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

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Perfect Spring Weather and Beachbreaks

Week of April 11 - 17

Wednesday April 14
It's been almost two weeks since my last surf. With the rain and moving my in-laws out of their condemned condo (a long story) and into assisted living, there's hasn't been a lot of spare time. I borrowed John's 7-0 Simmons influenced hybrid (see blog post) to try almost a week ago, and today is the first time I've had a chance to ride it.

I got started late, heading for the Jolly Roger's series of sand bars. I scouted it yesterday afternoon and it looked fun, even in the blown out late day southwest wind. No one out surfing this morning, even at 0815, late in my book. I had it to myself for half an hour when Eric paddled out on his "new" (I should say "next") board that he recently purchased. The waves were super fun, about waist to shoulder high on sets, with an easy take-off leading into an inside section that was shaped like a cupped hand. Take off, turn off the bottom, bank off the top and set up for the little bowl section...over and over again.

I was getting used to the Freeline 7-0 and having a ball. It took about two waves to get comfortable on the board. This is a fantastic all-around surfboard, and is the missing link for someone who wants a fun ride in between their shortboard and longboard. I wrote it up in this blog post. Needless to say...I want one!

Eric and I surfed together for another 45 minutes or so, before a couple guys on longboards came out in quick succession. By then, the size had dropped, a south wind was coming up and it was getting crumbly and wind chopped. I called it a fun session after a couple hours and headed in.

Thursday April 15
Back to the JR bar, and this time I cracked it. Unfortunately the waves were much smaller than yesterday, so I surfed for an hour and a half in mostly waist high and inconsistent little peelers. On the bright side, I had it to myself for the entire 1.5 hour session, and on the biggest waves, that little inside bowl was still in action.

This swell is mostly wind swell, and while there is a nice south in the water in SoCal (Malibu looked so sick on the webcam), it isn't really getting in around here in a real way. About every half hour a four or five wave set in the chest/shoulder range banged in, offering up a great ride if you were in the right place.

The 7-0 HGS performed well. I'm liking this board more every time I surf it.

I was really tired from yesterday's longer session, so I was lagging at the end of the first hour. Two weeks ago I surfed my Angulo Custom SUP, and had been riding that for the previous several weeks. Now back on the laydown paddler, I had insulted a whole new set of muscles and they were getting ready to go on strike. Better take a day to rest.

Saturday April 17
The waves were bigger today, and with the lower tide at the dawn patrol hour, it wasn't nearly as clean as Wednesday. But again, I surfed alone for the entire session.

The nature of beach break is sporadic. If you're looking for steady, consistent line-ups that break the same way, wave after wave, beach breaks will just frustrate you. Today the choppy little hole that served as an easy paddle-out channel for the past several days, was closing out on about half the waves. That little pocket section from Wednesday/Thursday? Gone. Again, the tide had a lot to do with it. Really low.

But on the right waves of the right sets, the Freeline 7-0 was working it's magic. Take off, drive hard across the wave face, hoping it will hold up until I get to that inside flat spot. Turn back hard into the breaking section and try to find another wall on the inside. That was rare though. It did give me a chance to fool around with redirecting the 7-0 twin fin. I had a lot of success making quick redirects by placing my back foot directly over the fins and then rocking back hard, weighting that rear foot with vigor. It didn't hurt to throw my arms up and rotate them back in the direction I wanted to go. I got the image in my mind that it would look like an old school Phil Edwards cut back. Of course I don't look like Phil Edwards but, the same principle no doubt.

Another 1.5 hour session and I was done. I dressed out on the street in the warm sun, now clear and bright above the rows of houses which populate this beach front community. Snapped a few pics and I was gone.

Sunday, April 18
Getting started late on a Sunday morning is almost as bad as the guys who call all their friends with an on the scene surf report from the parking lot. "Come on down guys", it's not crowded enough yet! Whatever...

The JR bar had three surfers on it, but it looked no better than yesterday so I scoped it for a while and passed. I headed down coast to the State lot, but it looked even worse. All the rights were either closing out, or mushing out. One left looked doable, but it also was mushy. By now it was getting pretty late, around 8:15, so I decided that I probably wouldn't surf today, but do a wide ranging surf check at the down coast beaches.

I headed to the main parking lot beach. The crowd was just gearing up and the surf was about the same as yesterday. The West bar just wasn't doing it. It had a nice right last Wednesday, but today it just walled up and closed out before dying into a sand channel, right next to the bar. The middle bar showed promise and I considered it, but a quick look at the entrance kiosk changed my mind as a steady influx of cars with boards on top were convoying into the lot. So I headed down to the campgrounds.

This State campground lot is closed Monday - Friday because of the park cutbacks. It's been so good just about everywhere else that I haven't checked it in a while. There are some amazing sand bars here resembling sandy points, geographic features etched into the beach front and sticking way out into the ocean. Three shortboarders were out on the best looking peak and wave and it just wasn't that good. Probably the swell though. On just about every really good looking wave, there was a small wave moving with it, and just in front of it. Classic wind swell. It just needed another 500 miles of grooming instead of five miles.

All in all, it's been a fantastic week for Spring. The weather has been impeccable. Not a speck of fog anywhere, and mild temps all week long. This is a blessing and it's been a long time since we've had weather, sand bars and waves like this around here.

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