Wednesday, September 10, 2003

WED Surf Wrap Up: Stoke 7

My StokeCAST has been quite OK lately, the NW swells are still continuing and we are getting some good shoulder to OVH level sets. Days like this makes surfing at LM a lot of fun. Today, Ken and I stayed mostly in the center and the S sections as N sections were seemingly closing out and also the Shower got the set height allright but not breaking until further in. Days like this makes S end to break a bit better.
There were some phenomenally good rides today, and we both enjoyed it a lot. It was on the edge of closing out so it was a good practice to get a hold of the board control quicker, and that means that there is a crucial moment of strong paddling, and you are on.
The sky was sunny and we surfed just until the sun has gone down.
As for my progress,
- I feel that I am finally starting to get a hang of duck diving now. Success rate has gone up from 1 every 3 or 4 to about every other tries.  Even I screw up, I get out to the other side then fall off the board. The real key to this is not the sinking of the front (which most people can do), but how to push down the tail of the board. There are two hurdles surrounding this, first one is the timing on when to push in. The next is to keep the good balance on the board while pushing the tail of the board down hard with the toe (and not the knee).
- I am getting a bit better at taking off on faster closing waves, and get up on the board sooner. Key here seems to be that you need to paddle rather hard and continue to paddle a bit longer even after you think you have taken off. Then get up on the board really quickly, and low. Now, good people are already in steering, but I can still go straight down at this point, but can execute small bottom turn to keep going a bit longer. Here the INDO has been helping quite a bit as I can feel what board wants to do better than before, so I can react to it.

Tuesday, September 09, 2003

Afternoon Surfing Wrap Up - Stoke = 7

I had a great Stoke 7 this late afternoon in LM. While the surf started to get junkier and toward 1930, earlier it was so great and everyone was having a lot of fun. It was one of the best days in a couple of months I can recall. At the spot I was in, the bigger sets were shoulder-head size, but were gentle.
Oh, and I managed to catch a good rip current going out here. It is so great, I felt like a champion paddler. It actually fell like being on one of those moving walk at airports. You are walking (paddling) but feels like going so much faster.
I think I finally understood why those fishing people tend to be standing right at the rip currents today. I saw one fishing person actually walking along the beach as his string was being pulled on side currents, then he stopped. The spot he stopped was where the rip was going out. Because of the way that the string is dragged with the beach current they tend to automatically find a spot where the water is going out. So next time you go out, find a standing (but not moving) fishing person, and that marks the outer rip spot!
Back to surfing, it was so much fun so I give a Stoke 7 today.
Again the spot that I go to usually gets head to double-over breaks on outer section then there is an inside section when you catch the outer one (if it does not break on the outside, it will not form the second break BTW, then you have a lot of fun riding great lefts and rights since it is a peak. These are often big and scarily and more powerful waves and if they eat you, you'd be tubing under for some time, so they are definitely for everyone but if you know how to deal with them they are so much fun! 
Today, I was able to practice a lot of bottom turns, but still I stall a bit so I cannot climb back up. But I had several "longer" rides that really were so stoking! I heard many other people screaming out with joy every time a big one came in and people catching, and so did I. This kind of day makes me feel something very wonderful about the gift of the nature. Outside of wearing man-made suite and riding chemical board, everything is pretty much my biological composition against the nature, and I get to fully engulfed and participate in it. There are only a few other sport you can be this close to being with the nature, and I appreciate it so much.
By 1930 the wind picked up and it was a good time to finish up the fun session.
Also I saw many girl surfers, I think they were all getting ready for the competition this weekend!

Saturday, August 23, 2003

Saturday AM Suring Wrap Up. Wow! Stoked at 9!

Saturday 8:30 a.m. A northern Santa Cruz spot.

The sun was high up in the blue sky, the south swells are in full swing. SW
swells were going at 16.5 seconds with up to 6 ft. Glassy no wind condition.
Nearly perfect day to start.

I met up with Clio and surfed at a reefy N. SC spot. Nice 1.5 to 2 x
overhead lefts were coming in every 4-5 minutes, and everyone was very
stoked. The only problem at this spot was that this was an A-frame break
with a very small take-off spot so the competition was a bit high among 20
or so surfers. At one point there was a little fight over the wave but we
stayed by the shoulder and watched and surfed the inside section for a
while. This is kind of a dangerous spot and if you are not watching your
course or do not stall early a pile of rock is awaiting at the end. As we
entered the beach, we saw one guy just barely missed the rocks as he came

I caught a nice one with the power of the wave so much that I was going so
fast! The break was further out so there was a plenty of distance to surf.

By 1000 the sets were starting to fizzle out and started to only break
insides. We drove up to Scotts Creek then seeing no good breaking went to
Waddell Creek, as the wind started to pick up we were doing some shoulder
high rough stuff there for an hour.

All in all, this was a perfect day for surfing, and should my skill be
better, I'd have had a lot of good surfing.

That's all for my surfing in August. Be back from our trip in Japan on the
5th. Everyone have a good surfing. I will check back once I get to Osaka. If
you are a new user and posted a message in our Yahoo groups, please wait
until then to activate your account.

Thursday, August 21, 2003

StokeCAST for Friday: Stokes Dwindles to 3-4, Time for INDO board

Surfing today has shown that the situation is getting very low all across
the town. There is no longer any short-board waves and only thing left are
mushy long board waves in N SMC beaches. There is nothing much predicted in
terms of long distance (ground) swells nor local wind swells.

So, for Friday, I suggest you do something else... Perhaps you can still go
out to the beach with your friends and clean up the beach, and/or go see
Step Into Liquid. Go to the Minna Street Gallery in the city at night and
join the final SurfStyle party etc.

Tomorrow through the weekend we will be stoked at Level 4 at best.

Wednesday, August 20, 2003

PM Surfing Wrap Up

This morning, there was a company all-hands meeting at 9 a.m. so this
pre-empted my usual morning session. Instead, I showed up early at work, set
up for web-casting.

The meeting went OK with a few glitches, and if you are on my private e-mail
list there will be a list of complaints but, hey, this is a public board, so
let's just say that the meeting did finish without a major issue.

This is a kind of a day, that I just look forward to the reasonable end so
that I can drive out to the ocean. Imagine this, as I drive out, I throw
each piece of cloth into the air, as I am by the beach, you see myself on
board shorts and a rash guard (note that this is a movie scene, so there is
no logic what-so-ever).

The water was sparkling in the sun that was low in the west, and almost
blinding to see the next set coming in. The set were in a good size from
chest to head, and the tide was low so they were coming down quickly. In the
water, I forget about all of the frustrating things at work and just keep
focusing on getting out, anticipating the next good set, and then try to

I was padding out through lots of soups and then a shoulder high wave was
just about to crash on me in a few seconds. I pushed the front of the board
down the water as I put my right toe on to the tail edge of the pad. The
wave started to crumble. Great! The nose is under the water, now I quickly
move my knee back to the toe, and as I felt like being pounded from the top
the board shot up into the sky! The board bounces back on the surface of
calm water.. My belly is still on the exact same spot as before the wave
started to crumble on me. Yeah! I did it, finally, my first perfect duck

Well, catching those fast closing curtain was another story. I did not catch
a wave this evening. I take off then as soon as I do it, I got eaten up by
the waves, instead I was falling down in front of the letter C, and the next
thing, I was tumbling several times in the water. I used to think that this
is the start of my death, but now I just relax. Richard Schmidt told me that
don't pop up right away, stay under until it is safe. Quite true, one
morning early in the spring, I did an immediate pop up to get a gasp of air,
and the next thing, a huge "thonk" sound on top of my head. Glad I had my
Gath helmet on.

So that's all for this evening. Hope you will all have fun day tomorrow.
Stay tuned, my StokeCAST for THU coming next!

Re: [surfinghmb] Reflections: Surfing Is A Form Of Dancing

the first time i went surfing with a teacher,
he said "you have been a dancer, haven't you"
i was amazed that he could tell!
because i wasn't even standing up all that much then!
but he said he could tell that i had done ballet
because i have an awareness of my center of gravity
i feels like dance in how it involves every muscle of your body
if any part of your body doesn't feel "in the zone" with the rest of you
then it comes off as awkward.
the most creative dancer i have seen on a surfboard is
Taj B. in the movie Step into Liquid

gotta go!

> I am just passing on what Steve Pezman told us about Surfing in the
> tour/speech I attended at the Surf Culture exhibit at the San Jose Museum
> this weekend.
> This is not exactly verbatim, but you will get the idea.
> ---
> Surfing is like a form of dancing.
> A surfer is a dancer and the wave is the stage.
> Each dancer has a dancing style of own and you can pretty much tell the
> personality of the person by looking at how the person dances in just a few
> second. Aggressive people dance aggressively and mellow people dance
> mellow....
> ----
> Everytime I go see surfers, I always thought that surfers were doing their
> performance before the beach audience, and I am happy that someone else
> thought the same thing!

