I have been thinking a lot about Surfing being really a self centered sport. We all know that we really cannot share the waves, even though we say we should, and when we go out together, it isn't something that we can do it all together at the same time, say, experiencing a raft riding or a dinner cruise.
Today is also a kind of a day that reminded me of one more dimension to this, that is the preference of the types of the waves also gets into this self centeredness. Today's story involves another friend of mine and I just want to make sure that it is not written in a fashion to blame for having someone along. I just wanted to describe the situation. I have not been surfing with this buddy, may be a few times in the past couple of years.
Well, I was kind of set this morning to go to Waddell, but on the way we checked out a couple of other places. We checked Pomponio and it was looking to be OK perhaps when the time would come up, but we passed on that spot. I have described to him that the S swell is in and from 180 deg so we ought to check further south. When we arrived at Waddell, the tide was still low but there were some clean breaks, I would prefer riding, though they were small, and definitely nice smooth waves, easy to get out, and there were some people trying to rip. But I my friend thought that that the waves were too small, so we headed back to Pomponio.
I went in and already the onshore wind was picking up a bit so it was getting a bit rough to get out. There were some surfable breaks way and way out side, which, when I ride short boards, I am not so confident with the situation because I just don't know what's going on with the current. In fact I took a rip current out and it was rather strong, and so getting out that far was not difficult and then that freaked me out too. I just don't like the idea of paddling a long way back against possibly some currents, and it is especially hard to see from the outside to pick the rip currents. I know I am over sensitive to this, and like yesterday, I don't really have an issue for paddling for a mile at a time in clam SC bays going to and from 41 St Ave stairs to the outside PP. but I just don't have the confidence to do that on a wide open ocean beach like this one with "just" a 6'6 underneath supporting me.
So I went out, sat there for a while. The waves were just mushy as hell and there was not even a single take off opportunity for me and a short board. And after a while I felt that it would just be a prudent for me to head back. Heading back was not actually a big problem, so I know I can get back, and doing things like this from time to time would give me a more confidence. From that point, it was a bit of confidence building session today.
In the past, I was talked into going to places where I really was not comfortable being there, so for a fun of riding, I should really listen to my gut more and just go where I know I am going to have a good time; shoulder to overhead size outside or inside reform waves, smooth paddle out, not too much wind and not too crowded. One difference in this is that if I am with my regular locals, my confidence level will go up a notch or two as I know they sort of are watching out for me, and I know they are really good surfers.