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

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thankful for Thanksgiving Day Swell

Thanksgiving Day - November 22, 2007

Today the NPAC served up a Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings. I SUPed many of the reefs from GW's to the pier for three and a half hours before heading home to join the family for the gastronomic pleasures of this already pleasurable and surf blessed day.

There is a full moon with very high and low tides working (6.1 high to -1.0 low). I waited until the tide hit the four foot mark before paddling out at Sarge's. The tide was still too high and I caught a couple fat ones with lot's of backwash and face bump before paddling down to GW's to surf the insiders and sets. I picked off two insiders right away before the first six-wave set came through, shoulder high and glassy. It just got better from there as the tide dropped and the swell size increased.

Because it was Thanksgiving holiday lot's of people had the day off and it was pretty crowded. But with the SUP I could find all the places where I could surf waves the lay down surfers couldn't catch or couldn't get to in time. If a spot got too crowded I just paddled to another less crowded or empty peak. Such is the mobility and efficiency of a stand up paddler when there are multiple spots to choose from.

I caught three or four long, fast walls at Tweeners that closed out at Sarge's main take-off peak. Easily a distance of 100 yards or more. After two hours I was thinking about calling it a day when I paid more attention to the reefs east of us that were breaking because of the lowering tide. Batrays looked surfable and no one was out. I paddled over and surfed another hour there by myself taking long rides from the point to the tree on waist to chest high beauties. Finally a couple came out and I surfed with them, and took their pics until I headed back to Sarge's to end my day.

But on the way back I was waylayed by an inside set, and after that saw an incredible eight-wave set fire into and through Sarge's. One friendly guy on a 12 foot Laird lay down board got absolutely backside pocketed as he pigdogged his way from the main peak to the shallows inside. I was so mesmerized by the real life movie I just stared and hooted.

With all the activity, wave size and energy I fell off more than usual today. I can take a little solace in that I only botched one wave which resulted in a wipeout. But there was a lot of sideways and following sea type bump in the water which caught me by surprise and which I couldn't adjust to in time on several occasions which resulted in more than one ignominious dunking. I also paddled back out through a lot of whitewash and while I can handle a foot or two, anything over that and my percentages of staying on my feet are very low.

There were four other SUPers out today. Quite a few compared to most days. Meeting someone you don't know is like meeting a long lost brother. I wonder if this is what it was like in the early days of surfing when lone surfers met other like-minded souls, practicing their avocation? There is a nice camaraderie amongst we SUP practitioners and it's a lot of fun to talk story. I'm beginning to see more variation in the boards people are riding too. I had a great talk with a guy after surfing about his Infinity Ku Ku Hoe 11-footer. Sweet board.

Even though there was a plethora of waves and riders on all types of surf craft, I didn't get many good pics today, or pics at all. Too busy surfing I guess. As of this writing (0600 Friday November 23) the WNW Thanksgiving swell is fading (7.5'@13.8 seconds). Good thing...I need the rest.
November 22, 2007 (Th)
In: 1016
1st Wave: 1026
Out: 1346
Wave count: 20+
AT=54 to 59
Wx: Clear and sunny
Tide: 4.0 Falling to -0.5
Wind: Light offshore to calm to light-to-moderate WNW
Sea Surface: Glassy to light wind ripples
Buoy: NWS
1000: 9.5 @ 17.4 WNW
1100: 11.8 @ 17.4 WNW
1200: 11.8 @ 17.4 WNW
1300: 10.8 @ 17.4 WNW
1400: 12.5 @ 17.4 WNW
10'4" Angulo SUP
Rock reefs
Waves: 6' @ 17 (approx. ave.) Storm Surf Buoy Model


  1. Hearing about a guy getting barrelled on a 12' Laird gives me hope- that's cool! Did he just plug the hole on that thing?

  2. It was a thing of beauty to watch, especially since he was probably the friendliest guy in the water. When I paddled up to him I raved about his wave. He dug it! When his friend paddled up to him he said, "that guy (me) saw the whole wave!" And proceeded to talk story about his wave. He was stoked to the max!