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?