|Sorry bro. There are no clean peaks today.|
Oh Spring... westerly side crossed winds, white caps, crossed eyed peaks and short, short rides. Then again, there's more sun and longer days. And I must say, I've had some fun out there thanks to DST. I've been able to make it out to OB after work more often, getting some solid sessions in. And surprisingly, there has been some semi-clean days. But I guess I've been spoiled with winter and those "4-7 feet" forecasts that just seemed to be never ending.
I had a great session on the Eastside of Santa Cruz the other day. I surfed the good 'ol Hook for a bit and scored some tasty waist high waves. It was quiet a paddle battle though, but I was able to score some. It helped that the "Sheriff" was around on his SUP. He would give me a heads up on some approaching sets. I'd follow him, he'd catch the first and then I'd go for the second.
Did I get cut off on some? Yes. But that's to be expected. Was it fun? Damn straight it was. The Hook can be such a great wave. It's fast enough to throw your hair back and it's breaks slow enough to practice cut backs and turns. I enjoy how it gives me time to set up my drops. Only a few places in my experience has that benefit. And I'm almost always guaranteed face time. And I like face time.
|Time to close the Great Highway.|
I posed real simple questions to get his mind going as we drove like "What's the best way to avoid a wave?" "Why don't you want to turn your back on the ocean?" and so on. Kids and their answers. It is so cute but totally genuine and unfiltered. Makes me think about us adults and how we speak to each other. Makes me wish we were a bit more transparent instead of being language ninjas. And the questions he asked were great. He didn't care if he sounded ignorant or not, he just wants to become a surfer. And never once did he ask about sharks.
This wasn't his first time to the beach, but it was the first time in 8 years since he's touched the ocean. In response to "how to avoid a wave pummeling you?" I taught him how to duck waves. First thing he yelled after our first duck dive was "COLD!" as he grabbed my arm. We ducked waves for about 10 minutes. I watched him get braver with each duck dive until he let go of my arm and went under waves alone.
I spent an hour pushing him into waves, watching him take spills and once in a while standing up and taking one to the beach. Kid was champ. He wasn't afraid at all. He would take a spill, grab the board and come back for another push. After about an hour, he pushed me away and said "I got this, I want to try and catch some on my own." I just stood on the beach and watched him go for it for a few hours. He would catch one to me on the beach, and I'd give him some advice and I'd watch him take the advice and get better with every wave he caught.
After we got out, as he was rinsing off, one of the guys at the showers congratulated him on his first day and some of his rides. "Great rides! But now comes the hard part". "What's the hard part?" the kid asked one of the guys at the showers. "Taking off your wetsuit!" And boy did he have a hard time taking his wetsuit off. As we drove home, that energetic kid that was stoked out of his mind four hours earlier was knocked out in the back seat. "Take him anytime," his mom said later that day as The Kid snored on his couch.
I got to give it up to the Linda Mar regulars. They were soooo nice to The Kid. They would give him advice, give him big smiles, and throw him high fives. We got some really good people out there in the lineup.
Yeah, Spring can suck most of the time. But I'm finding ways to fill the void. From fixing some dings to adding one more kook to the Linda Mar lineup. But damn I miss winter. Before I go, here is a little taste of what was. Panama Red took out his GoPro and filmed this during the earlier months of this year. Even though winter has passed, we can still reminisce.
La Bocanita from Panama Red on Vimeo.