surf sessions #60, 61: Noll Longboard Classic

My sporadic recording has allowed some sessions to slip by undocumented, I think. Alas. Every single day holds moments I want to remember. I imagine, as I’m on the beach or driving home from an event how grateful I would be if I could capture in writing all the actions, feelings and thoughts life offers up. Or not all rather, just the particularly inspiring ones, with which my life seems to be overflowing. And not out of some sense of self-importance, but out of gratitude for having so many experiences I want to save or make sense of.

#60: The Noll Longboard Classic. K and her friends have surfed in this for six years, most of which have presented surf conditions perfect for staying home. We typically camp at the Orman Ranch right near South Beach. Last year, however, faced with a weather forecast predicting rain, cold, rain, cold, more rain, cold, I convinced Bobby that camping in the rain would not be an adventure, but an exercise in misery. We ended up staying at Anchor Beach Inn – a good call as the weekend did prove frigid and wet. Contestants and crowd members huddled around smoldering attempts at bonfires. My hair reeked of campfire. Adding insult to injury, the swell came in from the west at about 10 feet. Trust me, that’s not what you want at South Beach, especially when your sweet kid is paddling out into the current-riddled ocean, pummeled by walls of foam.

But that was last year. This year, the sun shone and surf conditions, while not perfect, remained nice enough all weekend for the surfers to show off on actual waves, many of which peeled and peeled. I’d registered Kaylee late, so she ended up surfing with the 30-something women instead of the teens – they only have one catagory for women, “Gals,” a problem I hope is fixed in the future; the guys have six age groups – and not advancing. That was fine. I am just glad she still does the contest; it’s fun, it’s one of our few traditions; hanging out with all those surfers reminds me of a family reunion each year.

So we all paddled out after her heat, a bit north of the contest zone, shared waves and smiles with each other and the happy crowd.

#61: South Beach. I’d stayed in Crescent City for work, grabbing a room at the Best Western Northwoods Inn (eat at the Good Harvest Restaurant not at the Northwoods restaurant!). At breakfast, I saw some friends who’d just checked South Beach, said it was flat. Disappointed, I went back to my hotel room and worked until the clock had inched dangerously close to check-out time. After chucking my stuff in the truck, I called Bobby to let him know I was on my way home. Five minutes later, I called to tell him I’d be having “a quick surf” first – South Beach indeed had waves. Two-and-a-half hours later, I staggered out of the water, every molecule filled with joy. “That was so fun!,” was all I could think. Best longboarding session ever. Caught chest-high waves in front of the restaurant, rode them almost past the hotel. Two separate peaks lined up in such a way that I could catch a long left, paddle back out, catch a long right, paddle back out, catch a long left, repeat until you can’t stand up. Stupid fun in the most happy-making way.

One thought on “surf sessions #60, 61: Noll Longboard Classic”

  1. I’ve had a few sessions up at South Beach years ago. Always a little on the small side, but always clean and super, super fun. Once again I missed the Noll contest. With a severely sprained ankle, I miss surfing. Thanks for the words Jen.

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