Tough day at the track

Tom Servais

Kelly Slater has a place in LA about an hour from Rincon, which almost gives him local status ... almost.

The first of two major swells filled in along California's coastline on Tuesday, providing Rincon with its best swell of the season thus far. And it wasn't any secret. Helping to celebrate were Kelly Slater, Dane Reynolds, Kolohe Andino and a slew of other pointbreak lovers.

Early morning reports indicated that a high tide and small waves were slowing things down, but the swell was on the buoys. It had good direction, and with a mid-day low tide for an incoming tidal push all afternoon expectations were high. Andino and entourage were spotted early morning at Starbuck's in San Clemente fueling up for the run north. "Kelly Rumors" were that he was hanging around for this swell. So no surprise that he showed up at Rincon about 45 minutes before dark, always the last one to show up for a party.

And a party it was. As Mike Parsons said, "It's the most crowded Rincon I've ever seen."

After hanging out on the beach for a while, Reynolds paddled out at about 3:30 and even he had a hard time getting a wave to himself. Seemed like every wave started out with a handful of surfers on it before things sorted themselves out. Kelly was overheard saying how he couldn't shake the four guys he took off with. Heck, who wouldn't want to share a wave with Kelly? Part of being a celebrity, I guess. And as always, it took him longer to walk back up point than anyone else since he's so polite and stopped to pose for photos for all his fans.

Crowded or not, all in all, it was a great day at Rincon. The weather was warm, water temps were mild by Santa Barbara standards, and everyone seemed to have a great time, even though no one got as many waves as they hoped for. With the next swell being the bigger one hopefully surfers are a little less hungry and there will be a few extra waves to be had. Yeah, right!

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