Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Dolphin Action

Underwater fin surfing...
Some years ago i was sitting on a beach in northern N.S.W. Australia after a swim with my monofin. It was a beautifull sunny summer morning with a small but clean swell rolling through. As i was relaxing i saw what i had only seen once in a photo before. A pob of dolphins approached from offshore and proceeded to catch a wave and surf it as it peeled along the shore. These creatures are the planets most ancient surfers and probably this image is what inspired the ancient polynesians to start riding waves. To see with what style, fluidity, and grace they playfully rode that wave is something imposible to describe. This was really a situation of "you had to see it to really understand it".
All i could do was admire, in awe. When the first wave of emotions had disipated and the dolphins gone (probably to breakfast, hungry from the session) the only thing i could think about was if such a thing could be done by a human. Here i was in the land where surfing is a national sport and millions of waves get ridden around the country all year, yet to my knowledge, no other human had ever tried to imitate what i had just seen the dolphins do. So stood up and decided that it was time to wet my mono again and this time in a way i had never imagined. I finned to the lineup (for non surfers; the point where waves start to break) and waited for my first wave. Needless to say that my first attempts resulted in getting tumbled around with no result. But as i started to figure out the timming in diving at the right moment, finning and catching the wave as it broke, i magicly caught my first wave swimming underwater, just like they did. When you ride a wave in this manner you actually only kick to get some monentum, then when the wave comes above you it pulls you along with it's own energy without needing you to kick anymore. You suddenly find yourself in another dimension where you are inisde the wave, it's energy is all around you and you glide through the water propelled by it as it breaks down the line. You almost ARE the wave. When i exited the water from that first attempt i seriously felt as if i had seen the light, something in me had changed, maybe everything. As time passed i continued to practice whenever i got a chance and after some months figured out how to actually follow the wave. In the beginning i could only catch it and go in a straight line in front of it as it broke. This meant that my ride was very short as i didn't really follow the wave for much of it's breaking distance. So when i first followed the wave underwater as it was breaking along, without exiting from its inertia was again a ground breaking moment. This time i was starting to really surf it like the dolphins do. Of course i still could not manouver around underwater like they do with quick direction changes, out of the water leaps and so forth but i was on my way. One of the last times i surfed was in front of my old house in Bronte Sydney, where i was given the gift of catching my first tube ride. I was glidding fast under this wave when it started to tube and i kept on speeding right below the surface of a breaking liquid cylinder, WOW. Nevertheless, life having some odd twists and turns i was led away from my beloved waves and back to my familiar and flat mediteranean shores . It's been a year and a half since that last wave but not so long anymore until my next one. This winter i'm planning to see how far i can take this concept and to do so i will go where the best go, in the meca of surfing. Hawaii of course. Updates will follow. What i now want to know is...is there anybody else out there doing this. I really think that there must be, it's imposible that no one else has thought of this and tried it. If you are out there i want to know, i want to communicate, this is too fun to not share, and if i'm still alone it just a matter of time...

reposted from : http://forums.deeperblue.com/general-freediving/53588-underwater-fin-surfing.html

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