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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-23-2006, 04:15 PM   #21
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Re: Surfing Thread

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4-6 feet at White Plains today from a hurricane off Johnston Atoll
I got some of the leading edge of that last night. We had shoulder high sets, nice and easy. We're planning to go for an afternoon session in an hour or so. Forecast looks good for the rest of August!


re: getting out

I use the same techniques as Nords and Ronin. Sometimes if it's big and I'm close to the lip I can't hold onto the board during a turtle roll. I've learned to hold it close to the nose and pull the nose down, but there are times when the wave is too powerful. In large waves (8ft+) if there's no one around me I'll dive off the board and under the wave. When the wave hits the board I'll give a strong stroke and try to pull it through. There have been times when I couldn't and got dragged back and underwater. The first time this happened it was very scary. Now I climb up the leach.

If there are people around me I'll sometimes grab the end of the leach that connects to the board and try to dive under the wave. This works well since you can get a good grip on the leach end. I try to keep my arms straight and hold the board away from my body.

Amazing how those guys survive 20ft+ at Waimea.
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-23-2006, 05:17 PM   #22
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Re: Surfing Thread

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Originally Posted by TromboneAl

I think a 40 degree water temperature wave in the face feels harder than a warm water wave.

now there's an ice cream headache!
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-23-2006, 05:19 PM   #23
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Re: Surfing Thread

the southern hemi is due tomorrow AM so I'll be out... the early crowd thins about 8:30 as the factory whistles have blown so I hope to have it mostly to myself.
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-23-2006, 05:38 PM   #24
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Re: Surfing Thread

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Originally Posted by Nords
I lay awake at night fantasizing about being the only surfer at a clean tubing break-- wow.* I don't know if that'll ever happen in Hawaii.*
my home break on a decent day last winter
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-23-2006, 09:42 PM   #25
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Re: Surfing Thread

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Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Now that I can surf on weekdays, I'm going to have to decide whether I should surf alone. My inclination is to surf even if there's no one else around. What do you think?
Always a combination of factors for me (similar but different hazards with kitesurfing). Biggest issues are stability of weather, familiarity-simplicity of location-conditions, and confidence in abilities. Plenty of solo sessions. Can remember a couple 30 minute swims with contacts gone (I think that's the shore?), sore ribs, twisted ankles, cuts, abrasions, and a mess of deflated kite-tangled lines. Even when people are around you still have to rely on yourself. Never risk free, always worth it.
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-24-2006, 06:47 AM   #26
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Re: Surfing Thread

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Originally Posted by TargaDave
Always a combination of factors for me (similar but different hazards with kitesurfing).
TD: I have been curious about kitesurfing for some time but have wondered about the learning curve. I noticed that John Kerry picked it up and he looks to be a windsurfer at about my level and close to my age. I also wakeboard and snowboard a bit.

Is kitesurfing hard to get the hang of? A PITA to rig? How much wind do you need to get going out in the water (is it easy to get stuck floating around unable to water start)?
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-24-2006, 11:37 PM   #27
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Re: Surfing Thread

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Originally Posted by Nords
I keep meaning to buy foam-edged fins and nose bumpers but somehow it never made it onto my list. Well, now it has. Is it better to buy these at a local shop or to order them online?
My guess is that the boys and girls at your local shop are the best bet. Let us know how if there's a performance hit (or advantage) from the urethane edged fins. Didn't mean to spook you -- this happened when he was a beginner.
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-25-2006, 02:13 AM   #28
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Re: Surfing Thread

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Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Got a few good rides in this morning. Everyone disappeared around 9 AM -- guess they had to go to work.

Next question: Which techniques do you use to get out through the impact zone? I can't duck dive with my 9'6" board. I sometimes roll over and hang below, sometimes sink the nose and pull myself down, and sometimes jump off, hold the nose and sink. But none of these work real well for me.
When I was first learning how to surf I was down on the eastern coast of Costa Rica, off some beach with scorching hot black sand, and the waves were probably 10 or 12 ft high. I didn't know how to really paddle around, so I just kept paddling out, and being pushed back by the waves. I literally paddled continuously for 45 minutes until my arms were about to fall off. I finally thought I had cleared the break so I stopped paddling for about 20 seconds. All of a sudden I look up and another 12 ft wave is breaking right on top of me. 60 seconds later I was up on the rocks on the beach bleeding from 3 or 4 places, with 2 little Costa Rican kids laughing at me. My friends were real proud of me, since I had managed to protect my board.. "board repairs cost money, but wounds heal for free".. one of my first surfing lessons.. now I really want to try windsurfing but the equipment looks more complicated.
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-25-2006, 04:50 AM   #29
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Re: Surfing Thread

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Originally Posted by donheff
TD: I have been curious about kitesurfing for some time but have wondered about the learning curve. I noticed that John Kerry picked it up and he looks to be a windsurfer at about my level and close to my age. I also wakeboard and snowboard a bit.

