I'll start by telling you that today was an excellent day, stellar even. I had a little DogPatch adventure, an up-the-coast-ramble with a good friend, a couple of good boards and a promise from every surf forecasting website in the cosmos that today was going to be the day. Well, they were right. We surfed through the low and high tides, right through the moderate Santa Ana winds that blew straight offshore. It was a full day of surf- we left only because we were starving (and the Pipes Cafe took care of that... I recommend the Bacon or Sausage Scramble... I couldn't finish it).
If you don't live in California and haven't surfed in Santa Ana conditions, here's what you'll want to know:
1. The winds blow straight offshore, holding waves open, standing them straight up when they really want to curl and break. Offshore winds make something that looks like a closeout, makeable- so don't hold back.
2. You've got to paddle hard to get over the ledge and into a wave because the wind is blowing straight up the face, right into your chest. Paddle hard and get low.
3. Take a moment and breath deep- you should pick up the aromas of the chaparral; pungent coastal sagebrush, velvety white and black sage. Santa Ana season is also the season of the firebug- so don't breathe too deep, especially if you see black smoke moving along the ridges and down the canyons. In fact, if it's blowing hard and the fire engines are going off you might want to think about getting the hell out of Dodge.
Hope you got some today too.