Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hurricane Danielle at OIB

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood. A beautiful day for a neighbor. Would you be mine?

Hurricane Danielle passed east of Bermuda but delivered some awesome surf at Ocean Isle Beach (OIB). It is south facing so not a bad spot for any NE wind that leads the way when storms come close. The east facing beaches like CB and WB tend to get blown out pretty bad with any on shore or side shore wind so I think it was definitely the right call.

Friday Leah and I hit the water tower south of the OIB pier for a warm up day. The surf was a little bumpy but you could score some fun short rides to get the sea legs. Later the wind turn a little side on and I rigged the 4.7 on the 10'5" SUP. What a blast! Easy surf so no problem getting out but soooo fun ripping one little wave after another. I even made some friends with the local surfers who were stoked on the wave sailing. I met David and his son from SC- very cool long boarders. His son was catching waves tail first and spinning on the face like LH on the SUP. Very nice.

Saturday morning swell from Danielle was building in nicely. I took the 7'4" surf board up to Island Breeze since Leah and Jennifer would be coming later. It was dumping pretty bad there so after an hour or so I headed back to the water tower and ran into David again. After David introduced me to Dan Myers and his crowd from Charlotte I ended up surfing with them the rest of the weekend. Dan and his son Jason were on C4 SUPs and Jace was even doing head stands on his 9 footer. Everyone was hollering and having a fine time with the glassy shoulder to head high rollers coming in! I'm glad I met Dan and David- all the surfers in the family made the scene one of the best vibes I've experienced.

Sunday morning was the highlight for Danielle's visit. The wind finally turned off shore and pretty much stayed off to side off up until about 1pm. I found a little honey hole way up the beach away from most of the line ups and was killing it on the 10'5". I had dolphin and porpoise come in close in the surf while I was there. I love seeing them- just feels like having pets around or something. Most importantly it was one DTL ride after another and banking off the closeout section. I stayed out until I was completely dehydrated and came in with a huge smile after lunch time.

Jennifer, Leah and I headed back for a nice outro sesh early Monday. It was knee high with occasional waist high swell so very relaxing after Sat & Sun when it was a little too big for the ladies. Perfect SUP surf conditions with off shore wind and glassy clean water. I think I've lost my 10'5" for good now since Leah used it all day. She was really getting the feel for catching and riding the waves since she was having so much fun she stayed out for 2 straight hours without even taking in water! Yep. She has the bug.
* Jennifer once again blew me away with some great photos with the point and shoot. Too bad the camera settings were screwed up Saturday and Sunday. Kinda fuzzy.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Tiny - BIG - Psycho Chop - Perfect Glassy

Leah is officially a standup paddle surfer!

Leah and the RRD Wassup 10'. Perfect for knee to waist high stuff.

Jennifer takes a break from the photo shooting.

Leah and I hit Surf City Friday afternoon to find the ocean clear and relatively calm. Perfect for really getting the feel of the Wassup and the art of catching waves. Surf across from the Loggerhead Inn ranged from ankle to staggering calf high sets. If ever there was a perfect windless afternoon for learning to paddle surf in the ocean this was it. By the way, Leah doesn't have a SUP paddle yet so we walked across from the Loggerhead to rent a paddle from Herrings Outdoor Sports where we met Jennifer Hill. She is an avid SUPer along with her son and husband. This is a great shop right on the waterway and they have anything you'll need for kayaking or SUP. Jennifer even has a full carbon SUP paddle for sale... the one she won at the Cold Stroke Classic. You'd better be prepared to buy it if you hold it. Like holding nothing!

Saturday morning we hit County Line. There was a little NE breeze but only around 5mph. From the top of the dune the sets looked to be rolling in nicely and the tops crumbling. Upon closer inspection from the deck of the SUPs the waves were actually much bigger. I ended up taking some of the biggest drops ever- white knuckle adrenaline pumping stuff! Tossed in a few good catapulting nose dives too. The highlight of the morning was this one set that launched me off the lip straight ahead where I flew, landed and managed to avoid carnage to surf it until it closed. Juiced!
The most interesting feature at the Line is that the sand bars end fairly abruptly so the swell coming in from the deep water isn't as obvious sometimes further out. However the bar extends pretty far out so you do have time to set up but some of the waves do surprise and break a little earlier than you might expect. As the high tide peaked and started down the surf dropped as the wind picked up. It got plain windy and the ocean got extremely choppy. The surf turned into mostly wind driven chop/surf but I just kept on until evening when Jennifer arrived.
T-Storms rolled through Sunday morning and sucked up all that NE wind. It was still sprinkling rain but we headed on out to the public access across from the fire department. This is a great spot since it is one of the few that has a ramp over the dune rather than just stairs. It can be tough carrying gear with the rails on the steps. With all the wind we had Saturday I was fully prepared to sail the SUP Sunday regardless of the surf quality. Luckily the NE chopped cleared and the ocean was glassy knee - waist sets! The skies cleared later in the afternoon for a picturesque sesh. Jennifer took some awesome photos Sunday with my little point and shoot. She definitly has talent... I can only imagine what she could do with a quality camera. I'm still buzzing from this trip.