02 October 2010

Pushing Boundaries (Rachel's Point)

When I pulled into the parking lot near "Rachel's Point", Luke was changing into his wetsuit behind his truck. I rolled down my window to ask how the surf looked, and he said, "It's double-overhead." Aaah!
Climbing the hill to survey the ocean myself from the top of the bluff, I found J-Bird and Jacob already checking the waves. I didn't see any roll through that were 2xOH, but they assured me they'd seen some too. Folks on the outer peak, mostly shortboarders, didn't seem to be catching much, and there was an inner peak that was smaller, about head-high+, with no one on it. While we were ruminating, Luke passed by on his way to the surf, gun in hand. J-Bird and Jacob decided to try farther south, and I could have gone to the much smaller but crowded Jetty. But I didn't; I decided to go for it.

There was a time, not long ago, when I would have been scared shitless to paddle out into and try to catch overhead waves. But that barrier has been broken with the handful of bigger waves I've ridden recently, and by my confidence in riding Magic. So I suited up and hauled my 8'3" up and over the hill to the beach. I was surprised and concerned to see Luke already on his way back to the parking lot, but he said he was just tired, and that I'd be fine out there. I felt some trepidation facing DOH waves without a buddy, but I was already on my way.

At the beach, a blond woman was just coming out of the water as I strapped on my leash and helmet, and she walked over to introduce herself. Kerri was a local and said she hadn't seen other girls at that break, which I told her I'd surfed a few times before. She seemed a bit unhappy with her session, having ceded several waves to a particular guy who kept dropping in on her, but she wished me better luck.

Luke about to paddle out
I had a dry hair paddle-out via the channel, dunking underwater when I reached the lineup because I was feeling hot in my new Rip Curl 4/3 on a 60-degree day. Once there, I did paddle for some of the big ones. Trouble was, they were shifty, mushing out and hard to get into, and I wasn't ever in the right spot given the crowd of nine in the lineup. A dude on a big orange SUP was absolutely killing it, but rides were few for everyone else, and I heard some grumbling about it "shutting down", "probably the tide's too low now," and "haven't gotten one since I've been out here." So I don't feel too bad, but I wanted to ride something, and moved to the inside peak.

Just like before at this break, the inside peak was jacking, and I wasn't able to land the steep drops on the few lefts I caught in the greenwater. I got one fun fast ride catching the whitewater reform on an outside bomb, and a few other short ones. The inside was choppier, and my board felt like a skipping stone on a couple waves as I got bounced along and off my ride. But sitting inside has its dangers, when the huge outside sets rolled through. Paddling like mad toward the horizon, I realized I wouldn't make it when a DOH wave detonated just in front of me, and I turtled Magic. But there is no turtling a wave like that. I was flipped and spun, the board soon torn from my grasp, pushed deep and invoking my "DON'T PANIC" mantra when the holddown went on too long. Somehow my leash was in my hand, and I climbed it hand-over-hand to reach my board, the surface, the air. I paddled back out for more, until I was too tired to play with the beast any longer. Muscles aching all over my body, I felt a bit like I'd been in a fight, but it was worth it to push the limits of my comfort zone. Next time, I will go farther.

Surfline: Long period NW groundswell peaks with shoulder-head high to 2-3' overhead range at well exposed spots, although inconsistent at times. Standouts deepwater breaks produce occasional plus sets. Small SW swell mixes in the background. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 7.2 ft at 14.8 s W / WIND WAVE: 2.0 ft at 5.0 s WNW / WVHT: 7.5 ft / APD: 8.3 s / MWD: 281°

No comments:

Post a Comment