Thursday, July 28, 2005

No surfing, just thinking sexy thoughts

I haven't surfed in about a week, but it doesn't sound like there's been much to miss. So, instead, I've been thinking. I've been thinking about the terrorist attacks in London and in Egypt... and the racial backlash and media depiction that isn't helping racial tensions. But this blog is about surfing... so much more important...

So, intermittently, I've also been thinking about the age-old fight (not quite as old as the one in Gaza): longboarders vs. shortboarders.

The last time I was on the shorter board, I gazed down the line at a stout man in boardshorts as he calmly floated to his feet on the huge-ass board and then flicked the board over the wave when it was ready to kick out. I thought, "Sex-ayyyy!" Then I thought, when was the last time that I saw a shortboarder on a wave and thought how sexy he was? Never really ever. Sure, I think he's talented, ripping a wave apart and all, but never do I think about how that guy might handle a woman (or a man, should that be the persuasion).

There is just something crazy sexy about a guy who can keep control of more than 9 feet of foam and fiberglass in a chaotic environment.

Friday, July 22, 2005


In a sort of unsightly panicked move on the O-7 (Guy O 7'0") today, I actually snapped off the top of a puny wave going backside. Woo! I'm sure it didn't look pretty, but it felt good when I stuck the landing.

Yeahhhh... I meant to do that.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

blah blah blah

I had to paddle away from Posing Boy today. I heard too much talking. Too much talking without saying anything. Same stuff I heard a long time ago. Repeating repeating repeating.

Funny tan lines

Yesterday I was hot in a spring suit, so today I was in a swimsuit and boardshorts.

Yesterday was fun, but I knew Thruster Doc was pooping out on the smaller waves, so today I put the 2+1 back in and gave it to a friend to ride while I went out on Dragon, my Guy O 7'0". I bought this board back in October from Nedra. I surfed it twice and then Cooperfish came into my life and never looked back.

Since I'm going to Costa Rica, and because the hopper plane between San Jose and Liberia only fits up to 7'0" boards, I have to practice before I take Dragon down there. I told my reasoning to Big Red Truck Billy in the water and he asked me, "When are you going?"


He laughed.

I know it's a long time away, but I'm one of those anal-retentive people who likes to be as prepared as possible. I want to be so comfortable on this board that I don't have to think.

To that end, I have to say that I was surprised how easy the whole transition was this morning. This board Guy made is really great. My problem is not knowing exactly where to position myself on the board when I paddle. Most of the time, I was too far forward and I buried the nose before the take-off. Buried the nose! On a short(ish)board! Other than that, the waves were surprisingly easy to catch and we all know turning on a shortboard is nothing compared to cranking around a longboard.

Now, if I can just stop surfing it like a longboard...

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Thruster vs. 2+1

More on my latest obsession in this Q&A on Surfline. It explains why and how fins work.

Doc Lausch made my 9'0" with a lot of rocker and a bump in the tail to "loosen" it up. It also has a really hard rail at the tail and a round pin for bigger waves. He also makes his boards REALLY light and is generally known for his shortboards. I'm pretty sure this is why I surf my Doc like a long shortboard (or I'm trying to).

I've discovered, as the swell has gone down, that a thruster longboard doesn't work as well in small waves. Bigger waves, though, yi-yi-yi! Swoop down and up and back down again to make the most of the wave. Luckily, today, with the tide push, there were still a few larger left-over waves that came rolling through for me.

Monday, July 18, 2005

9'0" thruster

LOVE it.

It drives through turns and makes me feel large.

Thursday, July 14, 2005

Pier-ing over the ledge

Checked three spots this morning because of the alleged swell coming in. Sunset first, no. Then OP which looked about the same as yesterday. Then the Pier. Bobby G. and I could hear it before we could see it. The bigger waves were head high with no shape. The waves were stacked up one after the other (annoying at times), and they were hitting the sandbar pretty hard.

Well, that just sounds like fun. We suited up.

I'm still not completely in tune with the thruster set-up. I had a lot of fun drops today, but I'm not sure if it was because of the close-outs or if it was because of how I was surfing that I couldn't really make a true bottom turn on the bigger drops. On the plus side, the thruster longboard is really fast.

Best wave of the day was my second to last. There was a smaller wave in front of a much larger wave looming toward me. I decided to take the smaller wave that had better shape, knowing full well that I was going to get pummelled AFTER my kick-out. The wave had a decent shoulder and I was going frontside so I could see the bigger wave behind it waving at me with its giant, darkening hand. I waved back and saluted (seemed appropriate to acknowledge it at the time). I kicked out of the smaller wave in order to immediately dive off my board into the dark water, under the crest of the larger wave.

