02 October 2006

The El Spot

I wanted to surf Sunday, but I wasn't sure where. Again, I was on my own. CYT is AWOL. (Girl, where have you run off to? Let's surf!!) Mind you, I don't mind surfing alone. It's just that doing so sometimes makes you feel a little . . . lost. When you surf with someone else, you head out with a plan. You know where you're going and what you're there to do. When it's you, yourself and you, it's sometimes difficult to decide where to go, what time to go, etc. Anyway, I got Soul Grandmother #1 to watch Soul Brother #2 (since Soul Brother #1 had to work). That meant I was free to surf for a few hours. I called my new surfing buddy (a.k.a. The Buyer) to see if she wanted to go out. She didn't think there was anything out there and declined. By the time I'd walked the little man to his grandmother's house and walked back, I had a voicemail from The Buyer. It said, in essence, "Let's go surfing!" And we did. She was already in the water when I got there. I was sure I wouldn't be able to find her. But, she was right when she said I'd easily spot her on my bright yellow and orange board. I saw her almost immediately. Once out in the water, I went for anything I could. I caught the first wave I paddled for. You know what that means. The session was a good one. I swear I'm being completely honest when I say the conditions were flat and walled at the same time. We did a lot of sitting and paddling for waves that didn't want to break. Then the set waves would roll through. I got a few of them. A couple of them were closeouts that chewed me up and spit me out. That's a good thing. It's good preparation for the way winter waves work you.

I took two boards with me. I surfed the Slick, which was sporting its ever-so-handsome duct tape patch over the ding. (Yeah, I know there's a better tape for dings; I didn't have any of it.) The 7'1" Merrick stayed in the car. The waves weren't doing enough to warrant that board. I'm not sure how to transition from my longboards to this thing. Do I take the shorter board out even when there are no waves? Do I take it out only when the waves are more conducive to a shortboard? What to do?

I got a picture of the board I'm lusting after. I'll post it on another day this week.


At 10/2/06, 9:16 PM, Anonymous Whiffleboy said...

I think a period of only surfing your 7'1 is the best way to become accustomed to it. It's very difficult to "waste" waves on a different board when you KNOW you could be up and surfing with the tried and true board you're used to. You'll inevitabley save the shorter board for those throwaway days and never give it a fighting chance in equally surfable waves that your familiar board gets to enjoy. He'll always get the short end of the stick - no pun intended.

Give him two weeks of exclusive attention.

God, it's so easy to throw out advise I'd never follow.

At 10/2/06, 9:29 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

I know you're right. It's the kooky stage learning curve that I want to avoid . . . even though I know it's unavoidable.

At 10/2/06, 11:18 PM, Blogger gracefullee said...

Whiff's right. And by the way, remind me to show you what I picked up at Home Depot. It's a tip I got from Sensei Greg as a temporary fix for dings. Foil tape. It's water-proof, unlike duct tape which lets water seep through.

At 10/3/06, 10:58 AM, Anonymous Jason said...

Whiff, Grace - allow me to retort.

My struggles with the Hogfish are well-documented, and I place at least some of my frustration on attempting to ride the board in the wrong conditions. If it's axiomatic that a surfboard is shaped to perform on waves of a certain size/strength, it doesn't make much sense to ride them in waves that don't match well to the board's specs. To an extent, I agree that you should exclusively "date" your 7'1" for a few sessions. While there's some value in getting a feel for the way the board paddles, you may get frustrated over the fact that the board won't catch anything - and blame yourself rather than the board. These days I throw both boards in the car when I go; small and mushy means it's time for the Hollingsworth (which still kind of sucks in anything under chest-high - the noserider I'm building will solve that problem, hope there's room in the Xterra for one more board...), anything with some power and speed, I go with the Hog. And I've found that I've had a lot more fun in the water.

At 10/3/06, 11:43 AM, Blogger clayfin said...

You're all full of crap!

Just kidding, all good points but I must agree mostly with Whiff. Jason is right in that when the waves are truly small and gutless you won't have any fun. That's why people talk so much about owning a log for those "mushy summer waves". That said, surf the short board exclusively for a while, within reason. The waves don't need to be big, just not mushy, think hollow. You need to get used to the idea that you paddle a longboard, you swim a shortboard. Learn to take off late and let the wave do more work for you. But at your size, a 7'1" isn't all that small, it will just seem that way to you.

And number one tip? DON'T go to your usual longboard dominated spots. Even though it may look juicy enough for your 7'1", it will just be that much easier for the logs to get into them before you. Stick to places you would avoid with your longboard. Good luck, the transition is a challenge. I never made it until I stashed the longboard and practiced serial monogamy with a shortboard.


Post a Comment

<< Home