first surf of summer 2011

Session 01

I went to short sands mid-morning on Friday, July 1st. Overnight and in the early morning the winds were light and the surf forecast was 6-8 foot (which is huge), medium period, semi-glassy in AM moving towards junky in the PM as winds picked up. The tide was low right about 8:30 which meant that it was difficult to take advantage of the best wind/surf combination of the day. But I went anyway, surfing from about 10:30 am to about 12:00 pm, on the first half of the rising tide.

Round these parts surf conditions cannot approach ideal unless you have a rising mid-to-high tide coinciding with the morning’s low and/or the afternoon’s offshore winds, combined with a significant wave with low period (4+ feet, 10+ seconds).

The forecast had me thinking that Friday would the first day where I could even get close to this kind of situation. But it turns out it was far from ideal.

The winds were a strong NW (oriented like N given the angle of Short Sand beach), and way higher than forecast for the late morning. They screwed everything up. Plus, the waves were junky and complicated by a multiple cross swell and local wind waves. And moreover, not having surfed for six months, it felt like nothing was working right for me.

My huge and heavy single-fin 9′ 6″ Bruce Grant Super Ugly board was a liability rather than any kind of aid in the pounding beach break. Once I got outside the break zone, the southbound current caused by the 10+ knott winds meant nearly constant paddling just to maintain position. And then everything went wrong on every wave I tried to ride: balance issues, purling, cramped feet, calves, hamstrings, exhausted paddling arms, etc.

It was an awful first day. An inauspicious start to the summer. But, the worst day surfing… I was so glad to be back in the water. I spent about 90 minutes in the water and wore myself out.

Better luck on Sunday, I hope.

Let me know what you think...