30 September 2006

Magic Board = Ding Magnet

After this morning's session on the Slick, I discovered yet another ding. What's so frustrating is that I have no idea how it got there. Since the indentation is rather clean, I'm surmising it was made by something sharp, something like a fin. But how? When? Where? All I could think was: here we go again. And you know what? I'm not feelin' this Aqua Tech thing. I'm going to have to learn how to fix these things myself. In the past, I've gone to Aqua Tech in an effort to keep my boards in as pristine a condition as possible. The point of that was to keep the boards in good shape in the event that I decided to sell them. It occurred to me today that I have no intention of selling the Slick. That board and I will part company when the ocean dictates. When it breaks, our relationship breaks with it. Not before that time. So why, then, should I worry about having the ding repaired professionally and having the color matched? This board's sole owner will be me. It's time for me to start behaving accordingly. I normally fix the small stuff with Solarez. This one isn't exactly small. I can fix that myself, can't I (once I get the materials to do that)? Any suggestions? (Don't worry, I'm pretty damn handy for a girl.)

Surfed the home break today. It wasn't great. In fact, it was kind of small and dumpy. I got a good workout. Sometimes, that's all I care about. Now that the winter waves are approaching, I'm especially sensitive to the fact that it's time to be mentally and physically ready for what's ahead.

You know, I don't love my job. I've never loved any of my jobs. I do, however, like my job and appreciate the people with whom I work. Here's another reason why. I was introduced to a rep from a prominent wetsuit company last week. The buyer told him I surf. The wetsuit rep saw the buyer later that day when he met her at the beach to hook her up with a new wetsuit. The wetsuit rep commented that her surfboard was a nice one. The buyer explained it wasn't her board, but was in fact a board I'd loaned her. With that, the rep immediately said I needed to be hooked up. Now I've got a new wetsuit and booties coming. Sweet! What more can I say but . . . thanks!

26 September 2006

Board Lust

Hap Jacobs 9'0". Mike Purpus model.


25 September 2006

More Random Thoughts on Saturday's Session

Gracefullee was so diplomatic in her succinct description of the paddle out to the lineup at Old Man's. I won't be so diplomatic since I've surfed Old Man's before on a day when the ocean was angry. That's too damn far to paddle when you can just jump in at The Point and be at the lineup already.

Was it a 15 wave set? Huh. I thought it was only 14 waves. How do I know it was 14? I don't. But the birthday boy (i.e., the person whose birthday was being celebrated at San O) counted. Guess where I was during that set? On the inside, baby, being pummelled. Somehow, I survived. Being the dumb yet scrappy female that I am, once that set was over, I paddled back out to the lineup. And then I had to ask myself: why did I bother? There was nothing left. Waves came through. I didn't have the strength to catch them. What's worse is I also lacked the strength to paddle to and over the approaching set waves that followed. I finally did what I do best at Old Man's: I pointed my board toward the shore and bellied it in. I think we were into our third hour in the water by then. I was done.

I'd never been to San O on a weekend before. Nice people, but there were too many of them (us?) in the water. That made it hard to catch the waves we actually had a chance of riding. I was locked into one wave and about to pop up when a guy paddles across the front of me. I pulled out. He said he would have moved. I don't know about that. He was paddling in the direction ( LEFT, DAMMIT!) I wanted to surf. I'd rather pull out than run someone over.

If I weren't working, I'd surf San O twice a month . . . on any day other than Saturday and Sunday.

Random Thoughts on Saturday at San O

It was just gorgeous out there, a great day to celebrate Bart's birthday.

Please don't feed the professional surfers. They steal (take? grab? surf better than the rest of us in?) all the good waves.

It was seriously crowded.

Did I mention it was crowded?

21 September 2006

Damn It All to Hell!!!

Soul Brother #1 is skipping work tomorrow. So of course I had thought I might be able to squeeze in a dawn patrol session. That was until I realized that sunrise isn't until way after 6 a.m. To make a DP session worth my while, I'd need to be in the water by 6 and out by 7 (since my work day starts at 7:45). There's no way I can do a session before work unless I'm content to be in the water for 30 minutes. Thirty minutes? What a joke! I'll pass. It's worth it to wait until Saturday. Another blogger, the Soul Brothers, and I will be on the road, heading down south for surf. I'll write more about that after it happens.

20 September 2006

I'm on Lockdown

Yes, I know there's a swell. No, I can't take another day off. 'Nough said?

17 September 2006

Just Brilliant

Not the brilliant as we Americans know it. You know, that means something that is bright or glittering. I mean brilliant in the British sense. According to Wikipedia, "brilliant" in Brit speak means very good or excellent. I love that. I much prefer this adjective to "awesome" or "cool". Why the discourse on brilliant? It's the first word that came to mind when I thought about how I would describe my two days of surfing at the home break. It was brilliant.

