Saturday, February 25, 2006

Session 6025-6026

Session 6025: Thursday 2/23: Great day at Montara. Finally get enough courage and encouragement to surf more on the outside breaks.
Session 6026: Friday 2/24: Gentle day at Linda Mar. Still thinking about how to improve this blog, what really to write about.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Feb 22, 2006

Change in WavLOG?

I think that I am now getting to the point that there really is no point for logging each session. It really gets tiresome just to write about each session, and I do think that when I spend time I should write something that adds value, and of course, I have been pondering about that for some time. This is a legacy that hopefully I can leave behind for some time and for that I think that I should at least write something that would be of some value to people.

Also, I would like everyone to know this.

Surfing is a very very high priority in my life. You would not be surprised if I put surfing as higher priority than my family. I do look after people that I am very close to, but surfing comes the top priority, that means, I will write about my surfing experience but I may not respond to your emails or questions. I will try to find time to surf before, after or any time I feel is appropriate. Taking this away from me, you are going to make a very and very unhappy man and I can make you very unhappy person too.

Some people might be mistaken when I say this to you, saying that I am "addicted" to it. That's also far from the truth. I am absolutely not addicted to it. Should I, say, get in a situation where due to a circumstance beyond my control (I repeat beyond MY control, not my friends or even my spouse's or spouse's in law or parents'.) I would be totally in content and peaceful, if I realize that it is no longer possible to surf for a good reason. But presently I am not in that situation, and I choose to go out when and where I feel is appropriate to me. I am no addicted to it because I am in control of the situation. I can stop I and I can do it whenever I can, and I don't even have force it to stop like someone with some addiction therapy. This is why I never ever write my experience associated with an addiction. I would like everyone reading this to stop and think about this for a moment. There really is a clear distinction.

The closest thing (due to a lack of my ability to articulate this) that comes to me is that it is more like a life-time mission, and I cannot even fully explain to you what the mission will accomplish. But in a very shallowest way, I really want to fully understand what it is that I need to do to be good at it, and there is much more for me to understand this as every time I go out, I find out that there is a lot more to find out about this than the last time. Sometimes, or actually more often than not, I feel like I have not mastered anything at all. Then sometimes, I feel like I really have came a long way, but nevertheless, there are more times that I would feel like there is a lot to go to the point that I would feel satisfied.

One of the things that I really like about this sport is that it is a sport that I have to do it by myself. If this was something like Tennis, then I have to have someone else. But this aspect of it, I really like, because all of my life that's the mode I have operated in. Looking back this is really the reflection of how I like to run my life -- independently, and that really resonates with this mission that I have started.

I actually even don't know what I find out from this. But the more I get into it, the more I find out about what I need to find out. From that point of view, may be it is a mission without an actual end, but so be it! I think that's better than, say, one day, I master everything there is to know about that. It is too sad that if that ever happens, I must quit this altogether and go on another mission. Luckily that does not seem to happen yet!

Session 6023

LM DP this morning. Fun.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Session 6019

Surfing continues to be a very difficult sport to learn, and more I do it, the more it seems to get difficult. I have written a log to this effect many times, but I guess even if I write about this 1000 times, it would not be enough to put this point through to my WavLOG readers. Of course, many of you understand this.

This morning, I surfed at Montara with my buddy DH, and today's theme was basically the Wave Selection. Of course if it was not wave selection then it would always be something else that works against me. It is more appropriate to describe that today, wave selection was one of the prominent issues noticed among dozens of other issues that I have to work on. Of course you or anyone might say, why do I have to agonize with all that. Well, I think that ties into the ultimate question of the life in general. If you keep asking that question then you won't be able to answer it even if you had the entire life time of the universe. I do find though, a pleasure in focusing at something, but it is a different kind of focus, it is a kind of focus that I can have without really being bothered by a lot of different thoughts. To some extent, by attaining this type of focus, I feel that I would become more confident in focusing on a lot of other things that I do, or I want to do.

Back to the topic of wave selection? It is another one of these things that requires both the wave reading skills as well as having enough strength and endurance to go to where it is happening. One without the other won't work very well. This morning, the breaking section was really shifting from one spot to another, and it starts to happen at one spot for a while, and I go there and then where I was starts to happen. If you can paddle fast anywhere then there is no problem, you just go there as soon as you see a particular section of the horizon darkens. For me though, that's too late, by the time I get over there the set is all done with!

So the next best thing is to try to maximize the opportunity by patiently sitting at one spot where I think will happen. That's probably the basic number 1 of wave selection. But that in of itself is difficult because I think I am doing that, and I can see waves breaking nicely both sides of me except where I am sitting at! Obviously, I need to do a much better job at this, and day like this is a good day again to make myself really humble about all sorts of things starting with this, and then other things in life throughout the day.

