30 April 2005

My Heart Belongs to San O

Now that I've had time to contemplate yesterday's session, I realize that San O did me a favor. I had never been in conditions like that before. Ever. This was something new. And instead of trying to charge waves I didn't understand—waves I also feared—I listened to my instinct and watched. I was not necessarily in a negative space. I was in an unrealistic space, kicking myself for not having a wave count. Now, over 24 hours later, I get it. The wave count doesn't mean shit in the long run. Surfing isn't only about standing up on a board. It also involves learning to adapt to the conditions you're given. If you're in conditions you've never seen before, the only way to adapt is to watch and learn. I recognize now that this is what I did. The San O that greeted us yesterday was not the San O I was expecting. When San O gets big, it gets serious! That's when you have to get serious too.

I was talking to the manager of the Rip Curl store in Santa Monica tonight. He surfs at my home break and I told him I was mad at all of the shortboarders for not telling me that San O could get big like that. He said, "Oh yeah! You can drown out there." Yeah, that was a distinct possibility yesterday. When you've been surfing for decades, the conditions I saw yesterday won't necessarily spook you. But I haven't been surfing that long and what I saw yesterday was new to me. So I think I instinctively knew that these waves were something I didn't want to tangle with. The combination of adrenaline-sucking fear, constantly paddling to get past the outside waves, and jacked-up walls of water made me instinctively say "no" and shut myself down. That was probably the best thing for me to do.

Now, let's talk about that final wave I saw. In all honesty, I think the thing was at least 12 feet tall. It was monstrous. It was beautiful. If I were a religious person, I would swear I saw the face of God in that wave as the sun shone on it. It was an amazing sight. And it seemed like I watched it for minutes. That wave, believe it or not, changed me. I don't know that I can articulate what I mean. Still, I can feel that something is different. And so, my love for San O grows. I can't wait to go back.

29 April 2005

San O, Why Do You Hate Me So?

Look at this picture! That little thing in the circle is a surfer. Since when is San O supposed to look like El Porto? Frankly, I was not amused. I did not have fun. And I swear to you that when the biggest wave I've ever seen in my life (from the water) loomed on the horizon, I saw Laird Hamilton being towed into it. Or at least that's what was going through my head in what seemed to be a true moment of clarity.

And what is up with all of those people speeding? I mean, really! No wonder Puttzle started a blog devoted just to people who speed at San O. If you've never been to San O, you won't understand how truly dangerous these people are to everyone else in the lot. I saw people tearing through the lot at speeds that were frightening. Even more interesting is watching the surfers scream at them to slow it down. Good for you, Puttzle, for putting their asses on the Web. Perhaps that will shame them into driving like they have some sense.

San O kicked my ass yet again. I won't blame the place though. It started out as one of those days when you figuratively get up on the wrong side of the bed. Things weren't clicking for me today both in the water and out of the water. Frankly, I'm just glad to have made it out alive. I mentally shut down once I'd been out in the water awhile. I wouldn't paddle for anything, but all I wanted was to be out of the water. So I was stuck out there with me, myself, and a lot of negativity. My mind was playing tricks on me. It wasn't a good space to be in, especially in conditions that were somewhat challenging (although not really life-threatening). I spent the session paddling to get past the outside waves. I got really tired of that. Finally, as I mentioned above, a big, big set wave loomed. We'd already had about two set waves before that one and I'd barely made it past them. I could see I'd never get past this behemoth. That's when I snapped out of my funk because I sensed that this wave had the potential to do some damage. I realized it would break before it reached me. "Fine. Whatever. I'm through with this shit. I'm taking this thing in." I held onto my board for all it was worth and rode the whitewater in on my belly. I felt like I'd been shot out of a cannon! That wave must have packed a punch when it broke. I'm glad I had the presence of mind to make the only use I could make of it. There's no way I would have paddled for something like that. Don't worry, you'll see a picture of Laird towing into it on Surfline tomorrow.

