I must admit! I do not like to surf in Santa Cruz on days like today. This was at the Hook (oh by the way, there is now a prominent sign that says "NO SURF SCHOOLS!", it used to be a graffiti, but now it is an officially city endorsed sign!)
Back to the crowds.
Today it was relatively small.
Waves broke only at the corner... basically.
There were a ton of people out.
Many of them were good too.
= Competition Heats Up!
So under these circumstances, I just cannot get as many waves as I want even if I am capable of catching them. Almost always there is someone already on the wave. They bring in all sort of weapon of mass wave "distractions", including Sponge boards, Liquid Shredders, 10 ft Softops... and will go for full blast when the big set come in and steal all the waves. Pretty standard pattern. I could count with one hand the number of people who were catching all the waves.
To keep the wave counts to a > 0 quantity for me, I had to move constantly, to inside between sets, to outside, and to gamble on to where it is likely the spot that will break for me as the bigger set approached, and avoiding those who are caching so many waves.
My hats off to those who brave there to deal with the crowds. I thought I was getting good at it, but like other aspects of surfing that's totally another skill set I have to master.
If you are one of them, be sure to share with me your secrets!