13 April 2005

I'm Still Not Having Any Fun!

I don't know why I even bothered today. I was already in the wrong frame of mind. Yesterday's session, and the recent conditions, have left me in need of a serious attitude adjustment. But I had to try to surf today. My surfing partner in crime and I had decided today was the day we'd check out a break up the coast. The surf reports this morning all said the waves were small, so I opted for the 9'6", thinking it would be my best bet for catching the tiny stuff we've been looking at lately. We headed north and managed to overshoot our destination. We ended up at Leo Carillo. Flat! We backtracked to the beach we were looking for. Gale-force winds and waves breaking onshore! We headed to Malibu. There were a lot of people there . . . sitting in the middle of a lake. We drove by Sunset. I didn't even see anything worth suiting up for, yet there were people out there. We sped past Topanga. The parking lot and shoulder in front of it were empty. 'Nuff said? Finally, she said, "Let's go to El Porto." I was already not feeling this surf day, but off we went. I showed her the Chevron station where El Porto starts and directed her to the parking lots at 26th Street since that's where people on longboards usually surf. We watched for awhile. I did not like what I saw. I should have followed my instinct. The thing about El Porto is the size of the wave is deceiving from the parking lots. You don't really know what you're up against until you're standing at the water's edge. I would have been happy to turn around and go home. But we didn't. We decided to paddle out. What a mistake that was!!! The waves weren't all that big, but they were constant. The word "lull" disappeared from the dictionary during the time that I was at the beach. There were no lulls. I knew I was going to be in trouble; my board was much too big for those conditions. We spent a good five to ten minutes trying to paddle out. Finally, she just squeaked over a set wave. I did not. Talk about taking a beating. I was already tired from fighting those waves as it was. Then that thing slammed me. To my chagrin, there was another set wave right behind it and I got slammed once more. I then decided I could either go ahead and drown (because I was too stupid or too stubborn to give in) or work my way back to shore. Since I'm here typing, you know what I did. The scary thing was that people weren't catching waves at all. The conditions were horrible. Guys were coming in as soon as they could find something to ride in. My friend caught one wave and I could tell she was sitting out there wondering what to do. She told me later she was terrified. I'd already given up so I sat on the shore keeping my eyes on her. The conditions were such that I was worried she'd take off on something and never come back up. She got out after about 20 minutes, saying had she not gotten over the set wave during the paddle out, she wouldn't have made it either. As I was watching her out there, a guy on a Cooperfish longboard suited up right next to me. He seemed to have only a little trouble paddling out. I was impressed. I was even more impressed by the fact that he didn't have a leash. (The guy who shapes those boards does not believe in leashes.) Anyway, we're back at the car changing and no more than 10 minutes later the Copperfish guy walks by, saying he had to switch boards. He kept losing his board (which proves my point about having too much board for those conditions.) Earlier, as we were walking away from the water, a guy with an egg was getting in. I swear to you, he too was out of the water within 10 minutes. It was just plain ugly out there. Knowing that, I still feel like I'm in a surfing slump. My friend said it's not me, it's the conditions we're dealing with. I still feel like there's a dark cloud hanging over me. Did I mention the glass door to our toaster oven literally exploded last night? I called the company today, thinking they'd want to know about a potential hazard. What was the reply? Something to the effect of, We'll it only has a one year warranty and you'll have to buy a new one. Fine. I'm sure Consumer Reports will appreciate hearing about the defect and learning of the company's reply. Of course, I didn't tell them that. I never telegraph my punches. The end.


At 4/13/05, 5:51 PM, Anonymous Ria said...

Okay, I don't feel so bad anymore after reading your post. I'm glad you decided to go home -- I've been in that situation before and was always glad I decided to head back to shore b/c sure enough twenty minutes later Bernie would come out of the water saying he had a shitty time. I was jonesing to surf today but b/c of work, dog, and life I couldn't and was sulking b/c the winds were down and it was warm out. And after reading your post, I feel a lot better. I read the forecast on El Porto and it said conditions should be getting better in the next few days. See you out there!

At 4/13/05, 6:14 PM, Blogger Whiffleboy said...

C'mon, Sister, pull it together! One 1/2 decent session and you'll be fine. Break that Channel Islands out and hit El Porto up again. Don't know much about the 26th Street area but unless waves are barely hitting 1ft I'm sure you'll find something surfable around the Chevron Station.

It's great training for you to jostle around in peaky conditions like that.

Now, back to the beach with ya!

At 4/14/05, 10:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

i thought it was just me! i had such a bad session the other day that i left my crappy surfboard by the dumpster at the beach because i decided it had burned me one too many times.

sorry to hear you are bummed about surf lately too, i'm sure it will turn around soon!


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