05 September 2008

The Hook, 5 September 2008

This morning's sesh started with an act of faith that there were waves somewhere in the thick fog. I could hear them breaking and the forecasts had all promised 3-5' SSW swell. Plus the parking lot at the end of 41st was already filling up at first light. From the stairs near 38th, all I could see was some large shorepound and no other surfers even heading out into the white shrouded unknown. I was getting a niggling bad vibe, so I walked back to the Hook and had an almost dry-hair paddle out between sets. Even that early, there were a dozen surfers on the main peak, which swelled to more than two dozen by an hour later. Damn Surfline for calling conditions "Fair-Good." (Early next week is the rare orange "Good." Oh, the party waves we'll have then!)

Unlike Linda Mar, at the Hook my relative skill level is on the lower side; there are a lot of real hotshots there. It's fun to watch but frustrating when they're claiming all the waves. I found a less-crowded spot a bit to the east and waited inside for the smaller waves. The sets were getting up to head high, which made for mad-dash paddling and duck-diving every ten minutes or so. Unfortunately, today many of my duck dives went horribly wrong. In retrospect, it's probably because I was overthinking it, concentrating on the board positions, nose-down, flat, nose-up, and not actually doing them with the right timing, so I was pulling up too soon and getting pushed back. I need to stop thinking so much and just feel myself doing it. Like parallel parking, which I learned only a couple years ago. I was hopelessly bad as long as I was trying to think through the angle changes, but as soon as I let go of my conscious mind and just did it, I was able to get into spots on the first try.

My little gap in the crowd didn't get rideable waves all that often, but I caught a few. No good rides though, as I had to exit from the best one because a longboarder was on my tail, I just blew another after a few seconds, and a third weak wave melted away under me almost as soon as I got on it. But the sun came up and burned off the fog, and it was a beautiful warm morning on the water. If I could've, I would've stayed out for hours.

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