Standup Zone Forum

General Category => General Discussion => Topic started by: Night Wing on February 23, 2017, 05:11:54 AM

Title: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 23, 2017, 05:11:54 AM
Let me start off by saying I've envied those people who have downwind sups and can surf them offshore during high wind and wave conditions which produce nice long swells. The prevailing winds off of Galveston, Texas is from the south/southeast at a wind speed of between 5-10 mph in the morning and increases to 10-15 mph later in the day with gusts up to 17-18 mph. Not ideal wind conditions for a downwind sup. If you've seen some of the links I've posted where I sup surf, you can see our waves are basically mushy type waves and the best waves we can get are head high at Surfside, Texas.

But in another topic thread someone asked me if I had ever sup surfed tanker waves. I haven't. But sup surfing tanker waves sounded appealing to me especially if I could get a long ride. So I did some research yesterday and I found out I'm probably sitting on a gold mine when it comes to surfing tanker waves. I think if anyone wants to sup surf a tanker wave, the Galveston Ship Channel might be one of the best places in the coastal US to do this.

It looks like three things are needed to sup surf a tanker wave in the Galveston Ship Channel. They are:

1) Glassy water conditions
2) Outbound tanker traffic
3) Inbound tanker traffic

I found a few YouTube videos showing lots of tanker surfing by prone longboard surfers. One guy posts a lot of videos so I watched some of his videos and there a few videos where he tanker surfs a wave for a distance of "2 miles" in Galveston Bay. The only drawback for a prone surfer, one needs a boat to get back to where one started. However, for a sup surfer who wants to surf a tanker wave, a boat would not be needed if one can find outbound and inbound tanker traffic and the best place for that is in the Galveston Ship Channel. And in my area the link below is a site which would give me the outbound and inbound tanker traffic.

http://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/home/centerx:-94.8/centery:29.3/zoom:11

The videos are below. BTW, in the first 11 minute video with the prone surfer, the audio sound starts at the 30 second mark of the video. And there are lots of broadside action shots of him from the boat traveling alongside of him. The video is speeded up because I think there was a time limit on YouTube so it is a little compressed, but the prone surfer rides this long wave for a very long time which is why I chose this video so you can see the tanker wave on glass like water conditions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3CtbTO6_A4E

The second video is the same prone surfer and he rides the same wave for 20 minutes. No broadside action shots though.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H0mNznWz69o

The next two videos are of some sup surfers riding some tanker waves.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQ8vf6RkftU

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cfatvjEqOQA

As for me, in order to sup surf a tanker wave, I will need a longer board and I'm hoping 10'6" sup will do the job.





Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: surfinJ on February 23, 2017, 06:39:23 AM
I'm as well a downwind dreamer.  Where I live is an inside corner for the high winds. Total opposite of what's needed.

As far as a goldmine, that's what those waves look like.  No crowds, light winds and long glides.  Rental of some appropriate boards should be doable. Let's go.

Ok, I'm not around the corner but like stoneax, this has been a desire of mine.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 23, 2017, 07:14:10 AM
@surfinJ

In the very first video, it's better to jump ahead to the 3 minute mark of the video where can see a broadside shot of the prone surfer and then you can actually see his l-o-n-g ride.

BTW, I called the Coast Guard Station down at Galveston earlier this morning to inquire about sup surfing tanker waves. The CG said it was all right as long as one gives those tankers a "wide berth" space wise. The CG said about a one-quarter mile berth away from the tanker for safety's sake.

In my case, I would have to have a schedule of some tankers with their outbound and inbound times. Sup surf a wave on an outbound tanker and then to get back somewhere close to my starting point, surf an inbound tanker's wave.

Sup surfing a tanker wave near Galveston is the equivalent of "a poor man's downwind" since we don't have downwind wave and wind conditions. Once a wave is caught, there shouldn't very much paddling necessary if any.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: blueplanetsurf on February 23, 2017, 07:38:26 AM
Looks perfect for foiling!
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: surfercook on February 23, 2017, 07:41:39 AM
"Texas Tanker Surfing" has been in my bucket for quite sometime now. Sounds like you did your homework and are ready to "Roll-ax" on a few
 l-o-n-g gliders. Let me know if you want some company! I'd be stoked on a trip out of the ordinary. Don't know if the wife would be down w/a trip to Texas, but wth, can' hurt to ask. I might actually drive my Honda Element down there w/my 9'11" PSH racked up. It's gotta be plenty big for a tanker wave.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: 808sup on February 23, 2017, 08:07:53 AM
Looks perfect for foiling!
Exactly what I was thinking!
Maybe Kai can show us how to ride outbound waves and then hop his way onto an inbound set.
Question for night wing, how far from the shoreline are these shipping lanes? Do you need a boat to get to them or can you paddle from shore? I look forward to your progress there.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: digger71 on February 23, 2017, 08:17:07 AM
Looks like a tanker surfing OG has started a business down there
http://tankersurfcharters.com/

