I have "squeezed in" one more session at the Jetty, and I really enjoyed this evening. Even though it was a Friday afternoon, people were just not surfing, so I had my own peak for the entire duration of the session! Then I finally met Baldwin on the way out so I told him to hit the spot I was at.
I caught so many waves in just about an hour session that I was so worn out and I had to get out.
Perhaps it is a good time for me to recap from the start where I was and I am today.
In the beginning, I had this NEV 7'0 board that I was talked into buying because I would "Grow Out" of a long board if I got it. That was in 2002. I could not even paddle on the darn thing that every time I went out with my friend, I was so freaked out and scared.
The next season I got 8'6 and it was remarkable how easy it was to paddle out and starting to catch some waves. Once in a while I brought out the 7'0 but the story was the same again, I could not paddle on the darn thing, let along sit straight on the board. Then I went to Club Ed camp at Baja for a week with this 8'6. That was probably one of the most remarkable time in my surfing as I surfed two sessions a day for the entire week, and I've gotten much better or at least much comfortable with the notion of being in the water. I met my friend Clio there and then we surfed for a good rest of the next year together almost every weekend basically blowing off her boyfriend's Valentine Day, and her kids Mother's day (not to mention my in-laws'). That was when I found out that going to Santa Cruz at Cowells or the Hook was a lot of fun, so that's another reason why we went there so much.
Then I've gotten the Arrow 7'5 board, and started to try that. By then my arms were stronger that I could paddle on that thing. I surfed that a lot in Linda Mar. But I was not making a progress not that much. Then I got a Velzy 9'0 and that was something out of the world. That board caught so many waves on so many different situations that it was unbelievable! It worked especially well in Santa Cruz 38th.
Then I started to see a lot of people surfing the "Fish" and so I wanted to ride, and one day I found a used fish board at Freeline shop. Without hesitation I got that and then started to use it. It was "only" 6'6 but I was able to paddle out on it, and catch some waves wit it. Since then I have taken it to the Trestles, San Diego breaks and all over the places.
Why am I writing about this? Well, I am in a realization now that the whole reason that I can ride shorter board today is because I have gained so much more paddling power and skills. I happen to believe the importance of this aspect of surfing. Since I started out when I was not engaged in any physical activities, my paddling muscles were just not there, but as I surfed more, I started to gain more.
And even today, the part of a big struggle in trying to take off into steeper waves just simply require a lot of "impulse" power on my arms to do that. Without it, I cannot insert myself into an angle and won't be able to take off with a heavy tail weighting that is needed at the start of taking off. So if someone is sticking a gun at my head and need to take off into even bigger waves a year from now, what I would do is to work really hard to get my arms in the top shape, and I think that that aspect of surfing is not very well taught in any books.
Today, on my 6'6, I caught unbelievable number of waves, and they were actually very small, but as it turns out smaller waves are more work to catch.
Also now that I have started to catch waves more consistently (on short boards), I am now starting to experiment with more aggressive top turning, and that would really be the key to surf like experts.