The last few days have just been plane old wicked, regardless of what game you play! Monday saw a building swell, and some pretty up and down SW wind. By the time I got off work, the buoy was reading something ridiculous like 9 feet at 14 seconds (don’t quote me on that, but the waves were macking)! I walked over the dunes at Ego beach to find a bunch of people and rigs on the beach, and only one guy out. The wind looked Super light, so I hemmed and hawed over what to do. Moderate wind freestyle in the sound, or light wind schlog in mast high Ego beach?
The lure of huge, clean wave faces won out, so I rigged my 5.7 on a 85 liter RRD. This is usually a very schloggable combo for me, but the water was so aerated that I was sunk up to my calves while trying to punch over head high walls of white water! Not the best combo… Somehow, I got super lucky with a few puffs of breeze at VERY crucial moments. Not enough wind to plane, but enough to pop over some major piles of water and squeak out past a looming set on the horizon.
Once out, I realized how lucky I got. The sets were rolling by, at least mast high, if not bigger. I felt pretty small bobbing around out there all by myself, not even a soul on the beach. I decided to catch just one wave, the biggest wave I could find, and ride it all the way to the beach. After testing the waters on a few medium sized waves and kicking out really early to make it back outside, I finally saw The Wave.
This thing was a wall, at least a hundred yards long and mast high out in deep water. The main peak was about 30 yards downwind of me, so it was easy to pump into it and I new it was going to be a loooong ride! 8 (+) bottom turns and 45 seconds later I was kicking out right before it dumped up onto the beach. Unreal. Soooo smoooooth, and the most wide open wave face I’ve ever been on. So much room to build speed, pick a line, drive the rail through a bottom turn. No sail power, just apparent wind. Wow.
Stuart walked over the dune just as I finished walking back up the beach. This was the best 200 yard walk of shame I’ve ever taken. I will never forget this wave (probably). We both tried to get back out again, but got denied no more than 20 yards from the beach.
To finish the evening, we joined the rest of the crew over at the Hole, including Anne, Brett, Jim M and a few other visiting sailors. The 5.7 was perfect for about 30 minutes, and I pulled the nastiest spock 540 I’ve ever thrown! Before long, the wind picked up to solid 5.0, and it turned into a loopfest. Stuart chucked a sweet port loop right in my face, so I had to follow suit! Usually I only throw ’em on starboard on flat water, so it was good to have some motivation! Thanks for pushing me, Stu!
And man, the next morning, Tuesday morning, the waves were just FIRING! The wind went west, and was very sailable, probably 5.0 again, but the waves were just too perfect to pass up! Drew and I surfed down in Buxton, the sets were a bit overhead, and just reeling down the beach! I got trounced a few times, and had a really tough paddle out, but the experience was well worth it. We also saw a few guys just tearing it up a few hundred yards up the beach. I’m talking full on stand up barrels, then getting spat out, and chucking a bit of air or thwacking the lip vertically. Nasty, nasty surfing. Very rad, and humbling at the same time!
On the drive back to Avon, Drew and I noticed that everyone was out having a great time! There were kites in the air, windsurfers ripping around the sound, fishermen with lines in the water, and of course the surfers we had just seen. We saw people biking, and even practicing Tai Chi on the beach. The whole island seemed alive with people enjoying the fresh air and sunshine. Good Stuff!
We planned to surf again last night, but within the five minutes it took run into the house and grab a wetsuit, the wind switched around 180 degrees and immediately ruined the surf. It’s amazing how much of a difference wind direction makes. So, I decided to go skate sailing for a few minutes, and stay dry for the evening. Drew showed up halfway through the sesh, and he had a go on the skateboard as well. He did great for his first time out, but next time I’ll make him wear a helmet! Check out the video!