09 July 2014

What Nemo Likes

My last couple of surf sessions have been nothing to write about, although it was nice to hang out early yesterday with a couple of the dawn patrol regulars at Crystal Pier - and a pod of less-regular dolphins. By this morning the swell had dropped and thankfully so had the overstayed holiday crowds. Although infrequent head-high sets still rolled against the pier, the waves were smaller just up the beach. They looked languid on the Surfline cam, and with the tide cresting almost 4' high, I decided to take my fish out for a rinse.
From the Surfline cam, hours later. Because I don't take my phone when I bike to the beach.
Just as I reached the sparse lineup, a wave formed up and I was in the right spot. I turned, stroked a few times and was in, riding right, then back toward the peak as the energy faded. It reformed as a left and I took another small drop, riding in to the shallows. Yes! This is what I've been needing.

Nemo loves those soft waist- to chest-high waves, and I rode a bunch of 'em, most with some face to play on before they closed out. And I think there's one thing skateboarding has been teaching me that translates to the water: Trust enough to let go; the board will be there to land on. I'm trying to break a bad habit of sometimes taking the drop on my belly when I'm late, hesitating to pop up for fear of going out of control if I loose my grip on the board. At our skate lessons, the instructor has us practicing this trick: turn the board face down over the tops of your feet, then flip it over onto its wheels by jumping up/slightly forward and (hopefully) land atop in the proper stance. It's a matter of trust; trust that the board will be there, that my feet will connect with it in the right place, and that my body will balance. Similarly, I have to trust that my surfboard will be there when it's time to pop up, even late. I'm learning to let go, and that led to a few fun bonus rides this morning. Stoked!

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