January 9, 2012 Photo: J. Chandler

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Bark 'n Surf Two Days In May

Monday and Tuesday May 14 & 15, 2012 - Didn't get out over the weekend so Monday was a mandatory paddle. Besides the weather was fantastic and I hate missing an opportunity to be out in it.

Waiting for the south swell to arrive Monday was a go-to Bark training day. I wasn't motivated for a long workout so I took the easy way out and paddled up the low route to the L41 surf spots. There were some small 1-2 foot clean glassy peelers rolling though the various locations, and the few people out surfing were fortunate to be there having fun in great conditions.

At the turnaround point I started paddling back to NB's and found Ron out on his new L41 noserider. Sweet board, dedicated for tip timing in the Summer swells. (More on Ron and his new ride later I'm sure.) I've been wanting to surf my 12-6 Bark Competitor to get a better feel for handling a high volume board in the waves but the timing just hasn't been right. I also wanted to have a wetsuit on cuz I know I'm going to get wet and the water isn't warming up much. If anything it's staying pretty cold. Average temp about 52 degrees. But the set-up was right. Small surf. Few people out, and I could get off by myself in some long, small rollers that weren't really breaking. Perfect for mock open ocean bumps.

First wave my angle to wave face was too steep and with those big, thick rails, the Bark just rolled over, dumping me in the chilly brine. I knew it! So I came up all Daffy Duck squawking and swearing like a maniac before I calmed down and thought, "I'm already wet now, might as well stick with it for a while." Fortunately the sun was out, and the wind was light, and if I kept moving I wasn't going to get too cold. So I rode another handful of waves, getting the feel for the big board and hopefully learning something for the more chaotic open oceans downwind surfing that is in the future.

The next day the little southie filled in, nothing like we'd all hoped for, but Jeff and I still took down a load of fun little waves in an almost two and a half hour session. Again the weather was perfect, sun out, light wind, glassy sea surface and just a couple old guys acting like kids.

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