Thursday, June 02, 2005

Session 5106

Like I wrote on the Stokemasters message board this morning, I was literally hang over from surfing this morning as I put in total of 4 sessions in the last two days. Plus I was still getting over the jet lag that we have acquired from the Japan trip. I honestly don't know how pilots and flight light attendants can handle it. The "east" bound is always so hard to get over because when you get back the whole day starts over, whereas when we go "west" all we got to do is to "sleep some more."

Well, on way to the Jetty, I looked at the Linda Mar beach as well as Montara and these places were covered with the roaring waves that would not be so fun to get out, let alone catching those waves.

But when I arrived at the Jetty, the spot was breaking just like the past two days, mostly shoulder to head high, while there were a some close outs, there were a quite few ridable shoulders. I really can claim this as my home break and even if we move to the North Shore of Hawaii, I would still proudly call the Half Moon Bay Jetty as my home break. I had some of the hardest time here as well as some of the best surfing I have ever done as a beginner surfer, but the place is not just for a beginner, there still are a lot of challenges for me to surf there as good as the best surfers I see.

As with yesterday, I took out the Randall French 6'6 Fish board. I must say that this is also THE favorite board of mine these days especially I missed it for a month. Compared with a true short style board, this board affords so much more stability and forgiveness to my lack of skills and give me a lot of fun letting me in on the wall and when the waves power gets less, just a pump or two and it would just get me into the next section of the wave letting me have remarkably long rides even on smaller situations like today. So much fun!

When I arrived there, there were only a handful of surfers out there and with the set size dwindling a bit more (though the swell size is supposed to be bigger today) than yesterday, there were even less people out there as it seemed to me. I had a wide variety of sections to choose from so I basically paddled, surfed and walked back to the starting point several times to catch some of the most fun waves. And of course, I continued to explore the quest of catching waves, and I must say that today, I did well, as the success rate for the wave I went for continued to improve.

One thing that I have really realized lately was that I was not putting my weight "back" enough when taking off, especially when I switched to shorter boards. Even though for good two seasons, I thought I was doing it. But this type of weight shifting is really difficult because I am lying prone of the board so how can you really shift the weight? And if I am too far back, paddling power will suffer. So the key here seems to be that I have enough paddling power to compensate so that I can sit a bit towards the back of the board, and also I had to become more limber on my upper area so that I can start full prone to gain the speed but as the speed goes up, I would do this "cobra" position to start shifting my weight toward the back. Easier said than done especially being limber isn't something I was not good at even when I was 6 years old. And paddling is another area that really needs a lot of building to do. Thirdly, as soon as I feel that the board has gained the speed to glide, I should get up on the board without a hesitation, and perfectly land on the center line of the board and continue to press hard on the back of the board especially on faster breaks. If I do all these right, I now know I can take off on waves that I thought would have not been possible before.

Now, I understand this a bit better and experiencing it, the next work to do is to perfect it by making this part of the action consistent, so basically if I pick a wave, I basically take off. Only then my ultimate goal of practicing for a Roundhouse Cutback become possible.

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