14 August 2006

Sunday Surf

So, I met up with CYT yesterday for a session in mediocre conditions. There's nothing much to say about it. I was on the funboard. I rode that board because it's a tri-fin, something I don't usually surf. And If I'm going to work my way down to my new board, I need to stop riding the boards with which I'm comfortable. What was notable about the session was that I decided to offer some advice to the woman I talked about in the previous entry. She was out again yesterday and this time I struck up a conversation with her. Instead of assuming she was a beginner and telling her how to surf, I engaged her in conversation and then asked if I could give her some advice. Why did I do that? Well, I for one am tired of people assuming (for whatever reason but I think it's a combination of my race and my gender) that I'm a beginner. I'm tired of people telling me how to surf without waiting to see what I can do on a surfboard. Frankly, you just don't know what a person's story is. Some people may look like beginners and may actually be experienced surfers who are coming back from injuries which prevent them from moving swiftly or gracefully. Who knows? But at least wait and see before you run off at the mouth telling someone how to surf. Anyway, I treat people the way I want to be treated. I greeted her, asked if I'd seen her the day before, asked how long she'd been surfing (her answer was "five weeks"), and then asked if I could give her some tips. My main advice for her was to sit further outside. Here she was on the 9'4" log, lining up with the shortboarders. I told her that on a board her size, she can catch waves early. I explained that she didn't need to only go for the larger waves (which she could not handle at all). I explained that even the smaller waves were fair game on her board. Then I told her that when she's out surfing to always look at the lineup and see where the other longboards are lined up, telling her she should try to line up with them. With that, I left her alone. After watching her paddle for a few waves, I couldn't help but ask if I could give her one more tip. It was about her paddling. I may even have said, "Girl, you've got to paddle harder than that." I just let her know that she wasn't even close to paddling hard enough. Then, I saw a little wave coming, told her to turn around, and yelled at her to paddle hard and keep paddling. Guess what? She caught that wave. She popped up and fell right off, but she still got it. Again, I'm putting my money where my mouth is. I'm not going to criticize the beginning surfers and then not offer my help when it's wanted.


At 8/15/06, 11:29 AM, Blogger gracefullee said...

Good for you! Frank better watch out or your advice is going to leave no newbies for him to teach.


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