30 November 2011

Fade (Tongs)

Fade: a surfer's movement back into the most powerful section of the wave... a (usually) subtle angling back toward the whitewater so to position oneself deeper in the barrel or to wait for the wave to stand up more vertically as it moves over shallower reef/sand.
Since we've been staying on the 13th floor overlooking Tongs, I've had time to mind-surf, studying the wave from a broad vantage, trying to predict where the surfers should be to catch it and what they should do to stay on it. I could see a clear need to fade often else lose the wave on the mushy shoulder. With that in mind, I made the 5-minute paddle out. A couple of surfers soon rode in, leaving just me and a dude in boardshorts. I'm still not sure how folks surf with such minimal clothing, since my ribs have gotten lightly bruised despite due care, and there's good reason surf shirts are called rash guards. Still, in the even warmer waters of Nicaragua next month, I'm going to try surfing in only my allegedly wipe-out proof bikinis by Calavera and Ola Chica. We'll see if they live up to the claims.
One thing I like about Tongs, aside from it being walking distance from our condo, is that it's primarily a left, at least in the current conditions. Although there was much less wind than last time, it was still offshore and required more forward and downward push to get into and stay on the waves. I worked it for a bunch of fun rides, once scraping my foot on the reef at the end of one. I've lost the wobbles on the yellow board now and it's pretty fun.

The swell bumped up briefly to punchy shoulder-high, and I caught a very long ride to the inside, fading to stay with the power and make it through the flat sections. Woot! The bigger set was followed by a lull. Denis told me later that Diamond Head is notorious for such sneaker sets.
The other surfer left and I had the break to myself. Sweet. I rode a few more waves but the breeze was chilling me so I caught a series of three waves to get closer to shore before paddling in over the shallow reef. Stoked!

Surfline: Small South swell provides knee-waist occasional belly-chest high sets for the better spots in Town, inconsistent. Light ENE wind early, gradually increasing and veering NE through the day, becoming moderate. Partly to mostly cloudy skies. Buoy 51101: (Wave) SWELL: 6.6 ft at 13.8 s NNW 98 / WIND WAVE: 3.0 ft at 5.0 s N / WVHT: 7.2 ft / APD: 8.2 s / MWD: 342° (Met) WSPD: 16 kts / GST: 19 kts / WVHT: 7.2 ft / DPD: 14.0 s / WDIR: 10° / ATMP: 74.8° F / WTMP: 76.3° F. Tide: Falling from 0.5'.
Snorkeling with free dolphins yesterday. So cool.

28 November 2011

Ketchup and Mustard (Haleiwa)

Amanda on her red fish
My buddy Amanda was on the north shore of Oahu with her boyfriend when Scott and I were on the south, and we wanted to meet up for a surf. I'd hoped to time our trip up to coincide with Carissa Moore's wildcard heat in the Van's World Cup of Surfing, but the contest website was abysmal and provided zero information on when that might be. We drove up today to see what we would see, taking the long route meandering the windward coast and stopping at Turtle Bay for lunch at Ola, our feet in the warm sand, looking at the ocean.

Just after we'd ordered, Amanda returned my voicemail. She had a short window to surf and we agreed to meet at protected Haleiwa since I didn't feel comfortable in overhead waves on the still slightly-tippy yellow board. (If I'd had my own surfboard, Emm or Rocket, I would totally have been down for her suggestion of catching inside waves at Chuns. Damn airline board fees!) So I could find her in the water, Amanda told me she'd be on a red fish. I said "we'll be like ketchup and mustard," looking at those condiments on the table.

