I think this morning I was struck by the risk differences v. payoff and the amount of time engaged in the actual act... both are meaningless in most respects when thought of from a survival perspective, but in a mental health standpoint I think the are both invaluable... and when I just try to have a singular activity boredom sets in... I like the comment about surfing being more fluid/harmonious with the natural environment (at least the activity itself is, the surf industry as a whole could use some cleanliness...)
as far as access is concerned: I have to drive further to climb, but I know the rock is good, this morning time spent driving was half of our session... can't surf where its flat... suppose you can't climb where its flat either...
The more I think about it the less I buy the fluidity argument, water sports are fluid by default, but watching a truly adept climber, one whose technique allows fluid movement over a decidedly solid substance, is as moving as watching a surfer with similar skills... likewise being the climber or surfer who can move with little interruption over rock is amazing and feels very similar in my opinion (of course this argument negates the speed factor).
We were at asilomar sb earlier and the variety of surfers was great, some into power, some into the real open soft turn and glide of the line... others falling over themselves trying to understand just how the hell you stand up...
Surfing was absolutely essential to my climbing by 1968. The cardiovascular nature of the surfing in waves over five feet really feeds right into what you need for climbing: terrific cardio power. Similarly, paddling built up muscle sets mostly the same as those used for pulling down.
I have to agree with Randy Leavitt's quote at the beginning in that the best day surfing is better than the best day climbing. However, I can say my best days climbing will stand forever while my best days surfing have long since completely utterly vanished.
That most wave rides are only a matter of seconds, literally is both a beautiful and miraculous thing but also underlines how ephemeral rides and perhaps thus a life in surfing really are.
Climbing is often so painful; I don't remember any pain at all in surfing other than running out of breath and burning big time in desperate paddles avoiding the big unexpected cleanup sets in big surf.
Mixing the two sports has been going on for about fifty years now.
Surfing and climbing are my two favorite things in the whole wide world.
For me, though, they are not "complimentary". At least not when surfing is the primary gig.
When I lived on the coast, walking distance from some of California's best waves, there was no way in hell you could get me to go climbing. I didn't want to miss something.
Catching the points before the hordes, or checking the beachie repeatedly and watching it go from crap to a draining uncrowded wonderland....that sh°t took time and dedication. Not to mention developing enough skills to get waves in a crowded lineup at a marquee break, or be able to actually ride when the beachbreak is draining and breaking boards. Couldn't really be "bothered" with the thought of leaving the coast to climb.
Ok, maybe once in a while, when it was genuinely flat and scheduled to stay that way, a run to Woodson, Tahquitz, Black Mtn or Josh was great. But my fingers were made of water, no real serious climbing.
Surfing was way more addicting.
When the medium for your enjoyment wasn't always there, or could change instantly, I wanted to be onnit. After all, that's why i lived there and put up with all the bs socal can offer.
Now, though, living in the desert stoked as hell on climbing, I jones for a proper surf. I'd pass up a climbing trip for a Midnight rambler surgical strike for a day and a half (hopefully) of surf anyday. I have lost my paddle power but luckily the rest is like riding a bike now, but only after 12 years of surfing everyday.
I dunno. I'm babbling. I just had a great bouldering session but maybe it's time for some saltw#ter therapy.
My project will still be there...but will my callouses?
The only time i climbed and surfed in the same day was sick. Santa Ana low humidity at Rainbow, low tide backlit mysto barrels at Oside jetty. That's livin right there!
I have lost my paddle power but luckily the rest is like riding a bike now
I'll second that. Luckily it comes back after a few noodle-y arm sessions.
I grew up at the beach, I'll be 40 this summer been surfing since I was about 5. I live up on the east side of sierra now, climbing is the only thing to ever take me from the ocean but has never taken the ocean from me.
Drjefe, i'd be surprised if we haven't surfed or even climbed together. I lived in Oceanside from 1991 more or less till spring of 2000. I go there quite often and usually still get about 10 - 15 days in a year. Luckily my wife comes from the 2nd. largest family on the big island so I get around there a bit as well.
I've been surfing since I was 8 (used to stand up on a boogie-board before that), climbing since ~18 months ago. I've often thought of the parallels and contrasts between the two and have thought of writing an essay on them - examples: a rack and a quiver often are worth more than the vehicle in which they are transported, or how I can show up to a crowded break and not say a single word to anyone else for my entire session, yet frequently chat it up with any climber(s) nearby or passing by. Been too lazy to actually write something up.
I have scored epic sessions by skipping out on work or showing up late for thanksgiving dinner - not as likely to happen with climbing. I'm stoked that we've finally had some decent swells since the holidays started - it was pretty sad for quite a while. Missed out on a couple days b/c of a snowboarding trip this weekend, though, but did get a little family climbing in A-hills on the way to Mammoth.
I'm glad I get to choose between some awesome pursuits. While I have had some exciting days on the rock, nothing has given me the feeling of pure stoke when kicking out after a memorable ride; whether its a barrel or just carve after carve down a perfect point. Surfing still has that something extra when it all comes together.
It should be noted that 3 years removed from the coastal/surfing life...
I still wake up early and check the palm trees or flags to see which direction the wind is blowing.
Hey, it's offshore...
LIKE IT REALLY F*#KING MATTERS IN TUCSON!!!
@ dave, that wave pic you took from the boat looks like todos/killers!
Todos, Inside bowl
Jefe, remember when O'side would do this after some huge rains when the San Luis Rey would wash out the sand and the road, effectively closing that stretch of the coast hwy.?? It was so rad, perfect a-frames that would peel flawlessly all the way to the beach.
S. Jetty, O'side Harbor 92'
Lets not forget our East Coast counter part. Nothing like warm water and a hurricane coming straight at you from Africa for a week of glory.
Not climbing OR surfing... I am all for the "have a big quiver" approach. Create a quiver with skills and toys: Climbing, backcountry ski/snowboard, surfing, paragliding, mtn biking, peak bagging and throw in BASE for a couple years and then quit. Then just pick from the quiver as conditions and psyche dictate.
There are some damn fine photos in this thread, as it stands I only have one photo of myself surfing after 15 years...
My dad took this at Sunset Cliffs in San Diego, it is one of my favorite photos, sits right in front of my chair in the corner window at the front of my house so I can see it while reading...
While we are getting into it, and CMac started the quiver idea...
What are you riding?
A 9'6" Becker San Onofre, modified a little - triple redwood stringer with ol' school glassed leash attachment (which I try to never use...) also has a giant Infinity skeg that would be more appropriate beneath a sloop. Gotta brag about the hook-up - my buddies dad glasses for Becker and I only paid $500, with delivery to Monterey!
A 6'10" TDK tri-fin swallow tail, hand-me-down from a buddy in the military who got shipped to Iraq and then Kansas... $0
First board - 8'6" Tony Staples tri-fin squash tail (fun to learn on)
Jefe - My brother lives in Tuscon, and never surfs but won't give up his 9'6" Brewer that he keeps at our parents house in SD... hunt him down at REI (he's the admin) and tell him its just not right to keep that board gathering dust...
Surfstar- didn't quite get what you meant. i wish I had some better surf shots . I need a scanner for some of the better shots I have. I grew up in your neck of the woods and still do most of my surfing around Pt Conception and central cal. Hoping for a trip to WARM water soon!!!!! Warbler, hope your ankle heals to let you back in the line-up and pack that kid up and go!. Jefe, GET SOME my man!!!.
Credit: east side underground
edit ,I know I've posted this shot before but I love the vibe!!!!
any comparison of surf comps vs climbing comps - was just watching Volcum pipe pro - Heavy- how many climbing comps risk serious injury/death? the boys took some serious beatings. Yea surfstar thats _ been surfing there since I was sixteen - love that wave -
I think the two are complementary in the sense that they both have a primal feel to them; but since they're different elements, rock and water, it makes sense that the nature (pun intended) of the challenges and opportunities that each presents is complementary.
