Thursday, January 18, 2007

Session 7013: Lone surfing, at least for a while...

Another bone-chilling morning. Sky is also crispy clean and clear. But the high tide was just about 30 minutes ago, so I being afraid that there won't be a neighborhood surfing this morning, When I arrived at the parking across from the beach, that is separated by a highway, the ground was covered with white frost. It has not warmed up yet. I step out of the car to take a look.

The traffic is backed up all the way to the second light so I always tend to make a spectacle out of myself. Especially when there is nobody else around getting ready to get in. This is often the case, I don't really care that much. But it sure can look stupid when I am the only one seemingly interested in "surf here." As cars pass by, drivers look at me intently, sometimes a school bus load of groms would also pass by and that sure cause some excitement among them too.

"Shoot! It might be flat." But I know enough by now that sets don't come often for good 5 to 10 minutes, so I wait and observe patiently. There is a moment of excitement and my heart start to pump a tiny bit more when I see the horizon starting to darken, and then start to lift up, like someone pushing rug from the behind causing it to wrinkle up.

"It's a GO! It's a GO", I shout silently. I quickly run back to the car, open the rear hatch and scramble for the rest of the stuff. Upzip the board bag and pull it out, quickly checking the level of wax; there is enough, great!

And with the bright yellow Stretch F4 Quad in my arm I run to the beach as if there will be a bunch of other people would would come and steal my waves. Again running along the traffic jam. I often wonder what crosses in their minds when they see I do this. The most correct version of it seems like "Oh, there goes that suffer bum again. Doesn't he have a job to go?" Or, perhaps if they know surfing at all, they might be thinking; "Oh, look its him again. That guy never learns, it is so flat here I don't know why he is going there all the time." Actually I don't care what they think, but I am really curious to find out some day (and if you are one of these morning commuters reading this, you can send me a comment).

Now I am at the shore, and verclo the leash as I look up the water to see if it is a good timing to get out. Unlike Montara, getting out here does not require me to time to entry and jump in. In fact if I jump in, I'd break the fins even on a high tide session. I usually walk until I am about mid chest or so deep. This also shows me how far the shallow part of the water ends.

The initial trickle of the water is always the coldest, so I kind of wade slowly at first. I jump on the board and start to paddle out slowly, the first wave to get under through and I just hope it won't be cold. It usually is. Once this part is over though the rest gets increasingly easier, like the initial pluck of needle in a flu shot.

As I get further out, I start to paddle a bit harder to generate additional warmth, and when I am completely soaked and the water immediately around my body heats up then I am all set for the rest of the session.

When I am further out like this, there is not many other places as peaceful as this, and as I sit all by myself out in the water, the sun starts to pop atop the Santa Cruz mountain range, casting warm rays against my face and the whole body. The black suit can quickly absorb heat and I can even feel it through the 4 mm thickness of rubber.

To top this experience off, the waves came rather gently and built up quickly. I had two waves I thought I would not catch, but I got in smoothly and negotiated over some bouncy back washes. Whey they all work out it is just so much fun.

So I was glad I did the plunge this morning. Sometimes, but not always, the nature gives me rewards at a bit unexpected ways.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dude,

You've been surfing 5 years....

Me? 5 Months. but very intensely.

I can get up, trim some.

I'm totally taken with the whole experience though.

I surf alone often too. even through winter now.

Anyway, It's nice to read someone else's experiance.

Stay stoked.

Later,

Mark

Manabu said...

Mark,

Thank you for the comment. I am slow at any sport, that was not the gift that nature gave me, but even for me surfing is so fun, I feel like almost every wave is the best wave I have ever ridden in my life, and I know because no waves is the same as before. Hope you come back here in a now and then and we can both compare our notes!