Friday, March 30, 2007

On Progression

Sister Surf had an interesting musing the other day that I just saw. In response, it gets me rambling about the good, the bad, the ugly. Home Break really is like home. Can you ever really go home again? I've spent the last two weeks out of the water stretching and strengthening my knee, but both Sundays I found myself haunting home break on my way to the Farmer's Market so I could see who was out and what the waves were like. It was fun hooting for my pals. Two Sundays ago I would have liked to be in the water because there was actually some shape on the waves. This past Sunday, not so much.

I think there is truth in what the Old Regulars say the break, Sister, if you can surf Home Break, you can surf ANY wave. I've found it to be true... even if it does psyche me out some time. I've been to other slower, fatter, shapelier places and I back off waves because my natural instinct is that it's going to jack up and smack me like Home Break does. But after my first good Get, I realize the new break is a slow, fat, shapely wave.

Learning at Home Break DID help me as a newbie. I paddled out through some of the crappiest, wind-stormiest waves because I didn't know any better. This helped me figure out how to power through without turtling a longboard.

Learning on this wave helped make me fearless on steep drops. You either GO or you go over the falls. Imagine the bright orange nose of Doc #1 as I went over the falls... over and over and over. I'm sure I cut a wide swath.

I learned turn at Home Break when all the crowds started showing up.

I think the frustration now is that we know how to paddle out through set waves. We know how to pop up. We know how to turn.

The problem is: what we don't know how to do, we don't get enough opportunity to do at Home Break. Either the shape is off or the crowds are on it. Either it's too low tide or it's too high. It also doesn't help that we've had some pretty consistent non-swell for the past few months. Both Sister and I have become weekend warriors so if Mother Nature doesn't hit us with energy on Saturday and Sunday, we're pretty much screwed.

I want to learn how to walk to the nose gracefully and not in a panic. I want to learn how to kick-out backside. And I'd really enjoy keeping my eyes open when I pull into a tube instead of fearing that the close-out is going to wash away my contact lenses.

In all, though, I'm not too concerned. Today, I drove over a hill I've gone over a thousand times, and at the top of that hill you can see the Pacific Ocean. This morning it was beautiful and blue and I had a Yearning. I yearned to be in it. Surfing. Floating. Just playing. The yearning hit me hard, but not in a way that made me regret being out of the water for so long. The yearning washed over me in a way to make me realize that I will be back in the ocean and it doesn't matter how much I suck or rock the board. It's just a place where I belong.


Surfsister said...

All I can say is this: I'm taking you with me to this break once your knee is better. It's not a secret spot by any means. But damn if I'm not in love with this place!

SlowPolk said...

nice post