Moondoggie had been hounding me to do a Lowers mission and we decided today would work. The forecast looked grim for the next few days, so I figured I should surf before it turned to slop.
I met him at his place in Carlsbad just before 5:00. The walk in the dark was cold and our feet were feeling every little pebble and imperfection in the asphalt. We both were reminded of "Missed It" Mike who if he was with us would be howling in pain and reminding us with every step that his feet hurt.
After we crossed the bridge, we saw someone speed past us on his bike, effeminately yelling out, "Good MORning!". I jokingly said it was the kneeboarder who has been out EVERY time I've surfed Lowers this year. We were in the water by 6:10, the fourth and fifth guys out.
A nice set came through and Moondoggie and I were frothing for some goodness. We paddled out and sat inside of the three guys. Two of them were telling (you're not going to believe this) the KNEEBOARDER (!) that they'd been out for a couple of hours.
About ten minutes in, I caught my first wave. I thought it would be a left, but it turned into a better right. I got one hit off the top but buried my outside rail. This happens sometimes and I've never had this problem before surfing this board. I attribute it to its width being 18.125" instead of the usual 18.25"-18.375". An eighth of an inch doesn't make much sense in an of itself, but if you multiply that difference by the non-tapered length of the board and it makes a huge difference...
My second wave was better. I caught this right in a good spot and did my best turn of the morning. I was so late on the turn that I got hung up on the lip, catching the offshore as the hang time counter progressed. I made it down, recovered, then pumped. I laid into a roundhouse cutback, hit the wash then kicked out. I was a long way from the peak...
Moondoggie caught a wave, and then I caught one. I did a solid backhand smack, then Fosbury Flopped over the section as it dumped under me.
My right forearm was back to aching. Every paddle and duckdive taxed my pain receptors and the pain signals made my enthusiasm waver ever so slightly with each pulse.
About twenty minutes after this, I caught a left that I really had to paddle for. HARD. A guy paddled on it inside of me, on the shoulder. He looked right at me, and he took off. He pumped, did a small hit, and kicked out. I kicked out right behind him, super pissed. The wave wasn't worth squabbling over but I stinkeyed that guy a couple of times until he looked away.
I have zero respect for people who do this and will act if it's done more than once (so long as it's not an accident). Knowing me though, it's all talk...!
Moondoggie was getting vibed by one of those cliché guys who think they're the ish. He told me on the way to Uppers (which we skipped due to crowd/inconsistency issues) that the guy told him, "This isn't a longboard spot". What an a-hole!
We paddled out at Cottons even though the tide was too high for it. We saw one guy get a sick one and our hopes went up, but they were soon dashed. We went in within about a half-hour or so.