Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Trust the Board

Trust Your Board
I have been snow skiing for many number of years. As I have gotten better at it, we'd go for steeper and steeper hills. When we get to these places, there are places where the snow groomer won't be able to get in, and then it would be left just to the nature; the snow fall and the wind that shaped the bowl.

When I was in college, and I must admit and say to you that I went to one of these ski colleges where you'd be able to ski for the whole season, I'd go and do the equivalent of an "evening glass off" with my buddy.

There was a bowl under a cliff.

So what we do?

We'd take off from the cliff, drop down into the bowl and then ski the rest of the moguls. And that was basically the routine. Of course, this was when we were at collage ages, we were learning about the physics and mechanics, but we were all struggling over these classes.

So what we do, we stick the front half of our skis and then nudge them into the bowl, and lone behold, the skis catch the slope and go down the slope. Just a few seconds ago, I was thinking there would be no way I would make it, instead, I'd fall forward, tumble and could break one of my legs if the Marker binder would not come off.

This seems to be somewhat of a common theme on board sports.

Today, I would do the same. I'd take off into what I'd consider would be into a definite wipe-out and tumble. In fact that's what would end up happening in 9 of of 10 times, but then I get a glimpse of that good college ski time. Every once in a while I catch that fast wave down.

I must say that it is kind of amazing. When the wave jacks up, it almost looks like a vertical wall that I am going down on. I try my best to take off, and it almost like I am just flying off the tip of the wave. The board and myself shoots very fast towards the bottom of the wave. I don't think it is possible to stand on the board. After all, I am actually not going to stand on the board, but I am actually vertically dropping and attach two of my feet on the board during this vertical drop.

Nevertheless, once in a while, within this very strange configuration of almost free falling the board and my feet come in contact and the next moment, I am set up for a turn.

The first time my buddy lead me to drop in to the bowl from the cliff, I said to myself; "That's nuts!" I was so scared to push my skis off the cliff, I screwed it up a few times, but then eventually I got the timing and everything right, I'd felt that I can drop off from any cliff and catch the slope ahead (I know that's too cocky of me!)

But in surfing it is the same recurring theme. I just do my best taking off, and more often than not, the board catches the wave and I am on the wave, fine and all safe, even though I feel like I am dropping from the sky.

It is really rewarding when all this works out, and goes to say sometimes we can put a lot more trust in the physics and mechanics of how these things work!

1 comment:

Manabu said...

I just re-read this and it is still quite true. A surfboard can do an amazing thing and it is the surfer that need to get that potential out.