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.

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