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

Friday, December 14, 2007

Nice To Be Back

After almost two weeks out of the water it was good to get back into the game. Day before yesterday Whitty and I took Leo for his first SUP, but that was just a nice long paddle, no surfing. He dug it...more on that later.

I paddled out this morning drenched in a "glorious morning" as MikeyB would say. I was in full wetsuit protection: 5/3 wetsuit, 3mil SUPing booties, 2mil hood and 2mil gloves. Rubber from head to toe. There was a good reason for all this insulation. Air temperature at 0725 hours: 35 degrees. Water temp: 52 degrees at the farshore buoy.

Today there was surf, although not the best conditions. There was this "too near to shore windswell" bump in the water. And it seemed like every wave had a small wave in front of it, like a double wave. Sets were fairly often but they contained a paucity of waves. Some "sets" were just orphans, one wave only. Not many waves lined up and it was pretty sectiony. Nobody was surfing through from the main peak unless the wave was pretty small. Not as much kelp was removed by the Big West Swell as I had hoped. Way surfable though. The offshores were at one mph. When the local restaurants fired up their grills I could smell the breakfast burritos a quarter mile away.

Last night I swapped out my 5" RFC fin for a 9" RFC. Because there was less kelp the longer fin worked well and I enjoyed the increased drive the fin allowed. This helped in making a lot of sections riding high and steep that I don't think I would have made if the 5" was still in the fin box. Andy swapped fins in his Beachboy (10'8" Angulo) from a bigger, stiffer fin to a swept back Wingnut fin (like the red Harbour fin pictured here). He was totally digging how the fin loosened up the board. He was definitely SUP surfing looser today. The fin pic posted here is the fin I used today and the Harbour high performance fin that is similar to the one Andy had installed today. I'm going to swap the 9" out for the Harbour and see how that works. I used it in a 9' Harbour WingPin (click here) and loved it. Playing with fins is fun!

I SUP surfed for two and a half hours. It was a good workout and there is a big difference between paddle cruising and paddle surfing. Digging for waves puts everything to work. A couple hours after todays surf I was sore in a lot of places. To be expected.

I paddled straight to GW's and surfed for over an hour by myself. No matter how early I've ever paddled out there has always been at least six people at Scimitars. Today? Two. After a half hour those two went in and I was by myself for about 20 minutes. Unheard of! It had to be the cold weather.

I was pleasantly surprised by how warm I stayed, although my fingers still got cold. I definitely did NOT want to fall in the water, but eventually I did and again I was surprised because the water in my gloves made my fingers warm. Nice! Thank God for solar gain...the sun shined the whole session.

Eventually I was joined by a couple more lay down surfers. Priscilla and the Doc came out and Andy and DaveC showed up. Everyone had a good time and shared waves. When the southeast wind kicked up I headed in, thoroughly surfed out and thankful to be SUP surfing again.

At this writing the forecast is for bigger surf tomorrow. The farshore buoy is at 21 seconds.
December 14, 2007 (F)
In: 0725
1st Wave: 0735
Out: 1000
Wave count: n/a
AT= 35 - 47 degrees
WT= 52 degrees at the farshore buoy
Wx: Clear and cold with some light hazy clouds
Tide: 3.4 Rising to 4.1
Wind: Steady light offshore switching to southeasterlies at 0925
Sea Surface: Bumpy with light wind ripples
Buoy: NWS
0600: 7.9 @ 12.9 WNW
0700: 8.5 @ 12.1 WNW
0800: 8.2 @ 11.4 WNW
0900: 8.2 @ 11.4 WNW
1000: 8.5 @ 11.4 NW
1100: 7.9 @ 11.9 WNW
10'4" Angulo SUP
Rock reefs
Waves: 3.5' @ 12 seconds (approx. ave.) Storm Surf Buoy Model

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