chest deep

I sitting chest deep in the shore break washing machine waiting for another wave.

The new sandbar created by runoff from the recent rains was getting along nicely with the dropping tide and with the addition of a new SW swell to the fading yet still potent NW.

Of course most people were sitting to far outside to pick up these inside gems and that was fine by me. The truly great ones were far and few between. Everything had to come together just right. Too much NW and the wave just closed out.  Too much SW and the wave raced along, just too fast to catch.  The match I was looking for were combos of both swells and roped along the new inside bar. 

I had caught two already and I was hoping for one more before I called it a day.

I had almost given up when a peak popped up just to my left.  I have always liked a good no paddle take off when I rode standup boards and I enjoy it just as much on the mat. The take offs weren’t totally no paddle, more a little positioning adjustment to get up under the lip before it pitched and a little flutter of the fins to change direction from being sucked up the wave to hurdling down the face.  

The bottom turn on a mat is a composite movement and done properly, a thing of beauty. You take the speed you gained racing down the face, then squeeze the mat allowing it to metamorphosize into the shape you need along the inside rail and then add a dash of body English. The result squirts you out and along the face of the wave going faster than you were going before. And that was pretty fast. Out toward whatever comes. In this case what was coming was the nice thick pitching section I was hoping for.

Since I was now a little low on the wave face I lessened my grip on my outside rail, which flattens the mat making it slow its’ forward trajectory and I get sucked up the wave face.  Once I was higher on the wave face I just need to re-squeeze the outside rail, moving the air in the mat to plump my inside rail. Then you just lean forward, twist slightly and enjoy the view. 

The view, in this case, was pinching down at the end.  I had no complaints but I was now fairly close to shore and but it looked like this wave was going to end with a slap down.

There are several ways to end your participation in waves like this.  Pushing off the mat and free falling to the tube floor is always a good one.  Easy to do and generally resulting in only a minor beating while your mat washing up on shore with out you.  While I mulled over some possible exit strategies the decision was made for me by a slight warble of water coming up the wave face.  This particular bit of water slowed my forward progress enough to embed me in the lip.  The lip, now really the roof at this point, paid me no never mind and proceeded to invert my mat and I and slam both of us on the sand.

Fortunately the mat was fine.  My body had broken its fall. 

But I never did find my other fin.    

All photos by Jason Hall @ Daily Bread


Dirty Hippy said…
Doing the inside glide... so many jewels to take on the inside.... way to represent!
Surfsister said…
The inside waves at Rincon on Saturday were wonderful. I was more than happy to leave the lineup and get some nice waves all to myself. And I didn't lose a fin!

Nice post, Prana!
LESider said…
great post, and a great description of when to squeeze and when to flatten out.
Anonymous said…
Thanks for the mini surf mat lesson! Great pics too! Sorry to hear about the fin. Wonder if it will wash up?
Ramsnake said…
Excellent post and about time we got a little detail!
Anonymous said…
Hey Prana,
I found your fin!

In Encinitas.

Anonymous said…
Ok! So I just had to come back and share my thoughts one more time. It just seems so disturbing to lose a swim fin! They are quite pricey. So I did a little homework after I thought to myself is there a way to fasten them to your body, because quite honestly that is the only way I do not lose anything! I could also see my boys coming to me and saying Moooommmmmm I lost a fin! We have lost dive masks this way. There are a few companies out there making them but I really liked the Dakine brand. So here is a link: You probably already know about them but I just wanted to share. There I feel better now. LOL! :0)
Brine Time said…
Have to agree with surfing mom on the fin attachie thing. We get them over here like little legrope leash attachments. I learned the hard way when I was shooting film from the water and got cleaned up on a BIG day at Granite Bay. Try swimming against a sweep after you have been rolled around the bottom by a set of four. Having said that I only add them when it's big.
Val said…
The wonderful Frog House has unmatched single swimfins for sale in a big barrel. Thanks for the great description of your rides!
pranaglider said…
Thanks for all the lost fin advise! See today's post for a follow up.

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