31 October 2007

I Need Candy . . .

to get rid of the bad taste in my mouth left by today's session. First, it was flat. Then, it was completely walled. There was no in-between. I pulled out of more waves than I rode. The waves I made were ridden straight toward the beach since there were no shoulders. I guess today's session was a trick and not a treat.

Wanna hear something truly scary? Our dog knocked Soul Brother #2's tooth out last night. Alright, it's not scary. Don't tell SB #2 that I actually found it somewhat humorous. For the last week or so, SB #2's played with a tooth that's barely hanging on. I don't even know how the thing is still in his mouth. The tooth next to it was also loose, but we knew it would be there for awhile. Well, we were wrong. The kid and the dog, who only weighs about 10 pounds, got to playing and lunging at each other. The next thing I knew, my boy leans down toward the dog just as the dog jumps up to lick him in the face. They met somewhere in the middle. SB #2 immediately grabbed his mouth. I could tell he was in pain. Soul Brother #1 pointed to something white on the carpet. There was the tooth . . . the one that wasn't coming out any time soon. The other one still hangs on in there, sitting literally in the middle of his mouth in the space that was once occupied by two teeth. I know, that story sent shivers down your spine.


27 October 2007

#@$!%#@!!! #@%@*&!

My favorite board . . . (sigh). My fear has always been that I'll break that thing. From the looks of these pictures, I came close today. But I can say one thing, we—the board and I—had a great session together today. I'm taking it into Mark for his diagnosis. It looks to me like a buckle. When I described it to him over the phone, he said the description of the cracks leads him to believe it's a buckle. #$%#@%!!!

UPDATE: Mark said it wasn't too bad. The cracks are only on one rail. It's not a buckle and it's easily fixed. Yet another reason to hug your local shaper!

26 October 2007

Hug Your Local Shaper

I was ready to do just that after today's session at the pier. That shorter board is simply perfect. I know I've said it before. I'm going to say it again: it's exactly what I wanted. Exactly. The shaper asked the right questions and he listened to the answers. He understood what I wanted. Even better, he also understood what I needed.

Remember, my sessions earlier in the week were on my longboard. In the past, I struggled when I tried to switch between a longboard and something shorter after a few days on the longboard. I went into today's session believing that would be the case today. Early on, I wasn't catching shit. The tide was marching up to six feet plus. It was all I could do not to go back to the car to get my longboard. But I was at a beach break. I said this winter would be spent on the shorter board unless the waves were tiny. The waves today weren't small at all. And they were walled up. The problem, more than anything else, was that they were mushy. I didn't quite know what to do with those conditions on a shorter board. So, I sat and watched CYT catch waves on her 8'0", thinking how much I hate sessions where I only catch one or two waves.

This, as it turns out, was not one of those sessions. Once I got my first wave, it was on. Period. I'm not even sure what happened. See, I went shorter because there are waves I want to catch but am afraid to even paddle for on a longboard. Those waves are typically walls that show just a bit of shoulder. I don't enjoy such waves. Let me take that back, I didn't used to enjoy such waves. Today, I was dropping into the walls, finding the shoulders and actually riding. I couldn't believe it. On a longboard, I'm terrified of waves like those. On a shorter board, your perspective is different. You need a bigger wave. You pray for a bigger wave. You welcome a bigger wave. I was disappointed every time a longboard wave rolled through. I wanted something with some height, speed and push. In the end, my session was great. Everything came together today. I popped up smoothly and onto the perfect spot on the board. The waves showed some shape . . . and I was at a beach break! I was even able to work a few little sad turns during the rides.

I love this board. I love my shaper.

Mark Brog
Soul Performance Surfboards
2215 1/2 Artesia Blvd.
Redondo Beach (310) 370-1428

25 October 2007

Yeah, I Said It!!!

