Sunday, October 16, 2011

Stoke Session

It's really hard not to be stoked over yesterday's session.

Bringing an end to four dry weeks, due to travel, a beautiful, clean, head high swell greeted an enthusiastic pod, determined to show Noni Roberts, visiting from the Big Island, some good, local fun.
Though overcast most of the time, it was smooth and glassy with a little offshore feathering the lip of consistent, hollow breakers struggling to push through the peaking high tide.  Mid-October, the water was warm enough for the spring shortie; Sean O'Gorman even skinned it.

Mark Ghattas was already in the water when I arrived, having started his bachelor weekend prelude early.  Paul Tordella, down from Hermosa, was suiting up while Noni was shooting some pre-session photos.  Neil Frank hadn't seen much worthwhile in a quick check, but a beautiful set, 7 foot faces, rolled in as I watched, enjoyed by Mark and only a couple of sticks out at the Main Peak.  Soon we had a pod of seven in the water: Mark, Paul, Noni, Neil, Rick Ciaccio down from Newport, local Sean O'Gorman and me.
Below is a shot of Noni checking out a nice, eight-foot face.

About 9:00, it seems that the word started to get out that it was pretty decent and maybe a dozen sticks showed up.  But we'd planted ourselves pretty firmly at the main peak so most set up north or south of us and the bodysurfers had a nice 50 yard stretch of the best peaks to ourselves (excluding one stick that set up outside and occasionally threatened to take a wave but never actually did).

It was a morning of fast, steep rides with consistent barrels.  Very much like my first few sessions in the Park, years ago, but better size.  Wave height consistently ran from chest high to overhead, with plenty to go around. 

Hugh arrived about the time the sun decided to break through and set up to shoot stills.  Got plenty of everybody...his misfortune, taking a board to the ribs on Friday, our good fortune.  Hence the shots here today.

I particularly like the feathering lip and glossy texture of the face on this shot - double-click on it to see full size.  Hugh's captures are amazing.  You can click on the blog entry title above to go to a Picasa file with my extract from Hugh's shots of yesterday.  Alternatively, lots of shots of all the pod - many good ones of Noni - are to be found here:  HB SmugMug 15Oct .

Brent Crawford arrived, post-tennis, and captured the last half hour, in peaking high tide, in the following video:  SanClam 10-15 Session

Even those that were a bit closed out offered some memorable tubes!  Ciaccio was stoked enough to call it one of the best days, ever, in the Park.  Mark and Paul had to take off, but the rest of us relived the morning with traditional post-session breakfast at Adele's, served by Adele herself in perfect form.
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