Monday, April 16, 2007

Can turn, can't turn

Last Saturday, I met up with Surf Sister and her compatriots at Bolsa. First time back in the water since I messed up my knee, so I wanted something I knew I could handle and turn... weirdly, that's my 9'8" Cooperfish Hornet. I sat in the water for a while, just enjoying being back. I also realized my knee was not 100% as I kicked my legs underwater after a turtle and it felt a little funky. Most waves that day were backing off and you really had to paddle. I ended up playing mindgames with myself on a lot of the bigger waves. At the critical moment of take-off, I'd have a flash of memory when I hyper-extended my knee. I pulled back every time. I just wasn't sure I could pop up comfortably.

When I finally did get into a wave so I could turn, I could feel my knee creaking. It didn't hurt, but I was aware of every movement in the joint. I started realizing exactly how much your knee torques to make a turn. In all, it wasn't a great day, but it was a good start.

What made it kind of a great day was taking doggie to Huntington Dog Beach. There is nothing that embodies joy quite like a dog running full speed on the beach and changing direction so sand goes flying.

This Saturday, I sucked it up and took Doc III out to home break. I knew high tide plus swell was going to give some mushy peaks. The frustration of paddling for nothing didn't phase me. I figured I needed the pointless work-out after weeks of being land-locked. What was surprising, frustrating, and challenging was realizing how right my initial observations about this board was. It wants to go FAST. AND I can't turn it. I can't turn it like I turn Cooperfish, that is. I can't turn it from the middle, where I usually end up popping up to get into a wave. And I can't turn it on the rail. I tried doing both these things on a nice right and the board shot out from under me and I wiped out pretty dramatically. The board doesn't carve into the wave and rather feels like it's skating on the wave.

Obviously, I'm going to have to turn from the tail and use the fins. I'm going to have to stop being afraid to move my knee (again, mind games) so I can adjust my position.

I'm looking forward to having more board time to experiment. This is the first time in a long time that I've been antsy to get back into the water. Now, if only the winds would stop.


Paula the Surf Mom said...

:) good to hear the knee is better and you're back out...

Alan_M said...

Grace, you'll gain your confidence with time. The worst damage I've ever done myself took months for me to get comforatble again with letting the board be near my face (i.e duck-dving) or pulling into the barrel, whcih is how I damaged myself. Keep going, and the hesitation will erode. Glad your back in the water!