The skurf blog
I think I'll just say that the afternoon I spent out at Cowell's in Santa Cruz was one of the most miserable surf days of my life, and leave it at that.
Well, no, I can't leave it at that. It's supposed to be a beginner beach, and so easy, so my expectations were high. I even caught and rode my first wave that afternoon, which qualifies as the first wave I have ever ridden in the state of California, so yay for that!
But things fell apart after that. It was so-o-o- crowded. I guess it was the first sunny day in Santa Cruz in quite a while. As the tide dropped it got more and more crowded. And people were all over the place. I mean like, scattered out over a mile: inside, outside, all sides. There was not, as far as I could tell, any takeoff spot or spots. And people weren't keeping the minimum distance between surfers that we just automatically keep at home; they'd sit right next to you or right in front of you, two deep. And when you'd look at them like, what the hell is this, they'd just smile at you.
I guess that's the difference between California and New York: in New York they'd glare and give you a dirty look as if it were your fault that they were sitting in your way.
Every time I paddled for something there was someone in my way; but mostly I spent my time just trying to figure out where to be.
You can paddle out a short distance there or a long one; I opted for the long one, because I thought that's where people were catching waves, but it wasn't worth it. It was just a long ass paddle, about six times what it takes to get out at home. I have to say, though, that "no pain no gain" applies; our short paddles net us five or six second rides, where the long paddles get you...guess what...long rides. Or, got other people long rides, all I got was the paddle.
I didn't get another ride til the end of the session, when I caught an inside wave on the way out.
Skiing California was way, way more fun. Half the time there were blue skies, sunshine, warm temperatures and really good snow; the other half there were blizzards, howling winds, and really good snow. Those whiteout days were my most challenging ski days ever, I think. I was on expert trails I didn't know, at a resort where I'd never been where trails weren't well labeled, and I couldn't see for shit; I could only guess where the trail was if I saw someone else head down it, and then they soon disappeared into the blizzard. With nothing to see but whiteness everywhere, I lost track of where was up and where was down, so much so that I'd fall while practically standing still cause I couldn't tell where I was going. It was extremely disorienting. Plus so few people were out in the midweek blizzard, no one might have found me for a long time if I'd gotten lost. It was a little scary.
The next day the sun would come out and the trail that had been so challenging would be easy. And fun. Sports you actually know how to do well are fun.