Monday, April 30, 2007

Pray for Surf 2

Yesterday we gambled at a spot you have to hike to. We got there at 8am and it looked pretty rough. Overhead-plus sets that wanted to close out in big, scary lines down the beach. So we waited for the tide to change and walked out along the rocks to see if we could jump off from there, to avoid a very difficult paddle.

When we got really far out on the boulders, we noticed a few specks emerging from the treeline back on the beach. They were carrying boards. First there were two, then four, then six, then ten. The first two surfers made their way out to where we were and before they lowered themselves into the sea, they knelt, bowed their heads and crossed themselves. After that, they very gingerly entered the water between massive sets. I noticed that one of the guys ground to a screaching halt as his board hung up on a barnacle-covered monolith. But he made it outside (barely) before the next set came smashing in.

Once outside, we realized that these dudes knew what they were doing. Immediately, one caught a right that was easily head-high and twice as thick, and pumped in big s-turns to outrun the whitewater. Backside.

OS, Marko and I walked back to the gear we'd stashed on the beach, discussing whether or not we would be in over our heads here. By this time, there were eleven people in the line-up, which was officially a crowd (especially in this neck of the woods). We sat on a big log and watched, toying with the idea of paddling out in the rip. We had come this far, and the other guys were making the most of it, so why couldn't we? Our buddy Nash showed up with his shiny new board and jogged to catch up with a girl who we had seen on her way out to the rocky point.

We suited up. It was Marko's birthday and he was going to get some waves. When we were just about ready to go out, two surfers came out of the water and sat down next to us on the log. They told us they were part of the Christian Surfing Association and that their group had gotten access to a camp that overlooked this magical place for the weekend. This spot is notoriously fickle. As we watched members of their group drop into big rights that were becoming more and more groomed by a higher tide and wind that had switched to offshore, I asked how they knew this break would be working when they made the reservation to stay there (they only do it once a year).

"We pray!" he said, and laughed.

We took his advice and paddled out in a strong rip and made it to the line-up in no time. I was slightly undergunned on my 5'8 quad (c'mon Moonlight, I need my 5'11!) as I noticed several step-up pintails in the group. I got bounced off my first three waves, but made my fourth and fifth, the one that I took back to the shore. And Marko got the wave of the day, the perfect right-hand gift for a guy whose Oregon surf stoke had been wilting of late.

Jens Lekman - I Saw Her in the Anti-War Demonstration


Nash said...

Dude that was a serious score. The wave count wasn't that high but man oh man were the ones caught good! Best right of my life. I made the walk out to that spot 4 times. On the last I found myself alone way outside. Started working my way in and smoked. Small payment for the sunshine and peelers.

ras said...

great piece. hope you probably still need a 6'8" pin tial though for the big 'uns.

pointsurfbaja said...

Wow not much difference between a 5'8" and a 5'11". But it is a little more for the paddling, I guess?

Chum said...

Well, the length isn't that much more, but the fin setup (2+1) and tail shape (diamond) is supposed give a little better tracking in bigger/steeper surf. I'm only 5'8" tall, btw.

Weird thing is that I've never had a problem getting into biggish waves on my 5'8, but I have had issues with bouncing off on chop and air-dropping.

At this point in my surf career, I doubt I'll even want to charge waves that the 5'11" won't work in.

Dub Resurrected said...

"but I have had issues with bouncing off on chop and air-dropping"

Exactly, a bigger board will not only do you good in surf like that, but will take you places as well. I wouldn't even make that hike with anything less than my 6-6 thruster and with 9 feet of swell, which is what the buoy was reading that day, I'd probably be bringing my 7-0. Funny because I was close to heading there myself that day.