Monday, April 12, 2004

Session 4062: Day 31/31 Final Day of 31 Consecutive Sessions Complete!

I was a bit worried about today's condition since the swells have gone done considerably smaller. Also because I wanted to get together with friends after the session. I opted for "after work" session. Well the condition was not all the great, in fact Ed from the Surfrider came all the way to join us but according to him this was one of the "worst conditions" he would have ever surfed in, so instead of going in I got some nice pictures taken by him. So I am sharing these pictures with you in this special edition of my StokeReport. As usual I am fully bundled up for the cold spring upwelling condition, and this is my new SurfTech Fish I have been talking about. Nice isn't it? So I am here at the same location as yesterday, and this was about the only place I saw that there was any breaks.

I was almost going to be surfing alone, but later in the afternoon Nick got up from his Mar's hours and called me that he wanted to join surfing with me, so I was really glad. Because as much as I don't want share the waves (just kidding) I do want someone else to be surfing with me. Especially at this location, it is often barren and very lonesome.

As you can see in Photo 2, the condition was not that great. I must have been saying "Let's get in from here." Though I had one really nice long right on a shoulder level break, so I was really happy about that. Sorry you did not get any picture of me actually catching a long ride, but you can see that I am just about to take off on Photo 3.

Interview with Myself:

Q: So what made you decide to surf 31 consecutive days?
A: Because when other people ask how often I go, I do tell them that I surf "every day." This year I started to actually make a count of how many days I went out. Today I have gone out 62 times. But I actually did not make a conscious effort to actually surf every day. So, I said to myself, what the heck, let's give it a try. I was originally going for 30 days but another buddy of mine, Arthur, told me to why not go for 31. So I said, OK. I also made a commitment to do this by officially announcing to all my friends. This drummed up much mental support that I needed.

Q: So now that you surfed 31 days. How do you feel?
A: Not much different than any old week. Not particularly more fatigued or anything like that. I am going to hit the beach tomorrow for the Day 32, unfortunately at the end of this week I have to "live" in Colorado for a week, so that put some damper on my life style, as you can guess .

Q: What did you discover in your 31 days of surfing?
A: It is actually a challenge to surf (or at least get out) each day for this long of a time, because I had to be both mentally and physically prepared to deal with various conditions. The tide and wind condition change by day and by the hour and of course, I have to shoot for the best period to get the best out of the day's condition. That means I sometimes had to kick myself out of the bed at 5:00 in the morning, and sometimes, I had to tell other people at work at 4:30 that "I have to split, I will pick up the rest later on that night."

I also had to work with a variety of conditions, and for that I picked the right time of the year to try this challenge. There were a few days that the swell were over 15 ft and period was also going close to 20 seconds. At my level, it is out of question to venture out to a 3x zone, but I had to be very careful not to get sucked into these danger zones. Physically I am now in a much better shape than when I started surfing just about 2 years ago (in May it will be exactly 2 years). In fact I had to fight some strong currents in these bigger days. It was also kind of a challenge to surf on conditions where the wind was blowing at 20 knots or more, and some days there were not much to surf on, but overall, I only had a few days that I could not catch any waves. Of course there were several days in this period that I had some of the best surfing done in my entire surfing career, and most of these surfing were right here on my local Half Moon Bay breaks.

Q: Are you are better surfer as a result of this?
A: As a high school student who got an "C-" in the Judo classes, I am not particularly an athletic person to start with, so my progress on any athletic activities are usually 2 to 3 times slower than even most average person who would get into the sport. However, there were a couple of breakthroughs during this period. One significant one is that I am now riding the shortest board (6'6) I have ever ridden and somewhat successful with doing so with take offs and turns becoming more solid. This year's goal is to master a "roundhouse cutback" and I now can start to physically feel the mechanism of how that is executed, instead of just knowing how from some of the text books I have been reading up on. I always thought it was kind of funny that I can read the same sentences in the surfing text books over and over and over, and then one day, I finally understood what they meant by actually feeling it. Unless that time arrives, essentially the text and the real world are not communicating through my brain. I am sure many people had this type of experience in surfing of other situations. I have also found out that watching professional surfing DVDs of Rob Machado or Andy Irons have been extremely helpful as I can analyze how these guys are doing what they are doing using slow motions etc., and relate that to how I am feeling.

Q: Would you go for a longer period of days?
A: My "day job" does not allow me to do that. I do have to travel sometimes, and also I do need to visit my parents and brother in Japan frequently, so about a month straight at a time is the best I can do. My hats off to anybody who can surf 10,000 straight days.

Q: Thank you very much!
A: You are welcome!

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