—an indie website by joe crawford since the nineties

Ride some waves

“sit tight and listen keenly while I’ll play for you a brand new musical biscuit”

The biscuit is from 1986. It’s C’mon Every Beatbox by Big Audio Dynamite.

It’s unrelated to this post except that that line from The Harder They Come kept running through my head with each wave I took off on.

Got a good start to the day. Still some lingering cold effects but it didn’t keep me out of the water last night. As I left at 8pm the lifeguards were telling their spiel about how they were going off service. “Lifeguards are going out of service. Please cease water activities. Lifeguards will be back on duty at 9am tomorrow. If you witness a water-related emergency dial 9-1-1 and ask for lifeguards.” Well, last night they also added a warning about the “strong currents, large waves, and rip currents.”

I knew that. They don’t always mention it. I had just had a great big fun hour and a half in it. I caught a fair number of waves that were huge. 4-7 feet tall. A year ago I’d have not taken off on the waves I took off on. Or I’d have done so differently. I’m glad I didn’t then. And I’m glad I did tonight. I got some fun rides. I have data to back up that statement. Or at least about the speed of the waves. Dawn Patrol measures waves.

22 WAVES, 2337 FT
WAVE DISTANCE, 52.5MPH, TOP SPEED, Ocean Beach #DawnPatrolApp
Share sheet for June 17, 2024. It gives me stats for the session.

Some of the tracings are longer than the rides were. I suspect because because the ends of the wave were not captured, and the computer just keeps recording. When I forget to turn the app off sometimes I have a ride from the beach to the freeway. That’s bad data.

I was constantly in motion because the water was in motion. I remember the wave the app called 52 miles per hour. I don’t know if that number is right but it was huge and fast. Closed out quick and then I barreled toward the beach on a giant cloud of whitewater.

Leveling up

I have not been in the water to swim as much this year as some of the prior years but the quality of the time in the water has not been higher. I always have fun. Every session brings new experiences and new things to try. Like a videogame. Each time I pull out the game there are new challenges. New bosses. New ways to get killed. New environments and situations.

To play a game you have to have good gear. Primary for me are fins. I switched to some Yucca fins since March. I think they give me a bit more speed to catch waves. To catch a wave you have to match its speed then stay on it. I tried a different pair a few years ago but they didn’t feel right. They kept slipping off. Now I have a pair I can trust won’t fall off in big water.

We have a lot of surfriding gear. It’s a bit of a mess. The white-tipped blue DaFins were my prior go-to set of fins.

“Yeah that’s my kid”

Day before yesterday–Father’s Day here in the USA–I saw a father and son take off on a wave together. Both with handplanes. Both riding waves. It was a joy to see that. The kid–maybe 10 years old?–caught one and went flying toward the beach. I asked the older fellow I suspected but was not sure was the dad if the two of them were family. “Yeah that’s my kid” said the dad, with a little measure of pride. I told him it was awesome to see the two of them taking off on waves together.

That was my favorite thing that day. I remember well my father’s enthusiasm for putting me on a blow-up surf mat in the ocean and letting me ride a wave.

Ride some waves today. Try not to go alone. The surf is big out there.

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