Monday, May 14, 2012

Expectation, 4th gear again, OB is the home of Women's surfing and a perfecto left!!

I had a conversation recently about expectation with a young stand up style surfer acquaintance I often surf with. It was one of those difficult days at the point with a strong rip running and a generally westerly swell & sea arriving from different directions. This resulted in good sized chunky waves coming through but often just a little wide of the bank and sometimes missing it entirely. He had paddled out on his new board by shaper Aido that he was very keen to show me. I have to say I was pleased to see he had given away his pretty ineffective pro surfer style thruster for a quad with more volume and width that looked far better suited to the type of waves we get at OB. Anyway, as I mentioned, the conditions were difficult and I could see he was struggling to get on the waves and when he did he was getting caught up in the lip and falling when he normally would not be. After one semi decent wave, he paddled back out to the shifty peak and mentioned how high his expectation for a great surf had been and what a shit time he was having. I mentioned that life had taught me to try to moderate, if not completely excise the tendency to allow expectation to arise, and to just arrive at a place or event without it. That frame of mind makes it far easier to accept any negative outcome and provides an even more rewarding experience should the outcome be positive. I also mentioned that the waves were being difficult and not to get down on himself or his board on only the 2nd day he had the opportunity to ride it!
During this session, I had that mysterious and unexpected event that sometimes occurs when a mat shifts in to 4th gear. Morgan and another local had a view of the whole thing. They were both making their way back out when I shot like a rocket across in front of them both on the long steep face of a double up set. What a rush that produces and always afterwards, a pensive period reflecting on how and why on earth it happens? It remains a mystery, but one I look forward to every time it happens!
Being a well known surf town, there are always strangers in the line up and a couple on longboards that I have seen once before were visiting again. I don't know how we got on to it, but in a conversation with the fairer sex of the two, she mentioned that she regarded OB as the home of women's surfing as there were so many females surfing here. It is true too, and a welcome line up moderator I have to say. There are many women of all ages of the general population that choose to surf. We also happen to have the current women's National champion in her age group and just recently one of the young female shortboarders got signed up to Quicksilver, so we will be seeing her on the tour one day I imagine.
Yesterday, as the conditions looked very small, I put on my cloak of little expectation and headed down to OB for a look. It did not take me long to throw it off as I enjoyed about the best shaped left I can remember for sometime just past the inlet. Great size waves with plenty of push, long walls and time for two or three turns. Irrefutable proof that an expectation free state of mind can lead to surfing nirvana!!!!!
Happened to get a comment on this video last night and taking the opportunity to have another look at it myself rediscovered that MT talks passionately and at length about 4th gear from 2:12 to 4:02

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