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

Saturday, June 4, 2011

South Swell #2 We Woulda Liked To Know Ya Better

Wednesday June 1, 2011
Southie #2 came to us from too steep an angle to really make itself well known. As per the last and first forecast south swell, #2 was late by about 40 hours. And when it did arrive the weather begrudgingly relented a bit, but never provided the hospitable winds needed to make this a cleaner and crisper wave riding day either today or tomorrow, June 2.

From the gitgo the winds were never good on Wednesday. I was out at 0830 after waiting for a little less drained out tide and winds were brisk from the southwest. Each paddle back into the line-up was into a steadily increasing head wind as winds just got worse by the hour. Surf was sectiony and crumbly due to the unpleasant mix of NW ground swell, near shore wind swell and possibley some secondary south swell that I couldn't really feel out in the water.

After an hour I decided to save my energy in hopes of better conditions and a more recognizable arrival of the southie tomorrow.

Thursday June 2, 2011
Because the south swell had been advertised so widely it was fairly crowded by 0830 Thursday morning. I paddled out to the Brown House in hopes of getting a few with fewer people. That strategy proved to be a mistake because the wind and ground swells had backed way off, and the south swell, which was finally showing a bit, wasn't really banging in yet. So I spent a frustrating first half hour trying to chase down some ridable waves.

Meanwhile, up-reef at Sarges it looked like a sweepers convention. At one point the ratio of SUP surfers to prone surfers (oh yeah, sorry, I mean "real" surfers) was 3 to 1. Which is one of the reasons I stayed away, at least for a while, hoping things would balance out a bit and helping to keep the peace. It did even out when I abandoned my fruitless adventure down coast and paddled into a couple hours of fun waist/chest high waves at Sarges.

By then the really testy prone-nation folks has gone to work, leaving a much mellower group behind. But everyone got waves, looked like they were having a good time, and the vibe was upbeat and positive, at least on the surface.

Again, the wind was never really good. It started light from the southeast before shifting light southwest and increasing slowly all morning. But much better than yesterday. The waves had cleaned up a lot too and upcoast, Gdubs was pretty packed. Waves were very good there with the only downside being the onshore/sideshore wind which was making for some crumbly tops. But the mostly long rides made up for the less than stellar shape.

The south started showing well around 9AM with well populated sets pouring through at very acceptable intervals. I got my fill at Sarges and finished off the morning at Middies in the rising tide which was slowing the action down a bit.

Nick was out on a new to him (used) longboard he was demoing and was just killing it. It looked like he'd been riding that board for years, putting on the noseriding exhibition of the day. Met a couple SUP guys, one from Morrow Bay who knew my buddy Jeff...aka "The Legend." Andy was in the line-up in boardshorts only, taking down his fair share as usual and dreading any swims he might be forced to take in the 53 degree water. Steve and I chatted up about his new L41 performance SUP which is at the glassers. He's gonna love it.

Southie #2 finally started showing on the farshore buoy around 10AM and it wasn't until a few hours later that it showed on the inside buoy at about 1 to 1.3 ft. at 14-15 seconds. That reading indicated how weak the swell was, not much more than very commonplace background south. I know I was disappointed overall, but once again learned a lot from tracking it, and as we all know, "life is for learning," Joni Mitchell. "Those not busy being born are busy dying." Bob Dylan. "WTF?" Numerous.

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