Saturday, April 28, 2012

Stentor of Stoke: The EY_\ Sessions, Day 1

On occasion, I have referred in prior posts to Eric EY_\ Yeisley, the King of the Smalllies, founding member of San Clemente State Park's Golden Triangle Bodysurfing, creator of the Southern California Bodysurfing Championships held during the San Clemente Ocean Festival - the Park's own Stentor of Stoke.

During my first years of discovering the Park and its pod of bodysurfing denizens, EY_\ was the one always ready to catch some waves, always making the best of any swell, ready to proclaim, "the Park delivers!"  Spinmaster extraordinaire, it was with EY that I spent more hours in the water than anyone.  It was EY who had the insatiable appetite to "feast at the trough of stoke."  Two years ago, EY moved to Colorado.  Two months later, he returned in reprise visit to the Park but has not bodysurfed since.  Until now!  Today, for EY, the Park delivered!

On my arrival, I found peaky shoulder and head high sets consistently pushing in on a glossy surface.  Craig was already suiting up at his truck, and Neil greeted me as I walked out to check it out, "there are WAVES out there!"  There were, indeed.  In the photo above, the shiny head in the foreground is Brent Crawdaddy Crawford's ill-hirsute pate. 

There were a half-dozen surfers out, sharing the peak with three bodysurfers (see below).  I caught EY's head in one shot (above) before my patience to suit up and swim out ran thin.

Not only head high, plus, peaks were showing, but some nice, long, peeling lefts (below) and rights.

The water had got up to 65 yesterday, but dropped back to 61 by early morning.  Nonetheless, the air was warm, the sun sparkled off a glossy surface under a cloudless sky...and there were nice waves! 

As a true local patrolled the break (above), I quickly donned the 3:2 and headed up the beach.  The sticks had started filling in, and Crawdaddy and EY had exited the water for a short break.  Jeff JPL Lashbrook had been in with them, but was headed back to the lot.  Hugh was ashore with his camera gear.

There was a relatively narrow "X" (take off zone) at the Main Peak, and too many sticks had settled in there, so we headed further South to LG1, where we could spread out from the south edge of the rocks and pick off the scattered peaks.  Mark Ghattas arrived shortly to join in.  It stayed glassy and fun, save for a lull as the tide bottomed out around 9:20, with plenty of rides for all.  Over the two hours, though, it appeared that word had gotten out that the Park was working today, as more & more sticks filled in from the steps through LG 1.  Eventually, scratching for waves became a little too much.  Gradually, the pod gathered ashore.

As we left for breakfast at Pipes, to discuss tomorrow, which should be a repeat of today with even a little more size, I counted 30 (!) boards out at the main peak, and that doesn't include another dozen or so spread out around LG1 or North of the peak.  Don't recall ever seeing so many clumped at the Peak, except during summer.  I just hope we can stake out a peak for those of the body, tomorrow!

Today, though: the Park delivers!
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