19 August 2012

Do You Believe in Magic? (Linda Mar)

The forecast for this weekend was dismal: inconsistent and small south groundswell, with little northwest windswell remaining. The groundswells of summer have been aimed too southerly to bring us much joy in NorCal. Windy spring slop has morphed into weak summer slop, and has me wishing for fall already.

It was with such low expectations of a mere maintenance session that I arrived in Pacifica this morning. I'd packed my handplane, just in case the surf was unsurfable standing up. As I changed without bothering to check the waves, I thought that the drizzle falling from low gray clouds well suited my mood. With 1-2'+ reported, I'd brought my 8'3" Magic. I wasn't going to hunt for better surf, perhaps something to ride on my shortboard; I was giving in to the lackluster conditions of this disappointing summer.
Sometimes low expectations are a good thing. And it always helps to have Magic.

I kooked up my first couple of waves, getting re-used to the extra 2 feet of length on my board. But when I dialed in on Magic, I got a nice long left. The waves were indeed small, yet they sported shoulders more often than not. I shared a peak near the north end with a guy riding a finless soft-top with a wide square tail. He said he'd bought it for his kid before taking it over himself; he related that it slid out easily and took some getting used to, but I saw him get some good rides.
This being Linda Mar on a weekend, other surfers soon joined us, including the clueless beginners who annoyingly park just inside, right in the takeoff zone. Luckily there was a southward drift, so I kept leaving the pack by paddling north to stay on the peak. I got a bunch of long waist-high lefts and one decent right. When the crowd got too much, I moved to a funky-looking empty peak just north, and rode a fun left to the inside. After paddling toward the horizon for several minutes with short-period whitewater constantly splashing me in the face, I got knocked off my board by a more energetic little wave and was surprised when my feet touched sand. Looking behind, I found I'd been pushed to not 30 feet off the beach. Crap! Back to the rip for me. Just a short distance south, I felt the outward tug, and almost didn't need to paddle to get to the outside.
I surfed my original peak and one even farther south with fewer people on it. Coming off of low expectations, I had a lot of fun on the longboard, although it is significantly harder to steer than my responsive little Rocket. I hope to take Rocket for a spin on some windswell later this week.
Surfline: Poor conditions. Real small-scale and weak with waves running waist high and under. Inconsistent South(175-190) groundswell continues as old WNW swell fades and small NW windswell blends in. Waist high and under is generally the story, while select exposures see slightly better sets on occasion. Onshore Westerly wind early. Buoy 46026 (46012 is down): (Wave) SWELL: 2.0 ft at 16.0 s SW 64 / WIND WAVE: 3.3 ft at 5.9 s NW / WVHT: 3.9 ft / APD: 4.5 s / MWD: 313° (Met) WSPD: 16 kn / GST: 17 kn / WVHT: 3.9 ft / DPD: 6.0 s / ATMP: 53° F / WTMP: 54° F. Tide: 2' rising to 4'.


  1. Cynthia, great to meet you on the water today and WHAT AN AWESOME BLOG! This will be incredibly informative for me too as I start figuring out where to surf in these icy waters :) If you want to find me, look at your new twitter followers, and google my twitter name (that's my last name) along with Karen, and you should find me easily... website, email, facebook, etc. Cheers, K

    1. Thanks, and great surfing with you too! Let's meet up again soon.