Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Body Surfing the big ones at steamer lane

great description of the craft..

Body Surfing at Steamers Lane

"I have always thought that rodeo bull riders were just a bit nuts. You must have a really drastic need for fun if you hop on something that powerful and that mad. Well, Here I was, about 150 yards from shore at Middle Peak, Steamers Lane, trying my own version of that fun. I guess I just got real lucky. It was the beginning of a set and there was this monster coming. I could see it rising more than 200 yards past where I was and all I could do is wait and hope I was positioned well enough. These are too big to chase around after much.

At the time, I didn't know how hard it is to catch one of these big waves while bodysurfing. You have to take off really late as the wave is fully starting to break. I took off using a feet together dolphin kick and both my arms. I didn't know at the time that you don't ride Middle Peak towards the cliff. I certainly was learning. It is too fast. I was flying and water was spraying everywhere. You have to hold your breath all the time for the inevitable moment when the waves tires of you and puts you in the cold water spin cycle. In waves like this, you are just a rag doll. Amazingly though, I had successfully caught it and was riding it tubed inside the wave. There was nothing to see. It was just darkness and splashing water. Every 10 seconds or so, you blow out your air and suck in another breath to hold and keep blasting along. When in a wave like this, you intimately feel its power and well know that to it you are just another small spray of foam. It died out calmly. The end of the ride was not near catastrophic as I had expected. Then as I turned around some, I bumped into a rock. In a fraction of a second I realized without accepting, that the only rock out here was near the cliff, more than 150 yards from where I had started. I had been tubed for the whole ride. This was the first time I had ever tried bodysurfing at the Lane...."

Keep reading "Bodysurfing at Steamer Lane"...

1 comment:

  1. Well son of a gun! What do you know. I just watched "Chasing Mavericks" and it made me so .... "home" sick that I had to search. Has anyone ever bodysurfed big Steamer? The search led me here and what should I find? Here it is. I wrote this story long ago, but I will never forget the beauty, challenge and adventure of the time.
    ... Hey, I know that somewhere, someone has a picture of me in my wetsuit with the big red belly stripe. I would happily pay for a picture of me bodysurfing a big wave there. My contact info is on that page this links to.
    Enjoy, Mike

    When it rains, let the water hit your face. It will be the most intense feeling of your day.