aka Crappy Santa Monica beach break
aka Surf Spot of the Decade
Where did they all come from, these surfers? A refrain from last weekend and this weekend I heard from my buddies in the water, "F**k, if you looked at all the surfers in the water, you'd think this was a surf spot!" Granted, today was kinda fun, but the ol' grump inside of me started rearing its head when a kid started taking off on a wave that I was already riding. Gave him some stink-eye and he backed off. The kid on the soft top was an okay surfer, but there's no excuse for not knowing etiquette. I missed the ol' police presence in the water today. You know the guys. Those slightly scary guys who can surf circles around you and will put people in their place for any breach of etiquette. One's got an injury, one told me he'd be at work today, and I'm not quite sure what the other two guys were doing loitering around the parking lot.
I'm also never sure what to do when some of the newer people who I'm friendly with don't know how to control their boards. I was inside and I watched a girl I know take off on a wave drawing a line directly for me. She was looking ahead of her board and not right at her feet, but she was only looking about 3 inches ahead of the nose of her board. If I had been in her place I would have A) considered not going on the wave because there were two many people inside, B) gone on the wave knowing that I should trim more tightly on the shoulder, C) been looking WAY beyond where my board ended and where the water began, and, in the unlikely case that I would have come too close to someone inside, D) fell on the board and held on to stop it instead of falling backwards and letting go.
But I wasn't in her place, so I kinda saw what was going to happen. I decided that the safest thing for me to do in this case was to reach out and hold on to the nose of her board that was coming towards me. No, that's not right. The safest thing for me to do was to duck under the water, but that was not the safest thing for my surfboard.
I don't know. I guess I should have offered her my thoughts in that situation, but instead, the low-conflict kind of gal I am, I just said I was okay and that I had reached out and blocked her board with my hand. No worries.
I come from a long line of worriers all the time. My bone structure and my worrying I've genetically inherited from my father.
I just don't understand why people can't see how ugly it is when they just fall off a board without making some effort to keep it under control and close to them? I don't understand why people don't see the classic beauty in a kick-out. Surfing's not just about speeding down the biggest baddest wave you can get. It's about taking control in an inherently chaotic environment.
And I guess I have to do that with people.
All that aside, I did have a great day of surf.