Sunday, December 13, 2015

A Plethora of Waves at 15th Street

Quality or quantity?  Today's story was quantity.

Last weekend, I caught at most ten waves, every one an "A."  Big, fast, challenging.  Ten was completely fulfilling, and, when it starts to get big, you really can only catch them so often.  One every ten minutes is plenty.

Southern California was hit by pretty massive surf yesterday.  I didn't go.  Even if not quite beyond my capabilities, I flew in from New York Friday, arriving home close to midnight.  Not ready for a challenge Saturday morning.  By this morning, the swell had backed off alot - forecasts for 3 - 5 feet, generally.  However, there was also a big high tide around 9:00 and forecasts for a cross-shore wind to pick up between 9:00 & 10:00.

As the light gradually filled in around 6:30 on what's approaching the shortest day of the year, things still looked pretty good, up & down the coast.  However, I didn't trust the Park to hold up to that tide and wind, fearing it would be shot by the time I got there.  I also didn't really want to spend a half hour searching for a parking space and face the frustration of competing for waves with dozens of surfers, such as would be the likelihood at the Newport Jetties.  So I talked Mark into meeting me at 15th Street on the Newport Peninsula.  Good call!

Hazy sunshine took the edge off the cold air and breeze that was still offshore when we got there.  The waves were a bit messy, but unusually peaky for Newport and consistently shoulder high.  Maybe a dozen surfers spread out from Schoolyards at 13th Street up to the Point at 19th Street.  More peaks showing than surfers.


Fearing that the wind would turn to come from the south, I didn't waste much time shooting pictures.  Donned the full suit - still 3:2 - strapped on the little GoPro Sessions, and hit the water.  Oh!  Not quite 60 degrees ... the first time under 60 in a very long time!  

For over an hour & a half, Mark & I worked the area from 13th to 15th, occasionally sharing with a trio of surfers but otherwise having it entirely to ourselves.  Consistent hest and shoulder high, and a few larger, waves offered lefts like the top photo above or matching rights.  Fattened by the high tide, some were a bit crumbly, but others were even hollow, and many offered plenty long rides.  Mark was repeatedly snaring rides, left and right, into the knee high shallows way inside.

So, last weekend, 9 or 10 rides over 100 minutes.  This morning, we were in a about the same duration.  There was no counting, but we each had to have over 30 rides.  I can't rate today a 5 star session, as I did last weekend.  But it sure was satisfying for a day that could have been pretty poor!

I mentioned I was wearing the Sessions - working on a vid to add later...

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