Posts Tagged ‘February 17 2011’

It must be just another day at Rincon and more trials and tribulations with the occasional pot of gold at the end of the rainbow here in Santa Barbara.  It all went down yesterday (2/17/11) in what I thought was going to be a complete and total skunking.  The night before all signs pointed to some very good conditions for a surf on this faithful day.

There was plenty of WNW swell mixing in with new NW swell and the winds were suppose to be somewhat light or variable.  Early on the wind was down, unfortunately I had class making a dawn patrol out of the question.  I got home at 9am and the wind had already changed to SW, or the devil winds, as we like to refer to them here.

Distraught, since the thoughts of getting either El Capitan or Sand Spit dancing in my head since the previous night were now shattered, I decided it best for us to wait for the tide to drop and hope for the best.  The wind went more WSW and JD and I made the Hail Mary play for El Capitan despite the poor winds.  Sometimes miracles happen and back when I worked at this NJ surf camp we always told the kids to live by the phrase “you don’t know unless you go”.

Indeed go we did.  As soon as we got up to the Gaviota Coast the wind was whipping twice as hard and El Cap was an absolute mess to our dismay, but was as I expected.  We watched it feeling rather dejected before opting to make the run back south to Rincon and just make or break it there.  As soon as we got to the Rincon the wind let up a bit and the sun came out.   The surf was solid head to overhead with bigger sets up top and side shore off shore conditions.  Upon checking it we saw someone surfing regular just destroy this head high wave through the cove making a near impossible first section across high Cove.

Then I noticed there were three cameras on the beach and put two and two together.  It was none other then Kelly Slater doing what he does best, killing it.  For JD it was a real treat to surf with the champ in person.  He had on this weird ass blue and black wetsuit with one white sleeve and gloves, but no boots.  The crowd was still rather light only about twenty five guys or so in the Cove and maybe another twenty up top.

JD gave the top a go while I as usual hit up the cove.  I jump in just as a solid set was approaching.  This overhead one comes right to me and I was the deepest. I saw Slater paddling in on the shoulder and was like man maybe I should give the wave up to the champ.  Then I thought fuck that he gets tons of great waves everywhere he goes.  This one is mine and besides out in the ocean he is just another surfer just like anyone else trying to get waves.  Rincon is my spot now so fuck it and I went.

I was pretty deep and was not sure I was going to get around the foam ball anyway.  I came around the foam ball just as Slats was starting his first cut back.  I hit it straight up and down behind him.  Then he did another whip around and as he was coming out of the turn he got hit by the spray from my second reo.  He gave me an aggravated look and then pulled off.  I hit that wave another fifteen times taking it all the way to the call box.

On the paddle back out I was definitely getting stares by people and heard whispers “That guy just picked one off Slater”.  Some kid, probably from the Valley or LA (same difference) said to me “I can’t believe you just took a wave off Kelly Slater”.  I looked at him and said “Who’s Kelly Slater, just another surfer like you and I” and paddled away.  Then I started thinking maybe that was a bad idea and I should have given the wave up to him like everyone else does out there.

I think Slater should be able to appreciate the fact that I want to surf a good wave as much as he does.  Then three waves later I did it again, but Slater did not go this time.  He pulled back as soon as he saw me drop into it twenty yards deeper then him.  That one went all the way through too.  There was some crazy modeling shoot happening mid point that has been going on all week, super professional too.  It looked like a pretty serious shoot.

Slater kept stopping at that house every lap up the point for whatever reason.  About my sixth wave, a real bomb might I add about mid cove on the paddle back out, I was beat on paddling back out and way too far down the point anyway.  I made the walk back and as I was walking up the point Slater’s videographer looked right at me and I though he was going to give me shit for taking that wave off Slater.  Instead he yells “Crazy backside attack, so nuts”.  I was stoked to be acknowledged by a dude who films surfing all day long and someone of Kelly’s esteem.

Female pro Sally Fitzgibbons was out absolutely destroying it.  JD actually had a great session for a change.  It was a solid day of surfing.  The only thing that could have made it better would have been if there was less wind and chop, but then the crowd would have been triple.   I ended up surfing almost four hours and could barely walk when I got out of the water.  What a day.

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