08 January 2014

Meet Kat

In late summer, after a six-week wait, I picked up my first real shortboard from Clairemont Surf Shop. It's a 5'4" Firewire Spitfire. One of the benefits of being a small person is that I can stand up under most airliner's overhead bins. Another is that I'm suited to a grom-size Firewire board with special grom pricing, so it didn't set me back nearly as much as a bigger Firewire. (Think about that the next time you actually get to watch a parade, tall people!)

My purchase subjected all of southern California to the worst new board curse in the history of surfing. (Seriously, I could count the fall sessions with surf over shoulder-high on one hand, and so far the winter hasn't been much better.)

Although there have been few days big enough to see what the new board can do, those brief windows have been fun and intriguing. It's fast, and turns with a thought. Zoom. Whoosh. Swish. I've named the board Kat, as the catalyst for taking me to the next level of surfing.
Surfing at Scripps (Photo by Sergio Martinez)
Happily, at last I have a board I can decently duck-dive (at least some of the time). I realize now that all the others had too much volume for me to sink adequately.

The new Spitfire is a Timbertek, one of the most eco-friendly boards currently available. That fact netted me a place in an article by Todd Woody called "Toward Conscious Surfing" in Surfer's Journal 22.6:
Though I debated which of my 5'4"s to take for my first surf after casting off the cubicle chains Monday, Kat ended up in the car, as she usually does. The report for Del Mar was only poor 1-2', but Surfline undercalled it. I met up mid-morning with San Diego Surf Ladies Ashley and, briefly, Jill and Jen. Ashley and I walked south on the beach to around 13th Street, where we had a peak to ourselves. I rode a few fun waves, and it was so nice for a change to have room on the shoulder to do turns, instead of just landing the drop on closeouts. As the tide bottomed out I had more trouble getting into any waves and they seemed to have less push. I guess "drained out" also means drained of energy.
While the rest of the country is freezing under a polar vortex, it's sunny and warm in San Diego. Schools of skinny silver fish darted through clear green water beneath my bare feet while I waited in the lineup, chatting with friends. Life is good.


  1. Really like the picture when you surf at "Scripps"!:)