(Disclaimer: Most of my surfing has been on the Washington coast, often not many people out. I've never surfed a crowded SoCal break. That might feel more primal in some ways, but probably less in others.)
I live on the North Shore of Oahu and I don't surf. Don't climb anymore either.
If you haven't seen the recently released body surfing movie from Woodshed Films - Come Hell or Highwater: plight of the torpedo people.
I think it's more a function of population density and competition.
I grew up in a beach town with 2000 people, most of whom didn't surf or boogie board, and it was wonderful. It was more crowded on good days, and you could choose to hang in the pack or go find your own spot.
I have plenty of boogie boarding and surfing memories emblazoned for life, just like from climbing. The peaceful connection with nature that comes from hanging out at belays is very similar to that waiting for the next surf set to come in. Just letting your mind wander, or pondering the flecks of sand suspended in the water, or the crystal grains in the granite... different texture, same nirvana.
One unique part of growing up surfing that I liked... you could be in the middle of a deep conversation with someone, waiting on the outside, then you stop mid-sentence and start paddling after the bump on the horizon. Some frenzied activity, barely surviving a few duck dives, a cool wave and some pounding through the impact zone as you paddle back out, and 45 minutes later you pick up the conversation where you left off like nothing happened. I haven't thought about that for more than 20 years, but it's still hanging back in my brain.
I miss my childhood freedom to just wake up, look up and down the coast from my balcony while putting on the wetsuit, and just walk down to where the waves look best. I'm not far from the coast now, and I drive much farther to Yosemite for climbing all the time, but somehow I lost the strong connection to surfing as a way of life. I had it too easy as a kid! Now I have to work for that feeling and I don't chase it. But I do chase it for climbing.
Adamd, that wave looks fun!! Is that down at punta pescadera outside of the town of todos santos or I'm way off probably.
One unique part of growing up surfing that I liked... you could be in the middle of a deep conversation with someone, waiting on the outside, then you stop mid-sentence and start paddling after the bump on the horizon. Some frenzied activity, barely surviving a few duck dives, a cool wave and some pounding through the impact zone as you paddle back out, and 45 minutes later you pick up the conversation where you left off like nothing happened. I haven't thought about that for more than 20 years, but it's still hanging back in my brain.
The surfers are as#@&%es topic keeps coming up. I think its a bit unjustified. Imagine if you were out at the crag and multiple gumbies were gumming it up all over the place - top roping hogging the 1st pitch of a classic multi-pitch, spraying incessantly, letting their dogs eat your lunch, and other retarded gumby antics. As a legit non-gumby climber, this would irritate you, right?
Right. Its the same thing surfing just replace the gumby antics with dropping in on someone, paddling out through the lineup in front of someone, ditching your board and shooting it at someone, etc...
If you surf with a decent amount of skill and know your way around a lineup or a wave, you will have no problems. If you can't do those things, then go back to the Swan Slab.
I have been a surfer for over 20 years, and a climber for over 30. I climb 3 days a week in the gym and outside as much as possible, and I try to surf 4 days a week (conditions rule). If the surf is really good I will surf 7 days a week and still try to sneak in a couple of gym sessions. I live only 10 minutes from Sloat in San Francisco and 15 from Planite Granite. It is about as good as it gets for a city slicker. Surfing satisfies my outdoor fix when climbing outside is not an option. Surfing dawn patrol or climbing from 6 to 8 am, really makes my day get off to a good start. I am addicted equally to both.
Pretty much only have crap shots of me surfing. Sorry for the fuzz.
These shots, and the others are all at the same spot(with a few obvious exceptions). Many moods. So cool.
That's one thing about surfing- you can finish what felt like the best wave of your life and you turn around and it's gone. Poof. All you have is the memory, the heartbeat, the stoke. Never to be repeated again. That's what keeps you coming back for more.
As for the RatFink "PRAY FOR SURF" post. . . people wrote that everywhere when I was a kid. . .one day, on the way to GoldenWest, my dad had had it. . . and he announced, quite abruptly, "Can't you kids get it straight. . . it's PRAY FOR SEX, YOU CAN SURF ANYTIME!"
There was this pregnant silence. . . for the longest minute. . . then we all TOTALLY CRACKED UP.
Your spot sure looks like...
Let's see...is it named after a kind of tree?
If so, I've scored there before.
Muddy local trucks with gun racks...they heckled me for NOT wearing booties(!), obvious souther board...
Luckily my first wave was a gem and I didn't blow it stagefright style.
Oh, and I've surfed socialclimber's spots.
Good times in the foodchain!
Well I climbed this morning and ran out of time this afternoon to surf after helping my Mom with some stuff. Wasn't complimentary today, but the swell is peaking tomorrow morning so I'll still be fine...
It was amazingly "clean" and sunny yesterday in norcal. Far away storms with unusual local weather? I didn't know how to feel. I told myself I'd go check the inside breaks this morning, and possibly go for a swim.
Rising seas, slowly growing coral, disappearing points, eroding cliffs, "higher" wave action, disappearing sand (bars). Better go get after it ...
Damn fine swell at OB, Rip Curl got shafted missing that! Yesterday the call was climbing. Went to E. Pinns. Did several routes I have never done before and did a couple clean that I had falls on previously. All the routes we got on had one or more stars in BYoungs guidebook, we disagree with several.
In chronological order of the day:
Cosmos - Fantastic, should be on everyones list, very solid.
Mammary Pump - The 15 feet of fun climbing not really worth the choss.
Lithium - Very fun.
Between a Rock and a Hard Place - Excellent, great variation and fantastic length.
Melvin - No one should ever have to climb 50 feet of sh#t to boulder.
Foreplay - Very fun, very solid, very sustained climbing.
Feed the Beast - short, pumpy, not all that memorable.
Cantaloupe Death - I guess you could say the step across is memorable... we won't do it again.
The Verdict - I always f'up the sequence but a great way to wear out at the end of the day.
Cheers guys, thanks for keeping this thread going!
Well, I used to be a pretty darn good climber, but at 51 I'm just not as strong or psyched anymore, although I can still get out and lead ok stuff. Let's just say I'll be getting a lot worse from here on out!
When I started surfing in '95, I totally sucked. Now I"m pretty good...of course, living in Colorado has its limitations, but I travel a lot to surf. I like the fact that I still have a lot of room for improvement, and don't feel held back by my age.
I think surfing is an easier sport to age gracefully in...climbing just gets hard! Plus, I know way too many people that have died climbing, and I personally don't know a single person that has died surfing. I of course know that lots of people die surfing, I just don't happen to be acquainted with anyone.....wish I could say the same about climbing.
Two amazing activities though!
Yeah, Ocean Beach is known to be one of the worst paddles in the world. Took me a solid 30 minutes today... took my friend and hour yesterday to get out. But soooo good once you make it out. Today was almost as epic as yesterday
That re-glass looks like it might be a fun board, can't see the tail, single fin?
North Moss was fun today, stayed near the jetty, 3-4 with occasional 5-7. Rode a little 6'2" my friend loaned me, once I was up it worked, but F-M-S that thing was hard to paddle, need a little more thickness under the chest.
Farther north of where we were the sets could have been upwards of 10 feet or more, I just don't have that power to keep up with that...
On another note, I was just wondering, to the 'real' surfers here, does it bother you as much as me that climbers use terms like 'I surfed from the undercling to the gaston', or I was surfing the topos and found..., or 'grab the sidepull and surf up to the small crimp', there is so many more and I hate it!
