Trip Reports






Rest Days

Surfing Shorties (August 15-17, 2010)

Kiki, Matt, Rok, Molly, Daryl, Henri and i met Diana and the teens in Oregon for some camping and surfing. Rok, Matt and i had four sessions at Shorties. The waves were modest sized, clean and catchable, though the wind picked up a bit on the last day. The teens tried out surfing and found it to be pretty rad. Sunny beach days, woot!

Surfing Campus Point (May 19, 2010)

Back in Santa Barbara for a short trip, i was determined to try the surfing at Campus Point. I borrowed a KITP board, put on my wetsuit and walked down to the beach. It was flat, but i had the place to myself, and i caught a couple waves.

Surfing at the Groins (September 6, 2009)

Matt picked me up at ass-o-clock and we headed to Westport. The Cove wasn't breaking and the Jetty was a complete mess so we opted for the left point-break at the Groins. I had never surfed a point break before and in my excitement i forgot to strap on my leash, which led to some hilarity (read: my board and i on the rocks). The break eventually filled up with surfers, but the strong offshore wind and increasing current made it hard to catch waves or even just stay put.

Surfing at the Cove (August 22, 2009)

Headed to Westport with Justin. Got tossed around by the waves at The Cove, but it was a sunny day and it nice to get out of town! As usual, the conversations to and from the coast were just as good as the surfing.

Surfing at the Jetty (June 13, 2009)

Basically a repeat of last week except the water was a bit more choppy, the waves a bit bigger so there were more folks catching waves. I managed to really cheese off a couple of guys when i accidentaly dropped in on one of them (my first wave of the day, sigh). They proceeded to be super rude to me (understandable) and Rok (which pissed me off). We managed to catch a few good waves an get out of there unscathed!

Surfing at the Jetty (June 7, 2009)

Matt picked us up (Rok and me, of course) at the ungodly hour of 3:30 AM for some Westport surfing. We were one of he first cars in the parking lot and the first in the water. The conditions were great for longboarding, (smallish south swell, longish period, light offshore breeze) and i, for one, caught more waves (10) in three hours than i've ever caught in a day.

Surfing Neah Bay (November 29, 2008)

Matt picked up Rok, Mike (visiting from St Louis) and me at 4:30 AM and we swung through Ballard for Matthew before catching the "ass o'clock" ferry to the Kitsap Peninsula and beyond. With the help of Matt's racecar driving we made it to Neah Bay in under 4 hours, possibly breaking records (at least for a biodiesel car with 5 surfboards strapped to the roof). We braved the muddy swamps and drenched rainforests to reach Third Beach which has a left-hander wedge and a beach break for the rest. We all proceeded to get destroyed; Mike at least had the excuse of being a first-time surfer. We eventually caught a few waves, trudged back to the car and lunched on smoked salmon. In the afternoon we headed over to the reservation's dump, where we parked and negociated the steep, muddy forest back down to the water. The waves were more forgiving here (apart from the left-handed reef break), so we only got a little destroyed and Matt managed to ride many cool waves.

Surfing at the Jetty (October 5-6, 2008)

Matt and i braved the rainy, windy weather for a couple of sessions at the jetty in Westport. The Sunday afternoon was pretty big and was accompanied with a rare off-cross wind. The early morning conditions the next day were even better and fortunately we caught a couple waves before the wind (still off-cross) picked up and made the waters choppy.

Surfing at the Cove (September 14, 2008)

Justin picked me up (Rok was under the weather) and we went to Westport for a bit of surfing. We talked about fatherhood, research, careers and surfing and the drives passed pleasantly. The Jetty was looking a bit messy but the swell was big enough for waves to be breaking at the cove. We caught some waves, which were short ad steep, then headed back into Seattle.

Surfing at the Jetty (September 7, 2008)

Matt, Rok and i drove out to Westport at 7:00. The wind in the morning was offshore, a rare treat, so we enjoyed so fun waves in the morning. The bulk of the afternoon was typical, windy Westport surfing (OK in the slough, but generaly lousy), then the wind died down for some glassy waves in the evening. We were smart this time and brought a parasol and lawn chairs, as well as reading materials to pass the time during the windy, sunny bits. Matt brough Kwyla, who does not enjoy water but likes the sand. Kept riding until sunset, then beat a hasty retreat as the mosquitoes were out in force. I managed to step in dog shit while putting the surfboards away in the dark, nessecitating a hasty stop and cleaning of the shoes. Also stopped at Burger King, which was even nastier than i imagined.