Amanda's directions were good and I joined her on the inside, soon launching into my first ride. On the next wave, I was just about to pop up when I saw two large rocks exposed in my path. My brain screamed "Abort! Abort!" as I quickly pulled out of the wave. We moved away and outside of the exposed reef, and had to paddle frequently to stay clear of that danger zone.
It was good to surf with Amanda but she had to leave after I'd been there only about half an hour. Funny that we hadn't been able to meet up to surf for probably the last three years in NorCal but managed it, however briefly, several thousand miles away. I got many rides on waves up to chest high, weaving through surf schools and over one none-to-bright swimmer. The waves were mushy and I had to catch them near the peak or just broken. My best was a left with a shoulder. When it started to slow, I turned back to the peak for speed, then left again. Woot!
Sadly, I learned later that Carissa's World Cup heat had started shortly after my session ended a few miles to the south. Had I known, we would've dashed back up to Sunset Beach so I could cheer her in person. (Grrr, Vans! I'm never ever buying your shoes.)

Surfline: 4-7 ft shoulder high to 2 ft. overhead, fair to good conditions. Haleiwa looking much more manageable than yesterday as the winds and surf has dropped down. There are some fun waves rolling through but it is already looking pretty crowded....remember to share waves and show aloha. Sunny, highs 74 to 81. East winds 10 to 20 mph. Chance of rain 20 percent. Buoy 51101: (Wave) SWELL: 6.6 ft at 9.1 s E 97 / WIND WAVE: 4.9 ft at 5.0 s E / WVHT: 8.2 ft / APD: 6.6 s / MWD: 82° (Met) WSPD: 16 kts / GST: 19 kts / WVHT: 8.2 ft / DPD: 9.0 s / WDIR: 110° / ATMP: 74.8° F / WTMP: 76.8° F. Tide: Less than 0.5' and rising.

27 November 2011

Offshore (Tongs)

Following an afternoon storm, the wind howled strong all last night. From our penthouse condo (it seems they didn't want to call it the 13th floor), I could see a surf break called Tongs (or Tonggs). There was no one out, but at least it was blowing offshore.
Later a few surfers had appeared and it seemed like it was it was only getting windier, so I succumbed to the pull of the ocean. Blocked by the high-rises for most of the long paddle out, the wind hit full force as I reached the lineup. Without wetsuit padding, I've often gotten bruised ribs surfing in warm water, but they felt OK. I think that's because I'm on a smaller board - a big longboard gets knocked into me harder than a shorter board - and because I now arch my back more when I paddle, like a real shortboarder. My bare knobby knees, however, continue to attract bruises.
Shallow water
Some kayakers were catching waves in the inside shallows and for a while I was the only surfer. Then a dude paddled out teaching a lesson, pointing out that my shortboard had more rocker than the beginner longboard his charge was trying to stay atop. The yellow board felt less tippy than yesterday; I'm getting more used to its narrowness.
I rode four or five gutless waves, fighting blinding spray and the offshore wind to get down the face for a brief ride before they petered out. I triangulated with a rock and a pink condo and paddled constantly to maintain position on the shifty peak as I was blown about, but got pushed to close too the rock and found my feet touching the reef while I sat on my board. Tongs breaks shallow, and Denis told me later than this gets especially hairy when it's big. That wasn't a concern today. It was good to get wet, and after a while every else went in, leaving me alone under the sun in the warm shallow sea.

Surfline: Small SSW swell continues. Look for mainly knee-waist high sets through the day, with occasional plus peaks at best breaks. Strong ENE wind 15-20kts. Buoy 51101: (Wave) SWELL: 7.9 ft at 12.9 s NNW 96 / WIND WAVE: 5.2 ft at 5.3 s E / WVHT: 9.5 ft / APD: 7.0 s / MWD: 344° (Met) WSPD: 19 kts / GST: 25 kts / WVHT: 9.5 ft / DPD: 13.0 s / WDIR: 90° / ATMP: 75.0° F / WTMP: 76.3° F. Tide: Falling from 0.5'.

25 November 2011

Sexism in Margaritaville

When we had dinner at Jimmy Buffett's in Waikiki, I wasn't sure which restroom to use:
I am a surf rider...
...but I'm also a girl, though I don't hula.
Good thing they added the international symbols. But the sexism, grrr!

