Was That Thunder?

“Low and Slow” becomes “Lo, and No”

Yesterday (Friday the 31st), Sean and I planned to extend our four day surfing streak to a fifth day, but we were foiled. We set out early as usual, departing before 5:30 am, and decided to check out Short Sand Beach for a change. The theme of the day was supposed to be “Low and Slow,” a kind of active recovery in mellower swell than we’d been surfing at Indian Beach the prior two mornings.

Conditions could have been favorable. Winds were quiescent, and the dominant swell was forecast as Northwest, at 5 foot, with 10 second period, but, it wasn’t. Low and Slow became “Lo and No.” As I feared, the south-west facing beach at Smuggler Cove, sheltered as it is by Cape Falcon, stood in a total swell shadow. The waters were flat. We stared in disbelief. We walked the length of the beach. And declined to suit up. Our wives were pleased to see us home about an hour early. And I took a well deserved rest day.

The Thundering Surf at Indian Beach

Undaunted, we set out again today, this time feeling good about another session at Indian Beach. We left early, pretty well rested and fed, juiced up on caffeine, and happy to be on the hunt for waves. Winds were light to nonexistent. The swell was at four feet, and working at a 10 second period, again coming from the Northwest. The tide was out pretty far at Indian Beach when we arrived just before six AM. CONDITIONS WERE PERFECT. We popped out easily. The waves were setting up well.

We were, as usual, the first ones in the water. And we had it to ourselves for a while. I caught an amazing ride on a super well formed swell right off the bat, and paddled back out, stoked up like a bonfire. And this was before Sean had even paddled out for the first set. Sitting together out beyond the break, I heard a sound like thunder rolling down from the hills onto the beach. “Was that thunder?” I asked Sean. He informed me that it was the echoing sound of the breaking surf. Indeed it was. The waves were putting out an awesome pounding sound today. And those waves rolled in again and again setting me up perfectly for thunderously awesome rides.

I had the day of my life, the best surfing session I’ve ever experienced. I managed to hook into and stand up on nearly every swell I attempted to paddle into. I rode glassy shoulder after glassy shoulder, breaking left, breaking right. My pop-ups were flawless, my foot placement was ideal. I was swinging the nose of my 9′ 6″ Bruce Grant “Super Ugly” left and right, executing 45 degree, 90 degree, even 120 to 150 degree turns back and forth, finding the sweet spots in the wave, staying in the glassy swell, out of the break. On several rides, I put my hand down and let it glide over the surface of the rolling wave. I brought my board down the faces of waves, back up the faces, reversed direction, backed out before closeouts. It felt perfect. I can’t count the waves I rode… it must be upwards of fifteen… which doesn’t sound like much, perhaps, to you, but to me, represented a sort of arrival: a three to fivefold increase in power, over and beyond previous efforts. As if achieved in one day. I am a surfer.

Dietary Check-In

I’ve been eating well, within caloric limits, and feeling no pain. But I have been negligent for the past two days, when it comes to my food journal. No problem, right? I will return to it tomorrow, with strictness. I will estimate 3300 calories per day for the past two days.