Just got back from a much too long southerly trip.I called the swell right, found the spots...
And there it was.My road dog backed out three days before leaving but I found another to go on short notice.Away we went...A bit risky as I really didnt know who I was traveling with, had only met him while surfing The Noll last year.
Worked out well, he gets what being a dirt bag road tripping surfer is all about.And it aint a tour guided trip to Pavones where the dollars flow and the waves are handed to you.
It was a plus he could surf too.We went south.We had six boards between us, a few hundred bucks, an ounce of my finest and 12 bars of wax.
Checked the usual spots on the way to Surf City but most were small and funky. No matter, I knew we would score by Sunday when the swell filled in.
We arrived at one choice wave farm late Saturday night, woke Sunday to 2-3 foot glassy longboard perfection-but that wasnt why were there...by 3 pm though, the swell had begun to show...
Surfed lined up point break that afternoon with only two others out, 6 feet at 22 seconds, feathering lips and racing walls. I had not surfed much the last few months, between conditions and my knee, not much point. But my skills were once again solid, my pop up as bulletproof as ever as I burned wave after wave to the small cove. Much tip time thank you...
We made some dinner before dark, took some swell readings on the period and direction and called it a night.
5:15 the next morning...woke to some hard slaps and crashes coming from the shorebreak...oh yeah, from 11,000 miles away, our swell had arrived.
I suited first and didn't get back to the van till 10 am. Though the crowd had become thicker, I still burned a wave every set and a few inside waves in between.
One thing about Oregon surfers-we paddle harder than most, for longer than most.It's a survival thing up here but a blessing when it's warm, organized and crowded down south.I saw a few familiar faces in the water, I have been coming here for 15 years now, catching southerly swells.
"So, how big is it going to get?" I was asked by a surfer who knows I only show up when its going to get good.
Don't know I said...
"Right..." he muttered, laughing as he walked away and I started waxing up the hull.
I ate lunch, burned a fatty, suited up for round 2...
I walked up the point and paddled out to XXXX XXXXXXX, sets were overhead and makeable for 200 yards if you were fast enough.
I had the magic hull, speed down the line is just not an issue.
My first three waves were long looping roller coasters, up, down, up down, speeding down the line with a certain joy that only comes when you earn your shit.An hour in to the session, I took off behind the 8 foot peak, backdoored a sweet cover up, sprayed 30 of my best friends and made a beeline for the channel-I saw 12 more waves behind the one I had so I went over the back and paddled my ass off to get in position for the last three biggest waves of the set.
I took one on the head, made it over the next six when number 10 in the set reared up with no one in position but me and a guy who changed his mind when he saw I was committed.Easy two stokes and pop, I was up and looking down the line of a ten foot face, 200 yards of wall in front of me and only a few surfers to not run over.
I felt the Soul of my Father takeover as I hit the first bottom turn, Hakman would have been proud.
My Father too.
I styled through every turn the wave required, I skimmed the face with my hand as I was rising and falling in the pocket. I surfed that wave with the casualness of 43 years in the water.
It was as good as surfing gets in my old age.
I went over the back when the wave had worn down to a few feet. Tired, I sat in the channel for a few minutes, reflecting on how good those turns felt, how fast the wave accepted me and what a delight it was to be here.
I had two more set waves like that in the afternoon/evening session...it was our first day.
My buddy was surfing down the point, riding his SUP like a longboard, no paddle as he didnt want the grief of being a sup dog.
I kept telling him not to worry, plenty of waves, surf like you want to...eesh.
But he had a point.
What I fail to see is why I can burn 30 waves in an hour on my 10' but a SUP gets dogged if he gets 10. Just more visible? I don't know but it's weird.We put it all to bed early and said a small prayer for some Sun...it had been overcast all day...and we were counting on seeing some Sun, ya know? We live in Oregon for Christs sake!
Morning 2 found me suited first but sore, no matter, I eased out to the beginner spot and harvested wave after wave among the less skilled.
School was in.Two hours of that and it was my turn to shoot some video of my buddy.
He took his paddle with him and while he had never surfed this spot before, his innate sense of what the ocean was up to helped him get a few tasty set waves out of the pack.
Ok, more than a few.
One wave out of every set.That's how we roll kiddies.I was stoked for him, he lives in an area of Coastal Oregon thats even shittier than my local spots and these perfect point peelers were just his style.I shot some really nice waves of him and then had some lunch, burned one down, suited up for the afternoon session...I joined him out in front and we dominated the line up for the next three hours.
Aint bragging, we just took any wave we wanted and surfed it with style and finesse, we owned that point for a bit.
Don't know why, we just did.On the hill later, I brought this up, how everything just seems to work sometimes.
He commented that I never lost my board that session, not once. Never fell.Not once.Pwned it.lolz.
Morning two found us sore and tired, not whining but showing us both that we may have surfed too much on the first day-if thats possible...The swell was at 6-8 feet, 19 seconds...clean up sets were common and more than once, I saw every one get swept down the point by 16 wave sets.I sat on the peak patiently...always trying to burn the later set waves that had cleared the inside of stray paddlers- not much worse than having to change your line because of some lazy fucker who doesn't know to paddle up the break and take your beating for being stupid.
Had my fill in three hours and went in to shoot some more video of Ken.
I had a lot of fun doing this, I could tell what wave he was going to set up for, roll tape while he was still looking for his, his wave knowledge was showing hard.
He was laying down some pretty lines on his SUP, he surfs with a mostly laid back style with hints of vertical, a few slashes on the cutback. And always in control.I was burnt so I stayed out of the water, skipping session 3...which turned out to be a smart move...
The next morning, I was up at dark suited by the glow of dawn and in the water first...within 20 minutes, 15 of my best friends had joined me...No matter, every single one of them had seen me getting waves and knew I was on a mission.
I only surfed and hour that morning, saving my self for the better tides coming at noon.My buddy had a go on the SUP, getting some sweet lefts out of the peak and some crazy layback cheater fives using the paddle as a brace. Sweet style...Well, day three and four were much the same, day four found us both sick though from the water, nasal shit, coughing a bit, weak. The swell had dropped some to a longboarders paradise, shoulder high and dead glass. I surfed out in front while Ken rolled video, take off, stall, nose ride, cut back, stall, nose ride...a few waves gave me 20 seconds of tip time. I was back, surfing as well as ever.
Style, gotta love it.I came in after finally losing my board on a bailed ten over. It was the first time the log had gotten away from me the whole trip.That's right, 200 waves and I lost my log once.Once.Leashes are for dogs.Ken paddled out and took over, wave after wave, like he knew that in a week, he would be looking at 40 knots of onshore wind madness back home.He styled through some nose rides, long sweeping cutbacks, really using the paddle to complement the turns and tip time.
I rolled the video for him, capturing some really good surfing, really casual and graceful-for a sup rider...lolz.
We were packed and ready roll north...and there were four locals sitting in front of the van, in front of the parking spot we had lived in for four days. I sort of knew two of them from time spent in the water. I walked down to the little make shift benches and said thanks, laid out some nugs I had grabbed out of my jar for them and told him we were paying our taxes to the crew, thanks for having us and thanks for keeping such a beautiful break, well, beautiful. They all laughed, said hi's and good bye's, thanks for the weed and come back soon.
Doesn't get much better when two highly visible tourist types get an invite back from the locals.
We must have done something right.
Yeah, we owned this surf trip.
Eating beans out of the can, donut runs, not spending a penny that wasn't going to get us surf...no showers, no tour guides, no chicks, no matter.
We leave again in two weeks.
I will post the video when it's done.
Here is still taste...
See ya kiddies....