29 June 2010

Sunset with Friends (HMB Jetty)

When I checked the break from beside the road, I found myself missing Sunday. Wave size had dropped to shoulder-high and below with worse form and a light chop from an onshore breeze, but there was still a crowd at the Jetty. Figuring it was still the best surf on offer this evening, I paddled out with Luke and Nikki joined us. It turned out to be surprisingly fun, better than it looked from the shore. It's always a good session when you lose track of how many waves you've ridden.
The crowd thinned as the sun got lower in the sky, until we had the spot almost to ourselves. I shared converging waves with Luke, as he went right on a 1st peak wave and I went left at 2nd peak, so we met in the middle. I had some nice rides, landing a few challenging drops. (I'm loving the drop now, although I'm craving bigger ones; as Darren told me, "welcome to the next level of addiction.") I got "barreled" too - or more like barrel-rolled - when I missed a drop and got three-sixtied over the falls while lying on my board, surfacing to the cheers of my buddies.

There were a lot of jellies on the beach but none in the water
Surfing is always better with friends. Especially when they go right and I go left.
Sunset over Pillar Point

Surfline: Mainly sloppy NW windswell in the water today with easing SSW groundswell for 3-4'+ surf at the well exposed breaks. Standout NW and combo breaks pull in some plus sets. Buoy 46012: NW 6.9 ft @ 9.1 sec.

27 June 2010

Overhead! (HMB Jetty)

Today I surfed the biggest wave of my life (so far). Luke was heading back to the lineup and saw me take a wave that was a foot and a half over my head. When I paddled for it I wasn't expecting it to be that big, but as I popped to my feet a huge drop opened before me - and I made it! I did a backside bottom turn and rode the fast wave briefly until it exploded in whitewater. WOOOO HOOOO!!!!
The south groundswell sets hitting the Jetty at about 10 minute intervals formed sizable waves, with smaller ones from the NW windswell interspersed in the lulls. I went over the falls once on one of those bigger waves, falling through watery air with my eyes closed for what seemed a long time. I'd thought about taking my neglected shortboard, but happily went out on my Magic 8'3" instead, catching a handful of rides. As I went for one of the set waves, Luke's encouragement to "Paddle hard. Harder!" made me dig a little deeper a little longer, and he watched me disappear on the drop - another overhead wave!

But it was not so big as the last of the day, my epic huge drop. STOKED!!! I'm still tingly and can't stop smiling. 

Surfline: Modest NW windswell was our primary source of surf today, although there was also a pretty good size Southern Hemisphere SSW swell building. The better breaks to either direction were in the 3-4' range, with some plus sets to head high at standouts. Buoy 46012: SSW 6.9 ft @ 16 sec, NW 6.2 ft @ 8.3 sec.

25 June 2010

Dog on Dawn Patrol (Cowells)

We're still in a wave drought, but I found some fun little ones at Cowells this morning.
Everybody and his dog was out.

Surfline: Glassy, with a few clean little lines working through. NW-WNW (285-310) mid-period swell holds on as some new NW windswell is in the mix and SW (210-220) Southern Hemi swell also hold this morning. Most breaks remain small scale this morning with surf running in the 1-2'+ zone, as standout breaks pull in some fun zone sets in the waist-chest high zone. Conditions are nice and clean as the tide builds in from a negative low just before 5am. Buoy 46012: WNW 4.6 ft @ 9.1 sec. 

20 June 2010

Reflections on International Surfing Day

On International Surfing Day, let's take a moment to be thankful that we have (mostly) clean ocean waves to surf, and not oily waters fouled by greed-driven corporate malfeasance abetted by the gross negligence of our government.

A Whole Lot Better Than Nothing (HMB Jetty)

Although the naysayers were advising to skip surf check and sleep in, I found some fun little waves at the Jetty. Reasonably early for a Sunday morning although well past dawn, the wind hadn't come up yet, keeping conditions clean.
It was the right tide to groom the mix of small swells into short rights and lefts. Patience was required during long lulls between sets, and a helmet was prudent with the waves breaking shallow. I grazed on snack-sized waves until the chill drove me from the cold water. Stoked smiles on International Surfing Day!

Surfline: NW windswell and small, mid-period NW(295-300+) energy combine with S(170-190) and SW(230-240) groundswells for waist-head high surf this morning. Buoy 46012: S 2.3 ft @ 13.8 sec, NW 2.3 ft @ 10.8 sec.

15 June 2010

Positively Negative (Cowells)

I started my drive to Santa Cruz in the pre-dawn twilight, but there were already a couple dozen surfers in the water when I arrived just after 6 am. Apparently I'm not the only one who knows that Cowells loves a negative low tide.
There were plenty of fun waves rolling through, and I sat inside of the packed main peak to get some of them all to myself. The difference between dawn patrol and a weekend afternoon is the increased skill level of most of the surfers, so I had to be patient, but I enjoyed a lot of fine long rides before it was time to leave for work. Great morning!

Surfline: Nice, clean little low tide longboard lines working through. WNW swell mix is building slightly as long-period SSW(195-205) groundswell mixes in at top exposures. Most spots see knee-waist high+ waves, while top breaks pull in some chest-shoulder-head high sets. Winds are light for mostly clean conditions as the tide drains out to a -1.3' low tide just after 7am. Buoy 46012: NW 8.9 ft @ 11.4 sec.

11 June 2010

Twofer (Manresa & The Hook)

On a rare weekday off, I rode a few fast and powerful shoulder- to head-high lefts at Manresa (woot!)...
...then caught a bunch of easy smaller rights at the Hook. Stoked!

Surfline: WNW wind/groundswell mix tops out as old SSW energy lingers in the background. Conditions are semi-clean across the region with most breaks running in the knee-thigh-waist high zone. Standouts pull in a few chest-shoulder high sets at times. Buoy 46012: NW 7.2 ft @ 10 sec.

07 June 2010

Welcome Home (HMB Jetty)

My gills were quite dry after more than a week out of the water, so I was eager to surf this morning before work. As I drove over the hill it began to drizzle, and kept it up all the way to the Jetty. The water was brown, the waves were small and there was a sideshore breeze, but I was getting wet regardless.
I was glad I went out, because I found a batch of fun short rides amongst the closeouts. Nothing great, but it put five dollars' worth in my empty stoke tank. I had the break to myself until a guy showed up on an orange fish and bid me good morning. Indeed, any morning is good that starts with a surf!

Surfline: Mix of mid-period WNW, small NW windswell, and slow rising new SSW groundswell. The better North Hemi exposed breaks offer waist-shoulder high surf. Standout spots produce plus sets. Beachbreaks with good exposure to the swell combo will offer some crossed up peaks/bowls. Cleanest conditions early.  Buoy 46012: WNW 3.3 ft @ 10 sec.

05 June 2010

1000 km From the Black Sea

This week I've been landlocked in Moscow, 800 km from the Baltic Sea.

Eastern edges of the Baltic Sea, near St. Petersburg

Aside from these innovators, there is no surfing to be found in Moscow.

But there's a lot else to see and do.

Bell Tower at the Kremlin [video]

St. Basil's Cathedral on Red Square [video]

While the Baltic was flat, the coast of Iceland had waves - very large waves since I could see them from 35,000 feet (although the camera sadly chose to focus on the ice crystals on the window).