23 October 2007

Famous Last Words

"I'm not surfing tomorrow!" I was adamant. There was no way I could surf after that three hour session . . . or so I thought. My shoulders were full of lactic acid when I got up this morning. As usual, I put on a swimsuit, thinking I might hit the pool later if I felt up to it. As far as I was concerned, I wasn't surfing. I was not surfing. No surfing for me today. Nope, not gonna happen.

But then I started thinking about how happy yesterday's session made me. I thought perhaps there was a little left in the tank for an hour in the water. Then, I talked myself out of it. I did some work. I put my swim bag in the car. I considered taking a rest day and doing nothing athletic. What to do, what to do? I know. I'll look at the cam. It's high tide. There won't be anything coming through, but I'll just check anyway. Why did I do that? I saw a few lines and it was all over!!! I couldn't get stuff into the car fast enough. I had it all planned. I'd hit the spot ASAP. Since the tide was up, the waves would be few and far between. That would keep me from wearing myself out and I'd get there before the rest of L.A. got there. I'd only stay in for an hour and then be done with it.

The lulls were rather long. But the big ones were worth the wait. Tell me how it is I stayed in for another almost three hour session? I'm not even sure how I made the paddle out. I was so sore from yesterday that I was having trouble putting on my wetsuit. Once I hit the water, I was feeling little pain. Yes, it was good for the second day in a row. Yesterday was the best I've seen this place in a long time. Today wasn't as consistent, but it was still quite good. It probably got better closer to low tide. I managed to grab some good ones without fighting the crowd. That's why I went early. A few of us sat way outside to wait for the bigger ones. Believe it or not, surfing etiquette was followed. We traded waves, cheered for each other, and kept smiling.

I really need to take a day off. Today was supposed to be that day. But how could I pass up this?

22 October 2007

October 22 (in Pictures)

Driving up PCH, you could see the smoke in the hills above Malibu. From the water, the sight was frightening. Big plumes of smoke were quickly filling the air. You just knew that the fire was uncontrolled.
The waves at the spot I chose were decent. I brought two boards, but opted for the longboard since it's a rather slow point break wave. What I had envisioned as a one and a half hour session turned into an almost three hour session. I could barely peel myself out of that wetsuit when all was said and done. We ate dinner about 30 minutes ago. I feel like I could eat yet another dinner. I left it (i.e., my energy) all out there in the Pacific.
Some waves went unridden. What a shame!
The view up through the sunroof. Check those sexy bumps!!

Wildfires continue to burn everything!! Even though I was born and raised in So Cal, I've never gotten used to the reality of wildfires.

Don't pray for surf! Pray for rain!!

21 October 2007

Momma Said There'd Be Days Like This

First, the freeway came to a dead stop at 6:45 a.m. Dead stop. One lane open, all other lanes closed for construction. That was the first bad sign. Once we got into the parking lot at the spot, we noticed the regulars watching, watching instead of suiting up. Then we went to look at the waves. Oh my, this won't be pretty. We decided to try. We came close on three separate occasions. Not close to catching anything. I mean close to even making it out to the line-up. It just wasn't meant to be. Three strikes and you're out. Third time was not a charm. We called it quits. Finally, on the drive back home, the freeway came to a dead stop again. This time it was a car accident involving at least six cars.

The good thing about today's session was the fact that for the first time since I've been surfing, I wasn't scared in the face of sizable waves. Milk, it does a body good? No. Swimming does a body and mind good. I knew I could swim out of any predicament I might get into. This is not to say I didn't respect the waves. I will always respect the ocean. Today I simply knew I was capable enough to keep myself out of trouble in the water. I also didn't overtax myself. That's how you get into trouble. I merely got out there and made some decent attempts. That's good enough for me. It was better to save the energy for another day, especially since the wind was howling and the waves were somewhat closed out. The waves weren't necessarily worth the beating I would have taken to get to the outside.

I'll try again tomorrow at a different spot.

