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Surfing Thread
Old 08-21-2006, 08:32 PM   #1
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Surfing Thread

Thought we could keep surfing stuff in this thread, so others don't have to be bored by it.

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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?
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-21-2006, 08:35 PM   #2
 
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Re: Surfing Thread

I don't know Al, I think the Sharks will be around!
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-22-2006, 09:23 AM   #3
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Re: Surfing Thread

We have about one shark attack every two years here. But thankfully they practice catch and release. Phew!
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-22-2006, 09:31 AM   #4
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Re: Surfing Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by TromboneAl
Thought we could keep surfing stuff in this thread, so others don't have to be bored by it.
Great idea!

Quote:
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?
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. JB? Ronin?

Having seen how much neoprene you have to wear at your favorite break, Al, I'd say that you're practically invulnerable to being skegged or speared or dragged over a coral outcrop... and quite buoyant. Seems pretty safe to me.
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-22-2006, 09:38 AM   #5
 
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Re: Surfing Thread

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Having seen how much neoprene you have to wear at your favorite break, Al, I'd say that you're practically invulnerable to being skegged or speared or dragged over a coral outcrop... and quite buoyant. Seems pretty safe to me.
Except that you look almost identical to Sharkfood Seals. 8)
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-22-2006, 09:43 AM   #6
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Re: Surfing Thread

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Originally Posted by Cut-Throat
Except that you look almost identical to Sharkfood Seals. 8)
Taste tests have shown that sharks much prefer seal meat to neoprene... at least by the second bite.

A little chain mail around your ankles might even make it easier to hang 10?
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-22-2006, 12:10 PM   #7
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Re: Surfing Thread

Al, that's a good question.* Rationally, surfing with a buddy makes sense.* But personally I surf alone a lot (to the extent that one is ever alone in SoCal).* The times I have been injured, having assistance wasn't ever necessary, but I have seen over my 40 years in the water other guys in dire need of help.* I surfed Samoa alone for 2 years and actually got to missing other guys around.
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-22-2006, 12:11 PM   #8
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Re: Surfing Thread

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Originally Posted by ronin
The times I have been injured,
... have been because of the other fools in the lineup.
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-22-2006, 12:51 PM   #9
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Re: Surfing Thread

sometimes it's the other fools... unfortunately sometimes it's this ol' fool... when it's big it can be helpful to have a few others around to get one's bearings with the correct line up... at least at beach breaks it can get kinda shifty.
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-22-2006, 05:53 PM   #10
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Re: Surfing Thread

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.

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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-22-2006, 06:07 PM   #11
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Re: Surfing Thread

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Originally Posted by TromboneAl
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.
I try real hard to go around it. It's a longer paddle but in the end it's less energy.

When I can't avoid it, I'm getting better at going through it.
- For anything under two feet I'll push up on the nose of the board, pop my body up & off the board with my feet, and let the wave wash through between me and the board.
- For up to four feet, I'll sink the board with a technique described in "Longboarder's Start-up". 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. Sometimes that works, sometimes that doesn't.
- For anything over that I'll turn turtle, keep kicking outbound, and hold my breath. If I see it coming from a long distance then I might have time to turn around and surf the soup in for a while before I try again.

If I can't get outside with those techniques then it's a sign that I need to go get a smaller board-- or just go home.
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-23-2006, 09:31 AM   #12
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Re: Surfing Thread

Sliding the board under sideways sounds interesting -- I'll try it next time.

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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-23-2006, 11:11 AM   #13
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Re: Surfing Thread

With a board that big there only a couple of options.* To whatever extent possible I try to punch through without turning turtle.* With bigger waves, I turtle and try to hold on sort of close to the nose.* There's an angle that lets the water slide over the board and your body kind of fit into a pocket of less resistance.* Hard to describe.* If the white water is thick and powerful it's easiest to bail and get as far under as possible (assuming you have a leash).* Then remount ASAP and sprint for the horizon.* Timing is everything although a little luck doesn't hurt, and a strong paddling ability with the lungs to sprint it out when you get the window of opportunity, sometimes patience and waiting for the moment helps.* Cursing and damning the ocean, waves, sea gods hasn't proved too efficient so I have given up on that method.* Sometimes I have had to give in to the superior power around me and accept the futility of it all.
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-23-2006, 11:15 AM   #14
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Re: Surfing Thread

Al, what kind of break do you surf at (beach break, reef, point, etc.)? How big is it usually? What are the conditions like (wind, tides, currents, rips, bottom, etc.)? How far out is the line up?
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-23-2006, 11:19 AM   #15
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Re: Surfing Thread

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Originally Posted by ronin
Timing is everything although a little luck doesn't hurt, and a strong paddling ability with the lungs to sprint it out when you get the window of opportunity, sometimes patience and waiting for the moment helps.* Cursing and damning the ocean, waves, sea gods hasn't proved too efficient so I have given up on that method.* Sometimes I have had to give in to the superior power around me and accept the futility of it all.
And just when I get outside with my spaghetti arms dangling from their sockets, I look up at the next wave and think "@#$%, I just got here!!"
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-23-2006, 11:33 AM   #16
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Re: Surfing Thread

turn and burn baby... are we not surfers?
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-23-2006, 11:41 AM   #17
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Re: Surfing Thread

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Originally Posted by ronin
turn and burn baby... are we not surfers?*
Like you've never been trying to make your arms paddle while the board starts tilting!

I'll have to go personify that motto in an hour... at least as soon as the kid's on the school bus!
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-23-2006, 01:51 PM   #18
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Re: Surfing Thread

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Al, what kind of break do you surf at (beach break, reef, point, etc.)? How big is it usually? What are the conditions like (wind, tides, currents, rips, bottom, etc.)? How far out is the line up?
It's all beach break, so there's no way around. Never seen any significant rip current here. Sandy bottom with big rocks here and there. All of the conditions you mentioned vary all over the map.

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

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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-23-2006, 03:59 PM   #19
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Re: Surfing Thread

Quote:
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?
If you mean paddling out without a buddy -- I do that all the time, but I often know some of the people who are out.

It's rare that we get the opportunity to surf alone but once in awhile I'll get a 15-30 minute solo session, usually at dusk. My favorite break is a few hundred yards offshore and requires a 10 minute paddle each way. For me whether or not to surf alone depends on how good the conditions are, and how dangerous the place is. I feel more threatened in medium/large surf and a crowded lineup.

A few years ago a friend fell while dropping in. Somehow the board snapped back and the fin lacerated his trachea. He would have been in big touble if there were no one around to help.

Last month a 77 year old regular at our local windsurfing beach died while sailing (heart attack). He was a real waterman and died doing what he loves.
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Re: Surfing Thread
Old 08-23-2006, 04:04 PM   #20
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Re: Surfing Thread

Quote:
Originally Posted by ronin
turn and burn baby... are we not surfers?*
4-6 feet at White Plains today from a hurricane off Johnston Atoll, and the whole time that admonition was running through my head. Tae kwon do tonight better not involve any arm techniques or pushups, and I'll be back on the water tomorrow!

Quote:
Originally Posted by JB
A few years ago a friend fell while dropping in. Somehow the board snapped back and the fin lacerated his trachea. He would have been in big touble if there were no one around to help.
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?
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