We spent this past weekend in Crescent City, CA surfing the south beach break. This was also the weekend of the Noll long board surf contest, but we weren’t there to participate. We just wanted to surf, or I should say, I just wanted to surf.
The magic seaweed site was rating the swell at 5 stars. It was 8 or 9ft at 14 seconds…pretty damned big surf.
We got there late, set up camp at my favorite Crescent City camp spot, and headed to the beach. It was getting late, so I dashed out and with my 6′ 4″ quad fish. The swell was big but mushy, there wasn’t much wind to speak of.
It was hard to find the correct spots to set up for the peaks, they seemed to be moving all over the place. I paddled my ass off and got very few rides, none longer than maybe 10 seconds. The rides were short, closeout, which left me inside and I’d have to struggle my way back out through the chunder.
The only good thing that came out of that session was my duck dives got a hell of a lot better. I haven’t had this short board very long, and am still trying to get the duck dive technique down. This session went a long way to accommodating that. By the end I was actually figuring out how to go fairly deep under the break. A well done duck dive is almost as exhilarating as a nice long right…almost.
We camped in our tent trailer but didn’t sleep all that well due to the loud neighbors yelling at each other at 2AM. A young woman kept yelling at, what we suspected was her boyfriend. She kept saying, “you idiot, you idiot, you fucking idiot,” over and over.
Since he didn’t respond, we figured the only thing that could’ve gotten such a reaction was either he spilled his entire water bottle into her sleeping bag, or (more likely) he forgot to use a condom!
The next morning was cold and overcast but we headed to the beach to check out the surf. It was big again and because of the long board competition, crowded. I drove up the coast and looked at other breaks but they were all too blown out and un-surfable.
We returned to south beach, I donned my freezing wet wetsuit and headed out. Once again it was frustrating. The waves were mushy and hard to catch on my little board. When I did get rides they were short and closed out, just like the day before. But damn it was fun! I love surfing!
I stayed out there for about 4 hours and finally came in when I could barely lift my arms. I knew I probably wouldn’t be back for a while, so I wanted to maximize my surf time. It’s days later now and I’m still feeling my shoulders. Even though the session was full of closeouts and clobber fests, I can’t wait to get back out there. It only takes 1 or 2 great rides to keep you hooked.
I’m not a great surfer. I’ve been surfing for many years but I never do it enough to progress past intermediate. If I could go somewhere and surf every day for a month or two I’m sure I could turn a corner and get good, but that’s not likely to happen. A man can dream though.