Author Topic: Caught inside, Hawaiian, and living to tell  (Read 22189 times)

surfcowboy

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Caught inside, Hawaiian, and living to tell
« on: November 28, 2013, 03:01:19 PM »
I wanted to update my old caught inside thread and give a little Kauai Northside report as well.

I was there 3 years ago and got shouted out of the lineup for ditching my board in the big stuff  (big then.) I took that as a reason to find out how to improve as an amends to the person i ditched in front of and ended up finding the tail handle and working on every way I could to keep control of my gear.

This trip I crossed the line from surviving in overhead sets to paddling over and surfing size able waves. (for me, head high to double overhead) I could catch and ride up to just overhead and work safely in and around the big DOH sets that rolled in by watching and paying attention to where not to be and discussing the break with friendly locals.

I got caught a few times and took a few big ones on my head and handled them well. For one, I found that a hand on the stomp pad and pushing down as the wave hit kept the board within a foot or two of me even with a 10 foot wave breaking on me. 3-4 foot whitewater was manageable as well with this method.

Even the rodeo rides and hold downs were instructive and kept me focused and respecting the water. I got to experience the backwards paddle steering when a big one dragged me for a few yards. And I got to hold my breath that extra 10 seconds while I found that you can't really swim up through 3-4 feet of foam.

I got great weather, nice swell all week, great times with the family (I get three thanksgivings this year!) and some amazing locals who showed much aloha in the lineup. Most of all I got to see a progression in the waves I can ride, paddle through and enjoy. Thanks for the old dogs on here who've offered guidance over the years and especially to the Hawaii crew who've made previously terrifying waves fun.

Mahalo and don't bother with Kauai, it sucks... ;)

mrbig

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Re: Caught inside, Hawaiian, and living to tell
« Reply #1 on: November 28, 2013, 04:17:46 PM »
Is Ambrose Curry III still around?
Let it come to you..
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XLR8

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Re: Caught inside, Hawaiian, and living to tell
« Reply #2 on: November 28, 2013, 05:15:06 PM »
Sounds great!  I would love to be able  to be taught those same lessons.
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supthecreek

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Re: Caught inside, Hawaiian, and living to tell
« Reply #3 on: November 28, 2013, 09:58:20 PM »
You did it right cowboy... way to represent :D

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SUPcheat

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Re: Caught inside, Hawaiian, and living to tell
« Reply #4 on: November 28, 2013, 11:57:53 PM »
Now, I am a bit confused, since I seem to see surfers ditching their boards all the time.

Is there a difference between "ditching," i.e. when you are caught on the inside or in a multiple set, find yourself in approaching, churning white water, as opposed to merely falling off with the board moving on while attempting to surf?

I am falling off all the time, how is that different from ditching?  I am getting the impression that "ditching" is used as a survival mechanism in lieu of duckdiving or turtle diving in large, approaching waves or whitewater, but that "falling off" is more or less inevitable.

Can anybody clear up the distinction?  I had a guy yell at me once when I got knocked off in white water, was that because I was "ditching?"
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supthecreek

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Re: Caught inside, Hawaiian, and living to tell
« Reply #5 on: November 29, 2013, 04:39:10 AM »
It's because he was an idiot, and he wanted to yell at you. ;)

It's my job to make sure that I position myself, so there is no one outside me when a set comes. Of course a board can get ripped from anyone's hands if it's big enough.... why would I stay directly inside them when a set comes? I just paddle to the side.... they can do anything they like ;D

I was caught inside on a pretty good size day at Sunset, when I was first in Hawaii in 1977... local boy behind me says "Hold your board brah"... I think "aaaaahhhhh crap" and put a death grip on my board (pre duckdiving days)
and get trashed.(but I held my board)
He could have easily paddled to the side.... but after that.... I had more respect in the lineup.
He was just putting me through my paces. ;)
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surfcowboy

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Re: Caught inside, Hawaiian, and living to tell
« Reply #6 on: November 29, 2013, 11:24:45 AM »
Ditching is a "last ditch" sort if thing. Also, a 5' board and 6' leash are a but different from a 10+10 ( or bigger)  standup combo.

If you can, control your board. Safer and very do-able in all but the worst cases. If someone's on the wave, they can safely surf around you.

If no one's near, do what you like... And tell us where that empty spot is. :)

JC50

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Re: Caught inside, Hawaiian, and living to tell
« Reply #7 on: December 03, 2013, 03:48:43 PM »
Now, I am a bit confused, since I seem to see surfers ditching their boards all the time.

Is there a difference between "ditching," i.e. when you are caught on the inside or in a multiple set, find yourself in approaching, churning white water, as opposed to merely falling off with the board moving on while attempting to surf?

I am falling off all the time, how is that different from ditching?  I am getting the impression that "ditching" is used as a survival mechanism in lieu of duckdiving or turtle diving in large, approaching waves or whitewater, but that "falling off" is more or less inevitable.

Can anybody clear up the distinction?  I had a guy yell at me once when I got knocked off in white water, was that because I was "ditching?"


