19 September 2010

Feels Like Flying (Tres Rocas)

Update: Now with pix taken from the beach by Danielle. View them all here.
Chased by overhead whitewater
Holding the handrail
Luke polishing his backside
~ ~ ~
I posited to my buddies that today we surf someplace uncrowded on the south swell, and after checking another spot that was blowing more onshore, Luke's goofy-foot friend Austin took us to a great place on the Lonely Coast. I will pseudonymously call it "Tres Rocas," a name intended to give no clue whatsoever as to its location, although there are indeed three rocks there. I'm afraid it was that good, and that empty on a day that saw most other local breaks either packed or sloppy with southwest wind, that I don't want to risk exposing it. Luke, Austin and I were joined by Austin's buddy Mark, and his wife Danielle took pix from the beach (photographic evidence of my OH rides may be coming).
The shorepound getting out to the left point break was gnarly. I got denied a couple of times before moving farther down the beach and paddling like hell during a lull to get past it. Once there, the first half hour was a dismal exercise in frustration, as promising waves would mound up unrideably or I'd catch them only to fail getting over the lip as they crossed a deeper section and mushed out. The key, as Luke pointed out, was to be right on the peak as the wave broke. But unlike at Rachel's Point, where the waves jacked up steep at the peak, these waves offered a gradual drop; they were not out to kill me, despite being overhead. After half an hour of nothing, I looked at the spot where the waves were first breaking, clearly indicated by the lingering surface bubbles, and told myself to Get. Over. There. Now.

 Luke rides one in

The first wave I rode was tandem with Luke, taking the drop on my belly when he was already riding to my left, but I popped up at the bottom and hooted; it was FAST. The next was similar but solo, and then I really committed. I took one that Luke said was a foot-and-a-half over my head, riding it into a reform, and then too far into the shore break, falling the wrong way (beachward) as it sucked up sand, the wave bouncing me off the bottom and pushing Magic (not too hard) into my ribs. I got another wave with probably my biggest drop yet, riding frontside and flying down the line just past a hooting Austin - with me again joyously calling WOO HOO! - but this time not taking it all the way in. Paddling back for a couple more, I asked him how high the wave had been, and he first said, "Dunno, 10 feet?" but then backed off to a couple feet over my head. No matter, it was big and awesome and soooo much fun!
I truly hope there is another south swell before the season ends. I know where I want to surf it!

Surfline: Good SSW swell held strong this morning with chest-head high+ waves with some modest WNW windswell mixing in. Standout spots were still producing some 1-2' overhead sets. That swell mix is starting to fade this afternoon. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 4.9 ft at 16.0 s SSW / WIND WAVE: 2.3 ft at 5.3 s WSW / WVHT: 5.6 ft / APD: 6.8 s / MWD: 213°


  1. Definitely bigger than the waves we usually see. Excellent! I hope you got some good pics of yourself on some good waves.

  2. Me too! Haven't seen any photos yet though.

  3. Finally the photos from the beach are here!