Thursday, June 30, 2005

Night and Day

Evening surf at OP last night ended up being rather fun with Sir R and Mean Howard. I cut too hard on my first wave and dug a rail (almost the entire length of my board) into the wave. Mushy waves require gentle finesse and body english, I discovered. Slow waves are nice sometimes because you can look down the wave and see four moves ahead. If you know where you're going, it's easier to understand how you're supposed to get there.

This morning, I was back at OP because Mean Howard woke me up at 6am with a phone call. "It's foggy and I don't want to go out alone." It was okay. Not as fun as the previous morning with bigger walls and sunnier sunshine, but still... it's surfing.

Wednesday, June 29, 2005


I was back at OP this morning after so much Sunsetting lately. It was the usual: close-outs, but early on there was still some shape with a few sets of head-high walls thrown in just to keep you on your toes. I forgot what it's like to actually have to exercise wave selection judiciously.

The ZJ crew were taking autistic kids out into the water on soft-tops. The kids looked like they were having a great time.

I have to admit that I was having a great time on some of the nicer rights, but the most memorable wave today was a left that walled up just as I made the drop. I held onto the rail and tucked in. I couldn't keep my eyes open, but I felt the wave start to pick up the inside edge of my board as I got covered up by the lip. I held onto the rail with my right hand and kept my feet planted on the deck as I did a corkscrew inside the wave!


I swear. One of these days, I'm going to knock myself out.

Monday, June 27, 2005

And now I'm depressed...

I was feeling pretty good about myself this morning. I was at Sunset again and wasn't too antsy during the long lulls. I've figured out that the best way to have fun at Sunset is to chat with your neighbor, the regulars of Sunset being a jocular crew. Then, when the set comes, you drop in on your new friends (just kidding!).

But then I read a note on about a surfing dog and I started feeling terrible. This dog surfs better than I do! I mean, I kicked out or "gracefully" finished every wave today, but Buddy's a DOG.

THEN, I read an editorial in Variety by Peter Bart about director John Hughes (THE BREAKFAST CLUB, SIXTEEN CANDLES, FERRIS BUELLER, etc.). Bart writes in the last paragraph:
Hughes' audience, now middle-aged, remembers Hughes' films with a fond glow and would love to revisit them. The trouble is they're not young anymore. Neither is Hughes.

When did I become middle-aged?!?! What happened to my "Sex and the City" 30s and 40s? I know the show is over, but I was hoping to parade around in sexy shoes with outrageous heels for another two decades.

I'm throwing in the towel. Next time you see me surfing, you'll recognize me by the surfboard outfitted with a walker.

Thursday, June 23, 2005

Nothing's too good for my baby.

I'm getting the Cooperfish completely overhauled and it's going to cost a pretty penny. Several pretty pennies. And some corroded pennies that have been lying on the ground for a while. In fact, I'm going to go pick up those pennies right now because I need to scrape together some cash to fix Coop properly.

So this is what loves does, huh? Makes you spend lots of money on it?

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Oy! My sciatica!

Actually, I don't really have sciatica; the pain in my lower back is pretty much localized in my lower back. I like to call it the pain in my ass. I've noted that this only really happens when I have to paddle a lot for waves. Not only was I on a shorter board (9'0", go figure -- Doc feels like a long shortboard to me) but I was also at Sunset this morning. Paddle paddle paddle... pain in my ass.

After the first half hour of futile paddling, I had a few good waves near Dos Banos (with Ash) as a chest high set rolled through. Took a couple of lefts -- one of which turned into a steep wall as I was down in a rail grab. I looked down the line and wondered what the hell I was going to do about this, so I just tucked in. I'm pretty sure I got a little barrel because I could feel a curtain of water come down on my outside arm while everything sounded like an echo chamber. I don't know for sure because, well, I always close my eyes when I tuck in. I think this defeats the purpose of tucking into a barrel.

Then I "righted" my way back to the staircases to Uncle Dean and Bobby G. (Marlon got two more boards... that makes a full deck now... 54.) As I was looking for a last wave to go in, a nice bigger wave came through. I made the drop and the turn only to be blinded by the sun and the sight of a newbie trying desperately to pop-up. If I had seen him a beat earlier, I could have redirected, grabbed the rail, and stalled. As it was, I redirected too late and my board shot out at him. I felt really bad for letting the board go, but I also felt like maybe he'd learn how to look and pull out of a wave. I made sure he and his board were okay and paddled away... only to have another beginner drop in on me on the next wave, same situation, he was trying to pop up. This time, I had already made the bottom turn and was looking down the line when I watched him try to get to his feet. I redirected and grabbed my rail to stop quickly. No collision. I kinda knew him, but I don't know if I felt any better about this. He said he did see me, but the wave had already taken him... That didn't make me feel better at all! A basic skill should be to know how to pull out of a wave and when is the last possible second before you're going to take-off... You sit back on your board, pull up, and use your legs as if they were ski poles to stop your forward motion. Ack.

Oy! Sunset sciatica!

Monday, June 20, 2005

And so...

I'm forced to ride something different for the first time in six months. I mean, I've had a day or two, mere flirtations really, with other boards in the past six months, but it was to Cooperfish that I devoted myself. In big waves (which have been infrequent), the single fin turned like a dream. In small waves (which have been frequent), I could knee-paddle and sit cross-legged, floating in meditation.

