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)

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