Wednesday, November 29, 2006

50-50 Rails

~photo by Grannis from Bing Surfboards website


Today was light SE winds of about 10 to 15 knots.
Some surface chop but not too bad...
And about a 5 foot swell.

I knew today was the window I had been waiting for all month and I called a friend last night to make some suggestions for a surf at a certain locale of lore.

Headed down early before sunup in anticipation of the trek into a mysto spot that has been working of late. Came into the coast range just as the light quickened, it was a Christmas card...completely frosted trees in deep shadow with mountains in the distance glowing in the yellow orange sunrise yet to reach me.

Got the call at about 8 that the trek was a no go. Swung wide to take a look at a couple spots I like. I was heartened to see clean reeling head high surf peeling across the bar in front of me. Considered stopping there and paddling out, but pushed on to the next break south...more of the same. Things were looking up.

Pulled up to find a few heads in the water at a fairly popular central coast spot. To be honest, it didn't look as good as the other places I'd checked but there were a few waves coming through that were looking pretty fun. I stepped out of the car onto the frozen sand that cracked as I walked over to a friend's car and hopped in to discuss the possibilities. Chatted for a bit with Gaz, who was suited up but either trying to talk himself into it or out of it...not 100% sure which. I was kinda doing the same dance in my mind, but it was overpowered by the fact that I hadn't been in the water in 29 days...a rough November surfwise.

I said that the waves looked like longboard material and talked him into going back to his house to select a couple probable sticks since he had only his quad and I had a pintail gun shape that wasn't super suited to the surf I was seeing. So we headed back to the break and paddled out for a few.

Gaz lent me a Jim "The Genius" McPhillips singlefin noserider with 50-50 rails that I have to admit...I did not ride like a genius but a kook. It's been awhile since I have riden a classic old school board like this one...the last few years have been mostly tri-fin performance longboards, downrailers and boards that you can lay over off the bottom. The first 6 waves or so I leaned over and fell over, before I remembered how to swing it around and move to the front of the board...I say "move to the front" because my cross-tepping also was leaving much to be desired.

There were only 3 or 4 of us out at any given time and plenty of fun waves coming through. I considered heading in to get the gun on a couple occassions (if only to shoot myself for blowing many waves) but instead toughed out the challenge of riding on an unfamiliar board. A left started working as the tide drained and I pulled into a couple short reelers that deposited me in the channel for an easy paddle back out. The rights were definitely longer and faster, and while I caught a few satisfying was definitely not the board for down the line surfing and making sections. Still, it felt good to be in the water...despite my (still) aching neck and burning arms that protested this kind of treatment after a month of shoreleave.

All in all, a fun day. Cold, cold air that made the water seem warm. Big birds of prey gliding off the cape. Sea lions moving south offshore and Coast Guard helicopters patrolling the coast with finally nothing to do for a day...although they should be back at it shortly as the surf builds.


Anonymous said...

29 days is a long time, good to see you made it out. Cross stepping in that cold water must be tough (yeah, I know wimpy so cal boy).

Doc said...

It's just the past few months of short board shuffling is a hard habit to break...