Thursday, April 23, 2009

dolphins, barrels & beach cleanups

Shit. It's been a while, I'm behind quite a few sessions, and I've lost count anyways. My new job is robbing me of quality blogging time, dernitt! Anyway, to sum things up:

Last friday it was small but clean and some fun rides, plus there were a few pods of dolphins in the lineup and I got a pic of one.
dolphin dawn patrol

The heat wave rolled in, but Saturday was foggy on the coast. I got up early for a dawn patrol, snagged a few nice shoulder high waves before eventually getting caught in a rip and drifting down to Noriega, paddling for like 40 minutes straight without making it back out. Lame. At least I caught a handful of rights before getting shut down on the inside.

Sunday I had a quick sesh with Ramin & Karl at K st. It was fun, waves were pumping, but I only had maybe an hour in the water before I had to scramble to set up for the beach cleanup at Kelly's Cove. In typical Bogart fashion, I showed up to the beach cleanup with just a few minutes to spare, and there was already a crowd of people eager to get their hands dirty. The cleanup was a success, 76 people came out, not counting all of the kiddies. Joanie was a huge help giving instructions, feeding people, etc. A decent crew of guys were at the cleanup too, including a few Googlers that I've yet to actually surf with. One day. The waves were pumping though, barrels up and down the beach, and some guys ripping hard at Kelly's. Ramin, Taylor and Josh paddled out in front, and I got to watch Taylor catch a few solid waves, ripping cutbacks down the line. Good shit, and easy to spot cause of the headgear. The cleanup was over at 12, but I didnt get all the equipment put away until like 1. The beach was mobbed and parking was a biatch, so I headed back home to picnic and surf out in front of Kirkham. Unfortunately by the time I was back to the beach around 3, the wind picked up and it was not so good. Chilled with friends and fam, ate some sammies, and took a nap in the sun. Woke up at 5, and the wind had backed off a bit, so I paddled out. Ended up having a great session despite the chop, and surfed until almost 8.

Monday morning I knew the swell was coming down, but it was still supposed to be offshore and HOT. I headed to the beach at 6:30, and was pleasantly greeted by reeling a-frames up and down the beach in the 3-5 range, with + sets rolling through every 10 minutes or so. Sets were walling nice, clean and getting more hollow with the dropping tide. After pulling into some sick barrels and almost making them, I resolved to surf until I made it out of one. I caught a ton of waves, and it was the perfect conditions where the waves are big enough to get in the barrel, steep and fast enough to hack and hit the lip, but not so big that you get smashed too bad if you take off too deep or get stuck inside. I landed a few decent little floaters and a lot of clean top turns and cutbacks, but my 9am I still didnt stick any barrels. I ran home, booted up the laptop and notified work of my unfortunate absence, ate a muffin leftover from the beach cleanup, and headed back to the beach (without my booties).

Paddled back out, and was drifting south but tide was still backing out and the tubes were rolling through consistently. I finally caught a little right that walled up and I was able to stall into the barrel, getting a faceful of spray before riding out hitting a few more turns before kicking out. At that point I was stoked, and getting more confident too. The very next wave was a super clean head high wedge. I turned, thinking I could stick the late drop and backdoor it, but ended up too deep and getting tossed over the falls. OB always keeps me in check. I while later I did a little pigdog ass-drag into a meaty left that pretty much closed on me, but I help on and rode out of it. Not the cleanest barrel, but good enough for me. I caught a lot of good rights, and eventually drifted to the outside bar just north of Noriega. There was a pack of guys a bit further south and inside. I caught a bomb outside set wave, positioned myself deep and raced down the line. It jacked up and I pulled into one of the deepest, longest barrels I've ever been in. I almost made it, but got pinched and fell face first into the wave. It was a sick wave though, definitely one of those wipeouts that's ingrained in my memory. Would have been the best barrel of my life if I actually made it out. I kept surfing, kept drifting, and caught some great waves on the outer bar by Rivera. Barrel #3 was the best, a walled up shoulder high wave that I backdoored right off the takeoff. I thought I was going to fall, but I kept a high line and crouched real low and got spit out to the sound of hooting and cheering by a few other surfers sitting nearby. It's always nice confirmation to have random surfers hooting you out of a wave. Eventually, I drifted all the way down to Sloat, and it was packed in. Still got a few great rides, but had to navigate through the throngs of surfers in the water while going down the line. I ended up getting out south of sloat, in front of the zoo. By this time it was like 12:30, and I logged a solid 4.5 hours of surfing and got countless good rides. Best sick day ever!

Weather is not so hot anymore, and it's onshore at OB. Santa Cruz on the other hand is pumping, with some good south swell in the water. I'm stoked for a dawn patrol with Nic and the guys at the Hook tomorrow, and then some more action after work tomorrow. Also, this weekend I'm meeting a guy who I might have shape me a custom fish in Santa Cruz. I'm gonna check out what he's got goin on, and maybe pick up a blank this weekend too so I can whittle my own one of these days.

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