Canary in the Tropics (Diamond Head Cliffs)

We arrived on Oahu on Thanksgiving, and the day after I was first in the door at the surf shop to which Luke had consigned his 6'9" surfboard. He'd kindly offered to let me use it during our week on the island, since the airlines extort $200 to fly a board there and back.

After waxing it up, and getting a little lost when a lighthouse proved curiously hard to find, I met Denis at Diamond Head for my first warm-water surf. Mahalo to him for passing on his local knowledge of the entry point, the current, the nearby break names, etc. We surfed at Cliffs, in between the Lighthouse and Mansions.

The yellow board is narrower than any of mine and noticeably tippier side-to-side. Fortunately the waves were small and forgiving. I caught a few and fell before making a nice right. Denis was riding his wife's wide 8'6" while his 7'0" is in for ding repair, and offered to switch boards with me. But her board was a huge tanker and I quickly swapped back. The board was lacking a leash so I'd bought one, and sorely missed my XM Tangle-Free leash as the standard one kept catching between my toes and wrapping around my leg.
Still wobbly but slowly getting the hang of the yellow board, I rode a long whitewater right and then a left. The water was so clear and warm - ahh, nice! I love to feel the surfboard under my bare feet.
Surfline: 2-3 ft knee to waist high. Fair conditions. Small SSW swell trying to provide ride-able surf on southern shores today. The Cliffs and Lighthouse locations have semi-smooth open rights rolling in. Lighter trade winds will produce less choppy conditions for south east exposures. Partly sunny with a 50 percent chance of light showers. Highs 69 to 83. East winds 10 to 15 mph. Buoy 51101: (Wave) SWELL: 4.6 ft at 12.1 s NW 95 / WIND WAVE: 2.0 ft at 5.3 s ENE / WVHT: 5.2 ft / APD: 6.4 s / MWD: 319°(Met) WSPD: 14 kts / GST: 17 kts / WVHT: 5.2 ft / DPD: 12.0 s / WDIR: 10° / ATMP: 75.4° F / WTMP: 77.0° F. Tide: around 0.25'.

20 November 2011


I can't remember the last time I got skunked by conditions, but Church of Surf was cancelled this morning. After plans to surf "Rachel's Point" fell through, Luke and I checked the Jetty (slight breeze on messy short-period swell kicked up by strong southerly winds overnight) and Linda Mar (onshore wind driving pouring rain onto a few dozen intrepid surfers hunting closeouts). Rachel's may have been surfable, but I rather doubt it. With a passing storm front, conditions were variable and the predicted offshores did not appear. Sadly, Rocket stayed bagged after riding around in the car with me for and hour and a half.

It looks like I won't have another opportunity to surf NorCal before we leave for Oahu on Thanksgiving. I'll be unplugged for a week while we're on vacation, but tropical surf reports will follow on my return. Until then, Aloha!
Canoes, May '10

17 November 2011

November Spring (Kelly Ave)

It's November, but you can't tell it from the surf. Santa Cruz has been flat, and while a steep-angled NW swell is bringing under head-high waves to exposed beaches, wind has been junking up those exposures. The fall swell train hasn't left the station yet. And I'm just jonesing to use my new shortboard!
I took a chance this morning that Half Moon Bay would have some waves yet be protected from the north wind. Manabu's report on yesterday's conditions led me to drive directly to Kelly, which had the best chance in the Bay for something more than anklebiters.
The wind was calm, and from the bluff the waves looked about waist-high with a few slightly bigger. Darren turned up a couple minutes after me, but dithered about going out. Manabu showed no hesitation, arriving with his wetsuit half on. I paddled out alone into an empty sea, but they both soon joined me, followed a little while later by J-Bird, Denise and finally Jacob.
Manabu, Denise and Darren
The surf wasn't as small as it seemed from the bluff. I'd forgotten to add on for the elevated perspective, but no matter. At our level, no one would complain about an undercall, although my buddies would've been a bit disappointed if I'd exaggerated. Most waves were closing out but tempting shoulders popped up from time to time on short sections. I blew the drop on my first one, then got caught inside with Manabu as whitewater kept exploding on the sandbar in front of us. I tried to duck-dive with limited success, until my arms got too tired to sink the board, then paddled sideways to get out of the impact zone and into the rip current for an easier path to the outside. I rode a few small waves that petered out, then found myself in the path of whitewater once again. I decided not to fight the white, and caught a couple fast ones from there, working one to an inside reform.

