Thursday, July 31, 2003
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.
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!
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
Tuesday, July 29, 2003
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 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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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
Note the stoke rating is baed on me. Your stoke level will vary depending on
your skill level and attitude.
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
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
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
+ 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
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.
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
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.
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Thursday, July 10, 2003
Wednesday, July 09, 2003
Tuesday, July 08, 2003
Monday, July 07, 2003
Saturday, July 05, 2003
Thursday, July 03, 2003
Wednesday, July 02, 2003
Tuesday, July 01, 2003
- 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!
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!