For good or bad, I am, right now, the only person out of the core group of the chapter to actually surf in these local competitions. I know some people have very differing opinions on surf competitions, but all of these ones I am allowed to enter are mainly to promote local environmentalism and awareness through surfing. I think that's a worthy cause, and I should help out as much as I can.
As for competition aspect of it, at my level of surfing, it is not about competing with other people, but it is a part of my own mental and physical training, and having some goal is always very helpful.
This competition was a humbling experience because I lost out and I did a very stupid move especially having came to 2nd place in a division last year on the same contest.
This past week, I have surfed at Linda Mar every day, both on short and long boards, and I felt confident that I could provide some decent ride at the contest. The condition was similar to yesterday and yesterday I had some of my better long boarding sessions.
The shortboard heat was more difficult, partly because I did use a real short board, and I am not totally master at it, and other people were riding basically fun boards. I had a fun board so I should have used it. And in 30 min I had to be in the longboard heat.
Now, even the worse and incredibly stupid story to share.
After finished the long board heat, I have assumed that I did not advance to the next heat. There were 12 people (or more) on the division, that included local surf instructor, most people "surfing for 30+ years 3 time/per week or more" etc etc.
I got out and tried to catch the wave and a big close out came, and my leg got a cramp for not relaxing enough while being tumbled. The jersey almost came off, so I lost quite a bit of time put myself back together. So after all I did not have much good time on the heat.
So having this being the last heat for me, the whole weight got off my shoulder. Now I am a free surfer again until next summer!
My friend Ren and we free surfed for another while. That was great, it was back to normal. It was nice and sunny, and waves were better at the north end than what I had to endure.
By this time, I was very tired and I was ready to leave for a while, take a nap then come back with the banquet event in the evening (my hats off to those actually holds the competition, it is a long day starting from 6 am to 11 pm).
Ren was also wanting to leave so she helped me carry the stuff to the car, but she said on the way out, "Don't you want to check the result?" I said to her "I know the result, there is no need to check."
I packed up, left for home without checking the score board, left my cell phone in a bag, worked on some things around the house, and then decided to soak myself in a warm bath to relax and laid on the bed for a bit.
It was a bit past 4 PM when I decided to call a few people. There were 2 messages waiting on it. The first message was from the Surfrider buddy that we had to coordinate publicity materials during the compeition, but the message sounded like a bad joke. "Congratulations for advancing to the finals." Oh, yeah right, Steve...
I pressed 7 to delete., the next message came on "Next Message... Mosiomoshi, this is Kazu. How did you do with your second heat, I thought I'd check in with you."
Oh, damn shit! I did move up! My brain started to produce a cocktail of of stupidity, a surprise, even some mild happiness neuro-chemicals in one shot.
Some of the improvements to make the next time;
- I should just show up just myself, and let other people handle other stuff, and focus on competing. I was tried out before even the competition started.
- Work on consistency. This is the area that as a "free" surfer I did not pay as much attention to. The consistency comes from the following aspects;
- Wave reading and positioning skills. Read where the good breaks are and paddle over there and wait for it to happen. There are some locals that pride in this skill department.
- More wave reading skills. Only go for the wave that I can make, and if I can make it do make it, and go. If not, let it go. If you catch a wrong wave, you could waste time. I was more interested in keeping my own waves, but I should sometimes venture out to the crowded peak and "steal" some of these more delicious waves.
- More strength... People are faster.
- Don't hesitate to over-gun the situation. I should have taken out the 7'2 egg which was legit for this competition instead of 6'5.
- Do check the score board even if you think you did very shitty. This could be your lucky day.