28 April 2005

Let the Taper Begin

When I was a cyclist, I would start tapering during the days before a race. That meant I would train less and rest more. Well, I'm still training like a cyclist. Three of us are driving down to San O tomorrow in spite of today's rain. I'm tapering in preparation for what I hope to be a three-hour session. As a result, I only did one workout yesterday and did a short workout today. I want to feel good tomorrow. But with my luck, we'll drive down there and find blown out waves with no shape. The forecasts say the wind should die down today. As usual, I should be getting ready for today's lecture, but all I can think about is surfing. That's what happens on Thursdays. I just want to get it over with and leave. Thankfully, once I start class, I'm in the moment and I roll with it. Anyway, the last time we went to San O, we spent the early part of the week worrying about the weather before we finally said, "F@!k it! Let's just go down there anyway!" We had a phenomenal session. I don't expect to be this lucky this time. Still, I don't mind driving down there if only to get out of L.A. for a few hours.

27 April 2005

To Contest or Not to Contest? (Part Trois)

After all that . . . the damn contest was cancelled!

this is an audio post - click to play

The Allman Brothers Band - "Whipping Post"

26 April 2005

Not Epic, But Good Enough

I finally got back in the water. I was determined to surf somewhere today, especially since we're making another run to San O on Friday. I always have this fear that if I stay out of the water too long, I'll forget everything. It's an honest to god fear of mine. It makes no sense, I know.

My original destination was Malibu. I'd seen on Pacific Waverider that the 'Bu was "fair" this morning. That was a better score than any other local break got. I stopped at my break on the way to Malibu. It was lightly closed out. I say lightly because it didn't look like you'd break your neck going for anything. Still, I didn't see many shoulders either. I wasn't in the mood for that today. I haven't been too happy with my break of late. The energy there has been, shall we say, strange. So, I headed up to Malibu. I have but one thing to say: why did I bother? There were quite a few people there. The waves there looked pretty damn good to me. I didn't spend much time deciding what to do though. I really stayed long enough to watch a couple of waves. After seeing at least three people within five feet of one another share each wave, I got back in the car. Yes, the waves looked inviting. They really did. But once I saw the crowd, I was through. I decided to give Sunset a try just for the hell of it. As it turns out, it wasn't big so there were very few people there. To my surprise, the set waves had some shape and some size. It was definely worth a paddle out for someone who wanted some quiet time with the waves. As usual, I started out alone and then ended up surrounded by the three other people in the bay. One of my friends claims, as I've said before, that I actually do have a magnetic personality that draws people to me. Interesting. I actually got in because I thought I could have some time alone with myself. Silly me for thinking that! It was a decent session. I felt good, caught the first wave I paddled for, and had fun. The one interesting thing that happened was one of the guys out there was certain he'd seen a shark so he was warning the few of us who were in the bay. Well, the guy on the shortboard immediately got out, as did the woman who was still a newbie. I wasn't getting out. Period. I figured if I saw something suspicious, then I'd get out, but not before. About 20 minutes later, the dolphins put on a show for us. This is the second time in a week that I've felt like I was at SeaWorld. After seeing their antics, the guy who'd seen what he thought was a shark said maybe he'd seen a dolphin after all. I noticed the guy with the shortboard standing on PCH watching the water, so I signaled to him to come back in. Then I paddled away from my little group just to have some room to surf. I caught two more waves and went in.

Question of the day: Do black people surf?
Answer: Yes, we do!

24 April 2005

Is This What You Think I Look Like?

I have a much better tan than Farrah ever will.

