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

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

FTC Compliance in Blog Advertising

In October the FTC published their 2009 revisions to the FTC Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising. This is the first significant guide update in the internet era and in the interest of full disclosure, I feel obliged to address their primary concerns so everyone who happens to read this blog knows where I'm coming from. Click here for a summary of the guides in lieu of the 81 page document published by the FTC.

The main area of concern is in "advertising." I have chosen to post (on the right hand of the blog) several surf related businesses whose products and services I have used and enjoyed over the years. I am not sponsored or employed (as an employee) by any of these businesses, and I want to clarify my relationship with them all.

I receive no cash compensation from any of these businesses. This blog is my personal journal of my surfing experiences. I also write about places I surf, and the equipment and services I use related to surfing. All this is strictly my own opinion, based upon my own subjective experience. This blog is not a business. It is not a money making venture. I do not use Google advertising because so many of the advertisers are unknown to me. I have no idea if the quality of their products or services is good or bad. Therefore I have no opinion about them, nor would I recommend for or against them.

The six businesses I support with logos, links and contact information are: Angulo Designs; Santa Cruz Boardsports; Freeline Surf Shop; Ward Coffey Surfboards, Rainbow Fin Co. and Del Cabo Surfboard Glassing. I have met every business owner in person. Some I know better than others. Above all, my opinion of all these companies is that they are run and maintained with honesty and with ethical business policies and practices in effect. They are not only good "business" people, they are good people.

Here is a per business breakdown of my relationship with all the businesses.

Angulo Designs: I created and maintain the Angulo blog. For this work I am periodically compensated with stuff like t-shirts, deck pads and some accessories. I have owned three Angulo SUPs. For two out of three of those I paid full price. The third was deeply discounted as a trade for hours worked on the blog. I think Ed Angulo is one of the most unknown and under appreciated world class shapers alive today. He is a man of great skill, knowledge, integrity and honesty and I wouldn't hesitate to direct anyone to him for a product. I have reviewed all the Angulo SUPs I've owned. A consumer simply would not go wrong with an Angulo product in my opinion. I receive no compensation in advertising.

Santa Cruz Boardsports: This business is the primary west coast distributor and retailer for Angulo SUPs. I know the owner well and in addition to being a great guy, he is one of the most positively enthusiastic, and funniest persons you'd ever meet. He's a good businessman and always treats his customers fairly. I receive no compensation in advertising.

Freeline Surf Shop: I've know John Mel for 36 years. When I moved to Santa Cruz in 1973 I got back into surfing by purchasing a used kneeboard from John. I have bought many, many surfboards, wetsuits and accessories from Freeline over these last many years. John is a dedicated family man and member of the community. He has donated his time and products to many, many causes in the community. Peter Mel (yes, THE Peter Mel) is his son. In addition to being a professionally sponsored surfer (Quiksilver) and businessman with other surfing related interests, Peter and his wife Tara co-own and manage the shop. I trust Freeline for all my surfing needs. Freeline often provides me with a longtime customer discount on my purchases. I never ask for one on surfboards because custom Freeline's are a huge bargain at regular price. What is 40 years of shaping experience and over 11,000 boards built worth to me? Whatever John asks. I receive no compensation in advertising.

Ward Coffey Surfboards: I've only known Ward for a couple years, having met him at Sacred Craft in Del Mar a couple years ago. He is a gifted shaper and surfer. He is also a dedicated family man, well known and respected in the surfing community. Like John, Ward's products are based on his experience, vast knowledge of surf craft, and his impeccable skills. His prices are super reasonable and worth every penny. I receive no compensation in advertising.

Rainbow Fin Co.: I've purchased many RFC fins over the years. Recently I met Glen (the owner) while surfing and he recommended some new fins the company had just developed and brought to market. I tried 'em and loved 'em. Glen and his family are a longtime fixture in the surfing community and take great pride in their products and their company. I receive no compensation in advertising.