My best ride was a shoulder-high left, making a fast drop into a swooping turn on the shoulder. Woot! Then I caught a slightly smaller right, pumping it through a flat section until it reformed as a left on the inside. Stoked!
Surfline: NW swell-mix continues this morning, easing through the day. Size for better exposures is generally running in the waist-chest-shoulder high zone, with a few larger sets for top NW exposures. Light onshore flow continues, though, so expect some bump/texture across the region, keeping conditions less than ideal, but still rideable in most areas. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 4.9 ft at 12.1 s NW 94 / WIND WAVE: 1.3 ft at 3.7 s NW / WVHT: 4.9 ft / APD: 6.5 s / MWD: 305° (Met) WSPD: 6 kts / GST: 8 kts / WVHT: 4.9 ft / DPD: 12.0 s / WDIR: 300° / ATMP: 53.2° F / WTMP: 52.7° F. Tide: Around 3.5' falling slightly.

13 November 2011

Downsizing (HMB Jetty)

Finishing touches at Ward Coffey Shapes: Pro Teck fins and a leash string
7'0" behind 6'2"
Like last year, my birthday present to myself was a custom surfboard shaped in Santa Cruz by Ward Coffey. It was delayed due to issues with the glasser, but I brought the new board home yesterday and added a traction pad, nose and tail guards, and an XM Tangle-free leash.

At 6'2" long, 20.5" wide and 2.5" thick, it's a step down from the 7'0" Ward shaped for me a year ago to help me transition to a shortboard. 

Eager to try it out, I woke early and was at the Jetty half an hour past dawn. There were already a few surfers scattered on several peaks, waiting for mostly clean, but a little mixed up, thigh- to chest-high waves. I headed out farther south this time, near the traffic light, where an empty left was rolling through sometimes. All doubt that the transition would be smooth was erased when I caught and rode the first wave I paddled for, although it closed out quickly and left me bouncing atop whitewater. Woot!
As I paddled back out, a wave started to break in front of me, and I thought, might as well see if I can sink this board. It's been quite a while since I've been on a board small enough to duck-dive, but I had partial success. I pushed the nose down and under, but have a feeling my ass was hanging out in the air when the wave hit, as my old buddy Dwayne said it did when he made a small attempt to teach me the maneuver several years ago. Something to work on with my surf coach, but it may be that the board is too buoyant for me to submerge both of us all the way.  
J-Bird and Jacob had said they'd meet me, but were running late and didn't turn up until I was almost done. Their friend Denise joined us too.
J-Bird paddles into a nice wave
I bogged the nose paddling for a few waves, and missed some because I wasn't forward enough on my board or at the critical place on the wave. But I'll get all that sorted out soon enough. And I didn't miss many that I would've gotten on my longer board. I caught and rode a bunch of waves, maybe upwards of ten. A couple had shoulders that let me feel the speed and responsiveness of the new board, hereinafter called Rocket.

I rode one in and left the water with a perma-grin stuck to my face; so stoked! Rocket and I are going to be very good friends. I can't wait to see where it's going to take me.

