My head is held high on the vast majority of my in-wetsuit surf checks. Visions of waves twice the size of what forecasts called for tend to dance through my head.
My posture tends to suffer, and my pace tends to slacken, as I pass the railroad tracks and get my first view of the beautiful (to some) stillness of the so-called mighty Pacific. This is the largest body of water known to mankind, mind you. Supposedly, this is the manliest of all water droplet congregations. There are more than a billion of them out there; from the lowly hose leak in your backyard, to the puddle left after a car wash, to the mack daddy of them all: The Pacific Ocean.
It's interesting to me how the ocean responsible for the most deaths, destruction, and hurt feelings has such an oxymoronic name. It is source of, and host to, the biggest waves on the planet year after year.
The Pacific: peace, pacified... Today it was certainly living up to its name, or at least on the coast of north North America.
As you probably guessed from my above diatribe, the waves weren't very big. I walked south hoping to luck into a random sandbar where maybe, just maybe, a wave already slowed by the continental shelf from its open ocean cruising speed might chance upon an unexpected sandbar and jack up to 1.2x its expected height. That would give an extra four inches to work with.
I passed by a guy and his presumed daughter. The daughter watched intently as I knelt down and applied my leash, then continued on her carefree revelry as I marched towards the beach.
I paddled out and sat, then watched as an older guy on an egg paddled close to me and perched. The entire beach was ours, the nearest bobbing head 200+ yards away.
The waves were tiny, but at least the sea surface was smooth. I caught a left and faded off the back.
I then caught another left, pumped once, smacked and came down without issue.
I got to talking to the guy who was sitting near me. He was from the Sacramento area and was in town for a week at one of the beachfront buildings south of Wisconsin. He was excited to be surfing but was hoping for better waves. I told him tomorrow should be ~2% better. He said he couldn't surf during Sabbath. I didn't know if he was joking, but I later found out he was Mormon.
He was an empty-nester and showed signs of wanting to move down to SoCal upon retiring from selling payment processing machines. I told him you couldn't beat Oceanside for value and wave consistency (it's funny typing this after the twelfth unsurfable day in a row).
He and I split a peak on which I got semi-covered up going backside. It was a glorified head dip in all reality.
He then bailed as he and his wife were going to go to Sea World. I bid him adieu and paddled north, where a couple of new heads had perched. I caught a decent left and hit it well, then decided to bail.