28 March 2010

Playing with the Bull (HMB Jetty)

Daylight Savings Time, afternoon winds, and a busy work schedule conspired to keep me out of the water during the past week, and yesterday I swam for SurfAid. So I just had to get wet today, especially since winter is about to hurl perhaps its last storm at us.

The storm is being preceded by 20-second period groundswell that was forecast to start filling in this afternoon. I hoped for a mellow Magic session, a preview of summer, at one of the Half Moon Bay State Beaches. But Buoy 46012, which had been steady at just over 4 feet, jumped almost 3 feet from 8 to 9 am, and by the time I reached the beach in the late morning, it was reading over 8 feet and still rising. When I saw waves breaking on the outer bars, I knew mellow was out, but I checked Dunes anyway. There were a few surfers in the water and some head-high+ shoulders to be had, if you stayed out of the way of the big pitching closeouts. But it was no place for me with my 8'3" hybrid, so I drove on to the Jetty in search of less size.

Video and photo taken with my new Google Nexus One smartphone. Yeah, it's pretty cool.

The Jetty wasn't that much smaller on sets, and seemed more disorganized. Despite being just past high tide, the waves were steep, and shoulders were shifty and elusive. Starting near the jetty proper, I crashed and rolled on some powerful closeouts, then locked into a fast fun left. It was my best (and only) ride, but I kept trying, until one mighty wave rag-dolled me, dragging me by the ankle behind my longboard. It was such a strong and long tumble that the immortal words of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy flashed in my mind ("DON'T PANIC"), and I had to will calm, reminding myself it would be over soon so I'd be able to breathe again. I later heard from Manabu that two surfers broke their longboards this morning on one of the well-overhead cleanout sets. Powerful swell.

Humbled, I moved farther down the beach in search of a smaller bull (or perhaps a tame cow) to play with, but didn't find anything but unruly closeouts. Still, that one nice left re-upped my stoke. And it was another lovely California day, so I ain't complainin'.

Surfline: Steadily building new WNW swell fills in with bigger surf, plenty of head high+ waves. Buoy 46012: 8.2 ft @ 20 sec - 11.8 ft @ 16.7 sec.


  1. We missed you in SC, Perfect Chest to Head High peelers and a pretty light crowd.

  2. Sorry we missed you. Glad you caught a nice left! LM was a mess by the time we got there.

  3. Don't you just hate that....'you should have been here yesterday, it was perfect!' :)

  4. Max: We'll surf together one of these days...

    Michelle: Yes!