Surfline: Old, fading W (250-290+) swell is reduced to leftovers as small S (170-190) Southern Hemi energy blends in. Expect inconsistent waist-chest high+ waves at average exposures, while the better breaks occasionally hit shoulder high. A nearly 6' high tide tops out around 11am, so expect things to slow down as we move through the morning. Westerly wind adds some texture and crumble to the openly exposed areas now. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 6.6 ft at 8.3 s NW 93 / WIND WAVE: 5.2 ft at 5.0 s NW / WVHT: 8.2 ft / APD: 6.6 s / MWD: 311° (Met) WSPD: 16 kts / GST: 19 kts / WVHT: 8.2 ft / DPD: 8.0 s / WDIR: 310° / ATMP: 54.5° F / WTMP: 53.2° F. Tide: 4' rising to 5'.

10 November 2011

Birthday Party Wave (Linda Mar)

Emily and Max, ready to paddle out
The weather forecast was wrong, oh so wrong. And that's a good thing. My birthday dawned sunny and nearly windless, instead of south windy, overcast and maybe raining. The cams also showed flat surf, but my faith in predictions that swell was on the way was not as misplaced as my belief in the weather forecast. Lake Linda Mar had roused by noon, offering up to chest-high waves in the middle of the beach where Emily and Max paddled out with me.

I regretted that Scott had talked me into a birthday mimosa at lunch, because my timing was off and kooked up the first few waves I caught. Soon enough it wore off, and I got a few nice rides, including a right that flattened out and reformed into a left as I navigated around a guy paddling out. Fun! I took it nearly to the beach, where J-Bird was waving from dry sand. She'd just come from a meeting and didn't have her surf gear, but offered to use my camera to take photos from the beach. Here they are:
Birthday party wave! Max, Emily and me.
Emily and Max left when I rode a wave in to retrieve my camera from J-Bird, the lens sadly fogged from the temperatures changes and residual moisture inside. I wanted to get one or two more waves and Deepak joined me in the lineup, but the wave quality was dropping with the fast-falling tide and rising south wind and swell. It was hard to find a shoulder among the hard closeouts. At last I snagged a right that didn't slam shut immediately and came in smiling. I must've been a good girl this year, to get such a nice day and fun surf with my friends on my birthday. Stoked!
Surfline: Starting to build and still very clean. Shape is on the walled up side with some corners and will likely worsen through the afternoon as the tide drops and the swell builds. We're seeing a definite increase in new West swell (270-290) already. Conditions are still clean with light SE/ESE wind and surf is in the 4-5'+ range at the better breaks, with standouts up to a couple feet++ overhead. Look for a building trend through the afternoon, with many breaks getting better with the dropping tide. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 6.9 ft at 11.4 s WNW 92 / WIND WAVE: 3.0 ft at 4.8 s SSW / WVHT: 7.5 ft / APD: 7.2 s / MWD: 285° (Met) WSPD: 12 kts / GST: 14 kts / WVHT: 7.5 ft / DPD: 11.0 s / WDIR: 140° / ATMP: 54.5° F / WTMP: 54.1° F. Tide: 3' falling below 1.'

08 November 2011

Early Birthday Surf (HMB Jetty)

I'm taking Thursday off of work because it's my birthday, and had hoped for a nice, uncrowded and leisurely surf that day. But the forecast is for strong southerly winds tearing up leftover dribbles of swell, so I decided to get in my birthday surf early. If it turns out the predictions are wrong, then I'll just do it again on the right day, like Kelly Slater re-winning his 11th world title.

It was c-c-c-old this morning, only 41F/5C when I pulled into the dirt lot. Darren joined me for dawn patrol but after seeing my texted report, "Glassy WH+", Luke apparently decided to stay in his warm bed. The swell is on the fade and was inconsistent, shifty and backwashy, but there were some fun waves to be plucked from the closeouts.
Darren, first in the water
Two guys paddled out to nearby peaks partway through the session but we had the break otherwise to ourselves. A sea otter floated in the distance, the first I've seen this far north. Our breath steamed in the chilly sunlight as we waited through the lulls. Darren lauded every wave he saw me ride, making me feel a little kookish, but I'll chalk that up to it being more of a challenge for me to get into the small waves on my 7'0" than for him on his longboard. Missing the slow and fat ones, I realized I needed more critical placement, closer to the peak, but misjudged the sweet spot a few times and got rolled in water slightly warmer than the air. I rode a nice left, and a long right with a second drop that took me far along the shore, plus a few others less memorable.
I'm glad Daylight Savings Time has ended so weekday dawn patrols are again possible. There's no better way to start the day!

