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!