Saturday, February 26, 2005

Session 5040: High Stoke Morning Session, East Side SC

This morning was one of the high-stoke morning I had in a while. Session started at 6:30 AM this morning, hooked up with Jim from the get-go, and at a later part of the session I have surfed with Jocelyn for a bit. I have surfed the Hook and both outside and inside of the Pleasure Point peaks.

We started to surf with Jim at the Hook, but Jim commented me that it was too small for him, so I basically said; "OK, let's paddle to the Pleasure Point Peaks. ", so we paddled the entire length of the Hook to the Peak. I don?t know exactly how long that is but it feels like a good 1/2 a mile. As we approach the peaks, I saw grin in Jim's face.

I do not often venture out to Pleasure Point mainly because I still believe that I am not that great to surf in par with other people who frequent there, but whenever I go there, I do have some fun, and I am starting to be able to handle the situation out there so I rarely get into other peoples way, and there are sets that I can confidently take off even there are few people immediately inside. Plus, having a foamy board is really helpful. I am really glad I tried and it worked out.

There were some long lull moments and also sets-after-sets moment too. It would be quiet and people are making conversations. If it would be possible, some people might take out cigarette and start smoking. Then the horizon start to darken and it gets darker and darker and starts to also build upwards. The relaxed atmosphere is now changing. Everyone, except for those who don't know what is going on, starts to paddle outside quietly. Here, no one shouts "Outside!" You are assumed to know this. As the water builds up higher and higher, it looks like I am a mouse and a bulldozer blade is just about push me and swipe me away. The mouse is so small and he sees only the iron blade and nothing else. . I see this old but good surfers on a long board already up on the wave from much further up on my right coming down at me at very fast speed. Holy crap, I might be eaten up by this wave and then get killed by this guy! As these thoughts occur, I am still frantically paddling to the outside and to the left. Don't break on me! The board starts to climb up the mountain and I am safely on the other side of the wave. I look back and I hear the sound of crashing wave. The surfer is now hidden behind the wave. Then just when I thought it is safe to park, the set gets bigger. It is also bigger at the spot where I am. I look further up the wave and I did not see anyone on the wave yet. A chance of lifetime! I now turn the board around and I am now determined to take off. The wave is approaching and jacking up fast. A surfer utters a word "Nice!" I just put the thought of "I am afraid what to do now" on hold. Suddenly, the board starts to glide down and I try to do a mighty push up and stand up on the board. I did not mess up the flick up, and I will start to set the rail to the wall.

There is nothing that gives me the sense of success when I take off on well overhead size sets, and as I execute a decent on the wall, the wall is forming right on the right hand side of me, and I can reach it if I extend right arm. As I try to maintain a high trim line, the lip of the wave starts to wrap in and starts to close out. Oh, shit! I am not going to make this one through, but I would try to do a mighty cut back around. And the sensation of a successful cut back turn at this power and speed is another thing that I have forgotten.

There were a few other moments like this, and I did mess up a few take offs, only to be held down then second set breaks right on top, again, holding me down. But little by little, I am used to this, and of course, it is not that big by Santa Cruz standard, the fact that I can just relax and wait out for the set to pass by underwater is just another sense of accomplishment over 3 seasons of surfing from knowing nothing in the start.

I finally got tired of being in this intense situation so I started to paddle and ride back to the inside 38th. I stayed there and looked for any familiar faces, but I did not find any and did not catch any waves there. The morning session time was running out soon, and I saw that the Hook was still breaking so I paddled back there, and I saw Jocelyn. It was super crowded and everyone was taking off at the same time.

So in one of the waves, I was almost going to meet the line this other surfers has taken so I did a mighty top turn, and it was a lucky moment. The wave actually started to rebuild at the spot, and I kept on riding all the way to the Sharks. That was a very long ride. When I paddled back, I told Jocelyn that that was a "chance of the lifetime" ride that I would never be able to repeat again. In some ways, it is true; there will never be the same wave again!

At 10:00 AM, I met up with Josh and his girlfriend and visited most prominent E side board shops from SC, Freeline, Blownout Wetsuit, Fiberglass SC etc. He has gotten a nice 6'10 Fish board. That wrapped up my session.

Thank you for reading.

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