Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Homey Don't Play That

A little warmer today. But not much.

Waves remained at around waist-high, but a little more mixed up than yesterday with some south swell crossing up the leftover north, making for some fun peaks here and there.

Actually, today I did something I hadn't done in a long time - played in the shorebreak with the kids.

No, that doesn't mean I put on a t-shirt and flopped around in the water with 20 pale little porkers on a Pennsylvania youth group trip. I mean it was high tide and instead of lurking outside on my log, picking off mushy set waves, I grabbed my chippiest chip, left the leash at home, and sat 20 feet from the sand with the little rippers, picking off re-forms and trying to play surf star.

I'd say I was marginally successful. And even then only if you define "successful" by, "I didn't embarrass myself or kill anyone or even run over any of the fat Keystoners."

But I did learn something. Reform sessions, minus leash, are a kick-ass workout. You basically paddle around, chasing little peaks and wedges and dumping closeouts. There are heaps of waves because it's mixing up and breaking all over the place. 2 feet can make the difference between not catching a wave, catching a wave and getting pitched, and catching a wave and pulling into a tiny barrel and, for a split-second anyway, becoming the aforementioned surf star.

Plus, the waves are so small and dump so quick that you've got to be wound like a spring and yet loose as a rubber chicken. Getting into those things before they dump and managing a turn or lip bash is fucking HARD. And doing any of the above without losing your board, well that's pretty much magic.

By the way, in an effort to be magic, I've developed a highly intricate and skillful way for not losing my board when I surf without a leash. Basically what I do is straighten out, (pay close attention here because it's complicated and requires some very tricky reflexes), take a deep breath, and FALL ON MY BOARD and then WRESTLE IT LIKE A GREASED PIG.

Got that?

1. Straighten Out
2. Fall
3. Wrestle
4. Squeal like Ned Beatty

Anyhow, I rarely like to mess with perfection. But today, as I was walking back out after, inexplicably, another failed attempt to rassle my greased-up Chuck Dent, I saw a young lad do something rather clever.

The wave closed out, he straightened out, did a mini backside bottom turn, caught it in mid-air, and landed on his back in the whitewater with his board safely in his arms.


So I says to Mabel, I says, "Hey, I sure as heck-fire can do that." That's what I told Mabel, I did.

So sure enough on my next wave I pigdog a backdoor wedge (is anyone else noticing a swine-motif in this post? must be the all-pork plate lunch I had today from Hawaiian BBQ), get clipped by the lip, straighten out, and begin my little mini backside bottom turn. Only instead of the board arriving safely in my arms as I fall back into the embrace of a whitewater cushion, it does a pop-wheelie and shoots straight into the beach while I tumble ass-first into the white water and go for a spin.

D'oh. D'oh. Fucking D'oh.

After that, plus my surf rack disaster, I've come to the conclusion that I'm more Homer Simpson than Homer Simpson.

The good news is that I get to try again tomorrow.


The Colonel says, "Mmmmm....bacon."