Hope that your wave selections are good tomorrow, whatever the wave you are happening to be catching.

Monday, February 13, 2006

Session 6015-6018

Session 6015 (Friday)

Finally the swell power subsided, so I stopped by at Linda Mar before hitting the hard surface of the office desk. Morning surfing like this is something I really like to do. One bad part is getting out of the water, especially when the condition is something I like, and even worse, like this morning, when I started out late.

Session 6016 (Saturday)

With further dwindling swell size, my neighborhood beaches gotten pretty flat, so I was intending to go to Montara. What a beautiful place this is, especially when the sun is fully out, even if I don't catch any waves, it is just worthwhile paddling out. The problem was that it was a bit too powerful and too tricky to select good surfable waves. There were better surfers who were doing it, so I had to basically retreat for this session.

Session 6017 (Sunday First Session)

The swell started to build up again in the morning. Originally some forecasts were predicting 20 ft swells, but it turns out to be about 14 ft swells. The only local options, we felt, was to surf at the Jetty. A lot of white water to gets through to the outside. You'd be caught inside? I am paddling, paddling, and paddling, but when looking back, I am still exactly at the same spot as I looked back. Well, as far as the distance to the shore goes. Strong side currents take me towards the direction of Roosevelt.

Again, retreat temporarily and see what happens in the afternoon when the tide goes down.

Session 6018 (Sunday Section Session)

The tide and even swell subsided. After doing some errands, I got a call from a neighbor buddy so it was a perfect chance to get back out. This is when having two wet suits come really handy. I buy a new suit a year, and use two suits at any given time. After two sessions, I retire one suit and get another. Also this way, one suit gets used half the time so the suit lasts two seasons instead of just one. At any rate, now I am back in the Jetty again. Now the tide turned super low, and when bigger sets come in the wave close out at shoulder size on chest high depth water. And I ended up getting a small ding when I had to bail on one of these close outs.

However there were some fun waves and getting out gotten much easier. I went back and got another board out and surfed the rest of the sessions.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Session 6014 (Thusday 2/9)

Session 6014

It is kind of interesting that the same storm swells that caused as big as Mavericks contest are shared by regular surfers like myself, and only just a mile away from where the contest was held. What a contrast and whenever this happens I do get a bit self conscious about it especially at the Jetty where people are looking us catch waves from their cars (and also there actually are not very many spots on California Highway 1 that run within a leash's length to the Pacific Ocean).

At any rate, buddy DH is back in town and it was balmy, sunny and calm, and we had waves. Typically when we have a big wave contest the weather usually does not cooperate, probably because we get affected by the very weather system that caused these big waves in the first place. And the nice weather is continuing towards the rest of the week, and then we get another big set of swells will fill in. It truly has been a one amazing winter surf season. For us, regular surfers, it has been rather difficult to the time between these big swells to paddle out!

Today I felt rather rusty since I have been out of the water for more than a week, and also there were quite a bit of inside white waters to work with. This is when the seer paddling power is much desired. I am not quite there and also not willing to get out too much further out, but the problem is that then I'd be caught inside most of the time, probably wasting more energy than actually get my guts up and get to totally outside. Initially I took out a 6'4 but actually paddling was so hard on it, I was not having much fun, so I got out, and took out a 9'0 and now I can go faster but getting through lots of big white water got difficult too. So it repeatedly shows that short board with duck diving isn't any better than the supposed paddle speed of long board.

When I switched to the long board, I also have realized how different it was to turn the board, and this one probably requires a bit more figuring to do, but it appears that simple weight shifting does not cause the board to turn easily. So I changed the mode a bit so that I would try to stay much further back on the board while initiating the turn, more like pivoting around the tail more and that had much better success. I think I am going to explore these characteristics of the board a bit more in detail next time I take it out. I also should really take the outer fins out, or swap them with much smaller ones, because I think that is making the board wanting to go more straight. I am also going to experiment with the characteristics on taking off on a bit more hollower situation. I am hoping that it would not be a bit more gentle.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Session 6012-6013

As I learn how to surf, I have been learning this on a piece by piece approach. Of course any part of it cannot stand alone of the other, so it has been more like re-enforcing one area of the skill set and then the next.

When I started to understand a bit more about short and long boarding and watched some people, I saw some people pumping board to get more speed. Over pumping does not look very good, but soon I've discovered myself that this pumping action does work sometime. I guess this works because you can channel and squeeze some of the water between the outer fins get some thrust. It probably won't work without the side fins as well as with them.

But I am now starting to realize that if this is combined with a turn, and I can really utilize a bit of the pumping action to set up for the initial turn. I think that I can execute this more, I can increase speeds through turns.