Monday, October 30, 2006


Well, another October has come and gone. There wasn't an epic day like the day I had in 2003. That one Sunday still ranks as one of the best surf days of my short life in this sport. That day started off small and I was just getting back into the water after taking a one month break due to a simultaneous ear and sinus infection caused by surfing in red tide. (Yeah, I didn't learn from that first time and went back in only to get the same affliction in time for the Christmas holidays that year.) That Sunday was still the very best though. The crowd thinned out around 9 am, probably thinking that the best of what was out there had already come and gone.

I was thinking of packing it in myself because I was tired (no stamina from one month of recovery) and I had to get to school to finish up a project. I decided to catch one in and wouldn't you know, it was one of the best waves I had. It was a great left (though I could have gone right) that I rode to the shore. The water was crystal clear and I could see the sandy bottom through the shoulder and it was magical. I paddled back out to get another like that and lo and behold, another beautiful left (I had a tendency to go left a lot back then). I decided I should work on my rights and see if I could catch one going that way. Wouldn't you know it, a nice right! I was going up and down the wave, in a slow roller coaster. The waves were chest to shoulder. That particular wave, my friend went left and I went right. Some guy came up to me after I paddled out and told me that it looked like a text book drop in. I stayed for another few hours until I got too hungry to catch any more waves and I had to meet up with a friend to start on the school project. The waves kept breaking like that all day, as my surfing teacher would attest. He surfed until he got too tired to paddle for waves and crashed in his car for a few hours before going out again.

Yep, magical October day. Sunny skies, crystal clear water, no crowds, peaks everywhere, no wind...

This past weekend was nowhere near as magical. I brought out the big board for the small waves. I caught some fun waist high waves on Saturday and cheated once, before plummeting into the watery depths when I tried to dip the toes.

Sunday was even smaller. I caught as many waves as possible with the hog. You know what's weird? There was still a crowd out there. What gives? It's October! Granted the water was still warm, but still!

The other thing I really need to work on is judging people's abilities. I didn't try for some waves others were paddling for when I should have. I didn't drop in on anyone today, but there were far too many waves I passed up on because I couldn't judge whether or not the other person would catch it. Got to learn to judge those guys.

This coming week probably harbingers the changing of the swells as I will start drifting southwards rather than towards Sunset Beach.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

Ins and Outs

The high tide was making the back wash almost as big as some of the waves rolling in. The swell was making its presence felt yesterday with some head high waves coming through every now and then. Of course, when you catch a wave, the drop can be very interesting. As you drop in, the back wash will create a ramp for you to catch some air or, if you're in the wrong spot, the wave and the backwash will meet when the wave is breaking creating a loud explosion. If you're caught when the two meet, you get sandwiched in between.

I took out the 7'11 yesterday and only had a few good rides. The water was warm at least and clear. I think the water's been a lot cleaner than it has been in the last few years.

Today (Sunday) was more of the same high tide back wash. I thought it was cleaner than yesterday, simply because there were shoulders, more shoulders than yesterday. There was a bit of a fog when and some clouds covering the sun. The water was still warm. The biggest change was the bump on the water. There was a slight breeze creating the texture. The rides weren't as smooth.

I took out my little 7'0. I had one really good right. Each time I take out that board these days, I am getting more comfortable with it. Leads me to reaffirm the idea that I bought the board a few years too early for my skill. I made late drops and such all day today (not to say my wave count was super high or anything). This particular right, one of the few the whole day, had a gigantic shoulder. I didn't pump the board to get it higher on the face, which I should of. I was a little nervous about the lip jacking up, but I am sure I would have made it, either way. Got to take out that board more often to get my stamina to paddle that thing around and to experiment with carving up the wave a bit more. It's not a pure shortboard, but it's the closest thing I have to one right now.

Sunday, October 15, 2006


Run off surf, got to love it. I didn't go out yesterday because I figured the rain would put a damper on things. Made a mistake. I heard it was fun and clean yesterday morning. I went out today thinking I could make up for it.

I got to the home break before dawn, with very little light to see the virtually non existent waves. There were just crumblers barely knee high. I didn't think it was even worth going out, with the onshore breeze blowing consistently. The only people out were some newbies (they were struggling with the crumbly white water) and a few others who just seemed they were jonesing for whatever waves they could get.

