07 April 2007

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

The session was over. I was ready to leave. I looked at one of my tires and said to my surfing buddy from work that I thought I needed new tires. He was unsure about that. We drove off. I swear it wasn't five minutes later that I heard something slapping the underside of the car. I couldn't believe it. I knew (!!!) it was the tire. Luckily, my friend from work was still behind me and pulled over to see if something was wrong. Yep. Part of the tread was hanging off, exposing the steel belt underneath. I never expected that. The tires didn't look that bad. I just had an inkling—call it instinct—that my tires needed some attention.

Well, we get out the spare. That was a nightmare in itself since the spare is stored under the rear cargo compartment. The car was packed with two boards, surf gear, a Wave Board, and other stuff. All that had to come out. Anyway, my buddy changed the tire after our detailed search for the lug wrench and two calls to AAA (the first to tell them to come out, the second to call them off). He threw the bad one in the back and I threw the surf gear back in. Then I made a somewhat mad dash back to L.A. On the way there, I called the only place I ever go for tires. It's a little place in the heart of Inglewood. The old white guys who run it initially seem pissed off about everything. But once you're there for more than a few minutes, you realize they're generally happy people who were probably in that neighborhood long before "white flight". They're still there and they run a tight ship. I called them from the freeway at 11:20, asking what time they closed. They said 12. DOH!! I told them I thought I could make it in 20 minutes. The guy on the phone grumbled about them closing on time. Well, I made it by 11:50, certain that they'd turn me away. Much to my surprise, they were open and seemed to be waiting for someone. I think that someone was me. (Someone came in right after I did. They turned him away.) I was in and out with two new front tires in about 10 minutes. I must be doing something right. I discovered the tire problem at about 10:45. I was back home with two new tires by 12:30.

How was the session? It was good. I was sore from yesterday's session. I'm glad it wasn't as good today at this new break as it was a few weeks ago. I don't think I had it in me today to surf like I did then. There were rather long lulls today. That's fine when you're tired or, like Grace, recovering from an injury. I think our biggest laughs came when Grace, my surf buddy and I started swapping boards. I got on his 10' Bruce Jones single fin log. That was way too much board for me. It took awhile to figure out where to be on it. There's no sticker on the top. Once I got myself situated (and that was hard to do since I couldn't even swing the thing around quickly enough to paddle for waves that were coming to me), I got a pretty good left. Well, it might have been good had I not tried to turn the board. I guess I wasn't back far enough and probably don't weigh enough to work with that board. Instead of turning, I leaned and leaned and leaned myself right into the water. Meanwhile, my surf buddy was trying to work with my 9' single fin Slick. That's not a thick board and it showed. He looked like he was on a shortboard; his lower half and most of the board were completely submerged. Eventually, Grace got on the Bruce Jones and I got on her 9'7" Cooperfish. I love her board, but since she's in booties she doesn't refresh the wax. All I did was worry about slipping. I don't even remember if I caught a wave on her board. I finally asked for my board back. I was missing too many good waves with these unfamiliar boards. At some point, we all agreed it was time to go. We'd been in the water over two hours. My "one last wave" came and went. I kept paddling back out. I think I got four or five last waves.

Now that I've got my new tires, I may go back out there tomorrow!!


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