I hear rumors of a little controversy about the scoring on the ride, I guess there is a feeling that had the ride been in the middle of the heat the score would have been lower... I think it was great surfing and great luck combined, he deserves that win, plus we've been watching that kid grow up since Step Into Liquid when he was riding the North Shore at age 8...
Hank - great clip! He must be a skimboarder, surfers have a much broader verbal lexicon...
It's been EPIC here on the north shore of Maui for so long now that I haven't found time to tune in to the taco. I was delighted to find this thread this morning. I hope to jump in soon in that I am a rock/surf bum kinda guy as well. Aloha Olaf
I love them both. However, I find it nearly impossible to motivate to go to the gym on a beautiful warm day when I can be outside and in the surf. As expected, my climbing suffers. I can think of worse trade-offs.
However, I have found a use for my climbing gear in the surfing arena. While shooting Mavericks on a boat lurching about in the sea, rather than trying to hang on and keep my balance, I girth-hitched a runner to a guardrail on the bow and then clipped a biner into my leather belt. While everyone else was slipping and sliding, I sat back and could shoot the spectacle in comfort. Next time I go out on a boat, I'm wearing my harness.
Great shot Byrner! I was talking with a friend yesterday and when it comes down to it I would rather get up at 5 am to go climbing than to surf. That may be a product of location cause it comes down to warmth... but the idea of crawling out of a warm down bed, away from a warm female body and into moist/cold neoprene and then into a roiling 50 degree Pacific Ocean is easy to talk myself out of... I did find out that my surfing buddy changed his plans and no longer wants to be in Hawaii and is moving back, it always helps having someone to surf with as a motivator (similar to climbing).
Right on, Charles. Yes, the neoprene in the morning is always a rough one. That, and getting smacked in the face with the first wave of the morning are always tough barriers, but once they're gone, the bliss begins.
One of the guys on here did mention the large numbers of assholish folks often at the good breaks. That is the one thing that does get in the way for me sometimes. I participate in these sports to get away. Jockeying for position at a Santa Cruz break is kind of a bummer when you're looking for a break.
All the more reason to take a vacation to some deserted, warm beach... with cliffs to climb in the background. :)
Great question. In my opinion as someone who has surfed hard for 30 years and climbed relatively hard and as passionately as anyone for 15 years, they are not complimentary physically but are indeed mentally.
Clark, I am always struck by the completely different muscle groups I use in the two pursuits, I always thought climbing was as full body a workout as I would need/get and surfing engages a completely different set...
I grew up surfing but have climbed religiously for the past 18 years, and I couldn't agree with Randy Leavitt any more! Getting spit out of a double overhead freight train at Honolua Bay is bar-none the most exhilarating experience of my life, and a sunny-chest high day is about as relaxing as it gets. Topping out on the Diamond or sending my hardest sport project is satisfying,gratifying and a fantastic motivator, but climbing always contains an underlying anxiety for me, whether due to fear or a self-induced pressure to perform. I feel extremely fortunate to have been able to enjoy both activities throughout my life, I just wish Cali wasn't so expensive and crowded.
I surfed a popular Santa Cruz county spot yesterday- it was such a zoo. One thing about climbing is that as you improve you get to climb better less crowded routes. When you get better at surfing you end up at more crowded spots competing against better surfers.
Hay trundlebum, Thanks for the comment on the MP thread. We have just under 33K page views and it's picking up momentum every day. I would like to acknowledge your creative efforts ever since the beginning back in 08. I believe we are one of (if not) the longest running active threads on that website. I have more fun with the thread than my magazine or my blog. I just feel most comfortable in the presence of climbers.
I invite the taco crew to jump in if you have an interest to share the surf/rock bum lifestyle. Cheers Olaf
I would like to share a painting by Tracy Harp she is a a great surfer and wave sailor and a dominant force in the "Kuau Yacht Club"
Bumping this up for some nice imagery since the last time I checked in... had a most disappointing time last Friday wandering the bay, too closed out at the southern end, too foggy in the middle... hoping change of schedule and a new midday time slot improve my options...
This is another bump for the climbing/surfing thread.
There has been no lack of world class waves here on the north shore of Maui lately. The only catch is if you are only a surfer you're limited to just the dawn patrol before the wind gets on it and blows it out BUT if you have wind skills you're in the best place on the planet to express yourself in every size waves imaginable.
Many of our core group are accomplished big wave surfers and wave sailors. Some of us are even rock climbers with many first assents and notable walls and peaks to thier credit. It's very hard to be a big fish in this pond. These days I travel back to my home in Colorado to climb. I train very little for climbing these days so my trad leading head is very very rusty but after a few days with my bro's I can still get up a few things. Climbing is always on my mind and I aspire to get the opportunity to do an extended road trip to taste some of those classics that I remember from back in the day. Cheers to all you rock/surf bums here on the Taco! Aloha Olaf
Just back from a great Costa Rica surf trip and stoked to see all the great pics. Have been climbing/skiing many years and learning to surf for quite a few less years. Maybe was once a real climber but will probably never be a real surfer. Too much fun not to keep at it though. But I keep thinking that surfing lacks a killer learning aid that skiing has had for a long time, and realized the answer has been under my butt all along: Chairlifts!! Think about it. An elegant solution to all that tiring paddling and breath holding! The engineering can't be any harder or more expensive than building a pier or drilling platform. What with wave machines and all, I can't believe someone hasn't built one by now. And there's precedent: jumping off a pier, hiking to the point, PWC's, and boats. It would be easy to string one up on the side of an existing pier, too. Any decent beach break could be made accesible to anybody with the price of a ticket, and the whole inside would be open because everybody is riding the chair! You could even limit the onloads to thin out the lineup. And no more wasting time earning respect and giving way....just paddle back from the chair to the takeoff and go. Plus, less time in the water to contract infectious diseases after every rainstorm and runoff event. Sometimes my genius surprises even me. Looking for investors!
Haha also can't tell if he's kidding, but of course someone from colorodo would be the one to want a chairlift at the beach. That could easily be the worst thing that could happen to surfing. The day I have to pay to surf....I can't even finish that sentence! Never!!!!
Yeah, it's a joke! But maybe a little scary, too. Who would have thought 25 years ago that climbing would actually become a competition sport with cheering crowds and circuits and indoor specialists? Lots of parallels between the sports. Now there's even a contest circuit for the big wave guys. For me, at least, surfing and climbing in the end boil down to solitary pursuits, sans crew. Cracks me up to read about people having to wait to go climbing because their photographer isn't ready. And just 'cause I'm from Colorado doesn't mean I ride the lifts.
Phew... that was a close one... one of the disparities between climbing competitions and surfing competitions is the medium. By and large climbing comps are held indoors/on artificial walls (I am aware that there are outdoor comps) and on the opposite side surfing comps are held outdoors at the very breaks we frequent (and some more exotic ones), I would hesitate to say that climbing will ever rise to the level of surfing (speaking in dollars here, though Adidas is hedging their bets that way), it's just not as interesting to watch as surfing is...
Phil, glad you weren't serious, i'd have to take up monkey-wrenching if someone started building lifts at surf breaks, piers are invasive enough...
One winter day a while back my very attractive blond friend Lynn and I were just starting the 1/4 mile paddle out at Kanaha when this Maui Water Patrol man pulled up by us on his County Jet Ski and asked if we wanted a tow. We said " Hell Yeah!" You should have seen the looks on all da bradda's faces when he dropped us of at da peak. Oh well, That was a once in a life time experience. Every now a again I run into Lynn and we most always bring up that tow out.
