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Way OT. But we're 1/3 of the way into end-of-summer weekend, so who's
checking the list anyway? Figure that gives me permission. And if anyone
feels like responding on Tuesday when you're back at the desk, that's just
fine.
--db


Thursday was the big day. I waited til Friday.

Storm surf always tricks me. It looks so much smaller than it really is.
Yesterday looked almost tiny from the beach. Seaweed called it 3.5' and I've
had 3.5' Gilgo days where I felt like a grownup on a kiddie tricycle. And
without question, there were lengthy (40 seconds? wild guess) periods where
it was near flat between sets. But when these 10-second period, 3.5' rollers
rolled in, they packed some mass.

You could see it best on the water, looking at the waves in the distance.
Seen from afar, the waves' shape became apparent and they marched in like
mighty, weary soldiers from across the sea. The nearer waves' mass was more
felt--a long rising sensation, then a long float down--than seen.

They were ridable green for a long ways, way out farther than the surfers
waited, so I went out there to catch my share and then some. Large number of
times I felt myself sitting on top of the bulge, ju-uust on the edge of
catching it, and was able to speed up my stroke--to almost cartoonish fast
spinning--and have that make just enough difference to drop me down the
face. Nice.

Once on these giant green tortoises, it felt less like surfing a wave than
just elemental pure motion. There was no break to attain or outrun, or
pocket to catch. Just motion and turns. Pure physics. Felt I did more work
with my butt and less with my paddle than ever before. Again nice!

Is this where I put in the obligatory yoga section? Ok, good as any. Andrea,
your "tadasana hardest pose" comment was on my mind. (Tadasana, mountain
pose, looks like nothing more dramataic than standing up.) Yoga has so many
different ways of getting you to a similar place. A recent class of mine put
a lot of emphasis on a straight spine--all the way down to sitz
bones--within a forward fold. In other words, as the teacher mostly put it,
bend not from the waist, but from the tops of the thighs. That's pretty
similar to what tadasana is talking about, at least for the top half of your
body.

And it's ideally suited to kayaking. More than anything, yesterday was about
sitting up straight, straight, straight in the boat. Wow, did it feel good.
Must've even looked funny sometimes. I'm recalling my last ride in, ending
with a long left in front of a big pile of foam, and me sitting up ramrod
straight, motionless, in my boat. I felt like a plastic toy.

Other yoga/boat connection yesterday was flexible hips. Been working on that
a lot lately, and I had a blast wiggling my kayak for the resulting,
aforementioned turns, made with body mass, not paddle. End of yoga.

The rides themselves. The green rollers did turn into breaking waves. If you
were waiting in closer to the surfers, the point where they walled up was
sudden and dramatic. They were well overhead at their peaks, though closer
to waist-high for most of the way in. Spent most of the middle parts of the
rides gunning to outrun the break, with some success. But even with success
you were soon confronted by the next A-frame's break approaching from in
front, and the only choice was which A-frame's foam pile you wanted to ride
in on, and whether to do so facing left or right. Not much style to it, but
still... bouncy fun.

Did get adept at, near shore, with the waves' power ebbing, dropping down in
front of the wave and doing a 270 to get pointed out and over the pile. Not
that I sliced through cleanly like you see on the video monitor, but I did
get enough momentum to paddle/climb/lurch my way over. Usually this happened
just a few feet from shore. It was high tide and the waves were breaking
close. That was a neat feeling, being closer to beach than to the break and
turning around and heading out. Also got a few "necklace" rides, where I'd
drop in, make my turn, then immediately start climbing to get up and back
over the top and stay off the sand. Short, they were, but fun, too.

Ride of the day was "made" by a surfer in my path as I dropped down left.
Cutting below him would have taken me too far off the wave's pitch, so I
went for the high road. Ended up in a place I've never been, moving fast to
my left way up high on top of the break. Felt like sitting on a cloud.
Thought "this is not going to end well," but to my surprise it did, and I
kind of floated down, still headed left, was then able to do a mini bottom
turn and climb up, over and off. Big smile for that one.

It was a fun, elemental day. Waves with more mass and power than shape and
size. Brilliant sun. Did a good first session, ate breakfast on the beach,
then did another, shorter session. The wind had turned onshore and the sets
gotten farther between. Headed home tired and happy.

Little side note: arrived at Gilgo parking lot at the painful hour of
8:05--damn you CrossBronx--paid my $40 and then felt like I owned the place.
Worth it. On occasion. (Gilgo is dirtbag free if you arrive before 8AM.)

--tn

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