08 November 2009

Bye-Bye Summer, Hello Fall (Capitola)

It's no use pretending anymore; summer has gone. Surf heights have risen as the air and water temperatures have fallen. A big swell hit northern California this weekend, large enough that there was briefly talk of holding the Mavericks surf contest. At midnight on Friday, the Half Moon Bay buoy read 27.6 ft @ 16.7 sec, the largest waves in the country at the time. I saw an outer reef breaking in Half Moon Bay that I've never seen before. Most of the coast was unsurfable for "the rest of us," as Manabu would say. So along with many others, I sought shelter and a size knock-down in Monterey Bay.

 Montara (video); south of the Ritz Carlton in Half Moon Bay (photo)

Capitola looked nice on the cams yesterday, up to head high on sets, but crowded. I got there not too far past dawn, but soon thereafter counted 50 people out. Sigh.

The waves were slow and moundy, but I parked the fish next to the jetty proper where they had a bit more shape and push. I caught a handful, most seconds before they closed out, always a challenge, and got one tiny ride. It was a chilly morning, with the sun promising to emerge from the clouds but not fully doing so, and there were long cold lulls between sets. I managed to stay out for almost an hour and a half until I had to leave, but by then I was shivering and the bottoms of my feet were frozen popsicles, too numb to feel. It's time to break out thicker rubber and a thermal rashie.

Apologies for the inconvenient water droplet. I remembered to clean the lens, after I shot this. D'oh!

After surfing, I met up with Luke and Beth, and, more importantly, Beth's magic surfboard, at the Arrow Surf Shop factory to order my new board, a clone of Beth's which has brought me oodles of fun when I borrowed it. Bob the shaper asked many questions, trying to nail down what I really wanted, which boiled down to: exactly the same board, but in epoxy and with Future fins, the later based on input from some more experienced surfers. When I mentioned epoxy, as opposed to fiberglass in the lay meaning of the words, he launched into a detailed explanation of the correct technical distinctions. But in the end, we still settled on epoxy, which will be lighter and more durable than the original, although he cautioned me repeatedly about its sensitivity to heat. Contrary to my belief that Beth's board is something unusual, Bob told me it's a pretty standard hybrid, except for an inch or so more rocker. He offered to reduce that back to typical but said it would offer minimal benefit, so I told him to stick with the original design as it works so well for me. I still need to close with him on the aesthetics, what airbrushing I want to pretty-up the deck. Best part? It will be done in 3-4 weeks. Soon after I get back from the Land Down Under, I'll have a new surfboard!

1 comment:

  1. Well we have had some glorious sunny days with offshore winds, the swell pretty small though, so we broke out the paddle boards. Several peaks up the bay so not crowded which was good as I stay away from people on the SUP - don't want to kill anyone! You will be coming to Oz at just the right time I think, though not sure what the east coast is doing at the moment though.