09 July 2005

What Went Wrong/Right

I'm too tired to write a post about today's adventures in surfing competitions. I'm still awake because this is the first time I've had a moment's peace. The child is asleep. My husband is asleep. The dog is resting comfortably next to my chair. Now I've got a little time to unwind before I go to sleep.

What Went Wrong:
1. We arrived at 6 a.m. since no schedule was ever given. The poster said the contest would start at 6:30. Initially we were told the women's longboard heats would start at noon. Later we were told they'd start at 2:30.
2. I was stupid enough to think my husband would have the good sense to take my child home once we realized we had over an eight-hour wait ahead of us.
3. My three-year old melted down at least three times an hour as we approached and passed his usual nap time without him getting his nap (which is why I thought my husband should take him home and then come back later).
4. I spent most of the eight hour wait tending to my child (who was alternately hungry, sleepy, or wanting to use the bathroom), thus I was exhausted by the time it was my turn to surf.
5. The combination of sitting out in the sun for hours and trying to calm a tired, antsy child left me with a splitting headache that I took with me into the water.
6. By the time my heat began, the earlier "Victory at Sea" conditions had devolved into "The Perfect Storm" conditions.
7. I had the wrong board. The Slick, which is at least 10 pounds lighter than the Tyler, and I got tossed around . . . a lot.
8. Never having done a contest before and not understanding that I should have gone for every wave I could, I tried to wait for set waves and only got one wave.

What Went Right:
1. I tried to go for set waves and only got one wave, a good wave that I rode all the way into the beach. The conditions were horrible. Since I was being mommy for the hours before the contest, I didn't focus on the task at hand and never got around to asking anyone what I should do once I got out there. I paddled out with the group. I stayed with them before I finally realized they were all going right. I paddled north a little, knowing there was a left there. I got one, dropped in, took a good long ride, and ended it with a trip to the nose. I knew it was a good wave when I did it. But, it wasn't enough. Oh well. I was proud of that ride.
2. My kid rocks! This was a hard day for both of us, but we made the most of it. If he's the reason why I don't do as well as I should have in a contest, that's fine. He's at a stage in his life where he thinks the sun rises and falls on me and me alone. When he needed to potty, I took him. When he got tired and cranky, I cuddled with him. When he got sleepy, I told him to lie down, used my body to give him shade, and rubbed his back. (It didn't work.) The thing I'm proudest of is that he finally christened his wetsuit. He's too skinny to play in the water without a wetsuit. He and his dad played in the water today. My little future grom returned with a smile that cheered my soul. It was a long day in the sun. He and I both suffered, but still ended the evening with a book and laughter.

Three Words: Crash and Burn
3. Crusty and all of you other guys who read the blog, word started spreading at the contest that Laird Hamilton would make an appearance. Whatever. I'm neither a fan nor a detractor. I'm just not into Laird. When I exited the water after my heat finished, I ran into his wife and his child. Would you believe she and I stood there on the beach talking for a good five minutes? I don't know this woman. But, hey, she has a child and I have a child. We started talking about our kids and then just kept talking. So, guys, she is as gorgeous as she looks on TV and in print. She's also incredibly nice. I think seeing her would have made your day. There was enough eye candy out there to make me happy. You gotta love a nice, warm day and guys walking around in board shorts and nothing else.
4. Aside from the shitty schedule for the women's longboards, I thought the contest was run quite well. The vibe on the beach was basically positive. (I'll talk about the negative in a minute.)
5. I'd already decided to give my husband the contest t-shirt. When I checked in, they gave the contest t-shirt and another t-shirt. (That's his too.) What I really wanted was the contest poster. Well, the poster was in the goodie bag too.

