24 April 2010

Please, Sir, I Want Some More (Sharks/The Hook)

With a couple of Coastsiders advising to head south for better surf, I made the trek to Santa Cruz Eastside once again. Pleasure Point was taken over by the Log Jam Surf Contest (old longboards, no leashes, meh), and while access at 38th wasn't a problem on the near low tide, it was decidedly windier than around the corner at the Hook and Sharks.

I started off on the shoulder at the crowded Hook, but wasn't getting much joy. Then as I paddled back to the lineup, calculating how to stay out of the way of a longboarder on a wave, a shortboarder dropped in on him, right in front of me. Collision apparently imminent, I dove under and rolled my board over as a shield, in the process having my first hard snog with Magic. All three of us ended up in the water but fortunately the only damage done was to my lip, bloodied once again. Too bad my helmet doesn't have a mouth guard. I got in a few more little rides at the Hook before I decided to try my luck with the smaller and mellower group of longboarders at Sharks.

There were only three or four of us at Sharks who knew what we were doing, sitting in a small kelp-free zone in the midst of some hapless Japanese tourists. We took turns on waves by unspoken agreement; much nicer than the paddle-battle, party-wave environment at the Hook. With the tide at almost a 0' low, the rides were not at long as on Thursday, but I had bunches of fun ones nonetheless, and got in some good practice landing late-takeoff steep drops. Woo hoo!

Just inside the takeoff zone it was shallow water surfing, often gliding just a foot or so above the seaweed-covered rock reef. Controlled flat falls were key, and happily neither board nor body got too close to the bottom. (Only one injury per surf session, please.) However, I noticed the stitches securing my right knee pad to my wetsuit were unraveling, and then suddenly the pad was gone. The suit's only a couple months old, so Hotline will fix it under warranty. I feel bad about the littering though, and hope no poor sea creature eats it.

On the way in, I indulged my inner photographer and took some shots of the reef life. Olivia Otter wasn't hanging out today, but there were many starfish.

After dropping off my wetsuit at Hotline on the Westside for repair, I took the scenic route home along the coast. The west-facing breaks were messy with wind. Kitesurfers were out in force at Waddell and windsurfers flew like half-submerged butterflies past Davenport. 

Surfline: Clean, workable waves on tap this afternoon. Expect waist-chest-shoulder high surf on average, while top spots hit head high on occasion. Wind is light with generally smooth surface conditions. Buoy 46012: 7.9 ft @ 16.7 sec.


  1. Nice. I see what you mean by crowded. We counted 60 surfers at our local break during the Easter long weekend. At times like that I wish I could borrow the mechanical shark fin they used in the movie 'Jaws' and take it for a spin.

  2. I've often had that thought myself.