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

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

The Lull Between Pulses

It's beginning to look a lot like Seattle around here. Low clouds and rain for the last three days. So far we've had three times the normal rainfall for May. Need it though, after three straight drought years in a row. (La Nina go away!) Maybe they'll cancel water rationing.

I knew the swell was going to back down, but today waves were a shadow of what they were yesterday. I arrived early in the just lightening dawn, looking forward to my second go on the 6-10 WC Winged Biscuit. But the swell had dropped so much over yesterday (I wasn't expecting THIS much of a lull!) that I hesitated and almost backed out. Which is one of the reasons I always present myself to the waves already suited up...much harder to backslide.

But there were what looked like some rideable little angles down at GDubs. I warmed up in the drizzling rain and was paddling out by 0620. Surfed alone until Greg knee paddled down from Scimi's. Then one other guy late in the session, but really, there wasn't much this morning. Lot's of sectioning walls in very little energy. I did hook into a couple longer walls where I could put the 6-10 through some paces though.

This board is really fun. Even though the board is wide (23") and thick (2 7/8") for a "shortboard," it is very, very light (styrolite eps) and there is almost, literally, no swing weight. Isn't that what we all want? (I mean, the part of the board you don't use for paddling is just excess weight and bulk for surfing. Right?) But the 6-10 moves almost effortlessly from the primary standing position. So once you train your body to think and remember ("muscle memory") then you can concentrate on the wave and think your way through the ride. (Of course I'm not poo-pooing training and technique, that would be short sighted and an incomplete part of the overall equation. But everything has it's genesis in the brain.) While riding boards with swing weight is fun, and different, there is always the time lag between thinking it, applying it, and it happening. That time lag or gap is much less distinct on a lighter board without (or with less) swing weight.

I surfed for almost two hours, catching a lot of small ones, but getting the occasional longer ride too, especially when I paddled down to Simi's and got my last wave of the morning. It's really fun throwing this board around, and dancing all over the wave face. Although Fred Astaire I ain't.

May 5, 2009 (Tu)
In: 0620
Out: 0815
AT= 56F
WT= 53F
Wx: Low clouds with light rain
Tide: 2.3' Rising to 3.8'
Wind: Calm to light to moderate southwesterlies
Sea Surface: Glassy in the kelp to light wind ripples
6-10 Ward Coffey EPS (Marko Styrolite)/Epoxy Custom
Fin set-up: Thruster/Quad with Future Fins AM1 tri-fin set-up.
Bathymetry: Rock reefs
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Nearshore)
0600: 3.6 feet @ 11.1 W (2 - 3 ft. faces)
0630: 3.0 feet @ 11.8 W
0700: 3.6 feet @ 11.1 W (2 - 3 ft. faces)
0730: 3.6 feet @ 11.8 W
0800: 3.3 feet @ 11.8 WNW (2 - 3 ft. faces)
0830: 3.6 feet @ 11.8 W
0900: 3.6 feet @ 12.5 W

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