California, one of the biggest surfing meccas ever. When you think of it, you typically think of perfect waves, warm weather, and warm water. Nope, wrong! In June, people in Cali call the colder weather, heavy fog, and cooler water June Gloom. Guess what? June Gloom stinks...
This past month, I traveled to California and back for the NSSA Nationals. When we were there, we’d bundle up and drive down to whatever beach we were surfing that day. The first full day we were there, we decided to surf Huntington Beach Pier. The waves there were small and like the East Coast. My surfing performance was terrible. That day was ok, but nothing compared to the future days to come.
The second day we were there, we went down to Trestles! The hike down there was forever long, especially since I was carrying a longboard! But, it was all worth it! The waves at Cottons, where we surfed, were overhead and glassy. You could see all the way to the bottom of the ocean! There was a lot of seaweed, too. Actually, there was a lot of seaweed wherever you surfed. The hike down to the beach was nothing compared to the hike back up to your car. After surfing all day long, the last thing you’re gonna wanna do is hike another 20-30 minutes--with a longboard.
The third day, we went back to Cottons to surf. The waves were bigger, better, and somewhat cleaner. Even though there were more people out there, I still caught so many waves. On one of my last waves I surfed, I didn’t know what I’d paddled myself into! I thought it would be a little overhead, like all of the other waves, but, it wasn’t. I paddled as hard as I could, and took the drop. After calling a couple of people off my wave, I looked up...and this wave was a monster! In a picture my mom took, there was room for Georgia at the bottom, in the middle, and at the top! I stayed as low as I could, but for some reason didn’t grab my rails, even though the water was frothy and super bumpy because of the waves that had just rolled through. I fell off at the end because I hit a huge bump. It was kinda like a cement wall was placed in front of you while you were sprinting. But, it was all ok! I got the ride of the day! On a longboard!
On Friday--contest day-- HB Pier Southside was going off! The waves were so big! I was so scared becuse I had to paddle out in that stuff in a longboard! I didn’t make it out in the 5 minute paddle out, or the following 2 tries. I finally had one last burst of energy, and made it out with about 5 minutes left in my heat! 15 minutes I had tried to paddle out! I took my time selecting my one wave. It was a 6-7 foot wave, my dad later told me. I dropped in and turned into the wave. Then, I worked it all the way to the inside where I turned and walked the board. I got fourth in my heat by 0.69. But, it is over and done. I still beat a Hawaiian by almost 2 full points!
This trip to California taught me many things, let me gain confidence, and made me a better surfer. I loved surfing there, staying with friends, seeing the Wedge, and loved the overall experience. I would definantly go back and surf more. Until next time, Cali, save me a wave!