Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Running down Rica - the Philosophical

This will be short, and when I have more time in the next few days, I'll write more specifically about the breaks I surfed in Costa Rica before I forget. (And, SurfSis, I rode both the 7'0" I brought but by Wednesday, I decided I was on vacation and didn't want to work for my waves so I borrowed a 9'2" epoxy from the surf camp AND a 10'2" epoxy which totally rocked!!! -- more on that later.)

The Epiphany

I once had a surf buddy who said, "Surfing is my life."

I kinda thought he was an idiot anyway, so my initial pause and raise of my eyebrow was not so abnormal a reaction. But I had a feeling that the statement was sort of weird and pathetic even if it were out of the mouth of someone less moronic.

Last week, probably about two days into being carted around to different sites and chasing surf all day to get skunked with windblown chop, I was surfed out. Never mind the 80-degree air and 75-degree water, forget the sparsely populated shoreline and surfing in boardshorts. I wanted no more. I realized my inner curmudgeon liked routine. I like to get my surfing in the morning and be done with it. I don't like spending an hour looking for the perfect spot because by mid-morning every break has a high probability of sucking anyway: sucking by wind, sucking by tide, sucking by crowds.

I discovered that surfing is NOT my life and I was relieved. Surfing is just one part of my life. It's definitely a part of my life that defines certain choices I will make in the future: choosing where I live, choosing my morning alarm settings, choosing my vacation spots... But surfing is not all of my life and I am glad to recognize that I need balance.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

Pura Vida

So the water is warm and the cerveza is cold, but I'm not used to surfing mid-morning or afternoon which is what we've been doing. Mostly skunked with the onshore winds at Marbella and the howling offshores sending spray into your face at Avellanas. There was not enough swell to make the long-ass boat ride to Witch's Rock and Ollie's point more than interesting for the experience. I liked Ollie's but that was more because I learned how to pee in the water there. This winter I know how I'm keeping myself warm during dawn patrol!

Today was the first good day of surfing but that was mostly because we demanded a dawn patrol tour of Playa Langosta. We had gone there in the afternoon two days before and saw head high waves and 50 guys sitting on the limited take-off point. I saw an L.A. surf buddy who was there with his wife. Small world. I watched all the amazing surfers angle for the inconsistent waves and when I finally got my wave, I took off and never looked back. Outta there. Dawn patrol this morning was EXCELLENT. Chest-high and just me and N for twenty minutes until two other surfers came out to play. Enough waves until 7am when the peak quickly filled up to 15 people. Time for me to say goodbye. I got my long carving rides and left while I was still feeling good.


Went on to swellmagnet.com to read Uncle Grant's report about the crazy waves hitting Venice. Wish I were there to see it! (Nah, not really. I was actually hot in my rashguard this morning at 6:30.)

Friday, December 16, 2005

I'm sad to miss this show...

From wetsand.com:
Wednesday the 21st, the shortest day of the year, will be seeing some big surf hit the coast. As we mentioned in yesterday’s report, this is from a significant WNW system traveling at low latitudes towards our region. Today, models have kicked this system up a notch; actually make that about three or four notches. This powerful system is now posted in NWS warnings, which considering their conservative nature on swell prediction is impressive. The NWS is warning of high surf and coastal flooding potential. The WAM model runs today are showing this system now building into an astonishing large system with 18+ second periods, and surf that could reach 20+ feet on the faces at direct west facing breaks. Now, bear in mind that we’re still dealing with some 48h+ models, and we’ll need to confirm this in the next couple of days. Nevertheless, significant swell is imminent; we just need to see if this system builds to a 10-15 foot swell-maker, or, as some models suggest today, a 20-25 foot surf pounder. To err on the side of conservative predictions, our call could be for 12-14 foot face heights at west facing breaks. To err on the side of caution, we’d call for bigger, more hazardous surf. We’ll have more details by Sunday morning, and keep you posted as models converge on this system over the next 36 hours.

I look forward to reading your blogs to see if this swell actually came in.

See ya!

One last blast of cold water at the Pier this morning to prepare me for the grueling 70-degree water and 85-degree air in Costa Rica. Red eye flight tonight, and this time tomorrow I'll be in board shorts and a rashguard (if it isn't too warm).

Rough life. I know.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Breakfast burrito?

I'm having a waffle.

I've been out of the water for nearly three weeks (reasons: lack of waves, landlocked for the Thanksgiving holiday, a week-long cold that made me lose my voice and sound like a Canadian goose). Yesterday I went back in only because I started having fear about going to Costa Rica and not having surfed for a month. So I took Doc to the beach and decided to go out no matter what. The waves at the home break were maybe waist-high-plus and mostly dumpy. One surprising wave loomed up and I actually made three nice turns on an actual shoulder. I'm still reliving that wave today because it was so shockingly good in such poor pickings.


This wave got me to thinking about me and surfing and how I love longboarding. These thoughts co-mingled with the hassle of finding a travel board bag, packing the board, and hauling the board across continents made me wonder why the hell I was bringing a short(er)board to Costa Rica? I'm having a waffle.

I mean, yeah, it would be nice to have my own board down there, especially if my snobby self hates the crappy rental longboards... but I *love*love*lurve* longboarding so that surfing the crappy epoxy plastic bubbling delaminated rentals in France last year was fun. Do I even like surfing the 7'0" enough to deal with the hassle of getting it down there?


Thursday, December 08, 2005

Lost: Timing

Last seen about 3 weeks ago, before cold virus and laryngitis took it away. Looking for timing before going to a surf trip to Costa Rica. If found, please return to Grace.