Del Cabo Surfboard Glassing (no website): I recently met Jesus and Maria Ocaranza when I asked if it would be OK to watch them glass my 5-11 GhostBuster2. They were happy to accommodate my request and I spent a number of enjoyable and informative hours watching, asking questions and chatting with this hard working and affable couple. They are professionals with the highest degree of integrity. I would recommend them to anyone who needs good glassers. I receive no compensation in advertising.

Please feel free to leave comments or contact me directly at


Sunday, October 25, 2009

Road Trip - Cathedral De Las Olas

October 21 & 22, 2009

Last Sunday I sent a heads-up to JC who lives in the Cathedral De Las Olas region down south, about the coming WNW swell. I speculated that it could be good sometime mid-week. As usual he was on it too. Shortly after my email to him I got the call..."feel like comin' down for a two-day trip? We'll surf and camp a couple days." After a quick check with the wife, and one schedule reshuffle I packed up and headed south. I took all three boards and the necessities. The only thing that didn't fit in the car was my stoke which kept bursting out from all seams like sun rays from behind the clouds.

The adventure began early on the 21st. We headed up coast. The weather was almost perfect with a nascent sea surface bump smoothing out the further north we ventured. None of the westerly spots were really working yet because the soon coming WNW wasn't in, but we had some nice south swell that had the south spots firing pretty good.

Default spot number one had a half dozen guys on it at two separate peaks. No one was getting long rides, but all were getting short peaky walls with an occasional barrel on the inside. It wasn't up to the crews standard so we put it in gear and headed north once again to default spot number two, BobbyP's aka BP's.

Upon arrival the early morning sun was perfectly angled for photos. A half dozen guys, including the Sheriff, were out in the crystal green head high waves. This spot hosts a random assortment of surfers ranging in age from young to the "old guys rule" set. To get this deep into the region, one has to have been here before, which begs the question, "which came first, the chicken or the egg." The answer: you need the right kind of chicken to get the egg.

My host JC pretty much knows all the locals, and I was introduced all around. Those JC didn't know he knew within half hour of entering the water. It also helps that he observes protocol always by waiting at least 30 minutes before jumping in for a surf. It also doesn't hurt that he uses his waiting time to take pics of the guys out surfing, which he emails to them after the sessions. This is surf diplomacy and statesmanship that rivals the Duke's worldwide fame.

JC is probably the most patient and generous surfer I know. Sometimes I think he gets a bigger high out of letting other people take waves. I know that one of the hallmarks of his soul that makes his life work so well is sharing his stoke and wave adventures with other like minded surfers. His current craft of choice is the Blue Boy, a custom belly/paipo. And one of his favorite maneuvers is to fade far back under the peak before it slams him and literally explodes him out onto the shoulder. It's a thing of beauty to behold.

Our third fellow traveler on day one was a fellow who all would know if they spend any time at all in the Swaylocks discussion forums. Before today I'd never met John in person, but I've corresponded with him over the forums and in the process learned a lot from this "out of the box" thinker and board crafter. His ride of choice this day was a belly/paipo rocket ship that he designed and built using a "scrap" of EPS that was waste from a SUP cutout. When JM trimmed up on a fast wall, no one, no shortboard, hybrid or longboard could keep up. Talk about the fast track on the high line...he knew where it was, and how to get there.

BP's is a fun and challenging wave. Being the least experienced, I had a tougher time figuring out where to be, and when. I'd surfed it once before, a couple months ago, but today the look was a little different. Last time there was one take-off location, taking the initial drop and riding through the fast and steeper peak, before cutting back at the edge of the reef and going left into the white water before coming around and setting up for the fast and hollow inside race track wall, which eventually expended itself onto the somewhat rocky shore.

Today though there were periodic "swing wide" sets. You'd get the usual take-off spot, followed by a soft spot or "saddle" to use a geographic landmark term, and then another peak and wall. The idea was to back door the swing wide peak going fast and hard before banking off the falling wave crest to swing under and around the fallen lip and whitewater, and then turn back up onto the wave face. From there it was like the single peak waves...cutback hard into rolling edge of the whitewater and work your way inside for the long and fast run across the beach front. The place was just super fun.

