Saturday, October 14, 2017

In the Water Again, At Last!

The forecasts were sketchy: reasonably benign conditions but questionable swell.  Most of the forecasters were hedging their bets, with things like "1 - 3 feet."  There's a lot of room between one foot - basically un-rideable - and three feet, which can be a lot of fun!  There was also the threat that an early high tide, nearly five feet, that wasn't going to drop very fast, would swamp what was there.

On the other hand, I'd not been in the water since August, with the sole weekend (last week) with good surf since August arriving on the only weekend I was out of town.  I was desperate.  Besides, the winds were favorable, the air warm and the water temperature continued to hover around 70.  Had to give it a chance.

As I pull off the freeway at Calafia, I note a text in from Mark Ghattas: "Haven't seen a single rideable wave!"  The State Beach parking lot is completely empty, except for Mark's car.  These are not encouraging signs!  As I walk across the tracks to the rail, there's nobody in the water and the "waves" in view are more of a surge up the sand; what little was there was swamped by tide.  However, as we watch, occasionally a couple of waves, a couple of feet in height, break in water, rather than on the sand, and the decision is made to, at least, get wet.

 It seemed that it was breaking a little further out, further down the beach at LG1, but we stopped at Main Peak to give it a try.  Still alone in the water, it didn't take long to find out that those 2 - 3 footers were breaking in just enough water to be ridden, and had surprisingly decent shape.  There's really no difference between a stomach-high wave ridden a few feet from shore and one ridden 20 yards out - what matters remains the size, shape and direction of the wave.  And these were actually pretty OK.

About 30 minutes into a session that ran almost 90 minutes, a burst of energy arrived.  For about five minutes, both Mark and I were catching fun little rights and lefts, peeling off the peak area, as fast as we could get back out after each ride.  Inevitably, a long lull arrived.

About the same time, the only surfer to come out the entire time, anywhere between Riviera to the north and Cotton's to the south, arrived.  Inevitably, he paddled out right where we were.  Fortunately, though, he didn't have the skills to take many waves from us and he didn't stay long.

There were some long lefts... least, for those that know how to ride them.

Altogether, it was a beautiful morning, with plenty of fun little waves, making for an excellent break from the so-dry month of September.

No comments: