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

Monday, February 15, 2010

Good Waves On Slowly Fading WNW

Sunday February 14, 2010
Second day of a three-day holiday weekend. Saturday was packed and I didn't think today would be less so, but the swell had cleaned up, conditions were better than yesterday, and I didn't want to miss out on surfing bigger waves at one of my favorite spots...The Yellow House.

Andy and I formed a plan to meet up in the later afternoon, we would both be surfing our Angulo custom SUPs. In fact we met up on the beach, just prior to paddle out. We surfed really fun waves together for about two hours before it got too dark to see. I was skeptical about wave quality, and while it was a little spotty, I got three solid gold pier rides which (to me) is the Holy Grail of surfing YH. Each one of these rides is about 550 yards long, and is filled with fast and bankable sections, with tons of open wave face surfing.

This wave is perfect for SUP surfing for a couple reasons. The reef is long and drawn out, therefore there are no tightly packed and congested take-off spots, and along the wave "route" there are several flat spots, holes in the reef where the wave energy really backs off. Having a paddle to muscle your way through these energy deprived sections is a huge help. Of course if the wave is big enough then..."we don't need no stinking paddles!" You just need to know the wave. Local knowledge is everything.

When it started to get dark we headed up to Sarge's to get a wave in. On my first attempt, I paddled into a bomb that took me almost all the way back to Yellow House...a distance of almost 250 yards. As I wheeled off the back of that wave and headed out the back, a set loomed up in the fast depleting light. I hooked into the set wave and rode almost to Apt. House Point. This was an unexpected gift!

By the time I got back, it was really getting dark. I finally paddled in from Sarge's where I got one last pic of Ron on his quad kneeboard ripping one of the many low tide long sections of the evening. That pic is the last one in the slideshow sequence and you can barely see Ron setting up for that long (and makeable) section in front of him. I saw him on the beach in the pre-darkness and he was super-stoked.

Another day on the reefs, another blessing. Thank You God...for letting us enjoy your creation in Peace.

Monday February 15, 2010
Finally the tide was low enough, and the swell big enough to surf a dawn patrol session at the reefs. Part II of Andy and my plan went into effect at 0-dark:30 when we met at the access point for Sarges. It was pretty cool 'cause all the dawn patrol regulars were there too. Just like old times. We paddled out with Sean, Joanna and Jamie into a fairly consistent morning of glassy 3-6 footers with no one out but us and plenty of waves to go around. It felt good to be back in the pack on my McTavish longboard. Even when everyone knows you, one is something of a pariah standing there looking down from the heights of the SUP. It can be intimidating. Therefore when I am out with others on the SUP, I strive to remember to sit my butt down every once in a while. Oh yeah, and surf with Aloha!

Of course it was day three of the 3-day President's Day weekend, so we knew the sparsely crowded conditions wouldn't last long. But they lasted long enough for us to get a bunch of waves at Sarge's main and In Betweens. An hour and a half later the place was pretty packed out so we headed in for brunch in our favorite little surf town down coast.

After stuffing ourselves with grinds and coffee, we strolled down to the jetty to check the surf, which was still showing very nicely at this multi-spot break. Lot's of people out surfing and just enjoying the good weather. Priscilla and Patrick were chatting with Christian who had a quiver of his new boards in the van. Christian is a displacement hull aficionado, but dabbles in all things surfable. He designs and builds his own boards and loves to experiment with new shapes and concepts. Very cool.

Another great day on the bay!

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