20 October 2007

You'd Think I Was Rich

And so goes the current internal debate: New wetsuit? (3/2 Body Glove Vapor for $215. It's a steal at that price.) New bike? (Track bike/fixed gear found on eBay, currently at $200 with me being the only bidder. A steal if it stays at that price.)
Oh yeah, I'm still trying to restore that '68 VW bus too!!
All of this and I'm not even working full-time! There's something seriously wrong with me!

19 October 2007

Handel Wasn't Talking About the Messiah

Today was the maiden voyage of my Body Glove Vapor 4/3. I actually wasn't looking forward to wearing it since getting in and out of a new wetsuit is always a challenge (especially when it's a 4/3). I didn't foresee good things for this session either. First, there's the shorter board. Then, there's the thick, stiff wetsuit. But I'd only brought that board and that wetsuit with me. If I was going to get wet, I had no choice. As soon as I hit the water, I smiled. I felt . . . nothing. I didn't feel the cold water on my legs or on my torso. It was glorious!!!! And that's when I heard the music: Hallelujah! Hallelujah! (Listen and watch it here.) That's when the epiphany hit me. Check it! Handel's piece wasn't about God or Jesus or whoever. That brotha wrote that piece after his first session in his 4/3. What? You didn't know Handel was a surfer? Who didn't know that? Aside from the fact that I was almost too warm, the suit's flexibility was perfect. Paddling was no problem at all.

Once again, I was at the home break. Hey, it's convenient. My kid's school is literally 10 minutes away. The weather was impressive. The waves weren't. So what else is new? It was still a decent session. Sometimes all it takes is a few words from someone to make me surf better. I caught some waves early in the session. Then I just sort of stopped catching them. I'm not sure what that was about. Anyway, one of my favorite surfers then paddled out next to me. Mind you, this guy is by no means the best surfer in the line-up. Nine times out of 10, he'll totally screw up the wave he's going for. Still, he's got a good attitude and good energy. He should probably be on a bigger board, but refuses (which is probably why he has trouble getting into waves). He was out today on his 6'4" and was happy to see me out on the shorter board. I was still having trouble catching waves when he paddled out. Then he said the magic words:"You have to be more aggressive." I immediately knew what he meant. I started catching waves. I wasn't riding them well, but I was still catching them. I'll remember what he said when I feel myself getting lazy on the shorter board.

The water was, in a word, filthy. I don't know why. We all kept paddling away from the green and brown slime that suddenly appeared out of nowhere. With it came the trash. I finally gave in, went against my rule about not touching the trash and followed the lead of a few others. I grabbed stuff that looked innocent enough (like wrappers) and stuffed it in my wetsuit. Once I was out of the water, I threw the stuff away in the trash. I even picked up some trash on the beach as I walked with my board toward the car. I know it's not much. It's still better than nothing. I'd rather be part of the solution than part of the problem.

18 October 2007

Sexy Bumps

17 October 2007

3/2 My Ass!!!

Forget all of that lamenting I did about my current 3/2. You know what? The numbers 3 and 2 (in that order) are no longer relevant. It's f@#$ing cold out there!! Uncle!! I give up!! That's it!!! I pulled the 4/3 out of the closet and cut the tags off as soon as I got home. I'm sick of being cold. Granted, I don't like the limited paddling ability I'll be dealing with in the 4/3. I don't care anymore. I just want to be warm!!

Today's session was nothing more than a session. Home break. Waves sucked. Shorter board. Got a few rides. Swapped with a friend. Longboard. Got a couple of rides and cheater fives. Got out.

Since my recent post about the evils of plastic, I took a good, hard look at the trash that had washed up on the beach. I'd say about 90% of it was plastic. That made me so sad, knowing that this stuff will live forever, much of it as pollution. Why didn't I clean it up? Well, I will once I get some rubber gloves. But for now, I don't pick up trash without protecting myself. It never hurts to be careful. Added to my list of things to buy to keep in the car: rubber gloves.

16 October 2007

Add This to My Quiver Wish List

42 Surfboards' 6'10" single fin.

15 October 2007

Blog Action Day: Let's Talk About Plastic

Isn't it funny that the material we seemingly can't live without has the potential to kill the planet? Perhaps that was too strong a statement. Let me restate the question: isn't it funny that the material we seemingly can't live without has the potential to kill our oceans? I'm not making this up.

