Some of my top moments surfing in 2008. This year I started out with the longboard thinking it would be a half/half between that and the fish. Let’s just say the log won me over fast.
We surfed alot — a quick estimate puts it around 45-50 days in the water this past year.
Here are 7 sessions that come to mind…
Kyle at Hightide
Spot: The Wall
Notes: High tide storm session Marc, Jes and Johan during Hurricane Kyle
We all jump in at the Wall mid morning as the tide is coming up. We had scoped out the coast for the morning and ended up choosing the wall due to less fog, cleaner conditions and wave size. The waves were 5-7 foot and mainly closing out. One of those days you know you’re not going to make the shoulder cleanly on any long rides but well worth the inside beat down due to the quality of the wave faces. Johan and myself on our long boards and Jes and Marc on their Fishes. It can be tough paddling out at high tide wall — but we were able to see the sets and find a good lull to get as far out as possible without using too much energy. As the fog lifted off the area we could see a smaller than normal sized crowd out. The moment that I remember best is paddling into a solid head high pitching wave that was going to close out, finding my way to a very fast trim going right, placing my hand on the wave face and locking in until it crushed me about 5 seconds later. That smooth glassy wave face slipping by was worth the beat down. The shot above was Marc as he wanted a good one to ride in on. He finally found a fun left with a shoulder and had a great backside slash at the end of this ride. Way to go buddy!
Frosty and Huge
Notes: Low tide huge surf with Mackenzie on a cold clear Monday AM
We woke up at 5:30 AM and mentally prepped for what was forecasted to be an epic day. 6-8 foot @ 14-16 seconds; offshore winds and sun. The only drawback — the car was covered in frost. Being a Monday AM we carefully chose an less crowded spot that we knew we’d be able to get out at (some spots were beautiful but the chances of getting out looked slim). On the way up to this spot we drove past NE’s most famous point break which is never empty. 16 guys fighting it out for well overhead pitching bowled out lefts — Crazy. We made it to our destination and quickly suited up in the cold morning air. A heavy left hand point break with a pebbly bottom and only 3 people out. Getting out was the challenge of year for me; on the Long board it took me 30 minutes of solid scramble paddling and a bit of luck. Mac took a bit longer but he fought through it and finally made his way outside. The biggest waves I’ve ever been out in; paddling for the couple of waves that I was able to catch up to felt like being tied to the front of a freight train. Long drops and lots of speed. Getting caught inside on a couple outside sets where the only choice was dive for the bottom. One single day proved to me that I can finally handle myself in big surf — A huge confidence boost. The shot above was taken when we finally got so tired we had to pull the chute; I grabbed the camera and walked up the point to click a couple with only one guy out who was killing it.
Notes: 2 weeks in Sayulita and Punta Mita with Jes, Marc, Ben, Erin and Ed
Our whole trip to Mexico this year was a highlight. Lots of hiking into the better spots in the area. Mostly small waves but lots of fun. Hanging out and finally sharing some waves with Ed was great. The shin slapper long board session at Sayulita on the final day was hilarious (only to see all of us on long boards). Viva Mexico and sketchy tattoo’s.
Log riders at dawn
Spot: The Wall
Notes: High tide morning session with Johan – first real feel of the long board
Johan and I pulled up at the Wall on a Monday AM in late August to find waist foot clean peelers all over the place and a sparse crowd. We jumped in quick at the south end of the beach and caught a ton of quality waves. The really great thing about this session was finally getting a rock solid feeling for the long board I’d been riding all summer. Tons of control; pumping/flow and my first real cutback. I was already sold on the board but this sealed the deal. The shot above was of some unknown logger before we jumped in — thought it was typical of the day and the fun.
End of day point break
Notes: High tide dusk session with Johan in the water ’til dark
We had surfed all day — extra beat. We had another day to go and were about to call it a wrap when we made one last check on the surf up at Straw’s (left point break). We pulled right up to the “drive up and check” spot that looks out towards the point and watched. 3 guys out on long boards and catching tons of knee to waist high waves. After some inner turmoil, I mulled it and decided to give it go (almost the end of the season). I suited up quick and Johan changed his mind and joined me. We ended up surfing long long lefts until it was dark with 3 nice guys. Mellow vibe, fun waves and last ones out of the water. We peeled off wetsuits in almost total darkness and were glad we hadn’t passed on that one. The shot above is just before we jumped out — it got a bit glassier as the sun went down and the wind calmed.
First good right point
Notes: High tide with Johan and 3 other dudes during Kyle – our first session at this spot – an excellent right point break
A first time surfing at this spot, we had checked it many times and seen it working a couple but hadn’t ever jumped in (a bit due to localism and a bit due to ‘gnar’ factor). The spot is a right point over large boulders into a wide bay and not a spot you want to flub up a take off. This was a “step-up” session for both of us; pushing ourselves to get better and gain that control needed to surf spots like this. Beautiful rights reeling into a wide bay along the rocks. I had some good rides but Johan had the highlight with a super long right where he took off at the critical spot beside a huge rock. By the time we were done, shocked that none one else had paddled out, as we paddled in one lone guy was coming out… The look on his face as he realized that the point was perfect and that he would now be surfing this alone was priceless. We forgot to mention to him that a huge seal had popped up close to us — hopefully he didn’t meet up with him out there alone – ha!!
Perfection and Rubber arms
Notes: End of Hanna – perfect pitching rights with Johan and 4-5 other people
The end of a perfect weekend surfing with Johan (no one else from the crew could make it). The one weekend I pained to have to tell the bud’s back home how good it had been (there’s a blog post about that elsewhere with some crazy photos). Hurricane Hanna brought a ton of good waves in but none as perfect as our last session on the south end of the Wall on a sunny clear Sunday. Both Johan and I were tired but we pulled it together for this one last session before the long drive home. Offshore and waist to shoulder high. The water was so clear and blue – it felt tropical – even the ocean temp’s were really high for this time of year. Some of my longest and most technical rides. The one day I just couldn’t stop catching waves until my arms were truly rubber. The shot above is some unknown guy about to score a great ride.