A pathetic performance from this correspondent during Week Five. I didn’t paddle nor run except for Brick Monday yesterday, when I did a five km paddle followed by a six km run. Have that nice body-recovery feeling on this sunny noon the day after. Being able to sense a replenishing. The core of the body is slightly sore, but not sore enough where the muscles are telling me that there is no way you can exercise this day. Instead, the chore muscles are saying “Yeah we’re a little tired. But you know what? We could go out for a paddle again today. Since you hardly paddled last week. You bum.”
Then I have to retort – “True, but I surfed a ton last week – did you see any pictures? Here’s one below.”
“Bend more, and put more weight on that front leg!” yell my core muscles at my lower body
Julieta and Darci got some great video and photos from this session. It can be a bit depressing, watching yourself surf, as you always felt you rode the wave better than you actually did. The rush of surfing waves with some size is such a buzz, it can cloud your vision. Watching yourself on film is sobering. I had more wipeouts than proper waves. A lot of drops that I didn’t stick. But even those leave you feeling good. I don’t have a ton of experience surfing overhead, fast and heavy waves. So this spot, that breaks within meters of the rocks at some points, can still give me a knot in my stomach when I turn and start paddling onto a set wave.
Once you start paddling, you have to be locked in. The first few times you surf waves with size, you doubt yourself. ‘Maybe I won’t be able to catch it. Or maybe it’s not gonna be a good one.’ But you have to gain the confidence to terminate that thinking, instead feeling ‘This wave is $%^# mine, I am $%^# going.’
So even a failed take-off is good for one’s surfing, and I’m stoked about those. But then bummed when thinking about how taking off on a wave like this is only part of it. On my second wave of the day, I was shooting down the line with a bit of speed. I had a high line, and the wave was going fast. I watch the video now, and see exactly what I should have done. Bent down, grabbed a rail, and dug in. It was a perfect barrel section.
But instead, I decided to abort. I tried to jump off the back, but the lip grabbed me and through me over the falls. I got washed around for a bit, then came up. I was a little too close to the rocks for comfort, but was able to grab my board and get out of there quickly, as there wasn’t another big one behind it.
Mike and TJ, who are both significantly better surfers than myself, were out as well. TJ goes on anything, and loves getting pitched just like I do..But he also catches an incredible amount of waves, and does a great job of slicing the wave up, beautiful savagery, with the precision of a surgeon and the intensity of a rioter.
Mike has a really distinct take-off style. He drops in almost completely straight, and then lays on this bottom turn that allows him to shoot across the steep face of the wave, up just past the curl on the shoulder, to slice that section apart, or to stall and get in position to get barelled.
Christophe and I both got some great waves, but couldn’t help be in awe of the other two. Good to be surfing with those guys, to see the potential there is for a great performance when you are on waves big enough to give you a lot of speed.
Totals from Week Five of my SUP and running training below. Notice something about the numbers? The distances have been decreasing, not increasing. Quite an uncoventional training regime, isn’t it? I gotta make sure to step it up this week, because I’m a bit embaressed about it.
And thanks to everyone that came out for the Surfing Hainan & Dolphin Bar Beach Clean Up. A special thanks to the group of 30 students from Sanya College.