Im not crazy damnit

6 months 6 days ago - 6 months 6 days ago #33535 by MCImes
Im not crazy damnit was created by MCImes
So here's my story for the weekend. We had some pretty exceptional wind today with consistent 30mph up to 35 gusts. The swell was mostly in line with the west wind, with secondary swell coming from the SW making for a fun mix of waves, without being a washing machine.

It was big and steep today. Bigger sets easily matched the2.25 meter reported waves @ 5-6 second interval with bigger and smaller swell combining unpredictably. I had multiple waves break on me in open water with the top 35cm of the wave dousing me. It was rowdy. Real rowdy.

As I was carrying my boat down to the beach .6 km from my house, my neighbor pulled up  in his car and announced "you're crazy" (for going out). Later, i was playing out by the end of break wall and passed some lobster fishers who announced "you're crazy".

I'm not crazy damnit! I just like to ride a wave and most people around me are wusses :) As long as you properly assess and prepare for risk, you can avoid bad outcomes quite effectively, which i think is lost on people who do not leave their bubble of safety and go into the wild. Yes, if you're unprepared in big conditions you can get in trouble real quick, but to me, the edge of your abilities are where you are tested and improve if done wisely.
I went for one swim tonight in the worst conditions I've ever capsized in - a wave caught me when i was turning around to go downwind int he middle of a big 2m set. Im happy to report i remounted with no problem and paddled on.

good times all around.

Anyone else have neighbors or local boaters that don't understand the call of the waves?

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"
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6 months 6 days ago #33536 by Cerca Trova
Replied by Cerca Trova on topic Im not crazy damnit
I have heard that statement most of my life. My response back; life is a participatory sport. I choose to participate.

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6 months 6 days ago #33537 by PSwitzer
Replied by PSwitzer on topic Im not crazy damnit
Sounds like if you're dressed for it, 30+ knot onshores it pretty safe since you get washed to shore pretty quick if you really blow it.   

For my local scene, going on a bomber downwind doesn't often raise any eyebrows since our thing is pretty tame compared to all the other big wave/ wind stuff happening.  I think your comment about risk assessment is the crux- and the need to be able to look at yourself as objectively as possible without ego getting in the way.  Sometimes the conditions really do line up dangerously and if you don't have the pattern recognition to see it, trouble ensues. 

Looking back at my early "excited puppy dog" phase of getting hooked on downwinds, I certainly made some terrible judgement calls and put myself and my friends at risk because I didn't know what I didn't know.  Nothing bad came of it, but it is horrifying to think back at some of the stuff we attempted, but at the time I didn't have any solid mentors in my peer group, it was blind leading the blind.  

Fast forward to this morning- North winds that normally would make for a great run from Makai Pier around Makapuu to Hawaii Kai-   Except that giant surf is making a 20 minute section of the run a big minefield, avoidable only by heading a couple miles out into the Kaiwi channel, and maybe  not even then, consequence of a f-up could be getting pulled out into the vast blue towards Molokai.  10 years ago I would have gone, no question!

I guess I'm just saying if you don't have a more experienced peer group to bounce ideas off, it really makes your experience and risk assessment that much more important, and so far it sounds like you're doing a good job in thinking it through, so have fun!
- Patrick   

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6 months 6 days ago #33538 by feeny
Replied by feeny on topic Im not crazy damnit
I think the surf-ski is a wonderful teacher and as a result, the sport kind of self selects.

It is such an amazing progression, we all start by falling in (in my case a lot!), then fall in less and less - and for me along this journey my definition of crazy most certainly has changed (and continues to change).

I am told that I am crazy for:
  • paddling
  • paddling in the morning
  • paddling at night
  • paddling in the dark
  • paddling in the wind
  • paddling in the cold
  • paddling in the heat
  • paddling in the ocean
Here's what I think is crazy... I can't imagine living without paddling and do my best to inform those suggesting I may be mentally impaired that, actually, it is they who are craziest of all -- how can you live without this????

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6 months 6 days ago #33539 by venicebum
Replied by venicebum on topic Im not crazy damnit
Yeah, You're crazy,  I'm Crazy, we're all crazy chasing bump in these conditions AND I wouldn't have it any other way. 
Wind, swell were good fun yesterday, basically sleigh ride from Leo Carrillo to MDR, I would have went to Redondo but didn't have a ride back. Next time.

Keep being crazy chasing the bump!

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6 months 5 days ago #33540 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Im not crazy damnit
One advantage of where i paddle is that the exit to the harbor concentrates the waves so if i feel comfortable (or slightly uncomfortable) going past the harbor mouth once im a quarter mile offshore the runs get cleaner and the reflected waves die out.

Also, since i have to paddle out and back, i never get 'stuck' a long ways from shore with no reasonable bailout option. If the sea builds to an unacceptable point, i just turn around and am back in the harbor quickly. But to your point PSwizer, the lowest stage of conscious competence is the most dangerous (don't know what you don't know).
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/four_stages_of_competence

Venice bum, you're nuts! A 30 mile downwind in yesterdays' conditions is crazy even to me! That must have been awesome! If you have an oc2 and ever want to repeat that run i'm down any weekend. Do you live near MDR or Malibu? Im in Ventura.

