16 January 2011

January is the New Summer

It's a frigid 55 degrees in the water while the air temperature is an almost sultry 80 degrees. WTF?

I'm not complaining though. I love hot weather. If memory serves me correctly, we never really had a summer in 2010. I remember wearing a hoodie almost every day and coming out of my fullsuit only twice.

We're finally seeing waves down in these parts. The problem, though, is finding a spot to surf that isn't a zoo. The flat spell combined with the hot weather means everyone with a surfboard is heading to the beach now that there's some swell in the water. Yesterday morning, I headed to The Place Which Shall Remain Nameless expecting to see a crowd, but certain it wouldn't be anything out of the ordinary. Fail!! I have never seen so many people in the water at that spot. Usually, I will work around the crowd by riding the mat through the kelp. Well, the kelp is finally clearing out, so people had room to spread out. There was no way I was going to paddle out into that mayhem. I went straight up to RPB.

Although the swell wasn't moving in the optimal direction for RPB, I knew there would be something to surf, albeit something small. I was right. It was a mellow session in small waves. I'd much rather have that than pumping waves in a crowd.

I went back to RPB today. Again, I just want to surf. I long to get into some larger surf, but only if the crowd is light. This is why I didn't even bother with TPWSRN even though I was certain it was good again. When I got to RPB, the sweepers were all over the bay. I surf the bay. There is a spot there with larger waves. It, like TPWSRN and Malizoo, is mayhem. That's not fun for me. I know people who find it invigorating. That's their trip and more power to them. They can have the mosh pit. I prefer the dance party for one.

Now, RPB is a relatively slow wave. I don't like to surf there too often as I think it makes you lazy. Still, after a flat spell, beggars can't be choosers. So I paddled out to my normal spot, which is between the mosh pit and the spot where the sweepers were. For some reason, people tend to leave that part of the break empty. It's as if it's some kind of optical illusion. They see the bigger waves at the mosh pit section. They see the smaller breaking waves right in front of them when they paddle out. No one seems to remember, or care, that there are perfectly good waves right between the two. So, that's where I headed . . . as usual. And for the first 45 minutes or so, I got so many waves that I had to remind myself to take a break and rest. I had that peak to myself, taking waves at will. For me, that's surfing at its finest, regardless of the size of the wave. When you can simply be one with the wave, you are truly surfing. By the time people noticed that I was catching wave after wave after wave, I was too tired and satiated to resent the presence of the interlopers. I was more than happy to share.

Of course, I got out of the water spent. I'd had enough. The lulls were getting longer. The crowd was growing. I was done. Or so I thought. Although I put my board in the car, I felt the need to get back in the water. I watched for a good five minutes before grabbing the mat and the fins. I told myself I'd do my patented "three waves and out" thing. Well, I did it, but it took forever to get those three waves as there wasn't much size and power where I sat. The waves were worth the wait though. Riding a surf mat continues to be a mind-blowing experience. Three decent waves on a mat is as good as, if not better than, three decent waves on a board.

Thank you, summer, for making an appearance. Better late (early?) than never.


At 1/17/11, 2:39 PM, Blogger Surfing Grandma of OC said...

I totally agree.. This January, seemed a lot warmer than August. HA!..
I surfed both days this weekend..Best days so far. Read my blog. I feel I need to Thank You also. You have inspired me so much, everytime I go out, you cross my mind. Plus, thanks to you. I have stayed warm. I dont think I touche my 3/2 and have only worn my spring suit 2 times in OCt. All summer I lived in the 4/3.
ONE DAY we need to get together. I have a lot more confidence...may be due, small part to the fact I have Health Insurance now. =-)

At 1/17/11, 2:56 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

Ah, you're welcome. Surfers need to pass on the stoke to other surfers when they (the others) need it. That's what I did for you and that's what I generally try to do with the blog.

Yes, we do need to surf together! This is getting ridiculous. I talk to you, but never surf with you.

As for insurance, I'm uninsured . . . with a quiver of skateboards and surfboards. All I can do is try not to get hurt badly enough to require medical attention. So far, so good.

At 1/17/11, 7:01 PM, Blogger Travel / Surf Guy said...

I hate crowds - I don't know how you do it and remain sane.
I lived in West Australia for a few years and that place has massive crowds and it did my head in.

At 1/17/11, 7:06 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

Well, I live in Southern California, so crowds are a given. I just try to find places where I can get decent waves while dealing with smaller crowds. I'm also lucky in that I can surf during the week, so I often surf with only three other people out. It's during the summer that the crowds really get nasty. You either live with it or you give up surfing.


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