I seemed to put in my share of time paddling hard for the first or second wave of the set, missing it, and then getting slammed by the next four or five, for which I was then caught inside. Whaddakook! But on the upside I surfed the GB2 mini-Simmons in fairly demanding conditions and it performed extremely well. The mini is just a rocket in fast walls, barrels and pockets, and is as solid and stable as the Rock of Gibraltar. It handled the offshore wind late takeoffs without incident although I will say that having a little more overall length in windy conditions may have enabled me to catch a few of the ones I missed. But no matter, the maneuverability I have on the mini-sim twin makes it more fun than a 62 year old man should have on a surfboard that's so short. Ron (the other retired fireman) has a Bauguess mini-Simmons on order and he gladly accepted an offer to try mine. In short, he loved it and he absolutely ripped on it. Now he can hardly wait to get his. Truth is, I'm having such a good time on my Freeline GhostBuster2 it's the only board I want to surf these days.

We surfed for three hours before the wind, which had been blowing vigorously offshore all day long, went side shore on us, at what seemed like about a hundred miles an hour. When it was blowing straight offshore every takeoff was accompanied by the proverbial "fire hose in the face" blast of wave spray. But when it went side shore, just paddling back to the line-up could be a painful experience during the gusts when the sea spray coming off the mini-white caps felt like needles in the face. About 3PM we called it a good day, and headed back to camp.

JC had made all the preparations for an overnight stay in a private campground nearby. It seemed to me that the phrase "luxury campground" was kind of an oxymoron, but this campground was in fact, luxurious. First off, no one was there. We had the place to ourselves with no freak shows blasting high velocity heave inducing rap at us. Campsites were squeaky clean and without a scrap of trash. But the coup de grace was the warm pool, jacuzzi and brand new shower facilities.

Before we broke into the rum and coke (for JC) and Coppola chardonnay (pour moi) I set up my little Sierra Designs three season tent in the warm offshores and fading daylight. I figured after my first glass of wine imbibed in the jacuzzi I might have a hard time walking back to camp much less setting up my tent which I hadn't done in a couple years. But no worries, after an hour in ultra-relaxation mode we returned to our site for bbq chicken, garlic bread, Greek salad and our ongoing conversations about everything surfing, and how to fix the world by ignoring it and going surfing. After polishing a bottle of wine and putting a dent in the rum bottle it all made perfect sense to us. Time for bed.

Nine hours later, we were up early. While JC prepped for the new day's adventure, I volunteered to help by taking another jacuzzi. Amazingly enough this seemed to be a satisfactory division of labor, so I headed up for a soak while JC did all the work. I did however return and take down my tent which in my physically gelatinous state was a world class achievement. "Old Guys Rule!" indeed....more like, old guys drool.

This morning, Thursday, was kind of a repeat of Wednesday except the weather was warmer and it was glassier, and the WNW was showing which was lighting up a lot more spots than yesterday. On the way upcoast we stopped at a lot more places to check it out. Experiencing the waves and the environment in person makes the regional title, "Cathedral De Las Olas" obviously appropriate. This place manifests the blending of the physical and spiritual before the human eye, hinting at the holiness that lies beneath the surface for the open hearted observer. Like church, when one enters this sanctuary, no one should do so with animosity or unforgiveness in their heart, mind or soul. To do so is the definition of what the Christians call "sin,"...missing the mark. Or in this case, missing the point of where you are, and what you are blessed to have before you, surfing here with the few others who have received the gift. Besides, it's just so damn much FUN! Why ruin it with a stink-eye attitude? Yeah, life IS short, and then you're gone. Somebody say "Amen." Thus endeth the sermon.

Once again, BP's was the call, and today Ricky filled out the trio. No stranger to this surf spot, Rick's orange longboard was a common sight making late drops and hard cutties into the inside section where his line morphed into an orange blur of speed and spray. Less people out today than yesterday. The "crowd" never exceeded seven in the water at any one time. Waves were about the same size, consistency perhaps a bit better, but there was plenty of fun and long rides to go around. Again, another three hour surf tired me out, bringing on that feeling of fatigue and satisfaction. The post-stoke glow.

