31 January 2010

Kelp-elicious (Capitola)

The tides were extreme today (Dogman explains why here), falling quickly from nearly a 7-foot high in the late morning to a negative 1-foot low at sunset. The swell on the San Mateo County coast was looking to big for me, so I made the trek to Santa Cruz for a low-tide session, this time to the Eastside, since I haven't been there in a while and was missing my favorite beach town. After so much stormy weather, it was nice to have to put on sunscreen and to spend a warm sunny afternoon on the water.
I started off messing around on inside reforms, generally going left since almost everyone else was going right, and got some fun rides. I was happy when I rode my board over the edge into a 3' drop, made the landing (yay!) and bottom-turned into a nice left.
After a while I wanted some clean greenwater and paddled to the the outside. I'd forgotten what a drag (literally) the kelp can be on low tide at Capitola, and coming up on the ultra-low made it even worse. I found a fairly clear spot where I could turn for a wave without my legs becoming ensnared, but the few waves I caught were marred by kelp speed bumps, so I made my way back to the funner ones on the inside where there was considerably less seaweed. I stayed out for two hours, until the time was up on my parking meter - really a little past, but luckily I drove away just as the parking patrol came by. Smiles all around!

Surfline: 1-2 ft, ankle to knee high occ. 3 ft. Some fun waves out there this afternoon from fading but solid West-WNW swell, most areas stay soft and swampy overall. Expect overhead sets at the decent locations with generally light wind and semi-clean conditions. Buoy 46012: 6.9 ft @ 11.1 sec.


  1. We hardly get seaweed that bad, sometimes inshore of the break but rarely. Nice and glassed off, you seem to get less wind than us. Oz is a damn windy place and difficult to land a session without it.

  2. PS Just leave the legrope off and get better at hanging onto your board maybe. Conditions are so benign should be easy???

  3. Lovely. I love your short films.

  4. In your second video it looked like a few of them you should have gone on. I found my self cheering you on to the video like a doofus :) Glad you got a nice bunch of waves. I had a really nice session at the Jetty at sunset. Going for DP at JT at 7am if your interested.

  5. Michelle, it's often very windy here too, although the varied coastline frequently provides some spot that's protected. It's far too crowded most everywhere, especially Santa Cruz, to surf safely without a leash.

    Thanks, Rebecca!

    I was thinking the same thing, Luke. I shot the 2nd vid during a breather near the end of my session, and quickly put the camera away to catch a good one in to the beach.