Last October, at The Wall. Cant remember if it was a hurricane or not, but it was head high. It was my 3rd time ever surfing. I was on a 7'10" Funshape, so no duck diving, just getting pounded over and over. Total kook. I did not think I was going to get out. After about 30-40 min I got out, then proceeded to wipe out and get stuck in the impact zone over and over all day. I learned a lot that day.
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Thread: Worst paddle out
Nov 27, 2012, 11:26 PM #11Junior Member
- Join Date
- Dec 2011
- Vergennes, VT
Nov 28, 2012, 12:45 AM #12
My worst paddle out was back in the winter of 03-04 (maybe 04-05, time has a way of playing tricks on the memory). I was living in PB and it was big enough that the Point was breaking and the beach was closing out. I peddled down Diamond (must have been 04) and took a look at the Point and there were just so many heads in the water. So I looked down at the pier. The waves were breaking OVER the top of the railing at the end of Crystal Pier and that pier sits pretty high out of the water. I saw one other guy out there trying to catch the lefts. Except for the guys at the point, he was the only surfer in the water from the pier to Tourmaline. I figured, heck he made it, might as well give it a try even though I’d never tried surfing the pier when it was that big. I had the last CI I’ve ever owned, I think it was a 6’8”or 6’10”, some pintail model. I paddle straight out where the giant concrete slab on the cliff is, it takes me a good 10-15 minutes of diving under pounding beach break until I can line up with the end of the pier and start heading south to get into position. This is usually a 1 or 2 minute paddle out. As soon as I get within 50 yards of the pier I get hit by the gnarliest rip current I have ever been in. Within seconds I’m right up on the pier pilings. The rip’s trying to pull me around the pier, which scared the beejeesus out of me since I was worried about a set coming through and smashing into it. OR worse, getting sucked out to Japan. I hadn’t told anyone I was going surfing that day, so it would be hours and hours before anyone even reported me missing. The pier was closed, due to the size of the waves breaking over it, so there was no one to call for help to and the other surfer had disappeared. I paddled and paddled and paddled like I have never paddled before. I paddled North easily for 45 minutes, maybe an hour straight, maybe longer, harder than I ever have before or since, all I know is that it was the longest paddle of my life; just trying to get away from the pier pilings, until finally I was far enough out on the shoulder to line up and catch one of the monsters in. I waited for a smaller set, paddling the whole time. Finally there was a real, clean, smaller looking set coming in. The first wave looked real smooth and smaller than anything else I’d seen all day, but it was still a giant. I knew that I had better catch it and ride it all the way in and not wipe out, as I was too tired to keep paddling and the shore break was going to eat me alive. I was paddling with my nose towards the North, parallel to the shore, so I only had to start pulling a little harder with my right arm to get the right angle on the wave. I still think of that as one of my make-or-break moments and I’m so glad I didn’t break. Somehow I rode that wave all the way in. It was the only one I caught that day. That is the only time I have ever truly feared for my life while surfing. I was wearing a spring suit with a 2mm shirt underneath instead of a real wetsuit, because I was so poor (I was still blowing glass primarily and my software biz hadn’t taken off yet) back then and it was January or February. I was afraid that if I gave up and got sucked out by the riptide, I would die of hypothermia long before anyone would ever find me. It was really foggy that day. I went out and bought a half decent bodyglove full suit as soon as I got some money.
Here’s a pic of the pier on a much calmer day to put the story in perspective. Breaking over the top of the railing.
Two little mice fell in a bucket of cream. The first mouse quickly gave up and drowned. The second mouse, wouldn't quit. He struggled so hard that eventually he turned that cream into butter and crawled out.
Last edited by zaGaffer; Nov 28, 2012 at 12:49 AM.
Nov 28, 2012, 02:22 AM #13
^^gnar essay. too much passive voice i reckon though.
Nov 28, 2012, 03:04 AM #14Member
- Join Date
- Sep 2011
I love the Cali stories - wish my continental shelf wasn't so large.... hmmm anyhow... for waves to be breaking over the end of that pier is insane. That pier must be close to 25/30 feet off the water in that shot. craziness. For someone to be surfing for 25+ years and one day to stand out like that it must have been critical. Duck diving guns is obviously possible since the big wave guys make it through crazy breaks but there's no way you can push all that volume and surface area through a truly thick face... just scratch as hard as you can to get over the top.
