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Thread: Close Calls

  1. #41
    Quote Originally Posted by newenglandflatness View Post
    So am I correct in recalling that you're from New England (maybe MA, guessing by the name), or at least the northeast? Not complaining about the recent run of surf, it has been a great few weeks, but 5-9 feet consistently? I know everyone's got a slight variation on the wave height scale, but really?
    Yes. We had a 7 day stretch in MA where it seldom got below 4, was published on forecast between 4.5-8.5 for 5 days straight and in actuality in some certain spots here they were breaking over 9. Between a storm, lunar forces, and fairly good swell coming in it made for a grand several days. Still is 2.5-5ft here each day although it's waning to around or below 3.

  2. #42
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    " part of the game"? Sounds like it was almost game over. 5'+ at 11 seconds , cold water, and full rubber is probably a tall order to try and teach a buddy. Glad he is safe now.

  3. #43
    I had a buddy with me who is new to the game and this was his second day on the water. He's a very experienced and skilled skater and snowboarder that has logged lots of time in half-pipes. I know very little transfers physically to surfing, but lots of the mentality does and the fact that he's eaten it on asphalt and concrete hundreds of times lends credence to him putting up with a beating on the ocean. Not only that, but he's an experienced endurance athlete who can run a half marathon at a good clip on short notice. So basically, he was appropriate to bring out on a day like that for some education on duck diving, board balance while getting out back, and bodyboarding some waves he could catch to feel the ride and the relationship between the board and wave.
    Fact. Never did I say they were a substitute for experience in the water. They can be a helpful supplement to proper water training and experience. He had me there with him talking him through everything as well as my plan for what was appropriate, attainable, and realistic. As soon as the environment showed hints of anything otherwise, I gave immediate directives to vacate with specifics on how we'd do so.
    Spicoli:
    You need to mull this experience over and decide what you are gonna learn from this. Read your own quotes. Either you agree with your first thought, that it was appropriate to take your buddy on his second day in the water into these conditions, or your second thought, that his land experiences probably weren't going to count for much when he got into trouble in the ocean.

    Your taking flak here because we've all seen and had to attempt to rescue inexperienced surfers and non-surfers get into trouble in the ocean, and the ends of jetties are where it ALWAYS seems to happen. Your describing something that is happening in the ocean every day the waves get over chest high, and still making it sound like something unforseeable occurred.
    Last edited by South Bethany; May 8, 2013 at 01:57 AM.

  4. #44
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    I live in MA. I have surfed the last few weeks as well, all over MA, NH and ME.

    You are blowing the wave height out of proportion. I say this not to try to be an a**hole, but I think a lot of people are reacting to you having a beginner out in waves of that size. You're inviting more backlash that way, when people think you're bringing a beginner into 9 foot bombing surf, when it's just not the case.

    Great couple weeks of surf for sure, but if this is the scale you're using, you'll be riding 23 footers with NJshred come hurricane season.

    Okay, that last part was kind of a**ish, but I mean it more to mock NJshred than anything else. Keep on getting out there and keep on training - you're right in that sense. I'm also not trying to discount your experience on the jetty. Lord knows I've had my sh** knocked around in waves smaller than 8 feet. Glad to hear you came out okay, and next time you get worked (because you will, everyone does), you'll have an experience to fall back on and know it'll be okay.
    Last edited by newenglandflatness; May 8, 2013 at 01:57 AM. Reason: everyone gets worked, not just the OP

  5. #45
    No shame in driving to the beach only to realize that the conditions are too out of control for your abilities. Happened to me plenty of times. My advice is don't get too excited to get wet, instead get a cup of joe, sit on the beach, watch the ocean at its worst and study it as much as you can. live to surf another day

  6. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by EmassSpicoli View Post
    I'm sure there are many on here that have had a similar experience to mine on Sunday. Some not as intense, while a few others perhaps more so.

