This past weekend I was in the lineup with other surfers for the first time since I started SUP surfing. It’s been two months, and I still won’t go out in a large lineup, but there were only 5 people in the water. We’d put in at New Brighton and paddled toward Capitola. It was stunning weather, with calm ocean and blue sky. On the paddle up the coast we were accompanied by otters, brown pelicans, caspian terns, murres, and the odd harbor seal. We even saw one humpback, but it was farther out to sea.
The waves at Sharks were small and there were only 5 people out. Maybe 1-3 feet with the majority of the waves flowing through at about a foot or so. To me it was perfect. Two of the surfers were clearly not comfortable in the water and hung to the side not making eye contact. The other two were friendly and we shared the waves. I caught a couple of nice little waves before the Golden Rule got broken. I didn’t break it, and I’m still not sure how to discuss this with the rule breakers. It’s so difficult to give a critique, especially to a surfer in the water.
Four young men with rented boards paddled into the lineup. They didn’t look right on the boards, like maybe this was their first time in the water. They paddled inside the area where the wave broke and then tried to paddle into waves after another surfer was already on the wave. I took off on a nice little right only to look up to see one of the “inside gang” trying for the wave too. I hollered “NO.” I don’t know if the guy stopped paddling or if he just missed the wave.
I finished the wave inside only to look up to see all three of them on the next wave, heading in my general direction. It looked like they might run over me and land on the rocks. I dove to the side releasing my board and paddle. Fortunately, nobody was hurt. I collected my board and paddle and headed back out, a tad shaken by the close call.
So how do you talk to others in the water without yelling, shouting obscenities, and the like. I mean, it was a beautiful day.