Is kitesurfing hard to get the hang of? A PITA to rig? How much wind do you need to get going out in the water (is it easy to get stuck floating around unable to water start)?
I'm 47 and I know plenty of kiters in their 60's. Make sure to take at least a few days of professional lessons (never self teach). Here is one school example (http://www.realkiteboarding.com/) but you can learn just about anywhere. Traveling with gear is a snap (one golf bag for planes) and rigging takes 10 minutes. Need about 12 mph to get going. Wind is about 23 mph in the picture. Over 35 mph and I'm on the beach with a beer.

[I remember during the elections they accused Kerry of being "Elitist" for kitesurfing and windsufing and then showed GW was just a good ole water lovin boy tooling around in Dad's $400k 40 ft express cruiser. Go figure]

If it's under 10 mph I just break out the circa 1983 12' aircraft carrier and play with the kids. Warning: the 83' six pack abbs have been replaced with a permanent six pack (mostly Sierra-Nevada):P
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-25-2006, 08:11 AM   #30
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Re: Surfing Thread

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Originally Posted by TargaDave
I'm 47 and I know plenty of kiters in their 60's. Make sure to take at least a few days of professional lessons (never self teach). Here is one school example (http://www.realkiteboarding.com/) [\quote]

Thanks I will see if I can work something out with these guys at Dewey Beach or take a few days down in Hatteras.

[I remember during the elections they accused Kerry of being "Elitist" for kitesurfing and windsufing
The add that irritated me the most was the one that showed him gentling gliding back and forth on a windsurfer in light wind and essentially called him a pussy as compared to GW. Too bad everyone missed the shots of him back in the straps moving at twice the wind speed or getting air (albeit only a few feet) kitesailing. But that is why they pay Rove the big bucks.
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-25-2006, 03:12 PM   #31
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Re: Surfing Thread

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Originally Posted by JB
My guess is that the boys and girls at your local shop are the best bet. Let us know how if there's a performance hit (or advantage) from the urethane edged fins. Didn't mean to spook you -- this happened when he was a beginner.
I'm using FCS tri-fins on our nine-footer and a big ol' single FCS rudder on a 7'9". I'm not sure I'd have enough skill to tell the difference.

I'm not spooked. I've already had one "experienced" guy hurl his skull on the tip of one of my old boards (luckily his skull was harder than the board, but his scalp sure got in the way). Yesterday I had two guys who got close enough on the waves to reach out and touch, which in retrospect I probalby should have done just to save someone else the trouble. At least they were good enough to apologize.

It really pisses me off when I work hard to stay 10-20 feet away from another paddler and they still turn right at me. Or when I paddle to a part of the wave that no surfer in their right mind would ever aim for, yet that's right where they "decide" to go. But that's probably par for the course at a beginner's beach.

The good news is that I rode an eight-foot A-frame right off the lip, down through the mush, bottom-turned back up the lip to a cutback, and made it all the way to the beach. I have no idea how my body processes those reflex actions but it happens way too fast for my analytical thinking skills. However my analytical side knows enough to quit while I'm ahead!
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-25-2006, 07:51 PM   #32
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Re: Surfing Thread

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I'll dip the left rail and slide the board to the left to submerge it, get my weight up front on my hands, and do a duck dive.
I had high hopes for this today, but I think my board is just too buoyant.

I had a good workout today. Wave height, according to the buoy was 8-10 feet and the period was only 6 seconds. It took me about 40 minutes to get out. Most of that was spent making no progress at all, and then I finally got a bit of a lull.

I was all by myself out there. Exactly where there was a shark attack in 2002. After a long wait to regain my strength, I caught one wave and rode it all the way in. Perhaps my largest wave ever.

