One way of making a progress in surfing is to surf with people who are much better than you. Yes, I have touched his subject a lot, but this means that you might need to abandon some of your other surfing buddies if temporarily. As for my buddy Dog House goes, yes, he is just 2 or 3 notches above what I can manage.
I surfed with him this morning again, and it was kind of a condition that I was at the very edge of being "out of league" In fact I was most of the time. But then I was able to tell that I was close to the cross roads of being in such a situation.
So, you might ask, what it means to be "being" in an out of a league situation. At least for today, it has a lot to do with paddling out. With these storms we have gotten, we are now having sand bars forming way and way outside. And these winter type swells are washing a lot of water to our shores, so there was a moderate amount of side-currents. There was definitely nice sand-bar out to get there, first, we all need to start from a channel. This is all fine. We now all know where the channel is, but then to get to where the sand bar is, it was quite a bit of paddling required. I was marking a washed up tree stamp on the beach as a marker. I was paddling, paddling and paddling towards where the sweet break was happening but I could not get there. My arm muscles are asking me to take it easier, but I have not even yet reached straight line with the stamp. In the meantime, 3 locals show up and they seemed to have no problem getting where the break was. And here is why I would say I am at the blink of getting there, because I finally got there.
In terms of catching the waves, I could not catch as many because each time I catch a wave, it took me a long time to get back to where the break was. To make the matter worse, there was also a very strong onshore current too, so in no time, I get washed too close to the shore.
But there was one really gratifying moment. As usual with me, I tend to sit inside and catch the wave that I know are very well formed already. But it was one of the waves of the lifetime situation and instead of the wave breaking up, it started to form a nice pocket (and at this place this happens a lot of the times). I was frantically paddling and kicking to catch it, and I tried hard to steer towards left. In the meantime, a nice left pocketty crest forms on top of the wave, which pushed me right onto the face of the wave. I got up successfully without a hesitation and at that moment the wave started to build up further up in the size. I was fully up on the board and the I got a tremendous speed immediately, probably the fastest I have ever experienced being on a short board. The wave continued to build right in front of me as I progressed forward. I was trying not to go too far ahead by trying to ride the top side of the wave through going down and cutting back up. The ride lasted so long, and it was so smooth.
So even though I only really had one ride out of a session that was well worth the trouble and this has made me feel like I have gotten a bit closer to many of my better surfer friends today than other times.