Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Malibu, 2nd point in the evening

First time at Malibu ever for me last night. It was crowded at 1st point, but I stood and watched the sexy sexayyyy longboarders do their thing. I took Coop to the hairier 2nd point to meet Dean and Steve. Head high set waves... and I always seemed to take the first one. I would turn to paddle out and see, on the horizon, a series of 5 more that I had to turtle and drown under. But still, I was happy to have a big and non-threatening (big waves, non-grumpy people) introduction to the spot. Grumpy people concern me more than big waves -- why is that? Maybe because nature is dispassionate in doling out its punishment. People, not so much.

This morning, I think I was a bit kamikaze at my break. I feel bad about that, but people kept paddling to where I was. See? People suck. I suck. I get grumpy and I get stupid. And I got the bigger, heavier board.

Monday, August 29, 2005

Heh heh...

Head high!

Two nice bombs of a right that stayed open on Sunday and Monday. LOVE it. I had a dentist appointment scheduled for Tuesday morning, but I've moved it in hopes of catching a few more.

I'm slightly worried that paddling into head high close-outs doesn't get my adrenaline going like it used to, because I'm afraid I might be tempted to chase adrenaline in the future. But I think I'm just being neurotic about worrying.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

First words

I woke up this morning and something was different.

"Oh my god. It's sunny."

I usually don't talk aloud to myself and there was no one in bed with me, so you know how exciting the sight of blue skies through my window was for me to mutter words first thing. I hopped out of bed and suited up and knew there wasn't going to be great waves where my time could allow me to go, but I went. Swimsuit and boardshorts. Funky tan lines. Paddled out to the buoy twice.


Wednesday, August 24, 2005

3 times to the buoy

It takes me a minute and 30 seconds to get out to the buoy doing a regular paddle and a minute 40 to get back knee-paddling. I only timed my last paddle to the buoy today, so this is a purely unscientific presumption: I suck at knee-paddling.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Pretty, but never

Gene just did this. It's a very pretty 12-foot gun. Gorgeous, but I am at this moment promising myself that I will never be in a position to want a 12-foot gun. Overhead to double, okay. But I will not ever, never, no stinkin' way, set my sights for anything that needs a 12-foot gun.

Friday, August 19, 2005

Goofies all the way down

There's this earth/existence myth. I don't know which culture, but it starts with a person saying that the earth was supported on the back of a giant turtle. When asked what the turtle was standing on, the reply is, "It stands on the back of another turtle. It's turtles all the way down."

I surfed "LPB" for the first time with Surf Sister and CYT. Last year, I'd stopped there for a peek on my way to find surf. Shoulder-to-head-high FUN. I was so happy to watch all the little rippers and take my own drops that I got a little excited. I was so amped that on one wave, I forgot to look to my right down the line. I dropped in on CYT (who I swear makes every wave she paddles for). SORRY! Luckily, I saw her bright board and was able to grab my rail, stall, pull back, and hold on to my board so nothing and no one got banged up. BAD BAD GRACE.

But way fun otherwise. My first wave was a steep drop that I just had to get out of my system. It was big and had no shape whatsoever. I held onto the rail and just tucked in, speeding down the face of the wall. I got smashed on the inside, but the adrenaline was worth it.

I've never seen so many goofy-footers congregated in one place in my life. Goofies all the way down.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Full Moon

I surfed Full Moon Topanga last night with Firefly Mark.

SHIT. THAT's what surfing's all about. Use the Force, Luke.

Clear skies, picturesque light pollution coming off Santa Monica in the distance, and moonlight glinting off the rolling chest-high waves.

It took me a while to get the hang of it, and it took me a while to actually get into a wave because I was nervous about the quick hollowing of the point which always kicked my ass -- even when I could SEE it. But I got a few -- nothing like Firefly got -- but my favorite ride was one where the spotlights from shore reflected off the wave hollowing out and I took off anyway. I made it and was trying to get trim, but it was too fast for my Cooperfish and my lack of ability. I got tossed like I haven't gotten tossed in a while and it was my favorite ride.


