Today the sun is out, and it’s toasty. After a morning coffee at a cool, though dark, little joint, I fixed the ding on the bottom of my board with Sun Cure. No big deal. Then out into the water. I caught a steep and really fun left as soon as I got in the water. Despite the crowd, I was the only one paddling for it. Towards the end, it started barreling a bit, but I couldn’t get into it. Someday. I hope.
In order to get waves when the water is so crowded, you have to be pretty aggressive. Often I am just not in the mood for it. But I will have to become used to the competitive aspect if I want to actually surf more. So today I decided to practice. Of course I don’t want to drop in on anyone, but it can be hard to keep track of who is doing what when there are five people paddling for the same wave. I definitely got in some people’s way, accidentally. Usually I try to err on the side of respect and caution, and as a beginner I think that was the best plan. But now that I am getting better I think I actually deserve some of those waves and need to stop deferring to everyone in the water. I think it’s just part of the process of improving.
I actually beat someone to a wave and popped up before them. They surrendered it by turning back, something I have done a lot myself. It felt good. I am not opposed to sharing, but I have to remember that sharing means I get my turn too. I spent about two hours out there. The beginning was much better than the end. The waves had gotten smaller and less frequent and there seemed to be more people. I stopped being able to get any waves and the ones I could catch were usually already occupied. More than once I paddled for a wave to find myself boxed in on the right and left by two other surfers. Nowhere to go. I noticed my right elbow was feeling a bit wrenched. That must’ve happened holding onto my board under a wave. I always turtle (turn the board upside down to go under a wave or big whitewater) turning to my left, which ends up putting a lot of pressure on my right arm to hold on. I am going to start switching that up.
I really like Manly, despite the crowds. The waves are fun and there is a whole long beach of them. It’s warm enough that I might try going out in boardies and a rash guard later. But I think I would want to shave first, and I am out of conditioner and razors. Hmmmm. Maybe not worth buying that stuff two days before I leave. I don’t need anymore weight in my bags. Hairy legs won’t kill anyone.
The Manly Bungalow is so nice. Quiet and empty. My window looks out onto a nice courtyard. And since it’s the off-season the rate is only $50/night. Really not bad at all. I am off to find more coffee.