I was sore today but met a new paddler who wanted to go out again so we did another 6 miles in today's breeze. Towards the end of the session we got over 20mph winds with solid short interval wind waves. The only other people on the water are wind surfers and kite surfers. I gotta make friends with some of them.

If paddling on a big day is crazy, sanity is lame.

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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6 months 5 days ago - 6 months 5 days ago #33543 by Dicko
Replied by Dicko on topic Im not crazy damnit
I’m sick of people asking me if I’m worried about sharks. At my age i’m More worried about  heart attacks. I know of 8 people who have broken their necks bike riding.. why do people think cycling is a safe sport. Would much rather fall off my ski than a bike.

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6 months 5 days ago #33544 by venicebum
Replied by venicebum on topic Im not crazy damnit
MCimes,

I'm in Venice and as to safety concerns.... Absofrickinglutely know your limitations, be realistic with ability/skill level and hopefully you're prepared! I don't have a 2man, but that'd be a blast.

Had for conditions:
3mm booties, 1mm neoprene pants, neoprene jacket, neon windproof vest, Mocke life jacket, marine radio, extra blade, neon strobe, cell in ziplock, people on land knowing what I was doing and when I'd check in.

Dicko,
Hahaha.... That's a FACT. Classic response!!!

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6 months 5 days ago #33546 by leolinha
Replied by leolinha on topic Im not crazy damnit
Maybe all of us are deemed crazy by non-paddlers!
Dicko, people often ask me too if I am afraid of sharks. I usually respond that I am more afraid of dogs! I have some OC1-paddler friends that like to make stops at river beaches, thinking that those are deserted places, but in fact are part of rural properties, some of them well guarded by Rottweilers, Pitbulls and such...
I like to chase boat wakes and to make short expeditions to nearby islands, usually more than 10 km away. Once, as I was chasing a boat wake, I was recognized by one of the crew, who shouted at his mates: "Hey, that must be that crazy guy we saw near the island!"

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6 months 4 days ago - 6 months 4 days ago #33551 by feeny
Replied by feeny on topic Im not crazy damnit
Nobody has ever, ever, asked me "but, aren't you afraid of the seals?"

I see a ton more seals than sharks, often just lazily dozing on the surface, we rocket past on a swell and the instinct seems to be one of two things - either dive or - charrrrgeee!!!!  -- see this video for an example at 1m26s :

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6 months 4 days ago - 6 months 4 days ago #33552 by Watto
Replied by Watto on topic Im not crazy damnit
Ahh lads that video was so damn good, laughed my arse off at you guys yahooing, having a ball and just gobsmacked at those runs and pumping rollers.

Had a decent 25 knots + (30mph+) here in Perth plus couple of weeks ago, not unusual, though as you can see in the video swells coming from the SW while we need to head pretty much due north.  Intention in this clip was to shift perspective from just the front of the boat, across to a mate. Wasn't a really crazy day but for sure there are plenty here who get out in it when it's wild.

https://vimeo.com/318108757

As guys have said here we've all done plenty of stupid things younger and we kind-of-sort-of learn from them, but it's just so good pushing that envelope and testing the boundaries. Great comments all of these -  it's just such an addictive sport, so feck what others think. 

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6 months 4 days ago #33555 by Epicpaddler
Replied by Epicpaddler on topic Im not crazy damnit
I've paddled out through thin ice before to get to good water, so yeah, lots of folks think Im crazy. They are just missing the fun. Love the video. Don't have to worry about flying seals where I paddle. 

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6 months 4 days ago #33556 by MCImes
Replied by MCImes on topic Im not crazy damnit
Good to know I'm not the only crazy one. Good point about bike riding too! My neighbor got hit by a car and fractured her hip. Took her out for 4 months, yet biking is 'safe' to most people. I think the crazy people are road bikers on narrow, windy 2 lane california mountain roads. Idiots still ride down canyons that are sketchy with just 2 cars passing each other. 

When I lived in MN and MA, I'd get lots of amazed looks when I was carrying my boat down to the river over snow banks and waiting for a break in the shore ice to sneak out.  Luckily no more frozen water is in my paddling future for a while.

Currently - Swordfish S in Southern California's ocean waters
Past Boats: Epic V10 g0, Stellar SR g1, Fenn XT g1
"When you've done something right, they wont know you've done anything at all"

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6 months 3 days ago #33559 by venicebum
Replied by venicebum on topic Im not crazy damnit
This thread is GREAT!

Thanks for posting that awesome video, both of them, it says it all about DW paddling.... Having a blast, hooting and hollering and the slowmo seal is frickin' comedy!  

As for paddling out through ice, that's "crazy damnit!" Haha. I have zero to complain about training in 40-42 degree mornings. Hats off to you!

Keep searching and chasing the bump!

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6 months 3 days ago #33562 by kwolfe
Replied by kwolfe on topic Im not crazy damnit
Not crazy at all.  I've had people call me "dedicated" which I know meant crazy because I was paddling in 24F while they were hiking in all sorts of snow gear.

Had a time last year where I was finding ever large rock and log I could toss out on the lake to break the remaining ice left near the shore.  It was about 30ft to get to the unfrozen water but I got out there dammit.  

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