He's back!  Please stick around.


On Sun, 4 Nov 2018 01:53:27 -0400, WM wrote:

>Palos Verdes, California 
>Today's surf session was the first in weeks. Work and other commitments kept me out of the water going on a month- unusual in that one of the unique aspects of Southern California living is year round surfing.
>It was approaching low tide , leaving about a foot of water on the reef which lay between where I was sitting in the lineup and the inside lagoon. The waves coming into the cove came out of deep water and then jacked up and unloaded onto the reef with a sound like a freight train grinding across boulders- pretty unnerving really. And what they don't tell you when you start surfing is that when you are paddling to catch a wave the wave is coming up from behind you... so your first real impression of a big wave is usually auditory.
>I'd been surfing the cove for a few years now though and I knew more or less where to be on a day with this particular swell direction. So I wasn't as frightened as I used to be about getting caught inside when a big set came and being smashed on the rocks.
>I was sitting right on the peak, 74 degrees and sunny out with no wind. I am looking back toward shore when I notice down the line that the couple guys out with me are sprint paddling towards the horizon- which is dark with a big set. 
>I was in the zone though and turned to paddle into it.
>Really big Pacific Ocean wave sets are unlike anything I'd experienced in my life until I was out staring them down. The way mountains of water seemingly grew magically out of nothingness- sucking water off the reef or shoreline in front of them- and with an inevitable momentum that reinforces your own irrelevance. 
>The speed is also surprising. Taking off on a big one feels like going zero to sixty in a Ferrari- while going straight downhill as a vortexing wall of water is trying to fall on top of you. 
>This time I took off on the first wave as it seemed the biggest. I was in the right spot and with a few big strokes it picked me up as I jumped up and surfed over the ledge- the green face below was about 8 feet high (which if you don't think is high imagine standing on top of the wall in whatever room you are in and jumping down while standing on a moving surfboard).  There was so much water rushing up the wave face and being pulled off the reef that the surface of the wave became smooth and transparent- highlighting the reef just inches below the surface.
>At the bottom I made my best bottom turn ever and pumped up the wave face. It stretched out 50 yards long in front of me feathering slightly just from the shear size and speed of the wave, glittering with sunlight. I rocketed along pumping medium radius turns just ahead of the foaming maelstrom behind me.
>Near the inside lagoon the wave stood up just a bit more and pitched over as it hit a last shallow section. Ahead of me the wall of water spiraled in on itself. Only a few seconds had elapsed since paddling to catch this wave, but at this point time seemed to slow to a crawl. This mountain of water curled into itself- I let my trailing hand gently brush the face of the water as I pointed the board toward what I thought was the future.
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