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

Saturday, September 12, 2009

New WNW Gulf Swell Starts Filling In

The blessings of Typhoon Dujuan, which stirred up some nice fetch in the NPAC, began showing late yesterday evening. Around 5PM, 20 second periods began showing on the farshore buoys, and all the coastal buoys upcoast from our location. By my calcs we were going to see waves a bit earlier than modeled so I hit it early this morning.

The first words I heard when I paddled into the dawn patrol line-up were from Greg. "I think the world is coming to an end," he says, "Gary's on a shortboard, and Kirk's on a stand-up." Kirk is one of the best surfers in the area and one is accustomed to seeing his trademark graceful and fluid style as he rips down the line at Scimi's on one of his shortboards, or custom performance longboards. He is a full-on waterman and athlete, but not only that, he builds his own rides under the "L41" label. (No website, strictly a "backyard" operation...his words not mine, because his products are as high quality in design and craftsmanship as any pro builder in this surf town.)

Nonetheless, it was even a surprise to me to see him on his newly shaped and glassed, 1.5 lb. EPS core, longboard-type performance SUP. As usual he was surfing with grace and style, putting the SUP through it's performance paces.

I should have packed all three of my boards into the little VW Golf this morning, but I thought it was going to be bigger than it actually was. Tides for this swell are going to be high, and it is definitely affecting the surf. The low tide mid-morning was 3.39', high at the early hour was 3.5'. That's not so bad if the swell at the reefs had been about double the size. But still, there were numerous chest/shoulder waves high with the occasional overhead wave or two on the best sets.

I surfed the Ward Coffey 6-10 Power Biscuit and had a blast. What a great board! An easy wave catcher, fast, maneuverable, fits smoothly into the wave face...and with the tri fin/quad fin options, it can be configured for smaller waves (like today, surfed with three fins) or larger waves which I hope we'll get as the swell increases in size. I actually wanted to try the 5-11 GB2 in today's surf, but thought it might be too big. Stupid me...I should have thrown it in the car anyway. I'll try not to make that mistake again. No matter though, I had fun getting reacquainted with the 6-10 and surfed a ton of waves before I elected to make myself one less member of the Saturday morning/new swell crowd.

After I got out, I headed down to the beaches to check it. The early morning CDIP table data didn't show that the swell was in there yet, which I was finding hard to believe after the morning surf at the reefs. I arrived to a see a macking set with sweet one out. That's because most of the guys out were sitting on a big left hander a hundred or so yards out, down coast. A few were getting nice rides. The rest of the beach that I could see looked sketchy. The sweet set I saw upon arrival was the only set I saw at that right hander. It was big and powerful and three or four surfers were totally denied on their paddle out. No one not surfing the left was getting much, except worked.

Unfortunately for all of us, tides are high and higher all day tomorrow as well. I was hoping to get back in the water this afternoon/evening, but the higher tide is just flooding the playing field. The best spots have waves but they are swollen and warbly. The upper reefs are still going overhead to double-o on the set waves, but everything else looks pretty bumpy and fat. If we were in a lower tide cycle there would be great waves all day.

September 12, 2009 (Sa)
In: 0645
Out: 0815
AT= 56F
WT= 56.3F
Wx: Marine inversion overcast and fog burning off around noon
Tide: 3.52' Falling to 3.47'
Wind: Calm to light from the east-northeast
Sea Surface: Glassy to light wind ripples
6-10 Ward Coffey Power Bisquit EPS (Marko Styrolite)/Epoxy Custom
Fin set-up: Thruster with RFC Speedwings and Future Eric Arakawa 450 center
Bathymetry: Rock reefs and sand
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Farshore-Nearshore)
Time NDBC Data (approx.) CDIP Data
0600: 6.9 feet @ 19 WNW - 3.3 feet @ 16.7 W (295 and 170) (4-5 ft. wave faces)
0700: 7.2 feet @ 17.4 W - 3.3 feet @ 16.7 W (285 and 185) (4-5 ft. wave faces)
0800: 7.2 feet @ 17.4 WNW - 3.9 feet @ 16.7 W (290 and 185) (4-5 ft. wave faces)
0900: 7.2 feet @ 17.4 WNW - 3.6 feet @ 16.7 W (295 and 170) (5-7 ft. wave faces)
1000: 6.6 feet @ 17.4 WNW - 3.9 feet @ 16.7 W (295 and 225) (4-5 ft. wave faces)
1100: 7.9 feet @ 16 W - 3.9 feet @ 16.7 W (295 and no data) (4-6 ft. wave faces)
1200: 6.9 feet @ 14.8 W - 4.3 feet @ 15.4 W (290 and no data) (6-8 ft. wave faces)
1300: 7.5 feet @ 17.4 WNW - 5.2 feet @ 16.7 W (295 and no data) (6-8 ft. wave faces)
1400: 7.9 feet @ 14.8 WNW - 6.2 feet @ 16.7 W (295 and no data) (no data at posting)

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