I have no surfing to speak of. My husband worked both days this weekend so I did the mommy thing on Saturday and Sunday. What happened of note?
1) I turned my child on to the Allman Brothers. Now he keeps asking for "the silver dollar song" (which is also known as "Midnight Rider").
2) I took my boy to the beach to play. As we were leaving, he picked a flower—okay, it was really a flowering weed but he didn't know that—and gave it to me while looking up at me with those big, gorgeous eyes that said, "I love you."
3) I did not go to a surf shop. Now that the Slick is paid for, I'm going to be good for awhile . . . probably.
4) I didn't do any schoolwork.
5) I debated revealing a few more things about myself on the blog. There are some topics I want to address, but I fear they will give away my identity. (Yeah, like I'm that important! I know, I know. Still, those of you who know what I look like know that I'm easily recognized because of my stunning beauty. Okay, so it's not my stunning beauty. Nonetheless, I still have some reservations about saying too much about me.)

21 April 2005


To Contest or Not to Contest? (Part Deux)

All of you know me too well! Whiffleboy picked up on the fact that I'm my own best competition. I've always been one to push myself just for the hell of it. I walk the longboard because it's a challenge. Since I'm a person who bores easily, I look for things in life that challenge me. I gave up cycling for two reasons: I'd grown to hate it and I knew I could not progress any further without taking performance-enhancing drugs (thus, the challenging aspect of cycling was no longer there for me). The rest of you seemed to recognize that I truly love surfing for surfing. My problem, obviously, is the fact that I love a challenge. I see that contest as a challenge, but I also see it as a potential disaster. I did get a wake-up call when you guys mentioned that I'd only be out there for 15 to 20 minutes. What? Who can do anything in that amount of time, especially on a day when the surf is crap? I'm still undecided about all of this. I know very little about astrology and signs, but people have told me the fact that I'm a Gemini explains why I sometimes struggle with decisions—my two sides are at war. Whatever. I'll figure it all out. I appreciate the input you've all given me though. That's why I made the original post. I wanted to hear what everyone else thought about this.

The surf today was mushy and weak. It was nothing worth talking about. However, the dolphins were everywhere. I've never seen so many dolphins in one session. They jumped. They frolicked. They even came closer to inspect us. I think I missed at least three good waves while I watched them do their thing. I tell people who don't surf that it's these kinds of experiences that make surfing so different from other athletic activities. And if you're in a contest, you really don't have the time or the mindset to enjoy something like that.

Song I'm listening to as I type this blog entry: "I'm Your Captain/Closer to Home" by Grand Funk Railroad

20 April 2005

To Contest or Not to Contest?

No, I'm not so full of myself (yet) that I believe I'm ready for a surf contest. My dilemma, however, involves a contest which had only one woman competitor last year. So I'm thinking I'll do the contest this year, just to make it interesting (and because it's being put on by a group with which I'm loosely associated). My hesitation comes from, once again, having been a competitive cyclist. Cycling, like so many other sports, is much too serious for its own good. If you show up at a race without having trained hard, you will get your ass kicked and you will probably limp home with your tail between your legs. As a result, people who race bikes come to races raging. You have to go in with a certain mindset. You have to stay focused. You don't necessarily talk to your competitors (although I always did since the overly-intense stuff is not my style). I don't want to be that person anymore. As I've written in a previous post, I've seen how longboard competitions are. My take on them: Party on the Beach! My only hesitation is that I will expect too much of myself and take all of the fun out of simply being able to surf Leo Carillo with almost no one else in the water. In other words, I don't know what to do. I realize now that you don't have to be profecient at tricks to compete. When I went to that contest in Malibu, I was shocked—shocked, I tell you—to see that most of the people weren't doing anything more than riding the waves. "Hey, I thought this was a contest?" I guess I thought everyone out there would be doing noserides and the like. Alas, no. The contestants were just surfing. If I do this contest, will I be able to just enjoy myself and not worry about doing anything spectacular (other than my patented going-for-the-cheater-five-and-forgetting-to-walk-back faceplants)? Am I capable of separating my old fiercely competitive self from my new self? I don't know. I think I can. The hard thing is that the other woman is quite competitive. I don't know her well, but I always got the impression that she didn't like me just because I existed. So, in all truthfulness, she is the reason why I'm hesitant to do this thing. I want to have fun. But if she gives me attitude, I might forget that I'm there to have fun. What to do? What to do?

