27 March 2011

Snow Day (38th Ave & Cowells)

We've had an almost solid week of rain with pretty steady south winds messing up the surf. My buddies and I have been jonesing for waves, taking whatever we can get in the small weather windows that have popped up. But a side benefit of all that rain is that the storms dumped a substantial amount of powdery snow in the local mountains. I think that's one reason the Santa Cruz breaks were so atypically uncrowded today, because the segment of the surfing community that also likes their water frozen was hitting the slopes instead of the surf. Others may have been deterred by the distinct brownish hue of the not-so-clean waves.
No matter. When Luke and I paddled out at 38th Ave mid-morning, there were just 3 guys on it, increasing to only a dozen by the time I left. Sweet.

The tide was still a bit high for the break, so the longboarders had an advantage getting into the mushy waves over me on my 7'0". I sat inside and closer to the peak, and caught a nice shoulder-high wave with Luke. Following our footedness, I went left and he went right. The left shoulder held up for a little while and I rode through a reform to the inside. When I turned to paddle back out, I saw Luke was still riding, and riding, and riding... He had quite a long paddle back, but the great wave was worth it.

The outside waves were coming too infrequently for me and then mostly being snatched up by the longboarders before I could make a run at them, so when I'd landed inside again, I staked out an empty inner peak that was breaking more often. It was a bit sectiony, but I got a bunch of fun drops into short rides. Woot!

My niece's daughter Kerra sent me a Flat Stanley last week as part of a school project. I decided right away that part of his adventure in the Bay Area would be learning to surf, and I fashioned a little wetsuit for him (out of foam board, which is also part of the support system to hold him standing on a surfboard). Since the best beginner break in the area is Cowells, I took Stanley there for his first lesson, driving in my Surf-Fur over my wet wetsuit. Unfortunately, due to an equipment malfunction (i.e. I got the tape wet), Stanley couldn't surf Cowells this morning, but I went out and caught a handful of waist-high+ waves on my own in distinctly muddy water. Stoke tank is topped off! The fog started to roll in as I left, but it sure was nice to see the sun for a little while.
Surfline: Some fun, clean lines working through this morning with sets running head high and occasionally bigger at the decent spots. Our source of surf stems from a blend of building mid-period NW-WNW (270+305+) groundswell and holding S (180-210) energy. Wind is currently offshore with smooth surface conditions. Things speed up as the tide drops through the morning. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 11.2 ft at 14.8 s WNW 26 / WIND WAVE: 1.6 ft at 4.3 s W 25 / WVHT: 11.5 ft / APD: 9.4 s / MWD: 295° (Met) WSPD: 8 kts / GST: 8 kts / WVHT: 11.5 ft / DPD: 14.0 s / WDIR: 210° / ATMP: 51.8° F / WTMP: 52.7° F Tide: 3' dropping to 0.5'.

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