Tuesday, August 19, 2003

Wave Log. Tuesday AM, A N San Mateo County Spot

I had another fun session this morning.

The north end of the beach were getting up to shoulder high with various
degrees of steepness. It was a bit mushy on many sets but occasionally a
more stronger and higher ones to come that broke perfectly well.

A new discovery almost every time I go out!

I found out what was my latest problem was. I was getting too greedy to get
to bigger waves and forgetting about the importance of catching waves. In
fact, one of the competitors at the classic advised me the importance of
catching more waves than scoring a big wave. So going back to the familiar
and a bit gentle spot was a big treat and very rewarding. I caught more
waves in all the waves I caught in the last month. This is an important
balance to strike as if you don't challenge yourself, there is no progress
and if you challenge too much there are more failures preventing progress.

Also this morning is the first time I felt that I am starting to feel more
intimate with the 7'6 board I am using. I really feel that I can command the
board to do what I want to do a bit better and also more importantly I can
sense the board providing feeding back as to the condition of the wave
running through my lower body giving little hints where to go next. After
realizing the feel, I have also realized that I was just letting the board
carry me and not participating in the full potential of the ride. This is
very encouraging! I think that the practice on the Indo Board has been very

I hope you will make good progress this week!

Reflections: Surfing Is A Form Of Dancing

I am just passing on what Steve Pezman told us about Surfing in the
tour/speech I attended at the Surf Culture exhibit at the San Jose Museum
this weekend.

This is not exactly verbatim, but you will get the idea.

Surfing is like a form of dancing.
A surfer is a dancer and the wave is the stage.
Each dancer has a dancing style of own and you can pretty much tell the
personality of the person by looking at how the person dances in just a few
second. Aggressive people dance aggressively and mellow people dance

Everytime I go see surfers, I always thought that surfers were doing their
performance before the beach audience, and I am happy that someone else
thought the same thing!

Monday, August 18, 2003

Surf Log. Linda Mar This Evening

The magical North end returns to LM and it was so much fun being there this
evening. We got lots of gentle chest to shoulder high lefts (my favorite
level) with reforms to top off. Once you get in the pocket you can cost
along with a bit of cutting back, no much effort is needed once you take
off. My buddy Nick came out after his shift ended at 6:00.

Compared to Montara on Sunday with 1.0 to 1.5 head dumper after hard paddle
out, it was a very nice treat and remember about actually taking off on
waves and standing up.

Still though, I don't stand up quick enough to get a hold of the control of
the board. A good portion of the ride is wasted belly boarding on the
surface. I promise I will work on getting up on the board sooner. But to my
credit I can take off when I think I can, so I am onto the next step!

Ducking still sucks with about a success rate of only 10% to 15% at the
best, the 7'6 is still too floaty for it, but I am going to keep practicing
on it until I get it. If I get this right, I can probably start sinking my
8'6 with some success that will be awesome and pretty interesting! Sinking
of the tail part of the board is really really difficult.

Sunday, August 17, 2003

Sunday AM StokeCAST 6 to 7 on NW Facing Locations & SC Locations

The swells that we have been waiting for has arrived overnight, and now the
HMB is reading 6 ft level swells at 11 seconds period. My guess is that this
will produce fairly fun waves today on NW facing beaches. There is some
potential of close outs at wide open locations. We shall see.

Also don't forget, I will be at the Surfrider Foundation table at the SJ
Museum of Art "Surf Style Shindig" starting 11 this morning. We will be
there unit 5 p.m.

Friday, August 15, 2003

NW Swells Will Pick Up Probably Starting Next 6 to 12 Hours

The SE PAPA (600 NM W of Eureka) buoy is reporting up to 6 ft of utility
class swells. This will likely to arrive to us later on this afternoon.

Thursday, August 14, 2003

Friday AM SotkeCAST Level 5 on W to NW 5 ft, 8 sec local wind swells

The NW swell height is dwindling gradually throughout the day. This pattern
should continue through Friday and by the afternoon, the regular thermal on
shore wind will kick back up to provide blown-out condition. Still there is
really no sign of the S swells so, the best bets are well protected NW open

Wednesday, August 13, 2003

THU AM StokeCAST 5 to 6 on NW facing locations and SC

>From the experience this morning at the LM, we will continue to have fair
but ridable condition tomorrow. The 5 ft NW swell is starting to subside a
bit at the moment and by tomorrow morning, it will be 3-4 ft level with 8 or
more seconds of period. This might cause a bit more "cleaner" condition,
let's hope. Beaches open to NW should produce ridable waves up to shoulder
high. Low incoming tide seemed to work a bit of magic this morning so
hopeful it will tomorrow as well. I will estimate our stoke level will be 5
to 6 tomorrow. Bring your biceps though. Good luck and have fun!

WED AM StokeCAST STOKE Estimate is 4 to 5

>From the looks of the buoy readings, we are going to have lots chops and
small wind-swells mixed in with fairly good quality 3.0 ft 16 - 17 sec
swells right now. Conditions will be poor to only fair at most locations.
So tomorrow morning in N SMC beaches will be good biceps work out to get out
followed by mogul style surfing, I hope we can at least get those, they can
get fun sometimes! No guarantees. Good luck and enjoy!

Tuesday, August 12, 2003

Step Into Liquid: Web Site URL is

You can also find previews and more info about the movie here:

Dana Brown's "Step Into Liquid" Is A Must See Movie STOKE=10

I had a chance to see Step Into Liquid tonight before San Francisco area
general showing and I must say that if you surf or interested in surfing
this is a "must see" movie just like his father's "The Endless Summer"

Just like his father's movie Dana takes you to all around the world from
California to stoked lake surfers in Wisconsin, professional women surfers
in Tahiti, Ireland, Vietnam, and even oil tanker wake surfing. Yes, Half
Moon Bay is one of his stops.

This is a movie about love of surfing, why surfers are stoked. I am not
going to write a lot about it, because you just stop reading this, get out
to the closest theater that is showing it, and just go see it.

You will come out of the theater with a Stoke of 10 out of 10!

I would like to thank Live 105 for the invitation and putting this preview
event together. In San Francisco it starts to showing at Embarcadero theatre
starting this Friday.

Re: [surfinghmb] Surfing Back at Cowells

i love the image of cooking an egg on your board

> The weather was so hot and nice. If it was not the wind picking up, we did
> not need a wetsuit. This is the first time I surfed without booties or
> gloves and was totally comfortable! The wax on my board was melting like
> butter. Could have cooked an egg on my board!

Surfing Back at Cowells

We have a couple of Japanese exchange high school students every other
summer in Half Moon Bay, and we usually volunteer to do something fun. We
got two girls coming this year, and so I decided to take them out on a real
California summer experience at Boardwalk and then surfing. Everything
worked out, the girls stood on the board and had a lot of fun memory to take

I have not been back surfing at Cowells for a while but, it is always
interesting to go there and surf. First the waves are almost always very
gentle and easy to catch, sets are mellow and people are too. But the place
was so crowded even on Monday afternoon, I guess it is because the schools
are still out. I would imagine at least there were 80 people out there in
the water and the lineup was rather small due to the size of the swells.
Sometimes, I was completely surrounded and it was like 4 p.m. on the 6th
street in San Francisco. It is almost totally a different surfing
experience, it is very friendly and fun kind of a place. There were a few
"advanced" surfers there who zoomed among people trying hard to take off,
but somehow we can all co-exist.

The weather was so hot and nice. If it was not the wind picking up, we did
not need a wetsuit. This is the first time I surfed without booties or
gloves and was totally comfortable! The wax on my board was melting like
butter. Could have cooked an egg on my board!

Monday, August 11, 2003

TUE StokeCAST. Strong on shore (wind) condition to return. Stoke Estimate is 3 to 4

The strong thermal gradient is back in our cost and that means a lot of
local chops in the next few days (and even longer). Breeze of 10 to 15 mph
are possible. We will most likely to have blown out conditions that will
overpower both any remnant of surfable swells. After this, no swells are in
sight. Only hope is that new movie Stepping Into Liquid is coming out this
weekend! So far this has gotten a very good review.

Sunday, August 10, 2003

MONDAY StokeCast 4 to 5 out of 10

Based on the Point Reyes buoys The S swells are starting to roll in and also
there is some increase in NW local wind swells of 4 ft range at 8 seconds,
so some fun is back on our shores if you pick the right places. Again, south
areas of San Mateo county would be a better bet than the north side, I would
imagine. If you pick the right place(s), you'd be treated with a stoke of 4
to 5, and that's my guess based on surfing at Pescadero.

Other experts are saying that there is nothing after these for a while, so
have fun while you can!

This Morning's Surf Report

We had a chance to try out our new DV rig this morning at Pescadero State.
If you are interested in the resulting edit, here it is.

