Friday, February 29, 2008

Session 28 - Feb 29 - 1st/2nd/2.5 peak

Friday Feb 29, 7:15 - 8:45, 7'6 Kingfish

Had the alarms set for 6:30 this morning as sun is definitely coming up earlier, plenty bright by 6:30 probably even 6 for a real early surf start. My body on the other hand maybe not so ready, so I stayed in bed and sent Joel off for a surf check, he skated on down and came back with the report. He was a bit indifferent but indifferent won't cut it when there is a 150 session goal to be met so I rallied and got out of bed and dragged him back off the couch also (he had laid back down after his check) and we went for it. His report said it wasn't that big and wasn't breaking at 38th and was kinda foggy but not that foggy, anyway I elected to take the Kingfish again. Had I the opportunity to do it over again I'd probably take the Brewer or Taylor, surf was bigger than I expected from Joel's report and some of the waves were actually pretty steep racers that I think are actually easier to catch on Brewer or Taylor than the super flat, super fat rockerless kingfish. But, excuses excuses...I had a good session caught a fair # of waves, but also found myself wiping out on one of the bombs, wiping out on another one that should've been real good, and getting caught inside after trying to sneak over too far and pick off some waves in between 1st and 2nd and inside a bit...every time I'd do that, seems some huge set would swing through outside and I'd be stuck in the foampit, every time. Got tossed around a few times as a result.

Sun came out more and more throughout the morning, by end of session it was shining bright. Another beautiful day. Looking forward to the weekend in Santa Cruz -- went to Tahoe last weekend and I really missed the beach house!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Session 27 - Feb 28 - 38th

Thurs Feb 28, 6 - 6:45, Kingfish

Out of work, stuck in traffic again although not nearly as bad as it was the other day -- they made some changes to the freeway on HWY 1, which were an improvement, was weird driving in lanes that never existed before, that freeway right now is one complete mess that's for sure, lanes going every which way dividers everywhere but for the most part it worked OK today. Once they get all that work finished it will hopefully be grrrrrrreeat!.

So got home and Joel the goofball was sitting in the bathtub, in his wetsuit, in about a half a tub of warm water...what a kook! Said he got cold outside and was waiting for me to show up for surf #2 with me so he went and sat in the tub in his wetsuit like a goober. He said it was pretty sweet though. So maybe I'll have to try it some time.

Joel grabbed the longboard and I took the kingfish and we hit up happy ol' 38th avenue, which was pumping out some very fun walled up rights pretty consistently. Not too crowded at all, bit of a current pulling you towards the Hook but nothing out of control but it did serve to keep most of the few people out there out of position meaning Joel and I could paddle past em and pick off whatever we wanted. And Also because it's Joel I could drop in on him freely at any time, which I certainly took advantage of TWO times! Get out of my way!!!!!! We had 2 waves like that with me out in front drop-in-away and Joel behind. Then I let him have some of his own, saw him get one real beauty up on the nose, that was some serious stylin', no joke, looked good, nice wave! I got some good ones too all in all a pretty dang fun 45 minute session. Surfed til basically completely dark and took one last wave all the way in and climbed up a pretty slippery part of the rocks and met Joel for the short walk home. return for leaving work at 4:30 I have about 5 hours of work awaiting me, which I'll get a start on now...yay.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Guest Blogger

Nic asked me to guest-blog so I'll go ahead and do it for the guy. Nic is a much better blogger than I am (my personal blog history is defined by flurries of greatness followed by long lapses of nothing) but maybe guest-blogging will work out for me. And maybe it'll work out for Horace too, let's see if anyone makes any comments on my post.

So I'll follow Nic's format here and off we go.

Session 26 - The Hook - Feb. 27
Wed Feb 27 - 7 to 9 for Nic and 'til 11 for Joel - Nic on 6'8" Kirkshapes Stinger Fish, Joel on Brewer

Surf here is awesome. Weather here is awesome. Nic's pad is awesome. His board collection is awesome. Nic's surfing is kooky. Haha, well, honestly it's not, but he says he's been extra wobbly since I got here. I know how that goes, there's pressure to show improvement since Nic now surfs all the time and I never surf and we of course both want to be the best. Actually during XTREMO weekend (which was awesome by the way) Zac asked who was better and Nic got pretty defensive about it when I said I thought I was.