Two days of hard core surfing, camping and experiencing were enough to tire an old fart like me right out. We got back to JC's house and I packed the vee-dub up, ready to head back to my usual reality of EMT class and the midterm...full days on Friday and Saturday. Believe me, I'd rather be napping.

One of the great things about keeping this blog/journal is that I get to re-live my surfing experiences as I journal them. I am still basking in the post-stoke glow of this very special trip into what is unarguably, "Gods' country." Thanks JC for making it happen!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Messy Post Storm Nearshore Wind Swell

The "after swell" from the major rain and wind storm that dumped 7.55" of rain at my house over the last three days blasted into our shores late yesterday afternoon. By this morning at daylight, it hadn't really cleaned up, but was good enough for a couple dozen surfers to ride.

Surfers were getting primarily head high plus waves in consistent sets, but the tide was high and rising, and there was a lot of backwash bump lumping up the wave faces. Still, I witnessed a number of long rides from #2's at Scimi's all the way into and (almost) through GDubs. Ken K. was out on his Hamilton speedster, putting his prolific local knowledge to work, and pulling down some of the best rides. Not bad for a old guy who spends his time walking the walk, not talking the talk. Kirk was nailing it on one of his laydown paddlers, surfing with his usual style and grace and also local knowledge that comes from years of riding his spot. Kirk is also a guy who isn't saddled with a truckload of insecurities and reactionary attitudes. He designs, shapes and rides all his board from short to SUP. He stopped for a quick chat on his way back to 2's and said he had to make himself surf one of his shorter boards instead of the SUP this morning. Of course he made the right choice, the best waves were in fact where he was surfing and not where I was on my SUP.

I had hedged my bet re the polluted water and chosen to paddle out on my Angulo SUP. I wanted to be more on the water than in it, at least for a few more hours. I rode at GDubs by myself but the best waves were at Scimi's by far. I rode quite a few, but only a couple had shoulders that would connect the dots and the sections. While I was able to paddle out at Sarge's, I elected not to take out there...too much tide, too much turbulence and too much rock wall getting smashed by incoming whitewater. So I paddled down to the other side of the pier and got out there.

The kind lady at the motel let me stash my board under her windows and I walked the half-mile back to Sarges to get the car. No problem. The only glitch in the whole thing was that somehow, when getting out, my rear fin caught the key pocket on my wetsuit and 'bout ripped it off the wetsuit. Bummer! Again, no prob as I dropped the suit off at Diane's for the repair. I'll be back in bidness in no time and in the meanwhile, I've got my 5/4/3 as a backup for this afternoon/evening's session. This time on the 6-10 or the 5-11 depending upon what the swell is doing.

October 15, 2009 (Th-AM)
In: 0740
Out: 0905
AT= 60F to 68F
WT= 58F
Wx: Dissipating clouds as the tail end of the storm moves out of the area
Tide: 4.9' Rising to 5.3' Falling
Wind: Light offshore
Sea Surface: Bumpy and jumbled
10-0 Angulo EPS/Epoxy Custom SUP with Infinity Ottertail carbon fiber paddleFin set-up: Thruster with K2D2 4.75" center fin (fourth mark up from back) and RFC Speedwings
Bathymetry: Rock reefs
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Farshore #1-Nearshore-Farshore #2)
Time-NDBC Data-CDIP Data (Primary Swell Dir.)(Local Wave Ht. Avg.)
0600: 11.5 feet @ 12.1 W - 8.5 feet @ 12.5 W (285) (4-6 ft. faces)
0700: 11.8 feet @ 12.1 W - 8.2 feet @ 12.5 W (285) (4-6 ft. faces)
0800: 10.5 feet @ 12.9 W - 7.9 feet @ 12.5 W (285) (4-6 ft. faces)
0900:11.5 feet @ 12.9 W - 7.9 feet @ 13.3 W (285) (4-6 ft. faces)
1000: 10.5 feet @ 12.9 W - 7.2 feet @ 13.3 W (285) (4-6 ft. faces)
1100: 10.5 feet @ 12.9 W - 8.2 feet @ 12.5 WNW (285) (4-6 ft. faces)

