Thursday, April 05, 2007

Tale of 2 Sessions


The Worst of Times...
Yesterday's conditions were looking pretty similar to today's and I scrambled early hoping to get a few waves before the wind got it. When I pulled up to a likely spot I was greeted with low tide, crumbly, tiny, onshore slop...there wasn't a soul in the water and with good reason
I checked a few other places in self deluding hope that just around the corner there would be perfect waist to chest high peelers lit in glowing rising sun technicolor out of Morning of the Earth...I didn't think it was a stretch but instead I found more slop under gray skies and a building onshore winds.
Continuing in my fruitless search for perfection I came upon a weird low tide setup at a spot I surf on occasion...the reef was exposed and Washington tourists on spring break were picking it over looking for oceanic souvenirs. Beside the reef the sand beach had been scoured into a huge hole where knee to waist high crumbly waves were peeling left along the edge of the hole.
I watched it for a bit, and although it looked decidedly crappy and shifty and backing off...along with final detonation onto dry sand...I suited up and paddled out for a look.
Once out, I quickly realized why I had seen not another soul in the water that morning...the waves were gutless and weak and while I was able to paddle into a few on a 9' 6" Hynson Downrailer that pretty much will catch anything, once on the wave it was pretty underwhelming. There always seemed to be reasonably good looking waves breaking wherever I wasn't, but in reality it just bit in totality. I still surfed, if you can call it that, for about two hours. I tried the Ghost Hole point break but the incoming tide changed the dynamic and made it too mushy.
After I got out I checked a couple other spots further south and pretty much continued to find nothing. Although a beach break spot I saw was tempting in that it was breaking about 25 feet off the beach and was an easy paddle...but the wave breaking in about a foot of water about a foot from dry sand was a deal breaker...maybe if I still boogie boarded, but I'm all grown up now.

The Best of Times...
After working a few hours midday, I presumed the waves would have certainly improved. I reasoned that by now they would be chest high, rifled and perfect...the American flag snapping squarely on the flag pole as I drove by gave additional assurance...patriotism and perfection.
Unfortunately, if anything it was worse...I checked another spot, and another...only to find dismal, dinky, blown out slop.
I reasoned that now would be a good time to start drinking beer or some other liquor and made a couple calls to see if anyone else was up for this essential surf alternative...but since I couldn't find anyone I continued north in my now resigned journey to gaze on crappy waves.
Passing bar after bar in small coastal burgs, my resolve withered as I increasingly pondered pulling off and tipping a few back in an effort to drown what was turning out to be a bust surf-wise. I turned off the highway and went in to check a spot that is sometimes protected from south winds but that I had low hopes for due to the surf squalor I had found thus far.
As I parked my car I noticed a couple vehicles nearby that looked...well, surfy. I walked towards the water and as I came over the dune I saw an emerald line lift and throw, then reel left down the beach. Then another wave rose up, and on this one there was a rider...and he was surfing it!
My knees were weak and I dropped and groveled in the sand...weeping in gratitude. (Well, not exctly weeping or groveling...but I was pretty stoked and not a little bit surprised)
I watched for a bit to determine that this wasn't a freak occurence but after seeing a couple sets I was a convert and I headed back to my car, struggled into my soggy, cold wetsuit... grabbed the single fin and paddled out to partake.
The waves weren't perfect, but they actually improved on the outgoing tide. A confluence of 2 separate swells was providing a peak with a solid push into the dominant swell going almost always left. There were tiny almond barrels that made me wish I was the size of a GI Joe so I could tuck into them...although the chest high waves provided plenty of juice and were racy and fun.
The paddle out was forgiving and getting caught inside by a couple outside sets wasn't a disastrous occurence. I caught many waves before dark...glassy, green and groomed...I was amazed as I would paddle out, sit briefly, and then move towards an incoming line that I had found the one spot in a hundred plus mile stretch of Oregon coast that was working and that I was surfing it with one other.
An outside set approached and I paddled out to meet it. As it reared up, I spun around, paddled hard, felt the wave grab hold and accelerate me...I dropped into a head high left, bottom turning around the froth and swung up into the face and then pumped the board down the line...swung it all the way around to bring it back into the meat of the wave and then trimmed as the wave reeled towards shore. Inside, the wave closed out and I proned it in to the shallows.


Anonymous said...

You must never give up! Drive, drive, drive, and drive. That's how it goes, Val or Coasite.

My only window was Tues morning this week. Sure miss living on the coast this time of year. Work a full day, get off, and still plenty of time to drive.

Hum south wind blocking spot that is sometimes is surfable? I can think of one in my usual domain that is sometime surfable and that's where I would of checked yesterday too. Was it the spot I saw you out at with 5 or so others about 3 weeks ago?

Gaz said...

Weeping and growling?? I'm keeping my eye and camera on you!

Doc said...


I was groveling...

In ecstatic apostasy...

pushingtide said...

You can always go to drinking bars, but the surfing bars close at dusk. Nice score and decision Doc.

And cool pushingtide button!

JP said...

That photo is siiiiiiiiick!

Fish said...

live the life!