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18.5.05
It's the old 'waiting for a bus' syndrome at the moment. There you are without a surf for 4+ months, when all of a sudden it's a case of surfing on consecutive days! Hadn't planned on going again today, but with a very light breeze coming from the SW; a promising webcam image; and a bright sunny day dawning; it seemed churlish not too :o) Besides, after yesterdays overall disappointing session personally, I wanted to get 'back on the bike' as it were, straightaway [It's all cliches at the moment!].

Conditions on arrival at Sandilands were a vast improvement on yesterdays. A good couple of foot and super clean was just what the doctor ordered, though you could tell by the deep channel close in right at the waters edge, that this may not last very long. I suited up quickly and was in by 11am, just as another surfer was getting in further north up the beach. High tide today was around 14.40 and was due to peak at around 5.1m. The paddle out was straightforward enough, it was just a case of positioning at any of the several peaks showing. I noted matey had hooked up a couple of short rides while I'd been warming up and then on my out, though they hadn't looked anything special. Maybe things might just be ideal for the longboard at last, though you wouldn't have thought so after my first half hour.

Over time and with very rare exception, I've got used to being able to make good of conditions like these right from the off. After 10-15 minutes I was still waveless, either paddling in too soon or too late. If it was any consolation, there didn't seem to be much oomph in the wave, but all the same when on form I'd have had a ride or two by then no matter what. I was trying to put this to the back of my mind, but it was a struggle. Then I spied a tempting looking set and paddled right into the firing line, swivelled round nicely and seamlessly stuck in 2 or 3 powerful paddles and was in. That pleasurable feeling of having the board lifted beneath you and knowing no further arm strokes are required allowed instinct to kick in. In an instant my feet were planted and I shifted my weight backwards to attempt a right turn and at least glide along the face, backhand. The latter part of that didn't occur though as the wave decided it was time for a total closeout all around me.

The brevity of it was disappointing as ever, but for the first time since effectively January, I felt those familiar feelings of stoke returning. The other surfer who was unknown to me got out soon after, whether disappointed himself with conditions I'll never know. But after only managing a couple of slow, shortlived rides more myself not long after, I began to wonder if the swell was dropping, or whether there was a backwash effect from the shore already. Maybe he'd sensed this and decided it was a waste of time staying.

I'd drifted slowly back south along the beach though, and I figured the seemingly longer gap between sets was more to do with me now being between regular peaks. Either way I was determined to stay in longer and at least try and get a few more waves before it totally poohed out. Later I was joined in the water by another unknown to me surfer, which coincided with the arrival of some more consistent waves once again. More by chance than design I was positioned just right and I enjoyed a much more satisfying period, landing a super left in the mix which allowed me the chance to carve up and down the face looking for those speedier pockets. I even threw in a smooth back hand turn before the wave finally died in the deep channel close in.

This foray inside convinced me I'd probably seen the best of it, and so it was I could only scrape together a handful more short, gutlass rides before picking my way through the shore dump to get out. There was though a much warmer feeling inside of me than 24 hours previously. I'm nowhere near my best I know, and the wavecount is even by my meagre standards,an embarrassment. But slowly and surely, the hunger and the desire is returning, and with it there is more in the way of an inner peace sadly missing over the last couple of months or so.