Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Session 44 - early morning beat down

Yesterday AM I was tired, sleep deprived, and not in the mood to wake up. But it was sunny out, and the waves actually looked decent, the swell had picked up a bit, sets looked to be head high. To make a long story short, the current was really strong pulling south, and I basically paddled for 30 minutes straight. I finally made it out, and then wiped out pretty hard on a jacking right. I tried surfing the middle bar instead, where the reforms would wedge up and break. Caught a crappy takeoff, but pretty much just got knocked around a bunch and did a lot of duckdiving. It wasn't any fun, or maybe I just wasn't feeling up to the punishment, so I cut my session short and went to work. Yay!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Session 43 - Monday AM fog

Today visibility is pretty bad, but the waves are fun and sets are shoulder high. Captain Kirk and I were the only ones in the lineup, I guess people couldn't really see what they were missing. I got a lot of waves in a short 40 minute session, they were pretty workable, most set waves allowing 2-3 solid turns before closing out. My last wave was a nice left that walled up and I bashed the lip repeatedly, rode it all the way to the beach. Wish I could've stayed out longer, maybe tomorrow I'll get out of bed earlier...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Session 42- head high OB

This AM I woke up and took Gus for a walk to check the surf. It looked about head high, pretty mixed up, and the inside section slamming pretty hard. Nobody out, just some fishermen on the beach. I decided it would be a good day to jump in the car and check out whale cove or somewhere more protected. I got home, started getting ready, then felt lazy, changed, my mind, and suited up for a punishing OB session.

It was 7:30 by the time I got in the water, and it took me 7 minutes to make the paddle to the outside. That inside section was just dredging and pounding, so it took some patience and timing to navigate through. I saw a few seals and dolphins swimming around while I waited for the sets to roll through, and this one seal kept stopping and staring at me. I didn't mind, since I was the only one out and could use the company, so I named him Captain Kirk, for Kirkham. Unfortunately Captain Kirk was catching more waves than me, and I ended up drifting too far outside to catch anything. I worked my way back inside, catching a weak one that didn't fully break before getting frustrated and paddling even further inside. It was getting late and I need to get to work, so I went for the first juicy wave that jacked up behind me. I took off on a ledgy righthander and practically made the drop before it sucked out at the bottom and dropped me really hard onto the side of my face. It was my best faceflop in a while...I surfaced, gulped a mouthful of seawater, and rode some whitewater to the beach. Ahh, what a way to start a Friday, a classic OB dawn patrol.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Session 40 & 41 - OB & the Hook

Wednesday evening at OB was SUPER foggy, it was so dense that even standing with your feet in the water, you still couldn't see if there were any waves or anyone else surfing. Visibility was limited to ~15 yards, and the sun wasn't even setting yet, it was 6:30. Paddling out I was greeted with nice 3-4 footers breaking over the middle sandbar, mostly walling up and closing out, but a few corners to snag here and there. There were 4 other guys out at Judah/Kirkham, and as the sun began to set the visibility actually got a little better, and the waves were backlit through the fog, which added a nice effect to the hazy conditions. I caught a few fun drops, mostly into closeouts, with a couple lefts that gave me a shoulder to work with. Paddled back in around 8 and found Joanie doing some yardwork.

Yesterday was a unique Thursday in that I had a work offsite in Santa Cruz. I picked Cristelle & Caitlin up around 8am, and we planned to go surfing at Cowell's by the boardwalk before joining the rest of the team going on the rides, etc. We took the scenic route, stopping at 4 corners for a bagel and coffee, then making Caitlin carsick by bombing down Hwy 9 all the way into SC. Unfortunately, Cowells wasn't breaking at all, so we decided to go on rides, have lunch, and try surfing Pleasure Point on the way home.

