G. Niblock on the L41 TipSUP Noserider. Photo: J. Chandler

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Many Winter Swells

I’ve been so busy since Wednesday last (10-17) I haven’t had time to make journal entries or upload photos. So I’m playing catch-up now. There has been no shortage of waves. We’re getting winter swells from the NW, WNW and even one late season cross swell from the South. I’ve been SUPing my way through them all. As a matter of fact since starting to stand up I haven’t done any lay down surfing.

I can’t remember all that well exactly how the swells or surf sessions broke down so I’ll just generalize a little. Prior to SUPing my wave count goal was ten per session. This was mostly driven by the fact that I seek a workout when I surf (the ocean is my gym) and rather than just sit out there waiting for waves, paddling around trying to catch waves is more work, i.e. more of a workout. But SUPing is a constant workout because one never just sits there, one stands there and that requires balance and energy, primarily because the surface of the ocean is never flat, it is always moving which requires constant adjustments in balance. Further, that’s just the foundation. I often get ten waves in the first half hour so I just stop counting. I’d guess my surf sessions are averaging somewhere between 15 and 25 waves per session in about an hour and a half. That time frame is always a good workout even if one is just paddle cruising and not surfing. Throw surfing into it and you’ve got an anaerobic and aerobic workout too.

One way of looking at it is that SUP surfing is just the icing on the cake. You can also practice quick turns, practice back paddling, paddle out into the kelp beds and look around, cruise inside and catch an uncatchable wave, paddle over to another peak, catch one, then paddle back to the first peak, go for a paddle tour or stop and smell the seaweed, notice the color of the water and depth of visibility, stare at the colors of the horizon or sunrise/sunset or just enjoy walking on water. Good stuff all!

Generally re swell direction and these current swells, the lane amplifies the NW swells the best. The WNW swells show very well on the eastside as do the souths. Buoy numbers have been very good, often in the double digits or very close to it. Lately SE Papa and the CA buoy have been registering 20 feet plus with swell periods above 15/second. Those buoys are very reliable for calculating when the northerly swells will reach us. One and a half times the swell period gives a pretty good approximation of speed in nautical mph. I calculated this last big (but short duration) swell to reach us about dark last night and be gone by sunrise this morning. It worked out pretty close to that. Watching the long, beautiful lines lope into the bay yesterday evening from Herby’s front porch was a joy. This morning size has considerably decreased.

I had a great session with Mash on Friday. I was out pretty early and he was already on it at GW’s. I paddled over and we rode together for an hour and a half. We swapped boards and I rode his 11’9” Angulo which I hate because it’s so much fun and so different than riding my 10’4” that I want one. He feels the same because the shorter Angulo is so much more surfy. We had breakfast after surfing then Mash went to work and I went to do some more research on a waterproof camera.

I’m looking at purchasing the Olympus 790 point and shoot waterproof camera. Then I’ll have more pics to post on this blog/journal and they will be water shots which will be a nicer adjunct to the text and more realistic to the surf and conditions of each day. Often by the time I’m done surfing and get my camera, the conditions aren’t the same as when I paddled out initially and surfed.

Photos here are of the last few days from Wednesday (10-17) through Friday afternoon (10-19). I had negotiations on Thursday, and the EMT midterm on Saturday, and church today so those days are surfless. Tomorrow I’ll be on it early.
October 17, 2007 (W)
Buoy: NWS
0700: 7.2 @ 12.9 NW
0800: 6.9 @ 10 WNW
0900: 7.2 @ 10.8 WNW
1000: 6.9 @ 12.1 WNW
10'4" Angulo SUP
Reefs: Rock and sand

October 19, 2007 (F)
In: 0707
1st Wave: 0712
Out: 0945
Wave count: 20+
Wind: Light onshores
Surface: Glassy with a light ripple. Kelp beds smoothed out the onshore wind.
Buoy: NWS
The buoy was in double digits from 4AM to 1PM (NW)
10'4" Angulo SUP
Reefs: Rock and sand

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