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

Saturday, September 20, 2008

West Swell Delivers

Surfed some of the nicest waves the Summer had to offer this morning. What started out as a combo swell that filled in nicely from the south and west yesterday afternoon, continues today as the West/WNW swell that originated about a week ago off the Kamchatka Peninsula near the Gulf of Alaska. But in spite of origins, this morning a good time was had by all.

Fact is, the south/WNW combo peaked yesterday afternoon. I told myself I should go surfing but I talked me into thinking that it would hold until this morning. Wrong. According to Joanna's testimony, Sarges and all spots up and down coast were just firing until the tide got too low, and the waves started closing out. I really missed it! (Thought I'd tell myself that before John has a chance to.)

Anyway...paddled out at Oh-Dark Thirty into a mostly cloudy sky, remnants of a low pressure trough that the NWS said wasn't going to get as far south as it did. No matter, it was a warm one, balmy even. So I can't be mad at 'em for screwing up the forecast. It didn't interfere with the wave quality at all.

I headed over to Middles from Sarges first thing. Already a half dozen guys were on GDubs, but no one in front of the drain pipe...but me. I picked off a half dozen in the ever increasing morning light. Keith, who teaches at Sonoma State, paddled over from Eights on his custom Ward Coffey SUP, a custom epoxy 10-6 quad. It wasn't long before we were introduced, talking story and swapping equipment. (That's the way it is in the SUP world.) I got a nice pic of Keith on the Olohe. Shizzle! I wish I looked that good. Nice style K-Man.

The WC surfs like a shortboard, whereas the Olohe surfs more like a longboard. I got a few waves with it, and was wishing for more wave size and swell juice. I watched Keith ride a few on the WC and he surfed it like he surfs his shortboards. Turns from the middle. I did get one nice section that I tried a long floater on and the quad handled it very well. Nice and stable. Comparatively, the Angulo wobbles a bit with all that styrofoam bobbling around in the aerated whitewash. But one thing I missed about the Olohe compared to the WC, is the trim. The Angulo trims like a dream, and is a real section maker. It takes off like a rocket when you step to the sweet spot. The quad requires pumping. I was a bit surprised by how much lighter the non-composite construction Coffey was. On one wave I was behind paddling in, and was able to drag the board and me onto the wave face with much less effort than I would have had to expend on the Olohe. (That also would seem to account for how much easier the lighter board was to handle in the foam. My little 150 pound, medium-small person frame, was able to push around the lighter board with a little more command than the heavier board.)

With all the surfers and waves in the water I was able to get a nice sequence of Peter at Gdubs. Pete's a big guy and he had one of the smoothest rides, on one of the best waves of the morning. As my Bali transplanted friend Leonard used to always say..."Geev'em bra!"

My crowd-o-meter went off about 0800 and I decided to thin the herd by making myself one of the victims. I paddled in with lots of nice ones tucked away in my wave memory bag. A really fun session, in a sweet Fall swell.

Sept 20, 2008 (Sa)
In: 0632
Out: 0800
AT= 59.7F to 61.2F
WT= 60.8F at the nearshore buoy
Wx: Heavy to partly clearing cloud cover
Tide: 2.94 Falling to 2.7
Wind: Calm
Sea Surface: Smooth and glassy with some backwash bump
Buoy: NWS
0600: 5.9 feet @ 12.1 WNW
0700: 6.2 feet @ 12.1 WNW
0800: 5.9 feet @ 10.8 WNW
0900: 5.9 feet @ 12.1 W
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: (0800 hours) 4.1 feet at 11 seconds from 285 degrees and 2.4 feet at 14 seconds from 175 degrees

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