We got to Pleasures and the tide was still pretty high, with the waves crashing into the rocks and cliff. Cait and Cristelle being the troopers that they are, and me being the reckless and negligent instructor that I am, we rented them boards and wetsuits and hit the surf. Getting in was pretty sketchy for them, having to jump off of the slippery rocks into the surf and paddle out before another wave came crashing in. It was exciting, but they both made it out into the lineup with minimal drama. Actually catching waves proved to be tough too, not ideal for learning, but they both managed to catch a few and have some decent wipeouts and collisions. Too bad we had only an hour in the water due to my scuba class in the city, or else I'm sure they would've gotten some rides as the tide dropped.

I was hoping that the tide would drop enough to make getting out of the water not so sketchy, but that wasn't really the case...the girls had to do the best they could timing in between sets and washing into the rocks to scramble up to the stairs and out of harms way. Cait got a little cut on her foot and struggled with the board a bit, as did Cristelle, but I kept a close eye on them from the water and they both made it out practically unscathed. Practically. Before getting out of the water I caught one really nice little pup-tent sized barrel, which just left me drooling for more, and regretting having to drive back to SF so soon.

I love the Hook, it's my favorite wave when it's working, and it was a treat to be able to surf it on a weekday in the early afternoon with a relatively light crowd. Hopefully next time I take Cait & Cristelle it will be a bit more beginner friendly and manageable for them. I did take a few pics too, I'll upload those this weekend.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Session 39 - sunset at OB

Yesterday evening it was beautiful out, the sun was shining, the surf was clean and fun, seals were jumping around in the water. Joanie and Gus and I all went down to the beach for a little while after scarfing some food that Joanie brought home from work. It was a great session, but I didn't stay out for too long, had to get home to finish my anniversary gift for Joan! Happy anniversary to us! It's been such a wonderful first year, so many adventures, so many good beach days...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Session 38 - Sunday afternoon Linda Mar

After a spectacular anniversary weekend backpacking trip though Castle Rock, Joanie and I headed west on Hwy 9, hoping for some surf at Waddell Beach or somewhere in the vicinity. Waddell was small and the weather sucked, so we decided to work our way north and check spots, maybe we'd get lucky somewhere. Nothing was working and it was cloudly almost all the way up the coast. The best spot was Linda Mar, the waves were clean, although small and weak. We surfed for about an hour, Joanie caught a lot of boogieboard rides into the sand. I caught a few waves but all pretty weak and bleh. In any case, OB looked promising this weekend, hopefully we'll see some more swell throughout the week.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Sesssion 37 -dawn patrol

I was up late last night doing some trip planning, and this morning I didn't want to wake up. I think my eyes were closed while I was paddling. That's ok because the waves werent anything special. The tide was filling in really quickly, and I felt more like I was navigating river rapids than surfing in the ocean. I caught 3 waves and called it a day, hopefully tomorrow AM will be better.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Session 36 - dawn patrol

This morning the swell has faded slightly, and the waves were a bit peakier and weaker than yesterday. Managed to catch one solid left, and aside from a handful of short frontside waves, nothing much to speak of. Blah.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Session 35 - OB dawn patrol

At OB, poor-fair = epic

Hahah jk, but seriously, poor? I paddled out at 7:15 this morning and it was foggy, glassy, and wonderful. There were a lot of closeouts, but plenty of shoulders for the taking, and some really fast and fun rides. I was the only one out at Kirkham, save for a curious seal who swam about 10 feet from me and just stared at me for 10 seconds. I was a bit delirious this morning, so I started talking to him, making friends, ya know? I guess that's what happens when you're the only one out and the adrenaline is pumping, you start talking to seals.

My first wave I actually got pounded, I popped up too early and got taken over the falls. OB never fails to humble, even on 3-5 ft days. I caught a few nice rides, including a really fast walled up left that I was able to work pretty far inside. I then wiped out hard again, trying to pull into a frontside barrel and getting denied. I surfed for about an hour, and towards the end of the session the wind starting picking up and the tide was changing, so it got more choppy and crossed up. Just in time for me to hit the shower and head to work. Another lonely and beautiful morning out at Kirkham...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Session 34 -dusk barrel at OB

