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

Friday, October 31, 2008

Me 'n the Dog and Sam

Decided to take a quick walk with the dog before the rain came in. Headed out early and parked at Sarges, ready to walk to the wetsuit guy's house and back. Ran into Sam in the lot. Took him down to Dave's so he could try the Angulo 10' noserider. I haven't talked with him yet, but everyone who tries it likes it.

Rain started up a couple hours after the walk. Got wetter overnight as attested by the constant dripping in the downspouts. More Friday night and into Saturday/Sunday. Hopefully things will clear out by Monday and bring some surfable waves by Tuesday.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Swell Fading Fast; Nice Sunset

Edited and updated on Tuesday, October 28.

Swell is definitely fading. While yesterday saw a brisk wind the entire session from the SW, today's ongoing wind was from the E, then SE then dead onshore from the south. The only consolation was that the wind calmed about a half hour before dark. Tide was very low, and kelp abundant.

I paddled out a little after 4P on the Angulo noserider. Dave swapped out the big Rainbow fin for the stock Angulo fin that comes with the 2009 models which has a little less volume and more rake in order to deal with the kelp. It worked a lot better for kelpy conditions, but didn't hold as well when on the nose. Still, the board is a great ride.

Hardly anyone out, tide too low, waves too small. Couldn't complain about consistency though, lots of little waves of dubious quality coming through. Surfed Casa Roja's again, then Sarges. Caught an absolute ton of waves.

As I was getting out around 5:30 I was surprised by Andy and the Waveyarder paddling out. He's been wanting to ride the noserider so we swapped boards and surfed together until dark. He had fun on the noserider and was also amazed at it's stability and quickness in turning, and how steady she rides on the nose. I enjoyed the Waveyarder which is a completely different animal than the noserider. The Waveyarder at 11 feet and almost 40 pounds surfs surprisingly well, mainly because of the rocker Andy hand shaped into the nose and tail. But 40 pounds is 40 pounds so don't think about schwacking the lip a lot. The board has momentum and is an absolute kelp killer. Get that thing up and in trim and get out of the way. I keep seeing it on a 12 foot wave, I think it would be perfect for big surf.

After surfing we dropped in on Dave's back yard to check out a couple boards and fins. Andy wants to make a couple fins for the winter and there's a lot of templates in waiting back there.

The sunset was stunning, the first good one I've seen from the water this season. That alone was worth the paddle out.

NOTE: Data notation change. I'm going to start using the CDIP data instead of the data directly from the NDBC. CDIP is initialized by NDBC data, but the models includes deep water swell AND wave face sizes. More efficient, and I like the graphics.
Oct 27, 2008 (M)
In: 1605
Out: 1830
AT= 62F to 56F
WT= 56F at the nearshore buoy
Wx: Patchy clouds
Tide: .1' Rising to 1.8'
Wind: ENE, E, SE, and South, calm to 5 mph, with gusts to 9
Sea Surface: Wind rippled
Angulo 10' Noserider Pre-production Prototype
Bathymetry: Rock reefs
CDIP: Deep Water Swell
1600: 4.7 feet @ 12 NW (305 degrees-NPAC) and 2.1 @ 14 SSW (205 degrees-SPAC)
1700: 4.5 feet @ 12 NW (315 degrees-NPAC) and 1.3 @ 14 SSW (190 degrees-SPAC)
1800: 4.9 feet @ 14 NW (295 degrees-NPAC) and 1.3 @ 14 SSE (165 degrees-SPAC)
1900: 4.5 feet @ 12 NW (310 degrees-NPAC) and 1.7 @ 17 SSW (215 degrees-SPAC)
CDIP: Wave Face Heights
1600: 2-3 feet
1700: 2-3 feet
1800: 2-3 feet
1900: 1-3 feet

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Swell Drops; Conditions Improve

Edited and updated on Monday, October 27.

A steady southwest wind blew for the entire session, sculpting wind scallops on the face of the deep and keeping me warm from all the paddling I had to do just to stay in one spot. Fortunately the fog was not nearly as pervasive as yesterday so visibility was good. Wind was chill, the great hall was the gunmetal gray color of Winter and it felt good to be in the nascent change from Fall to Winter.

