Tuesday, February 24, 2009
hold onto your board!
today i surfed caballeros. only two people in the water for the first hour, plenty of waves and some rides that were extraordinary. on one, i was trying to decide between dropping down and cutting over or just holding the edge way up high in the wave. i decided to stay up high and when the wave started to close out i made it through the transition to the other side of the face. amazing, and very lucky. i'm a goofy footer, and the wave is a right. for a goofy footer on a right, i think the easiest thing you have to do is turn left to get back into the crux of the wave after you've done a bottom turn down the line. i think it's because you can see exactly how far you need to cutback. call me crazy, but i sometimes find rights easier than lefts. and on lefts, i always struggle to guage how far to cut back. same for when i skateboarded. my backside grinds were always better than my frontside ones. anyway, an hour into the surfing, i noticed an older guy on a big, thick 8' foot board dropping in straight. he made the drop but then didn't bother to turn and got held up in a bunch of whitewhater. ride over. weird, i thought. it's a fast wave, he's dropping in late, at the tip of the peak, and his board is huge for such a hollow wave. isn't he old enough to know what's up? no. the guy is clueless. sure enough, 15 minutes later, i'm paddling out, on the side of the peak that you can't surf but fairly close to the take off zone, and the guy goes over the falls next to me, he wipes out and, because he wasn't bothering to turn right, his board flies to the left. i duck dive when i see his arms and legs flailing like a spastic, then i come back up to get air and, boing!, he yanks on his leash. his board pops out of the water and a fin smacks me in the forehead. blood spurts. shit! i tap my head with my hand to feel the cut, remember what i learned in first aid class, tell myself it only looks bad and isn't dangerous, gather my thoughts and paddle after him. he turns around in horror, my face awash in blood, and says "hey, you are hurt, you should really leave the water." i know, i say, i'm planning to leave the water, but first i wanted to let you know that your fin hit me in the head, and that you need to apologize. "i'm very sorry, it wasn't intentional. you saw what happened. i had to do what i had to do." did you really? or are you just pathetic and let your board go flying? the guy was hopelessly unaware on several levels, but tried to be nice once he realized he'd screwed up. he pointed out his house in front of the beach, and told me to come by after i get stitches, and paddled in with me part of the way. thanks man, very considerate! i'll come over for a drink some day and we'll reminisce! i'm not sure he totally realized it was his fault. i thought about smacking him with my fist so he understood but figured it was risky, not knowing what it would be like to engage in fisticuffs in the water. i suppose if i had duck dived deeper, and came up with my hands over my head then i wouldnt've been hit, but who yanks on their leash when someone is right next to them? i drove back to lima, went to urgent care and they called a surgeon because the cut was vertical and slashed the covering of the bone in my forehead, the muscle and the skin. i feel fine, but i can't surf for at least a week or two. and next time i'm going to duck dive even deeper.