Surfing at the Jetty (August 30, 2008)

Rok and i borrowed Molly's truck and headed out to Westport at 5:30. He'd forgtten his lisence so i got to practice my stick shifting on the very soft, forgiving transmission. The surf was rather messy but we got out there and had a blast in the smaller slough. We also learned a thing or two about tides and currents, as we both got swept a ways down the beach. Rok infamously cursed the asshole piloting the remote-control submarine near him. The submarine turned out to be a stationary buoy, the current was just pulling him by very fast. We eventually found a nice spot right next to the jetty where the current wasn't too bad. We also got a bit sunburnt when we fell asleep on the beach. In the afternoon we figured out the fine art of riding small waves, something we'd heard that longboarders whould be able to do. Rok managed to walk up and down his board, while i struck a pretty epic pose as i got swept along at 3 mph.

Surfing at Short Sands and at Half Moon Bay (July 20-23, 2008)

Rok Says: Nick and I teamed up with Matt and Chris who were both practically born on surfboards (they're from California and Australia, respectively) - we thought they might be able to teach us a thing or two. We headed down south in search of gorgeous oceanside scenery and good waves. Lucky for us, we found both in plentiful supply. We started in Oswald West state park at Short Sands beach, which is the default beginner beach with soft waves and friendly crowds. After a few surf sessions there we started to move northward but the conditions looked iffy in the few spots we stopped. Matt and Chris were disappointed that the famous point break at Seaside wasn't working properly... just as well, apparently the locals don't particularly like visitors. We ended up in Westhaven state park just outside Westport, WA where we got really lucky with awesome conditions in Half-moon bay... steep faces and a lot more power behind those waves than the beginner stuff we rode earlier in the trip, so I got pretty destroyed. Now back to the surf report web pages... Photos are here.

Surf Gear of Our Own (July 14, 2008)

After pussy-footing around and reading many online reviews, Rok and i sucked it up and blew the better part of a grand each on surf gear. Appart from Rok's fancy Excel suit which he ordered online, we got all of our gear at Wavehounds. Because of the frigid water temperatures out here you need a 4/3mm wetsuit with hoody, booties and gloves (glovies?) just to comfortably stay in the water for 3 hours.

Surfing at The Jetty (July 5-6, 2008)

Matt agreed to teach Rok and i how to surf so we rented gear and headed to the coast. We arrived Saturday afternoon as the wind was dying down and got into the water. This my first time in a wetsuit and i was impressed at how comfy the water was (i only indulged in the awesomness of peeing in my wetsuit the following day). We all swam out past the breakers, which was way more tiring than Rok and i had anticipated, but it was good to see that swimming can be useful for something other than keeping yourself alive when you fall in a pool. After an hour or so we'd managed to stand on our boards a couple times and managed to catch some waves on our bellies but hadn't yet put the whole package together by riding down a wave on our feet. We srufed until 21:30, then set up camp at a nearby campground and roasted hotdogs over the fire (after an entertaining interlude at a local bar with a local DJ and terrible fried food).

On Sunday we got up early-ish and were in the water by 9. The wind hadn't picked up and there were nice, well-spaced waves. It was much more exhausting to swim out past the breakers, specially for Rok and i with our rental long-boards (we only learned later that you can't duck-dive with a longboard but are supposed to do a turtle roll, or something like that). In any event, i eventually managed to get out to the glassy waters beyond the breakers and actually caught a few waves (and stood up!). While i was sitting around out there (there's a surprisingly large amount of sitting in surfing) i saw a couple of pelicans (at least that's what i reckon they were, based on the fact that they were as big as me!) and a seal. On the third succesful attempt i kept riding the wave all the way into shore, which turned out to be a mistake because the wind (from the water to the land) had picked up and in any case i was too exhausted to swim back out. Matt walked out along a jetty with his board and re-entered the water beyond the breakers, but got dragged over some rocks in the process. Rok and i made a few valiant efforts to get past the breakers but we mostly honed our skills (tumbling, swallowing water, etc.) in the choppy waters. By noon the wind had picked up enough and the waves were so choppy that we called it a day (we were all pretty wrecked, anyways). Surfing is awesome, it is indeed very challenging but totally worth all the swallowed water, chaffed necks and wrecked bodies!