After making headlines at The Wedge in 2012, Billabong charger Spencer Pirdy started 2013 by tackling some bombs in Nor Cal. We caught up with the Newport Beach local to see how he pulled it.
Describe the vibe and conditions at Mavs during the session?
SP: Well, your dealing with gigantic fast moving masses of water that can end you whenever they want, so for the most part everyone has their guard up. In my case, I’m pretty nervous because I’m a rookie out there, but at the same time everyone is very welcoming and talkative. That’s part of what I love so much about big wave surfing is the camaraderie and stoke that everyone shares through these sessions. We all want to catch big waves, but the overriding goal is to always make it back to the beach at the end of the day.
Its been a minute in between big swells this winter, how do you stay prepped for those massive paddle sessions?
SP: My brother Travis is a personal trainer, runs South Swell Athletics and he really knows how to whip me and my friends into shape. We do crossfit style workouts but very rarely use weight, because we are surfers first and foremost. I also try to run and swim a few times a week, do some paddles, stretch and eat as healthy as I can. The best training is being present for these sessions and getting more experience under my belt even if I’m not catching waves. Just being out there and feeling the raw power firsthand is great preparation.
OB has been a standout spot this season. How was it out there?
SP: That first trip around New Years was my first time out there and to be honest I was completely blown away. It’s like Puerto Escondido but with freezing water, sharks and no harbor to paddle out through when it’s macking. I have so much respect for the locals in SF and at the surrounding towns who surf out there all winter long. It is undoubtedly one of the most challenging places I have ever surfed and you can get the best wave of your life if you’re in the right spot and survive the paddle out/ beatings. This past weekend was amazing too, but we stayed around Mavericks the whole time. Just look at what happened to Snips for evidence of how heavy it is out there.
Any random happs in San Francisco during that detour?
SP: We got to enjoy some great food spots in the city as well as a bit of sight seeing. New Years Eve was great under the Golden Gate Bridge and hanging with the Zoller brothers, Daniel Shea and Jared Cassidy. I am in love with that city plain and simple. Everything from the food joints and the people to the waves and the weather, there’s always something going on in that city.
What’s you’re essential gear and clothes that you bring along on these classic Ca road trips?
SP: I wear a lot of Billabong’s fleece shirts and jackets up there to keep nice and cozy. All of their jackets are optimal for whatever weather conditions you might run into even though we lucked out and got gorgeous weather and great surf. As far as suits I would recommend a nice 4 mil SGX with a hood and some 4 mil booties, that’ll keep you perfectly heated.
Psyched on the cruisey tunes in the edit. What’s playing in your car at the moment to get you pumped for those bombs?
SP: Yeah, Daniel Shea is the mastermind behind the edit and music and I love that he threw in Devo. To be honest I am not much of a fan of today’s music. I love bands like the Clash, the Rolling Stones and love 70’s and 80’s music. I know it sounds cheesy but I like music that makes me feel good, especially before a big wave session. I want to be in the right frame of mind and a lot of that has to do with me having a smile on my face and good vibes running through my veins.
Any more travels on your radar in 2013?
SP: I’m very busy with school and work right now, but I want to try to make it back up for a few more sessions in SF before the winters done. This summer I definitely want to head back to Puerto Escondido. If I had it my way I’d love to spend the winters in San Fran and the summers in Puerto Escondido….one can only dream!
Post Wedge Shaka. Photo: Parkin