Monday, September 13, 2004

Home Session 4.176: Conquest of Junky Waves

Today was one of the junkiest days, especially when I was surfing gentle smooth reef breaks in Maui for nearly two weeks. But in some ways, I was looking forward to it, because after that two-weeks worth of long board sessions, I was ready to get back on my 66 Fish. Also, it might sound strange enough to you, I like to be in the cool water. When I was in Maui the water was so hot that I was definitely sweating a lot in the lineups and in the 80 degree water too. There was not really much chance to cool off. Here, after a ride or a paddle out, it is refreshing to just dip under the water and get my head cooled. Try that in Hawai'i!

Today, the water started feel normal to me. My hands did not freeze up like yesterday, and the water actually felt warm enough.

The waves were junky all over, and it was one of these days that getting out was some work with all the local wind chops on top of any surfable waves. You know, you paddle and paddle and duck, duck and duck and paddle and there are more white breaks out there. I was definitely being pushed back because other girl paddling out left of me did not move an inch even though she was paddling just as hard as she could.

BUT, I think I am improving. I got two good enough rides, first one was about 5 seconds and second one lasted for at least 10 seconds. They are long enough on days like this, especially when I saw only a few others caught anything longer than I could.

I think I am getting into the initial turn much faster now, so as soon as I am up I am already gliding the face of the wave when these waves are relatively steep to start with. I just had to hope that the wave does not close out quickly (but they did). That has made me very happy because previously there was no way in the hell I could get up and hold up a line in this kind of condition. Since I am still scared as hell to take off on rapidly closing waves that's bigger than, say, my shoulder so today was a perfect day to build some confidence in this area, and I had to ditch a few times when these bigger ones did come. After those passes under, I would say, yeah, I could have caught those too, so what's a big deal. But in front of them, I am in "oh shit!" mode.

But I think I can go for taking off on bigger breaks 1/4 of inch at a time. Some day, yes, overhead faster breaks will be mine! I do like to play it safe and confident each time.

When I caught the last long ride to the beach, I said, I am going to stop now because if I paddled out, I would probably have to paddle back to get out, and someone in Hawai'i said that I should never paddle back in, but ride back in. I am trying to do this right, you know, and I now know why.

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