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.