17 June 2012

Surf Different (Linda Mar)

Somehow I managed to find Perrin in the major crowd that had surprisingly formed at Linda Mar before 9 am today. And it was pure luck that Manabu was getting out with his longboard nearby at the end of my session. It's always nice to see friends in the water.
It was exceptionally hot yesterday, and it is the cusp of summer so the weekend warriors have been joined by the summer surfers. Still, I hadn't expected the waves to be so heavily peppered with surfers when I crested the hill and got a first look at the cove. No matter, the south winds hacked up my usual less-populated breaks and I was ready to find waves on the empty inside with my 0'15" if I couldn't snare any from the pack on my 7'0".
A small group of longboarders dominated the lully south end at Boat Docks. My long-enough board got me into a couple of lefts, and I saw Perrin ride a few before she had to head in.
Perrin, stoked after a nice ride to the inside
The thumb spica splint isn't slowing me down too much, although it makes paddling less efficient and I had to ask another surfer on the beach to do my chest zip. My wrist still hurts at the cortisone injection site and I didn't want to overdo it, plus I was eager to try out my new handplane, so after catching a couple more waves I went back to the car and switched out gear to body surf.
I've never been good at body surfing, and wish I had someone to give me some tips on use of the handplane, which I'm figuring out by trial and error. Because my right wrist is messed up, I'm wearing the handplane on my left hand and working for lefts. As a precaution in the crowded conditions, I helmeted up - bright red, can't miss it - but the inside was nicely unpopulated, just a boy nearby on a sponge. A few waves rolled by me instead of giving me a lift, and I made myself look at the handplane. It's a tiny surfboard, much shorter, wider and thinner. Treat it as such. With that mindset, I adjusted the angle and soon after planed onto a wave for a fast ride. Woo! Amidst some misses, I got a few more after that, mostly lefts. But I'm having trouble staying ahead of the whitewater. After some face time, exhilarating in its intimacy with the wave, up close and personal, the roiling bubbles overtake me, force me to close my eyes and shoot water up my nose. Clearly more practice is called for.

A couple of days ago, Max suggested that I get some fin keepers, and I owe him a beer. My left fin pulled off early on, and I tightened straps down harder. Later, on a long left that took me past the oceanfront Taco Bell, the strap on the right one detached on one side; it would've been a goner, most likely, without the fin tether securing it to my ankle. I retired to the beach to try to re-attach strap to fin but was having trouble through my gloves. Fortuitously, Scott walked up just then, returning from his beach walk to Rockaway, and fixed it for me.

I wanted just one more wave, so headed back out to sea, thinking to kick my way back south a bit to my previous left. Sans surfboard, I need to pay more attention to the ocean, or at least attend to it in a different way. Whereas on my board it would've been a short matter to get back to the peak, despite entering at a rip, with only fins and a handplane, it was a lot of work to swim over there. I need to surf different when my board is just over a foot long. At last I reached the peak and rode a little left in, tired and waterlogged and stoked.
Surfline: 2-3'+. Semi-smooth surface conditions with just soft, weak lines working through. NW windswell holds as small, inconsistent SW (205-220) groundswell blends in at exposed areas. Chest-shoulder-head high waves show at exposed areas, while top breaks can see slightly better sets on occasion. Onshore wind out of the West-SW has surface conditions looking a bit textured/crumbly overall. Buoy 46012: (Wave) SWELL: 4.6 ft at 9.1 s WNW 45 / WIND WAVE: 3.3 ft at 5.6 s NW / WVHT: 5.6 ft / APD: 5.8 s / MWD: 303° (Met) WSPD: 16 kn / GST: 19 kn / WVHT: 5.6 ft / DPD: 9.0 s / WDIR: 160° / ATMP: 52° F / WTMP: 51° F. Tide: 3' rising to 4'.

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