Saturday, August 24, 2013

Newport Flats

So, August started out auspiciously, as reflected in my post from the first weekend of the month: Summer Surprise at SCSP.  One of the best sessions of the year at the Park, with a 10-day sojourn to Newport immanent.
Well, the story since is rather different!  Here I sit, this weekend in North San Diego, Newport vacation now a memory, and barely a session worthy of reporting.  In fact, the only outing that comes close was the first morning in Newport - two weeks ago - the 10th.  The fact that it's now two weeks later and I'm only now getting around to saying anything about it will tell you most of what you need to know.

Michael Schwimer on the best wave of the week

The wave above and below may give the impression that there were decent waves.  Well, in most of my blogs, you see what I could shoot in few minutes before entering the water - not the best of the day.  These waves were, positively, as good as it got and the photos make them look better than they were.

Allan, backside right

Starting that weekend, and since, Southern California, from LA County Line in the North to Imperial Beach in the South has seen naught but an occasional dribble of weak, northwest wind swell. What made the session reported here worth the mention is, first, these are the best waves seen in over two weeks, and second, the company.
The small slop notwithstanding, it turned into a very fun session as my sons Allan (photo above) and Joe were joined by a half-dozen of their friends, starting with all three Schwimer brothers, riding an eclectic mix of long boards, short boards, soft tops and Costco specials.  What little was there, they were making the most of it, and enjoying the company on what has become a traditional outing, now longstanding.  

"Where are the waves????"

Having said that, the shot above, of Allan and Michael Schwimer, scanning a flat horizon for any hint of a bump, pretty much  wraps up the last few weeks, as far as surf is concerned.  Labor Day is around the corner...maybe it will usher in a vibrant fall.  It's due!
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Sunday, August 4, 2013

Summer Surprise at SCSP

There was surprising size, shape and consistency in the Park this morning.  The guy below was blowing it up when I arrived and joined South Bay denizen Paul Tordella at the rail to check it out.

Looking closely, you'll conclude that sometimes, perspective is everything!  We enjoyed watching this guy, and his diminutive buddy in the water for a bit before suiting up (66 degree water) and swimming out.

Some of the larger stick-riders were enjoying the glassy, shapely swell as well, but it appeared fairly inconsistent and maxed out at about shoulder-high.  But enough to draw us in, for sure.

The air was warm and winds calm, so I opted for the spring shorty, which was perfect for the two-hour session. 

There were only a couple of sticks out, down closer to the rocks, so we took the Main Peak for our own.  Virtually as soon as I reached the line up, a surprisingly thick right popped up, approaching head-high size, and I dropped into what was to become a wide arching tube of emerald that held open for precious seconds.  Wow!  Hadn't seen that from the shore.

In the ensuing two hours, Paul, Mark Ghattas and I enjoyed surprisingly consistent shoulder to head high surf, even with occasional pluses.  It was very peaky, with lots of corners from which to launch long slides to the deep inside.  The speed of the curl was perfect for bodysurfing, not to fast to keep up with, but sustained and open, and often hollow.

Through the session, the sticks kind of came & went, but it never got crowded and there was a positive vibe, unusual for summer.  It helps when there's lots to go around.  Throughout, we had our pick of waves from the rocks up to the Main Peak.

Mid-session, it was nice to get some props from the lifeguard truck as it swung by on its rounds.  Instead of the usual call for swimmers to stay away from the rocks or head south down the beach, the loudspeaker carried a respectful message, reminding the bodysurfers in the water (the three of us) to be aware of the rocks and have fun.

Compared to two weeks ago, the swell then certainly was larger and the best waves perhaps better, but today there were so many!  We expected small and inconsistent, and instead found mid-size, very consistent and great shape.  A real Park session!

So, anyway, back to the little guys...

They continued to rip for another hour or so while we were in the water ... a fun diversion between waves.

Remember ... for a bodysurfer, almost every wave is overhead...!
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Thursday, August 1, 2013

Sharing the Stoke ... Drainers

OK, I know that this is supposed to be a bodysurfing blog, but sometimes ya just gotta share it.  Reader, I hope you can click on the photo below to see a full-screen view of stoke just pouring off the screen as my son, Joe, screams through a heavy tube at Drainers/Westward/Drainpipes in North LA County yesterday:

Just look at that grin!! Gotta love it!

I hope I'm not stepping on any toes by "publishing" this, but if so, maybe props to the photographer, Steve Bissell, will ameliorate it!
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