01 August 2008

38th Ave/Pleasure Point, 1 August 2008

I was hoping this morning's dawn patrol would be a repeat of Monday's, but instead of cool and misty, the day broke sunny and warm. Also unlike Monday, Surfline forecast Fair-Good and the report (posted while I was on the road) urged "Go surf!" On top of all that and unbeknownst to me, there was a surf-with-the-pros event for kids starting at 8 am at the Hook. Still, I arrived early enough to beat the worst of the crowds.

Today was not a good day for photography.
The high-res land camera's battery died after 3 shots;
it doesn't display battery status until there's no charge left.
I took a bunch of pix in the lineup with the waterproof camera;
now I've lost the computer cable and can't download them,
but GoPro is mailing me a new one - free!

I paddled out about the same place as Monday, but with the number of surfers on it already, I wasn't getting much. And on the first wave I caught, I somehow tripped over my own foot when I popped up, and blew it. After about half an hour a bigger set (shoulder-high) rolled in, and I was caught inside for more duck-diving practice. I decided to try a less crowded spot I'd seen from the cliff (the empty wave in the photo), and paddled closer to the Point. There were only a couple longboarders on that break, but the waves kept mushing out, and even they were having trouble snagging them. As I paddled for one, a guy six feet to my right yelled "go, go!" so I caught it, but he did too, and in trying to go left on the wave, I oversteered into a faceplant. It's unfortunately not an uncommon maneuver for me, but I think I finally realized that I'm straightening my legs too much, losing control and the feel of the board. Keeping that in mind should help me avoid it in the future.

The tide was coming off a negative low, so a lot of reef was exposed. Kelp was everywhere, and it seemed like it was out to get me. It held me back as I paddled, and on one duck dive I got a face full of kelp, then a heavy strand wrapped around my neck. Ugh.

With just a few minutes left before I had to head to shore and on to work, I caught another wave, all mine. I turned left under control and rode until it petered out - stoked!!

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