Let me explain a couple things so that you understand why Nic, being goofy as he is, faces such a disadvantage here. And no, not goofy in the head, but goofy in surfing. If you surf right foot forward, you have a "goofy"stance. If you surf left foot forward, you have a "regular" stance. This means that when the wave is breaking right from the surfer's view, which is almost entirely what happens here in Santa Cruz, a goofy-foot surfer has to ride it with his back to the wave (backside). Surfing backside is way harder than surfing facing the wave (frontside). I always get to ride waves frontside here in SC, Nic always has to ride them backside. This means that if we had a surf contest here in SC to determine who was the better surfer, I'm pretty sure I'd win it.
However, take the surf contest down to Costa Rica and get us in the water at the left breaking Pavones, Nic probably surfs circles around me. I really suck riding a wave backside since I hardly ever do it.

Discussion also came up about who was the better bball player (Nic against good competition because his skills are higher and nobody can stop the bull-rush right hand drive, me against so-so players because my body is better put together at this point in our lives and I play harder); who's the better snowboarder (Mikey said he thought I was better, but I concluded that I'm only better through trees and in pow-pow because I have a bit more practice at it); and who's better looking (Nic said he is, I suppose I won't argue that one).

Anyway, I'm really rambling here. Let's get to the surf from this morning. What can I say, it was realllllly good. There were like 8 people out at the Hook and we actually were able to get some of the top waves since the guys out weren't super aggro like they often are. I am still kicking myself for letting about 4 of the best, biggest set waves of the morning slip right underneath me because I wussed out on taking off on them. That was very EXWEEN of me (opposite of extreme). I did manage to get a few good ones though, but couldn't really keep up with them the whole way. You have to surf with some real speed to stay ahead of those Hook waves when it's good like it was today. Nic picked off a ton of waves on the inside that were getting past everyone else. It was glassy, sunny, warm, and really just about perfect. I just wish I had more confidence in my surfing right now and had gone for one of those bombs though, I'd really be feeling good if I'd have made one of 'em...and even if I had wiped out I think I'd be over the embarrassment by now. Next time there's no holding back. Oh, after Nic went in I was walking back to the house but saw 38th on fire so I paddled back out for 3 more waves there. They were even faster than the waves at the Hook and some early 20's dudes were really flying on them. One of them wanted to go get a video camera and film since it was so good, but then decided he didn't have enough time. Anyway, just know that this morning had big-time surf movie quality waves.

I gotta write real quick about the Tahoe trip too, it was really a good time and I enjoyed hangin' with all the old college crew. We went big and everyone did really well for getting about 3 hours of sleep per night. Danimal went the biggest on an attempted 360 in the park, which he almost accidentally turned into a HUGE 540 but didn't quite get that far around and instead had a pretty painful crash. But man did he ever go for it. Mikey is a really good skier and he landed some 360's, although none of them were on the scale Dan went for. Zac nearly stuck a 180 which Mikey got on video, I'd link to that for some laughs if I could get it. I suck at jumps and had a pretty stupid looking crash that got filmed too. Nic landed the babiest 180 ever, but at least he can claim it. The powder was awesome on our half-day on Sunday, and there was really some good tree-skiing to be had and we got our share. The question for me now is...should I go again this weekend??

Well I didn't intend to write such a huge blog post. I'm pretty sure nobody will read all of it. Hey Nic, you should do a board history, those are good.

Peace out,

Session 25 - Feb 26 - 1st/2nd Peak

Tuesday Feb 26, 6 - 6:45, Brewer

Stupid traffic! I was hoping to catch some waves after work since my bro is here and all so I snuck out as early as I could around 4:30, but wound up having some helka stinky traffic so didn't get home til 6...rushed into the wetsuit grabbed brewski and ran on down. Joel had just gotten out of the water and had showered so it was just me solo. Climbed on down and went out, caught some waves at 1st and moved on in to 2nd and caught some more, and then the sun went down and I went home. Nothing great surf was kind of small but pretty decent, but I've kind of sucked lately, I think it's cuz Joel is around, what's up with that? Gotta get back on the surfing express train ASAP!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Session 24 - Feb 22 - Hook

Friday Feb 22, 11 - 2 PM, 6'6 Quad

I'm a bit behind on posting this session and I actually can't even completely remember where we surfed...did we go down the stairs at the hook or did we climb down 1st peak and get washed to the hook like the day before? I don't remember. Yes now I do remember and yes that is what happened. Lots of current! Decided to surf the new 6'6 quad and it was a little bit hard, didn't exactly rip it up on that board not quite yet. But usually takes a few times to figure a board out. Joel was surfing with me again which was good, nice to have a surf buddy. Weather was mostly sunny which was nice too, and waves were head high with a little punch to em, some pretty good sets coming through and not TOO much of a crowd midday on a Friday.