Enjoy! -- Manabu

SUN AM StokeCAST Update... NW Dwindle Confirmed STOKE=3 to 4

We are now starting to hit down to < 3 ft level in HMB and period getting
shorter. If you are desperate (like I am today) I advise a through up/down
coast search. There might be a faint hope in locations further south of HMB.
It is sunny here though! I will estimate today's stoke
(beginner/intermediate surfers) to be 3/10 or at best 4/10.

Anybody seen Stepping Into Liquid yet?

Saturday, August 09, 2003

Sunday AM StokeCast 5/10. Last chance for the NW Local Windswells, South May Kick In later

There seems to be some small but good actions going on in our area on the
way home this afternoon. Looked like some fun! I get to go out tomorrow AM,
and I am keeping my fingers crossed that the waves will hold out through
tomorrow AM, but already the swells are going down to a 4.0 level on our
outer buoy. SC Co will likely to hold a bit longer than N SM Co. But I am
not sure this is even noticeable. The wind is side to on-shore.

SAT AM StokeCast, Estimated Stoke is 4 to 5 on NW Facing Locations!

The NW swells are holding UP$station=46012$swht$E in the
last several hours. The outer CAL buoy is weakening so looks like we got a
fairly small window of opportunity... just today. We might have a bit of fun
this morning on NW facing locations (Stoke of 4 to 5 out of 10). The S has
dwindled pretty much to nothing over a day. San Mateo surfers, let's go
now. SC surfers will be in the afternoon or try both. Good luck and have
fun! Let me know whether my StokeCast worked or sucked.

Tide Info for Today!

2003-08-09 06:20 PDT Sunrise
2003-08-09 10:23 PDT 4.49 feet High Tide
2003-08-09 14:55 PDT 3.02 feet Low Tide
2003-08-09 20:09 PDT Sunset

Friday, August 08, 2003

SAT STOKECAST = 3 to 4. Outer Swells Starting To Show

It now appears that what we have seen in California buoy this morning is
reaching to our shores at this time. In the last couple of hours the swells
are rapidly peaking back up to 4+ ft level in HMB. These are 9-10 second
swells, so may not be so high quality. So, there is some hope tomorrow. I am
stuck with work tomorrow AM than the rest of the day away from the ocean so
you'd have one less person in the line-up tomorrow, Everyone have fun. Write
in about your catch of the day!

Also, I also posted a general Theft and Vandalism bulletin on the SRSM web
news. Just go to for more news and a few other
good news I posted there in the last day or two. Also as the first step in
community aware surfer, you should sign up on their e-mail news letter.
While I cover a lot more about surfing here, on the SMC side, we cover a lot
more about water quality, environment, and also lots of surf parties and
movie events.

This Week's HMB Review, Surf Related Articles!

Read this week's HMB Review for
- The news on MBNMS meeting last week
- The results and photo from the Classic


In addition to my previous post, take a look at the California buoy's (357
Nautical Miles west of us) trend. There is a clear sign that the surfs are
up significantly further out and in the last several hours.$station=46059$swht$E

Lets keep our fingers crossed but they should hit us soon.

Sea to start waking up. Swell Pattern Changing to West - Weekend Outlook Hopeful May bring the STOKE level by a few notches later on!

Presently the N SM county beaches are in the valley of very low swell area,
but the Scripps Map ( is showing a
slight up trend further north of us. St. Georges is reporting swell class
waves at 4.9 ft.

The local HMB buoy swell plot$station=46012$swht$E
indicates a small but noticeable up trend in the last couple of hours.

Stay tuned!

Thursday, August 07, 2003

FRI AM STOKECAST POTENTIAL STOKES=1, A Dismal Outlook. Test Drive INDO Board, New Member Welcome etc.

As you can look at the HMB buoy$station=46012$swht$E The S
(0r any) swells are on their last legs. Not only that we gat on-shore
condition so we just have just entered about the worst time of the year.
Look further out, there is nothing in sight in terms of more swells coming.
So tomorrow, let's stay home, go see movies or do something else. The
estimated stoke is 1 to 2 for tomorrow for all everyday surfers at most

* Test Drive of the INDO Board *

The last few flat days prompted me to think about doing something else, so I
ordered the INDO board a few days ago ( It arrived
this morning and when I got home I immediately opened the box. I got the
"regular" size board. It came with a video showing the basics and also other
wakeboarders trying it out.

In 10 minutes of trial I was able to stand on the board and started to
balance, but this is a lot of work for the knee, hip and back muscles. As I
am entering the realm of short-boarding now, this is going to be a good
practice to gain stronger leg and hip muscles and also keeping the upper
body steady for balancing. In just 20 minutes of being on the board I was
sweating hard and the thigh is getting tried. You are supposed to be able to
hang-ten on the board etc., According to the literature many pro surfers use
including Kelly Slater, so I am hopeful for the HMB Surf Classic next year!

* Welcome *

And "polpis157" welcome to the list, and thank you for your post!

Wednesday, August 06, 2003

THU AM Predictions, STOKE POTENTIAL=3 to 4/10. Bring a long board or a short fish.

Over the last day or so the S swells have been shifting a more westerly, and
that might improve the situation a bit for the N SMC beaches But as of this
evening the swells are continue to weaken now down to low 3 to 2 ft out at
HMB buoy. You either have to ride a long board and paddle like crazy or ride
a puny fish on shore breaks. These seems to be the only options. Well,
that's my only guess...

Tuesday, August 05, 2003

WED Potentials STOKE=3-4

Given what was like this morning, my guess would be more of the same. This S
swells we were all exited about is going down. The direction is now shifting
to slightly SSE and that means that even less parts of our beaches will be
directed. My guess tomorrow near HMB will be fairly flat across the board.

AM Surf Wrap Up, STOKE=3

Surfed MS, No real sign of breaks this morning, the swells are probably
going into a wrong direction. any good looking swells mostly ended up being
shore breaks. I was chasing the breaks so started out on the N end then
ended up in the middle then chasing back up N just paddling all over the
places. Both JT and especially LM looked so flat. I almost with that the
wind picks up and start to give us some local wind swells to surf on.

AM Re-Forecasting

I am re-checking the wave directions and now they are coming straight from
the S. (210 to 180) directions. I guess that if this is coming a bit more
from the W then it would be more fun. The swell quality seems to be good at
around 15 to 17 seconds going on the average 3.0 ft. The wave height is
holding up for the last 24 hours and even a bit increased in the last few

Monday, August 04, 2003

TUE AM Guess Cast, STOKE = 5 at best

After surfing at MS this morning which would have been a STOKE 5-6 if you
were an advanced surfer, but it was pretty much STOKE 4 for myself because
of a very limited take-off zone. Passing by the JT, and LM they did not seem
to have anything going. The south swells are holding up at or around 3.0 to
3.5 ft, and in the early morning there is some higher tide condition, so I
should try the MS again. Current prediction seems to suggest that this level
of swell will continue for one or two days, then there seems to be nothing
in sight, so that means more Yoga and other forms of getting in shape. I am
wondering about getting that INDO board to see how well that works out.

The afternoon brought some strong on-shore conditions inside the bay, so
morning would probably be a better bet.

It was kind of strange to go back to the former site of the Classic
competition without the crowd.

Sunday, August 03, 2003

Column: After a compeition, participating in a community.

When I first started to surf seriously in May of last year, I felt so
isolated. One surfer from work got a new kid and then moved away to inland,
never to be seen in the ocean again. Another close friend from work who live
very close by also got a new kid and so that meant less surfing. So the
timing was a bit bad, should this have been a year sooner, I would have done
a bit better to start.

I am also a bit shy in front of people so I do not talk much to people on
the line up or do things like that, so I have basically struggled for the
first good 8 months just trying to do it by myself. In the retrospect, this
was a mistake. What I should have done is to join at least a Yahoo group or
something and start to find people at the similar (but a bit better) level
as I was, then try to set up trips to SC or other easy spots near-by. But
you know, just reading the messages in these boards intimidated me so much.
This is part of the reason why I created my web site with information for
beginners and intermediates so at least other people who will be in the same
situation as I was would know that they are not alone.

Fast forward 15 months, and now I was in HMB Classic, and now I had 6 other
surfing friends to either come see me surf, or go actually be in the

So what helped me the most. Going to the Club Ed camp was a big plus, I am
still in touch with Ed, and also made two good friends from it whom we surf.
Because they are SC based, and also active in SC surfing community, I now
feel like I am expanding the network out there. Another biggie is to
participate as a volunteer at Surfrider Foundation San Mateo Chapter. This
is where my geek skills meet totally cool surfing by providing web solutions
for the group.

I am a member of lots of things like museums or Commonwealth club, but in
terms of networking just as members and going to meetings and receptions
never helped me to network. But once you are actively helping something out,
then you can begin to network at a completely different level than being
just being a member.

Through the SRF, we met the organizer of the Surf Classic, and now I know
these guys fairly well, also the guys at the Board Shop as well. By just
entering there and people saw my name up on the board, some Japanese surfers
were curious about me, and so I met several Japanese surfers in the area.

