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Wednesday, July 31, 2013

7.30.13 Tricky, Fast, and Low Percentage Corner Hunting at Wisconsin Street

The waves looked good size-wise, but the form was poor. The wind wasn't on it, the tide wasn't off; I blame the bathymetry and the swell angle.  The waves were shoulder to slightly overhead, but closing out. 

On my first wave, I paddled my ass off.  It felt as though I'd overpaddled at first, but while getting drilled underwater, I realized I'd underpaddled.  I caught the wave and stalled out, not making it over the hump at the top of the wave.  I stood up and watched as my board went over the falls. I launched myself backwards in an attempt to get away from my board.

I was successful in getting over the hump on my next wave.  I got down the face, and half bottom-turned around the initial spilling section.  As I got around the corner, I saw that the wave was closing out.  I did what I had to do and dove into the whitewash.

My next wave was the exact same as the last if you remove the opportunity to do a half-turn towards the face.  It closed out immediately.

A rare right!  Sort of.  I paddled into it and got hung up on the lip.  I had a decision to make.  I could stay the course and risk a fin, nose, tail or rail to the face or I could kick my board out and lessen my chances of trauma.

I got the drubbing I deserved and when I went to gather my surfboard and feel her curves with my hands, I felt something was wrong.  I paddled out, and when I was sure there was no cleanup set, I flipped my board over and confirmed my suspicions.  A triple crease (a personal record) met my gaze, its ugly fingers reaching around to the front of the board.  When they met the curvature of the rail, they dinged out.  There was also a ding that had reached the stringer, the spine of the surfboard. My board was taking in water with every minute.

A good-sized crease will usually turn into a buckle, which will render a board useless.  The crease divides the board into pieces, and the two opposing pieces feel detached from one another.  It lends the board and inflatable raft feel, ruining one's connection to the board.  Its structural integrity is compromised.  Any attempt at fixing it will cause the board to weigh more.

It is essentially a death sentence.

I caught a left and pumped, then stutter-pumped.  I snapped at the lip line, but was a bit late.  It turned into a floater on which I was too far behind the wave.  I bailed and went over the falls.

My next wave was another more open one.  It was racy, but I managed to keep pace with it.  I got to the lip as it closed out a bit late and got blasted off my board.

My last wave was not so open and a sign to head back and see if I could nurse my board to make it last more than one more session.

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