17 April 2005

That's More Like It!

I finally felt like my old self today. I went out yesterday. Notice I wrote nothing. Once again, I left the beach sulking, certain that I had somehow regressed and was now back to being happy paddling into and standing up in the whitewater. The day went completely downhill from there. You know, I don't talk much about "The Fury". That part of the blog actually relates to my job. But I've chosen not to say much about my work although it's become obvious that I teach. So, our beautiful state finally has a little more money in its coffers, thus freeing up money for schools to hire full-time teachers. I teach part-time, meaning I have nothing except an hourly wage (albeit a good hourly wage, but not good enough to pay the bills). My school announced openings for full-time positions in my discipline. I was encouraged to apply, even though I felt my chances of being hired with three semesters under my belt were slim to none. Still, I got my hopes up, thinking I wouldn't be encouraged to apply unless I had a chance, right? Wrong with a capital W! I thought I'd at least get a courtesy interview before they rejected me. Nope. Suffice it to say, I was irritated all day. I needed to surf today, but had no intention of bringing it up since I surfed yesterday morning. I thought since I got to do what I wanted yesterday morning, I should at least let my husband do what he wanted this morning. To my surprise, he told me to surf. I think he knew I needed it. We've also been discussing the slump over the last few days so I think he was being doubly supportive: he wanted me to work through the slump and he wanted me to work through my anger. Good man!!!

So, we get to the beach and all I see are closeouts. Part of me wanted to turn around and go home. But I got in. I expected the worst. Yesterday was better than the previous days, but I still felt off. My balance was all screwed up. I'd pop up and fall off within a split second. I just didn't feel good. I didn't feel like myself. Today was entirely different. As soon as I caught my first wave, I could tell things were back to normal. What's so funny is the conditions weren't all that good. Closeouts. Wind. All that good stuff. But I was dialed in today. I only remember one wave. That wave, in fact, brought up a question: Can you chase down a wave? I swear that's what I did. I've always admired surfers who can spin their longboards on a dime and catch a wave as it's underneath them. So I saw this wave and spun around as fast as I could. Well, the wave passed by me while I was paddling. But it was such a slow wave that I literally caught up to it and dropped in. All I remember is feeling my paddling get faster and faster. Then I was in it. Weird. I never thought you could run a wave down. Now I realize people probably do it all the time. That's the only wave I remember. But as we were about to drive away from the beach today, someone ran up to tell me how good I looked on a different wave. Apparently I took a steep drop on the first wave, rode it, and then dropped into another wave that formed in front of it. He said, "It was so cool to watch that." Watch what? Was I there? I'm glad somebody saw it. I felt great today. I felt strong. I haven't felt like that for days. And even though I'm still without a full-time job, benefits, retirement, or a future, I'm past worrying about it. I'll just keep trying. (But if this school rejects me when I apply the next time, I'm moving on.)

15 April 2005

I'm Over It . . . For Now

All it took was a day away from the beach, pep talks from friends, and memories of my days as a competitive cyclist. I hadn't planned to surf today. I was so disgusted yesterday that I'd already decided I wouldn't surf. A few hours after yesterday's session, I was wondering if I should surf, even though I didn't want to. Thankfully, a friend needed my help this morning so surfing was out of the question. It is true that "absence makes the heart grow fonder". I miss the water and I actually feel a bit reinvigorated about surfing now that I've stayed away from it for a day. Now I'm dying to get back in the water. I'm trying to see what deal I can make with my husband to allow me to surf in the morning.

Whiffleboy and Proud Mary, you two are great!! They both sent me emails about my recent posts. Mary was the sympathetic one. Whiff took the "stop feeling sorry for yourself and get back on that horse" approach—my words, not his. The female in me needed that shoulder to cry on (Mary). The athlete in me needed someone to kick me in the pants (Whiff). I also had another friend remind me of the pep talks I'd given her when she was down on her surfing. The three of them helped me put these bad sessions in perspective.

