Why this?

Learning to surf as an adult, for most people, is hard. It takes lots of practice and you tend to plateau all the time...and doubt creeps in.

Back when I started to learn to surf in late 2003, I was already keeping a regular diary, so extending it to surf wasn't a big deal.

I can surf now, but while I was in the 'thick of it', learning to surf, going out in crazy conditions, being sworn at, I didn't really think I'd make it.

This is my rather voluminous, in-need-of-editing, account. I've pretty much moved on now to running a surf group which is populated with lots of beginners going through exactly what I did. Life goes on. Take what you will. Don't bloody well give up!

Monday, May 2, 2011

A short barrel for 5 stitches: an expensive ride!

Start: 6:45 AM
45 mins
2 times

It has been cranking in Sydney these past few days! Everyone I know is spouting heroic stories of being held down, having near-death experiences, and seeing amazing people do amazing things with their craft.

Hindsight being hindsight, I now know the error of my ways. I bought a new 7'6" Meyerhoffer early in the week and got a whiff of its potential on Tuesday in pretty crappy conditions. So I was frothing to get it out in the 4FT swell on Saturday.

Saturday 6 AM: Drove up to Collaroy and checked out all the breaks. Manly was the best.

6:45 AM: Surfed with Olivia around the Corso pipe. Hard to paddle onto the waves and they mostly closed out. It was high tide too, so hate to think how it got later.

We'd been sitting around for 40 frustrating minutes and then Gareth showed and asked me about Nick's injury (4 stitches) that he picked up on Tuesday morning. Losing my focus and respect for the waves and board I didn't know very well, I took off on the next wave and it was steep!

The tail of the Meyerhoffer locked in hard and I couldn't get out from under the collapsing wave. That shocked me because although it felt awesome to be slotted, I wasn't in control: the board would not respond the way the Carver or Redline would and I was trapped.

For a second it was magic being inside the barrel - it was so quiet and the spray made it hard to see - but then it all went pair shaped. I got smashed and came up with blood streaming down my face and onto the board. The flow rate was worrying. I checked the nose: OK...it wasn't on the side of my face. I did have a nose bleed, but there was another cut somewhere else. Teeth: OK. Lips: OK.

I headed for the beach and the blood was still flowing as I walked past the beach volleyball players. They looked a bit shocked, but I was in my 'mental cave' and didn't want any help.

I got to the car and there was a cut above the left eye. A mate had a look and said it seemed OK. He then raved about the AWESOME barrels he'd been catching!

Went home and cleaned the wound and yes, it was deep and I needed a needle and thread. Damn!

After driving around for a bit looking for a doctor who could sew, I remembered the place I'd taken my friend, Simon, when I fin-chopped him all those years ago: Warringah 24 HR Medical Centre. They were wonderful and very efficient. It helped that I beat the rush. In all, I scored 5 stitches and no broken nose - it was close! - and I'll be back in the surf next Friday if all goes to plan.

I've learnt my lesson: stay focused, respect the surf, and remember that each board has its own quirks which shouldn't be discovered in thumping surf.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Lovely Longreef

Start: 6:30 AM
1 hr 40 mins
15 times

Stunning, stunning morning in Sydney! The surf was small, but what an awesome time we had sitting around chatting in the warm water. Also, watching all the great surfers on longboards was educational and somewhat humbling :) Hope Gareth gets over his board being dinged, not once, but twice! Stay positive mate.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Big Manly Surfing - Experience Reqd

Start: 6:30 AM
1 hr
6 times

Yep, we braved the torrential rain to go for one of the lamest surfs at the Bower...EVER!!! Who knew? I guess we could have checked the tide because it was mostly responsible for soaking up all the power hitting the point. Oh and the reflected waves off the break-wall were murder too.

Anyway...it was great sharing a couple of hours with super keen surfers...and yes, we did catch a few. PS RedX fins are really hard to find now, but luckily I've got lots of spares and repaired the board on Sunday, ready to do it all again ;-)

Sports Blogs - Blog Top Sites