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

Monday, February 2, 2009

5-Hour Session in Fun Waves with Perfect Weather

Paddled out at noon and 48 minutes, and into a flawlessly perfect day, rare and to be cherished. Talked with Michael who was finishing up his session, he was stoked! I ended up surfing until dark, a five hour plus session, but I had a completely open schedule, and just couldn't let this go. I surfed more than a few sand bars up and down my preferred stretch of beach...what I refer to as, "the beaches."

I started at my current favorite spot which although small (2-3 ft.) had a nice easy takeoff and a long run into a fun "bowl" (if you could really call it that, more like a steep spot in the sand) and then finishing up into the channel. It was a bit inconsistent and the sets were thinly populated with waves, two or three at most. But it was fun, especially banking off the inside section and then driving into the flats. One old guy and his girlfriend were sitting like non-producing data buoys inside, and taking off in the bowl. Their deal was to take off in front of you when you were heading into the section, and then yell at you later for picking off all the "set" waves. Set waves? Picking 'em all off? Whatever. Eventually we all moved on, as that peak got kinda crowded and the surf seemed to drop off a bit.

Ran into Mike on his 9-8 Starboard and after some chit-chat we swapped boards. I like to try as many SUPs as I can so I can learn more about how the different designs and shapes work. I really liked the Starboard, it was wide and stable, with a very rounded, tongue depressor nose. It's got a concave nose and light vee from there right out the tail. Mike has it set up as a 2+1. It was stable, an easy wave catcher, and very loose. It weighed less than I thought it would, and throwing it around was not much of a problem. It seemed to handle the inside steep end section nicely without rolling over in the steep parts, which is something I think the high volume SUPs tend to do. Not much of a review or comparison as I only played around on it for a half hour or so before Mike had to get going. The 9-8 Starboard is looser than the Angulo and I would say a wee bit more stable, even at six inches shorter. The only downsides in comparing it to my 10-2 are: 1) it's definitely not as fast 2) it's a pretty slow paddler. Therefore I don't think I'd want to own one if I could only have one board. It's not the all-arounder (AA) that the Angulo 10-2 is, but for sure a really fun board. Thanks Mike for letting me try it!

The day just kept getting more mellow. Never once did the wind get heavy, it was light out of the southwest until dark when for a short time it turned lightly offshore. I re-swapped with Mike and headed down coast, surfing a few bars as I paddled. My thought was just to keep heading down until I found a fun bar with no one (yeah right!) or just a few guys on it. I surfed a left for a while, as it was an easy three foot wave and I hardly ever go left. I need all the practice I can get.

Although I was ready to just keep paddling down, all the way to the next state lot if necessary, I found what I was looking for about 2/3 mile from my starting point. (That's one of the beauties of stand up paddling, you've got incredible range and you're out on the ocean, not walking the sand.) Four guys were already on this 3-5 ft. right hander that was putting up a nice takeoff and section and then just dumping out into a deep channel. So I hung out, off to the side after paddling past where they we all sitting, to show my respect for their "first out" rights, and to see how they were reacting to the SUP guy hangin' around. I was checking the waves too, and I thought sets must be coming through where they were sitting, but none did. What did come through were these fun little insiders that I was there for. I got about six or seven waves before a couple of the guys paddled in to the inside lineup, so things were pretty cool. I had established my presence, and proved that I could surf the SUP and wasn't totally geeked and they were going, "What the hell, why is HE getting all the waves?" Life was good.

It stayed fun and mellow for the next three hours. Surf was consistent at 3-5 ft. with occassional 4-6 ft. sets. Everyone got a lot of waves and about an hour into it, three of the four guys got out, and that just left me and the shortboarder...Matt. It's always easier to make friends when there's only a couple guys out. Anyway, Matt turns out to be a really good surfer and he even tried out my SUP. Of course, like all good surfer/athletes, he popped up on it right away and paddled all over the place. That left me with his uber-short, leash-less shortboard on which I caught zero, read "0", waves. No problem, at least I could sit on it.

Across the channel a very nice left was breaking that looked like the set up for a Mentawai boat trip. The sand bar looked like a reef, and the waves would just jump up and horseshoe in. Matt took off to surf that spot with a couple other guys, leaving me all alone (damn!) for a while, before a couple late longboarders and another shortboarder paddled out. It was all good. The surf was showing a little smaller, perhaps because of the incoming tide, perhaps because the swell was dropping, but conditions were still perfect and it was still impossible to drag myself away.

Eventually the sun dropped below the horizon and darkness was only about 20 minutes away, so I headed back down to the main lot and called it a day. A very classic day.

Feb 2, 2009 (M)
In: 1248
Out: 1800
AT= 70F to 58F
WT= 54/55F
Wx: Clear and sunny
Tide: 2' Rising to 3' then falling slightly
Wind: Calm to light side/off shore
Sea Surface: Some very light wind ripples with periods of glassiness
10-2 Angulo SUP with Infinity Ottertail carbon fiber paddle
Fin set-up: Thruster with K2D2 4.75" center fin (fourth mark up from back) and Future FJC1
Bathymetry: Sand bars
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Nearshore)
1230: 2.6 feet @ 11.1 WNW
1300: 3.0 feet @ 11.8 WNW
1330: 3.0 feet @ 11.8 WNW
1400: 2.6 feet @ 11.8 WNW
1430: 3.0 feet @ 11.1 WNW
1500: 2.6 feet @ 12.5 WNW
1530: 2.6 feet @ 11.8 WNW
1600: 2.3 feet @ 11.1 WNW
1630: 2.6 feet @ 12.5 WNW
1700: 2.6 feet @ 11.1 WNW
1730: 2.3 feet @ 10.5 WNW
1800: 2.6 feet @ 11.1 WNW
1830: 2.0 feet @ 11.1 WNW


  1. Hey Gary-

    Sounds like you scored. Funny, I was on the Surfer Mag forum and ran across this:

    You might enjoy hearing about your encounter from the surfer's point of view!


  2. Cool stoked report. Love to read em what they come out like this one -- infectiously happy-making. thanks! linter

  3. Ha-ha...pretty cool and funny. Like...deja-vu all over again. Pretty brave of him actually to take on the wrath of his fellow shortboarders on the forum. "Iceman"...broke his wrist a while back...has got the word "ski" in his email address (I sent him the pics I took of him SUPing and surfing that day). This guy had legs on him like a methinks he's some kind of world class downhill ski racer. Thanks for the heads-up...just spreadin' the love and the aloha here boss!

  4. Yeah I was blown away as I was reading it too- cool what he had to say though- kind of an honest report versus the kind of overhyped, hot air, kook-speak you normally read on that forum.

  5. Thanks Linter. Haven't seen you in a while. Maybe when the weather clears and there's some surf catch you at Sarges or Chapeauville?;)