It’s not what you think! I didn’t wipe out on a mountain bike, skateboard, roller blades or motorcycle, but the result was the same. It was painful reminder from Mother Nature that we are not always in control!
Yesterday, I met up with a friend to go body board Salt Creek when the reports were less than ideal from wave riders coming up from the beach. Between Saturday and Sunday Morning, the swell had increased, became more westerly, and by consequence, became more closed out. We figured we could come back if we absolutely had no other alternative. It was 86 degrees, the sun was shining and there was little or no wind down at the coast. We decided to head up to Aliso Beach. I must admit, Aliso has not been on my radar and the last time I was there had to be before my terrible car accident in June. There were whispers of quality surf there the day before, but as Salt Creek proved, what a difference a day can make when it comes to surf.
The aqua green-blue water that is a hallmark of the beautiful Laguna Beach Coastline, was glassy smooth and inviting. The tide was a bit on the high side when we arrived so it had that wonky Aliso Beach look that only a much lower tide would correct. We had time on our side without the threat of a late morning onshore wind to get in the way of our plans. As 3 of us stood on the beach, the tide continued to recede and an occasional wave or two would peel through that motivated me to paddle out. Having successfully worn trunks the day before at Salt Creek, I was excited once again to leave the wet suit out of the equation. Because I feel so weighed down by the extra neoprene, it was great to once again be in 67 degree water unencumbered. It was November 13th! For the last 3 years I have been in the water without a wet suit during November. Crazy!
With trunks and rash guard I plunged into the Pacific by myself leaving two friends on the beach trying to will themselves into less than ideal conditions. There must have been 3 guys out in the lineup spread way out with a couple of skim boarders lining the shore and doing their thing. I got a couple of waves right away and I expected my friends to paddle out. It was decent size and it kept improving as time went by with plenty of racey waves of consequence. As I continued to get waves and the soft top surfing crew started to paddle out and push me further north. I continued to get decent waves. After I had been out about an hour and a half, I decided to get out to find out if my bros had abandoned me for better waves reported at another spot. I was a little salty.
When I got to the parking lot, I noticed by friend’s SUV still in the parking lot. He must have gone out, I thought to myself. After putting my body board and fins away, I walked south along the parking lot and spotted my friends. Had it not been for two or three perfect waves coming through, I would have called it a day. On my second wave, a chunky right popped up and my friends were hooting me in. It was a boomeranging wave that slung me pretty good. I knew the thing was going to heave and after I got about 20 yards it unleashed its inner beast mode and began to hollow out quickly. I saw it coming and was perfectly slotted when the thing closed out and slammed me to the bottom on my back. After having a fin lost to the ocean, the wave violently dragged me over some rocks and I knew that I was cut. Most likely the rocks came from Aliso Creek and migrate south towards the reef with predominant West and West Northwest Swell Directions. It felt like someone dragged me over a reef forcefully while lying on my back. Yep, it was good old fashioned road rash on my lower back. It kind of sucks! I suppose that it could have been worse because that wasn’t the only thing that happened middle part of the beach that was alarming. You will have to read my next post to find out what that means. Until then I am lubed up with Neosporin and hoping that the road rash goes away quickly. It stings and is uncomfortable, but that wave was worth every scrape I got! Be careful out there!
And yes….I know crack kills! When I had the picture taken I was less concerned about my crack and more concerned about the severity of the injury. It didn’t feel so good!