March 2014: Dear Grapevine
The waves were perfect, so I paddled out. The first one I caught was a beast.
This is in response to the article “There Are No Musts” (Sept. 2013) and the idea that the Steps are only suggestions.
I was surfing one winter at a place called Black’s Beach in La Jolla, Calif., a spot known for having large, powerful waves. It was cold and I wasn’t in the best shape, but the waves were perfect, so I paddled out. The first one I caught was a beast. It pitched me on the takeoff and my leash snapped, then it churned me underwater for what seemed like forever. When I finally came up for air, another huge wave broke on me,...