Okay, let's now talk about these out of control parents. I knew they could be found in all of the other sports. I didn't expect to see them at a surf contest. In fact, I didn't see this. Someone told me about it. Apparently, a non-competitor strayed into our area near the end of my heat. As my group was getting out and the next heat was getting in, the father of two kids who were competing started yelling to this guy to get out. The guy eventually did and then the father really got in his face. Well, the guy apparently said he didn't understand or something to that effect and these kids' dad hauled off and slapped him. Okay, CYT said the dad slapped him. My response was, "He bitch slapped that guy in front of all these people? That's cold." Question: is a woman allowed to use the term "bitch slapped"? Anyway, the guy on the receiving end did not fight back. I just wonder why the dad felt the need to act like that. No harm, no foul on the part of the guy who'd been in the water. Okay, so he's an idiot, but there was no need to hit him. Someone else told me that this family was considered a problem on the contest circuit and that they were denied membership in a specific longboard club (whose name I won't mention). I'm glad I missed all of that commotion. That would have ruined the whole day for me. I don't like it when guys let their testosterone get the best of them (whether by accident or on purpose).

Of course, my husband was dealing with the sleepy, cranky child so he missed my heat. I was happy to hear him say that people told him the wave they saw me get—yes, that ONE wave—was a good one. He said several people came back and told him that. That's good enough for me. Will I surf another contest? It's hard to say. The one time I took my child on a plane (when he was one), I said I wouldn't do it again until he was at least 6. The same may go for surf contests. Now is not a good time in my child's life to be forced to stay at the beach all day. I probably wouldn't do one again until I knew my child could handle a marathon day at the ocean.


At 7/10/05, 9:59 PM, Blogger Whiffleboy said...

I, for one, can relate to all things napless children affected. In spite of all that...how'd you do? Do they rank surfers outside the top 3??

I couldn't imagine me in a contest of any kind. I couldn't do anything on the wave. Do they break it up by experience??? How does that work?

At 7/10/05, 10:41 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

Well, we all made the semis. I, with my one wave, got fifth in my heat. CYT, with her many waves, also got fifth in her heat. We both got eliminated. I didn't even check the sheet. Someone told me how I placed. I was dealing with a maniacal child by that point so I took her word for it and went home. They didn't break the contest up by experience, age, or anything else (for the women's longboarders). They did break up the shortboard kids by age. It was a good experience. I'd do it again and, obviously, I'd know what to do.

At 7/11/05, 7:56 AM, Blogger RuggerJay said...

Ugh - that story about the wacko dad made my skin crawl. I saw a dad and his kid, maybe 12, in a lineup one morning, and the dad was advising his kid to go ahead and shoot his board at any surfer who drops in on him, then went into some bullshit about how "you gotta be prepared to throw some punches if you want to get your wave". Unbelievable. I totally think you should "out" this surf dad - to me that's a subtle but no less heinous form of child abuse.

At 7/11/05, 8:20 AM, Blogger Surfsister said...

I have no idea who this guy was. I heard about the story from someone else. I didn't see it happen.

At 7/11/05, 11:09 AM, Blogger gracefullee said...

Yeesh. Soccer moms and surfer dads.

I'm sorry you had a long day at the beach, but I'm glad you were in the contest.

At 7/12/05, 1:31 PM, Blogger crustyripper said...

That reminds me of my first couple of “Family Beach Outings” to San Onofre when my daughter was 8-9 months old. Drive to San O – 40 minutes. Wait in line (can’t make the 6AM opening with Mom and baby!) - 1 hr. Set up Camp Family – 30 minutes. Dad hits the water for some waves (while mom keeps now crawling baby from eating sand) – 30 minutes. Mom hits the water for a few waves (while Dad tries to get baby to nap in hot tent out of the sun) – 30 minutes. Lunch (try to keep sand out of Gerbers and Mom’s boob) 1 hour. Watch baby melt down since she won’t nap and pack up Camp Family – 30 minutes. Drive home – 40 minutes. Total time gone: about 5 – 6 hours for 30 minutes of surf. We did it twice. Now we have two kids, Mom don’t surf, Dad surfs dawn patrol during the week. We have not had the whole family at the beach once this year and we’re 10 minutes away!


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