27 October 2014

You Deserve a Name

While the swell came up overnight, the period dropped below 10 seconds. Since it was hitting from almost due west, I knew the beach breaks would be closed out, but wasn't really sure what to expect at the La Jolla reefs.

Straight out from Calumet Park, the ocean was churning, mixed up waves sloshing unrideably at my usual spot off the main peak. They lined up a bit better farther south and also at Sewers, which had fewer surfers out. I mentally tossed a coin on swimming vs. surfing and then Hennemans vs. Sewers, and then picked the latters.

There were four guys in the lineup, including a couple I'd seen there several times before. An older longboarder paddled nearby and smiled. "You've been surfing here enough," he said, "you deserve a name. I'm Rick." I told him mine and he pointed to a shortboarder I'd chatted with on Saturday. "That's Mike." He gave me the names of the two longboarders sitting outside, which flew over my head like pelicans and were gone, as always when I'm introduced to too many people at once.
It was nice to be welcomed into the morning surfer circle. That spirit of aloha and sharing waves makes the session so much more enjoyable. We chatted in between attempts to catch the mushy, shifty, backed-off waves. Turns out Rick is a shaper, and Mike and one of the other guys were taking boards he'd made on their maiden surfs, with encouraging results. My own results were less than stellar, with a couple middling rides and one head-high drop Mike called "wicked"- I got the bottom turn in, he saw, but then my board went airborne as I failed to negotiate a big mogul that suddenly appeared in the face.

I stayed out much longer than planned, trying for one good wave (which is one of the 10 Signs You're Addicted to Surfing), and had to nervously negotiate a return to the steep cobblestone beach at a nearly 6' high tide through mid-period swell. Fortunately I timed it right. I'm looking forward to hopefully better waves and the same company tomorrow.

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