Hydrosexual Stephen Davis On His Way Back UP

Evidently spring is finally coming closer. After driving through some snow, surfing in a squall, changing back into street clothes (socks are surprisingly difficult to put on frozen feet) in another round of sleet, driving back through rounds of sun, rain, more sleet, more sun… yeah, another surf trip in the great Pacific Northwest.

I’m not sure how long it took Stephen to get from lowest Baja to San Diego; almost long enough to get over getting sick from surfing in storm-runoff. But, with people lined up to stay with along the way, it’s taken one day from San Diego to Huntington, one day more to Rincon and beyond…

Here’s a shot of Rincon, the note saying (only) “Rincon with 4 out.” I sent a reply. “Did you go out?” I would have gone out, even if there were, I don’t know, 8 people out.

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Oh, I’m sorry… maybe it’s Rincon.

Swell- Size, Angle, Period + Weather- Wind, Tide, Clouds + Crowd- Forecast, Expectations, Ability Level = Skunk or Score

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THE surf forecast for last week on the Straits of Juan de Fuca looked as good as it has in a while. Still, all the elements that go from a breeze miles away to rollicking rollers doesn’t always come together. Maybe, especially, around here. Waves are fickle, perfect-seeming buoy readings can produce… nothing, almost nothing, or, most frustrating, waves tantalizingly close to rideable.

AND then there’s the other crucial element, LIFE; which, for most of us, means WORK takes precedence over something as self-centered as SURFING, the riding and/or attempting to ride a few waves. And then there’s the difference between what we hope for, wave-wise, session-wise, performance-wise; always seeking great rides on great waves, and what we get. Often, most often, less; or nothing. SKUNKED. Still, last week there were some waves for the persistent, the lucky, and, and, yeah, some of the better-known spots got crowded; not Trestles or Rincon or Swamis crowded; but weekday-northwest crowded.

STILL, and again, and always, if I’m praying for surf; and I’ve been known to, I first want waves, then good waves, then great waves. I’m tempted to say dealing with the fear of, or, really, the fear of the potential for the crowd factor comes in later in the SCHEMING/PREPARING/HEADING OUT process, but, not really knowing whether forecasts and (even) buoy reports will translate into pumping surf, but high on anticipation, getting into an unwanted caravan with two other vehicles with boards on them on the dry side of Port Angeles tends to make me feel the jockeying for position has already started. And it’s not even the weekend! And I worked my ass off to get a day off! And, who the hell are these other surfers, anyway?

BUT, I did get lucky. However, I surfed waves that started out barely rideable, most of the crowd watching the one guy in the water. Surfers chatted on the beach, took naps, left to check other spots. Some went home. Four hours later, many more surfers in the water and the waves better.  I was surfed out. Sated, satisfied, even glowing from more than the sun. I have a couple more stories from my day, surfing with God (not ‘a’ god), and “MoonBoy,” but they’ll have to wait. The photos are from places, evidently, all named ‘Secrets,’ and, really, I think the right hand break is in Canada. Must be.  And so, we check the forecasts, check our schedules. If I could go today, I’d bet on the coast. Yeah; If… when… checking the forecast, thinking about my schedule… SCHEMING.

I’m afraid to give credit to the photographers or name the spots from the photos. It’s Clint on the wave with the rocks, though, when I guessed the spot, I got it wrong. I still think the other photos are from Canada. A right on the Straits is a very rare wave. BUT, YEAH, I do want to ride it.

Real (and annoying OLD GUY) Surfers

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I don’t know how the top line got all crooked. I thought I measured it. Well, old guys, don’t even know how to do computer illustrations. Incidentally, I want to make the statement, “I’m here to surf!” I probably can’t copyright it, or trademark it, but it does define my mindset when I hit the water. Always has. Not apologizing.

Still, I never use the ‘old guy’ card to excuse any perceived over-zealousness; just as I never used my youth to excuse my wave-hogging to the limits of my ability and the constraints of ocean and crowd.

And I do have sessions and particular waves that I’ll never forget. Until I’ve forgotten just about everything else. Oh, and there’s no semi-self portrait here. I never surfed Rincon, epic or otherwise; but I did, once, surf small-but-decent Upper Trestles alone. Once. I will have to work on something to do with how surfers tend to think the waves can’t be any good because no one’s out. Or maybe just one guy. I’ll never forget… hey, get your own memories.