24 July 2011

Drop, Trip, Flip (Teslas)

Back to booties (boo-ties!) today, and to poor waves, as compared to the awesome warm-water SanO session last Monday. But sharing a break with just a group of friends made it a good morning surf.

I met up with J-Bird and Jacob near Kyle's sweet four-houses-from-the-beach place in Half Moon Bay, a spot I'll call "Teslas". (I give it a pseudonym not because of the waves today, but because of the way Kyle said they get on a certain tide and swell direction. Hope for good sessions to come.) The Js had brought surf-starved shortboarder Chris and newbie Jay plus his wife Rachel (who couldn't surf), and Kyle joined us for a bit. Manabu reported that Montara had small waves though crowded already, but I opted for what was on offer in Half Moon Bay at an empty break with just my crew.
The waves were sloppy under a south breeze and often closing out, but sometimes shoulder-high on Jacob. With the reports and forecast calling for small surf, I'd brought my 8'3" Magic, but I regretted that choice almost immediately. Mushy waves pitched when they broke, and I kept tripping over my board's nose with an extra 15" in front of me. Drop, trip, flip, and do it again; arrgh. Chris said I should count 3 of those as one wave, so by that count, I think I got three waves. On the ones that didn't close out, my error, I believe, was not making the bottom turn fast enough; it had to be quick to avoid the pitch and trip. With that in mind, and thinking "Turn! Turn! Turn!" as I paddled for a wave, I managed to drop and sharp turn on one wave before it smashed over and threw me. On another wipeout, I felt a pointy edge of my surfboard hit near my eye, and was glad that I have nose- and tail-guards on my board to prevent serious injury from such impacts.
Jay, Jacob and J-Bird
Chris offered up his "boggie-board," a 6'4" Walden CD4, to anyone who wanted to try it, so I swapped with him. I felt more comfortable on the shorter board, although it was oddly wide and round-nosed.  I caught one wave on his board and made the drop, into another closeout tumble. Since my surf coach wants me to bring my 5'4" fish to our next session on Tuesday, I may just end up riding four different surfboards this week.
It was good to get wet with friends, but I'm tired of this short-period NW windswell. Where are the south groundswells of summer?!

Surfline: Weak NW windswell and trace/leftover SW and South swells keep the surf pretty marginal across the region this morning. Most areas see 2-3' surf, with some larger chest/shoulder high peaks for top NW exposures. Light SW winds make for pretty sloppy conditions at exposed spots. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 3.9 ft at 12.9 s S 59 / 4.3 ft at 8.3 s NW / WIND WAVE: 0.7 ft at 3.8 s WNW / WVHT: 4.3 ft / APD: 7.6 s / MWD: 175° (Met) WSPD: 2 kts / GST: 4 kts / WVHT: 4.6 ft / DPD: 8.0 s / WDIR: 170° / ATMP: 56.5° F / WTMP: 55.6° F. Tide: 3'ish.


  1. Paddle at an angle. You're board isn't too big, when a wave is steeper or might jack up, paddle down the line in the direction you want to go. I rarely take off straight on ANY board I ride. I ride both long and short(9'4 and 5'6)

  2. I was taking off at an angle, but perhaps not enough of one.