A week ago Sunday, the water was Santa Cruz cold in L.A. I could feel the cold through the neoprene of my stinky booties in my first step into the ocean. But I stayed out for over two hours. Why? I was having a fantastic session! I did a cheater 5! An honest-to-goodness cheater 5! I held up there for about two seconds before I just sunk the board. I never got back up there again, but I was hanging out in the front part of my board on a lot of waves, feeling how loose the board was and trying to keep my balance while turning from the front.
Then, this past Friday, I did real kick-out! Not just a lame floop over the wave, no, I did a REAL WHOMPING ARCING kick-out! It's that Sensei J and Joey kick-out. They make it look SOOOOOOO easy. Anyway, on Friday, the board arced straight up toward the sky and over the wave and I was lying on the board ready to paddle back out toward the horizon before I knew what had happened. THIS, honestly, was more exciting than the cheater 5. I haven't been able to do it again, but I'm encouraged.