Feb 8, 2010

A-List Solidarity!!!

It only took a quick text between Pranaglider and his old chums Penelope Cruz and her sister Monica to start the ball rolling. Within minutes, the Cruz sisters fired up their respective twitter accounts, and alerted the best and brightest in the entertainment industry. The young, hot A-Listers all immediately donned black in show of support for JJ's lost Fatty! For the next 20 minutes, it was as if time stood still in the 80% tax bracket.

"What in the hell are you talking about?" one might ask. We'll let JJ take the story from here...

Hello Paul!

During one of our BIG West swells a few weeks ago, I went out to brave one of my local reef spots with the Fatty. It was big, as big as I've ever surfed the place...with maybe 4 or 5 other shortboards out too.

I was sitting in the line up....the previous night's winds left it really bumpy, with lots of side current to boot. I was waiting to pick one off when I heard guys hooting (and pointing) from the cliffs above. This giant set started coming in, and the horizon starts getting all lumpy.

"Oh shit!" I'm thinking to myself.

I hate being in that spot...too far out to paddle in, and vice verse. I started scratchin' outside for all I was worth, and only made it over one wave in this huge cleanup set. I was forced to ditch the mat, and free-dive under the second widow maker. I hardly made it to the bottom, and got sucked up and thrown back over.

What a beating! Probably one of my worst hold-downs ever...and I was just getting started!!! Wave after wave...it seemed like a treadmill! I wound up getting awfully close to the exposed portion of the reef, but struggled to keep away in time. It appeared that I wasn't alone floundering around either. There were a few loose boards.

Luckily, Pranaglider witnessed the whole thing from the cliff....and flew down in rescue mode. He found me gassed on the high shore, trying to find my breath. He also spotted (and then heroically recovered) my trusty Fatty, totally deflated in the rocks. We both concurred that it took a direct hit from the lip of that first set wave.

Upon examination, it took a horrific beating amongst the reef....with the blue side completely scuffed up. But here's the neat part. Once I got my wind back, I proceeded to inflate it again to check for major damage...and the thing's totally fine! The black/blue stuff is truly ballistic, take it from me. I wound up going back out, after a near-death experience. "Get back on that horse", they say. Got to!

The 4GF is tough stuff...

Take care,



Then, if that wasn't enough excitement, I received this from Jamie a few minutes later...

Hey Paul,

Feels like I make subtle improvements every session. Now always low, chin on the front edge, relaxed, working out the leg control and fin drag, trying to induce drag only when absolutely necessary, otherwise just letting it fly.

Had a good run of surf last week and got a few sessions in powerful waves without having the crowd hassles. Mostly surfed outside Greenmount. Sat wide and deep of the guys behind the rocks at Snapper and pick off the bigger ones. One session in particular had some real power to the waves, swell was about 6' @ 16-18secs. Face heights about 8-10ft, slightly onshore and bumpy wind kept the crowds away.

Mostly rode the Standard. Well happy with its performance, it really has great traction and blinding speed when it let off the outside rail. Finally got it to hit the higher gears consistently, it had been a while since we've had surf with enough juice to make it jump.

On my last wave at Greeny, probably 500-600 yards offshore, I was sitting a bit too far INSIDE and just barely scratched over the first wave of the set. Instantly both calves and right hamstring locked, fully cramped. Second wave is bearing down, every bit of 10' face, maybe more. I'm too late and not quick enough with locked legs to get over it, so I turn and go as it breaks on my back. Make the 8ft drop, then the whitewater explodes and pushes me forward off the mat, flips me upside down, rips off one UDT and the mat is long gone. Got held down a good 30 seconds and slowly float to the top with legs still fully cramped. Dive under one more wave and Thank God the set is over and a lull hits.

Backstroke in a bit, find my black UDT floating in the soup, throw it on, both legs still cramped, backstroke nearly all the way into the beach. 15 minutes later I hit the inside and bodysurf a couple to the sand, legs finally feeling better. The mat had washed up just on the south side of Kirra's big groyne, someone had wisely dragged it up the beach and left it in the soft sand for me. Bless them.

Called it a day and left with all my gear, no worse for wear and a huge smile from a GREAT session! yew.

Hope you and Gloria are well, and getting some well-deserved waves in an epic el-nino winter

1 comment:

pranaglider said...

When the big set wave hit JJ and his mat flew 30 feet in the air I knew it would be heading in to the rocks below me. By the time I got to the mat it had already washed over the rocks and was totally deflated! I grabbed the mat and went to check on JJ who had by this time made it thru the rock field. JJ was OK. the mat was OK and if I had only known Ms Cruz had a sister I would have set up a artificial respiration demonstration! BTW JJ grabbed the mat, inflated it and went out for a few more! Tuff as nails!