After longboarding the small clean points breaks on the North side of the Bay, I returned to the big, lumpy surf I've learned to love. On Sunday and Tuesday night I went for the tourist's drive to "Pico Bay". The surf was shoulder high to overhead and kinda lumpy. Almost every spot I checked on the way was blown out from the onshore wind, but "Pico Bay" was somewhat protected. It still had the lumpy wind-wave feel, but the water had that glassy bump to it, the kind that perfectly reflects the golden sunset. Before I start getting too poetic, I surfed both evenings on my vintage 6'6" Hobie singlefin. With just a few other guys, sharing mostly mushy to closing out waves, I was able to get lucky and catch at least one fun left and right. Some of the waves would just hit the reef and plunge over, while others would start to peak and then quickly procede to mushout. A few times on the plungers, I was cuaght on my knees and not able to stand till after the bottom turn. Ifelt like a kook again, as I often do. Overall, it is alot more challenging surfing Monterey than the Santa Cruz point break I surfed Saturday. I guess thats why there is no issues with crowds in Monterey, or it could be beacause its usually cold, windy, sharky, and too big.
I am excited about heading back to Santa Cruz tomorrow. I'm hoping everyone is surfed out from the incessant swell and that the midweek timing will keep the crowd factor down. We will see...
Big and Lumpy
Swell Height/Period/Direction: 10-12ft/14sec/290 degrees (NW)
Wind Speed/Direction: 5-51kt/ N/NE
Time: 4:00pm - 6:00pm
Crowd (0-10): 1
Well, I haven't been keeping up with my journal like I have been with my surfing and it really sucks not having my shitty camera on hand. Anyways, I've some really fun surf lately.
On the Saturday, February 9th, my boss had a birthday/team party at his house in Santa Cruz. The party wasn't until 7:00 pm so I thought it might be fun to go fight the crowds and surf some those dreamy point breaks. There was talk of carpooling to Santa Cruz from Monterey between my co-workers, so I offered my plan of going early and surfing or hanging at the beach before the party, anticipating nobody else would opt to ride with me because no one in my work is a surfer. Surprisingly, it was hotter than summer and my good friend "Miles Davis" decided it had been too long since he has been in the water and decided he would tag along with me. Because of his skill level and the crowd factor of the Santa Cruz, I thought it was best to surf near "Sea Cliffs", a somewhat crowded, usually very small, reef point break. After battling through downtown traffic, checking out the crowd at Penis Point, and searching for nearby parking, we got lucky with a stall right next to the stairs, with 30 mins left on the parking meter, awesome! After a quick check, it looked to be waist to chest high, minimally crowded, and super glassy, awesome again! Mr Davis, not being an avid surfer like myself, could not make it past the 100 yd paddle through the beginners cove, so I surfed with for 30 mins or so and then continued towards the main peak, another quarter mile up the point. I would paddle through pockets of people waiting at their designated peaks, but found that I had better luck catching the sets in between them?
With my arms starting to burn a bit, I stopped at Nudists Cove to check out the scenery. Unfortunetly, there was naked chicks on the beach. However, just up aways, I noticed this dude get a nice barrel/cover-up on a set wave, and made my towards him. After sitting and waiting for too long I noticed the three old saltys who were posted up at the take off, were not into sharing the set waves, so I started to make my way back towards where I left Mr. Davis. On the way I was able to grab handful of waves, most of them soft but a couple were kinda juicy. It was weird though, it seemed like every wave I had hard time keeping in front of the curl. Its totally opposite at my normal beach breaks, I am always trying to cutback into the curl. It was at this moment I realized why everyone else in the line-up had longboards that were a foot or two longer and much beefer than mine. They could catch the wave much earlier and then just set their rail high in the face and glide quickly, just in front the curl. Furthermore, I was trying to do the usual long bottom turn but I figured, this wave doesn't allow it. I finally made it back to the beginners cove and couldn't find Mr. Davis. I paddled around the area for 20 minutes or so and started to wonder if he had drowned, then I saw a silhouette on the cliffs near the truck and hoped it was him. I was getting cold and bored waiting for the sets and paddled in. Mr Davis, had already changed back into his street clothes and was still shivering. I asked if was cold and he nodded, shivered and then said yes. I asked him if he wanted a "cold" beer, he nodded, shivered and then said yes. As sun et behind the bay I changed back into my clothes, we both had a smoke, another beer and shivered some more.
I know this was supposed to be a surfing blog but I really need to vent this little bit.
Well last Thursday, after only working six days, I got fired from my new job. I'm not really sure what happened, I thought I was doing a great job but the boss had recorded different work hours than me and after passively sending me home early each day because there was no work, he had the nerve to tell that the early days showed lack of enthusiasm. Whatever, this being the first time I had ever been fired, I was pretty bummed. Anyhow, that day we left for my Birthday weekend at Lake Tahoe. I hadn't been riding (snowboarding) for over 4 years and was looking forward to carving some snow and this was to be Mrs P's first time ever on a mountain, Big Wave Day and his Lady Sue also came along and we met my Bro in Sac and used his pad as a home base.
