New Zealander experiences the highs and the lows of California
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 27 August, 2017 - Big. Everything is big in America. The big LAX sign when you leave the airport, the super size options at every American diner even though the regular size is already big enough to feed at least two people. The big highways for the big cars (their small cars are like the biggest cars in New Zealand). Even their patriotism comes in a big presence with American flag flapping away on nearly everyone’s property. With all this being said, I matched the size of ‘big’ with my expectations to go well at the Supergirl Pro in Oceanside.
After a surf trip to Lakey Peak of solid non-stop surfing, I was feeling fighting fit and ready to go for a competition. Still deciding to get there two weeks early, let’s be honest here; because 30 degrees in California is a lot easier to surf more than 3 degrees in NZ. I also have a great little or should I say big set up in San Clemente. A friends house to stay at that’s super close to all surf spots including the famous Trestles break, a fun gym up the road (yes I said fun and gym in the same sentence) and my coach just down the road. The perfect combination for a pro surfer trying to get better and get back on the World Championship Tour.
With many surf breaks along the coast it can be harder choosing a spot or sitting in the crazy highway traffic that always seems to be ‘peak’ time than it is to find a wave every single day! Wave and weather wise this place amazes me every year with its consistency and you can definitely see why a fair few Pro and lifestyle surfers have moved their whole families and lives to live in or near San Clemente.
Competition time I felt I had done everything right, I was feeling great and ready to go. Even after all these years of competing and experience I still find the first heat the most nerve wracking. Maybe because no one likes to fly half way around the world to lose in 25minutes although I just never like losing ever!
My first heat the surf was firing for Oceanside. Clean 3ft lefts and rights. I started right on the buzzer with a big right hander, two big turns getting an 8.5 ride. Straight back out to get a back up score on a left with a little ‘head-dip’ barrel scoring a 7.5 I could of come in from the heat right then and there and won the heat and only four minutes had passed. With no pressure at all now and in a heats perspective, a ton of time to go, I was smart for once and played the patience game waiting for another big right to score another eight point something ride officially combo-ing the rest of the girls in my heat.
As I sat back out the back and listened to the commentator ramble on about me and my scores I thought to myself that in the 10-15years I’ve been competing, this was one of the best heats of my surfing career! When you’re quickly becoming one of the older girls on tour and wondering when you should stop competing starts to creep into your mind every now and then, this was quite the moment where I thought to myself that maybe I’m only just coming into my prime haha! That big heat fitted my big expectations perfectly.
With highs there are lows. I went straight from one of the best heats of my life to a close heat losing by 0.5 because of my own mistakes. No one to blame but myself. Kicked myself for days about it but I have to move on because this year is not a sprint, it’s a marathon. Moving down the ratings from 5th to 8th stings but at this point I’m still qualifying for the World Championship Tour with two 6000s to go.
I need one more top five finish to solidify my spot so let’s bring on Pantin, Spain! (August 29 – Sept 3)