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

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Combo NW Wind & Southerly Hurricane Swell

A nice combo mix of northwesterly wind swell and southerly Hurricane Felicia swell was forecast to make landfall this morning. I was thinking that the wind swell was for sure, but was more skeptical re the southerly Hurricane swell. Usually tropical swells don't make it into our swell window, but I think this one did OK. Buoys were showing a mix of NW and SW swell which made things kinda confusing, but the CDIP Nowcast maps looked good. StormSurf nailed this one right on the head too.

Woke up early, but later than I wanted. Grabbed the gear, threw the SUP on top of the car and arrived shoreside by 0620. I wanted to paddle out into the dawn patrol in a fog free sunrise. Wrong. While it was sunny at my house, ten minutes away at Sarge's, it was socked in with fog thick as an arm wrestler's wrist.

The swell was in but the tide wasn't. Walls were long and corners were few. A light wind was coming off the fog. I got cold. I went home and back to bed. An hour and a half later my wife woke me up and we took the dog for a walk down at Platty's. The sun was out, not a speck of fog in the air. Crystal clean glass walls were peeling fast down the beach in both directions. We ran into Paul who was walking his dog..."there are some nice corners out there!" Yes. They were a wee bit fast but only one guy out on one of the many peaks up and down the beach. Surf was 3-4 ft.

Now I'm chomping at the bit to get home, grab the Ghost Buster and head to the beaches. Which is what I did. When I got there the wind had come up a bit, but not enough to ruin the clean walls that were still coming in. Yeah, there were a few people, but enough peaks were working that the crowd was pretty broken up. Waves were very consistent, waist to chest and enough good sliders on the lefts and rights to keep everyone happy. An even mix of long and shortboarders. One SUP guy.

I surfed for an hour before conditions worsened with a building (but not bad at all) onshore wind and several rips chopping up the sea surface. Surfed leash less and almost looked forward to losing my board so I could body surf in and paddle back out. What a great workout.

I started out in front of the life guard tower and surfed up the beach a quarter mile, picking various peaks as the current pulled me along. The tower peak was bigger and an easier paddle back out. The final peak I surfed was smaller, but the sand bar was more built up farther out, so there was a lot more white water to paddle through.

Weather is superb with a heat spell goin' on, and water temps are finally climbing back up. I hope we get more of this all week.
August 9, 2009 (Su)
In: 1125
Out: 1235
AT= 67.2F
WT= 59F
Wx: Sunny and warm
Tide: 3.8' Rising to 4.3'
Wind: Calm to light southeasterlies
Sea Surface: Glassy with some wind and rip chop later
6-0 Freeline (Mini-Simmons) Ghost Buster with twin glassed on keel fins
Bathymetry: Sand bars
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Farshore*)
Time NDBC Data (approx.) CDIP Data
1000: 7.2 feet @ 9.1 NW (315 and 210) (2-4 ft. wave faces)
1100: 7.2 feet @ 8.3 NW (310 and 200) (2-4 ft. wave faces)
1200: 7.5 feet @ 9.1 NW (320 and 200) (2-4 ft. wave faces)
1300: 5.6 feet @ 9.1 NW (315 and 195) (2-4 ft. wave faces)


  1. Gary,

    I saw you this morning walking out of Sarges as I was walking in. Didn't recognize you w/o your wetsuit... I came back about 9:00 that day and it was pretty fun (the fog lifted). Anyway, a friend sent me this video of some SUP guys at the Wedge during the late July swell. Thought you might enjoy it.

    Enjoying you blog...


  2. Those guys are SO crazy! Can't say as I would recommend that to anyone but the most intelligence averse. It takes all kinds I guess, but you know the "SUP at the Wedge" outcome is never going to be positive.

    Thanks for sharing the vid. See ya out there Ron.