So, if you feel like you are just surfing alone without a support, you
should not only just join as member of a club, but go and do some
volunteering at the group of your choice. I am sure that in most groups
there usually are all sorts of works not completed and you can take up a
small piece of it. You'd be appreciated by everyone, helping the cause or
community, and you get to know the people who are shaping the community. Be
it surfing, or any other stuff you'd be interested in.

Monday's Forecast STOKE=5 on So Facing Beaches

The N waves are almost totally gone but we were gifted by some S swells this
weekend. While they seemed to have gone down throughout Sunday, it appears
that they will be pumping back again for Monday then there will be a period
of more flatness to follow. For more details on this, look at the Stormsurf
Quick Cast section, since I do not quite know how to predict the South
swells that well (i.e., I do not know how to read the model information, I
am working on it though).

The HMB buoy report already is showing an up trend and they are all high
quality 14 to 16 seconds swells at 4-5 ft. So we should again be able to
have fun at some breaks on Monday. Probably WED will be a ground practice
day as it looks. But I am keeping a close eyes on the situation.

I would say the estimated stoke will be around 5, as it has been in the past
4-5 days so far!

Saturday, August 02, 2003

HMB Surfing Classic

So I did go and "compete" in it.

Now I know for sure that this year, I am the worst surfer in HMB! So I need
to practice for the next year so that I will be the next to the worst surfer
in HMB. There were so many good people there so it won't be possible for me
to ever become the best in HMB, but that makes it fun trying.

The waves coming in were much faster today than yesterday, and to make the
matter worse, I could only compete in the long-board division. This was
really bad because first I do not own a real long board. It was a mistake on
my part to get an 8'6 because that isn't considered a long board. So I had
to borrow my friend's SOFTOP 9 ft board. I practiced for a couple of hours
before the heat but I could not just catch any good waves with it. Should I
have registered sooner, I could have been on an Open class, but I also
miss-judged on that as well.

So I have now decided to abandon the whole program of becoming a long-board
surfer and focus the next year on short board styles, which I think I am
getting better at since I have been using my 7'6 for quite some time and I
really like it.

Many of my friends showed up and cheered me up, in addition I had two camera
units going to document the event so I want to see what happens.

My heat kinds of sucked because the waves were coming in so fast that I just
kept pearling all the time and could only get one ride if anything. Also it
was difficult to turn the board of that size.

However, it was a low key event, and I had a lot of fun!

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Friday, August 01, 2003

Saturday AM Predictions STOKE LEVEL=6

The wave pattern has shifted to dominantly South, and the condition for
tomorrow's Half Moon Bay Surf Classic will be bit promising in Montara.We
will likely to have chest to shoulder high faces through tomorrow.

For those participating in the competition, good luck. And for me I need it,
as I will be participating in it for the first time in my life!

The Half Moon Bay Surf Classic will be at Montara North.

The Half Moon Bay Surf Classic will be at Montara North. The race will start
at 8:00 a.m. A $60 beach entry is available but be there at 7:30 before the
contest starts.

If you want to help rig up the place, that starts at 6:45 a.m. just show up
and look for Philip McCoy. Please tell him that you are with the Surfrider

For those attending the contest, good luck to you.

Surf's up!


Manabu Tokunaga
Half Moon Bay, California
How am I surfing? Check my daily wave log at

The Half Moon Bay Surf Classic will be at Montara North.

The Half Moon Bay Surf Classic will be at Montara North. The race will start
at 8:00 a.m. A $60 beach entry is available but be there at 7:30 before the
contest starts.

If you want to help rig upthe place, that starts at 6:45 a.m. just show up
and look for Philip McCoy. Please tell him that you are with the Surfrider

For those attending the contest, good luck to you.

Surf's up!


HMB Surf Classic Update! We don't know yet until 4:00 p.m. Montara North Likely!

I just spoke with Philip McCoy at the REC department and the word has not come out yet as to where we are going to, but Montara North is coming up as the best candidate! BUT WAIT UNTIL 4:00 P.M. today and call the City Hall's 24-hour recording to find out. Of course, I will post another message as soon as I find out.
The City Hall recording can be reached at 650-726-8297
Manabu Tokunaga
Half Moon Bay,  California
How am I surfing? Check my daily wave log at

HMB Surfing Classic - The Beach Selection Will be at 2 PM Today, Friday!

In just a few hours the rec department will announce the location. I will
sure to post the location here (and also at Surfriders Site!).

THU AM Wrap UP, Ran into Jeff Clark + Surfing Montara

I was supposed to hook up with a couple of other surfers at Montara this
morning, it ended up not happening, but that's surfing for you...

On the way to Montara, I stopped by at Twin Berry cafe in El Granada. As I
walked in there to get a coffee and muffin there were a few people standing
in front of a counter making conversation. I had my wet suit on (top down,
of course), and a rash guard too. So I kind of pushed my way in to get my
orders taken care of.

Got the stuff and got out and realized that it was Jeff Clark (of Mavericks
surf shop). So that was an interesting start.

Back to beginner-intermediate surfing realm....

Montara was great, the South has kicked in and we were getting good chest
clean chest highs, and lots of them to catch. There were some good people
showing up and lots of them so the place resembled more like the Pleasure
point with lots of high-speed cross traffic from long boarders, but no
worries, we can all spread out to the north and there were plenty to catch.

The low tide made the waves to come down a bit too quickly so I did lots of
falling under the falls but when I catch them it was so much fun to zoom
lefts and rights!

If you are thinking about getting out today, it will be good day to go out.
Later you go, more south if all the predictions are right.

Just like those surfing real-life TV shows, just the night before a major
competition, I will be going to a surf party tonight, that's surf-style
exhibits and also some live music! Check out the Surfrider San Mateo news

OK that's about it this morning. Everyone have fun!

Thursday, July 31, 2003

FRI AM Forecast, Sotke Potential = 5 to 6 @ Montara.

I drove back down the coast to HMB this afternoon around 6:00 p.m. and GWC,
Montara were still holding up. This is probably due to the arriving So hemi
swells, so the models and predictions seems to be right on. This should
increase toward Sat AM then go down toward Sunday. The wind did not pick up
all day so would have been a good surfing day, except for occasional
sprinkles (but then who cares, right?)

The Jetty was getting bigger this afternoon as I passed by now up to hip
high and starting to hold the shape and breaking a tiny bit further out, may
be by tomorrow AM we will get back some wedge action by the breakwater.

I will give the stoke potential (for Montara) of 5 to 6 tomorrow morning at
6 - 7 a.m.

AM Surf Report, Glassy Montara Surfing STOKE=6

As of 7:30 to 8:30 AM the condition were as following:

The Jetty: Flat only knee high waves.
Montara: Hip to Chest, glassy clean peelers. Easy out.
Gray Whale: Looked a bit bigger than Montara, perhaps up to shoulder and
also clean glassy
Linda Mar: knee high, looked flat.

Surfed at Montara and it was a lot of fun as the water looked like someone
put a Saran-Wrap over it and waves pop up and start to throw mini-tubes. The
tide was low this morning so the waves came down a bit quick. Practiced long
boarding this morning, but probably a wrong board choice. But I had several
nice long rides, and just at 8:30 when I wanted to get out another long ride
all the way to the shore to wrap things up!

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

THU AM Guesstimage, Significant pattern change. Sign of more S Swells Seems To be In. Level 5 STOKE possible!

I just checked the CDIP and in the last 14 hours, the principal wave
direction has changed to 300 degrees and also some more are coming from the
SW directions. It is a very interesting pattern I have not seen yet since I
started to keep track of this earlier this season, so I do not know what to
make of this yet. The swell height is not that great up to 2.3 ft, so looks
kind of small. I will swing by and do the surf check at Jetty, Montara and
Linda Mar on the way to work tomorrow, and possibly surf too at Linda Mar so
stay tuned.

Tuesday, July 29, 2003

A Magical Late Afternoon at Montara

We have been monitoring all day about the wave reports from various sources to see where it is going to break. Many of us have concluded that Montara was the best bet, and I am glad I did go there.


I headed out to the breaks in Montara at 6:30 this afternoon. Unlike the usually gnarly and unforgiving Montara, the water was warm (for our area that is), and the waves were gentle up to chest high levels.


There were probably a couple of dozen surfers in the entire beach, but we were all spread out and respected each others to have lots of fun. And that’s exactly what happened this late afternoon.


Montara is a pristine and beautiful place and when I get out and look at the beach, the green hills in the back and the cliffs with all different colors, I feel so lucky that I am here and be able to enjoy the blend of all what the nature has to offer. I am just as happy as I can be when I just sit in the water quietly and look around me. Then to top that off, I get to surf over nice gentle waves, and I just let others catch a few more than I do, but when I say, “I am going to catch that one!” then, a gentle paddle in and a few strong strokes will let me into the wave every time.


On one run, I trimmed to the right and as I ran, I saw a seal just duck in front of me. I also tried to steer away, but it must be just like a routine “driving on a street” for this seal, it is teasing me and so I did… a sort of communicating with the life around me. And of course, this can only be possible because I paddle around on an equal ground with them, and not buzzing around and out powering anything with an engine on my board.


