Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Getting Lazy

Even though the wind was howling on Saturday morning, I was able to pick off quite a few waves. In fact, I was out there for 3 hours before coming in. Nothing really to note, but the break was a lot emptier than the week before and it was a 3 day weekend. The wave of the day was a right that I was a little late in cacthing and thought I was going to pearl. As soon as the board became vertical, I popped up and was off. The board wasn't even moving at all when I did pop up, as if it was stalled. I rode that wave to shore before taking the long paddle back out again.

Sunday, the sun was shining and the wind was on the calm side. Was out there again for 3 hours with little drift to contend with. I was out there again for 3 hours, just catching everything I could. It helps to be riding a 9'2 and can just catch just about anything I wanted. I'm getting lazy out there.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Summer is Here

Well, maybe not the warm waters or the sunny skies, but the home break is getting crowded. The bathrooms are thrashed, too. What's the deal with that? It's not that there aren't enough waves to share, like at a point break, but at the same time, how about a little courtesy? There are snakes all over the home break. One large group of girls were not snakes at all. They showed up in a group of 10 or so towards peak high tide when all the best waves have already been ridden or have dissipated onto the shore and paddle out in a troupe. It was a posse of women. I thought, "Why bother showing up when the tide is going to kill everything?" After 10 minutes of paddling around them cause they were drifting off to the next beach, I notice that they paddle for some waves, but they are mostly there to chit chat. Not that socializing is a bad thing, but I would think it would be far more comfortable doing that at the local Starbuck's rather than bobbing in 60 degree water that is somewhat questionable. They weren't snakes, just more of a sewing circle. I wasn't peeved, just intrigued.

Water quality on Saturday was mostly green. Still a bit cloudy, but the water is warming up. The gloom has set in, so the sun is not breaking out for any dawn patrol people. The waves were kind of small, but they were still fun. I caught a bunch of waves. My nose was still plugged up from the week before. I tried not to let my nose drip after my surf session after the debacle previously. The sinus was just about to clear up before I subjected it to the questionable waters again on Saturday. This led to me sounding like I have a cold and to my middle of the night, interrupt in sleep due to the fact I could no longer breathe through either nostril. I tried blowing it out, to no avail. (Too much information?) I resorted to Sudafed at 3am and thus, making me a bit drowsy for the Sunday morning session.

I wake up only cause my friend called wondering where I was. Good thing, too cause even though I set the alarm clock, I never actually turned it on. I roll out of bed, grab a towel, load up the car, drive off in a haze to the home break.

When I get there, I see the Jetty isn't breaking much. I didn't think it was going to be as big as it was. It wasn't humongous by any means, but the waves were a good shoulder high and just rolling in consistently. There's a crowd, but not as thick as it was on Saturday. The water was clear and green. I could see my own feet when just waiting out there in the water.

I surfed for a few hours the day before and my shoulders were sore. I don't have the endurance like I did a few years ago when I was surfing 4 days out of the week, but not now, when I'm a surf bum with little money to spend on the rising price of gas. Fate was not kind enough to bless me with the means to live right next to a good break so that I can surf all day long. But, I digress.

It took me 10-15 minutes to get to the outside. Just getting pounded over and over again in the crash zone. I finally get out there and the sets keep rolling in only I'm too tired to paddle for anything. I do my impression of a buoy for a good 10 minutes before trying anything. A set starts up, the people around me catch the first few waves and clear out the line up for me. I turn, start paddling for a wave, the board catches, I'm about to pop up, but I didn't get enough speed to really get into the wave cause of my dead arms, and instead of popping up smoothly at the right time, I'm at the top of the lip starting to plummet downwards. I start to get up, right hand slips and I kook it and slide off the side. Not my most manly of memories. I go in the wash, tumbling around.

Next wave, my arms are still tired, I try again for a shoulder high wave, get up this time, but i'm still at the very top of the lip with just enough speed to have caught the wave, but not enough to get into the wave effectively, pop up and since my 7'11 doesn't have a lot of rocker to it, I went pearl diving. Once again, into the wash, cause I got sucked back up to the top. Shoulder high waves with just enough juice to make a wipe out feel bigger than it was.

That's when the waves stop rolling in every minute and the lulls start to get longer. The waves drop in size as well. I start picking off waves, but i'm dead tired from the Sudafed and the paddling. If you have ever taken Sudafed, it's something you take at night that makes you drowsy with its main purpose of clearing up the sinuses. Sinuses: cleared. Drowsiness: in full effect! I catch a few more waves on the smaller sets and get hammered by a few more cliean-ups that were a good head high and twenty yards outside of where everyone was. I did catch one in.

