15 July 2008

The Hook/38th Ave, 15 July 2008

I've been really, really needing to get wet, so with a small SW swell coming in, S and I made the drive to Santa Cruz this morning before work. Surfline posited that as the storm generating the swell was "sawed in half by New Zealand and never set up a great fetch," (what the hell is a fetch?), surf would be inconsistent and "pulsey" with long waits between the best waves. For once, Surfline was right.

After checking the Hook and 38th, I went out first at the Hook, where the waves looked a little punchier, getting up to shoulder high. But the wait on flat water was loooong between sets, seemed like 20 minutes, and the set waves were being snapped up by the handful of guys already out. Since I only had an hour, I decided to paddle over to 38th, where at least some small waves were coming through in the interim between the good sets. The water was so smooth and glassy, it was like gliding across a lake.

The soul-soothing effects of being on the water can't be overstated. Sitting on my board in the calm water, gently rising and falling with tiny swells, I felt the stress melting away. Perhaps it harks back in some deeper sense to the earliest moments of existence, the pleasant reassurance of floating in the womb. Whatever, it's just good.

I'm still iterating on proper body position on the fish, since it's extremely sensitive to small changes in cg location. Over time I've been inching forward on the board, paddling with my knees bent (a constant position since movement of my lower legs has a large and unintuitive effect), and I think I almost have it dialed in to the right wave-catching position. After a number of misses, I caught a wave but had to back off for a longboarder already on it. Then I caught another, popped up and rode it - yay! - but I was riding on the crest and couldn't seem to get the board to head down the face. Perhaps positioning again. I'll get there!

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