    Conditions were 5.2ft @ 11s and fair. I had a buddy with me who is new to the game and this was his second day on the water. He's a very experienced and skilled skater and snowboarder that has logged lots of time in half-pipes. I know very little transfers physically to surfing, but lots of the mentality does and the fact that he's eaten it on asphalt and concrete hundreds of times lends credence to him putting up with a beating on the ocean. Not only that, but he's an experienced endurance athlete who can run a half marathon at a good clip on short notice. So basically, he was appropriate to bring out on a day like that for some education on duck diving, board balance while getting out back, and bodyboarding some waves he could catch to feel the ride and the relationship between the board and wave.

    He was my priority from the first minute and I had dialogue with him the whole time we were going through those fundamentals to talk him through it all. He kept up with my paddling out back pretty well. It took us a fair amount of time to get out back since these waves packed power and the sets were long in number. This is a beach that I surf every day and have done so all the way from a few inches to Nemo and the other Nor'Easters this winter.

    Once we got out back, we got him a rest for a couple minutes as I talked him through the need to scope out the set coming in and where and when he wanted to paddle into a wave for a catch. I noticed it getting pretty choppy where we were as the wind was changing and it often does so quickly at this spot. So I told him we needed to get away from the rock jetty which was 100 yards away and towards the middle of the beach where the waves were cleaner and our other two buddies were. Within a minute, sideshore kicked in and the shoulders were drifting him steadily more towards the rocks. I told him we really needed to head over to the middle at that point but he saw a big wave coming and decided to go for it. He ended up catching it and bodyboarded through that giant for a long, fast ride that did not have a bad ending.

    However, via the sideshore current that was presenting itself, that wave angled him in towards the rocks and he was very close to them at this point. I yelled over repeatedly to him before the next set came in that he needed to get away from the rocks as much as he could and bodyboard the next three or so ways into the shore where I would meet him and we'd walk over to the middle to catch our buddies. Alas, the next wave that came in was a giant (7-8ft easy by now with the jetty and sideshore buildup) and the white broke hard on him and my view from the back was just a liquid avalanche towards the rocks and his board flying in the air, no body to be seen.

    Without hesitation, I hopped on the next wave that came quickly with the intent to ride it over to him and provide immediate help for an escape, if not a rescue and first aid as I had no idea what I'd be encountering based on what I'd just seen. At any rate, the bomb that I dropped in on fairly clean was 8+ and I came down the face with speed bee-lining towards him but as I came to the bottom the wave closed out hard on top of me. I was thrown into spin cycle and not just end over end but side to side and in elliptical motions, from what it felt at least. I've been tossed a ton in my time on the water thus far including the big storms but this was unprecedented. I'd tucked and covered my head the whole time then upon getting some clue of which way was to the surface I had to climb my leash to reach the top since the white had caused an opacity to the view towards the surface. The power actually brought me all the way to the rocks 100 yards through that spin cycle. The mass of white was nuts and powerful as heck. I've been in 10-12 second hold overs more than a few times before but that was when being sent over the falls and pushed straight down. This was just as long in duration but being rag dolled to no end, so it was a different feeling though I stayed fully composed.

    When I did reach air I located my board and saw my buddy who was luckily conscious and unharmed, but severely struggling up against the rocks. As our luck would have it, his wave and my wave were the first two in what was probably an 8 to 10 wave set. These giants were clobbering us with white repeatedly, several times before we could get back on our boards. In between catching breath I was trying to yell to him what he needed to do for cover. There was barely a lull before another monster set rolled through and thrashed us to no end. We were right up against the rocks and both thought these waves were going to smash us face first into them but the rush of water would flood the height of water to go above the rocks as the white crashed on us so we were actually shielded from any contact with them from what we could see and feel. But any hope of that bringing us on top of the rocks to safety was dashed when the undertoe would immediately pull us back out to square one in front of the rocks with another wave coming hard at us. Every next wave was building in size from the wind change and rock break and they were 8-9ft now and breaking right on us or just before us.

    By now, our two friends had seen what was going on and sprinted into shore and then over on top of the rocks that were our opponent and primary hazard. They said we were getting battered for a solid 10 minutes straight with no let up. My buddy somehow got up on the rocks for an escape while was a huge relief to me as he was my first concern. But that left me in the lion's den with the danger only mounting in size and any escape being less possible. There was a pause after that set and I immediately hopped on the board and paddled in an all out sprint 20-30 yards parallel to the shore to get outside of this sideshore rip. From that sprint plus all the non-stop physicality of the several minutes prior, I was nearly out of it before the next set rolled in huge and threw me back to the rocks. So now I am riding on straight adrenaline to keep me with enough gas to more forward.