In doing research for this blog post, I happened upon an article by Captain Charles Moore of the Algalita Marine Research Foundation. Instead of restating it, I'll excerpt some of what he says about the plastic floating around in our oceans:

Now, however, in our battle to store goods against natural deterioration, we have created a class of products that defeats even the most creative and insidious bacteria. They are plastics. Plastics are now virtually everywhere in our modern society. We drink out of them, eat off of them, sit on them, and even drive in them. They’re durable, lightweight, cheap, and can be made into virtually anything. But it is these useful properties of plastics, which make them so harmful when they end up in the environment. Plastics, like diamonds, are forever!

If plastic doesn’t biodegrade, what does it do? It “photo-degrades” – a process in which it is broken down by sunlight into smaller and smaller pieces, all of which are still plastic polymers, eventually becoming individual molecules of plastic, still too tough for anything to digest. For the last fifty-odd years, every piece of plastic that has made it from our shores to the Pacific Ocean, has been breaking down and accumulating in the central Pacific gyre. Oceanographers like Curtis Ebbesmeyer, the world’s leading flotsam expert, refer to it as the great Pacific Garbage Patch. The problem is that it is not a patch, it’s the size of a continent, and it’s filling up with floating plastic waste.

It’s not just entanglement and indigestion that are problems caused by plastic debris, however. There is a darker side to pollution of the ocean by ubiquitous plastic fragments. As these fragments float around , they accumulate the poisons we manufacture for various purposes that are not water-soluble. It turns out that plastic polymers are sponges for DDT, PCBs and nonylphenols -oily toxics that don’t dissolve in seawater. Plastic pellets have been found to accumulate up to one million times the level of these poisons that are floating in the water itself. These are not like heavy metal poisons which affect the animal that ingests them directly.

A trillion trillion vectors for our worst pollutants are being ingested by the most efficient natural vacuum cleaners nature ever invented, the mucus web feeding jellies and salps (chordate jellies that are the fastest growing multicellular organisms on the planet) out in the middle of the ocean. These organisms are in turn eaten by fish and then, certainly in many cases, by humans. We can grow pesticide free organic produce, but can nature still produce a pesticide free organic fish? After what I have witnessed first hand in the Pacific, I have my doubts.

We, as surfers, need to be more proactive about highlighting the way we and everyone else pollutes the ocean. Why do I say "we"? Well, the fact that we're surfers doesn't mean we take care of the environment. Yeah, we'll clean up the beach every once in awhile or give money to ocean-related organizations. How many surfers do you know who arrive at the beach with cups of coffee purchased at a major coffee retailer. What do they do with that plastic lid once they finish the coffee? They/we, like everyone else, throws the cup and lid away. The cup may degrade eventually. The lid will not. Eventually, it could end up in the ocean. How many of you order take-out? What do you do with the plastic utensils you're given? Do you simply throw them away? Then you're part of the problem too. One of the reasons Americans are reticent to get serious about environmental issues (and, yes, I include myself in this too) is because we don't see the pollution problem for what it really is. We think we've done enough by buying hybrids and talking about being green. But we're not green, are we? I admit that I'm not. I also admit that I don't quite know how to be green, but that I'm now giving it serious thought, especially when it comes to plastic.

My worry with regard to plastic is the fact that it's everywhere. It's easy to remember to recycle large plastic containers, what about the little stuff?
This is a picture of some of the plastic we need to dispose of. The Spiderman cup (which Soul Brother #2 has outgrown) and Starbucks cup (which also came from SB #2—no, not coffee, but apple juice) are no-brainers. Those go straight into the recycle bin. But look at that plastic in front of the Spiderman cup. That's part of the packaging for the little man's push-up pops. Since he eats them and I don't, I hadn't realized the packaging was partially plastic. When I did realize it, I ended up digging through the trash to get those many plastic pieces out and into the recycle bin. What about the juice box and Ziploc bags? If you've got kids, you've got plenty of both of those. How many of us recycle those things? And can you even recycle the juice box straws? And why do those straws need to be plastic?

