Saturday, January 22, 2005

Session 5012: Surf Until Puke and Rippin' at Tourmaline

Well, today was the day 1 of Wendy's San Diego Writer's conference and that means I had to drop her off at 8:00 at a hotel where the conference is, and then straight back to surf and until this evening I can do nothing but to surf all day. What an ordeal! It is a hard core surfing day if you are eating a lunch consiting of left-overs from last night at the beach looking at other surfers, while you still have not taken off the wet suit, and when finish eathing getting right back in the water. Total surfing time was 4 hours today!

This morning, I decided to get back to this Tourmaline spot since I had so much fun, and a quick check of the Pacific Beach looked still closed out and gnarly.

This, being a weekend, of course, it was rather crowded, and could not find a parking spot in the main lot, but there was a spot up on the hill so I parked there.

Waves were going to about shoulder level on the inside, and the outside were breaking at about overhead today with definite and clean lines. The outside looked like it was owned by several good long boarders who would take off and ride all the way inside. If you do that it would be a good 30-40 seconds high speed, but smooth, ride. Most people just set one line and go diagonally but shooting straight along the wall? like setting the cruise control on I-5, and they are riding the equivalent of Caddies and Lincolns. The wall holds up nicely so there is no real need to steer like a paved highway, though, if it was left up to me, I would do ups and downs shooting up for the lips. I would have gone outside but, boy, it looks like ½ mile paddle out from the entry point. As I paddle out on my 6'6, I was quickly passed by several long board surfers on my left and right. Again, it felt like on a freeway!

But inside was fun. First, most people here still don't take the inside much. But I just wait for people on the outside miss the waves and they will arrive at me at the right steepness as they continue to build up the walls. So I was catching quite a few of those shoulder highs that are really fun to take off, and once I am on the wave, there was a lot of time and space to maneuver on. There are also second reform inside sections you can cut back into it when the first one is about to pewter-out that forms from time to time, and get the second dose of power and speed riding almost all the way to the beach! These people here got it good!


I must say that I have been in a slump type mode for some time, but I think I am coming around it. The confidence is building back up again, and I am starting to see the glimpse of success. Looking back, I think I get into some form of a slump every 3-4 months where there appears to be no progress being made, or this time, I actually have been feeling that my take-off skills have been retrograding.

The root cause of the retrograding is because I have been refocusing on short boarding in the past 3-4 months, and it is definitely more challenge taking off properly on short length boards. The key factor here seems to be that I really need to build more muscle power in my arms. I can tell this because on places like the Trestles, for example, people riding shorter boards than mine would pass right by me paddling out, and they don't look like they are dashing out, and when they arrive at the line ups, their board just sink. Mine does not indicating they are riding potato chips.

The second one is actually flicking up on the board. I am actually starting to take off better, but I am still not on the board planted soon enough. The board is taking off, gliding, but I often find myself belly boarding down, and by the time I stand up, it is already at the bottom. I have a feeling that this is something that will take a focused effort to correct. I should be doing the flick up practice at home on the floor.

What is working out nicely is that once I am on the board and have successful take off, my turns are building up to be more powerful than ever? not as dramatic as better short boarders, but transitions are smooth and can maintain good speed on the bottom side as well as the top side. The steering feels more like pressing left and right pedals than just shifting weights, and now I am starting to make turns that would be like "turning on a dime" kind of line. I have been working on left and right weight sifts on the Indo board hard and that must been working out!

Surfing is difficult!

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