Because this is how I learn. I am a student of the Wipe-Out School of surfing. You wipe-out. You figure out what you did wrong. You change. You wipe-out again. You adjust. You do this enough and then it clicks.

On a normal chest-high DAY at Topanga, there would be fifty grumbling guys at the point and if you got worked by a wave like I got worked on that wave, there would be no chance of you EVER getting to take-off and get worked again.

I was happy to be able to wipe-out at Topanga without all the pressure. I need more of those waves.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005


After weeks of flat, I knew today everybody would be out en masse to any of the point breaks that would take the South swell. I drove to Sunset with my Cooperfish Hornet, repaired, unwaxed, and saw 100 people sitting and waiting at 6:30. No thank you. I'd rather take my chances with close-outs at a beach break.

I ended up at the Pier and it was pretty much as Uncle Grant said (sans yesterday's Catholic guilt). But it was better than OP and I just liked the look of waves higher than my knee.

It took a thousand years to wax my newly repaired board, and I ran out of wax. But there was no way I was getting up to the nose anyhow. I paddled out.

Man, did I stink!

After actually starting to figure out Sensei J's huge-ass board, I was all wrong on my own board. I didn't even know how far forward or back on the board I was supposed to be when paddling out. Then, first wave, one with an actual shoulder... I friggin' kooked out and pearled. PEARLED! When's the last time I did THAT?

I figured out that I'd been shifting all my weight forward when paddling for a wave on the log so as to gain enough momentum to get in the wave. I didn't have to throw my whole body into it on my board. Fixed.

On a left, I was so far back on the tail that when I moved to turn it off the top, the board swung wildly out of the water. Obviously, my body expected to haul 35 pounds of log. I didn't have to do that either. Fixed.

I caught a few decent rides after those initial disasters. Still, though, not quite dialed back into my board. I guess I shouldn't have expected a homecoming with open arms.

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

It was the breast of times...

It was the worst of times.

I went out today because I've grown large and I thought a little paddle might help. I raced J-Deluxe out to the buoy. He won. Bastard. But he showed me how to make my knee-paddle more efficient.

Before the swarms of people showed up to (not) get (craptacular) waves, I had a surprisingly nice left -- the only wave with any kind of shoulder. I steered the borrowed boat of a board pretty well and was able to do a top-turn. As the wave closed, I did my patented stall and fall onto the leashless board (since I can't kick-out). Unfortunately, the water angled the board a little and hit me right in the breast. That's gonna leave a mark.

Everybody else is amped up because of this supposed swell coming in. I know better. I'm not a true surfer because I'm not that optimistic. I think those islands are in the way. I think we'll have more surf than we've had in the last two weeks, but I don't think it's going to be anywhere near chest-high. And we're talkin' about MY chest, the bruised one. As a short dumpy Asian chick, chest-high is about three feet off the ground.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

My baby's back!

Coop looks better than when I bought it used. Aqua Tech color-matched it almost perfectly. Shiny!

Coop's back. Now, where are those waves?

Whaddaya use for bait?

Suzy Q called last night and said she was going to Sunset in the AM. I shrugged and said I'd go for a drive.

At 7am, there was nothing in the line-up except for a couple kayakers, a bunch o' birds, and Sherman sitting on his board casting a line with his fishing pole. I wonder if he caught anything?

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

What a gorgeous board

I pulled into Aqua Tech this morning before work just to harass them. Ken was nice (and working with a guy who'd brought in a beautiful longboard with a nose concave). He looked for my board and I immediately spotted it on the saw-horses. Big sleek glassed-in fin. Ken apologized and said it should be wet-sanded and ready at the end of the day. There's nothing to surf in the water, so I'm not overly worried. I was just happy to see all 9'7" of it.

Seeing Coop reminded me of this exercise I did at a writers' retreat years ago. We paired off and one person was blindfolded while the other person led the blindfolded partner to a tree. Any tree at the retreat. My friend led me from the clipped grass, over rocks, through weeds. I could hear the sounds of the ever-rushing river move from my left ear to my right as I turned and felt the sun on my face. When she put my hands on the bark of a tree, I was allowed two minutes to touch the tree, walk around it, smell and taste it if I liked, then she led me back to our starting point.

