21 July 2010

Glad to be Goofy (38th Ave)

I drove south in the dark this morning to reach Santa Cruz by 5:30, arriving with the first hints of daylight in the sky. Since there's yet another hyped south swell in the water, I shouldn't have been surprised to see the Hook parking lot already half full. There were only a few folks out at 38th initially, but the crowd increased quickly as the sun rose unseen behind misting clouds. Lucky for me, nearly everyone wanted to ride the longer but sectiony right, leaving me with the nice left almost to myself. I got a lot of fun long rides on chest- to shoulder-high waves, with plenty of time for gentle turns on the face. Very stokeful!
There were extended lulls between sets, and a pair of surfers amused themselves (and the rest of us) by playing longboard chicken, paddling fast toward each other, popping up, and trying to push the other person off of their board. An otter and a sea lion (or seal; I wasn't close enough to see ears) also swam by to check out the human compliment in the water. And I got to finally meet Darren, who I hope will join me again for dawn patrol. It's easier to find the early morning motivation when you're meeting someone for surf.
It was nearly time to go and I'd already told myself "just one more" when I got my best ride of the session, which put me almost at the bottom of the stairs west of Jack O'Neill's green house. I should've left the water then, but that wave was so much fun I wanted another: one more one more. When I started to paddle back out, I found my leash had been thoroughly entangled by thick kelp, which held me in the impact zone during the rest of the set until I managed to unwind from it. Then a lull stretched seemingly to infinity as I waited for that last wave, until finally I had to start paddling in lest I be really late for work.
After a quick stop at Whole Foods for vegan donuts, I was on the road back north, with a happy stoked smile on my face.

Surfline: Sectiony, soft lines working through, occasional workable corners. Mostly clean surf prevails this morning as our Southern Hemi SSW (190-205) swell continues to fill in, mixing with some modest NW windswell. Better breaks are good for chest-shoulder-head high surf, as top exposures are pulling in some 1-2'+ overhead sets. Winds are light early. Buoy 46012: NW 8.2 ft @ 10 sec, S 8.2 ft @ 17.4 sec.


  1. Wow, arrive by 5:30 from San Mateo County! That's a true dawn patrol. I will have to try that tomorrow.

  2. I got up at 4 and left the house at 4:30. Hope you find some good waves tomorrow!

  3. Great to meet you this morning and you're right - it's definitely easier to make the early dp when you're meeting someone! Oh and that infinitely long lull, continued for like another 20 minutes. I had to make the paddle of shame so I wouldn't be late for work. Thankfully I got a ton of great rides before the final paddle in :)

  4. I use to leave SF at 4:30-5 to make it to Sierra at Tahoe by 8:30 and get close to first chair. The things we do...