Wednesday, January 11, 2012

no snow, go surfing

With the lack of snowfall in the West this holiday season, Haley and I decided to go to San Diego in lieu of a week in the mountains.  Leaving Berkeley at 4am, lightly packed with clothing, surf gear, boards and a full bed in the back we quickly made time south, hoping to avoid any holiday traffic this Christmas eve Saturday morning.  Without so much as touching the brakes on the way through Los Angeles, we cruised into Ocean Beach before noon to meet up with friends. 

By 3 o’clock the dropping tide had improved the surf and the launch at sunset cliffs was tame.  The session went well for me, although the lineup was a bit more crowded than I like.  It’s creepy to be the only one standing among a crowd of sitting strangers.  I was well within my capabilities on a standup board in those size waves, but still felt the need to be subtle in the lineup.  

The session ends shortly after the sun sets and each surfs their last wave in.  Energy is high as the four of us discuss our experiences out there.  Since I’m still fairly new at sup surfing, my reflection usually goes like this – “I got my best wave ever today!”.  Wrap that day up with a delicious dinner and a night round the fire.

On Christmas day we woke up early to get Florence to the airport; she was off to Hawaii.  Coffee (Starbucks is open on Christmas day), nice home-cooked breakfast, some relaxing and off to Mission Bay for some flatwater paddling.  We launched sup’s at Aqua Adventures and paddled north to Sea World at a quick pace.  I’d never experienced such strong currents in Mission Bay before and was excited to see fast current and a small (small!) standing wave at the first bridge.  It was fun catching the eddies behind the pylons. 

On the hunt for a good, sunny holiday we followed our tour of Mission Bay with another surf session at sunset cliffs.  The waves were the same size as the day before but cleaner with flatter seas.  Good conditions produced a great session and again I got my best wave ever.  I paddled into one of the bigger waves of the day that produced two peaks, me on the south peak about 15 meters from the main.  I was paddling slightly left to get closer to the peak, felt the drop, turned to the south, set my edge and instantly felt it lock.  I was way up high on a steep face with a perfect trajectory down and forwards, building speed while perched on the edge of the board.  Great feeling. 

Afterwards we celebrated Christmas and spent the next three days visiting family, paddling, surfing, eating and relaxing with friends.  Great holiday trip and now we’re back to Berkeley still waiting for snow.  

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