Though Ren called me to Linda Mar, I decided to drive down south with a buddy this morning to catch this 17 second west swells. Very very strong sweeping current out there, then on top of that come overhead size close out sets; just about a tad below my comfort and confidence level. We walked closer to south end and paddled out, but before you know, we were swept right back at the parking level and becoming dangerously close to even bigger impact zone north of the beach; if we wind up in there, there is no sunday prayer and I'm glad I had a buddy with me, because that would freak me out if I was all there by myself.
We carefully timed to get in the water between overhead-size killer shore breaks, jumped in paddled out fast to get away from the shore then continued and around these impact zones and waited for sets to come in as the sets started to break further and further out, but when they came they came in a few in a group (always do) and some where mean! If I messed up on a take off on the first wave of a set then the second one is right in front like a big open jaw ready to eat you, digest the board and tug strongly on the leashed leg, sending you down deep inside the water. It is actually not that big of a deal in overall scheme of the things, but still I hate that when that happens. Holding the breath, my eyes tightly closed, keep tumbling, tumbling and tumbling inside the water totally disoriented as the light shining through my eye lids go light, black, light, black... and staying relaxed until the tumble will end is just about all you can do. When I get a chance to get in a pool I always test to see how long I can stay. That's 30 seconds right now. And these holds downs are well under 10 seconds. Still, the anticipation of surfacing and not knowing exactly where I am is not make me feel secure, and when I finally pop out of the water for a breath of fresh air, that tastes so good and appreciate you are alive.
Sometimes, I wonder, "What a stupid choice I made today, and what a stupid sport I have chosen to do." Why I did not go to an easier place I know and could have had some nice relax morning to start a day. But sometimes, that's a surfing experience we all must face occasionally... it is just something that would humble you about a reminder of a small and short life you possess in front of the big nature and the universal scheme of things. If you are a surfer, I konw you can all relate, but if you are not, belive me, you would as if you are going to die in the water, and this happens not just once but it actually becomes a recurring theme intertwined with a lot of fun.
Luckily, when waves are this big enough, then there usually is a chance of inside-reforms that happen. I was on the 9'0 Magic so it turned out that catching the inside reforms were still big and really fun, and when I say it in the inside, it is still quite a bit of way out, so there were some great long rides I've gotten. I have been working on some aggressive tail-spinning long board turns and I was able to nail a few of those. Long boarding is fun in this aspect as you can use the whole length of the board to the things and much much more forgiving.
So in the end, it was still all fun and good, and would at least feel like wanting to accept the challenge again some time.