19 August 2006

That Was a Close One

You know, I can't complain too much about the flatness out there. Such conditions allow me to stay relatively local and surf beach breaks (with ample parking and a playground for the little one). My home break, unfortunately, is now a zoo. I'm not sure what lead to this transformation. The fact that some triathlete group has designated it as their training ground doesn't help. Now I'm surfing a few towers north of my home. It's not so crowded down there. When I looked south at the home break, it looked packed. I don't find that enjoyable, even when surfing with people I love. Anonymous was right when he or she told me to disregard the impression the surf reports were giving about completely flat conditions. There was a little something out there today and it was worth paddling out for. I even managed a couple of long rides going frontside. I'm going to assume my peripheral vision is good. While going (slowly) down the line, I saw something coming toward my head. I managed to duck and turn at the same time. Let's just say a person whose initials shall remain nameless managed to launch her board at me. Granted, she didn't know I was there, but it still goes to show you how many people are guilty of doing it. When we both started paddling for the wave, I asked which was she was going. She said left and assumed I'd go right. Wrong. I'd planned on going left too. I just wanted to make sure she wasn't going right. Anyway, we took the wave together. She was at the top of it and I caught a section at the bottom. As I sped by, her ride came to an end and all I saw was that big board coming toward my head. Can you imagine sending one of your friends to the hospital because you beaned her with your board? I suppose such things happen.

Let me say something in praise of the old guys. They rock!!! These old guys, the ones who've been surfing for decades, are so stylish. They may have grey hair—or no hair, for that matter—but they know what to do on a surfboard. There was a guy out there today who paddled out a little after we got there. He kept telling his friend he needed to just get that first wave under his belt. Finally a wave came to him and he rode it. No big deal. Well, in retrospect, I realize that was his way of getting warmed up. When the next wave came, he cross-stepped straight to the nose and walked back. It's not that he did it. It's how he looked when he did it. The only people who surf like that are the old guys. His style was reminiscent of that of the surfers in the Sixties. I love seeing the older guys and women surf. They make it look so effortless. No one can duplicate that style, not even someone as perfect as Joel Tudor. Theirs is a style that comes from having surfed back in the day. Younger surfers can't replicate it; we don't know surfing pre-shortboards and tri-fins. These folks do. Next time you're in the water, pay attention when someone with grey hair paddles by. He or she might teach you a lesson . . . if you just shut up and watch.

9 Comments:

At 8/21/06, 9:23 AM, Blogger Jeffery said...

I believe that when you ask which way someone is going (I always answer "Straight!" when asked) then you are essentially giving them the wave and the expectation is that you (the asker) will go in the other direction.

This stuff happens at my home break all the time and it frequently ends in tears.

 
At 8/21/06, 11:41 AM, Blogger gracefullee said...

And I was about 2 towers south of home break on Saturday.

 
At 8/21/06, 2:22 PM, Blogger clayfin said...

glad to hear you didn't get beaned.

 
At 8/21/06, 8:02 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

Well, the thing is, we surf together so much that we always share waves. If we're next to one another, you'll usually see both of us up and riding on a wave. I think it doesn't occur to her, as much as it occurs to me (especially as a result of keeping this blog and receiving feedback from other people) that you've got to try to hang onto that board. I just find that ironic given her recent injuries.

 
At 8/21/06, 8:42 PM, Blogger unclegrant said...

SS: Give an old man a break and put more paragraph breaks in your blog. I have adult ADD and can't hang with paragraphs that long.

Thanks.

 
At 8/21/06, 8:43 PM, Blogger unclegrant said...

And get your bootie down to Venice where it belongs. Enough of this candy-azz Berkley by the Sea break.

 
At 8/22/06, 6:52 AM, Blogger Surfsister said...

Uncle Grant, I love surfing Venice. I just don't love it during a SW swell. And how is it that a lawyer can't handle reading paragraphs? How did you survive law school?

 
At 8/22/06, 11:42 PM, Anonymous LBG said...

I hear ya. I paid close attention to the old guys at Malibu on Saturday, and there was one who hauled his oxygen tank out on the sand. I've seen him there a couple of times before. He can barely breathe, but he makes surfing look so easy!

 
At 8/29/06, 11:48 AM, Blogger unclegrant said...

In law school I was second in my class - from the bottom. I literally had to wait around the office the last day of the last year and wait for the last grade in my last class to see if I could attend the formal that night.

UG

 

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