Monday, August 01, 2005

The Art of Wiping Out


Last weekend I had the unprecedented pleasure of eating shit both on land and at sea. Cheap thrills. And because we were having an impromptu outdoor haircutting party at the time of the skateboarding incident, of course my wife had the camera out. I'm still amazed that she actually captured the moment before I made contact with the asphalt. More amazing still is the fact that I'm grinning like an idiot in the picture, unaware of the pain that the ground is about to inflict on my ass.

I also got worked pretty hard on Sunday at Poo Poo's. This was the second time we surfed the spot, and there were actually five longboarders there when we paddled out. Big weekend crowd. Anyway, the waves were much larger than last time. Let's call it 4 feet on the Siss-O-Meter. Or we can just call it "overhead" -- or claim "seven foot faces" -- whatever. But it was still definitely a longboarder's dream out there. Those crusties were catching set waves 30 yards before they broke. Because most of these swells weren't very steep, those of us on shortboard had to post up inside and drop in as they were breaking. Hazards included avoiding sneaker waves, charging longboarders, and late drops where the breaking lip would knock you off your board and into the impact zone.

I caught a couple good ones. One of the waves that I went left on started throwing a little in front of me - basically, I dropped in behind the peak - and I actually was racing to get around/under the lip (through which I could see a teardrop shaped opening). Of course it was too small to "backdoor" but I did what I thought was a stylish head dip as I got clipped. In hindsight I was probably riding way to high on the wave's face because as fell head-first, I noticed how far down it was before impact. The trick to a good wipeout is looking cool in that vital second before getting worked. From the instant when you realize you are going down to the moment when you hit the water, you actually have just enough time to position yourself in a way that might appear interesting to onlookers (seagulls and seals included). In this case, I chose the sideflop; right arm extended toward the water to protect my ear, left arm at my side. A more experienced surfer may have gone for a graceful dive or the classic cannonball (the idea being to penetrate deeper below the surface to avoid the brunt of the wave's power), but I preferred the drama of being horizontal on impact. I think it looked pretty decent, and yes, I think I was smiling as I went over the falls.

Music: Roxy Music - "Mother Of Pearl"

10 comments:

OS said...

Ouch! You've always been one to charge emotionally. Glad to see you've added the physical element to your game as well. What heels faster, the heart or the body?

Candi said...

Great pics...you do have a grin going, too. You really make me want to learn to surf. Love how descriptive you are with your rides.

Chum said...

OS - In my experience the body heals faster than the heart, although this wetsuit rash on the back of my freshly shorn dome is taking forever to go away...

Chum said...

Candi - you'd be a shredder. The fact that your toes are all the same length would give you exceptional balance!

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Connie said...

Hey....you look good eating shit! Nice muscles! I would have the camera out too if you were skateboarding at my house without your shirt on. :)

I am sure your attempt at a graceful exit on the water was just as appealing. At least you are having fun out there!

Connie said...

BTW...I notice you have what appears to be a little spam posting going on right above me. I guess just because you are my cousin doesn't make me bias. I wonder if you are going to have a fan club now?

Whiffleboy said...

I was about to say, Chum, you've definitely got a female fan club going on here. Just how do you do it?

Chum said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Chum said...

I think it's my magnetic personality that draws in the spam adult site comments. Or maybe she really is into surfing?