BTW: Phil I was just about to express my $.02 on your chair ride to the peak idea. Thanks for clearing up the troll and not starting a sh#t storm an this very cool thread. Aloha, Olaf
I didn't mean to start nothin', guys. Just a sarcastic cynical old fart. I wasn't joking about the being surprised nobody had done it yet part though. Seems like it would fit right in with the current adventure travel craze. Crazy big thinkers have come up with some pretty strange things. How about Abalonia? And to answer the thread question, without a doubt.
Finally a post to break out of "lurking" for! We are all so damn lucky to be climbing and/or surfing--the friendships, places and experiences we take are highlighted often in both sports. These are some of my favorite days and piccys to go with...
Glad I am finally returning something to this amazing site...Ive been lurking about other peoples trip reports for some time now...
Heres a few more surf and climb stoke photos of two complimentary pursuits(i.e more shameless self promotion of my own fortunate adventures) Hope you folks enjoy them!
In the spirit of keeping this thread alive I thought that I would like to try and share one of my images of surfing a substantial winter day here on the north shore a few seasons back.
The parking lot isnít empty but there are a lot of vacant spaces.
Walking through the kiavi trees out to the beach I get my first view of the ocean.
Iím wide eyed and I have a lump in my throat as I stare into the winter swell. With my binoculars I watch one wave after another close out completely.
The waves are so big that I question my sanity for even thinking about paddling out!
I am preoccupied and I donít realize that my friend Dave has arrived at the scene.
Dave looks at the conditions and says, ďOlaf, this is dangerous!"
I reply, ďIt could be Dave, but letís paddle out, we don't have to drop in on any of them!"
Having surfed this spot many times we are fully aware of how the hydraulics work over this section of reef.
The size and direction of this swell has changed the character of everything.
The main peak is much further out than normal and there is a breaking wave in the channel.
There are also occasional sneaker peaks popping up in odd places.
I manage to catch few smaller waves on the inside left and started to calm down a bit. In fact I was having fun.
On the horizon I see this "macker" rolling in and Dave and I both start paddling for our lives, were paddling up a dead vertical wall of water! Our timing was good and we both made it over that one.
That really got my adrenaline pumping!
Dave says, "Humm! Olaf, that one was big!"
I reply, "Yeah Dave it was, but take a look at this one!"
The next wave of the set comes out of nowhere.
It totally creams us!
All that I have time to do is take a deep breath, relax, and hang on to my board.
After tumbling in the torrent for a while I surface and I say to myself, ďWOW! That one wasnít so bad.Ē
I look to make sure if my board is still in one piece. I find itís still intact.
Thanks to the long intervals between the larger sets the paddle back out side is casual.
Back in the lineup, I notice each surfers face is sporting a serious expression and there is relatively no idle conversation. There isnít a defined line up, the waves are erratic and the current is so strong that itís hard to hold any kind of position.
It's every man for himself.
If some fool wants to roll the dice and drop in on one of these waves, every one wishes him well and gets out of the way!
While Iím patiently sitting outside what appears to be a perfect peak comes my way.
I turn and paddle for it.
My timing is late and I am sucked over the falls.
I take a long freefall followed by a violent thrashing!
Next, I get to walk on the reef for a while, and my only thought is that, I need air!
Pulling hand over hand on my leash takes me to the surface. Iím careful not to pull too hard. Once in the past, I actually pulled my board right into my face. That proved to be way more dangerous than the wave.
Iím shaken from the violent pounding of the last wave but paddle back out. I sit the outside the breaking waves for a good long while.
After the last thrashing, Iím not eager to put my life back on the line right away.
Itís some time before I able to relax.
Eventually my thoughts turn to idle daydreaming. Thoughts like what I want to be when I grow up or that bonehead thing that I wish I hadnít said last night replace the tension and terror of my last wipeout.
Itís a lot of work to hold my position where I think the wave will peak.
Some of the other surfers are sitting inside and left. Theyíre trying to surf in the safety zone created by the left shoulder section. This strategy often works but today the left channel is closing out.
A very steep board-breaking wave takes its place and is catching the unsuspecting surfers off guard.
Then low and behold the most perfect wave manifests right before my eyes. I really donít have to try to catch it. It is just that perfect.
Two strokes are all that it takes and Iím on it! Iím dropping down the face of this magnificent wonder of nature. It is a perfectly pealing left hand wave with a steep shoulder that goes on forever! It feels like some three star intermediate groomed run at Vail.
With total commitment I set my rail and initiate the bottom turn. I then climb back to the lip and cut back to the peak. With the peak crumbling just inches behind my fin, I smack the lip and then repeat the aforementioned, seemingly interminable drop, rails digging and fins threatening to break loose but still holding their track I glide into the channel!
I hear ďhootsĒ from the other surfers! I know that I have just dropped in on one of the best waves of the day.
I spend another hour getting clobbered without getting another wave.
ItĎs a long paddle in but I have had enough of this brand of fun for one day!
Pretty mushy this morning at Moss, not the best conditions for the 5'10"... at first we were alone, but as the morning went on grouchy old guys came out and paddle-battled us on longboards... of course you are gonna win buddy, my boards mostly underwater... we were getting kind of cold and bummed by the crowd and I headed in a my friend stayed for one more, saw a guy on something long catch the wave of the day and head past my friend on his way back out and say something, given the mood in the water I made my assumptions... so my friend and I meet up on shore and I ask what the guy said... he said good morning and had a huge smile on his face... only good surfer in the water and the only happy one... huge parallel to climbing... the best is the one having the most fun...
Stolen pic from surfline... it did NOT look like this today...
Those are some sick shots "briham89"
I really dig the stoke that this thread is generating!
Here's a few images that I shot yesterday afternoon at Hookipa between rain squalls. It was one of those mixed up days with substantial waves, moderate Kona winds and rain squalls. It really wasn't inspiring me to surf so I shot a few photos and talked story with some friends along the way.
Today is more promising. I can here the surf pounding as I write this post.
Kind-a like comparing two beautiful Girls donít you think?
Since no one has jumped in and given us a more valid comparison in my opinion,I'm gonna continue with this direction for one more post cause I am a guy and I like to see strong beautiful women athletes in action.
Better try dropping into a similar sized North OB Jetty barrel, cranking one off the bottom before ya kiss the rocks & then sending it down the line and out the other end...before ya make dem claims, bro!!
EDIT: not that we need any promo's, but a claim is a claim...
Alternitive name: OD Jetty(did i mention the take-off/particularly approaching dubl-o-head)
Wave quality: Regional Classic
Experience: Pros or Kamikazi's only(did i mention the take-off??)
Wave length: Normal day(50-150m) Good day(150-300m)
Power: Hollow, fast, powerful...
Dangers: Man-made(buoys, rocks, etc./did i mention the take-off??) -- Localism -- Polution(from SD River/only after rain).
(Ours doesn't do so bad in the surfline write-up, either...)
It's the consistent size that makes SF's OB... when I was living in Santa Barbara, where I grew up and learned to surf, swell size like in the pic I posted would be the day of the year...up here, it's nothing overly special, just another day in a good week.
Hey O-Man, is there a source for the beauty art you've been posting? Good stories, too. Wish I could surf like that....have to settle for the drop into Highlands Bowl this time of year....Free your heel, free your....whatever.
This thread is doing great, love the stoke overlap of these two pursuits. Had a great weekend at the PInns, back to back days, will throw some pics in when I get them, but the highlight was my partner sending Cataract Corner on the Monolith! She took 5 falls, lowered to the ground after each then fired the sucker, very proud day! For the record I have tennis elbow right now and I got my ass handed to me on that route... (let the flaming begin)...
That's freaking rad Chris. I've been trying to think about what in climbing compares to getting shacked and coming out the other end. Maybe sending a hard route or summitting on a wall. Or maybe there is no point in comparing and just enjoy the stoke of each.
