you may get wet

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

Old enough to know better. Young enough to do it anyways.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

A Wave of One's Own

Southern California is crowded. It’s a simple fact of life. From stalled freeways to over-crowded bars to endless strip-malls, learning to navigate the crush of humanity is key to survival. This is none so apparent than in the water.

Surfing in Oregon can be a lonely experience. Sure some spots get congested, but generally speaking, it’s less size you find yourself wishing for, not less people. I’ve only had a few go outs as a California resident, but it seems to be the opposite – small waves with hundreds of hungry surfers.

But somehow I don’t think surfing’s popularity is going anywhere in the near future. Which means I need to get comfortable with having company in the water.

Trying to play well with others I headed to EP on Monday. I figured most the water-heads would be at work, but pulled up to a packed parking lot. The small peaks were loaded to the gills. Frustrated I walked south down the long stretch of beach. I finally came to a small pocket of relatively empty water.

Once out, I smiled to have the sun in my face and my exposed toes tapping the warmish water. The first set showed up on the horizon. I spun, paddled and popped. The KG fish took to the wave like a fat man to food. Over the next two hours I got my wave-count up into the double digits, and started to feel comfortable dropping-in in front of all the local dropouts. I told myself a couple more rides and then I’m out. Seems the surf had a different idea. I rode the next wave into the shallows, where it pitched up, sending me down and the board up. My forehead kissed against the rail and left a large hicky that signaled the end of the sesh.

Still stoked on the early-week go-out, I made plans to meet up with a friend of a friend. Jays suggested we meet early for a dawn patrol, so he could make it back to work in Santa Monica. With the time change we were paddling out in the pitch black of night. Jays didn’t seem to mind. The first wave rolled through and he was sliding out my rearview on a great little grinder. He said he was coming off a bit of a lay-off, but it seems the rest did him well as he caught quite a few before I could find the peak in the dying light. When I did I was surprised how fast the shoulder ledged up and reeled down the line. As I paddled back from the fast little left I realized Jays and I had just been joined by about fifty of our friends. All of whom seemed to be gathered in a twenty-yard radius of the peak. As the light increased to a gray glow the crowd increased to a dense flotilla. Jays laughed and said it was a light day, and that I should see it on a hot summer day. Somehow Jays’ “light day” reminded me of a menstrual commercial, and it seemed fitting.

After a few hours of bobbing around with my buddies, the high tide defeated everyone and I headed in. I felt like the Hoosier’s basketball team - from the movie, not IU – when they make it to the state finals. All the dimensions of the court are the same, but somehow the larger venue just feels different. I just need to figure out how to become comfortable with the larger venue, which I’m hoping will come with time.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Occasional empty lineups can be found here, just have to sniff them out and make some effort. Here's a hint. If it has a parking lot, most likely it will be crowded.

7:29 AM  
Blogger Slim said...

hey broseph, good to hear the water is finally moving down there. took a sickie friday and surfed THE wave with three others. backside ropers. it was the start of a four sesh/three day run. shaka, brah!

9:30 AM  
Blogger Chum said...

Glad you're getting wet though. What about the spots Marki used to frequent? Good luck mang, there's always plenty of room for you up here, any time of day.

6:47 PM  
Blogger G said...

Yeah, I realize I'm probably going to one of the most crowded spots in LA, but it seems to be the most consistent at the moment. Gotta look into Marki's secret spots. I remember a couple of them...haven't checked them yet. Maybe Wed.

Nice work Slimmers on THE spot. How was it?

7:01 PM  
Blogger Slim said...

3 hours, 3 head high waves, 0 dings. More than 3 smiles on my face.

12:06 PM  

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