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

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Surprise 19 Second Swell: Two Sessions

A solitary line of 19 second swell on the buoy caught my eye before bed Saturday night. An anomaly? A click on the buoylist showed several buoys north of us with 19 and 20 second swell periods. Up before first light Sunday morning, I bee-lined to the computer and there it was, a long list of 19 second periods showing on the northerly, and some southerly buoys. What storm blew this up? No idea. Did the forecast models show this...nope. But chances were good for a score.

I grabbed the longboard and headed across town, figuring I could get at least an hour of uncrowded waves before the place woke up. The tide was a little too high, but overhead sets were happening and it was definitely on. The bad news was that I tweaked my back on my second wave, which definitely put a crimp in my session. But I surfed for another hour and got a couple good waves before a long ride in, and some discomfort in my lower back convinced me that I was done for the morning.

The drive back home was highlighted by stops at other local surf spots which were getting better with the lowering tide. It was definitely a swell to be reckoned with. I saw Herby at one spot and his one word summary was..."challenging."

When I got home I stretched out, dropped some ibu and prepared for an afternoon session on the SUP. There is no doubt that lay down paddling irritates my lower back. The SUP however is a whole different postural dynamic and can even be therapeutic for the irritation caused by lay down paddle surfing.

My second session lasted over three hours on the SUP. Since it had been a while since I SUP surfed, it took me a couple waves to get my timing back. The waves from this swell weren't as well lined up as the last time I SUP surfed Yellow House, but on occasion there were some long drawn out lines in fast and steep sections that had the rider streaking towards a pier kickout. The offshores started up about an hour into the session, and stayed strong until I got out around 4PM. Larry and Dave were out on their SUPs, as well as a bevy of long and shortboarders, even though it was Super Bowl Sunday. But this is a surf town, who gives a rip about the Super Bowl when there's waves. A lot of sand has filled in over the reefs, creating a deep water lagoon at inside YH. Getting past the reef/sandbar can be, as Herby noted...challenging.

The longer period swell forecast for today, Monday, never really turned into anything very good, so sometimes you just gotta take what Mother Nature gives you, and be thankful for it.

Morning Session

Afternoon/Evening Session


  1. Sat. & Sun. = Andy sick as a dog. Recovered mostly now, and jonesing to get in. Looks like a pretty good score.

  2. Bummer bro'...get well soon , the next one's coming...