Sunday, May 08, 2005

Session 5091: Storm Surf

Recently, I have not been sounding like a humble beginning surfer any more and I actually am starting to hesitate to write about about it. I am rather conflicted about this. On one side, I think it is important for me to chronicle my surfing life from the start to finish. And on the other hands, I am starting to sound like I am full of myself, boasting how good I have gotten lately. I have been thinking of the idea of exploring more and more of the inner workings of my minds when I surf, but articulating that has been a challenge too. So here goes again, in my current style of what I can put out.


In one day, the condition turned relatively ugly, and as the day progressed, it gotten worse with more rain and very gusty wind. We tried our best to look for spots up and down the coast. We went back and forth finding the best spot and finally settled at one location, two of the people came with, looked at the condition and immediately dropped off, that left me with Laura and we continued on. I did not think that surf was that big, but definitely it was a bit of mess with the wind already picking up.

Well, I was not thinking much of it, but now come to think of it, should this been a couple of years ago, I would not have ventured out in the condition like this, and honestly if Laura would have gone far outside with me, she would have caught some nice long rides with her South Point long board. At any rate, we were there for about 30-45 minutes and she paddled back in, so I went and suggested that we should hit a different section of the beach where the breaks were a bit less gnarly looking. But I could still see in her face that she was a bit hesitant, so we decide to hit Linda Mar, and finally I broke my record of not have had surfed there.

I was hoping that the wind would be a bit less here but that was a wishful thinking and at the same time the waves were really small too. One saving grace was that the general direction of the wind was more like side to side-off shore so getting out was not much of an issue. But wind was going at least 35 knots if not less. In fact at one point of time, I saw a wind surfer venturing out at Linda Mar, which is actually an extremely rare scene.

In terms of the waves though, however, there were occasional ridable waves and I did ride a few hip sized ones, but I only had the JC 7'5 so I could not win the take-off race with 10 footer riders form the inside.

Earlier in south San Mateo, I missed a take off and wiped out while on the surface, that caused the board to get pulled under and I was dragged under and held down for a good a bit, that is, for me, relatively a long time, as I know 35 seconds is about the most I can take.

I was actually thinking though back in the crowded lineup at Linda Mar, about which should I prefer; to risk colliding with other surfers or to be out powered by the wave. And at current state of my mind and confidence level, I would rather fight the wave than people. I think that the risk of actually injured is fairly big if I was to be hit by a long boarder with a long dagger sticking out of the tail (approximately 200 lbs or more in motion) is rather high. In fact, I have witnessed more scalp and body cut injuries there than any other places that I have surfed so far. Of course, I surfed there a lot (and continue to do so) so that's the part of the reasons, I am sure. This is the reason why I wear a helmet all the time, because I need to protect my head from the people when it is crowded, and that has happened in the past and I was glad I had a hard shell covering my head.

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