11 January 2009

Dunes, 11 January 2009

Sunny and 70 degrees in January! Gotta love California for serving up a fine summer day in the middle of winter.

This year I broke down and bought a Golden Poppy Annual Day Use Pass that covers parking at the HMB State Beaches. I realized I've been avoiding Dunes, Kelly and the rest of those breaks, just because I didn't want to have to hassle with filling out a form and paying $7 each time. Now I have no excuse not to surf there, and it's opened up the possibilities whenever I make the half hour drive west.

Venice Beach was closing out a lot, with some head-high+ smashers, and there was a little pack of surfers on it besides. So S and I continued up the road to nearby Dunes, which was much less populated and showing a few shoulders from time to time.

I had no luck on the first peak which had 2 guys on it (they weren't getting any either), so when after a while I got caught inside, I decided to head in and walk north to an empty break that had also looked promising from the bluff. That spot was closing out too, but had a left running along the edge that I though I could make. I landmarked the spot on a rock formation in the bluff and headed out. Though I barely had time to notice between duck-dives, I soon found there was a serious sideshore running south, making it difficult to reach the chosen spot and pushing me into the stacked-up closeouts. I was getting tired and my duck-dives with the shortboard were not so pretty as with the fish, but I think now I understand why. The Xandadu is lighter and longer than the fish, and I need to push it down harder to get deep enough under the waves. Once I took that into account, the duck-dives went better. Still, I was getting discouraged and almost turned back to shore, but then I thought of the immortal words of Galaxy Quest's Commander, "Never give up, never surrender!" and I kept trying. When I finally made it to the outside, I'd been pushed quite a bit south of my target and had to paddle back to it, only to start quickly drifting south again.

It looked like the second spot would give me no joy either, but then I paddled once more for a wave, silently cheering myself on ("You're going to get it. You are going to get this wave!"), and I caught it, popped up imperfectly but well enough, made the short drop and stayed on it as the wave closed out and then fizzled over the trough. Yes! Thank you, Commander Taggert, for your wise words.

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