Sunday, December 12, 2004

Session 4.238: To fight or not to fight the crowd

Are you reading and enjoying my WavLog? This year, I have been saving up $1.00 each time I surfed this year to the Surfrider San Mateo County Chapter's Water Quality Monitoring Program that will incur the ongoing cost of testing supplies. That's hopefully $250 or more. You can help too by matching this gift. Any amount will be helpful! 5 cents, 10 cents, 25 cents per session, and I will make sure that your name will appear on the Sponsors Page and an official receipt will be provided for your 2004 Tax purposes! Just e-mail of your intention to donate to the chariman on the Surfrider Foundation San Mateo Chapter at or to me

~ ~ ~

Today I was going to hit Santa Cruz, but after seeing how the weather is becoming drab, I decided to do a short local session, and I was a bit stoked to hit a Half Moon Bay spot. The initial plan was to take a look at the Jetty from the highway, and if that looked good, I would turn back around the check out some of the state beaches. It was actually happy that I have chosen to do that because the Jetty was just completely disorganized, probably due to a lot of wind. So the next stop was Montara.

I actually went past there thinking that it would still be too big for me, but then I turned around in the North lot and drove back and parked next to the restaurant, gotten out and checked it out. It actually looked very inviting today, but my guess of Montara can still be wrong some times. What usually looks inviting can be quite treacherous once I paddle out. But still, I had to make a hard decision whether to fight with the crowd at Linda Mar or fight with the Mother Nature and deal with "what seems to me long" hold downs (note, I am talking about 10 seconds, and it is starting to become somewhat "fun"). Should I know Jack or other local buddies would be here, I would have gone in, but he is in Hawaii this week, and calling other people would probably not going to work for my surf time frame, so I decided to that I would go and paddle out at the Linda Mar and fight the crowd.

On a crowded conditions and especially a big bigger days like today, it really makes me hesitate to take off on waves because invariably someone else would have taken off, hold on a high line and would shoot my way even if I checked to see nobody is coming, somehow, there are very fast people on long boards who can take off from much further outside beyond my "rear-view".
Yesterday I took out a 7'5 and I wanted to try 7'0 today try to take off even later than yesterday, and there are some good fun rides, but they were just very far and few in between. I was paddling up and down the beach, but as soon I settle to a relatively empty spot, there is an army of surfers paddling out at my way, especially after I score a nice ride, people tend to come this way. I often use a technique to lure people to a bad spot and then I paddle away from it, but keep doing that need a lot of paddling energy too. But that's still OK.

What is most disappointing to me the most though is that when I give someone a wave in a last minute pull-out and the surfer just mess it up, when I could have taken it to get a great ride.
I did have a fair share of boot failure too though, so I cannot blame them either. Good news is that I am taking off on more powerful waves than I have been, which is one of the things I am working on, but getting up on the board needs a bit more swift movement, and even more importantly, I am not quickly getting into the forward weighting posture, so the board is just shooting ahead of me. I am more confident on what happens and what to do if I get up on the board. I will report you on the progress in this area.
In the meantime, duck diving and a general getting "through" of the waves on getting out has dramatically improved, which was something that prevented me from getting out on bit bigger days (1.5 x max, still). I can tell that because on my old 7'6 I believed that I could not sink the 7'6 but now I am doing that without much problem on the 7'5 and of course 7'0 board make it a snap!

On the way back, I looked at Montara, and I really should brought up my courage to go in. It would not have been that bad. I just have to make sure that I won't get involved with occasional big close outs, which I am actually fairly confident that I can handle them. I wish I was there.

No comments: