Left Point Break
It was a day when I should not have surfed. I don't know if it's mental or whether it's karma, but for some reason my good sessions are always followed by a bad one. Today was no exception. Perhaps it's that I tend to give everything I've got when I have a good session. Then, the next time I get in the water (and that's usually the following day), I'm tired or disappointed by waves that aren't doing what they did the previous day. Yesterday's session at Malibu was, again, great. Today's session at LPB, which is what this break was dubbed by Whiff, wasn't bad really. It just wasn't great. I was tired from having surfed all week and wanted to take the day off. However, I'd made plans to surf with a couple of other black women. I mean, really, how often are three black women going to be in the water at one time? I can't say I would have been disappointed if our plans had gone awry. I wasn't feelin' it today. But I went. I'm glad I did.
We met up at Malibu. The thing we needed was a break that could accommodate those on longboards and those on shortboards since one of our party was a shortboarder. It was she who chose LPB. Never having surfed there before (and having witnessed the debate that ensued when its name was posted on another blog), I was anxious to check the place out. When we got there, it was so foggy that you could barely see the water. Based on the reports we got from guys coming up the stairs, we suited up and got in. The swell may not have done much for breaks further south; it was doing a few things here. I caught a few waves, waves that were way over my head. That still unnerves me to a certain extent. I don't mind them when I'm at my home break or at a break where I feel comfortable. I do mind them at a new place. So today was one of those days when you try to keep your fear in check. I can't say I was successful at that. But you know what? I wasn't freaked out by the height of the waves really. I'm not that tall so waves are often over my head. I'm not even sure I can articulate what scared me today. Hmmm, I'll see if I can put those feelings into something comprehensible. At the breaks in L.A., you're always reminded that you're in an urban environment. Civilization is never far away. When you're sitting on your board waiting for a wave, all you need to do is turn your head to the left or the right and you're reminded that the city isn't far away. You see hills with houses on them. You see parking lots with people and cars. You see and hear planes. When I was sitting out there at LBP today, I felt like I was practically surrounded by water, like I was actually in the middle of the ocean. It seemed like I could see the waves rolling in from miles away. This is usually not the case at the other L.A. County breaks. At LPB, you don't hear city sounds at all. You don't see anything except ocean and hills. I guess what I'm trying to say is that this place is way off the beaten path and isolated. Hell, I was born and raised in this concrete jungle of a city. I freely admit that nature, for the most part, is something foreign to me. So when I'm overwhelmed by the immensity of nature, I get scared. (I used to hike quite a bit when I was in my 20's. On one hike up Temescal Canyon, I saw some large brown animals with four legs each and took off running for me life, thinking I'd seen lions. After a few seconds I stopped running because I was laughing so hard. My mind finally told my body that what I'd seen were deer. Well, hell, I'd never seen a deer outside of a zoo before so the sight of them in their natural environment immediately filled me with fear; I suppose it never occurred to me that animals actually lived in the open spaces within our county borders.) Suffice it to say, I think I felt like I was completely out of my element, thus I panicked. I'm over it now and I must admit that this place is impressive. Had I not been so tired, I might not have obsessed about the surroundings. Did any of that make sense? Anyway, my session wasn't horrible. I caught a few waves with size. I also got worked for a few minutes after my first wave. I caught a good left and took it most of the way in. When I turned to paddle back out, I was barely moving. That's when I realized a long kelp tree was tangled in my leash. While I was trying to get that thing off, I kept getting pounded by incoming waves. It seemed to take forever to get the kelp off my leash. About 30 minutes later, long after I'd returned to the lineup, a guy paddled up to me and told me he saw me trying to deal with that, saying, "You got worked pretty good. But you're right back out here. Way to take a beating." Uh, okay. I also felt like I had the wrong board for the conditions. Thinking we'd be surfing at Malibu, I brought the Tyler with me. Once I got out in the water at LPB, when I'd go to paddle for a wave, a little voice would yell, "Too much board! Too much board!!" Then I'd hesitate or stop altogether. I've got to start taking two boards with me from now on. Nevertheless, the crowd was cool. I think there were only three of us out there on longboards. We had no problems with the guys on shortboards. We all took turns going for stuff. I like this place. And, no, I will never utter its name on this blog. That's a promise.