Surf and Turf

I’m proud to say that after 17 days of wearing a bathing suit for many many hours I have a semi-permanent indent at about C3 and T7 along my spine. Some days the lower one contained a bruise from long car rides, other days my neck was at risk from being chopped off from the straps around my neck, but I can be tolerant of this “issue” that warm climates produce. My color has improved, and I have an awesome board shorts tan line and serious freckles to prove it.

What I’m trying to say here is its time to go home, and I’m okay with that, because I will be back, and its not -30 at home, but plus 5-ish.

We’ve managed to surf a great deal in under 3 weeks; 10 times for me, and about 15 for Josh. We sat down for a heart to heart about this frustrating  sport together today because I was having issues. Although we’ve spent lots of time out on the water I still don’t feel especially comfortable, although I’m feeling good about moving around near the break, and I think paddling is probably my strong point. Catching waves is still frustrating for me though, with decent waves in Waikiki, then small waves here at the cove, and bigger ones at the harbour, I’ve experienced a plethora of emotions towards this new water sport.  And I still get an instant stomach ache and nausea when surfing is mentioned, followed by the anxious need to pee. But so far we’ve surfed 4 different breaks here in hawaii, and i’ll mention three that we went to more than once.

Waikiki (at this point in time) was busy, but the waves were consistent, not too large, and wide enough across that it could handle the mass people that were trying to catch it (about 60 some days). I had some good rides there, longer ones with a strong and fast enough wave that you didn’t stand up just to sit down again.

The cove (when I rode it) was pretty tiny, as you can see above, with barely “catchable” waves that wouldn’t push you very far. I think I gained and lost confidence on this break; gained as far as wave size and feeling safe, but lost due to the fact that every time I’d catch and stand up the wave was so slow I’d wobble and fall over (like photo below). No progressing really happend here. Pretty pathetic sized waves when I looked back to see what we were riding in Mexico last year; armpit height stuff in January when it was larger, probably waste height later in March.

The harbour caused me anxiety from day one, with one steep obnoxious wave that sent me barreling head over board. With little patience for this kind of burying, it was a short lived experience on that break. Today was a bit better, although I was second guessing my placement along the wave and the peakiness of where I was trying to catch it. I could have had a few more good rides if I didn’t do that but maybe a few burries too.

Just like last year when we left Mexico, I was just catching on to things (so to speak), the confidence and stamina had built to a nice level, and then bam, its time to go home. I decided my goal in surfing is to be a decent longboarder with confidence and stamina to move around and catch nice waves, moving up and down the board, and up and down the wave. I’m not cut out for the big stuff on the short boards that force you to duck-dive or get pummeled. I might have to trade up my board a foot or so to a 9er.

Josh reminded me in our discussion that when he met me I would barely have gone IN the water, let alone be surfing, so I recognized this achievement and kept it in mind when I was out on the waves. Wakeboarding was not something I’d ever considered doing either, and now its so natural after forgetting the struggle at the start.

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