After surf we made an xtreme weekend trip to Tahoe, which was fun: me, Joel, Dan, Zac, Mikey. If that isn't an xtreme group of guys I don't know what is. Probably more powder than I've ever snowboarded in before, fresh tracks!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Session 23 - Feb 21 - Hook

Thursday Feb 23, 5:30 - 6:30, 6'8 Kirkshapes

My original Surf Buddy is BACK! Joel is in town visiting for a while, picked him up at the airport this afternoon. Bolted from work soon as I could around 4:30 and we headed for Santa Cruz. Unfortunately surf is far from great right now, but Oregonboy was on it like a hawk and wouldn't stop talking about his 3 waves for our whole walk back home he's been gone a while because those were honestly some sorta lousy conditions, bro...

Hopefully things will clean up a bit tomorrow as we'll definitely try to get out there, I have the day off work. Later in the afternoon we're heading for Tahoe for the weekend, first time SNOWboarding for me in 2 years, we'll see how that goes!

As for my surf session, I didn't catch much of note, I let Joel have the crown jewels as he's the visitor. :) Surf was decent size but pretty strong current and pretty mixed up out there. It is nice that it's staying light later though -- my first post work session in a couple months. Many more to come!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Session 22 - Feb 18 - WC

Monday Feb 18 - 2-4 - 6'8 Kirkshapes (white)

New board! It was pretty awesome, I was ripping on it. I might like it even more than the Taylor? Perhaps. It has a traction pad on it which I actually appreciated this time out there, Taylor doesn't have one, keeping it vintage on that board. In fact the contrast between the 2 boards - Taylor seems very conventional, almost tribute to the old school only-what-works train of thought, nothing fancy, just clean straight lines, 3 fins, squash tail -- keeping it functional. The Kirkshapes on the other hand incorporates all kinds of bells and whistle elements: traction pad, swallow tail, "sting fish" (for lack of a better word, I don't know the actual terminology) tail rail shape...all in all both pretty supersweet boards -- tough to beat the two Kirkshapes I got for $50 each though when it comes to steal-of-a-deal status, that is pretty ridiculous! Thanks dude! (As I don't think I've mentioned this before, last weekend I got three new boards. Underground SC shaper Kirkshapes was selling off some of his inventory -- wife said time to empty the garage -- so he had a garage sale Saturday morning and Paul and I stopped by. He was liquidating his boards at real cheap prices, sold me two used by him (Lightly) 6'8's plus a brand NEW 6'6 quad...$200 for the brand NEW quad and $50/each for the lightly used 6'8's...INSANITY! Now that I've used one of them I'm more pumped on the deal now than I was even then. Good, local, hand shaped quality boards, supporting my local shaper -- he lives a few blocks from the Hook. It pays off to live in Santa Cruz -- board bargains are much easier to find there than over the hill in money-filled surf-deprived Silicon Valley. I'll take some pictures of all my boards soon and get them up here. Joel a long long time ago did an interesting "board history" post on his defunct often entirely too ignored excuse of a surf blog, I'll do something similar soon) (note I can't for some reason link directly to Joel's board history post, but if you really wanna read it, it's about half way down).

But I digress from my surf session, it was fun. Pulled into the parking lot and saw a matching Yaris to mine, so parked next to it and chatted up the owner, older guy, longboarder, he was jealous of my too fast too furious rims and moreso of my roof rack -- he was using soft racks -- but we discussed our little MPG surfmobiles for a bit. Then I was gonna leave but saw Manabu pull into the parking lot so I wound up going out with him for a couple hours, turned out more fun than I expected. Good mix of lefts and rights, fun, fast, but not too fast waves, mostly shoulder highish, not the long walled up lines of the premier in town points but fun frequent fast beach break waves, good to mix it up. And like I said above, new board was really fun, easy to surf, enjoyed it. Oh and not to mention for most of the session it was just the two of us out there trading waves. Score!

Now, for the bigger question...forecast for LM tomorrow morning is fair+. I have a 9am meeting. Do I surf anyways? Dilemma!
Update: No surf. Was at work at 8:45. I'm so responsible!

