19 March 2006

Thank God It's . . .

Saturday!! Okay, so it's actually Sunday night and I'm ever so tardy in posting about yesterday's session. First things first, I did not forget how to surf. I kid you not when I talk about my fear of this. I was like that even as a kid. I always thought that if I spent too much time away from a sport I was getting good at, I'd somehow unlearn all of the skills I'd aquired and would henceforth suck. (Pause—where did I pull that word "henceforth" from? I had to stop and stare at that last sentence.) Of course, I never lost a step by being away from a sport for a few weeks. Still, the world that exists in my mind says this, the loss of athletic skills, is a natural progression when one fails to work at the sport at least three or four times a week. When will I learn? I'm now in my 40's. I've been an athlete, both competitive and recreational, for years. I should know better than to continue thinking these negative thoughts. Yesterday's session was fine. It would have been better had the waves been better. As usual though, I'm not complaining. I went to the home break and actually found some waves. Granted, they were quadrupled and quintupled up, making them hard to catch. Before I got in, one of my friends mentioned the water temperature was down. She suggested I go back and get my booties. I've gone without them this long. There's no way I'm resorting to them in March after spending the entire winter without wearing them. To my surprise, I didn't think the water was much colder than it was the last time I surfed. I'd told myself if I wanted to scream as soon as I put a toe in, I'd go back to the car and put them on. Well, I didn't feel a thing and made the weird paddle out. Thank goodness for the 5 a.m. workouts. I'm not in great surfing shape, but I'm strong enough. The paddle out was not fun. The waves were mushy. That was good. The waves were also constant. That was bad. It took some work to get to the lineup. Once out there, I was in heaven. The conditions weren't good. It's hard to catch a wave you don't see because the wave ahead of it obstructs your view until the good wave is right on top of you. But, see, I like the ocean when it's like that. It's amazing and beautiful. So, I didn't catch many waves. Some died as I popped up. Some pitched me head over heels. However, my first wave was a good one. It was a nice long ride. First I went left. Then I cut back and turned right. Then I made all of the sections and headed toward the shore. Seeing that the ride was going to end, I . . . I . . . (sorry, I have to wipe away a tear) . . . I did the most perfect kick-out. You would have thought I do them all the time. I paddled back to the lineup with a smile. "I still know how to surf!" That was the last good wave I got. I stayed out for an hour and a half. My feet were fine. My hands were frozed. By the end of the session, my pinky fingers were once again on strike, refusing to do any work with my other fingers. That meant my paddling was worthless. I was cold and simply wanted a wave to take in. There were two problems. First, the waves began to jack up and lose their corners. Second, my hands were just about useless. There were a couple of waves I paddled into and then pulled out of because of the long, seemingly deadly drops. It seemed that all the waves were doing that. "How in the $%#! am I going to get in?" I am not embarrassed to paddle in. I hate to do it though. It always seems faster and safer to wait for a wave to take you in. I couldn't take anymore of the cold and just went for it. All I can say is THANK GOD I KNOW HOW AND WHY TO DO A HAND DRAG. The wave I took was so steep and fast that I almost got pulled off my board while dragging my hand in an effort to both slow the board down and maintain my balance. I made the drop though. That was good enough for me and I called it a day.

Soul Brother #1 wants to know why more surfers don't or can't ride skateboards. He poses this question after seeing two people from the crew almost kill themselves on my board today. I rode my bike and met the Soul Brothers at the beach. My skateboard was in the car so I took it out to ride around. The first person who got on it admitted she didn't know how to skate. Her boyfriend held onto her while she stood on it. Then the boyfriend borrowed it, rolled about 50 feet away, and then did a spectacular fall. The last I heard he was talking about his foot hurting from the fall. Then someone else in the crew asked to ride it while were were all standing in the parking lot. He, too, proceeded to almost kill himself. Now, I'm not a particularly good skateboarder. Still, I can ride one with ease. So what's up with surfers not being able to ride skateboards?


At 3/20/06, 10:18 AM, Blogger gracefullee said...

I can only speak for myself, but since I learn by wiping out on waves, I can't help but take that attitude to a skateboard when I'm on it. Realizing, too late, that water hurts a lot less than pavement.

I am, though, trolling Craigslist and Ebay for a used skateboard to start on.

At 3/20/06, 12:36 PM, Blogger Whiffleboy said...


Way to go. I think you'd have to be away for many, many months to unlearn your skills.

Grace, go to District on Venice in Mar Vista and pick up a new board for $70.

At 3/20/06, 4:50 PM, Blogger TedZSurfer said...

lucky you! I awoke to rain and wind in my neck of the woods on Saturday.


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