Sunday, November 07, 2004

Sessions 4.219 - 4.220: Opening Up More Options.

After some issues at the Jetty yesterday, today especially turned out well. In fact, as you can see from the title of this log, I did two sessions today. I started out today at Waddell in the morning at 8 a.m. with Jeremey, a new member of the Stokemasters group. Then after that session I went over to the 38th avenue in Santa Cruz.

Back when I started out surfing, I only surfed locally at Santa Cruz, Linda Mar and the Jetty. To some extent, I still do that. I am still familiar with these locations and so I tend to gravitate towards these locations. Being familiar with an area is actually a good thing because I have better idea of how the waves manifest, and even more trivial things like finding parking, getting in and out of the water safely, where the rocks are hidden etc. are mapped out in my head. So, at least, I don't have to think about these things when I go surfing.

But now I am starting to become comfortable at going places that I have not been to, and this I think is largely attributed to acquisition of some waterman-ship, and of course that is an important part of surfing skills. I used to be sloshed around in the water, and when any size of wave came at me, I was deflected back to the beach. Now, I know to wait, and I know when I should dash out, know how I can find channels, and when the inevitable occur I am more relaxed, push a board down and duck or turtle etc.

One thing distinctly stay in my mind is this situation. When I first start going to the Jetty, I often saw this young woman with a short board. She was smiling and just going about doing her business in the water, like a child playing peacefully in a sandbox. Everything she did looked so natural. In the meantime, I was scared to the bone, and I felt like I was on an out of control bulldozer on the water.

So today, as I was driving down the cost, ever beach looked attractive to me, and I thought "Yeah, I can catch that one, and yeah, that one too!"

Of course, there still are conditions and places that I still would not be comfortable, like double overhead condition at Montara or Ocean Beach, and being in a crowded condition like today at the 38th. On big conditions, I don't want get myself hurt, and in the crowded condition, I don't want to hurt other people.

Nevertheless, the afternoon at the 38th was fun. I decided to relax, be in the water with friends and just catch a few if some waves happen to come to me way that other people did miss. Even then there were a few really nice rides I had.

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