    Somehow I managed to reach a small channel in the rocks that shielded me from the madness and offered me an escape up onto the dry rocks. I was literally staggering at this point getting on to the rocks. Our friends that came over to help said I was in another 3-5 minutes after my buddy got to safety. They said when they were sprinting over to help they were sure they'd be pulling bodies out of the water and when I was fighting for those last few minutes and seemingly having no way out (before I found it) they were about to call emergency and the Coast Guard.

    I got to the shore and was spent, but way more mentally than physically although I was exhausted. This whole thing blew my mind and it was crazy coming down from the adrenaline because I started shivering in a hypothermic way even though it was 65 and sunny and I'd just had as balls to the wall of an anaerobic workout as one can have for minutes on end. The mind and body was just on overload.

    Bottom line, neither of us were injured in any way. I thought 75% my buddy was not going to make it when we were in the crap, and 50% that I wouldn't. It was that intense, hazardous, persistent, and no way out. Despite all that, I can truly say I remained in full composure without panic and thought strategically the whole time (swimming parallel to shore to escape the sideshore rip) as well as not pushing through it physically until I was to safety.

    If not for my daily training on the water I'm not sure if I would've had the gas to make it through that sustained onslaught even with the help of adrenaline. My days are anywhere from 1.5-7 hours of constant paddling, riding, duck diving, and wiping out and I rarely sit in the lineup. I'm physically prepared for these situations. I'm prudent and practical in my choices (i.e. noticing the impending chop and rough stuff over the way of the rocks and telling my bud we needed to vacate the area). Was this just a freak occurrence and "part of the game" or could I have been smarter? My buddy is a highly trained athlete who had the mental composure to be out there with me that day especially when I was keeping him by my side the whole time and giving him non-stop directives and feedback of what we were seeing and what he should be doing. Before all this went down, when we were taking a breather out the back after paddling hard to get there, I told him he was doing great and that his focus of the day was to be on staying on his board, getting paddle conditioning, and selecting which waves to catch and where and when to catch them. No pop-ups, just bodyboarding.

    I'm interested to hear your thoughts on this as well as similar experiences you've all had. We step into the liquid at our own risk and I know the hazards will always be there, while it's our job to keep them at bay and avoid them at all costs and work through them if they come out of nowhere like this one did.
    I could be the only one who is wondering this, only because I'm just that way, but how long did it take you to type this?

    Or was this cut-and-paste from your college essay application thing.

    I tell ya, I'm exhausted just reading this thing. Forget responding with practical advice. You & your buddy Joe Frazier are alive!

    Live & learn & live to surf again.

  7. #47
    Quote Originally Posted by newenglandflatness View Post
    I live in MA. I have surfed the last few weeks as well, all over MA, NH and ME.

    You are blowing the wave height out of proportion. I say this not to try to be an a**hole, but I think a lot of people are reacting to you having a beginner out in waves of that size. You're inviting more backlash that way, when people think you're bringing a beginner into 9 foot bombing surf, when it's just not the case.

    Great couple weeks of surf for sure, but if this is the scale you're using, you'll be riding 23 footers with NJshred come hurricane season.

    Okay, that last part was kind of a**ish, but I mean it more to mock NJshred than anything else. Keep on getting out there and keep on training - you're right in that sense. I'm also not trying to discount your experience on the jetty. Lord knows I've had my sh** knocked around in waves smaller than 8 feet. Glad to hear you came out okay, and next time you get worked (because you will, everyone does), you'll have an experience to fall back on and know it'll be okay.
    You bring up a good point. First, let's establish our rubric of where wave height begins and ends, as it varies from one individual to the next on what constitutes the start of wave height. Any statement I'm making of number of feet is from ankle up (1ft=ankle towards knee). Many of you may consider a 1ft high wave to be waist height. The plan with my friend was to be in 2ft-4ft tops, and more like 2-3ft as once I'd brought him through the paddling out back to show him the progression of the waves in a set from ocean to shore we were heading in towards the shore for more repetition and ability to have feet on the bottom in between reps for purposes of discussion or walking through what to work on next.

