11 March 2012

Finding Stoke (Linda Mar)

In the shortboard section on the inside
I got my stoke back today, in the unlikeliest of places. A south wind was chopping up the surf in Half Moon Bay, so I went north to Linda Mar with low expectations. As I drove I reminded myself that it would be crowded, and hoped for just one decent wave. The nice thing about low expectations is that it's easy to exceed them. The session turned out fun, with one good ride plus a handful of others, despite the heavy crowd.

Debating which surfboard to bring, I'd decided to flip a coin: heads for 6'2" Rocket, tails for 7'0" Emm. The Russian coin from my gear box came up tails, so I went best 2 out of 3, but got tails again. I flipped it several more times, getting all tails. Obviously an unbalanced cheater coin! A Nicaraguan coin came up heads, as did a US quarter, so I'd put Rocket in the car.

And was glad I did. Paddling out, I caught a powerful broken outside set wave that reformed as I rode left. A section closed in front of me, and I banked off the whitewater, rounding a tight turn to the right, back onto the face. Woot! Rocket and I were in sync, going with the flow of the wave, moving with fluid unconscious thought. Another turn or two and a smaller reform took me to the nearshore trench where the wave dissolved and my stoked smile blossomed. Yeah, that's more like it! Guess I don't suck at surfing after all.
Surfline: Smooth, semi-walled lines. Old NW energy eases today as a new NW (295-310) swell builds in and mixes with small S (175-185) swell. Decent size continues as exposed breaks see head high to double overhead surf. Light S-SW wind early creates semi-textured surface conditions, and a -0.14' low tide at 7:40am has shape looking drained. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 6.9 ft at 12.1 s WNW 23 / WIND WAVE: 1.3 ft at 4.0 s W / WVHT: 7.2 ft / APD: 8.4 s / MWD: 298° (Met) WSPD: 10 kn / GST: 12 kn / WVHT: 7.2 ft / DPD: 12.0 s / WDIR: 190° / ATMP: 50° F / WTMP: 50° F. Tide: 2.5' rising to 4'.


  1. Is it true that on a West or Northwest swell Linda Mar will be about half the size as the surrounding breaks like Ocean Beach and Rockaway? How much can it clean up during a storm swell with South winds?

    1. I wouldn't say half the size, but the south end of Linda Mar is often smaller. And southerly winds blow offshore, holding open the usual closeouts. But I'm no expert on Linda Mar; I only surf there when there's no other decent choice.