Going back to my original point, there's a whole plastic island floating around in the Pacific. The fact that we don't see it doesn't mean we shouldn't be horrified by the very idea of it. The plastics in that "Garbage Patch" that do break down end up being ingested by sea life. I won't belabor the point. I'll merely ask you to consider the food chain. Everything starts at the bottom and works its way up to the top. It's already a well-known fact that we're overfishing our oceans. What's going to happen if the fish we can eat are, in fact, inedible because they've either ingested plastic or ingested smaller fish that have eaten plastic? People seem to think that this will never be a reality. All I can say is, "Get your heads out of your asses."

People, all I ask is that we make concerted efforts to recycle plastic—plastic grocery bags, plastic cups, plastic water bottles, plastic utensils, plastic push-up pop holders, etc. We also need to reuse plastic whenever possible or try not to use it at all (i.e., shopping bags). Again, I include myself in this. I'm not angel when it comes to plastic. I can do better. I will do better. Don't throw that shit in the trash. Don't throw it in the ocean. The only good plastic . . . is a recycled plastic.

14 October 2007

Tomorrow's the Day!

Bloggers Unite - Blog Action Day

I, and all of the other bloggers who choose to participate, will be blogging about an issue relating to the environment. I've decided to take a stab at plastic and what it's doing to our oceans. Look for my rant tomorrow!

13 October 2007

Wetsuit Woes

The wetsuit saga I blogged about months ago is not quite over. I did find a thin 3/2 today for $99. Since I don't take good care of my suits, I decided I didn't deserve a better suit than the one pictured above. My last 3/2 cost me almost $300 and it fell apart after a little over a year. I'll admit that some of that is my fault. I'm not fastidious in the care of my wetsuits. I'd rather completely dry them in the sun than put on a damp wetsuit the next time I surf. But would that cause the suit to split at the seams where the arms meet the torso? It's not like I've gained weight or anything. I think that suit should have held up a little better than that. Even though the company repaired the seams, water is now rushing in at other seams. In other words, my current 3/2 is not keeping me warm. I almost bought another Body Glove Vapor for a little over $200 online—I got a 4/3 Vapor a few months ago for that price—before deciding against that. I didn't want to spend the money. Then I happened upon an eBay wetsuit seller. What intrigued me about these wetuits was that there were colors other than black. I, for one, am sick of the all-black wetsuit. However, I'm not quite sure I'm ready to rock a blue wetsuit or a brown one. I was seriously toying with the idea of buying one of them. Then I happened upon the one I found today. It won't keep me warm throughout the winter. I'm certain of that. I don't really care. The lack of warmth will force me into that 4/3. As much as I hate thick wetsuits like that, I can't fight the fact that I also hate being cold. See? There's a method to my madness.

I did surf Friday at the pier on the shorter board. My progression on that board isn't coming as quickly as I'd like. I can't complain though. I do catch waves every time I'm on that thing. I even found the elusive shoulder that the board and I have been chasing for weeks. Somehow, my pop-up finally got me to the sweet spot on the board. For once, I wasn't perched on the tail of the board; I was right in the middle. I saw that little bit of open face and managed a few pumps. It was nothing spectacular, but it was enough to prevent me from getting discouraged.

The Brotha Doth Protest Too Much, Methinks

Where do I even start with this one?

You know something's wrong when your significant other often tells you how supportive he is of your surfing. Frankly, if you're as supportive as you say, you wouldn't have to keep saying it, would you? Somehow, I think he's trying to convince himself more than he's trying to convince me. I don't think his attitude about my surfing can be classified as supportive. He tolerates my surfing . . . barely.

