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

Monday, February 27, 2012

Brad Puts The OSX3 (Simmy3) To The Test

Thursday February 23, 2012 - Brad, Jeff and Geoff came up from lower Cali for a flash trip to grab some L41 and NorCal beach break love. Although not great, the incoming swell provided some fun waves for the intrepid trio. Primary motivators for the quick trip were 1) Geoff wanted to pick up his new custom McGinty built L41 Surfboards mini-Simmons, and 2) Brad wanted to satisfy his curiosity about the Simmy3. Both missions were accomplished. It was fun, revealing and energizing for Brad to ride the third in the series, and highest performing SIMSUP, and decide for himself if it was the real deal. And it was gratifying for me to have such a good SUP surfer and wave rider put the fastest and most maneuverable version of the Original SIMSUP to the test. I'd say it passed with flying colors. Brad cut his teeth on juicy beach break and that kind of surf is his primary go to spot, so he felt right at home in the frontside lefthanders. Then to top off the day he caught so many backside reef sliders he got a new nickname. The Count. But the video speaks to all this. Nine minutes of revelation. (Time: 9:32)

February Sessions and Videos

Wednesday and Thursday February 8 and 9, 2012 - Very consistent westerly mid-period swell rolls in. Hallmark of these two days is how incredibly crowded it was, I've never surfed with more people in the afternoon at one of my favorite spots. Surfed two sessions on Wednesday when it was biggest, then a single afternoon session on Thursday after the swell had dropped about half it's size. Paddled out from the wharf in the morning on Wednesday and into an ocean full of heavy water and motion. Headed for Sarges and GDubs right off the bat. There really was no line-up, just a lot of big mountainous water moving through the usual take-off spots that were now all over the place. The best I could do was to try and find a surfable peak somewhere by paddling from place to place and hoping a peak would roll through where I was. Mostly the seas were moving too fast to realistically try and chase the peaks down. No one was having their way with the ocean this morning. The afternoon session was much better. The sea had settled quite a bit and it was very, very consistent. I surfed for almost four hours at Yellow House and rode waves until dark and near exhaustion. Thursday was a solo afternoon session, much the same re consistency with about half the size. Again, many rides taken in the two hour session. (Time: 5:34 ) and (Time: 2:05)

Tuesday February 14, 2012 - NW/WNW apres storm swell. Lots of wind in the outer waters put a little extra wind swell on top of this mid-period and relatively steep angled WNW/NW swell. Stormsurf forecast it peaking in the afternoon but at 5AM it was 15 at 15 and I figured there would be a good chance of seeing some fun waist/shoulder high waves in hopefully uncrowded conditions. It was all that for sure. I paddled out at 0715 and headed straight to GDubs. It wasn't perfect but it was very, very good with plentiful sets and a good selection of quality waves coming through. Best of all, no crowd. A group of five shortboarders eventually took up a position wide of the main break. That left the main peak open and there were never more than three on it at any one time. Of the three I was the only one who could surf well so the playing field was wide open. Tide at paddle out was a little less than 3 ft. and dropping. Conditions were nearly perfect with light offshores to dead calm and glassy. I finished up at Casa Roja after the tide got a little too low at G's. Wave sizes backed off in the lower tide. But all this was half as good as Scimi's which was about as good as it gets for these size waves. It wasn't crowded there either, never more than 12 in the water at any one time. But I was more than happy with my session. No complaints. (Time: 1:31)

Friday February 17, 2012 - Last chance to get a few waves before a holiday weekend and a small long period WNW swell had me paddling out to GW's in the mid-afternoon. Ron was out on his longboard getting his fair share in the inconsistent but fairly well populated sets. Waves were in the waist/chest range. After a while Austin and Joanna paddled out and we all shared waves and plenty of conversation during the long lulls. I had a chance to use my new Kodak Playsport Zx5 which will be backup to the GoPro Hero 2. Long story short...sprained my knee when I got pounded by a close-out. Instead of getting pushed off by the wave, my bootied lead foot stuck to the wax surface and bent my knee sideways. Hurt bad and I thought I couldn't even walk but it cleared up quickly and I was able to finish my session without much pain. Swelled up after the sesh though, so I'm on injured reserve for a while. No major damage hopefully as I seem to be getting better quickly. (Time: 2:03)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Small Long Period WNW Swell on Monday and Mid-Long Period Swells for Wed/Thursday

The last Monday in January was looking pretty flat in town. I was a bit surprised because there was a small 20 second swell in the water, it just wasn't big enough to show, even at the best spots. The beaches have been good lately so maybe Sharktown wouldn't be too big. The sand really hasn't gotten right but there was a nice left working down the beach. The sweeper crew was on it when I arrived. Surfed with the boyz for over an hour before the first detachment of crawlers paddled out. By then it seemed to me that a little had come off wave quality. Bob and Paul paddled off on a surf safari up coast and later reports indicated that they found a very nice left and surfed that for an hour. I saw them waaaaaay down there and it looked like they were having fun. Only Supsters would paddle a mile down the line looking for that next best peak. I surfed a few more, the only kelp farmer left in the line-up before calling it a day.

Wednesday and Thursday the mid-long period swells arrived. Wednesday was bigger but conditions weren't optimal. Thursday conditions were great but the swell dropped down to about half the size of Wednesday's offerings. For me the main hallmark of the four plus hour session I surfed on Wednesday was the total lack of crowds. I don't think I've ever surfed it with fewer peeps in the water. I started out at a left I hardly ever surf because there's just too many people surfing there usually. When I paddled out and into head high waves there was no one on it but me. That changed fairly soon to two, then three, then four. But I knew two of the guys so it was sweet. Doc Ken and Neil on stand up and I chatted and surfed for over an hour.

When the tide dropped sufficiently I headed up coast to my favorite spot and spent another three hours there taking down wave after wave. As I said, conditions weren't the best and the wind went from light to onshore to side shore to offshore all in just over four hours. But no complaints, there were plenty of waves and few surfers taking advantage of them.

Thursday was sunny and the wind was stiffer out of the southwest. Not bad really. I started out at Sarge's and finished up at Middies in surf that was substantially smaller than Wednesday. Again the crowds were small for most of the session. Love these mid-week swells we've been getting.