Monday, October 31, 2005

Session 5209: Driving Practice

With the time change, getting back into the DP mode is always easy, simply because I am still in good half year of DST-lagged mode (with a few Japan trip in between), so I wake up super early without a problem. So I was fully awake at 5 a.m. But, as usual I started to fiddle with my web site and also checked emails etc. by then it is starting to get late if I don't get going, then I caught Jocelyn logged on to my site; by the way, I like the new member online feature, because I know who was there recently. So I quickly SMS messaged to her and she called me right back and so I was racing the rising sun on the Cabrillo highway to Pacifica when I pulled up my car next to hers she was already in the water. So I hurriedly set up the gear and went in.

The waves were just about the same small size as yesterday, but of course, it is Monday bright and early and who wants to surf, except for a few dedicated and stoked ones. So with a bit of stretch, I was back in the water for the second straight day! Well, one thing I did not realize is that the water has gotten considerably colder, so the water was stinging my paddling hands a bit. But one thing about this is that after 5 - 10 minutes or so, the blood vessels start to open up and the hands are not cold any more and the rest of the session was just fine. I still like to paddle with my bare hands, I really feel much lighter especially on return strokes.

If you have joined my WavLOG now, I have been studying a lot about the fins and using the tail end of the board more effectively. This is actually something that I have not really realized until just last week when I was actually reading up a lot about this subject. So the next several sessions, I will be writing a lot about it.

In surfing, it is often very difficult to just read and understand what to do, but once you discover yourself what it feels to be getting the "drive" out of the board, then it is like half won the battle because then the next thing to do is to continue to improve upon that. It initially happens sporadically, then become more consistent but every time it happens I know about it, whereas, before I know it was happening but I did not know whether that had any significance to surfing or not.

Today though I came to one of these breakthroughs and figured out why I stalled so easily by the time I got to the bottom of the wave. Today I had two rides that it clearly demonstrated that I have not been getting the power and speed from the wave, and what I mean by this is that I was not harnessing the tail end of the board more effectively to get the drive out of the board. So I consciously adjusted the weight of the board to toward the tail and try to stay up higher on the wave longer instead of just plainly descending down as fast as possible. Previously my thinking was that I should go down as fast as I can so that I can execute a strong bottom turn and get up. This would work if there is sufficient wave face to work with, but often that may not be the case, and by the time I hit the bottom I have out run the wave too far in and then the wave crashes down. So instead, I would make the turn sooner and also maintain the trim and then at the same time stand a bit more tail weighted, and in one of the wave it worked beautifully, and I had a great long ride out of a small beach break wave. In fact that made me happy so much and I felt that I had the wave of the day, I decided to cut the next 30 minutes of session, got out of the water and headed to the office early. And I have an honor of having a witness this morning.

So tomorrow and all the sessions following, I will be making more practices incorporating that.

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