Some of those waves look pretty fun and he makes a claim of up to 5 miles!
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: seadart on February 23, 2017, 09:16:56 AM
Rob Casey who posts here from time to time does a lot of surfing on freighter waves in Puget Sound and has a business that takes people oout.  He has articles and youtube videos I believe on how to get started, and can give you good advice.  I've surfed freighter and tug waves and the biggest issue is just local knowledge about where the waves form best to take off and which wave of the set you should take.  Lots of times you can surf three or four waves from a single bow wave train. Also your legs can really cramp up if you have to stay in surf stance, but usually you can move around quite a bit on the small waves to keep surfing.  It's usually pretty low key if you don't have a chase boat to get you back to the take off if you are going to do long long rides.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: TallDude on February 23, 2017, 11:20:20 AM
CapoBeachBoy has been there, done that. Hopefully he'll chime in with his experience. He did tell me that the waves are a lot faster than you'd think.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: ninja tuna on February 23, 2017, 02:39:38 PM
I saw this first thing this morning and instantly thought about the foils for these waves.

I looked in to doing the surf thing there but the charters seemed ridiculously expensive.  To me it seems like a great road trip. You just need that schedule for the ships,  a few guys, a boat, and a marine chart on a gps to give you the depths, tides, and contours to guess where the waves will probably break. Might take a little hit and miss in the beginning but i am sure you could figure it out real quick.  Especially if you study the charts real good before you go.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: p06781 on February 23, 2017, 07:54:24 PM
Plenty of people have done it here in oregon behind the sternwheeler cruises on the columbia river .  Looks pretty easy to get into although i have never gone . 

https://youtu.be/VXsMbrR5yic
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 23, 2017, 08:03:47 PM
Question for night wing, how far from the shoreline are these shipping lanes? Do you need a boat to get to them or can you paddle from shore? I look forward to your progress there.

Since I'm familiar with the Galveston Ship Channel, the ship channel is quite a few miles wide. At it's narrowest point, between Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula, it is 1.5 miles wide. You can read more about it at the link below and once on the page, there is a map which you can click on to enlarge the map to give you a better view to see what I'm talking about.

https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hcg02

On the Bolivar Peninsula, at the ferry landing, there is old abandoned Fort Travis. One would have to take the "free" ferry ride over, from Galveston to the Bolivar Peninsula and once on the Peninsula, travel to 17th street and turn right. This street will take you down to the beach where the North Jetty is located. Turn left on the beach to Fort Travis, park your vehicle and then paddle the 1.5 miles back to the Galveston Island, wait for an outbound tanker and surf it's wave.

Then if you have the tanker info for inbound tanker traffic, catch a tanker's wave inbound and sup surf back to Fort Travis. This way a boat is not needed. Bottom line, it's doable.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: SCruzSUPr on February 24, 2017, 06:17:38 PM
Nightwing
Let's do this... I'm spending more and more time in Houston.   8)
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 24, 2017, 07:05:11 PM
 SCruzSUPr

There is also a "Plan B". But it will have one drawback. You'll only get one wave to ride.

Plan B is based on not crossing the Galveston Ship Channel to catch an outbound tanker's wave to ride. With that in mind, a person would still have to take the free ferry ride over to the Bolivar Peninsula. The ferry schedules are in the link below.

http://www.galveston.com/galvestonferry/

After departing the Bolivar Ferry, travel about 2 miles (or less) to 16th Street and turn right. At the end of 16tth Street, you can drive right on the beach and park your vehicle next to the North Jetty. BTW, the base of the North Jetty is at the end of 17th Street.

Then take your board and paddle parallel to the North Jetty all the way to the end of the North Jetty. I think the North Jetty is 5 miles long. At the end of the North Jetty, find an incoming tanker and surf the tanker's wave back to where your vehicle is parked.

With Plan B, one gets the exercise of a long paddle and then experiences the rush of a very long wave ride....if one doesn't accidentally fall off their board while riding that long wave.  ;)
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: capobeachboy on February 24, 2017, 09:56:40 PM
I chartered Captain James' boat back in 2012 with my  friend Ken Brah and we had a gas. He normally does a party of  four but he let us do two and we were on the water 6 hours. I had one 20 minute wave and my legs were jello after and I was doing a lot of racing & distance back then too. The Captain was stoked we had ULIs as regular SUPs can beat up his boat. That's Ken in the vid and me in the still. It's pretty cool the way he runs it cause if you wipe out he picks you up and drops you on the wave again. Note his boat got swamped a few years ago and he was seriously injured. You have to know the waters and have your boat running good to outrun waves when they hit the shoals.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I5p2keQJYFY
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 25, 2017, 03:54:10 AM
@capobeachboy

In the video link below, you can actually see what a Plan B (my designation) is. It's a short video and in parts of the video, it's time lapsed. You see the sup rider paddling out to meet a tanker and then he rides the tanker's wave back to his starting point. Since the North Jetty on Bolivar is 1.7 miles long, this would be perfect to catch an incoming tanker's wave. BTW, the video below was recorded at Port Aransas, Texas.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6bskUBzZu8