Finally, I started thinking back to when I raced bikes. There were often times when I would ride horribly for several days. I'd be tired. I'd have a bad attitude. I would feel like my world had fallen off its axis. After a few days of that, my body would bounce back with a vengeance and my fitness would have improved a notch or two. So, I'm assuming this is something similar. The bad session thing may get worse before it gets better. But I know it will get better.

14 April 2005

Yep! It's a Slump!

Three days and counting. It's been said if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all. So, I will not be talking about today's session. Instead, I have a pictorial of my almost daily commute to the beach. I took all of the pictures during the drive to my home break.

I'm stuck in traffic, heading west. Do you even see water? No, you don't. This is what I have to put up with to surf. I live nowhere near the beach but I make the trek to the water, braving the slow drivers and stop-and-go traffic, willingly.

The Ballerina Clown signals that I'm within a mile of my break.

I see water!!!! Floor it!!!

Yet another day of epic surfing comes to an end. Yeah, right! My wetsuit is in the Cinch Sac. My board is resting comfortably. What more is there to say?

Guess who.

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.

12 April 2005

I Got Busted Too!

Yesterday, Alan wrote an entry in his blog about his wife discovering that he had a brand new board. It was entitled "Busted". I had a good time reading his blog and congratulating myself on my ability to hide boards. Guess what happened today? I got busted too! My husband never goes in the room that I call "The Gym". That's where we have the weights and the rowing machine. So the Slick was in there and has been in there since I bought it. Apparently, he decided to do some squats today. I don't know if I left the board bag open a little or if he simply took a look. But didn't he later, out of the blue, ask me about the "blue board"? I was so busted it wasn't even funny. At least I don't have to hide it anymore!

I'm Not Having Any Fun

This cold water is beginning to get to me. I'm finally on spring break. I've been waiting for this down time for weeks. I figured I'd be surfing every day. Well, it's Tuesday and I'm already rethinking this "surf every day" thing. I'm just too cold to enjoy surfing right now. I'd planned to head to San O on Friday, but between the cold water and the price of gas, I can't justify making the trip. I don't think I'd enjoy myself. So, right now I'm not too happy with surfing. But I'll get over it. I always do.

11 April 2005

Can You Have Two Magic Boards?

I always thought the answer to that was "no". In my world—you know, the board-hiding, pseudo-environmentalist world—your quiver has one great board and then the rest of the boards are, oh, good enough. Well, my worldview is changing on a daily basis. I took the Slick out today. The waves looked pretty good yesterday. (I say "looked" because I was certain they'd be gutless and took a long bike ride to the beach and back. I was more than pissed when I got to the beach and saw my crew in the water catching decent waves.) Wetsand said Monday would be like Sunday. I decided it was time to christen a board. So, the Slick and I paddled out. I didn't catch anything for quite awhile. Between the cold water and being on an unfamiliar board, I was a little out of sorts. And the waves I did catch initially were so tame that I barely got a chance to feel how the board surfed. I could tell it was a board that wanted to noseride. The thing screams, "Please step up here to the tip!" I could also tell it was loose. Now, that surprised me. I hadn't expected to feel like I was on a 2+1 while riding a single fin. The board turns on a dime and is much faster than I'd expected. Still, I was sitting there shivering and not paddling for much. Finally, a bigger wave loomed and I went for it. And I got it. And I saw what this board could do. Hot damn! That's two magic boards in my quiver! I still have trouble getting to the top of a wave, on the Tyler, once I've gone to the bottom of the wave to turn. (It's not the board. It's that I'm still learning how to manhandle that board.) This Slick board turned and then ran back up to the top of the wave, where we perched and played, before flying down the face. It was beautiful. I can't believe the board is that good. I switched boards with arguably the best longboarder in our crew. He kept it for a good 15 minutes. Once we were in the parking lot, he was mad at me. We both knew why. I could see the gleam in his eye. He was giving thought to getting one. (He's already got 17 boards!) He said Chris Schlikenmeyer wanted to sponsor him years ago, but he was already committed to another shaper. I can't believe how great this board is. I did miss my log though. But I do realize that I will be a better surfer as a result of surfing boards of differing lengths. So, that's one board down, one yet to be christened. Perhaps I'll try the Channel Islands board later in the week if the conditions permit.