    Yes, you can see that a number of posters felt free to fire away with flames prior to reading much of the prior dialogue as they are talking about me bringing my friend into 9 footers like it's a walk in the park.

    As for wave height around here on certain days lately, there was without a doubt 9 footers a couple days and evenings at certain breaks for certain sets at certain tide heights. That was the consensus of the half dozen riders out there who are locals and far more experienced than I, some a few decades. Was it cranking off the hook at 9 feet for days on end? No. Never said it was. Was I out there in multiple sets at that height at certain times? Yes.

  8. #48
    Quote Originally Posted by yankee View Post
    I could be the only one who is wondering this, only because I'm just that way, but how long did it take you to type this?

    Or was this cut-and-paste from your college essay application thing.

    I tell ya, I'm exhausted just reading this thing. Forget responding with practical advice. You & your buddy Joe Frazier are alive!

    Live & learn & live to surf again.
    I'll tell you what:
    You sit there and wonder how long it took me to type and I'll sit here wondering why you're opening your trap in a non-productive way. Maybe you order off the picture menu at fast food joints since words seem scarey (new spelling courtesy of njsurfer24). Let me know, because then I can draw you a picture instead of coercing you into reading those thousand words.

  9. #49
    Quote Originally Posted by fins369 View Post
    "bodyboarding some waves he could catch to feel the ride and the relationship between the board and wave."

    Usually when someone mentions bodyboarding waves, you assume they are wearing flippers you a$$ clown.

    And I'm glad you had no intention of being near the jetty. But anyone knows that the currents and rips that form in heavier surf can bring you to places you have no intentions of being, especially at a beach only a 1/4 of a mile wide between jetties. the rips coming off those in heavy surf will drag you all over the ocean.

    Regarding your denial of doing anything wrong, you immediately start defending yourself, on all aspects of what happened, in the 2nd paragraph of your 2nd post. Cut me the BS that you are taking responsibility for this. Taking responsibility for something does not include offering up 100 excuses.

    And as for me, I don't claim to be anything special. Never said I was. But I do know the difference between someone who understands and respects the ocean, and someone who THINKS they understand and respect the ocean. And you are in the 2nd category.

    Regarding your training, seriously, congrats on making an effort to get in shape for surfing. Its something that most people don't do, and those that do reap the benefits from it. But don't let a couple of months of swimming at the local pool fool you into thinking you are some type of a waterman. Takes years of taking beatings to figure out how to not take beatings. No training in any gym, pool, or track can prepare you for being held under in big surf. Only repeatedly being held under in big surf, will prepare you for being held under in big surf.

    and finally, it's your general tone that has myself, and i'm assuming, so many other people pissed off. Stop coming off as this righteous/pompous person, and you probably would get more people sharing their beatdown stories. but this "33 year old stoked grom" crap is just comical.
    Psychological projection was first conceptualized by Sigmund Freud as a defense mechanism in which a person unconsciously rejects his or her own unacceptable attributes by ascribing them to objects or persons in the outside world instead.

  10. #50
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by zaGaffer View Post
    EMAssSpicoli, I haven't actually found time to read one of your posts yet, but I will. I promise.

    Maybe this forum isn't the best place for a new surfer, have you tried here?:
    http://forum.surfermag.com/forum/pos...t=0&Board=UBB1

    Those guys are generally more helpful, much more patient, have a ton of stoke and probably represent one of the most knowledgeable collections of surfers on the internet. My suggestion is to post your story on that forum, word-for-word. I believe that the feedback you get will prove much more insightful than the replies you’ve gotten here.
    And they have some particularly thought-provoking threads:
    "Do you want this turd in your neighborhood"
    "Pit bulls are nice"
    "Gore sure to receive Devil's Pineapple up the A$$ Award"
    "Trash Truck videos"
    "Padres grow vegetables in bull pen"

    Sheldon Cooper's surfing saga should go over well.