Monday, February 19, 2007

know your winter ebb

click to enlarge....

Sometimes everything just lines up perfect. I had one of those epic sessions on Sunday with a sunny 65-degree day on the San Francisco Bay, 15-25k west winds and a solid 5+ knot ebb tide. The winter tides are more dramatic compared to the summer tides and things can get out of hand quicker if you lose control.

David Wells and I were out on our 10.0s and formula boards and quickly made it up to the bridge where there was a good swell coming in. Combined with the stiff 5k. ebb, it made riding the swell like walking backwards on an escalator. You could plane down the face of the swell next to the south tower and get swept back upwind. Unfortunately the ebb was a bit too strong for Feras who made his way out on his short-board gear and couldn't’t get back under the bridge with the river of ebb. It didn’t take much but the minute he was underpowered, he couldn't’t overcome the strong ebb. I kept an eye on him and finally sailed up to the Coast Guard who was making rounds and asked them to give him a lift in.

The lesson learned: Be aware of the currents- especially in the winter months as they are stronger and the wind isn’t as constant as the summer thermals. Just as quickly as it came up, the wind petered out.

Nonetheless I still got another hour of sailing under the bridge, riding some good sized swells and sharing a few waves with Chip on his kiteboard. Good times. Check out the rest of the photo sequence here as well as the surfers at ft point here.

Thanks again to Shawn Davis and his great eye for documenting the day!

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