Yellow House wasn't working due to the drop in swell size, so I spent my time surfing Sarges and various peaks in and around Casa Roja. I swapped out the Scimitars for the JC460's and put my K2D2 4.75" center fin back in. The set-up worked great! Loosened things up a bunch, with still plenty of wave face stickability and speed. I continue to be amazed at what an incredible difference fins make on a surfboard. If you're not swapping fins, and trying different things, your missing 60% of the value of your boards versatility. You definitely have more boards hidden in your one board than you think. Try it, you'll like it!

Overall, while it was a good session, I just couldn't seem to find a groove or a steady rhythm. I found myself constantly in the wrong place at the wrong time. I floated around in an inside hole in the reef and rode out the biggest and longest set of the afternoon. I stopped counting at 12 waves. My wave choice just sucked. I'd ride into close-out after close-out and paddle back through three super sloped peaks with shoulders. Arrgghhh!Sometimes it just goes that way. Oh yeah and my favorite...four guys out, take three waves and three guys are floating around in the white water, directly in front of the most critical section of the wave. What! Hey...that's surfing. It was still fun, and beautiful and healthy and great exercise and so much better than GOLF!

NOTE: Data notation change. I'm going to start using the CDIP data instead of the data directly from the NDBC. CDIP is initialized by NDBC data, but the models includes deep water swell AND wave face sizes. More efficient, and I like the graphics.
Oct 26, 2008 (Su)
In: 1610
Out: 1810
AT= 55F to 53F
WT= 56F at the nearshore buoy
Wx: Patchy fog with lowering ceilings near dark
Tide: .82' Rising to 2.6'
Wind: Southwest 4-7 mph, gusting to 12
Sea Surface: Wind rippled with light backwash bump
10'2" Angulo SUP with Infinity Ottertail paddle
Fin set-up: Thruster with K2D2 4.75" center fin and Future JC 460 sides
Bathymetry: Rock reefs
CDIP: Deep Water Swell
1500: 10.6 feet @ 14 NW (310 degrees-NPAC) and 2.3 @ 14 SSW (210 degrees-SPAC)
1600: 9 feet @ 14 NW (310 degrees-NPAC) and 1.7 @ 14 SSE (160 degrees-SPAC)
1700: 10.6 feet @ 14 NW (310 degrees-NPAC) and 2.5 @ 14 SSW (190 degrees-SPAC)
1800: 9 feet @ 14 NW (310 degrees-NPAC) and .4 @ 20 SSW (205 degrees-SPAC)
CDIP: Wave Face Heights
1500: 4-6 feet
1600: 2-6 feet
1700: 4-8 feet
1800: 2-6 feet

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Big Swell; Bum Conditions

Edited and updated on Sunday, 10-26-208.

Finally, the first bona fide winter swell of the season rolls through, and the conditions go right to hell. Finally, the WQS gets a shot at fame in big surf, and the fog rolls in so thick you can't see who's wearing what color jersey. Go figure.

Paddled out at 1625 (a bonus surf really, EMT mid term testing done early) into fog so thick I couldn't see land a hundred feet out. Got knocked off my feet twice during the paddle out by five feet of foam, but I guess that's not bad news really. I got so disoriented paddling down to Yellow House, I missed it by a 150 yards. As I paddled in towards shore to get some sort of landmark, I saw Los Arboles loom into view. So, I took a left and paddled back up coast. Much to my surprise five people were sitting in the line-up. I paddled right by them in the fog. It took me a half hour to figure out what was going on, and what was going on was to back door YH peak, and then build as much speed as possible to make the successive sections into the flat spot in the reef. After the kick, paddle back out through the channel which was closing during the big sets. Fun. Challenging. Work. Lumpy, lots of backwash, not a flat piece of water in the two hour session.

Conditions generally sucked. A big swell from far away that looked like a raw wind swell five miles offshore. Fog as thick as it gets. After session helicopter searching for something in the dimming light. Pray for mercy.

Once I got oriented, and the feel of the session, I hooked into a couple nice lines from the right take-off spot. Nabbed a couple doubles that put me way down the line. Replaced the JC460 sides with Scimitar 451's and ended up not liking the set-up at all. Very tracky. They're coming out asap. Thinking about trying a 2+1 set-up for tomorrow afternoons session. It'll be a good contrast with the tri-fin config.

