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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

6.9.13 Wisconsin Street Whispers my Name into the Wind; I Answer

I almost didn't make the trek up north today.

When I read the forecast last night, I saw the wind would be blowing lightly onshore all night, then gradually increasing its torment on this swell in proportion to the amount of light provided by the rising sun.

I checked the cams and decided I would be burning a gallon of gas for trying to surf, all while being blessed by the sweet jams of the GuyPod.

There were some racy barrels out there.  I paddled out, hoping for just a second or two inside these spinning cylinders.

I paddled out south of the Wisconsin ramp.  The water felt unusually cold and I soon found out why.  In my haste, I'd neglected to zip up my wetsuit, using only the velcro strap at the nape of my neck to keep it shut.  My wetsuit arms filled with water, adding more resistance to a pretty grueling paddle-out.  After a brief respite from the onslaught, I zipped up my wetsuit, redid my nape neoprene strap, and was about to rid my arms of the heavy water sapping their longevity when another set came.  I made it under those, then peeled the tapered sleeves of my wetsuit arms back and let the water out.

I looked back towards shore and realized I'd drifted quite a ways north, on the very northern edge of the vacant lot right by Junior Seau's old house.

It was frustrating out there.  Waves would break and zip away into uncatchable lines, or they'd just close out.

I'd see waves barrel, seemingly makeable ones too, but once I paddled against the current to their foam trails and awaited their siblings, there would be nothing.  And a torturous look back at where I'd been sitting not three minutes ago revealed a makeable one. Madness.

Thankfully, the forty-minute monotony of paddling was intermittently broken up by a duckdive or two.

A bomb reared its head.  I thought about ditching my board as I was right in the center of its target zone, but I kept it.  I felt the explosion on my feet and it was a dooz.  It felt as though the wave's power propelled me through it.  I surfaced and paddled my ass off when I saw its bigger brother.  I, emboldened by humiliating its smaller counterpart, again went for a duckdive.  This time, I got caught in the mayhem.  I held a death grip on my board, determined not to let go and did a full somersault, board and all, underwater.  After surfacing on my board and checking for another beast, I felt for pressure dings and I'd added eight new ones to the underside of my board, one for each non-thumb finger.

I'd drifted past the two twinhomes for sale when I caught my first wave. I was way too late on it, but I went just because I was tired of not catching anything.  I rose up with it, got caught in the lip, and aborted about halfway down.

Immediately after gathering my board and my wits, I caught another wave on which I was also very late and had the same thing happened. 

It's a bummer when the most exciting thing about a session is a duckdive... I bailed.

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