HALLE-FREAKIN-LUJAH! I surfed in the actual ocean this morning. Man did it feel good. A few things to unpack from my dawn patrol mission:
- COVID-19 Travel Guidelines
- Seagull Carnage
- Actual surf session.
- Quiver Evaluation
Agenda Item 1: Did I break the law?
Short answer, no. Long answer: I had been keeping up with Gov. Raimondo’s executive orders regarding travel to Rhode Island. Up until this one, the rule had been any domestic traveler to RI would need to self-quarantine for 14 days. I’ve mentioned before, hard to fit a two-week quarantine into a 5 hour day trip… But as of a few days ago, you’re allowed to travel there so long as the state you’re coming from has it’s shit together. Lookin’ at you, Florida.
Lucky for me, Connecticut has done pretty well handling the spread of COVID. So I am now free to travel to RI without self-quarantining upon arrival. I did leave when the lineup and beach started to get crowded though… I kinda got the heebie-jeebies.
Agenda Item 2: Casualties.
I was so happy to be wrapping up my early morning drive out to the coast. First light was upon me and I rolled down my windows to suck in the fresh sea breeze. Amazing.
After checking my first spot and getting spooked by the rocks, I was back in the car headed to spot #2. I check the spots in this order because there’s a nice, scenic road between the two, and going north on it gives me the views I like. While I admired them, a moving truck in the rearview caught my eye. Dude was on my ass. I was already casually speeding, so no need to pick up the pace.
My eyes returned to the road. Two seagulls chillin’ out, no idea the danger they were in. They weren’t the little ones either. These were those big a-holes who ain’t scared of shit. Apparently one of them wasn’t scared of my car.
I had a choice: Slow up, save the bird, and get rear-ended by a truck who’s driver was in a hurry… Or maul the bird. I mauled the bird.
I tried to swerve! But it was a fruitless effort. I really thought the thing would show some more hustle when running for its life.
After the thud I checked my mirror. Feathers. Feathers everywhere and a belly up bird with its beak croaked open. I felt awful. This was really cramping the peace/zen/in-touch-with-nature vibe I love about surfing. Full disclosure, my eyes welled up a bit.
Agenda Item 3: Mike, you gonna talk about surfing anytime soon?
Hell yea! Watching the sunrise made me feel better about the bird. I suited up in my 3/2 since there was the slightest bite in the air. Turned out to be the right move. There was swell, nothin’ to write home about, yet here I am… writing home about it.
I was happy with the little 2-3 foot waves. I haven’t surfed since March, and back in March I wasn’t in particularly good paddling shape. So my shoulders were thankful for the small surf.
I was on my beloved 9’0″ POS. Will address that in Item 4. But on this single-fin Craigslist deal, I was able to take a few drops. Most of the waves were closing out from where I was taking off. Had I been able to take off farther out, I’d be in for some longer rides… kinda how it works. I lucked out on one right though, it stayed open for me for just a little while. Long enough for me to take the drop, bottom turn, and float on the lip a bit.
I did feel some carry over from all the surfskate practice, too. Though I feel it will apply more to my shortboard. The longboard is definitely not as responsive.
All in all, a great hour-long session. Smiles throughout the lineup. A beautiful sunrise on tap, refreshing water temp, and fun little waves. I’m happy RI is starting to re-open.
Agenda Item 4: Quiver Upgrade Necessary
I love my longboard. It’s a 9 foot Harbour Banana. Beat to shit, it was like that when I bought it. There’s a special place in my heart for this board. It’s the first board I’ve owned. All my first waves at any given spot in Rhode Island have been on this board.
Sentimental stuff aside, it’s in horrible condition. I tried patching up a few holes but I feel like its one of those cartoons where they plug one hole in the boat and two others pop open. It’s waterlogged and heavy. The imperfections on the bottom cause so much drag (that’s what I’m attributing my lack of waves to, not my noodle arms).
So, what I’m getting at is I think I’m in the market for a proper log. Something maybe in the 10′ range, with way less rocker. I really want to feel the glideeee.
July Ollie Count: Still 52…