For me, there's nothing that compares to the feeling of riding a wave born from the interaction of wind and water many miles away. It puts me fully present in the moment; for those scant seconds, there is nothing else but my dance with the sea.
Everything I Know About Dating I Learned Through Surfing has pearls of wisdom like "If it looks good, don't just sit there. Paddle over there, and get it!" and "Have patience. Don't jump on the first wave of a set because you're tired of waiting."
I was thinking about the parallels at Hennemans this morning. Mid-period swell brought shorepound steadily into the cobblestone beach. The waves raised a loud clatter as they hurled stones toward the cliff and I watched the horizon for a break between sets before I plunged into the ocean with my 6'2". "Timing really is everything."
The crowd was moderate and I stayed to the side on the secondary peak. The benefit of the shorter-period swell was that there weren't many lulls; another wave came almost as soon as I paddled back from riding one. It's not in the book, but there will always be another wave.
As the tide dropped, there were boils everywhere, places where the reef was shallow, spots that distorted the waves in unpredictable ways. Several times I pulled back from a wave I'd caught when the face before me mutated into something unrideable. "Trust your gut when it's time to bail." But once when the wave changed its mind about which direction it was breaking as I popped up, I was able to quickly respond and go with it. The functional stance I learned at Surf Simply is becoming habit, and it is much more flexible than my old stance. Like my coach said, it's a matter of being fully in control of the board on the wave, rather than a passenger on it.
|"If you're not having any luck, maybe you're at the wrong break."|
I don't know how long it will take to find him, but he's out there, somewhere. I'll keep smiling and chatting in the lineup, and maybe one day we'll bump into each other. One last thought from Nancy's book: "The ocean isn't going anywhere. Tomorrow brings more waves."