Gravity Returns

I thought I lost this post…but it was just hidden as a draft somewhere in the wordpress vault. I wrote this about a month ago….and have much more pending…so figured I’d post it even though its now dated.

Great weekend for kicking off the start of surf season.  Took my newly turned 10 year old down south with me on Saturday and paddled out for some point waves.  He was having a blast standing on his board just off the peak and diving over the backs of all the big ones and watching dolphins frolic in the surf. He even got to see one dolphin tossing a fish around like a play toy…some real Discovery channel type stuff that even in my many years of surfing hadn’t seen until then. A great time until he got caught by a set that swung wide and forced him to deal with four big ones right on his head. He had never done full somersaults underwater before or been held down for so long, and so that took a bit of his confidence away. He felt better when another surfer paddled over and commented on how he was charging, but he was still a bit shaken up. He wasn’t the only one that had to get used to some more size filling in though.

Down to two boards that don’t need ding repair and so I busted out my 6’5″ that I rode on the big Labor Day south swell and reaped the rewards of getting in early and full confidence taking off on the hollow A-frames.  I paddled out shortly after low tide and stayed in the water for about three hours.  The waves went from breaking hollow on the inside bar to pushing out further onto the middle bars as the tide filled in.  There were some bowly fast rights and long walled up lefts that got my heart pumping.  I landed a pretty good sized floater and tucked into a couple little cover ups within the first thirty minutes.

I had to drop off my suit for repair down south and so ended up picking up a winter suit that was half price.  I couldn’t resist.  $200 for what I thought was a 5/4/3.  I figured it would be nice to have a little extra warmth and now I could get up to Oregon to surf with my brothers this winter without hesitation.  Well it turned out to be a 6/5/4, which for you warm water folks is the thickest wetsuit you can buy.  I used to wear one of these in NY back in the day during the dead of winter when the water temp was 37 degrees.  Gazza, I may be coming to see you in Michigan now that I’m packing the proper gear.  Who knows where this wetsuit will take me.  One thing for sure is that this wetsuit is way too hot for San Francisco.  I thought i was going to get heatstroke paddling around in the overhead surf.  I had to periodically flush it with cold water just to deal.  Even without the hood on and no booties, I was burning up.  I’ll have to admit though, that I did feel pretty invincible out there.  With the new rubber it doesn’t even really slow you down noticeably.

Getting caught inside didn’t have quite the same effect it normally did either.  Being warm, or hot in this case, makes a big difference to the experience of surfing up here…especially with size.  No fun getting held down and flushed with 50 degree water simultaneously.

A new swell is arriving tomorrow and expected to peak out on Wednesday at around 12 ft.  Hoping to catch a bit of it if I can squeeze it in to my ever increasingly busy schedule.  Our two days of summer this year was glorious and felt like it officially ended with rain on Sunday morning, but then the sun came out, the wind went offshore and the swell wasn’t half bad. Looking forward to improved conditions as we move into the best time of the year here.

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