Big Wave Dave and I rode snowboards, Lady Sue tried snowboarding one day, my Bro Skied and taught Mrs. P how to ski. I was bit nervous about how Mrs P would take to this type of sliding but it turns out she was a natural and didn't fall on her first chair lift dismount. Susan, who is normally a skier did great on the snowboard but missed the follow up the next day. I think she was sore and tired. Nick is an awesome skier and did a great job teaching Stacey. She said he was way better than the boring group class I signed her up for. Big Wave Dave really impressed me with his riding prowess, dude does kicks, jumps and rotations off every little bump. I had it little rough the first few runs, catching rails and falling every 200 yards or so. However, by the second day I was able to carve the hill pretty smoothly. Overall, the weekend was awesome, good snow, decent weather (a bit stormy on Sunday) and great company. Besides being fired, I couldn't of asked for a better snowy birthday weekend, thanks friends!
Sliding makes you smile :>
The next week, I returned home to huge blown out surf. Then on Wednesday, the swell mellowed a bit, conditions improved, and Big Wave Dave and I returned to good ol' Love Affair Lane. There looked to be numerous sandbars and channels, the tide was high and the wind was light offshore but the swell was quite junky. We started out way down the beach at Turkey Lane because the main bar already had a group of 3 guys. After surfing a few quick, lumpy, weird rights, we paddled and surfed our way back over to the other guys. By the time we got there, the group of dudes had gone in and we shared a few more fun and funky waves to ourselves. After a couple long lulls we made our way in.
My beloved camera died, so the following pictures are recycled from my library.
Shady Rip Rap @ Love Affair Lane
The following day, Big Wave Dave and I vowed to find better surf. We made our first check at Snob Beach but it was choppy, crowded and mostly closing out. Next we headed over the highway to Kook Cove but found it to be even worse, and no one out, a bad sign at the areas most popular surf break. However, across the cove at Pico Bay, there looked to be a fun sized right reeling across the reef. Although we knew it was gonna be a bit choppy and lumpy, we made the trek over the boardwalk and surfed for about an hour or so. Once we got there the waves were bigger and much bumpier than it looked from the truck but we paddled out anyways. The waves were really bad and hard to read and was surprised to immediatelly pick off a couple nice waves. Then Big Wave Dave joined on the outside and as soon as he arrived we got pummelled by a rogue set and I was nearly dragged back to shore. After that, Big Wave Dave was a little gun shy and moved back to the channel on the inside. I was lucky and managed catch a few fun ones but my buddy was having trouble and hadn't caught a wave yet. Both of us being ready to go in, I told Dave he wasn't allowed to paddle in and that he had to catch a wave. Soon after, one headed right to him, he caught and grabbed the following wave. His wave let out a little early leaving him in the channel while I slid pass him milking the little wave all the way to the beach and landing nearly on the dry sand, awesome! On the walk back through Kook Cove, Big Wave Dave mentioned how he was happy to try a new break (to him) and I said you shoulda seen it two weeks ago. Just then, I looked down the deserted beach to see two guys walking a lil poodle down the beach and pointing a camera toward us. As we got closer I confirmed with Big Wave Dave that this Kook was taking pics of us, as we approached the photographer he walked within an arms distance and continued to take pictures and without even talking to us, he shoved the lens in our faces. How rude? At least ask us the normal, how was it? Anyways we kinda felt like a pro surf stars and hoped we won't end up on a blog or website like this: http://yourdailydonkey.blogspot.com/
Unidentified at Undisclosed
My sister in law and her friend came to visit last week. We drove all the way to San Francisco, of course I scheduled numerous surf checks along the way, for the nightime Alcatraz tour. Unfornutaley, Wednesday is the only day of the week they don't offer night tours, dope! Instead we ended up driving around the city getting lost and eventually meeting a Lompoc friend at an Irish Pub.
The next day I promised my sis, a good surf session to wash away the disappointment of the city tour. Knowing my sister doesn't surf as much as she should, I decided to take it easy on her by surfing at good ol' "Love Affair Lane". It looked pretty small with the very occasional chest to shoulder high set. The tide was fairly high with deep rip channels in the sandbar. This made the paddle out a breeze and caused the waves to nearly break on the beach berm. Anyways, I spotted a nice clean peak directly in front of the concrete wall and ran down the beach. As I was about to jump in a paddle out, I saw a huge fin break the water no more than 30 yards out, thinking it was the fin of a very large SHARK, I immediately paused. After a bit I noticed a large barnacle encrusted head emerge and a spout, it was just a lil fucking Grey Whale trying to scare the shit out of me. We ended up surfing for a couple hours in the rain, sis had a tough time on her "itty bitty" short board but I managed slide down a few faces on my vintage Hobie single fin.
