06 Sep TSS Journal 1702/ A TSS Tutorial (or “Tu-terryial”) – The Poach
Call it what you will; it is a necessary tactical survival skill/reflex
Have you ever surfed a packed lineup at Rincon, Ditch Plains, Hanalei Bowl and could not catch a wave? Fear no more frustration my friends. I want to share with you one of my biggest surfing assets, The Poach. First, you have to understand the move. It is not a burn or a cut off or a drop in on some poor surfer. Using my definition, it means to pick up the scraps you leave behind or maximize opportunity (MO). When you’re about to execute this maneuver, don’t be shy. You are not acting in offense, but do proceed with caution.
Here is the skinny:
Step 1. Spot opportunity. Once I realize the game is on and my chance is at hand, I closely watch both the rider struggling to catch the wave, make the drop, or clear a section that threatens the ride from completion.
Step 2. Find position. I spot the juicy part of the wave that I am best positioned for and then start the evaluation process. Using experience and timing, my head spins from left to right, trying to coordinate the vector of possibility. I then get into position for takeoff and wait for the impending error about to happen.
Step 3. Seize the moment. I am exactly where I need to be to catch this gem; the other surfer has stumbled the takeoff, leaving gold at my fingertips. I am already sitting in my full-alert position or what I call “locked and loaded.” Ready to fire my resin rifle.
Step 4. Re-action. I commit to the “spin and go.” I dunk my board underwater. Grabbing with my left hand up towards the nose, I plunge my board deep. I lay flat, chin down, leg up and force myself into a three-stroke take off.
Step 5. Astute observation. Now I am in the wave but before proceeding along I take a total recall and reevaluation. I look for the person that should be behind me eating it. It is always important to try and be aware of your surroundings; things go sideways fast. In case that person miraculously makes the wave and comes up behind you, it is necessary to be able to kick-out quickly and effectively. And then say, “Sorry.”
Step 6. Safe and clear: Once I am away clean from any danger, I stay focused on my goal: making the most out of the wave. I look, point and spot my exit and play with the face until its eventual recycling.
Lucky for me the clean poach job (as noted in the video below) ended in a nice green view of the inside. It was clearly a happy ending. The Poach is about being aware of your surroundings at all times. Like the ancient seafarers, never take your eyes off the ocean, and each other.