After taking off the blindfold, I was supposed to retrace my steps to try to find the tree. Crunching over gravel, hearing the river, feeling the sun, I knew I was going in the right direction. Then I got lost. I didn't know where to go from there.

I'm admitting this now after all these years... I cheated. I turned slowly in a circle and mumbled a little as if I was trying to get my bearing, but I glanced at my friend when she thought I wasn't looking. I saw her dart a look in a particular direction. I knew that was the way I was supposed to go.

(I also knew at that moment she would be a horrible poker player.)

So I made some noise about thinking maybe possibly I was going the right way and I stumbled off in the direction she inadverdently pointed. I walked about ten feet over some weeds and rocks and there it was. The tree stood there with its arms akimbo, "What took you so long?"

This is probably the closest I can come to explaining what a dream is like. I mean, when you're dreaming, you "see" images without actually seeing them. I didn't actually have the visual stimulus of actually seeing this tree, but I recognized it instantly. The tree was exactly as I had pictured it... without actually having pictured it.

And all this is to say that I had a similar feeling of "What took you so long?" when I saw my board.

And to say that there are no waves, so I'm talking about trees.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Who needs therapy?

I don't really have a subconscious. That is, my dreams tend to be pretty straightforward. Last night I dreamt I got my Cooperfish back from its repair visit to Aqua Tech. And I dreamt it was the size of a boogie board. It was also incredibly thin, like a dinner tray.

I think it's been over a month now. I've called every week or every other week and they tell me it's gonna take another couple of days. I think it's probably time to pay them a visit. I just want to make sure my board, all 9'7" of it, is there.

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

To suck or not to suck

I'm wondering if it's better to suck in a wildly stinkerific kind of way or if it's better to just suck in a mediocre kind of way as I am doing.

I need a beater nose-rider. That's the next board on my "want" list. I want something that is huge, heavy, doesn't turn from anywhere but the tail, but is also old and cheap so I won't worry about hurting it as I learn.

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

A little better, but I still suck

I'm still not getting far enough back on the tail with this board, but it was better. I was at Sunset at some darkish-early time because I had to pick up my mom from the airport in the AM and I thought I'd get a few mushy waves in an effort to become less frustrated with my below-par skill set. I was able to kick-out in that lame floop-over way on one wave, so I figure I'm starting to get the hang of this Nose Devil thing.

The hardest part of the session, though, was bringing the board down the stairs and off the cement platform. If it were my board, I'd be less ginger with it. Since it's borrowed, I tend to be a little precious about it. I can't handle the pressure of dropping the thing on rocks; I'm parking at the dirt ramp next time.

Monday, August 01, 2005

I suck

I hadn't surfed in over a week. Reports of lack-luster surf couldn't drag me out into the marine layer grey, but I went out on Sunday just to be social. I had the Okazaki-7' which I could have surfed. There was enough punch in the water, but Sensei J had his 9'7" Cooperfish Nose Devil (nose concave, wide, square tail, big honkin' fin) and I thought it might be fun to go back to a big heavy board. First wave I took and I thought I was just rusty after a month of not surfing a heavy board and because I couldn't turn the goddamn thing. It's amazing how different this 9'7" Nose Devil is to my 9'7" Hornet model. Second wave I took and I started to realize that this board is a little beyond my skill set on a beach break.

MAYBE I'd do better at a point break.

MAYBE I just suck.

I was also on Sensei J's borrowed J.J. Perrin (sp?) which I liked better because it's a similar shape to my 30-year-old weirdo board that I haven't ridden in a year. I caught waves just fine, but I don't rip like Sensei J...

Yet. I don't surf like Sensei J yet. Someday, I'll grow up to be just like Papa Bear.

Today, though, no. He loaned me his Cooperfish for the week since mine is still in the shop and Mark still has Doc. I didn't wake up early enough to hit a point break, so I was back at OP. Okay. So I can make one turn, but I don't really "get" the board. I don't know what to do after I make the turn, especially when faced with a crappy wave with no shoulder. Gah! Tomorrow, I'm going to be haunting a point break near you.

PS. Where are you, Sir Richard?