I woke up with the sound of water dripping through the rain gutters. The sky was not blue any more and there was no sun shining through the bedroom window. But it was just a drizzle so I checked the current buoy wind on my web site. While there was a drizzle, the wind was next to nothing and water looked glassy at all the places I hang out locally. I had to go to the office, so I had to skip some of the "better" spots and headed to the usual.
Doing a consistent down patrol is not always easy, and this morning's issue was the low tide, nevertheless there were breaking waves out, the water was glassy (hence no wind), so even it was drizzling outside and I pulled out the fish and paddled out. It was so shallow to quite far outside that when I tried to duck through, the board hit the bottom.
The waves were mid chest level max, I shared the area with a long boarder, a decent surfer and she was taking long rides. Conditions like this can bring some different challenges for short boarding. First, the breaking part of the wave is so small that if I don't get up on the board there basically is no rides, and second, to get into the wave I have to paddle really hard, strong and fast until I catch the wave.
What I have been building up to this point has started to apply well with smaller wave situations, and I managed to catch and have several quality rides too and that resulted in a lot of fun. In some ways, sessions like today are more tiring than on "bigger" days, and I like to keep training my paddling and flick-up muscles, agility to be on the board quickly to acquire the control of the board and also in this specific situation, an accuracy to "rip" in small conditions. I find the experience like today is just as valuable as yesterday when the sets waves were larger and more powerful.
That brings to the issue of equipment. It is true that a fish can catch small waves, but still, if this was a year ago I would not have had enough skill and power to do that. But now I seemed to be starting to approach the board choice these days more for "What kind of riding experiences I want to get out of a session" than say, "I need a longer board so I can catch the waves." So the equipment is now helping the surfing style rather than dictating the skill. This is quite different in thinking because when I started out, I often had very frustrating thoughts that my boards were all no good because I could not ride let alone catch the waves, even though looking around there were all different riders having a lot of fun.