31 January 2009
28 January 2009
22 January 2009
21 January 2009
18 January 2009
Montara was running more that double-overhead, mostly closing out but with some barrels seeming big enough to drive a truck though. We could hear the powerful surf from the trail, crashing with loud booms into rocks and sand.
I was surprised to find that Gray Whale Cove is a nude beach. One guy was fishing clad only in his permit. Sorry, no pictures.
11 January 2009
This year I broke down and bought a Golden Poppy Annual Day Use Pass that covers parking at the HMB State Beaches. I realized I've been avoiding Dunes, Kelly and the rest of those breaks, just because I didn't want to have to hassle with filling out a form and paying $7 each time. Now I have no excuse not to surf there, and it's opened up the possibilities whenever I make the half hour drive west.
Venice Beach was closing out a lot, with some head-high+ smashers, and there was a little pack of surfers on it besides. So S and I continued up the road to nearby Dunes, which was much less populated and showing a few shoulders from time to time.
I had no luck on the first peak which had 2 guys on it (they weren't getting any either), so when after a while I got caught inside, I decided to head in and walk north to an empty break that had also looked promising from the bluff. That spot was closing out too, but had a left running along the edge that I though I could make. I landmarked the spot on a rock formation in the bluff and headed out. Though I barely had time to notice between duck-dives, I soon found there was a serious sideshore running south, making it difficult to reach the chosen spot and pushing me into the stacked-up closeouts. I was getting tired and my duck-dives with the shortboard were not so pretty as with the fish, but I think now I understand why. The Xandadu is lighter and longer than the fish, and I need to push it down harder to get deep enough under the waves. Once I took that into account, the duck-dives went better. Still, I was getting discouraged and almost turned back to shore, but then I thought of the immortal words of Galaxy Quest's Commander, "Never give up, never surrender!" and I kept trying. When I finally made it to the outside, I'd been pushed quite a bit south of my target and had to paddle back to it, only to start quickly drifting south again.
It looked like the second spot would give me no joy either, but then I paddled once more for a wave, silently cheering myself on ("You're going to get it. You are going to get this wave!"), and I caught it, popped up imperfectly but well enough, made the short drop and stayed on it as the wave closed out and then fizzled over the trough. Yes! Thank you, Commander Taggert, for your wise words.
08 January 2009
Swell and schedule did not mesh this week, and both my surfing windows passed unused. It was too big and gnarly yesterday morning in San Mateo County, so I wanted to hit the Westside after picking up the shortboard. Alas, the swell had dropped, packing the pros onto the main peak at the Lane with nothing spilling over toward Indicators. If I'd had a longboard, I could have joined the throngs catching long rides at Cowells, but the ankle- to knee-high waves were far to small for the Xanadu. And with darkness falling in an hour, there was no time to drive elsewhere. Damn the short days!
Instead, S and I took a walk from the Lighthouse to the end of the Wharf and watched another pretty sun set. There were a lot of sea lions about, in the water with flippers in the air, and hauled out on the pier supports. Even though I didn't get to surf, I still feel lucky to live in such a beautiful area.
But I still want to surf. Soon.
06 January 2009
Not going to happen, my friend.
05 January 2009
The Trunq was designed for the purpose by surfers and seemed a good choice. It's a bit more compact than the plastic bin I was using, but my 5/4 wetsuit, towel/changing robe and other stuff fit with no wasted space. It includes a tray to organize the little crap, and also a changing mat. And the Trunq is made of heavy-duty recycled plastic, sturdy enough to sit on. It's a good deal more expensive than the cheap bins from Target, but should pay for itself by far outlasting them. One drawback of that sturdiness is that the Trunq is considerably heavier than a cheapo bin.
Unfortunately, the Trunq was designed by male surfers without thought for the other half of the population, some of whom surf as well. The latch is meant to open by pushing two tabs together, but for a surfer girl like me or a smaller guy, this has to be a two-hand operation. Rather a pain when they could have just put the tabs closer together.
Other than that, after my first use during a sunset session at the Jetty, I'm fairly satisfied. I plan to put non-skid liner in the tray to keep things from rolling around during the drive. The changing mat easily rinsed clean of the unpaved parking lot's mud and sand, but didn't provide enough insulation against the cold ground, so next time I'll try out the lid's durability by standing on it instead. A smaller capacity in the box meant less water was needed to rinse the wetsuit, so that's another environmental plus. Overall, I recommend the Trunq but hope for a redesign of the latch in the future.
04 January 2009
Just off the coast at Pillar Point near Half Moon Bay in San Mateo County is Maverick’s -- where 40-feet high thunderous waves draw the best big-wave surfers from all over the world. The exhibit showcases the history of Maverick's, a glossary of surfing terms, videos of surfers riding the Maverick's and some "memorable" quotes.
The highlight of the Maverick’s Exhibit will be the Waverider, a multi-sensory game interface where daring visitors can take a virtual ride …or wipe-out.
Step on a surf board and look out the second floor window of the exhibit to the plaza below. You are standing about 40 feet above the ground, the height of waves at Maverick's.