Forums > Stand Up Paddle General

Harden up or be Sensible?

Created by Souwester 24 days ago, 28 Aug 2021
WA, 1206 posts
28 Aug 2021 7:38PM
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When have you ever had a moment in the line up or on the beach where you had to choose between giving it a crack or being sensible?'

I had a moment today where I chose to play it safe, drop the ego and find a more suitable break after the first break I paddled out into have me a beating after one wave.

When I got in I re-assessed and decided it was just too gnarly for me with a lower tide and decent messy swell combining to make
one hell of an angry beach break.

Im now maybe regretting not giving it a go but at the tome reckon I made the right call!

NSW, 38 posts
28 Aug 2021 10:18PM
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Nothing wrong with a dose of common sense from time to time. Nothing to gain by coming to grief. Cheers

2258 posts
28 Aug 2021 10:52PM
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I totally get that. you have to take a risk assessment and make the right call. It's how we survive.

I used to actually like the beatings and basically always went out.. but now my body will more likely splat than bounce, so I pick my battles. luckily on big swells, I can drive an hour or two and find a nice Pointbreak with deeper water and a channel to paddle out in.
last year I drove to surf a great break, as Hurricane Teddy was maxing out.

2 minutes after I got to my favorite lineup spot, the biggest set of the swell came right to me. Holy crap!As I was paddling for the biggest wave I had seen in 40 years, I actually thought "you're 73 years old.when the he!! do you stop doing this $hit?"

I was way deep, way late on a huge wave (triple OH)
I committed and the wave was perfect.. I made the awesome 300 yard wall. The doubt left me.. "Yeah, I got this!"
but that break is not as nasty as my local beach break at that size, so not really a big deal to get whacked. I am sure someone on the crowded beach took a pic the crazy old coot on the SUP, but I haven't found one yet

The surfers were all hooting as I paddled back out. One guy shouted "Nice ride Hoss!" the rest of the session was just max fun!

I never would have gone out at home, where it breaks in shallow water with no channels out.
the pic below is my buddy Kenyon, the same day at my local beach break. He's a beast!

VIC, 177 posts
29 Aug 2021 7:30AM
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The recent death of a local board rider in his 50's in the surf at Wategos at Byron is relevant in this thread topic.
Swell has been up on the East Coast and I don't have any details of the incident and are not pursuing any more info.
Condolonces to the family and friends of this man.

4104 posts
29 Aug 2021 5:46AM
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Tis a good question ...after going ,or getting dragged up on rock many time ...I think i have learnt my lessons ,,Ha HA ..not ..
but as surfers we always have to push the envelope ..

ITS our GO FOR IT ..Attitude ...i got flogged yesterday too ...but it probably won't be the last time ...
you survived souwester, your a winner there is always something to learn out of each surf session ..

NSW, 1230 posts
29 Aug 2021 8:07AM
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Head injuries can be fatal . Not worth it for you or those around you. Plenty of groms in water these days who have poor lateral vision and no care or idea for etiquette . Right or wrong if i hurt a youngster i would feel eternally guilty . Plenty of waves . Be reasonable. It also depends on how good you can swim and mange your board off wave . I know my limits but not sure others do

VIC, 1570 posts
29 Aug 2021 8:30AM
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As I've got older and hopefully wiser I tend to go the sensible route that way I get to surf another day.

WA, 1206 posts
29 Aug 2021 10:00AM
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Cheer for replies guys, good point about the swimming, if not able to handle without a board prob not a good idea!

Head injuries are a real threat as well, particularly on a SUP

Being on a SUP makes it easier in a lot of ways but also harder in others -heaving beach break or shore break with a SUP can be just too hectic to handle.

Big clean waves are good, big messy and unruly waves are not. I made an assumption when packing the SUP yesterday, reckon if I checked the tide would have opted for a shorty.

1 posts
29 Aug 2021 4:25PM
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You've just got to be better.

26 posts
29 Aug 2021 6:52PM
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I tend to find a spot that's more in line with my 56 yo ability these days. Getting more risk averse, tend to reach for the Gath hat even in moderate offshores these days, as I've had a few close calls with the SUP blowing back over the wave, like a killer kite attached to my ankle.
Big, windy choppy conditions see me reaching for one of my prone boards.

569 posts
30 Aug 2021 2:11PM
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I find this question a tough one. Just when I seem to be approaching or even surpassing my prone surf technique on a sup, my 61+ years of aged body is starting to weaken. Mind getting stronger but the body softer. Trying to make the right choices can be challenging.

The last vid I posted had this drama but I couldn't catch it with the camera. I was one of the first out that morning and the ego voice on the one shoulder shut up the wise one on the other shoulder. I proceeded to paddle deep onto to bank and when the first big set came just went without thinking. All my experience and technique got me into a thick close out tube. For a moment as all outside view disappeared I finally realized the magnitude of the folly. And then it all went sideways. I caught my bottom rail and fell in the worst possible way right next to the board. Over the falls with the board and somehow nothing hit me. Whew!

The rest of the set pummeled me back onto the beach, where spitting water and thanking my float vest I felt very foolish and lucky. But luck ain't gonna keep me safe. I went back in and played it safe. Fear clears the mind of the ego crap.

VIC, 177 posts
31 Aug 2021 9:26AM
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Great story Surfinj
Becoming too comfortable in dangerous conditions statistically takes more professional outdoorsman than amateurs in some sports. Experienced free divers are more likely to die free diving compared to amateurs.
Until recently avalanche guides used to be more likely to die in an avalanche. The recent high number of Nth American winter avalanche deaths changed this statistic I believe. Covid19 closing resorts and pushing more people into the back country contributed to this.

VIC, 334 posts
31 Aug 2021 2:17PM
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Have to be honest... I don't really give it much thought most of the time.

The exception was during the recovery period after copping a hit in the neck from someone else's board (1mm from slicing my jugular with a fin so a little scary...). That knocked me around physically and also mentally.

There's a few moves I've failed in the past and got slightly battered. Never used to bother me too much but with the mental issue from the hit I started to think about how much it was going to hurt before I did the move (even on easy waves...).

Took about a year to get my mojo back. Now I'm back to not giving it much thought again. I guess I'll cop a big wipeout at some stage that might make me more sensible again but at the moment it's not happening...


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"Harden up or be Sensible?" started by Souwester