Saturday, October 08, 2016

Surrounded by Kooks

Tried a new spot in San Diego today with my new board. Waves were small today, everywhere. State Parks pass didn't apply, so I had to pay $2/hr for a pass. I really should have walked just a little farther north because where I was at was crowded as sin. I thought Bolsa was crowded, but this place takes the cake. It felt a lot like Sunset, where it's super crowded with lots of beginners.

The beginners had to fight for waves from a wave hog. Some kook hopped on a wave and nearly ran over some people, me included. In all fairness, I don't think he had a way to go because some wave hog shoulder hopped him.

Water is definitely cleaner in SD than OC. You can see the bottom with the seaweed and kelp floating around. The waves were way more consistent, meaning there wasn't a whole lot of sitting and waiting for waves to come around. The south side of the pier is way more crowded than the north side.

People are really forgiving. The guy who almost got ran over and who had to swim after his board after nearly getting nailed in the head, asked the young offender whether he was alright or not. I thought he was going to yell at the kook, but he didn't anything of the sort.

There was a goofy footer who looked a lot like Rob Machado, frizzy hair and goatee and all. He wasn't as smooth as Rob, but at least he got the look down. He did try to hop on one of my waves, but he went left while I went right.

I'm definitely going to check out a few other spots and may even brave trying a more localized place one day, like Windansea.

Sunday, October 02, 2016

New Locale, New Board, and now I need to find a New Home Break

Been awhile since I posted. Not much to say other than life happened; marriage, kids, layoffs. Just have to find a new home break after moving farther south. Lots of choices for new home breaks and will require lots of research. More of the better breaks are localized, but maybe I'll be able to work myself into the lineup after a few months of just paddling around.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Keeping Warm

When I first started surfing, I just used a wetsuit that I got years and years ago when I first started learning.  It was an Excel and it served me well.  It was so well made that it lasted me 7 years, though it wasn't used all that much.

After a couple of seasons, I decided to get a new suit because I was much smaller in college and had outgrown the suit.  I went with something affordable, a Billabong that didn't cost that much, about $150.  It fit better than my first wetsuit, but the warmth was about the same.  It would flush every so often after a bad wipeout and I would have some water trapped in either my arms or legs.  The initial steps into the water, my legs felt fine till I got to the knees, then I'd feel little pin pricks letting me know what the water temperature was.  I just thought this was normal.

The suit lasted more than a few seasons before it started to thin out.  My guess was the constant act of putting it on and taking it off stretched out the rubber too much.  I decided to splurge a bit and get a nicer wetsuit, but didn't want to go all out and buy a wetsuit over $300.  My friend bought a Psycho One from O'Neill.  He loved it.  It kept him dry for the most part.

I tried a bunch of different suits on and bought a Quiksilver that was a little over $200.  It had piece that went over the head to prevent flushing.  The suit was glue stitched and it felt great.  The piece that went over the head took a little getting used to as it felt like I was getting choked.  Within the first few months, a seam tore at the back of the calf.  The location was right where the heel puts pressure as I put on the suit.  Rather unfortunate location for a seam.

A friend recommended a shop where I could get it repaired.  I brought it in and the guy said that it would be a little tough to get fixed because of the glue stitching.  They were able to fix it for $40.  I used it for another month before the other leg tore open.  Instead of getting it repaired, I opted to just get a new suit, one that wasn't glue stitched.  I could be getting the terminology wrong.  When I say glue stitched, it didn't have threads, just some sort of rubber seal.

I bought into the advertising, "We make the best and fix the rest."  In case you're wondering, it's a Coral Reef wetsuit.  For $200, off the rack, I got a 3/3 and for $40 more, they tailored it for me.  I have yet to try it out since the water has been so warm, but am sure it'll work out great.  It's still in my closet, but it's just a matter of time before I break it out.

As for why I haven't posted much on this blog, it's because I had knee surgery.  The knee is still not 100%.  My timing has been off and my stamina is not that great.  I am more nervous about head high plus waves these days, not trusting myself.  The home break is more crowded than before.  There are also new friendly face.  After a couple of waves, all my worries go away and I remember why I struggled through the cold mornings and endless hours just paddling without catching anything.  The rides make it all worthwhile.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Paddle Boarders

I still hate them. Why they feel they are above the normal etiquette rules observed by surfers is beyond me. There's one guy at my home break who doesn't feel there's any need to give up any waves. He just takes everything in his sight.

