Wave selection … it’s just like dating!!

Every girl dreams of meeting her Prince Charming and and getting swept off her feet and having beautiful experiences.  But true love can be hard to find and usually we have to go through the confusion, the texting anxiety and the downright cheaters, before we find ‘the one’.  There’s a direction analogy that can be made with wave selection.  We have to experience the close-outs, the mush burgers and the messiness, before we get a grip on what constitutes a good wave.  Here are a few pointers to help you steer a course through the perils and pitfalls of wave selection….

  • Be patient, trust that the right wave is out there and it’s worth waiting for. Don’t sell yourself short by riding a loser.  If you choose a wave that’s bumpy or gutless, it’s like dating a guy who still lives in his mum’s basement, or doesn’t have a job.  It’s going nowhere.  Choose a wave that has integrity across its length with a sense of purpose and direction.  With these waves there are less likely to be nasty surprises.  Get rid of that any-wave-will-do mentality.
  • Don’t ride the same wave as your friend, unless there’s a sizeable gap. This should go without saying, but in morally corrupt surf towns there has been known to be overlappage
  • My friend Victoria came up with this one … some surf sessions will feel like you’ve gone into a bar after 2am and expected to meet a nice guy there.  When the wind is onshore and the swell is non-existent, we have to accept that the likelihood of finding a nice wave that day is small.  Sometimes through no fault of our own, the pickings are slim
  • When you see a good wave make sure you prepare well for it. If you were going on a date with a Ryan Gosling or Bradley Cooper you would probably brush your hair and shave your legs and wear something nice.  Same goes for a good wave, make an effort with good posture and committed paddling
  • Always paddle towards the best spot for catching a particular wave, and keep your eye on the wave.  If you saw a guy you liked in a bar would you ignore him and move away from him?
  • When you’ve started to paddle towards the beach make sure you look back over both shoulders to see how the wave is shaping up. Remember that guy who was so charming, funny and well mannered, and when you got to know him he turned out to be a compulsive liar and manipulator?  Well waves can be like that too.  The mellow fun wave you spotted 100 metres away can turn into a heaving bloodthirsty beast.  By looking back over your shoulder you can decide to opt out before you get smashed
  • If you paddle to catch a green wave but don’t quite catch it, you must sit up on your board and turn around and paddle back out to the lineup.  Don’t miss the wave and then stay lying on your board in the impact zone and paddle for any old wave behind you.  This would be like hitting on a guy in a bar, getting blown off, but then going home with his friend even though you didn’t get a proper look at him
  • Don’t pop up too soon. Make sure you have definitely caught the wave before you pop up.  Otherwise it’s like having sex on the first date … see ya, that guy will probably run off without you
  • Don’t go for a wave where there’s a likelihood of it doubling up with the wave in front or behind it. I don’t want to be vulgar and take the dating analogy too far with this one.
  • What’s that saying … ‘you have to go on a hundred bad dates, before you go on a good one’. Choosing the wrong waves and getting smashed is all part of surfing and the learning process.  Surfing and dating can be a numbers game, hey that’s what internet dating is all about.  But every now and then turquoise perfection comes along and it all becomes worthwhile.

another perfect wave

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