Saturday, June 16, 2012

Summer in the Wings

Forecast was questionable today, but as I approached the tracks I was greeted by a pleasant surprise:

Clearly, there was a bit of swell in the water, and no crowd at Main Peak.  As we walked down the beach, though, Main Peak was looking inconsistent, with a narrow take-off zone, and there were a handful of regulars out working it.  Meanwhile, further South, the area between LG 1, below the Park, and the rocks appeared to be more consistent and empty.  So Mark "Sailfish" Ghattas and I continued a bit further and swam out there.

The water is warming - 67 degrees comfortable in my spring shortie - though a heavy overcast made it seem cool.  Mark only had a short time, but in the 45 minutes he was in the water, we were catching waves at a pace of one every two minutes.  And they were fun!  Chest and shoulder high, fast and hollow, and rarely closed out.  For the first hour, no more than three sticks were surfing to the south of us, so we had our pick of waves.

After Mark left, I worked the LG1 area, as it gradually filled in with surfers.  The life guards were putting up the Surf/Swim signs but making no move to enforce them, so I worked my way back north in the water.  By the time I passed the rocks, the Main Peak zone was nearly deserted, so I worked that a while.  However, sometimes I seem a magnet for the surfers and within 15-20 minutes, it seemed that most had followed me.

After two hours in the water, the waves were getting pretty inconsistent, and there was too much fiberglass in the water.  I used the last 30 minutes of a 2-1/2 hour session to continue to work north to the steps, then wove through the summer crowd, just filling in with the late morning burn off.

So often, the Park exceeds expectations.  I guess that's why I keep going back.
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Sunday, June 10, 2012

North LA County on Allan's 30th

Is there a better way to celebrate your kid's birthday than a surf session followed by a beach house party?  I don't think so.

North County Los Angeles looked like it would be small & messy, but ride-able.  On an overcast morning, with morning sickness from the early eddy (onshore wind) messing it up, there was more swell than expected - shoulder to chest high - and the long interval of the swell made for some fun rides at LG 3 Zuma, where it was surprisingly peaky.  Some waves crumbled pretty quick, but on a morning that gradually cleaned up there were others with decent tubes.  The water was surprisingly warm for that far north - maybe 64.

What made my first outing in a long time in North LA special, though, was that it was Allan's 30th birthday.  Allan and his brother Joseph were in the water on their boards with two of the Schwimer brothers - Kevin (Dogg) and Jeffrey (Fern) - along with another friend, Ben Jacobson, when I arrived with John Howell (father to Allan's girlfriend, Anna).  John & I donned full suits and fins and joined them for 90 minutes of good fun.  Nobody else was in the water within a lifeguard station and we worked the peaks up & down the beach without interference.  

The session was followed by a day-long party at a house Allan had rented along Broad Beach to host a celebration of his entering his third decade.  

Does not get much better.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Better than Nothing!

No photos today - I took a few before getting in, but they're not very interesting.  Just a short entry:

Forecasts were small at 1-3 feet, tide was high but only 4-foot and wind forecast was sketchy, but the water is warming to 67/68 and it's been two weeks, so I made the venture South.  Met Mark in the lot and was surprised to see around 10 sticks at the main peak and an equal number further down at LG 1 below the Park.  There was an inside bowl and some chest-high set waves - better than expected - and what very little wind there was came from the ESE.

By the time Mark & I got in, there were only four scattered around the main peak, and through the rest of the two-hour session, it varied from one to four, all local regulars.  So there was no wave competition and the vibe was relaxed.  It was cool and overcast, so, instead of trunking it as I'd hoped I wore the spring shorty which was comfortable in the 67 degree water.  

There were some surprising fun waves, ranging from waist to an occasional shoulder high peak.  The Park was doing its usual thing, the sand bars setting up peaks for some decent slides.

Nothing to write home about, perhaps, but a nice little morning.  It's always good to get wet.