When I arrived at the home break yesterday, I saw closeout after closeout after closeout. Not a satisfying or inviting sight by any stretch of the imagination. I knew the tide would come up, but wasn't sure if this would improve the shape of the waves. I realized it was worth making a quick run to RPB to check out the waves up there. RPB doesn't not do well on a high tide unless it's firing hard. Still, it looked like there might be enough energy in the water to bring some waves through. RPB is about a 10 minute drive from the home break when the traffic is light. When I got there, I saw three people on boards, sitting there with that "maybe-something-big-will-come-through-and-surprise-me-even-though-I-know-I'm-sitting-out-here-wasting-my-time-and-getting-cold" posture. That was all I needed to see. That place was flat. The home break it would be, closeouts or no closeouts. So, I got back to the spot, suited up, and told myself it would probably get better as the tide rose. And I was right. There was about a 45 minute window when the place got peaky and full of shoulders. It was glorious. Again, it wasn't epic. I don't require epic. Sunshine? Check. Clean (enough) water? Check. Friends? Check. I realize now, and perhaps I've realized it before, that you're most comfortable at the break you surf the most. I'm hesitant and a little unsure of myself at other breaks even when I'm feeling good. But at the home break, I'm completely comfortable. I know that wave well after years of cutting my surfing teeth there. Being there on a day when the home break finally got good again was a treat. I got two meaty lefts that made my whole session because I was able to work those (Grace, I think I was doing your top turns) until they ran out of steam. Not bad on a day when most of the waves were up and over. Yesterday's session brought back many good memories about that place.

Of course, I had to go back for more today. It's too bad the waves weren't as good today. It was still a noteworthy session. I finally did the one thing I've wanted to do for over a year. I threw caution to the wind, said "damn the torpedoes", thought long and hard, and then . . . went in the water without covering my head. Remember, I've been cultivating these dreadlocks since July 2005. What most people don't know is that locks don't happen overnight. It takes work and patience to lock one's hair. I've finally gotten to the point where I can do the maintenance on my locks myself. (What? You think roots lock all by themselves?) I know my hair is most of the way there now and figured if the locks tried to pull out, I'd go home and tighten them up. The good news is my hair is locked. I got tossed around by a few of the closeouts. At the end of the day, my locks are still up there. The bad news is my hair is too short to pull back into a ponytail and too long for surfing. I was constantly trying to get my hair out of my face (i.e., from in front of my eyes). Right now, they kind of look like this:

I want to eventually be able to do this:

16 September 2006

Reason Number 1 Why Mothers Should Surf

Why is me time such a big deal?

By Emily Yoffe
A piece of essential wisdom about our lives is broadcast every time a plane takes off. No, it's not about your tray table. It's this: If the oxygen mask drops and you're traveling with small kids, put yours on first -- before you help them.

Too many women, single or married, childless or mothers, are endlessly fulfilling every obligation except the one to themselves. For your mental, physical, and psychological well-being, you sometimes just need to stop. Then you need to do something you want to do. You need to take some Me Time.

Like many things, Me Time is all the more wanted the rarer it gets. In their recent book, What Women Really Want, pollsters Celinda Lake and Kellyanne Conway discovered that women across all strata of society feel overwhelmed with the insatiable demands on them. When they asked what women wanted more of in their lives, the two most popular answers were "peace" and "time." They were talking about a sense of serenity and control over their lives. The women polled also said they would like more sleep, and that they battle the "guilt that creeps in whenever they take a break."

There aren't that many breaks, though. The Families and Work Institute (FWI) found that working mothers spend both more time at the job and more time with their kids than their counterparts did 25 years ago. Where are they finding that extra time? "It's coming from time for themselves," says Ellen Galinsky, FWI president.

Marianne Legato, a cardiologist, Health Advisory Board member, and author of Why Men Never Remember and Women Never Forget, can tell you why: "If you never have any time except reactive time -- things you must do for others -- you don't have a sense of control. You are interrupted all the time. Your brain has trouble resting even during sleep. Such chronic exhaustion increases the release of stress hormones, and your blood sugar rises." If this is your normal state, then the physical consequences increase your risk of diabetes, heart disease, and memory problems. If that's not enough to scare you into taking some time for yourself, consider this: The hormonal effects of always being on edge help deposit fat right around your waist.

There are more than physical benefits to getting off this treadmill. Taking a break will actually make you discharge your responsibilities better. Galinsky's surveys show that people who are happiest at work are those who take time for themselves. "If you shift your focus, you go back to the other areas of life with more energy," she says. "You're less stressed, more satisfied with life in general."

So what is Me Time? First, it can't be something you hate doing but feel you have to do. Take going to the gym, for instance: "Exercise is a really important tool for my sanity," says Alice D. Domar, PhD, a psychologist and author of Self-Nurture and Health's Ask Ali column. "But a lot of women use it as punishment for eating, or see it as an obligation." If that's you, then exercise doesn't count as Me Time.

For some women, it is a serving of quiet. Kim Renteria, a Houston glass artist, is a widow with three grown children. Every 5 weeks or so, she unplugs her phone. It's not that she doesn't enjoy her friends and family, but she knows she needs 48 hours of solitude for renewal. For many women, other women are the key to Me Time. Studies have shown that having a strong network of friends enhances people's satisfaction with life and even their health.