And what is it about surfing that pisses him off so much? That's the $64,000 question. For years, I spent my weekends out training on my bike. I was often gone for hours at a time, riding with a whole bunch of guys. That never bothered him in the least. But this surfing thing is a whole different animal. I'm still at a loss as to why surfing, specifically me surfing, bugs the shit out of him. I've not dropped everything else in my life to surf. Yes, I schedule much of my life around surfing. However, I was the same way as a cyclist. I haven't completely ignored the needs of my family in my quest for waves. I don't dream about dropping out to become a feral surfer. I still put my job as "mommy" first. I still bring money into the house. I still do all of that stupid shit that's required of a wife/mother (i.e., do all the shopping, cooking, dish washing, laundry). I've not forgotten I'm married and that there's a man here who requires my attention.

It's rare that I surf freely. By that I mean, there's always a feeling of dread connected to my surfing. Is he going to be mad because I surfed? Is he going to be mad because I want to surf? These thoughts are always in the back of my mind when I'm in the water (or in the parking lot or in the car driving to/from surf or online reading other surf blogs or online looking at the surf report). And I'm tired. Surfing shouldn't be this unpleasant for either one of us. It's not like I'm going to stop surfing. I don't give him shit for riding his motorcycle. He's gone for hours at a time. My attitude is that everyone should follow his or her passion. I surf in the morning for a few hours. You ride your bike for the rest of the day. It's like a tag team wrestling team. You watch the little man first, then you tag me and I've got him. I don't have a problem with that. The little man doesn't seem to be bothered by it either.

I don't ask for much. I'm not a high maintenance female. All I ask is that a man let me be me. Don't trip. I've never cheated. I didn't bring a lot of baggage into the relationship. I've just been here the whole time, being me. We've both changed over the almost two decades we've been together. That's to be expected. Have I changed for the worse? I don't think so. He hasn't hinted at that. So why all the fucking drama about surfing?

09 October 2007

Looked At It

Didn't like what I saw. Went home. Worked. Rode my bike. Lifted weights. Another rest day for the shoulder. Only hurts when I swim hard. No more swimming for Olympic gold while in the pool. Reminder: Calm down! Swim for fitness. Lighter note, my bike legs are returning. Haven't seen them in ages. Nice to have them back.

07 October 2007

If I Was a Carpenter

I finally set about sawing the 2x4s for my ding repair stand. Wow, that's not an easy task with a hand saw and no real work station. A C-clamp would have been a nice thing to have, not that the reps at Home Depot thought to suggest that after being told this was a small project and that we don't do any home improvement/repair stuff at our house. Thankfully, Soul Brother #1 helped out with much of the sawing. He and I also took turns being C-clamps. One of us would sit on the wood, which was propped on a crate, while the other manned the saw. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I followed the blueprints without making a mistake. I'll assemble the stand later this week.

I'm finally catching on to this idea of bringing more than one board with you to a session. Since I spent the entire summer on the log, I guess I assumed I would spend the entire fall/winter on the Soul Peformance shorter board. In fact, the surf forecast suggested good things about the break I hit up today. I almost didn't bring the longboard. But then I thought I might as well bring it since I had more than enough room for a second board in the car. It never hurts to cover your ass. And, yes, my ass thanked me for my foresight. The waves were small, too small for anything but a longboard. Unfortunately for the Soul Peformance board, it has yet to see a shoulder. The Slick fared much better; we saw and enjoyed many a shoulder together today. It's been awhile since I ventured back down to the O.C. I was so starved for a decent wave that I was determined to hit up that break some time this week. Today was kind of small, but the shape was good for awhile. There was enough time to do a little walking (and falling off) on some of the rides. I can't say enough good things about this break. The wave is long enough to allow me to carve or walk, the people are nice and the water is clean. These things make the drive more than worth my while. The waves stayed decent until the tide came up. The backwash screwed everything up. Then, out of nowhere, the wind got on it and got on it hard. I was disgusted enough to simply paddle in. Had I waited for my one last wave, I'd probably still be sitting out there. Good session.

