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

Saturday, January 23, 2010

A Quick Surf In Between Storms

After struggling with the pellet stove that refuses to burn right, I looked at the clock. 3:30...still time for a surf if I get on it now. So I bailed on the mess (wife's out of town, I'll clean it up later) threw all my gear (the SUP and McTavish already in her van) and made a hasty departure for Sarges.

I saw all I wanted to see when I rounded the curve at the old China Town fishing village. Not nearly as much wind chop as this morning. I had switched out the 9" center fin and sidebites on the McTavish and put in the 9" DeTemple fin...I was chompin' at the bit to see how it would ride. The waves weren't great, but the swell was still up, and conditions greatly improved over this mornings big swell, lumpy and choppy sea surface mess.

Not many folks out this afternoon, just a handful really. Dave and Larry were out on their SUPs, taking down some nice waves, along with a couple other longboarders who knew what they were doing. Wave hts. were chest to some overhead, but sets were still stormy, with waves breaking close together due to the nearshore storm winds that were now calming before the next round of winds and rains made landfall.

I surfed for an hour and fifteen and grabbed a half dozen waves, two of them 500 yard rides from the point to the brown house. Wave faces weren't smooth, there was still a lot of wind chop on the walls, and a cross chop from the rising tide. But there was room to maneuver, climb and drop and get a feel for the new fin. I was looking for a more stable ride and I got it. Attendant was a loss of maneuverability over the 2+1 set-up, which I expected. Riding further forward on the nose was greatly improved as I discovered when I tried to drop around a falling section on an overhead bomb, and got caught behind the whitewater. I stuck with it, trying to find the fastest line, and moved forward on the board as it seemed I was too far back, and beginning to bog. The board (and fin) responded well, lifting up, then accelerating and dogging it's way into the clear water of the shoulder after a good fight in the wash. Stoke! It works! The board handled the post-storm surf chop real well, better than I thought it might, given the boards overall template. It's gonna be a good all-rounder.

Earlier...I hit it at first light, hoping that the dawn patrol wind wouldn't be as bad as it turned out to be. I made the rounds, taking pics and enjoying the raw beauty of it all. Two guys at Scimi's paddling in the chop and riding overhead, wind blown nearly storm surf, that was so full of ledges that when they could paddle in, they just dropped from ledge to ledge down the face.

My next to last stop was at Sarges just to look. There I spent a good hour with the boyz, chit-chatting, making small talk and being grossly boyish. Gray, me, Herby and Dr. Weiner (publisher of the new mag, Weiner Digest, soon to be on magazine shelves everywhere) were in good form. No one wanted to paddle out except Herby, who kept trying to psych himself up and get someone to go with him. No takers.

A couple weekend warriors were out and getting nothing, going nowhere except down current. An entitled local made his way through our clot of "helpful" jokers, only to be told an impossible paddle out "short cut" that kept him trapped inside for 45 minutes. Last we saw him he was rounding the point, exhausted and heading for a down current, pier remove. Bastards! It wasn't me...really.

It rained a little, cleared up a little, and we all headed elsewhere to figure out what we could do until we could surf again.

China Beach was sheltered from the worst of the wind and had something to ride. Hardly anyone on it, and although it wasn't great, it was better than nothing for the five guys who were surfing. Not for me though. I tucked it in and headed home, ready to tackle the pellet stove...again.

January 23, 2010
In: 1605
Out: 1715
AT= 55.6-54.1F
WT= 55.2F
Wx: Partly cloudy
Tide: 0.22' Rising to 1.3'
Wind: Variable and light
Sea Surface: Some surface wind chop and backwash
McTavish (PU) 9-3 Fireball
Fin set-up: Single 9" DeTemple
Bathymetry: Rock reefs
Deep Water Swell CDIP Archive
Wave Hts. (Faces): 5-7 ft.

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