Another thing which immediately caught my eye in the video was the rider's board. It is a Naisch board and I think it's a Hokua model and it is a short board. Since my Hammer is 8'11", I might be able to use my short Hammer for tanker surfing as long I use my Plan B option. You can see the distance of the North Jetty at the link below.

http://www.fishingbolivar.com/jettyfish.htm

Safety wise, I don't think it would be wise for me to try and cross the Galveston Ship Channel to catch an outbound tanker's wave and then catch an inbound tanker's wave to get back to my starting point with my short Hammer. The Galveston Ship Channel seems to be 5 miles wide between the end of the North and South jetties so crossing that amount of open water distance opens up a can of worms for unexpected problems.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Badger on February 25, 2017, 05:20:00 AM
Everyone seems to be using fairly short boards there. No doubt your 8'11 would work but the shorter the board, the higher the risk of being outrun by the wave because the slope of the wave isn't very steep.

The ultimate board for that wave would be at least 10 feet long.  I would love to try my M-12'6 there.

A longer board would also get you to the starting point a lot quicker as well as make catching and staying on the wave a lot easier, giving you a faster and more enjoyable ride.

.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 25, 2017, 05:40:57 AM
@Badger

This is why I am looking at purchasing a 10'6" board to add to my quiver. I think this length is good for leisurely flat water cruising and it seems it would do well for tanker wave surfing as well.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Badger on February 25, 2017, 05:46:02 AM
Definitely NW.

I think that board would be perfect. I hope to see some posts this spring of you riding that wave.   8)
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: surfercook on February 25, 2017, 06:41:22 AM
My wife says she'd be stoked to rock a trip to Texas. I also just realized that the NLand Surf Park in Austin is up and running. Tanker surfing AND a wave pool in one trip! Book it!
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 25, 2017, 06:49:15 AM
Since the North Jetty is at Port Bolivar on the Bolivar Peninsula, I got to thinking about "Beach Rules" so I thought I'd hunt to see if there were any beach parking rules for vehicles parked on the beach at 16th Street which is right next to the North Jetty. Looks like there is. From the link below, it seems one will have to have a Beach Parking sticker which costs $10 and I think it is for the "calendar year". Not too bad cost wise. I will call the Chamber of Commerce at Port Bolivar Monday morning to confirm it.

http://bolivarchamberofcommerce.com/beach-rules-2/
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: surfcowboy on February 25, 2017, 07:15:05 AM
I'm headed back for business and family visit in May. Let me know if this turns out to be do able. I'm also headed to Austin as well. Gotta see that wave.

Wing, I've crossed the ferry a few times. My family lives over near Beaumont.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 25, 2017, 08:19:19 AM
I'm headed back for business and family visit in May. Let me know if this turns out to be do able. I'm also headed to Austin as well. Gotta see that wave.

I think this is doable.

On on side note, my wife's eldest niece lives in Kyle which is like 15 minutes from Austin. She's got a brand new 6 week old baby (as of this typing). Maybe if her niece gets some free time, she can check out the "wave in Austin" and give me the low down on it from her point of view.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: ninja tuna on February 25, 2017, 09:15:57 AM
In terms of boards, i have the perfect boards for this. Like Badger mentioned using the M12'6 there, I have the PSH 12'6 hull paddler which I have surfed up to head high catches ripples practically and very surfable once I get my rear foot back.  Oh, and I just picked up its little cousin the 11'1.  Now I just need to find the time to take a road trip. 

Are there any times of the year that are better than others in terms of weather.  I guess in to fall and winter with the fronts coming through there, it can chop things up a bit.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 25, 2017, 10:42:49 AM
@ninja tuna

The prevailing winds off the upper Texas coast are from the south/southeast heading north/northwest. During the spring months of March and April, it gets windy as in 15-20 mph gusting to 23-25 mph. That's not good when one has to paddle straight into the wind and you'd have to do that if one had to paddle south/southeast to parallel the North Jetty. But good for sup surfing.

Secondly, there is a lot of sargassum weed which detaches from the Gulf bottom offshore and then comes ashore during the months of March and April. It floats on the surface in thick mats. You can't paddle through it because these thick mats are sometimes 12" thick. And if you sup surf, these mats of weed will be encountered.

The month of May and June are good. But the best months are the hottest months of July and August. Why? Every July and August, a huge dome of high pressure just sits over Texas. This causes our air time temperatures to rise because the air is being compressed downward and when it hits the land, it has no place to go so it just heats up the air where the heat index gets between 105-112 degrees F. The silver lining though, this high pressure dome of hot air suppresses the wind. This is why we get glass like conditions during the months of July and August inshore and offshore. And no weed.

September and October are also good months. Not too much high wind speed and no weed. The only drawback from the middle of August to the middle of September, this is our high percentage for a tropical storm or hurricane to come or form in the Gulf of Mexico and if unlucky, to come our way. But these storms before they get here, they make large waves perfect for prone or sup surfing.

