Up in NorCal, I got some bad advice from a more experienced surfer who said that I should paddle with more arch in my back. It's only since I've been surfing without the padding of neoprene that I've realized this is the cause of my sore ribs when the water's warm. A high arch puts a lot of pressure on the lowest ribs, so it's best to keep one's head lower to the board. I'd worried about damaging myself too much early in my surf camp trip to Costa Rica next month, but keeping low has fortunately alleviated this issue.
There were only two guys out at my local break, and one lamented that there wasn't much going on as I paddled past him. This was one occasion when local knowledge, or perhaps just better judgment, paid off; they weren't sitting in the right spot. Soon enough, I caught a fine wave. The guys took some dregs and went in, leaving me happily alone. Birdrock to the north and Hairmos to the south were crowded, and admittedly better waves were coming through at those breaks. A few guys who'd been surfing Hairmos "played through" Hens on their way to the exit path up the cliff, and as I told one of them, it might have been funner there, but here I was all alone.
|Birdrock, up the coast and earlier (via Surfline)|
I rode countless fun shoulder-high waves, lining up where I knew they'd peak, and had a blast. The rising tide created a strong backwash, once knocking the breath out of me as I dived off the back of a wave, having ridden to close to the cobblestone shore.
Looking forward to a couple more days like this before the swell fades.