Today is the day that I really felt that finally the ocean is starting to accept me being there, and not trying to convolve me into the rolling soup then burping me out of the bottom, instead throwing me high up in the wave and then gently catching me and let me glide on the waves.


This is the reason why I look forward to get into the water. During the dinner I saw an ad about Jack Welch’s book in a newspaper, but I do not know if he’d be able to experience what I have this afternoon, and more to come.  


It is so magical to be out there and I just wish that there are many more people who can share this pristine experience with me.






TUE AM Analysis, Estimated STOKE=3 to 4

Tue 0650 PDT: The overall swell sizes are continuing to go down. Presently
we are averaging 4 to 5 ft swells out in HMB. The sign of the south swells
are in 1.9 ft/ 12 sec/ 180 deg (smack from the south), and so in my opinion
it might not have enough power to break at most beaches near by HMB. The
wind is down at the moment but most likely to pick up to the normal
afternoon onshore levels in the afternoon based on the NWS report and also
looking at the buoy readings for the last 3 days.

Also thunder storms are being predicted for the next couple of days and even
a chance of rain this Friday.

I will give an estimated stoke level of 3.5/10 this afternoon.


Monday, July 28, 2003

Tuesday Surf Guesscast Possible Stoke = 3

The wind waves from the north is weakening and even at gnarly spot like
Montara looked almost like Lake Tahoe today. At the moment the significant
swell height in our area is only about 3.0 ft. There are some talks of the
south hemi stuff arriving. Checking Pt. Reyes, there are some signs but it
is as yet into a full swing, so tomorrow I will anticipate a minimum (if
moderate) amount of stokes even for beginner surfers.

What you should do for on these flat days?

- Go out anyways, and paddle the entire length of a beach. If there are some
baby waves, try to learn how to eek them out like Clio says.
- Go out anyways, and practice duck diving moves, sinking the front,
shifting the weight to the knee, and sink the back.
- Practice flick up and placement of feet right at the stringer position.
- Practice duck diving motions on a Yoga mat.
- Forget about surfing altogether. Go ride a bike, hike
- Forget all about being active, visit your surfing mom, go to a surf store
and do some B.S.
- Go to Half Moon Bay brewery and ask them to play some Mavericks DVDs.
- Go to Well Within or Tea House in Santa Cruz and just soak and relax
- Pay bills.

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Sat Manresa, Sun Linda Mar, STOKES=4

After looking at the Santa Cruz Westside, and so flat, I surfed Saturday
around noon at Manresa with the 7'6 board. The waves were chest to hip high
the best. But the place was not crowded and a lot of sun, no wind, and on
Sunday at 8 a.m. at Linda Mar. Waves were about 3 - 4 ft 8 sec NW both days
with the power significantly winded down through Saturday into Sunday, so it
was not much.

Strangely enough (as far as I am concerned), in contrast with having so much
luck earlier with bigger waves, I did not have any decent take offs on both
days. What actually happens is that I pearled on both locations, and these
are baby waves.

So I am analyzing what happens.

- It appears that in these conditions, the size of the crest is so small
that neither of the boards fit.
- The wave closes out too soon and too close to the shore that there isn't
much I can do.

One technique that seemed to have a better effect on these condition is that
I start paddling hard and longer so that by the time I am ready to take off
I have enough speed and do not need to get the help from the wave to get me
up. So a longer board is actually more effective in these kinds of

Now I am starting to think that these very small waves are actually
difficult to learn to surf on.

Friday, July 25, 2003

Fri AM Surf Wrapup. The Linda Mar North End - Continue to Work Wonders! STOKE=8

As I approached Montara this morning, the fog was so dense, that I thought
this will be another fog surfing day in Pacifica. But Montara was breaking
fairly nicely and looked surfable, so as I always say, this indicates that
North end of Linda Mar will have some waves. As I went over the Slide, the
fog started to thin out and you can see the sun through the fog like someone
holding a flashlight in the sky. The LM was totally clear!

The waves looked rather mellow as I gotten myself ready, and I ran over to
the north.

More wind-swells are back this morning. While there were calm periods, they
were not long enough and soon a bunch of short period swells sweep in, and
making it difficult to get out, also the wind was picking up rather strong
and that made going out a bit tougher than usual. In these types of
situations, I just relax and paddle out without really thinking about when I
get to the outside. I know I will get outside if I just keep paddling
keeping the pace. I remember it used to me tire out just by looking at other
better surfers just going past me. It still happens but now I don't really

In front of the pumps the waves were going probably at hip to chest high but
holding the shape. But the current pushed me into the North so I also
paddled into that direction. There were 2 or 3 other surfers, as usually is
the situation. I was in the zone with shoulder or a bit higher breaks. I
used to be very intimidated by just looking at these waves from the shore,
but these waves are fairly gentle and the slope tend to hold and build up,
making it especially fun to take off on. By then I was put onto the next
inside reform section, executed a backside turn back into going left. This
ride was a better one than I had earlier this week because I was able to do
the turns much more smoother. The whole time of the ride it gotten so quiet
and felt like I was almost riding on a cloud. Then finally it ends with the
sound of waves crumbling onto the beach.

I was so stoked immediately paddled back for more.

Thursday, July 24, 2003

THU Stoke = 1

Today, I ended up not surfing. The rain made me keep away from the water
this morning due to the concern on water quality, but planned to go on the
way back from work. I actually did surf check at, Linda Mar, GW Cove,
Montara, Jetty, Kelly, and Dunes. Pacifica was too windy but if I stayed
there I could have gotten some ridable waves. But I moved on south and as I
drove further south the condition has gotten really poor. So I looked at a
lot of beaches this afternoon but did not go out.

This morning, however, I practiced duck diving moves on a mat at home. Some
key points I was practicing were;

1) Pushing the nose down, but keep the head up so that weight won't go too
far forward.
2) Put the right toe the tail of the board and keep the shin on the board
right at the center of the board.
3) Shifting the weight to the back of the board so once the front of the
board sinks, then I can start to sink the tail of the board.
4) Raising the left leg high up to help the push down effect.

My book says that (3) is the key point because most people can do (1) fairly

Another practice I did was a bunch of flick up exercise. I have found out
that if you push up right under the shoulder I can bring myself up smoother.
So next time I will try to consciously push myself up from there.

The third practice I did, in combo with the flick up is the direction my
head during and after the flick up. I am supposed to look at where I am
going to, and not the board. I often look down too long which is not helping
the balance. The head should try to keep the horizontal regardless of which
surfing position I am in.

The last practice I did was weight shifting using knees and hip. A good part
of surfing is about how to shift weight effectively and the knees and the
hip plays an important part of how you'd shift the weight without losing the

It was actually refreshing to do this type of practice, so I am going to go
downstairs and do this again before going to bed.

First Big Rain - Bacterial Count Increase Anticipated

As we know we got dumped with quite a bit of rain through last night. This
is usually a sign that a lot of land based contamination that have
accumulated will hit the creek and down into the ocean. I will stay out of
the water at least today.

Wednesday, July 23, 2003

THU Stoke Cast = 6

>From the looks of the waves the waves are holding at 9 seconds with still
not much luck on south swell. So the condition should stay about the same,
but my guess would be that it will be smaller than today. I would expect
chest-high wave sets in Linda Mar and even smaller condition in Montara.

7 AM Linda Mar STOKE=7

Back at LM beach again this morning. Today was a bit more crowded in front
of the pump station. And when I reached the outside and looked back, there
were two dozen surfers waiting! I quickly got out of the line and paddled
north. The weather was clearing as the time went on and the waves were clean
chest high at the pumps and just about head high starting around the Crespi

Not as stoky as yesterday, I got several rides focusing more on turning and
weight shifting today. Not able to execute turns as quickly as better
surfers have been something that I want to be at a similar level. No magic
long ride today.

Also, while the waves were not as big, it was a bit more tiring to get out
and paddle around. So I took it a bit easier today.

Tuesday, July 22, 2003

WED AM. Potential Stoke = 7

The swells have been clocking 9-second period in HMB for the last several
hours and also the general NW swell height is on the raise. This probably
means that we will have decent surfable sets tomorrow AM. However there is
some chance of isolated showers that would tend to ruin the fun a bit.
Hopefully the weather will hold up. Presently there is no rain shown on the
local radar.

Note the stoke rating is baed on me. Your stoke level will vary depending on
your skill level and attitude.

Linda Mar 0700 STOKE = 8, Rincon condition! Gliding into a 2 x OVH face, and a Success!

There was no wind and we were not fogged in. The wave direction has shifted
more westerly with dominant periods getting longer than 8 seconds, plus
medium tide. A formula for good condition.

The sets were fairly far between this morning, and the benefit of that is
that it was easy paddle out, then for every 5-10 minutes slowly growing
shoulder to OVH sets coming, especially on the north end.