+1 on Chris' post! A small photo/film crew here in the Monterey Area http://upsidownworld.com/ has been pondering getting into the aerial photog business, they are a little apprehensive because of the new FAA drone rules and what they might mean for the growth of the industry. Really cool stuff though, great to capture climbing as well, see the WHY video for those shots of Honnold!
Everyone likes to paint a nice picture of how their sessions go and I am not any different.
But there is only one way I can describe how this winter is going for me and that is GNARLY!
We have been having back to back advisory/warning level swells and nuclear winds.
Being an avid wave sailor I should be delighted but so many mishaps have occurred that I am getting worn down. I had back to back rib injuries earlier in the season. Then I had another injury that I wonít go into that wasnít surf related.
Surfing and wave sailing in substantial conditions require you to be in top condition and I really havenít been injury free most of the season. When youíre a wave junkie like me itís hard to sit on the beach and be a spectator and not to go out.
Now I have had some great surf and wave sailing sessions this season but lately it has been very challenging and I am not the only one that is feeling the wear.
Two weeks back it was just sick big! I sailed the day before it got totally out of control and I caught one session as that swell was dropping. In both of those sessions I was careful not to get caught inside. This was followed by another bump of equal proportions. The wind was so off shore that there was next to no wind on the inside and blowing like stink on the outside so it was next to impossible to choose the proper kit. What do you do? Itís very important to rig big enough so you have enough power to get through the impact zone but if you do you wind up so over powered on the wave that you canít express yourself on the wave face. This being the case you tend to rig small and hope for a break in the sets so you can sneak out side without getting clobbered. In one of my seshís I was held under longer than I have in a very long time.
In the last week the giant long period N/W ground swells have dropped off but they were still there. They have been replace by massive tight interval S/E wind swell producing 20í++ faces. Now this isnít all that bad in that the faces of these waves are fairly smooth and easy to ride but ya always got to keep an eye out over your shoulder and make sure that the wave behind you isnít going to eat you when you kick out the back.
The first part of last week it was so stinking windy that I chose to wait till later on the day hoping for the wind to recede and each day as I was about to launch the wind just crapped out once due to a passing rain squall and the other it just dropped bit by bit I showed up with a 3.7m and before I got on the water it had dropped a notch. Not wanting to go out in surf of the magnitude under powered I walked back to my place and got my 4.1m sail. No sooner did I get it rigged the wind dropped another notch. I could have or maybe should have just gone back home a got my 4.7m but by this time I was getting frustrated. So I just took my stuff home and put it away.
The next day I wasnít going to let that happen again so I went earlier and rigged my 3.7m and went out I got creamed on my way out but eventually made it outside. It was so windy that it was very hard to manage but I got some great waves (I also almost sailed right on top of a whale that was cruising along the surface not very far outside the impact zone) before I decided to go in. The spot that I typically sail has one of the most technical launch and returns on the north shore. I have had just about everything imaginable happen to me in the last thirty meters. This day the current was running like a mountain stream in spring runoff. With a rip running that strong and no wind on the inside I fell in a very bad place. I made an effort to swim with my gear but it was futile so I decided to water star and go back outside and give it another shot.
By this time the current had a firm hold on me and before I knew or could do anything about it I was in the middle of the bone yard and these two to three foot demons were pounding me into the rocks time after time. I have been in this place in the past and know that is no use in fighting the inevitable. I just tried to not get clobbered by my gear as the waves crashed us on the rocks. Itís very entertaining to watch someone get the living S..t kicked of them in that rock garden.
Well I came out of that relatively unscathed but my 78ltr. Quatro wave board took some big hits and my 3.7m Goya wave sail suffered some serious bruises. After that I collected the carnage called it a day.
The next day looked better. So I showed up at the beach and rigged and went out I was immediately taken out time after time. Finally this one substantial wave hit me. Typically when I get hit by a wave that big I let my rig go and then swim after it. But several of my friends lost their entire rigs in the past two days due to the extreme currents generated by this vigorous N/E wind swell so I held on. The power of that wave combined with the resistance of me hanging on was too much for my Goya 370 mast and it folded.
I have been in this situation several times in the past and realize that there is nothing that I can do but keep hold of my gear and start swimming for shore. The current was very strong and my choices of possible landing sites were very limited due to cliffs and jagged rocky beaches. My first choice was the back of the bay but that possibility soon diminished so I set my sights on Blue Tile House Beach at Tavares Bay this seemed possible but as I worked my way closer I realized that the current wasnít going to let me come in there. Well next possible place was Spy Glass house but I dismissed that option remembering the last time I tried that spot.( I just got beat up severely on those rocks and my gear suffered majorly).
The next possible port was Buddha Bay. I have retrieved numerous wave sailors that have broken down and washed in at that spot over the years. None of those guys had a positive thing to say about that spot.
As I got closer I realized that the current was going to push me right past Buddha Bay and I set my sights on Paia Bay and wasnít dismissing the possibility of landing at Baldwin Beach even further down the coast.
I was completely at peace with my situation in that it wasnít close to dark yet and there wasnít any thing that I could do other than go with the flow.
ThatĎs when I noticed my friend Dean sitting on a kayak with a big smile on his face. I told him that I was glad to see him but didnít know if there was anything he could do to help other than hang out and keep me company while I worked my way to the next possible landing spot.
Dean had strapped a surfboard leash to the back of the kayak and told me to hang on and he would try to tow me against the current into Buddha Bay. I was doubtful that this was going to work but I was getting tired and more than willing to give it a try.
Surprisingly we made slow but steady progress toward the shore.
We could see the waves pounding at Buddha Bay and knew that we were going to have to come up with a plan.
The last thing we needed was for Dean and his kayak and me and my sailboard rig to be taken out by a sneaker set while trying to land. The thought of the two of us and the gear tumbling in the same wave was not pretty.
Then the next thing that I know a head popped up out of nowhere. Tracy had been watching and swam out to help with negotiating the dicey last bit. She had been scoping out the best place to come in and had it all figured out.
The next thing I noticed was Viktor standing on the beach spotting the best place as well.
With all these wonderful friends helping, the landing went seamlessly and we carried everything up on to the lawn at the Buddhist Temple and I started to de-rig my broken rig.
Next Pete showed up. He had gone into town and grabbed a 12 pack.
We went back to the launch and had a beer. We talked story for a while, and watched another Maui sunset.
All in all it was just business as usual in my neck of the woods.
"Olaf's Dream Wave"
Original oil painting by Karen Lang
Iím sitting here trying to remember some of the details of a recent surf sesh I had and
itís real hard to focus on any single wave other than this one.
At the beginning of the sesh I dropped in on a couple of bombs that were nothing but a big clean drop to a big close out.
Then Kanaha started really showing her teeth and she was in a foul mood.
Not many guys were going for the set waves and I found out why.
I was sitting pretty far out when something rose up on the horizon.
I immediately started paddling out as fast as I could.
I paddled for a long way and I didn't know if I had gone far enough.
By the time the set got to me I still wasn't clear of this makker set.
I paddled up vertical faces that I don't have any I idea of how big they were, but, they spooked me.
One after another I paddled over three of them and just barely cleared the lip before it threw.
I kept eyes on the horizon as I caught a couple smaller waves that were closeouts as well.
I was hoping for one good wave and then I was going to call it a day.
I was sitting off to the left of what I thought was the peak when this smaller looking glassy peak rolled right up to me.
It was a perfect right hander.
I hardly had to paddle.
I made two strokes and popped up into a low aggressive stance.
I dropped down the long smooth face.
I charged back up that smooth face for almost as far as I had dropped at the peak.
Just when I was initiating my top turn the wave decided to throw.
