Monday, October 03, 2005

"Eddie would go... home."

That was Gee's line as we bobbed up and down in the stormy surf on Saturday. It was 8 ft. at 11 seconds, which didn't look too bad on paper. When we got to the beach though (hung over from the National/Clap Your Hands Say Yeah show Friday), it was evident that winter was close at hand, with whitecaps beyond the breakers and big, unorganized waves under a stormy sky.

The crazy thing was that I had a great session at Shorties, despite the conditions. I immediately caught a few waves in the 4-6 foot range that had a lot of power. My hazy, slo-mo outlook on life must have contributed to my ability to stroke into these lumpy bombs and side-slip on a few drops without freaking out, pulling back, or bailing. I counted 5 waves without a wipe out, so my confidence was building throughout the session. On one ride, I even considered pulling into a suicide barrel that was closing out, but common sense took over and I very deliberately made a hard bottom turn into the trough and dove through the back of the wave under a thick breaking lip. I don't think my board punched all the way through, but it felt good to make it through a potentially heavy situation unscathed.

A wave later though, I pushed my luck a little too far on a huge right by not popping up fast enough. The waves had this strange way of forming where they would break on the crest first and you could actually catch it before it REALLY sucked out and broke a few seconds later. I was probably a little tired, so I thought I could do one of those delayed pop-ups where you ride on your stomach for a couple seconds until your speed is good, then make an easy transition to your feet as the board slides down the face. Bad idea. I was cruising on the top with my hands on the rails, waiting for the wave to steepen when the bottom completely dropped out. I tried to make it to my feet by popping up fast, but my craft was airborn by that time. I felt it turn in the air and I knew I was in for a beating. Luckily, I didn't land on it. I kind of expected a fin to the nuts but fate was on my side. The worst part about the crash was when I thought I made it out the back and let my breath out only to be sucked back over the falls again without any air in my lungs. I felt like I was underwater for a while, but I think it was just because I sank deeper without the extra flotation provided by an inflated chest.

I took quite a few pics of the day to set the scene... enjoy, and stay toasty.

The National - Mr. November


a b c d e f ____ said...

Wow. The waves look even gnarlier in the photos then they did that day. It was definitely an ominous beginning to the weekend...after a speeding ticket and a knee injury, I'm sitting on my couch with an ice pack wondering when I'll be able to go out next? Sorry I didn't stop by last night. Still too gimpy.

Chum said...

Yeah - in that first picture, you almost can't see the person in all the frothy destruction!

Anyway, I hope your knee is just a bruise and you can shake it off by the time we head out again - probably the 15th. Luckily you have a bye week in between!

Hey if your car was as slow as mine, you'd have no chance of speeding...

Diane said...

Nice to see your surfing adventures. I try not to worry about the big ocean and all the dangers. Does that sound like a mother or what?

Patch said...


Love the towel, gives a new meaning to backside. Looking forward to getting a couple go outs this weekend.

Music—Aberfeldy—Vegetarian Restaurant

Slim said...

winter cometh.....cove calleth??
I didn't where booties today.

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OS said...

Thanks for providing a grizzly grey picture of what I have to look forward to upon my return to Oregon...think I'll need a bit of a pep talk from you and G before I paddle out into that ominous mess.

See you this weekend amigo.

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Slim said...

i found the right from the movie, chummer. i'll be there in a few weeks. it's on the NE coast of the south island.