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

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Wave Count Don't Count - Local Forecasting

Wave Count
There was a time in the very near past, when wave count was a big part of my daily surfing journal stats. But since I started stand up, wave count is no longer a necessary element, because wave count is no longer an issue.

Because I surf for fun, recreation and fitness, I never wanted to paddle out and just sit there. There is no beneficial exercise in that. I don't surf to BS with my bro's out in the water although I like being friendly and I'll talk up a storm if allowed. But when I socialize I miss waves and end up not surfing as much, therefore not getting the exercise I'm seeking. So I created a minimum target wave count to ensure that I would be moving enough to get exercise. Usually this target was ten waves. I could usually hit that target which meant I had a pretty good session, got some waves and got enough execise to meet my expectations. But that all changed when I switched to a SUP.

Now getting waves is not an issue. Average wave count is 15+ every session even when it's almost flat. I can surf waves from a small swell that lay down surfers wouldn't even bother to paddle out for. I've surfed many multi-wave sessions with no one out but me because it was too small. When the surf is cracking I can get my fair share too. And I mean "fair" share. I usually take the waves in the set that are too wide for the other surfers to catch, or take the inferior waves in the set. I still have fun, get good waves and importantly, get my exercise. (Every now and again I even get a set wave....Yowzah!) (More on the important issue of SUP Surfing Etiquette, which I call all my SUPing brothers and sisters to radically observe and practice, in another post.)

On my lay down board I used to sit a lot. Paddling around while waiting for sets was usually somewhat counter productive in that if one got too far off their line-up, when the sets came one was too far out of position to maybe even get one wave from that set. On stand up, I paddle all over the place during lulls. I can go in to the point, out to the kelp beds, over to the next break, out the back and practice quick turns...the options are many and all challenging and/or fun. And I can almost always get back to the line up in time for at least one wave.

With SUPing, catching waves is the icing on the cake. Exercise is the cake. On my stand up I get plenty of both. Did I mention that..."Life is Good!"

Local Forecast Page
For those who haven't seen it yet, Stormsurf has created a fantastic forecasting tool in the form of a local forecast page. (See the link in the left hand links column and/or click on the logo or click here for the alternate menu.) Bring the page up on your browser and then click on your location for a comprehensive look at enough surf and marine weather data to keep you busy, well informed and learning for a long time. Thanks to the Stormsurf Team for this incredible tool.

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