12 July 2015

The Most Dangerous Thing in Surfing

... is your surfboard.
A fine-looking shoulder-highish set rolled through as I stepped around a sleeping homeless man on the top of the bluff and walked carefully down the steep dirt path. No one else was out yet, and I was anticipating having free choice of those fun waves for a little while. Then I took off in the short space between two sections and had one of those what-the-hell-just-happened wipeouts. I think I'd started to pop up when suddenly I was falling and tumbling and whack! Rocket clocked me on my left check near my eye but I was still rolling underwater and wondering which way was up until the wave finally let me go. I could tell right away that I was bleeding. Crap, how bad? Gently I touched my fingers to my lower eyelid and they came away stained red.

I hadn't even ridden a single one of those nice waves.

My face hurt but I wasn't bleeding that much. When Teresa paddled out with Tim, I asked her how bad it looked, if she thought I needed to go in. "Well, you're bleeding," she said. "It'll probably be worse later so your call if you want to go through that out here or at home."

So not that bad, then.

I just couldn't paddle straight in, not when the waves looked so fun. Maybe just one and done. I caught a nice left and was enjoying multiple turns on the face when Tim came up from behind, out of the whitewater and angling to get onto the peak. He's done that several times in the last few sessions, and it's really annoying. The first time he called me off when I tried to cut back, because he was right there, in my way, and I pulled out while he continued on the wave. The second time (no way, dude!) I stayed in the pocket until he got off. This time (aww, c'mon!) I had to continue down the line instead of cutting back for more power, but I didn't yield.

After he'd slightly ruined it, that couldn't be my last and only wave.

The pain started to intensify but I paddled back out. I needed a good wave and it came to me, with Trailer Tim nowhere near. I took off at the peak, early-morning green-gray water rising beside me as I rode left. I cut back toward the whitewater and swished the tail around to travel left again, up near the top of the wave and down as it steepened while crossing shallower reef, repeating several times until the cobblestone beach neared. Yes!

So fun. I almost paddled back out again, but the throbbing in my cheek and pain of the cuts under my eye insisted that an ice pack be applied post haste. Even so, I'm going to have quite a shiner. Three hours later, it looks like I dipped my finger in ruddy purple paint and smeared it under my eye, like a drunken soldier sloppily applying war paint.

It's been quite a while since I've had a surfing injury worse than a bruise or a small cut, so I guess I was about due. Kind of like we're about due for an earthquake.

And now, a cute kitten to end this post on a cheery note.
This is our 5yo cat Zoe's new kitten, Kaylee (in keeping with the Firefly theme)

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