25 October 2011

Coaching: Benefits of Training (Sharks)

Surfline got everyone's hopes up for a northwest swell bump today, but then downgraded the forecast just before it arrived. The swell had shifted more northerly and wasn't making it in much to the town breaks. I was to meet my surf coach Barry for a sunset session on the the tail of his afternoon lesson. I parked next to his Vanagon and reached the beach a couple minutes past the appointed hour. Someone who looked like him was waving persistently from the lineup, and while I wasn't certain the gesture was directed at me, I paddled out to the large crowd waiting for chest-high waves. Turned out it wasn't Barry, and I didn't see him anywhere in the water.
The crowd at the Hook was ridiculous (don't these people check the surf cams?!), and I worked my way right toward the fringes. Twenty minutes later, I was no closer to finding Barry or a wave to myself, so I thought I'd catch one in and see if I couldn't find him on land. Moving to the outer edge of the pack and inside, I snatched a little wave no one else made and picked my way carefully over sea-grass-covered reef to the pocket of sand by the stairs. I located Barry in the parking lot with the woman from the afternoon lesson, and we headed back to the shore to paddle out at less-crowded Sharks.
The waves were smaller at Sharks with shorter shoulders, almost like the Jetty with a lot more kelp. I rode a bunch, working one over a flatish section to an inside reform. Although the breeze made me chilly as the sun set, it was nice to surf again sans hood and gloves. Barry said he can see that I've gotten stronger; the swim sprints and inverted Bosu training are paying off. My wave judgment is improving, and I'm moving more confidently to be at the critical point for takeoff, then getting quicker to my feet and turning. When I've recovered from last week's wrist tweak of unknown origin, I'll add in push-ups and pull-ups ot failure. Still, I need to work on going for waves sooner with less initial hesitation, and look more down the wave once I'm on it to work in some up and down turns. I was trying to do that tonight, but most of the waves didn't offer a lot of space to maneuver before breaking.

I've only just started to use my new skateboard, which will help me get the feel of tighter turns. Since I live on a hill I've been riding it on the flats around work, inspiring surprised and bemused comments from my coworkers. Ah, well, eventually they got used to seeing my surfboard in my cubicle, so I expect they'll get inured to my skateboard too. One of them remarked that I always seem to be having so much fun and enjoying life - and yeah, I guess I am!
“Life is either a daring adventure or nothing. To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.” -Helen Keller
Surfline: Mid-period WNW (290-310) swell mix builds in through the day and peaks, as small NW windswell mixes in, with waist-chest-shoulder high surf at the better exposed breaks. Standouts see some larger waves up to head high on the best tides. New south swell starts to very slowly creep up. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 9.5 ft at 10.0 s NW 89 / WIND WAVE: 1.3 ft at 4.0 s WNW / WVHT: 9.5 ft / APD: 8.7 s / MWD: 318° (Met) WSPD: 10 kts / GST: 12 kts / WVHT: 9.5 ft / DPD: 10.0 s / WDIR: 320° / ATMP: 55.4° F / WTMP: 58.5° F. Tide: Zero rising to 1.5'.

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