Surfing Contests, Practice and Skills Improvement

Sunset over Its, 2/11/16.
Today is the Titans of Mavericks surf contest up in Half Moon Bay and it is nothing short of amazing to watch the waves these guys ride.

More so since I've become more and more of a surfer as I've progressed through my SUP evolution from flat water cruising and exploration to a mostly dedicated SUP surfer. I can't lie, its still really nice and a different kind of fun to go touring without worrying about swell, other people and everything else.

Something I am thinking about and realizing more and more is that I need to practice my in the water skills more. Not my on the water skills, I'm pretty good at catching waves, steering through crowds of people (though I will almost always seek to find emptier spots since my envelope to catch a wave is substantially larger than a surfer's, also a source of their gripiness about SUP's in general). In the last week, I've had a couple of getoffs that have resulted in my board becoming a weapon and smashing into me.

The first was when I tumbled forward off the wave and the board came down on top of my shoulders with the initial hit concentrating on the left side. Aside from some tenderness when I touch it, there's been no problems from that one. The other was from a fairly short outing yesterday where I got tumbled and my board bashed me in the chest. Again, no immediate harm or pain, just a little wind knocked out and then complicated by getting caught in the wash zone for a couple of minutes.

We have another three day weekend ahead and good weather on tap. We'll be getting some new booties first but then we will be spending a good chunk of time making sure they work!

Oh and here's a short video I shot with my chest mounted cam over the weekend. This will give you a decent idea of what its like to strap on a leash and head out into the surf on a big SUP!
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