On the weekend, I went on a road trip with my favourite gidgets and as usual there is lots of time for gossip – surf and non-surf related. Amongst other things, we’ve discussed the ideal wave size. Anna likes it big. Julia and Bella prefer it a bit smaller than Anna. I do like a good size one but only if it does not hurt and it’s not too much hard work. But what’s big anyway? 4ft, 8ft, 12ft?
Well, depends what’s your understanding of big. I remember when I was a beginner I was out once in Bondi, chatting to a friend and he looked at me like I was from another planet when I said: Pretty big today, huh? I guess it was about 3ft, which usually produces some fun waves in Bondi but as a beginner it felt more like I was tackling Jaws. Oh well, he either thought I was a complete wuz or taking the piss but yes size is relative.
Back to the trip, we checked a few beaches. We did snob a few where we deemed the conditions not to be good enough. Having said that, they were perfectly fine 2 footers groomed by a little offshore breeze. I was laughing because I thought, if it would have been summer, we would have been frothing over a clean 2 footer. However, we got quickly accustomed to the bigger, more perfect autumn swells and dismissed the first beach on the hunt for bigger and better.
We ended up having a super fun surf in 3ft waves in Thirroul. Fun banks. Super clean. Lots of barrels (well for the other surfers anyway). All of us caught heaps of waves. It was a bit crowded at times but again. However, compared to Bondi on a weekend, it was empty.
We had so much fun, that we ended up staying for a good 2 ½ hours. Longest session I had in a long time. I was pretty tired by the time I came out of the water. Which made me think, I better get my skates on and get into shape for the impending Java trip. Whilst 2 ½ hours feels like a long time on a weekend trip, 2 ½ hours is probably only half the time you would spend in the water on an Indo trip per day.
Skills and Balls
On the weekend roadie I also (potentially over-)shared an account of my latest rather traumatising session in Bondi on Friday. Bondi was absolutely pumping. It was holding up 4-5ft waves with quite a few of them forming barrels unheard and unseen off in Bondi. Frothing like a little puppy I was paddling out the back only to be put back into my box a short while later. Given the insane conditions, “Bondi All Stars” were out. They were hogging the take off spot which was very very very deep. Too deep for me. Too fast for Ranga and me. Now I could blame it on the wrong gear (yes it’s true my Indo board for fast waves is at the board doctor) or the crowds (yes, it was busy, busy in Bondi terms not South Coast terms) but really the truth is, I was just not as skilled and/or ballsy compared to the other guys out. Admittedly, it did sting a little bit in my competitive heart that my wave count was a meager 3 when the waves were barreling perfection in Bondi. I tried not to be too upset though because compared to most days I catch more than enough waves. And the average backpacker probably watches in awe. Hmm…even skill is relative…and wave count too.
I guess all in all the Gidget’s theory of relativity is not rocket science. Whether a wave is too big or too small, the conditions are good or bad, it’s too crowded or not, etc… must always be considered in relation to the individual gidget’s needs. So whatever feels right to you, is right for you. Too easy… just like in real life, right ;-) ?
Have a great week gidgets and friends of gidgets,