I checked my own StokeConsole this morning and I was happy to see there the wind has stopped and we are getting both N and S swells. So I was already stoked to get out before hitting the office. I was hopeful with this S swells coming in, there will be something at the Jetty. A quick stop there there were already some people out, but it was breaking too close to the shore but some good people were definitely catching waves shredding a bit. I decided to move on North. The Montara did not look too shabby either and I would have gone there too, but somehow, I never surf there on a school day (don't ask me why), so back to Linda Mar as usual.
Now I park at the Crespi lot then head straight to the N end. It was happening! I was so happy, but no matter when it is, unless it is really flat, I am always a bit scared even to this day if there is any waves that's over the shoulder. Today though the bigger sets were going at overhead size. One thing though, having had to work the mess waves at the Sand Dollar last weekend and also at the Kelley, I am getting much used to large size waves and paddling out for them. It was only 2 years ago that I would not even think to go out when the waves look thrashing around in a huge mess, but today, once I am in it, I am no longer really scared. In fact I have even learned that some of these rough spots are the indication of rip currents going, so I sometimes go for them. This morning was a good example of such channel being present. Using my new trusty Takayama DT4, I cannot duck it but I can turtle or push though.
The good breaks were further south of the rip and breaking a bit diagonally to the shore, so I go out then turn left and paddle parallel to the shore for a bit and then I am in the zone. It was almost like Santa Cruz class length of paddle out. All the breaks were lefts today so goofy footers could have had a lot of fun, but my backside turns are becoming better now, so no hesitation to take off. I do sometimes cheat a bit, do a quick right at a take off then quick left.
I was catching one break after another even with the long paddle outs.
Then came, oh shit, a bit bigger than an overhead wave and I was paddling hard for it (was scared too). I begun feeling a pressure on the back of the board and the whole body started to lift up.... It is a good sign that I am in the wave... With a few more strokes to be for sure, I tell myself, "now don't be in a haste, just get up relaxed." The board catches the wave in a smooth glide, so as I did that there was a plenty of moment to set up for a start. I was up on the board, all stoked, the DT4 took off to the left real fast almost leaving me behind, my back was bent to the left and almost ready to take a plunge with my arms almost ready to twist in a desperate attempt to hold the balance.... But... I immediately crouched down, and held on. Now I am in a good position to crank a wide left turn, and it was such a smooth but fast turn. Then I was slowing down but the wave was starting to close out on the right. Quick right and I got a lot of power back then back to the left. The ride seemed to have lasted for a long long time.
So that was my Stoke 9 ride. It is still fairly rare that I will be treated with a ride like that, but once I am in the wave, I know I can make a lot out of it. I try, try and try in the hope of finding myself on days like this.
When I got my facial accident while ago, doctor Sears was looking in to my eye at almost a "kissing" distance and mumbling few words at me "You must really like it to..." And that's really yes. I really really like it. That's what the Stoke is all about!