I haven't been posting as much because I've been busy with work and I don't surf quite as much as I used to. Surf hasn't been great this year, too.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Some funny stuff

It was sunny yesterday, water temp and air temp were both hovering in the low 60's. There was quite a bit of size out there and a lot of drift. I spent a lot of my morning staying ahead of one of the lifeguard towers, while trying to catch waves every now and then.

The funny part was seeing this girl paddle out. The fact that she's a girl isn't the funny part. It would have been funny if it was a guy who did what she did. I start my paddle southward to fight the drift, she's sitting 5 yards farther out than I am, another local is about 10 yards inside of me to the left. She sees a wave (not really rideable), turns around and starts scratching for it. I can't really say "paddle" because she really looked like she was just scraping the water. I guess it works because she's on a longboard. I have to stop and start paddling backwards to get out of her way. She was on a trajectory to go between us. I barely get out of her way as I see she's not going to go around me at all. The other guy on the inside just kicks back and she goes barreling into him, narrowly missing.

"Come on!" she yells at the local, who's pretty darn good and very cool about waves in general.

"If you can't surf around me, then you shouldn't be out here!" That's what his reply was. I totally agree. He wasn't moving anywhere and she wasn't on the wave at all. The fact that he was in the way wasn't what really stopped her from catching that wave.

She leaves in a huff. I thought they were joking at first, but I caught up with the guy later and he said she was dead serious. I side with the guy in this case because the girl could have changed her angle just a little bit, even though that wave was going to pass her by regardless. I found the whole interaction funny. There's rarely a clear path on a Saturday. Just have to deal with the conditions and learn to paddle around every so often.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Blown out

I was amped to go out this weekend after experiencing Sunset, but the winds were howling early on. Few people even bothered to get in the water on Saturday. More people were out there today, but the winds were still howling and it was high tide in the morning. I was so unmotivated to go after seeing the conditions. It would have been tough to catch some of those waves.

The one good thing about the wind was that I was able to see Catalina for the first time in ages.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Sunset (more details)

Walking out of the path from the small cul de sac, leads to a tree at the end of the path. It sits right on the fringe of the sand of the beach and the small dirt trail that leads to it. The roots of the tree have created steps that help with the changing grades. Two houses stand as sentries for the small thoroughfare. Someone at some point, placed a park bench under the shade of the tree, perhaps to enjoy a family picnic before going out to enjoy the warmth of the sun. No "Ez-Up" tents needed with that tree standing there for decades.

Looking out of the water towards the water, you can see the shallow reef off to the right. The whitewater continues to churn there, long after the waves pass through. The water is crystal clear, submerged rocks coloring the azure waters darker in some places.

The crowds were light as we paddle out, no more than seven people out in the water and it was considered a crowded day. With a reef or point break, crowds are never good. Any more people and it would have been downright ugly.

I am on a friend's 8' funboard that has seen quite a bit of action. It's a bit narrow, but easy to paddle with. That easy paddling is a bit deceptive as I had a hard time getting into waves. I turned and paddled for the first decent looking wave coming my way, but never quite generated enough speed to catch up to the wave. It just rolled right by me.

Being a reef break, it took a little while to paddle out to the outside, with no duck diving needed. Just had to go around to the side, the side away from the shallow reef. As windy as the day was, the water was still relatively calm.

I went out to the lineup on the outside while some friends stayed towards the inside. The waves broke in the same spot over and over again. The lulls weren't too bad, the longest being 10 minutes.

I finally caught a wave, just charged it. It was a bit close to the shallow reef, but I caught the wave and popped up, with this gigantic shoulder in front of me. Riding to the top and sliding back down made the wait well worth it.

I didn't catch much anything else after that as more people paddled out to catch a little bit more magic. They probably don't know how special it is because they were locals, accustomed to the waves out there, but it was different for me. I normally surf a beach break that shifts after each swell. There are no channels to ease the trek to the outside.

I paddled in after awhile, never catching another wave. I did try for a couple more, but wasn't able to duplicate my previous effort. My friends were already waiting on the beach, having had their fill of waves since they spent a majority of their time in Hawaii surfing numerous breaks. The small moment has inspired me to come back to try out some other hallowed waters and hope I can once again slide across the blue ocean.
Clerks II - July 21, 2006