surf sessions #8, #9, #10, #11: from all-time to beats not surfing at all

The boys

#8: Reports pinged in all day via text. At this spot, at this tide, everything was lining up just right. Nick’s friends wanted to go out. I wanted to go out. By the time we got to this spot, it was no longer at that tide. Nor the right wind, but whatever. We were there. A little wave broke inside. Good enough. Sometimes it’s bigger and/or more fun than it looks. True on both counts. The tide and wind were all wrong, but the fun was quite all right.

#9: All-time. Exactly the sort of waves I most like, shoulder-high to overhead on the sets, superclean, peeling, consistent rights and me on plenty of them including a set wave that only I was in position for, all moves instinctive, every drop made, even the late ones. Surfed till my feet numbed, my calves cramped and my arms turned into overcooked spaghetti noodles. A perfect session.

#10: After the success of the day before, I insisted Bobby and Nick come out with me. By the time we reached the beach, the offshore winds had increased from breezy to howling. The kind of day when paddling into a wave includes being blinded by white spray blasting backwards off the lip. I feared my contacts would be washed out of my eyes. Catching waves meant fighting the wind, making the wave was a small victory, being blown back a defeat. Bobby passed altogether. Nick took out his shortboard, which proved a less than adequate weapon. I, however, opted for my fat, heavy longboard, the Taylor with the thick glass job. I still struggled, but caught enough waves to make the paddle out worthwhile – and one right in particular that suggested it might pitch into a barrel. It didn’t curl over me, but I slid along the face, tucked in, ready, flying, feeling the possibility. And that’s a good thing, remembering that life serves up opportunities and one should be prepared just in case. The gray sky turned the ocean dark, the whitecaps made all the brighter in contrast as the wind blew the waves into liquid sheets of metal. High drama to watch, complete peace to experience.

#11: Another version of the ongoing lesson of If I Commit to Something on a Weekend Day, the Surf Will Be Very Good and I Will Not Be Able to Go. Instead of hitting the beach at the right tide with plenty of daylight left, Nick and I rushed down the street post-sunset to paddle out into what were, admittedly, some peeling beauties. Unfortunately the quality of the waves didn’t matter as much as the fact that getting to the outside used up what little light was left. Damn it. But I did catch a left and he did catch a right, so there you go.

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