02 November 2015

Surf Simply: Lunes (Monday)

As always, Fran started our coaching session with a look at the waves. They were only slightly smaller than yesterday, still overhead.
Wave-hunting diagram
Today's lesson was on wave hunting. Fran drew a breaking wave on the sand, labelling sections a, b, c, and d to indicate the positions that were too soft through just right through too deep to catch.
Me, Fran and Kim talking about the hunt
After stretching, the three of us waxed up our boards paddled out the back. Fran coached us through lining up the waves. "Where is this one going to break? Where do you need to be to catch it? How about this wave? Go, go!"
Paddling out behind Mike (Miguel)
The post-surf video analysis showed I was still often not looking down the line, but my stance was improved.
Forgot those hips and hands
Look down, go down
When we returned, I quickly showered and rushed to my massage. It was very relaxing, although the seawater dripping from my nose was a distraction and she had to beware of a few cuts and bruises even on day two.
Clockwise from the top: Ian, Kim, me, Miguel, Lauren, Mike, Michael, and Eric
After lunch, we gathered in the yoga room for Harry's lecture on surf etiquette. I asked a question that's long puzzled me and been the subject of disagreement amongst my friends: If you're riding a wave closest to the peak and someone who took off deeper comes from behind and overtakes you, whose wave is it? Harry said it's a gray area. Yes, still gray.

The rest of the group departed for the second surf session while Kim and I stayed behind with Fran to learn duck-diving. She demonstrated the movements first on land and had us practice a few times. Then it was into the pool, on low-volume, toothpick shortboards. Fran broke the maneuver down into steps. Step one: push the board level under the surface with chicken-wing arms and one foot on the tail pad, lifting the other leg for balance, and hold steady. Step two: push the tail of the board down and back, extending the arms as the nose comes up and forward. Step three: pull the board under you again and keep paddling. Or something like that; it's hard to describe in words. She had us practice each component until we had it down, then moved on to the next, and soon we were duck-diving across the pool. Then it was time to try in the ocean, against real waves.
Since the van was gone, we loaded our boards onto bicycles for the short ride to the beach. Alas, the bikes were too tall for me, even with the seat in the lowest position. I fell over as soon as I tried to get on. Fran steadied me enough to get rolling, and I made it down the road.

I put my new skills to the test and made it to the outside without much trouble and with a smile on my face. So many have tried, many times, to teach me to duck-dive, but none succeeded until now. Fran joined me in the lineup with a grin on her face. "I saw you go right under some pretty big waves!" she said. Like all of the coaches, she was always so positive and encouraging.

My toothpick was a 5'9" with only 23L of volume, but I did manage to catch a wave although I quickly fell.
The afternoon surf was followed by yoga and then dinner at a Mexican restaurant, El Chivo, which was also open to the air and the mosquitos. The day's packed schedule left me feeling rushed, but it turned out to be the busiest of the week. I fell into bed happily tired.

No comments:

Post a Comment