Monday, October 29, 2007

RISK//////////V//////////REWARD

Yesterday I was the first guy out and I'll be damned if it wasn't double overhead again on the set waves. This is going to sound even wilder, but there were also an a bunch of beachcombers watching from the rocks and when I took off on my first one and they cheered as I made the drop. No pressure there...

My first three or four waves went really well, although I felt sort of immobilized by the speed and gravity of the situation as I skipped along on my 5'11. After a knee-buckling bottom turn, I'd go up and down the face of the wave, but wasn't too keen on trying anything more radical than that.

Then, spurred by some kind of lapse in judgement brought on by the "audience" I decided to scratch a little later and deeper into a set wave. I heard that initial "whoooooo!" as I went for it, then "ewwwwww!" as I felt myself free-falling with the lip, my hands still on the rails.

As intense as my first couple rides were, the payback was just as extreme. "Ragdolled" doesn't even begin to describe the tumble I took, arms and legs being twisted behind my torso, complete darkness surrounding me. I was dragged and dragged, at first in the lighter whitewater, then quickly sucked downward into the heavier turbine below. My mind just said "Relax. Don't fight it." I thought about fantasy football. Then the spinning lessened and I could see light behind my eyelids. A couple more strokes and I could finally suck wind.

My next few attempts were the same. I'd just get pitched and gobbled up. I thought I'd experienced heavy wipeouts in Nicaragua, but these were way worse. The good rides from earlier were already losing their crispness in my mind, replaced by the thumping darkness. I commented to OS that I seemed to be logging more time underwater than on waves.

After about 30 minutes, I finally locked into one a little earlier and made a drop, milking it to the end where the shoulder rounded off into the channel. Back outside, I talked to a guy who I'd surfed with before at that location, and he said he didn't trust anything under 7'0 on that wave. His normal board out there was a 7' x 3" thick Black Beauty.

It got me thinking that I might want something a little bigger for days like that. I started envisioning a 7' x 2.75" rounded pintail quad that would get me in earlier and have more edge in the wave as I dropped down the face.

It looks like I may have found a target for the next birthday board fund...

Danielson - Did I Step on Your Trumpet?

16 comments:

Patch said...

Seems like you need a mini gun.

I'll toss a couple bucks into the fund to get it started...

writer said...

Might be better if you stayed home.

G said...

Or, you could get a 10' log and move down here for some cross-stepping goodness.

Gazelle said...

I've come to the same conclusion re: my 5'10" quad. It's a great board, but not for most days in Oregon...

wetcrab said...

greetings chum and all!
been reading along for a couple weeks, i really enjoy the community that you all have going here.
chum-i really like your blog
i got out yesterday for the first time in while due to a surfing injury that caused me to miss the entire last 2-3 weeks. Found your site here and others during that time and read about how good it was at times. of course, a little frustrating...
but it was nice to read this post. yesterday i got into some of the biggest waves i've ridden and yes, the biggest holdowns and belly-ins i've ever had.
also i drank as much seawater yesterday as i normally do in a year due to the chop.
but fun fun fun.
as to board size, i was on a 8' funboard/speed eggish/minimalish soft-top thing, i was glad to see how well it worked because i have rarely brought it into surf that big.
anyway.
glad to meet you all

Foulweather... said...

Rounded pin semigun sounds about right... Watch Searching for TC again and check the semigun quad he surfs at Jbay... Beautiful beautiful lines....

ed said...

A 7'x 19.5 x 2.5 should be part of every surfers' quiver if you're going to charge in winter....Now, go get one and get on it!

Daniel said...

I'd say (based on what I can gather about your size from previous posts)you should be looking for a round pin mini-gun in the 6'6" to 6'10" range. 7'0" is a lot of board.

What about the Parmenter Occster?

Chum said...

The Occster is 6'1, and way more skinned down than I'm used to, so I haven't tried to push it in bigger waves yet.

I have a 6'4 step-up that I should really give another go, but it's also pretty anemic!

ras said...

http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger2/7990/2859/1600/minigun.jpg

here's a photo of my big days board. 6'8" Neilson mini-gun. 2 3/8's thick with a deep single concave. I agree with Daniel that 7'0" for you is prolly too big.

Toddy said...

Funny what goes through the mind while in the washer. Fantasy football is as good as anything I suppose. Its a bit like one other time in life where you are thinking about something else to keep yourself calmed down. . . ripe, I suppose.

twinfin said...

skosh diamond tail quad or 6'8 fishsimmons.

dig it!

http://myspace.com/joshhallsurfboards

writer said...

Buy more boards, the planet will thank you later.

Nash said...

Right board for the right conditions. If one shape worked in all conditions it would be simple but that isn't how it works. Further, even if a board acn work accross conditions it doesn't mean it performs the same. Rampant consumerism sucks but there is a difference between that and some selection...especially if the boards are kept for a long time thereby extending the life of all of them.

Chum said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Chum said...

Which reminds me, if I'm going to get "the right tool for the job" I need to put a few of the boards I've outgrown up for sale.

Josh Hall's boards look amazing and judging by his mentors, the probably work great too!