It's a matter of situation....the first thing you must always do when faced with incoming sets about to chew you up is to scan behind you for other surfers. If you neglect that and let go of board in or near somebody's face, that's grounds for immediate dismissal from the break - no question. A shortboard is of course easier to hang on to and duck through the waves, but make no mistake, the shortboarders will expect a longboarder or paddlesurfer to manage his board as well.
If you find yourself in front of a macker and there is nobody behind you or in in area of a 45-degree cone behind, and you dive for the bottom to hold some ground as the wave passes, then it's usually acceptable, as long as you look like you know what your doing (dive deep, keep the leash tight and immediately climb it and get the board re-situated. However, if you're about to get slaughtered and there are folks "in the area" behind you, you'd better just hold onto the board and do your best, even if it means taking a beating and losing more ground than if you dove deep. That's just how it is.

As stated, it's all about positioning. I do everything I can not to let people get behind me and when they do I immediately paddle at a right angle to get away from them.

Ditching carefully and responsibly ain't a big deal. Ditching irresponsibly is defined as a Kook.

Cardiff Sweeper

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Re: Caught inside, Hawaiian, and living to tell
« Reply #8 on: December 04, 2013, 02:25:12 PM »
When paddling out, and I need to ditch the board over a head high wave that is breaking in front of me, I try to shoot the board up and over the white water as I fall back. This keeps the board from pulling me back towards the beach, and hopefully stays away from fellow surfers around me.  It worked today. 


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headmount

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Re: Caught inside, Hawaiian, and living to tell
« Reply #9 on: December 05, 2013, 04:32:08 PM »
When paddling out, and I need to ditch the board over a head high wave that is breaking in front of me, I try to shoot the board up and over the white water as I fall back. This keeps the board from pulling me back towards the beach, and hopefully stays away from fellow surfers around me.  It worked today. 


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Today I started using a slight angle set up before I hit white water.  Somehow it magically worked better than straight on and was able to remain on my feet.  Surf was only chest to head high.  If bigger, I do what Cardiff does.

PonoBill

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Re: Caught inside, Hawaiian, and living to tell
« Reply #10 on: December 08, 2013, 07:41:14 PM »
Sam Pae's tail handles--coolest thing since sliced bread. Saved me a few beatings today, and my board rarely hist the end of it's leash.
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Bulky

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Re: Caught inside, Hawaiian, and living to tell
« Reply #11 on: December 09, 2013, 09:58:19 AM »
Now, I am a bit confused, since I seem to see surfers ditching their boards all the time.

Is there a difference between "ditching," i.e. when you are caught on the inside or in a multiple set, find yourself in approaching, churning white water, as opposed to merely falling off with the board moving on while attempting to surf?

I am falling off all the time, how is that different from ditching?  I am getting the impression that "ditching" is used as a survival mechanism in lieu of duckdiving or turtle diving in large, approaching waves or whitewater, but that "falling off" is more or less inevitable.

Can anybody clear up the distinction?  I had a guy yell at me once when I got knocked off in white water, was that because I was "ditching?"

Falling is part of surfing--anyone who gets mad at you for falling isn't worth your time.  Good etiquette would be that you minimize your impact zone and carnage when you fall.  Best case is to be able to hang onto your board even if you're in the churning.  Worst case is falling spread-eagled and letting the board go to the end of the leash, which can lead to snapbacks and endanger a pretty big radius (10ft leash + 10ft board).  At times, it's inevitably going to happen but I've noticed guys much better than me who manage to control things pretty well.  Even when they fall they're able to grab the board and tumble with it.  Some people are going to bark no matter what, and I've seen that happen if there's a guy who, everytime he falls, ends up spread-eagling in to the water and letting the leash extend until taught, even when it was a pretty inconsequential tumble.  No problem if you're the only one out but a good safe habit to get into.  It's a little harder as we've got to have one hand on the paddle and only have one to grab the board.
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winddoctor

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Re: Caught inside, Hawaiian, and living to tell
« Reply #12 on: December 11, 2013, 12:27:38 PM »
When paddling out, and I need to ditch the board over a head high wave that is breaking in front of me, I try to shoot the board up and over the white water as I fall back. This keeps the board from pulling me back towards the beach, and hopefully stays away from fellow surfers around me.  It worked today. 


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I was watching Connor Baxter at Hookipa doing the same recently. Seemed to work really well even in OH surf.
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Re: Caught inside, Hawaiian, and living to tell
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2014, 08:22:52 AM »
When paddling out, and I need to ditch the board over a head high wave that is breaking in front of me, I try to shoot the board up and over the white water as I fall back. This keeps the board from pulling me back towards the beach, and hopefully stays away from fellow surfers around me.  It worked today. 

Not worried about the wave catching the board and slamming it right back into you?

PonoBill

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Re: Caught inside, Hawaiian, and living to tell
« Reply #14 on: February 06, 2014, 05:18:58 PM »
No. I kicked my board over a pitching double-overhead wave yesterday, and it worked just fine, except the wave was so hollow I free-fell about six feet or so onto my back. Stung like a bellyflop. I guess it was a backyflop.

You do need to experiment with this move away from people a few times, but the difference is remarkable. You get a little run through the rinse cycle, but it's minor compared to having your leash keep pulling you into the turbulence. The board just sits there on the back of the wave, like a faithful horse.

I hate seeing people just ditch and let their board go. Lots of people do it. I always feel like saying something, but I've resigned from my position in the the Kook Kops.
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