30 January 2011

Big Fun (Trees)

The five other surfistas who were going to join me for a girls surf-up in Santa Cruz all bailed, so I ended up with a fun solo session east of Privates. The WSW wind was chopping up the swell from Pleasure Point through 38th, but around the corner at the Hook it started to clean up. Really sweet overhead waves were rolling through at the Hook, but there was already a sizable pack on it, so I walked east on the beach and paddled out at less-popular Sharks. The large swell with its frenetic train of whitewater made getting to the outside a challenge, and there was a serious current pushing east. I caught a few broken waves into reforms on my way out, drifting east all the while, until I found I was past the stairs at Privates and in sight of the Capitola pier. I stayed there on an empty peak, although staying meant a constant paddle west to keep in position.
I rode a bunch of good-sized waves, shoulder-high to overhead, and had a few stinging wipeouts. The waves were often sectiony and didn't hold up for long rides, but I was having a blast on my solitary peak, enjoying the bursts of sunshine and sudden downpours as the weather fluctuated. The sideshore wind would turn off at times, leaving the water glassy, then ramp up to lightly texture it. My best wave was a left with at least a 7-foot drop - woo hoo! So stoked!

I left the water at Privates and found that while you need a key to get in at the top of the stairs, you can get out with just the press of a button. Then it was a long walk back to my car, parked several blocks away at the Hook. Post-surf eats were at Dharma's, a great veg restaurant Scott and I just discovered in Capitola.
Surfline: Solid WNW (280-300) energy on the rise today as trace Southern Hemi swell mixes in. Head high to overhead+ surf is common now, while top breaks approach double overhead on the best sets (especially as our nearly 6' high tide begins to drop and swell continues to fill in). Expect SW/WSW wind around 10-15kts. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 13.1 ft at 13.8 s WNW 08 / WIND WAVE: 5.9 ft at 6.7 s W / WVHT: 14.4 ft / APD: 8.7 s / MWD: 283° (Met) WSPD: 16 kts / GST: 21 kts / WVHT: 14.4 ft / DPD: 14.0 s / WDIR: 280° / ATMP: 52.9° F / WTMP: 53.2° F. Tide: 2' falling under 1'.


  1. Love the write up, clearly you had a good day out. I didn't get out at the weekend and your vid had me regretting it as miss that serenity. Dharma's looks great as well, you've made me very jealous!! ;-)


  2. Thanks! Santa Cruz rarely offers such serenity. I can count on one hand the times I've had a peak to myself or shared with just my buddies.

    Go surf!

  3. I love your blog and reading you articles. Sorry to hear about your leg (and wetsuit tear). Gotta love the groms (we all were one at one point). I was wondering what kind of camera you use out in the water. I'm thinking of getting one myself.

    Pray for surf!

    Castro Valley, CA

  4. Thanks! It's a Pentax Optio W90. It works well, but it and its predecessor suffer from the same problems. First the compartment housing the computer connection port took on moisture fairly quickly and the port corroded so it's unusable. I also have to take great care to clean the seal on the compartment that holds the battery and memory card after each use to remove sand that accumulates, or the camera might flood as did the W80 in under a year. Although I don't have experience with other waterproof cameras, I'd suggest you look elsewhere then Pentax. I've heard good things about the Panasonic Lumix.