Session 21 - Feb 17 - 1st/2nd Peak

Sunday Feb 17, 4 - 6:15 PM, 7'0 Brewer

POST #100!!! That is 31 posts more than my previously most prolific blog, Paneer Belly. For a blog started on a whim, Horace has definitely proven to have some staying power. Of course my 150 goal plus logging every surf session doesn't hurt.

Back to the session. After Saturdays super swell, Selin and I packed up the Yaris and headed to SF for the night -- her high school was having a get together for west coast alumni. So we went to that and stayed up there, Hotwire is pretty sweet for a hotel deal -- we got a room at a top notch swanky hotel for 60% off normal rate (Clift Hotel). We hung out in SF for a while Sunday, had some delicious crab in China town, and hit the road in the afternoon back to SC. I decided to go out for an evening glass-off session, nice that our days are starting to get a bit longer. Swell had dropped so spots weren't exactly firing any more, but still plenty of waves to be had. Took the Brewer as I unfortunately dinged my Taylor in the parking lot (now fixed as of yesterday). On the way out a guy asked about the board, he was a fan of Dick Brewer surfboards, liked the rescue operation of a quality surfboard of that caliber...shame to see it go to waste. Anyways climbed down and paddled out straight to 1st peak area, wasn't too much of a crowd, caught some there, worked my way in to 2nd peak as has been my M.O. out at this spot lately. I can definitely feel the difference between the brewer and the shorter narrower thinner Taylor now -- both great boards, with their own strengths and weaknesses. Certainly no problem catching waves on the super thick Brewer. Ended the session on a nice walled up wave I surfed halfway to 38th and paddled on in and went up the 38th ave stairs for the short walk home to a nice warm shower.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Session 20 - Feb 16 - Surf City, USA

Saturday Feb 16, 2:00 - 4:30, Pick your spot they were all going off, 9'6 FSC

The lawyers can decide whatever they want, but until I see swell lines like this at Huntington Beach, I know what I'm calling Surf City, USA.

Uli and Emannuel, two coworkers from the Dublin office, made their first trip out to Santa Cruz today and boy did they pick a good one...beautiful day, beautiful swell. Uli surfs over in Ireland -- there's a bit of a crew there in the Dublin office that makes weekend trips fairly regularly up to the north coast of Ireland, where there's a growing surf scene. He's got his own board and wetsuit over there. And like any Irish surfer would be, used to surfing beach break in grey cloudy overcast weather, he was pretty pumped to come to California and get out in the water. We were talking the other day and he mentioned surfing and that they were planning to come to Santa Cruz this weekend, so I gave him my # and said to call me. They did and we met up, rented some gear for the Euros, and headed out. We decided to go around the bend a bit and surf down in Capitola, smaller waves, less crowds -- good call, as evidenced by the pictures. Really a truly amazing day in every single way. Uli caught some waves, Emmanuel got tossed around on his foamie and didn't get in anybody's way (a successful first day in my book), and I got a ton of waves on my 9'6, even getting up (near) the nose for a while on one wave. Good times, and a great introduction to California surfing for those guys. I have a feeling they'll be back.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Subprime in Stick Figures

This blog is 99.99% surf-related, but occasionally something land-based does catch my interest and warrant a Horace post. This would be an example.

The Subprime Primer: How Subprime really works

Definitely worth a watch (And not just because it's on Google Docs -- although that certainly doesn't hurt!). As this is a family blog, I'll give advance warning of foul language.

Luckily I'm not directly caught up in this whole mess, but in a way we really all are. I really don't know much about any of it at all, but as someone who is in the market (however passively it may be) for a new home, I find myself paying more attention to these things of late. This slideshow does as good a job of anything I've yet to see of explaining the entire fiasco (humorously -- if you want real academia analysis and explanation you've come to the wrong blog).

Thanks to Bill Middleton's GChat status message for bringing this to my attention.


Haven't done this before, but was checking some pics on and noticed a link at the bottom allowing me to embed the gallery into my blog. Here goes!

Well, that didn't work very well. Time for some resizing efforts. Better. But really small. And kinda smushed. And I don't know why those two lines of text are showing at the top. But good enough for this blog!

