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

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Peaceful Paddle With A Surprise

Just when I thought I was getting good at lowering my expectations; my expectations were exceeded beyond my, well....expectations!

I put in at the Pier, set for a mostly paddling day, while bagging a few small and weakly wrought wind waves. I knew there would be something because (it pays to watch those buoys!) a 15 second small wave swell popped up on the nearshore buoy yesterday at midday. A glimmer of it showed on the farshore buoy, but the data is so sporadic these days (Hey NDBC! Need some maintenance here...) it's hardly reliable. Local windswell was going to be within reason too as it blew pretty hard last night 27nm out to sea, thus whipping up a few combers for the dp.

A super minus low tide enabled Rip-raps to rip at put-in. Rip, if you think quick little ankle biters is ripping that is. But hey, I haven't seen it break but once so far this year, and that was on a mackin' West swell a few months ago. I played around there for a while before deciding to paddle up-coast. So I paddled and surfed at all the little reef breaks that were giving it up as I headed towards the Point. This is where the surprise came in.

Little did I know Scimitars was going to put up a short, glassy A-frame, breaking about 50 feet offshore of the dry rock reef, with a takeoff oasis in a desert of kelp, putting up a fun little wall back into the exposed reef. And I was the only one out! I could not believe my good luck. This NEVER happens! I suppose everyone was thinking that there was "zero" swell and therefore no waves and the tide was too low anyway. Packed up a half dozen consistent waves in 15 minutes by myself at this primarily shortboard spot, before the cliff spies decided it could be surfed. Another fifteen minutes with two other guys, another four or five waves and it was time to move on. Paddled through 8's and up to the Point, picking up a few waves here and there, then reversed course and did it all over again back to the Pier.

Weather was considerably improved over yesterday's June gloom preview. Cold air aloft moved into the district, pushing out the warmer air that was causing the inversion which made it colder and frostily foggy. What? Weird, but thats how it works. It took cold air to make it warm.

Today was also perfect for the SUP. I could catch just about anything that was catchable, while staying above the kelp and never getting tangled up in it. Had a couple snags but no big deal. And I could paddle into the waves at Scimitars way before the shortboarders could. They almost had to be sitting in the perfect spot. Too far out and they couldn't get the speed they needed to drop in, too far in and the wave jacked up too late to take-off.

Stand up paddle surfing is such a great way to go. I had a long peaceful paddle in a beautiful environment, great exercise and a couple dozen waves to boot. Walking on water in the wilderness, 200 yards from the morning commute. Did I say, Life is Good?
May 7, 2008 (W)
In: 0620
Out: 0840
AT= 46 to 52 degrees
WT= 48.6 degrees at the nearshore buoy
Wx: Cloudy with some patchy fog offshore
Tide: -1.56 Falling to -1.71, Rising to -0.9
Wind: Calm to light out of the SW to moderate NW
Sea Surface: Glassy in the kelp beds to light wind ripples
Buoy: NWS
Sporadic buoy data
0600: 5.2 feet @ 12.9 WNW
0900: 3.6 feet @ 12.9 W
1100: 4.9 feet @ 9.1 WNW
10'4" Angulo SUP with Infinity paddle
Fin set-up: Thruster with Bluecoil 5.5" center fin and FCS Occy sides
Bathymetry: Rock reefs
CDIP: 5.6 feet at 9 seconds from 315 degrees and 1.1 feet at 12 seconds from 215 degrees


  1. Hey Gary-

    I love those bonus sessions!

    Had one myself yesterday right before dark- waist high sand bar zippers peeling for at least two cutbacks before emptying into a hole by the shorebreak. Super fun. Shared it with a new SUPer and a booger.

    Love the names of all the nook and cranny spots you've got up there. One question: I've always wondered why Sabre Jets is called Sabre Jets. And where the hell is it?

  2. John,

    I have no idea why Sabre Jets (aka Sabre Jet Reef) is called that...maybe Chuck Yeager named it (ha-ha). I can help with the location though, it's part of the It's Beach complex of surf spots, all crammed together just the other side (north) of Lighthouse Point at the Lane.

    It doesn't break well very often but when it does it looks fantastic. I've never surfed it but I have it on good authority that when it's happening, it's hot.

    Speaking of hot...your last vid was. You and Mahi 2 as well as your fellow SUPers are surfing well. Is that Chad on the big blue SUP? He's looking pretty good. Is he riding an SOS Big Blue?

  3. The suprise sessions are always the best.