Took a break then practiced some stuff inside.
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-26-2006, 12:49 PM   #33
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Re: Surfing Thread

8' at 6 seconds on a long board and you made it out! My cap is off to you. Today we had mixed tropical hurricane and southern hemi long period, 3-4', with enough current headed north to end up half way to Santa Barbara by lunchtime. Just so-so shape with the steep angle. Lotsa dork-a$$ed weekend longboarders floundering everywhere.
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 09-02-2006, 09:30 AM   #34
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Re: Surfing Thread

Last Monday I had a good surf session, but one wave collapsed right behind me, and I let myself fall back into the washing machine.* The fall twisted my back, and strained a muscle that I tend to injure every year or so (despite my Nords-recommended 20 crunches per day prevention regimen).

It felt pretty good by Thursday (denial?), and I went out for a great three hour surfing session.* Back was OK, and I did a few diagonal crunches to start strengthening the back.

Now I'm hobbling around like an old man.* *I have got to solve this problem, even if I have to do an hour of silly back exercises every day (once it has healed).
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 09-02-2006, 12:52 PM   #35
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Re: Surfing Thread

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Last Monday I had a good surf session, but one wave collapsed right behind me, and I let myself fall back into the washing machine.* The fall twisted my back, and strained a muscle that I tend to injure every year or so (despite my Nords-recommended 20 crunches per day prevention regimen).
Hunh, I've been taking 800 mg ibuprofen 3x/day and haven't had a problem yet! I'm not looking forward to the day my knee is pronounced "cured" and I have to start living drug-free.

Chronic injuries really worry me. Crunches aren't all bad but they aren't all good either. I'm about halfway into Jolie Bookspan's "Fix Your Own Pain" and it's an eye-opener on posture & muscle balance. It'll be interesting to see how she feels about water sports like surfing.
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 09-02-2006, 01:42 PM   #36
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Re: Surfing Thread

I think the crunches have really helped my back in general, but they don't help for the kind of twisting back muscle strain that I seem to get.
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 09-03-2006, 11:13 AM   #37
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Re: Surfing Thread

Maybe it could be worthwhile to compare techiques for receiving a working over, bailing out, falling off, etc?* Having spent nearly 20 years learning, practicing and teaching ukemi (roughly translated: falling skills) in aikido, I think there are some practical areas of overlap with surfing.* I try to use a relaxed posture, not comatose relaxed, more of minimal use of tension, and blend with the forces of the water as much as possible (duh?).* Low and slow as much as possible, and bend in the natural direction the body goes.* For the way you went, Al, as far as I picture it in my mind, I try to use a squid manuever (my imagery) where I bend at the waist, like sitting on the floor touching my toes, keeping by legs shoreward so the leash doesn't wrap around me or jerk me.* I try to combine it with a little penetration of the surface feet first so I get a little under some of the breaking part of the wave.* I find it is effective at slowing everything down, and is a comfortable and safe posture to maintain.* Of course anything can and will happen and it to a large extent depends on how in control we are when we bail and our orientation in relation to the wave, the surface and the board.
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 09-03-2006, 11:17 AM   #38
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Re: Surfing Thread

White Plains is so shallow that anything other than a flat pancake into the water risks chopping your feet (or your skull) into a coral head.

So if I have to get off the board and I get a choice, I dive straight back into the wave or sit down. Of course I rarely get a choice...
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 09-03-2006, 11:24 AM   #39
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Re: Surfing Thread

Nords, I have to go work out in a few minutes, so I won't be back online for a while but.... can you describe "diving back into the wave" a little more? (Sitting down is pretty self-explanatory) What's the set up and where do you end up? What happens to your board?
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 09-03-2006, 11:43 AM   #40
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Re: Surfing Thread

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.... can you describe "diving back into the wave" a little more?* (Sitting down is pretty self-explanatory)* What's the set up and where do you end up?* What happens to your board?
It's not much more than duck-diving. I sure hope there's no one shoreward of me and that the leash holds. And it's a lot easier if you're surfing frontside.

But when you fall, make a flat dive out of it and be pointed back out to sea. Hopefully the wave rolls over you, the board is pulled clear of your head, and you're not slammed down into the bottom. The tug on your ankle reassures you that the board is still there and, if necessary, you can climb the leash toward the light.

I usually end up doing it shortly after I dig a rail or realize that I'm not ready to hang 10... or even a cheater five.
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