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

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Lone Ranger In More SW Ground Swell Energy


For me, it just doesn't get much better than today's session. Oh yeah, it could have been warm and sunny, the tide could have been a foot lower, but that is the only thing that kept this classic session from being epic. I must confess, although I love people, and can blab, chat, hang out and socialize with the best, I love surfing alone, especially in fun waves. Today's waves were good and fun.

I paddled out late after 1) misjudging the tide, and 2) lagging in bed because I'm still not feeling in A-1 condition after my bout yesterday with whatever intestinal bug decided to play in my duodenum and all parts south. As I arrived in the parking lot, Sarges regulars Jamie, Joanna and Dean were getting out, done for the day. I thought, "shizizit," the tide has flooded it, waves will be crizap! But they assured me that there were still some left, so I felt less anxious.

I paddled out at 0847 through a healthy shore pound, always a good sign, and into a rising tide backwash bump that provided the basis for a strenuous workout all morning long. Already four SUP surfers in the line-up at Sarges, hmmm, that's too many. A nice set came through down coast of the main peak at Sarges (another good sign) so I thought I'd take a chance on Yellow House. Good call.

I surfed for three hours by myself in not all that inconsistent south swell energy that put up nothing smaller than chest high waves all morning. Did I say, Life is Good! I got two long distance, continuous rides from Yellow House to Dicks (300 yards) and a couple doubles for two more 300 yard waves. There wasn't a breath of wind in the gray overcast day until a small gust hit me in the face at 11AM. Finally a small southwest breeze came up, and lasted until I got out at the three hour mark.

Even the short rides on the smaller waves were fun. Waves were coming through that provided a nice steep take-off in the Prow Point bowl, which set-up into the next bowl section at the Yellow House take-off. Bigger sets provided the long rides at the Yellow House bowl take-off spot. The combination of the higher tide and ground swell created a cliff side blowhole in one of the caves inside.

The backwash from the cliffs created unsettled, washboard conditions everywhere. Bumps came from all directions except east and balancing was non-stop. The only rest I got was when I sat down. I fell off paddling for a wave once (I hate it when that happens) and got knocked off several times by mixed seas after kicking out of a couple waves. But, what great practice for the big swells this winter, which always come with backwash included. My legs are in better shape this season than last also. So I'll be able to handle the wave face bump and chatter with more confidence.

Riding the small waves through the Yellow House bowl was a challenge because just as I set up a couple times to trim across the scooped out wave face, a piece of backwash water would instantly hollow it out some more, which I wasn't expecting. If my rear foot was too far back on the tail, Mr. Angulo's afterburners made possible by his magic hard edges would kick in and rocket me out of the pocket. The first couple times caught me weighting back too much, and me and the board parted company front to rear.

Since there was no one to take pictures of, the empty wave sequence will have to do. It starts out about head high and ends up being in the chest high range.

Sept 10, 2008 (W)
In: 0847
Out: 1200
AT= 56.7F to 61.8F
WT= 60F at the nearshore buoy
Wx: Continuing overcast
Tide: 3.84 Rising to 3.4 Falling
Wind: Calm to light SW
Sea Surface: Mostly glassy with multi-directional backwash bump
Buoy: NWS
0800: 6.6 feet @ 16 S
0900: 6.6 feet @ 14.8 SSW
1000: 6 feet @ 16 S
1100: 7.2 feet @ 10.8 NW
1200: 7.2 feet @ 10 NW
10'4" Angulo SUP with Infinity Ottertail paddle
Fin set-up: Thruster with K2D2 4.75" center fin and FCS Occy sides
Bathymetry: Rock reefs
CDIP: (1100 hours) 8.2 feet at 11 seconds from 325 degrees and 2.5 feet at 14 seconds from 185 degrees

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