28 December 2008

HMB @ Jetty, 28 December 2008

I got to the Jetty ahead of L to find only a few cars at the side of the road and no one in the water. Hmm. But L had predicted good waves on the just-post-high high tide, so I crossed the street to have a look. He was right. It was glassy and a bit offshore, with some nice 3-4-footers rolling in, perfect for the fish. And no one out!

What a difference it makes to surf alone except for a friend, to be able to sit exactly in the takeoff zone and not have to worry about interferences or collisions. After a while, a couple of beginners on big foamies turned up, but there was still plenty of room. L said he lost track after 10 waves. I wasn't counting but I got a lot of rides, some nice down-the-lines, practicing turns and getting more skilled and confident on the fish. With the third short fin providing extra stability, I was able to keep riding when the waves broke into turbulent whitewater, and even made the drop on a larger closeout (although then I blew it when I forgot to stay low). Plenty of duck-diving practice too when a bigger outside set would come through, with the advantage that, as L pointed out, these were waves that "won't kill you if you mess up."

The air and water were relatively warm, both in the low 50s, but I was moving a lot and with the sun mostly shining, I wasn't cold. After about an hour and a half we were getting tired. My pop-ups were becoming sloppy and my paddling muscles were feeling edges of fatigue, but it was hard to get off the nice wave train. We went back out for "just one more" three times before calling it a day. It was like King Neptune gave me flowers to apologize for smacking me the last time. A totally awesome session!

Pic from my new cell, a Motorola KRZR.

24 December 2008

HMB @ Jetty, 23 December 2008

I bit my shortboard at the start of a sunset session. Foolishly trying to follow L out through shore pound when there was a perfectly good rip nearby, I attempted to jump over a closeout that was too big and powerful for that maneuver to succeed. The wave grabbed my board and threw it in my face. Not the first time I've kissed the Xanadu, though I could tell immediately it was the worst, with my lip split and bleeding profusely, as B confirmed. But I'd only just arrived, so I used the rip and headed to the lineup anyway. Unfortunately the conditions had deteriorated significantly by that time of day, with lots of wind chop and poor wave form, so I got nada but a fun whitewater bellyride in.

After carefully eating dinner with L & B at tasty Siam Thai restaurant, S and I headed home and I was able to assess the damage to my still-bleeding mouth. One of my top front teeth has been rotated noticeably inward and aches from the dislocation. Not surprising, given the deep dent it made in the deck of my board. As to my lip, who needs injections to look like Angelina Jolie? Board-smacking is free, although I would need to apply copious amounts of red lipstick to hide the other damage.

Or in honor of Christmas eve, perhaps in addition to my Santa cap I'll wear a Santa beard over my mouth. Happy Holidays, everyone! Oh, and if you know someone who does good epoxy ding repair in the Bay Area or Santa Cruz, or a good dentist who hasn't closed already for the holidays, let me know.

22 December 2008

One Thing I Don't Miss About SoCal

Our beaches are never this gross.

Last weekend I was thinking about how relatively clean the ocean beaches are on the Peninsula and in Santa Cruz. When I walk on the sand here, I don't have to pick a path through trash and keep an eye out for needles like I did when I lived on the L.A. coast. Not to say there's no trash here, and volunteers with Surfrider and other groups do a great job keeping it under control, but it's much less than this.

Although on the plus side, S did once find a $20 bill on Hermosa Beach.

20 December 2008

HMB @ Jetty, 20 December 2008

L and his wife B met up with me for a sunset session at the Jetty. Waaay too tiny and mushy for the fish, so L let me borrow his old 8' longboard. It has a puffy delammed deck but still rides well. No one else was out, so we had the slow knee-high waves all to ourselves. While S walked almost to town along the shore of Half Moon Bay, B's brother R took pix from the beach.

After a couple getting-used-to-the-board wipeouts, including the inevitable pearl, I dialed in and got some nice down-the-line rides, shuffling toward the nose to keep on the wave. Bunny-slope waves to be sure, but fun and stoke-replenishing.

As I changed in the muddy parking lot, we were treated to a beautiful sunset at only 5 pm. Tomorrow is winter solstice, day of maximum darkness. Then the sun takes back the night and gives more time to surf.

Jumping Into the Spin Cycle

18 December 2008

Since It's Gone Flat...

...here's some holiday stuff.
Yes Deanna, There Is a Santa Claus

"I feel it necessary to respond to the attack on the existence of Santa circulating the net lately. The attack argued using Newtonian physics that Santa couldn't exist given the sheer volume of gifts to be delivered in the time allowed. I find that view myopic.

