Saturday, May 08, 2004

Session 4079: Fun Friday Afternoon at Linda Mar.

With the swells getting smaller by day, I was a bit worried about the
condition at Linda Mar this afternoon. Did hook up with Ren. It was a fun
hot afternoon. I have started in front of the shower area which had several
nice gentle chest highs and then I migrated to the north gradually.

Last 2 sessions, I have been taking out my Arrow 7'6 hybrid board and it is
really fun to catch lots of waves with it.

Technically though, I am starting to understand where I am presently having
problems with and where a bad loop is occurring.

Like many people have written in the Yahoo Group, I too am afraid and timid
to take waves in crowded condition. So in order to avoid that I try to go to
places and time when I do not have to deal with it, but that often means for
me to take less favorable location or conditions. One very encouraging thing
is that after looking at some good people rip on these crummy beach breaks
at El Porto, it is still possible to do some good surfing in conditions that
I thought is not really possible to have some fun.

I am of the school that unless I know exactly I am doing, I don't venture
out to situations that I know it will cause problems. In the beginning I did
not know what these situations were so, I was unknowingly venturing out to
situations, but I have learned quite a bit about understanding my own
current limitations are. Of course, a part of the problem I am running into
it might be that I now need to push that barrier a bit to move up to the
next step.

I also have this nightmare in my nightmare library that plays every so often
that I get swept away with a strong side current and then a big wave come
separating me from the board and I am swimming and swimming and can never
get anywhere in a place like Montara.

Great thing that is happening in the last few months is that I can turn the
board more radically, especially on shorter boards, than ever on more
conditions. I have been really happy about this.

Couple of bad things that I need work on are takeoffs and wave selection.

In terms of take offs. I still need to be able to take off on conditions
that other better surfers are capable of. I still not have not quite gotten
a secret magic of it, but I think there is something that I need to do well.
I think that it is a combination of lots of small skills that need to be
built up. One of the things that is unveiling is the importance of strong
strokes at the right time. These kinds of breakthrough usually come as a
"surprise." Just yesterday, such a change occurred: I was able to take off
on a wave that I thought certainly I would not, but I kept on paddling
harder than usual, and it worked. Another area is the weight distribution
during the take off. This is the area that weight changes very quickly in a
period of 2-3 seconds and on a precarious position of being on a prone
position on the board... center weight for the initial paddle in, forward
weight during the initial down slope then back weight when the tail lifts,
flick up, back weight and quickly to forward weight to go down the slope....

Wave selection is another area now I start to pay good attention to. Of
course, this is the area the "share the wave fear" plays pretty poorly
because to some extent people tend to gather where the waves are good, and
all the good ones will be stolen by expert long boarders followed by expert
short boarders. What has been helping though is that I just get out after a
couple of rides, and then from the beach I am trying to take more attention
to where the good spots are or might be. It is also often easier to identify
good waves from the shore but not from the lineup so I am trying to get a
feel of when it will be good waves.

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