28 March 2007

Rethinking the Value of My Home Break

You know what? Sometimes the grass is greener on the other side. My recent sessions outside of L.A. messed with my head. Like Grace, I'm now starting to ask myself why I continue to hit up my home break. Granted, the place is convenient and the people with whom I surf make me smile. But let's call a spade a spade: the waves at the home break suck. There was a time when the waves were somewhat consistent, not consistently good but consistent nonetheless. Now, they just piss me off. One of the guys in the crew once told me that the home break was a good place to learn to surf because surfing those shitty waves would mean you would surf a good wave well. Sounded good at the time. Now, I think it's a load of rubbish.

The break I've been surfing with my friends from work is full of good, stylish surfers. It was a joy to watch these guys express themselves on the waves. I had as much fun watching other surfers as I did surfing the waves. And I learned quite a bit. I don't seem to learn much at the home break. Yes, there are some great surfers there. However, they're outnumbered by the rest of us.

Have I outgrown my home break? Maybe so. I'm not going to be driving to this new break every chance I get. It's too far away. Still, it's opened my eyes. I've said on more than one occasion that my goal these days is to develop my style on a longboard. Some of you responded that it would come in time. Well, if I continue to do most of my surfing at the home break, it won't come any time soon. Truthfully, I think it helps to be in the presence of better surfers. My friend who sits across the cubicle from me told people at work that I was "on fire" on Sunday. I was. Yes, I psyched myself up for the session. I also stepped up my game. I saw people surfing in ways I envied, so I tried to emulate them while doing my own thing. I don't always do that at the home break. As I write this, it occurs to me that you can work on style when the wave allows you to do so. In other words, you need time to work whatever magic you've got. That usually can't be done at the home break, at least not by me. I'll continue to work on it though. I'm mindful of the fact that Kelly Slater cut his teeth on Florida's less than perfect waves. I'm also mindful of the fact that Kelly doesn't surf a longboard. If you can do a gouge on a horrible wave, you can do one on a good wave. However, you can't work on walking a longboard if the wave lacks shape.

That's all for now. Work is slow . . . and boring. My review went well. I got a good raise. I appreciated it last week; I wasn't bemoaning my life in that cubicle. Well, now it's a week later and I'm over it. Anyway, I'll be off on Monday. I decided I needed a surfing a SW swell, I mean, a mental health day. I hope to find some decent, not overly crowded surf that day. Aloha.


At 3/29/07, 8:48 AM, Blogger Whiffleboy said...

The wave absolutely has a direct impact on how fast you develop your skills and style. If you only have a couple of seconds per wave after the drop to hone your craft, it's quite daunting to think how long it will take to see a marked improvement.

It's disheartening to think that your actual time riding a wave could be measured in 10s of seconds after any given session, but, that's the reality.

At 3/29/07, 3:04 PM, Blogger pushingtide said...

Irie tunes you have on your site!

At 3/29/07, 3:16 PM, Blogger clayfin said...

this is a good sign! Just not good for your fuel bill.

At 3/30/07, 12:07 AM, Blogger surferbrat said...

it's true. if you surf good waves with good surfers on them, you'll improve faster. the learning curve drops. surfing is a pack sport to some degree. every time i head down to Santa cruz I am reminded that if i surfed there every session, i'd be a lot better by now. i can't of course, because it's an hour and a half away. waves need to have consistant shoulders and faces to even start working on style. people surfing with style helps tooo.
it's ok to be picky...your just improving. I used to be stoked on riding the inside whitewash. Now I'm proud of being picky! If I don't see at least a handful of decent shoulders, I don't paddle out.


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