09 April 2005

Reason Number 489 Why Mothers Should Surf

It's a word that strikes terror into the hearts of moms who are still trying maintain an identity separate from their children:


I hate them and all that they represent . . . or so I thought. If you'd asked me five years ago whether I'd buy a minivan once I had a child, I would have answered, "OH, HELL NO!" But I wasn't surfing five years ago. Now, to my chagrin, the idea of a minivan is somewhat attractive. I only have the one child so it's not like a minivan is a necessity. However, with four surfboards in the family, I'd like to have a vehicle with some space. See, I'm one of those pseudo-environmentalists (my term for myself) who is opposed to SUVs because of the damage they do to the environment. So an SUV is out of the question. That leaves a minivan as the only option. I like the VW EuroVan. It doesn't have that "soccer mom" stigma. Unfortunately, it's also a piece of junk.

And there's the rub. The EuroVan is cool. It doesn't scream middle-America, hot dogs, baseball, and apple pie. Those of you who know me know that stuff is just not me. But the good thing about surfing is at least you can justify owning a minivan. Right? Wrong? I like the Honda Odyssey, especially since it's a ride you can pimp (not that I would).

Perhaps I'm just bitter. I gave up a car I loved—a Subaru WRX—once I had my child. I don't blame him though. The truth is that I cannot drive a fast car slowly. A fast car is meant to be driven fast . . . unless you have a baby in the rear seat. I knew it was time to let the car go when I raced a Honda on the Marina freeway at about 100 miles an hour. And, yes, my baby was in the car. I traded the WRX in not long after that event. (Who won? I did, of course!) Now I'm in an extremely under-powered station wagon. The good thing is that I can get the 9'6" in it when I need to. The bad thing is there are times when I'd like to have two boards at the beach and it would be nice to have something in which I can transport several boards (and the child). Thus the reason why I'm giving thought to a minivan.

08 April 2005


When I was at Con Surfboards yesterday, I mentioned that I never surf a board without color. They told me about a guy who only surfs white boards. I told them I didn't see why anyone would do that. Then they explained that his reasoning was simple: if he only surfed white boards, his wife couldn't tell when he bought a new one. Why didn't I think of that? The man is a genius!

07 April 2005

Any Advice on Hiding Two Surfboards?

I don't even want to go into it. You wouldn't believe me anyway. Obviously, I have no self-restraint when it comes to surfboards. None! Zero! Zilch! Nada!

The funny thing is I'm not an impulsive person at all. I have never been impulsive. I've spent more than 40 years being a methodical and rational person. I never made snap decisions. I always thought out the consequences of my actions. Where did that person go? As soon as I step into a surf shop or a factory—as I did today at Con Surfboards—I lose all sense of what's financially right and wrong. I'll just say this about the picture: yellow and red swirls on the bottom and rails, and yellow with a red pinline on the deck. There. That's as much as I'm willing to divulge at this point. (Sigh)

06 April 2005


Two of those boards have yet to be surfed. And wouldn't you know I still have eyes for other boards? Don't let me win the lottery! I'll have a room just for the surfboards. Truthfully, I think I'd have 10 boards if I could. At this point, three is about all our little bit of space and my meager paycheck can handle. But don't think I'm not considering buying another one. However, when I look at the picture, I'm not sure what I would get. I can't see myself on anything shorter than the Channel Islands board. And I don't see why I need another nine foot plus longboard. So, what would I get?

05 April 2005

Doesn't This Pool Have a Heater?

