Sunday, November 04, 2007

Sessions 7154-7155: Surfing is Still Hard!

I was in a restroom at a restaurant on the other night and on the wall was some advertisement matrix that included an ad for "Extreme Adventures" outfit. There were many outdoor sports listed from Bungee Jumping, Sky Diving, (Indoor) Rock Climbing, Balloon Rides... But I've noticed that there was no surfing included in this.

Would this be an omission or not? I probably should call the outfit and ask why. But I can guess fairly well the reason why.

The most of the stuff listed in the ad can be done by an average person without much physical training and at least one would experience the sport in one morning or afternoon. It is possible to get that "instant gratification" people want.

For getting an instant gratification, I think surfing is so much more difficult to achieve. First of all, a lot of people do not want to get in the water. It is probably advisable that a person getting a lesson should be able to swim a bit so that on the first wipe-out the person won't be drawn. Plus, the condition is now always "beginner" quality and no outfit can guarantee that condition ahead of time.

And to be able to surf reasonably as a beginner would take about 3 months of two-day weekend sessions, that's 24 sessions.

Beyond that one would need to modify their life style and have some commitment to the sport.

Speaking of that, I have met many people who have transformed their lives. I know many people from the early days of my surfing who have since moved to Santa Cruz, doing the hard commute over the "17." Some people bought a condo or rented an apartment.

I do not have that luxury of surfing in Santa Cruz all the time but I have made a commitment to make myself be able to surf these "crappy" local beach breaks, by going for them as many days as possible. It is still taking a lot of time, but lately the effort is starting to pay back. I am now starting to get a most out of these situations. Now I am starting to find this sort of "fun challenge" to go find and be able to surf; like identifying the best shoulder spots, staying inside between big sets, finding & paddling out into rips, riding reforms, and equipped myself with more powerful take-off technique to out do these waves.

So if you are on the same journey as us, I hope you will stay committed, and be thankful that this sport requires a huge commitment to be good. The occasional rewards of catching some long and nice rides, when they come, they are so much more meaningful to us.


Saturday Linda Mar session was actually fun for me with a strong offshore wind, balmy "Santa Ana" like condition. While the waves were mostly closed out, there were a few gems hidden in these waves that allowed me to take some long rides.

Sunday Jetty session was a "reminder" session that I can still practice a lot more to catch more of these peaks that this spot is famous for. With less crowd, I can catch more, but I need a lot more confidence here to make sure I don't get into trouble. Neverheless, I feel I am "moving up" out there. Took out the Rocky 5'6 board which was siting in my garage for most of the summer.

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