Friday, December 21, 2007

Have the Guts to Paddle Away

Check out these two photos. Both are from the same day of paddling. In the first photo you can see in the distance a waist high, mushy, peeling right hander. Perfect for the big board and the pusher.

When I pulled up on this I knew that I could absolutely dominate that little wave. Most of the guys there were riding little chippy, anorexic thrusters. Ninety percent of them weren't able to paddle in and the other ten percent never made the gatekeeper section so most of the wave peeled off unridden. I could've easily paddled over and taken that point.

We decided to leave it alone and paddled off in the other direction. We ended up scoring waist high, mushy waves with two other stand up paddlers who were happy to see us (bottom photo). Take a look at the heads sitting there in the first photo. None of those guys is going to care about how skilled you are with board and paddle- they're just going to be pissed off when you snag wave after wave. Do us all a favor and if you have to make this call- have the guts to paddle away. You may be rewarded; we were.

On another note: Do yourself a favor, especially if you're a Californian, go buy "One California Day". On the way home stop by 7-11 and pick up a carton of New York Super Fudge Chunk, yank the shift lever on the StratoLounger and hit Play.

This is a great surf film. It's beautifully shot, features cool music, and is a huge break from the standard kung-fu chop, punk rock, surf flick offerings. If you know something about the windings of Pacific Coast Highway, and have logged winter miles on the north coast then this will get you itching for the Cambria bend or the rivermouth sandbars of Ventura County. Easily one of my top five surf films.

Mind Blowing: Tyler Hatzikian's surfing- kind of makes all my feelings and arguments regarding fin selection moot.

Interesting Approach to Surfing: Alex Knost (wiggly?)


srfnff said...

You win the award for disciplined surfing. Weren't you at least a teeny bit tempted to grab one before paddling in the opposite direction either going out or coming in?

But of course you were and resisted. Good on you...selfless surfing with aloha is in itself it's own reward. Practitioners are also almost always rewarded with some good waves too!

Aloha and Mele Kalikimaka bruddah. Is Mash there yet? Has he ridden the Mahi? I want to hear all about it! No secrets, no lies...

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post.
I surf only but would like to begin sup surfing when I get some extra cash, and I would only do it away from the masses. Yesterday I surfed a spot that would have been perfect for the sup on the high tide with no one around.
Don't be sheep people, be the wolf.

oh yeah I am going to pick up One California Day for my bro in law for xmas, he won't mind if he gets it without the shrink wrap.

John Ashley said...

Hey Gary-

I'm usually disciplined about such things, but put a plate of cinnamon rolls in my face and we're talking about something else entirely.

No MASH sightings yet- I guess he got a little flu bug and couldn't make the drive- so the Mahi came back home with me!

We'll see....

John Ashley said...

Hey Anonymous-

Of course you have to remove the shrink wrap and run the vid at least once to make sure it wasn't some Chinese knock-off- any caring brother -in-law would do that. I commend you!

Now get yourself one of these big boards and start paddling!