Holy crap I actually got barreled tonight at OB...the conditions were poor, it was definitely better down at Sloat, but out of convenience I paddled out at Kirkham. There were 2 other guys out, and it was a bit choppy but definitely some pulse in the water. Head high sets were rolling through on occasion, usually breaking 15 yards further out, so I sat and waited for mine. Caught a few little drops and decent rides before they closed out, and then one meaty wave jacked up and i was in the perfect spot. Took a few paddles, popped up, and pulled right into where the wave was pitching hard. The green curtain splashing next to my face I'll never forget, and driving forward out of the barrel section, where the rest of the wave closed out and I steered toward the beach to avoid the closeout. It was amazing, to get barreled on such an unassuming and inhospitable day at OB. My first barrel on my new board, I'll never forget it. Too bad I didn't get a pic or video of it...Hopefully there will be a lot more where that came from in Bali, I'm banking on it.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Sessions 32 & 33 - OB dawn & dusk

Got out twice today. Some more pulse in the water, but both sessions suffering from wasdhed out waves. Tide was super high today, but got a handful of good rides and ended the night landing a decent little floater. Paddling out tomorrow, hopefully the wind isn't too strong.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Session 31- Swami's & San Elijo

This weekend we went down to Orange County to attend the Indonesian wedding celebration held for Brian & Cintya at the Lakeview Senior Center. It was a good time, lots of chicken dancing and hokey pokeying the night away. We even made a concerted effort to recycle all of the plastic and glass bottles after the party, since the cleaning crew was just going to throw them in the regular trash. The next morning, we took the train down to Solana Beach, to visit Darrius, Shannon, & baby Emilia who live in Cardiff by the Sea. The weather was beautiful, and we spend our Saturday at the zoo.

The next morning Darrius was generous enough to lend me his surfboard, a 5'10" twin fin retro fish. I took a nice 15 minute walk from the house down to Sawmi's. The waves were small, but the shape was good, weather nice, and water was warm. I caught a few fun rides there, took some pics and video, and then rode one to the beach after 40 minutes. I walked a but further south to San Elijo, where the waves were a bit steeper and more spread out. There were a few little groms out there ripping, and a lot of people just enjoying the mellow surf and beautiful day. I got one pretty fun little beachbreak barrel that I couldnt resist dunking my head into before kicking out of. After that, I left the board on the beach and swam around a bit, snapping a few more photos before heading back to the house. It was a lot of fun, and I could totally see Joanie and I living by the beach in San Diego someday. It was a good weekend and it was nice to get to know Shannon & Darrius better, I'm looking forward to hanging out with them more in the future. I'll upload some pics as soon as I get home...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Session 30 - Thursday @ dusk

It was really overcast tonight, with the waves staying small and weak, but still rideable and and worth a paddle, in my opinion. The more regularly I surf OB the more I'm amazed at how picky SF surfers are. The waves are crummy, yeah, but there's rideable waves almost every day, and I'm usually one of the only guys out there. Good for me I guess, at Kirkham these days three's a crowd.

I picked up some rechargeable batteries for the camera, and took ~30 photos. A few of them came out well despite the poor lighting. I even shot some videos of riding little waist high waves. Gotta post em on YT later and I'll throw some links.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Session 29 - OB dawn patrol

This morning the wind was calmer, surf in the 2-3 range and weak but at least a bit more organized than last night. I caught a few decent rights, pumping for speed down the line and doing the best I know how with the mushy closeout section. Also, I did some troubleshooting with the GoPro camera and figured out that the batteries are dead already. Only 3 sessions and they're dead! These are the AAA lithium batteries that came with the camera, but in the manual it says the nickel cadmium batteries will last 4-5 times longer, especially when exposed to cold temperatures. Der. Gotta go and buy some rechargeable batteries, I don't feel like buying new ones every 3 sessions.

After surfing for 45 minutes I decided to head home in time to shower, hop on my bike, and catch the shuttle from Lake Merced to work. On my way up Sloat towards the lake, I noticed that Java Beach is opening a new location, right where the Doggy Diner used to be. I had just been telling Joanie that Sloat would be a good location for the surfer cafe that I've always wanted to open! Bastards beat me to it...but best of luck to em, I'm a fan of Java Beach (although Trouble Coffee is where it's at on Judah).

