24 June 2005

Still Feelin' It

I had another good session at my home break today. I'm still feelin' whatever "it" is. The crowd in the water wasn't too bad, but it's obvious school is out. There are simply too many people at the beach. It's the time of year when they start blackballing the surfers. I hate that. Why don't they blackball the waders? We weren't blackballed today. I know it's coming soon enough.

When I paddled out today, I went a little north of our crew's normal spot. I hit what some people call "Patty's Peak". It's named after a woman who's been surfing for over 30 years. I'm not sure why this spot was named after her. I'm going to assume it's because she was always there catching waves when everyone was coming up empty. Anyway, I got in over there since it was relatively empty. As usual, within 20 minutes I was surrounded by people I didn't know. So I paddled over to where our crew normally surfs. Two of our people were there. They seemed to be having trouble finding a rhythm. I didn't want their karma to rub off on me, so I moved. However, I did something today I've never done before. I actually paddled over to surf with my sensei (Greg) and his buddy (Niles). Usually, I stay away from them, telling myself that they're too good for the likes of me and that I'll just get in the way. I didn't feel that way today. They were the only other people in the water riding logs and they seemed to be where the waves were. It's time now to start asking the better surfers to school me. I didn't get schooled much today though. By the time I got out of the water, they told me I'd ridden the wave of the day. (See what happens when you're feelin' it?) Somehow, a perfect left came through. I jumped all over it. I didn't think much of it—as I'd had better rides yesterday—but they approved. I also heard from two other people that yesterday I was surfing better than they'd ever seen me surf. Again, I have to ask: why can't I always surf like that?

I think there are several reasons for my recent improvements. Having spent so much time surfing point breaks made me finally learn to find trim, especially going backside. As a result, surfing frontside is now incredibly easy. Although I'm still confused by the dynamics at work in the lineups at Malibu, I understand that wave. It took awhile, but now I get it. The wave at Sunset became my new best friend for the last few weeks; it's not even close to being a good substitute for the kind of wave you find in Malibu and, truthfully, our shitty little beach break is better than Sunset since it (our break) at least has some juice behind its waves. I've learned that I can easily find my rhythm when left alone (or when in a situation where I can have a wave to myself). However, when faced with a crowd, I'm unable to focus. I know that will change. But this is why Malibu is giving me such a fit. Speaking of Malibu, I read this article with interest and was particularly surprised by the writer's perspective at the end.


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