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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Delaware
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    1,135

    See you on the bottom

    I guess I need to start posting crap on here.... Let's see, people love stories about death and destruction, so, does anyone have any good hold down stories? Longest you have been held down, where, did you come up? LOL

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Location
    Monmouth Beach, NJ
    Posts
    2,504
    I can't say I have any dramatic, near death hold down stories. But I can say that I tend to get beat up a little more on, say, head high days than on big DOH days. I think it has to do with the fact that on the biggest days, you're taking the precautions... making sure you get that extra deep breath... making sure you don't panic... etc. You make a conscious effort to prepare yourself for the big hits, and to avoid putting yourself into dangerous situations. But on the days where it's only in the head high range, you don't necessarily take those precautions... you don't think about any "consequences" so you're more likely to make mistakes.... like not timing your paddle out, not paying attention to currents, not looking for the sandy bottom on that inside closout section that could cost you your board... or a few stitches.

    So the longest "hold down" I've ever had was only a few seconds, but with no air in your lungs, it still makes you come up gasping for air like it was your last breath on Earth.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Ocean, NJ
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    I've had several hold downs where my throat muscles started to spasm, but never inhaled water (knock on wood). The worst scare I had was jumping off my board and not realizing how shallow it was beneath me. Some how I end up going in head first, slamming the crown of my head into the floor, and jarring my neck/head. I thought at first I'm dead, then I thought I'm paralyzed, then I thought one more wave!

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Delaware
    Posts
    1,135
    Surfing the North East with the 30 yard paddles does not prepare you for some of the 300 yard paddles on the West Coast. I was surfing Ocean Beach in San Diego on a pretty big day. I was kind of getting worked a little with the paddling and then a big 4 wave set came through and I got caught on the inside. I was held under for quite a while, then when you get to the surface to take a breath, you get slammed again! It is a very weird feeling being held under that long, thinking, am I coming up or not. Then you come up and paddle back out! LOL
    Holy Sh_t Stoney, yeah, that's prob a little worse than a long hold down!!!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Location
    Lewes, DE
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    On the East Coast, its more about not smacking the bottom hard, on the shallow sand bars.

    But then again, in the winter, when your in top to bottom in rubber, a 5 second hold down seems like forever!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Monmouth County
    Posts
    1,365
    big ass day in cedars, in a nice barrel but eventually got swallowed up. came up to find a jetty 2 ft away and a few more waves coming right at me. first wave came and i swam down super deep, and gently was brushed up against the jetty by the current/breaking wave(mad mussels n crap). before the second wave came, i literally ran across the top of the jetty (higher tide, small jetty) and managed to make it under the second wave (significantly less impact than the first one)

    made it to the beach EXHAUSTED, thanking god i didn't get my leash snagged on the jetty or get knocked out.

    escaped w/ a few cuts on my feet, minor tears in wetsuit and small dings in board. by far scariest experience i've had surfing.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Swellinfo View Post
    On the East Coast, its more about not smacking the bottom hard, on the shallow sand bars.

    But then again, in the winter, when your in top to bottom in rubber, a 5 second hold down seems like forever!


    haha, yeah seconds feel like hours when a set comes thru the inside in the middle of january....

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Swellinfo View Post
    On the East Coast, its more about not smacking the bottom hard, on the shallow sand bars.

    But then again, in the winter, when your in top to bottom in rubber, a 5 second hold down seems like forever!
    yeah, I've had some scary ones in the winter. I can remember a few sizable VAS sessions in mid winter where a set unloaded on my head... and with all that rubber, being so far offshore and out of breath is really freaky at the moment. But I'm a heavy drinker, a heavy smoker, and have no wind, so they couldn't have been that bad compared to others.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Hilton Head Island - OB, SD
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zeroevol View Post
    Surfing the North East with the 30 yard paddles does not prepare you for some of the 300 yard paddles on the West Coast. I was surfing Ocean Beach in San Diego on a pretty big day. I was kind of getting worked a little with the paddling and then a big 4 wave set came through and I got caught on the inside. I was held under for quite a while, then when you get to the surface to take a breath, you get slammed again! It is a very weird feeling being held under that long, thinking, am I coming up or not. Then you come up and paddle back out! LOL
    Holy Sh_t Stoney, yeah, that's prob a little worse than a long hold down!!!
    My worst was at South Garbage like 5 years ago. I was out on what was the biggest day I have ever seen in San Diego... I was out on the shoulder for a long time. I saw a few smaller sets and we were all going on them, having fun. Getting confident, then this old guy on a long board said that in a few minutes, the whole cove was going to empty out at the tide shift and we were going to see clean up sets. About five minutes later, on the horizon, you could see huge rouge sets scooping in from the south. And we all paddled like madmen. Me and one other guy almost made it to the outside, but at the last second the water kept sucking up and we were right under the lip. Luckily, I duck dove what felt like 10 feet deep and braced myself. I had both feet on my board for extra push and when the wave impacted the top of the water, it shot down right across my back and slammed the middle of my board. It immediately broke two of my twos and ripped the board off my leg. I was about 15 feet deep for one more wave that broke and I could see the light kind of so I knew I was going back up to the top. When i caught air, there was a no move waves coming and my board was only about 50 feet away. I guess my board went so deep it didnt come back up until the set was over. But there were 20 people in the lineup that day and me and one other guy were left. Every other person just got swept into the beach. Broken leashes. Snapped boards. Craziest one I have ever been in. And what makes it scary is that this break is like 350 years out to sea. So when you are alone. You are alone. No lifeguards on the beach... And you are in water that is very, very deep.... I got lucky and in the end it wasnt that bad, but that was for sure my worst hold down. I was shook the rest of the day. It look me an hour just to pick off a wave to take back to the inside that day. I was just way outside after that trying to avoid death, thinking why the fu** did I paddle out here. This was stupid. I am on a 7'6 pipeline gun paddling around in 20ft sets... what am I thinknig.... Scary day. I have never surfed a really HUGE day since then. When it gets that big, I can watch. Not worth the possibility.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    MD - VA
    Posts
    3,611