Afternoon Session
Surfed an afternoon session on the 5-11 at Roots and Tres Palmas. The surf wasn't as big at
those locations but shape was decent and the tide was low enough to make the spots work. Overall swell size dropped some but there were still a lot of fun rides to be had. Things started off fast paced with four waves in eight minutes. Then for the next 40 minutes it was more or less a merry-go-round of wave action. Then after 50 minutes, it just sorta ended. Sets were inconsistent, few and far between.

Of all the spots that I saw along the reefs, Scimi's had the best surfing today.
This swell is really just a follow-on wind swell from the storm that passed through. There wasn't enough time or territory to groom the ocean-borne wind energy so this wasn't a real high quality swell. Size has been dropping off
slowly but surely all day long, but there's probably a few more waves to be ridden before the next swell arrives.

Of interest is the warming water temps. Water this afternoon was 60 degrees! That's the highest it's been all year. I don't expect it to stay this way for too long, but still, I didn't think we'd see warm water again for a long while. Just goes to show you what happens when the northwest winds don't blow for a while.

Of interest too is whether or not this last storm and follow-on swell will be the pattern for our Winter weather and surf. If we continue to see mid-latitude storms driven by the jetstream right to our front door, then it's going to be a wet and messy Winter. Swells will be there, but messed up by the wind and weather. Let's hope the jet and the storm track shift north a bit, or blow up in the western NPAC before coming straight at us and then veering north and out of our CWA.

October 15, 2009 (Th-PM)
In: 1520
Out: 1715
AT= 67-70F
WT= 60F
Wx: Partly cloudy, warm and tropical (slightly humid)
Tide: .78' Rising to 1.85' Rising
Wind: Moderate southwest (sideshore) to calming
Sea Surface: Wind ripples
5-11 Freeline Ghost Buster 2 Mini-Simmons
Bathymetry: Reefs
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Farshore #1-Nearshore-Farshore #2)
Time-NDBC Data-CDIP Data (Primary Swell Dir.)(Local Wave Ht. Avg.)
1400: 9.8 feet @ 12.1 W - 7.5 feet @ 13.3 W (285) (2-4 ft. faces)
1500: 9.8 feet @ 12.9 W - 6.6 feet @ 13.3 W (295) (2-4 ft. faces)
1600: 8.9 feet @ 12.9 W - 7.2 feet @ 13.3 W (300) (2-4 ft. faces)
1700: 9.8 feet @ 12.9 W - 7.5 feet @ 12.5 W (000) (2-4 ft. faces)
1800: 9.2 feet @ 12.9 W - 6.6 feet @ 12.5 W (000) (2-4 ft. faces)

Monday, October 12, 2009

Pre-Storm Window of Opportunity

I paddled out this morning at Scimi's into a rising swell and a falling tide. Unfortunately the swell wasn't rising enough, and the fat tide wasn't falling fast enough to get the prime pre-storm waves. I had to bail after only an hour to get my dog's stitches taken out at the vets. But I swung by the beach after and got the pics posted here. Things looked pretty good. (All pics taken with the Oly 6000).

The swell came up fast, from 1.6 ft. at 14.3 seconds at 6AM, to 5 ft. at 14 seconds at 1:30P. About an hour later the south wind was on it, and the sea surface was looking like it was going to go Victory at Sea any minute. But for a while this morning, a few surfers got some very nice pre-storm waves. Now it's batten down the hatches for the big blow and rain that starts tonight and all day tomorrow.

Glad I got a few, even if they weren't the best this day had to offer.

