Saturday, August 26, 2006

Home Break

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.

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.


Surfsister said...

Yeah, the home break is out of control. It's gotten to the point that I won't go near it on a Saturday. And where did all of these people come from anyway? It's not like we've got good waves there. I went to the Breakwater and was fine. It wasn't overly crowded and the closeouts didn't kill me. That's good enough for me.

RiaB said...

We didn't even go yesterday...on Saturdays if we can't go at the break of dawn we don't go at all. For me those crowded mornings at the home break is just as stressful as trying to figure out how to get back in on head-high closeouts at our break. After reading your post I'm so looking forward to SD.

Do you think all the people will disappear after Labor Day? I love surfing in the summer but hate the people it really makes me look forward to winter

LBG said...

I bet all those beginners you see were told to go to a beach break to learn, so there they are at Bay St. & Ocean Park.

I was beginner once, and that's why I went there. But then it was a lot less crowded several years ago...

Anonymous said...

what, are you four the last ones in or something?
YOU guys weren't here 4-5 years ago
sounds like nimby to me
except it's not even your backyard
be kind & generous now
live aloha

Anonymous said...

"It's about taking control in an inherently chaotic environment."

How about taking control by sharing waves, once in a while. Have you ever told a newbie to go for it, this one is yours ? It might also create an opportunity to slip in a few tips, like kicking out, right & left,etc.

No "police" needed

Surfsister said...

Anonymous, I was there four years ago. I've always been at the home break, even before I started surfing. The locals knew me from always seeing me in the parking lot (with my baby and the Baby Jogger). I've since transitioned from the parking lot to the lineup. Where were you?

unclegrant said...

Annonimity is the coward's shield.

Anonymous said...

anonymous is a check box on a blog program

Anonymous said...

Take a page from this travel report in swell magnet. Your homebreak could be like this if there was less focus on "priority" and "I was here first" and "police".
Note the tolerance of the tourist-surfer, hopefully we're all going to surf an exotic break and it would be great to be treated with aloha.
( Read the inscription on Duke's statue if you need a refresher course)

"Still it’s a very mellow crowd, there is no localism (the people from the south are treated like friends), and everyone knows everyone else. Yesterday there were 20 people on the two main Soup Bowl peaks and at least 12 of them were excellent surfers. I got plenty of set waves despite the fact I was one of 3 tourists. "Everyone talks to everyone else and if it’s your turn, then it’s your turn."

Surfsister said...

Anonymous, you assume we approve of or practice localism. All we said is that it's crowded. In fact, I said it's so crowded that I surf elsewhere on certain days. Why you're taking offense to what we said is beyond me since none of us bad-mouthed those who've now invaded this break. We three just said we're not accustomed to all of the people who now surf the break. Perhaps if you should stop trying to read more into our words than is there. Aloha!

riab said...

Anonymous: OP is as close as a backyard can get for us - we moved within a few blocks of our break several years ago. Not ony do we surf here we live here - we are also part of the community outside of the water. I simply said that we avoid the crowds...I don't think that's what localism is.

When I started surfing SurfSis and Grace were alredy surfing our break - they were both welcoming and friendly to us. Our break when not overcrowded is a mellow break - and SS and Grace are part of the reason.

Crowds in the water for me is a hazard (surfers, bodyboarders, swimmers, waders). So many things can go wrong - I would rather avoid it than hurt someone accidentally or get hurt. It's just a personal preference.

Crowded beaches also bring a lot of garbage on the beach - have you ever seen our break on a Mon morning? It will make you sick. It will definitely make you look forward to quieter weekends in the fall and winter.

local said...

On Saturday, September 16th, from 9:00 a.m. till noon, over 10,000 volunteers are expected to come together in L.A. County, taking action to rid our beaches and inland waterways of unsightly and harmful debris. Ninety-one countries around the world will take part in this extraordinary, international event

There will be 6 Santa Monca locations

"if you are not part of the solution, then you are part of the problem"