02 September 2011

This Swell? Over It!

When I was in the water on Wednesday, the forerunners were coming through. I didn't like what I was seeing—walls with few shoulders, waves bouncing off the rock wall and coming right back at us diagonally. I said to someone that this was not going to be the best of swells. The energy is just too much for most of our breaks. Couple that with way too many people rushing to the beach to get a part of it. Two plus 20,000 will get you . . . ?

I looked around a bit yesterday, hoping my L.A. mat spot would show some decent, shapely waves with minimal crowd. Well, it did just that. As I watched, I was thinking it didn't look bad at all, and wondered how that break had escaped those massive sets that were showing everywhere else.

Ooops! Spoke too soon!!

Here come the sets!



Turning to my companion, "That just wiped out the lineup, didn't it?"

The response was a nod and a chuckle.

The tweeners were beautiful. I loved the looks of those shoulders. I was certainly tempted. But the more I watched, the more I knew I would either be going elsewhere or going home. I get no thrill from catching a big closeout. I don't find getting worked within an inch of my life all that entertaining either.

For me, it's all about shape. Size matters . . . not in the least for me most of the time. I'd rather take a three foot wave with a shoulder than a seven foot closeout. Mind you, I will ride a seven foot wave. I'm not afraid of a wave of that size if the ride is worthwhile. (Yes, I know there were waves with shape to be found at spots with 10,000 of my new best friends sitting shoulder to shoulder in the water.)

This swell? Too much and too many. Too much energy. Too much tide. Too many people. Too many closeouts. I elected to ride the mat through this mess. I knew a surfboard would not make me happy during a swell like this one.

I got the mat on a few bombs, both yesterday and today. I didn't stay out long though. The waves just weren't worth it.

I did get a toot from the lifeguard today. She even motioned me to get out of the water. Do you know what I did? (I'm sure you do.) I looked right at her, turned around and went back out to the lineup. If she wanted me out of the water, she was going to have to come and get me. I never once lost my mat. I was never in danger of drowning. I was just out there trying to get a piece of that swell. I knew she couldn't come after me as there were way too many people in the water that she needed to watch. Many of those people were running into one another. And you're trying to get me out of the water? Yeah, right!!

I'm going to have to give this swell a grade of D+ (and I'm being generous by giving it the +). Granted, this is my subjective assessment of the swell. So don't mind me and my criticisms.

Tomorrow? Soul Brother #2 and I head to the skatepark for our second lesson! Woot!


At 9/2/11, 9:53 PM, Anonymous Jeremy said...

Yeah, I don't have anything to prove... I'll take turns w/ you any day on the shapely 3 footers. You summed up the scene nicely.

At 9/2/11, 11:41 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Amen! Scary does NOT equal fun, at least for me! Thanks for not being afraid to call out the Emperor's New Clothes of a mostly closed-out swell on your blog!

At 9/3/11, 4:16 AM, Blogger Ramsnake said...

I only go out where I know it is the sets I will be catching rather than dodging or getting hammered by!

At 9/3/11, 5:18 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

bumpy, mixed up, jumbled up, sooooo what? its gotta be clean or at least fun. paddling all fvcking day to grab a biggie, just to say i did it doesnt do anything for me, especially playing dodge the donkey in what could be labled(and you know it will be), swell of the summer 2011! hopefully, it'll clean up after labor day when all the squid return to school. ;) just sayin


At 9/3/11, 6:32 AM, Blogger Surfsister said...

I start a new job on Tuesday. I have three days of training, so I won't be able to surf until Friday. But that's fine since this weird swell will have left by then and all of the squid will be back in school.

Going to a mat meet tomorrow. If it still looks funky out there, I'll watch from the shore cos this shit isn't any fun at all!

At 9/3/11, 10:17 AM, Blogger tuskedbeast said...

Interesting that you noticed the swell was "closed out"; it WAS unusually sectiony at the pointbreak I was at. Rides almost inevitably ended with shut downs and after a while that kinda got to me.

I had high hope for the crossed up swells, but yeah, it seems that may have worked against the shape, at least where I was.

On the other hand, it's a buzz to be out in bigger surf just because!


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