This morning, I really was hoping to do an early session at the Jetty like yesterday, but it was disappointingly flat, so I drove on north to Montara and that's where I surfed. Again, the waves looked great from the top of the cliff and once I got in there, it was difficult to get out with a lot of duck diving and turtling needed. I don't know what it is but this always seems to be the theme here, looks good from the top, feels like in a hell when you are in the water! I did my best to catch some of the waves and definitely the "vertical" take off is improving further more by counting the number of waves I caught, and that brings to the Mavericks.
Last night, I was watching a DVD of last year's Mavericks surf contest (courtesy of HMB Board Shop) and I was trying to relate their take offs with how I have been experiencing it. What really was interesting about the contest was that it is basically judged on take-offs, so the most of the contest footage was focusing on take-offs. This is quite different from "regular" surf videos where the take offs are usually cut and only see the ride moves. Another good thing about big wave take-offs are that they are big and so you can actually see that better. On small-wave take-offs, things happen so fast that it is almost hard to see what is going on. So it was actually very educational for me to watch the contest video and since the video brings up these surfers so much closer that was even better!
So back to my take-offs, one thing that I noticed is this. When taking off from more steeper and faster situations, I could see that even from my vantage point the wave look almost straight vertical wall down from the top, the board is capable of catching the waves and will hold up the surfer. We see that thousands of times from films or other good surfers doing it, but I am a bit more awoken or alert about this situation. So basically that's something I ought to put a more trust in the board and my ability to hold on to the surface of the waves even when it looks so steep. In fact there are more times, I dropped down into the wave and I was still up and still going. I know it is not just a matter of the trust, and I need to polish the technique to get into that kind of situation better, but I now can sometimes focus a bit more on that aspect of take offs too, and I can practice that even on shoulder level waves so if I do get plummeted, it won't be so bad as doing it in 20 ft wave faces!
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