I have been having excellent luck with the north end, but this morning is
one of the better yet. As I waited for the sets, what appears to be a double
over head wall coming. I just said to myself, just relax and started to
paddle in in a slow pace. Then the board started to pick up the speed. Wow!
I caught the wave, and next I am rushing into the bowl of the wave almost
straight down. I was already flicked up and dropping down so fast. Then the
front of the board started to planing up. I am up on the board and gliding
the face of the wave so fast. In front of my face is the breaking lip of the
wave. It is a left, my favorite.

The surface I was riding was smooth right under me, I have leaned to the
left and board started to curve a gentle left. A moment later, the board
slowed down indicating the usual end of the ride, but then the inside reform
started to happen, I was picked up again into a shoulder high peak then kept
going all the way to the beach. The ride seemed to have lasted forever and
when the ride was over, I was just so stoked and smiling.

There was another long boarder having a lot of fun in the break.

It was really great because everyone staying around the pump house, while
just a few braved to the North end this morning.

Monday, July 21, 2003

Linda Mar This Morning, STOKE = 6

I had a good surfing this morning at LM beach. We had unusual S wind this
morning and it was mild. The ocean was clean with good peeling sets coming
in every 5-10 minutes with ample time to get out and relax, wait for sets.
Today would have been great for long boarders while there were lots of
shorters out as well.

My 7'6 worked a magic and took off on bunch of waves continuing practicing
quicker turns during take off and drop down. Waves were up to shoulder high
with lots of chest high rollers.

This is a kind of a day where I just go stay a bit inside and pick up lots
of waves while others just wait at wrong spots. So even the place was mildly
crowded already, there was no problem practicing lots of take offs.

The sun was out and it was a great day to start a week!

Sunday, July 20, 2003

Sun AM @ Rockaway and Surf Skill Progress Report

I hooked up with Nick from work this morning at 8. He has been working on
the nigh shift so this is his "afternoon" surfing. We started out doing surf
check at Montara. It looked surfable, but not holding the shape, so we
decided to move up to GWC. We did actually put the wet suit on, gone down,
then we taken a look and the breaks were just not happening, so we once
again changed to Rockaway. Initially there was nothing going on, then things
start to come, so we decided to get in.

This is the first time I go out in the water to Rockaway, so I was a bit
stoked about it, since many people told me that this location is hard to
surf as things can get big and hollow. But this is a type of day that is
fairly flat everywhere so there was not much concern... Until I got in the

Paddling out was easy as Nick has already found a calm channel to the south
end so we walked down and start to paddle out. We had several head high
waves, then suddenly what appears to be a 2 x OVH waves just started to
come. I turtled the board but the board has gone out of my grips and so I
got washed, but it wasn't that bad. Then the rest of the time, there were
nice breaks holding at shoulder to head high, so I caught several of those,
and based on this week, I need to summarize some of the progresses that have
been made since last summer.

Areas that I Am Proud Of

+ Now I am able to turn the board as I stand up, allowing me to get into the
wave face more confidently. I can also cheat a bit by taking off already at
an angle.
+ Now I am starting to get a feel of using the tail of the board to make
turns. Overall this seems to be similar to executing "jet" turns on slalom
style skiing which I used to do. It feels like I am making the board slip
under me forward as the board is banked and use the centripetal force to
push the banking against the water. Definitely putting more weight on the
rear foot where I put the pad on.
+ I am now much comfortable in situations like today where a sudden bigger
swells come. I now know what (not) to do. Before the fear just taken up me
completely. I now know it will be over in 5 - 10 seconds under the water.

Areas That (really) Suck

- I feel like I am not yet completely committed (i.e., scared) to take off
and standing up right away, so I am not completely under control during the
take off phase. But I am getting better at it.
- Bottom turn still is sucky so no climbing back into the waves yet. But I
feel like I am getting a feel for when to do it. I am not just set to do it
since I have just concentrated so much on taking off, I could not take the
body to the next step sooner. Looks like it will come in another month or
- Duck diving just really sucks at the moment. Success is about 10%.
Probably my 7.6, 21inch wide board is too floaty.

Saturday, July 19, 2003

Pacific Wave Rider to Change The Jetty Algorithm

I had a few e-mail exchanges with Mike at Pacific Waverider as I have
indicated to him that the Jetty algorithm has been over-estimating lately.
He told me that he did change the algorithm a bit, so let's see if the
estimates get better. I will continue to feed him with my impressions on it,
so he has a better idea as to what is really going on out here.

Saturday Wrap Up, 0730 Surfing Linda Mar

There was a considerable amount of wind this morning, however the swells did
hold out fairly well this morning and there were some good 1.5 OVH breaks
out. Unfortunately the shape did not hold due to the morning low tide
condition. By this time, the condition may have improved. I had a couple of
nice drop downs this morning from these bigger waves, but ride did not
continue as the waves closed out just as I executed a take off. Getting out
was a bit easier today, but I opted to wait for calms and paddled out rather
than trying to go over them. When I showed up there were probably 50 surfers
out there, but we were spread out so not causing much problems. In about an
hour the crowd thinned as the wind wave period shortened making almost
impossible for most people to get out, also at the same time the outer
breaks started to back off.

GW cove looked promising, but would have been the same story as Thu night
given Linda Mar was a bit rough.

The Jetty was as usual rather flat to do any surfing.

The anticipated So swells, we are probably still on hold on that.

Friday, July 18, 2003

Sat AM Corrections Stoke of Greater than 5 may be exptected on Sat

As it turns out the S swells are supposed to come in from Sat through Sun
AM. So there is a good hope that Jetty can get fun for a long-board style
surfing. The wind swell components seems to be cleaning up at the moment so
overall, we will have some surfable waves especially in protected LM beach.
Other skills people can probably enjoy Montara.

Give it a shot.

Have Fun!

Friday Forecast STOKE Estimate = 5, Thuder Storm Due for Saturday

The S swells are continuing to be weak so the Jetty will not yet to be an
option this weekend. The principal NW swells are shifting more to the W, but
of short period quality of less than 8 seconds, so like yesterday, there
will be a lot of biceps burn to get out on open faced beaches. I need to go
and check but LM may have some protected areas from this and may have easier
way out. They usually have some protected areas. Given that the water was
still on lower half of 50's we were a bit cold yesterday. High for the rest
of today is about 4:00 p.m. and right now we are just getting out of today's
low. Afternoon breeze will still going to kick in, but not to the level that
will affect surf too much.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

Today's Surfing Wrap-up, Gray Whale Cove at 1700 this afternoon. STOKE = 5

The sun was out, sky is clear blue and the clean sand at Gray Whale cove
invited all of us to enjoy this beautiful summer afternoon with all our
friends. The condition was a bit variable as there were period of calm with
real swells then there were period where a bunch of wind-swells prevented me
from getting out. The biceps burning factor was probably 6 or 7. This is a
kind of situation where you are paddling and paddling, and when you look
back, you have not moved an inch. Finding a good channel is the key but it
is so difficult to find it, and ride out.

We had occasional overhead waves there were actually fairly clean, and could
ride those well with shorter boards. But unless I completely master the duck
diving technique, it was nearly impossible to get to these good waves.

I was joined by Nick and Steve this afternoon, and in these kind of
conditions, having lot of friendly support is very comforting. So I must
thank them for showing up.

Some day, this wind swell stuff is going to end, and we will be blessed with
clean NW swells from the Alaskan gulf or south hemi, and I can get out and
catch every single surfable break!

Wednesday, July 16, 2003

WED AM Surf Report - Linda Mar at 0730, Stoke Level = 5

OK, so as I promised in my last post, I dragged my butt out to go surf at
Linda Mar this morning. Since the theme of this morning was "no matter
what", I did go out regardless of if there is anything out there.

The sun was already out in Pacifica, though HMB was still under a high fog.
There was no wind to speak of. As for the waves, there were period of quick
dampers and occasional chest high real swells were coming in. The tide was a
real minus tide this morning so even good swells damped on. I took out the
7.0 board this morning because anything longer would not just take off. I do
not use this board that often yet, but in these kind of quick breaks, the
shorter board was advantageous as I was able to take off on some of those.
But getting up on this board is another story for my skill level.

I paddled around from the Crespi end to the south end and got good exercise
on this harder to paddle board, so I think I have accomplished my mission
this morning! On a day like this the beach is empty so a few nice swells
are really nice treats for me, and make me feel glad I did take time to come

Looks like the local wind swell condition will be holding up combined the
usual afternoon breeze. This trend is followed by some new arrival of
Southern hemisphere swells toward Saturday!

Possible thunderstorms this Friday through this weekend, just in time for
the So-hemi stuff.

Tuesday, July 15, 2003

Surfing TUE 1700 @ LM Stoke = 6.5

Have been having a bit of problem getting up early and go lately because of
our latest conditions, mainly. But you can say that is an excuse and it is.
So tomorrow I will get up and go before I get to work. How does that sound!

