7AM SORE-THUMB SURFING - 2/11/04
So here come the posts. Iíve got a lot to catch up on.

Last Saturday was the first of Gabe and Iís Saturday Surf Sessions at Manhattan Beach. Joined by friends Ryan (to show us how itís done) and April (to cheer from the ice-cold sand sideline), we waddled out into the water at about 7:30am to find there were already several hundred people trying to catch waves. Apparently they take their surfing seriously in the South Bay.

The temperature in the South Bay changes roughly 30 degrees between 7am and noon, but believe it or not, surfing first thing in the morning was NOT one of the retarded decisions made that day. Nothing opens your eyes after an all-night security shift like 40-degree ocean water, especially when you donít have a wetsuit. This, I learned, is an essential accessory for surfing in February Ė of the hundreds of people in the water I was the only one not wearing a warm rubber suit. I was barebacking it, I was told by the countless other surfers who stopped to marvel at/mock me both in the water and on shore.

Yes, I was a sore thumb. I had no idea how to surf, no idea how to dress, and no idea how to control my 9-foot pontoon of a surfboard, which nearly got away from me and clobbered people on numerous occasions. But I braved the waves just the same, conspicuous in my red swim trunks Ė the color of which my skin had turned after about half an hour when I finally gave up and returned to shore, shivering uncontrollably, having failed to make it upright on my board even once.

Yup, canít wait to go back next week.

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