03 September 2011

My Cheeks Hurt (HMB Jetty)

...from smiling so much. I rode an awesome overhead left and am majorly stoked!

The south groundswell continues to pump out big waves, and I only had time for a local session this morning. Since Luke told me the sets were DOmyH (double-over-my-head) yesterday at the Jetty, I was feeling both anticipation and trepidation ahead of not-quite dawn patrol. I've never surfed waves that size.

There was a time when I was afraid to paddle out if the waves were head-high. Then I rode an overhead wave, rather by accident since I didn't realize it would be so big, and punched through that ceiling. Still, DOH is intimidating. But if you don't push your limits, you'll never push past them, so I was game to try. I wanted a buddy along for moral support and Luke was happy to oblige. Nikki joined us too. I was expecting to get worked, or stoked out of my gourd.

Luke and Nikki
My tiny butterflies calmed a bit after other friends reported the Jetty was only OH yesterday. The swell height and period had also dropped a little by this morning, and in fact the Jetty was just OH. As I watched Luke ride a couple big waves, fear battled with desire: I wanted those. The main peak had only one other guy on it, besides me and my two buddies, so I paddled into position when an opportunity arose. I'm not sure what happened on the first wave I caught, but I was ass-over-teakettle underwater to the inside. While the paddle out via a rip current had been pretty easy, my return to the lineup was not. To get out of Luke's way as he caught a wave, I had to paddle into the just-broken whitewater, going for another tumble and losing ground. Then I had to eat whitewater again for the other guy's ride, and got rolled far to the inside. I shifted over to the rip between the peaks and was almost out when a large closeout crashed in front of me. I ditched my board and dove down, but the wave caught and spun me every which way, holding me down long enough for the Relax! mantra to start playing in my head until I surfaced, gasping. I got worked.

I reacquired the lineup and launched into a big right, making a drop that was, I'm guessing, about 7 feet. Unfortunately I didn't make the turn fast enough and Luke was right in front of me. Trying to turn sharply, I tensed up and fell, launching my board at my buddy. Aah! No harm, thankfully. And at least I got a nice video of him on a wave.
I decided to try the second peak, which was sometimes spinning off lefts with shoulders. I saw one coming, paddled into position and caught it, and it was awesome! This time I turned mid-face, and then the stair-steps appeared: another drop - Woo! - and another - Woo HOO! I was perfectly trimmed and in the zone. I kicked out near the beach as the wave closed and paddled back to the lineup with such a big grin on my face that both Luke and the other guy were smiling and sharing in my stoke.

Conditions started to deteriorate, so Luke and I caught our last waves in. I rode a nice right, maybe only head-high, which oddly enough I don't remember well since the great left is still replaying in my mind. I got stoked out of my gourd! 

Surfline: Decent long-period SSW (200-210) Southern Hemi energy on tap this morning along with a mix of NW wind/groundswell. Expect inconsistent shoulder-overhead+ sets, with some decent peaks at the better combo breaks. Spots without a view of the SSW go smaller. Light WSW wind early adds some minor texture to the open areas. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 5.9 ft at 16.0 s SSW 70 / WIND WAVE: 1.0 ft at 4.0 s WNW / WVHT: 5.9 ft / APD: 8.2 s / MWD: 207° (Met) WSPD: 8 kts / GST: 10 kts / WVHT: 5.9 ft / DPD: 16.0 s / WDIR: 170° / ATMP: 54.3° F / WTMP: 55.8° F. Tide: Around 2.5'.


  1. Congratulations! Maybe I'll see you on Monday, when you are back from Bolinas.

  2. Monday is a lay day. Tuesday I'm DPing with my coach. Hope you get some good waves on this swell!

  3. What a great post! I'll live vicariously through your stoke while I'm stuck in the office for the moment!!


  4. Thanks, Rebecca! Glad to share the stoke across the miles.