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

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

More Good Sand Bar Waves

The West/WNW swell started to inch it's way back up this morning, and was joined by a new pulse of 12 second WSW swell. This may have created a combo effect that boosted wave hts. but that didn't show at my two usual sand bars. So I headed south a couple hundred yards and hooked into another pay dirt morning.

After chastising myself for being lazy and soft Monday, I was on scene at the Cali Bar at 0715. There was a light misty rain falling, and the waves just weren't doing it. I stood there, leaning up against the car wishing it was better. Another bar upcoast, which I call Shakes, was closing out and not pretty at all. Next stop was the end of the road where I watched a long fast right hander just reeling down the beach. Is that thing too fast to ride? The quick peelers were running hard, then closing out over an inside bar that gave way to a trench that ran parallel to the beach. The end game was a nice doggy door exit, that gave you quick (and safe) passage back out the channel and into the line-up for the next one. Going past the trench towards shore meant a fairly hard paddle out the back through all the inside sand bar close-outs.

The more I watched, the better I liked the set-up, and the better it looked. I spied one guy far up the beach getting some good ones at another bar. (Ever since the multi-day big swells and rain storms of the past few weeks, this stretch of coast has been transformed into a cornucopia of very surfable sand bars. How good is it? Well, truthfully, it's probably not all that great. But when you haven't seen waves here for three years, it looks great! It's almost a relief to see these maybe we'd never see surf here again?)

Even though it looked fast, I grabbed the 9-3 McTavish just because I'm enjoying the ride so much. I had the 5-11 mini-Simmons with me, but I wanted to surf the longboard. It was probably a good call because in reality, the waves weren't all that fast or that critical. Bigger and faster than yesterday for sure, but take-offs were softer than steep and critical, and the sections either were easily makeable, or closed out...not much in between.

I still paddled out at 0745, despite my earlier arrival time. (It took a while to figure out where to surf.) Consistency was the name of the game today and it was a merry-go-round for the entire session, with brief 2-3 minute rests in between the copious sets. During the first half hour I was averaging a wave every two minutes, too grueling a pace for an old man. I had to slow down, let a few go by and smell the roses. I surfed alone for 45 minutes. People came, watched, and went. I couldn't believe my good luck and I knew it wouldn't hold. Around 0830 two shortboarders paddled out and that was it until I got out at 0900, tired and soul satisfied.

There were plenty of waves to share, especially since one of the guys was Eric, surfer and carpenter extraordinaire. He was on his SC Pumpkin Seed which he must really like 'cause he's been surfing it for a while. Usually Eric, ever the surfboard aficionado, goes through surfboards like most people change their underwear. The other guy was a reticent Ozzie who was kind of a Clint Eastwood type. At first he sat too far over and too far out and didn't get much. But after a while he sussed it out and after that got some pretty good waves.

After I changed out and packed up, I grabbed the camera for a few frames. By then a pile of guys was on it and it was Shortboard City (although I think it may have been a slightly better longboard wave 'cuz it just wasn't all that shreddable). Whatever, they allowed me to get some decent pics of the morning although it was better (of course!) when I had it to myself. The early bird gets the worm.

February 2, 2010
In: 0745
Out: 0900
AT= 47-51F
WT= 55.8F
Wx: Cloudy with occasional sprinkles early
Tide: 1.63' Rising to 2.7'
Wind: Light offshore to variable and light side/onshore
Sea Surface: Goosebumps to glassy to light wind ripples
McTavish (PU) 9-3 Fireball
Fin set-up: 9" Future Cutaway with FCS GX sides
Bathymetry: Sand bars
Deep Water Swell CDIP Archive
Wave Hts. (Faces): 3-4 ft. with the occasional 5-6 footer on the sets

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