13 November 2011

Downsizing (HMB Jetty)

Finishing touches at Ward Coffey Shapes: Pro Teck fins and a leash string
7'0" behind 6'2"
Like last year, my birthday present to myself was a custom surfboard shaped in Santa Cruz by Ward Coffey. It was delayed due to issues with the glasser, but I brought the new board home yesterday and added a traction pad, nose and tail guards, and an XM Tangle-free leash.

At 6'2" long, 20.5" wide and 2.5" thick, it's a step down from the 7'0" Ward shaped for me a year ago to help me transition to a shortboard. 

Eager to try it out, I woke early and was at the Jetty half an hour past dawn. There were already a few surfers scattered on several peaks, waiting for mostly clean, but a little mixed up, thigh- to chest-high waves. I headed out farther south this time, near the traffic light, where an empty left was rolling through sometimes. All doubt that the transition would be smooth was erased when I caught and rode the first wave I paddled for, although it closed out quickly and left me bouncing atop whitewater. Woot!
As I paddled back out, a wave started to break in front of me, and I thought, might as well see if I can sink this board. It's been quite a while since I've been on a board small enough to duck-dive, but I had partial success. I pushed the nose down and under, but have a feeling my ass was hanging out in the air when the wave hit, as my old buddy Dwayne said it did when he made a small attempt to teach me the maneuver several years ago. Something to work on with my surf coach, but it may be that the board is too buoyant for me to submerge both of us all the way.  
J-Bird and Jacob had said they'd meet me, but were running late and didn't turn up until I was almost done. Their friend Denise joined us too.
J-Bird paddles into a nice wave
I bogged the nose paddling for a few waves, and missed some because I wasn't forward enough on my board or at the critical place on the wave. But I'll get all that sorted out soon enough. And I didn't miss many that I would've gotten on my longer board. I caught and rode a bunch of waves, maybe upwards of ten. A couple had shoulders that let me feel the speed and responsiveness of the new board, hereinafter called Rocket.

I rode one in and left the water with a perma-grin stuck to my face; so stoked! Rocket and I are going to be very good friends. I can't wait to see where it's going to take me.

Surfline: Old, fading W (250-290+) swell is reduced to leftovers as small S (170-190) Southern Hemi energy blends in. Expect inconsistent waist-chest high+ waves at average exposures, while the better breaks occasionally hit shoulder high. A nearly 6' high tide tops out around 11am, so expect things to slow down as we move through the morning. Westerly wind adds some texture and crumble to the openly exposed areas now. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 6.6 ft at 8.3 s NW 93 / WIND WAVE: 5.2 ft at 5.0 s NW / WVHT: 8.2 ft / APD: 6.6 s / MWD: 311° (Met) WSPD: 16 kts / GST: 19 kts / WVHT: 8.2 ft / DPD: 8.0 s / WDIR: 310° / ATMP: 54.5° F / WTMP: 53.2° F. Tide: 4' rising to 5'.

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