27 June 2008

Linda Mar, 27 June 2008

When S and I arrived at Linda Mar this morning, there was a clump of surfers on the south end and another on the north. In between, a lonely 3-4' peak was going unridden. Yeah! That would be my spot. I went back to the car to change, and when I returned to the beach fifteen minutes later, the empty slot was filled with - counted 'em - 13 surfers. Damn. I used the rip and paddled out to the peak anyway, and right up next to N. It was some kind of serendipity to bump into someone I knew in the Linda Mar throng. As it turned out, R and M were there as well, although I only saw M's car.

Still, it wasn't too terribly crowded (yet), and I tried for a couple waves but found myself hesitating at the critical moment when commitment is required. It was a silly fear of the unknown. I just didn't know what the new fish would do when I popped up on it. Okay, maybe stupid, but I needed to get past it. So I messed around in the whitewater for a little while, just to get the feel of the board under my feet. And it was a worthwhile exercise, since it made me realize I need to have my weight farther forward on the fish than on the shortboard, which makes sense given the fish's fatness up front. Nemo is only 4" shorter than the Xanadu, so in some ways they feel similar, but in others they're quite different. One way they're similar is that I can duck-dive Nemo (at least as well as I can duck-dive anything). I'm happy about that, since the longboard could be a real hassle to get through breaking waves.

Niggling fears put to rest, I paddled back out, this time trying the less-crowded south end. Unfortunately there was a reason it was less crowded. The waves weren't breaking well at all there, mostly forming up briefly and then quickly dying to reform too close to the beach. Not to mention there was a loud guy yelling toward the horizon, "C'mon, give me a fucking wave!" C'mon dude, have a little respect for the ocean. I decided to try the middle peak again. Lots of paddling today, my shoulders are killing me.

Finally then I caught a wave, made the pop up and was riding oh so briefly - but in my excitement I'd forgotten to check for traffic first, and there was a longboardess coming up fast on my right. She'd been farther outside and I was pretty sure I'd dropped in, so I bailed and let her have it. Soon after I got another, but had to back off for a dude already on it. Darn crowds. Next time I'm doing dawn patrol at Linda Mar, I need to get there actually at dawn, which this time of year will mean dragging myself out of bed at 4 am - ugh, but it would've been so worth it this morning to be first on that peak and have it to myself for a little while.

Not bad for my first real session on the new fish. I think I'm going to like it!

Still smoky....

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