When one lives near the Gulf of Mexico, (I live 90 miles from the Gulf) one just has to keep apprised of the long range weather forecasts for big storms in the Gulf. To keep me informed for Gulf of Mexico conditons, I use the weather links below to see what is "on the horizon" so to speak.

http://wkrg.com/weather/gulf-satellite/

http://www.intellicast.com/Storm/Hurricane/CaribbeanSatellite.aspx?animate=true
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: ninja tuna on February 25, 2017, 11:45:39 AM
Thanks for the info night wing. I am in Florida so it is only a 1 day drive for me.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 26, 2017, 05:12:11 AM
SInce springtime can be very windy down on the upper Texas coast, I surfed the internet to see if I could find a personal weather station that would update the wind speed every few seconds or minutes instead of hourly and I found one. This weather station is for the Bolivar Peninsula at Crystal Beach even though it is listed at Port Bolivar. You can see it updates the wind speed every few seconds. This will anyone a general idea what to expect wind wise for the Galveston Ship Channel.

https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=KTXPORTB3#history
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Badger on February 26, 2017, 07:48:01 AM

I checked out your link and all I could find was past and present conditions. Am I missing something?

For hourly wind forecasts I've found Intellicast to be fairly accurate within 48 hours. I'll bet the downwinder/Sailboarder/kiters on the forum have some good wind forecast links.

http://www.intellicast.com/Local/Weather.aspx?location=USTX1074

.

Springtime is very windy in New Hampshire too. Often the only decent time to surf or paddle is in the early morning.


Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Wetstuff on February 26, 2017, 08:23:05 AM
This wave is not for kids

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8n1wqUgC7x4


I remember seeing this years ago.  Water looks cleaner than I expected?

Jim
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Badger on February 26, 2017, 09:52:38 AM

You can see in that video why a prone board doesn't work well on that wave. They had to stay in the white water the whole time. Prone boards just don't have enough glide to actually ride the face of the wave for very long.

It's perfect wave for standup. Why aren't there more videos of standup boards taking advantage of these perfect waves? I've done some searching and have only seen one or two vids with standups. If anyone knows of any, post them up.


Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Zooport on February 26, 2017, 12:05:45 PM
Is there only one wave after a tanker?
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 26, 2017, 01:21:46 PM

I checked out your link and all I could find was past and present conditions. Am I missing something?

The wind speed and direction indicator is to the right of the temperture. At the link below, the wind speed changes every few seconds. It's the round circle with the wind speed in the middle with the wind direction on an outside edge of the circle. And it's working for me because I just checked it.

https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=KTXPORTB3#history
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 26, 2017, 01:38:12 PM

You can see in that video why a prone board doesn't work well on that wave. They had to stay in the white water the whole time. Prone boards just don't have enough glide to actually ride the face of the wave for very long.

It's perfect wave for standup. Why aren't there more videos of standup boards taking advantage of these perfect waves? I've done some searching and have only seen one or two vids with standups. If anyone knows of any, post them up.

Standup paddle boarding is not well known for surfing tanker waves in Texas. I guess the reason why is because most people think you have to have a boat to pick you up far from where you started. With my Plan B setup, one doesn't need a boat.

Another reason is, all the sup surfing I've seen people doing on the upper Texas coast is surfing the waves on a beachfront. I accidentally ran across sup surfing tanker waves by watching YouTube videos with regards to sup surfing.

In reality, supping is just catching on in the state of Texas. This is why you don't find many sup dealers in the state of Texas. Austin Canoe & Kayak is a sup dealer in Austin, Houston and Spring (Texas cities) but you won't find any sups in their showrooms. Just kayaks. The prone surf board dealers have a few sup models, but you're not going to find any Starboard, Naisch, Sunova, etc; big name dealers.

As an example, the link below is the only place on Lake Conroe to rent a sup. And the place is only open on weekends at this time of the year.

http://lakeconroepaddleboards.com/
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 26, 2017, 01:42:17 PM
Is there only one wave after a tanker?

I think it depends on the where you sup surf a wave in the Galveston Ship Channel. From watching some of the tanker surfind videos, it looks there is one wave, but I'm guessing there are secondary waves behind the first wave.

If one is sup surfing a tanker wave near a rock jetty, the waves from the ship have to reach the jetty rocks and then bounce back towards the ship channel. This is why on the young man sup surfing a tanker wave at Port Aransas on his Naisch Hokua, you can see more than one wave hitting the retainer wall lining the ship channel.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Badger on February 26, 2017, 03:03:51 PM

I checked out your link and all I could find was past and present conditions. Am I missing something?

The wind speed and direction indicator is to the right of the temperture. At the link below, the wind speed changes every few seconds. It's the round circle with the wind speed in the middle with the wind direction on an outside edge of the circle. And it's working for me because I just checked it.

https://www.wunderground.com/personal-weather-station/dashboard?ID=KTXPORTB3#history

Yes, as I said, it only has past and present wind conditions.

The present wind is in the circle and if you scroll down, you can get the wind speed and direction for the past week, month, or year.

Wouldn't it be more useful to know what the wind will be doing in the future so that you can decide when is the best time to go?

