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addiction - the need to take a harmful drug regularly, without being able to stop
(quoted from Longman online dictionary)

I don't take drugs. But I must be seriously addicted to surfing more than to chocolate or coffee.
As of today (May 24th), 55 consecutive days of surfing ever since I arrived in Playa Venao in Los Santos Province of Panama on March 31st. To escalate my addiction is the fact that the surf at this 3.5km pristine beach has never ever been flat; there have always been some waves to be had in the clear warm water with constant light off-shore/cross-shore winds.

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My previous record was 21 consecutive days made in J-Bay last year. I now vaguely remember why I didn't continue on the next day; it was probably due to my sloth or unsurfable conditions then. So I've well surpassed my previous record this time and I will keep on surfing for at least a few more days. Mind you, I neither initially planned to stay at Playa Venao this long nor did I ever intend to break my own record. It's just happened so.

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In the meantime, what's actually more rewarding to me than just making a new personal record is the fact that, by spending so much time in the water and just focusing on surfing after surfing, I've witnessed how my surfing has evolved over the past few weeks.
The below are some of the things I've noticed:

* Since March 31st having only one session a day has been very rare. I've often had two sessions or occasionally three sessions a day. Thus, I'm super-fit now and even feel almost immortal to be able to surf all kinds of conditions (up to 10 feet, Hahaha). A couple of weeks ago during one session, however, with bloody strong onshore winds and 6ft+ waves breaking all over the place I had to give up paddling after I was held under for numerous times. Neptune is always mightier than us, right?

* Playa Venao might keep me constantly paddling with hundreds of duck-dives to be made at times. Nevertheless, one great aspect of a beach break like Playa Venao is that waves break both left and right in perfect A-frames. Therefore, I've been able to practice with my manoeuvres as much as I want, especially with my backhand ones. A while ago left-hand waves weren't really to my liking, but I absolutely love them now. I still have a lot to improve on my forehand surfing though.

* Whenever I get frustrated in the water due to inconsistent swells or guys dropping in etc., I've discovered that the best way to overcome it is to throw all my anger and frustration at every single lip of a wave that I catch. By doing so, my manoeuvres become more radical with lots of spray in the air. And I've damaged my boards because of it too.

* I don't need coffee to wake me up for my first morning session because paddling and catching waves naturally wakes me up. I don't need to stay in bed all morning after having a big drinking night because paddling and catching waves sobers me up. Even if I don't feel like surfing, paddling and catching waves eventually satisfies me. The bottom line is: I never regret paddling out there, but I would regret not paddling out.

* While I'm keeping my surfing more progressive than ever before, the joy of riding every single wave regardless of its size or its form is still exactly the same today as how stoked I became on the very first wave I caught and rode in my life many years ago. Young or old doesn't matter. A smile on my face hasn't aged much :-)

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Consequently, I must be a very boring person to many people as I'm interested in only one thing - Surfing, but I can't help it. And my surfing has now made me realise that this is no longer my addiction. This is my dedication.

dedication - hard work or effort that someone puts into a particular activity because they care about it a lot
(quoted from Longman online dictionary)




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