And boy did it!
I had a full head of steam when I collided with this exploding peak. I was thrown far in the air and my board was thrown even farther. When it had stretched my leash as far as it could the board rebounded. It powered back at me like one of those paddle balls on a rubber band.
I remember seeing the fins as they passed by my face.
Then it happened!
I landed right in the epicenter of the force that the wave was producing.
I was violently pummeled and held under for an uncomfortably long while.
When I came up I only had time for one deep breath before the next equally sized wave dumped on my head.
This went on for several more waves.
Each one of them delivered a severe beating.
All I could do is breath when I got the chance and try and protect my board as best I could.
When that set subsided I paddled back out and caught a couple more smaller waves before calling it a day.
I was asked by several guys how my sesh was and all I could tell them was that I caught some big waves and I paid for them
Obviously you're familiar with the wave at Kanaha Beach Park here on Maui.
I typically surf the main peak at lower Kanaha.
For me it's primarily a long board wave in that itís a ľ mile paddle out and it can be a bit mushy and hard to get into on a short board.
It has a fine right that rivals Punta San Carlos for length and often holds up through three distinct sections and gets faster the further you go.
If you do make all three sections the paddle back seems forever. Also there is no distinct channel back outside from the right and turns into seemly interminable duck diving and turtle rolling.
Like I mentioned in a previous post I often choose the inside passage by paddling all the way around to the left channel. It's a long leisurely paddle and the left channel often lets you outside without taking very many on the head. That is unless it gets really big and then itís a whole different board snapping wave.
Many people choose to surf the second right hand section in that it's faster and not as competitive. If you kick out soon enough the paddle back isn't soo bad. I never surf the third section, aka "The Bone Yard" because like you described in your post it is extremely shallow. That is unless I make it through to the third from the main peak in the same wave.
I used to wave sail the third section fairly often to get away from the crowd. I can remember enjoying that wave so much that I forgot to kick out and rode it to the end and scraping my fin on the reef. I felt really silly standing in thigh deep water barefoot on top of very sharp coral while getting pounded by little one foot waves.
Depending on the day I will ride several rights and then settle in to the left off the peak if itís not too crowded. Itís a great left that holds up well and deposits you directly into the channel.
The angled wave aka ďThe Weird WaveĒ aka ďThe Portuguese TriangleĒ I wind surf it occasionally when it gets real big. It has a good right channel that never closes out. It is a very long paddle past the main lower peak. Itís also becoming popular with the SUP gang and that is a blessing for us trad surfers. I hope that trend continues.
I just realized that YER GONNNA DIE!!! is very relevant in surfing. Haven't we all had that moment when we are caught inside of a monster set, or we are paddling over the first wave of a set to see that monster out there that you have no chance of making it over? And everytime I think to myself I'M GONNA DIE!!! but somehow i never do hahaha
This is for all you old guys out there. Forgive me if I wax nostalgic.
My first board was a Dale Velzy 9'6". Weighed a flippin ton. But it got me started and before you know it I was saving my pennies, mowing lots of lawns and for my 16th birthday got the latest Hansen "superflex". It wasn't long and the short board revolution hit, boards suddenly became 2' shorter, lighter and the world of surfing changed forever.
There was a guy in the Valley (San Fernado) the made a fortune doing "Cutdowns" at this time. I gave him this board and he would lopp off 2', reshape it and there you go, a short board and you were one of the cutting edge guys.
Suddenly things looked like this:
California street, Ventura
A buddy and I went one evening for the "glass off". It never glassed off but standing in the parking lot at Zuma we noticed line after line stacking up out to sea. This was before the internet and recorded "Surf Reports" and so the only way you could know if it was going to be good was to be there. I picked him up at 4:30 and had Malibu almost to ourselve for about 3 hours at 5-6'. Great day.
This is how it usually looked in the early 70's. Notice there are still a few long board holdouts in the water.
Of course we made our required trek to the islands and stayed in this bungalow at Sunset Point ("Backyards"). We could walk to Velzyland each morning for some great times.
Hope you all don't mind the way-back machine. It's all I got.
Depends where you go and who you go with and how you learn... localism exists, but it's hyped too much...
There are mellow spots (with cool folks) to learn and practice with on the west side in the summer. I would recommend an instructor/guide to get you going in the right direction. Even if you don't make it your greatest passion you'll never regret the time spent experiencing what it feels like to be a SURFER!
Like they said, depends on where you go, but as a beginner you will most likely be going to a beach break of which there are many public beaches with lots of beach, parking, and surfers with all types of experience, including beginners. We all went through it, the gremmie period & the localism. Just remember the basic rule of thumb in the water; don't take off in front of a guy already on the wave or in a better position when you are both simultaneously scratching to get the same wave. Localism is way over hyped for the most part. And like O-man suggests, prollie would be a good idea to rent a board and get a 1-2 hour lesson the first time to see if you like it and get a few pointers. Especially if your planning a trip to his neck of the woods(the Islands). If you are, Waikiki would be an excellent intro to the sport with the origional Hawiian Beach Boys as instructors!
I think the key, here, is to make sure you're really flexible if you're going to learn by paddling out, prone. I saw some kind of news report a while back about older (in their 30s) students who got spinal cord damage from the hyper-extention of their backs while paddling out. I would think if you just knee paddled you'd be ok, as an old dad, but it's not really "entry level" skill.
To be clear, I have surfed before (10 years ago) just not enough or good enough to call myself a surfer...
Well, you're set to go, OldDad! All you've prolly lost is your timing. . . it'll come back. . . just do some "hula hoop" moves a few times a day between now and when you paddle out to make sure you're not all stiff and funkmo.
This is a great shot of the Tijuana Sloughs (small day December, 1967) - that's Dempsey Holder and I don't know who else. You really don't want to go in the water there these days.
Dempsey speaks (sound familiar?):
Back in West Texas where I was raised there were lots of cowboys, but that didnít mean too much.
The thing that was a real compliment was to be a stockman.
Thatís like a watermanósomebody that can handle themselves in the water.
Emergency come alongóyou can take care of yourself.
My good friend Dave (DC) Chalmers and Max at Coronado.
Max was one of the very first surfing dogs. Because
of the way Dave lived his life until he died from melanoma,
Max probably rode more waves than most surfers.
Just saw o-man's image of the dolphins riding a wave on the previous page. Actually saw about four dolphins playing and doing just that in moderately heavy surf off of Carlsbad today! Very cool. One also jumped straight up and came back down in likewise manner! Needless to say, my kids and me were thrilled.
As for surfing, one of these days, one of these day. Definitely "speaks" to me. Just gotta live close to the coast so I can get regular. I live very close to the base of the San Gabriel Mountains, so I am not complaining from that perspective!
Saturday at 11am I met up with a surf instructor.
We proceeded out to Cowells.
The early morning was 30 mph winds and rain so I think many people just didn't show up.
Once we got to the beach, there was zero wind!
We had Cowells almost to ourselves at 3'-4'...
Instructors was great! Ron from Santa Cruz Surf School.
He gave some assistance with getting positioned for incoming sets etc.
First wave I go for.....
I paddle,paddle, power paddle, power paddle, I feel the board lift..... Oh my Gawd this us awesome!!!! Quick move to my feet. Front foot drug a bit but landed perfect center. IM SURFING!!!!! I rode that wave till I hopped off the board!!!!!
That's it!!!! I love this sport !!!
It's just amazing the way the waves just roll forward and we can cruise their smooth face.
Now remember, this is Cowells in Santa Cruz... As Crouch said, "the girl scouts of surfing".
I do not care... I was having a freKin blast!!!!
We spent 2 hours out surfing... Many falls. Many missed waves. Lots of seals.