.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: yugi on February 26, 2017, 03:41:14 PM
Is there only one wave after a tanker?

I think it depends on the where you sup surf a wave in the Galveston Ship Channel. From watching some of the tanker surfind videos, it looks there is one wave, but I'm guessing there are secondary waves behind the first wave.


There will be a bow wave and a stern wave unless the tanker is planning.

You will get a better wake where the tanker is accelerating rather than decelerating. I would presume outbound leaving the channel out to open sea. A loaded or empty ship makes a difference too. Heavy and fast is best. Some loads and speeds the wake is useless. Observe and figure it out.

The wake is steeper near the boat and, with distance, becomes progressively lower. Typically you want a longer narrower board for speed and glide to be able to work the wake far from the boat. As well as for the paddle out or in. Longer and narrower than the 10’6 you are thinking about Nighty night. More gun. A 14’ surfy DW board is ideal. Or a foiler I imagine.

I don’t have monster tankers to ride but I have trained my local boat captains well so they buzzme close and hit the gas. I catch them as close as I can. Real close without ever getting in their way. Coast Guard would NOT approve, but the Captains get as much a kick out of it as I do. It's a relationship well worth developing.

You can also look to surf the wake at spots where bottom contours abruptly become shallow. As usual.

Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: yugi on February 26, 2017, 04:52:20 PM
^ forgot to point out

If the tanker will take a predictable turn the wake on the inside of the turn is the sweet spot. That the place to be. The wave can stay steep much longer.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: lucabrasi on February 26, 2017, 05:55:17 PM
Cool thread.

...You will get a better wake where the tanker is accelerating rather than decelerating. I would presume outbound leaving the channel out to open sea. A loaded or empty ship makes a difference too. Heavy and fast is best........
Well by golly........with all the new exports we going to have we gonna have more ships leaving full. See......an unthought of benefit of the new president and his policies. I guess that might be alternative something tho.  ;)


Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 26, 2017, 05:58:40 PM
Yes, as I said, it only has past and present wind conditions.

The present wind is in the circle and if you scroll down, you can get the wind speed and direction for the past week, month, or year.

Wouldn't it be more useful to know what the wind will be doing in the future so that you can decide when is the best time to go?

You must have something blocking it because it changes about every 20 second or there of time wise for me.

As for knowing about the future wind conditions. Sometimes the weather person gets the wind wrong. Like when he/she says it will be coming from the southeast when in actuality it is coming from the southeast.

Also, sometimes the weather person will forecast the wind speed from 5-10 mph, but there are times the wind speed is blowing from 12-17 mph with wind gusts to 20 mph. Since I live 90 miles from Galveston, I can check on my computer to see what the wind speed is at that moment when I normally leave for Galveston at 3:00 AM in the early morning. If the wind is blowing way too high, I don't waste the gas money and also the time to go down there and come back to my home.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 26, 2017, 06:31:19 PM
^ forgot to point out

If the tanker will take a predictable turn the wake on the inside of the turn is the sweet spot. That the place to be. The wave can stay steep much longer.

That would be true if that would happen, but that will never happen in the Galveston Ship Channel. And the reason is below.

Any tanker/ship in the Galveston Ship Channel has to maintain it's designated lane and there is no turning in the ship channel once the tanker passes between the entrance to the  North and South jetties inbound. The same goes for passing the narrow distance (1.5 miles) separating Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula outbound. In other words, it's like a two lane highway and course deviations aren't allowed.

Lastly, the lanes in the ship channel have known water depths and every boat captain knows how much water depth there is between the bottom of the hull to the seabed in both high and low tides for any time of the year. If a boat captain; and I was one but now retired, veers off course for any reason in the Galveston Ship Channel, the tanker/ship can run aground and that is going to be a MAJOR problem since it would effectively shut down the port of Houston with no goods going outbound or inbound ship wise.

If that were to happen, then the Coast Guard would open up a Board of Inquiry and that is no fun for any boat captain. Besides the monetary damages, the boat captain will lose his/her license and effectively he/she will never pilot a boat (crew boat, tug, etc) or a ship (tanker/cruise liner, etc) again. It would be hard to ever get a captain's license again and even it the person could somehow get their license back, no maritime company would hire the person.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 26, 2017, 06:33:52 PM
Cool thread.

Glad you like it.  8)

Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Badger on February 26, 2017, 06:42:32 PM
Yes, as I said, it only has past and present wind conditions.

The present wind is in the circle and if you scroll down, you can get the wind speed and direction for the past week, month, or year.

Wouldn't it be more useful to know what the wind will be doing in the future so that you can decide when is the best time to go?

You must have something blocking it because it changes about every 20 second or there of time wise for me.

As for knowing about the future wind conditions. Sometimes the weather person gets the wind wrong. Like when he/she says it will be coming from the southeast when in actuality it is coming from the southeast.

