El Porto: 3, Surfers: -1
I went to El Porto, which we all know is my least favorite break in L.A., to try out the Bonzer. Whiff told me it had been nice, well-shaped and somewhat forgiving the last few days. Fine, I thought. I can handle that.
As I drove along the street above the break, I wasn't liking what I saw. It certainly wasn't looking forgiving and I wasn't seeing a lot of shape. I got there first, parked so I wasn't facing the waves and read. I didn't want to look. I didn't want to get psyched out. Eventually, CYT came. Grace followed shortly thereafter. I was already thinking we should just head north to points less fierce. The waves just looked kind of sketchy to me. CYT wasn't feeling it either. Grace, who'd surfed El Porto several times this week, thought it wouldn't be bad. And so, we went.
First there was the paddle out. With no lulls to speak of, that was a task in itself. The paddle out is my least favorite part of surfing a bigger day. I don't know what it is that scares me. I guess I always think there's no way I can get past the walls of water coming at me. The paddle out today was not pretty. Grace forged ahead first. I love that about her. Eddie would go . . . and so would Grace. CYT and I went next. All of us were being battered. Finally, Grace made it up and over safely. I thought CYT did too because she disappeared from view for a bit. Thinking Grace had found the channel and suppressing the inclination to give up, I moved over to where she was, seemed to make it up and over everything coming at me and made it out too. Once I looked back, I found out that CYT was on the shore. One down.
Thrilled with the fact that I'd even braved the paddle out, I was quite excited once I got to the outside. I was on board much smaller than I'm used to, thus I couldn't paddle as fast as I would have liked during the paddle out. Nevertheless, I was there in the safety zone. I don't know how long we sat out there. We tried for waves, but the shape was lacking. The waves would start out mushy and hard to catch. Then they'd jack up into walls that were harder (or perhaps scarier) to catch. Finally, a massive set wave rolled toward us. I was sitting further outside (yes, I was nervous and worried about being mowed down by a rogue wave) and barely made it over. The wave was easily 10 feet. I looked back for Grace, knowing she was too far in to make it. I saw the board first. No, I saw the foam first. I was looking at half a board. Snapped in half! Two down.
That left me out there alone. Both of them watched me. I waved them in. I knew I'd be there awhile. And I was. I didn't catch shit. I made good attempts, but there was no way I was going down those walls. They were completely vertical (or at least that's how they looked from above). There were only a select few who were getting the waves. When they did, the rides weren't long. Of course, from the sand, those people who are tearing it up and getting the long rides make it look easy, make you think you've got a chance at something. Wrong. Thankfully, I wasn't scared. I was merely perplexed, wondering how I was going to get out of there without taking a beating. Eventually, the waves backed off enough for me to paddle in. I'm not one who's ashamed to paddle in. I don't like to paddle in, but I'll do it when necessary. Today it was necessary. It was time to go pick up the little man. There was nothing for me to catch. It was cold. So why just sit there?
Yes, it's a good sign that I made the paddle out on my smaller board. I never felt like I'd reached my limit physically. However, I've got nothing to show for this session but a lot of frustration.
Whiff, you've got some explaining to do!!!