One other thing about the home break, there's a pretty strong current most days. You're always paddling, whether to go out, to catch a wave or to not get washed into the next city north or south of the break. You'll feel like salmon at some point. It's good to get your endurance up, but on days when you just want to save your energy for catching the waves, it's not so good.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Drip or Clog?

Water has been warming up, but I now wonder if it will ever clear up to what it was like in 2002 or 2003? I can't even imagine surfing the home break and having it green enough that I can see the bottom while I'm bobbing on the outside like a buoy. I hope someone can make a gigantic filter, like the ones they have for an aquarium, and just filter out all the crap out there.

Friday saw the swell start to fill in and I went out with a friend who was visiiting from out of town. I only caught one decent wave. I've got 2 excuses prepared for that horrible performance already:

1) Riding the 7'0 for the first time in ages, thus no paddle strength.
2) Slept funny so I had a stiff neck.

Doesn't matter much cause the one wave was pretty good, even though I still bailed out a little earlier than I should have. The wall started to form up on the inside and rather than crouching down and trying to catch the right angle to get more speed to see if I can get a tiny barrel, I jump off. Wuss move.

The waves were coming in pretty consistently till aroud 9:30 when it just went flat. The wind had picked up and there was texture on the surface, but no more waves were rolling in. The tide was going out and it sucked out all the energy in the water as well.

I didn't go out on Saturday cause I had other things I had to do, but I did go out on Sunday. I was worried that the swell was going to fade so I brought out the 7'11. There wasn't much to worry about cause there was still quite a few waves to be had. They were rolling in consistently at chest to shoulder high.

During the first half of the session, I was getting hung up on the lip. Just not paddling hard enough or too far out. There were a couple that could have been made, but I pulled out cause I was worried I'd be flying over the front of the nose cause of the steep drop. It's much easier for me to go backside on steep drops than front side. After I caught a few, that's when things started clicking to the point I caught a decent amount of waves for the day. Nothing really stood out.

For whatever reason, the whole break became packed with people around 10 ish. One group of people came out and started bunching up on the peak that I was sitting on with my friend. It was annoying because they didn't bother looking left or right before paddling for a wave. I saw one lady start paddling for a wave that some guy who was trying for 10 yards to the outside of her. She went anyway and just about hit the guy with her board. Another guy clearly snaked my friend's wave and yelled out, "Party Wave!" People who roll in large groups must think that common courtesy is not important. Geez people! You're surfing on a huge piece of fiberglass, some with sharp noses, that can seriously impale someone!

By the way, cause of polluted water or what have you, my sinuses are clogged. I sound like I have a cold, but my sinuses are plugged up from sea water. It's one of the reasons why I haven't gone back in the water until it clears up. I'm more susceptible to colds when my sinuses are screwed. So, is it better to have my nose drip out in public or have it clogged?

Monday, May 01, 2006

Crumbs on Saturday, Mush on Sunday

Water on Saturday was cleaner than last week. It was a dirty green rather than a brownish red. The winds kicked up early and the water had quite a bit of texture to it all. The only waves to catch were ones that already broke and you just caught it in order to get enough speed to perhaps make the shoulder. I had fun, but am sure it would have been a better day for my 9'2. I only brought out a shorter board cause there was supposed to be a swell.

Sunday saw a bright sunny day when I got there only to see the sun disappear behind the clouds soon after getting into the water. There was no wind, so the conditions were glassy, but at the same time, size backed down quite a bit. I brought the same board cause I stayed out in OC for the night. I caught one really nice wave that I rode all the way to shore. It was a right and I worked it enough to get into the inside section. Once I saw a wall forming up, instead of trying to pump the board into a higher position on the wave, I bailed out cause I was in 3 ft. of water. Should have just tried to get back up to the top. Oh well. Still get freaked out about the idea of getting slammed into the sand.

One thing that I've been trying to work on was popping up on my board more towards the tail end rather than right in the middle. In order to help me work on that, I recently put a traction pad on my 7'11. Most of the times I popped up, my rear foot was towards the front end of the traction pad. Not too bad, cause after making the first turn, I'd move forward a bit in order to catch some speed. That will change once I get to test it out on bigger waves. I have another traction pad for the 7'0, a board I really have to get used to surfing from the back of the board.

I started surfing with my feet towards the front from that one good day in October so many years back. I had to surf up front to make sure the board would slide down the wave consistently. It's been a bad habit ever since. Every now and then, I'd pop up on the tail of a board and be shocked I'm still going. I've even done a really bad pop up on the 7'0 where both of my feet were on the tail and I'd be so shocked, I'd fall after I'm standing up.

On the big log, I doubt I'll ever get to the tail end cause by the time I get there, the ride will be over. Have to move my feet faster or something.

This coming week boasts another swell. I can only hope that it will be something more significant than what we've been seeing the last few months.

Pray 4 Surf!
Clerks II - July 21, 2006