Also, sometimes the weather person will forecast the wind speed from 5-10 mph, but there are times the wind speed is blowing from 12-17 mph with wind gusts to 20 mph. Since I live 90 miles from Galveston, I can check on my computer to see what the wind speed is at that moment when I normally leave for Galveston at 3:00 AM in the early morning. If the wind is blowing way too high, I don't waste the gas money and also the time to go down there and come back to my home.

Lol, I'm not having any problem with the site. It's working fine.

I just wondered why you thought it was useful. Thanks for the explanation.

.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: yugi on February 26, 2017, 07:20:20 PM

Wouldn't it be more useful to know what the wind will be doing in the future so that you can decide when is the best time to go?

As for knowing about the future wind conditions. Sometimes the weather person gets the wind wrong. Like when he/she says it will be coming from the southeast when in actuality it is coming from the southeast.


^ Well by golly.....



^ forgot to point out

If the tanker will take a predictable turn the wake on the inside of the turn is the sweet spot. That the place to be. The wave can stay steep much longer.

That would be true if that would happen, but that will never happen in the Galveston Ship Channel. And the reason is below.

Any tanker/ship in the Galveston Ship Channel has to maintain it's designated lane and there is no turning in the ship channel once the tanker passes between the entrance to the  North and South jetties inbound. The same goes for passing the narrow distance (1.5 miles) separating Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula outbound. In other words, it's like a two lane highway and course deviations aren't allowed.

Lastly, the lanes in the ship channel have known water depths and every boat captain knows how much water depth there is between the bottom of the hull to the seabed in both high and low tides for any time of the year. If a boat captain; and I was one but now retired, veers off course for any reason in the Galveston Ship Channel, the tanker/ship can run aground and that is going to be a MAJOR problem since it would effectively shut down the port of Houston with no goods going outbound or inbound ship wise.

If that were to happen, then the Coast Guard would open up a Board of Inquiry and that is no fun for any boat captain. Besides the monetary damages, the boat captain will lose his/her license and effectively he/she will never pilot a boat (crew boat, tug, etc) or a ship (tanker/cruise liner, etc) again. It would be hard to ever get a captain's license again and even it the person could somehow get their license back, no maritime company would hire the person.

LOL,
I wasn’t suggesting the ship turn where it isn’t allowed to.

I was suggesting you go surf the inside of where the ship will/does turn.



Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: yugi on February 26, 2017, 07:35:23 PM
Yes, as I said, it only has past and present wind conditions.

The present wind is in the circle and if you scroll down, you can get the wind speed and direction for the past week, month, or year.

Wouldn't it be more useful to know what the wind will be doing in the future so that you can decide when is the best time to go?

You must have something blocking it because it changes about every 20 second or there of time wise for me.

As for knowing about the future wind conditions. Sometimes the weather person gets the wind wrong. Like when he/she says it will be coming from the southeast when in actuality it is coming from the southeast.

Also, sometimes the weather person will forecast the wind speed from 5-10 mph, but there are times the wind speed is blowing from 12-17 mph with wind gusts to 20 mph. Since I live 90 miles from Galveston, I can check on my computer to see what the wind speed is at that moment when I normally leave for Galveston at 3:00 AM in the early morning. If the wind is blowing way too high, I don't waste the gas money and also the time to go down there and come back to my home.

Here's past (report tab), current and forecast for ya'all

https://www.windfinder.com/weatherforecast/crystal-beach_bolivar-peninsula
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 26, 2017, 07:57:48 PM
Here's past (report tab), current and forecast for ya'all

https://www.windfinder.com/weatherforecast/crystal-beach_bolivar-peninsula

Thanks. I didn't know about this website. I'll add it to my favorites/bookmarks. I'll also check it out in more detail and see if it will forecast other places I go to on the upper Texas coast.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: yugi on February 26, 2017, 07:59:43 PM
^ click on "maps" then choose the "spots" tab
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 26, 2017, 08:16:50 PM
@yugi

Try this one for wind speed and direction. This one is an old favorite of mine and it updates every 15 seconds (or less).

https://www.wunderground.com/swf/Rapid_Fire.swf?station=KTXBOLIV2
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Badger on February 27, 2017, 03:28:12 AM
NW, I just noticed, your site has an hourly wind forecast. There you will find everything you need to plan ahead.

https://www.wunderground.com/q/zmw:77650.1.99999

Yugi's windsurf site is a good one to have in your weather folder as well.

You don't have to believe a forecast 100%. Just use it as a tool to make your own forecast.



Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 27, 2017, 04:06:05 AM
@Badger

Off Topic:

When I was saltwater fishing from my sot (sit on top) kayak, wind direction and wind speed was very important for me. With the Galveston Bay Complex being so shallow, if the wind direction came from the southeast, we'd have green colored water conditions. That is excellent for fishing.

If the wind direction came from the south, fishing was good, but not excellent because the green water color would have a tinge of brown color to it.

If the wind direction came from the southwest, one might as well stay home because the water color was muddy brown from all of the brown colored sand in suspension. One's chances of catching redfish, speckled trout, sand trout or flounder would be would be just about "zero" since all of these fish are sight feeders.

