03 November 2005

Not Today

The plan, as of last week, was to surf this week on Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. Today, I let the plan fall through. It was just as well. When I took a spin on my bike this morning, El Porto was essentially flat. And if El Porto's flat, there's not much hope for any other locations within a 15 mile radius.

Yesterday's session was nothing exciting. Again, I was happy to get in a session. I know I said I'd stay on the funboard. But, hey, the funboard is going to be worthless when it's flat. I didn't take the Slick either. In conditions like those we've seen over the past few days, it's time to call out the big gun. In fact, last week's leashless session was so good for my confidence that I opted to go leashless with the Tyler yesterday. That, frankly, was a good call. My skills are such that I can keep the board with me in the little stuff. I swam a couple of times only because I allowed myself to lose the board. At some point, half of the break cleared out, leaving me quite a bit of space to myself. So I took the opportunity to work on cross-stepping even though the waves weren't worthy. You can't stay perched on the nose if the wave doesn't have any juice. On a couple of occasions, I cross-stepped up to the tip, stood there, and then fell off as the wave melted away and brought the board to an abrupt halt. There was no one anywhere near me on those occasions and I allowed myself to lose the board. On the waves I did catch and ride to completion, I never even came close to losing the board.

What I'm finding interesting of late is how many people are commenting about the fact that one doesn't see many black women surfing. Last week at the Breakwater, I took a wave all the way in and passed someone about to paddle out. (Yes, when I take a wave all the way in, I'm usually still surfing in spots where people are standing.) I'm on this wave and I pass a guy who yells, "What's your motivation?" Now, for some reason, I knew what he was asking me. I somehow understood that he wanted to know what got this sister girl on a surfboard. He and I talked for awhile. I then paddled back to CYT, told her of the guy's question, and she thought it was the dumbest question in the world. I think she found it somewhat insulting. I didn't. I mean it's not like you see a black woman on a surfboard every day. Okay, I got out of the water yesterday and was heading back to the parking lot, log perched on top of my head (cos that damn thing is heavy and will probably cause me some kind of rare arm length discrepancy disorder if I keep carrying it under my arm). An older guy on a bike looks at me and says, "Wow! We don't see many sisters out here surfing!" I then pointed out that he was a mere few hundred feet from a Nissan mini-billboard that showed a sister surfing!!! (That advertisement is on the Venice boardwalk over by the basketball courts.) I've heard other comments too. None of them were negative. I guess there aren't many of us out there. Still, I don't want to talk about it every time I go surfing. I'm a surfer who happens to be black and female. I don't want to discuss the black/female part every time I get in the water. Frankly, I don't find that part of me, as it relates to surfing, all that interesting.


At 11/4/05, 9:21 AM, Blogger gracefullee said...

I agree with CYT. I feel like that guy asked a dumb question, too.

At 11/4/05, 10:54 AM, Blogger Drewcifer said...

Hey Surfsister, that's something I wouldn't have ever said to anyone, let alone thought it. Being from Florida and starting there in 1975 and leaving in 2000 I had about 3 friends who were non-white surfing. I find it more refreshing in So. Cal that so many different types of people from different backgrounds love what I love! If people had travelled a little more {like the Caribbean (sp??)} or even in Latin/Central America they'd realize that there are diverse groups surfing. The most important piece is that you're out there having a blast! The fact that more women are in the water and doing it well is what gets me the most stoked! I am going to take my wife out next summer (she grew up bodyboarding) and when my kids get older they'll be belly riding someday). I find it interesting (inappropriate) that anyone would mention it to you at all but I do enjoy your positive outlook on it all....


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