Sunday, July 20, 2003

Sun AM @ Rockaway and Surf Skill Progress Report

I hooked up with Nick from work this morning at 8. He has been working on
the nigh shift so this is his "afternoon" surfing. We started out doing surf
check at Montara. It looked surfable, but not holding the shape, so we
decided to move up to GWC. We did actually put the wet suit on, gone down,
then we taken a look and the breaks were just not happening, so we once
again changed to Rockaway. Initially there was nothing going on, then things
start to come, so we decided to get in.

This is the first time I go out in the water to Rockaway, so I was a bit
stoked about it, since many people told me that this location is hard to
surf as things can get big and hollow. But this is a type of day that is
fairly flat everywhere so there was not much concern... Until I got in the

Paddling out was easy as Nick has already found a calm channel to the south
end so we walked down and start to paddle out. We had several head high
waves, then suddenly what appears to be a 2 x OVH waves just started to
come. I turtled the board but the board has gone out of my grips and so I
got washed, but it wasn't that bad. Then the rest of the time, there were
nice breaks holding at shoulder to head high, so I caught several of those,
and based on this week, I need to summarize some of the progresses that have
been made since last summer.

Areas that I Am Proud Of

+ Now I am able to turn the board as I stand up, allowing me to get into the
wave face more confidently. I can also cheat a bit by taking off already at
an angle.
+ Now I am starting to get a feel of using the tail of the board to make
turns. Overall this seems to be similar to executing "jet" turns on slalom
style skiing which I used to do. It feels like I am making the board slip
under me forward as the board is banked and use the centripetal force to
push the banking against the water. Definitely putting more weight on the
rear foot where I put the pad on.
+ I am now much comfortable in situations like today where a sudden bigger
swells come. I now know what (not) to do. Before the fear just taken up me
completely. I now know it will be over in 5 - 10 seconds under the water.

Areas That (really) Suck

- I feel like I am not yet completely committed (i.e., scared) to take off
and standing up right away, so I am not completely under control during the
take off phase. But I am getting better at it.
- Bottom turn still is sucky so no climbing back into the waves yet. But I
feel like I am getting a feel for when to do it. I am not just set to do it
since I have just concentrated so much on taking off, I could not take the
body to the next step sooner. Looks like it will come in another month or
- Duck diving just really sucks at the moment. Success is about 10%.
Probably my 7.6, 21inch wide board is too floaty.

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