01 March 2005

Sunset, Fickle Kooky Sunset

I went out today even though I'd had only two hours of sleep. I wouldn't teach in that condition, but I sure as hell surfed in that condition. You know, when you're sleep deprived you feel like shit. My problem, too, is that I'm a morning person. So even if I haven't had enough sleep, there's no way I can make up for it in the a.m. Once I'm up, I'm up. There's no going back to bed. So, I went surfing.

I went to my local break. As usual, the swell brought big closeouts. Now, I have no understanding of this swell direction stuff. I have no idea how the direction of the swell impacts the places where I surf. I knew a swell was here, but I went to my break anyway. Once I get there and see what's going on, then I start to figure things out. One thing I know for sure: if it's closed out at my break, there are probably waves at Sunset. So I headed up to Sunset. There weren't many people there when I got in. However, a friend who was getting out told me, "Be careful. There are a lot of kooks out there." And that's the thing that I hate and everyone else hates about Sunset. (Yes, Whiffleboy, I saw your post and the attached comments.) Sunset confuses me; I never quite know what to do about the kook factor. I'm normally a cautious and generous surfer. I know my big log can catch a lot of waves and I have no problem letting waves go so that others (i.e., shortboarders) can catch something too. I'll even point to a guy on a shortboard as a wave approaches. That's my way of letting him know that's his wave if he wants it. It's the beginning surfers who throw me off; they don't know enough to pay attention to the people around them. I got in the water today mindful of what my friend had said. As a result, I spent too much time watching and waiting. If I think a beginner is going for a wave, I don't want that wave. And since they all seemed to be going for the waves, I did a lot of sitting when I first got in. (I was also tired and feeling sorry for myself.) When I was a beginner, I did not want to share waves with anyone. My favorite saying was, "Watch out! I can't steer this thing!" That's my fear with the beginners out there. I don't want any of them to run into me. So, I just sat there. Finally, I started catching waves. I moved to the spot where I feel most comfortable (somewhere between the point and Dos Baños—probably even with the ramp) and that's where things started to happen. It was an okay session. I was too tired to actually enjoy it. I know that at some point I caught a wave, walked forward a few steps, walked back a few steps, and then pushed the tail down and turned. That kind of ride would normally make me smile from ear to ear. Not today. Smiling would have taken too much energy.

You know, I heard tell some time back that there are lefts at Sunset. The first time someone mentioned a left, I didn't really pay much attention. But my friend today said something about left that kept popping up. Hmmmm. I'm a goofy foot. I can appreciate a left, especially at a point break known for its right. As soon as I paddled out, a wave loomed. I think I even said out loud, "Is that a left?" It was. And I got my first left at Sunset. This was a historic event. I don't remember having seen a left at Sunset before. Granted, I've been to Sunset maybe 10 times so it's not like I know Sunset all that well. Today's waves were decent. It was worth the drive up there since I couldn't surf at my break. The waves didn't have much juice so getting into them took some work. I just wanted to surf hard enough to ensure I have a good night's sleep tonight.


At 3/1/05, 7:39 PM, Blogger Whiffleboy said...

I'm guessing you're asleep by now but I can attest to the allusive lefts that sometimes mystically appear at Sunset. They are usually [and I'm using that term liberally] between the steps and the potties. I've surfed them exclusively for a whole session once and I really couldn't tell ya what conditions brought them on. My guess is that they come and go as the sand shifts.

Not a good left, mind you, but a left. And any left is good to me. That made no sense whatsoever.


At 3/2/05, 9:16 AM, Blogger Whiffleboy said...

Don't know if you noticed this or not but out blogs were mentioned and quoted in an article in the Santa Cruz Sentinel:

Read it hereWhiff


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