11 June 2015

Quiet Solitude

In retrospect, I should've gone home yesterday to get a warmer wetsuit and come back to Hennemans for more fun surf. The swell faded a lot by this morning and the forecast for the next week is not promising. When I joined Rick and his dogs at the park, he told me I'd already gotten the best of it. No one was out, and only a few sad little waves rolled in not very far offshore.

"There's something at south Bird," he said, pointing north to where six surfers sat in small pack, "but I'm not going to hassle with the guys there."

I found that interesting – a respected shaper and good surfer, a kapuna of the Calumet Park breaks, did not want to compete for waves with the sometimes aggro surfers at Birdrock. My choice of surf spots follows a similar philosophy, but that's in part because I don't think I surf well enough to compete. The other part is that I much prefer an aloha vibe; for him, that must be most of the reason.
Did I mention no one was out? There were waves. And I'd get my fill of beach breaks in the coming week.

I paddled out in water slightly warmer than yesterday's and a set came through soon after. The first wave I caught didn't have a lot of push but I made it work. It's challenging in conditions like that to stay close enough to the (weak) power to keep moving but still spend time on the smooth face and not get bogged down in whitewater.

Two other sets followed after short lulls and I rode the first decent wave of each, even managing to jump on near the middle the last wave of the second set on my way back out. Then I sat like a buoy for what felt like half an hour as the ocean went quiet. I paddled for promising bumps that ultimately didn't form up, until at last one did. I rode it happily toward shore until it slipped away.

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