Surfs these days are few and far between, although I’ve been more times this year than any since we moved to South Australia in 2006. But I went this weekend just past and had probably the best surf I’ve scored since the move.
I went to Parsons Beach, which is on the western side of Newland Head, down on the southern end of the Fleurieu Peninsula. After waking at 5:30 and scraping myself into the car, I headed south for 1 1/2 hours, through intermittent showers. Surfing trips these days are well planned out ventures, with the board loaded, wetsuit and towel in a bag and a thermos of black coffee brewed the night before, so there’s a minimal delay between rising and setting out in the morning.
I got to the carpark at the headland at about 7am and checked Parsons first. “Hmmm, looks ok, but there’s nobody out. I’ll go around the headland and check Waits”.
Got around to Waits and there were at least 10 blokes out in the water, with another 8-10 suiting up in the carpark. And the thing is, the waves weren’t that much better. Surfers, I decided long ago, are sheep. Very few are willing to take the first step into the unknown. You could have 20km of beach in front of you, but guaranteed that the bulk of the crowd surfing there will be concentrated into one or two peaks. It makes me shake my head in confusion sometimes. But hey, it’s their loss, right?
So needless to say, I went back to Parsons, suited up and headed down the track through the heath and out onto the beach – the first bloke in the water! I only had it to myself for five minutes, but that was enough to catch a couple of smaller ones and realise that it was actually quite a bit bigger than it had looked from the carpark. Great. I hooked into one of the bigger lefts just as the next bloke arrived in the lineup and got a couple of nice turns in before it clipped my heels and sent me sprawling on the inside.
I stayed out for a couple more hours and the crowd kept building, But I still managed to get my fair share of waves. I even had a moment with a pod of dolphins, who swam past inside of where I was sitting. I also got to put my new board through its paces a bit more – it really is far more manoeuvrable than my old single fin. I think the combination of a fin…
- with more rake (how far back the fin curves in relation to its base), and
- brought a little further forward from the tail…
has really loosened it up.