Sunday, August 28, 2005

Thai Tide

Yep, the red tide is back and in full force for the weekend at the home break. Quite depressing, but at least the waves were good.

Saturday was less consistent than today. Surfing a 7'0 then switching to a 9'2 was quite the experience. It seems I brought out the wrong board both days. Yesterday, I thought it would be bigger, so I brought out the 7'0 only to have small, inconsistent waves. Today, to avoid repeating the mistake, I took out the 9'2, only to have bigger waves. Not that that was a bad thing cause I got to catch a few really good rides and even managed to wrestle the behemoth into a nice bottom turn, right into the shoulder. I still can't noseride with it, but did catch one of the better rights, and rides, I've had in awhile.

The first hour today was devoted to teaching a friend how to surf. After that, it was all "me" time with the 9'2.

Because of the red tide, my sinuses are clogged once again and I'm on Benadryl D to clear it up. Hopefully, the sinuses end up drying out so I won't relapse with another sinus or ear infection.

Here's to hoping for more surf for the coming weekend. Might be a chance to head down to SD.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Point Break

Bodhi and his gang had it right in that movie, just follow the surf around the world for that Endless Summer. Of course, robbing banks is probably not the best way to do it, but not everyone is a free surfer and can afford to just surf the best waves every day for a living.

Before I go on my rant, just have to say that the 9'2" makes small days into fun days like yesterday at the home break. Can't really complain about the size of the waves too much since I was able to catch a fair amount. A little more size would have been nice, but every ride I did get still filled me with "stoke."

My dad once asked me, "what do you want to do?" He meant this in a fatherly way, worried about my career aspirations, wondering if I even had any. "Doesn't matter about the job much, I just need to be close to the waves." He got a good chuckle out of it.

Different people (those who don't surf) have asked me over the past few years why I enjoy surfing so much. There's never a really good answer that they are satisfied with. How do you explain the "stoke?"

For me, it's like this. Besides the "stoke," being out in the ocean gives me a chance to come to grips with what's really important and what's not. Paddling through the impact zone on big days are best when things aren't going super well. It makes me concentrate on just paddling and getting past the numerous waves crashing on me. I forget about what was troubling me before and just stick to the situation at hand.

After getting out, I reflect on just being able to take a deep breath, without worrying about ducking (or turtling) through a wave. I can just sit on my board, take in the view and relax. All my cares and worries are washed away with the whitewater pounding the sand. I wait until I find a wave that I think I can catch, get up, and try to get the "stoke." Of course, that's the ideal situation, where you catch a wave and ride, but sometimes, I just wipe out because I'm still a noob (at times). It's okay though, cause if I had to fight through that many waves, there's bound to be another one to try for.

Even on smaller days (waist to chest high), it's all about the "stoke." It's a relatively easier paddle to the outside and each successful ride makes me forget about my worries. I can concentrate on my form, making sure I pop correctly, shuffle my feet when necessary, and make the most out of each ride.

I can totally remember the October of 2003, a Sunday, when it just got better and better as the morning transitioned into early afternoon, the waves cleaned up. There were so many peaks out there that there wasn't any disputes over waves. In fact, most of the morning crew left around 9 am, right when it started to get good. I caught whatever I wanted and kept telling myself, "that was the best wave I've ever ridden," after each wave. Gliding along frontside, I could see the wave forming in front of me, glassy, emerald green, so clear I could see the sand passing by. Every wave was like that. There wasn't a bad wave out there. I had to leave by noon in order to get a project done, but I've always mentioned that it was the single best day I've ever had at surfing.

Anyway, I think dolphins had it right when they migrated to the sea. They surf when they have a chance, get to have sushi morning, noon, and night. I doubt there is much "drama" out in the ocean. I saw a documentary on them where they said that they could tell what each other is feelng, so questions like, "how are you?" would be retarded. Almost like telepathy. The real dangers come from truly important things, like the pollution of the water, predators, procreation, food, and how to live with and deal with a mostly callow and inconsiderate species that seem to screw things up for them... humans.

Long winded way of saying that surfing relaxes me and keeps me grounded.

Praying for surf this weekend so I can get a therapy session in.

(need to come up with a snazzy closing line. if you come up with one, let me know.)

Saturday, August 20, 2005

Noserider poser

Finally got my noserider yesterday after over 2 months of waiting. The colors weren't exactly what I wanted, but they turned out alright. It looks like I'm a diehard SC fan now. It's a nice looking board, but I already have some minor dings on the bottom deck from the 2 hour drive home. I'm guessing that my racks are too short for the board. With the wind constantly trying to sweep it off my little Civic and the straps trying to keep it down, I think it put a little pressure on the board to create some minor dings. Still rides well, but a bit of a bummer.

I got to test it out today at the home break and it catches anything and everything, especially on these small days. My friend mentioned that the waves were spectacular on Thursday, the day after the peak of the swell. It's a shame I work or I would have been out there. The job is definitely necessary or I wouldn't be able to afford this new board.

