13 April 2008

Making the Go/No-Go Decision

Living on the Peninsula, my one-way journey to the closest breaks (HMB Jetty, Linda Mar) takes at least half an hour; the farthest (Davenport, Waddell) are more than an hour's drive. The substantial time commitment, combined with family and work responsibilities and expectations, often cloud the call on a potential surfing session.

"To surf or not to surf: that is the
question." The answer arises from checking the surf, weather and wind forecasts; and surf cams and reports if available and timely (i.e., it's not a pre-dawn departure). See Links at left. Especially valuable are any tips from surfer friends who live closer to the coast. Then it's a judgment call if the potential payoff is worth the drive, and if this is the best time when the balancing of other responsibilities is factored in.

I had hoped to surf today, but a forecast swell apparently was delayed in arriving. The best Surfline suggested was weak 2-3' at Ocean Beach, and the cams showed not much happening even there. But on the first summery weekend of the year, all the fair-weather surfers had pulled their cobwebbed Soft-tops from their attics and garages and headed to the coast. At Cowells, where S and I walked on the beach before lunch, there were easily close to 100 people in the water. Right on the point at Steamer Lane, the waves were of a more adequate size, but there was a grom longboard contest dominating the break.

Am I sorry I didn't go out someplace? Not really. I think I made the right call, but that didn't keep me from having a heavy heart as I watched eight kooks sharing a knee-high mushy wave at Cowells. Sadly, the cool air and wind return tonight, so my next sesh may not be until Waikiki on Thursday afternoon. But - oh joy! - warm water then, and the forecast for the south shore is fair-good 3-5' - yeah!

P.S. Bad call - T says Ocean Beach was shoulder-high on the set waves, not mushy, and the good surfers were getting barreled. All right, that's it, next time I'm going regardless!

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