25 August 2012

Something New (Rockaway)

A late morning surf session was planned with my fluid surf posse. In this summer of the wave quest, usually J-Bird checks the northern end of San Mateo County, while I eyeball farther south in Half Moon Bay. Today the duty of inspecting the northern realm fell to Heather, since J-Bird is on camping trip with Beanstalk. (That's Jacob's new surfer nickname, bestowed after he referred to me in this talk as "very short. And vegan." And a surf addict. Only the last two are true.) When Heather decided to rest her injured ankle another week, I delegated the southern patrol to Luke and checked the north myself. First stop was Rockaway. I've never surfed there, having been put off by my former surfing buddy Dwayne's singular experience. He paddled out on a particularly polluted day and ended up snorting a feather from his nose afterwards, as well as developing a nasty rash on his face. But that was years ago, and some of my friends have said good things about the place lately. At the least, it's much less crowded than neighboring Linda Mar.
There was no one out when I arrived, but two surfers were about to hit the water. The breeze was onshore yet the surf looked pretty clean; definitely doable. I was up for something new, and not in the mood for searching. Then I saw a dolphin! That clinched it. I texted Luke for the southern report but got crickets, so I told everyone to come to Rockaway and suited up. Just as I leaned over to pick up my board after locking the car, Karen pulled into the lot. After we chatted, I headed to the far south end of the beach and paddled out. The crowd had grown to about 7 by then, including some shortboarders intent on getting to the pole position on every wave. I got caught inside of some sets and caught a couple of punchy waves from the whitewater, just happy to get out of my head for a little while and ride something. The paddle back out wasn't easy, with short-period waves smashing into me in a steady train, but I was glad of them also since they made it easier to be in the moment.
I made my way eventually to the north side of the pack, hoping for some lefts. I wasn't getting into them, and saw Perrin waving from the south side, so I stroked back over there to find her, Luke and Karen. I looked in vain for BD, who it turned out was operating on Hawaiian time and missed us.
Karen, Perrin, and Luke
It was good just to be in the ocean after the stress and turmoil of the last few days, so I didn't really care that I was playing in the whitewater and wasn't getting any green rides on Rocket. Still, I was totally stoked when I launched into a shoulder-high left, hooting the drop and bouncing over a bunch of moguls for a fun ride all the way in near the breakwall. A bit later, Perrin rode a really nice right on one of Luke's boards.
Karen with Luke (your surfer hair looks fine!)
Back in the lot, a couple parked nearby and the woman walked up to ask "Are you Surfergrrrl?" She said she follows this blog and recognized me. Ha! Sometimes I forget people actually read my little wave journal. But it's always nice to meet a fan.

Karen wasn't feeling well and headed home, while the rest of us decamped to the Surf Spot for lunch. (The corn chowder is yummy!) Good friends, good surf, and good food make for a fun Saturday.

Surfline: NW windswell tops out as small Southern Hemi swell mixes in. Winds are onshore from the SSW to SW so most openly exposed spots are bumpy with waves in the 3-5' range. Top breaks see some head high+ sets. Breaks that can handle the SSW winds offer the cleanest conditions. Buoy 46026 (46012 still down): (Wave) SWELL: 4.9 ft at 9.1 s NW 66 / WIND WAVE: 1.3 ft at 3.7 s W / WVHT: 4.9 ft / APD: 6.7 s / MWD: 305° (Met) WSPD: 4 kn / GST: 4 kn / WVHT: 4.9 ft / DPD: 9.0 s / ATMP: 51° F / WTMP: 54° F. Tide: 3.5' falling slightly to 3'.


  1. That was me that came and said hello haha. I felt slightly stalkerish but had to say hello since I'm a fan!

    1. Glad you did - nice to meet you! And let me know if you ever want to get together to surf.

  2. I like Rockaway it's a cool spot and fairly reliable standby in fall / winter

  3. I've never gotten Rockaway on a good day, but I keep hoping, because I like to surf the lesser used spots.