"What if Santa were in fact a time traveler from the 24th century? What if he wound up on our present day Earth by having his shuttlecraft fall through a temporal distortion? (This is a very probable happening as television tells us space is just rife with this sort of plot device.)

"Our traveler chose to land and live at the North Pole as he didn't want to risk influencing the present and hence disrupt his own future. But boredom set in as it will, and based on his extensive knowledge of history he decided to bring the myth of Santa to life.

"In an effort to look really cool, he gave the shuttle a rag-top conversion and a red paint job and called it his sleigh. The National Geographic photographers in the area bought this, but then they'd been out in the cold for a very long time. "Santa" explained the warp nacelles as magic runners on his sleigh. (After all, as the Paclids say, "They make him go.")

"Now, with his Warp 2 capable sleigh he was more than able to visit all the children in one night. Force fields explain away all the heat dissipation difficulties, and the inertial dampers solve all those nasty acceleration problems. (My nephew calls them "inertial dampeners" but I think that's just another name for your bladder.)

"Of course he doesn't haul all those toys from the North Pole. He simply replicates them using the on-board matter replicator. This makes more sense than trying to justify how elves make Nintendo cartridges anyway.

"I'm not certain of the point of the reindeer. Perhaps they are just 8 plastic lawn ornaments he's using as dashboard clutter. Kind of the 24th century equivalent of the plastic Jesus. I've never really understood geezer-cool anyway.

"The only remaining hole is trying to figure out how Santa knows what you want for Christmas. Hmmmm... Well judging by the reported girth of Santa and the well known beard, I might speculate that Santa is really Commander Riker. This could make Counselor Troy Mrs. Claus. With her empathic abilities she could sense whether you've been bad or good and know what to get you in either case. The fact she's only half empath could also explain why sometimes Santa's insight is a little fuzzy and you get socks when what you really wanted was Hot Wheels.

"So you see, Santa can exist. He just needs better technology."
I saw a guy surfing in a Santa hat at Capitola earlier this month. But it was a big day, and I think he was quickly de-hatted by the surf. So keep an eye out for a seal or an otter sporting a soggy red cap tipped with a fluffy white ball. Happy Holidays, everybody - and most especially, Merry Solstice! The days will soon be getting longer, offering more time to surf.

Fool on a Surfboard

Someday, the shark will go for the fool instead of the fish.
Then maybe these guys will stop hurting them in the name of fun.

Tell the Boss Dawn Patrol is Good for You

Next time you roll into work a little on the late side after a morning surf session, hand your boss this article. Turns out pre-work exercise makes you a more productive employee.

17 December 2008


Not an actual photo of Linda Mar. But it felt this cold.

I sabotaged my surf session this morning. I planned to meet up with L at the HMB Jetty, but it was flat, so we shifted to Linda Mar. When I pulled into the lot, the MINI informed me that the air temperature was 34 degrees, barely above freezing. Brrr! A new record low for me on dawn patrol, colder even than any day I'd surfed on the Washington coast in winter. But there were some fun looking waves coming through, and (obviously) hardly anyone out. And I needed to get wet, especially with the swell fading and nothing new incoming anytime soon. So I got my board off the car and de-bagged, then started to change. But when I pulled my wetsuit from the plastic surf gear box, I found I'd brought the wrong one! Instead of my 5/4 with integral hood, I had only a 4/3 with no hood.

34 degrees. No hood. Not enough rubber. I may be crazy to surf in such cold, but I'm not that crazy. Hmm, perhaps there was some subconscious, more rational part of my brain that took control of packing for surf last night?

Still need to get wet...

11 December 2008

Pro Women Surf Like the Guys

From the NY Times this morning:
...In November, Carissa Moore, 16, won the Reef Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa, on Oahu, by defeating the seven-time world champion Layne Beachley in the final matchup.

“We’re seeing the likes of Carissa Moore blow minds with her tailslides and the like,” said Beachley, 36, who will retire from full-time competition after the Billabong Pro Maui, which began Wednesday.

“I’ve never landed an aerial in my life,” Beachley said. “So I feel like I’m retiring at just the right time.”

Moore, of Honolulu, and her generation have looked to the men’s ranks for inspiration. “We’re maybe experimenting with our surfing a little bit, trying different things and really looking at what the guys are doing,” she said....

08 December 2008

Don't Drill, Baby, Don't Drill

Just a little SoCal reminder of why we don't want oil drilling off our coast: Of course, now that a gallon of gas has suddenly become cheaper than bread, nobody's shouting that stupid slogan anymore. But hopefully no one's rushing out to buy an SUV either.

07 December 2008