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Last surf session of the season

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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Last surf session of the season

I have been meaning to post this for a few weeks now but the weather here on the East Coast has been so unseasonably warm that I kept thinking that there would be a chance that I could make it out to surf again.  But, looking back, I am kind of glad that my session in the water a couple of weeks ago was my last for the season. I had a lot of fun. It was a good way end to my first few months of surfing.

A week or so before Thanksgiving, Ed and I went out to Rockaway with a friend - someone we met while in Costa Rica and who we have since become friends with. That morning, I was a bit reluctant to go out.  It had been a little while since I last surfed and I think that I was anxious and nervous and excited all rolled into one. You know that feeling you get sometimes when you don't do something for a while? You begin to think that you can't do it? That's what I was feeling and I was starting to get into my head too much.

It was a beautiful day. Crisp blue skies. Low 60s. Light wind. And there were waves. Nothing huge but some decent waves coming in with some regular frequency and shape. The waves weren't crumbling or breaking too fast. The only problem was the water temperature. It was probably in the mid-50 degree range - not freezing and comfortable with my wetsuit on. But, since I don't own gloves or booties, my hands and feet got cold quickly so that when I caught a wave, I had a hard time gripping my board and adjusting my stance. As much as I tried and stared at my foot to will it to move, I couldn't square off my stance.

I had a lot of fun out in the water. My goal for the day was just to work on my positioning out the back - not too deep and not to shallow - and just catch some waves. If I stood up and rode the wave, great but I really wanted to deal with the issue I had been having the last couple of times that I had been out surfing. Namely, my constant nosedives and inability to catch any waves. During our morning out in the water, I felt like I was finally starting to get a feel for surfing at Rockaway, a better sense of where I needed to sit and what the waves needed to look like when I try to catch it. There were no nosedives!! Not only that, but I felt like I caught four to five decent waves - which is a lot for me!

I think that by tempering my expectations, I was able to have more fun. There was just one thing that I wanted to work on that morning but, in the end, the rest kind of just fell together by itself. I wasn't expecting to catch a ton of waves and to pop up and ride them all beautifully. I think that by removing that pressure, I was able to relax more and just enjoy being out there. I think that that's something that I often forget about. I can get so focused on how I perform and what I can or cannot do that I often don't take the time to appreciate the moment before me - the beauty of being out on the ocean, the gorgeous day, the time with family and friends.

There was this one surfer out that day who I couldn't stop watching. He moved so smoothly, paddling and catching a wave, standing up and riding across its face. It looked almost like he was moving in slow motion, making everything look so effortless. There were a couple of times when I was sitting off the shoulder of a wave.  I would watch him as he caught the wave and start to move towards me. The lip of the wave would just start to curl over and it almost looks like he's in a barrel, albeit a minuscule one where he's literally squatting down on his board to get as compact as possible. But it was beautiful. I want to be able to surf with such grace and effortlessness.

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At December 9, 2011 at 5:32 PM , Blogger Surfing Grandma of OC said...

Yeah I too have been known to over-think things while out there. I have been told to relax and have fun and surf like you are 10 years old and not over analyze everything. I do find when I go out and don't expect much.. and am not pressured for time....Or worried about other things. I do better. I have had so many surfers say. JUST DO IT.. and when I do.. I am a much better surfer and have more fun. YOU know the basics...the rest will fall in line in time. It is the consistency of which you go that will make you better. I know.. it is for me!


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