On Wed over the beer, we agreed to meet at 10 am on Saturday. The fog is not so thick on the highway but once I turn to the beach, it is getting thicker and thicker. When I get out, all I hear is the sound and very faint view of the outside break. I am speaking to the phone, "Da Chilean, I cannot see a darn thing, all I hear is the sound of the wave. I don't know if it is breaking at all outside or it is just closing out in the inside without anything on the outside." The fog starts to lift a bit. "Yeah, I see it now, umm? that's about shoulder level? looking OK, come on out, I am going to check the other location and call you from there too." I hop in the car and drive down south, the fog is getting even thicker as I pulled into the beach. I press the speed dial on the phone [Dog Haus] as I semi run to the beach. Among the fog, there already were 6-7 surfers out. The waves do not look bad either. "Waves are a tad bigger here but there are 6-7 people I see out, can't hardly make out but they are ripping!" "How many?" he says. "Oh 6 may be 7?" I repeat. "Oh, F?. that, let's surf here."
5 minutes later, I am back in where I started. Two other locals pull up. This is going to be a fun Saturday morning with the full lineup of the people I know. As we switch from T shirts and shorts into wet suit, we talk about new boards, last week's competition, and lots of different stuff. As a relatively newcomer in this group, I just listen, smile and laugh, sometimes I don't know what or whom they are talking about, but that will usually become clear in a month or two.
I pulled out my new Piranha, which I am thinking about painting it red on the bottom and call it Lasagna! Da Chilean sees it and he says, "Good for you, that's really a good board." Dog Haus was already in the water and catching many many waves. As I paddle up to him, he says "Hay ManO, is that the Piranha?" I know he has been keeping eyes on my new acquisition since the first day I got it. I know he really wants to ride it, and I actually want to see him ride it so I can see what this board is capable of.
"Yeah, do you wanna try it?" "Sure!" I unwrap the leash in the water throw a board to his direction, and he throw me his Merrick Flyer 6'2. I stroke to the outside. Gosh this is like a matchstick compared to my Piranha. Then the set starts to build. Dog Hauswith his tremendous paddling power, he catches a wave as another local with a long board gets left behind the wave. Of course now with this matchstick and my pathetic paddling power, there is no prayer, I can do anything with it. I start to readjust my position towards the inside to I can do more of an impact take off.
He catches waves after waves, taking lefts and rights, do some top turns and bottom turns; very smooth. So now I know if I have the skill to handle this board, I can ride it like him.
Now Da Chilean wants to ride it, so now I swap with his Haut, which is the one modeled after the Piranha, now it starts to become very confusing who's riding which board.
I start to paddle and now instead on a matchstick, the board feels noticeably flatter than mine on the nose. That would be a nice feature to catch the waves, and I caught several waves with it though is still on a mushy side that with my power is not good enough yet. In the meantime, Dog Haus is catching so many waves, I cannot believe.
Surfing with my local friends are really funny because we just give so much hard time about each other's surfing styles, we just yell at each other with comments on how you looked from the back. Dog Haus is yelling "Hey! I cannot see the waves, big butt!"
The next set comes and the nose level on the line up go way up; kind of this cheering type sound. This is good, because that's a good sign for me to snake in a few waves. Especially if I drop in on Dog Haus's way, he would do this mighty cutback and continues on, so there is absolutely no worry when I and where I take off.
Finally it is my turn to get my board back, some good sets come in and I jump on the wave. This one is rather powerful and I am hanging on to the tail of the board as I execute the first left. I cannot put enough weight forward as the board is going faster than I can move the weight up. Looks really like this is happening a lot, but it is a good sign, the first part of the take off is nearly becoming complete and now need to polish the turn #1.
I am seriously thinking about handing this Piranha to Dog Haus when he moves to North Calorina in the winter for good. This would be the last season to be able to surf with him on a whim, and I think he will remember the good time we all had when he pulls out the Piranha in that ice water in the winter and puny powerless waves in the summer. I am sure this board will work really nicely too.
Saturday was a great surf day, not because the waves were so great but because it was just us sharing waves and having fun. I think that day epitomized for me what surfing is really all about. Seeing Stev-o shredding tons of waves, seeing again Man-o's unbelievable progress, sharing surfboards, and of course making fun of each other. I will never forget days like that, whether I'm in NC or not. If I am living far away I will definitely make attempts to come back and surf with all my real surfing pals. And Man-O these past months surfing with you have been a blast, probably the funnest surf days I have had. See you Tuesday AM 9:00.
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