Thursday, August 23, 2007

Lovin' the fish!

I've been surfing every day for a while now - with the exception being last Sunday: Radar Sherpa's Malibu performance. No longer do I have the 8 foot wave catching machine. It now belongs to Ryan. The past month or so has been a struggle as I have dropped down to a 5-11 fish. One day feels like I am making progress. Then days pass as if I have never been on a fish before. Wednesday and Thursday were total regression days. Big beautiful waves that I'd paddle for, make, pop up, get a view of the liquid wall and then I am tumbling like a ping pong ball in a lottery that I never win. Yesterday (Thurs), Magnus accompanied me on the surf sesh. He is from Sweeden. A chef who works part of the world and then travels the rest with his balsa wood surfboard that he picked up in Equador. Surprisingly it is a 5-11 fish. His is a twin though with wooden fins that are glassed in. So we are both out their at Pipes, he's charging on his twin and me on my quad. Part of my trouble was reading the waves. Finding the shoulder, the entry point the wave's sweet spot. The rest of my trouble was my clumsy pop up. Each time I failed, I immediately paddled out of the impact zone, back outside, forcing myself not to dwell within the feeding frenzy of frustration. Instead, I'd look forward to the next critical moment when everything happens so quickly. I want to be on the wave so much that I skip past the instant of getting vertical. Thus, these last two days had become my own personal limbic system workshop on coping with frustration. I left the ocean on Thursday resolved to head to the surf shop and get a transition board. Something like a 7-2 fish. Alas, the closest used board that Ventura Surf Shop had was a 6-10 twin fish for $375.00 this board looks just about right but I left the shop without it. I did not know it but I had reached a conclusion in that moment which probably impacted today's session. In the blink of an eye, I had realized that I wanted to stick it out with the 5-11 quad, give it a chance, pay my dues. I woke up today, itching to get in the ocean. The last several weeks of surfing had been purely an investment in loss. I arrived at The Point an hour after high tide and was met with goodsized clean lines, slightly ruffled with a 5 mph breeze. The temperature felt just right as I entered the ocean. Several surfers had tank top suits on and some even wore spring suits. One guy in a shaggy beard had a hood on, though. This day began like no other so far that the quad and I have been together. Catching 4 waves in a row in the first half hour had me so stoked that it is still with me. Each wave walled up and one gave me a hundred yard wave. I was finally able to carve, riding up to the lip and then making the redrop. Even the waves that I fell off on were fun. There was one that I was up to my needs in the white foam but still somehow maintaining balance with my right hand hyro-planing and then falling just before making it to the clear. As I got tired the rides became less and less until I caught an itty bitty to take me to the sshallows and then I jumped off the board and landed on my feet on slightly submerged river rocks semi gracefully.

A moment of terror began when I arrived home, after making the 25 minute drive, realizing that I had left my Psycho II wet suit on the ground at the beach. OOPS! Immediately I made the drive back in probably 15 minutes that invloved constant praying to God. So, anyway, the relief I experienced upon finding my Psycho II completely safe, still pretty damp and sitting on the little patch of green, was huge. Thanks God. Thank you Surfer's Point. Great surfers, friendly and honest - don't tell any one. Tomorrow, no matter what happens, I will have fun.
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