We followed our session with some appetizers and Cadillac Margaritas at El Gringos mexican restaurant. The food wasn't that great but the tequila warmed us up...
Thanks to Mrs P. for the photos :>
Swell Height/Period/Direction: 6-8ft/15sec/275 degrees (W)
Wind Speed/Direction: 5-10kt/SE
Time: 10:30am - 12:00pm
Tide: 5ft and dropping
Crowd (0-10): 1
A few fun Wedging Rights
And a couple closed-out lefts
Today I returned to my home break: A fickle beach break, known more for drug use, low lifes, and parking lot blow jobs, than good surf. For those who know when to look, this break can provide some super fun and sometimes juicy waves. This is the stretch of beach I learned to surf at and has nurtured my continued addiction over the last 3 years. Today it was especailly good, not very juicy but definitely fun. Got over dozen waves then the tide got too low, increasing the rip current and making the sets closeout. Luckily my lovely wife (Mrs P.) was on hand to photographically document my surfing, so I will just let the pictures do the rest of the talking...
Swell Height/Period/Direction: 4-5ft/14sec/280 degrees (WNW)
Wind Speed/Direction: 0-5kt/ESE
Time: 9:30am - 11:30pm
Tide: 4.5ft and dropping fast
Crowd (0-10): 1
Friday, January 18th, 2008
After the great morning session at Big Dune, Big Wave Dave was tired and had chores to do so I dropped him off at home with the longboards. I decided to go pick up some groceries at Trader Joes but couldn't resist the urge to check the surf at Kook Cove. It didn't look epic but was clean and fun with a minimal crowd. I surfed my short lil' fish, which felt a drastically different from the 8'6" Yater I surfed earlier. The first wave I stood up, leaned back and the damn thing lept out from underneath me. After looking like the the rest of the kooks, I was able to grab more than a handful of waves over the entire one and half hour session. I was excited to even pull an "off the top" (on a closeout), a few turns, and even got slotted on the inside bowl on one of the better waves. Oh what a rough day.....
Swell Height/Period/Direction: 6-8ft/14sec/280 degrees (WNW)
Wind Speed/Direction: 0-5kt/ENE
Time: 9:30am - 12:00pm
Tide: 1.0ft to 0ft
Crowd (0-10): 3
Mon, Jan. 21st, 2008, 07:09 pm
Friday, January 18th, 2008
After a somewhat disappointing surf the day before, Big Wave Dave and I vowed to get revenge against against the surf. We returned to Big Dune and were pleased to find 4-5ft peaks, groomed by the bone chilling offshore winds. We made a fast descent down the dune and I told Big Wave Dave to hurry and catch a wave so I could get a picture. The first few waves he attempted to catch were fruitless and the fourth wave caught him off guard, causing him to loose his board and then breaking the leash. Another bigger set quickly followed; tumbling Big Wave Dave some more and pushed his longboard through the shorebreak. Not being able to stand the beautiful waves going un-ridden, I ran to the water, retrieved the lost board, gave my leash to Big Wave Dave and was then rewarded with the first ride of the day. Surfing cordless proved challenging at first, I kept forgetting I didn't have a leash, easily giving up on the second and third waves, and letting the board go. After the third long swim to shore, I never let it go again. I even held on to the board as a I got caught inside on a clean up set and was somersaulted multiple times. This impressed Big Wave Dave as he is the first to abandon ship at the slightest chance of being tumbled. Besides all the waiting and wipeouts, Big Wave Dave and I caught numerous waves over the two hour session and overall, I'd say we had an epic session: Dave claimed once again to have the longest ride yet, while I was just thrilled to see his stoke and share some perfect waves with a good friend.
Swell Height/Period/Direction: 6-8ft/14sec/280 degrees (WNW)
Wind Speed/Direction: 5-10kt/NE
Time: 9:30am - 12:00pm
Tide: 4.0ft to 2.5ft
Crowd (0-10): 1
For my first post I thought I would keep it simple, In the future I will try to provide much more detailed accounts of exact conditions, however, I will always keep the exact location ambiguous, just because I don't want to piss anyone off and that seems to be the etiquette in the mags.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
After copying and pasting data into EXCEL all day I needed to buy a blender at Wally World and decided to check the surf. It was around 2:30pm and to my surprise it was glassy and 3-4ft, so I called up my one and only surf buddy "Big Wave Dave". Big Wave Dave doesn't have a car (and doesn't like big waves) so I had to drive into to town to pick him up, along with the logs. Big Wave Dave and I headed toward a super secret beach I'll call "Big Dune", with our personal photographer Mrs. P. After scaling up the big dune we were disappointed to find 3-4ft blown out mush, "Oh well", I said and made a bee line to surf. Overall it was a good time with mostly mushy rights and couple bumpy lefts and much better than entering spectral data. Maybe tomorrow will be better...