    dominican disaster

    Bad one for me: arrived in the DR, partied hard on the plane (free drinks in first) & continued partying into the night in Cabarete. Hooked up with a chica, but still got up at 0700 to hit the surf at Encuentro. I left my gear at home, my buddy said hey rent from a place in the DR, avoid the BS board fees on AA. So, I rented a stick & leash from a s***hole place on the beach, paddled out, 8-10 ft, Encuentro can crank & it was crankin' on this day. I've surfed there many, many times.

    Big water, caught a few, was tired from previous night's recreational craziness. Encuentro is a reef break but behaves more like beach break, meaning, you do a lot of paddling once you're out there in order to find the shoulder. Esp on big days, it's always shifting a lot.

    Big set coming in & I paddled hard for what seemed like minutes, went up the face & kept going up, thought I had it & was punching through. Very, very wrong. Got sucked over backwards on the board & slammed very hard. Did the full 360 backwards. When I hit I lost all air, just knocked outta me, plus I was so beat from the long paddle trying to make it through that beast. Then the hold down, without air, which I thought would never end. Absolute misery.

    Finally, made it up. Board snapped in half, then everything ripped right off - - crappy rental gear, the leash velcro was toast & the leash went too. As soon as I came up, caught a quick breath, but I was heavin', then immediately I got hit again, right on the head. Stuffed under for awhile. Runnin out of air.

    My mind started to lose the game.

    Yep. First time in my life. Panic. You can say you know what panic is, but until you panic? You have no idea. I'm a good swimmer, been surfing years, boxed competitively, been in a number of street fights, played pro ball, yadda yadda yadda. Just sayin', in other words, I've seen some stuff in this world.

    In this case, though, my mind just gave it up. It's impossible to explain. I came up the second time & I distinctly recall trying to climb out of the ocean. 300 yards out from shore. I was trying to climb up & out of the water. Climbing up....on nothing. I recall thinking "that's it, I've had enough, I'm out, I want to take a break, I'm getting out of the water now." It made no sense, totally irrational.

    I was so tired, I was literally thinking that I can't make that swim to shore.

    My buddy Eric was about 40 feet away & he yelled "are you ok?" He said later I had a wild, crazy look on my face. I shouted "no, help me out! " He paddled hard to get to me, and nearly didn't make it, cause he got slammed a couple times by large waves.

    Finally got to me. The longest 60 seconds of my life was trying to get to him and him trying to get to me. I was swallowing salt water. So tired.

    He got to me & I flopped on his board & he kicked & pushed us in to shore, all the while getting hit by more large waves.

    Best feeling in the world ? Dirt underfoot when I could finally stand up in 6 feet of water near shore. I fell out & just lay on the beach for an hour, heart going insanely fast, splitting headache, coughing up salt water. No doubt I owe Eric my life.

    Now....y'all could rip me.....or make snide comments.....maybe I deserve it, but I don't think so even though it was my own damn fault. I learned a lot that day about the ocean's power, my own stupidity in not being prepared & about panic. Just passing this along to you in the 'what it's worth category.'

    BTW, look up dry drowning. A doc friend of mine told me that most near-drowning victims die on the beach from dry drowning or from a heart attack. Said I was a lucky fella that day.

    Yes indeed.

    (Oh, and I had to pay the rental hole $ 400.00 usd for damaging their crappy equipment. I ALWAYS bring my own gear after that episode. Another lesson learned.)