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.

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