A big hole in the fog blew in around 5P and opened things up until it started to get dark around 1820. Around 6 I headed back up to Sarges to take one in before it either got dark or too fogbound to see again. The prospect of landing on the beach in dark foggy conditions wasn't something I wanted to do, especially since about three feet of sand has been dredged away from the base of the rocks, and there are numerous chicken heads poking out of the reef at the edge of the sand.

I'd like to think conditions are going to change in the next few days and for the rest of this swell, but it looks like the total crap prevailing weather of this summer is having the last laugh. Hopefully this won't extend into Winter.
Oct 25, 2008 (Sa)
In: 1625
Out: 1810
AT= 55F to 53F
WT= 57F at the nearshore buoy
Wx: Heavy fog to some clearing with periods of extremely limited visibility
Tide: 1.2' Rising to 2.5'
Wind: East at 4mph to calming
Sea Surface: Lumpy with lots of backwash bump
Buoy: NWS
1500: 7.5 feet @ 21.1 WNW
1600: 8.2 feet @ 19 NW
1700: 9.2 feet @ 19 WNW
1800: 8.2 feet @ 19 WNW
10'2" Angulo SUP with Infinity Ottertail paddle
Fin set-up: Thruster with Bluecoil 5.25" center and Scimitar 451 sides
Bathymetry: Rock reefs
CDIP: (1700 hours) 11.9 feet at 17 seconds from 310 (319 edge of swell window) degrees and 1.3 feet at 14 seconds from 165 (180 edge of swell window) degrees. 6-8 foot faces. NOTE: The CDIP registers deep water swell height in the data window, while the color code denotes wave heights for individual geographic locations. Pretty cool...

Friday, October 24, 2008

Small Waves and Continuing Good Wx

I was most disappointed in today's waves. Expecting a bump up in the surf, the NW swell, which is definitely in the water, just seemed to miss my spots. Meanwhile a well known, WQS class surf contest was going off across town, with o-head waves ripped to shreds by the pros.

Paddled out at low tide and headed to Yellow House hoping for a few small zippers. Took the Angulo 10' proto-noserider, in hopes of bagging some long nose rides on small walls. The board works unreal. Very stable, easy to ride, turns hard off the tail and floats across sections while perched on the tip. Yellow House waves were wrapping hard and pushing the rider back into the cliff and kelp bed, so I headed to Sarges pretty quick for the remainder of the two hour session.

Caught a ton of waves all alone, riding inside. Everyone was sitting way too far outside, and I picked off a lot of inside waves inside the main point. Take-offs were steep, the board handled it well, and while there were some walls to nose ride, most waves were mushing out inside. Bigger waves would close out and the 10-foot custom would glide underneath the sections smoothly and without incident. The big, high volume fin works great for nose riding, and did not impede the looseness of the board, but it was a major kelp catcher in the small surf. A little more size would help things and lift the board over the veggie tentacles.

Bottom line on the custom noserider: I want one.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Will the Real Indian Summer Please Stand Up?

Michael and I went for a paddle this morning in the real deal...Indian Summer on the Central Coast. Everything was where it should be, all in it's place, all inviting, all for the pure enjoyment of this fleetingly special gift that is ours for a few days.

Launched at the Main Beach and paddled down to GDubs and back, with stops at Sarges for a couple waves. Michael on the new Angulo 11-11 to start, and then we swapped boards for the paddle back, me on the new model, he now on the 11-9. Lot's more rocker and life in the 11-11, it just felt more "lively" and responsive. It did not feel like a 12 foot board. This another leap forward for Angulo Designs big boards.

Took a turn around the big kelp bed at Main before gliding into the gentle shore laps and stepping off onto a groomed ramp of golden brown sand, just getting peopled with those lucky enough to have the day off mid-week. Parking places at noon? Must be off season.

Even with the uber-high tide, little lines were still showing. Portents of the coming fun.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Nice Fall Waves and Weather

Not too much, not too little, but enough to overcome the high tide daylight cycle. Nice and mellow combo NW and SW swell showing this morning and continuing into the day. All the spots are working pretty well with the exception of the down coast reefs, the tides are just too much for them to work very consistently.

