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

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Small Windswell Waves at the Beaches

Monday December 13, 2010

It's been almost two weeks since I last surfed these sandbars...they're still good, maybe even better. What with some nasty weather coming this weekend, I figured that if I wanted to get some waves prior to the wind and rain, I'd better get on it this week.

The sinus infection that's been dogging me since early November is letting up a bit after trying out a new allergy med so I finally felt like I had some energy, although I was pretty huffed after my first three or four waves.

The beaches are crowded and why not, since there has been so little winter swell, the sand bar groomed waves are really the only game in town. And even though there are literally miles of sand beaches, the same sand bars, drawing the same crowds seem to materialize year after year in the same locations. I'm gonna guess that's the by product of exposure, littoral action, rain runoff and outflow, and rip tides...conjecture for another time.

I paddled out on the SIMSUP and into a calm channel to the left of the peak I wanted at about ten minutes after eight. The fog made me think we were going to get sideshore winds, but my first wave had an offshore blowing right up into my face. Upcoast and downcoast were two good peaks that already had five to ten surfers each. This little peak in front of me was softer and smaller but I was the only one surfing there. Waves were semi-consistent in a small 3-4 ft. at 10 seconds windswell. When it gets bigger here the channels get closed out, the shore pound gets a lot rougher and getting caught inside can be brutal on a SUP. Really, I like the smaller days and when it gets bigger, hope the reef breaks will go off and the tides won't kill it.

I surfed for thirty minutes in easy and relaxing rights and lefts that put up mostly slow and mellow waves, but there were some hittable corners and some long walls, perfect for the SIMSUP. Every once in a while a chest/shoulder high set would move through bringing a little more excitement to the scene. I knew my sole, soul surf wouldn't could it? But I was still a bit chagrined when a couple longboarders started paddling out. But as I pulled into my next wave I saw that one of the surfers was Michael. Could Priscilla be far behind?

It was good to see them. It's been a long time and I had been concerned on and off that perhaps something untoward had happened that was keeping them out of the water. (In reality it was probably me that was out of the water more.) So we had a good reunion and did some catching up. Priscilla's son Patrick is now at university nearby, studying to be a teacher. Everyone is working, surfing and staying busy. We surfed together for another hour before I called it a day and headed in.

The parking lot was getting busier, more people arriving and leaving, and the spots were filling up, even one of the pro surfer, local sons paddled out, getting some relief from the pro tour grind and having a fun free surf with one of his buddies.

As always it was great to get back in the water.


  1. Lovely looking waves in perfect windless conditions from the look of it!