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

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Solid Southwesterly Swell

Tuesday September 13, 2011
A solid southwesterly swell filled in putting up 3-5 ft. peelers with some genuine push. I paddled out from the pocket beach at Sarges headed to GDubs at first light. I like to paddle around the point and through the back washed bump and toss just to get my sea legs under me. At the slightly greater than one foot tide and rising, there was a lot of action, but I only got tossed off once.

I paddled into the sand bottom flats where it's usually calm, and one can suss out the situation and wait for a lull to paddle through the low spots in the reef that tend to flatten out the incoming waves. Size wise it was about what I was expecting from the buoys and the CDIP forecasts. And without much other swell in the water to break up the lines, the waves were typically lined up across the breaks, but it was much more consistent than I imagined for a southerly swell. I found this out when I sensed a lull and paddled hard for a spot out the back. I paddled right into a 15-20 wave set which had me sitting on my board just inside the white water line, bucking over the foamy ledges and waiting for it all to be over.

When I finally did break through to the outside it was a relief to see only two other surfers in the line-up. Maybe the crowds really will thin out now that Summer is over. I spent the rest of the 2.5 hour session riding wide until the tide came up and it pushed me into the cave line-up. By then the biggest sets had dropped down in size from overhead to head high, and the number of waves per set seemed to ratchet down a bit. But there were still a lot of juicy rideable waves. It was overall pretty lined up. But every once in a while you'd get that gem with the fast late drop and speedball through the bowls into the inside flats. What it is!

The swell hung in there although smaller all day Wednesday, but I had eaten something that didn't agree with me and spent the morning on the can. Diarrhea and wetsuits are not a good combo. (I know, thanks for sharing...)

By Thursday the south was all but completely gone and a small but unenergetic Gulf swell was trying unsuccessfully to do its thing. I checked it at the DP but opted out. Too weak, too inconsistent at all the spots I checked. I'll paddle the Bark later this morning.
Video: 2:56

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