rapidly losing position and in danger of being caught inside by its younger siblings.  I jumped off and  literally skipped across the surface of the water before the wave entombed me.

I surfaced and yep.  I was screwed.  I was caught inside by a nine-plus wave set and before long I was over it.

Thursday, April 5, 2018

4.5.18 Different Story at Panga Drops

I checked this blog and the last time I surfed twice in one day was the first time I surfed Panga Drops, a mere 1346 days ago!

I paddled out with aching muscles given my extended session and wave count this morning and I had the opposite experience.  I paddled around, paddled around and was beaten out by others in better position time and time again.  The peak would shift, and someone else would be in a better spot.  It became maddening.

Eventually, I caught a left and had a nice bottom turn but was beginning to fade off the wave.  I then thought I had a chance at reconnecting but the backwash hit and ended my ride.

I looked back and thought about paddling back out but a set came and I was OVER IT!

4.5.18 Overhead and Busy at Pangas

The paddle-out was less vicious than I expected and I perched about forty yards inside of the guys on big foam.

I caught a bunch of waves and even managed TWO (2) maneuvers on one.  It was a nice though fat left and I did cutback and slash on it before it petered out on me.

The highlight was a late drop I took on a left.  The thing jacked up and sectioned off in front of me and I had to pump gingerly, almost in the flats, as the avalanche bore down on me.  I did a top turn and got hung up unfortunately.

I had another big left and when I went for a floater I got a weightless puckering sensation. The wind slammed on and blew me out the back.  I laughed in relief underwater.

4.4.18 Early PM Playa Colorado Close-Outs

Taking a paragraph out of my previous blog entry, I decided to paddle out at a time other than around sunrise or sunset.

There was a bit of a crowd at Wyoming and one approximating that at Colorado.  I paddled out on the Gigante side of Colorado to try my luck there, as most of the pack was sitting at Colorado proper.

My first wave was a quick right.  I managed to get a pump on the face of the wave which I quickly aborted and turned down.  My nose dug in just barely but I was left standing.

I pulled back from many-a-closeout until my next wave.  I swooped around the initial section and set my line, I was about to pump when out of the corner of my eye I saw the lip throwing over.  I ducked down just in time and was shocked to see the spinning cylinder of the barrel. While hooting (inadvertently),  and hearing the echo, I watched as the next section over threw over and then the one in front of it.  If I was in there for over 1.5 seconds I'd be surprised.

Nothing else worth writing about came and I eventually went in after close to two hours in the water.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

4.3.18 Traffic Jamming into Steepness

There was a slight uptick in swell and the tide was about right so I took that walk down to Colorado.  I've counted my steps, and at about 2.33' per stride, 1800 steps to wet sand is about three-quarters of a mile.  This amount doesn't include the walk back or walking up the beach once I figure out where I will paddle out.

It was nice seeing bigger waves today.  It was not so nice seeing the headcount multiply as I got closer to the water and obstructions fell away.  We are definitely in surf season.  I'm hoping the rains begin soon even though it means we will have many mosquitoes and gnarly humidity.

While I saw a lot of waves breaking today, I don't think I saw more than one makeable one.  Every wave on which someone went would lead to a meek display of their board tombstoning or their head poking out barely above the surface, slowly being led to slaughter over the falls. 

It's frustrating, but at least there are waves!

I caught my first left about ten minutes after having paddled out.  I made it around the initial section, then saw a slabby section about ten yards long jack up.  I pulled through the wave, but the force of it made me go over the falls.  I kicked my board out in front of me and covered my head with my arms and hands.  No impact came.

A LONG time passed, and I caught another left.  Every wave in the interim looked juicy while paddling for it, but a look in either direction betrayed its intentions with my body.  I popped up and immediately regretted my decision.  I kicked the board out.

About a half hour later, I caught my final wave.  I got hung up on the lip and airdropped.  I pulled it and there was nothing there.

Word on the street is the crowds visiting here love surfing early in the morning as that is what they are used to in the States.  The correct play is to wait until ten and if the waves look decent you paddle out and get a few while they tourists rest up for the afternoon session.

Sunday, April 1, 2018

4.1.18 Small Crisscrossed Wyoming

The swell was supposed to be increasing but unfortunately, the tide was as well.  I realized the backwash would be in play and it certainly was.  Waves would come and be almost inevitably be hit by backwash.  The faces were blocky and looked like windwhipped stairs.

The head count at PC proper made it unpalatable to me.  Wyoming was a little more spread out.

My first wave was within ten seconds of perching.  It offered nothing but a drop.

I paid for my quick wave by waiting twenty minutes for my next one.  I dropped down, got a quick pump in, then rose up and smacked an off-the-lip.  I heard a satisfying THWACK and rode away
No other waves of note came and in I went.