14 September 2011

Damn You, Dirty Kelp! (Indicators/Middle Peak)

This is my 500th blog post. Wow.

As I paddled for the wave, I saw he was almost right in front of me. I thought about aborting but was lined up and wanted it. Besides, he should know enough to get out of the way. I popped up and made the drop, angling away from him, and he duck-dived (seal-dived?) into the wave just several feet from my board. I thought, how lucky am I, to live in a place like this?
J-Bird and I met up at the Rip Curl Outlet in Westside Santa Cruz after work to look for new wetsuits. My 4/3 Rip Curl Insulator was nice while it lasted, but after a year is giving me the shivers even in summery-warm (55F/13C) water. Alas, they had only half a dozen size 4 women's wetsuits in the store, none of them chest-zips. The sales guy tried to steer me toward a guys' XS, but I didn't bother trying it on. As J-Bird noted, it would have had "an extra-low crotch." When I asked the Twitterverse for wetsuit recommendations, many surfers were raving about Xcel, so I'll see if their size 4 fits me.
J-Bird did score a new 5/4 wetsuit, and was hot at first when we paddled out at Indicators. The tide was low and there was exposed kelp everywhere. On the plus side, it was surprisingly uncrowded, with only a few other surfers in our vicinity. By contrast the main peak was pretty packed, but then the waves over there looked really sweet, slightly overhead on the bigger sets, with the usual show of hot surfing.
J-Bird waiting for her last wave
Waves were fun-sized and more inconsistent where we were, and then there was the kelp. We were both getting flung off our boards on pretty much every wave at various points of the ride, when the kelp didn't hold us back from catching them in the first place. Starting from a clear zone to get enough free paddling space, I got halted at the top, midway through the drop, while making a turn onto the face, and partially down the line. Kelp fingers would ensnare my fins, stopping my board and flinging me over the handlebars. Superman! I did manage to escape its clutches for a few decently-long rides, and J-Bird got some nice ones too on Tweety P. My best wave came near the end of the session as the sun was setting, with one of the guys on the inside hooting my drop. Stoked!

Surfline: SW groundswell, although slowly easing today, continues to provide plenty of waves throughout the region this afternoon. The better spots are mainly in the 3-4' zone, while standout breaks produce occasional sets around head high. Conditions are staying rather clean for most spots, especially the spots with kelp and right points protected by a bluff. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 7.9 ft at 12.1 s WNW 74 / WIND WAVE: 2.0 ft at 3.8 s NW / WVHT: 8.2 ft / APD: 6.9 s / MWD: 287° (Met) WSPD: 8 kts / GST: 10 kts / WVHT: 8.2 ft / DPD: 12.0 s / WDIR: 300° / ATMP: 56.8° F / WTMP: 55.8° F. Tide: Bottoming out just below 1'.


  1. Hey, Surfergrrrl! I tweeted you about my 5/4 (from my mostly dormant Twitter account). Thanks for the reply! Definitely I'll drop a line when up north. I haven't tried O'Neill suits so can't compare there. But Xcel has worked better for me than my old BodyGlove Vapor and RipCurl suits. Hands down, the nicest off-the-rack suit I've had is my Boz. My husband wears the Patagonia suits (lucky guy; my skin hates the scratchy wool). My Boz suit is cheaper, and the material seems as flexible and well-sealed. When I show up north, I'll try to remember to bring it, so you can check it out! Cheers, CalifCoast

  2. Never heard of Boz but I'm going to check out Xcel soon. Fingers crossed size 4 fits me.

    Look forward to surfing with you sometime!