Transition Season (Again)
The take-offs are tricky: most times, the nose doesn't dip unless the wave has already broken and you have to throw yourself over into the white water, body at the mercy of vertigo and gravity, get up, fade, chase the wall. Paddle harder, yes. Find the pocket, better. Use your legs to kick. Kick how? Your body's rhythm is out of sync again. You sit there, wobbling and wondering at how such thin rails could ever feel stable. You watch and wait for the next wave, which you'll miss magnificently. And you'll miss the next one too, and the one after that, until frustration builds because everyone seems to be having the time of their life but you.
But by some stroke of luck you catch the next one-- or it seems that the wave caught you, and the burst of speed almost tips you over, speed like nothing else you've ever felt!, one with the wind!, your arms spread like wings, whoosh!, and you're scared and shocked and thrilled at the same time, wow!
After being told numerous times that my 6'8" was too big for me, I finally agreed to step down from my old board. At first I was stubborn, and frankly, scared-- scared that I was not ready to transition to a proper shortboard just yet. But last weekend, I left good ol' Cheehoo home and tried a 5'10" Flyer for the first time. It was almost the same shape as Cheehoo but roughly an entire foot shorter. In the water, I was reminded of the patience and resolve that come with learning anew again. Senses attuned, instincts sharpened. Self, humbled. Even in failing, there is stoke.
Although I won't catch all the waves I will paddle for with this new board, I know all those attempts will help me get the next one.
So here's to another transition. A welcome obstacle to being complacent, another first, another gift.
Thank you, Crystal Beach Resort, for the photos! :)