This afternoon at LM, I had a stoke level 6.5 experience. It was not quite 7
because I did not get into a long ride, and was a bit difficult to get out
and the waves were mixed in with a lot of local wind waves, making the
surface rather choppy. Sometimes choppy is fun, but today there were periods
that was just choppy and they were "big" choppy where we were all floating
up and down good 3-4 ft without anything breaking. Of course, in this kind
of situation the near-shore breaks are very frequent (3-4 seconds) and big
enough (to hip to chest high) so that makes getting out really a workout.

Started to surf in front of the parking area and I was hoping to see if I
can move north from this point, but then it became rather rough out there,
so I got out, and walked to the south end. The wave quality was noticeably
better here, so I got several good take-offs. By the way, I used my 8'6
mini-Malibu out today. I was almost going to take the short board out but I
kind of promised to everyone that I am going to sign up for the HMB surfing
classic with a hope of getting to the last place without looking too badly,
so I am going to practice long boarding a bit since I am sure that short
bard heats are going to be much more intense.

While we did get some OVH waves from time to time, they were all mushy and I
think I now know that local wind swells tend to cause these mushy type
waves, but were breaking further out so they were quite ridable and fun.

As for how I will estimate tomorrow, the HMB buoy indicates that whatever
out there is still holding up and are on an average "up" trend in the last
several hours, so similar conditions will be expected, but in the morning,
again, we are still in the minus tide region so it might break too quickly
on our beach breaks. The wave quality are all STEEP so expect some more
chops! I am going to go in the AM, and see if what I said is true or not.

Good night and have fun in the morning if you are going to go.

Monday, July 14, 2003

Surf's Up in Texas?

Surf's Up in TX

Is it? Looks Jetty size (lately) to me.

TUE AM Predictions, Stoke Estimate = 5, may be 6

Unfortunately I cannot verify my guesstimate against Stormsurf (on vacation
it seems), nor Pacific Wave Rider (NOAA FTP site broken) today. So you have
to bare with me with my version only. This is a bit scary isn't it!

The waves have kicked up a bit compared to yesterday and out near our shores
about 8 ft (wind) swells are kicking up at 8 seconds period. The steepness
reading in the HMB buoy has relaxed a bit indicating not quite a swell level
but average level. The swell direction is as usual from the NW angle, and
this means that both Montara and LM would catch some among other places that
I am not supposed to tell you on the web!

The wind also is NW, so we can probably expect not completely onshore
situations, but PM wind may pick up a bit, so the AM surfing would be good
but unfortunately we get a minus tide right in the morning so beach breaks
may not work in the AM. General warming trends this week, so and even in HMB
a daytime temp. of 80 may be expected! But don't expect warm water as the
buoy is reading 51-2 degrees out.

OK that's all for now. Have fun!

Sunday, July 13, 2003

Monday Forecast, Stoke Estimate = 4

I have just checked a few models and forecasts on the web, and the fog
situation is under control at least through Tuesday with an warming
trend.... However, the wave does not look that promising as there appears to
be no major storms cooking further out from our coasts. The south swells has
been very disappointing so far this summer season. There are a lot of local
wind swells of low periods but that would probably not contribute to much
stokes in our area. I am still gathering more information.

As for today, the Jetty was desperately flat and I did not venture out so I
could not tell regarding Motara or other areas. From the looks of it,
looking into the South from the Jetty and also the OB cam, there simply
isn't much going on in our area.

Saturday, July 12, 2003

Sat AM Montara 0900 - 1100, Waves Did Not Live Up To The Weather Stoke=5

While the beach has picked up more waves since yesterday, the ride quality
was marginal as the shape did not quite hold up. Either an immediate
overhead close out or mashed out and do not break (until hit the beach and
explode). Very once in a while I was on OVH breaks that can be taken off
from. The weather was, however, gorgeous, and there were already a lot of
beach-goers out. The wind situation is minimum. Most people were taking off
in the north zone, while there were some people by the far south end, with
couple of shifty zones in between.

The Jetty continues to be flat to knee high as it has been for the last few
days, and not wedging up by the jetty.

Friday, July 11, 2003

Friday Morning 0700 at LM, Stoke Level 7

What a wonderful morning. I got up this morning and checked the Scripps map of our area and the color has brightened up in our area significantly over night. Checking the CIDP at Bodega and also in HMB showing lots of steep swells, I was a bit worried about the waves just being junky, but there were some hopes, so I put on the gear and headed to work via the coast.
As I passed Montara and it was breaking solid and harder than the last couple of days, and even the Gray Whale Cove looked promising. This is a good indication that LM can become fun. After almost a couple of weeks of flat spells this was something I have been waiting.
We did back my favorite harder OVH breaks at LM, and they were breaking further out!  I am so stoked and happy! My last night's prediction did work and the overall swell pattern DID shift to more westerly pattern. There was a moderate side-shore wind too.
The beach was not crowded as the area was fog covered and freezing, but on these kinds of days, we get to enjoy catching waves and try to be a bit more radical in trying maneuvers as you can own 25 yards left and right of you with nobody to get in your way. Getting out to the outside line was a bit of work at times, especially I still don't do ducking very well, but there was a mini-channel opened up, and once I found and rode it, it was an easy out.
The north end of LM is becoming one of my favorite lineup as I can almost always connect the outside and inside sections, and I had a phenomenally long ride this morning on my fun board. To top this off, I had a very clean drop down from an over head break, through the speed still scares me a bit and did not turn harder, so I go way too ahead of the waves and just lose momentum. But I am now turning a bit harder and I can now, compared to just even a couple of months ago.
One thing I noticed is that I have been landing on the board too far forward, as today, my right foot happened to land on the pad and that made turning much more effective!  So, I am very excited.
The Jetty was really flat.
Hope this holds up in our area through Saturday!

Thursday, July 10, 2003

THU - FRI Forecast and Updates STOKE = 2

Local buoy readings indicate nearly no useful (2-3 ft) swells and a moderate amount of wind (10-11 mph) is out there in HMB coast. The swell pattern is indicative of strong wind waves happening out there. The NW wind continues since the 1005 mb H off our coast and there is an 1009 mb L on northern Baja area. This is, in addition to the usual local thermals.
Weather-wise, we can expect a sunny daytime through Friday, but starting tonight the evening fog is coming back and this trend will continue to worsen and by next week start, we will be back into the standard summer foggy day pattern.
There is a 1005 mb low pressure system further west of Washington state but we also got a 1023 mb high off our coast creating a S->N fetch and I am presently keeping my eyes on the development of these systems. In the next 24 hours, we may see some W waves, and if that happens, and by Friday afternoon or Saturday AM, we might have some fun this weekend.
Let's see if I am right or not.

Wednesday, July 09, 2003

PM Surfing Wrap Up, LM @ 5:00 PM STOKE=5

Given the buoy readings this morning, I cut surfing and went straight to work. I usually tell people that when the waves are flat the company gets a deal. So I cut out the work and went back through the coast. Surf check at LM, the condition did not appear to be surprisingly better than my original stoke estimate of 2. I though that this would be a stoke estimate of 7, so I went in.
The waves were junky and choppy, indicative of them being locally generated. If they are mixed in with distant swells, it would be really fun to zoom left and right and connect into inside sections, but none of that was possible today. Up to chest high waves were just breaking and fizzling out right under even if you successfully taken off.
In addition, the line up was so crowded with people, it was a bit dangerous for me to take off since people were grouped together both inside and outside.
The waves continues to be on a down trend.... Better do some Yoga or some other form of keeping up the shape this week!

Today's Stoke Estimate 2/10

Our local buoys are sending signals to us "no good surfs today in San Mateo" In addition there is a moderate amount of wind to knock off anything left out of it.

Tuesday, July 08, 2003

Montara PM, Stoke Factor = 5

Due to an early morning meeting, I had to postpone my daily surfing session to this evening at 6:30. Did surf check at Rockaway, LM, Montara, JT, and Francis beaches. Essentially all of the beaches were all flat. The only place that had any chance seemed to be the Montara beach, so I drove back all the way from Kelly to surf here.
We had occasional sets of up to shoulder level high waves but there were all very mushy, and if you go over them they will crumble under you. So riding on them were a bit of challenge from the stand-point of taking off. I am a big amazed by myself that I am now demanding a harder and faster breaking condition. May be it is a bad sign that I am about to get a one-way ticket to a short-boarder-dom... well I wish.
They were breaking a bit too close to the shore and when this happens, the wave riding collides with shorebreak/backwash situations. Sets often doubled up today that made the backwash situation even worse, and I got a bit greedy and caught in a shorebreak abruptly ending otherwise a one nice ride. A bit too late in bailing, next thing I was tumbling in the water like being in a front-loading washing machine.
Got a few more slow rides, but mainly paddling and paddling as the break shifted. As usual the area I have just left is where it broke next.
There was one spot at very far north end of the beach, should I stayed there it would have been OK.
As I entered the water, the lineup was at slightly south of the creek, then I found the north end break, and started to paddle. Soon I heard others splashing their paddling hands behind me and they were all lined up with me.
In spite of the waves, the weather was just so sunny and warm that it was just relaxing and enjoyable just be in the water with the beautiful sand and mountain behind the line up.
It looks like this low wind-swell only pattern will continue for at least for a few more days, if not less.
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Monday, July 07, 2003

Better weather and wind shift middle of the week.

