02 March 2008

38th Ave, 2 March 2008

I'm glad I took a pass on Saturday and waited until Sunday dawned clear and warm with better surf. An early high high tide pushed my sesh to late morning. I decided to try the Pleasure Point vicinity, on the theory that it might be more protected from the NW wind. As it turned out it was breezy, but not too much. The crowds were out of course, but from the bluff near 38th I saw an open slot beckoning me.

It looked like getting out would be easy, but my timing was off and I’d just started paddling when a long set came through. Ah, well, it was another chance to practice duck-diving. Each time, I think I’m doing more of them closer to right, and not totally screwing up too often any more. Or maybe the waves were just going easy on me! Still, I was getting tired and worse by the time I reached the lineup, just as a large sea lion cruised by. My open slot had disappeared with the shifting crowd, but I found some less cluttered space right in front of the big green house, which I’ve heard belongs to Jack O’Neill of the wetsuit company. (Hey, Jack, how about making some more women's’ size 2s?!)

For the most part the waves were smaller and mushier than the shoulder-high set I’d seen from the bluff. Those bigger sets were arriving randomly every 10-15 minutes, and I got caught inside a few times thinking Damn! Wish I’d been in the right place for those. But good for more duck-diving practice. Remembering advice from the Pavones surf camp instructor, I paddled to the edge of the bubbly remnants showing where the last set wave had begun to break. Then I did catch one, felt it take me and started to pop up – then slid off the backside as the wave continued without me. I think either I shifted my weight too far aft and stalled the board, or the wind pushed me back. Either way, so sad, since that's the only wave I got. Then I just have to remind myself again about Pavones, and how easy it was to catch those uncrowded, consistent and quality waves, which I don't often luck into around here.

Toward the end of my sesh, a very friendly teenage boy, I'm guessing 17, paddled close and started chatting me up, trying to impress me with tales of his surfing prowess at Steamer Lane. All while sitting on a Cobalt Fusion longboard, just like mine but more than a foot longer, pristine with snowy white wax. We got separated by the waves for a few minutes, but then he came back and continued the conversation. Which makes me wonder, just how young do I look when I’m covered head to toe in neoprene?!

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