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

Tinkering: 9'0" thruster

Yup. It works. I would prefer better waves with this set up. (Wouldn't we all?) Crazy Johnny wasn't so crazy. I can feel the new tri-fin Doc want to make sweeping drives off the bottom, but with the close-outs of OP today on a low tide, that wasn't going to happen so much. Bigger waves, bigger faces, that's what I need with this set-up. Weirdly, I wonder if I had had smaller fins might today's smallish close-outs been more fun and racier? At one point, I was thinking of going back to my car to put in the little side bites and keeping the G5 center fin in place. Stay tuned, mad scientist at work.

Tuesday, July 12, 2005

My eye!

I'm going to rename this blog and call it "Random Body Parts."

So, I was planning to surf this morning and try out the thruster set-up on the longboard. Though it occurred to me that my first board was a used 1980s neon orange 8'6" Doc Lausch board with a glassed on thruster set-up. The fins were light blue. 50/50 rails in the middle with a bump to transition to a hard rounded pintail. It was 24" wide and 3" thick. I broke it because I like big waves and steep take-offs.

I digress.

I was planning to surf the new fin set-up this morning on Doc, but I made guacamole last night. Sounds like a non-sequitur, but follow:

  • My guacamole recipe includes a finely chopped jalapeno pepper.
  • I woke up at 7:25, which is on the verge of being too late for me to get a decent session in before work, but not late enough for me not to try to get to the water.
  • I stumbled to the bathroom to put on my contacts.
  • I evidently did not wash my hands very thoroughly after making the guacamole.
  • "Ouch" would be an understatement.

I spent fifteen minutes splashing water into my burning eye, thus pushing me past the time where I could make it to the beach and get in a decent surf session before work.

Sometimes I'm such an idiot.

Monday, July 11, 2005

New board for $60?

I'm glad that even though I don't surf for a week, I'm still able to hop back on the board with some amount of confidence. Saturday, I was pleasantly surprised by the waves that came through. From shore they looked like close-outs. From the water, they still looked like close-outs, but there were also the surprising shoulders that peeked out. Nice amount of wave energy and I felt like I was really getting to understand how to hug the face of the wave... at least going frontside.

Somewhere amid the fun, I snapped off the left side fin in my 2+1 set-up on Doc. I don't know when I could have done it. I didn't kook out that day and run it into the ground.

Sunday I decided to take the other side bite out and try surfing Doc as a single-fin -- 7-inch single fin. Hmmm. I had my doubts. I tried not to make judgments on the first few waves and wait instead until I had finished my whole session. In the end, it was a fun time, but I could feel the difference and I didn't really like it. This is not a single-fin board... at least it's not a 7-inch single-fin board. There was no drive into the wave.

Walking back up to the parking lot, I ran into Johnny who encouraged me to take on a thruster set-up on the performance longboard. Whaa---? Hmm. I've always said that Doc is a long shortboard, so I figured why the hell not?! Sensei J has a bright yellow 9'0" Hawaiian T&C performance board with three tiny fins -- it's a board he reserves for waves with big faces. So, hell, why not? I bought a FCS center fin converter and a set of G5 fins (on Johnny's suggestion). I haven't tried it yet, but there's some waves coming. This could be fun. 9'0" longboard thruster. Wacky.

If this works, I theoretically have a whole new board for $60... and I'd be interested in playing around with fin set-ups and seeing how they work. Brave new world! And cheaper than buying a whole board.

Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The nose

At first I thought it was allergies, then I wondered if it was a cold. Now I think it's the red tide that has been screwing with my sinuses. I don't usually get allergies, but I have had a couple of freak incidents in the last few years. I took some medication to alleviate the symptoms. That was three weeks ago. Then, when it really wasn't getting any better, I thought maybe it was a cold. So I took more medication to alleviate the symptoms. That was a week and a half ago.

Now, after my symptoms have progressed to the point of not being able to smell certain smells (those in the more smokey, savory range), and after I started complaining to some surfers, I think it's the red tide. I think something is screwing with not only the sensory nerves in my nose, but it's also screwing with the receptors in my brain. This SUCKS. I'd just quit smoking this year and food was starting to taste REALLY GOOD and now this happens.

When a friend came over on Monday, I had a finger of my favorite single malt scotch and was surprised at how little I could taste of it. There was still the fun burning sensation down the throat, but the smokiness of this particular scotch was completely missing.

And lest you think me a complete lush, I also fixed a pot of Darjeeling/Assam blend of loose leaf tea when a dinner party on Sunday retired to my place for dessert. I remembered the Darjeeling/Assam blend to be a smokey tea, especially after steeping so long between entertaining anecdotes. Everybody in the party was saying how great the tea was, but I couldn't smell or taste a thing.

I haven't been in the water for the last two days, but it hasn't really gotten better. I think I might have to go to the doctor before I start to freak out. I thought maybe being able to taste less would make me want to eat less, but instead, I seem to be shoveling food into my mouth at twice the normal rate in the hopes that the next bite will stimulate SOMETHING besides the growth of new fat cells.