Friday, January 21, 2005

Session 5011: Tourmaline and Confidence Building

Please open the following photo album as you follow along this WavLOG.

The big swells have eased a bit this morning, but at Pacific Beach, the waves were still closing out big time, but there now are some indication of surfable waves popping up here and there on smaller sets. Hope by tomorrow morning, I can give this location a shot.

So this morning's session, I have decided to head back up north until I find a good spot for me. Give the swell direction; I thought that it would be nice to find a point that would protect us a bit from the direct swell hits. We got a coffee at a beach side café, where all the employees looked like they either skate or surf or both, and the city health department gave this spots the sanitary rating of a "C". Good thing that we ordered piping hot coffee and factory produced and sealed muffin (to mean that we trusted whatever the factory that produced the muffin.) Well, I am back in my room writing this, so there has not been any advsrse effect.

We drove out the Mission Beach St. North toward Torray Pine and planned to find this Bird Rock and Tourmaline beach. We ended up missing the turn-off for the Tourmaline, wind up at the lookout for a cove. This looked good, but if screw up a turn or if caught inside in a current, there are a lot of rocks waiting to eat out the board at best, if not my bones. Heading back S again, I came to an intersection where an SUV with a long board turned, and that was the turn off for Tourmaline St. and the beach park.

There was a decent size parking lot but it was nearly full. The place was a full of nice vibes with all surfers greeting or smiling when our eyes met, and there were all ranges of surfers from groms to surfers over 40 years of experience, and everything in between. The sets were breaking more gently here, and it would be a perfect place for me too, unlike yesterday at the Pipes where I felt I was totally out of place.

Paddling out was still a bit hard as the swells are still providing good amount of resistance for me to get out, but breaks were gentle and slow moving, allowing sufficient time to act on going under or above. It was crowded but spread out evenly and the lines were really wide so having my own long waves was not difficult at all.

I must say that it is a confidence inspiring when there are better mix of surfing skill level people. I was paddling out faster than others short boarders and catching up at a good pace with experienced long boarders.

Today, my take off are improving a bit as I tried more effort to take off from further out and also paddling much harder and inserting the initial take off at a more sharper angle. But I am still too slow on getting up on the board. I really need to commit more focus and power during the take off. My timid nature causes me to back off and give up too soon, but there are signs of things starting to working out bit at a time. More gently breaking and holding waves are really helpful in regaining and building up the confidence, and it was such a boost for my surfing moral.

As the confidence increased, I became more relaxed, and even during paddling out I was able to keep the even stroke and pace. When I am more panicked, I tend to do things in more haste and that is not a good thing. I know that, but sometimes the emotion wins. So I must remember to have this confident feeling next time I am challenged a bit by the condition, the people, or both.

Of course, I should not forget to metion all of my surfing buddies that I met and taught me a lot of good lessons in surfing; none of them I have known before I started surfing just 3 years or so ago!

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