October 12, 2009
In: 0730
Out: 0840
AT= 55/56F
WT= 55.8F
Wx: Marine layer being pushed out by incoming storm clouds
Tide: 4.2' Falling to 3.9'
Wind: Light onshore
Sea Surface: Mostly glassy with some light wind ripples and backwash bump
5-11 Freeline Ghost Buster 2 Mini-Simmons
Bathymetry: Reefs
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Farshore #1-Nearshore-Farshore #2)
Time-NDBC Data-CDIP Data (Primary Swell Dir.)(Local Wave Ht. Avg.)
0600: 3.0 feet @ 13.8 W - 1.6 feet @ 14.3 W (285) (2-3 ft. faces)
0700: 3.3 feet @ 14.8 W - 2.3 feet @ 14.3 WNW (290) (2-3 ft. faces)
0800: 3.6 feet @ 14.8 W - 2.3 feet @ 15.4 W (295) (2-3 ft. faces)
0900: 3.6 feet @ 13.8 W - 3.0 feet @ 14.3 WNW (295) (2-3 ft. faces)
1000: 3.9 feet @ 14.8 W - 3.0 feet @ 14.3 W (285) (2-4 ft. faces)
1100: 4.6 feet @ 13.8 WNW - 3.9 feet @ 14.3 W (290) (2-4 ft. faces)
1200: 5.9 feet @ 13.8 WNW - 3.9 feet @ 13.3 WNW (285) (2-4 ft. faces)

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Southie Hangs In; Conditions Improve

Two Sessions: Mid-Morning and Evening
I paddled out mid-morning for the first of two sessions today. The slightly diminished south of yesterday was still active at the reefs. I took a quick look at Scimi's but there were quite a few surfers sitting at the number one and two spots so I thought I'd try to grab a few up at Tres 8's. The bad news was that in my rush to get out of the house I forgot my booties, and my backup pair were in the closet at home. Dohw!

The 8's was pretty crowded too, but the little inside wave was working as an alternative to riding the bigger set waves. The tide wasn't so high that the rebound off the cove walls was bad (not yet anyway), as a matter of fact it was fun. There was a lot of backwash in the faces so the takeoff was a bit of an off balance alley-oop with a pretty clean line until about 10 ft. from the wall where the rebound would just throw you up in the air or swamp you. That worked pretty well for about an hour. Then the tide got too high, making it really hard to stay on the board on take off. Too much bump for this old man.

I was pleased that the 5-11 GB2 worked so well in these fat-like conditions though. As the backwash increased I could have used another foot or two on the board just to cut through the bumps, but overall, the board did good. I think things could have gone better if I'd not forgotten my booties. Into the second hour my feet were pretty numbed out, and popping up felt like I was standing on peg legs. I could hardly feel the board beneath my feet.

The evening session was different 'cause I waited for the low tide...the really low tide, in hopes that Roots would go off. I paddled out at Three Palms first (Roots wasn't breaking) with only a couple people out and rode a few small knee-highs almost into the beach. Even though it was relatively late (5:45PM), after my first few waves the crowd went from two to 15. What! Yeah, I couldn't believe it either. The cool thing is that about every 20 or 30 minutes a nice multi-wave set would come through providing lot's of rides. At around 6P an eight or nine wave set came through and Roots got two nice looking shoulders out of that set. So I paddled back out there.

Around 6:15 and for about 20 minutes the place went crazy. Many waves in several sets came through and it was just an arm busting merry-go-round. I pulled down a lot of waves. No one out but me and two women, one of whom was instructing the other in how to surf. After a couple waves I had to tell the novice that the wave was too advanced for her (she was getting killed on anything she tried) and she need to go over there...the next spot upcoast. She knew I was right and she and her friend moved over, leaving the place totally to me. Nice!

As I was kicking out in the shorie on one of my waves this woman is waving frantically to me on the beach. Wendy got my picture on her IPhone on the last wave. So I ran in, gave her my email address and she emailed me the pic on the spot. (I gotta get one of those phones!) Thanks Wendy!

Near dark the wind stopped completely and the sea surface turned to plate glass. The deep purple oncoming night sky cloned itself on the face of the deep. Sky and ocean melded together into that remarkably beautiful feeling that comes when witnessing nature on it's own terms. I was way blessed and fortunate to have gotten that little window of swell and tide just right. It capped off a great day of surfing. I was in the water until dark, but by then the tide was too low and the take-off peak was just a heaving, unmakeable section. I changed out in the lot in the dark, the light evening wind raising goose bumps on my bare skin. Man, I love to surf.

October 6, 2009 (Tu-AM)
In: 0920
Out: 1050
AT= 60F
WT= 54F
Wx: Sunny, crisp and clear
Tide: 4.4' Rising to 5.3' Rising
Wind: Calm to Light onshore
Sea Surface: Mostly glassy with some light wind ripples and backwash bump
5-11 Freeline Ghost Buster 2 Mini-Simmons
Bathymetry: Reefs
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Farshore #1-Nearshore-Farshore #2)
Time-NDBC Data-CDIP Data (Primary Swell Dir.)(Local Wave Ht. Avg.)
0800: 4.6 feet @ 14.8 S - 1.3 feet @ 14.3 SW (200) (2-3 ft. faces)
0900: 4.6 feet @ 14.8 S - 1.3 feet @ 14.3 SW (195) (2-3 ft. faces)
1000: 4.6 feet @ 14.8 S - 1.3 feet @ 14.3 SW (190) (2-3 ft. faces)
1100: 4.9 feet @ 14.8 S - 1.6 feet @ 14.3 SW (190) (2-3 ft. faces)
1200: 4.6 feet @ 14.8 SSW - 1.3 feet @ 13.3 SW (175) (2-3 ft. faces)

October 6, 2009 (Tu-PM)
In: 1720
Out: 1900
AT= 65-59F
WT= 54.3F
Wx: Sunny, crisp and clear
Tide: 0.25' Falling to -0.23' to -0.19 Rising
Wind: Calm to light northerly
Sea Surface: Mostly glassy
5-11 Freeline Ghost Buster 2 Mini-Simmons
Bathymetry: Reefs
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Farshore #1-Nearshore-Farshore #2)
Time-NDBC Data-CDIP Data (Primary Swell Dir.)(Local Wave Ht. Avg.)
1600: 3.9 feet @ 14.8 SSW - 1.3 feet @ 14.3 SSW (190) (1-3 ft. faces)
1700: 4.3 feet @ 14.8 SSW - 1.6 feet @ 13.3 SW (185) (1-3 ft. faces)
1800: 4.6 feet @ 13.8 S - 1.6 feet @ 14.3 SW (180) (1-3 ft. faces)
1900: 3.6 feet @ 13.8 SSW - 1.6 feet @ 14.3 SW (175) (1-3 ft. faces)
2000: 3.9 feet @ 14.8 SSW - 1.6 feet @ 14.3 SW (190) (1-3 ft. faces)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Windy Wind Swell and A Bit of South

I was fully confidant that the south swell forecast for SoCal and parts of NorCal would vaguely reach our shores. Well, I was sure wrong about that. I was thinking that it was going to go flat pretty quick, and that if I wanted anything at all I'd better get to the beach and grab a few.

So without even looking at it, I suited up, grabbed my GB2 (sans leash) and headed for the access point. Halfway down the stairs a head high set of five or six waves came booming through and I did a quick 180 back to the Vdub for my tether. Since it was a higher tide a lost board would probably mean a day down for repairs. No thanks.

The last of the strong northerly winds were still in effect and it was blowing pretty good for the whole session. It became harder to pull free from the kelp as the tide dropped, but not impossible. In these mega-kelpy times it feels like the tentacles just climb over the top of the board and grab at your ankles on some rides.

I surfed all the bowls from top to bottom, eschewing Gdubs, mostly because of the crowd that was there, and the fact that it was nothing but closeouts, especially as the tide dropped. But the majority of the waves (as per most southies with a lot of south in 'em) were close outs, and no one was connecting the dots/bowls. The average ride was drop in, turn off the bottom, turn off the top, turn off the bottom and fly out the top.

Still, a pleasant surprise that there was any ground swell at all, much better than flatness.

