I had a rare triple gratification day today. Surfing is definitely fun, but more often it is a really hard sport: We get up at a crack of a dawn, breathing out white air, get into cold wet suit, go out and get plummeted, get held down, drink a lot of salt water, spitting sand out of my mouse and nostrils and paddle back for more, and we call it a "fun." And the funny thing is that when I hit the sack tonight, I'd be thinking about how soon I can do that again.
So when the occasional success comes in form gratifications they are even more gratifying. You know what mean, I hope.
Another one of the great condition days continues this morning, and I was happy to hear my local buddy use "ripping" in describing how I was surfing today. May is the start of my 4th surfing year, and I'd probably surfed over 500 sessions, but the progress is still extremely slow in coming, but finally some form of recognition! So thank you J (I know you are reading it regularly now).
This morning, when shortly after I pulled up in the parking area, another local surfer pulled up. He is also a real hot surfer and, man, watching him take some of the outside breaks are just magnificent. He does one of those very powerful rides getting a lot of speed from get-go and then of course, he's got ups and downs all mastered so he even gets faster!
Anyhow guess what he tells me, "I am enjoying your BLOG."
After getting out of the water as I was walking up the path to the car, I have noticed so many flowers on the ground and they are now in full blossoms. What a treat! There were Purple Owl's Clover, Lizard-tails, Coast Daisies, Ice Plants, and California Poppies. I have came to learn a lot about the nature, and surfing let me get so much closer to the Whales, Dolphins and surfing with harbor seals are just now seeing a neighbor dogs running around.
OK, enough of this Gratification Stuff. Here is the Technical Progress Report
I sill am in the long period of learning how to take off. I still cannot take off even half as good as these two locals that I surfed with today, and I know I am getting better, but every time I thought I was doing all right, there are always that "How do they do that?" occasions. Nevertheless, here are some of the things that I am working on refining;
- Got to commit even more: Solid and hard paddling until I know I got the wave. That also means more conditioning on the upper body. Surfing every day is my way of dealing with it.
- Faster reaction on the take off moment. Given my age and athletic abilities, this may not even happen, but to catch harder breaking waves, there really is no way around it getting things moving faster, judge faster and turn faster.
- Accuracy: A little off the center of the board when I pop up, and it is all over. Need to work on more solid pop ups and land exactly where I need to be.
- Better wave selection: Still I have a hit and miss. I should read the wave and also position better on the breaks. On beach breaks around here good people just seem to know when and where the breaks pop and they are right there.
The happiest ride today was the one with a perfect wave selection where it just jacked up the right amount under me, almost missing it, but then I kept on paddling and I caught the wave, the right top turn worked really clean and then onto the face where I am just seeing the lip of the wave about to be ripping apart, but in that mode I kept going for a while. Should I been able to control the speed, I probably could have gone inside of the wave a bit, that would have been awesome. But eventually it was loosing out the power, I had enough speed to do a complete 180 degree U turn cut back, at that point unbeknownst to me, there was a reform from the direction I was coming from and I basically had another ride on the face. That was one of the longest rides I have ever had.
There are the days to remember, as I think it can happen perhaps no more than a few dozen sessions a year.