Monday, July 25, 2011


The NSW coast has been hit by a series of big swells
I got out in it for a few hours last weened and this Weekend just passed.
Sitting in a giant swell whist mountains of water crash past you is fucking exciting. I'm not that good a surfer. I'm a good swimmer, comfortable swimming around in it but only a weekend warrior when it comes to negotiating the surf with a 1.7m pointy fiberglass board with blades (three of them for good measure). I caught some good ones, got smashed and rag-dolled through the washing machine a few times. I judged that my bigger 'fun board' was too big to duck dive easily in this swell and I needed to be sure I could get under the waves - the tradeoff is that as you select a smaller shorter board they are slower to paddle and when you try to catch a wave you have to be exactly in the right spot (you can't paddle in or out as fast to be in the right place) and you tend to end up higher on the face before you have the speed to 'pop' (i.e. stand). You do not want to be up high on the lip of a wave tied to a fiberglass block resplendent with points and blades as the wave breaks or it will throw you forward and you will get to experience water in a whole new way. Shorter boards are also less forgiving about body position on take off and if you are too far forward they will nose dive, catapulting you forward into the abyss only to be met by the lip as is crashes down and aquatints you with the bottom before it surges you around a few times. But short boards move over the water more nimbly once you are up and running.
I did a bit of both but still managed a few long and exciting rides on some of the biggest waves I have ever played on - certainly the biggest I have been on in the last 10 years.