Had been noticing something over time as of late, and it hit me again last night at the start of my session:
My first wave attempt is typically successful and usually one of my best rides of the day.
I'm going to attribute it to the following - excitement to be on the water since it's all I was thinking about for the previous several hours, gratitude that there's a wave to be caught that day, and uninhibited muscle memory.
I think about my surfing development in between every session and to great depth, establishing a skill objective to work on and achieve the next session if the conditions allow. I do think in a technical sense during my sessions, though I mainly focus on the environment and jiving with the power and will of the water when I'm out there since it's not a thing to oppose, resist, or be in the way of.
Like I've seen through my whole athletic career in several other sports, you can be mentally grasping what's needed for skill execution but if you try too hard in the physical sense it won't happen even after many reps and attempts. It's refreshing to see what you're capable of when you let the body do its thing.
This first rep efficiency seems to be a physical representation of "in the moment" presence. When I hit the water at 4:30 this morning, my objective will be simply to treat each wave like it's the first (and only) wave of the day.
It usually takes me a couple waves, then I feel dialed in to the swell and conditions...about an hour into the session for me is the most "productive" in terms of catching waves and making the most of my rides.
EMass - Great observations and well articulated. My first wave is typically my best. Then, after 30 minutes, I feel dialed in for a handful of waves, then fatigue (both mental and physical) kick in.
I too have experienced what you described in other sports as "mentally grasping what's needed for skill execution but if you try too hard in the physical sense it won't happen even after many reps and attempts. It's refreshing to see what you're capable of when you let the body do its thing."
I know what you mean, so many times I’ve gotten my best ride of the day on the 1st wave attempt, and then I spend the rest of the session trying to top it. Sometimes I get into a rhythm and catch many more that are equally as good or better, but other times I simply couldn't get a better ride for the rest of the day, for whatever reason.
Glad others out there can relate to this. I appreciate the responses.
ThatSly, I hear you and some sessions I have to stay out there a long, long time to get 2 more rides like that first one. It's ok though. We always want the next good ride but we've gotta be stoked just thinking about that first good ride of the day itself and glad we got it.
Kooky, our sessions sound similar. One thing that gets me off track from more good rides is any amount of frustration that my primary beach break changes by the minute. I get pissed occasionally when I want that next good ride but the waves are tough to read no matter how hard I try to adapt and position myself. Then I remind myself that no one made me go out on the water, no one's keeping me out there, and it's actually a privilege to be out there. Usually gets me centered again.
rcarter, perhaps. Passion, determination, and gratitude tend to stimulate thought. Was also less than an hour until my dawn patrol sesh so I was pretty amped up.
Dawn, those days that you get into a rhythm and equal or outdo your initial ride, do you notice anything specific that triggers an exceptional session?
seldom, anything that you notice yourself doing that escalates the quality of your rides or is it just simply a "warming up" that's needed for the groove?
Possible solution: strap the leash up, hit the water, nail the first attempt for a sick ride. Then proceed to walk back out to the parking lot and go back to the truck, then head back to the beach and repeat as if I was just getting there for the first time that day. Repeat until I've had enough good "first rides". Some might say that's a lot of needless work, but others may define paddling for an hour through junk for the next good 5-15 second wave ride just as insane.
Another possible solution: we step into liquid, shred the first moving hydro-bump like its a 23-footer in Newark, step out of liquid, drop the board (a la Chris Rock dropping the mic) and walk off the beach.