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Sunday, January 8, 2012

1.8.2012 Frustrating, then Fun 20th Street Del Mar with Missed-it-Mike

After going rogue for the vast majority of the previous day, Missed-it-Mike re-appeared on the grid. He blamed his disappearance on a misplaced cell phone. He ended up going to church after this session and it may be because of his guilt about being incommunicado and the possible lies to cover up the truth.

Mike, to his credit, arrived exactly on time. I'd been awake for close to four hours due to digestive tract issues. I had managed a 45-minute nap so I wasn't a total wreck when we left my place just after seven.

The plan was to check Tippers, a spot that can get good on a NW'er. The fog made it impossible to do so, so we trekked south. We got to 20th St and only had to check it for about a minute before we saw waves worth the effort and cold. My car's thermometer revealed the temperature as 45 degrees.

I had no problem sealing my wetsuit (still missing the sealing zipper string attachment), so we paddled out. The tide was very high. Mike made his paddle-out a dry one, but I was not so fortunate.

Once we established our perch, I looked around and noticed that all four of the nearest surfers were wearing hoods. It was as though we'd stumbled across a secret meeting of the Druids. They eventually dispersed inconspicuously, so as not to attract attention...

I didn't catch any waves in the first twenty or so minutes. The high tide was making the waves show, but they were too fat too catch for our boards' volume.

The first wave I caught was a nice left, perhaps the most open wave I've caught all year. I caught it and took my time getting to my feet, allowing the wave to steepen. I dropped down and pumped a few times. I saw that the right was coming towards me and I cut down towards the beach to maximize my speed. If I had to diagnose what I did wrong on the next part, I'd say I waited a half-second too long to start my bottom-turn. I hit the section as it was already dumping and didn't make it. Here's the proof:

I caught a left which showed some hollowness. I pulled in and got in there for a little before getting trounced.

Yet another left appeared. It was slow, but I was able to catch it. I pumped conservatively so as to stay in the "speed" pocket of the wave. I cut down, came back up and did a slow slash before the wave shut down.

I finally got a crack at a solid right, but of course, Mike was on it. I'm pretty sure this the wave on which he said he was able to do an air. I had my eye on the one behind it so I will have to take his word for it.

The next wave had no one on it and I caught it a little bit late. I made the drop without issue and had some speed with which to work. I smacked it, recovered and then did a very low-to-the-water roundhouse cutback. My trailing hand caressed the wave's face. Unfortunately, I lost control once I hit the wash. Still, a pretty sick one!

Another right came and I hit it well. The wave petered out and I went out the back.

My final wave of the morning was a great one. It started off slowly, but I was able to get a couple of pumps in before a solid slash. The wave started going a little flat again, so I leaned forward, then, eventually shuffled up towards the nose. I had to look down to make sure I wouldn't stomp on the camera. I finally made it to the shallow section of the wave and quickly re-set my feet in their original position. My new footing didn't quite feel right. Instead of going for an oh-so-satisfying smack, I was forced to mellow it out. I went up to tap it, was successful, but I couldn't hang on.

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