Found: 10 Tons of Stoke!
Woo hoo! Every picture tells a story, don't it?
As I was moving down the line on this wave, I was watching it line up. For some reason, I had all the time in the world to think about what I wanted to do. And what I wanted to do was smack the shit out of that lip. I've seen photos of mat riders having their way with the lip of a wave, legs outstretched and fins flying through the air.
I want there to be a photo of me doing that too. Eventually.
This is the closest I've come. As a matter of fact, this is the first time I've ever managed to look down a wave and slowly decide what I wanted to do. Granted, this photo catches the action after I wrecked the top of that wave, but the contrail shows that I did it.
To say I'm stoked would be an understatement.
I'd surfed the day before. Yes, I was a willing participant in the kookiness that was the first SW swell of the summer. I got to the break early. I tried to beat the crowd. Like everyone else who got there during the 6 o'clock hour, I failed miserably. Parking was almost gone by the time I got there. One quarter of L.A. was already suiting up. So, I paddled out into what would eventually become "the horror, the horror". While I did get my waves, including two of the waves in the four good sets that rolled through, I was ready to have some surfing solitude with one or two good friends.
That brings us to Sunday.
I had no intention of fighting a crowd. I also had no intention of standing up on a board. I wanted peace and quiet. Truthfully, I would not be denied. What made it even better was that I had a partner in prone riding crime.
When Glenn and I were trading texts the day before, he said he was worn out from having surfed and ridden his paipo. He wasn't planning on getting wet the following day. Well, before all was said and done, he talked himself into going. I hadn't even tried to persuade him to come with me once he said he was tired. He persuaded himself!
The following morning, we met at the appointed spot at 7 a.m. The wind was biting. The swell was hardly showing . . . on a low tide, no less! WTF? Still, I could see the promise. I knew the place would turn on. Glenn wasn't so sure. He suggested we travel up the coast a bit to a nearby break. Once we got there, I was already over it. I saw too many cars on land and too many bodies in the water. I knew it would get increasingly crowded. I wanted nothing more to do with the crowds of summer, so I told Glenn I was going back to where we started. He assented quickly, saying the attitudes of some of the people on land had already turned him off.
And back we went.
We watched for a bit. I decided I was seeing enough movement in the water to ensure a few rides on the mat. Glenn was still hesitant, saying he was going to wait to see me catch a wave or two before paddling out. Well, he didn't even take that long. I hadn't even made it out to the lineup when I heard him yell to me that he was going to get dressed.
We had the break to ourselves for a bit. Then, one lone surfer paddled out. He didn't care about the kelp. He, too, wanted to get in and get out before the crowd came and ruined everything. The three of us traded waves for quite awhile. Yes, there was a SW swell in the water, but the folks weren't rushing out to fight the kelp. That meant we had some time to enjoy ourselves.