If you don't like squinting at the small screen, the full size gallery can be found here. Of note is the photo of the camera board, what an apparatus, and nope Joel doesn't look like it is stuck on with a suction cup.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Session 19 - Feb 14 - 1st/2nd Peak

Thursday Feb 14 Happy Valentine's Day, 7:30 - 9:15, 6'8 Taylor

I may very well have caught my best wave ever this morning. Quite possibly so. I won't outright claim it as my best ever as mind you I have had some pretty good waves in my short surfing career, but for all out combination of length of ride, punch of wave, plus ability of surfer on wave (me) this may take the cake. For more detail here is Joel and my IM conversation on the subject:

Joel: so how was it this morn?
Sent at 3:10 PM on Thursday
me: might've caught my best wave ever
Sent at 5:08 PM on Thursday
Joel: congrats
right or left?
me: right, always rights
rights rights rights rights
i guess not so much my best wave ever, just my best surfed by me wave ever
i've caught many waves equally as good but never surfed them as good
making sense?
Joel: yeah
you've been surfing so much lately you really gotta be making considerable improvements
me: yeah improvements
i'm sitll really bad backside
even though I don't surf lefts hardly ever, when I do get one I'm so much better
i dunno why I suck so much backside
but this one I didn't suck on
Joel: cuz it's harder
me: it was just one of those really long 1st peak waves from outside that I kept going on
Joel: I can't do anything backside
just straight ahead
me: yeah
most of the time thats me too
i'm getting better though
on this one I had a few weak cutbacks and a lot of up and downs, whatever you wanna call em, just down and up
and maintained good solid speed throughout
surf really very good this morning and only like at most 10 guys out
everybody was quite stoked about it
Joel: where was everybody
me: dunno
my best wave ever was recorded on video
Joel: Well looks like this swell will stick around til Sun or Mon...ok where
me: some guy was filming from the rocks. I asked him what for, he's making a movie he said
said it will be out in April
Joel: cool
me: can't remember what it was called
maybe I'll be in it
Joel: he said he filmed ya?
me: starring role
yeah cuz I came in right after it
Joel: koo
you'll have to look for it
me: yep
Sent at 5:18 PM on Thursday

Anyways so yeah that's not the most exciting IM chat conversation ever, but it saves me the effort of typing all that twice -- laziness WINS! Was a good wave though. I was happy with myself afterwards, had an internal debate over paddling back out for more or going in on a high note. As it was already 9 and I DO have to work still, I went in.

Happy Valentine's Day! We're going to Cirque du Soleil Kooza show tonight. 2nd row! Should be exciting.

Update! Now with photos. I took these on my wake-up surf check before I hustled back home suited up and got out there myself.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

session 18 - Feb 13 - LM

Wednesday, Feb 13 - 7:45-8:30 am, 6'8 Taylor

Well I'll not waste a lot of time posting about this session. In fact, I'll let my friend Manabu's words do the talking -- he often has a good way of putting things:

"Just out at LM. If catching waves is your goal. Don't even try today here."

His postsession report on Stokemasters. Very concise, very true. Ocean was a mess, plus the low tide not helping us at all, one closeout after the other, with no breaks of any kind in between. It wasn't the size or anything that turned us back to the beach after 40 minutes of unsuccessful attempts at paddling out, more just the disorganized mess...the kind of morning where one duckdive immediately follows the other and then you come up again for air only to instantly have another wall of whitewater headed at you...which by this point, it's just like oh hell, and a half assed duck dive attempt and you're back where you were 5 minutes ago. Mind you I have no doubt we both could've made it outside if we'd really kept at it and dug deep within the inner paddle reserve strength tank, but it wasn't like there was much of a reward awaiting out there either...really not a surf day but as I had made the drive and was there at the beach and a little exercise never hurt anybody, we went for it. Tomorrow will do Santa Cruz, which I'm entirely sure will yield significantly better results.

Mo Money in yo Pocket

Now most of you will not find this even remotely as entertaining as I do. But then most of you haven't spent the last 5 1/2 years of your life doing Online CPC advertising -- which is what my man here explains in Rap form.

I found this video here. Thanks to coworker Bret for tipping me off to it. No idea who the rapper is, but he's got some rhyming (and bid management!) skills.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

There will be Blood

Yeah, not for the kids, this one...

So my coworker Matt told me about this today at work. Yikes. Good news is that the player is OK, he's out of the hospital from what I read. Lucky, that looked BAD. Seriously, I went ice skating with my work team a few months ago, and it's scary how sharp those skates are. Apparently on this one there was blood all over the ice, they had to clean it multiple times w/ zambonis to try to get the blood off the ice to restart the game...

