Posts Tagged With: waves


Danger in the Shallows

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When I first began surfing, I was more comfortable near a sandbar, just in case I needed to feel something that wasn’t moving as much as I did on top of my board.  Deep water seemed scary.  Even now, it’s fun to launch my board from a standing position when my paddling arms give out.  Reasonably flat sandy beaches make that easy.

But you need to know there’s a downside to getting too comfortable in the shallows.  A big one.

I’m typing this today from my sofa with my left foot propped up on an ice pack.

This morning our local break was nearly nonexistent.  One-to-two foot waves breaking nearly onshore at high tide, and just enough activity on the outside to make us hopeful for some peelers when the tide headed out.  But, as usual, we had no time to wait.  This was the second time this weekend we had made it out. Yesterday’s trip up the coast had taken a good part of the day, leaving little time left before weekend chores came calling.  We were at the beach, therefore we would surf whatever we found.  We’re tough that way.  Big or small, we’ll surf it all–or at least try.

There weren’t a lot of waves to choose from, so we did our best to choose those that weren’t overhead shore pound and hoped for the best.  We each found a few, but there was really no choice but to ride them to shore…into the very shallow water.  We’re experienced at this, but as each of us caught a wave, the others kept an eye open to make sure the landings went well.  For the most part they did, but we each took a tumble or two.  We left after an hour or so, confident we had conquered all the waves there were to be had and happy to enjoy water warm enough to wear wetsuits sans booties.

On the way home, I noticed a twinge in my ankle. I vaguely remembered a particularly awkward jump off my board which didn’t seem like a big deal at the time.  A couple of hours later, here I sit, ankle on ice.

It’s been a while since I’ve had a surf related injury. Most of time they were accidents.  This was too, but totally preventable.

Categories: finding the time, patience, winter | Tags: , , , , , | Leave a comment

It’s more than just the wave


Looking back, I can appreciate what it took to take those first few waves.  I learned a lot more than just how to stand up on a moving surfboard and take a ride.  I found out my competitive spirit was alive and I still had a little balance left in this 40+ year old body. I also learned that the years had finally taught me patience (which probably surprised my mother even more than me).  

Unless something drastic happens, like me winning the lottery and paying Kelly Slater or Laird Hamilton to be my personal surf trainer 24/7, I will never be a big wave surfer.  The small 2′-3’s, with occasional 4’s sets are fine by me.  But that’s okay. It took time, but I accomplished what I set out to do.  I learned to ride waves and enjoy the ocean again.  The friends I made were a great bonus. 

Next time you’re out and you see someone paddling furiously only to miss the wave, pearling their board, or executing a popup that looks like they are crawling across the living room floor, think back. You were there too once upon a time.  (If you’re like me, some days you still are.)  Don’t judge them on their ability, or lack of.  Look at the determination in their eyes and the smile on their face.

Categories: finding the time, learning to surf, patience | Tags: , , | 1 Comment

When this girl can’t surf, she surfs…

…the web looking for some good surfing websites.  First, there’s my favorite surf forecast:  It’s great for predicting the waves around here, and I love the little graph that tells you exactly when the waves should be best.  Pretty accurate from what I’ve seen.

I’m also a fan of the webcams at the Sunglow Pier.  They’re perched on both the north and south sides of the pier so I can get a pretty good idea of the current conditions fairly close to home.  Of course, if I check it at work and the waves look good (not that I’d do that…), it can make for a long day of wavedreaming when I’m supposed to be working.

I haven’t spent nearly enough time on the surf gear sites.  I found Essential Surf early on, and have made a few purchases over the years.  Of course, there’s Craigslist with their lists of used boards to consider, and YouTube with all the great surf videos.

What are some of your favorites?

Categories: tools of the trade, web cams | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

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