Friday, November 24, 2006

Good Vibrations

Thanksgiving has yielded some good waves, for those who were willing to wake up to beat the high tide at 9:30am. It was a 6 footer, which is nothing to sneeze at. The water is still warm, around the mid 60's. There was a bit of an overcast and no wind.

I caught a bunch of fun waves before a wave hog came along with his tanker of a board. Even my friend was getting a little upset as the guy shoulder hopped him on a wave. No sense of common courtesy and taking turns. With that giant board, he was able to easily come over from 20 yards out and just catch wave after wave. At least I did get some rides while the guy was paddling out. More lefts than rights on Turkey day.

The good vibrations came today (Black Friday). As soon as I hit the water, I found myself in a pack of about 5 or 6 guys of all ages. The youngest one was about 6 or 7 years old and who knows how old the oldest guy was. The key thing was, they were all very cool. They struck up conversation right away and asking how each wave was. They took turns, even offering some waves to me when it was my turn. Just hootering and hollering for each other and cheering anyone else on. It was just good times all the way around. That's what I love about the home break, lots of really cool people who surf there.

Some dolphins were spotted way on the outside, which is a good thing considering that there was a sea lion kicking it on the beach. Someone said, "maybe he knows something we don't?" That's why I was happy that I saw a pod of dolphins on the outside. Makes me feel safer.

Good times... Perhaps the weekend will continue with the good vibes.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

The Clone

If I never mentioned it before, the board in my quiver that has given me the most good days is my 7'11. I've let one friend borrow it (don't even know why I did it when I think back on it) and she had a blast. She had so much fun, that she went and ordered one just like it except it wasn't. I picked up the board for her and noticed, just from a quick glance, that something was different about it. To me, it looked as if my friend's board was more aesthetically pleasing. The rails looked fuller and just seemed like a very well shaped and well made board.

I tried it out and lo and behold, it felt different. It felt sluggish and slow. Couldn't put my finger on why it felt that way. There was nothing wrong with it, it just didn't feel like my board. She rode a handful of times before retiring it.

Recently, another friend borrowed it, while in the water, for a couple of hours. She also had a blast. She liked it so much that she thought about buying the clone, but after I told her about how it felt different, she reconsidered. She decided to go get one made, only this time, she was going to bring my board to have them copy it exactly.

Well, I saw it today and even though the shaper constantly referred to my magic board for dimensions and such, it came out different. Again, I would have to say, it was more aesthetically pleasing to the eye.

I should clarify things. When I first picked up my board, the stringer looked off center, a bit to the right. The rails felt thin for the size, almost as if there was a bit too much foam was shaved off. It didn't look right, but I just took it anyway. One of my other friends saw it the first day and remarked about the stringer being off center, so it wasn't just me.

However, when you ride it, it rides like a dream. The board catches waves well, but felt loose. I've had very few bad days on that board (though some were definitely less stellar than others). Everyone who's ridden it mention how fun it is. Don't know what it is.

So, the 2nd clone, looks like a nice board. I want to try it out on a slightly larger swell. My friend has said that she has caught a bunch of waves on it already, but has mentioned that it feels more stable than my board. I'm crossing my fingers for a bit more of a swell to test it out, not just to test ride, but to ride for me!!

Anyway, the last few days were fun. It was small both days, but some chest high sets come through. All the waves were clean with lefts and rights. The water is still warm, but then again, so is the weather over all. I am sure it topped the mid 80's today and it's November! The water must be around 64 or so and I was getting a bit hot under the collar once the sun burned through the fog. The tide was high, so that meant a late morning session was in order. I surfed 3 hours both days, paddling for anything. I caught some really fun rights and kooked a bunch of smaller waves. I sort of get up slowly on small waves, usually amazed that I've started planing. Once the shock wears off, I get up slowly and then try to turn as hard as possible only to find me eating it. It's a bit hard to turn when there's very little speed. Still, had fun!

Water was warm, about 64.
Wind was calm, though picked up a bit more on Saturday around 11ish.
Waves were small, but clean with plenty of shoulders to be had.
Sky was clear after the fog burned off.
Tide was high.
Crowd was moderate, but it's slowly thinning out due to the small swell or that people might be thinking it's too cold to get in the water in the autumnal months.

Four days of surfing next weekend!

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Consistently... small

Yep, you heard it here folks, it was consistently small. At least the waves were rolling in at a good clip for the first hour or so, before the northerly wind started screwing things up. The waves got smaller in the process. There were still some fun waves out there and I caught my fair share, so I can't complain.

The water is still in the 60's which is surprising considering that it's already November. The crowds were thin today, so I guess I can't really call it a crowd. A lot of people were watching from the beach, intimidated by the sheer size (or lack) of the waves. I don't understand why the longboarders turned around and left. I was out on my 7'0 and catching waves, so I am sure they could catch just as many if not more. Like I said, the wind was blowing pretty hard by the time I got out of the water.

As for my surfing today, some improvement as I roller coastered a bit on a small wave. Granted, it wasn't a big wave, but still had a shoulder to work with. My pop ups were sort of bad towards the end. I got up on one knee before getting on my feet. Not a good way to get up. I caught one left and the rest were rights. I had one great looking left that I blew. Yep, freaked out because I wasn't sure what to do with it. So weird that I used to prefer lefts and now I like going right. Got to practice!

No surf for me tomorrow as I go contribute to the economy by spending some hard earned money and giving it to people who are already wealthy. Can you guess? Still in Orange County, that magical of places, where all the dreams of one man came true, only to be turned into a machine of capitalism.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Check the Ego

High tide yet again. I didn't surf the previous day because I got another flat on the way there. The 710 is a freeway you ought to avoid if you can. There is a ton of debris all over, not sure what it is.

Anyway, high tide peaked today (Sunday) at around 8am or so. What a string of bad luck with the tides. I wasn't sure if the waves would come through, but was assured they were rolling through with pretty good shape yesterday.

There were some head high waves every now and then. I took out the 7'0 and I have to say that the waves might have been too large for me at first. I was able to paddle out with no problems, but paddling into waves, that was a problem. I spent the first 30 minutes just keeping up with the current (now pushing us south) and trying every now and then for a wave. I didn't start off fast enough or was in the right place that by the time I was coming close to planing, I was looking down a straight wall. Well, not wanting to get pounded for very little benefit, I'd push the nose down and turn around.

After awhile, I started to paddle a bit harder to catch some waves and finally caught one with some decent shape. Other than that wave and the wave in, the wave count for the day was just 2. I have to charge a few more waves next weekend to make up for this. It's definitely the start of the winter swells.

Water is still warm at around the mid 60's.
Sun was shining.
Wind was calm.
Crowds were thin, but got thicker when it was time to leave.
Dolphins sighted.
Clerks II - July 21, 2006