Man, it's cold out there! It's so odd to be in this beautiful weather and at the same time be shivering. Not only was it cold, but the waves had no juice. It was a strange day. We all did a lot of paddling for waves that simply disappeared (or didn't break at all). I didn't think it a noteworthy session. I did some walking today. In fact, I almost (ALMOST) pulled off a "cheater five". You know, the only thing holding me back now is me. I got all the way to the nose. My front foot was perhaps four inches away from the end of the board. But for some reason, I was afraid to commit to the tip. What's that about? I guess it's coming. I'm starting to walk the board without hesitation now. I don't do it on every wave. When I do it, I don't think much about it. It's obvious to me that it's becoming second nature. I suppose curling those toes over the nose will eventually become second nature too. Oh!! One of our crew just got a new red/orange Dewey Weber. Beautiful!!! For once, I didn't feel the need to run to the surf shop to drool at the boards. I have enough for now. I'll probably take the Chris Slick out (for the first time) on Thursday or Friday.

03 April 2005

"Happy Happy, Joy Joy"

Where does that saying come from? I think it's "Ren and Stimpy". The funny thing is I've never seen that show. I just remember people always chanting those words.

I had a good day in the water. The waves finally had a little power (the operative words being "a little"). I actually had some longish rides—not long by San O standards but long by Santa Monica standards. I don't remember any of the successful waves. The one wave I am happy about is one I blew. However, I didn't fall off. Now, this is big. I have trouble weighting the inside rail when going backside. I usually lean over too far and fall. Today, I weighted the rail so hard that the board turned into and lost the wave. I did some serious contorting and somehow managed to stay on my feet. This might not sound like anything to be proud about. But I think it shows that I'm getting a better sense of my balance going backside. It was a fun session.

As we speak, my beloved longboard is sitting at a friend's house in Santa Monica. After getting out, I stopped to talk to our little beach family (i.e., Mom, Dad, and Beach Baby). As I was talking to Mom, she noticed that Dad was getting out of the water earlier than she'd expected. Well, it turns out the board he'd buckled a few weeks ago at El Porto broke again. It's an old Tyler with less glass than the Tylers the rest of us have. So, I'm standing there, looking at that broken board and seeing how broken-hearted he was. He loves that board. He loves it as much as I love mine. Since I was finished with my session and knew I wouldn't be back in the water until Tuesday, I gave him mine. Now don't get me wrong. I wouldn't loan my board to just anyone. But there are four or five people in our crew whom I trust enough and like enough to loan my pride and joy. My husband couldn't believe I'd done it. He said, "I wouldn't loan my motorcycle to anyone." I had to remind him it's not the same thing. A surfboard . . . is a surfboard. It might get dinged but that's about the worst that's going to happen. That board is not going to break and Dad is certainly not going to keep it. I'm just glad I could be of help in his hour of need. Dad told me, later, that he'll surf on the board tomorrow. That's fine. A surfboard is supposed to be in the water. I didn't give it to him so he'd guard it with his life. Surf the thing! Enjoy yourself! And just make sure to have it at the beach when I arrive on Tuesday.

01 April 2005

Yo Mama So Flat . . .

that she makes your home break look like Mavericks! I know. That was stupid, but I was making a point. It's REALLY flat. And I still paddled out. The weather was so nice that I had to get in the water. I left my leash in the sand. There was no need for it (although I did have to go after the board a few times). I couldn't even see the bumps for which my friends were paddling. I sat there yelling, "Why are you paddling? There's nothing there!" I'd catch these little things that looked like they'd eventually grow up to be waves . . . in my dreams . . . only to find that they had no power. It was a day to play in the water. What I did today wasn't surfing. I'm glad my board left me a few times. The swimming was a good workout (what little of it I did). At least the swimming gave me something to do. I did some cross-stepping today. Why did I bother? The waves were so weak that walking the board was pointless. Oh well. Today's session was fine. It wasn't one to be taken too seriously. I was just glad to get wet and enjoy the sunshine (and the few butterflies that were obviously off-course). I'm keeping my fingers crossed for a swell this weekend.