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

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Nuthin' But Windswell and Sun

Monday May 3, 2010

Today was a busy day, and the best weather day of the year so far. I surfed early at a sand bar I've been watching, and which looked like the only game in town. Then I headed down south to scout out a new "secret" surf spot with my dog Cloud (he really needed to get out). And finally I went for a delicious SUP paddle in the warm afternoon sun and the slightly chilly southeast wind. What a great day!

I've been checking out this sand bar for the last couple weeks during our dog walks. It's been really consistent, and in this last flurry of wind swells just keeps sending in right handers. But the almost total lack of ground swell has left the weaker wind swell producing the only wave energy, and that just wasn't enough to make it much of a go yesterday morning.

Eric the project manager was out on his longboard, and I should have taken the 7-0 Freeline instead of the 5-11 Ghostbuster. But I was chompin' at the bit to ride the 5-11 as I haven't been out on it yet this year. What looked like a nice little line peeling right into a big hole off the sandbar, proved to be a somewhat weak and mushy wave that just wouldn't wall up. It would roll and roll and roll. Then when a big enough wave came, it closed and the ride was short. But on the bright side, the weather was unbeatable. Warm and sunny air temps. I'm still in my Mutant 5/4 with fully integrated hood and booties though. The Spring winds have chilled the water temp down to 51 degrees, the coldest it's been since this time last year.

I met with a friend Sunday afternoon to help him out with an upcoming job interview and he turned me on to a "new" spot down south. "Stand up tubes" he said. "I'm begging people to go with me" he said. Since this friend is not prone to exaggeration I thought I'd go take a look. In reality it isn't really new, it's been there for a number of years, but access has been severely restricted unless you relish the idea of getting arrested or shot, or blown up by random ordnance. There are still restrictions but they are environmental now, and the beach is accessible with the caveat that the break he was talking about is a bit of a march from where one has to park. Wave-wise, there wasn't much going on, no ground swell and only wind swell, but I could see the potential. And the spot isn't exactly secret either. Two guys out when I checked it. But the dawn patrol would undoubtedly be with just you, the snowy plovers, and the great whites.

Headed home in time to pick up the #2 son from school, then back home again to load up the Angulo Custom SUP for a paddle from Sarges, up to the point and back. At 4PM it was still warm but with an incoming high level trough, the wind was brisk out of the southeast. This made for an easy downwinder to the point, and a vigorous headwind paddle back to Sarges. The kelp is completely out of control now, and with the cold water it can be expected to grow rapidly in the warm, cloud unobstructed sunshine. I was paddling at a higher tide and the small waves that came through broke directly in the thickest kelp beds. Higher tides and larger swells would ease the hazard of catching your fins, but on the inside, no matter the tide, the hazards remain.

Another great day on the bay. Did I mention...."Life is Good!"


  1. I went for a paddle up in my neighborhood Monday eve, hoping to find a bit of windswell up at Mayans. Didn't find anything ridable, but enjoyed a downwind paddle in the upwind direction, and got some paddling work in on the way back. I did hang around the beach and fool around on some windswell one footers. Not much to them, but there's a bunch of new sand at the creekmouth making it at least viable on these tiny days. Got a few fun lefts off the big rock before calling it a day.

  2. We need about a 2' tide and not much wind. I'm game any time.

  3. Let me know when you're going.