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

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Expanding Horizons

Since this Fall/Winter season has not yet delivered any really powerful ground swells, the surf has been somewhat disappointing. So far, some forecaster type folks have concluded that the year to date has been less than average surf-wise. On a scale of 1-10, I've heard this Winter is forecast to be at 3.5. Fact is, we only had one real south swell this season (and it was a good one) and that could be an indicator from the southern hemi re what the NPAC will produce this Winter. Of course I hope the prognosticators are wrong, but so far they're pretty right on.

While the swells are just not pushing enough energy to wrap into town with any real power and size, the beaches north and south have been macking. It's really the in-between stuff I'm looking at, when the beaches are putting up some decent waist to chest high waves, and town is really pathetically small and crowded.

I put my expansion theory to the test this morning and got a couple hours of very nice, but somewhat mushy, crumbly peaks and walls at ManRay's. I gotta say it was very pretty this morning. Sunny and warm considering the 40 degree night time temps, with a consistent but very light southwest wind. It was a perfect day and set-up for me to get back to the beach breaks, which I used to surf all the time BSUP (Before Stand Up Paddleboard).

The transition from laydown surfboarding to SUPing has brought forth a few changes, not the least insignificant of which is paddling through breaking waves and white water. It's taken me a year to get halfway decent at it, and still, anything waist high and up, is dicey. I can punch through almost anything from knee high down, but above that and my odds get slimmer with the increasing size of the white water.

But today's peaks were generally soft, with quick, short walls that flattened out right into a channel. For the first hour I felt like I was at a reef break. Take-off, turn, charge the wall, cutback on the shoulder, kick out into the channel. Simple. After a while though, I got caught inside a couple times and that was much more anaerobic than aerobic, another change from the casual paddle back out to the peak at the reef or point break.

All in all I think this is going to work out well. I'll be spending more time surfing when town is weak, and getting a better workout too. Along with that, my skills should improve in areas that need more work (which is really ALL of them). Pics will be a bit harder to come by as there isn't as often a safe place to take them from my board. I'll have to figure that out as I go.
Nov 23, 2008 (Su)
In: 0945
Out: 1130
AT= 60F to 59F
WT= 54F
Wx: Sunny and clear with some light haze
Tide: 3.6' Falling to 1.7' (approx.)
Wind: Light southwesterlies
Sea Surface: Light wind chopped
10-2 Angulo SUP with Infinity Ottertail paddle
Fin set-up: Thruster with K2D2 4.75" center fin and Future FJC1
Bathymetry: Sand bottom

CDIP: Deep Water Swell (NOTE: CDIP is OOS)
CDIP: Wave Face Heights (NOTE: CDIP is OOS)

Buoy: NWS (Nearshore)
0900: 3.6 feet @ 11 WNW
1000: 3.0 feet @ 11.8 WNW
1100: 3.6 feet @ 11 WNW
1200: 2.6 feet @ 11.1 WNW


  1. Hey Gary-

    Welcome to my world!

    Mash always gets winded when he comes down here- it's the no channels thing. Surf one too far inside and your going to be gone for awhile- sometimes you just get pounded over and over on the inside trying to paddle back out.

    I always try to stand up through the beach break but if it's waist high or more and it's coming fast- it's way safer to prone paddle back out laying on the paddle.

    If you charge the big white wash standing up and you're too far on the tail it's easy for the nose to get lifted and thrown back at your face.

    Good luck with the beachies and glad to hear you're getting away from the "easy livin'" land of the reefs and channels.... maybe you'll be ready for some IB Juice! Hah!

  2. John,

    When I was pondering new horizons, I posted or wrote somewhere that there are a lot of guys who primarily SUP surf JUST beach breaks. I was thinking of you! And yeah, now I'm in your world. The cool thing is I feel like I'm back, and it feels good. Thanks for the encouragement!!!