And because I'm an idiot, I've layed up Coop with an injury for a while, and am forced to rekindle a relationship with another one of my boards. Naturally, I'm on Doc again, previously an intense old flame. Sunday I took him out, and initially, I was treating him like I would Coop (who does part of the work dropping into a wave for me because gravity likes its mass). After this realization, Doc and I came to an understanding that what we have, too, is love. It's just a different love. Faster, harder, and more work in the water. It's a flashier love, but that doesn't mean it has to be a flash in the pan...


Yup. I might need therapy.

The moral of the story

Fix your dings.

I was happy to surf with Sir R, Sensei J, and Baby Face K on Saturday. But on a nothing wave toward the end of my mediocre session having grown lazy with a leash attached to my knee, I stupidly didn't kick out of a crap-tacular wave and came up to find that the nose of my beautiful (if used) Cooperfish had delaminated.


What kills me is not that there is this swatch of fiberglass hanging off my board, but that I've been saying that I had to get these dings fixed for the last five weeks (some I inherited from the previous owner, made worse by me).

The moral of the story is that I have to STOP PROCRASTINATING. I do this too much with too many things in my life. I'm pissed at myself for letting things go until I'm forced to confront them. The curling piece of fiberglass is a tangible reminder. So the day of the delam, I spent an hour using elbow grease (and Bar Keeper's Helper -- a super fantastic cleaning powder which has burned away layers of my skin) to clean the 6-month, caked on grease off my stove-top and drove my Midget Smith funboard into the surfshop for resell. I still need to edit some short stories, clean off my dirty hiking boots, and hang up a few wall racks for my remaining boards, but I feel better that I've started.

Oh, and I have to take my Cooperfish in to get fixed. It doesn't look to be unfixable, though this morning Murphy's dad at the Venice Pier encouraged me to fix it myself. Um. No. I can fix rail gashes with a certain amount of confidence now, but working on the nose and the tail makes me nervous.

Friday, June 17, 2005

6 friggin 30

I was out of bed at 6:30am this morning -- which, a year ago, was not so early. I woulda been in the water already by 6:30. But this year, 6 friggin 30. Out of bed, filled up my water bottle with hot water, hauled the big-ass board into the car, and drove.

I had every intention of going into the water no matter what. I'd grown soft and grumpy, so it was time to go for a paddle at the very least. I drove to the Venice Pier and stupidly walked out to pet Murphy the dog and say hi to the Pier birds. There, from the Pier, I saw texture on the water and uninviting walls on the south side. The north side had better corners, but that's not saying much. Dribbly drabbly.

So, I drove to Porto for the first time since the parking lot's been torn up. Textured and peakier than Venice, but that's not saying much either. Waist high at the most and crumbly. I just couldn't do it. Woke up at 6 friggin 30 and drove around, but I couldn't do it.

I have no idea what it's going to take to get me out on the weekdays. The weekends I'll go out just to be social, but I don't really feel like I'm surfing anymore.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Surf flow

I rarely dream of surf: only once before last night. If I do dream of surf, I'm never surfing. Both dreams have taken place in the same make-believe setting where cliffs and stairs and boardwalks and limestone caves meet sand and water. Both times my surf was stopped by bad conditions. The first dream, the tide came high and flooded people's cars and sunk them into the sand. The second dream, last night, just as I was about to hop in, I noticed that the top layer of the water had frozen over. An ice floe.

I don't know what this means. I know that I used to get up and surf every day. I don't even get up any more. I think I've grown so picky about what waves I surf that it's coming out my subconscious.

Monday, June 13, 2005

On the NYT Bestseller List

My new bitching buddy Sir Richard and I have spent the last two Sundays floating around on the choppy waves at OP while coming up with a new self-help book for single ladies who surf. Sir R can't believe that I'm still single and that none of the guys who surf there have asked me out (that's very sweet of him). I then told him that I prefer not to date surfers anyway... besides the salt-water-for-brains thing, there's also an attitude that manifests itself, especially in male surfers: the "maybe the next wave is better" worldview. Who wants to be the "good enough until something [better, blonder, skinnier] comes along" girl?

Sir R told me that I was on to something and should write a dissertation. When he came up to me in the parking lot last week after staying in the craptacular conditions longer than I did, he pointed to the ocean and said to me, "And sometimes, you can stay in a relationship TOO LONG."

This week, he paddled up to me and told me he shared our conversation with his son. "He said you missed one major thing in your dissertation."

"Oh, yeah? I'm all ears."

"You forgot to mention that men who surf have already found their true love."

Oh, so wise.

Thursday, June 09, 2005


Because of the low tide messing up my dawn patrol, I went to Sunset this morning. I had a few pretty good waves, but it's mostly what I expect from Sunset -- a whole lotta paddling. I'll probably be there tomorrow morning, too, but mostly because I'm gaining some weight in the middle of my body and I don't like exercising. "Surfing" is not "exercise" to me, so I can bear it. This morning I went out at Sunset only because I knew that if I drove back down to one of the beach breaks, it would bring me closer to one of the many breakfast places I like to frequent... and "breakfast" is definitely not "exercise" but would eventually encourage the need for more distasteful exercise in the future.