05 January 2011

Would You Consider This a Fair Trade?

See, it was like this: I was stupid enough to ignore my better judgment and allow someone to talk me into taking my board—rather than my mat—out to this break. The waves were larger today, therefore the shape was not all that good once the tide got too low. So, I paddled my happy ass out into it nonetheless. No leash. It's not that I thought I was too good for a leash. I just hadn't really looked at the forecast and hadn't realized there would be more energy in the water today. All I had with me was the board that doesn't have a leash plug. With a mat, more energy doesn't make much difference. I would have ridden my Standard instead of my Tracker Square Tail.

To make a long story short, the waves had size, but questionable shape. I got a few. On my last one, I realized I was probably going to run someone over and made a quick move to avoid a collision. When I did that, the wave closed out behind me. The board . . . was gone. Normally, that's not a problem at this spot. Unfortunately, I'd drifted a bit south of where I normally sit. Nine times out of 10, losing your board means a long swim and nothing more. This time, the board launched itself into some rocks.

Once I finally got to the board, I had a decision to make: get back in the water and paddle to the other side of the bay to the almost sandy entrance or keep the board dry by doing a 15 minute rock dance in bare feet? I chose the latter.

I can be both stubborn and tenacious at times. That is why my feet are still throbbing some 10 hours after my session. I got my waves. I rescued my board. I shredded my feet. On the bright side, I don't believe much water got in the board (thanks to me sacrificing my feet to the surf gods), therefore the repairs shouldn't take long. Yes, I said "repairs"—plural. The nose took the worst of that beating. There was more carnage to be seen on that stick, but I didn't feel like taking that many pictures (!!!!).

Anyway, my board paid the price today. My feet had to cough up some cash as well. Nonetheless, I saw some things over there where the board ended up. Very few people walk around over there. Alas, I did spy a great deal of trash, more trash than I could have picked up. I'm certain it washed up with the waves; it wasn't dumped by apathetic beachgoers.

I also saw . . . shells, big shells. I never see big shells. But there they were. Even though I knew I had a long, painful walk ahead of me, I stopped to grab a shell. I at least wanted something amazing to take home along with my wrecked board. I'm still sitting here looking at this thing as I type this. It's almost the size of my hand. I'm assuming it was once the home of a hermit crab. I did check for an occupant before continuing on my journey, surfboard on my right side, seashell on my left side.

Is it a fair trade? I don't think it matters really. Dings happen. That's a part of surfing. If you surf a board enough, it's going to take some punishment. It would be unrealistic to think you can keep a board in pristine condition. Perhaps you can do that with a wall hanger. I believe boards are to be surfed. If you ding a board, you fix it. If, like me, you prefer bold colors on your board, you suck it up and don't sweat the small stuff (like the colors of the repairs not matching the rest of the board perfectly). None of that matters.

I got some dings.

I got a cool shell.

I have a quiver.

I have mats.

Boards get repaired.

Life goes on.


At 1/6/11, 12:08 AM, Anonymous Val said...

I much prefer surfing without booties, and lately I've been enjoying surfing without my leash, too. I guess I might have to get a little more conservative on those bigger days though... especially with some low-tide closeouts.

Today I narrowly missed having my board get dinged on the very same rocks where your board sustained its damages. (Sorry to hear about that! If you DO want a great repair job with meticulous color matching, I know who to call!)

Luckily, I did manage to swim to it just in time. Later on it slipped from my grasp again when I turtled under a big closeout. This time, a very friendly fellow surfer paddled it back out to me while letting his board trail behind him on its leash. He said he went back to wearing a leash after he himself had been hit by a loose board and needed stitches in his eyebrow. I took that as a sign!

P.S. I went back to wearing booties at that spot after it took some big cuts on my foot almost three weeks to heal completely. I feel a little wimpy ... but I guess I can live with that. (The booties also work fine for hiking down there.) Well in any case it sure was a gorgeous day, wasn't it?

At 1/6/11, 5:40 AM, Blogger Surfsister said...

I don't sweat dings anymore. I surf so much that you'd think I'd get more dings!! And I always say that I won't get upset if I or Mother Nature cause the ding. I also feel like I can exhale once one of my boards gets its first ding. I stop babying it after that.

At 1/6/11, 5:17 PM, Anonymous Soul Arch Matt said...

Hey SS. I think I saw you catch a "bomb" on your mat today at TPTSNBN. I didn't have binos but it was someone on a mat there so I assume it was you. Good on ya. I wanted to join you in those beautiful conditions but had to finish my work day instead.

At 1/6/11, 5:21 PM, Blogger Surfsister said...

Ha ha!! That was, in fact, me. I think I got three bona fide bombs today. I'm glad someone saw them. I wasn't sure if I was fooling myself into thinking I was catching some waves with some serious size. I got out of the water exhausted.

At 1/6/11, 8:32 PM, Anonymous Val said...

I drove to San-O and walked down to Church after school today. The waves looked awesome! But when I got there I found that the creek was flowing heavily and that it smelled REALLY BAD, like sewage! So I decided it wasn't worth the risk this time. (Even if I didn't end up getting sick from dirty water, I know myself well enough to know that I'd be WORRYING about it for days!)

Funny thing though, on the walk back to my car I found a big shell - same kind you found yesterday. I think Mother Ocean is calling out for our help!

At 1/7/11, 10:25 AM, Blogger Kirk said...

I believe that is a Turban shell, and solid sized one too. Big old snail used to live in that thing.


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