30 April 2015

Kelly Says Surf Week

Eight days before we leave for over two waveless weeks in Greece, I decided to follow Kelly's advice about surfing all kinds of waves – including the crappy ones – to improve. Since I need to stock up on stoke before the trip, I'm surfing every day before the flight, no matter the conditions.

Day 1 – WVHT: 4.9 ft / DPD: 8.0 s / WTMP: 63° F @ Crystal Pier
from Surfline
Thankfully it wasn't too hard getting out through the windswell on my shortboard. There was a lot of side-shore current pushing everyone toward the pier. Brian and Eddie waved hello. Eventually I was in place to catch a nice shoulder-high left. It started to soften but I cut back to the peak and kept going on the shoulder with small turns all the way in to standing depth. Yeah! The current took me when I tried to paddle back out, pushing me from two blocks north of the pier all the way to it. I was forced to cross under the pier before the waves could smash me into barnacle-studded pilings. The current was stronger on the south side, and I gave up the attempt to get outside when I neared the lifeguard tower two more blocks south. All that in only 5-10 minutes. Still, my good wave made it worthwhile. Stoked!

Day 2 – WVHT: 2.6 ft / DPD: 8.0 s / WTMP: 64° F @ Crystal Pier
Surfline cam again
Before I left the house, I saw a couple of whales (or the same whale twice) on the Surfline cam. I've never been in the water with a whale and hope it happens someday, but today wasn't the day. Brian was out again along with another familiar dude. The current dropped a lot since yesterday and so did the swell. The waves were playful and plentiful if soft, and I got a bunch of long rides on my floaty 6'2". Yay!

Day 3 – WVHT: 3.6 ft / DPD: 8.0 s / WTMP: 64° F @ Crystal Pier
Yep, Surfline
Today was more of a Kelly-Says day. The waves were messier and more closed out than yesterday, which meant a few wipeouts and not as many fun rides. Still got one left that pretty sweet though.

Day 3 – And then Kelly Says Surf week was rendered moot. Our elderly cat was diagnosed with congestive heart failure and given 6 months to live at best, so our trip via London to Athens, Mykonos, Paros and Santorini is off. Greece will remain a two-dimensional image locked inside a computer screen.

23 April 2015

Nothing to Sneeze At

This morning was my first time surfing in a week. Early last Friday, I sneezed too hard and hurt my sacroiliac joint – I had no idea what or where that was, until my low back/right hip hurt every time I bent over. And seriously, who gets injured by a sneeze? After suffering through the weekend, I saw my chiropractor on Monday, who told me sneezes more commonly cause dislocated ribs. Huh.

Yesterday was Earth Day and I went on local TV and radio to plug San Diego Surfrider's new Ocean Friendly Restaurants campaign. Watch/listen/read more here.

Anyway, on to the surf! Although I missed some nice swell through the weekend, the last few days were thankfully small and meh. Today the size increased and I was forced, due to my still delicate post-sneeze condition, to paddle out at the gentlest spot in the neighborhood instead of charging shoulder-high plus waves at the pier. I didn't leave disappointed. It felt good to be back in the water and I rode a handful of fun waves too.
from the Surfline cam

13 April 2015

Definitely Better Than Nothing

Small and weak but better than last week's next-to-nothing. I enjoyed my solo session.
It really didn't look this bleak. And then the sun came out.

04 April 2015

Slow Saturday with the CP DP Regulars

Ordinarily I try to leave Saturday and Sunday for the weekend warriors, since I can surf almost anytime during the week and I don't like to fight the crowds. But the forecast for next week is looking a bit grim, so I surfed dawn patrol today and will likely tomorrow as well.
from the Surfline cam, after the fact
There was already a small pack on the north side of Crystal Pier when I paddled out on my shortboard. Their faces were all familiar: David the sponger, Howard the longboarder, Jeff the shortboarder, and Brian who rides whatever board is best for the day, plus a couple guys I've seen before but don't know by name yet. Everyone was chatting and friendly, which is why, if I'm going to surf in a crowd, I want it to be this crowd of CP DP regulars. The spirit of aloha is alive and well in this place in the early morning.

The waves were chest-high at best, lully and inconsistent. I rode a couple of good ones, a left and a right, and spent a lot of time waiting. When the shift changed and the regulars were replaced by the weekend warriors, I left them to it and left with a smile.