Basically if the wind direction changed from the southeast to southeast with a wind speed of 10 mph or more, the water would go from green color to muddy brown color in 30 minutes of time.

Old habits die hard. And I've learned not to put 100% of my faith into any weatherman/woman's forecast.  ;) This is why I have numerous weather linked sites in my Favorites and I can check them any time and see what the wind is doing in real time (in seconds) which beats an hourly time as well as a long range forecast which often changes.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Badger on February 27, 2017, 04:15:01 AM

Have it your way. I tried.   :)
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: yugi on February 27, 2017, 04:29:04 AM
...
Basically if the wind direction changed from the southeast to southeast ...
...

Like I said above. That's just the worst! I hate it when that happens.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 27, 2017, 07:05:34 AM
...
Basically if the wind direction changed from the southeast to southeast ...
...

Like I said above. That's just the worst! I hate it when that happens.

Typed too fast earlier this morning when I wasn't fully awake yet. I need that first cup of coffee in the morning. I wish there was a way to modify some of these messages when an error is found "later", but after a certain period of time, that ability is lost.

That should have read "changed from southeast to southwest". Just one letter off (from E to W).  ;)
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: yugi on February 27, 2017, 07:43:25 AM
Feel free to write SE or SW etc like any seasoned maritime officer.


Have it your way. I tried.   :)

 :o
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: mrbig on February 27, 2017, 09:07:01 AM
Predict wind, windy ty, wind guru, wind finder are all useful forecasting tools. The local wunderground stations are awesome for real world data. Have fun!
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Wetstuff on February 27, 2017, 11:51:54 AM
Night Wing... You probably saw this one from '09, but these guys didn't need a boat. Looks like a parking lot.  ..but how do you get back - Uber? 

Rather than the direct wake, both the videos I linked here use the backwash (?) or rebound when the wave hits the riprap.   

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wrC0jOwX2ck&spfreload=5


Jim
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 27, 2017, 01:12:36 PM
@Wetstuff

Yes, I've seen that video. When I first saw it, I thought those surfers needed just a little wider board for those mushy tanker waves. I thought to myself my 8'11"x31" Hammer with a 4 fin (quad) setup would handle those mushy waves very well.

But enough of the good stuff. How about some not so good stuff? Below is a video showing "how NOT to tanker surf".  ;)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JHcKpmBTHGE
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Badger on February 27, 2017, 02:47:35 PM


Have it your way. I tried.   :)

 :o

By that I meant that I tried to show to NW how a wind forecast might be useful.

Apparently he didn't see any value in it which is his option.

I was heading off to work this morning and wrote too fast.

.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: yugi on February 27, 2017, 03:15:55 PM
^ I had understood that.

My surprise was at an ex-ship captain not exhibiting keen interest in wind forecasts.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Badger on February 27, 2017, 04:21:19 PM
^  Ah, I see. Good point.  8)

.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 27, 2017, 04:54:09 PM
My surprise was at an ex-ship captain not exhibiting keen interest in wind forecasts.

A wind forecast is just that. A forecast. Nothing more. It's not infallible. I ran into the wrong wind forecast for wind direction and wind speed many, many times so when I got those wind forecasts from the company office down at the docks, I took them with "a grain of salt".

Which means with a heavy weather front coming in and if the wind forecasts panned out, fine. But if those wind forecasts didn't, I was always prepared with a Plan B and lots of times, depending on how bad the wind and water conditions "might" get, I even had a Plan C.

Like I've said before and you already know from my previous comments in other topics which I know you've read, "I don't follow conventional wisdom".
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Badger on February 27, 2017, 08:50:45 PM

A wind forecast is just that. A forecast.Nothing more. It's not infallible.

Not true. Forecasts are never wrong, no matter how far into the future they predict. It's a proven fact.

I ran into the wrong wind forecast for wind direction and wind speed many, many times so when I got those wind forecasts from the company office down at the docks, I took them with "a grain of salt".

Someone must have been playing a joke on you.

Which means with a heavy weather front coming in and if the wind forecasts panned out, fine. But if those wind forecasts didn't, I was always prepared with a Plan B and lots of times, depending on how bad the wind and water conditions "might" get, I even had a Plan C.

You should always stay with plan A and never divert from it. Having more than one plan causes confusion.

Like I've said before and you already know from my previous comments in other topics which I know you've read, "I don't follow conventional wisdom".

To reject conventional wisdom is to invite chaos and anarchy.


 ;)

.


Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: yugi on February 28, 2017, 12:17:04 AM
Question for night wing, how far from the shoreline are these shipping lanes? Do you need a boat to get to them or can you paddle from shore? I look forward to your progress there.

