While a giant SW swell didn't hit the west coast the same time the pros descended on Waddell there was plenty of wind and ramps for them to show off their skills. Because of the less than mast high conditions this year I mostly sailed rather than spectate. I had a great session sailing Shotguns even though it was very crowded at times and learned a lot about the other breaks at Waddell while exploring the area.
In mostly small 2-3 ft and occasional 5-6 ft NW swell Waddell was not up to its full potential but I found Shotguns to be an easy wave that breaks slow enough to get a few turns on if you are lucky. There are plenty of bigger peaks breaking further out in other areas but nothing was as consistent and user friendly as Shotguns. Because the sand has filled in nicely the couple times a wiped out were not a big deal. The one draw back is there seems to be a small wind shadow on the inside that can get you in trouble and makes it hard to get speed if you are looking to hit ramps on the way out.
The Parking Lot sailing area was off limits because of the competition and I suspect it was the best place for jumping that day.
There were some big sets coming in here that completely closed out most of the time. I launched from here and watched a fellow windsurfer get wrecked by a wave a narrowly escaped. The few rides I took were either small one hitters or a big guy that started to close out as soon as I got the courage to go for the lip and I put the pedal down and ran from the explosion of whitewater every time. I am sure a good sailor could make it work but I doubt anyone could hit the lip more than twice.
We spent Memorial Day Weekend camping in Big Sur at Andrew Molera State Park which is home to one of the most popular surf spots in the area. The beach is situated at the mouth of the Big Sur River about 1/2 mile from the parking lot and 1/4 mile from our camp site. I wasn't looking forward to carrying a board down the trail so I decided to SUP the river.
There were some portages on the river but some really good moments standing up.
The surf wasn's great and the wind was howling just past the shielding cliffs that make this a popular surf spot. The waves were breaking in about 2ft and allowed for 2 very quick turns. Despite the less than incredible surf paddling the river was an incredible experience and catching a couple waves was a bonus.
You could spend a lifetime driving a VW bus up and down highway 1 finding different waves to ride each day, many people have. There must be 100 hidden secrets between Pacifica and Santa Cruz alone. A couple weeks ago we checked out the American Windsurfing Tour (AWT) at the legendary Waddell Creek. All of the pros came from Maui and the spectacle of talent on the water was amazing.
Just across the street from the wind and waves of the ocean, Waddell Creek winds its way past the largest Redwoods south of the Golden Gate.
Follow the river far enough and you will find a 90ft waterfall.
There have been so many good days recently I haven't had a chance to even think about the session from the day before. It all started 2 weeks ago (4/17) when there were 20+ knot days at 3rd ave every day until the weekend when the wind backed off just enough to make for some good racing at St. Francis where there was a fleet of 22 J105's. Don't get me wrong there were 25 knot puffs but I was thankful there weren't any 30+ puffs. During the 2 days of racing I finally made some sense of the crazy currents and wind around Crissy. Since then there has barely enough time for wetsuits to dry before the next good day.
The American Windsurfing Tour is also hosting a competition at Waddell. There is sure to be some awesome action and fun events there starting tomorrow (5/2). Here is some action from last year.
When we first moved to San Francisco everyone insisted there was never lightning in the city. Last night was indeed a unique event that resulted in 750 lightning strikes around the city (reported by NOAA). From our apartment you could hear the booms of thunder rolling through the Bay and could only imagine what it looked like. Luckily Phil McGrew shared an amazing picture he took from his apartment that overlooks the Bay Bridge.