Bruce, Mikey and I paddled out at Sarges at 1040. No one out. Gdubs and Scimi's was packed. It looked like the circus on free kids day. WTF, don't these people work, go to school, have kids, have someplace to be? Oh yeah, it's the bay. Everyone here arranges their schedule around the surf.

The forecast models were right on target. Swell started coming up yesterday, and today it's going good. Should be decent all week, a little up and down, but surfable. And conditions are as good as they get for the Fall.

Surfed for about 45 minutes at Sarges before it got kinda crowded with eight peeps paddling out eventually. Stroked down to GDubs and surfed the smaller, not quite as good insiders and off-peak waves. Surf was pretty consistent with good sets swinging wide and putting up some head high bombs that mostly closed out. Did however get a couple multi-waves from In-Betweens to Sarges, to the Nudie Beach. Long, slow, delicious paddle back out to the take-off spot.

Felt good to get back into the water. Cold virus dieing, pinched nerve still happening but able to paddle and surf with less grip strength and workarounds. Mark put T-12 back in place this morning after it decided to "relocate" last night on a fluke. Looking forward to more surf this week.
Oct 21, 2008 (Tu)
In: 1040
Out: 1310
AT= 56F to 60F
WT= 56F at the nearshore buoy
Wx: Clear and sunny
Tide: 3.5' to 4'
Wind: Calm to Light, semi-moderate southwest
Sea Surface: Light wind ripples with light backwash bump
Buoy: NWS
0700: 4.3 feet @ 12.9 NW
0800: 4.6 feet @ 17.4 SW
0900: 4.6 feet @ 12.1 NW
1100: 4.6 feet @ 11.4 NW
10'2" Angulo SUP with Infinity Ottertail paddle
Fin set-up: Thruster with Bluecoil 5.25" center and Future JC 460 sides
Bathymetry: Rock reefs
CDIP: (1200 hours) 4.6 feet at 11 seconds from 310 degrees and 2.4 feet at 17 seconds from 200 degrees

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Great Weather; Small Waves; High Tides

That title just about says it all. Except that I'm fighting off a nasty virus and a pinched nerve in my neck. Consensus from all my healers is that the neck thing is a return of one of my previous career injuries that tends to flare up now and again. There's some nerve involvement which has lead to some numbness and loss of function in my left hand so we're on it and utilizing all treatment modalities including massage, chiropractic, meds, x-rays, etc. Cool thing is that everyone is very positive and sure it will all come too.

And in this same vein, one of the guys I met at Sacred Craft lives here in NorCal and I ran into him at the beach the other day when I was checking surf. He was just finishing up a SUP session. Come to find out that he nearly drown about a year ago when he became completely paralyzed from the neck down after smacking his head against his board in a surfing accident. He was floating face down in the water when some fellow surfers rescued him and got him to shore. I was dumbfounded because he looked to be in perfect shape, and he said the only residual effect from the accident was some numbness in one of his hands. I was right in the middle of a conversation with another friend who I hadn't seen in a while so I had to cut our talk short. But I figure that if he came back from something that severe, I've got no worries. More on this later though, because it's a pretty interesting story.

Conditions here for the last two weeks have been nothing short of exquisite. Too bad there isn't some really good surf to go with it. Also, tides have been high during daylight hours which has just killed whatever little wind swells are in the water. There are surfable lines, but small and mostly available at the lower tides in the afternoons and evenings.

Been really getting into the forecasting lately and put together a nice list of data resources. It's just amazing what is available to us. Learning is endless.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Road Trip: Saturday, Sunday & Monday

Saturday, October 11
This morning was cold, windy and overcast. I took one look at the side shore white capped wind conditions and decided I could sleep in until it was time to head over to the Expo. This was a good move 'cause I could use the rest after SUPing three to four hours a day.

Spent the day talking to what seemed like "hundreds" of people who were touring the Expo. A lot of people showed up to this thing. Finally got a chance to meet Mash's brother John, who is as cool in person as he is a writer on his blog. His new SUP was on the display in the Stamps booth and wouldn't be available until after the show on Sunday. Too bad 'cause I really wanted to ride it and compare it to the Angulo 10-2. John did too, but we'll have to wait for another time.