I bought a new wetsuit and I am trying to figure out how I can get back out again this week.
Surfing and climbing..... What a life!!!!
It brings back memories of heading out for North County San Diego on the weekends. Sitting on bean bags in the back of something like this, but quite a bit less stylized.
Credit: Jim Clipper
Dad had a Pipeline dub, made on a reel to reel. The song copied twice without a beat missing in between. It lasted just a little longer. Riding skate boards goofy foot. He tried to get me to start natural. Finally, he gave up, and said well you can surf it someday. His dream board is still hanging in our house.
Saturday nights, we slept on the floor of a friend's condo in Del Mar. No furniture. Now, the place is probably worth a King's ransom.
Finally, if you need a board, you can ride mine. (maybe pay just pay for the repairs if needed.)
When the wind is good (I don't think the swell matters that much), you don't see anybody sittin' in the water. They're all cruising up and down the line. I stopped and talked to a couple kite guys and they said the transition from surfing isn't major and pretty much everybody shares without the conflicts you see elswhere. Thumbs up.
Scored some amazing / warm surf down in the southern hemi (or actually on the equator i guess) last week. This is at San Cristobal in the Galapagos Islands.
Punta Carola to myself
7-10 foot SW swell rolled in for a couple days, and it was going off here. Had it to myself every morning. Except one day, when there was a little local surf competition. The groms were shredding, and amazed by my whiteness haha. Luckily I tanned out a bit by the end, but still being a foot taller than anyone on the island and the only one with blue eyes and blonde hair, definitely made me stick out where ever i went.
Every take off, it was best not to look down at the nearly exposed /sometimes out of the water reef.
The sea lions were very playful and not afraid of humans.
Climbing Galapagos style
Pound some stubs into the tree and bam climbing route! I wanted to get a look at the anchor, but it was out of site....the rope was a little scary looking.
Great trip report briham89! surfing over a beautiful coral reef in warm clear water with abundant sea life,and tree climbing too, very cool!
We have had a visiting Hawaiian Monk seal at our launch spot lately. Here's a link to a story that that I put together about it. http://mauiwindsurfing.blogspot.com/2012/03/goldie-and-seal.html
I opened Surfers Journal 21.2 and in the back I found "The Leavitt Lists", by Randy Leavitt...
Top Ten Reasons why Rock Climbing Sucks (compared to surfing):
10 - No jet skis: They can get you into some really good places/waves.
9 - Videos: Climbing videos can be boring compared to surfing videos.
8 - Money: A lot more of it if you are a pro surfer.
7 - Training: You have to do a lot less as a surfer.
6 - Eating/Drinking: That is part of your training as a surfer.
5 - Bikinis: You can actually see them while surfing, rather than just in pictures.
4 - Posing: It is hard to pull of being a poser in surfing. You could hang on bolts, posing on America's hardest sport climb, Jumbo Love (5.15b), but try that at Teahupoo!
3 - Highlights: The best day surfing is better than the best day climbing.
2 - Rest Days: Surfers don't need to take rest days.
1 - Getting Barreled: I would list this twice, but I am out of numbers.
Top Ten Reasons Why Surfing Sucks (compared to rock climbing)
10 - No jet skis: They do not exist in climbing so you don't have to deal with them and you don't have to listen to them.
9 - Travel: Traveling with surfboards sucks.
8 - Language: The lexicon for climbing is way more deep and interesting and rarely involves the word "dude" or "bro". There is also a lot more to talk about than just getting "pitted", "worked", "barreled", and "spit".
7 - Doesn't blow out: Surfing does blow out, climbing doesn't.
6 - Photos: It is a lot easier to get nice climbing photos and you don't need a yellow helicopter.
5 - Sharks: There are no sharks in climbing. Ditto with kelp.
4 - Localism: It really does not exist in climbing.
3 - Consistency: Climbing is always there and you rarely have to wait for conditions.
2 - Crowds: Basically, these don't exist in climbing.
1 - Climbing Gyms: They are way ahead of any pie-in-the-sky wave pools (for now).
So what say you? There are some points I don't agree with, but that is besides the point. How do you stack these two top ten lists?
Someone here at the gym just showed me a video from Sunday shot at Ghost Tree in Pebble Beach, going at about 30 foot sets, maybe bigger (he says 40 but I think he is making the fish bigger than it was...) he said there was one guy out paddling in...
The thing that sucks most about surfing is all the time spent surfing the other surfers when it gets good, instead of the wave. And the days and days when it's flat or blown out.
The rock's always there, and always uncrowded if you're adventurous.
The thing that sucks about rock climbing is your fitness level and free climbing ability drops noticeably if you don't climb for two weeks, and keeps dropping from there. Climbing is way more demanding that way.
Maui has an abundance of substantial waves but there is one glitch and that is wind. So in order to fully take advantage of these dynamic waves you really need a wind sport in addition to traditional paddle in tactics.
In the link below I have tried to share a fairly typical winter day in my neck of the woods. http://rockerwaves.blogspot.com/2011/08/another-great-day-at-beach.html
Probably the best barrel session I ever had was on a Good Friday.
Beachbreaks are more often than not, very fickle. My local spot was no exception, with magical windows lasting sometimes only half an hour.
Even though I could walk to Trestles from my house, the allure of catching the beachie when it was ON kept me checking there first. I noted angles, periods, and tides. Made sure to check right before dark, and hope for the right windchimes to wake me up for the dawnie.
Trestles was always good, and most of the time, crowded. It was always a small victory to catch Lowers good midday, or when the surf cammers were fooled.
But catching Park meant so much more.
More challenge(wave, not crowd). More risk and more reward. This beachbreak is not a typical gradual sloping sand bottom with waves breaking way outside. It is a ledgy, steep beach with an occasional rock. Super tide dependant.
So when spring would roll around, with combo swells, cleaned up storm surf, windswell, and early offshores that quickly changed...my spidey senses would tingle.
That one Good Friday dawned with just the right combination of factors to make it go off. Added factor- no one else thought it would be good that morning. Not a creature was stirring...
I suited up at home watching that weather girl Jillian and coffeeing up. I didn't need to check it, i knew it was on.
I rode over and started down the trail. My first view down the canyon was a sweet one. A frames. Spit. No one out. Not big, not small- juuust right. Like porridge.
I ran down the trail, amping.
The paddle was cake, as the wave breaks close, and conditions were superclean, and soon enough a nice little bump came my way.
I was riding my 6'0 RNF- a kind of fish/shortboard hybrid, twinnie with a chip trailer.
Easy in, fade off the bottom, eye that obvious step, and schhhhhhhhhhhhwwwwiiiiiissssssssss. Barrelled.
That step was there every time, so easy to read, so easy to set up, so easy to make.
I must've gotten, I don't know, 20 barrels that morning before the tide and wind made me go to work.
I show up at the house I'm painting and am hanging up my wettie when the homeowner drives up. He's a surfer too.
I'm all stoked and he's all bummed.
He went to Trestles.
And it SUCKED!
Sorry for the spray but every Good Friday I remember that session.
Especially now that I'm in Tucson.
Waaaaay earlier in this there are pics of this spot and it's many moods .
I had kind of set a goal to get good at surfing the beachbreak. Aside from being fickle, it was often tricky and sometimes heavy.
All the points are so easy(and fun) that it makes you feel like Kelly Slater with hair. Try surfing a faster, or hollower, or trickier wave and feel like a kook.
So i surfed the beachbreak when it sucked, when it was wrong, blown, whatever.
I really tried to remember everything that made it work, and even then it would suck, or i would.
Slowly i figured out the nuances of the beach, the wave. I built my skills and reaction time.
The days when it all would come together were awesome.
Then i would go back to the points and just amp out on how long and forgiving the waves were. Paddling for hours. Tired legs.