Surfline: WNW swell-mix backs down through the day today, as small SW swell mixes in. The tide keeps most breaks sluggish early, but expect most to improve quickly as the tide turns around. Winds are light offshore and looking to stay down/offshore through the day. Size is in the shoulder-head high+ range for good exposures, with a few lingering 2-3' overhead sets for standouts. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 5.9 ft at 12.1 s NW 92 / WIND WAVE: 2.3 ft at 4.8 s NW / WVHT: 6.2 ft / APD: 7.3 s / MWD: 316° (Met) WSPD: 12 kts / GST: 14 kts / WVHT: 6.2 ft / DPD: 12.0 s / WDIR: 330° / ATMP: 51.8° F / WTMP: 53.1° F. Tide: under 5' rising to 5.5'.

06 November 2011

"You've Gotten Better" (HMB Jetty)

While Kelly Slater was winning his 11th world title (really this time) in the Rip Curl Pro at Ocean Beach, I was in the water 20 miles to the south surfing with my friends. I'm not sorry to have missed it as we caught lots of fun chest- to head-high waves at the Jetty. The last time I surfed with J-Bird and Jacob was in mid-September, so it was good to finally meet up with them again. The forecast was wrong about rain today but it's turned cool, so I put the leaky Rip Curl 4/3 Insulator away and wore my new Xcel 4/3 Infiniti with all the trimmings (booties, gloves, hood).
J-Bird and Jacob getting ready to paddle out 
J-Bird reported it was blown out to the north, which probably explains why the protected Jetty was so crowded. We paddled out near the main peak, which wasn't too packed. There was definitely some power in the water, strong broken waves shoving me back to toward the beach, but I pushed through to the outside.

The waves were a bit jumbled with a mix of swells in the water, so it paid to be picky. When I paddled up next to him after riding a few, Jacob remarked "You've gotten better!" He said he'd seen me catch more waves than not, greater than my typical share from his recollection of earlier in the year. I feel like my surfing has improved with coaching, but it was good to hear someone make that objective observation.
J-Bird and Nikki
Nikki joined us in the water partway through the session, and J-Bird and Jacob traded off boards a couple times between J-Bird's 7'8" Coffey and a borrowed thick 7'3". It was interesting to watch die-hard longboarder Jacob wobbling on a shorter board, but they both got rides on it.
Nikki, J-Bird paddling, Jacob
When I noted that we'd drifted south into closeout land and started paddling back toward the Jetty, Jacob drew along side and challenged me to a race. It was pretty neck-and-neck until he asked "How far are we going to go?" and I said laughingly, "To here - because now I'm ahead!"
I rode a bunch of fun waves, mostly lefts (yay!) and a few with shoulders, under sunny skies with friends. Stoked!

Surfline: NW wind/groundswell fades as a new, reinforcing NW'erly (295-320) wind/groundswell blend picks up through the day and mixes with holding SW (200-215) energy. Head high to overhead+ (5-7') surf is common at the decent exposures, while top breaks see sets to several feet overhead. Peaky for beachbreaks exposed to the combo. Cleanest conditions early, but with a fat early morning high tide. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 9.5 ft at 11.4 s NW 91 / WIND WAVE: 1.6 ft at 4.0 s WNW / WVHT: 9.5 ft / APD: 8.3 s / MWD: 311° (Met) WSPD: 8 kts / GST: 10 kts / WVHT: 10.2 ft / DPD: 11.0 s / WDIR: 320° / ATMP: 53.4° F / WTMP: 53.1° F. Tide: 4.5' falling to 3'.
Post-surf walk: harbor seals at Fizgerald Marine Reserve (Google Nexus One)

05 November 2011

Surf Stronger: Core Training Review

Several months ago, I downloaded Surf Stronger Volume 2 - Core Training with Serena Brooke. While I like Volume 1, the second incarnation is even better, doing away with the unnecessary downtime of the original.

