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Saturday, March 20, 2010

All I need is a little workable wave...

I just did three hours working over a little wedgey left sand bar- the new 9'1 Viking Bump is such a good board- I'm freaking on it!

The morning started off pretty lame. The tide was too low and the surf, while glassy, was pretty closed out. I did the right thing and waited until the tide was reaching mid-height to paddle out. The last few days, there's been this little left running along the edge of a hole up the beach from my usual spot. The wave's basically only been working on the high tide, I was gambling that the water would come up faster than the wind. I was hoping I'd be able to snag a couple waves and get my day going the right way.

Photo: And they say that we're dangerous!

Things started out pretty slow. The peak was looking sloppy and unorganized, I got the feeling that this might be a very short session. I grabbed a starter wave and was surprised when it threw up a little, pumpable, wall. Give me an opportunity and I'm going to take it. I shifted my weight to the outside rail and felt the 9'1 detach it's inside rail from the face and slide down into the little power pocket popping up in front of me. Boom, I uncoiled my bent legs and pumped hard off the bottom. YES... this board can go! Even though the wave was only about waist high, the board instantly powered up, came up out of the short little arcing turn and zipped down the line.

Really powering up a board is a GREAT feeling- it doesn't just happen. You can't expect to lean a board over and feel it come alive out of a turn. Powering up a board happens when you drive through a turn, using the power of your legs to engage the fins and get them flexing and torquing through the move. If you do it right- you'll know it. You'll feel that tuning fork deep in your body hit a sweet note- like hitting a golf ball just right or whacking a baseball right on the sweet spot. This board's like that, it's got a sweet spot and if you get on it at just the right time you'll feel it start to click.

Photo: Something like that...

Things began to click over and over out on that little bank. The waves started to draw up and organize themselves into fast, makeable little zippers. I started to get an eye for the ones that would draw themselves up out of the deep water and morph into little left hand race tracks. I could feel myself getting the board more and more dialed in... I could feel the pressure dings forming on the deck of the board, giving my feet a place to settle into, somewhere to call home. Man, I was feeling good!

Wave after wave would leave me blown away at the performance of the board. I was stoked at the speed I could generate and the arcs I could lay down. On one particular wave I was able to quickly pump twice through a threatening section, throw a floater over a chunk of pitching lip and finish it all with a squared up bottom turn that lead to a nice lip punch. Are you kidding me!

Photo: The Ding Devil's ride...

I knew it was time to come in when I couldn't get the legs to respond anymore- they were just too out of it to execute a proper bottom turn. When that starts happening, it all unravels really quickly; you find yourself falling off for no reason at all and paddling back out through broken waves becomes a long and tedious losing battle. My last wave was a "go-straight", right into shore and home.

I'm sitting here stoked as can be on my new ride and dreaming about what I'm going to do tomorrow if the surf and wind cooperate. Sometimes all it takes is a little, workable wave and a fresh board to open your mind to new possibilities and avenues in your surfing. That's where I'm at right now- just wanting to get some more little fun ones to find out where this board will take me. I'm also thinking about my next "go-straight" that one's going to be me- going straight to a nap.


Anonymous said...

great finally meeting you...keep the stoke comin' bruddah!


John Ashley said...

Hey JW!

Nice meeting you too! And really fun surf... at least the stand-o makes it super fun doesn't it?


John Ashley said...

"Tuning fork in my body" sheesh- what a kook I am!