NOTE: Water temps this year are significantly colder than last year at this time. Last year we were in the upper 50's, this year it's mid-50's, a 3-5 degree difference. The water temp 800 miles to the northwest? At 46006 it's in the mid-60's! So that means that if I jumped in the open ocean, 600 miles west of Eureka I could be in my 3/2 or a Spring suit even. But here in NorCal I'm in full rubber...5/4/3 with hood and booties. Go figure.

Note 2: My Canon Rebel SLR is in for cleaning. All shots taken on Oct 5 and Oct 6 are with the Olympus Stylus Tough 6000. Also, I stopped using the "High speed" sequential setting in favor of the more moderate setting on the Oly. On "Hi" the photos when zoomed in are always soft...not good. While never super sharp and clear, the moderate sequential setting seems to deliver better results overall.

October 5, 2009 (M)
In: 1440
Out: 1630
AT= 58F
WT= 55F
Wx: Sunny, crisp, clear and windy
Tide: 2.64' Falling to 0.7'
Wind: Moderate to strong northerly with stronger gusts
Sea Surface: Wind rippled
5-11 Freeline Ghost Buster 2 Mini-Simmons
Bathymetry: Reefs
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Farshore #1-Nearshore-Farshore #2)
Time-NDBC Data-CDIP Data (Primary Swell Dir.)(Local Wave Ht. Avg.)
1300: no data - no data (2.5 ft. @ 14 secs 195) (2-4 ft. faces)
1400: no data - no data (2.1 ft. @ 14 secs 195) (2-4 ft. faces)
1500:no data - no data (2.2 ft. @ 14 secs 200) (2-4 ft. faces)
1600: no data - no data (2.2 ft. @ 14 secs 190) (2-4 ft. faces)

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Small Wind Swell Waves in Perfect Fall Weather

Even the wind swells are calming down. Primarily because the power source is blowing out of the north. While the consequences of that are smaller surf, those same winds have scoured everything clean. Air quality and visibility is as only it can get here in these conditions. Some say that when it gets like this, the last people to breath in our air were the Japanese. There's a lot of scrubbing and cleaning going on between there, and here.

With the marine layer blown to smithereens, the unfiltered sun has had a clear shot at the ocean, inducing a full blown algae bloom. I checked the beaches before surfing the smallies at the reefs and it was magnificently rusty. As far as I could see upcoast and down, and out at least a mile, the ocean was the color of decarbonated root beer with about 50% water added. When it gets really bad I just break out the SUP and stay above the water. But not having it with me, I headed from the beaches to the reefs and surfed what was there for an hour point five.

It is all I'm going to get 'cause I teach all day tomorrow and Saturday and Sunday is either church or the weather looks like it could get sketchy with low pressure moving through, accompanied by unfriendly winds.

Once again the GB2 mini-sims worked great, catching lots of teeny waves no problem. A good workout in an even better day.

October 1, 2009 (Th)
In: 1430
Out: 1600
AT= 69-70F
WT= 56.7F
Wx: Sunny, crisp and clear
Tide: 1.9' Falling to 1.58' to 1.6 Rising
Wind: Light northerly
Sea Surface: Mostly glassy
5-11 Freeline Ghost Buster 2 Mini-Simmons
Bathymetry: Reefs
Deep Water Swell and Wave Face Heights CDIP Archive
Buoy: NWS (Farshore #1-Nearshore-Farshore #2)
Time-NDBC Data-CDIP Data (Primary Swell Dir.)(Local Wave Ht. Avg.)
1300: 8.5 feet @ 10.8 NW - 2.6 feet @ 10.5 WNW (295) (1-2 ft. faces)
1400: 8.5 feet @ 10.0 NW - 2.6 feet @ 10.5 WNW (305) (1-2 ft. faces)
1500: 7.5 feet @ 10.0 NW - 2.3 feet @ 11.1 WNW (305) (1-2 ft. faces)
1600: 6.6 feet @ 10.0 NW - 2.0 feet @ 10.5 WNW (no data) (no data)