22 October 2006

The Good and The Bad—No Ugly

You know surfers, all true surfers, are crazy when you pull up at your friend's house at O Dark Thirty in preparation for a morning of surfing. What were we thinking? It was dark, seriously dark. Dark like two o'clock in the morning dark. But you had to start driving in the dark today if you wanted to catch the waves and the tide at the right time. See, Gracefullee and I thought we'd be surfing a secret spot and we knew we'd need to make an early start. It's not that the secret spot was far away. It wasn't. But with the short window of time between sunrise and high tide, we needed time to travel to a different spot if necessary. And, yes, it was necessary that we do so. The secret spot didn't look too inviting. Several people told me of this spot. Now that I've seen it, I'm wondering what's so good about it. It seems to be more fickle than all of our normal breaks. I can't deal with that. An inconsistent spot wastes my time and effort. Thankfully, we'd gotten an early enough start to allow us to drive up the coast.

And there we were at LPB. I couldn't see shit from the parking lot. Gracefullee had to point out that there were waves down there and that people were actually riding them. At some point, she looked at me and said, "Do you want to stay here?" I wanted to say, "Oh, hell no!!! It's foggy. I'm cold. I know those waves must be gigantic. I'm sure I'm going to die out there today." However, that's not what I did say. I must have said yes. The next thing I knew we were suiting up and preparing to paddle out. While still deciding what we'd do, I'd heard a guy talk about how vicious the shore pound was. He said he had trouble even coming in. I don't need to hear that!!!! Words like that are enough to make me get in the car and go home.

The good: a dry hair paddle out at LPB. That guy was right about the shore pound and I had no intention of sacrificing myself to the surf gods before I'd even gotten out to the lineup. As soon as I saw a lull in the action, I took off running with my board, jumped right in, and paddled right out to the lineup. Amazing!!! What's even more amazing is that I paddled right into the middle of the lineup. I never do that! I always feel self-conscious and kind of, well, noticeable. LPB is even worse for me since so few women surf there (let alone women of color). I didn't even care today. I just went right into the thick of things.

The bad: I couldn't quite find my rhythm. Either the waves weren't breaking hard enough or etiquette dictated that I not take waves I wanted since others were already waiting and in better position. When I finally did take a wave that was decent, I was too scared to weight my front foot and commit. So I ended up hovering near the top of the wave for a ways and then popping out the back. My last wave was one where I did fully commit. Unfortunately, that wave had no shape and I got tossed hard. I guess this session was a good way to make the transition to a winter wave mindset. I was somewhat unnerved today by those waves. I don't think I'll feel that way the next time I go there. I suppose that means the session was good enough. It's days like these when I miss surfing several times a week. When I surfed three, four and five times a week, I wasn't as tentative as I am now.

Grace, let's do this again!!! Next time, you'll have the board you need and I promise I'll be a hard charger.


At 10/23/06, 9:19 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

LPB can be a little tricky. You almost have to take a late takeoff. It's mushier than it looks. You know that though. The good thing is that the late takeoffs aren't as nutty as you'd expect them to be because of the mushy nature of the wave. It's totally within reason to be covered in white water as you drop, even for someone with limited abilities like myself. :-)

As far as the shorepound? Hell yeah it can be gnarly. It just sucks right up in toe-deep water, all the while seducing you in to it because it can add a nice chunk of length to your ride.

At 10/23/06, 10:21 AM, Blogger gracefullee said...

Let's do it! I have to say, even as I got my ass handed to me, I enjoyed it. I'm committing to the Weirdo board, though.


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