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Friday, September 13, 2013

9.13.13 Frustration Sets in as Swell Increases at Wisconsin

For perhaps only the second time, I spotted waves breaking while rounding the coffee place by the beach.  It almost always appears to be flat from there, but not today.  A high school or so kid I see at least three times a week lives between the coffee shop and the waves and he never mentions the surf (unless he's asking me how it was on my way back) and he said, "There's some fun ones out there!.

He's absolutely right.  There are some fun ones out there.  Unfortunately, they're few in far between thanks to the high tide which is swamping it out and the massive crowd, perhaps the biggest I've seen in the almost two months I've lived here.

I decide to trek south, as Wisconsin proper is logjammed with rolling heads, lulled to paddle out by the easy access.  I see scattered peaks which look like something out of a surf mag, but blink, and you'll miss it.  This works both ways, though, as I realize the shots in surf mags are merely a snapshot of a moment when the waves looked amazing, before they raced out and slammed shut.

There was a nice offshore wind to top it all off.  We had SOO many of the ingredients for a magical surf session, but I had quite the opposite experience unfortunately.

I paddled out and was raring to get into one.  A wave would come and there'd be a dude on it.  I'd paddle to where he just caught it, and right where I was, another wave would come.  About fifteen minutes of this later, I caught my first wave and it wasn't a great one.  I got one pump in before it closed out.

I caught a right and slammed into my crabgrab stance.  I forgot my board doesn't have a nose and immediately penetrated into the water with my board.  Looks like I'll be scrubbing crabgrabs from my repertoire for the foreseeable future...

I got a little covered up on a left that shut down as I was entering it.  I took advantage of my positioning to sneak a view of the barrel and then I got out of there.

A BOMB came in south of me and I saw a guy scratching furiously for it.  He dropped in and got barreled almost immediately.  The spinning cylinder engulfed him completely and he appeared to have been the victim of the fin grip-killing foamball.  I complimented him on his drop and he smiled and said, "Almost had it".

About twenty minutes later, I had my eye on an ok looking left which appeared to have a line.  I dropped in as a guy about five yards away was paddling and dropped in a second after me to my inside.  Not only did he drop in, he ate it on his first turn.  I came up just before he came up and I stared daggers at him.  He felt my death stare, looked straight at me, then looked away.

The guy looks like a cross between Tom Curren after an alcohol bender and Chris Ward.  He surfed like neither. 

The guy paddled back out and I kept staring at him.  He seemed to glance over to see if I was still staring at him but playing it off as though he wasn't.  He eventually settled five yards or so outside of me.  About ten minutes later, we're all paddling out lazily as a set is spotted on the horizon.  I make a gut-call and furiously sprint-paddle south, putting me in priority over villain.

Nice Drop guy, the guy I complimented, has priority so I pull back.  Villain takes off on him and ruins one of the sicker waves of the morning for him.  Villain paddles back out nonchalantly and I'm really staring at him HARD this time, like Tex Avery cartoon eyes hard.  He sees me staring and this time doesn't break my gaze.

We stare each other down for a solid five seconds and when he's close enough I say to him, "Are you going to burn everybody today?" to which he replies, "Oh, sorry bro, did I burn you?".  I point to Nice Drop guy and say "You just burned him.  You burned me ten minutes ago." and he reacts with, "Oh, sorry man".

I glance over at Nice Drop Guy and he's smiling.

Rather than continue on with villain and allow him to completely ruin my morning, I quit fighting the current and let it whisk me away to a happier place.  The waves at where I paddled out were maddeningly frustrating and I wanted to see what points north had in store.

About five minutes after letting go and letting God, I caught a nice left which did not immediately section off on me.  I got a pump in, then a small smack, then one more pump before I attempted a 360 rotation off the foam.  I felt my fins slip for  a second, but then they took hold and I flopped over them awkwardly.  It felt good to get a screamer, even if it was one of the smaller waves.

Nothing great came in the next twenty minutes.  I was drifting closer to Wisconsin Street.  I decided to go in and try my luck north.  I walked for five minutes or so and paddled back out. 

Unfortunately, it was even worse there.  I caught one wave that closed out, convinced myself to give the morning sesh one last shot, and paddled back out.  I sat for fifteen minutes until I decided to go in on a closeout.

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