Sunday, November 8, 2009

3 days of waveriding in a row!

So glad we moved to Denmark as it is living up to my expectations surfwise already. I rode 4 different wavecraft, the fish the first day, the longboard (briefly) and bodyboard the next and the SUP yesterday.
On Friday, I dropped Michelle off early at the airport so as she could deliver the paper, she has been working on for months, at the Creative Margins Research Conference at Curtin University.
Following the completion of the 120km roundtrip to do so, I took the opportunity to check out the surf. It was small as I expected necessitating a long, long trek around the bay to 2nd Reef.
Cici happened to be returning with a couple of others after their session and recommended I took the longboard as the waves were a good size but fat and a bit difficult to get on.
However, I could not bear the thought of attempting to traverse the cliff path with the 9' 6" Walden and then make the 20 minute trek up the beach, so I thought, even though I have not ridden it for months, I would take the 6' 10" fish. I still managed to give my left quad a bit of a pull on the way down the the cliff path and 20 minutes later I was paddling out towards the peak already regretting that I had not chosen the longboard. There were 4 riders all on longboards and struggling to get on the waves, even though they were a very reasonable size, so I just knew I would not have a hope of competing with them so it was paddle back in and go a little further up the beach to a smaller but peakier wave.
It wasn't really big enough for me on the fish and as I am so surf unfit still after months of building a house, rather than surfing, I just could not pop up and had forgotten where to stand on it as I have been riding the longboard mostly on the rare opportunities that we have managed to get a surf in Albany.
Eventually another rider came out, longboard of course grrr, wish I had bought mine, and the wave suddenly started to work a little better so I half got a few rides before eventually calling it a day and trekking back up the beach, swotting the bloody flies and being cautious to avoid the tiger snake that I know was lurking in the bushes beside the path at the top of the cliff.
In the evening I drove back to Albany, marvelling at the amount of lightning and thunder that Michelle was going to be subjected to on the flight back. This resulted in her being delayed by half an hour as the pilot was forced to circle over Albany city for awhile to avoid the thunderstorm sitting above the airport to move. She was so relieved to be back on the ground she had to force herself not to kiss the tarmac, I got that instead.
The next day Michelle and I headed out on a beautiful morning to find even less swell than the day before. So it was out with the longboard for me and my 6' 10" fish for her as we attempted to find a wave in front of the clubhouse. Well, there just wasn't one so I headed back in, dumped the longboard, trekked back up to the carpark to get my bodyboard and flippers with the idea of heading further up the beach where it looked at least a little bigger if a bit more onshore. As I was heading up Michelle was on the way out of the water having also given up and followed me up the beach. Well, what a great little but powerful left I found resulting in a terrific session with my last wave being particularly good. Michelle also enjoyed herself across the hole on the right before eventually joining me on the left.

On the third day, we decided that the swell may even be smaller, it wasn't actually, and that we would take out our Walden SUP's for the first time in months and months.
We parked up the inlet a bit and launched, with some trepidation. "Uhh - can we still remember how to do this?". We did still remember - and with a following light onshore wind successfully paddled up the inlet, picked up our boards for a short traverse across the sand, relaunched in the main channel and continued paddling towards the opening and the bigger than we had thought it would be swell. The conditions were fine for a SUP session with little chop.
I had forgotten how rewarding it is to stand up on a board and paddle and paddle I did over towards, with some doubt as to the likelyhood of a positive reaction to my arrival, a couple of longboarders who fortunately did not seem to perturbed by my arrival.
I stayed well outside them and waited for a likely wave to attempt catching.
Ummm - well I had forgotten how to do this important part of the SUP experience and it was quite some number of attempts before I finally got on to a left, my first on a paddleboard I think, gingerly dropping my paddle in behind to the left of the board to maintain some sort of line across the wave. A short but fun ride! I caught a couple more and then decided to visit Michelle who was on a peak in front of the inlet.
As I got there I realised that the offshore wind effect was much stronger and so she was not a happy girl as she was not able to get up enough speed to get on to a wave at all and was feeling like she was over this SUP thing. $@#*^ boards to big can't %#*& turn it I'm a $@#*^ shortboard rider! $#@&*^. She was also not able to grab the top of her paddle as we have not got around to cutting it down for her and so that was also contributing to the frustration, I believe. Anyway, we decided to call it a day and headed back towards the inlet opening which was now a bit of a struggle as the wind was really strong and I was forced to lie down paddle for a bit before the incoming waves started pushing me up the channel. There was a small and intense "That dog is drowning incident!" as we made our way slowly up the channel before we were forced to drag our SUP's along the edge of the inlet to a point where we could drag our boards back across the sand to relaunch and return to where the 4wd was parked. Suddenly, before our eyes, another SUP cruised towards us from another channel we had not realised went all the way to the opening from where we had parked the Feroza, so we relaunched and had the most pleasant paddle back.
Michelle was feeling a bit more positive about it all by now, which was great, and we left for a well deserved lunch knowing that we would be choosing the SUP's more often in the future!

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