Happy Valentine’s Day!!! What better way to spend a beautiful February day than to take off from work and go surfing?!
For the love-centric holiday, Ted and I gave each other the gift of neoprene. I gave him booties and a hood (as he already had gloves), and he gave me gloves and a hood.
I can’t begin to describe the difference it makes when your head and hands are warm – especially if you take into account my Reynods Syndrome (a fun little condition that causes my capillaries to close for business when I get cold, thereby causing my hands and feet to turn a shocking shade of white).
While I’m an avid believer in not shying away from experiences that toughen you up, I was bordering on hypothermia in some of our sessions. It’s gotten so cold lately that we’ve only been able to be in the water for half an hour before crying uncle. So keeping our extremities warm will make a marked improvement on our surfing experience.
When we first stepped into the water, Ted couldn’t believe how much warmer his feet were; when we first began to paddle, I couldn’t believe how much warmer my hands were. When we were both completely submerged (the point that every cold-weather surfer dreads), we relished in the fact that our hoods shielded us from the jolt of cold water flooding into the back of our wetsuits.
It was a great day to be in the water – the sun was out, the sky was a brilliant blue, and the beach was relatively empty with the exception of a couple of snowbirds who stopped to watch us as they were walking by. Ted suggested I take Olive for another spin since the waves were pretty small and it was perfect for a push session. Since I didn’t have to worry about catching the waves on my own, I could just practice popping up on my new board.
My first ride was great! Because it was such a small day, I could scoot forward on my board without having to worry about pearling the nose in. So with his push and using my feet still to pop up, I could easily get up on the board.
We knew that on bigger days, I would have to move back down on my board, meaning I’d have to pop up using only my knees, but I could work on that at home. We figured that by the time it was warm enough to surf without a wetsuit (when I wouldn’t be encumbered by all the neoprene), I’d be able to do a shortboard pop up.
In the meantime, this little push session was important for me to start getting the feel for riding a shorter board. As I was enjoying the short rides into the beach on Olive, it was clear that it was definitely a more maneuverable and responsive board than Greenie.
For the first time in three months, we were comfortable (thank you Cupid), so we actually found it hard to pull ourselves away from the surf. But warmed grilled cheese sandwiches and tomato soup from our favorite sandwich shop were to be had, and who could resist that?
Until we meet again…