And yes Selin and I did watch the movie 'There Will Be Blood" this weekend. (By the way, if you click the link, I'm not feeling the Rotten Tomatoes website redesign. What was wrong w/ the old site?). Quite a movie...many say DD Lewis will get some awards for it. It is a strong performance by him. But sometimes w/ those kind of performance I'm just like give it a rest for a minute, is anybody really that crazy? Maybe some people are -- this particular oilman sure was. Like he says, he sure didn't want to see anyone else succeed. There's an ocean of oil under there, and only I can get it! "There's a whole ocean of oil under our feet! No one can get at it except for me!" (might as well attribute my movie quotes correctly)

new inbounds play

Here's something you don't see every day...

Not the greatest video quality there, but yeah the UW player inbounds the ball directly off the UCLA players face. You see this same idea happen from time to time in order to avoid a 5 second call, but usually they throw it off the guys back, or knees, or something like that...not usually a full wind-up direct shot to the dome. Brutal. Thanks to Noah for sending me the link.

Monday, February 11, 2008


A couple newsworthy bits n' pieces from the San Mateo coast this weekend...

- This is why I don't surf by the Pacifica Pier/Sharp Park Road. Despite what often look like some pretty solid waves, the currents are devastating: Teenage Surfer Rescued Off Sharp Park Beach. Pictures taken from here. Really this spot is I think pretty much always empty, and this must be why. Better know what you're doing if paddling out there...glad he wound up OK. Crazy Brazilian. Come join all the rest of us a mile down the road at Linda Mar next time!!- Now on to the really darker side of things: College instructor found slain in his car at Montara Beach. Read the entire article if you like, but apparently police were talking to the driver of a lone parked car at a pullout by Montara, and in doing so noticed a hand sticking out under blankets in the back seat. Sad story. Surfer rescues are one thing -- those happen somewhat frequently around this area -- dead bodies in cars, not so much. Thank goodness.

session 17 - Feb 10 - LM

Sunday Feb 10, 4-6 PM, 6'8 Taylor

Saturday's super swell had dropped by Sunday, so the call was to travel north. In retrospect, I probably traveled too far north, I bet the north SC spots would've been much better than where I wound up, windy and pretty sloppy. But, Selin had lunch plans with friends in Mt View in the afternoon, so we drove back over the hill from SC in the morning and I dropped her off. I then continued onwards in the quest for more waves. Decided to take HW 92 over from 280 into Half Moon Bay...big mistake. That 6 mile stretch of single lane winding highway took me about 50 minutes of driving. Or rather, sitting not moving...crazy. 1st sunny weekend in a long time, guess I wasn't the only one wanting to head to the beach, that was bad. I'll stick to back roads on future sun-filled days. Finally made it and checked K Street, no good, not a single person out, not good at all. At this point I knew I was in for a bit of a let down. Continued north, jetty no good, montara a mess, checked Rockaway one guy out big and messy, so LM it is. LM had the normal pack of weekenders on it, without fail there'll be at least some people out there on any weekend day. Surf was nothing to get excited about, but I was able to catch a lot of short, fast rides, good practice on being quicker none the less. When given the opportunity, I primarily hunt for lefts at LM, so I'd say my ratio was about 80/20 lefts. Managed quite a few short but decent rides given the quality of the surf, made the most of it. The kind of wave that allows you a drop and one quick bottom turn if that and then time to pull out, not much more than that. Nice warm sunny day though, surfed til it was pretty much dark and was never even remotely cold.

Surf forecast is looking pretty good throughout the rest of the week, so pumped about that, will get out there as often as I can. Plus I have MORE new boards to try out -- more on that in a bit. My personal surfboard collection is now up to TEN...I'm a sucker for a good deal, but even I have to admit this might be getting a little out of hand. :) Joel, if you get down here, I've got a present waiting for you...

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Session 16 - Feb 9 - Steamer Lane