After the show a group of us went for Mexican food at Las Olas in Cardiff (right next to Yogi's). Good food, but the stories were even better. Ed's longtime friends for years, Steve Walden and Steve Sales joined us and shared a couple hair raising tales of surfing Sunset at dusk on a macking swell that was getting bigger with every passing minute. That was the time Angulo paddled in early and left Sales out there by himself. The phrase, "almost drowned" came up more than once, and it wasn't said in a light hearted, macho kind of way either.

It was pretty cool hanging with these men who have been involved in the surfing industry since it became an industry. As shapers, Walden and Angulo are well known, you don't hear about guys like Steve Sales though unless you meet them in person. Steve's been involved in every phase of surfboard design evolution and construction. He's like a walking encyclopedia of surf knowledge. One can learn a lot with a closed mouth and open mind at times like this. And you learn too that these guys, as famous as they are, are just folks like you and me. Good folks too, and it was my good fortune to get to know them.

Sunday October 12
Sunday morning was the direct opposite of Saturday morning. Instead of a cold and crappy wind blown mess, we were greeted by crystal clear skies, cool temps and a light Santa Ana condition. We were on it early and had made arrangements for another "demo day" but this time at Cardiff. Surf was smaller than last Friday, but the beach break was clean and fun with lefts and rights and an easy paddle through the shore break.

Cardiff is stand up central for north SD County and all in all it was really mellow. As usual it's the middle age (30-40) and older guys (50+) who are into it the most. A lot of guys are riding longer and bigger SUPs, cruising and trimming and catching everything in sight. But a lot of guys are riding smaller and smaller SUPs and surfing them like performance longboards. Ward Coffey from Santa Cruz (down for the Surf Expo) was out on his swallow tail SUP. Tom English, pretty much a Cardiff SUP pioneer was out on his quad SUP. Another guy who's name I didn't get was ripping on a 9'6" Laird. We Angulonians didn't do too bad either with the full quiver of 2009 Angulo's on hand. As a matter of fact, it was a blast and, as usual, we all caught a boatload of waves.

After a three hour surf, we were late for the 10 o'clock opening of the Sunday show. But what the hey, the "boss" was surfing with us! M and I packed up and showered and by the time I got to the fairgrounds it was past noon. Whitty and Ed were on the scene though so no prob. It didn't seem quite as mobbed in the afternoon, and the show ended at 4PM as opposed to 6PM yesterday. At 4 we broke it all down and packed up for the drive to Santa Barbara and tomorrows SUP demo/session at the "secret" spot.

Monday, October 13
Up early and rolling north on 101 for our rendezvous with Pastor Ricky, our secret spot host for the day. Although this place is famous far and wide, I've never been there, much less surfed there. I knew that the surf was going to be small to smaller, but I didn't care for two reasons. 1) I was actually going to get to surf this place. 2) SUPs always get waves!

It was hot and sunny, not a cloud in the sky and a light offshore Santa Ana was in effect. You couldn't have asked for better conditions. We passed through the guard shack and drove for miles to our destination. Welcome to California, circa 1948. All the pictures, and stories I've ever heard and read just came alive. I tend to fold up into nostalgia anyway, so I was swooning most of the time.

Added to that was the crystal clear water. Visibility was easily 25 feet and as we made the half mile paddle down coast to the surf spot, the feeling was like paddling over an open ocean aquarium. At the start of the session the waist high little zippers that ran down the reef in exquisite right handers were pretty consistent. As the tide drained out the waves made us wait, but it didn't really matter because I couldn't take my eyes off the ocean. There were literally hundreds of bait fish swimming in the line-up. Schools of rock fish patrolled the nearby kelp beds. Whitty swears he saw a shark pass under his board. Every nook and cranny of the reef was visible, all the crevices in the rocks, all the places the wave would jack up and shoot you into the next section or into the channel. Two separate schools of dolphins swam and fished a hundred yards out the back, along with a small raft of sea otters. Being here was a 60 year plus, transport back into California history.

