Cleverly, I tried to wait for lower tide to get the better of todays surf. But it was not to be. When I stoped at the shore to get my leash on, I noticed that the rope between the leash and the plug on my board seemed a bit worn and frayed. I did my best to tidy it up and thought, “Well, I’ll make it through today, then fix it.”
And the waves were delicious today. 3-4 feet, most with considerable barrels and tubes. I told myself, “I’m going to get me one of those today.” And I didn’t have to wait long. No sooner did I get into the line up when a wave came right for me. I paddled in, glided down then eased myself back into the curl. I’m sure it looked like nothing to an onlooker, but it felt like a world class wave to me. Then the white water crashed and knocked me off my board.
While in the white water, I felt my leash go taut, then snap. I knew the rope had broken. I let out an audible “NO!” Not because the rope broke, that’s an easy fix, but because the waves were happening RIGHT NOW and I didn’t have time to fix the leash before the tide muddied the break. I sprinted for my board before another wave grabbed it and washed it toward the beach.
I got myself back in the line up and tried to convince myself I could keep going without my leash. (I couldn’t. I’m not that good. I’d spend the whole sesh retrieving my board.)
I found some seaweed floating by and tried to McGuyver a temporary jury-rig solution. That snapped on its first real tension test. Then I thought if I found enough strands of seaweed I could weave myself a stronger seaweed-rope that could work (a la Tom Hanks in Castaway), but I never found enough.
Then the hiccups started. Violent, constant hiccups. I’m not sure what started them, but they were not going away. I don’t know if you have ever tried paddling for a wave with hiccups, but it’s harder than you think. Even harder – a duck dive. After taking on enough water, I called it a day. I got back on my bike and hiccuped all the way home.
At least that first wave was a good one.