Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Blow me.

We got a late start Tuesday (4pm) so we had to drive directly to a break and commit to that spot instead of searching for more condition-receptive locations. When we got to Indian, the winds were blowing hard offshore, creating great plumes of spray that flew in the air in vails triple the size of the actual waves. The waves, which were about 4-6 feet, would stand up and the lip would jiggle like jello before finally succumbing to gravity.

The gale seemed to present easy drop-in situations, so we decided to give it a shot, pulling on our wetsuits quickly and scrambling down the hill to the waterline. The rip along the northern cliff was pulling like a conveyer belt, sheilded from the blunt of the swell and the whipping wind. Depositing ourselves in the outgoing current, we looked left and I pointed out a perfect hollow wave reeling toward us, halfway to the safety of the outside. The question was, how would we put ourselves in a position to find that peak as we battled the NE wind and resulting chop, not to mention larger outside sets.

Once we drifted far enough outside, we paddled due south, pulling ourselves from the tidal reflux. Nash had the first wave and went right on the peak. Nice drop, but the wave petered. I howled like a banshee, though. I hadn't seen Nash look that comfy on a drop-in and turn before - he was really improving.

After another set rolled in that I barely punched through, I realized that getting caught inside was a bad idea. There wasn't much of an interval and the waves were heavy closer to shore, so getting pushed too far would require walking back up the beach to the rip again to get back to the lineup. I also noticed that the NE wind was blowing us south at a rapid clip. I was soon halfway down the beach and periodically paddling north to stay on the peak I wanted, which I lined up with a saddle in the rocks at the north side of beach and a reddish cliff beyond the shorline.

I spotted a good swell running at me and knew I would be able to get into it. It jacked up to the north, meaning that I'd have to go right, so I paddled and angled myself slightly right to give myself a chance of making the wave. The offshore wind spat water in my face like a motorcycle in a driving rain and I squinted hard as my board propelled forward. I popped up despite the heavy wind and flew down the face, looking back over my lead shoulder. The wave was overhead and I was going really fast, but ahead of me I could see the lip starting to feather and throw. There was no way that I would make the section, as tempted as I was to take a higher line on the wave to see if I could get tubed. So I straightened out a little and bailed into the rumbling wall of whitewater, lunging into it with as much power as I could to get through the back.

When I broke the surface of the sea, I quickly grabbed my leash and yanked my board back to me. There were two more set waves exploding outside and advancing quickly. I pointed my nose directly at the first and paddled like hell to get some speed for the duckdive. When the foam was 10 yards away, I pushed the font of my board deep and kicked the tail down with my foot. When the stick was flat and at arm's length under the water, I pulled my body down to it. The foam passed over head and I exhaled through my nose as I came out the back.

I scratched toward the shoulder of the second wave and duckdove again, this time just under the falling lip. When I broke through the back, the spray rained down in sheets, like hammers and nails.

I would make the section on my next wave.

Love Is Laughter "Corona Extra"


Patch said...

I've been there. Being pelted by the hard off shore spray, a wind so strong that it alters your voice like speaking into the fan.

Music—Palaxy Tracks—Walking Backwards

Chum said...

Brutal! You just have to "use the force" as you do the blind drop-in.

Diane said...

Once again, I love seeing your art. Truly awesome.