04 February 2012

Stealing Scraps from Janitors (Sharks/Privates)

Luke, J-Bird and some of my other buddies were planning to surf Half Moon Bay this morning, but I thought it would be too big (as in, denial-because-I-can't-duck-dive big), so I was waffling on whether to drive south to Santa Cruz instead. Sabine said she was going out at the Hook/Sharks and Nikki was game to meet up there later, but the clincher was long-time surfer Steve saying he would probably head to Santa Cruz on a day like this. So I drove south.
Unfortunately it did not work out for me to meet up with anyone, and I ended up surfing alone on the very crowded Eastside. It didn't look too packed when I surf-checked from the bluff, but by the time I hit the water, there was a big crowd at the Hook and spreading eastward. I'd forgotten how bad it can get on a warm sunny weekend day, and no doubt the pre-Super Bowl surfers were adding density.
Just a few surfers out
I paddled out at east of Sharks and tried for a wave right away, but I hadn't completely untangled from a kelp hitch-hiker acquired on the way and couldn't get enough speed. I quickly freed myself and there was another wave behind the first, which I caught with a few strokes. Smile! I moved over to Sharks proper to look for Sabine, but I suppose I must have arrived too late and missed her. A few promising waves came my way but they were already taken. Wanting to surf and not watch, I moved back east away from the clot of surfers to a more open space, eventually ending up near Privates.
A janitor takes another wave
Apparently there was a janitor convention in town; at one point, there were five SUPers sitting outside of me, sweeping all of the waves from the outside. Grr. I took the scraps, chest-high waves at best that made it to the inside unmolested. I got a couple nice rights with shoulders that held up for bit, but mostly they were short rides that disappeared too soon as the wave passed over deeper water. I found my front foot wanted to slide forward most of the time, no matter that I tried to weight it more heavily, to keep going on the sluggish waves.
I looked in vain for Nikki, and hoped because of the crowd that Steve had decided to stay on the Westside where he'd arrived an hour later than me. I'd thought to join him there as a second session, but the time got away from me, and when I reached the car I figured he was already done. Turned out his spot had been pretty fun and uncrowded. Ahh, wish I'd gone there instead. In our post-surf chat, he challenged me to "step outside my comfort zone" and come surf the Westside with him.

That's just what I need, and have been missing since my buddy Dwayne moved to SoCal a few years ago: a good shortboarder to inspire and push me. I'll take up the challenge tomorrow during the Super Bowl. Looking forward with anticipation and trepidation and excitement!
I found this boot on the beach. Wonder what happened to the rest of the diver.
Surfline: Old WNW swell on the fade today as new, building WNW-NW(270-300+) swell sets up overhead+ waves at the decent exposures. Standouts eventually approach double overhead on sets as the swell builds and tide drops. Clean early with offshore wind. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 11.5 ft at 13.8 s WNW 13 / WIND WAVE: 0.7 ft at 3.6 s NW / WVHT: 11.5 ft / APD: 12.7 s (Met) WSPD: 2 kts / GST: 6 kts / WVHT: 12.5 ft / DPD: 14.0 s / WDIR: 80° / ATMP: 53.4° F / WTMP: 53.2° F. Tide: 3.5' falling to 1.5'.

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