By the time my friend came out, we looked at the waves and decided to just go out and catch whatever we could. Good thing I brought out the Griffin. 9'2" of pure wave catching power. The waves picked up by the time we got into the water, which was chilly, but not overly so. The morning wind gave the surface some texture and the sun was trying to break through the clouds. It turned out to be a good decision. I caught a bunch of waves, mostly going right at first. I started trying out the backside thing again, with these crumblers. I still ate it a few times, but did get some fun rides.

I traded boards with a friend so that she could try out the beauty of a big board on small days. Her board needs more wax. I wonder if she knows this? I didn't mention it to her, but I think I'll let her know next week by giving her some wax. I slipped off her board while trying to pop up. Didn't make me too happy, but at least I didn't have to ride it the whole time.

Forecast has no swell in the near future. Got to start praying for surf!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Full Moon

Yep, I looked out the car window Friday night, saw a beautiful, full moon in the sky. Quite romantic, unless... you're a surfer! Yeah, the moon screwed up the tides. We had a 6 ft. plus high tide in the morning on Saturday. Since I had to bring in my car at 12pm to the body shop, that meant an early morning session was in order, only that the tide would be screwing things up. I skipped out on Saturday morning. Ah well.

I picked up my wonderful *cough* Ford Fusion 4 door from the rental car place. (Off topic, but some lady was complaining that the only Mercedes they had available for rent was a C Class. The cost per day was $150, which she didn't balk at, just that it was a C Class when her regular car was an S Class. Then she was considering the Nissan Murano for $110. No clue why. Clearly she didn't need the big car.) The thing had fold down seats in the back, but didn't fold enough that I could fit even my 7 footer inside. I had to put the board through the passenger side from door, angled into the back seat.

Got to the break by 7, hoping that there'd be something rideable on the smallest board in my quiver. Guess what? It was fun! I caught a bunch of rights that were fun. There was some zip to the wave, even though there wasn't supposed to be a swell. I stayed high as I could on each wave, so that I can get the speed to make the sections. I still don't roller coaster enough, but I'm getting there. It's only a matter of time. I have concluded that I bought that hybrid about 2 years too soon. I feel comfortable on it these days, not like before. It still freaks me out when i eat it. I get flashbacks of 2003 when that thing came boomeranging back to my mug. Not a pleasant memory.

I tried to catch a few lefts, but ate it each time. One I just slipped and then got caught by the lip. Another, I pig dogged it left and pulled a little too hard on the outside rail and ended up into the wave. I was covered for my third left, but didn't bobbled the pop up, which sent me into the wash. After that, it was all rights till the last wave of the day. I caught a left, even got up and rode it all the wave to the showers. Yes, the tide was a 7 footer or something close to it on Sunday. Funny thing was that there were still some fun waves coming through, if you were willing to wait the 15 or 20 minutes or so before one of them showed up.

The crowd has definitely thinned out, more to my liking. The water has started its plunge towards the 50s, but still keeping in the 60s. Can't wait to get my own car back this week, but I'll still be bringing the smaller board out. I wish I had a bit more cash to buy a super nice wetsuit. I'm starting to feel the chill a bit more.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The Great Wall of Torrey Pines

Went down to Torrey Pines yesterday and the waves looked kind of small from the beach, but when we got in, it was bigger. The waves have always been a bit more powerful than the home break. The little bumps in Bolsa that just frustrate you are completely different at Torrey Pines. They usually have enough push to give you a semi-decent ride.

I had a dry hair paddle out. Didn't think it would be too bad, but when I tried to catch one, it started bowling. It was a straight wall going down. Few people were catching much out there. I only had a wave count of 2 for the day. The rest of the time was me paddling northward. The last wave was my wave in. It was a right. I got one other wave going left. We did get to surf with some dolphins, though. They came up real close, about 5 feet away. The water was freaking chilly, too.

Today (Sunday) was much better. Went back to the home break for some nice peaks going left mostly. It was crowded, then not crowded, and ended up being crowded again. It wouldn't be as bad except some people were hanging out on the inside. What gives? If you're going to crowd up the break, you may as well come to the outside so that people can catch waves without fear of avoiding buoys on the inside. Even the people on the outside were running into each other. I saw two collisions within a matter of minutes (2 minutes to be exact).

My friend sent me this trailer for Surf's Up, an animated film coming out next year. The scary thing is that many new surfers are going to crowd up the beach after this film comes out. It was bad after Blue Crush. This is going to appeal to both girls and kids. Yes, I don't think it's ever going to go back to the crowds of 2003. It's been downhill since that year.

P.S. Waves suck in October, may as well wait for the true winter swells that start coming through in November.
Clerks II - July 21, 2006