Wednesday November 27, 2013
A spontaneous excursion is always a great way to refresh the mind and explore. In this case I decided to head north to Big Sur. The swell forecast looked minimal but it doesn't take much to have fun at some of the spots along this pristine yet fickle stretch of coast. A good 4/3 with a hood and booties is the call most of the time, especially this time of year as California ocean temperatures begin to drop. So I packed up the camping gear, 2 boards, 3 sets of True Ames FCS fins and began the mini-journey. After hours of driving from Santa Barbara it begins to look and feel like a foreign land. The air was crisp and has a mixture of evergreens and salty ocean.
The waves in this area can range from sloping beach breaks to barreling rocky reefs, and many of the best waves are hidden from sight. It takes patience and a little bit of luck to have all of elements align for a good surf. This particular time the winds were light and swell was manageable, A bit of a numbing paddle out first blended into a fun session of head high beachbreak...I used a set of Timmy Patterson FCS fins for this session, The waves had plenty of open face and I've found that the TP fins can draw out your turns slightly, especially on cutbacks, giving you a wider range of movement on open faced waves.
The sun sets pretty early in the Fall on this magical span of coastline and after few hours at the beach it was time to keep on heading north to set up camp. There are plenty of camp grounds along the main road but finding one with open sites is a challenge sometimes especially when the weather is good. It' s also common for the campgrounds to not allow camp fires during certain times of year. I was planning on staying warm so I drove up even further to find a great campsite on the river that had plenty of space and allowed fires. time to defrost and setup before dark.
Day 2 led me on a long hike in search of waves. The winds had come up overnight and the surf was on the decline, but I was ready to either surf or just enjoy the hike outside and in nature. As I suspected, when I finally arrived at the beach, it was pretty much flat, and the lineup was dotted with thousands of seagulls basking in the sun. This was their spot, so I explored the beach and cliffside with my camera and sketch book. The sun was beginning to descend as the moon began to rise, it was time to head back to camp and settle in for an early night.
The next morning I woke pre-dawn to pack up and head back home. I wanted to catch the sunrise driving home, something that I haven't seen in Big Sur before. Cool offshore winds blowing down out of the valleys were keeping the surf clean along the way. I knew that there could still be some swell and possibly some good surf. As I headed out of the highlands and down the coast I spotted a peaky beach break with some really nice barrels. The winds were light and the sun was up enough for a paddle out. These waves looked pretty heavy so I switched out fins to a set of Eric Arakwa FCS fins. I knew these fins were going to hold in on the steep faces and have solid bottom turns. This spot was bigger than it looked and really shallow, Perfect for getting shacked. As the deep water canyon just off the coast magnified wave energy creating super powerful surf. A great match for the EA fins on my board. An hour into the session, the winds began to come up and extremely large seals started to swim out for their session. I was out of there and just in time for breakfast.
Just 3 days of adventure along the Big Sur coast was packed full of good times and interesting scenic sights. Until the next trip, I'll let this one marinate in my mind for a while.
We now offer our Hexcore system fins in a new color..."Orange Glow" These orange fins are super bright and when the sun hits them you get the orange glow. Available in FCS fins compatible and Futures fins compatible. These are the highest quality fins using the resin transfer method, which produces maximum drive and tuned flex.
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