11 July 2012

Windswell Wednesday (Dunes)

A seagull photobombs J-Bird
J-Bird and Jacob brought Chris the Red to the beach for a birthday surf this morning. We separately checked the usual spots and decided Dunes looked best, with no wind and waist- to shoulder-high waves that were sometimes not closing out.
Chris the Red, ready for birthday waves
The paddle-out was a challenge against a steady train of short-period breakers. J-Bird, Chris and I independently abandoned our first attempts and rode whitewash to the beach so we could seek an easier path. A little to the south, we made it out to flat water. Fun rides were had by all, including a sweet birthday-party wave where Jacob went right, Chris went left, and J-Bird prudently sat it out in the middle. Mostly I was jumping onto the bigger ones after they broke, hoping for and a few times getting a reform down the line.

I went gloveless on the suggestion of Dave, the surf instructor I met in the Jetty parking lot Sunday. Surprisingly, after an initial shock at the cold water, it wasn't too bad, and certainly I could do it again. But I can't say that it made an appreciable difference in my paddling, although it may have.
Unscientifically, I altered two variables this morning. The second was to follow the advice of my buddy George, who's watched me surf a few times and said I should be more aggressive in going after a wave: "hell bent on catching it early, and then enjoying the takeoff and seeing what follows." That paid off (or was it also the lack of gloves?) on my last wave, the only one I caught green. The shoulder was small between two sections and I thought about pulling back, then thought about bailing, but kept going for it and surprised myself by making the drop and turn and then riding it out. Stoked! I think both pieces of advice are worth a repeat.
Morning bunny
Surfline: Lightly crumbled surface conditions with soft windswell peaks scattered around. Nothing great, but rideable for a summer morning. NW windswell is the primary souce of surf this morning and is mixing with small leftovers out of a southerly direction. Wind is light onshore and conditions are semi smooth to lightly crumbled. The surf is nothing write home about, but certainly rideable. Buoy 46026 (SF): 5.5ft @ 8s from NW 52 (311°) 0.9ft @ 13s from SW (213°) Wind: 8-10kts Water: 52°F Air: 49°F. Tide: ~3' falling slightly.

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