Standing on Two Feet Again -- 4/28/01

Buddy in the foreground, overhead surf in the back

After finally getting the green light to do standup surfing from my doctor, I was eagerly looking forward to riding my longboard again. The perfect opportunity came with the last of the winter swells.

Paddled out in the beautiful predawn haze at Laniakea amongst the turtles. Surf was a firm 3-5’ Haw’n (four feet+ overhead on the sets) coming out of the north. I was so stoked.

Although I had done quite a bit of bodyboarding since recovering from my achilles injury, I was unsure of how I would handle myself standing up. My ankle was still a bit weak, with less than stellar lateral support. Still, I felt ready to give it the old college try.

On my first wave, I took off late on a head-high peak. Got up to my feet just as the board slapped the water and kind of pearled. Without even trying to recover, I wiped out unceremoniously. Didn’t want to reinjure myself on the first wave back.

The second was a little better. Took off on a small peak and just rode a short distance until it petered out, just to get my sea legs back.

The rest of the session was pretty cool, with me regaining confidence on each wave. I ended up taking off on some pretty critical ledges and was very satisfied with my surfing.

Buddy and Rich were out there with me, just shralping. Buddy was doing his usual slashing, taking off mostly at the outside peak. Rich was scoring the middle peak’s long walls, knocking it up backside.

The crowd was kind of aggressive, but most of them were cool. Guess everyone was trying to get in as much as they could before the winter surf went into hibernation.

Met another cybersurfer in the lineup who recognized Buddy and me from our websites. I was totally tripping when he (Dana) asked me how my ankle was. It took a while for me to remember that I put the whole ordeal down on recycled electrons on my website.

It was a good session and I came in with a smile.

One of the most interesting things was the after-session aches. You use different muscles in surfing versus bodyboarding, so the pains were quite acute because of the long layoff I had from surfing (over six months). The funniest thing was that I got blisters on the knuckles on my toes, I guess because of rubbing on the tail of the board.

Other aches were pretty standard: shoulder burn, slight neck ache, lower rib ache, and of course a tender ankle. The ankle felt quite tender, with a little bit of nerve sensitivity, but it fared quite well.

It really felt good standing on my own two feet again!

Standing room only

Aloha from Paradise,