Anyone ever have a super long paddle out? ive heard stories of offshore reefs in Indo being a solid 3/4 mile paddle, and guys with no boat, decent swell and purportedly large carnivorous fish making the paddle to have a go.
Nov 28, 2012, 04:03 AM #15
^ Not heavy but a long Indo paddle story. I started at HH Sanur which is already 1/3 off a mile out caught some waves pealing nicely down the reef...thought 'grass is greener' it looks better further up the reef...paddled up their caught some more waves talked to some Aussies... 'grass is greener' got the better of me again paddled up the reef caught more waves talked to some Aussies... repeat the process a couple more times till I'm like a mile out not quite to Hyatt but scary far when you realize your all by yourself at a unfamiliar spot and no one knows where you are in the midst of tiger shark country...the tide dropped quickly causing the waves to closeout in knee deep water over reef. Could I take the direct route in? Sure but off the reef the water gets deeper and I'm in no mood for a 3/4 mile paddle with the jaws theme playing in my head. So I take beatings on closeouts the mile or so back down the reef to sanur by the time I got back the tide was so low I could walk most of the 1/3 of a mile straight in to the beach. Luckily by then a few years of Micronesia had turned my feet into virtual reef booties. Not the longest paddle ever but longest in a strange place. A lot of the spots in Micronesia were 1/2 to 3/4 mile+ paddles but reefs and passes not continuous whitewater.
Heaviest paddle out? Beachies OBX at OH-DOH for sure. Florida super storm Sandy was still playful at that size. OBX gets heavy at that size...one of two times I've almost drown.
Last edited by Stranded in Smithfield; Nov 28, 2012 at 04:06 AM.
Nov 28, 2012, 05:29 AM #16
I have never seen anyone successfully duck dive a decent wave on a longboard... So I googled it like you said and almost everything says it's next to impossible to do. How do you do it?
Nov 28, 2012, 11:42 AM #17
For me, it was out on Parramore Island, VA, before the Nature Conservancy took it over. We used to go out there over spring break and camp for a week at a time. We'd kayak out with food and water and tents... surfboards strapped to our boats or towing behind... because it was pretty much uninhabited and had no water. You had to time the trips out and back with the tide because it can be a tough paddle against the current through the back bays and creeks. One trip we knew we'd be getting huge surf, because a storm was bearing down, and taking the ferry from Cape May to Lewis was a rough one, with the boat rolling side to side so hard that looking out the window it was... water... sky... water... sky. When we finally parked the truck in Wachapreague, loaded up, and hit the water, we knew we'd be cutting it close with daylight. We just got there at dark, got set up and tried to sleep. But we couldn't... the muffled roar of storm surf filtering through the trees from the other side of the island all night was too scary and exciting to let our minds go to rest.
The next day we suited up at first light and walked through the woods to the beach. It was big and breaking way out... I don't even know how many sets of sandbars you had to paddle over to get to the outside, but it was breaking so far out you couldn't really see where the outside was setting up. The current was running like a river, so we walked waaaaay up the beach and jumped in. There was no timing it... it was just non stop pounding surf. We never made it to the outside. We ended up drifting for MILES struggling to make it out, and just never did. Finally we started to see we were coming to the south end of the island, so we just came in and walked back, exhausted and defeated.
The next day was perfect, overhead barrels (mostly lefts) and offshore. From hell to heaven in 24 hours.
Last edited by LBCrew; Nov 28, 2012 at 11:44 AM.
Nov 28, 2012, 12:19 PM #18
Actually, I surf with a couple very seasoned surfers (20+ years experience), and they now ride longboards until it gets well overhead. They cannot duck dive their boards. They usually roll them to get through bigger waves.
Actually, I found this on google: http://howtobuyasurfboard.net/techni...-in-big-water/
That is what I do, and I do not call it a duck dive. When it is higher than 4 ft, I use the second method of diving while holding on to the back where the lease fastens. Not the best methods, but it works.
Last edited by brewengineer; Nov 28, 2012 at 12:29 PM.
Nov 28, 2012, 01:41 PM #19
- Join Date
- Dec 2007
Definitely not the same as duck diving a shortboard but similar.
Nov 28, 2012, 01:50 PM #20Junior Member
- Join Date
- Apr 2007
Playa Hermosa, CR. First time on a new twin fin. It was pretty heavy and mostly closing out. I paddled for a solid 45 minutes. It was the only time I haven't made it out as an experienced surfer. The only guy catching anything was getting towed in with a ski. It was real sketchy getting back to the beach, as I had been pushed down near the rocks.