05 October 2007

Stupid is as Stupid Does

I actually got in the water today. I have no one to blame but myself.

04 October 2007

Free Burma Dot O.R.G.
Stop the Oppression!

03 October 2007

Dolphins, Dolphins, Dolphins!!!

At one point, they were everywhere: under my board, next to me, in front of me, out by the buoy, in by the sand. After you see that, the waves you're out there to surf become unimportant. Everyone in the water got his or her own chance to get up close and personal with the dolphins. Initially, the dolphins were near the buoy jumping and splashing. Then, they got increasingly closer to the line-up. Before we all knew it, we were the lucky witnesses to dolphins at play in the waves. I think everyone literally stopped surfing to watch the dolphins have a go. I was at a loss for words when the dolphins finally swam away. I think I used the same two words ("amazing" and "unbelievable") over and over again.

When it was time to get back to surfing, I was no longer in the mood. The sun was out. We'd been visited by dolphins. The waves sucked. I was more than happy to just sit for awhile. The best part of the session was surfing with my girls. There were four of us out there from the home break crew. Let the board swapping begin! R assumed that my seeming apathy about the waves was because my board was too small. She then offered to swap. I got the longboard. She got the 7'0". Of course, the longboard seemed much too big and I was immediately uncomfortable on it. I caught waves, but there was nothing with a shoulder. I managed one short Cheater Five. (You know my rule about walking if I'm on a longboard.) I also managed to get my ass kicked in a closeout. The board and I went over the falls. As I tumbled, I wondered where the board would hit me. It wasn't as bad as I'd envisioned. It hit me in the butt. And while my butt cheeks are certainly padded enough to withstand such a blow, my upper glute (you know, where the bone is and the fat isn't) is not. Yes, it hurt quite a bit. Anyway, R and L both tried out the 7'0". Both were impressed. What a perfect stick for someone who wants to go shorter without going to a shortboard or fish or funboard. It's more egg-like than anything else. It still hasn't seen a wave with a shoulder. That's my fault, I know. The board deserves better than what I've shown it. Immediate (i.e., within the next seven days) goal: Find a wave with a shoulder.

01 October 2007

So Much Things To Say

No, I've not lost my command of the English language. The title of this post is the title of a Bob Marley song. It's the first thing that came to mind when I sat down to write.

First, the reality show discussion was merely that. We discussed our lives with respect to surfing. The woman asking the questions knew nothing about surfing and was more than a little disappointed when she found out that the black surfers at the table rarely saw one another in the water. In fact, we all agreed that we don't see many other black folks in the water on a regular basis. The cool thing about this little get together was hearing everyone's story. It's not like we're all good friends or anything. I see most of these people a few times a year, if that. I don't know any of them well. I enjoyed hearing about what brought the others to surfing. Will the reality show happen? I don't really care. I didn't go there hoping to become a reality star. I went out of curiosity.

Second, my comfort level on the shorter board increases with each session. It's too bad I've yet to get this board into a good wave. Now that I think about it, I've only ever taken the board out to the home break. That place rarely rises to the level of "good". I think we all still surf there because of its convenience and mellow vibe. I don't expect to see anyone but the locals/regulars when I surf there. So wasn't I surprised to see Jeffery standing before me in the parking lot as I got ready for the session. "What are you doing here?!?" I think I was yelling at him. That's how surprised I was to see him, the man who prefers El Porto and Malibu. Convenience had brought him there too. He was, in fact, getting out of the water, but went back in to surf with me a bit. There was no shape to the waves. I spent more time catching up with Jeff than I did surfing. I did catch a few though. In the midst of the session, I had a slight epiphany. I finally realized that the best place for me to position myself on the board while I'm paddling results in my feet still being halfway on the board. In the past, my feet were hanging off the back of the board. But with even a little of my feet on the board, I was able to tweak my pop-up and use my toes to launch myself . . . which is just what I do on the longboard. Eureka!!!

Third, Bonzers are cool!