Barrels, Breaks and Hiccups

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.

My leash breaks at Huntington just when the surf was getting good

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.

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