Now as cool as all this was, there was one thing that surpassed it. One of the guys we were surfing with was a long time prone surfer who had lost 60% of the ligaments in his knee. He was on a lay down board and doing his best. He told us that he thought he couldn't do stand up because he couldn't get into a kneeling position without extreme pain. This limited his prone surfing too. So we're out there whooping and hollering, having a great time, giving each other waves and kudos, you know, the whole thing. So Dan gets out, and we all thought OK, he's done for the day.

The next thing you know, here he comes, paddling down coast on the Angulo 11-11 Big Buggah. And he's looking good too! Of course the place erupted in spasms of shouts and hoots. Well, to make a long story short, Dan is STOKED and is so into it, he's out for almost four hours. Not only that, he started catching waves AND pulling out on his feet, then paddling back out into the line-up. Me being the compassionate type, I accused him of being a ringer. We all told him that none of us had made as much progress our first day on a SUP as he was making. And that, is what really made this trip for me.

Stand up paddle surfing is doing for me, what it's doing for a lot of other guys who thought their surfing careers were over. Not so. What a great gift this whole thing has been, and continues to be. We heard other stories too. One guy at the Expo told us that hip replacement surgery had knocked him out of surfing because he could no longer pop-up. Now he just grabs the paddle shaft and pulls himself to his feet. A little ponderous maybe, but he's still in the game. He won't be surfing overhead bombs, but he'll be as stoked surfing his local waist high peelers as the guy on the macking overhead death tube. And that is really what this is all about. Staying alive, living fully and enjoying all of it that you can with a grateful heart. Did I say that, Life is Good?

Friday, October 10, 2008

Road Trip: Thursday & Friday

Thursday, October 9
Met up with Ed and Andy at Dogpatch in San-O. I got there early and first, and there was already an unpleasant southeast wind blowing, putting up light chop on the sea surface. There was a noticeable change in the weather going on and our hopes for a super sunny Santa Ana vacation were soon gone.

Shortly after Ed and Andy arrived, a bunch of
stand up paddle surfers, anxious to try the new Angulos showed up. Luis, Jed, Bob and Andy all took turns trying out the new boards, and to a man they were stoked. Bob and Gary bought boards on the spot. Andy took them off the trailer, put the deck pads on, they cut out the hand holds and went surfing. Very cool.
We surfed San-O all day. The wind only got worse although there was no shortage of rideable (sort of) swell in the water. Conditions were really challenging and when I first paddled out, although I had no trouble standing and paddling on my board in the bumpy sea, I could not adjust to the bumpy, cross-wave, double wave-face takeoffs, that were routinely humiliating me as I fell time and time again. I felt like I'd never done this before. Exceedingly frustrating!

Finally after about a half dozen waves I started to get a feel for these kinds of conditions and managed to start surfing. By that time I was really pissed, and determined to get it together, so I guess you could say it was all good. Which in a way, it was. Challenging conditions make us better if we stick with it, and I wasn't about to let this "opportunity" do me in.

After my session, I hung out on the beach with different folks, talking about the new boards. So, actually I surfed in the worst surfing window of the day, after everyone else had taken turns riding the new boards. Around 2PM the wind backed down a little bit, and Ed, Andy and Gary went back out for their second session. By that time I was just coming in, and was pretty tired. One thing for sure, it lends new perspective to have a nuclear power plant for land side background.

Headed back to the motel around 4P, followed by Ed and Andy. Ed is a major sports and Dodgers fan, so we had dinner at Yogi's in Cardiff, home to 10,000 TV's all blasting the Phillys v. Dodgers game. but we all had a good time, talking over the day's events, stoked that the new boards had received such a positive reception from the surfers.

Tomorrow we surf Cardiff.

Friday, October 10
Andy and I were out the door for coffee at 0600. We brought Ed back his wake-up dose and headed out for Cardiff Reef. Once again conditions were lousy, but there was a small windswell still moving some waves ashore. After all, how often do I get to surf with Ed Angulo? I'll take all I can get. Not only is Ed fun to hang out with, but he's a veritable history of surfboarding, wind surfing and stand up paddleboarding, all rolled into one guy. And, he's a super nice guy. Oh yeah...he knows a lot about baseball too.