According to the NWS, We are going to have more clear weather this week that should continue to hold just until the weekend. Already the fog should be clear in fog-phyllic areas as I write this. The wind pattern is supposed to change to side-shore. Presently we have strong wind conditions contributing to quite a bit of chops in NW open beaches. The Jetty is protected from both the wind and NW chops, but from this morning, the breaks were just about hip to chest at best, and breaking really close to the shore.

Saturday, July 05, 2003

Surf/Camp at Manresa

I just got back from Manresa and it was a lot of fun to surf, eat, sleep and get up at the crack of the dawn to go surf check and go surfing again. Even though I live very close to the ocean, it is always fun to sleep right by the beach, get up and hear the crashing waves etc. So I ended up not sending up my Audio Blog, if you were waiting for it I am so sorry.
The surf condition itself was OK with my stoke rating of 5 yesterday and 6 this morning. The beach breaks were a bit quick to come down due to low tides, as the time went by and the water started to fill in the breaks become more manageable. This is actually kind of condition my experience at JT/LM become useful. It is still a lot of fun to beat these dumpers, and my 7'6 hybrid has worked out really well. I also get eaten by these waves too.
I am now at the skill level that in this kind of conditions, I am starting to be able to take off and get into the break at an angle more consistently. Now I need to work on a stronger bottom turn more quickly sharply. The problem right now is that the angle is still not sharp enough against the break and timing not quick enough that I go too far ahead of the waves ending the ride too short. If a reform happens then I can paddle push a bit and that saves the ride, but I am still relying too much on the wave and not on my own technique to make the ride longer. Catching and riding on reforms is actually a lot of fun too because it is like taking off on a new wave but I am already standing on it, so I can do the top turn to get into the waves. If I catch a reform like that then the second section of the ride is more fun than the first and usually longer.
Last evening was also a lot fun with lot of "illegal" fireworks going all over the beach. Even though there are a lot of signs that say "No Fireworks" there was just tons of people bringing in a lot of fireworks and the place almost became smoggy.
On the way back on PCH, I saw Pomponio beach and further north getting a big gnarly but looked quite surfable. I just checked the buoy readings and we are starting to get back a lot of wind swells in our area. LM might be fun tomorrow on a higher tides.
Everyone enjoy the last holiday before the labor day!

Thursday, July 03, 2003

Gone Surf Camping to Manresa. Switching to Audio Blog!

My daily wave log will go into Audio only mode until Saturday. I will be surfing and camping with my friends in Manresa this weekend... Wish us good waves out there!

THU PM 5:30 at LM - STOKE Level was 7

What a surprise! Amidst poor estimates from all wave models and forecasts, Linda Mar was a lot of fun this afternoon. There were nice chest high "long board" right and left breaks, very consistent near the Crespi entrance. Then there were gentle popping peaks of up to shoulder high towards the north end, where I surfed the most, and I had some of the best quality rides in Pacifica. These popping waves on the north ends are so fun as they are gentle yet pop up and steeps quickly allowing fun take off, and then if you are lucky even steeper waves will reform inside and you can connect to those. I have noticed this pattern last week, but I did not know that this occurs consistently here. Turning into these waves is a lot of fun and you can make quite long rides almost to the shore connecting to reforms. I had similar reform rides in the spring at the Jetty and these are probably one of my most favorite kind of rides as they force me to negotiate the waves make turns. It seems to happen when the waves are a bit choppier and occasional bigger sets gets mixed in with these chops.
There were couple of dozen people by the Crespi end but there were hardly anyone hitting the north end, which is another reason why this is fun, and most people there seemed to know what they are doing, and not getting in each others ways.
I also like this kind of a mild foggy afternoons, because it covers up the low western sun. Tue afternoon at Montara was brutal to my eyes as the blinding sun was shining directly into my eyes and water was reflecting it as well causing my eyes to almost hurt as I look west for the swells.

THU Afternoon, Still Weak

While we get ready for a long weekend, the chance of getting excellent waves is dismal. Local buoy data indications are starting to show more local wind wave activities but without much utility swells in our area. The fog in San Mateo beaches appears to be clearing so if anything, we can go and enjoy the beaches. The wind is picking up a bit as well.

Wednesday, July 02, 2003

THU AM Guesscast Stokeness Estimate = 4/10

Compared to Tue, there is an up trend of local wind swells providing some energy back into NW faced beaches. But the quality seems to low and power is not quite there. In addition, a bit moderate onshore is blowing here in HMB area. So, it will continue to be desperate time for all of us. The Stormsurf forecasts a more south coming next week, so let's hope for them. Regardless, many beaches will be mobbed this weekend. Better get those winter boards out and fix any dings up or something.

Need Your Help - Costa Rica Surfing and Learn Spanish

We are thinking of attending a Surf and Learn Spanish type packages in Costa Rica this winter. If anyone has a direct experience with this type of situation, I would like you to help us make the right choice;
+ Was it worthwhile going, or you got ripped off, how was the surf? Did you learn Spanish well?
+ How was the accommodations. We would like to have at least some motel/hotel type accommodation especially since there are some non-surfers joining. Roughing-It is no an option for us.
+ Do you (un)recommend specific operators?
+ Anything else, you want to tell me, please let me know.
You can write to me at Surf@CultureWave.COM

Tuesday, July 01, 2003

WED AM Guess Cast STOKE-O-Meter = 5

I am setting my Stoke-O-Meter to 5 tomorrow. The following are the reasons.

- Both North and south swells looked like coming up a bit tomorrow to later
on this week.about 4 ft from the north and 3 ft from the south.
- Sky will be nice and clear if not in the morning but by the afternoon.
Even waves are not going to be good, this will add a few stokes points up.
- Wind will not be so horrendous, well, at least in the AM

(try to) have fun tomorrow!

Tuesday PM Wave Log

So, as you have heard in my Aud Blog this morning, (if you have not tried
it, give it a shot, I call into to Aud Blog service and it records my
telephone voice and converts it into MP3!), the stoke this morning was
practically zero, so I went straight to work, and so I came back through the
coast after work to see how it was going. As I passed by LM it looked sad
and sucky (Stoke of 2), so I went onto Montara.

From the top of the cliff it looked sort of sick (given the swells) so I put
on all the gears and went down the wooden stairs. There were a couple of
more people arriving at the same moment.

I ran and splashed over the usual beach break and paddled out. The waves
were so mushy that I try to go over them and they I could almost smash down.
I caught one good ride by the creek mouth, then I went over further south
seeing that there were some more breaks. As my luck runs at this location,
wherever I go, the things start breaking just where I was. How frustrating!
But then it has been the story of my life anyways.

We started out with 4 surfers on the lineup, 3 men and one that looked kind
of like "Heidi" on MTV, then by the time I ended with my struggles, there
were only two. "Heidi" and her boyfriend was long gone. At the time I arrived
I saw at least 4 people getting ready to go, so they must have came down,
and gave up right away!

The waves were kind of a reasonable chest high but very choppy, where I
took up & down elevators but never broke and also to add to this there were
some backwashes and so even if you take off you got knocked out by them. We
were just all thrashed around without any breaking waves like a rubber ducky
mistakenly dropped into a washing machine.

So the overall stoke this afternoon was about 3. Though the sky was blue and
nice at Montara.

Also there is a significant amount of south bound and on-shore current going
through here, I was pushed back in unless I paddle harder to get out. This
seems to be a theme at this location. The paddling seems to be much harder
than the why the surface looks like!

I saw a few stoked surfers at the Jetty, but they all looked desperate to me
(like I am).

Better luck later on!

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Monday, June 30, 2003

Currently No Fogs, Clear Skys, Warm Water In HMB

OK, there isn't much wave but we got a really nice weather out here this afternoon!

Montara Beach Stoke = 6/10

The stoke was definitely on this morning at Montara beach with much less threatening condition than usual. The set waves were chest to shoulder (may even be overhead at times) with more gentle peeler quality to them.  I got good quality rides, easy take off and turns. Another great thing, I was the only one in the entire mile stretch of this beautiful location! Some sand bar has formed further out. We need to remember, W to SW swells works good here.
Right by the Martini Creek outlet was a bit hard to get out as there have been rather strong onshore currents going. Moving a bit further south I found a easier channel to get out.
On the way out, I saw a bizarre stuff. A Honda Goldwing motorcycle rider pulled in. I though he is just going to check out the beach, then when he turned around and parked the bike, there was a board rack on the side and he had probably around 8 ft hybrid board suck on the side of his bike!
By that time 3 more surfers have arrived, and breaks were getting bigger.