Matt surfs that place all the time. Except he paddles out without a leash. He thinks it's fun swimming all the way through both shore breaks (the outer one's a fun wave, the inside one wants to eff you up). I think Matt's the exception to the rule here on the California coast, he swims like a mofo, and he trains for stuff like this. Still, he thinks it's fun- that sets him even further apart. When he saw that I'd lost my board he paddled over and offered some advice about the big swim.
"Don't worry, dude, when those big ones hit you, you just get pushed under and it's like a big pillow fight down there. Stick your paddle between your legs, put your head down and start swimming" The swimming part didn't bother me, pillow fighting in cold, deep water, didn't sound all that great. Which was weird, because Matt was smiling when he told me about it.
It was a left that got me. I admit, I blew it. I made a bad call, in a bad spot. And you might remember, I was talking some shit on the way down there too- which doesn't help things. The wave looked good, it was the first in a set of solid ones (all the old hands out there are shaking their heads about now- laughing at my first mistake), nice and green, thick and ready to run. I paddled toward the north west on a collision course with that lefthander, watched it's shadow fall in front of me and saw the lip starting to feather. I just remember thinking I was too late and trying to pull hard to the left to get the hell out of there, maybe pop out the back. Bad call.
To be continued.