Thursday, October 17, 2013


It seems every few years of surfing you get to experience a day when everything comes together. Swell, wind, etc. These are the days that you will remember forever. Saturday, October 5th was one of those days.

On Thursday I had been listening to the weather report on TV and on radio and there was a high pressure system building. This usually means an offshore flow and Santa Ana winds. This time every year it happens.  The reports were saying sometime Friday it would start blowing. Simultaneously, Surfline was saying that a south/southwest swell was going to start filling in, along with a little northwest. OK, if you surf, this is the news that gets you excited. I surfed Friday morning but the swell wasn’t hitting yet so I surfed at Blackies and had fun on some waist high (at best) waves. The wind was still but not offshore yet.

I got home late from my son’s football game Friday night but was determined to get out there early. In the morning, the wind was howling. My friend Brad met me at Blackies so we surfed there for a while. It was super crowded and just OK so we decided to check out the south side.  The tide was starting to drop and when we looked down towards 18th street it looked pretty good. We paddled out around 19th and there was a mean current pulling towards the pier so we tried to stay in front of the lifeguard tower. As we sat there, the sets started picking up a bit. Another friend Rich paddled out at that time. I had my 9’ 2” longboard and no leash. I was so pumped I didn’t care about any stinkin’ leash! I got a couple really fun, fast and steep lefts. Brad hasn’t been surfing nearly as much as me (he has a job, ha ha) but he managed to get some fun ones. Rich is perpetually stoked and was charging as well. The wind was blowing pretty hard and as I looked south I saw these huge barrels coming through and the water was about 70 degrees. The point is a much different wave then Blackies, San O, or Doheny. Much faster, steeper and less forgiving. Brad finally had to get going so I told myself one more wave. A larger set wave came through and took off a little late and dropped in on an overhead wave, got completely barreled… and didn’t come out. Instead, I got pounded pretty good and had to swim for my board. Still came out of the water with a huge smile on my face. We walked back to the cars, chatted for a minute and Brad took off. But I wasn’t done…

I put the longboard away, took off the springsuit and changed into trunks and a 2mm top, slapped on some more sunscreen, grabbed my 7’ 1” and jogged back down to the point. Rich was still out so I paddled out to where he was. It was such a great vibe in the water, everyone was just smiling and I could tell that we all knew that this was one of those special days that we would be talking about for a long time. No one was being an a-hole as there were plenty of waves to go around. Plus, when it gets a little bigger, some people are more hesitant to take off. Why? Because it hurts when you get pitched on a big, grinding barrel and end up getting tossed around underwater! Rich and I traded waves for a while and chatted and he ended up drifting north as I tried to stay between 18th and 19th. I got at least two perfect in and out barrels going left. My Russell egg was perfect for the conditions. After catching so many waves, plus trying to paddle constantly against the current, I finally gave in to exhaustion after 3 hours in the water. My arms were done.  What a day! Hopefully I won’t have to wait another few years for another one!

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