Saturday, Feb 9, 3-5 pm, 6'8 Taylor

Daily double!!! This is what I'm talking about, a few more of these and I'll be easily on pace to 150. As I said in my prior session post, it was about the most beautiful day imaginable at the beach in Santa Cruz Saturday. It really doesn't get any better, pumping swell, sunshine, shorts and tshirt level sunshine. Even the plants in my yard are starting to make a comeback, some new flower buds coming out for a moment in the sun, the palm frond showing some new signs of life...hopefully the trend continues! As for surf, Colin and Joan came down from SF. This is notable as well as it means I actually had 3 Santa Cruz visitors today -- Paul in the morning, Colin, Joan, plus their dog Gus in the afternoon...usually Selin and I live over there in seclusion like hermits, good to have a couple visitors in the neighborhood! So they drove down and we decided to head to Steamer Lane. Was big out there, big and crowded, but definitely working. Unfortunately it was a struggle to get in position and catch the good ones, between the crowd of pros out there (saw Jason "Ratboy" Collins getting out of the water as we were going in) and the current, plus the fat mushy waves that were making their way to inside where I was most of the time...I didn't get much really. Really only one wave of note, got 2 weak cutbacks on it and was set up for more but on the second I had to go back sharper than I wanted to avoid running over a guy, and wound up pulling myself out of the wave as a result, bummer. Some real bombs coming through out at middle peak but w/ the current and my lack of discipline (I'm not good at passing up potential waves as they come by) I never made it out there to get in position for one. A lot of them were just big drops with a fat mushy shoulder, it was pretty big Steamer Lane but not the Lane at it's best.

That's all for now, gonna head out and get in weekend session #3 now...lovin' this sunshine!

Posted below is a reference video for the aforementioned Ratboy surfing some SC spots, click the photo to go to the site to view the video (if you want to).


My vast Microsoft Paint skills enabled me to put together the sweet new logo you now see at the top of Horacethepig. I was pretty pumped about the logo, hope you like it. It's also significant as it marks the photographic debut of none other than Horace himself, doing what he does best, hold open the screen door and take in some sun rays.

Session 15 - Feb 9 - SC beachbreak

Saturday Feb 9, 8-10, SC beachbreak, 6'8 Taylor

Wow. Not much more needs to be said about this session, impressive on all counts, waves looking like shots from the surf mags, head and a half arm straight up cavernous barrels, pure glass, sunshine and not a cloud in the bright blue sky. Mind you it wasn't me in those surf mag barrels, but a few others were making it look easy. And I got some good ones for me too. I have Paul from work to thank for getting me out of my bed, he showed up and knocked on my door at 7:30 after driving over the hill. Thanks Paul, I owe ya. Good to have somebody to surf with out there, Paul has spent a lot of time in the water and it shows. Back to the surf -- this was finally a real opportunity for the 6'8 Taylor to shine. This kind of stuff is what that board is all about! First wave of the day came to me right as soon as we paddled out...and I wound up dropping in on the only other guy out at the time. He was in pretty deep and I guess I thought he wasn't gonna catch up to me, but he did, noticed he was there behind me as soon as I had made the drop and established myself, and woulda pulled out and given him his rightful wave but he pulled out behind me...and so I got to keep going on the longest wave of the session. Beach break style out there, so waves were a lot faster and closing out more than the points, but this one held up best of any. I made a point to paddle right back out to the guy and apologize -- luckily he was cool about it, I think he'd already caught so many waves that morning by himself he didn't mind a little company. Throughout our session a few more guys joined our spot, but at most never more than 6 or so...there were double overhead bombs coming through on the outside. I let the other guys get those, plenty happy myself with the head and a half mini bombs Paul and I could get a bit further inside. Did mean we took a couple sets on the head though, I got washed all the way in once and was gonna call it good but Paul got me back out for a couple more...good call.

Was the kind of session that had me talking about it to Selin for 3 hours afterwards. Not that I caught a ton of waves, maybe got 5 or 6, but just how beautiful the day was, how fast and nice those waves were, how my surfing is progressing and I can actually catch some of those fast, hollow, beach break bombs, backside no less. Selin is always a gracious listener, which is much appreciated.

Absolutely beautiful day in Santa Cruz, and a great way to start it.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Session 14 - Feb 6 - 1st/2nd peak

Wednesday Feb 6, 2-4, 1st/2nd peak, 7'6 Kingfish

Another travel day presented another midweek surf opportunity, golden. Sun was out and shining, but surf decided to take the day off, so was pretty small and inconsistent out there, but Kingfish is a good board to make the most of those type of situations. Climbed down the railing and paddled out near 1st peak, able to get a lot of waves out there just by sitting inside a bit from the main jostling pack and snagging the bigger waves that swing wide of the main peak, still I just don't really feel that vibe there so after an hour paddled inside to 2nd peak, where there were only two grommets messing around on longboards. These guys were way more interested in catching sea life than catching waves, so I had my pick of the knee high rollers coming through, ended with a chest high one that held up nicely and paddled on in. Was a nearly negative low tide so all the tide pools are out, set my board on the sand and explored those for a while, all sorts of sea creatures and funny little things to look at...then walked on in and took a warm shower. Another fun day in cold water paradise.

