| SURF OBSERVATIONS|
Spontaneous Combustion -- 5/9/98
Winter was just about over, but the northern storms that were so nice to us this season gave us just one more small pulse before retiring for the summer. So I dawned it to Rocky Point with Jerry on Saturday. Unfortunately, Jerr was incapacitated by the previous night's excesses, so he cruised on the beach while I partook in nature's offerings.
Surf was about three feet, with brisk sideshores under partly sunny skies. The crowd was fairly light until just before we left. Entering the water, I found it to be refreshingly cool--truly invigorating! The sunrise would've made an epic photo if taken with a fisheye--speckled clouds over a colorful sky. I think I saw Jock Sutherland out there too, sporting a grin from ear to ear.
As far as my bodyboarding, it wasn't a very memorable session. I spent the better part of the morning sharing the rights with a really cool local surfer and a Brazilian bodyboarding acquaintance (I think her name is Claudia).
Anyway, the most interesting wave I caught was this nicely formed left. I was paddling back out after a small one and found myself right in position. My surfer-friend was on the shoulder and I egged him to go. However, he just grinned at me, not making a move, so I went. Once on, I realized that it was a pretty solid wave, so I wanted to do something with it. However, my mind was blank; I had no plan or idea as to how to ride. I managed to pump up the face, back down, then went high again for a carve. Just then, the wave energy just tossed me up in the air and I ended up doing a half-rollo, landing flat on my back. Auwe!
That wave taught me a little about my surfing. I believe that a truly good surfer is spontaneous, riding waves according to what it has to offer. Maneuvers and tricks should just come instinctively.
However, my riding seems much more deliberate, maybe even a bit preplanned. It's actually improved a lot since my contest years when a typical ride would consist of roll, spin, roll, spin, spin--very methodical and very boring. But I still have a long way to go before I reach a level where it'll just flow nicely.
Practice makes perfect, I guess. Especially if you want to "bust" spontaneously.
Here are some kids who were bodyboarding at Gas Chambers--they knew how to bust!