A Lesson For An Experienced Wave Rider

I like surfing by myself quite a bit.  I’ve been surfing with friends all week, and I needed to get away from following people around on their schedules and do something for myself today.  So I went on my own schedule to Oceanside.  It looked quite fun – fast lefts and clean conditions.  Paddled out and realized it was even faster than I thought, so I knew I’d have to pick my corners carefully (I hate getting closed out).

I got a nice right and made a really good layback type slash (well, it felt good to me but I have no idea what it actually looked like) and went to paddle back out.  I waited as the set rolled through then began to head towards the outside.  I had to duckdive on the shallow sandbar where all the sand was churned up, and I made the mistake of opening my eyes too early.  I got so much sand in my eyes and was pretty much blinded.  I managed to paddle outside so I wouldn’t get crushed while I was trying to clear my eyes.  I reached the outside, grunting in pain (I saw one young guy looking at me a bit concerned).  I dove under and opened my eyes, hoping to get the sand out.  I did this repeatedly but it took me a good 5-10 minutes to clear my eyes out.  It hurt like heck and I was pretty much blind because my eyes wouldn’t stay open.  I eventually got the sand out by lifting my upper lid over the eyelashes of my lower lid and clearing it out that way.  What a pain.  I was floating around gasping in pain and grabbing my eyes…ridiculous!

Anyway, it was a worthwhile surf session and really not that crowded.  But it was a bit faster than I would like, but overall a good challenge as I’m getting better at riding faster / steeper waves.  I want to eventually go to a place like the Mentawais so I want to make sure I’m capable and good at surfing barreling waves.  I really want to get barreled at some point in my life, so it’s time to start challenging myself a bit.

The thing I need to do more is “just go”.  I often pull back on waves that I’m deep on and nervous that I won’t make.  I think that if I don’t have one good wipeout in a session I’m not trying to push myself enough.