Session 13 - Feb 4 - 38th

Sunday Feb 4, 1:15-2, 38th, 9'6 FSC

So, this is getting into interesting territory here...when is a session actually a session? For me, switching boards, going inside (even if you keep your wetsuit on), and going to a different spot (even if it's within sight of the previous spot) will qualify. Hey it's my goal, I'll make my rules. Was feeling pretty good after surfing the Taylor shorty, so decided hey I'm feelin good today, lets see if I can get some toes-on-the-nose longboard stylin mixed in as well. I may have been getting a little too big for my britches, but confidence is important out there...I wasn't able to get all the way up on the nose but I got close. And to my credit, conditions at 38th weren't nearly as ideal as the Hook, mixed up out there and not holding up as well. So, did what I could and called it good, had a flight to catch. Fun to surf those two very different boards within several minutes of each other -- gotta keep the 'skills' sharp on the longboard too!!!

Session 12 - Feb 4 - Hook

Monday, Feb 4, 10:30 - 1, Hook, 6'8 Taylor

I'm a bit behind on session posts as was in Disneyland for a work (yes, work) trip earlier this week. My flight times presented a rare opportunity for a midday weekday session, and I made the most of it. Good conditions, head high sets, not TOO crowded although a bit more than I'd have expected on a Monday, doesn't anybody work around here? But still got lots of waves. Got best wave to date on the new Taylor, good board. Beautiful sunny winter California day, the kind of day that makes me not want to live anywhere else, makes the $800k one bedroom beach shack property seem like a reasonable option, the traffic, the crowds, but when the sun is out like that and the surf is up I can't think of much better place to be.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Session 11 - Feb 3 - Hook

Sunday, Feb 3, 9:00 - 12:30, Hook, 6'8 Taylor

Finally! A worthwhile surf session. My last several had been complete stinkers, this one made up for it. Also was an actual chance to really try out my new board. It rides well. I'll continue to get better at it, looking forward to more tomorrow. So I woke up early and did my surf check walk. Nobody out at the point or 38th, as still pretty mixed up out there, but was a small group at the Hook. I walked back and went to join 'em. As my session progressed, more and more people showed up, but still pretty light pack for a Sunday at that spot, which is normally VERY crowded. So all good there, I think I can thank Surfline's 'POOR' rating for the day for at least some of that, thanks Surfline. It was definitely not poor though, solid fun head high on the sets pretty consistent waves coming through, of which I got my fair share. I still suck so much backside though, but enough about that, I always complain about that. But on a few where I was too deep to catch the longer right I went left, and everything is so much easier...on one I had a really nice pop out at the end of the wave, where I turned out of it and popped the board right into my hands laying down on it going back over the wave, tough to describe but at least I know what I'm talking about, smoooooth. There were some very impressive surfers out, but I managed to still catch waves amongst them, one guy was probably about as good as I've ever seen, tearing those waves apart. I'll never be able to do that, but some of the other guys I can aspire to, maybe, some day.

As for the new board it's good. I like the short board, it's exciting to challenge myself and work on progressing with something new. Looking forward to tomorrow's session, hopefully it's the same or better. I don't get many chances to surf midday on Monday, but tomorrow because of a work trip I have the morning off so I plan to make the most of it. Which means, bedtime!

Session 10 - Feb 2 - Steamer Lane

Saturday, February 2, 4 - 4:30, Steamer Lane, 6'8 Taylor

Well, what a crappy session. Complete junk conditions everywhere along the coast, and believe me I saw everywhere. The lane was as good as it got, was maybe 8 or so people out which was pretty surprising because it was a mess out there. I did a taxi service earlier in the day picking up Selin's parents at the OAK airport and dropping them in SF, good to see them, and after that I drove down the coast from SF to SC. There's a lot of surf spots along that drive, but not on this particular day. Ugly! To be honest, I wouldn't have paddled out if I didn't have my 150 session goal in mind. Already behind, I couldn't stand to lose another Saturday staying dry, so, make the most of it, and like I said the Lane was as good as it got. I did manage a couple waves though, but nothing good, but it's not a session if I don't catch a wave -- got that taken care of at least. Not much more to write, thankfully, got a good long 3.5 hour session at the Hook today in to balance things out. Rather than waste more time writing about this, I'll start writing about that session instead.