The wind was still on it from the southeast, putting a pretty unstable bump on the sea surface. Not as bad as San-O in the afternoon yesterday though. There was sand bar runing longitudinally to the beach which put up a hefty shore pound during sets. It's always worst when "you're" paddling out right? So, I finally just gave up trying to crash the white water on my feet, and just tucked my paddle under my chest and prone paddled out to the line-up. Why didn't I think of that sooner says I? Much less tiring.

Tom English was out in the water on his stand up quad. I've read a lot of Tom's posts on the Stand Up Zone and it was good to finally meet him in person. He's another really nice guy and a good SUP'er.

Andy and Ed were on the 10-10 and 11-11 respectively, and as far as I could see they got the stand up wave(s) of the day. Sweet long walls into the shore break. We surfed for a couple hours and then opted for breakfast at Pipes in Cardiff. Then back to the Moonlight Beach Motel 'cause after all, the game was starting in a hour. We set up the Angulo booth at the Sacred Craft Expo this afternoon.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Road Trip: C St./Surfer’s Point, Ventura CA

Me and the Mrs. rolled into Ventura last night about eight, unloaded and headed straight to the Aloha for grunts. Famished, downed a couple beers, all the bread and gobbled the entrees when they arrived. Whew! Blood sugar back up, time for bed.

I'm up at 0500 this morning thinking there can't be very much going on, maybe I should just sleep in. Wrong! Irony of ironies, I checked the surf cam on line and it was attached to the hotel where I was staying! Got a tide reading and a not half bad surf report before I checked the models. Four feet on the wave heights, but 16 second periods from a fading south. Hello! I'm out the door and down to the car to suit up (3/2 full) and shoulder carry the new Angulo 10-2 "Perfect Wave" down to the cement stairs.

I proceeded to surf for the next two hours in very consistent and fun waist to shoulder high clean waves, in light and warm offshores and in water temps hugging near the mid-60's. Life is good!

C St. is home to fossils like me and newbies. Fun soft waves in a near perfect setting. Pier to the right, mountains in the background, and the Channel Islands filling the landscape out to sea. The sunrise was drop dead perfect…does it get better than this? I suppose it does if it's really firing, but this morning was good, good enough for me.

I was the only guy on a SUP and I expect to get hassled. But, the crowd was pretty mellow. They either didn't say anything, or they were friendly. Cool! The only negative was an old lady who, as I was paddling back out to the line-up through an incoming set, paddled right in front of me to take off on an incoming wave; stopped, pivot turned on her butt, and told me to get out of the way…"please." Lady, I was getting out of the way before you stopped in front of me! No problem, no hassle. I paddled down toward Surfer's Point.

This is a great spot to surf and it holds a pretty big crowd because there are so many little reef, sand bar breaks from the point down through the s-curve south towards the pier. I didn't go out to the point itself, there being a number of shortboarders there. But I found a nice little shifting A-frame peak put up some nice steep take-offs and fast walls down the line into these little channels that were all over the place. It was a blast! Did that for two hours, caught a shizizit load of waves and I was done.

The Crowne Plaza Hotel is a great place to stay. We weren't sure where we'd end up that night 'cause we had no reservations. I pimped them for the cheapest rate and they offered AAA at $152. I said can I get the internet rate? The concierge gave me a computer room key card and said go make a reservation. Long story short, I couldn't do it online because of short notice, so…she gave us the room for $118. For future reference the place is dog friendly so we can bring the Cloudy-Boy. Also, you can't beat the location. Close to everything. Surf, pier, beach, fairgrounds, jogging, walking, Main Street, it's got it all.

Plenty of time to check out after a nice walk, and shower. Hit the road about 11:30, bound for Encinitas and the Moonlight Beach Motel. Arrived around 3:30P and absolutely no hassles checking in. Chin gave us (and I was hoping for this) one of the ocean view rooms of Moonlight Beach! Unpacked and headed over to the Leucadia Pizzeria, which is across the street, on the corner. Couple drafts and two really good salads and we were set for our afternoon nap.

The units in the Moonlight have little kitchenettes, so after a quick snooze, we're off to Trader Joes to stock up on a few items for the next couple days. Ed and Andy are enroute after working late last night, and then making some drop-offs in Pismo and Santa Barbara today. We meet up tomorrow at San-O. So far, this trip is 110% and getting better.