11 May 2012

Coming Apart at the Seams (Hook)

Tripping over a handicapped ramp last Saturday handicapped my surfing in two ways. First, on closer inspection, I discovered my 7'0" has a small ding on the tail that needs repair before getting wet again. Lacking a board caddy to schlep my 8'3", and with my wrist not yet up to the task, having Emm out of commission pushed me down to my 6'2". Fortunately the waves came in bigger than expected and suitable for the shortboard.
Second, while the doctor imposed no restrictions on surfing with stitches on my elbow, he didn't mention that they would create slightly painful limitations of their own. The first hurdle I encountered was that it was not possible to bend my elbow far enough to reach the chest zip on my wetsuit. I enlisted the help of a passing older longboarder (later introduced as Byron), but without his glasses, he couldn't get it together. After flagging down a jogger with apologies and thanks, I was finally secured. Clearly my mobility would be limited in the water too.
Surfers have worn a footpath in the rocks
My right arm is in bad shape at the moment: three stitches in the elbow, the sprained wrist that hasn't fully healed, and a bruised hand from popping up fisted. It was difficult to pull myself onto my surfboard using one arm, giving me new appreciation for the challenges Bethany Hamilton has overcome. Since regular pop-ups are still a bit painful on my wrist but my hand can't take any more fists into the board, I modified my approach to fingers-splayed with the palm elevated to keep the wrist angle well under 90°. That worked, but not well on the shortboard. Rocket needs snappy, precise movements, not tentative, cautious ones held back by pain or the fear of it.

Still, I gave it a go, and caught a handful of waves, blowing the pop-up each time. Mindful that my elbow was hurting more and more, and envisioning worst-case pulled stitches, I decided to cut the session short. I'll just have to wait until I'm free of those little blue plastic threads before I surf again. I exchanged smiles and greetings with Jim and Lauren, and tried to satisfy myself with inhaling the peace of early morning on the water.
After the fog rolled in
Surfline: Clean, shifty lines working through this morning as the tide drops. Looking fun on the better sets. WNW-NW wind and groundswell mix slowly backs down as SW groundswell picks up a notch. Most breaks offer waves mainly in the knee-waist-chest high zone, while top exposures pull in some shoulder-head high sets. Conditions are clean as the tide gradually drops to a negative low at 9:30am. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 8.5 ft at 10.0 s NW 35 / WIND WAVE: 1.3 ft at 3.6 s WNW / WVHT: 8.9 ft / APD: 7.8 s / MWD: 308° (Met) WSPD: 2 kn / GST: 4 kn / WVHT: 8.9 ft / DPD: 10.0 s / WDIR: 260° / ATMP: 51° F / WTMP: 52° F. Tide: 2' falling to 1'.

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