Monday, May 30, 2005

3 for 3

Just got back from visiting Nedra in Del Mar. This is the third time I've been down their to visit. First time, we ended up at Pillbox in Solana Beach. Small waves. Second time at 15th Street. Small waves. This time, the third time, at Pipes in Encinitas. Yup. Small waves.

Shape was good, people were friendly, it was amusing to watch Nedra be nice to strangers, so it still was fun. But eh. I'm tired of potential and am waiting for the reality of these supposedly fantastic waves.

Ah what a metaphor.

Monday, May 23, 2005

Back on Cooperfish

I can't seem to stop riding that board. Saturday I didn't surf, but Sunday I went out and had some pretty decent rides. I've only done a real kick-out once, but I'm finishing a wave as much as I can. I hit the lip a few times and on one nice one I was able to hit the lip and stick the landing. All on a heavy 9'7" longboard. I also had a pretty decent left where I didn't grab the rail.

Mama L had a BEAUTIFUL kick-out, though. We were about fifty yards apart and took off on the same wave toward each other. There was no panic, just an acknowledgement that we were both going to have to end this wave before we met in the middle. I was WAY TOO LOW (another bad habit) on the wave to do anything but try to smack the lip and stop the board. As I did that, though, I saw Mama L's board arch way up and over the wave before I fell into the wave. After I resurfaced, I whooped at her and cheered her awesome kick-out.

I love it when my friends get better and find new moves when I'm there to see it. It's almost like I can be there on the wave with them. Living vicariously...

Friday, May 20, 2005

Unremarkable, yet I'm remarking...

I went to OP with two boards in my car: 7-Something and Doc (just in case it was head high and glassy). The conditions weren't good for either board: waves that would roll so I knew I'd just be frustrated on 7-Something which I'm still learning, and sloppy waist-high waves so I knew Doc would feel every bump without the right push. So I went to the Venice Pier.

The shape wasn't so hot, but at least it was bigger and had more push. So I took out Doc just to see what I could see. Steep waves that walled up. I had some fun drops but not enough shoulder to play with. One really exciting left that, yes, I grabbed the rail on but I was speeding along with a split-second decision to either tuck closer to the wave and maybe get a curtain of water dumped on me or turn out and see if there's another section to be made. I'm a chicken, so I stood up and turned out. And of course there was no section.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

When will this be over?

Day 2 on the short(er)board. It wasn't horrible... it just wasn't a longboard. When I'm actually on the wave, I'm fine. It's the getting on the wave that is frustrating. I could blame the mushy non-breaking waves, but I prefer to blame my inability to paddle in and pop-up fast enough.

Supposedly a nice swell is supposed to come in this weekend. If it's big and glassy, I'd like to take Doc (9'0" performance board) out, but I also know that I'm only going to get good at a new board if I dig in for two weeks and get smacked a thousand times. Doc may win out, if only for part of a session one day.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


Because I'm one of those people who likes to tick things off lists, I took out my friends 7-foot something Mobley surfboard (I think it's 7'4", but he's not sure and I didn't care enough to get out the tape measure). He gave it to me to repair a ding he made (on dry land, in his room when another unused surfboard of his fell on it). I told him I'd repair it if I got to take the board out. Of course, I have a hard time taking anything else but my Cooperfish out in the water because I can't bear the thought of not surfing it. But, like I said, I like to tick things off lists, so I took the Mobley out this morning.

I haven't surfed anything shorter than 9-feet in six months. And that was only for a couple of weeks. Since November, I've really only surfed 9'7". First impression paddling out on 7-something? "Man, why do shortboarders subject themselves to this?! There is absolutely no reason to waste energy paddling out. I miss my longboard!"

Anyway, I caught a right straight-away and was sort of surprised I didn't doink. WOW is it easy to turn a short(er)board! Whip whip whip. Blam on the lip. I don't know if it's easy because longboarding requires some finesse in turning or if it's easy because it's just EASY.

Hardest part for me was knowing when I caught the wave and subsequently popping up fast enough to catch the shoulder. I found myself staring at the nose of the board a lot, which slowed my pop-up. Bad bad bad. I never do this on the Cooperfish (sometimes I don't even look at the board at all, which can create a whole slew of other problems).

Conversely, I found popping to my feet going left was fine. My bad habit of backside railgrabs were not a problem. So I'm locating my fear and bad habits and I'll be on this board for a while so I can break the railgrab habit and get back on the Cooperfish with better style.

I swear I must be the only person who gets on a short(er)board so she can get better on the longboard.

Tuesday, May 17, 2005


It's my birthday and I really wanted a good birthday wave. I'm not greedy. I just wanted one great wave. I had an okay left, but I still started the shoulder with a rail grab by my index finger (which is really not any better than doing a rail grab with my whole hand) and an okay right that would have been great if the wave hadn't walled up, causing me to swing the board up early toward the lip so I wouldn't get smashed in the head by the wave.

Most everything else was closed-out or not breaking. I did a lot of paddling chasing my non-existent birthday wave and it just frustrated me. I tried to calm down in the beautiful morning -- sitting lotus-style on the longboard. But mostly I kept waving at the waves and cursing the walls as they came up to me. I felt like John McEnroe cursing into his racket and at the line judge back in his glory days, so that was kind of fun. Then I realized that beginning with such a crappy session could only signal a day that had nowhere to go but up.

So, I'm happier because one of my friends emailed me a birthday greeting with a ridiculous court case attached (here) and I read a surf report that says maybe Friday will be big. And it will be high tide in the morning. So maybe it will be big and mushy and I'll get my great wave on that day.

Surfers are so optimistic.

I haven't been surfing much lately.

(Complete the syllogism.)

Thursday, May 05, 2005

bad habits

I will not grab the rail going backside.
I will not grab the rail going backside.
I will not grab the rail going backside.

Well, maybe sometimes, when it's steep...

But I will not grab the rail going backside.

Tuesday, May 03, 2005

Look where you're going?

Ever since I learned how to bottom turn and top turn, I've always looked in the direction I've wanted to go. Today, though, I got a little ahead of myself on one wave.... a beautiful chest-high wave that set up nicely. I popped up at the top and started the drop, confident in my ability to do a frontside bottom turn just by touch. I looked toward the shoulder to find my line and make sure the shortboarder wouldn't drop in. Then I felt my giant board get loose -- not a good loose, it was the bad "wave is hollowing and I'm not on the tail" loose. So I tore my eyes away from the shoulder and looked at the nose of my giant board become a diving board.

I was too late to scramble back to the tail. So, slam! The wall came up, flicked the tail up, and slammed my nose down into the flats. I let out a yell before I drowned, mostly to tell the shortboarder to go ahead and take the nice wave.

He did and when he paddled back up to me after the wave, I asked him if he was glad that I totally messed that wave up so he could take it. He was pretty stoked about the conditions today.

Other than that wave, I had a great day. No other swan dives off the board happened. And I had a lot of fun scrambling back and forth on the deck of my board to get speed and turn. I love turning my Cooperfish from the top half of the board. It always amazes me that I'm able to do that because the board drives faster when I'm up there.