05 May 2014

Gray with a Splash of Color

The water temperature has been all over the place lately as upwellings come and go in Pacific Beach. Four days ago I wore my 4/3 wetsuit and wished for booties and a hood as sequential duck-dives gave fleeting ice-cream headaches. By yesterday the ocean had warmed so that I was comfortable in just a 3/2. And then this morning I was glad to be wearing a new Billabong Salty Dayz chest-zip 4/3.

My sleeveless Billabong Salty Jane long john fits well and has nice colored panels (so nice to not look entirely like a black seal!) but I don't get to wear it often in San Diego. I took a chance that Billabong's 4/3 would also fit and ordered the same size online from Swell.com, using a $50 gift card reward for participation in the Surfer Health Study. Unfortunately the only difference between the two wetsuits - sleeves - really is different. I've got tiny wrists, only 5" in circumference; I have a hard time finding bracelets because the standard is 7" long. But Aussie girls must have even skinnier arms because the wrists of the 4/3 are tight on me. I made the mistake of putting the wetsuit on for the first time during the Santa Ana heat wave before an afternoon surf, and thought my difficulties in pulling up the sleeves were due to sunscreen and sweat. But as I found this cooler morning, they're just small. Bearable, but definitely tight. No flushing there, for sure!
As the chilly ocean lapped at my feet soon after dawn, I was glad of the new 4/3. A storm front's heading our way, and twilight calm at my house seven blocks from the beach yielded to a light south breeze that quickly grew stronger and chopped the sea surface. On the plus side, the crowd was light and the waves were a decent size, bigger than the last few days. Short- to mid-period windswell meant many wet slaps in the face but it wasn't too hard getting out on my trusty 6'2" Rocket.
After a few short whitewatery rides on the north end, I left the growing pack of longboarders there and moved south to the Pumphouse peak which held just two shortboarders. I ate it a few times but also found joy on a couple of shoulder-high plus lefts with fast fun rampy drops and a little bit of face-time. Confidence is building!
I found this little guy below the high-tide line and moved him up to the dune.

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