Friday, February 29, 2008

Session 8022: More on taking off

Day 22

The Half Moon Bay area has been plagued with poor conditions plus an outbreak of bad flu for the past few weeks that prevented me from thinking about getting the water. So I have been out of the water since last weekend. But finally I got a time this morning to get into my home break here in Half Moon Bay, and while the breaks were on a very mushy side, I got two really nice long rights that were really fun.

One thing that is making quite a bit of difference lately is really some refinements in taking off. I must stress this to anyone who is learning how to surf. When I was starting out, I could not even believe how someone would even just get up on the board, let alone controlling the initial part of the take off, but that's exactly the type of trick that I am starting to get. Now I have a better control at the start of the take off that I even can control the take-off line to get the best performance out of that phase of surfing. Turns out that doing this right can make a difference between riding a long ride or just the wave catches up and then don't go anywhere.

Now a couple of pictures from this morning's session. The second picture shows the traffic on highway, and this is what I usually observe until it dies down then I get out of the water and head to work. Also you see that the entire surface of the water is white in the second picture, this is because it is just after a big set came.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Session 8021: The Ideal Local Surfing Day

Day 21

Every once in a while there is such an ideal local surfing day. Yesterday was one of them. To me the ideal means;
  • Smooth paddle out, No winds
  • Big enough waves. Shoulder to overhead is ideal.
  • Not too hollow and hard crashing.
  • Just enough time to paddle to the outside.
  • Nobody else around, except for a few of my close buddies
It is like a perfect Mix of all the Pods and EQs and Effects all coming together with an even tempered limiter on without too much of a punch, and in this case the nature has provided such a mix for us to have fun with!

Such magic combo happened yesterday on the way to Santa Cruz. I was checking a break somewhere in between and there was only two surfers out. Then another StokeMaster buddy just happened to show up. What a timing!

The waves were delicious and I was able to indulge myself chopping up the waves in all 3 dimensions + time. Waves were not so fast and also allowed me to practice getting in to the wave by paddling super extra hard and then pushing the front of the board down. When that works, and my board and myself takes off as if get attracted into the sweet and almost magical force field of gravity and the fluid motion energy... almost feels like getting sucked into the field, quietly and smoothly but fast. Only when this happens, I am in the early part of the wave, the bottom works right, the top works right, and the ride can be very very long!

This is a type of a day that I look forward to and surfing in shitty conditions is something that is the due that I pay for. And believe me, just the previous session together with this buddy, we had the worst condition at Linda Mar.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Session 8020

Day 20

Double session this morning at one undisclosable location and also at the Jetty. The first spot had some size on it, but due to an extreme high tide condition, the waves were not breaking. After my buddy arrived at the beach he said he wanted to go to the Jetty.

One surf tip. These days, many people have cars with leather seats in them. Obviously you don't (and should not) want to sit on those with your salty wetsuit. Even it is vinyl or cloth, soaking salt water means a long-term damage to underneath spring and metal works! So one thing I do is to use the board bag and line the seat.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Session 8019: Surfing as a Part of Life

Day 19
Surfing as a Part of Life

I did get out this morning and shoot over 13 images but all of them turned out a dud so no pictures today. The condition was just really poor and we could not even get to the outside due to so much oncoming white water, so today I am going to write a short essay on surfing lifestyle.

In 2008, I can really feel that surfing has rooted as a part of my daily life. Surfing used to not be that way. Let's say that this is similar to, say, a child visiting Disneyland from Ohio and then later the child would become an employee of the Disney corporation and assigned to work at the park every day. Surfing used to be special in the way of something I did occasionally. That has changed from 1-2 days a month to every weekend, then to basically an every-day endeavor.

Making this into an every-day endeavor creates a different set of demands. This is starting to approach to the same level of activities as eating, showering and such. The requirements change, for example, it is now so routine that I will automatically check the condition, plan, budget the time, forecast, and money to do it, and to some extent I will now feel that this activity is my daily requirement rather than occasional work out. I even know that I can wear wetsuits for about 2 seasons and need a replacement. Speaking of equipment, I now only routinely carry and surf two boards, it would not be surprising then that I may start shedding some extra stuff that I have collected over the years, and the moment I would do that, I would go and get some new stuff seeing the empty garage space!

I know that there are many others who has crossed this boundary, made necessary changes in their lifestyles. I've seen many of my friends move to Santa Cruz, or other locals. Some have taken different jobs closer to the ocean, or even some people have gone into career that are more involved in the sport or support of the sport, for example, working full-time in non-profit organizations, or working in touring or event organizations.

What compels us to do this may be different for everyone, and if you ask me deeply why, I could not answer, but there still is one common element that binds us, we are all stoked to get out in the water, surf and get our desires satisfied.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Session 8018, Foggy and Sucky

Day 18

It was foggy, super low tide and small. But I did get out and got some excercise, which is all that really counts for me. The was dense then cleared for a bit then came right back.

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Session 8017

Day 17

I was not expecting much this morning, but it turned out to be fun. It was also a bit warmer this morning and even the water did not feel icy like in the past few sessions. One thing that is really helpful is that I lightly jog to the spot and that will get my warm blood circulating to the skin. I will definitely try this again tomorrow as the condition would be similar as this morning (hopefully, that is).

Saturday, February 02, 2008

Session 8016

Day 16

Not much to report, other than the fact I went out, caught 1 wave, and that was about the extent of it.

This is a typical scene. There is a guy standing and looking. Probably
thinking... "What a fool guy out there."
I would say to him. "Why did you even bother checking."

You can see the messy condition. This is my Takayama 7'2 Egg board.
Pretty all around board. If the condition gets bad or really big
this is the one I take out. Pretty much substitutes a long board and
it fits between my car seats. Very very important for an "surf everyday"
person like myself.

I usually throw away more than 70% of the shots.
I am sharing this. I think is a bit calming down effect to it.
Someone could do an oil painting of this one.