What is nourishing for one person can be a burden to someone else. If a book group doesn't appeal to you, maybe an art class does. Some women find that volunteer work provides a soul-enriching sense of accomplishment. But if you're someone who says yes to the constant requests for help then wonders what you were thinking, maybe what you need at this point in your life is to do less, period.

Maybe sometimes all you need is permission to do what you need to do to keep yourself sane. To breathe, and be happy. Think of this as your permission slip.

Emily Yoffe is a freelance writer in Washington D.C.

14 September 2006

The Office

Why would I dream about being here every day . . .

when I can be in a place that looks like this five days a week?

Yep, I've lost my damn mind and actually treasure the hours spent in my cubicle.

Okay, of course I don't! That's why I'm always out of my cubicle. I get bored. I get antsy. I get cabin fever. Thankfully, my job requires me to get up often. Even if I have work that requires my attention for long periods of time, I get up just to give my eyes and brain a rest. But, really, I can't do this forever. Cubicles, like board socks, are of the devil!!

09 September 2006

Lost Sleep = Waves

By the time this picture was taken, I (and everyone else) was long gone. Yeah, I had to get up pretty damn early in the morning again. It was worth it. The bombs were rolling through when the sun came up and, yes, I was there. This swell wasn't one of the better ones. It came at an odd angle, bringing with it wind and chop. Still, RPB was great before it shut itself down. I got some of the bigger waves. Too bad the shape wasn't quite there. No matter. There were decent-sized waves. That's what I've been waiting for. I look forward to the winter, even though I'm going to complain about the cold water for months. I want some waves with shape and size. Bring them on!

08 September 2006

Does This Look Like A Swell Worthy of Dawn Patrol?

Well, it wasn't. I should have stayed in bed, dammit. Where is the swell? Riddle me that, Batman! Let me just say this: Pacific Waverider! You're on my list!!! Liars!

06 September 2006

Labor Day

It was one of the best sessions I've had in a long time. The conditions weren't epic by any means. Still, my crew was out. Peaks were everywhere. I was surfing for the third straight day. That's awfully close to perfect in my book. I got one wave (a left!!) that felt like I was just killing it. I could tell I was in the zone. I don't even know what I did. But after it was over, I kept hearing someone whistling. I didn't know that person was whistling at me. Turns out it was one of the OG locals (i.e., one of the guys who grew up surfing that break) trying to get my attention so he could tell me how good a wave that was. I was pumped after that. Now that I think about it, I did have a good session. I felt strong and ready to surf. I hadn't felt that way on Saturday and Sunday.

There isn't much to say about the session. Words won't do it justice. Simply put, it was a fun day with fun waves and fun people.

04 September 2006

You Are 60% Open Minded

You are a very open minded person, but you're also well grounded.
Tolerant and flexible, you appreciate most lifestyles and viewpoints.
But you also know where you stand firm, and you can draw that line.
You're open to considering every possibility - but in the end, you stand true to yourself.

You Should Weigh 145

If you weigh less than this, you either have a fast metabolism or are about to gain weight.
If you weigh more than this, you may be losing a few pounds soon!

02 September 2006


As far as I'm concerned, the summer is over as of Tuesday. The one thing I wanted to do this summer was . . . believe it or not, not quit my job. Before I became a parent, I would quit jobs in a heartbeat, especially if they prevented me from going outside to play. In years past, a summer like the one we just had would have caused me to run screaming from any job that required sitting at a desk for 40 hours a week. Think about it. This summer was great. Not only was it hot—okay, it was usually too damn hot—but we also saw decent swells all summer. Such conditions would have been a recipe for employment disaster pre-kid. The kid has mellowed me. I can't enjoy being unemployed (and free to play) if doing so means the kid goes without and we struggle to pay bills. At this point, I only surf a couple of times a week, but I've learned to make the most of those sessions.

This has been a weekend of less than epic surf. So far, I've surfed the Breakwater and the home break. Both days gave us warm weather and clear water. The water was clear enough for me to easily spot the rays and little sharks swimming in the shallows. I actually like little days like we're seeing now. All you can do is have fun. I wasn't feelin' it yesterday at the Breakwater. I think I'm at a point when I simply want to relax. That's hard to do when it's crowded. If I had the money, I'd take a surf trip off the beaten path. I felt a little more enthusiastic today at the home break. Of course, there wasn't much to paddle for. This is a good time to put the Tyler back into the rotation. The only problem is I've yet to rewax it or put the fin back on. That leaves me with only the Slick (since I've loaned the funboard to a friend).

Soul Brother #1, as is his usual practice, refuses to say whether or not he's cool with me surfing in the morning. That bugs me. I can't make plans when I don't know that I can surf. So, we'll all get up tomorrow, not knowing what's planned for the day. Then, of a sudden, SB #1 will say something about me going surfing. Then I'm scrambling to get everything together and thrown into the car. (If I get my shit together ahead of time, he gets mad, thinking I'm presumptuously assuming I'm going surfing.) I've stopped saying anything about any of this. Why bother? I'm mentioning all this as a roundabout way of saying I may be lucky enough to get a third day of surfing in tomorrow too.