Since I'm familiar with the Galveston Ship Channel, the ship channel is quite a few miles wide. At it's narrowest point, between Galveston Island and the Bolivar Peninsula, it is 1.5 miles wide. You can read more about it at the link below and once on the page, there is a map which you can click on to enlarge the map to give you a better view to see what I'm talking about.

https://tshaonline.org/handbook/online/articles/hcg02

On the Bolivar Peninsula, at the ferry landing, there is old abandoned Fort Travis. One would have to take the "free" ferry ride over, from Galveston to the Bolivar Peninsula and once on the Peninsula, travel to 17th street and turn right. This street will take you down to the beach where the North Jetty is located. Turn left on the beach to Fort Travis, park your vehicle and then paddle the 1.5 miles back to the Galveston Island, wait for an outbound tanker and surf it's wave.

Then if you have the tanker info for inbound tanker traffic, catch a tanker's wave inbound and sup surf back to Fort Travis. This way a boat is not needed. Bottom line, it's doable.

When you say The Galveston Ship Channel, are you referring to the shipping lane from the Gulf to the Port of Houston?
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Badger on February 28, 2017, 04:48:31 AM
An old C-4 Waterman video with Todd Bradly. They were there in 2010.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQ8vf6RkftU


Port Aransas also has a tanker wave.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MkkCP7N96t8
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on February 28, 2017, 11:07:20 AM
When you say The Galveston Ship Channel, are you referring to the shipping lane from the Gulf to the Port of Houston?

No. What I'm referring to is the entrance between the North and South jetties and it ends between the distance from Galveston Island over to the Bolivar Peninsula. This is what is locally known as the Galveston Ship Channel.

Instead of me typing a manuscript for the Houston Ship Channel, the link below gives a better synopsis of it.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Houston_Ship_Channel

And if you want to see how narrow the Houston Ship Channel is then have a look at a streaming video of it taken from atop the San Jacinto Monument.
BTW, the camera lens needs to be cleaned and if the wind is blowing harder at the top of the monument than at the bottom, which is the norm, then the camera might be a little "jumpy".

http://www.earthcam.com/usa/texas/laporte/?cam=sanjacinto
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: wrybread on March 20, 2017, 09:13:53 AM
"Sup surfing a tanker wave near Galveston is the equivalent of "a poor man's downwind" since we don't have downwind wave and wind conditions. Once a wave is caught, there shouldn't very much paddling necessary if any."

For whatever it's worth, I'm in Northern California and can do all the downwinds I want, but that tanker surfing looks super fun! I'd say nothing poor about it!
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on March 20, 2017, 10:29:41 AM
"Sup surfing a tanker wave near Galveston is the equivalent of "a poor man's downwind" since we don't have downwind wave and wind conditions. Once a wave is caught, there shouldn't very much paddling necessary if any."

For whatever it's worth, I'm in Northern California and can do all the downwinds I want, but that tanker surfing looks super fun! I'd say nothing poor about it!

The "poor man's downwind" was meant as "tongue in cheek" if you get my drift. Most of the downwind boards I've seen people using are usually between 14'-17' long. And downwind sup boards are usually more expensive than shorter all around sup boards. The one person I've seen doing tanker surfing here where I sup and I actually talked with for about 15 minutes, he was using a regular surf board that was 11" long.

As for me, I was really looking forward to trying out my "Plan B" (in the video below which was filmed at the ship channel at Port Aransas) tanker surfing this Spring in the Galveston Ship Channel and I wanted to purchase another board to do it with (a custom 10'6" length one which I would also use for flat water leisurely cruising), but I found out March 8th I have a torn (three-quarters of the way through) rotator cuff in my right shoulder which will be operated (and repaired) on March 29th.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6bskUBzZu8

This was an unexpected expense I didn't plan on. Also, I hear a repaired rotator takes a long time to heal. To sum up, my plans for tanker surfing this Spring got upended by "Murphy's Law" and it may also affect my plans for this Summer's supping with my 8'11" Hammer.  :(

If things pan out with my right shoulder, I'm hoping to try tanker surfing this upcoming Fall and if I don't have my new board by then, my short Hammer will be the one I will use for "Plan B".

Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: surfcowboy on March 20, 2017, 11:10:26 PM
Man, sad to hear about that. I was hoping you'd have this all dialed for me by the time I came down for my next visit. :)

Get well man and do the PT, you'll be back in no time.
Title: Re: Sup Surfing Tanker Waves In the Galveston Ship Channel (Texas)
Post by: Night Wing on March 21, 2017, 05:25:43 AM
We've had a warm winter where I live. With the start of Spring yesterday, the air temperature reached 85 degrees F. What is really chapping me is the water temperatures where I live for fresh and salt water. It is warm enough for me to go supping now wearing a long sleeve shirt and jeans.

The water temperature this morning at Lake Conroe is 66 degrees F and that water temperature is my minimum personal water comfort zone. The water temperature at the private lake in our subdivision is at 71 degrees F this morning. Down on the upper Texas coast, the water temperature for the North Jetty at the entrance to Galveston Bay is at 70 degrees this morning.

I've got my Hammer sup and I can't use it because of my right shoulder. All I can do is watch the prone and sup surfers on their boards on the webcam down at Galveston Island surfing the small waves at the 43rd Street Jetty. It is frustrating for me to say the least. Right now, I feel like "I'm a boat in dry dock waiting on repairs to my hull".