The main workout is forty minutes, with about the first ten devoted to a pre-surf warmup you can do on the beach. The remainder is the core training, which requires a fitness ball and mat. Many of the exercises are analogues to those prescribed by my physical therapist after I compressed a disk in my lumbar spine on a bad wipeout at Linda Mar five years ago. They are designed to strengthen the core, which has as one benefit a protective effect on the back. As in the first Surf Stronger, there are explanations of how each exercise is designed to improve surfing performance, with illustrative on-the-water clips occasionally interspersed. If you need motivation to keep going, there it is. While none of the exercises seem too easy, only the last one before the stretching portion poses a serious challenge for me: plank on the ball for 60 seconds. I can do it, but barely.

An added bonus is the separate Quick Core segment which takes only 10 minutes and does away with the excuse of not having enough time.

Surf Stronger Volume 2 is my new favorite home training workout.

02 November 2011

Into the Sun (HMB Jetty)

Daylight savings time ends next week, which means the return of dawn patrols but also forecloses workday sunset sessions until next spring. With winds forecast light all day, I decided to get in one last sunset surf and enjoy what may be summer's last breath before a cold storm fills in later this week. The weather did not disappoint; it was nearly 70 degrees and sunny when I arrived at the Jetty. Still I wore gloves and attached my hood, which I was glad to put on as the sun dropped to the horizon and a light breeze arose.
There were more surfers than I expected already in the water and just making the post-work dash across the road. The main peak looked best, so I paddled out to join the little pack. Unfortunately, before I'd even ridden a wave, I surfaced in froth and took in an accidental swallow of seawater. Uh-oh. I tried by shear force of will not to let it get to me, but grew increasingly nauseated as the session went on.
The downside of all the sunshine was that I was looking into the sun for waves, the brightness intensified by the long reflected trail of light on the near-glassy surface of the water. For the first time in a while, I wished I'd worn my Sea Specs sunglasses. The glare made it difficult to see, and I misjudged my placement on a few waves. I still have to remind myself to keep looking back at the wave until the last, but am getting better at making the final go/no-go decision.
I snagged a couple rights from the edge of the group on the main break before moving a little south to a shiftier and less consistent but empty peak. I was rewarded with a handful of nice lefts and another right. My surf coach has observed that a surfer's hand positioning helps the upper body connect with and control the lower body and the surfboard. I've been web-watching the Rip Curl Pro at Ocean Beach this week, and there is something to that. I tried to mimic it today, and while it feels a bit awkward, it does seem to work.
The sun fell to the sea in an orange blaze and I shivered as the temperature fell below 60 degrees. The last wave is always a while in coming, but I found a right that took me partway to the beach before being subsumed in another. Ah, sweet sunset session! Until next year.
Taken with Google Nexus One; all other media recorded with Panasonic Lumix TS3
Surfline: It's a beautiful fall afternoon with sunny skies and light offshore flow continues. Our NW swell mix is fading, but still providing good waves in the head high range at the exposed spots, with some overhead sets at best breaks. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 6.2 ft at 12.9 s NW 90 / WIND WAVE: 1.0 ft at 3.8 s SSW / WVHT: 6.6 ft / APD: 8.5 s / MWD: 304° (Met) WSPD: 2 kts / GST: 4 kts / WVHT: 6.6 ft / DPD: 13.0 s / WDIR: 40° / ATMP: 59.9° F / WTMP: 57.7° F. Tide: 4.5' falling to 4."