Guarded Spots in SD -- 5/26/06

Bodysurfers only!

Date: May 26, 2006
Time: 0630--0830, 0930-1130
Spot(s): Two "secret spots" in San Diego
Conditions: A little chunky, but solid
Swell: Late season, short period, nw swell
Surf: 4-8'+ Cali scale

Words: I had the distinct pleasure of riding a couple of very guarded surf spots in San Diego.

First, hooked up with Ron, Ben and Evan at dawn. It wasn't really happening then, so we waited for the tide to change. Bill Andrews stopped by, adding a lot of animated dialog to an already good, talk story vibe.

Ben generously offered up a spare board for me. In time, the spot started to work so we were out there.

We were the first ones out, so we set up a good rotation, taking turns in the lineup.

Ron was absolutely owning the spot. He was taking off so deep I was thinking, "Why do that, only to get stuffed?" It was when I saw the ones he made that made me understand--those barrels were fricken nuts!

Ben was going for broke, taking off on some nasty ones. Just balls out, taking off on a few that just pitched him, but making others with great aplomb. However, early into the session, he got slammed on the reef on a very thick one and hurt his neck. Unfortunately, he was relegated to the sidelines for the rest of the sesh, but was OK.

Evan, another Hawaiian, was charging on everything. I thought I was a rabid wavemonger. Ev was stroking into any kine waves, riding them all very well.

Me, I was no doubt a bit tentative at first. I've ridden there once before, but it was smaller, and I was a little younger. Taking off a little more on the shoulder than I should have, but was working my way back, I guess. Did manage to snag a few memorable pits, along with a few memorable tumbles.

Got raked over the reef on one, damaging Ben's board. Damn! Went in, talked story some more with the crew and with Andrews once again hassling us. Then I bailed on the crew to meet Tom K. for a bodysurfing session at another "guarded spot."

By the time I got to spot #2, Tom had jumped in. From the high vantage point, the surf looked solid, with (I'm told) a pretty big crowd of bodysurfers partaking.

Was given some lineup advice from a couple of friendlies (including BA), then went down the small cliff, negotiated the rocky shoreline, and made my way through the light rip and into the surf.

From the water, the surf still looked impressive. Maybe not top-to-bottom or barreling, but still there were some power pockets and lots of push. Long rides were being scored my most everyone, with associated smiles.

Since I'm not really a bodysurfer, I was content to cruise on the inside and snag a few. Actually worked out well, with more than a few nice waves coming my way--long rides on surprisingly smooth open faces. Did catch one of those peaky nuggets that threw out. It launched me airborne into the flats where I went through the rinse cycle. Wheee!

One thing that made me a bit tentative was the warning to not cut out of a wave by ducking deep. Especially on the inside, there were boulders all over the place at varying depths. Also, the cliff itself was imposing, and took some getting used to. But at the same time, it made for a beautiful, arena-like atmosphere.

Tom rounded up the ornery crew for a group photo, below, with background masked. The guys were a funny bunch. One thing that I told Tom is that all the bodysurfing spots I know are all so distinct and different. However, the common thread in all is the enthusiasm from the bodysurfers. (Except when they gotta "take it to the beach.")

After a couple of hours, I called it a day. Didn't want to push it, especially with the double session. As soon as I got out of the water, the winds seemed to turn onshore. Glad I got out when I did.

Actually tried to get one last session in at Bruticus Maximus before my flight back home, but I had to first take a manini training course. Oh well, I got more than my share of rides that day, enjoying two special, guarded surfspots. Stoked!

Aloha from Paradise,