Like Warbler said, you spend a lot of time surfing the crowd. Even with friends, or a spot in the lineup, it gets old.
What i can say is that it prepared me well for roadtrips to other spots when they were crowded. Whether putting on the cloaking device, or the hood and warpaint, I could usually get my share at Rincon or wherever.
Love those pointbreaks!!!!
But man, give me a dredger with no crowd and a short paddle and I'm a happy guy!
Reilly SUPers usually wear leashes. At the wedge almost no one wears leashes because the wave is so damn powerful you don't want to get sucked by your board (especially a big as SUP). When i lived down there I didn't use a leash on my body board or surfboard.
I never surfed County Line.
Countless times checked, never saw it looking worthy, at least not better or more appealing than Secos, which is where I liked more and would end up surfing.
Yep, never saw it look good.
After a late night with Joe Strummer and the Mescaleros at the Troubador, my bro and I slept in his van in the dirt lot on the bluff there.
I woke up to the rig shaking, figured we were getting rousted by the man.
Nope, just 40mph Santa Anas.
When i got out to take a leak the door was nearly ripped from the hinges.
Red dust was being blown into the lineup making the waves rust colored.
And boy were there waves.
One crispy critter sat in his truck watching and coffeeing up. I had no coffee, by the way, and the closest being down at Trancas, i was barely human- especially after the night on the Strip.
Anyway, homie gets out of his faded truck, with his faded, holey wetsuit, full 80's surf mullet, grabs his old single fin which looked like an over ripe bananna, and skips down to the cobbles.
The waves were goingthefŻckoff. Overhead peaks with crazy offshores, slow mo, peeling, hollow.
Homie was the only one out and his first wave was a gem- faded into the tube with a casual pose, emerged with the lookback. Dry hair.
Next one, same thing.
He basically put on an old skool style clinic.
Aside from being tattered from the Troube and without proper caffeination, we just couldn't bring ourselves to spoil this guy's solo session.
Watching was just too much fun
So the one time i actually saw half decent waves at County Line, I didn't even paddle out.
Headed out today for Santa Cruz, then catching the big bird to Kauai. Warm water, surf and sun. Only bummer is that I blew my ankel up last week and looks like I'll be swimming instead of surfing. Damn! I guess I'lll be fishing a lot with a bucket of coldies watching the hommies rip it. Been looking foward to warm water waves all winter. Oh well , just roll with it . injuries suck
I'm not a surfer, but in case it wasn't posted previously, I figured some of you might appreciate this stunning film by Mickey Smith. Seems it's garnered a fair number of awards, and I realize it's a few years old.
makes me wonder if there is (or could be) a climbing equivalent.
Leaving on the sailboat in t-minus 9 hrs and counting. Destination: warm crystal clear waters 48 hrs away.
Surf? Hopefully, but it doesn't really matter...
Climbing? Probably not, but it doesn't really matter...
Me and a hand full of my pals rode some substantial waves at Noriega's yesterday.
What a sesh!
The right channel was open and hardly any penalty's were assessed.
That makes me very happy.
This might be the last really big west swell of the season.
Today looks good as well
Full On, Game On!
Probably not too much more will show up in the news, but Mike's headed down in about a month. I'm still waiting for my invitation.
The Judicial Investigation Police OIJ report said that the attacker was attacking the US citizens because earlier in the day they almost ran into the mans daughter while she was also out surfing adjacent to them. The US citizens were also told that the surf break was private and they should leave, multiple times before this happened. In Costa Rica you cannot own the surf of the ocean, so anyone can surf this wake. We think that this was simply a mad local who is tired of having foreigners take over his surfing grounds that he has surfed for years. Which is obviously unacceptable and close minded.
The best way to deal with a situation like this (or avoid it altogether) is to talk it out on the beach with the locals before you go into waves for the first time. No one should ever get attacked over something like this, but common surfer etiquette is to make peace with and get acceptance from the locals before you surf where they do. A community meeting to discuss this event should definitely be in order for Pavones locals and foreigner business owners.
Not really news, but there a ton out there, for example:
Yeah this place has changed a LOT in the past few years. For every 1 machete attack you see on the news 20 go undocumented. There is a real drug problem developing in Pilon just down the road from Pavones. The area is a key drop spot for drug dealers to fly their stuff into Costa and distribute. Its not uncommon to see needles and other drug paraphernalia laying on the beach near the corner. This past summer the the local landmark the Cantina was burnt down due to some sketchy feud going on in town. The place just isn't the same anymore and its easy to understand why. Once your down there your on your own. Few local people actually make money off the traveling surfers and that has forced them to look for other means to make a living like stealing, selling drugs, ripping people off. There are 2 police officers for the entire area and they are likely paid off to look the other way. All that aside, its become such a popular destination that every swell over 5 ft is ridiculously crowded and INFESTED with brazilians. This place is quickly losing its magic and will be lost forever very soon.
I'm taking up outrigger canoe paddling. Much safer.
John, It's at Kuau on the north shore of Maui. I live right there. That is my home brake. It's a pretty good one and gets some size. It's always a good idea to watch the horizon at Nori's especially on a rising swell. Many of us have been caught with our pants down and had a can of WA handed to us.
Dale Cook after a sesh at Nori's last winter.
Photo: Olaf Mitchell
Note about the image that I wrote a while back."The sesh started out with some delightful waves in the over head range and grew bigger as the day went on. By the end of our sesh we had dropped in on some real bombs! We were also getting clobbered if we were caught on the inside. The larger sets were closing out the right channel and there was nowhere to go. Noriís on a rising swell can be really serious!
All four of us called it a day when the sets were coming in consistently around triple over head range.
That is way past my comfort zone. Daleís new board was snapped in two . He had to swim in with half a surfboard."
Well it's transition time here in my neck of the woods. It's time to start to think about generating some income to off set all those days that I blew of work opportunities so I could be on the ocean.
Most of the traveling nomads have left the north shore and have gone home or to other destinations.
Our beach is practically deserted.
Most of the drama is quieted down and injuries are healing.
What a season this has been!
The talk now is south swell!
Pete and I cruised over to take a look at the south shore yesterday but were skunked and didn't even get wet. I am going to look at it today but the web cams are going to have to show some real promise before I make the drive again.
I thought this up date was cool so I thought I would share it.
Aloha , Olaf http://www.surfline.com/surf-news/progression-update-chapter-two_69787/
Just got back from the islands , foot still jacked, no surf for me. My bro enjoyed some fun Pakala and Hanalei. Murry, the only thing I've torn up is my ankel!
Pavones has a long history of violence and was first surfed by the drug dealers . I went there in 1986 and it was pretty mellow since few ex-pats were living there. In 1990 I lived in Bajo Mancito , a small bay near Golfito, building a private fish camp, we would boat to Pavones to surf. A surf camp had started up and many Haoles had moved in and built houses. Lots of problems with sqatters and very crowded line-ups. Haven't been back since. This same senario is repeating itself at breaks all over the world. Edit; Hey JEFE, next time on the Eastside look me up, Cheers
Most of the surfing blogs that I like aren't just about trad surfing they cover the ocean experience. Like my buddy Geampaolo"shttp://mauisurfreport.blogspot.com
I know that I am biased but I like my own ocean blog a lot as well http://mauioceansports.blogspot.com/
That is just a link to the home page and mission statement. If you browse the list of activities you will find that we cover trad surf in addition to
windsurf,kite,SUP,and much more.
Not trying to hijack this thread. Fantastic by the way. Trying to sell a Fish board and wondering if anyone has any websites that would work for me. The usual ones haven't worked, ie Craigslist, Ebay. Thanks. Now back to cragging and slashing.