The waves on this day didn't look great. They were ok in size, but they were closing out all too often. I elected Missed-it Mike as session captain because he can be indecisive and I thought it'd be funny. After much prodding, he meekly suggested he wasn't interested in surfing there. We drove from 20th St down to N. Torrey and though we saw a sick left from the road, we were faced with the same scenario there, just smaller.
We hoofed it back to 20th. Missed-it Mike made it clear he wasn't interested in surfing, but we were able to strong-arm him into it. Thanks to my years of feedback, as well as this blog, MiM has become more self-aware about his complaining. His new game is to complain and keep us guessing as to if he's seriously uncomfortable or if he is just trying to be cute.
I suited up into my 4/3, straining to remember if my wetsuit was this stiff before Panama or if I was just being a pansy, coddled by the tropical waters of yesterweek.
Gauging by the wind's chill, I decided to go ahead and RUBBER UP! Booties came on, and I slipped into my virgin 4mm gloves I picked up months ago at the Rip Cur Outlet northwest of Lowers in San Clemente.
MiM was giving me grief over the Panama pictures, saying that the crab-grab was wack. While I can't say I disagree, EVERYONE* in the water agreed that he was just jealous he hadn't invented a new barrel-riding technique.
He briefed Trevor on my tendency to crab-grab and they were cheering me on to my first wave, a sick right that was quick to develop (unlike the author). Hearing calls for crab-grabs, I tucked into my old familiar stance and got barreled. The wave dumped over and I zoomed through the barrel fast, tucking my leading (stalling) arm behind me and went quite a ways through the spinning hydro-tunnel.
I had quite the thrill going quite that far. When I pull in to a closeout, I have a certain expectation as to how far/how long I expect to go. For every half-second I go beyond that expectation, the euphoria increases exponentially.
I surfaced and let out a hoot.
On the next wave, I pulled a proper pig-dog and did my damnedest to stall hard. A stranger paddling about 20 feet inside of me who had just snagged a good one gave me a long hoot as the lip finally cascaded over me. I don't remember what happened, but I didn't make it (I'm pretty sure I over-corrected into the wall).
I caught a very similar right, tried it again, and in my burning desire to get barreled with a proper pig-dog stance while NOT going into the wall, had the lip drive my throat into my knee. OUCH! Painful and a little scary, but no long-term damage. Swallowing left me sore for a few hours afterward.
I later caught a left and, upon first pump, I was reacquainted with my glorious DHD board and the speed its rail generates. Though I kept pumping, the beautiful curves of my foam masterpiece were not enough as I slowly lost the race to the speeding lip.
The waves' consistency slowed down and the likelihood of closeouts increased. MiM, having an eight-hour day ahead of him bailed. I waited about ten minutes before a belly-boardable wave came (!) and hit the sand.