This morning, I hooked up with Luke who has been a StokeMaster member for several years, and who has recently moved from the Bay Area to LA.
As much as I liked the long smooth wave of San Onofre, a bit faster closing out waves with occasional makable shoulders is where I really shine in surfing, especially with short boards, so when I saw the crappy condition today in front of me and not many people are catching, I was kind of happy that there will be a chance to try catching as many of these waves as possible.
But those situations have taught me some important lessons and if you have been a devoted reader of WavLOG, you've read this all along, but if you have just joined here is the summary.
- Wave selection is extremely important. Usually the biggest ones in a set will close out so I don't go for them. About the third wave tend to be the best as the first and second will fill in and up the water level so it would be mellower and have some shapes.
- Another important wave selection department is the positioning. Even if it is massively closing out, if you look long and hard enough (observe a lot before you get in) there will be a few spots away from the main impact zone that start to form a ridable and catchable shoulder.
- Reforms are your friends. If people are not catching 100% of the set waves from the outside, and instead boards are flying all over the places, then it is time to consider sitting inside and reforms to be produced. Who cares? We are here to catch and ride waves, right?
- If you find a shoulder, then you are half way there. Very strong "side" paddling and angular trajectory taking off seems to be another key. This won't happen though until you get really confident and strong in paddling. It took me at least 3 years and I just seems to have cracked this part of the puzzle. I am going to work on it more so join me.
- Reposition, reposition, reposition... Keep your eyes on the incoming waves, and also the surrounding. On beach breaks you can be moving a lot to find the next best spot that is coming your way. Moving both along the beach as well as going inside and outside.
- Don't be discouraged. It is something a lot of us are going through. Keep at it!
Let me know how you are progressing on the StokeFORUM!