Its been a pretty good Fall season so far. Fall started off with a bang with a couple of really clean swells coming through, creating some nice peaky waves at the reefs around the corner from my house. The water continues to stay pretty warm down here in San Diego. One could probably jump out in board shorts and a top tomorrow for a mid afternoon session and get away with it. I gave that up last week. It's kind of chilly in the mornings and the sun isn't as warm as it was a few weeks ago, so I decided to retire my board shorts and my blue top for my 3/2, and just move on, hoping for some colder water and bigger waves.
That's me above at one my favorite high tide spots during one of the first Fall swells. Yup, it was about October in the that picture and I was still cruising comfortably in shorts and a top. The first couple of swells were really clean, providing some really fun, long waves. I was riding my M-10 in that picture. But as of last week, I put the M-10 in semi retirement. I beat the hell out of that board. But we had some good times together. There is just a bunch of dings and unseen micro fractures that is filling it with water. Every time I surf it, it feels a little heavier at the end of the session. I'm figuring to save up a little dough and get it properly mended. What board you ask has taken her place?
I found this JS while up in Santa Cruz last week. 'Ol Panama Red and I were just cruising down memory lane on the East Side and I came across this board in the Rip Curl shop on 41st. The price was right, with an additional discount. Had to jump on it. The board is a bit bigger then what I usually ride. I have plead mercy to riding boards with a bit more foam around the reefs in San Diego. "Foam is your friend" is what one of the old timers told me during a summer session at South Bird. This board rides 6'6 x 20.5 x 2 3/4. It's a round tail as you can see, but the tail is so perfectly shaped. An old timer at my high tide reef inspected the tail and in his assessment, he said to me quietly "that's one of the best tail outlines I ever put my old eyes on". With that nice, perfect round tail, instead of getting ahead of the wave as I did with my M-10 and making those rounded out cut backs, I'm able to cut back right in the pocket like my everyday short board. And like I wanted it to, it catches waves pretty well. This board was sort of an unplanned buy. Well, it was a compulsive buy for many, many reasons (as my wife says, "surfer problems"). This board is primarily for reefs when it is head high to double overhead this winter. When it gets bigger, I may be out there, but I may be on the rail, taking pictures. I don't really like fucking around with those days bigger then double overhead. But who knows, I might get crazy, and might need a bigger board.
This board on the other hand was a well thought out process of a purchase. I've been talking to James out at Sunset Shapers in San Francisco for a while about this board. I always stop by his shop when I'm in City while visiting my family, and talk story, mostly about what I want in a board. He knows what I like to ride, how I ride, and what I want in a board. I bought one of his first "P-Rocket" boards back in the day, and that was my go to board before I gave it to a deserving kid out in Punta Mida in Mexico. This design is a refined version of the earlier P-Rocket that I had before. I dig it's PU, thick, has kind of throw back nose and it gets me into waves no problem. This board runs 6'0 x 19.5/ 15"x 2 3/4. Before you judge, I am a big guy that runs at around 185 pounds. And like I said, I'm all about foam now days. And even with foam, this board rips. Just the way I wanted it too. During my first session on this board in San Diego a few days ago at Scripp's (when we had some fun and hollow short period waves at low tide) I stalled right in the pocket and got my hair wet in a little tuber, came out clean with a grom smiling on the other end. Can't wait for some more short period stuff so I can have more fun with this at the beach breaks. This will primarily be my board for beach break stuff, at about waist high to a little bit overhead.
|Dawn patrol in NorCal. Beautiful.|
I also took a trip out to Santa Cruz to hang out with the fellas. There wasn't much action in town so we had to hunt for waves in the more "rural" areas. One thing I forgot about being a NorCal surfer is the "search" it takes to find decent waves when its not firing. Driving, checking spots, and driving more with thick jackets and shoes. Do I miss that? Yes and no. I enjoy having a low tide and high tide spot near my house, jumping in my car with my Rainbows on and in about five to ten minutes, I'm in the water catching my first wave. One thing that I do not miss is the cold air, undressing in it then putting on a wet wetsuit. That my friends, I do not miss. Yes, I have become soft.
|'Ol Papa Chase looking for some waves.|
Steve and I stopped by Marianne's for the first time. Of all the years that I've hanged out in Santa Cruz (including the years my wife was a Sea Slug), I never got a chance to eat here. 'Ol Panama Red's house is just about two blocks from this spot, so Steve and I stopped by, got a Sundae, and then ordered another one. The fat kid in me needs to be unleashed, at least sometimes.
26th Street Buffet from Kookingitup on Vimeo.
Above is nature unleashing the fat kid. In between all the swooping birds is a whale getting his eat on. This all happened at 26th Ave while we were checking the surf.
Meet the fellas, Starting with the first guy with the old man hat in the top left corner, that's 'Ol Panama Red, behind him is Dubsack, then me in the back middle, then there is Sandy (claim to fame is that he beat Bobby Martinez in a heat when he was on the Huntington Beach High Surf Team), then there is 'Ol Papa Chase, and then in the top middle is my homey Steve. And together, we are eating some Brekky at the Harbor Cafe in Santa Cruz.
|Recent swell at the Cliffs.|