Saturday, August 29, 2009

Summer Saturday in the Park

Quintessential summer morning in the Park (San Clemente State Park) this morning: glassy smooth; shoulder high swell; warm water; clear skies; a good pod of bodysurfers holding the main peak to ourselves.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Newport Lamentation

My lamentation that the swell & conditions that arrived on Sunday, peaked today and appear destined to last through tomorrow didn't arrive a few days earlier:

How I wish the two-a-days of Sunday, commencing with a three hour morning session, could have stretched over several days...and how nettling it is to spend the day in an office, with the fresh taste of sweet Newport swellage a lingering memory, knowing that even now rippage continues by those that are able. The glowing turquoise of sunlit tubes has been succeeded by the dark green of envy.

But the lament, the nettle, the green-eyed monster are driven away by the vicarious indulgence in the day's reports honed by the vivid memory of a perfect day.

Monday, August 24, 2009


The vacation's main course was Sunday morning...all that you want from Newport. Late Sunday afternoon, Allan and I went out at 6th Street where some overhead, walled off sets were interspersed with some rideable head high waves. Still with the long interval and Newport's shoaling, lots of power.

Took off on two of the larger set waves...just because...and wasn't able to hold the face for long at all. Both resulted in face-smacking free falls. Body-whomping at its best.

Had some fun, fast rides, including a couple of decent-length lefts, on the lesser sets. Chilly water and a steady wind were ok, with sunshine and swell.

Sunday was a beautiful day from the time the sun broke until evening. We were able to pack up Monday morning, feeling fulfilled.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Expectations Fulfilled

An excellent Sunday on the Newport peninsula. Got a late start on the morning, in the water at 18th Street at 9 am with Allan and his friends, Kevin S & Mike G. At first, it was moderate/small but glassy. A little walled up but still some fun rides.

Checking South, 16th to 15th seemed to have more size & consistency, so I swam up that way and ran into Mark Ghattas and a couple of other bodysurfers. Eventually, Derrick Sciarra, who'd been taking a break on shore, joined us.

About 10, the sun came out and the size started filling in with the tide. Some nice, head high sets showed up, with the energy that Newport can deliver on a long interval (16 sec+) swell. Some excellent lefts were to be had.

Most memorable was after a lull, when it was a sheet of glass, almost to shore. First wave arrived, a smooth shoulder high bump with a nice left corner. After I dropped in and trimmed into the slot, the thick lip bowed over me, a fully illuminated sheet of shiny turquoise. Moments you live & surf for.

Stayed in the water until nearly noon, with a short break to feed the meter, but the magic time was from about 10 - 11. It was just why you come to the Newport peninsula to ride.

Mind blowing was the radical difference from one morning to the next. Hard to believe they even came within the same season as each other.

Bigger, Still Blown

The evening on Saturday - right at Island Ave - brought much stronger swell but undiminished winds. Water still in the mid-60's and still the strong current SE to NW. Lots of power behind waves breaking from chest to head high. The wind created a few ridable sections but the two, overlapping swells and chop made for generally poor conditions.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Sincerely hope that conditions are much better in Oceanside this morning than here in Newport, where it's totally blown - stiff wind out of the SouthWest destroying whatever swell there might be on an overcast morning that even has a bit of drizzle. Can only hope the wind slackens by afternoon.

A Little More Punch... the evening. Cool water - 65-/66 - for a bodywhomping session at Island Ave with Allan and his friends, Kev-Dog, Gross and Dan. Starting to gain a little size, but still looking for more in the morning.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Finally a little swell showing

Nice warm up for Oceanside in punchy Newport smallies today, in chilly water (64) on a sunny, glassy morning.

Sully was in the water – skinnin’ it – with his son & daughter when I arrived at 18th St. at 7 am. Looked for MuDsHaRk up at 13th/15th but there was nobody in the water between 11th street & the pier, other than the Sullivan family. The younger Sullivans exited as I entered, and over the next couple of hours an eclectic group joined Mike & me.

Viergever and Crawdaddy arrived about the same time – thanks for the MB shirt, Brent! Neil Frank followed then Jimmy Pee made a cameo appearance and Jason Guthrie jumped in.

Newps is always fun – even a small swell – knee to chest high – can be fast and tubular. Through the morning, there were hints of a rising swell. 13th & 15th looked bigger and more consistent, but we drifted between 17th & 18th and everyone got plenty. Over 2.5 hours - the shorty was a good idea. Warmed up over breakfast at Charlie’s Chili.

More promise for this afternoon’s session.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Inauspicious Beginnings...

to a week in Newport...not much for swell at all, at the moment. Good news is that there should be a nice SSW coming in, Friday through Monday, when everybody will be here to enjoy it. Good news for those hitting the Worlds in Oceanside, as well! For now, I'll rest up.

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Looks like a small weekend and into early next week, as we return to Newport for six days. Good news is that it still looks like some of that energy from the South Pacific will start to arrive on Friday and fill in over next weekend. The latter part of our time at Newps, and the World's in Oceanside next weekend, could have some fun waves.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Upcoming Competition at Huntington Beach

Chubascos are sponsoring a competition at Huntington Beach on Saturday. Check in at 7am, at 9th street (between LG Stands 8 & 10, North of the pier).

Unfortunately, current swell forecasts are pretty dismal: ankle to waist and not the best conditions…. No doubt, fun will be had, nonetheless!

Big Swell for World's This Year?

There are some early signs of a large South swell for the World Bodysurfing Championships in Oceanside on the 20th & 21st.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Swell Hits Wedge and Fun in SCSP - July 24/25

I'm not really committed to doing a bodysurfing blog, but created this in order to try to figure the whole thing out.

My first entry really should have been two weeks ago, when an exceptional South swell hit So Cal beaches. After following breathless reports from the Wedge on Friday, the 24th, where a contingent from our hawaiian brethren of the Hawaii State Bodysurfing Association were in the water and assisted in rescue efforts when a local swimmer was swept into the jetty and later died, Saturday was my chance to get some.

The swell hit the Park beautifully, bringing 12 to 15 foot faces, sometimes walled, but very ridable with some great lefts to be had. The shot above, while not one of the day's largest, shows how beautifully shaped the Park can deliver.

Saturday, July 25, 2009 was one of the great days at San Clemente State Park, for me. More photos, taken by Russell Riopelle, can be found at my picasa album:

SCSP Pumping

There is some great footage of the Wedge, from the 24th & 25th, on YouTube, but Hugh's photos from Friday, on Flickr as well as in this picasa album, are exceptional:

Massive Wedge Friday