The plan made in the bar last night was ‘get up the crack of dawn and catch the tide at Praiainha and surf some waves’.
So as I was climbing into my slightly damp wetsuit first thing this morning I was wondering where the bleedin’ eck everybody else had got to…
I paddled out at Praiainha on my own and sat out back. The swell had dropped since yesterday and the waves were small and weak. I sat there for a while looking across at Lagide watching the head high sets peel through with the half a dozen or so locals getting some early morning screamers on them.
I haven’t really surfed the main reef when it’s been working properly – it’s normally so crowded and quite frankly a tad scary for a relative newcomer like myself but for some reason I started to paddle across to see what it was all about…
By the time I got across most people had gone for breakfast leaving just three of us there. I sat on the shoulder for a while and watched a few waves go through getting a feel for the size and speed. Then a bigger set came through putting me in the perfect spot so I had no choice but to turn and paddle. The wave just picks you up and throws you down the line – it’s amazing – I got so much speed from my take off I raked a bottom turn and just flew out to the shoulder and over the top. The next wave was better – I took a deeper bottom turn and pulled up to the lip for a tentative top turn and another drop before drifting over the shoulder.
A few sets later and things were starting to make sense so when the largest set of the session came through I managed to read it perfectly – a smooth fast take off into a deep bottom turn. As I looked up at the wall of water before me for a second I thought I’d blown it but the speed I had took me round the section and up to the lip. The timing was great and the feathering top of the wave hit the bottom of my board and threw me out and down for another big drop. Then I just drifted down the line, dropping down onto my board, letting the white water take me into the beach….
I’m glad that I did that today – not sure how often I’ll surf there again as to be honest it scared the bejeezus out of me! It’s got to be good to push yourself occassionally though.
By the time AD and Flex made it out the reef was under the tide but they had some great fun at Cantinho and I had some fun getting a few photos. You can see some at my Flickr page.
I surfed today.