Redefining what it means to be a good surfer

Surf Boat Exploration

In 2019, Klaus invited me on a trip to surf an elusive boat access wave.  For whatever reason, I declined the invitation and immediately regretted it/swore to never pass up such an opportunity ever again.  Knowing it was the right time of year, this place was on my radar.

Sure enough, Klaus and I saw a swell coming and started to develop a plan.

I left Ventura late on Thursday night to meet Klaus North of SF at his home.  I made it to his driveway at 3:30am, only 1.5hrs until the 5am alarm that would soon be going off.  At 5am we got Klaus and gear into the van, and continued onward for many, many hours.

En route, we were checking reports: wind, weather, swell, etc.  It become clear, that the waves were going to be pretty big as the buoys were now showing 18-20ft .  At this point, the nerves started to kick in as the entire plan depended on us launching Surf is Swell II (my 12ft inflatable boat) off the beach and proceeding to land it in 18-20ft surf.  

After some debate, we decided to push forward and launch the boat.  The motor started right up and off we went.  First into a sheltered little zone with small waves, and quickly later into DEEP open ocean. Holy shit, it was way bigger than I thought as we went way the hell out there to stay clear of breaking waves.

The ocean was fierce, but it was a beautiful day.  It was raining on and off.  And it was surreal to be out there.  The landscape from water was incredible, with impressive peaks and rugged wilderness.   As we cruised, a full rainbow appeared and I took this as a sign of wonder and continued onward.

By now, the surf was double to triple over head.  We decided that Klaus would swim bags to shore to lighten the boat.  I got him as close as I safely could, which was not very close, and then Klaus jumped off board and paddled to shore with the first huge backpack.  We did this for two hours, shuttling bags to shore. During this time I was taking huge laps in and out, watching the sets, watching the lulls, identifying where waves were breaking, etc.  I was for sure scared and pushing my limits.  I was talking to myself out there, reminding myself that I can do this, that I have to do this. 

Before Klaus jumped with the third bag, I told him that my mental state was diminishing and that it was time to land the boat, no more dilly dally.  I could not be out there any longer.  I was getting cold, I had not slept, and I had hardly eaten.  

In addition to the rainbow, what gave me confidence to land the boat was that while there were periods of huge breaking waves, there were also periods of lulls, and I felt fully tuned in to mother ocean.  

I waited for the right moment, said a quick prayer to the universe, and inched forward.  I looked behind and saw no breaking waves behind me, and finally went full throttle straight to the beach.  I completed an epic landing on the beach and arrived safely on shore. I started screaming for joy when I landed the boat. 

Next, we pulled the boat up the beach, picked a campsite and went surfing shortly thereafter for several days straight.  I wish I could share more details, but unfortunately, I’ve already said to much 🙂


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