I tried to nose ride a few times and pearled each time. It's going to take some getting used to, but it's great for these days. I still prefer my 7'11, but after watching "Singlefin: Yellow," I've been itching to ride the nose. Definitely not something you just do, but something that requires a lot of practice and experience figuring out what angle the board should be and such. It's going to take a little getting used to. I couldn't even turn it! Well, one turn and then I was done.

Should be fun tomorrow!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Just Browsing

All I did yesterday was window shop at the beach. Got up a little too late to enjoy the surf, but still wanted to get to the ocean, so I still drove out to the home break for a peek. I even packed up the car with all the surf gear with all the intention of getting wet. However, I had to be somewhere by a certain time and had some other thoughts on my mind that I just hung out by the beach and watched everyone else having fun.

There was some wind by the time I got there and the waves were still a little small. People looked like they were having a blast. Even my friend was out there tearing it up. I watched for half-hour, by that time, the waves started to close out. I went back to my ride and started reading "Caught on the Inside," a book about surfing, of course. So far so good!

The water looked cleaner than on Saturday, so that's hopeful.

Everyone is praying for the new swell that's due to hit this week. I'm going to go sacrifice some KFC to the surf gods.

Saturday, August 13, 2005

Better than expected

Forecasts called for 1-2 feet ankle slappers, but you know what? It was better than that. The water didn't look too bad when I first got there either. *Threat of sinus and ear infections lowered.* Paddled out, caught some waist high waves and attempted to catch some chest high waves.

There was a mighty drift going north as well. You could see all the waves coming in at an angle. Needless to say, most waves were lefts, which means I get to go backside. That would be normal convention and what everyone else was doing, but I insisted on going right and got nothing but short rides for my idiocy. Last wave of the day was a left with a nice shoulder. 'Course, the wave wasn't that big, but still a nice way to exit the fun for the day.

There were reports of jelly fish, too. I only saw one half destroyed purple plastic bag looking thing when I walked back in.

There are rumblings of a swell hitting our coast next week. Can't wait!

My new board should be done by then, after more than 2 months of waiting. I thought I'd try a small, local shaper (local if you're in Oceanside). I did see it this past week before it got glossed. Colors aren't what I was picturing in my mind. The rusted orange came out maroon red and the mustard yellow came out golden. Essentially, I got my SC Trojan board to show my colors for the upcoming college football season. The tail looked a little crooked, but maybe that was just my eyes. Still can't wait to test it out at San O. Might have to bring my surf gear down to SD on my next business trip.

Here's to hoping there's more surf tomorrow.

Friday, August 12, 2005

First Contact

With all the red tide going around and very little surf to boot, I thought I'd finally take the time to write about my own experiences about surfing after having been an avid reader of Whiff, Surfsister, and Col. Parker's travails.

Before launching into my first post, I must say that red tide just blows. First contact with red tide came in fall of 2003. Didn't think anything of the red funky crap rolling in. The water looked like mud water or thai tea before getting stirred up with the cream. I was on a roll, surfing all the time, getting into the groove of catching waves consistently. Everyone else was surfing and I just wrongly assumed that there weren't going to be any side effects.

Now, after every surf session I've ever had, my nose always drains. Whether it's right away, or a few hours later, my nose always dispels all the seawater that it accumulates after every wipeout. I've even had it come out in a big gush 2 hours later during lunch. I bent over to wipe off the seat and then my nose just opened up and water came out in a big spurt. Sounds gross, but it feels great when it does come out. My brother was witness to it and gave a mixed look of amusement, disbelief, and slight uneasiness.

Well, after surfing in red tide a few weekends in a row, the water stopped draining, so I started to sound like I had a cold without the nasty effects of the cold. Phoebe from Friends should consider surfing in red tide if she wants to retain that "sexy" voice for singing "Smelly Cat."

I woke up one morning, right before heading to the beach with the nastiest ear ache. I head to the beach, but by the time I get there, I'm in pain. I have to get pass up on a huge swell, go home and crash out for a few hours before heading to urgent care. Doctor gave me meds for both a sinus and ear infection.

It took me a few weeks to recover, but I didn't learn my lesson. I went out again, got another infection and was laid out for a month. I was definitely torn up.

My friend had a similar reaction to the red tide. His doctor wanted to make cuts in a few places to his face in order to drain out his sinuses completely. Didn't sound like it would be that fun and he's postponed the procedure thus far.

This year, I got a mild ear infection, no sinus issues yet. I just wade around the whitewater these days teaching friends how to surf. No wipeouts to worry about.

After reading the extensive article on about red tide, it looks like we can hope for red tide to dissipate once some storms hit so that the water temp will stabilize.

Here's to hoping the red tide goes away.
Clerks II - July 21, 2006