Sunday, September 4, 2011

Callin' It

The latter part of the week, surf has been very much in mind!

Wednesday evening, Joe texts: "Zeros this evening...double overhead with 45 degree faces.  It was like skiing.  Set waves only.  Took off on 4 waves total.  Well planned big ones.  Memorable."

The Front Page of Friday's LA Time featured a large picture of the Wedge, bodysurfer in free fall.

Hal observes from Wednesday evening through Friday morning there's a sustained 20 second (interval) swell ... longest he can remember.

Hugh reports on Friday he scored one of the 10 longest tube rides of his life: check this link.  Meanwhile, Rob Webb tries bodysurfing the Park and reports that it was "90% survival; 10% surfing," and that having swum out at LG 1, after one wave he was already North of the steps.

The Wednesday through Friday swell is the biggest South swell to come in over the last two years - since July '09...

...and I've been waiting for the weekend, where the forecast project some hopeful leftovers.

Checking all the input I could, I decided that Sunday might be a foot or so smaller than Saturday but stood the better chance of decent conditions.  A Facebook mobile upload from the O'Gormans, sent from the Park Saturday morning was tough - the swell was still there, but it seemed a bit messy.

I went to sleep Saturday night with fingers crossed, and hope.

First wave I saw, as I walked out and joined Craig Thompson on the steps, was a welcome relief:

Overhead, clean & glassy, and not even crowded!

While the swell is smaller now, peaks and corners had appeared.  And, in an odd combination for this summer, there was early morning sun and no wind.  Further, there was no sign of the heavy sweep, South to North, that had plagued the last four days.

A good pod was quickly gathering.  Ian O'Gorman walked up, noting more of the clan was on his heels.  Mark Ghattas pulls in, with Mandy and a friend.  Eric Ackerman, too, shows before we've even begun suiting up.  Andrew, a bodysurfing list member from Northern California has pulled in for a first visit to the Park.

Shortly, in the water, we have a pod of ten: Eric, Craig, Mark, Andrew, myself and five 4G's: Papa Shawn, sons Cheyne & Ian and their friends JP and Jerome.  We're able to carve out the peak just North of the Rocks and fairly well maintain it while the sticks congregate further North.  Cheyne has his GoPro mini-video camera and a new stick mount out - can't wait to see the footage!!  Hugh was to show up later, for an eleventh member...

 First wave, I knew that I'd made the right call: today was THE day of this swell for me!  I can appreciate size, but these were made for bodysurfing.  Caught an early set wave ... 8? 9? foot face, with a soft left shoulder - like the photo a couple of shots above.  An easy drop in and nice slide.  The next two hours were full of similar rides interspersed with some wide open tubes and, yes, an occasional precipitous drop.  

The pod stayed put, North of the Rock, but I moved up and surfed a few at the Main Peak, until a half dozen sticks converged on me, then worked my way South and worked the space between the Rock and LG1 for a while, before rejoining the pod.  While down there, I could hear the hootin' and hollerin' while performing for the camera.  

Wave of the day goes to Shawn O'Gorman, snagging a moderate sized set wave just above the rocks for a looong left slide with cover-up and emergence...all for the camera.  Can't wait to see it.

This was it: the Park doing what it does!

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