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

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Near Perfect Session in Dropping NPAC Swell

Monday October 4, 2010

Every once in a while, it all comes together. Good waves, great conditions and a sparse crowd. That happened today.

Surfing in town has a lot of positive things going for it. My side of town has surf spots galore, just a lot of good breaks tucked in right next to each other over a couple mile stretch. But as good as the surf spots are, is as thick as the crowd can get. Most people I think would rather surf by themselves or with just a few friendly folks. That doesn't happen here very often, and when it does, it's rare. That's why it was so sweet today.

I was supposed to meet Ron at noon. He would be riding the 7-10 SIMSUP, I'd be on the 8-0 and we would swap around and compare notes. The slowly dropping NW swell was still in the water, not great but surfable. More problematic was a low pressure trough moving through, kicking up sideshore to onshore winds that were making the locations look downright ugly. So I bailed on the noon surf, but kept my eye on the point weather station, just in case. That proved to be a good move.

Right around 1PM, the winds went offshore. An anomaly thinks I. But when the station kept reporting consistent increments of N, NE and NNW winds, I grabbed my stuff and was gone. I found myself paddling out at Sarges for a two-hour plus session, into a brisk offshore wind, consistent 2-4 ft. waves, and a total of six guys out, including Graydon (who surfs almost every day) and Mike (who I hadn't seen in quite a old college buddy from San Diego many years past). The pack was sitting on the point so rather than paddling out there and getting into that mix, making for another person, I hung inside and picked off the smaller waves that were sectioning too far in front of the outside riders to make. It was just crazy. After my first five or six non-stop waves I had to dive into the ocean to cool down. And it wasn't hot out. 95% cloud cover, air temps mid-60's and water temp mid-50's, offshore wind at 2-10 mph. The biggest inside waves were maybe chest high, and the best ones walled across the nudie beach allowing for some fun carving, snaps and foam floaters on the SIMSUP.

Then about forty-five minutes into the session, everyone got out. I mean everyone! For the next half hour the surf got better, the offshores were steady and perfect, and I was solely responsible for making sure that no really good waves went unridden. I did my best to make this happen. After a half hour, Graydon paddled back out again, I guess he couldn't stand it and I can't say as I blame him. For the next hour we traded waves in this near perfect surfing situation. Then he paddled in and I was out there alone for the next little while before three others paddled out. But by then the tide had fattened causing the waves to roll over the reefs, taking away the steep and fast inside sections where when you snap off the top and re-enter, you're all on the inside rail, just hoping you've got enough rail pressure on to keep the outside rail from digging, but not so much that you over-weight on the inside and fall into the wave face. Pull that scenario off consistently and you're addicted.

I can't say that today was epic, or even classic, it was just totally bitchen, and so much fun! I want to thank everyone for not surfing. You made my day!

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