By Clay Feeter from Standup Journal’s winter HQ, Depot Hill, Capitola, CA
I’m just in freaking Righthander Wall Heaven!! This swell FULLY took me by surprise! I was waiting for the Sears repair guy to fix the dryer (the “window” they gave was “between 1-4p.m.” and here it was the final hour of that window and no Sears guy, SEE ya, we can reschedule the fix it appt. but you can NEVER reschedule this epic day!!)…
At 3:12p.m. the Sears guy hadn’t shown so I figured I could walk briefly over to depot hill cliff and HOLY SHIT! WHERE THE HELL DID THIS SWELL COME FROM!!?
I saw what turned out to be S. West, John Griffith and Wingnut up at incredible Trees… I dropped my board off Cap Beach and started to paddle up there but opted instead for overhead and nobody out Bombora… First drop was MAGIC, then came the suddenly building sets… got five in a row on the head but also scored hot ones!
Kept looking down at New Brighton trying to tell myself it wasn’t filling it there… BUT IT WAS!
I paddled down and only FOUR laydowners had discovered the swell was hitting there! NB was solid long long walls… almost from bombora to cement ship in one line!!!
The fun began!
I wont say I caught THE wave of the day.. but that 4:25ish 9 wave mega set the guys got at Trees and Privates ended up washing the now 12 non believer laydowns away.. the three guys who DIDN’T get rinsed saw me scratching for the horizon and figured I might be right about that SO impressive set of walls coming!!!
I picked wave #3, another 50 yards up coast from the laydown pack and WAY out.. impossibly far out you woulda thought… I was lined up with the far left (west) of the apartment buildings on the cliff…
I immediately carved a bottom turn at midface… a full bottom turn would have left me stuffed too far back!
Anyway… 350 STEEP yards later I kicked out and hurried back cause the next 5 waves almost broke on me…
Funny thing is that as I made that first drop a shortboard kid said some derogatory remark about sup… so I hooted as I dropped to make him think I was having too much fun to hear him…. literally 15 minutes later I finally made it back to the lineup after that long one that ended in front of the state park stairs…
The kid didn’t say anything this time.
My best wave in at least 15 years… Noosa/Rincon comes to mind. THE wave was 2-3 feet overhead… others were just overhead and with 17 sec intervals there’s some beef!
The coolest thing was that after each wave, especially after THE wave, as I paddled back out I’d watch guys drop in WAAAY up the line and it looked like there was NO way anybody could make it all the way thru… but the walls held, steep, fast…. dreamland!! New Brighton is a very, very rare experience. I thought I’d caught it as good as it gets many years ago when i lived in Capitola… but NOTHING compares to NB yesterday!!!
So happy to be home in SC County!!!!
Here are a few email replies/comments:
While S West was killing trees like Paul Bunyan, I surfed 1 n 2nd peak and it was a solid 8ft plus w/few huge sets… Neal Pearlberg and me were killing it on the outside wave after wave. All I have to say is that the SUP board is everything. And the new 9′ 8″ that I’m riding is a Bomb… Had one wave overhead and tried to go for a stand up barrel and got Stuffed, my paddle hooked the inside wall and threw me down, and then held me down forever.
Broke my leash and I had to swim in from outside 1st peak, got to be a better way to swim with a paddle. The pics below were from my 2 wave hold-down coming up for air…. Only the 2nd time ever going 2 waves underwater, the point was all time for sure…
… and from up in Puget Sound, legendary surf journalist Drew Kampion (who just came out with the huge and complete book on Jack O’Neill, avail. in bookstores now), reminds us that particular west swell direction is good for
ALL the west coast, even the farthest eastern reaches of saltwater, like there at this home island: Whidbey Island, north of Seattle:
290° works up here in the Far N too!!
Steve West adds:
So funny that it has been packed for three weeks and the first day everybody’s gone, it’s the best day of 2012!
290 degrees really does it for the entire east side…
…. and this just in from local sup’er Kirby Fosgate about yesterday’s Instant Macker Swell:
Clay … Larry White was out from 4:30 pm to dark at Trees. He was cruising around just at 4:00 pm at Steamers and was going to reluctantly go out although it was not that great. S.West calls me about that time as he is changing out of his wetsuit on the road and is raving about trees. I call Larry in his car and tell him what Steve said … and he races over and scores Trees. Probably rode the same wave you did at New Brighton for 350 yards around 5:00 pm. Man, love that rapid fire coconut surf wireless. I surfed Davenport Landing at 1:30, … dead glass, and waves reeling off the north point all the way through. The problem was: there were some big sets and I got smashed a bit. Over and out Kirby