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Session 28 - OB sunset with Cory & Joan

Cory drove over to paddle out with Joanie and I after work today. The waves were small and the onshore wind was blowing, mixing the surf up pretty good. I took the camera out for a test run, and snapped a few nice photos of the sunset over the water. There's still something wrong with the camera though, the last 13 pictures that I took didn't come out for some reason and got corrupted. I really hope this camera doesn't turn out to be a waste of $140...

Monday, August 4, 2008

Session 27 - Sunday @ Secret Spot Shhh

Packed the car and scooped Ryan from 19th ave around 9:45 AM. Drove down the coast, and all the spots from OB down to Waddell Creek appeared to be windswept and junky. Most of Santa Cruz was flat. The day was not boding well...anyways, met up with Nic, Ramin and Taylor at Waddell Creek, which was not even surfable without a kite. We all drove a bit north to check SS, and although I couldnt really see what was going on down in the cove, the rest of the guys said it looked decent. Nic forgot his wetsuit so had to run home for it. The rest of us made the hike down the trail and to the end of the cove. There was one guy on it, and some clean rights breaking off of the cliff. The water is freezing at SS, thanks to upwelling according to Ryan.
I tested out my new wrist-cam, but I maybe should've read the manual, since I ended up deleting most of the good photos that I took by mistake. In any case, after catching a few on her boogie board, Joanie snapped a bunch of good shots from the beach. Check out the slideshow, there are some shots of everyone in there. Everyone got a bunch of good, fast little nuggets, and it was fun to speed down the line and try to tuck into the tiny barrels. At a few points during the day it got a bit crowded, but for the most part we had the place to ourselves. Ramin is fanatical about SS, and it seems like he has good reason to be. If it was this good on a junky day with barely any swell in the water, I can imagine the spitting barrels it would throw with some real pulse in the water. All in all it was a beautiful day at a secluded beach with a tight crew, couldn't have asked for more. We'll definitely be back - big up to Nic and Ramin for introducing me to a new spot.

Session 26 - Saturday @ OB w/Ryan

Bought a new board today, one that I'm taking to Bali. It's a 6'5" JC Shane Dorian model, in almost new condition, for only $300 with a board bag. Score! The waves were choppy and disorganized, but the weather was beautiful, and Ryan was already out at Kirkham. Ran down to meet him, and surfed for a couple of hours. Ended up sitting inside for the most part and riding some of the shorebreak, some fun fast drops, but it was pretty peaky. Got to sneak in a few turns here and there, and definitely pleased with the new board. It's got more float, more drive, but turns just as quickly and intuitively as my 5'10" Rusty. Happy.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Session 25- testing the GoPro camera

Before settling on that 6'7" JC I decided it would be prudent to check the local shops for used boards and see what was out there. Joanie and I went over to the SF Surf shop on Noriega first, next to the taqueria. They had some decent used boards in the size range I was looking for, but the cheaper ones were all severely damaged and since repaired. I'm on a budget, but it still doesnt make sense to me to spend $175 on a board that has been snapped in half and patched together, especially for a Bali trip. After that, we stopped at Mollusk. I love the shop, love the artsy boards, but just can't afford any of them. One day when I get a bonus or a raise maybe I'll drop $750 on a beautiful little fishie, but today is not that day...Finally, we headed over to Wise, the biggest shop with the biggest selection and the best view. I generally like to support the small guys, but Wise is still a god shop with a much better selection and the staff there has always been good to me. They had a lot of really nice used boards, but none that I'd consider for $450, if I can get this JC for $300.

Even though I didn't find a board, I realized there was a bunch of other crap I needed/wanted, all of which they had in stock at Wise. I picked up a tail pad for my 6'1" rusty, a noseguard for my semi-gun, and a digital GoPro water camera. Attached are some pics from my first session with the camera. The waves sucked but it was nice out and the lighting was decent, so check it out. I look forward to taking lots and lots more photos, especially after I get a 2 gig SD card in this thing.