05 August 2012

Nose Job (Montara)

After the tide had risen from its early low, I surf-checked Kelly first. I would've stayed there if I wasn't meeting Luke, who was getting off to a slow start. Since there were twenty surfers out already, he suggested Dunes.
Sadly, there were no waves at Dunes, just a wedding party. I thought I saw something promising up the beach at Roosevelt, but on closer inspection, there were dolphins way outside but the marginally-rideable peak was breaking rarely. Luke caught up with me there and although I wanted to go back to Kelly, he had forgotten his state park pass, so I agreed to drive north to Montara.
Crazy Canadian, going sleeveless
Montara was less clean and more crowded than Kelly. I'd brought both my 6'2" Rocket and, just in case, my 7'0" Emm. Looking at the surf, Luke offered his 8'3", but I declined in favor of Emm. After we suited up, I followed Luke into the heart of the pack and watched him ride a number of waves on his Harbour. I saw a lot of folks getting nice rides, but all I managed to catch was one from whitewater, and I was getting frustrated. It's hard enough for me to be in the right spot with the right timing without fighting a horde for position. A hotshot janitor took off on an outside wave and didn't cut me any slack though he could've turned around me, instead enforcing the rule of etiquette that sent me to the whitewater to stay out of his way. He sprayed me in the face just before I got sucked over the falls into a holddown that left me kicking to the surface to gasp gratefully for air.

Back in the lineup, I'd had enough. Find your own place, I thought. I paddled to the north edge of the crowd and then a little beyond, to where I saw a peak with only a few guys on it. A shortboarder nearby was the closeout king, making seemingly-impossible drops on inside smashers and zipping along the roiling whitewash. One of the other guys caught a long head-high left, raising both arms in the air and hooting loudly at the end or his ride. The dude was super-stoked, and I congratulated him as he paddled past, wishing for a wave like that for myself. Eventually I caught a left and then another, sticking the nose on the drop each time. Dammit! It wasn't just the board - there was also some failure of technique: not angling enough, not turning fast, not keeping my weight back, etc. - but I knew a quick way to get rid of some of that extra nose length that was tripping me up.  
Back at the car, I pushed Emm into the boardbag and pulled out Rocket. As I was waxing up, Luke reached the lot and told me he'd just caught one of his best lefts ever, "right at that spot where you were sitting!" Kind of like saying, "When you went to the bathroom, I played your slot machine and won the jackpot!" I hoped for it to pay off for me too and headed back to the beach with my shortboard under my arm, past a guy speaking French who was going full Monty while putting on his wetsuit. From the moment I tucked Rocket under me to paddle out, it felt so much lighter than the other boards. Although the tide was rising and my spot was inconsistent, at last I caught a right and made the drop and ride. Yes! The shoulder was short but success was sweet. While I should've gone in on that nice wave, of course I immediately wanted another. When it came, I made the drop but perhaps didn't stay low enough; in any event, the board blew out from under me and I fell backward, getting a mild ocean enema. By then I was feeling chilled and tired after nearly two hours of water time, so I gave in and rode whitewater to shore. 

So glad that Rocket came through for me. I need to stop seeing other boards and stick with my shortie.

Surfline: SW (200-220) swell fades as small NW windswell blends in. Knee-waist high waves show with better chest high sets at top exposures. Light onshore Westerly wind early. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 3.6 ft at 8.3 s NW 60 / WIND WAVE: 0.7 ft at 3.2 s WNW / WVHT: 3.6 ft / APD: 7.1 s / MWD: 319° (Met) WSPD: 2 kn / GST: 4 kn / WVHT: 3.6 ft / DPD: 8.0 s / WDIR: 170° / ATMP: 57° F / WTMP: 56° F. Tide: 2' rising to 4'.


  1. Looks like Luke's 'newer' Harbour he replaced a while back has a nice sized patched ding on the deck.

    Some nice glassy waves out there!

  2. I surfed Pescadero Sunday morning around that time and it was really inconsistent but hey there was no other surfers out besides me